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flicts, which lasted five days. The crowned the operations of an army. loss on both sides was considerable ; The measure of Britain's glory was albut the success of the allies was com- ready full ; but the labours of her war. plete, and they established themselves like sons were not yet terminated firmly between the Nive and the A. The annals of succeeding years were dour. Thus was the liberation of the still to be adorned by their exploits, peninsula accomplished in the course until the odious despotism which had of this eventful year, by a series of the threatened Europe with chains, should most brilliant successes that have ever fall prostrate before them.
State of Affairs in the North. Progress of the Russian Armies after the Expul
sion of the French from the Empire. -Prussia joins the Alliance against France. - Preparations of the French for resuming Military Operations.
The retreat of the French from the themselves surrounded by the Russian Beresina to the Niemen, and from the columns ; there was no choice, thereNiemen to the Vistula, was one conti. fore, but to hurry on with the utmost nued scene of dismay, route, and con- celerity.--Without pausing at Wilna, fusion. The cossacks hovered conti. the Russians continued the pursuit.nually on their rear, and were able, One column under Wittgenstein marchnot indeed to arrest the retreat, but to ed along the Niemen to cross at Tilrender it uniformly disastrous, and to sit ; while another under Platoff purdestroy every thing which for a mo. sued the enemy along the direct route ment separated itself from the main through Kowno. The French had enbody. The wings of the Russian ar- trenched themselves strongly at this my followed close on the flanks of the place; and they hoped, by defending enemy, and by threatening to inter- the passage of the Niemen, to have pose between the fugitives and France, obtained a short respite. Platoff, howrendered it impossible to pause for a ever, hesitated not a moment: he threw moment at any single point. Buona. . himself upon the frozen Niemen, and parte had directed that a stand should, the cossacks were soon on the opposite if possible, be made for a few days, bank. The French hastily crossed the at Wilna, which formed the grand de river in two columns ; but were not able pot of the army, and was filled with to avoid the attack of the cossacks, supplies of every kind. Could this who destroyed great numbers of them. have been effected, the troops might The pursuit continued as before, with have breathed from their fatigues, and the daily capture of prisoners, cannon, their order and efficiency might have baggage, and ammunition. Accordbeen in some measure re-established; ing to accounts published by the Rusbut scarcely had they, by a succes- sian government, the number of prisonsion of marches, through tracts nearly ers taken since the battle of Borodino, impassable, succeeded in reaching that already amounted to 170,000 men, of important place, when they found whom 1298 were officers, and 41 generals. To this statement was added eight men out of every 500 ; and that 1131 pieces of cannon. Europe stood the levy should commence in each goaghast at this estimate,-never before wernment within two weeks, and end had she witnessed such destruction. in four, from the publication of the
The Russian government was deter. order. mined to complete the work which it When the Russian armies in their had begun ; and for this purpose or- victorious progress reached the Prusdered new and extensive levies.- “Rus- sian frontier, the commander in chief, sia," said the emperor," having been Kutusoff, explained the views of his invaded by an enemy, leading armies government in an eloquent address.from almost every European nation, « At the moment of my ordering the had been obliged to make great sacri- armies under my command,” said he, fices ; and although, by the aid of Di. “ to pass the Prussian frontier, the emvine Providence, those armies had been peror, my master, directs me to declare entirely dissipated, and their poor re- that this step is to be considered in no mains were seeking safety in a preci- other light than as the inevitable conpitate flight, yet it became necessary sequence of the military operations, to maintain the glory of the empire Faithful to the principles which have by such a military establishment as actuated his conduct at all times, his should insure permanent safety. The imperial majesty is guided by no view arm of the giant was broken, but his of conquest. The sentiments of modestructive strength should be prevent, deration which have ever characterised ed from reviving
; and his power over his policy, are still the same, after the the nations, who serve him out of ter. decisive successes with which Divine ror, taken away. Russia, extensive, Providence has blessed his legitimate rich, and pacific, sought no conquests, efforts. Peace and independence shall wished not to dispose of thrones. be their result. These his majesty of She desired tranquillity for herself, fers, together with his assistance, to and for all. She would not, however, every people, who, being at present suffer the wicked so to abuse her mo. obliged to oppose him, shall abandon deration as to endanger the well-being the cause of Napoleon in order to purof herself or other nations. Painful sue their real interests. I invite them as it was to call upon a loyal and af. to take advantage of the fortunate fectionate people for new exertions, opening which the Russian armies have yet it would be still more painful to produced, and to unite themselves with see them exposed to calamities for the them in the pursuit of an enemy, whose want of an adequate defence ; and that precipitate flight has discovered his the most grievous calamities would re- loss of power. It is to Prussia in parsult from the success of her late inva- ticular this invitation is addressed. ders, was evident from the enormities It is the intention of his imperial mathey had already committed. The em- jesty to put an end to the calamities peror trusted in God and his brave by which she is oppressed, -to demon. armies, which could be raised to an strate to her king the friendship which imposing number, for the preservation he preserves for him,--and to restore of what had been purchased by so to the monarchy of Frederick its eclat many labours and sacrifices."-Incon- and its extent. He hopes that his sequence
of these resolutions, it was Prussian majesty, animated by sentiordered that there should be a gene. ments which this frank declaration ral levy throughout the empire, of ought to pr«duce, will, under such cir
cumstances, take that part which the Emperor of Russia. The grand prininterest of his states demands. Un- ciple of the independence of Europe der this conviction, the emperor, my has always formed the basis of his master, has sent me the most positive policy; for that policy is fixed in his orders to avoid every thing that could heart. It is beneath his character to betray a spirit of hostility between the permit any endeavours to be made to two powers, and to endeavour, within induce the people to resist oppression, the Prussian provinces, to soften, as far and to throw off the yoke which has as a state of war will permit, the evils weighed them down for twenty years. which for a short time must result from It is their governments whose eyes their occupation."
ought to be opened by the actual si. “When Russia was compelled, by a tuation of France. Ages may elapse war of aggression," said the emperor, before an opportunity, equally favour"to take arms for her defence, from the able, again presents itself; and it would accuracy of her combinations, she was be an abuse of the goodness of Provi. enabled to form an estimate of the im. dence, not to take advantage of this portant results which that war might crisis to accomplish the great work of produce with respect to the indepen- the equilibrium of Europe, and theredence of Europe. The most heroic con- by to insure public tranquillity and stancy, the greatest sacrifices, have led individual happiness." to a series of triumphs. At no period One passage in this address appears has Russia been accustomed to practise singular :- It is beneath the charac. that art (too much resorted to in mo. ter of the emperor to permit any en. dern wars) of exaggerating, by false deavours to be used to induce the peostatements, the success of her arms. ple to resist their oppressors, &c.," as But with whatever modesty her details if it had not been to the constancy and might now be penned, they would ap- courage of the Russian people the empear incredible. Those who have wit. peror was now indebted for his crown, nessed them can alone prove the facts and the triumphs by which he was so to France, to Germany, and to Italy, much elated. It is beneath the dignity before the slow progress of truth will of any honourable mind, indeed, to sti: fill those countries with mourning and mulate the people to acts of violence and consternation. Indeed, it is difficult folly; but surely the Emperor Alexan. to conceive, that in a campaign of only der could not think that the resistance four months duration, 130,000 prison. which he so strenuously encouraged, ers should have been taken from the participated in any degree of this chaenemy, 49 stand of colours, and all the racter. He was therefore urging what waggon-train and baggage of the ar- was lawful, honourable, and expedient ; my. It is sufficient to say, that out of and why should the people be deemed 300,000 men (exclusive of Austrians) unworthy of such exhortations ? To who penetrated into Russia, not 30,000 the people alone can they ever in such of them, even if these should be favour- circumstances be with efficiency ad. ed by fortune, will ever revisit their dressed ; and had they not felt the gecountry. The manner in which the Em- nerous enthusiasm of national honour peror Napoleon repassed the Russian and independence, the despotism of frontier can assuredly be no longer a France would have defied every other secret to Europe. So much glory, and shock. Far different from the views of so many advantages, cannot, however, the Emperor Alexander were the sentichange the personal dispositions of the ments of the British ministers, some of
the most distinguished of whom frankly the severe wounds he has inflicted. It avowed, in the legislature, that to the would seem, that with the blood which popularity of the war they ascribed its fowed her spirit of bravery increased : great and brilliant results. But it were that the burning villages animated her absurd, perhaps, to expect any thing patriotism, and the destruction and like a kindred feeling on such subjects profanation of the temples of God in Russia and in England.
strengthened her faith, and nourished Another address, which the Russian in her the sentiment of implacable reemperor made about this time to his venge. The army, the nobility, the own subjects, is less exceptionable, and gentry, all estates of the empire, neipaints in strong colours the merciless ther sparing their property nor their progress of the invader—his final over. lives, have breathed the same spiritthrow and the patriotism and devo- a spirit of courage and of piety, a love tion of the Russian people." The ardent for their God and for their coun. world," said the
emperor, “ has wit. try. This unanimity, this universal nessed with what objects the enemy zeal, have produced effects hardly creentered our dear country. Nothing dible, and such as have scarcely existcould avert his malevolence. Proudly ed in any age. Let us contemplate calculating on his owo armies, and on the enormous force collected from those which he had embodied against twenty kingdoms and nations, united us from all the European powers, and under the same standard, by an ambihurried on by a desire of conquest and tious and atrocious enemy, Aushed thirst for revenge, he hastened to pe. with success, which entered our counnetrate even into the bosom of our try ; balf a million of soldiers, infantry great empire, and to spread amongst and cavalry, accompanied by fifteen us the horrors of a war of devasta- hundred pieces of cannon. With forces tion. Having foreseen, by former ex- 80 powerful, he pierces into the heart amples of his unmeasured ambition, of Russia, extends himself, and begins and the violence of his proceedings, to spread fire and devastation. But what bitier sufferings he was about six months have scarcely elapsed since to inflict upon us, and seeing him he passed our frontiers, and what has already pass our frontiers, with a become of him? We may here cite fury which nothing could arrest, we the words of the Holy Psalmist—" I were compelled, though with a sor. myself have seen the ungodly in great rowful and wounded heart, to draw the power, and flourishing like a green bay sword, and to promise to our empire tree.--I went by, and lo, he was gone : that we would not return it to the I sought him, but his place could no scabbard so long as a single enemy where be found.” This sublime senremained in arms in our territory. We tence is accomplished in all its force fixed firmly in our hearts this de- on our arrogant and impious enemy. termination, relying on the valour of Where are his armies, like a mass of the people whom God has confided black clouds which the wind had drawn to us ; and we have not been decei- together? They are dispersed as rain. ved. What proofs of courage, of pie- A great part staining the earth with ty, of patience, and of fortitude, has their blood, cover the fields of the go. not Russia shewn? The enemy who vernments of Moscow, Kaluga, Smopenetrated to her bosom with all his lensk, White Russia, and Lithuania. characteristic ferocity, has not been Another part equally great, has been able to draw from her a single sigh by taken in the frequent battles with ma