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DEATH OF GEN. KLEBER
Egypt, and perhaps to France. Kleber was the best of the French generals ; he possessed a noble and magnanimous soul. As a commander, he was only inferior to Bonaparte ; but in patriotism, integrity, humanity, and every virtue which characterises real greatness, he was vastly his superior. He was also more endeared to the soldiers than Bonaparte; the latter they admired and feared as a commander, but Kleber they loved and revered as
He highly disapproved of the conduct of Bonaparte. in Egypt, but from their critical situation, suppressed his sentiments, and used all his influence to sooth the feelings, and silence the murmurs of the soldiers. He had also been personally treated with great insolence and indignity by Bonaparte, in consequence of his having, in a note, the object of which was, to heal some differences that had existed between them, addressed him by the familiar and fraternal appellation of “ Comrade! Comrade !” He was indignant, not only at his own injuries, but at the unprincipled conduct and the ambitious designs of Bonaparte, and had determined to have ample satisfaction on his imperious rival; he had fixed his determination and passed his word to redress his own and his country's wrongs, on his return to France; nor would the exaltation of Bonaparte, whom he did not fear, have shaken his purpose, or deterred him from his object. It was equaliy fortunate for Bonaparte as it was unfortunate for his country, that his valuable life was taken away by the hand of an assassin. Some time afterwards, his funeral was celebrated by the whole army in conjunction with that of general Desaix, with great solemnity. It was not a mere formal parade with unmeaning sound of muffled drums, but a gloomy scene of mourning; the deepest grief agitated every heart'; as the coffin passed, every soldier felt as though it contained the remains of his own father ; for after the desertion of Bonaparte, Kleber was regarded as the common father of the army.
The death of Kleber placed the army under the command of Menou, a man of capricious and narrow
BRITISH EXPEDITION TO EGYPT.
mind, and though not destitute of courage and capacity as a soldier, he was entirely uufit for the important and responsible situation in which fortune had placed him. He broke off the negociation, and determined to hold possession of Egypt. Subsequently, he turned Mahometan, married an Egyptian woman, and assumed the name of Abdallah I Menou, which he signed to all his official papers.
The prospect of the evacuation of Egypt by the French, as the result of negociation, having vanished, the British determined to dispossess them of a settlement, not only important in itself, but which opened a way to hostile designs against their East India possessions. Accordingly, near the close of the year 1800, an expedition was sent into the Mediterranean, the fleet commanded by lord Keith, and the army by Sir Ralph Abercrombie.
The fleet, consisting of about one hundred and seventy sail of all descriptions, moored in the bay of Aboukir on the 2d of March 1801, occupying the very ground where Nelson fought the great battle of the Nile. The troops effected a landing, although vigorously opposed by the French. General Menou, apprised of the appearance of the British, hastened from Cairo, and concentrated his whole force at Alexandria. On the 21st, at half past three o'clock in the morning, the French commenced an attack upon the British; a most obstinate conflict ensued; the combatants on both sides fought with the greatest fury. Until the appearance of day-light, the French had the advantage, when they were overpowered, repulsed on all sides with great loss, and compelled to retreat. The Bri. tish general was mortally wounded, and general Hutchinson succeeded to the command. Being unable to reduce Alexandria, Hutchinson penetrated into the interior, traversed the desert, reached Cairo, and prepared for investing it; but the garrison, sensible of their inability to defend it, capitulated; being permitted to be conveyed to France with all their artillery, and baggage; the scientific men were permitted to retain their papers and collections.
CAPITULATION OF ALEXANDRIA-TREATY OF PEACE. 201
Menou still held out in Alexandria, confidently expecting a reinforcement, which the vigilance of lord Keith rendered impracticable. On the 15th of August, Hutchinson invested that city on the eastern and western front; while admiral Keith co-operated from the north with his fleet, and on the south with the gunboats that were assembled on lake Macetis, so that the town was completely surrounded. General Menou, perceiving no prospect of succor, and considering further resistance unavailing; on the 26th offered to capitulate, on the same terms granted to Belliard, at Cairo, which were acceded to. Thus ended the grand expedition to Egypt. Previous to this, a negociation had been opened between the two governments. Egypt had interposed the greatest obstacle to a pacification, Bonaparte being determined to retain it: but this difficulty became less serious as the prospect of retaining that country became less favourable, and the 2d of October announced the conclusion of a treaty of peace between Great Britain and the French Repub. lic. With such secrecy were the negociations conducted, that the preceding day, this event was not remotely expected. The tidings flew upon the wings of the wind, and excited the most inconceivable transports of joy throughout both countries.
This year, (1801) being the second of Bonaparte's consulship, he closed by a grand expose of the internal and external condition of the republic.
" It is with pleasing satisfaction," he observes that the government offers to the nation the picture of the state of France, during the year that has passed over. Every thing at home and abroad has assumed a new appearance, and whatever way we cast our eyes, a long perspective of hope and happiness opens upon
Power of France....Change of the government....Peace of A
miens....Mr. Fox.... Various anecdotes and incidents in the life of Bonaparte.... Expedition to St. Domingo.... It fails.... Re-establishment of the Catholic religion.... A conspiracy.... Change of Ministry in England.... Bonaparte created Emperor.....Another coalition formed against France.... Bonaparte writes a letter to the King of England.... His Address to the Senate....Leaves Paris and puts nimself at the head of the army....Commencement of hostilities.... Action at Ulm.... The Archduke Charles arrives from Italy.... Austrians reinforced by the Russians.... The great battle of Austerlitz.... The Treaty of Presburg.... Bonaparte returns to Paris....Mr. Fox and his friends come into power in England.... A negociation opened.... Broken off....Joseph Bonaparte proclaimed King of the two Sicilies....Confederation of the Rhine.... War with Prussia.... The Prussians defeated at Jena with great loss.... The French enter Berlin....Action at Pultusk.
The year 1802 dawned most auspiciously upon France. After a struggle of ten years, against nearly all Europe, attended with immense sacrifices, the republic found itself, enjoying peace with all the world; tranquil comparatively within ; its power immense ; its territory extended ; its armies returning home ; crowned with victories, and covered with glory.
But it was not however, a period of universal exultation or joy ; there was many, and those comprising the most of the enlightened and best patriots of France, who, whilst they rejoiced at the return of peace, and the maintainance of the independence and power of the nation, felt little inclined to exult at the overthrow of the enemies of the republic, by means whcih had overthrown the republic itself. They considered that the principal object of the revolution, the establishment of a free representative government, and for the accomplishment of which, the nation had toiled and bled so freely, was lost forever.
The establishment of the consular government, was in itself an abandonment of the great principles of the revolution ; but Bonaparte not satisfied with the power which the constitution had vested in him, almost immediately, became arbitrary in his conduct, and
CHANGE IN THE GOVERNMENT.
gradually moulded the government into a military despotism. The great defect in the preceding constitutions, had been, the weakness of the executive ; but to remedy this defect, they destroyed the whole system ; in the consular government the Executive was so strong, that it swallowed up the other branches. Instead of the executive being only the organ and instrument of the legislative will, the legislative bodies became the submissive and humble instruments of the will of the Executive. The constitution had virtually destroyed the representative principle, as the Executive must necessarily have had an influence, over the Legislature, both in its creation and its acts, wholly incompatible with any just idea of Legislative power, as a separate, distinct, independent, and co-ordinate branch of government. Yet still had a different man been placed in the executive department, the Legislature might have possessed some authority, which would in some measure have afforded, a balance and countervailing influence to the executive power.
But the moment the executive sword was placed in the hands of BONAPARTE, all balance in the government was destroyed. Being the idol of the army, they instantly became entirely devoted to him; and having thus the entire controul of the national sword, with that he commanded the national purse, which united, constituted absolute power.
The numerous and formidable enemies of the republic, and the critical situation of the country, tended powerfully to favour the views and strengthen the power of the first conşul. The country being in imminent danger, the dictates of patriotism urged the best and most patriotic citizens, to join the army, and all who became attached to the army, were not only led to obey the authority, but to admire the genius of Bonaparte ; and as their hopes of preferment rested entirely upon him, they all became his partizans.The success of his military operations, and vanquishing of the formidable enemies of France, which removed all apprehensions for its independence, and safety, tended to render him almost aniversally popular with