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leon II. Emperor of the French. The present ministers will provisionally form the council of the government. The interest which I take in my son, induces me to invite the chambers to form without delay the regency by a law. Unite all for the public safety, that you may continue an independent nation. NAPOLEON."
This declaration was conveyed to both the chambers, which voted deputations to the late Emperor, accepting his abdication; but in their debates, the nomination of his son to the succession was eluded, and nothing was positively determined on that head. The chamber of representatives voted the nomination of a commission of five persons, three to be chosen from that chamber, and two from that of peers, for the purpose of provisionally exercising the functions of government; and also that the ministers should continue their respective functions under the authority of this commission. The persons chosen by the chamber of representatives were, Carnot, Fouche, and Grenier; those nominated by the peers were, the Duke of Vicenza (Caulaincourt), and Baron Quinette. mission nominated five persons to repair to the allied army for the purpose of proposing peace.
The proceedings of deliberate assemblies were, however, rendered of little importance, by the resolution of the victors to advance to Paris. Continuing their march on the left of the Sambre, Marshal Blucher crossed that river on the 19th, in pursuit of the French; and both armies entered the French territory on the 21st; the Prussians by Beaumont, and
the combined forces under Lord Wellington, by Bavay. The remains of the French had retired in wretched condition upon Laon. The only corps which continued entire, was that which had been posted at Wavre to observe the Prussians, and which made good its retreat on the 20th by Namur and Dinant after a sharp action, in which it underwent much loss. From Malplaquet, the scene of one of Marlborough's victories, Wellington addressed a proclamation to the French, announcing that he entered their territory, not as an enemy, except of the usurper, the foe of the human race, with whom there could be neither peace nor truce, but to enable them to shake off the yoke by which they were oppressed. He required them to conduct themselves peaceably; to remain at their homes, and to furnish the requisitions that would be made, taking the proper receipts. On the 23d, the Duke sent a detachment under Sir C. Colville against Cambray, which was taken with small loss on the next day by escalade. At this time St. Quentin and the Castle of Guise were in the possession of the Prussians. Louis XVIII. now moved to Cambray, where, on the 28th, he issued a proclamation to the French people. He hastened (he said) to place himself a second time between the allied and the French armies, in the hope that the feelings of which he might be the object would tend to their preservation: this was the only way in which he had wished to take part in the war; and he had not suffered one prince of his family to appear in foreign ranks. He spoke
spoke of the difficulties and obstacles he had met with on his first re-appearance among them. My government (said he) was liable to commit errors: perhaps it did commit them. He mentioned, as a mere calumny, the intention of restoring tithes and feudal rights, and appealed to his own proposal to the chambers for the security of the sales of national property. He concluded with promising pardon to all misled Frenchmen from the time of his quitting Lisle to that of his return to Cambray; but reserved for the vengeance of the laws, the instigators and authors of that treason, which had summoned foreigners into the heart of France. The armies under Wellington and Blucher were, in the mean time, continuing their advance on the capital, no regard having been paid to the proposal for a suspension of hostilities. On the 28th, the Prussian advanced guard was attacked at Villars Coterets, but the main body coming up, the assailants were repulsed with loss. Quesnoy surrendered on the 29th to Prince Frederick of the Netherlands. Wellington crossed the Oise on the 29th and 30th; and on the latter day Blucher passed the Seine at St. Germain, the intention being to invest Paris on two sides. The heights about the capital were strongly fortified; and the troops within it were estimated at 40 or 50 000 of the line and guards, besides national guards, a new levy of tiralleurs, and the Parisian volunteers, called Federés. Blucher was strongly opposed in taking his position on the left of the Seine; but the Prussians at length succeeded in
establishing themselves on the heights of Meudon, and in the village of Issy, on July the 2d. The French attacked them at Issy on the 3d, but were repulsed with considerable loss. Paris being now open on its vulnerable side, and a communication established between the two armies by a bridge at Argenteuil, a request came from the city for a cessation of the firing, for the purpose of negociating a military convention, under which the French army should evacuate the capital. This was concluded on the 3d at St. Cloud, between Prince Blucher and the Duke of Wellington on one part, and the Prince of Eckmuhl on the other, being considered as merely referring to military questions, and touching none that were political. By its conditions, the French army was on the following day to commence its march for the Loire, with all its materiel, and completely to evacuate Paris within three days; all the fortified posts round the city, and finally its barriers, were to be given up; the duty of Paris was to be performed by the national guard and the municipal gendarmerie, and the actual authorities were to be respected by the allies; public property, with the exception of what relates to war, was to be respected; and the allied powers were not to interfere with its management; private persons and property to be respected, and all individuals continuing in the capital to enjoy their rights and liberties, without being called to account, either for the situations they may have held, or as to their conduct or political opinions. This convention was
declared common to all the allied armies, provided it were ratified by the powers on which those armies depend. "Thus (says an eloquent female writer) in the short space of fifteen months was the capital of France twice besieged, and twice compelled to
open its gates, and receive the law of the conqueror." Such was the retribution doomed to expiate the sufferings and disgraces inflicted upon Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Rome, Naples, Venice, and Moscow !
Proceedings of Joachim Murat, King of Naples.-His peculiar Situation. -Suspicions against him.—He blockades Rome.—His complaints against France-Conduct on the landing there of Buonaparte.—Arrives at Ancona, and attachs the Austrians at Cesena.-Proclaims the independence of Italy.-Advances to the Panaro, and the Austrians retire to the Po.-Neapolitans enter Florence, and follow the Austrians to Pistoia.—Joachim reaches Ferrara, whence he is compelled to retreat.— Neapolitans fall back on all sides.-Armistice refused-Action at Tolentino.—Battle of San Germano.—Flight of Neapolitans, and their army broken up.-English Squadron at Naples.-Convention.-The City occupied by the Austrians.-The Kingdom submits to Ferdinand, who enters the capital.-Murat's attempts in Corsica.-Lands in Calabria.-Executed by Martial Law.
EFORE we bring to a close the narrative of the extraordinary events in France, and of the changes of fortune experienced by the prime mover in these transactions, it will be proper to interpose a few of the parallel proceedings, and the ultimate fate, of that sovereign who owed to him his crown, and had never ceased to participate in his counsels.
It was observed in the history of the last year, that the King of Naples, Joachim Murat, appeared to be placed in a peculiarly critical situation. His retention of that crown was obviously an anomaly in the political system of restoring the former state of things in Europe; and although the service he had rendered to Austria by a powerful aid at the time it was engaged in a hard contest with the French arms in the north of italy, had been returned by a treaty of
friendship and alliance with the Austrian Emperor; yet the terms on which he stood with the other powers were far from satisfactory, The Bourbon Sovereigns had a family interest to replace the crown of Naples on the head of the King of Sicily; and the court of Great Britain, in close alliance with the latter, had never recognized the title of King Joachim, and had only agreed to a suspension of hostilities against him, when his co-operation was of advantage to the common cause. The British cabinet did indeed consider that this was preliminary to a treaty with him, but it was upon the condition that a compensation should elsewhere be found for the King of Sicily. Joachim was long in anxious expectation of the signature of such a treaty by the English minister; and on December 29, 1814, his ministers at Vienna delivered to
Lord Castlereagh a memorial, requesting the speedy conclusion of a definitive treaty of peace between the two crowns.
Long before this time, however, Murat had become an object of suspicion; and Lord William Bentinck, who had closely observed him, gave, in a letter to Lord Castlereagh, dated January 7, 1815, the following, among other remarks on the subject:"There can be no doubt that all the advantages contemplated in the alliance with Murat, by Austria and the allies, would have been realized, if he had embarked honestly and cordially in the cause; but his policy was to save his crown, and to do this, he must always be on the side of the conqueror. His first agents were sent to me after his return from, Leipsic. He then thought Napoleon's affairs desperate. His language was plain and sincere. He said, 'Give me an armistice, and I will march with the whole of the army against the French. Give me the friendship of England, and I care not for Austria, or the rest of the world.' sequently, when Austria came to seek his alliance, he naturally discovered both his own importance, and the uncertain issue of the contest. He then began to entertain views of aggrandizement; and by possessing himself of the whole South of Italy, he seemed to think he could render himself independent, whatever might be the event of the war." His Lordship proceeds to speak of the counsels by which Murat was governed. He describes him as equally remarkable for his courage in the field, and his indecision in
the cabinet, which disposition was worked upon by two contending parties in his court, the French, and the Neapolitans. His attachment was manifestly to the former, and he was anxious to keep with him his French officers, who were continually magnifying the success of the French army, and endeavouring to fix him in alliance with their country. It further appears, that Lord W. Bentinck entertained strong suspicions of the good faith of Murat, even whilst acting with the allies, and that he had a serious difference with him on that account; and also that the Austrian General, Bellegarde, was fully of the same opinion.
In the latter part of the preceding year, Murat had put in motion a considerable body of troops, with the apparent intention of occupying an additional share of the territories of the church; and at the end of January a Neapolitan army, said to consist of 25,000 men, was posted near Rome, so as in a manner to blockade it on the side of Naples. The Pope, who had sent a memorial of his complaints to the Austrian court, remained in the city with his cardinals, trusting to the sanctity of his character for his sole defence. About this period, the Duke of Campochiaro, the Neapolitan minister at the congress of Vienna, presented a note to Prince Metternich, in which, after representing that his Sovereign considered himself as in-. cluded in the peace of Paris, among the allies of the coalesced powers, he complained of the delay of his most Christian Majesty to recognize him, and urged the