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Still, Marmont was not satisfied with his exalted position in the artillery, and never rested until he obtained from Bonaparte the command of an army. In 1804 he succeeded in being appointed commander-inchief of the camp of Utrecht, and a new career was opened up before him. He found the army, hitherto under the command of Victor, in a fearful condition, and laboured indefatigably till he had restored it to its
He was therefore much annoyed when, at the foundation of the Empire, all the commanders of divisional armies were made marshals except himself. He was, however, consoled by the emperor deigning to explain to him the reason in the following flattering words : If Bessières had not been named on this occasion, he would never have had a chance; but you are not in that position, and you will be all the greater when
your elevation is the reward of your actions.” The principal result of Marmont's encampment in Holland will be found in a turf pyramid he erected, and which still is known by the name of Marmont Berg. At the coronation he was appointed colonel-general of the Chasseurs, and at the same time found himself in the critical position of adviser-general to Joseph Bonaparte, who did not at all like the position which the emperor designed for him as king of Italy. Marmont honestly advised him to refuse, in order that he might not resign his rights to the crown of France. He was the only one of the family in whom the nation could place any confidence, if the emperor died without issue. Joseph followed the advice, chiefly, we must confess, as he said himself in enumerating his catalogue of complaints against his brother, “because he wanted him to take that shabby title of king, so odious to the French.” The emperor, less scrupulous and timid, assumed the title himself.
On Marmont's return to Holland, he took with him the most severe orders against any commerce between Holland and England. He was even authorised to seize all English goods then in Holland, sell them, and divide the proceeds among the army; in other words, to pocket three-fourths for himself-an affair of more than twelve million francs. But Marmont resisted such an act of injustice, and contented himself with giving ample notice, and seizing any ships which came into port in defiance of him. The proceeds of the sale of these was divided among the soldiers, and made rich men of them for several campaigns.
The news of the Austrian occupation of Bavaria broke up the great flotilla, to the intense delight of the troops, who were worn out with the delay. An immense army of 170,000 men, all panting for glory, marched on the Rhine, and the temper they displayed was a guarantee that the Austrians would soon be punished for their daring attempt to beard the scourge of Europe. The violation of the Prussian territory estranged a faithful ally, and Marmont gives a curious account of the
his opinions were changed:
The reasons which induced the King of Prussia to alter his decision reached my knowledge at a later date, and as I had them direct from Prince Metternich, they deserve insertion in this place.
The king had formally announced his intention to remain neutral, but the Emperor Alexander, counting on the weakness of the king and the allies he had at court, did not doubt but that he could succeed in bringing him over, so he marched his columns without hesitation into Polish Prussia, in order to reach the Austrian territory. Prince Dolgourouki, aide-de-camp to the emperor, was sent to Berlin to inform the king that the Russian troops would enter the Prussian territory on a certain day. Count Alopeus, Russian envoy at Berlin, immediately took Dolgourouki to an audience with the king, to make the communication. He was accompanied by Count Metternich, the Austrian minister. The king replied angrily, and declared that this contempt of his rights would force him to throw himself into the arms of the French; and he told Dolgourouki that the only remedy was to start immediately, and stay the Russian columns before they entered Prussia, which was nearly impossible, seeing the shortness of the time. This stormy conference was nearly concluded, and the affair appeared irremediable, when a tap was heard at the door. A minister entered, and brought the official report of the march of the French troops, and their entry into the principality of Anspach. The king grew calm immediately, and said to Prince Dolgourouki, “From this moment my resolutions are changed, and I become the ally of the Emperors of Russia and Austria.” And he remained faithful to this decision, which honour commanded him to follow, but which was at first so ruinous for him.
Such was the result of that contempt for the law of nations, which Napoleon was too often guilty of when he fancied himself the stronger. By respecting the Prussian territory, which would have been a very easy matter, Napoleon would have had an ally instead of a furious enemy. But little did the emperor seek any future requital, when the present brought him such glorious results as the evacuation of Ulm.
It must have been an intoxicating sight to notice 28,000 Austrian troops passing through the new Furcæ Caudinæ. And such a reward for å month's labour! After this result, Marmont was sent into Styria to drive out the remaining Austrians, in which he was perfectly successful, and established his head-quarters at Gratz. The French army entered Vienna on the 21st of November, and the campaign assumed quite a new direction, by the bridge of Thabor falling into their hands. The way in which it was secured is so curious that it merits quotation :
After Vienna had been occupied, the French troops proceeded to the banks of the Danube, which is of great width at that spot. The Austrians had made all preparations to defend the passage and destroy the bridge built upon piles, which maintained the communication between the capital and Bohemia and Moravia. Formidable batteries placed on the left bank, and the bridge covered with combustibles, rendered the defence easy. A spark could destroy it when the French troops arrived at the entrance. At their head were Murat, Lannes, and Oudinot.
The Germans are naturally saving and economical, and a bridge of that description costs a good deal of money. Murat and Lannes, both Gascons, hit on the idea of profiting by this feeling. They set their troops in movement without displaying the least hesitation. They were ordered to stop : they did so, but replied that an armistice had been agreed to, which gave us the right of passing the river. The marshals, leaving the troops, went alone over to the left bank to speak with Prince Auersperg, who commanded, giving the columns orders to advance imperceptibly. The conversation grew animated : the stupid prince was deluded by all sorts of stories, and during this time the troops were gaining ground, and openly throwing into the Danube the powder and combustibles which strewed the bridge. The lowest soldiers began to suspect treachery and deception, and they soon began to grow excited.
An old sergeant of artillery came up to the prince and said to him, angrily and impatiently, "General, they are deluding and deceiving you, and I shall give fire.” The moment was critical : all was apparently lost, when Lannes, with that presence of mind which never deserted him, and that instinctive knowledge of the human heart the peculiar heritage of the southerners, summoned to his
Jan.-VOL. CIX. NO. CCCCXXXIII.
aid the Austrian pedantry, and exclaimed, “What, general, you allow yourself to be treated in that way! What has become, then, of the Austrian discipline, so much lauded through Europe ?” The bait took : the weak prince, piqued in his honour, was very angry with the sergeant, and put him under arrest. The troops came up, took guns, generals, and soldiers, and the Danube was crossed. Never has a similar occurrence taken place in circumstances so important and so difficult.
Not having been present at the battle of Austerlitz, Marmont gives no description of it. It is curious, however, that at this battle the Russians employed for the last time a very strange custom, which they had constantly followed till this time. Before charging, the whole line was ordered to take off knapsacks, and they remained there during the combat. The French army found, after the battle of Austerlitz, ten thousand knapsacks arranged in line. Marmont marched on Vienna, but, to his great disappointment, heard at Neustadt of the armistice concluded at Austerlitz on the 6th of December. Had it not been for this, a great battle would have taken place beneath the walls of Vienna, in which he might have played an important part, as he formed the vanguard, and his troops were quite fresh. He was consequently obliged to return to Styria without any additional glory—a sad blow for a rising young general in those days of rapid promotion.
After passing the winter in Styria, Marmont proceeded to occupy Corinthia, Carniola, and Trieste, to be evacuated as soon as they gave up to the French the provinces of Istria and Dalmatia, with the embouchure of the Cattaro. But, instead of keeping to these conditions, the Austrians gave up the Cattaro to the Russian admiral, Siniavin. This breach of faith was punished by the retention of Brunnau. While quartered in Friuli, Marmont made a visit to Milan to pay his respects to Eugène Beauharnais, then Viceroy of Italy, and recently married to a Bavarian princess. The following is the character Marmont draws of him: Eugène gave
with ardour to the execution of his duties. A good young man, not very highly gifted, but possessing common sense, his military capacity was mediocre, but he did not want for bravery. His contact with the emperor had developed his faculties: he had acquired that knowledge which is almost always obtained by holding important offices at an early age, but he was always far from possessing the talent necessary for the proper discharge of the duties entrusted to him.
He has been praised excessively : his devotion and fidelity in the crisis of 1814, more especially, have been very highly spoken of. His pretended talents were confined to carrying on a very unsatisfactory campaign, and the fidelity so much lauded had the result of his doing precisely the opposite of what had been prescribed to him, and precisely what was wanted to overthrow the building. He had formed a too flattering idea of his position : he believed in the possibility of an independent sovereign existence, but a few days were sufficient to undeceive him. He had built
clouds. The close of the second volume of these interesting Memoirs is devoted to the campaign in Dalmatia, whence the Russians were easily expelled, and Marmont took up his head-quarters at Zara.
I. The crowd was pouring out of a fashionable episcopal chapel at the west-end of London; many of them one upon another, for it was the height of the season, and the chapel was popular. The carriages drove rapidly off with their freights, nearly all; about half a dozen only remained, waiting for those who stayed to the after-service. It had become a recent custom with the preacher, Dr. Channing, to hold it every Sunday. A regal-looking, stately girl came out nearly last, and entered one of the carriages. The footman closed the door after her, but he did not ascend to his place, nor did the carriage drive off. It was Miss Channing, and she took her seat there to wait for her father.
Following her out, almost immediately, came a tall, gentlemanly, but young man, whose piercing hazel eyes were pleasant to look upon. He advanced to the carriage door, and shook hands with her.
“You are not staying to-day, Margaret! Are you ill? I saw you hasten out."
“ I felt too ill to stay," was Miss Channing's answer, whilst a rosy blush, which had stolen to her face at sound of his voice, began rapidly to fade. “I suppose it is the heat."
“You are turning deadly pale now, Margaret. I hope you will not faint. Three or four ladies were carried out this morning, I saw.”
“I never fainted in my life,” she replied. “I am made of sterner stuff. I shall soon be better, now I am in the air."
He looked round, as he spoke the word, to make sure that the servants were not within hearing; and that suspicious crimson came mixing with the paleness again. He resumed, in a low tone,
“Margaret, don't you think we are going on in a very unsatisfactory way? I do.
“I think,” she said, as if evasively, “ that you ought to remember the place we have just quitted, and choose serious subjects to converse upon." An amused expression rose in his handsome eyes.
“ If this is not a serious subject, Margaret, I should like to know what is."
“Oh, but I mean—another sort of seriousness. You know what I mean. Adam, I shall never make you religious.” you shall, Margaret: when
you have the right to make me what “How did you like papa’s sermon to-day ?" she interrupted, hastily.
Very much, of course," was the answer.
“ I did not notice that,” he was obliged to confess. “I do believe, Margaret, I was thinking more of you
than of the sermon.” “Oh, Adam! that is so bad a habit, letting the thoughts wander in church! But it
be overcome.' “ Yes, yes; I mean to overcome it, and everything else that you
disapprove. Margaret, I have made up my mind to risk our chance. I shall speak to Dr. Channing."
“ If you do, I will never speak to you again. We must wait.”
- Wait-wait ! That has been the burden of your song this twelvemonth, Margaret. But I am growing tired of waiting. I
I have been, this last week, in a desperate humour. Other men, who are established, can marry when they please, and I must not even ask for you! You know Eddison ?”
66 A little." “Well
, he met with a young lady, down at his brother's place, only last Easter, and arrangements are already made for their marriage."
“Papa will not part with me.”
“ That fixed idea of yours, Margaret, is nothing more than an illusion. Your father, of all men, is not one to fly in the face of scriptural commands. It would be-what's that word clergymen so dread ? Simony?”
“ How very ridiculous you are this morning!" interrupted Miss Channing
“Simony!" Sacrilege, then. And he knows it is written that a man and wife are to leave father and mother, and cleave to each other. Does he want you to stop with him until you are forty ?”
" And besides-
66 I cannot talk about it now. You had better say farewell, Adam. They will soon be out of church, so few are stopping."
He shook hands, as a preliminary to departure, but, lover-like, lingered on. Lingered till Dr. Channing appeared. A short, fair, gentlemanlylooking divine: in face very unlike his daughter. Ah, Mr. Grainger, how d’ye do? I saw you
your place as usual. Hope Mrs. Grainger's quite well. It is too far for her to come. And a long way for you, every Sunday morning. I am truly happy to find a young man so earnest and regular in his attendance where his mind can receive the benefit of sound doctrine.” An ingenuous flush dyed Mr. Grainger's countenance.
But he was unable to reject the compliment. He could not tell the self-satisfied doctor that the attraction lay neither in the church nor the orthodox sermons, but in the pretty face of the preacher's daughter.
It was only within a year that Dr. Channing had preached in London, drawing fashion to his fashionable chapel. Previous to that, his ministry had lain in the country, as rector of Ashton-cum-Creepham--a profitable living that, but nothing to what he was gaining now. His only child, Margaret, had formed a school friendship with Isabel Grainger, more deep and lasting than school friendships generally are. Highly respectable people were the Graingers, Mr. Grainger, the father, holding a valuable appointment in a wealthy insurance-office. They lived in the neighbourhood of London, in rather more style than the Channingsthan the Channings did, then, at Ashton Rectory-and the families, through the young ladies, became intimate. It was thus that Miss Channing met with Isabel's only brother, Adam. He was in the office with his father, sufficiently high-spirited and handsome for any girl
fall in love with-though, as Isabel used to say, he was remarkably fond of having his own way. Some two years after she had left school, a lingering illness attacked Isabel Grainger. The symptoms from trifling grew to serious, from serious to hopeless. During its progress, the Channings removed to London, Dr. Channing having given up his rectory for a