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The Reign of George III. - (Continued.)


The French, under Dumouriez, Miranda, &c., driven from Holland by the Allies - Dumouriez defeated at Neerwinden - Surrenders Brussels - Order for Dumouriez's Arrest - His Flight with the Duke de Chartres-General Dampierre appointed Commander - Defeated and killed at Famars - Division of Poland - Campaign on the Rhine and in Belgium - Retreat of the Duke of Brunswick from Dunkirk - Campaign betwixt French and Spaniards in the South - Campaign in Savoy and Nice - Attack of the French on the Island of Sardinia - Seizure of French West India Islands, and of the French Factories in the East Indies - Toulon surrendered to Lord Hood - Its Fleet captured or burnt - French Atrocities there - English at Leghorn - Grand Duke of Tuscany joins the Allies - English at Genoa- French Intrigues in Italy - Paris - Attack of the Jacobins on the Girondists - Proscriptions of the Girondists - Marat killed by Charlotte Corday - She is guillotined - Siege of and Massacre at Lyons - Reign of Terror in Paris - Horrible Guillotining - Trial and Execution of Marie Antoinette- Butchery of the Girondists - Executions of Philip Egalité, Madame Roland, Bailly, Manuel, Generals Houchard, Biron, Beauharnais, Barnave, Dufort-Dutertre, Lebrun, Kersaint, Dietrich, Mayor of Strasbourg, Madame Dubarry, &c. - Hunting down of Petion, Barbaroux, and the other Girondist Chiefs - The War in La Vendée - Defeat of the Vendeans - Atrocities of Carrier at Nantes - His wholesale Drownings - The Deity abolished by the Jacobins - Their new Calendar - The Archbishop of Paris renounces Christianity and God - The Goddess of Reason established - The Pillage of the Churches - The royal and celebrated Dead dragged from their Graves - The general triumph of Atheism.
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Dumouriez was now making his projected attack upon Holland. On the 17th of February, 1793, he entered the Dutch territory, and issued a proclamation, promising friendship to the Batavians, and war only to the stadtholder and his English allies. He ordered Bergeron to attack the forts of Klundert and Willenstadt, and D'Arçon to invest Breda. On the 25th Bergeron made himself master of the fort Klundert, and sate down before Willenstadt; Breda capitulated to D'Arçon after a few shells were thrown into it. The French entered Breda on the 27th, and found themselves in possession of two hundred and fifty pieces of cannon, three hundred thousand pounds of powder, and five thousand muskets. Leaving a garrison in Breda, D'Arçon advanced on Gertruydenberg, and made himself immediate master of all its outworks. Dumouriez advanced also to the fortress of Willenstadt, where the army was stopped by an arm of the sea called the Biesbosch, and where the army, joining that under Bergeron, encamped in a muddy spot, and built themselves sheds of straw, calling it the Beavers' Camp. Dumouriez had there, besides the Dutch partisans, thirty thousand men; but they were wretchedly shod and clothed, and deficient in ball cartridges - the convention commissioners being much more busy in robbing both friend and foe than in seeing to the wants of the army. Willenstadt was defended by a stout old Dutch general, count Botzlaer, with a force composed of trusty Hollanders and English. The English had a small fleet watching the French flotilla at Dunkirk, another at Antwerp, and captain Berkeley had on the Biesbosch a flotilla of gunboats and a frigate, that not only kept Dumouriez's forces in check, but greatly annoyed the besiegers of Willenstadt. Dumouriez's position was growing very critical. His plan was to have crossed the Biesbosch, and to have rapidly advanced to Maestricht to join Miranda; but the Dutch army was fast assembling at Gorcum, at the Itry, and in the Isle of Dort. Whilst he was, therefore, delayed at the Biesbosch, Miranda was defeated at Maestrecht, and Miazinskiat Aix-la-Chapelle, and forced to fall back on Liège. On the last day of February, Miazinski was attacked by the Austrian general, Clairfayt, and utterly defeated, with a loss of one thousand French killed, considerable prisoners taken, besides the military chest, twelve cannon, and thirteen ammunition wagons. The next day, the Austrians, under the archduke Albert, fell on another division, and defeated it with loss. On the 8th of March, the prince of Saxe-Coburg overtook Miazinski not far from Liège, and defeated him with a terrible slaughter - four thousand killed and wounded, one thousand prisoners, and a loss of twenty pieces of cannon. The very same day, prince Frederick of Brunswick, with a body of Prussians, drove a French force from Ruremonde. These repulses compelled Miranda to fall back from Maestricht, and both he and Miazinski retreated into Belgium. They united their forces at St. Tron, betwixt Tongres and Brussels, but not without a fresh chastisement by the archduke Albert.

Thus, Dumouriez's splendid scheme of the invasion of Holland was at an end. He received peremptory orders from the convention to follow the rest of the troops into Belgium. He obeyed with reluctance, leaving general Deflers to maintain the post at Willenstadt. But Deflers was soon compelled to follow his commander-in-chief by the incessant firing of captain Berkeley, who, having dislodged him, proceeded to Autwerp, and destroyed the French flotilla corvette there. On Dumouriez's return to Belgium, he was greatly incensed at the wholesale rapacity of the commissioners of the convention. They had plundered the churches, confiscated the property of the clergy and the wealthy inhabitants, and driven the people, by their insolence and violence, into open revolt. He did not satisfy himself by simply reproving these cormorants by words; he seized two of the worst of them, and sent them to Paris under a military guard. General Moreton-Chabrillant, who defended the commissioners, he summarily dismissed; he restored the plate to the churches, as far as he was able, and issued orders for putting down the jacobin clubs in the army. Camus, the fiery jacobin, who was in Brussels on a special mission, told Dumouriez that he was acting the dictator, and in total opposition to liberty and republicanism. Dumouriez, who seems to have made up his mind to break with the Mountain, calculating too strongly on his influence with the army, replied to Camus that the convention was ruining both itself and France, and that the conduct of its commissioners would alienate the inhabitants of every country they entered. Camus made the best of his way to Paris, detailed the language and the conduct of Dumouriez to the jacobin society, and it was instantly resolved to destroy him. His crimes, in the eyes of the jacobins, were grossly augmented by sending back ten thousand sans culottes of the new levies, as likely to be of more mischief than service.

On the 16th of March he was attacked at Neerwinden by the prince of Saxe-Coburg, and after a sharply-fought field, in which both himself and the duke of Chartres fought bravely, he was routed with a loss of four thousand killed and wounded, and the desertion of ten thousand of his troops, who fled at a great rate, never stopping till they entered France, and, spreading in all directions, they caused the most alarming rumours of Dumouriez's conduct and the advance of the enemy. The convention at once dispatched Danton and Lacroix to inquire into his proceedings, and, roused by all these circumstances, no sooner had these two envoys left him, than he entered into communication with the prince of Saxe-Coburg. Colonel Mack, an Austrian officer, then in high esteem for his military ability (though he ended his career in great disgrace for his surrender of Ulm to Buonaparte in 1805), was appointed to confer with Dumouriez, and it was agreed that he should evacuate Brussels, and that then the negotiation should be renewed. Accordingly, the French retired from Brussels on the 25th of March, and on the 27th they encamped at Ath, where Dumouriez and Mack again met. The result of this conference was the agreement of Dumouriez to abandon the republic altogether, to march rapidly on Paris, and disperse the convention and the mother society of the jacobins. All the French positions in the Netherlands were to be surrendered to the allies, and the Austrians were to follow in all haste in his steps, and be admitted to Paris by him. It was understood that Dumouriez proposed that the duke of Chartres should be placed on the throne of France, and that the constitution of 1791, with some modifications, should be re-established. It is believed that the prince of Saxe-Coburg appeared to acquiesce in this plan, but only for the purpose of rescuing the dauphin from the Temple, and making him king. Be that as it may, circumstances at that moment appeared favourable to the success of the allies. The French armies had been repeatedly beaten, and had been greatly panic-stricken by the defection of Dumouriez; the Spaniards were advancing in the south of France; the Dutch and English were successful in Holland; the Yen- deans were up in insurrection, and the Prussians were preparing to drive Custine from Mayence, and enter France by the Moselle. Had these different forces by common consent marched rapidly towards the centre of that kingdom, the odds would have been greatly in their favour.

Dumouriez commenced his march, and soon met numbers of fugitives on the road, flying from Paris, to escape the fury of the mob and the terrors of the guillotine. This greatly encouraged him. As he made a halt, the daughter of the duke of Orleans and madame Genlis arrived in the camp, also in flight. Whilst they were there, and he was in the midst of the Orleans family - the dukes of Chartres and Montpensier, and afterwards their sister - arrived three persons, who informed him that they were commissioners sent out by Lebrun, the foreign minister. These were, however, all fierce jacobins, and really sent by Dumouriez' mortal foe, Marat. They were Dubuisson, a citizen of Brussels; Proly, also a native of Brussels, and said to be a natural son of Kaunitz, formerly minister to Maria Theresa; and Pereyra, a Portuguese Jew, settled in Belgium. Dumouriez, with an openness extraordinary in a man of his tact, revealed to them all his plans, with which they hurried back to Paris. He then advanced to Braille, and sent emissaries to prepare his entrance into the three important fortresses of Lille, Condé, and Valenciennes; but the convention had been beforehand with him, and he failed in this design.

On the 31st, six volunteers, having the words " Republic or Death! " written with chalk on their hats, entered his camp, and tried to seize him; but, by the aid of his faithful valet, Baptiste, he kept them at bay till his hussars surrounded them. As soon as this event was known, he received addresses of congratulation from his troops, which encouraged him to declare openly his purpose. He dispatched the same day general Miazinski with a few thousand men to surprise Lille; but St. George, a mulatto, who commanded in the garrison, inveigled him into the city, and arre3ted him. He was thrown into a dungeon, and soon after sent to Paris, where he perished under the guillotine.

Dumouriez sent an officer to bring off the detachment of soldiers which had gone with Miazinski; but this officer also was taken, and the troop dispersed. His next attempt was upon Valenciennes; but the officer sent joined general Ferrand, who commanded there. Thus Condé only was left of the three fortresses, and, as it was necessary for his plans that he should possess a fortress, he transferred his head-quarters to the baths of St. Amand, to be near Condé. If he did not succeed in securing Condé, he would be obliged to throw himself entirely on the Austrians; would be wholly in their power, and would, moreover, run the risk of the total defection of his troops, who were not likely to march in Company with the Austrians. At St. Amand he seized Lecointre, son of the deputy of Versailles, and sent him as a hostage to general Clairfayt. But the convention, apprised of Dumouriez's proceedings and intentions by the three jacobin deputies, now denounced him as a traitor, and sent Beurnonville and four deputies of the convention - Camus, Quinette, Lamarque, and Bancal - to arrest him. Beurnonville, the new minister of war, had been Dumouriez's intimate friend. He arrived with the deputies on the evening of the 2ndof April, and was received by Dumouriez with a cordial embrace, and the general inquired the object of their journey. Their arrival had evidently been expected by Dumouriez, for they found a strong body of hussars drawn up before his quarters. They replied that they could not state it in the presence of his officers, and desired to retire with him into another room. Dumouriez readily complied, but the officers of his staff remained ready at the door. Camus then read to Dumouriez the decree of the convention, summoning him to the bar. Dumouriez declined obeying, saying he was not fool enough to put himself in the power of the jacobins, who were yelling for his head. Beurnonville and the deputies protested that no harm was meant to him, but Dumouriez was not so simple as to believe this; he refused to go. Camus then said peremptorily, " Citizen general, will you obey the decree or not? " " Not at this moment," replied Dumouriez. " Then," added Camus, " I declare, in the name of the convention, that you are no longer general of this army; and I order your papers to be seized, and yourself to be arrested! " " That is too strong," said Dumouriez, and, calling in the hussars, bade them secure the deputies, but to do them no harm.

Beurnonville said, if he arrested them, he must arrest him too. " Be it so, then," said Dumouriez; and the four were put into chains and driven off to Tournay, to the care of the Austrians. On the way, Beurnonville attempted to escape, but received a cut on the head from a German trooper, and was compelled to resign himself. These gentlemen remained tenants of Austrian prisons till 1795, when they were exchanged for the sole surviving captive of the Temple, the princes royal.

When he had sent them off, Dumouriez drew up a proclamation to the army, in which he reminded them of his many services to the révolution; of the famous battle of Jemappe; of the conquest of Belgium; and then drew a terrible picture of the condition of Paris and of all France from the maladministration of the convention and of the factions. He called on the army to assist him in saving the country, and he assured them that, whilst the English were assembling in Holland to invade France, the Austrians were well disposed to the restoration of the constitution of 1791, and would assist them to that end. The proclamation was received with apparent satisfaction; so far as appearances went, the troops were content. But the practised eye of Dumouriez quickly perceived that this appearance was deceitful; that Dampierre and other generals of divisions would immediately abandon him. He believed that he had not a moment to lose; that his only chance was to keep his troops in action; and he therefore gave Orders for marching on Condé. If he succeeded in entering Condé, lie would then purge his army of those disaffected towards him, advance next on Orchies, and endeavour to reduce Lille. But no time was allowed him for these operations. On the morning of the 1th he sought an interview with the prince of Coburg and general Mack, and ordered an escort of fifty horse to attend him. General Thouvenot, the sons of Orleans, and some other officers accompanied him. In his impatience, he rode forward before the escort was ready, and on the road met two battalions of volunteers, which were marching on in disorderly haste, without any instructions from him to quit their quarters. He halted them, and entered a house by the wayside to write an order for them, when he heard cries of " Treason! " " Stop the traitors! " This was followed by the firing of musketry. Dumouriez and his attendants sprang to horse, and, darting into the fields, galloped across the country. Arriving at a ditch, they found a number of volunteers drawn up there too, who saluted them with a sharp fire. Dumouriez's horse refused the ditch, but he threw himself from it, rushed through the ditch, and seizing another horse, from which a servant had been killed or thrown, amid a storm of bullets, made his escape. The fugitives rode all day through a dreadful country of bogs and swamps. After incredible hardships, and covered with mud, they, however, succeeded in reaching the Austrian lines. There Dumouriez spent the time with the duke of Coburg and Mack in drawing up a fresh proclamation, in the name of the Austrians, to accompany his own. In the morning, to the astonishment of Coburg and Mack, he announced his intention to ride back to his army. He could not yet believe that the whole of it would desert him. Those whom he had met were only volunteers. The Austrians declared his proposal simple madness, but he persisted, and rode away with the officers, and attended by an escort of fifty Austrians. At Maulde, where he in the previous year had had his camp, he was well received by the army; but at St. Amand the French officers showed a decided dislike of his being attended by Austrian soldiers. He was immediately informed that all the artillery, on the representation of emissaries from Valenciennes, who said Dumouriez was killed, had marched off there, and, at the very moment that he was hearing this, the rest of the army, with loud cries of " Valenciennes! Valenciennes! " moved off in the same direction. Dumouriez saw that the game was up, and rode back, with the officers who had attended him, to the Austrian head-quarters. He assured the duke of Coburg and general Clairfayt that all his hopes of effecting the reform of the convention were at an end; that he could not march against France at the head of foreigners; and they therefore gave him and his officers passports to Switzerland, to which most of them intended, in the first instance, to retire; and they took their leave. " Thus," says Thiers, " terminated the career of that superior man, who had displayed all sorts of talents - those of the diplomatist, the administrator, and the general; every sort of courage - that of the civilian, withstanding the storms of the tribune; that of the soldier, braving the balls of the enemy; that of the commander, confronting the most dangerous situations, and the perils of the most daring enterprises; but who, without principles, and without the moral ascendancy which they confer, without any other influence than that of genius, soon exhausted in short, rapid successions of men and circumstances, had resolutely tried to struggle with the revolution, and proved, by a striking example, that an individual cannot prevail against a national passion until it has exhausted itself." To us it proves that, with all his qualities, Dumouriez was deficient in that one French quality of unhesitating cruelty, which, had he possessed it, would have made him the favourite jacobin general, and would have plunged him into much splendid infamy.

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