« EelmineJätka »
batred to the christians: without the continue it. The officers are in. least knowledge of the world, from general very ignorant, for this reawhich they are totally excluded; son strangers are in high esteein and ignorant alike of the business among them; they are brave in the of war, and of the inportant duties ranks, but, like the soldiers, they are imposed on the sovereign of so inn- so from the effect of discipline. The mense an empire.
same horror is conceived in the Russian armies of cowardice, as is
entertained in other countries against Russian Soldiers Characterized. irreligion and villainy. Bravery is
a duty from which nobody considers In their discipline and tactics, the himself exempt. A Russian camp Russians are the disciples of the resembles a horde of Tartars. In the Prussians, and adhere strictly to the same manner that a people accus. school of Frederick the Great ; tomed to obey the laws, mechathey practise what the Prussians did nically observe them ; so do the 30 years ago.
Russians constantly follow the rules The Russian soldier is deficient of discipline, without daring to dein instruction rather than intelli- part from them. gence; the servile obedience, to Their method is to engage the which he is accustomed from his eneny with the bayonet, at full birth, the rigorous discipline of the speed, crying Owri, Owri; DO arnıy; and bis absolute separation troops in the world can withstand from all other nations (whose lan- this charge: the firing does not guage and manners are totally un- abate their impetuosity; they attack known to him) make him more a battery in front, if that be a reaobedient to bis officers, and more dier way than to attack it in flank. patient and hardy, than the soldiers To withstand Niis shock, the eneof any other service. Courage is my niust not wait for it, but proceed Wie general characteristic: it is, if to ineet it with the same resolution. we may so express ourselves, the The French are more remarkable faith and creed of the Russian sol- for boldness and rasliness, than ivdier. Implicit obedience occasious trepidity; tbe approach of the long in bim the same effects that ep- and broad Russian bayonets always thusiasm does on other nations. The alarmed them, and the grenadiers effect which servitude produces, is, could never stand their impression. in this instance, the same with that The courage of the Russians is proof of the most ardent patriotism ; it is against everything; they know how to more sure and durable than that of die to insure victory, and to die rather enthusiasm, the artiticial warnıth of than be beaten. They will beat all which cannot be long kept up. other troops, if they can but bring Thus, what by philosophers is called them to action: they are moving the last state of degradation, places machines of fire, that consume all man in the same level with hero- in their way. No troops in the Ism.—The Russian soldiers do not world are so careless of being atconceive it possible to give up the tacked in fank, or tired; they contest, so long as they have life to think, let the enemy be where he will, if he can but face about to and insignificance of the remaining meet him, that he is in front and princes, whose collective force was regular array before them.
great, but whose powers could but The Russian discipline is ex- be brought to act in harmony, or on tremely rigorous, and has all the an emergency be called into exeringredients of an autocratical go- tion. The greater part of those vernment. The subordination a- princes were philanthropic admiemongst the officers of different ranks istrators of their litile territories; but is almost as great as that of private few of them possessed that dignity soldiers to their officers in other and those energies of characte: services; they are sometimes treated which their exalted rank demanded, in the same inauner as the privates. and their bigha titles imported. Their bravery, is the effect of dis- Hence we cannot wonder that, wher cipline, more than of elevated sen- the mighty foe advanced, and the timents.
concentrated power of France presEach company
has its hero; it is sed upon them, they soon sbrunk a distinction he obtains from the from the conflict, and yielded to the suffrages of his comrades: he has victor almost without opposition. no pre-eminence determined by or- But there were splendid exceptions der, though he has in effect a very to this general debility, and an hegreat one; he is the example, the roism of character was sometimes model, and the chief of the mess; found in the minor princes, which, he enjoys great consideration among bad it subsisted in the breasts of the his comrades, and never fails to give still powerful sovereigus, might have them an example of bravery, firm- preserved from violation the august ness, and good conduct.-When memorial and shade of Roman do men are accustomed to any thing, minion; nor would the Teuton then it is sufficient for one to give an have lain prostrate before the Gaul. example, to induce the other to Among the few who retained the follow it: this it is, that renders the elevation of the ancient German hero in question so useful in action. character, even at the moment of Few persons are capable of setting its lowest degradation, was the reignan example, though almost all of ing duchess of Saxe Weimar, Louisa, following it.
daughter of the Landgrave of Hesse Darmstadt. Her consort, as is well
known, was one of the generals of Buonaparte and the Duchess of the king of Prussia, in the everWeimar.
memorable campaign of 1806.
When the allied armies collected The recent annihilation of the themselves in the little territory of German empire is, above all things, the duke, where it was resolved to to be attributed to the wretched ab- wait the arrival of the French; surdities of its constitution ; to the when it was determined to hazard establishment of the power of Prus- the battle which was to decide the sia as a balance against Austria, by. fate of all Germany, in the vicinity which dissention and division were of Weimar, the duchess resolved organized; and to the weakness to abide in ber residence. The
aged and venerable duchess dowa- the evening the conqueror approachger, the mother of the duke, and ed and entered the palace of the sister of the commander in chief the duke, now become his own by the duke of Branswick, and the here- right (!) of conquest. It was then ditary prince of Weimar, with his that the duchess left her apartment, imperial cousort, the sister of the and, seizing the moment of his enemperor Alexander, retreated pre. tering the hall, placed herself on the cipitately to Brunswick; but the top of the staircase, to greet him duchess, even after the fatal issue with the formality of a courtly reof the battle of Jepa was foreseen, ception. Napoleon started when he retired within the walls of her pa- beheld ber: “Qui étes vous ? (Who lace, and waited the event with are you ?)” he exclaimed with his calmness and resignation. She had characteristic abruptness. “Je suis assembled round her the ladies of la duchess de Weimar (I am the her court, and generously offered duchess of Weimar.)" " Je vous an asylum to the English, whose plains," he retorted fiercely, "j'ecrusituation was then so perilous. Her serai votre mari (I pity you, I shall amiable friend Miss Gore, with her crush your busband.)” He then aged parent, since deceased, and added, “I shall dine in my apartMr. Osborne, a gentleman who for- ment,” and rushed by her. merly filled a diplomatic charaeter The night was spent, on the part in several of the continental courts, of the soldiery, in all the horrid exwere among the select party whom cesses of rapine. The inhabitants the duchess collected together in a were exposed, without defence, to wing of the castle, while the state all the licentious excesses of a miliapartments were opened for the re- tary, intoxicated with victory. The ception of the unwelcome and terri- duchess and her friends remained tic guest. During the awful 14th in a state hardly less deplorable; of October, the duchess and ber for though not exposed to personal friends were immured in their recess, danger, their feelings were sharpenand had no nourishment but a few ed by a finer sensibility. Though cakes of chocolate found by acci- exhausted by suffering, the duchess dent. When the fortunes of the bad resolved not to abandon the day began to be decided (and that unhappy inhabitants, without an took place early in the morning), effort in their favour. Accordingly, the Prussians, retreating through the she sent her chamberlain early in town, were pursued by the French, the morning to inquire concerning and slaughtered in the streets. Some the health of his majesty the emof the inhabitants were murdered, peror, and to solicit an audience. and a general plunder began. lo The morning dreams of Napoleon
Onc instance only the writer of this article is induced to single out, from the accident of his being personally acquainted with the unhappy subject of it. The apartments of an old gentleman (he was npwards of 70) were broken into, and every thing in them rified and destroyed. The soldiers had found below some fowls, and insisted that he should instantly pluck them. He very placidly complied, and began his task, they deriding him in the performance of it." Upon his rising, however, to fetch his spectacles, be was knocked down, and beated so cruelly that he died.
bad possibly soothed bis mind to plus respectable que j'ai jamais congentleness, or he recollected that he
nu; vouz avez sauvez votre Mari. was a monarch as well as general, Madan, you are the most estiand could not refuse what the em- mable woman I ever knew-You peror owed to the duchess : he ac- have saved your husband !"-Yet cordingly returned a gracious an- he could not confer favour unec. swer, and invited himself to break- companied with insult; for reilera. fast with her in ber apartinent. ting his assurances of esteem, be
On his entrance, he began in- added, “Je le pardonne, mais c'est stantly with an interrogative (his a cause de tous seulement ; cat, favourite figure): “ How could pour lui, c'est un mauvais Sujet." your husband, madam, be so niad « I pardon him, but it is entirely on as to make war against me ?" your account; for, as to bimself, he “ Your majesty would have despi- is a bad subject.” The duchess to sed him if he had not," was the this made no reply; but, seizing the dignitied answer he received. “How happy moment, interceded successso?" he hastily replied. The duchessfully for her suffering people. Na slowly and deliberately rejoined, poleon gave orders that the plunder“ My husband has been in the service ing should cease; and afterwards of the king of Prussia upwards of ordered that Mr. Osborne should 30 years; and surely it was not at the be released, who had in the inean moment that the king had so mighty while been arrested. an enemy as your majesly to con- There are not wanting those bo tend against, that the duke could have affected to consider this inciabandon him. A reply so admira- dent as honourable to the cooble, which asserted so powerfully queror. But the praise of genethe honour of the speaker, and yet 'rosity cannot well be given where conciliated the vanity of the adver- the motives of policy are apparent. sary, was irresistible.
Buonaparte The court of Weimar is connected became at once more mild, and, more closely than any other with wilhout noticing the answer already Russia, by the marriage of the emreceived, continued bis interroga. peror Alexander's sister with the tories. “But bow came the duke bereditary prince. Buonaparte has to attach himself to the king of never overlooked the necessity of Prussia ?”—“Your majesty will, on ultimately conciliating the favour of enquiry, find, that the dukes of Russia. It is the only power on the Saxony, the younger branches of continent of Europe which he had the family, have always followed the a motive to conciliate. Subsequent example of the electoral house; events bave shewn, that his cfforts and your majesty knows what mo- have not been ineffectual ; and it tives of prudence and policy have is not the least of his victories, that led the court of Dresden to attach
we see the emperor of the North in itself to Prussia rather than Austria." the train of his ivstruments and
This was followed by further in- accessaries. quiries and further answers, so im- After the departure of Buonapressive, that in a few minutes parte froni Weimar to Berlin and PoNapoleon exclained with warmth, land; he continued to express the same “Madame, vous êtes la femme la opinion of the duchess that be first
uttered. When the duke waited I had few opportunities of writing to upon bim at Dresden, he was warm shy friends. Many interesting events, in her praises ; he added, however, therefore, which have occurred since “But your soldiers are the worst 1 we parted, must remain undescribed ever saw; two-thirds of them de- till we meet, or at least till I shall be serted before the contingent joined under less inauspicious influence. It my army." The duke might have may be useful, however, to give you replied, “Sire, when my soldiers some idea of our expedition and iniswere tighting against you, not one adventure ; it will correct sonie false of them deserted.”
impressions which have gone abroad, When the treaty, which secured and which, in fact, bave been circuthe nominal independence of Wei- lated by the enemy. mar, and declared its territory to be “ Sir Sidney and myself are treated a part of the Rhenish league, was in a manner wbich has no parallel in brougbt from Buonaparte to the military history. The enemy endeaduke by a French general, and pre- vour to justify this treatment by afsented to him, he refused to take fixing to our expedition a motive and it into his own hands, saying, with character incompatible with the laws more than gallantry, “Give it to of war. my wife: the emperor intended it “ The following is the inanner in for her."
which we fell into the hands of these barbarians :
“ Having anchored on the morning Capture of the late Captain Wright of the 17th of April, in the outer and Sir Sidney Smith. road of Havre-de-Grace, with the
Diamond alone, we discovered at anThe following is an extract of a chor in the inner road an arined, lug. letter from the lamented captain ger. A project was immediately conWright, the celebrated companion ceived of boarding her in the night by and fellow-prisoner of sir Sidney means of our boats. Iu justice to the Smith, and who, it continues to be merit, and indeed necessiły, of this believed, was murdered whilst a pri- project, in a national point of view, soner in the Temple. It gives a it is necessary to inform you, that this more detailed account than any that was the only remaining vessel which has yet appeared, of the manner in continued to annoy the English trade which sir Sidney Smithi and captain within the limits of our squadron. Wright became prisoners:
She had been recently equipped at
Havre ; carried ten three pounders “ Paris, Dec, 6, 1796. and forty-five men; was commanded " Seven months of captivity has by a bold, enterprizing man, with a indeed broken off almost all means private commission; and sailed so of intercourse between us, but it has well in light winds as to have more not blupled the remembrance of my than once eluded the pursuit of our friends at home. I still retain à frigate, when returning from the grateful sense of the sincere interest English coast. Her first depredalions which I know you all feel in whatever on our trade were of a magnitude to personally concerus me. For nearly warrant the risk of a shall sacrifice in three months previous to my caplure, her capture; and sir Sidney badestaVOL. XLIX.