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cany " the immortal names of Maria Theresa, of On the 21st, General Millet de Villeneuve, BOOK XIV. Joseph, and of Leopold, are still recollected with chief of the Neapolitan siaff, sent the following
Cup IX. sentiments of admiration and gratitude.” In the letter to the Austrian commander, for the purpose conclusion, Marshal Bellegarde contrasts the of obtaining an armistice :
1815. promises of the French revolutionists, when they “ Generai,- The King of Naples, in the just first entered Italy, with what they actually did. uneasiness respecting the security of his states, “ Your too ready credulity to the promises of which the negociations at Vienna excited in bim, French democracy has already caused your ruin: and after the unexpected events wisich seemed be now more prudent, because, with the experi- likely to renew the coalition of the European ence of the past, your folly will be more serious : sovereigus against France, thought that he ought and co-operate, under all circumstances, with the again to occupy, and that he had a right to ocdocility of your character-with that reflection, cupy, the line which he held during the last war, the fruit of intelligence, and that attachment to iu consequence of a forinal convention signed by your sovereign, so worthy of your heart, for the Generals Nugent and Livron, which he has not maintenance of order, and the defence of your renounced by any later stipulations, and from country and of the throne."
which the Neapolitan arry retired merely in The Grand Duke of Tuscany at this time quit- consequence of a conventional arrangement. His ted his capital, and retired to Pisa, and on the 6th inajesiy flattered himself that this line would be the Neapolitans entered Florence, which was given up to bim without difficulty, and perhaps evacuated by the Austrian general, Nugent. The no hostilities would have taken place, if your exlatter retired to Pistoia, whither he was followed cellency had received the communications which by the Neapolitan general, Pignatelli, who made were prevented by unforeseen accidents. As the repeated attacks on the Austrians, in all of which Austrian troops at Cesena had fired upon the Neahe was repulsed with loss, and this was the limit politan troops, the king could not but believe that of the advance of the Neapolitans on that side. it was by your orders; and that your excellency
Their main army, under the immediate direc- had positively received from your court instruc. tion of King Joachim, was in the meantime push- tions to act in a hostile manner towards himn. As ing forward towards Ferrara, and it being coo- soon as his majesty saw himself engaged in war, sidered by the Austrian generals as of essential against such a great power, without having in consequence to defend this point, Baron Frimont tended it, he thought it necessary to make use of ordered the Lieutenant field-marshal Mohr to all the resources which had long since been of. advance from the tête-du-pont of Occhio Bello, fered bim in Italy, and the extension of which he and make an aitack upon the enemy. This was did not even farther attempt to realise. The effected on the 12th by Mohr, whilst Count Neipmovements of your army towards Bologna, Ferperg threatened the flank of the Neapolitans; and rara, and Modena, are kvown to your excellency; its success was such, that they were driven from while they were executing, the king saw, by comall their works, and Ferrara was delivered. The munications with Lord Bentinck, that the hostiretreating Neapolitans were pursued towards Bo- lities commenced against bim were not the conlogna. General Bianchi had at this time driven sequence of a settled plan, because the English the invaders from Carpi, and had recovered Mo- general stated that he had received no notificadena; so that the vicinity of the Po was entirely tion on the subject; but at the same bis majesty freed from the Neapolitans. The latter continued saw that England, with which he desired to retheir retreat at all points. On the 16th the van of main at peace, might take a part in the war if it the Austrian army entered Bologna, which bad were continued. This double information excit. been bastily abandoned by Joachim.
ed a wish that a recouciliation with the Austrian now manifest, that whatever were the wishes of court might be possible. His majesty, therefore, the Italians for independence, no co-operation signified to Lord Bentinek his intention of makcould be expected on their parts; and that the ing a retrograde movement; and he would have grand scheme of uniting Loinbardy against the proposed an armistice to your excellency, had he Austrian dominion, and forining a powerful di- not feared that such a proposal might have been version in favor of Bonaparte in ihat quarter, was considered as a manæuvre to check the activity beyond the talents of Murat with a Neapolitan of the military dispositions against his army, at army. From Bologna the pursuit was continued the moment when it began its retreat. by the Austrian division under Count Neipperg, “ Now that the king finds himself with his which success ively occupied Imola, Faenza, whole force in the line wbich he thought fit to and Forli. A large corps of Neapolitans being choose; now that he has sufficiently proved that entrenched at Cesena, the count made an attack his movements were not compelles, and that he upon it on the 21st, and a brisk action ensued, is fully master of them, his majesty authorises me after which the position was abandoned, and the to acquaint your excellency, that he has required
BOOK XIV. to your court, from which he expects a happy is- motion in the house of lords for copies of the
sué. Meantime his majesiy orders me to propose negociation carried on between the British goChap. IX. an armistice to your excelleney, to avoid all un- vernment and the Neapolitan government, with a necessary bloodslied.
view to bring before the house and the public the 1815.
“ His majesty wishes, general, that you may engagements wbich had been entered into with accede to this proposal. The king would then that power, and the justice or injustice of the proname a general with full powers to fix, with ceedings with regard to it. The Earl of Liverwhoinsoever your excellency shall appoint, the pool said, that every information proper to be line which each of the armes shall occupy.' supplied would be afforded. Murat having at" I have, &c.
tacked the allies, the armistice with him was at (Signed) “ Millet de VILLENEUVE." an end.
Earl Grey observed, among other things, that The chief of the staff of the Austrian army re- by the armistice concluded' between Great Briturned the following answer :
tain and Naples, on the 3d of February, the en“ General,
-When his majesty the king assem- tire sovereignty of Naples was clearly guaranteed bled his army in the Marches, as all his prepara- to Murat—it was in fact a treaty of alliance, detions announced the plan of a war, the imperial pending on two stipulations; indemnity to Sicily, Austrian court, which was absolutely ignorant of and co-operation with the alhes. The indemnity, any cause for these armaments, required an ex- however, was not to come from Naples, but from planation concerning them; and as they seemed the allies; and as to the co-operation, it was noto be directed against the Legations, which were torious that the military proceedings of Murat bad occupied by its troops, it added the declaration relieved Austria from a great pressure, and had that any violation of this territory would be con- enabled her to act with a successful vigour against sidered by it as a formal act of hostility.
France; for he had occupied Tuscany, taken " It was not, therefore, a few musket-shot at Ancona after a siege of eight days, and had Cesena that decided the question of war; it was reached the Po. These proceedings bad comthe act of the king, in advancing with his wbole pelled the viceroy of Italy to act on the defensive, army into the territory of the Legations occupied though he had an excellent army of 45,000 men by the Austrian troops; it was his proclamation to oppose to the Austrian one of 30,000 : and if published at Rimini on the 30th of March. Murat bad joined the viceroy with his force, « The views and sentiments professed in that Vienna would have been open to
to them proclamation must serve the king as a standard Austria could not have acted with vigour againsi to judge of the reception that his new proposals France-and most probably the allies would not for an agreement will meet with. At the same have succeeded. It seemed, therefore, much too time that, by order of the commander-in-chief of late to come forward and say that Murat had not the Austrian army in Italy, I have tbe honor to acted with due cordiality. Without any treachery answer the letter which you addressed to him on on the part of Murat, his co-operation might not the 21st of April, I am also charged to add, that have been so active as was expected. But if his the commander-in-chief has received the most character was such as now represented, considerpositive orders to continue the operations with ing the dangerous state of Italy, it was the height vigour, and therefore is not authorised to check of impolicy to have suffered bim to remain, to set their course by an armistice; that, however, he fire to the combustibles accumulated in that has not delayed a moment to ask orders from su- country. So that a strong case, in the face of perior authority respecting the proposals contained things, appeared to be made out against minisin your dispatch.
ters; and then came the letter to Lord Castle“ I have the honor, &c. reagh from the Prince of Benevente-a letter, “ Head-quarters, April 24."
which had no doubt been read by most of their
lordships with the deepest slame, proving that It cannot be doubted, that the Austrian emperor though we were not disposed to open
and maply and his allies were well-pleased that they had proceedings, we were quite ready to adopt ali so good a plea for dethroning one whose pos- such as were secret and underhand :-“ I resession of a crown, conquered from its hereditary peat,” said bis lordship, “ that no doubt all your owner, made a breach in their system of restora. fordabips have seen this extraordinaty letter, and tion.
have seen it with feelings of resentment for the It was, however, the opinion of many in Eng. injured honor, for the humiliation and shame of land, that Murat had been very ill-treated, as it the remaining character of this country, so deeply was understood that the allies had determined on involved, and so much more so if it were written dethroning him previously to his going to war. not merely on the writer's own notion, but as the The subject was at length brought before parlia- reply to some preceding communication from the ment on the 2d of May, when Earl Grey made a British minister. I trust, my lords, that that was
not the case. I trust that that letter is attri- Paris, at which period the Sicilian family were BOOK XIV. butable
only to the masterband that is skilled in taught to expect the protection and good services such productions ; for in the worst transaction of of England; but it was not an obligation. If, with Char. IX. the worst period of the worst government that good policy, we could have secured Naples to
1815. ever existed in the vilest deceit, the most infa- Sicily, we ought to have done so; but the partimous perfidy, the foulest erime that ever occurred cular interests of Sicily were not to be put in in the blackest record of fraud and imposture competition with what the security and tranquilthat is to be met with in the annals of the world, lity of Europe might require. In the month of nothing can be found more flagrant and heinous August, Austria wished to open negociations with -notbing more hateful for its treachery-nothing Marshal Murat. Negociations passed, and his more contemptible for its baseness. Still in that majesty's ministers gave full power to Lord Aberpaper not a word was said of the King of Naples deen to become a party to them. The basis of having forfeited his sovereignty by his conduct. the negociations was, not that Murat should reAll that was said was, that although he could not main at Naples, but that some dominions should be attacked through Italy, he was assailable by be given to him as an equivalent. In October, a sea ; and, the writer, with a degree of insult to representation was made by the Austrian governbis correspondent which it was difficult to con- ment, that Murat would not listen to such terms, ceive how a British minister could bear, conclud- and that as the connexion with him was essential ed that Lord Castlereagh had authority from his to the operations of the campaign, they proposed court to assent to the proposed measure, and if that Murat should remain at Naples, and that the not, requested that he would obtain it."
Sicilian family should look to some other quarter The subject was also brought before the house for indemnities. They urged the impropriety of of commons, on the same evening, by Mr. Horner, forsaking general purposes for remote interests ; who, in a speech of considerable length, took the and his majesty's government feeling for the ge. same line of argument as that so ably pursued neral policy, however reluctant they might be in by Earl Grey in the other house.
other respects, gave their concurrence, if Murat As the speech of Lord Castlereagb, in reply, is continued to make it a șine qua non, that he of considerable importance, from the information should remain at Naples, provided he fulfilled his it conveys, we shall give the leading points. engagement of joining the allies, and a suitable After some preliminary observations be proceeded indemnity was given to Sicily. Now bis majesty's thus : In consequence of the conclusion of a ministers migbt plead either or both of these contreaty between Austria and Marshal Murat, he ditions in bar of the charges against them; but, transmitted an instruction from Basle to Lord with respect to indemnity, the Sicilian family William Bentinck, dated the 22d of January, never could be hurt, 1814, informing his lordsbip of the terms of the authority wbatever for Lord William Bentinck to treaty, by which Marsbal Murat was to bring consent for Sicily; there was never the slightest into the field a corps of Neapolitan troops, not disposition in that noble lord to answer for any less than 80,000, and intimating ihe prince-regent's thing but his own government. Sicily refused an pleasure, that bis lordship should suspend hostili- indemnity, and, therefore, the condition was not ties against Naples on the part of the British performed as far as related to her. He then came goverument. Before that order, however, reached to the other question, namely, whether Murat, by Lord William Bentinek, his lordship had autho- a proper disposition of his forces, had entitled rised a person to conclude an armistice with the himself to an execution of the assurance of the government of Naples, from his knowledge of the treaty. The honorable gentleman bad referred suspension of hostilities. The next step in the to the nature of his communications to Lord negociation was a letter which he dispatched to William Bentinck on the 1st of April. Those Lord William Bentinck, dated Chatillon, Fe- communications were founded on the dispatch of bruary 21, in which be communicated to bis the 21st of February; and when Lord Wiliam Jordship, that the British government had never Bentinck gave the substance to Murat, he accomliked the measure, but being taken they were, panied it with a declaration, on his part, of what willing to act up with the Austrian government; he thought had been Murat's conduct antecedent and that Murat, by giving indemnities to the King to it; and his opinion' was, that he had acted up of Sieily, might secure his own dominions. The to the spirit of his engagements. The honorable house should understand, that the engagements member had alluded to a misunderstanding beof this country with the King of Sicily were only tween Murat and Lord William Bentinck; but to secure the general interests of Sicily as an ally; it was the deliberate judgment of Lord William there was nothing as a sine qua non with respect Bentinck, that the conduct of Murat was not to Naples
. Ja point of honor, the government consistent with those considerations which this of this country was only bound to Sicily in the country required. As far as his (Lord C.'s) knowsame manner as when Lord Lauderdale was at ledge went, he was not aware that there existed 90,
BOOK XIV, the slightest difficulty on the part of the Austrian such as the allies expected ; but he thought that
government till the treaty was ratified in the way if the question_rested solely on the opinion of CRAP. IX. that Murat desired; there was no suggestion of
Lord William Bentinck, it would not form a jus. 1815. alarm, so far as the Austrian government was
tifiable cause of breaking with Murat. While be concerned. It was not enough, however, to say was at Paris, however, he had an opportunity of that the opinion given by Lord William Bentinck, having a communication with a person, which on the 21st of March, --it was not fair to say, that amounted to a moral conviction that Murat had it referred to transactions at the time of the rati- not honorably fulfilled the engagement on his fication of the treaty. Lord William Bentinck part. He certainly had taken the earliest
oppor communicated to Marshal Bellegarde what bis tunity after his arrival at London, to inform the opinion was how Murat had executed his part of Neapolitan agent, that the conduct of Murat apthe engagement. He evidentiy meant to qualify peared to bim to have been inconsistent with bis the conduct of the British government, and said, engagements. He stated the same thiog expressly that they did not know the conduct of Murat to the Duke of Campocbiaro at Vienna, and told when that authority was transmitted. On the him, that on that account the question of Naples 25th of March, long after the treaty had been ra. must be left free and open for the discussion of tified, and wben Murat might bave destroyed Congress. At the meeting of the Congress there those upfavorable opinions which Lord William were two sets of ambassadors, each appearing in Bentinck had formed, that noble lord made use the character of representatives of the King of of the following language : “ It is now necessary the two Sicilies. He would agree with the hoto consider the conduct of Murat. Has he ful. porable gentleman, that if nothing had occurred filled his engagements with Austria ? Has be to shake the good faith of Murat in the performpot acted rather as a friend to Bonaparte ? Was ance of his engagements, then it would have been it not the policy of a deserter to throw his whole the duty of this country to uphold the right of force into the scale? He could expect no favor Murat io the kingdom of Naples. He, however
, from Bonaparte : but is it not the language of all conceived his pretensions to have been completely bis officers, that Italy should be united, and that merged, and that the whole question should be be should be the bead? Finally, is there any reserved for the consideration of the Congress
. man in Italy, or any in the Austrian army south It was a question altogether of the utmost diffiof the Po, who has any confidence in him? He culty to determine ; and the only point that all is only waiting to place bimself on the strongest the ministers could agree upon was, that this side." Such was the opinion of Lord William question should be reserved for the last point Bentinck on the 25th of March. The honorable which the Congress were to determine. In point gentleman had stated, that it was the true policy of fact, vo act of Congress had taken place on of this country to resist all suspicions between this subject up to the period of Murat's aggresMurat and the allies. At Chatillon, he consented sion. He had always fairly stated to Prince that Murat should remain at Naples, and he hoped Talleyrand, as well as the ofber ministers, that the honorable gentleman would feel, that through the British government held itself free upon this out this transaction there was no disposition to point. He thought it very probable that it was entertain improper jealousies of the conduct of in consequence of liis staiing frankly and expliMurat. In his letier of the 3d of April, from citly to the Neapolitan muister, that he conceira Dijon, he endeavoured to argue down all the ed the claim of Murat to be anvulled by his consuspicions of Lord William Bentinck, because he duct, that that minister conmunicated to bima felt that if we were not prepared to break with very detailed memorandum, endeavouring to Murat, we should inspire him with more confi- justify the conduct of Murat. This document dence. But Lord William Bentivck, who was did not at all shake the moral conviction in his nearer the scene of action, was better able to mind of the duplicity and had faith of Murat. judge of his intersions. He (Lord C.) thought, Although he was himself possessed of sufficient however, that it was better to exercise an excess docunients to support his opinion, yet be referred of confidence, than an excess of jealousy; and all this document to an officer who had commanded his arguments were thrown into the scale in favor the advanced-guard of his army, and who had of Murat. The house might be assured, there- still better opportunities of judging of bis conduct fore, that there bad been no failure of exertion on than he had." The officer to whom he alluded his part. It was towards the close of the month was General Nugent, who had so much distirof March that the allies entered Paris. The guished himself in the present war, as well as in noble lord arrived thither in the beginning of the last. He was a man of the highest bonor and April, and he was not sure whether the letter of character, and of such consummate judgment in the 23d of March reached him there, or at Dijon. military matters, that be expected from him not It made, however, a considerable impression on merely an opinion but a detailed and reasoned his mind, that the conduct of Murat had not been opinion. He was not disappointed in his espec
tation--General Nugent bad examined this docu- have a search made in the bureau of Paris. A BOOK XIV. ment, paragraph by paragraph, and in his answer diligent search had been made, and very importto it had made out a most complete case, not
ant documents had been found. He sbould now CRAP. IX. merely of military inactivity on the part of Murat, read to the bouse many extracts of the corresbut of a most skilful management of bis troops to pondence which had been found, that passed at
1815. defeat the objects which had been agreed upon that time between the Princess Borghese, Bonaby the allies, and, in one instance, to facilitate the parte, and the King and Queen of Naples. He escape of a considerable body of the enemy. He should also read exirac's to prove the opinion of bad not, however, relied merely on the opinion of the French constituted authorities on his conduct. General Nugent, but had also taken the opinion From the first letter, which was from the Princess of Lord William Bentinck, who, being at that Borgbese to Bonaparte, dated Lucca, February time near the spot, had good opportunities of 14th, be read the following extract :-" The King judging. Lord William Bentinck had informed of Naples is in a great agitation. He is astonished bim, by a letter, that he conceived that the object that the viceroy should have retired from the banks of Murat was very clear, “ that he wanted to of the Adige, and hopes that he bas not forgotten bold the balance in his own hands, to keep pos- the benefits he had received from your majesty.” session of Italy south of the Po, and then to throw The second letter which he should read was from bis weight into the scale which appeared most Bonaparte to the Queen of Naples, and was dated likely to preponderate." Prince Talleyrand also Nangis, the 17th of February. At the time this lettold him, that he had the clearest proofs that long ter was written, Bonaparte did not despair of his after Murat had been negociating with the allies, fortune, and treated Murat in the stile of a master. he was also in direct negociation with Bonaparte This letter contained the following expressions ; for the possession of Italy south of the Po. It is “ Your husband is a brave man in the field; but true that Bonaparte, not then thinking so humbly more cowardly than a woman when he has been a of his fortune, treated his proposal with the ut- month from the field. He has no moral courage. most contempt, and talked of Murat as a madman He should know, that what he has he can only and a fool. It appeared that even in the month hold by me, and with me. When he quitted the of February last year, the Queen of Naples was army without orders, and ever since, he has been in direct communication with Bonaparte, and doing me as much mischief as he could. I may, made proposals to him on the part of her busband. however, yet pardon him. Recal him to a sense As to the merit that was claimed for his not join- of his duty, and let him watch for a favorable ing the viceroy, the fact was, that he could not moment to shew me that he is not as ungrateful as join him, as their pretensions were incompatible. he has been pusillanimous” He should next read He, in fact, claimed about balf of his vice-royalty. an extract from a letter from Fouche to BonaThe house would now see the cruel situation in parte, dated Lucca, February 18. This letter which ministers had been placed. They had stated, “ That the king was sick with grief: that been reviled 'in every corner of the country for he felt thoroughly the circumstances in which he supposed breaches of faith, which the gentlemen was placed, and that the English and 'Auson the other side so confidently charged them trians reproached him with too much attachment with. He trusted that he bad been able
to collect to his imperial majesty.” He then read an exsufficient documents to prove to the house and tract of a letter from Eugene Beauharnois to the country that there had been no breach of Bonaparte, dated the 28th of February. This faith on the part of the British government. He letter expressed," That the viceroy had the strongadmitted that the honorable gentleman had fairly est hopes that the King of Naples would not add and properly, this night, said that the case was a to the wrongs he had been guilty of towards his prima facie one, and called for some answer or imperial majesty by firing at his troops." He inquiry. He thought, however, that any man next read an extract of a letter from the French who had the least value for the honor and cha-' consul at Ancona, which had no date, but was racter of his country, or the government under certainly written about the same time. That letwhich he lived, should, even if there was a prima ter stated the sahstance of the conversation befacie case of breach of faith, suppose that the tween him and Murat, “ The King of Naples government would be able to give it an answer, told him, that necessity alone compelled him to and justify their conduct. Ministers, however
, join the allies. The maritime strength of Enghad been most violently attacked by other gen- land was always threatening his states with invatlemen in that house, upon some loose documents sion, and his people were discontented at the stage that had got into their hands, and before the time nation of trade. He said that it was agreed that had arrived when they could go into their justifi- bis army was never to fight against Frenchmen." cation. As he had wished to get possession of The next letter which he had to read was a very what documents he could find respecting the con- curious document: it was a letter from Bona