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post, was carried by storm, as well as many other places, included in the general plan of attack; and the enemy was compelled to retreat towards Nice. They were pursued along the coast by the British vessels, whose fire contributed to accelerate their flight: and they were compelled to evacuate the territory of Genoa, with the exception of that city and Savona. The French General Suchet, with his shattered army, passed the Var, and the Austrians took possession of Nice.
On the 15th, Savona surrendered, and the troops in the garrison became prisoners of war. The reduction of this important place was owing, in a great measure, to the vigilance of the British squadron, which prevented any supplies being thrown in. Our boats, with those of the Neapolitans, rowed guard forty-one nights. The blockade was conducted by Captain Hugh Downman, in the Santa Dorothea, of thirty-six guns. This officer signed the capitulation; and the garrison, which consisted of eight hundred men, was sent to France.
Bonaparte, deeply anxious to save Genoa, left nothing undone that could be achieved by the most consummate skill of a general, and the most undaunted valour of the finest army in the world. This he separated into four divisions: the first of which he commanded in person, and effected the famous passage of Mount St. Bernard; the second, third, and fourth divisions, proceeded by Mount Cenis, St. Gothard, and the Simplon; and the whole prepared to meet in the plains of Lombardy, and dispute with the Austrians, not only for the kingdom of Italy, but for the German empire.
The mode adopted by Bonaparte, to transport his heavy artillery over the snowy surface of the Alps, was both novel and ingenious. He caused the guns to be dismounted and placed in the hollow trunks of large trees, scooped out and prepared for the purpose. By this means he transported them with ease and expedition from hill to hill, and through the deepest ravines; surmounting the most stupendous rocks, and taking fortresses, deemed till then impregnable. He appeared before Milan and Pavia, both of which surrendered, the latter on the 5th of June; and although the first object of Bonaparte was frustrated by the surrender of Genoa on the preceding day, the capitulation of that place gave him the command of a body of troops, which contributed, no doubt, to the great victory of Marengo, which he gained on the 14th.
This battle, as Mr. Pitt observed, was on the point of deciding the fate of Europe, as every good man could have wished. The valour of the Austrians was such, that for a time every thing seemed propitious. Bonaparte certainly considered the day lost to France, and was standing on the field of battle in a state of mental abstraction, when Desaix galloped by him, exclaiming, "Is this the way, General, to lead the armies of the Republic?" and heading a body of cavalry, he made that famous charge which cost him his life, and gained the imperial crown for his less deserving chief. The garrison of Tortona, seeing the confusion of the French, sallied out, and had nearly surrounded them: but the battle was lost by the over-confidence of Melas, the Austrian general, who supposed it won; and won by Bonaparte, who had supposed it lost. Such are the wayward vicissitudes of man, and such the trifles that often decide the fate of empires.
In the course of the siege and blockade of Genoa, there were some acts of valour and generosity displayed by our navy, which redound too much to its honour to be passed without notice.
Captain Philip Beaver was intrusted by Lord Keith with the charge of the flotilla employed in the bombardment of the town, and carried his little force so close under the walls, as to receive the fire of the enemy's musketry. On one occasion a large and beautiful galley, rowing fifty oars, mounting two long brass thirty-six pounders, with thirty brass swivels in her hold, and manned with two hundred and fifty men, came out, with many other vessels, to drive away the unwelcome intruders. Captain Beaver, with a chosen band, rushed alongside of her in the dark, got on her decks, and drove the enemy below, bringing out the prize in triumph to the fleet, with only four of his men wounded.
Genoa capitulated on the 4th of June.' It would never have been reduced by the Austrians,
VOL. III. c
without the assistance of the British navy; and never, since the surrender of Haarlem to the Spaniards, was a garrison more emaciated than that of Genoa. No means of subsistence were left; horses, dogs, and even vermin, were devoured by the famished natives. On the signing of the capitulation, the living spectres rushed out in search of food, and boats were instantly procured, in which their feeble limbs scarcely enabled them to paddle off to the British ships. The crews, who were just going to their dinner, flew to the ports and gang-ways, and distributed all their provisions among the supplicants; and the welcome supply was received with tears of gratitude. History has few instances of more affecting benevolence, or of a more sudden transition from war and hatred to peace and friendship.
After the capitulation of Genoa, the French troops, with arms and baggage, were conveyed by British transports to Nice, and landed there, so that they were enabled to march at once, and join the army of Bonaparte, descending from St. Bernard. If not unavoidable, this was surely an impolitic measure on our side.
In loading the transports, with what was called army clothing, our sailors, not inclined to take much trouble in such a cause, put the hook between the stitches, which giving way with the weight, the bale burst, and the contents were found to be the finest Genoa velvet; an inspection accordingly took place, which led to the discovery of much valuable property. Such, we are sorry to say, was the constant practice of the French.
March 21st, Captain Francis William Austen, in the Petterel, of eighteen guns, attacked off Marseilles, three armed vessels, two of which he drove on shore under their batteries, the third he brought off; she was a brig called the Ligurienne, of sixteen guns, and one hundred and four men. This vessel was of a very peculiar construction, and most probably intended for the service of the Egyptian army: she was put together with screw bolts, and might be taken to pieces and set up at pleasure.
On the 30th, Captain Manley Dixon/ in the Lion, of sixty-four guns, commanded the squadron at the blockade of Malta, having under his orders the
Ships. Guns. Commanders.
Foudroyant .... 80 Capt. Sir E. Berry. ... . (Lieut. Harrington,
Alexander . . . . 74 } acting for Capt. A. Ball.
Penelope 36 Capt. H. Blackwood.
with three sloops of war.
Suspecting, that the Guillaume Tell was about to run from the island to Toulon, Captain Dixon stationed Blackwood close off the harbour of Valette, where, about midnight, he got sight of the enemy. Despatching El Corso brig to inform the Commodore, he made every signal in his power to apprise him of their position. Blackwood crowded sail in chase, and was so fortunate,