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prospect, that the limits of this domi. From this period to the month of nion might be contracted, they were October following, Holland remained determined to do their utmost, to pre. tranquil. When intelligence of the pare for the assertion of their indepen. battle of Leipzig, however, and of its dence. They proceeded, in the whole result, began to transpire, the confedeaffair, upon the conviction, that their rates at the Hague judged that the efforts, so soon as they should declare time was now come to secure the serthemselves, would be aided by the Bri- rices of a respectable band of men ; tish government.
and in order to effect this object, with. Holland remained in a state of tran. out committing the safety of the whole quillity during the spring and summer to the discretion of a numerous body, of the year 1813; and the French go the following plan was adopted :vernment seems to have been deceived Each of the confederates selected from by this appearance. Troops were from among his friends four individuals, who, all quarters marched off to join the ar- without any mutual concert or knowmy with which Buonaparte was about ledge of each other, engaged to be to attack the Russian and Prussian ready whenever called upon by the seforces; and no serious apprehensions lector, and implicitly to obey his comwere entertained respecting the con- mand. The persons whose co-operaduct of the people of Holland until tion was thus secured, were then diafter the battleof Leipzig. The French rected to make sure of four others, do not appear to have foreseen the pos- each of whom, in like manner, was to sibility of a serious insurrection, drain. engage to be ready at a moment's ed as the country was of native troops, warning, with whatever arms he could of arms, of ammunition, and overawed procure. None of these persons was by numerous fortresses.
made acquainted with the plot, except In the month of April, indeed, some as to its final object; nor informed of partial disturbances ensued, in conse, any name except that of his immediate quence of the enrolment of the national selector. To avoid detection, nothing guards,--a measure which was pecu. was committed to paper,—no written fiarly obnoxious to the lower classes of engagement was entered into; but the the people. The mob accordingly, individuals thus chosen received verbal without any previous concert with the instruction, in case of any tumults, to confederates, rose upon their oppress- repair immediately to the spot, mingle ors at Alphen, the Hague, Rotter. with the crowd, and there await the dam, Oud-Beyerland, and Zandam,- orders of their chief. Thus the condestroyed the parish registers neces- federates formed a band of nearly 400 sary for the enrolment,-took the respectable adherents, selected chieftown of Leyden, and hoisted there the ly from among the burghers of the Orange fag amid incessant cries of town. This class possessed in a high * Orange Boven!” The confederates degree the confidence of the people at endeavoured in vain to calm the po. large, and was well disposed to the pulace, who, at the Hague, and other cause of the Prince of Orange. If, towns, fought desperately with the however, contrary to all probability, French military force in the streets; any of the persons so chosen had been but as they wanted fire-arms, and induced, either by corruption or intiwere without a leader, this revolt was midation, to reveal to the French posoon suppressed, though not without lice his knowledge of the plot, he the loss of several lives on both could have betrayed only one name upsides.
wards in the scale, namely, that of his immediate selector, whose individual the advance of the allies could do safety thus depended upon his pru. longer be concealed. Meanwhile, all dence in the choice of his instruments. the natives of France employed in the
Besides this band, Count Styrum civil service, who could find any presucceeded in securing the services of text for their departure, quitted the Pronck, an inhabitant of Schævenin- country with their families, and endea. gen, a village on the coast, about a voured to sell or carry off their promile from the Hague. This person perty. This circumstance added to the possessed great influence among the increasing and ill-dissembled terror of sailors and fishermen in the neighbour. those who were obliged to remain, and hood; and engaged to furnish, on the the exaggerated reports which were shortest notice, fifty men, who should every day circulated of the disasters of implicitly obey the orders of the con- the French army, excited a great ferfederates. No measures were taken mentation among the populace. (for none were necessary) to influence Affairs were in this state, when, on the people ; it was perfectly clear that the 13th of November, towards eventheir good-will and co-operation mighting, the turf-carriers, (who are at the be depended upon, the moment leaders Hague a formidable body,) governed were presented to them in whom they by chiefs of their own election, ascould confide ; so that this enterprize sembled in considerable numbers at the was free from the dilemma which at- town-house, and, together with the potends most conspiracies, and has been pulace, demanded, in a very tumultuous the ruin of so many, viz. the necessity manner, that M. Slicher, who had forof gaining over the multitude, and the merly been burgomaster, should redifficulty of accomplishing this with. sume his functions. This gentleman out risking a premature discovery of deserved and possessed the confidence the plot.
of the people, and though not one of Count Styrum, whose zeal, courage, the confederates, was a faithfuladherent and activity were remarkable, was en- of the Prince of Orange. Count Stytrusted with the military details, which rum and M. Repelaer immediately reconsisted in preparing such arms and paired to the spot; and, as they thought ammunition as could be collected with. that the favourable moment was not out exciting suspicion, and obtaining arrived, and that a premature exploauthentic accounts of the state of the sion would ruin the cause, they easily French military force, and of the dis- succeeded in dispersing the mub by positions of foreigners in the service of means of their adherents, who, accordFrance. He succeeded in gaining over ing to their general instructions, had the whole of the Dutch national guard, mixed with the crowd upon the first consisting of 300 men ; whose com- appearance of a tumult.
A few momander, Colonel Tulling, warmly em. ments after this the prefect arrived, acbraced the cause of the Prince of companied by a military force, and Orange, and yet conducted himself was surprised to find no vestige of a with so much circumspection as to disturbance. --The dispersion of this retain to the last the confidence of the mob was the first essay which the conprefect.
federates made of their power, and the So many drafts of French troops success surpassed their expectations. had been made by this time from Hol. The French authorities, perceiving land, that the whole military force in the danger of their situation, made an the country did not exceed 10,000 attempt to disunite the confederates men. The extraordinary successes and and the Orange party, by employing
VOL. VI. PART 1.
them under government. But this ar. fear of popular vengeance ; and, at the tifice did not succeed, although the same time, to persuade the corporation consequence of the attempt was, that to accede to the wishes of the people, the views of the Dutch leaders were and form a provisional government, in discovered to the prefect.
order to avoid the excesses of
popular The middle and lower orders were, violence. When this step was once tathroughout the whole of Holland, im- ken, he judged that it would be no patient to throw off the yoke of difficult matter to bring about a declaFrance, and to declare for the Prince ration in favour of the Prince of Orange. of Orange. Those who had much to It was necessary, however, for the aclose, though equally well disposed, complishment of his plan, to excite the were more circumspect; and this was people to some overt act of opposition particularly the case at Amsterdam. to the French. This was no difficult The powerful and wealthy inhabitants task. Accordingly, on the 15th of of that city dreaded the result of a po- November, the populace being already pular commotion, the excesses which in a state of great fermentation, a mob had been committed there in the revo- was collected, which immediately prolution of 1787, when the populace of ceeded to burn the wooden huts in each party pillaged in different quar- which the douaniers, or excisemen, leters of the town, were still fresh in vied the duties ; and to pillage the their memory, and they expected at all house of a receiver of the customs, who events very soon to be delivered from refused to take down the French arms. the French, by the advance of the al. This tumult, which had the appearlies.
ance of being purely accidental, sucThe populace, however, were anxi- ceeded in both its primary objects, it ous at once to declare their sentiments; terrified the French authorities, who, and the national guards, a body of on the next day, quitted the town; 1500 men, were ready to co-operate in and the corporation having applied to any measures which might tend to free the national guard to disperse the mob, them from the government of Buona- this body, on being assured that a pro. parte. This corps, which was com. visional government would next day manded by Colonel Van Brienen, had be formed, proceeded to quell the tu. been previously gained over by one of mult. This commotion must be conits officers, Captain Falck, who was sidered as the signal of the revolution; in communication with the confede, and to the populace of Amsterdam, rates at the Hague, and was the chief exclusively, belongs the honour of hainstigator of the events which ensued. ving been the first to raise in Holland The principal obstacles opposed to the standard of revolt against the gohim were the French government and vernment of Buonaparte. No princithe Dutch corporation ; the members pals, however, had hitherto committed of the latter, though generally well themselves ; on the contrary, the na. disposed, were restrained by the fear tional guard had quelled the tumult, of letting the people loose, and over- which was still of a nature to be conawed by the vicinity of an army un
sidered and represented only as an acder General Molitor, at Utrecht. In cidental popular commotion. these circumstances, Captain Falck Next day a proclamation was issued, conceived that the only way of accom- in which twenty-four persons were plishing his object was to intimidate called upon by name, to assume the the French authorities, and induce administration of affairs; the French them to abandon their posts through authorities having thought proper to
quit the city. The confederates at the ed. The country having been for three Hague received, on the evening of the years and a half annexed to France, 16th, intelligence of the insurrection had been plundered of all its resources. at Amsterdam, and of the occurrences The necessities, as well as the policy, which had followed. These circum- of the French goveroment had entire. stances persuaded them that the mo. ly drained it of arms, ammunition, miment was at length arrived to put litary stores, accoutrements, artillery, their design into execution. It was and horses. The confederates had no considered, that if the events which funds but their private fortunes. It had taken place in the capital were al. was for some time impracticable to lowed to pass by without any corre- continue the levy of the existing taxes, sponding demonstrations in the other as the persons employed in the collecparts of the country, the most lament- tion of them had absconded, and had able results might ensue for that city, destroyed, or taken away, all the paand for the cause. In addition to this pers, registers, and necessary docu. it was urged, that a general insurrec- ments-; and the balances of public motion in Holland would, no doubt, ac- ney which remained in hand had been celerate the advance of the allies, who all carried off on the first alarm. The would lose no time in profiting by so prince, in whose name the confederates favourable an occurrence ; and that at had taken up arms, had been 19 years all events the Dutch might be confi- in a state of exile ; and it was not dent of receiving; as promptly as possi- known whether he was in England or ble, whatever assistance England could in Germany. afford. These considerations prevail. It was in such circumstances, and ed; and accordingly Count Styrum with such means, that half a dozen was, by the confederates, immediately private gentlemen, aided by an unarmappointed governor of the Hague in ed populace, declared war against Buothe name of the Prince of Orange.- naparte, whose troops were at this An instrument was also drawn up, moment in possession of all the for. summoning a meeting of the ancient tresses and strong places in the counregents,—that is to say, of those per- try, and had not even evacuated the sons who had been members of the open towns. No tumult had hitherto states of Holland in the years 1794 and occurred at Rotterdam ;--Amsterdam 1795 ; and this meeting was appoint. had refused to declare itself for the ed to take place the next day. A pro- Prince of Orange. General Molitor clamation was also issued by the new had an army of 4000 regular troops at governor in the name of the Prince of Utrecht, only twelve leagues from the Orange, announcing the happy change. Hague, and there was a French garriThis proclamation was received by the son at Gorcum. The confederates, inpeople with every possible demonstra- deed, confidently depended upon astion of joy ; an Orange dag was hoist. sistance, both from the British governed on the tower of the Hague, and co- ment and from the combined armies ; lours were hung out, as signs of rejoi. but the force of the allies in Holland cing, from almost every window in the consisted only of a few cossacks, and
the easterly winds which prevailed At the moment when the confede. would probably delay the arrival of rates declared themselves so nobly, and troops from England. proclaimed the Prince of Orange with It was ascertained about the same so much solemnity, their whole force time, beyond all doubt, that General consisted of 8 or 900 men badly arm. Bulow had instructions not to pass
Yssel, and that it did not form part of been represented ; for although not the military plans of the allies to ad- sufficient to effect a revolution, unaid. vance into Holland beyond the line of ed by other powers, yet with courage that river. This communication was and prudence they might serve to keep extremely discouraging ; the sword out the French until the arrival of was, however, drawn, and it was im- troops from England ; that if their possible to recede.
ancestors had wasted that time which The assembly of the ancient regents, they employed in action, in nice calwhich had been convoked by the pro- culations of the probabilities of succlamation of the confederates, took cess,—if they had been appalled by place at the house of M. Van Hogen- the disproportion of force between them dorp. The persons, who had been and their oppressors, their descendants members of the provisional states, in would have remained the victims of the years 1794, and 1795, were consi- the Inquisition, and Holland would dered as those who could with most never have existed as a free country ; propriety take upon themselves the that experience and history prove, government of the country till the ar- that when the will of the people is firmrival of the Prince of Orange ; but ly expressed, it must be ultimately triwhen called upon at this meeting, to umphant ; that the French had been form themselves into a provisional taught by their reverses to appreciate council, they all declined having any the truth of this remark, and were disshare in the administration of affairs. posed to dread the results of an unani. They objected to the confederates, mous insurrection of a nation headed that they were acting without any au by firm and resolute chiefs ; that the thority from the Prince of Orange, character of the Dutch is neither fickle of whose place of residence even they nor inconstant; and that it would be were ignorant į that they were sur- no novel event in their history to find rounded on all sides by French troups, the natives of Holland risking their who still retained possession of every lives and fortunes on the most fearful fortress in the couniry; and that the odds, in defence of their liberty and French, though they had, in a mo national independence ; that the venment of sudden panic, been expelled geance of their oppressors was already from a few open towns, would not fail, excited to the utmost, and could only when they discovered the weakness of be averted by the boldest efforts ; and the confederates, to return with rein- finally, that as to the ruin of their forcements from Utrecht and Gorcum, country, they had been taught by 19 and complete the ruin of the country. years of tyranny and oppression, that To this the confederates replied, that the only certain ruin for Holland was although they had no specific instruc- submission to the yoke of France. tions on the present occasion, they had These representations were received previously received assurances from the with general, and probably sincere asPrince of Orange, of his cordial co- surances, of good will to the cause ; operation in any measure that might but the regents concluded the confertend to throw off the yoke of France, ence by distinctly declaring, that as and restore him to his country ; that the confederates had embarked in this messengers had been already dispatch. enterprize without their knowledge or ed to apprize him of the events which advice, they must carry it through had taken place; that with regard to without any assistance from them as a the means which were at their disposal, body; although, as individuals, they they were not so contemptible as had would each perform every duty of a