Imágenes de páginas
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Printed, for the PROPRIETORS, by Knight and Compton, Cloth Fair.



[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

(From JANUARY to JUNE, 1807.)

BY adverting to our last Historical Sketch, prefixed to the Twenty fifth Volume of our Review, our readers will find that we formed a jult estimaie of the Ruffian character, and that we knew how to appreciate the ftuation to which. Buonaparte, by his natural temerity, and by an implicit reliance on his favourite deity, Chance, which had too long smiled upon him, had reduced himself. Subsequent events have fully justified all the conclusions which we then drew from an attentive confideration of the relative state of the belligerent powers, and of the actual situation of the different itates of Europe. It has been our invariable opinion, from the very commencement of the French revolution, that there always existed, and that there still exists, fufficient ability to crush the revolutionary hydra which has long threatened the civilized world with ruin, and that nothing but the will has been wanted to give action and effect to that ability. Did a doubt remain on the subject, we would refer for its solution to the noble ftand which Rullia, aided only by the scanty remnant of the broken forces of Prussia, has made against the savage hordes of France. All that we predicted, respecting the vigour and efficacy of their exertions, has been completely fulfilled. They have already exacted severe vengeance, in the moralies of Poland, for the defeat which they sustained in the plains of Moravia." These foldiers, whom the Corlican tyrant stigmatized as a barbarous and undisciplined rabble, have taught him to feel their superiority in discipline as well as in courage. In every action which has yet been fought, they have beat him by a display of skill and a knowledge of tactics as much as by their cool, steady, and determined bravery, and by their unshaken fortitude. Prudence and vigour combined to mark all the operations of the Russian army, from the opening of the campaign to the battle of Eylau. In that action the Russians manifesled an union of all the talents and endowments which are requisite to form great generals and goud soldiers. The Corsican was out-generalled, (to use a vulgar expresfion) as well as exceeded in every other point that was necessary to ensure success. The fickle Goddess, Fortune, forfook him ; victory fled from his standard, and, fuperior only in numbers, in all other respects inferior, he had the mortification to find his plan disconcerted, his efforts fruitless, his hopes blasted, and his force diminished by more than forty thousand men, though reduced, by the magic power of his revolutionary pen, 10 five thoue' Sand! The position of the Rullians at Eylau was the belt that count be taken for the protection of Koningsberg, on the one hand, and of Dantzic on the other; and had Buonaparte succeeded in his attempt to get in their Tear, and then to drive them from the field, those towns would have been left, in a great measure, at his mercy. The• fubfequent conduct of the Russians has been eminently prudent. They have fotiationed themselves as to give effectual protection io the Prussian potts, and to receive the immense reinforcements which constantly join them. It is true, indeed, that the French also receive accessions of lirength; but, when the Ruffians are once strong enough to move forwards, in conjunction with the Pruffians, wbore numbers too are considerably increased, the consequence of a victory will APP. VOL. XXVI,


a 2

be decisive. Leaving their wounded behind them, they will then rush forward, with the same impetuohty which Suwarrow displayed in Italy; drive the enemy before them from place to place, and give him no rest, till expelled from Germany. Nor will the effect of a deseat, on the other hand, be equally decisive in favour of France. The Ruflians are not less refolute in retreat, than impetuous in pursuit; they will defend every inch of ground; and should Buonaparte prove fuccessful in every atiack, and drive them back to their own frontier, his own numbers will, to a cere tainty, be fo thioned, as to reduce him to the necesity of retracing his steps; while the approach of a fresh army from Russia will enable his enemy again to advance. This conclusion will appear obvious to every one who has altended to the memorable campaign of Suwarrow in Italy, and to the recent operations of the Rullians in Poland. The Cofacks, too, which attend their army, are most furmidable to the French, whom they incessantly harass, by night and by day, flaughtering great numbers by a mode of warfare to which they are little accustomed, and which, naturally enough, they very much dread.

The KING OF PRUSSIA must now, from necessity not less than from interest, remain firm to his engagements to conclude no treaty with the Corsican, without the concurrence of his Russian protector, and his British ally; and means will now be supplied to enable him to arm any number of his well-difpored subjects, to augment the general force. Had he yielded to the propofals of Buonaparte, Frederick William had, ere this, ceasej to be a munarch, and had funk into a degraded vassal of the most inexorable, the most merciless, the most fanguinary, of tyrants. As it is, though difpofleffed of the greater part of his dominions, he is still a King, and will be reitored to the poflellion nol merely of his territory, but of his independence and his power alfu. Even thould the Russians, contrary to all hope and expectation, fustain a defeat, and be driven 'back beyond their own frontier, he may not only retreat with them, and find a fure and honourable asylum in the dominions of Alexander, but be certain, at no diftant period, to recover his own.

The King of Sweden, with a heroisin almost peculiar to himself, and which perpetually makes us regret that his means are not equal to his 1pirit, fets all the power of France at defiance, and contributes more than his portion towards the emancipation of Europe. The check which his troops recently received, from a miscalculation of the enemy's force, was not sufficient to induce this gallant Prince to fanction the disgraceful armistice concluded by his General, Von Efen. He bas, on the contrary, reinforced his army, and again prepared to take the field; and whatever skill and courage can achieve, we may confidently predi&t, will be accomplished by the Swedes, under the guidance of such a Sovereign. They will serve materially to keep a part of the French force employed, and so to prevent it from joining the main army; and, in the event of a victory gained by the Ruflians, he will effectually harass the French in their retreat.

Austria, meanwhile, who holds, as it were, the balance of Europe in her hands, remains a mere fpectator of the surrounding scene. Whether this passiveness be the result of any secret understanding with Ruffia, or whether it be the consequence of a settled system of inaction, a short time will suffice to demonstrate. If the former, she is waiting till Ruflia shall be able to push forward with her whole force, when the Austrian army may ad


sance in the rear of the French from Bohemia, and cut off their retreat. Such a step would, at once, crush the iyrant, and rescue subjugated Europe from his iron yoke. If the latter be the case, if by a perseverance in the same timid and mistaken policy wbich bas lately marked his conduct, the Emperor Francis, deaf alike to the fuggestions of wisdom, the voice of experience, and the di&tates of self-prefervation, thould resolve to remain neuter, and to limit bis impotent efforts to the preservation of his neutrality, his Gtuation will be perilous. Should France prove ultimately victorious, bis ruin will be certain, and in the fate of Sardinia, Naples, and Prussia, he may read his own. And should Russia prevail in the conteft, ine Imperial Alexander will not look with an eye of satisfaction on of conduct which, he will know, could only be dictated by fear or by treachery. And what resistance Austria could make to the


of France it would be difficult to conjecture. At all events, the will have made a formidable enemy, where the might have secured a most poweriul friend; and, if no immediate loss of territory or of power should eniue, the will, at lealt, be placed in a state of constant uneasiness and alarm, berween Ruflia on the one side, and France on the other; while lie will have for feited all prelenGons to character and all claim to respect--a confideration of primary importance to a great nation.

We have no sufficient data on which to form any thing like a rational opinion as to the conduct which Auftria, thus situated, will pursue. It has been generally fupposed that Francis himself is of a pacific difpofition; that the Archduke Charles, who has conceived fome disgust at the English (whether lince Mr. Adair has resided at Vienna, or before, we know not), has confirmed him in his sentiments; and that the Queen (whom he has Jately folt) exerted her infuence over him for the purpose of persuading him to adopt a system of policy more consonant with his dignity, and more conducive to his security. If this fuppofition be correct, and if no change of circumstances has occurred to produce a corresponding change of dirposition, there is little to hope from the exertions of Austria. But we have some reason to doubt the accuracy of this statement; and are more inclined to believe, that the influence und firmness of the Ruflian Emperor will ultimately fubdue all other influence in the mind of Francis; an effect which the departure of Mr. Adair from Vienna, and the circunstances which gave rifé to it, will contributė, not a little, to produce,

In Sicily, the last refuge of the exiled King of Naples, where, it might Daturally be expected, ail would unite in one common effort for selfdefence, and in one common sentiment of indignation against the Tyrant of Europe, and of gratitude to those who enable them to retilt his final exertions for their utter destruction, strange to say the fame fpirit of party prevails, which, at the beginning of the French revolution, obtained among the emigrants from that devoted country. There fublisis in that and three different parties;-che King's party, the Queen's party, and the party of the Nobles; the last of which is infected with revolutionary ideas, and, as far as they are capable of attachment, are attached to the destroyers of their country. Such reptiles ought to be crushed; and the fooner they are consigned to the gallows, the better. Wbue the English troops remain there, however, no bad consequences can ensue iróni this discord. If wc cat our eyes upon the Turkish Empire, we Rall there behold the

a 3


« AnteriorContinuar »