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greater; the condition of his empire more imperiously demanded the sacri. fice of his strange policy; and on no principle could he be called upon to take the lead in the execution of the frantic project which the French ruler had conceived, or submit to greater hardships than the author of this novel scheme of warfare. When the Russian government, therefore, prohibited S the importation of British goods, except under special licences, and in neutral ships, it did all that it was bound to do towards executing the treaty of Tilsit ; for this very obvious reason, that it did all which the author of this very compact had been able to perform even within the confines of his own dominions. This imperfect obedience, however, did not satisfy the French ruler; and the Russian government must have known from the beginning that it would not.—Preparations had accordingly been made so early as the spring of 1811, to meet the crisis which was fast approaching. Two hundred thousand troops were concentrated in the western provinces of the Russian empire; 500,000 muskets and 2000 pieces of ordnance were manufactured with unexampled rapidity; the cannon from the arsenals in the interior were secretly dispatched towards the frontier, and the fortifications on the Dwina were strengthened and improved. The open violation of the treaty of Tilsit by the seizure of the duchy of Oldenburgh, might have been followed by an immediate declaration of war from Russia; but her preparations were yet far from being completed, and she was still engaged in hostilities with Turkey. Even at this period, however, it thus appears that she had


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a formidable army, which, had she been hurried into the contest, might haveenabled her to meet it without very great apprehension. Her whole force in infantry consisted of more than 300,000 men ; her cavalry amounted to 40,000, in addition to which there were 50,000 cossacks, and a numerous militia rapidly organising. But one hundred thousand of her best soldiers would at this period have been unavailing in any contest with France; they were employed against the Turks and Persians, and in watching the movements of Sweden. Delay was, therefore, of great importance to Russia; and it was, perhaps, of no less importance to her enemies. Buonaparte had been more urgent and imperious in his demands than active in his preparations. In 1811, he had about 60,000 men in Germany, including the garrisons of Stettin, Custrin, and Glogau; from the duchy of Warsaw he might have drawn about the same number; while the confederation of the Rhine, whose contingent was 100,000 men, could not at this time have supplied more than the half of that number. By the spring of the following year, however, the French armies had been greatly augmented; the troops of the confederation had been raised to the stipulated quota, and the kings of Saxony and Naples had been compelled to prepare for embarking in the great enterprise against Russia. The armies which Buonaparte had thus assembled on the frontiers of Russian Poland, amounted, by the most moderate computation, to upwards of 400,000 men, and by other accounts to upwards of 600,000," in a state of the highest discipline and equipment, accustomed

* “The following statement is presumed to be the most accurate, as it is taken from

the French official documents of last year. The French official details have again and

again informed us, that the 9th and 11th corps, acting as reserves under Belluno (Vic

tor) and Castiglione (Augereau), were 30,000 strong each at the beginning of the canY


to victory, and commanded by the first military talents of the age. Such were the mighty preparations made on each side. They corresponded to the greatness of the interests which were at issue; the Russians were about to contend for their very existence as an independent nation; the French, on the other hand, were now to aim a blow which should bring the whole continent of Europe under their dominion. In numbers the combatants were not at first on a footing of equality; and in discipline, in science, in the organisation of the army, the French had a marked superiority. The whole resources of a mighty empire, pre-eminent in civilization, yet devoted to war, had been exhausted; every aid which experience and skill could give in the application of these re

sources had been contributed; the

accumulated means and varied talents which twenty years of successful war had created, were concentrated in this formidable host. It was composed of soldiers grown old in victory, or of the successors of those who had perished in the midst of triumphs; and

all were animated by the lively enthusiasm so characteristic of that people, and so natural to the circumstances in which the army was now placed, Their courage, the result of this enthusiasm, prompted by vague aspirings after military glory, and sustained by feelings of devotion to their country, promised greatenterprise and temerity in the outset of the campaign; an en. terprise which had often triumphed over the supineness of their enemies, and a temerity which had more than once given the imposing aspect of superior genius and power to frantic daring and extravagance. The fatal influence of that intrigue which had pur. chased so many conquests to France, formed an important item in the cal, culation of her present fortunes; and all these circumstances, thus combined, seemed to bestow upon her councils and armies many important advantages over those of the enemy. The Russians possessed other advantages for the approaching contest, which may seem almost to have overbalanced those of the enemy. They had been driven into a state of warfare by

paign, though afterwards increased; and we may fairly conclude, that those which were to be engaged in immediate service were at least equally complete, if not more so. The total force would therefore stand thus, and the subsequent losses shew that this

statement must be tolerably correct:—

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Effective Men,


45,000 - 60,000 * 50,000 - 30,000 • . 20,000 - 30,000 - 20,000 40,000

565,000 - 50,000


, Wide “Statement of the Population of Russia,” &c. by James M'Queen, Glasgow,

1812, ... . .

the necessity of defending their country from a foreign yoke; they had made every concession which justiceand policy demanded, and it was almost certain, therefore, that the people would be animated by the most furious and desperate courage. They had few distinguished generals, but they had many men of bold and vigorous minds, who required only the strange combination of circumstances, which Buonaparte was hastening, to draw forth their natural talents. The military art, it has been often remarked, requires not the highest gifts, either of the head or heart; and barbarous nations in general possess a great deal more of that species of talent which qualifies a inan '. the conduct of a fierce and obstinate contest, than their more polished neighbours. The Russian generals might be defective in science, but they possessed, in great perfection, all the characteristics of patient, daring, and intrepid soldiers. In their natural and personal qualifications—in courage and perseverance, they excelled their antagonists; and it was to be hoped, that a protracted struggle would bestow on them that experience in which they might at first be deficient. The Russian soldiers had long maintained a very high character; if they were less active than the French, they were far more resolute and steady : if their onset might be less hasty and vigorous, they could sustain the conflict with more firmness and determination; if they had less discipline, they had more native courage; if they could not rally so fast, neither would they be so soon thrown into disorder; if they had not, in the present instance, the hopes of conquest to animate them, they had a sense of duty, the feelings of patriotism, and the sanctions of religion to confirm theirna

tive bravery. The Russian soldier was

never known to abandon the post committed to his charge—to disobey the

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commands of his superiors, or to disregard the calls of religion and patriotism in the hourof danger. The fear of death never invaded his breast; the wretched sophistry which would have made him indifferent to the fate of his country, was too subtle for his honest mind; the impiety, which in the more civilized states of Europe has threatened to unhinge society, had never penetrated the remote regions which he delighted to call his home. The Russian government thus possessed the most powerful resources of defence in the genius, condition, and character of the people—in their native bravery— their passive obedience—their devoted patriotism, and their amiable superstition. Had a general and decisive battle been risked at the beginning, the science and discipline of the enemy might indeed have prevailed, but the triumph would have been achieved only after the most severe loss, and the progress of the enemy would have been over the dead bodies of the Russians. With a population so brave and persevering, that nothing could overcome its resistance—a country so extended, that a million of soldiers would have been unable to retain even military possession of it, and an army, which in numbers was nearly equal, in courage superior, and in discipline alone inferior, to the enemy, there seemed to be but little chance that the French would succeed in their enterprise. Before entering upon hostilities, to which Buonaparte seemed in this instance more than usually reluctant, he addressed, through his minister for foreign relations, various remonstrances to the Russian government. Russia, he said, had violated the treaty of Tilsit; that treaty, the principles of which she had solemnly espoused in her declaration of war against England. So soon as the ukase of the Russian government, permitting the importation of British goods under neutral flags had been issued, the treaty of Tilsit, was at an end. The Emperor of Russia had forgotten all that he owed to the clemency and magnanimity of the French government. Oldenburgh was necessary to the continental system ; but Russia, in contempt of her solemn obligations, had resisted this seizure, had remonstrated against it, and had even gone so far as to dissuade the duke from accepting the indemnity which France was willing to have bestowed on him. These events occurred in 1810, but in 1811 the real designs of Russia, said her enemy, became still more apparent. The Russian armies, raised and supported at an enormous expence, now threatened the army of the duchy of Warsaw, which was compelled to repass the Vistula, although at this very moment all the French troops were within the Rhine, excepting 40,000 men stationed at Hamburgh to preserve the public tranquillity. These preparations could have but one ob. ject ; yet the French emperor, still unwilling to believe that Russia would again commit herself in a struggle with France, proposed an arrangement which should have been satisfactory. The independence of the duchy of Warsaw, as stipulated by the treaty of Tilsit—the annexation §3. which the war with Lngland had rendered indispensable, and which the spirit, if not the letter, of the treaty of Tilsit prescribed—the recall of the ukase of 1810, and the enactment of clear and efficient laws against trade in English goods, and with denationalized vessels, were the conditions on which Buonaparte was still desirous of coming to a good understanding with Russia. Had the independence of the duchy of Warsaw been acknowledged, Buonaparte would have bound himself to attempt nothing for the freedom of the Poles; he would have consented even to the interfe

The seizure of ,

rence of Russia in favour of the Duke of Oldenburgh, who, as a member of the confederation of the Rhine, was under the protection of France alone, and he would have acceded even to such a modification of the continental system, as the necessary wants of Rus. sia should seem to demand; but the course pursued by Russia indicated clearly that she wished not to secure the independence of the duchy of Warsaw, but to seize upon it herself; that she cared not about the Duke of Oldenburgh, except as she might make his affairs a pretext for quarrelling with France ; and that it was not her own commerce she wished to cherish, but the alliance of England, which she was desirous of cultivating. To these groundless accusations Russia could have no difficulty in replying. Some doubts, however, seem still to have hung over the mind of the Emperor Alexander; and great as his preparations had been, great as was the necessity for dissolving his ominous alliance with France, he yet he: sitated to commit every thing to the decision of the sword. Buonaparte, in the meantime, took care to strength. en the cause of his enemies by some acts of unequivocal violence and perfidy; for, instead of evacuating Prussia,

he occupied in greater force than be:

fore those parts of it from which Russian Poland could be most advantageously assailed, and then proceeded to seize Swedish Pomerania—The Rus: sian ambassador, in his reply, availed himself of these circumstances; he ob. served, that the real, and not the nominal, neutrality of Prussia, was indis. pensable to the security of the Russian empire; that the sincerity of France in her pretended alliance with the latter power was more than questionable, while this important article of the treaty of Tilsit remained unperformed, and while the Russian frontier was thus at all times exposed to the incur” sions of the enemy. Russia, however, was still desirous of cultivating friendly relations with France; and should Buonaparte instantly recognise the independence of the Prussian states, and

faithfully evacuate the fortresses, di

minish the garrison of Dantzic, restore Swedish Pomerania, and come to a satisfactory arrangement with Sweden, the Russian government would agree to maintain the continental system throughout its dominions, to modify the custom-house duties agreeably to the desire of France, and rest satisfied with theindemnity which France might offer for the duchy of Oldenburgh. While adhering to the principle of the continental system, however, she claimed a right of trading by licence agreeably to the practice of France herself, —a most reasonable demand, which even the usual arrogance of Buonaparte could scarcely have resisted.— The strain of this reply shewed that the Russian government had not yet adopted with firmness the line of policy which it ultimately determined to pursue towards the French ruler. No answer was made by France to this remonstrance on the part of Russia, and the scenes which followed are very characteristic of Buonaparte and his government. He set off with his minister to join the army; the Russian ambassador of course applied for passports, and Buonaparte had the effrontery to declare, that this step “decided the rupture.” Before he quitted Pa. ris, the usual report on the state of France had been laid before him by his minister for foreign affairs, in which the approaching war with Russia was descanted upon with much formality. New charges against Russia were made in this document; it was asserted that in the fatal Austrian war of 180 the Russian contingent of auxiliary troops had not been brought forward.—It now appeared more manifest than ever, that the continental system, and the humi

liation of England, formed the great incitements to the enterprise on which Buonaparte was about to enter.—A nominal treaty with Prussia, whose resources were already at the disposal of France, and a new treaty with Austria, in which that power engaged to contribute 30,000 men to support the war with Russia, and recognized the principles of the treaty .# Utrecht, were also presented on this occasion.— Nothing but the deep degradation of Austria was manifested in these unworthy compliances. On the 9th of May Buonaparte set out from St Cloud, and on the 6th of June he passed the Vistula. On the 22d of the same month he issued a formal declaration of war against Russia ; and in the address to his soldiers, which accompanied it, he gave full scope to his natural arrogance. He accused Russia of breaking her alliance with France at the instigation of England. He dared to pronounce that she was dragged on by fatality, and that her destinies must be accomplished. He promised his soldiers that the second campaign of Poland would be no less glorious than the first ; that the peace which he should conclude would be its own guarantee, and that Russia should for ever be excluded from exerting the unnatural influence which she had too long maintained in the affairs of Europe.—It was remarked by an illustrious Englishman, who had an opportunity of judging of Buonaparte's real character, by frequent intercourse with him, that his talents were not of the very first order, but that the intoxication produced by unexpected success was visible in his whole deportment. His style, characterized chiefly by a laborious effort to reach the sublime, seems, in some measure, to favour the opinion ; and never, surely, was this false elevation more apparent than on the present occasion. For his past successes

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