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pertinent, when the magnitude of this titude. The intelligence which Kutu. day's operations, and the consequences soff received, that the enemy had still to which they led, are taken into con. in his rear strong reserves of troops sideration. A battle in which about who had not been engaged on the pre80,000 human beings were destroyed, ceding day, would, of itself, if all is not an ordinary occurrence, even in other arguments had been unavailing, this age of military exploits; and de- have confirmed him in the resolution serves, therefore, to be recorded with a of waiting till his army should have reminuteness, which, in other circumstan- covered by repose, and gained strength ces, would be trifling and inexcusable. by the reinforcements which were eve
It has been demanded, with some ap- ry day advancing, and which promised pearance of reason, why Prince Kutuhim an early opportunity of meeting soff did not follow up this victory the invader with the full assurance of which had cost him so dear, and why success. he afterwards left the ancient capital But this is not the only circumstance of Russia exposed to the intrusion of in the conduct of the Russian chief the vanquished? To this question va- which excited surprise. His not fol. rious answers have been given, some lowing up the victory of Borodino adof them dictated by prejudice, and mitted of some explanation ; but a feelothers which seem founded on a know. ing of astonishment was universalamong ledge of the military events which those to whom his plans were unknown, preceded the battle of Borodino, as when they learned his determination well as of the plans of the Russian to abandon Moscow to its fate-Mos. chief which were soon developed. cow, the ancient and venerable capital The Russian armies have not been of- of the Russians--the grand repository ten beaten in the field, but few occa. of their wealth, and the centre of their sions have occurred in which they were patriotic affections. For such a city able to profit by the victories they have it might have been expected that even achieved. They are but ill qualified a beaten army would have continued for rapid movement, or for repairing to struggle ; but that the conquerors with alacrity the disorganization which should willingly give it up to destruceven a victory such as that of Borodi. tion, seemed wholly inexplicable. Yet no must have produced. They had no sooner did the prince learn that already suffered extreme fatigue, and the French had been strongly reinnumerous privations, that department forced, and were advancing, than he of the army on which the comfort of marched his army through Moscow, a soldier depends being most lamenta- and took up a position on the Kaloubly defective in the Russian service. ga road. T'he French were thus enaThe French indeed were fatigued, and bled to march directly on the capital, had suffered privations ; but they had and at noon, on the 14th of Septemother motives than their enemies to ber, they appeared before it. pursue
their march without relaxation.' To explain the singular determina. They sought safety and repose, the tion which Prince Kutusoff had taken, Russians had both; and it is not won- he addressed to the emperor on the derful that in this condition their lead. 16th of September, a letter which er should have thought of giving them discovers the extent of his military some relaxation. It would not have genius.He began by stating, that been humane—it might not have been the late victory, glorious as it had prudent in him, to have hurried them been to the Russian arms, had cost into new trials of their patience and fore him many lives ; and that his army,
eru encumbered with sick and wounded, line which was drawn around the eneet ei was but ill prepared to meet the fresh my; and the Russian general-in-chief ekmé troops which it was known that the promised that Moscow would very soon erin enemy could bring forward. In these be evacuated by its new possessors. of the circumstances, it would have been un- This reasoning was unanswerable, bet a wise to risk another battle, and he and appeared so even at the time to in this therefore determined on retiring. No the Russian emperor, who was fillpolicie position of any strength presented it. ed with admiration of the genius disde self betwixt Borodino and Moscow; played by the general-in-chief.--Had
the fresh troops of the enemy already the arguments of Prince Kutusoff been threatened the Russian lines ; his whole less cogent in themselves, it is proba
force was now double that of the Rus. ble, at all events, that the ruin which ide sians, and a general engagement could so quickly overtook the French, would,
therefore have promised little hope long ere this time, have silenced all of success. A defeat before the walls
controversy on the subject. Yet there of Moscow, while no measures had is one remark which prejudice may been taken to abandon the city, would still render necessary. The final de have exposed it to be entered in tri- struction of the French army was not, umph by the invader, to whom its
as some persons affect to believe, the wealth and resources of all kinds would consequence of accident alone, of the have become available. The resolu. inclemency of the season, and the tion was therefore taken to abandon burning of Moscow, but the result of the capital, after removing its trea- a concerted plan of operations on the sures, and to present to the enemy, on part of the Russian generals, on which his entrance, no prospect but that of fa- they relied with confidence from the mine and desolation.
The sacrifice of moment that the enemy threatened to Moscow was a dreadful alternative to advance into the interior of the counevery Russsian, said the Prince, but it try. The views which Kutusoff thus was a sacrifice of part for the preser- unfolded to his master on the 16th of vation of the whole-of a great city, to September, 1812, and which were so the independence of a mighty empire. signally confirmed in the events of the Had Moscow been defended to the succeeding winter, were formed even last extremity, the rich provinces of before the enemy had entered the caToula and Kalouga, from which the pital. No better proof than this can resources of the army were drawn, be required, that the ruin of the invamust have been abandoned ; the army ders was not the effect of accident, would have been ruined, and the ems, but of design--not imputable to the pire might have been lost. By relin- climate alone, but to the martial genius quishing Moscow, the Russian army of the Russian commander, who so became masters of the Toula and Ka- promptly availed himself of the various louga roads, covered these fertile pro expedients which were calculated to vinces, maintained its communications ensure the ultimate triumph of his uninterrupted with the corps of Tor- country, mozoff and Tchichagoff, interrupted The plans of the prince were underthe enemy's line of operations from stood and appreciated by his court. Smolensko to Moscow, cut off the sup. Yet, as the occupation of Moscow plies which he expected from his rear, would naturally fill the vulgar mind and actually blockaded him in the ca- with despondency and alarm, the em pital. The occupation of Twer by peror determined to give the unequiGeneral Winzengerode completed the vocal sanction of the government to
the operations of the armies, and once as to despond when a feeling of venmore addressed his people. “Mos- geance animates his brethren ? When cow,” said he, “ was entered by the the enemy, deprived of all his resourenemy on the 15th September; at this ces, and exhausting his strength from intelligence it might be expected that day to day, sees himself in the midst consternation would appear on every of a powerful nation, encircled by her countenance ; but far from us be such armies, one of which menaces him in pusillanimity. Rather let us swear to front, while the other three watch to, redouble our perseverance and our re- interrupt the arrival of succours, and solution ; let us hope, that fighting in to prevent his escape, can Russians be a just cause, we shall hurl back upon alarmed ?”—The whole of this address the
enemy all the evil with which he shewed that the emperor and the goseeks to overwhelm us. Moscow, in. vernment were well aware of the nadeed, is occupied by French troops ; ture of the contest which they had to it has not become theirs in consequence sustain--that they understood and con. of their having destroyed our armies: curred in the plans of the general, and The commander-in-chief, in concert waited with firmness the entire overwith the most distinguished of our ge- throw of the enemy as the result of his nerals, has deemed it prudent to bend admirable combinations. for a moment to necessity. He retires Meanwhile, Count Rostopschin, the only to give additional force to the military governor of Moscow, had weight with which he will fall on our wisely prepared for the event, which enemy. Then will the short triumph he, as well as the other Russian chiefs, of the French ruler lead to his inevita- bad expected. He had done every ble destruction. He finds in Moscow thing to equip and organise for the not only no means for domination, but army the inhabitants, whose age and no means of existence. Our forces sex qualified them for taking the already surrounding Moscow, to which field." He had been careful to reevery day is bringing an accession of move the women and children, the strength, will occupy all the roads, sick and aged ; and he had withdrawn and destroy every detachment the ene- every thing which could be serviceable my may send forth in search of provi- to the enemy.—The scene which Mos
Thus will he be fatally con- cow now presented was shocking to vinced of his error, in calculating that humanity ; every attempt to describe the possession of Moscow would be it must prove abortive. Two hundred the conquest of the empire ; and ne- thousand human beings of both sexes cessity will at last compel him to fly and of all ages were driven from their from famine through the ranks of our homes, ignorant where they might seek intrepid army. Without doubt, the protection, and exposed to the inclebold, or rather it should be called the mency of a Russian winter, which was rash enterprise, of penetrating into the fast approaching. But there were bosom of Russia, nay, of occupying its no sacrifices which this devoted peoancient capital, feeds the pride of the ple would not have made, rather than supposed conqueror, but it is the fatal - remain exposed to the ferocity of their point to which his destinies have drag- enemies. They had heard of the exged him on. He has not yet penetra
cesses in which he was accustomed to ted into a country where one of his indulge ; they were not ignorant of actions has diffused terror, or brought the murders, rapine, and sacrilege a single Russian to submit. Is there which he had so often committed ; an individual in the empire so abject and the biting frosts, the endless fa
tigues, the famine and misery of all naparte, it would seem, to make his kinds to which they knew that they entrance into Moscow till he should must now expose themselves, filled not be attended by the constituted authotheir minds with half the horror which rities, and hailed as a conqueror. He was inspired by the presence of the in- waited at the barrier leading to the vader. The greater part of them a- Smolensko road, expecting that a de. bandoned their homes with precipita- putation of the citizens would quick. tion ; a few only of those whose minds ly arrive; but after a delay of many were influenced by a stronger impulse hours, no such deputation was dese -who had vowed revenge on the inva. cried. He sent a Polish general to re. der, and determined to perish in a des. mind the citizens of their duty; but perate attempt for its gratification, the general brought him information remained.-The governor, having made that there were no longer any constievery preparation which circumstances tuted authorities in Moscow; that he permitted, gave
the signal for evacu. had found it a desart, and expected soon ating the city, and at the head of to see it a heap of ruins.—The French 40,000 of its brave inhabitants, pro. ruler still cherished a hope that the ceeded to join the grand Russian solemn farce, which he so much dearmy.
sired, might in one way or other be The enemy appeared before Mos. accomplished ; and in the meantime he cow: his advanced guard, under Mu. fixed his residence in the Petrofsky parat and Beauharnois, first entered the lace, about a mile from the city. The city, and proceeded towards the Krem- next day, however, he was compelled to lin, the ancient palace of the czars, give way to necessity, and he entered which was ineffectually defended by a the city without parade or ostentation, small band of those who still lingered deeply' incensed by his disappointin the capital. The gates were rapidly ment, and meditating schemes of reforced; but scarcely had the French venge. accomplished this inglorious achieve- He took possession of the Kremlin ; ment, when a scene presented itself and, yielding to the gloomy passions which threatened to baffle all their with which his soul was filled, he deterhopes. The city was discovered to mined on an exemplary punishment of be on fire in different quarters; and Russian patriotism.-While his dark in whatever way the flames may have consultations proceeded, the flames been first kindled, so brutal was the spread even to the very walls of the violence of the French soldiers palace. The rage of the disappointed such their desire of seizing on the tyrant no longer knew any bounds ; plunder of that great city, which their and he instantly ordered his satellites leader had so long promised them as to seize all Russians who might be the reward of their toils, and so zea. found near the spot, or could be sus. lous their exertions to increase the pected of participating in the destrucconfusion which might favour their tion of the city. One hundred of these base designs, that, far from endea. unhappy persons were soon brought vouring to extinguish the conflagra- before him; they were questioned as tion, they were most active to increase to their proceedings, and a pardon was it -They were little aware of the offered them on condition of their dilong train of miseries which they were vulging the pretended conspiracy thus preparing for themselves. but they remained silent, and despised
It did not suit the dignity of Buo- the threats and promises of their ene
VOL. V. PART I.
my.--The mock trial was soon ended; fore occurred in the history even of his the Russian patriots were ordered to own life, already stained with every immediate execution, and died with species of atrocity. the assurance and constancy of true The cruelties of a tyrant begin and virtue. There are some persons who end in cowardice. It was fear that in. have pretended to apologise for this duced Buonaparte to make that terriact of judicial murder, and who have ble example ; and after he made it, his even ventured to maintain, before in- fears seemed still to increase. He was sulted humanity, that these proceed- afraid that the attempt to burn the ings were conformable to the law of Kremlin would be repeated; and he nations. Their arguments are puerile, consented to become a prisoner in this as their feelings have always been palace, and ordered that every enbase ; and the mere statement of the trance to it should be shut, except one fact, that a hundred loyal Russians, which was open only to his favourites who were faithful to their allegiance, and confidential officers. His efforts, and sacrificed their lives to the chance however, to preserve Moscow were of annoying their invaders, were pu- unavailing, although his pride and his nished as criminals, must be enough to necessities, equally called upon
him to raise against the perpetrators of such save it from destruction, He had proenormities the universal hatred of man, mised the wealth of this capital as the kind. Buonaparte was in possession reward of his soldiers ; its spacious of Moscow, no doubt ; but every Rus- palaces as their retreat for the winter; sian, whether soldier or citizen, owed and he had anxiously expected that it to his emperor and his country, that from this great city he should give the he should do every thing in his power law to the Russian empire, and conto dislodge the enemy. It is only summate his authority on the conti. since the French revolution has made nent. But the flames were spreadthe world familiar with crimes, and ing rapidly in all directions, and the habituated the mind to the most da- entire destruction of Moscow already ring violations of international law, seemed inevitable. The description that invaders have pretended to chas- even of an eye-witness must convey tise the faithful inhabitants of an in. an imperfect idea of this scene of horsulted country for rising in its defence. ror; yet as it can afford the only apThe sacred law of self-preservation proximation to truth, the following calls on every man, when his country sketch shall be inserted." From the is invaded, to arm in its support ; and night of yesterday, September 14th," from the moment he does so he is a says the narrator, 66 until that of the soldier. It was the duty of the Rus- 19th, the fire blazed in all quarters. sian army to have dislodged the inva. It first broke out near the Foundling der from Moscow, by all the means Hospital, and almost immediately afwhich it could employ; and the same terwards on the side of the city close was the duty of every loyal and patri- to the Stone Bridge, and in the neighotic citizen. When Buonaparte there. bourhood of the palace which the fore dared to punish with death the King of Naples selected for his resibrave men who tried to expel him and dence. A third and more extensive his soldiers from the ancient capital of fire broke out and spread itself along their country, by the only means which the centre of the town. The inhabi. fortune had now left them, he com- tants beheld their burning houses with mitted a more flagrant outrage on pub- a resignation which evidently proceedlic law and on humanity than ever be ed from the belief that they should not