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reduced Genoa, marched to surprise the advanced posts of the French as they passed the Po. He was met by Lannes at Montebello, and a severe engagement ensued, the forerunner of the great one. Ott and O'Reilly were completely beaten by Lannes, and driven back upon Melas, with the loss of 5000 men. It was in memory of this action that Lannes afterwards bore the title of due de Montebello.
The French army now advanced to Stadella, taking up an advantageous position in case of attack. It remained several days in these quarters, to allow Suchet time to close Oh Melas from the rear, and Massena, with the liberated garrison of Genoa, to join from the south. The Austrians showed no sign of movement, and Bonaparte found that Melas might escape him by marching either north towards Turin, or south towards Genoa. Rather than allow this, he advanced into the plains of Marengo; thereby giving great advantage to his enemies, who were on the other side of the Bormida, at liberty to attack at their choice or defend the course of the stream. So little activity did Melas show, that Bonaparte's anxiety was increased lest he might escape to Genoa, and shut himself up there; where, with the English, masters of the sea, he might hold out an almost unlimited time. With this fear he detached Desaix, just arrived from Egypt, on his left, to provide against and prevent any such movement of Melas,—a precaution that was near proving fatal to the French; for the Austrian at the same moment had decided in a council of war that the only secure mode of reaching Genoa was to give battle to the French.
The morning of the 14th, destined by Melas for the attack, found the French not drawn up in line to receive them, but echellons, or thrown back, in separate divisions, with considerable intervals betwixt them, extending from Marengo, the village next the Bormida and the Austrians, and occupied by the French advanced guards, to their head-quarters at San Giuliano. The Austrians crossed the river by three divisions and three bridges. One cause of the security of Bonaparte was the assurance that the principal of these bridges had been broken. The Austrians'attack convinced him of the contrary; its first effort was against^ the French at Marengo. Instead of marching boldly to the'charge, the imperialists* deployed, planted batteries, and waited to effect by their fire what an assault might have accomplished. This afforded time to the French, and allowed Bonaparte time to recall Desaix. The right and left of the Austrians'had scarcely an enemy to contend with. Chiefly composed of cavalry, they swept all obstacles before them, and turning towards the centre at Ma» 1800. BATTLE OF MARENGO. 161
rengo, completely expelled the enemy from that village. At mid-day the plain of Marengo presented the spectacle of the French half in retreat; whole columns of wounded and stragglers dragging to the rear, and throwing into confusion the ranks that still h«ld firm. Seeing himself victorious at Marengo, general Melas retired to Alexandria to write his dispatches. He had already drafted from the field a considerable body of cavalry, which he- deemed necessary to send in another direction against Suchet. Bonaparte at the same time was preparing to make a stand at San Giuliano, and ivenge the defeat of the morning, by fighting a fresh battle n the evening. Desaix joined him, and applauded his resolve. The artillery was placed in one tremendous battery, commanding the high road, along which the Austrians advanced in column, less to dispute than to seize a victory already won. The imperialists were as imprudently confident as the French had been in the morning, and came as.little prepared or marshalled for a fierce strife. Bonaparte rode along his newly formed line. "Soldiers, we have retreated enough for to-day," said he, "you know it is my custom to sleep upon the field of battle."
In the absence of Melas, Zach commanded the imperialists. He approached San Giuliano, when the battery unmasked, opened its fire; at the same time Desaix led on his fresh division of infantry to the attack, on one side; whilst Kellerman, on the other, with a brigade of horse, watched the appearance of breach or confusion in the line; and finding it, charged, cut through the column; recharged and traversed it several times. The head of the column was thus enveloped, and, with Zach himself, laid down its arms. The rest was routed and fled, communicating its panic to the fresh corps in the rear, which, had -they come up in time, might have repeated at San Giuliano the success of Marengo. Now all was lost. The imperialists fled pell-mell across the wide plain of Marengo to the bridges, pursued by their so lately routed but now victorious foes. Thus, the battle of Marengo, "so far lost at mid-day," says Savary, "that a charge of cavalry would for ever have decided it, was restored, and gained by six o'clock in the evening." The brave Desaix in the moment of his advance received a musket-ball in his heart The charge of young Kellerman* was the decisive movement. The partisans of Bonaparte assert that the order issued from him. Kellerman himself protested it was his oVn unsupported act; and a strong feeling of jealous)7 existed, in consequence, betwixt him and the first consul. "That charge
* The present due de Valmy.
of yours was opportune," observed Bonaparte after the battle, in rather a lukewarm tone of praise. "Opportune indeed,'* replied the fiery little Kellerman, "it has put the crown upon your head."
The consequences of this campaign of a Jew days were as important as those of the long struggle of 1796. An armistice was agreed on, the terms of which were, that the Austrians should retire behind the Mincio; thus abandoning all the conquests of Suwarrow: besides, Genoa no sooner was retaken than resurrendered. France reaped, at a blow, her old superiority in the field; and Bonaparte was marked anew by the hand of destiny as the candidate for the vacant throne. His return to Paris was one continued triumph. The whole population lined the roads: the beauties of Lyons and Dijon crowded round him, at the risk of being trodden down by his steed. Paris was in equal tumult of admiration and joy. A short j;ime subsequent to his return occurred the 14th of July, the anniversary of the federation, of the birth of freedom and the revolution. He feared not to celebrate it in the Champ de Mars. Here, where the deputies from all France had met to swear their solemn vows to liberty on the altar of the country, a military dictator now rode amidst his guard, bearing the Austrian colors taken at Marengo. The acclamations, the enthusiasm, at either epoch, was the same; the object alone was different. It had been then an abstract name: it was now a substantial idol, a hero, calculated to take strong hold on the affections of the people, wTho, with their wonted obliquity of vision, still saw in him the representative of what they called liberty and the revolution.
The convention with Melas was considered preparatory to a treaty. Bonaparte offered to Austria the terms of Campo Formio; but the court of Vienna, wThich unfortunately was gifted with that vigor in despair which was ever wanting to her in prosperity, pleaded her engagements with Great Britain as precluding her from treating, except in conjunction with this latter country. The French had an apt rejoinder: —" Let there be an armistice, then, by sea, as well as by land." But this would have given too great an advantage to the French. Egypt would have been succored, and the whole system of naval war deranged. England would not listen to the proposal; and Austria, with a heroism worthy of better fortune, persisted in renewing hostilities. Italy, as a field, had been unfavorable to her. She turned her hope to Germany, appointed the archduke John to the command, and allowed the armistice to expire. Moreau was on the banks of the Iser, the Austrians on those of the Inn,—a good hn? of
[800. TREATY OF LUNEVILLE. 163
defence, which they unfortunately quitted, and marched to the attack of the French through wetched roads, rendered worse by November weather. A gleam of success, Ney being driven back at the first rencounter, emboldened the archduke. Moreau was with the greater part of his army at Hohenlinden, behind the forest of Ebersberg. The archduke ordered his army to advance in separate columns through the paths of this wood, and the defiles leading to it. His centre, under Kollowrath, took the chief road, and was met, as it issued from the forest, by the divisions of Ney and Grouchy; whilst another division of the French attacked its rear at the other side of the forest The result was the total defeat of the centre, its surrender to the number of 8000 men, and the consequent rout of the rest of the army. Had the archduke Charles commanded, a defeat caused by such a blunder had been impossible; but this prince was in disgrace for having counselled peace.
The loss of the battle of Hohenlinden obliged Austria to treat Cobentzel, her plenipotentiary, came over to Paris for that purpose. The negotiations were, however, carried on at Luneville, Joseph Bonaparte acting as the envoy of his brother. Here a treaty was concluded, little differing from that of Campo Formio, except that Tuscany was now taken from an Austrian duke, and given to a Spanish prince, who assumed the title of king of Etruria. Italy resumed its republican forms and divisions of governments, under French influence and protection; the Rhine being still the boundary of France on the side of Germany. Southern Italy was treated with still more leniency by Bonaparte than it had been by the directory. To be sure, the emperor of Russia interfered in behalf of the royal family of that kingdom; and forbearance was well expended in purchasing the friendship of that prince. But Rome was equally well treated. The new pope, Pius VII., was respected, and allowed to retain the reins of the pontifical government; the first consul already meditating to form, with the instinct of the future sovereign an alliance betwixt church and state.
Whilst the new century opened under such prosperous auspices for the French, fortune had never seemed more menacing to Great Britain. In Austria she lost her last continental ally. Portugal had been invaded, and compelled to renounce her friendship with England. Paul, emperor of Russia, having passed suddenly from enmity to admiration of France, concluded a treaty with Bonaparte; and, in conjunc tion with the Baltic powers, now became a party to the armed neutrality, to resist England's right of search upon the IIT.-"]1
seas. On her own element, however, that country was mistress still. .Her fleet, under Sir Peter Parker, or rather under his lieutenant, Nelson, entered the Sound, and destroyed the Danish navy in the harhor of Copenhagen. The death of Paul at the same time deprived her of a formidable onemy; and marred, for the time, the plan of the French ruier for excluding her from the ports of Europe. Prussia, the selfish Prussia, which had taken the opportunity to invade Hanover was compelled to evacuate it. Malta fell into the power of England: Egypt was menaced: and the rival powers sinking into the attitude of languid and inactive defiance proper to two exhausted combatants, agreed to allow each other a breathing-time of truce at least; although the causes of quarrel and enmity were too profound to be removed, except by the absolute prostration of one or the other.
Whilst England in 1801 was bent on her Egyptian expedition, the first consul was employed in organizing and consolidating his government. Amidst the first joy of his return, an attempt had been made to assassinate him at the opera. Soon after, on Christmas eve, 1800, while proceeding in his carriage through the narrow street of St. Nicaise, a tremendous explosion took place just after he passed. The glass of the carriage windows was broken; the very houses of the street shattered; and some eighty persons killed or severely injured. This is what is known by the name of the infernal machine. Of those in the carriage, Bonaparte alone had presence of mind. Flinging himself forward, he called to the coachman with an oath to drive rapidly. There was no need of such exhortation. When he entered the theatre the first consul was calm. His escape seemed to. enhance his popularity. The first suspicion of Bonaparte fell on the anarchists, the dregs of the Jacobins. He caused a number of them to be seized; and exclaimed against the negligence of Fouche, naturally supposed to befriend them. The latter, however, proved to the satisfaction of his master that the royalists were the inventors of the infernal machine. These were also seized and punished: but the pretext against the Jacobins was too opportune to be thrown away; and they still remained under the inspection of the police. Bonaparte dreaded the Jacobins far more than the royalists. "Emigration and Vendeeism are but eruptions of the skin," said he: "terrorism is an internal malady."
The attempt of the infernal machine enabled the first con sul to establish special military commissions for trying similar offences. It was on this occasion that the opposition first re' vealed itself in the tribunate and legislative body. Though