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would she secure, the realization of her own sordid ambition. To attempt to conduct an argument founded on the basis of reasoning and intelligence, with the holders of such chimerical doctrines, would be only to acknowledge that which they do not by any means possess, namely, à title to respectability. We give these remarks only with a view of furnishing a specimen of the sort of spirit which prevails in this work. .
The writers then proceed to describe the course of the war which commenced on the 18th Brumaire, and the opening scenes of which consisted of the memorable actions of Ampfingen and Hohenlinden. The result of the operations of the army of the Rhine was glorious for France, and in particular for Ney, who, on his return to Paris, was received with the most marked tęstimonies of respect by the First Consul. Madame Buonaparte contrived the marriage of Ney with a young favourite of hers, an amiable, beautiful and accomplished lady, the daughter of a receiver-general whose fortunes had been materially reduced by the revolution. He was next appointed plenipotentiary on a mission to Switzerland, and took a leading part in the arrangements which were concluded between the Cantons and the French Republic. It would be tedious as well as unprofitable to follow the writers through the details of the negotiations and the wars in which France was subsequently engaged, and in many of which Ney had the opportunity of still further developing the personal merits which rendered his services so important to his country. There is, however, one subject treated by them, which, from its immediate connexion with this country cannot, with any degree of propriety, be omitted. We allude to the famous camp at Boulogne, where was collected the vast force destined for the invasion of Great Britain.
The perseverance of this country in its hostility to the French government even after it had abandoned the repugnant aspect of republicanism, was bitterly resented by the people of France; and so overwhelming was the general feeling of indignation against England, that it induced the mutual sacrifice of all discordant opinions amongst that community, and bound them all by one prevailing passion in a combination against this country. The result was a renewal of the project for invading England, which had been a few years before agreed upon by the French Directory. The preparations for this second enterprise appear, from the present account, to have been upon a most elaborate and extensive scale, and the great object of Buonaparte was to scatter by stratagem, and thus render powerless, those formidable fleets of the English, which even Frenchmen were obliged to confess that it was beyond their power ever to defeat in open warfare. For effecting this object, Buonaparte selected the small vessels used in the defence of sea-ports, roadsteads, and the mouths of rivers. He feigned an intention of using such craft in distant expeditions; he altered their form, the shape of their sails, the manner of rigging them, and he gave orders that many should be built, of various sizes, and upon different models. He divided them into three classes. The prames composed the vessels of the first class; each carried six twenty-four pounders, which could be shifted from side to side, thus forming so many floating batteries,
upon a.ch, it is true, might drift to leeward, being unable to sail a wind, and therefore to advance, unless the wind were right aft, or at all events abaft the beam. But as floating batteries they were excellent; they could act as batteries broadside-to, to protect the local navigation, or cover the movements of a flotilla. They could moreover strand at low water without changing their position, or diminishing their power of doing mischief, and they could take shelter in places where neither ships of the line nor frigates could follow them. The second class consisted of gun-boats, which were better adapted for navigation. Their form was more calculated for naval maneuvers, and they could sail near the wind. Each contained four twenty-four pounders and a howitzer. Some had thirty-six pounders, and were large enough to carry two hundred men. The peniches, or gun-barges, which formed the third class, were small galleys with eighteen benches of rowers, carrying a four-pounder and a howitzer fore and aft. These vessels were built with the most extraordinary despatch. The French nation had taken up the cause of its chief magistrate, against whom personally the whole enmity of the British government was said to be directed. The people did not limit their aid to the demands which their government made upon them; they spontaneously granted much more than was asked. They seemed delighted to supply the First Consul with all the means he might require to come off victorious from a contest which attacked their institutions. The department of the Haut-Rhin presented him with a ship of the line; that of the Côte-d'Or, with a hundred pieces of
The departments of the Gironde and the Loire-infé. rieure were still more liberal; and there was not a town in France, even the smallest, nor even a hamlet, that did not make its offering and express its sentiments of patriotism.
But whilst France throughout its extent appeared to the rest of Europe to be quite engrossed with the preparations for this great national undertaking, still the arts of peace and the interests of society were sedulously attended to by the government; it increased the number of public schools; it established secondary schools, in which the youth of France, under salutary regulations and a wise system of discipline, received a liberal education that qualified them for the social and political condition established by the Revolution. It assembled likewise the veteran soldiers mutilated and disabled in war, formed them into military colonies, and bestowed upon them a portion of the territory which they had aided'in conquering: Camps of refuge were established at Alex
andria, and roads made upon Mount Cenis and across the Simplon. The bridges of Roanne, Corbeil, and Nemours—the canals of Arles, St Quentin, and Aigues-Mortes--all in short that the First Consul undertook-were evidences of his zeal in promoting the public welfare, and of the vastness of his genius. He had ordered the draining of the Colentin marshes, and likewise those forming the muddy banks of the Canche. At Cherbourg, Boulogne, Rochelle, Cette, Nice, Marseilles, Ostend, and Havre-deGrace, all was bustle and activity, and the result of his gigantic plans may now be seen in those sea-ports. In every part of the kingdom improvements were made, and great and useful works begun.
Moreau, it appears, was one of the sensible Frenchmen who estimated, and had the courage to denounce the projected invasion of England as an act of madness, so certain was the failure which it would experience. Ney, however, was of a contrary opinion, and it was his deliberate conviction, that, by taking advantage of light winds, of calms, and of long nights, it was not impossible to elude the vigilance of the channel fleet, and escape from the overwhelming superiority of the British naval force. He had procured a journal of the winds prevalent in the channel, and he was well acquainted with their course, their variations, the periods when they blow with violence, and those when their action is suspended. He had therefore no doubt that, by seizing a favourable opportunity, the French army might escape the fleet which alarmed Moreau so much, and effect a landing upon the shores of England. The British nation, he said, were convinced of this; for the British admirals, who in 1756 were consulted on the possibility of such an event, had unanimously declared that they could not answer for preventing a landing, even had they ten times the force they commanded; and, in 1770, the same answer had been given. The Duke of Argyle, and some of the most distinguished British officers of the period, had often declared their conviction in parliament that situations and conjunctures might often arise at sea which would give a hostile army every possible opportunity of landing in England without the British fleets, even were they collected together, being able to secure the safety of the coast. The reason of this, he said, was very clear.
The westerly winds, and those from the south and south-west, blow from France to England, and during their prevalence vessels sailing from the ports of France make good way, whilst those of England cannot leave their ports; thus the most formidable fleets are of no use during the continance of those winds, and an attempt might be successfully made.
During the period of the continuation of the encampment at Boulogne, the eyes of the people of France, and the whole of the political interest of that kingdom, was directed to this small seaport. A very excellent description is given of the camp, the
construction of the tents, the discipline, occupations, &c. of the soldiers. In the meantime the British cruisers on the coast contributed no small share in varying the employments of the French army. The latter, both officers and men, appear to have been fairly driven to distraction by the annoyances of their enemy, and at last their sensibility to alarm at the deeds of the British cruisers became so exquisite, as to lead them into the most ludicrous acts of extravagance for the purposes of precaution. Thus, one morning in March, 1804, the whole of the inhabitants of the coast were horror-struck at seeing the copy of an order sent by Villatte, to every town and village in the district of the camp, announcing the following horrible intelligence:
* The English, unable to conquer us by force, are recurring to their last resource: THE PLAGUE. Five bales of cotton have just been cast upon our coast: I hasten to give you notice of it. From St. Frieux to the mouth of the Canche, all the troops are at their posts; patrols are spread along the strand, and are accompanied by the custom-house officers. In sight of this battery, and almost within shot, are a frigate and two sloops of war belonging to the enemy; also several small fishing-boats, which I presume contain other bales of cotton. As no one is allowed to take out any boat or vessel, I have just received the order to fire at everything that may appear in the sea within the range of our batteries.--pp. 204, 205.
The intelligence was conveyed to Paris, and the First Consul, a man of the world, and exempted from the epidemic fear which seemed to reign at Boulogne, wrote down expressly to Ney, directing him to ascertain the truth of the story. Ney in a very short time satisfied himself that this alleged horrible attempt which had thus terrified the whole country, was founded on no better evidence than the finding of an old hammock on the sea-shore by some fishermen!
All this is in perfect keeping with the French character: it shows the latitude to which people will carry their credulity when their prejudices succeed in putting out the eyes of their reason. But, as if to compensate for the folly of the French in thus imputing so gross an act of villainy to the English, the authors of this biography proceed to describe seriatim the pretended acts of the British agents at the various courts of Europe, done with the object of overturning the existing French government. The means imputed to them, whereby they sought to effect their purposes, are mostly of that diabolical character which is represented by assassination, murder, &c. But unhappily for the credit of France, its rooted aversion to England is still as influential as ever in producing that obliquity of vision which makes monsters of the English in the eyes of Frenchmen; and the bales of plagueinfected cotton in 1804 had, we firmly believe, just as much of a real existence, as the plans of brutal murder imputed to the foreign ambassadors from England by the family of Marshal Ney in 1833
It is scarcely necessary for us to remind the reader that the grand project of English invasion, that most laughable French Southsea bubble, was an abortion. We shall never forget the history told us by a French gentleman who witnessed the departure of Napoleon on the morning when he came to the resolution of abandoning this foolish but most costly enterprize. The great man had first surveyed from the high town where he resided in Boulogne, a contest between an English and a French vessel off the coast, and he abruptly jumped on his horse in the affliction of a mortified man, when he saw his myrmidons on board actually prostrated on deck from sea-sickness, while the English were vindicating the true character of sailors and warriors. Despair of success, certainty of defeat and disaster, were the real causes of the suspension of the threatened invasion ; but hy a lucky coincidence, at the very moment that this determination became indispensable in the opinion of Napoleon, Austria declared war against France, thus furnishing a plausible excuse to Frenchmen the cowardly flight which they made from Boulogne. The history of the grand design of the French, whereby they deceived England, and caused her to bend to their stratagem of dispersing her ships, and thus weakening her strength, is a foolish fable, and only calculated to excite contempt.
We have already stated that the second volume of the work, being the concluding one, brings the history of the hero down to 1805. The events of that year, being the only ones recorded after those connected with the invasion of England, consist of the cama paign with Austria, which enabled the French to reach the Danube, the actions at Elchingen, and the surrender of Ulm, with the army of Mack.
In the appendix to the second volume will be found a series of observations by the Marshal, under the title of “ Military Studies by Marshal Ney, written for the use of his Officers. "As this portion of the work is before the public under the auspices of Major James, we shall postpone any notice of it at present.
With that candour which from sound policy we habitually adopt towards our readers, we have freely stated our opinions as they arose on an impartial consideration of this work; we have complained of the spirit in which it is written, and which we should alike condemn were it to be betrayed even amongst our own countrymen. We have shown that national jealousy, and the pride of country have operated on the biographers of Ney to such an extent, as to delude them into misrepresentations and misconstructions of motives, which are as inconsistent with the charities of civilized life as they are opposed to the integrity of history. We, however, feel that we might justly earn some portion of the blame which we may be charged with so readily apportioning, were we to withhold our testimony to the real merits of these volumes. They will be found to constitute a valuable contribution to litera