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no longer, and sent orders along the line to stop the retreat. Desaix with his division of six thousand fresh troops, formed in front of the village of San Giuliano, under the cover of a rising ground which intersected the road from that place to Marengo. All that remained of the artillery from the disasters of the morning were twelve pieces. These Marmont placed as a masked battery in front of Desaix's columns, in such a position as to sweep the Marengo road and adjacent ground. The shattered remnants of Victor's division being restored to somethin like order, were brought into line, j extended from the right wing of Desaix's corps towards Castel Ceriolo, and to the right of these again was the corps of Carra St. Cyr, extending to the outskirts of that village. The French thus formed an oblique line, looking partially towards the road between Marengo and San Giuliano, in such a position as to be capable of falling on the flank of the Austrians advancing along that road. (See the Map.) While these dispositions were made on the part of the French, the Austrians believing the victory to have been gained, and expecting nothing to obstruct their advance from Alexandria, had formed in column of march along the road from Marengo to San Giuliano. The foremost body was led by Zach himself, these were followed by the centre, partially deployed into line, after which came the baggage. The decisive and critical moment having now arrived, Bonaparte rode along the lines, and harangued the soldiers in his peculiar style, concluding by reminding them that his custom was to sleep upon the field of battle, that they had now retreated far enough, and must advance to victory. His address, as usual, was received with shouts of applause. When the head of the Austrian columns, led by Zach, arrived within pistol shot of the French position, Marmont suddenly unmasked his battery of twelve pieces, and poured upon them an overwhelming shower of grape. Nothing could exceed the astonishment of the Austrians at this unexpected event, but they were not permitted to recover from their surprise, when Desaix, on horseback, leading his brigade over the slight eminence which had concealed him from their view, gave a murderous discharge of musketry upon them at point blank distance, followed by a charge of the bayonet. The volley which answered this from the Austrian columns, carried with it the fate of De
saix, who fell, pierced by a bullet, according to some in the shoulder, but according to Thiers, in the breast. It was said that at the moment of his death he was cheering on his men to the charge, and had consequently turned himself in his saddle, looking backwards at the troops which he led. On receiving his death wound, he turned to General Boudet, who was his Chief of Division, and requested that his death might be concealed, lest it should discourage the men, desiring him to assure Bonaparte that his only regret in dying was to have fallen before having achieved enough to be remembered by posterity. This event, however, instead of damping the ardor of the soldiers, roused them to a state of perfect fury. We now come to an epoch in this memorable day, on which we have before us conflicting testimony. Thiers states that immediately the troops led by Boudet, after pouring another destructive volley upon the enemy, formed into column, and charged with irresistible effect upon the Austrians. Before this attack, the two first regiments of the Imperialists o were thrown into confusion, and alling back upon the second line, disappeared among its ranks, and a hand-tohand struggle ensued between the Austrian grenadiers under Latterman and the division of Boudet, now supported by the troops which had rallied under Victor. Other authorities, however, state that the Imperialists, after the first attack, recovered from their surprise, that the Grenadiers charged the French with vigor, who hesitated, and were broken, and that the day was rendered again doubtful. In support of the latter statement, Alison quotes the works of Generals Jomini, Dumas, and Savary, but as Thiers never, in any case, gives authority for his statements, we are left in comlete ignorance of the sources from which e derives his information. In the disposition of the French troops, made previously to the re-commencement of the engagement, on the arrival of Desaix, general Kellerman, with a division of cavalry, had been stationed on the right of San Giuliano, and a little in the rear, in a position which was screened by the festoons of a vineyard. Just at the moment which we have now referred to, when the struggle between the charging troops on the Marengo road, was, to say the least of it, doubtful and desperate. Kellerman suddenly led his division of cavalry forward at full gallop, and emerging from the cover of the vines, poured them like a tempest upon the middle of the flank of the Austrians. Never was charge executed with more extraordinary vigor, nor attended with more signal success. In an instant, the Austrian column was cut in two, right and left, Kellerman's dragoons fell on the unfortunate grenadiers, and sabred them in every direction. In a few minutes, two thousand threw down their arms and surrendered themselves prisoners. General Zach gave up his sword, and that army, which an hour before was on its victorious march, was left without a leader: for De Mélas, it will be remembered, considering the victory gained, had, long before, returned returned to Alexandria. But Kellerman's achievements were not limited here. After the surrender of the infantry and grenadiers, he dashed upon the dragoons of Lichtenstein, and broke them.
They recoiled in confusion, and falling back upon the centre of the Austrians, which was just then forming in the plain to oppose Lannes, threw it into disorder. The whole French line now advanced vigorously to the attack. Lannes fell upon the centre, while the Consular Guard bore down upon Castel Ceriolo. Intoxicated with joy and enthusiasm at seeing before them a victory so unexpected, the French H. on at every point with a vigor that nothing could resist. Surprise and dismay seized the enemy; the panic spread like an electric shock throughout the whole Austrian line. The cavalry set off at full gallop, shouting “to the bridges " “to the bridges " In a moment all became confusion, and the troops ran pell mell across the Fontanone towards the two bridges, (B) which were the only means of escape to Alexandria. The struggle became who should reach them first. Wain were the efforts of the Austrian officers to preserve anything like order. Two or three fruitless attempts were made to cover the retreat of the flying soldiers by some of the best disciplined divisions of the Austrian grenadiers and cavalry; but these attempts were defeated by the mounted grenadiers of the Consular Guard, under Bessières and voung Beauharnais. The confusion on the bridges increased every moment. Cavalry, infantry, artillery, rushed in one promiscuous mass to that point. The bridges were insufficient to receive the press, and numbers threw themselves into the river. An artillery driver attempted to ford the river with a
piece which he had in charge, and succeeded. The whole body of artillery hastened to follow his example, when a large portion stuck fast in the bed of the river. The French, furiously rushing on the heels of the fugitives, captured men, horses, cannon and baggage. The unfortunate Baron de Mélas, who two hours hefore had retired from his victorious army, now roused by the noise of this disaster, hastened from the town, and on arriving on the banks of the river, could not credit the evidence of his senses, on beholding the spectacle which was presented to him. Such was the result of this memorable day. It gave a temporary peace to the French nation, and filled its enemies with astonishment, admiration, and dismay. The power of France was re-established in Northern Italy. The Austrian army, by the clemency of its conqueror, was ermitted to retire behind the line of the Muncio; and twelve fortresses, mounted with fifteen hundred pieces of cannon, toether with all the artillery made at the talian foundries, were surrendered. But the moral effects of this victory were incomparably greater than any advantages of a strictly military kind attending it. The power of Bonaparte was placed by it on a foundation unassailable by the parties opposed to his elevation, and at no distant period, this brilliant achievement placed the imperial diadem on his brow. Regarded merely as a military event, the battle of Marengo has been severely criticised, and if it be viewed as an insulated exploit, separated from the series of profoundly conceived measures which led to it, it certainly is not the victory which has most contributed to the fame of Na| ". as a commander. In the morning his sagacity failed him in an unaccountable manner. His enemy, with an army of from thirty to forty thousand men, was within half a mile of the field, and escaped his notice. Yet the presence of that enemy was expected—was looked for. The French army was surprised, attacked and repulsed by eleven o'clock, when Napoleon came up with a reinforcement. It was routed by three o'clock, and in full retreat, notwithstanding the magic of Napoleon's presence. The catastrophe which followed was one of the most extraordinary to be found in the entire history of modern warfare. According to every authority, including several officers present on the field, the attack led on by Desaix was at first unsuccessful. The sharp shooters which headed the Austrian columns, recoiled, it is true, before the bayonets of Desaix's division, but the firm ranks of the Hungarian grena: diers and the murderous fire which issued from them, arrested the advance of the French reinforcement, and threw them into momentary confusion. At this instant the fate of the day trembled in the balance. It was decided by the impetuous flank charge of Kellerman with his eight hundred dragoons. To this charge, and to this alone, must be ascribed the unlooked for success which followed. This charge, as Kellerman himself said, placed a crown on the head of Napoleon. To whom then is the glory of this celebrated victory to be given to Napoleon 2 or to Kellerman 2 If we limit our views to the battle field alone, Kellerman undoubtedly acheived the conquest which has registered the name of Marengo in the annals of the human race. That officer, by the skillful management of a handful of armed horsemen, “changed the face of the world.” But if we take a larger and more philosophic view of the question, it must be admitted that the exploit of the 14th of June, was only an incident in a series of measures of the most profound military and national policy, conceived, matured and executed by Bonaparte alone, and that even had the night of that day seen the retreat of the French army before their victorious opponents, the morrow must have seen them fall back on the extensive reserves which he had wisely provided in his rear, and although the event of the campaign might not have flashed upon the world with the same dazzling splendor, it would still in its ultimate result have ended in success. Those who read history with purposes higher than those of mere amusement, and regard the annals of nations with sentiments different from those excited by a romance, must frequently feel regret that Thiers has uniformly omitted to give any authority for his narrative of events. He has even done so in cases where his own narrative differs, in important particulars, from those of contemporary writers, and even of eye-witnesses and ear-witnesses themselves. Although nothing can repress the avidity with which these volumes will be read for the present, it cannot be doubted that this omission will seriously deteriorate from the value to be set upon them by future generations. If the limits of this review allowed us,
we could point out many cases in which the absence of reference to authorities utterly destroys all confidence in the work. Thiers combats the impression that the victory of Marengo was due to Kellermann, and if the circumstances stated by him are capable of proof, this impression has been undoubtedly erroneous. He says that when Desaix was about to lead the attack in front of San Giuliano, he sent his aid-de-camp, Savary, to Bona|. to desire that he might be supported y the cavalry; that in consequence of this Bonaparte ordered Kellerman to advance on the flank of the Austrian column, and charge them with his cavalry. If this be true, no further merit is due to Kellerman than promptitude and vigor in obedience to the orders received from his superiors in command. But Kellerman himself gives a very different version of the matter. He tells us that the charge was the spontaneous impulse of his own mind; one of those happy inspirations by which inferiors in command sometimes achieve victories “The attack had commenced,” says he (see Dumas, Vol. v., p. 361,) “and Desaix had driven back the enemy's sharp shooters on their main body, but the sight of that formidable body of six thousand Hungarian grenadiers made our troops halt. I was facing on their flack, concealed by the festoons of a vineyard. A terrific discharge of musketry was o upon our line—it wavered— roke—and fled, pursued by the Austrians in all the confusion and security of victory. I seized that moment, and was in an instant in the midst of them. ln a shorter time that it has taken me to write these six lines, they lay down their arms, and with their commander, de Zach, surrender themselves prisoners.” On the same evening, Bonaparte observed to Bourrienne, his secretary, while preparing the bulletin, “little Kellerman made a happy charge. He struck in at the critical moment. We are much indebted to him. On what trifles do victories depend ("—(See Bourrienne, Vol. v., p. 124.) It may freely be asked whether Bonaparte would have noticed the manoeuvre of Kellerman in these terms if he had ordered it himself? Perhaps great stress should not be laid on statements made in works of the class of that published by the Duchess of Abrantes; but we have ourselves more than once heard it repeated at the house of that lady, that Napoleon's generals had often there discussed the circumstances attending this battle, and that they uniformly ascribed the victory to Kellerman's charge. If, however, Thiers does injustice to the memory of Kellerman, other writers do no less injustice to that of Napoleon, in reference to this event. The American translator of Thiers says that, “Kellerman was the real winner of the battle of Marengo, for which Napoleon never forgave him; that he did not recompense Kellerman; that no other officer of his distinction but was made marshal of France far earlier than he.” Now what is the fact Kellerman expected to be made general of division on the field. It was not Bonaparte's habit at that time to make these promotions on the field. But Kellerman was made general of division soon after his return to Paris. The first creation of marshals was on Napoleon's elevation to the Imperial throne. Kellerman received that distinction together with Berthier, Murat, Soult Masséna, and the other distinguished generals on that occasion. Thus, no general was raised to the rank of marshal before Kellerman. In the face of these facts, which were of course easily and certainly ascertainable, we find a writer so generally dilient in the search of authority for his acts as Alison, writing as follows:
“ United with Napoleon's great qualities was a selfish thirst for glory, and consequent jealousy of any one who had either effectually thwarted his designs, or rendered him such services as might diminish the lustre of nis own exploits. His undying jealousy of Wellington was an indication of the first weakness; his oblivion of
Kellerman's inappreciable service an instance of the second. When this young officer was brought into the presence of . the First Consul, after the battle, he coolly said, “You made a good charge this evening,” and immediately turning to Bessières added, “the Guard has covered itself with glory.” The obligation was too great to be forgiven. Kellerman was not promoted like the other generals, and never afterwards enjoyed the favor of the chief on whose brows he placed the diadem.”
Not only is this passage of Alison false, as to the subsequent conduct of Napoleon towards Kellerman, who was promoted at the same time and to the same rank (that is to say, the highest possible military rank), as the other distinguished o but a color of want of generosity is thrown over it, by insinuating that the First Consul abstained from patting this “ young officer” on the head, and encouraging his future exertions. This “ young officer,” however, happened to be a grey-haired general of sixtyfive, who had served throughout all the campaigns of the revolution.
Kellerman was one of the oldest generals of the revolution then in active service, and became, in fact, superannuated after the campaign of Marengo. Bonaparte not only raised him to the rank of General of Division, and immediately on ascending the Imperial throne, Marshal of France, but had still earlier conferred on him the dignity of Senator, a position of great civil distinction, well suited to his age, and liberally endowed. In a word, there is not even the shadow of a foundation for the charges made against Napoleon, of neglecting the services of this officer.
THE traveler between Rome and Florence, by the Perugia road, usually makes a noon-halt at Arezzo ; and the ragged urchins of that decayed town, press eagerly around him and vociferously contend for the honor of being his guide to the house of Petrarch. In a few moments he stands before a homely, grey building, in a narrow and rude thoroughfare, upon the front of which is a marble tablet that proclaims it to be the humble dwelling where the poet was born, July 20th, 1304. An incident like this is apt to give an almost magical impulse to the wanderer's thoughts. As he proceeds on his way through a lonely country, over which broods the mellow atmosphere of the South, he is long haunted by the tale of human love thus vividly recalled to his memory. He muses, perhaps, with delight and wonder, upon the celestial ower of genius which can thus preserve or the reverence and sympathy of after generations, one among the countless experiences of the heart. Literature has performed no more holy or delightful tasks than those dedicated to Affection. The minds are few that can bring home to themselves, with any cordial or benign effect, either the lessons of history or the maxims of philosophical wisdom. Uncommon clearness and strength of intellect are necessary in order to appropriate such teachings. But the heart, with its ardent impulses and divine instincts— its pleadings for sympathy, its tender regrets, its insatiable desires, its infinite capacity for devotedness and self-denial —the heart is the grand interpreter of its own rich memorials. This it is which renders Petrarch so near to us in feeling, although removed by centuries from this our actual era. This it is which makes the transatlantic pilgrim gaze with emotion upon the spot of his nativity, and feel akin to him in being chartered with a similar, though perhaps undeveloped ower and “strong necessity of loving.” t is not like a dry antiquarian research to summon his person and character before us. As a man of civic and social responsibilities, he belongs to the thirteenth century; as a lover, he is a citi
zen of all time and a brother of all living men who find their chief joy, trial and inspiration in the exercise and interchange of sentiment.
“They keep his dust in Arqua where he
It is not our intention to discuss the literary merits of Petrarch. This has been done too well and often already. It is to the spirit which dictated and which has long been embalmed in his Sonnets, that we desire to call attention. Frequent doubts have, indeed, been cast upon the sincerity of these effusions. This, we imagine, results from the vain attempt to catch their legitimate meaning by a consecutive perusal. Devoted as they are to one subject, and cast in the same verbal form, a monotonous and artificial impression is the natural consequence of reading one after another, like the stanzas of a long poem. To be enjoyed and appreciated, they should be separately consid. ered. Each sonnet was the expression of a particular state of feeling; and it was not until after the poet's death that they were collected. Written at various times and in different moods, but always to give utterance to some particular thought or fantasy having reference to his love, there is necessarily more or less sameness pervading the whole. It is undeniable that many of the conceits are frigid, and betray the ingenuity of fancy rather than the ardor of passion; but these arose from the habit of “thinking too precisely”—a characteristic of all meditative beings, and which is so admirably illustrated in Hamlet's speculations. It should also be borne in mind that Petrarch's inducement thus elaborately to depict the varied effects of love upon his nature, was to give vent to emotions