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was to wear the crown that he had won; and, in truth, there were more difficulties in the way of restoring the Bourbona than of founding a new dynasty himself. He began by feeling the pulse of the public in a pamphlet, written by his brother Lucien, and corrected by himself. It failed, was ridiculed, and censured; and the first consul, throwing the blame on Lucien, deprived him of the office of home minister, and sent him envoy to Spain. About the epoch of the peace of Amiens, however, Bonaparte remodelled his tribunate, his mock chamber of the commons, excluding the most froward patriots, after which epuration his several projects passed into law. In May, 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte was decreed, in recompense for the eminent services rendered to his country, first consul for ten years, in addition to the ten already allotted; and in a short interval this was reamended into a vote declaring him consul for life. It is but a repetition of a former remark to observe, that this granting away, of the liberty of the country to a dictator met with far less opposition in the council than the institution of the legion of honor. From the history of the revolution, Chateaubriand has full reason to assert, that it is not freedom which the French prize, but equality and military glory.
The progress of Bonaparte's influence over neighboring states was as great as his rise at home. The Cisalpine republic had been remodelled to suit his views; and in January its legislature elected the powerful first consul of France for their president. The Batavian, the Ligurian republics, were obliged to submit to similar modifications. Piedmont was formally annexed to France, and divided into departments. Thus the stipulations of the treaty of Luneville, guarantying independence to the republics of Italy and Holland, became totally void. England began to show alarm and distrust; for both of which there was ample reason, although scarcely more than existed at the epoch of the treaty. When she remonstrated, Bonaparte replied, "You must have seen or foreseen all this. The Cisalpine chose me its president in January, two months before the signature at Amiens. And why should ye English complain of the infraction of the treaty of Luneville, when Austria, with whom it was concluded, holds her peace]" Why did not the British ministry include in the treaty of Amiens the condition, that the articles of that of Luneville should be observed? Or why have made peace at all, seeing that Bonaparte would inevitably act by the Helvetic republics as he had done already by the Cisalpine] To avoid the expense of war, is the only reply. But that expense was no wise avoided by a hollow peace; "a peace to try France,' as Lord Castlereagh called it.
1,02. PRANCE AND ENGLAND. 171
Miserable, indeed, is the special pleading on both sides to throw, each upon its adversary, the blame of the war. Both were right, and both were wrong. England, in her native fliight and pride, could never sit still and- look on whilst France assumed to herself such predominant power in Europe. Nor could France, or its ruler, refrain from wielding that influence which conquest had given her. But France was wrong in fleeting a moderation which she had no idea of observing; and England equally absurd, to affect to give a moment's credit to it,—above all, to stipulate actual concession to it. At Amiens, and before the treaty, the British ministry seemed to be either willing dupes or blind ones. Their object in peace, the same as that of Bonaparte, to display to Europe and their own people, each how ready they were to make peace, and thus to throw the blame of the inevitable and speedy rupture upon its foe. In this aim we do think the English negotiators played the less clever game. And the ministry, though rationally justified in their mistrusts, in their withholding Malta and the Cape, on the grounds that France had increased its territories and encroachments in Europe, were still left without any precise plea, and were obliged to support their cause with vague recrimination. The French kept the letter of the treaty; the English broke it. And yet the former were the true aggressors and encroachers. Such were the blunders of British diplomacy.
No sooner did Bonaparte announce his determination of interfering with the Helvetian republics, than the English ministry sent an agent thither with promises of support to the independent party, hesitated to surrender Malta, and sent counter orders that the Cape of Good Hope was not to be delivered up to the Batavian republic. In the mean time other than these great interests of territory sowed divisions betwixt the first consul and Great Britain. At all times sensitive te public opinion, so sensitive that even an imprudent reflection was enough to alienate him from a tried friend, a witticism sufficient to bring down an order of exile, he was particularly susceptible at the present moment, when employed in rearing the fabric of his power, to which his character was his only title. The freedom of the English press, its unsparing attacks upon him, re-echoed by the papers of the Frencn royalists in England, was a kind of war more dangerous and galling to him than any other. Before it, indeed, no tyrant can stand. Bonaparte felt as much alarm from it as did England originally from the levelling principles of the revolution. He made vain" demands that this should be checked, and was modest enough to propose that the press of England should be gagged, as well <is that of France, in order to give security to his persona] ambition. Nevertheless, on this point the ministry gratified him, as far as might be done in a constitutional way, sending one of these libels before a jury. As might be expected, this made matters ten times.worse, sending Pelletier's libel to fame through the trump of Mackintosh's ebquence. Another demand, that the Bourbons and their partisans should be expelled from England, met with a firm and generous denial With the English press Bonaparte condescended to enter into a personal quarrel: just as he himself had charged the cannon against Toulon, so now he employed his time in penning articles for the Moniteur, his official paper, full of acrimony and insult The unfortunate results of a sovereign so de meaning himself are evident. Bonaparte could never distinguish the difference betwixt a nation's government and its press; so that, in answering squibs fired off by an individual editor, the first consul charged the great gun of state, and risked, or at any rate, precipitated, a war betwixt millions of men, in endeavoring to apply a salve upon his own miserable vanity. Then appeared the imprudent vaunting report of Sebastiani, who had been charged with a mission in the Levant; its information, that 6000 French soldiers could reconquer Egypt; and the challenge, that " England alone dare not make war with France."
These paper paragraphs certainly could not be serious grounds of war; although the English government, by its imbecile arrangement and acceptation of the treaty of Amiens, was obliged to recur to such pretexts, to collect and group them,—thus making up by a mass of petty grievances for the want of one large and specific plea. The first consul now demanded why Malta had not been evacuated according to stipulation. The English replied by a claim to keep Malta on the ground that Bonaparte had increased his European territory, and that he threatened Egypt. The last w7as idle: the first objection "was not in the bond." Bonaparte, whose very throne was then being erected on the basis of national glory, could not yield Malta. To demand it of him was, in fact, to declare war. And the minister asserted with only becoming spirit, "England shall have the treaty of Amiens, and nothing more than the treaty of Amiens." War was inevitable, as indeed it had been from the first. England could not submit, at the risk of her existence. In this, at least, her ministry and Pitt were right, however imbecile and "blundering the former had proved in these negotiations, which placed the letter of treaties against Britain, whilst their spirit, as well as their sense of security arid justice, told loudly in ber favor.
1803. PREPARATIONS FOR WAR. 173
On these terms of mutual mistrust both countries thought fit to make preparations for war. Bonaparte assembled troops in the forts of Holland and North France, and dispatched envoys to Prussia and to Austria. England was no less active. An interview between the first consul and lord Whitworth, the British ambassador, was not productive of any amicable esult, although Bonaparte spoke there with great frankness. "Why should I wish for war?" said he: "a descent upon England is the only mode I have of combating her; and this, if compelled to, I am resolved to undertake. But how suppose, that, arrived at my present height of power, I should wish to risk my life and reputation, unless constrained thereto by necessity, in an expedition, in which most probably myself and the greater part of my army would go to the bottom of the sea 1 For there are a hundred chances to one against me." From recent memoirs, indeed, we learn that Bonaparte was unwilling to recommence war, at least so soon, inevitable as he saw it. But England was peremptory. She was tricked and annoyed in a thousand ways. And a warlike message from the king to his parliament in March, 1803, was the preluding blast to w.ar. Bonaparte answered by one of his diplomatic notes. He was now betwixt two unpleasant feelings. It was important for him to throw the blame of the breach upon England, in order to content his people and conciliate the yet existing powers of Europe; and nevertheless his pride was galled to find England assume the lofty, intractable, defiant language, so indicative of superiority and strength. His quick resentment prompted him to break through the laws of courtly decorum, and to vent his spleen upon the representative of Great Britain. During a public levee he abruptly addressed lord Whitworth, "You are decided on war, it seems —you wish it. After fifteen years' combat, we must yet recommence for fifteen years to come. You force me to it." He then turned to the ambassadors of Spain and Russia :— "The English will have war. They are the first to draw the sword: I will be the last to put it in the scabbard. They do not respect treaties, and we must henceforth cover them with a black crape. You may destroy France, but you shall not intimidate her."—"We do not wish to do either one or the other," replied lord Whitworth calmly.—" Respect treaties. Woe to those who break through them: they shall be responsible to Europe for the consequences." This burst of anger is said by some to have been calculated. Why might it not be natural and deep-felt? Previous to the treaty of Amiens, Bonaparte had borne England a national hate; since then it lv\d grown into a personal one,—an antipathy founded on ah causes of enmity great and little—on pride and pique, as well as upon interest and patriotism.
Lord Whitworth was now ordered by his government to demand the occupation of Malta during ten years by British troops, whilst the French were to evacuate Holland. This was called an ultimatum, and but a week's interval allowed for reply. Yet even here the French assumed not that peremptory tone. Talleyrand was averse to war; that able statesman is said to have foreseen the pernicious consequences even of fresh victories. But the English minister, conscious that he resisted usurpation, and an indefinite system of encroachment, held firm, gave very wretched and shuffling reasons for a mistrust well-founded in itself, and covered the blunders of his diplomacy with sullen pride and defiance. Orders had been already issued for seizing the ships of France and of her subject states,—a measure much in the spirit of that usurpation which one might have censured without imitating , and the French consul retaliated by retaining all the British subjects whom curiosity or business had brought at that unlucky moment to French shores. Thus recommenced betwixt the nations a quarrel unrivalled for ihe inveteracy of its spirit and the variety of its fortunes. "The rupture was to the first consul," says Bignon, "the decisive point of his destiny. Henceforth he saw England rise before him like a cape of storms, which he was for ever forbidden to pass."
The only military enterprise set on foot during the year's peace, if we except the occupation of Switzerland, was the expedition to St. Domingo. The principles of the revolution, passed into decrees by the national assemblies, had been productive of the most fearful mischief in St. Domingo, where Robespierre's energetic wish, of "Let the colonies perish rather than one principle be disturbed," received ample fulfilment. Whites and mulattoes had commenced a civil war, and the negroes had also asserted their rights. The latter, being most numerous, gained the ascendency, headed by a chief of inflexible character, and of such high talents, both for warring and ruling, as to merit the name of the black Bonaparte. Toussaint-Louverture, such was his name, had established his rule in St. Domingo. It was as beneficent and vigorous as that of the first consul in Europe; but the latter was determined to recover the island; and a fine army, composed of the conquerors of Hohenlinden, were sent out to subdue it under general Leclerc, who had married Pauline, Bonaparte's sister. The expedition reached its destiny. The blacks, after burning their capital, and making a stubborn reeistance, were subdued, and-the chiefs compelled to submit