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By these conquests Jourdan was now stationed in the heart of Germany, whence he threatened to invade, at his pleasure, the dominions of all the neighbouring princes. Saxony and Bohemia lay open to him, and such was the consternation universally occasioned by these victorious irruptions of the French into the empire, that its numerous principalities and states seemed to have lost all courage, and to be prepared for any conditions the victor should think it proper to impose upon them.

General Moreau, on the other hand, immediately after his victory at Ettlingen, took possession of Friburgh, the capital of the Brisgaw, and of Stutgard, the capital of the duchy of Wirtemburgh; the arch duke endeavoured to impede his operations; but was speedily con strained to retire across the Necker, where, taking advantageous positions, he resolutely strove again to resist him but his efforts were ineffectual, and he was compelled to consult his safety, by passing to the other side of the Danube, while Moreau made himself master of the rich and extensive circle of Swabia.


The respective dominions of the duke of Wirtemburgh, and the margrave of Baden, being now in possession of the French, those princes were compelled to make application to the directory, for a cessation of hostilities against them. They easily obtained their request, and their dominions were restored to them, on condition of entirely detaching themselves from the enemies to the republic, and affording them no assistance of any kind. The possessions of the duke, on the left of the Rhine, were ceded to France.

The facility and moderation dis

played by the directory, on this occasion, was, in the unanimous opi. nion of politicians, the soundest policy they could pursue in their pre sent circumstances. As it could not be the design of the French govern. ment to retain any of the acquisi tions made in Germany, the wisest measures they could embrace, were to restore them to their owners, on the simple condition of ceasing to act against the French. This alone would gradually establish an amicable correspondence with those sovereigns and states in Germany, whose friendship it behoved them to cultivate, and whom it was their business to detach from the interests of the house of Austria, by holding out the aid of the republic against its too extensive power and influence in all that related to the management and concerns of the Germanic body.

This period seemed appropriated, as it were, to the depression of this ambitious power. The policy of the French was indefatigably exercised in confirming the antipathy of its former enemies, and in raising up as many new ones as circumstances would enable them. Prussia,* the hereditary rival of Austria, was encouraged to form as many new pretensions, and to revive as many old and obsolete claims, as it had strength to enforce.

The ambition of the house of Brandenburgh had constantly been upon the increase, since its exaltation to the regal title, in the commencement of the present century. It had omitted no opportunity of adding to its territories, and the circumstances of Europe had, in general, been favourable to its pursuits.

The jealousy of the house of Austria did not view this aggrandisement

disement of an inveterate rival, with out paying a constant, though fruitless attention to the means of preventing it. Hence the two ruinous wars, during the reign of Frederick, styled the great, that deprived Austria of such extensive territories. The court of Vienna had ample

cause to rue its endeavours to reduce a power so strongly supported by others, and especially by the house of Bourbon, the sworn foe, during a long period, to the possessors of the Imperial crown, whose despotic aims, at the liberties of Germany, had more than once been frustrated by its interposition.

Though the French monarchy was no more, its politics still subsisted respecting the houses of Austria and Brandenburgh. Of course, the court of Berlin, conscious of the utility to be derived from so powerful an ally, soon retracted its shortlived enmity to France, when it found that, whether a kingdom or a commonwealth, its aid might safely be relied upon in any future contest with the court of Vienna.

To these motives may be ascribed the passive acquiescence of the Prussian councils, in the enterprizes of the French in Germany. As Prussia expected, and was promised, a share in the spoils of Austria, it connived at all the proceedings of these dangerous invaders, secure of a like connivance on their part.

The necessity of coinciding with many of the views of this ambitious court, induced the directory to give an indirect assent to the usurpations it had resolved on. While the French armies were employed in the seizure of so many towns and territories, the Prussian ministry revived claims upon the Imperial city of Nuremberg, that had lain

dormant upwards of two hundred years. They were of a most serious nature, and directed to no less than the sovereignty of that large and flourishing city; the suburbs of which the king of Prussia challenged as his property, and took forcible possession of them, in contempt of the reclamation of the senate and regency.

So manifest a violation of the native and long acknowledged right of no inconsiderable state in Germany, countenanced in so glaring and unquestionable a manner by the French generals, was viewed, by the discerning part of the Germans, as the remuneration tacitly allowed to Prussia by France, for assenting to its invasion of the empire, and showed, at the same time, how readily the rulers of the republic would sacrifice the liberties and indepen dence of others to their own ambitious pursuits.

The dissatisfaction universally produced, by this conduct of the French, did them essential disservice throughout all Germany, and indeed through all Europe. It now became certain, by the evidence of facts, that their pretences, to assume the protection of states and nations against tyranny, were a mere imposition upon the credulity of mankind. The connection of Prussia with the republic, exposed it to the suspicion of abe ting the project of dissolving all the political ties that held together the Germanic body, and under the protection of which the immunities and liberties of the lesser princes and states were respected by the more powerful.

A surmise had prevailed for many years, that the house of Brandenburgh had conceived the idea of placing itself at the head of the [K 2]


empire, supported by the protestant piece-meal in a rising Prussian em

pire: if this empire itself should not be divided, by that partitioning policy, which has supplanted the

interest, which stood on a parity of strength and importance with that of the Roman catholic; it also counted among its friends and well-law of nations, among the Russians, wishers, those powers abroad, with Swedes, and Austrians. which Austria was liable to be at variance. But the support of the most potent of these powers had vanished from its ideas, since the matrimonial alliance that took place between the houses of Bourbon and Austria, in the person of the late unhappy queen of France. It had revived however on the treaty that severed Prussia from the coalition, and it was secretly held out, by France, as the most efficacious temptation to a court, the aspiring views of which required no less motives at this period to secure its


Could the constitution of Germany have undergone such a change, as to place the Imperial diadem on the head of a protestant prince, and could the house of Brandenburgh have secured its succession to this dignity, it was generally imagined that Prussia would have interested itself in the defence of the empire; but the little expectation it entertained, of being able to compass such a point, rendered it, in the general opinion, indifferent to the preservation of the Germanic constitution. Provided the dismemberment of this great body should be accompanied with these advantages, which the politics of Prussia kept in view, it was the public persuasion that no opposition would arise from the court of Berlin, to an alteration, from which it would derive such material benefit. The smaller states first, and then the greater in lower Germany, seemed likely to be swallowed up

A conviction of the rapacious views of Prussia had greatly alienated the attachment of the Germans to that power. The willingness of the French, to permit the encroachments it had in contemplation, subjected them no less to a diminution of that partiality with which they had hitherto been favoured by the people of Germany. These had hoped, that the dread of this victorious nation would have so far operated in favour of the common classes every where, as to have induced the divers princes, engaged in the coalition, to have abated of the rigorous exactions from their respective subjects, and procured to these a milder treatment than if their arms had been successful. But when they began to feel the weight of the contributions demanded by the French in the countries of which they had taken possession, and found that the authority they exercised was no less grievous and severe, than that of their former rulers, their good wishes to the French diminished, and they began to mistrust those promises of equity and moderation, to those who submitted to them, which had induced such numbers to give them a friendly reception, and to welcome them as their deliverers from oppres


The mass of the people in the numerous districts, where contributions were required by the French, had expected that no more would have been exacted from these than their just proportion; but,


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contrary to their hopes, and in contradiction to those principles of equality on which the French laid so much stress, these, with a degree of carelessness and improvidence, that belied the ideas, which had been so universally formed of their sagacity, left the repartition of the sums to be raised to the management of those very persons who had been objects of public discontent and complaint, for the injustice and partiality of which they had been the instruments, under their respective governments. These being, for the sake of expedition, entrusted with those levies, made no alteration in the manner, and adhered to established precedents. Thus the privileged classes still enjoyed their former exemptions, and the inferior part of the community was loaded, as antecedently, with almost the whole burden of the taxes, imposed for the raising of the contributions. This was the most injudicious of all the measures adopted by the French in the management of their new acquisitions, and it operated more fatally to their interest than was perceptible to the generality. It excited the most violent resentment in the multitude, which had been taught to believe, that whereever the French became masters, all oppressions would be at an end, and no man would be treated worse than his neighbour. To be deceived in so barbarous and oppressive a manner to behold their tyrannical rulers authorized to lord it over them as usual, and to find that the presence of the French, from which so much had been expected, produced no mitigation of th eirslavery. To be rendered, in short, no less

miserable by the successes of the. French, than they could have been, had their boasted republic been destroyed, and the completest despotism established on its ruins, filled them with the keenest indignation at a people whom they now branded as deceivers and impostors, and wholly unworthy of the good for tune that had attended them. Hlad the French republic been true to the principles professed in their declarations and manifestoes to all nations, they would have been wholly irresistible. All thrones raised on despotic power would have fallen ; and, as was said of Alexander * the Great, the earth would have stood silent before them. It is to their weakness and vices, the incon sistency of their conduct in Italy, Germany, and wherever they went with their professions, the preva lence of their passions over their principles, that most of the European potentates owe their crowns at the present moment.

One of the causes of the readiness with which the French allowed the petty sovereigns of Germany to collect in their own manner the contributions imposed upon them, was, to conciliate their good will, and convince them that no interference was aimed at in their domestic affairs, by leaving to them the arrangement, of which their sovereignty and independence remained unviolated. Had the French pursued another system, and proclaimed an entire emancipation of their subjects from all farther allegi ance to their native princes, it was far from clear that such a measure would have producedany other conse – quence than throwing the countries,

First Book of the Maccabees, Ch. 1,


thus revolutionised, into co nfusion, and embroiling the French with several princes, the amity of whom they were desirous to obtain, and were at that time earnestly seeking. But a measure of this kind must at once have rendered these princes irreconcilably averse to any connections with a state evidently bent on the destruction of every species of sovereignty, but that of the people at large; and determined to abolish every where the rights of princes and reigning families, and every trace of hereditary government.

The real truth was, that the situation of France, at this period, was extremely critical. The pecuniary wants of the republic were such, that it could not provide the supplies required by the commanders of their numerous armies abroad, which, though victorious, were frequently reduced to the most deplorable need of the commonest necessaries. It was therefore indispensibly requisite to procure them at any rate, and with the most effectual expedition, for men who neither would, nor indeed could, wait for them, and who thought themselves entitled to a comfortable maintenance, and some remuneration for the services they were continually performing for their country.

The German people, in consequence of the depredations exercised upon them by the French armies, became their most inveterate foes, and lost no opportunity of doing them every species of detriment. They joined in crowds the Imperial armies; they formed themselves into bodies under chiefs of their own chusing, and fell upon the French wherever they could do it with advantage. They proved, in short, the most useful auxiliaries

to the Austrian troops, through their local knowledge of the countries where the war was waged, and through the resentment that animated them against the French, for the losses they had sustained in the predatory incursions of the republican soldiery, and the avidity of booty for which these were peculiarly noted.

Such was the causes of the rapid decline of that partial disposition towards the French, expressed by the commonalty in so many countries in Germany, at their first entrance. As they viewed them in the light of friends and brethren, coming to their relief, they were the more exasperated, when they found them to be enemies and plunderers.

In the mean time, the army, commanded by Jourdan, having overrun Franconia, was advancing towards Ratisbon, levying contributions from all the districts in its way. The diet of the empire, sitting in that city, was struck with consternation, at the rapidity of its approach, notwithstanding that the Imperial army disputed every step with the utmost resolution.

The army, under general Moreau, was, at the same time, marching from Swabia, of which he had completed the reduction, by taking Ulm and Donawerth, places of great importance on the Danube. He was now master of both sides of that river, and proposed to pass the Lech, dividing Swabia from Bavaria, in order to penetrate into this circle.

The Austrians, apprised of his intention, collected a strong force to oppose him; but he forced his passage over,on the twentyfourth of August, near the city of Augsburgh, and compelled the Aus

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