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CHA P. VII.

Exultation of the French at the Successes of their Armies.—Their Army in Italy animated by the Praises of their Countrymen, and the Converfation as well as the Proclamations of Buonaparte to a high Passion for Glory.Enters the Duchy of Modena.-Spoliation of Monuments of Antiquity and, Art.-Abhorrence of the Italian Nobility and Clergy towards the French greater than that of the inferior Claffes.-A general Infurrection, ready to break out, quafhed by the Vigilance and Promptitude of Buonaparte.-The Auftrians, under General Beaulieu, with the Connicance of the Venetians, take Poffeffion of Pefchieza.-Buonaparte advances against Beaulieu, who retreats to the Tyrolefe.-The Venetians tremble before the French.--Difmifs from their Territories the Brother of the late King and Claimant of the Crown of France.-Buonaparte takes Poffeffion of Verona.-Blockades Mantua. Prepares to march into the Tyroleje.-Detained by Infurrections in the Districts, known under the Name of Imperial Fiefs.-Thefe being fupprefed, he carries his Arms to the Southward.--Reduces Tortona, Bologna, and Urbino,-Menaces Rome.-Armifiice between the Pope and Buonaparte.-Sufpenfion of Hoftilities with Naples.-Buonaparte the Friend and Patron of Men of Learning and Science.-Ambitious Views of the French Republic.-Infurrection in Lugo.-Quelled, and the City reduced by the French.-The Blockade of Mantua converted into a clofe Siege.-Raifed by Marshal Wurmfer.—Actions between the French Army and that of the Auftrians, reinforced by Detachments from Mantua.-Remarkable Inftance of Prefence of Mind in Buonaparte.—The Auftrians driven back beyond the Adige.

HE news of thefe aftonifhing

filled all France with exultation. A fplendid feftival was appointed, at Paris, by the Directory, in order to celebrate them with faitable magnificence. To render it more folemn, it was accompanied with fpeeches to the citizens, and eulogiums of the victorious army, pronounced by Carnot, the prefident of the day, and calculated to animate the public against the ene

mies of France, particularly the to

tion to bear up chearfully against the preffures of the war, by the profpect of terminating it finally to the advantage and glory of France.

During an interval of five days reft, allowed by Buonaparte to his foldiers, he did not forget to addrefs them in his ufual manner, and to excite their ardour, by a recital of their exploits, and a reprefentation of the honours and applaufe be

ftowed

ftowed upon them by their country, and by a profpect of the future triumphs awaiting them.

He was now meditating expeditions into the territories of thofe princes of whofe enmity to France fufficient proofs had been given. A detachment of his army had already entered the duchy of Modena, the fovereign of which had fled to Venice with his treafures. From this city he deputed a minifter to the French general, with whom he concluded a fufpenfion of arms on much the fame conditions as thofe granted to the duke of Parma.

The fpoliation of the repofitories of art, which was now annexed to the conditions of treaties with the Italian princes, proved one of the moft vexatious as well as mortifying circumstances of the French invafion. The monuments of painting and of ftatuary, which adorned their palaces, cities, and churches, were viewed by the natives with a mixture of delight and veneration. They entertained a fpecies of affection for them; and, in the presence of fome of them, they placed not a little confidence. They had become a kind of tutelary deities and houtehold gods. The Italians were fenfible of emotions not altogether diflimilar to thofe of the Ifraelite Micah, into whofe houfe armed men from Dan entered, and took away "the graven image, and the ephod, and the feraphim, and the molten image.' In one refpect, the oppreffions of the French in Italy were greater than thofe of the northern hordes under Attila and Odoacer; for thofe chiefs did not trouble the Romans with de

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mands of pictures, ftatues, and fculptures. It feems to be the fate of the great models of the arts, like the arts themfelves, to travel from the east, by the weft, to the north. Perhaps their tour in this direction is not yet terminated To deprive the poor Italians of objects fo long endeared to them, by habit and poffeffion, feemed an act of tyranny exercifed upon the vanquished in the wantonnefs of power. Thofe objects had been refpected by all parties, in the viciffitude of thofe events that had fo frequently fubjected the places that contained them to different masters. The French were the first who had conceived the idea of feizing them as a matter of mere property. Herein they were accufed of confulting their vanity rather than their tafte for the fine arts. The Romans, in their triumphant periods, had plundered the Greeks of all the mafter-pieces they could find in their country. This appeared to the French a precedent fit for their imitation, and a fanction for robbing the Italians of what they esteemed the most valuable part of their property, and the moft honourable proof they still retained of their former fuperiority in thofe departments of genius. The conduct of the French, in tearing the monuments of antiquity and art from Italy, and carrying them to Paris, was univerfally condemned and execrated by all civilized nations. It was, in truth, in fome meafure, plucking the rofe from the tree.

Motives of this nature, confpiring with the diffatisfaction experienced by multitudes, at the irreverence

"Ye have taken away the gods which I made, and what have I more ?"—Judges xviii. 24.

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which the French teftified for the religious practices of the natives, enabled those who hated them, on this account, to inftil their hatred into others, and to inflame their indignation againft men who prefumed to more fenfe in thofe matters than other nations.

maffacre of all the French they could meet with. Rumours were circulated, that Beaulieu, ftrongly reinforced, was on his march to Milan, and that a number of French detachments had been surprised and put to the fword. Incenfed at the ideas of equality upheld by the French, the nobles had difmiffed their domeftics, telling them, that being their equals, they could no longer employ them as fervants.. The partifans of Auftria were, in fhort, exerting all their activity to raife commotions, and no place was free from them.

The two claffes, whofe inveteracy to the French was most notorious, were the nobility and the clergy; as the French did not fcruple to avow their enmity and contempt for both, it was natural that thefe fhould hold them in abhorrence. In their Speeches and converfations, public and private, the former feldom failed to represent the nobles as tyrants, and the priests as impoftors. The depreffion which both thefe orders of men had fufferred in France, fhewed what was intended for them in other parts of Europe, were the French to fucceed in the vaft defign imputed to them, of intirely fubverting the political and religious fyftem of this quarter of the globe. Actuated by thefe apprehenfions, feveral of the most refolute of the nobility, and moft zealous of the clergy, refolved, it was laid, to incite the commonality to rife against the French, on the first opportunity that fhould feem favourable to fuch a defign. The day fixed upon for its execution, was the twenty-fourth of May. Early in the morning, Buonaparte fet out for Lodi, at the head of a strong detachment. He had hardly reached that place, when he was informed, by an exprefs, that an almoft general infurrection was fpreading through Lombardy. The alarm bells were ringing every where, and the peafantry and lower claffes throughout the country, inftigated by the nobles and the clergy, were up in arms, and intent on the

VOL. XXXVIII.

On the receipt of this intelligence, Buonaparte hafted back to Milan with a large body of horte and foot. He arrested a number of fufpected perfons, and ordered thofe to be fhot who had been taken in arms. He intimated to the archbishop, and to the clergy and nobles of the city, that they fhould be refponfible for its tranquillity. A fine was impofed for every fervant difcharged, and every precaution taken to prevent the confpiracy from gaining ground.

It was principally at Pavia, that the confpirators were the most numerous. They had seized on the citadel, guarded by a fmall party of French, whom they made prifoners. Being joined by fome thousands of peafants, they refolved to defend the town, and refufed admittance to Buonaparte, on his fummoning them to furrender. But a body of French granadiers burit open the gates, on which thofe who had the cuftody of the French, who had been compelled to furrender in the citadel, fet them at liberty. None of them were miffing: had violent hands been laid upon them, the determination was taken to destroy Pavia, [1]

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and to erect on its fite a pillar with this infcription, Here ftood the city of Pavia."

In order to deter the inhabitants of this, and the other towns inclined to ftir up infurrections, the promoters of that at Pavia were fentenced to be fhot, and two hun dred hoftages, for their peaceable behaviour, were delivered to Buonaparte, who fent them to France. He next iffued a proclamation, declaring, that those who did not lay down their arms within twenty-four hours, and take an oath of obedience to the French republic, fhould be treated as rebels, and their houfes committed to the flames.

The nobles and priefts in the infurgent diftricts were to be arrested and fent to France. The places within the precincts of which a Frenchman was aflaffinated, were condemned to pay triple taxes till the aflaffin was given up. The › fame fine was laid on places where concealed arms and ammunition were found. Perfons of rank and fortune who excited the people to revolt, either by difmifling their fervants, or by holding inimical difcourfes against the French, were to be fent to France, and to forfeit part of their eftates.

Injunctions and declarations of this nature were pofted up in every place of note throughout the Milanefe. Particular precautions were taken for the fecurity of the city of Milan, the caftle of which still remained in poffeffion of the Auftrians, who might, in cafe of any formidable infurrection, have given it effectual affiftance.

Freed from the perplexity occafioned by these difturbances, Buonaparte prepared to profecute the plans he had been forming. The

broken forces of the Auftrians had in their retreat taken refuge on the Venetian territory. Hither they were closely pursued by the French. But previoufly to the commencement of operations in the Venetian state, Buonaparte was careful to give formal notice of his intentions to the fenate.

The difpofition of the Tetian government, towards France, was juftly fufpected to be inimical. Had it been friendly before the entrance of the French into Italy, their fucceffes, and the powerful footing they had now obtained, would have rendered them too dangerous to be viewed with a favourable eye. Situated between two fuch powers as France and Auftria, Venice had no inclination to befriend the one more than the other, and would gladly have been delivered from the proximity of both. Unwilling to offend a state, between which, and the French republic, an amicable intercourse fubfifted, the French general publithed an addrels to that government and people, wherein he affured them, that in following the enemies of France into the Venetan territories, he would obferve the firictest difcipline, and treat the inhabitants with all the amity and confideration duc to the ancient friendship exifting between the two nations.

In the mean time, the Auftrians had taken poffeffion of Pefchiera, by the connivance of the Venetians, to whom that town belonged. Here Beaulieu hoped to be able to make a fiand, till fuccours arrived to him from Germany. Buonaparte, defirous to expel him from Italy, or to compel him to furrender, 'advanced to that town, intending to cut off his retreat to the Tyrol, by the eaftern fide of the lake of Garda. Early

in the morning of the thirteenth of May, feveral divifions of the French approached the bridge of Borghetto, by which Buonaparte propofed to effect a paffage over the Mincio, and furround Beaulieu's army. The Auftrians made the utmost efforts to defend the bridge; but the French crolled it after a warm action: the Auftrian general perceiving their intent, withdrew in hafte from his pofition at Pefchiera, and retired with the utmoft expedition to the river Adige, which, having paffed, he broke down all the bridges, to prevent the French from perfuing him. By these means he fecured his retreat to the Tyrol, the only place of fafety now remaining to him.

Buonaparte might now confider himfelf as the undisputed master of Italy. He was fo much viewed in that light by the fenate of Venice, even previously to his paffage of the Mincio, and the defeat of Beaulieu; that, foreleeing the danger of appearing too well inclined to the houfe of Bourbon, they had warned out of their territories the unfortunate brother of the late king of France, who had, on the death of his nephew, fon to that monarch, affumed the name of Lewis the eighteen, together with the royal title.

The circumftances of his difmif fion did the Venetians no credit: on that prince's demanding the fword, formerly prefented to the fenate by his ancestor, the celebrated Henry the fourth of France,as a token of his regard, they refused to restore it, on pretext that a large fum of money, due from him to the state, had never been discharged.

Buonaparte took poffeffion, on the third of June, of the city of Verona,

the late refidence of the French prince. He now determined to lay fiege to Mantua, the only place of ftrength and importance left to the emperor in Italy. The reduction of this fortrefs would effectually put an end to the influence of the court of Vienna, and transfer to France, the power and credit exercifed by the emperor in all the affairs of Italy.

This was a deprivation to which the head of the house of Auftria could not bear the idea of fubmitting, and every effort was refolved upon to prevent it. The ill fuccefs of Beaulieu had been fuch, that it was determined, at Vienna, to subftitute another commander in his room. Marshal Wurmfer; a veteran general in high efteem, was appointed to fucceed him, though he had himself experienced several defeats by the French.

In hope of reducing Mantua before fuccours could arrive, Buonaparte determined to lay immediate fiege to it. On the fourth of June, it was invested by the French, who drove the out-pofts into the town, which was now closely furrounded on every fide.

But the want of artillery prevented him from doing any more than blockading it. He had formed hopes of reducing that city by other means than a formal fiege; which were to cut of all fuccours from Germany, and all provifions from its neighbourhood.

In order to effect the first of these purposes, he refolved to carry the war into the Imperial dominions in Germany, and to invade the Tyrol itfelf. This was doubtless a very bold and hazardous attempt: the natives of that difficult and moun tainous country being not only a [H2]

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