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ments, or a very imperfect view of the qualifications of an accomplished legislator and statesman. It is not for congress to presume that there is any branch of human science for which a body so universal in its possible composition, will not hereafter furnish, in some or other of its members, a cultivated and active taste; or that there is any branch which may not fall within its immense scope of constitutional action, so as to make the possession of all the best means of judgment, that is the best treatises on it, highly desirable, if not indispensable. The next generation will, we confidently predict, blush at the objections made in congress to the purchase of Mr. Jefferson's library.
Party-spirit darkling and chafing spoke the language of an auctioneer or a chapman, and erred egregiously even in its huckstering calculations; for Mr. Jefferson’s library was worth, and would, in all likelihood, have brought, in the market, at least double the sum allotted by congress to the purchase. We should be at a loss to fix a proportion between the price and the acquisition, if we took into the account the value of the latter in other points of view. This will be one day duly appreciated, without looking to the time when the Bibliomania may rage in the United States; a period which may be descried, although at the end of a long vista.
LITERATURE OF CONTINENTAL EUROPE.
OF MoREAU-by Garat, member of the French Senate and of the Institute. Paris, 18 l 5. The author was an intimate acquaintance of Moreau, and aims at tracing his private character. The Life, folitical, military, and firivate, of General Moreau—by .Alphonee Beauchamfi. Paris, 1815. A compilation hastily executed, as are most of the works of this animated writer, but bearing the stamp of his usual intelligence and honourable feeling. The history of the war of La Vendée and that of Brazil from the same pen, are highly respectable performances, displaying great powers of research, arrangement, and description; a nervous picturesque diction which would raise the possessor to the level of the first historians of his time, had he patience or leisure for the regular maturation of his literary enterprises. An implacable enemy of Bonaparte and his administration, he could not neglect the opportunity of following him through his adversity, and has, accordingly, published detailed accounts of the campaigns of 1814, and 1815– which, though not free from inaccuracies, are altogether the most satisfactory furnished by the Parisian press. His “Catastrophe of Murat” is another important history-piece. We shall, however, leave the
author to say a few words of his present subject—the most truly illustrious of the military characters of the French revolution. The public, European life of general Moreau, has been treated of in a great number of publications, and his pre-eminence as a general seems to be almost universally admitted. M. Garat has done Justice to his private character as exhibited in Europe, but no one has adequately described it, as it appeared in the United States, during the period of his honourable exile. We pass over with the contempt it deserves, the feeble sketch of the Russian gentleman, M. Svinine, who accompanied him on his return to Europe, and whose principal object is not to paint Moreau, but to offer incense to the emperor Alexander. It was here, in his modest retreat at the village of Trenton in New Jersey, in his familiar intercouse with our domestic life, that his private virtues had their natural play, and shone with their clearest lustre. Easy, unaffected, homogeneous, as it were, in every society, free from all ostentation and pretension, incapable of dissimulation or design on any subject, Moreau made us forget the renowned military commander to think only, with familiar but warm attachment, of the amiable, and instructive companion. Few men were ever more eloquent on any subject than Moreau when he spoke of his favourite art of war; of his own military history or that of others: it was impossible to be more patient of contradiction or dullness, and it will be confessed by those who had the good fortune to eat at the same board with him, that he was often exposed to lectures on was not even as reasonable as the harangue of the Greek Sophist to Hannibal, and which were very differently borne—that is, with the most benignant, exemplary complaisance. On all subjects he displayed strong, sound, sagacious sense; the manliest candor; and, in discoursing of his compeers or enemies abroad, an entire superiority to jealousies and resentments of any description. The simplicity of his tastes and habits, particularly while at home on his farm, the easy access to him, the communicative fellowship enjoyed by all who sought his acquaintance, were matter of unceasing surprise to those who could not well dissociate, in their mistaken prejudice, European greatness from a certain haughty reserve, and sententious austerity of demeanor. He often furnished us with an opportunity of repeating what Tacitus so beautifully says of Agricola, in allusion to similar merits. Adeo ut plerique, quibus magnos viros per ambitionem estimari mos est, viso aspecto que Agricolá, quaererent famam, pauci interpretarentur. If we were disposed to indulge in a parallel, the character and fate of Agricola as delineated by Tacitus would furnish some striking points of similitude. Moreau stood towards Bonaparte as Agricola with Domitian. The reception which the Roman tyrant gave Vol. I.
to Agricola on the return of the latter from his career of glorious conquest in Britain, was precisely that which Moreau, as we have heard him relate—had from Bonaparte on their first meeting after the creation of the consular government. “ Domitian,” says Tacitus, “received Agricola with a cold salute, and without uttering a word, left the conqueror to mix with the servile creatures of the court.” The consciousness of obligation, as well as the jealousy of an equal military renown, awakened the implacable hate of Bonaparte. He knew that, on his arrival from Egypt he had been designated for the post of first consul by Moreau himself, whom the leaders of the conspiracy against the directorial government had primarily wished to fix in the station, and who, though he never prized the character of Bonaparte, by no means suspected that he would have either the inclination or ability to give to France her subsequent aspect. He courted the enjoyments of private life, and thought the dispositions and habits of the other, better fitted to the salutary task of crushing the factions by which France was distracted. He relied, with the credulity proper to a generous nature, upon the constant professions of all around him and of Bonaparte himself, for the establishment of a government of checks and balances. “The ground of the hostile proceedings against Agricola,” continues Tacitus, “ was neither a crime against the state, nor even an injury done to any individual. His danger rose from a different source; from the heart of a chief who felt an inward antipathy to every virtue; from the real glory of the man; from the lustre of his 2 T
name.” We have here the clue to the persecution of Moreau. There was, in addition, no other of the military leaders whose professional reputation was seconded, as in the case of Moreau, by a great personal popularity, by known moderation, benevolence, and singleness of character, so as to make him the natural refuge of the nation from the wild tyranny, which was about to be established.
We can pronounce with confidence, from direct observation, that there never existed a more ardent, thorough patriot than Moreau; all his aspirations were for the liberation and prosperity of France. While there, he was not, as Tacitus remarks of Agricola— “one of that class of patriots who conceive, that by a contumacious spirit, they show their zeal for liberty, and by rashness, without any real advantage, provoke danger or court death.” But he would have died cheerfully, have made any effort, have braved any peril, could he have reasonably hoped to effect thereby any permanent national good. At no time, in the interval between the elevation of Bonaparte and his banishment, did circumstances allow him to entertain this expectation. During his exile, he was incessantly on the watch, though he did not consfire, for an opportunity of devoting himself to the rescue of France from military despotism. His martial career had not blunted in him the keen relish and discriminating judgment of liberty which had at first propelled him to the field. He estimated justly and detested cordially the empire of the sword. He understood and reprobated the spirit which animated most of his great colleagues, in arms, and which they had infused into the French troops.
In the European league of 1813 against the universal dominion of those armies, he thought he saw the means of the emancipation of France All his earnest enquiries and meditations about her internal condition, conducted him irresistibly to the conclusion that neither she nor Europe could enjoy tranquillity but by the restoration of the Bourbons. He was far from entertaining a predilection for them or their cause on any other ground. When he consented to lend his aid to the re-establishment of that family, he made a sacrifice of personal feelings and inclinations;–when he consented to appear among the allies at all, in opposition to French troops, it was an act of the most magnanimous self-immolation. His heart was rent asunder at the bare possibility of the situation in which he found himself at Leipsic, as the antagonist of a French army. We have seen him shed tears over the fate of his country, but a little time previous to his embarkation for Europe; and witnessed, too plainly to doubt for a moment the sublime purity of his motives, the agony which he suffered from the conviction, that nothing but the overthrow of the French oarmies could preserve France and Europe from permanent subjection to the worst of tyrannies.
He accepted the invitation of the allies to join their standard, and left the United States, under an impression that he would be able to form, out of the multitude of French prisoners confined in Russia, a national French army, which, with him at their head, would proclaim a constitutional monarch —a Bourbon, and by their example, produce a general defection among the followers of Bonaparte. He trusted that his appear
ance with such a force on the borders of France would be sufficient to dissolve the imperial despotism, and preserve the soil which he may be said to have worshipped, from the foot of the foreign invader. Had it not pleased Providence to allow him to be cut off at the battle of Leipsic, such might, and probably would, have been the result. Had he survived, France would, in all likelihood, have been spared not only the first sanguinary struggle within her bosom, but the re-appearance of Bonaparte, the battle of Waterloo, and its fatal consequences. Moreau would have
“lived down the judgments of
ignorance and the calumnies of malice.” France would have acknowledged him as her saviour and father; as the true hero of her military annals, superior to Bonaparte in the science of war—infinitely so in genuine courage, that which faces undaunted every form of adversity, and for which even the most specious obloquy is but an incitement in the pursuit of a great patriotic end. We cannot leave the subject of this great martyr in the cause of his country, without first quoting, in abridgment, from the writings of eminent Frenchmen, opinions concerning the French armies, precisely such as those we have heard him express, and which are sufficient, if the previous tenor of his life be not enough to silence all reproach,-for the justification of a much stronger part than he proposed to act when he set sail from the United States. “The army,” says Pichon in his able pamphlet,” “ has been indus
* France under the domination of Bonaparte.
triously fashioned to become a tool of despotism and a stranger to national feeling. ‘ I am not a Frenchman,’ said one day in a drawing-room a general of note, ‘I am but the chief of a body of armed men, and I would burn Paris, if the emperor ordered me to do it.’ The army was the only part of the nation which could, by means of a patriotic concert and energetic language on the part of its chiefs, arrest the course of those oppressions of which it was the blind instrument. From the moment that the nation lost all share in the formation, the levy, and the payment of the troops, there no longer existed a national army. The creation of an imperial guard, which alone constituted a chosen band of near sixty thousand men distinguished by the most invidious preferences, contributed to give the army a completely pretorian character. It is difficult to conceive to what a pitch esflionage, delation, and favouritism were carried in the political government of the army:—every thing in its domestic management was arbitrary and violent, and calculated to infuse a violent and arbitrary temper. The spirit of the army, already vitiated by Bonaparte when general in chief in Italy, was gradually brought to the degree of corruption which we witnessed. There was a general sympathy and collusion in the system of spoliation and pillage officially announced as the real end of the war. After the rupture of the treaty of Amiens, the pillage of England was formally promised the troops. In the midst of the almost universal cupidity, and obsequiousness to Bonaparte's designs, Duroc might well sneer at the noble reply which Moreau made, when he received