« EdellinenJatka »
compelled us to conquer or to die. To the sentiment of self-pre-
The Russians having placed many batteries on the heights which they occupied, for some time caused a dreadful havoc amongst the French. But this position being carried, the
guns, to whose destructive fire the French had been exposed
during the attack, were turned against the enemy, and “the
“ In this extremity,” M. Labaume observes, “Prince Kutusoff saw that every thing was lost, yet determined to make one effort more, and to maintain the reputation which he had acquired by the service of half a century, he renewed the combat, and attacked with all his forces the strong positions which he had just lost. Three hundred pieces of cannon, now arranged on these heights, spread devastation and death among his ranks, and his disheartened soldiers perished at the feet of those ramparts which they had themselves raised, and which they regarded as the bulwark of Moscow, their venerable and sacred city.” P. 137.
The Russian general having concentrated all his forces, attacked the centre of the French, but this movement, so admirably calculated to give him the victory, became useless by the loss of no less than two hours, during which the Russians, exposed to a fire of grape-shot, neither dared to advance nor were willing to recede. This uneertainty took victory from them.
“The Viceroy seized this decisive moment, and, flying to the right, ordered a simultaneous attack of the grand redoubt by the first, third, and fourteenth divisions. Having arranged all three in order of battle, the troops advanced with cool intrepidity. They approached the very intrenchments of the enemy, when a sudden discharge of grape-shot from the whole of the Russian artillery spread destruction and consternation through our ranks. Our troops were staggered at this fatal reception; but the Prince knew how to animate their courage by calling to the recollection of each regiment the circumstances in which it had formerly covered itself with glory. To one he said, ‘ Preserve that valour which has gained you the title of Invincible;' to another, “Remember, your reputation depends on this day; then, turning towards : 9th of the line, he said to them with emotion, “Brave soldiers, remember you were with me at Wagram, when we broke the enemy’s centre.” By these words, and still more by his example, he so inflamed the ardour of his troops, that shouting with joy, they again marched with eagerness to the redoubt. His highness rid- l ing along the line, arranged the attack with the utmost coolness, and led it himself at the head of Broussier's division, while General Nansouty, at the head of the first division of the heavy cavalry of General Saint-Germain, vigorously charged the squadrons of the enemy which were at the right of the redoubt, and cleared the plain as far as a ruined village. The brigade of carabineers under the orders of Generals Paultre and Chouard, put to flight all that opposed it, and with the chasseurs of General Pajol covered themselves with glory. “At this instant a division of cuirassiers, from the centre of the army rushed on the redoubt, and offered to our astonished
sight a grand and sublime spectacle. The whole eminence which - t overhung us appeared in an instant a mass of moving iron: the o glitter of the arms and the rays of the sun, reflected from the |
helmets and cuirasses of the dragoons, mingled with the flames of | the cannon that on every side vomited forth death, gave to the re- o doubt the appearance of a volcano in the midst of the army. “ The enemy's infantry, placed near this point, behind a ravine, kept up so destructive a fire on our cuirassiers, that they were obliged immediately to retire. Our infantry took their place. . They were supported by the third corps of cavalry commanded by Generals Chastel, Thiry, and Dommanget, who charged and overthrew every thing which it found in its way. The aides-decamp Carbonel, Turenne, and Grammont, were wounded at the side of Count Grouchy. The General himself was struck soon o afterwards; but the redoubt was ours. In forcing the intrench\ments, our troops made a horrible massacre of the Russians, whose efforts to retain the redoubt rivalled ours to carry it. “ In spite of the enemy’s tremendous fire, the Viceroy and his staff remained at the head of Broussier’s division, followed by the 13th and 30th regiments, and rushing on the redoubt, entered it by the breast-work, and massacred on their pieces the cannoneers that served them. Prince Kutusoff, astonished at this attack, innmediately ordered the cuirassiers of the guard to advance and endeavour to retake the position. These were the best of their ca-valry. The shock between their cuirassiers and ours was therefore terrible; and one may judge of the fury with which both parties fought, when the enemy, in quitting the field, left it completely o covered with dead.” P. 140. - “The interior of the redoubt presented a horrid spectacle. The dead were heaped on one another. The feeble cries of the wounded were scarcely heard amid the surrounding tumult. Arms of every description were scattered over the field of battle. ... • T 2 The
The parapets half demolished had their embrasures entirely destroyed. Their places were distinguished only by the cannon, the greatest part of which were dismounted and separated from the broken carriages. In the midst of this scene of carnage, I discovered the body of a Russian cannoneer decorated with three crosses. In one hand he held a broken sword, and with the other firmly grasped the carriage of the gun at which he had so valiantly fought. - - ... “ All the Russian soldiers in the redoubt chose rather to perish than to yield. The general who commanded them, would have shared their fate if his valour had not saved his life. This brave soldier had sworn to die at his post, and he would have kept his oath. Seeing all his companions dead around him, he endeavoured to precipitate himself on our swords, and he would have inevitably met his death, had not the honour of taking such a
prisoner arrested the cruelty of the soldiers. The Viceroy re
ceived him with kindness, and committed him to the care of Colonel Asselin, to conduct him to the Emperor.” P. 143.
“The next day (8th September) we returned, at an early hour, to the field of battle. What was predicted the preceding evening had actually taken place. The enemy, seeing the intrepidity with which we carried their redoubts, despaired of maintaining their position, and resolved to evacuate it during the night. As we passed over the ground which they had occupied, we were enabled to judge of the immense loss that the Russians had sustained. In the space of a square league, almost every spot was covered with the killed or wounded. On many places the bursting of the shells had promiscuously heaped together men and horses. The fire of our howitzers had been so destructive, that mountains of dead bodies were scattered over the plain; and the few places that were not encumbered with the slain, were covered with broken lances, muskets, helmets, and cuirasses, or with grape-shot and bullets, as numerous as hailstones after a violent storm. . But the most horrid spectacle was the interior of the ravines; almost all the wounded who were able to drag themselves along, had taken refuge there to avoid the shot. These miserable wretches, heaped one upon another, and almost suffocated with blood, uttering the most dreadful groans, and invoking death. with piercing cries, eagerly besought us to put an end to their torments.” . P. 150. -
During this memorable day the Viceroy performed the greatest deeds of valour. He was found at all points, exhorting every officer to his duty, and reminding him, that on this
day depended the glory of France. He was seen at all the bat
teries, causing them to advance in proportion as the enemy gave way, and braving every peril, he himself instructed the canaoueers how to direct their fire. He encouraged his troops - - - . . . and
and led them to the attack, and when once he was obliged to
ingly the nobility and the priests by persuasion, threats, and
bribes, induced all the peasants who were dependent on them to rise en masse against the French. In vain Napoleon held out at Rouza such an example as should persuade the peasants to abandon their lords; for the evil which succeeded was equally destructive with that which he had endeavoured to counteract. It is true that the natives no longer attacked the French, but they laid waste the country and fled to the woods. In this way, though Napoleon now could march unmolested to Moscow; the peasants fell with double vigor on his famished and starved companions when they began their retreat. In order to increase the spirit of vengeance, and heighten the enthusiasm of the Russians, Alexander brought religion into play, and this never failing resource added fresh strength to the cause of the Czar. In the cathedral of Moscow this monarch having received from the hands of the patriarch the precious image of St. Serge, he delivered it to the army, hoping that they would be protected by this representative of the saint. Rallying under this sacred standard the Russians marched to the battle of Moskwa; and the obstimacy with which they fought, shews the necessity of calculation and foresight against all possible circumstances before a conqueror attempts to march against a people who fight not only for the preservation of themselves but for that also of their religion. - - - * . A.
“Chê doue alzar Religion siecede
. After the battle of Moskwa the triumphant army marched in
three columns towards the capital of the Russian empire.
o Napoleon +
Napoleon, impatient to get possession of it, pursued the enemy with his accustomed vigour, on the high road of Smolensko;
while Prince Poniatowski, at the head of the fifth corps,
marched on the right by way of Kaluga. The Viceroy, with his corps, continued on the left flank, and taking the road of 2:venighorod, proceeded towards Moscow, where the whole army was to assemble. On their march the French found the country one uniform scene of horrible desolation. Those who fied, burnt in despair their houses and the grain and forage which
were scarcely gathered.
[To be concluded in our next.] -
ARt. IV. The Happiness of States: or an Inquiry concerning . Population, the Modes of subsisting and employing it, and the Effects of all upon Human Happiness. By S. Gray, Esq. London, Hatchard; Edinburgh, Oliphant and Co. 1815.
WE like an author who begins at the beginning of his subject, and were accordingly very much pleased to find Mr. Gray set
ting out upon his inquiry into the “Happiness of States,” by
endeavouring.to ascertain whether men are happier in existence or, non-existence. Theognis, a foolish Greek, was of opinion that “ for earthly beings, the best of all things was not to be born,” and that for those who had undergone that misfortune, the next best thing was, “as soon as possible to pass the gates of Hades, and to lie buried under much earth.” But our author calling to mind that Theognis was a poet, and withal very poor, is determined to make his evidence go for nothing; and as to the howling of the Thracians at the birth of a child, and their joy at a friend's decease, he meets the difficulty which seems to arise from such feats, by observing, that “ life must have been a very miserable thing in Thrace.” Upon the whole, then, taking the world as it usually goes, Mr. Gray is quite satisfied that existence is preferable to non-existence; and he adds, that mankind at large have promptly and ardently decided in favour of the former, as being fully more comfortable and happy, all things considered., " " .. " ' * *
This point being settled, the next thing to ascertain, in seeking after the summum bonum of states, is, “the grand object of individuals and nations.” Now, on this subject there is of course a great variety of opinions; some, and among others |.