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reasoner, he was a man of fiery part of his work begins. Before en-
energy and determined will. Sharp tering upon it, it may not be useless
in temper, he ill brooked opposition; to cast á hasty glance over the pre-
strong and eager in feeling, he was vious movements of the campaign.
not always impartial in his conclu- On the 24th June 1812, Napoleon
sions. Of the highest honour, every crossed the Niemen and invaded
statement which he makes of his Russia. Four hundred and twenty
own knowledge may be implicitly thousand men followed his stan-
relied upon, but with the conclusions dards : 210,000 more joined them
which he draws from the facts he before the campaign was complete,
bas observed we cannot always con- making 630,000 the total number of
cur. There is always much truth those who took part in this crusade
in them, but, we think, he some of the western world against the
times omits considerations on the empire of the Czars. To oppose this
other side, a due regard to which enormous force the Russians had
would bave considerably modified his not above 250,000 men. At first
judgments. As was to be expected their main army was divided into
from his antecedents, he has adopted two masses — -one, 130,000 strong,
the views of the “young,” as contra- under Barclay, grouped around Wil-
distinguished from the “old ” Russian na; the other, not quite 50,000,
party-of those eager for decisive under Bagrathion, 150 miles to the
action, not of those aiming at a cau- south, at Wilkowich, in the govern-
tious and temporising, but successful ment of Grodno.* Napoleon, with
policy ; in a word, of Alexander his usual skill, threw himself into
Dilaradowitch and the young army, the open space between these two,
not of Kutusoff and the old noblesse. drove Barclay back on the intrenched
Admirable in narrative, we do not camp of Drissa on the Dwina, in the
think that he is balanced in judg- direction of St Petersburg, and threw
ment. But he has left a work Bagrathion on an eccentric line of
which will impress its stamp on retreat by the long circuit of Bob-
every future relation of the great rinsk and Now Bichow,on Smolensko
Russian war, and has thrown much on the Dnieper, in the direction of
new light on the tangled maze of Moscow. He next attempted to cut
European politics.

Barclay altogether off from the Mos-
In April 1812 Sir Robert Wilson cow line, by moving in the direction
sailed from England with the embassy of Witepsk into the opening, about
sent to Turkey. He had the rank fifty miles broad, which separates the
of brigadier-general conferred upon Dwina, which flows into the Baltic,
him, and was furnished with special from the Dnieper, which runs into
instructions. Arriving at Constantin- the Black Sea. In this attempt,
ople at the end of June, he left it however, he was foiled by Barclay,
for Schumla on the 27th July. He who, suspecting his design, aban-
was sent by the British ambassador doned the intrenched camp at Drissa,
to conduct the pegotiations, which and, marching swiftly to his left,
led to the final conclusion of the reached Witepsk before Napoleon,
peace of Bucharest, and recession of crossed the Dwina there, and, passing
the Principalities to Turkey-with over the watershed, descended to the
the Turkish vizier at Schulma, and banks of the Dnieper at Smolensko,
the Russian general at Bucharest. As where he at last united his forces
soon as peace was concluded, and the to those of Bagrathion. Frustrated
Russian army of Moldavia rendered in his attempt, Napoleon halted at
disposable, he was ordered to proceed Witepsk, and cantoned his army from
to the Emperor Alexander, at St the banks of the Dwina to those of the
Petersburg. "On his way he reached Dnieper. Unable to withstand the
the headquarters of the main Rus- clamour of his troops, now almost un-
sian army on the eve of the battle of governable from indignation at their
Smolensko--and here the valuable long retreat without fighting, Barclay,

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Away to the south, beyond the marshes of Pivsk, watching the Austrian frontier, lay a third army, under Tormassoff

, 43,000 strong; and there were 34,000 in reserve.

contrary to his own judgment, under- he delay where he was, he incurred
took an offensive movement against the risk of being turned, and having
the centre of his adversary's scat- his retreat to Moscow cut off by aflank
tered line. But Napoleon, roused by march of Napoleon to his left, for
this movement, rapidly concentrated, there were several fords on the Dnie-
and, marching to his right, crossed the per above the town, and already the
Dnieper, and ascended its left bank French cavalry had been seen ex-
towards Smolensko, thus turning amining them with care. In these
Barclay's left, and forcing him to fall circumstances he resolved, in spite
back swiftly on the same place. Both of the general dissatisfaction of his
armies arrived in sight of Smolensko troops, to abandon the town during
at the same moment. The French the night, and fall back towards
came by the right, the Russians by Moscow. But even this was not
the left bank. The town was situ- now an easy task.
ated on the French side of the river. Two roads lead from Smolensko-
Barclay garrisoned it with 30,000 the one to Moscow, the other to St
men, and on the 17th of August Na- Petersburg. The former ran for about
poleon attacked it with 70,000, and six miles parallel to the Dnieper,
held 80,000 in hand ready to support and under the fire, both from artil-
them. But he could make no im- lery and musketry, of the French
pression. He won the suburbs, but on the opposite bank. Barclay had
the Russians held the town; he lost already sent along it Bagrathion's
10,000 killed and wounded, they only army to Dorogobouge, but as the
6000, The Russian army, elated enemy had now

closed upon the river, with this repulse, and regarding he could no longer use it to draw off Smolensko, as their holy town, with his own men. He was obliged, therea superstitious veneration, were eager fore, to fall back along the Petersto fight it out. Their officers shared burg road, and, when he had gained the same feeling. When Sir Robert some distance, wheel to his right, and Wilson, by Barclay's orders, entered make a semicircular march along the place at eleven o'clock at night cross - paths round to the Moscow to inquire into its state, he was as- road, beyond the point where it left sured by Prince Eugene of Wirtem- the river bank. But this was a berg, General Doctorow, and all the most hazardous movement in pregenerals commanding the stations, sence of an enemy who, having

that they could hold out for ten bridged the stream as soon as the days more, if supplied with provi- town of Smolensko was evacuated, sions, for not the slightest impression was in possession of the centre of the had been made on the defences."- circle along the circumference of (WILSON, 105.)

which the Russians must pass. BagBarclay, however, was unwilling rathion's army had passed the point to be drawn into a prolonged con- where the cross-roads Barclay was test, which might waste away the following fall into the Moscow road numbers of his already overmatched at Loubino, and consequently was of army, in a position which might at no use; and this all-important post any time be turned by a passage of was held only by General Touchkoff the Dnieper above the town. He with a few thousand men. Had the was desirous of falling back before French moved at once in force up. the invaders, with his own force en- on this point, Barclay was lost, for tire, well furnished with supplies, and Touchkoff must have been driven in, daily strengthened by recruits, whilst Loubino won, and the Russian main he wasted the line of their advance body finally cut off from Bagrathion, with his Cossacks. He hoped thus to and its line of retreat on Moscow. lure them on upon a path where every But fortunately Napoleon did not step in advance was a loss to them of immediately perceive the advantage men, horses, and materiel, until their within his grasp. Ney, whose corps gradual wasting away and his in- had first crossed, began by followcrease restored the equality of num- ing Barclay's rear-guard along the bers, and gave him an opportunity St Petersburg road, and sustained of fighting upon equal terms. Did a sharp conflict with it, but finally

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was directed by Napoleon to take seeing the extent of the danger to his the Moscow line, and push on with column, galloped forward sword in hand vigour. Part of Davoust's corps was

at the head of his staff (including my. ordered to support him. But these self, with two Russian officers attached changes caused hesitation and delay, rallying the fugitives, and crying out

to me as aides-de-camp) and orderlies, and it was not till three o'clock in the afternoon that Ney fell upon post, or perish !! by his energy and ex

'Victory or death! We must preserve this Touchkoff, although the position of ample reanimating all

, recovered posthe latter was not above five miles session of the height, and thus, under from Smolensko. The Russians were God's favour, the army was preserved. posted behind a small stream flow- The loss on each side was not much more ing in a ravine. After a sharp con- than six thousand men. The Russians test, they were driven back from this had suffered most by the attack on their position over the plateau of Valou- guard. The French had in the other tina, across another ravine, and finally attacks been the most exposed.”——(Wiltouk post upon a hill above the mar- son, 108, 109.)* shy stream of the Stragan, where Having now happily reunited their they prepared to make their final forces, the Russians continued their stand; for immediately behind this retreat during the night. Barclay, the cross-road along which Barclay yielding to the almost mutiny of his came fell in. A step backward, and troops, now made up his mind to give all was lost. Strongly and fiercely battle. To such a pitch had this feeldid the Russians fight-swiftly and ing come amongst both officers and eagerly did the French come on. men, that Platoti, the Cossack leader, Their surging numbers threatened to came to the Russian commander on overwhelm the Russians, when the the evacuation of Smolensko and said, head of Barclay's advanced guard, “You see I wear but a cloak: I will

a with eight guns, debouching from never put on again a Russian uniform, the lane, restored the contest. But since it has become a disgrace !” It Gudin's division of Davoust's corps was first intended to have fought now joined Ney, and the battle raged at Dorogobouge, but the position more fiercely than ever. The deci- chosen there being found defective, sive moment had come.

they fell back in search of one. Sir “ It was about sunset," says Wilson,

Robert Wilson ineanwhile continued “ when the enemy on the main road his journey to St Petersburg, but now

the bearer of one of the most extraupon the left bank, flattering themselves that their right was gaining ground, ordinary communications ever sent made a desperate effort to force the bill by soldiers to a sovereign. We give on which several Russian guns were the account of the transaction in his placed, and which commanded the whole own words: position, and also in reverse the outlet of the cross-road, beyond which a boggy “When Sir Robert Wilson reached the rivulet ran, intersecting the route. Over Russian army, he found the generals in this only one bridge with loose planks open dissension with the commander-inafforded passage for the artillery and in- chief, General Barclay, for having already fantry, until night, when two others were suffered the enemy to overrun so many thrown across by Duke Alexander of provinces, and for not making any serious Wirtemberg. For an instant the Rus disposition to defend the line of the sian guns and troops supporting, over- Dnieper. Some wished that General whelmed with shells, shot, and musketry, Benningsen should have the command, flew back to seek shelter behind the crest others Prince Bagrathion; and General of the hill; but General Barclay, who Benningsen, fearing that he might be had been superintending the action with forced into the command by a military his rear-guard, admonished by the can- election when it was known that SmoDonade at Loubino and Waloutina Gora lensko was to be evacuated, left the army, of the new danger to his advanced guard, and withdrew several marches to the opportunely arrived at this moment, and, that the Emperor's orders for the

* Had Junot, who had forded the Dnieper above the Russian position, attacked their left rear with his corps, they must have been destroyed. But he refused to move, declaring that “his orders were limited to the passage of the river, and that a marsh in his front would prevent the deployment of his force.”—(Wilson, 94.)

rear,

appointment of a new chief might arrive them; and he now came to Abo to during his absence. Before his (Wilson's) conclude the terms of his bargain. departure for St Petersburg, however, it Then says Sir Robert :had been resolved to send to the Emperor not only the request of the army “Those negotiations were concluded * for a new chief,' but a declaration, in which rendered disposable the Russian the name of the army, 'that if an order army of Finland, and secured the cocame from St Petersburg to suspend hos- operation of a Swedish force, assuring tilities and treat the invaders as friends' Norway to Sweden, under the guarantee (which was apprehended to be the true of England, with one million sterling as motive of the retrograde movements, in subsidy, which, moreover, held out to the deference to the policy of Count Ro- K’ing the prospect of ascending the throne manzow), such an order would be regarded of France - Alexander having declared as one which did not express his Imperial in his presence that he should consider Majesty's real sentiments and wishes, but it vacant in case of Napoleon's overhad been extracted from his Majesty un- throw,' and having replied to the King's der false representations or external con- question, ‘To whom then would it be trol, and that the army would continue to given ?' with a pointed emphasis and acmaintain his pledge, and pursue the contest companying inclination of the head, 'Au till the invader was driven beyond the plus digne !'”—(Wilson, 113.) frontier.' Since the execution of such a commission might expose a Russian offi

This is a most curious and valuable cer to future punishment, and the con

revelation. The conduct of Bernaveyance of such a communication by a dotte in the subsequent course of the subject to the sovereign was calculated to contest was so extraordinary-the pain and give offence, when no offence resolution with which he held back was proposed, it was communicated by his forces from any active participaa body of generals to Sir Robert Wilson, tion in it was so great--the pressure * that under the circumstances of his which had to be applied to him by known attachment to the Emperor, and Sir Charles Stewart in 1813 to bring his Imperial Majesty's equally well known him up on the third day to Leipsic, feelings towards him, no person was considered so properly qualified to put the and by Lord Castlereagh in 1814 tó Emperor in possession of the sentiments

tear from his reluctant grasp the of the army; that his motives in accept Russian and Prussian corps which ing the mission could not be suspected; reudered Blucher victorious at Laon, and that the channel was one which was so extreme, that every attentive would best avoid trespass on person. reader of these transactions was al respect, and prevent irritation from driven to one of two alternatives-personal feelings being humiliated.'”- either that Bernadotte was a traitor, (Wilson, 111, 112.)

or that he was aiming at the throne Sir Robert undertook the delicate of France. This most curious revemission, and reached St Petersburg lation of Sir Robert Wilson's, howon the 21th August. The Emperor ever, renders the motives of his conwas then at Abo, wbither he had gone duct clear. The Russian Emperor to meet Bernadotte. There is no had indirectly held out to him the monarch who has come much worse bait of the French throne to induce out of the ordeal of history than this him to enter into the alliance, and it Swedish one. Selfishness seems to was therefore but natural that he have been the only rule which guided should endeavour to hang back as his conduct. Of any higher motive much as possible in the actual conhe was entirely guileless. Thiers has test, and avoid to the utmost of his revealed that he offered to unite his power wounding the susceptible vanwhole forces to those of France for ity of his future subjects, and being the overthrow of Russia, provided associated in their minds with the the possession of Norway was secured overthrow of their dominion and the to him. Napoleon—to his honour be humiliation of their country. it said—refused to spoliate his old On the 3d September the Emperor ally Denmark, and Bernadotte then returned to St Petersburg, and durproceeded to offer his mercenary alli- ing a private conversation after dinance to England and Russia upon the ner, Sir Robert communicated_to same terms. They accepted it, for him the views of his army. His it was of immense importance to account of Alexander's conduct on

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the occasion is so characteristic, and not done you injustice. You shall carry throws so much light both upon his back to the army pledges of my detercharacter and the state of Russia at mination to continue the war against the time, that we give it in full :

Napoleon whilst a Frenchman is in

arms on this side the frontier. I will “ During this exposition, the Em

not desert my engagements, come what

may. I will abide the worst. peror's colour occasionally visited and leit his cheek. When Sir Robert Wilson

ready to remove my family into the had terminated his appeal, there was a

interior, and undergo every sacrifice;

but I must not give way on the point of minute or two of pause, and his Majesty choosing my own ministers : that concesdrew towards the window, as if desirous

sion might induce other demands still of recorering an unembarrassed air be

more inconvenient and indecorous for fore he replied. After a few struggles,

me to grant. Count Romanzow shall however, he came up to Sir Robert

not be the means of any disunion or Wilson, took him by the hand, and

difference; everything will be done that kixxed him on the forehead and cheek, according to the Russian custom. - You but done so that I shall not appear to

remove uneasiness ou that head, are the only person,' then said his Ma: give way to menace, or have to reproach jesty, “ from whom I could or would have heard such a communication.

This is a case myself for injustice. In

where much depends on the manner of the former war you proved your attach- doing it. Give me a little time--all ment to me by your services, and you will be satisfactorily arranged.""——(WILentitled yourself to my most intimate confidence; but you must be aware that

son, 116, 117.) you have placed me in a very distressing Sir Robert was shortly after sent position. Moi! souverain de la Russie !

back to the army, instructed by the to hear such things from any one! But Emperor to announce in his name the army is mistaken in Romanzow: he

to the generals that he really has not advised submission to the Emperor Napoleon; and I have a great “ Declared upon his honour, and direspect for him, since he is almost the rected him to repeat in the most formal only one who never asked me in his life manner, the declaration, that his Mafor anything on his own account; where. jesty would not enter into or permit as everyone else in my service has any negotiation with Napoleon as long always been seeking honours, wealth, or as an armed Frenchman remained in the some private object for himself and territories of Russia. He would sooner connections. I am unwilling to sacrifice let his beard grow to his waist, and eat him without cause: but come again to- potatoes in Siberia. At the same time, morrow. I must collect my thoughts he specially authorised Sir Robert Wil. before I despatch you with an answer. son (who was to reside with the RusI know the generals and officers about sian Army as British Commissioner), them well; they mean, I am satisfied, to to intervene with all the power and do their duty, and I have no fears of influence he could exert, to protect the their having any unavowed designs interests of the Imperial Crown, in conagainst my authority. But I am to be formity with that pledge, whenever he pitied; for I have few about me who saw any disposition or design to conhave any sound education or fixed prin- travene or prejudice them."-(WILSON, ciples: my grandmother's court vitiated 119.) the whole education of the empire, confining it to the acquisition of the French

It was the 15th September when language, French frivolities and vices, Sir Robert left St Petersburg for the particularly gaming. I have little, there headquarters of the Russian army. fore, on which I can firmly rely : only He did not rejoin it, in consequence, impulses : I must not give way to until after the evacuation of Moscow. them, if possible; but I will think on Great events had happened in the all you have said.' His Majesty then mean time. Barclay had been superembraced Sir Robert Wilson again, seded in the command by Marshal and appointed the next day for his fur- Kutusoff, His character is thus ther attendance. Sir Robert Wilson

sketched by our author :obeyed his Majesty's commands, who renewed the subject almost immediately “A bon rirant-polished, courteous, by saying, "Well! Monsieur l'Ambassa. shrewd as a Greek, naturally intelligent deur des rebelles, I have reflected se- as an Asiatic, and well instructed as a rionsly during the whole night upon the European-he was more disposed to conversation of yesterday, and I have trust to diplomacy for his success than

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