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NEGOTIATION WITH ENGLAND.
basis of the peace of Amiens; but Mr. Fox, while he frankly professed the sincere desire of England for peace, explicitly stated that his majesty could not negotiate but in conjunction with the Emperor of Russia, whom he considered as a party to the war. After a considerable delay, the negotiation was broken ofr.
A French army having been sent into Naples, sufficient to overawe all opposition, and the reigning family having fled from the kingdom, on the 30th of March, Joseph Bonaparte was proclaimed king of the two Sicilies, and all the constituted authorities compelled to take the oath of fidelity.
The French Emperor had transferred Hanover to the king of Prussia,
as an equivalent for several provinces ceded by the latter, notwithstanding which, however, in the negotiations with England, Bonaparte made no scruple of offering to restore to his Brittanic majesty the electorate of Hanover. To break up the German Empire, and weaken the house of Austria, and the king of Prussia, Bonaparte framed what he called the Confederation of the Rhine, consisting of the kings of Bavaria and Wirtemburg, the Elector of Baden, and several other minor German princes. By the principles of this confederation, these princes were to separate themselves from the German Em. pire, and renounce all connection with it. To give effect to these arrangements, the Austrian monarch was obliged to renounce his title of Emperor of Germany, and accede to the new order of things.
These measures having alarmed the king of Prussia he made immediate preparations for war. On the 24th of September, Bonaparte left Paris, to put himself at the head of his armies ; negotiations however, were kept up, until the 5th of October, when both Sovereigns were at the head quarters of their respectivé armies.
A few days after the king of Prussia published a declaration of war, and was so confident in his strength, that he neglected to obtain any reinforcements from the other powers, which he might have done. He
WAR WITA PRUSSIA-BATTLE OF JENA.
seemed determined to have the sole honour of putting down the overgrown power of Bonaparte.
Before the negotiation was closed, the French Emperor, whilst reading a communication from the king of Prussia, turning to those about him observed,“ | pity my brother, the king of Prussia ! he understands not French, surely he cannot have read this rhapsody !" This letter was accompanied by the celebrated note of M. de Raobelsdorff. 66 Marshall !" said the Emperor to Berthier, " they give us a rendezvous of honour for the 8th. They say a handsome queen is there who desires to see battles ; let us be polite and march without delay for Saxony." This information was correct, for the queen of Prussia was with the army.
The French army advanced in three divisions, the right under Ney and Soult, the centre under the duke of Berg, and the left under Lannes and Augereau. The corps of Bernadotte and Davoust marched to Gera. The Russians had taken a strong position on the Maine, north of Frankfort, but on the advance of the French they retired, and took up a position near Jena. Here they were attacked by the French on the morning of the 14th of October. The force on each side was nearly equal, consisting of about 250,000 men, and 700 pieces of cannon; two powerful armies, and possessing ample means of destruction. The Emperor, in addressing the troops, told them, that one year had not elapsed since the enemy that now appeared in the field, was taken at Ulm. The action was commenced by the light troops ; for a short time the issue was doubtful; but the impetuosity of the French soon carried all before them; the Prussian infantry, unable to withstand the attack, was broken, thrown into confusion, and a complete route ensued.
The Prussian army was nearly annihilated ; 20,000 were killed and wounded, and between 30 and 40,000 taken prisoners; the duke of Brunswick was mortally wounded. Among the prisoners were twenty generals, and 300 pieces of cannon were taken. A whole empire was lost by this single battle ; every town, and
BATTLE OF PULTUSK.
fortified city surrendered at a summons, and on the 27th, Bonaparte entered the Prussian capital, where he found much treasure and an immense quantity of military stores.
In the meantime, a Russian army under Benningsen crossed the Vistula, and advancing to Pultusk, a dreadful action was fought at that place, on the 26th of December, in which the French were again victorious. After the defeat of his ally, the king of Prussia sued for peace, but it was refused him.
The war continued with Russia.... Alexander arrives with a reinforcement....Dantzic surrenders.... Bonaparte joins the army
... Victory of Friedland.... Fall of Konigsberg.... An armistice, followed by the treaty of Tilsit....Berlin and Milan decrees.... Immense power of France.... Designs of Bonaparte against Spain.... Austria renews the war against France....Plan of the campaign.... The French penetrate to Vienna, which capitulates.... The battle of Essling.... The French retire to the isle of Lobau....Operations in Italy.... The Austrians are again attacked at Wagram, and defeated after an obstinate contest.... Peace concluded.... Bonaparte returns to Paris....Opens the sitting of the Chamber by a speech....His divorce from Josephine.... His marriage with Marie Louisa....Holland annexed to France.... The king of Rome.... Bonaparte's speech to the Legislative body.... Additions made to the Empire since the last session.... The power of France at its highest elevation.... Its great extent occasioned its weakness.
OPERATIONS were renewed the last of January, 1807. The Russian army, which had been greatly reinforced, took up a position behind Eylau, where they were attacked by the French. The contest was obstinate and severe; a thick fall of snow interrupted the view of the French divisions, and for a considerable time they were exposed to extreme uncertainty and danger; but marshal Davoust having succeeded in out-flanking the Russians, they were compelled to
292 WAR WITH RUSSÍAL-BATTLE OF FRIEDLAND.
retreat; but they retired without disorder. The action was not of a decisive character, and was claimed by both parties. Soon after, Alexander arrived with 60,000 men, and Bonaparte ordered strong reinforcements from Germany and France.
In the meantime, the French prosecuted the siege of Dantzic, which after an obstinate defence surrendered on the 21st of May; an event, that strengthened the left wing of the French army.
For some time, the Russians, being in great force, were disposed to act on the offensive, and gained some small advantages. Bonaparte having arrived on the 8th of June, took the command, and immediately commenced active operations. He regained the positions they had lost, forced the enemy to fall back, and sub•jected them to considerable losses. From the 12th to the 15th many minor engagements occurred, in which considerable loss was sustained by both parties, partiçularly by the Russians, who were obliged to fall back upon
Friedland. Here on the 14th, the anniversary of the commencement of the memorable battle of Marengo, Bonaparte determined to attack them. The contest was long, obstinate and bloody. It commenced at five in the morning, and continued until seven at night. The Russians were as brave as northern bears, but their barbarous heroism was not a match for the skill, activity and impetuosity of the French. The action was decided by a skilful movement: near the close of the day an immense column of the French, comprising a considerable part of their whole force, fell upon the centre of the Russians, which gave way, and decided the fate of the battle. Their loss was 'very great; and an immediate consequence of this victory, was the fall of Konigsberg, containing large stores of grain, and 160,000 English muskets, which had been sent for the use of the Russians, and had not been landed. The flying Russians were pursued as far as the Niemen, where they were joined by large reinforcements from Russia; in consequence of which the Russian commander in chief resolved to hazard another battle.
He accordingly crossed the Niemen,
PEACE OF TILSITTOMB OF FREDERICK.
and took a position on a large plain to the right of the town of Tilsit. The French immediately advanced to attack him, but were arrested by an overture from the Russian general for an armistice. On the 22d of June an armistice was concluded, and on the 24th, an interview took place between Bonaparte and the Emperor of Russia, upon a raft on the Niemen. The result of this conference, was a treaty of peace between Bonaparte and the Emperor of Russia, which was ratified on the 9th of July. By this treaty, East Friedland was to be added to the kingdom of Holland; a new kingdom formed from the provinces conquered from Prussia, at the head of which, Jerome Bonaparte was to be placed; the kings of Holland and Naples were acknowledged, and Russia and Prussia agreed to shut their ports against England, and to become parties to Bonaparte's grand continental restrictive system, by means of which he intended to exclude the British manufactures from the continent, and strike a deadly blow at their commerce and revenue.
The treaty of Tilsit leaving Sweden alone, to strug. gle with the gigantic power of France, and finding all her efforts to defend Pomerania unavailing, she was obliged to supplicate for peace, and a convention was concluded on the 7th of September, which put the French in possession of the Rugen, and the Swedish Islands on the German coast.
After the great and decisive battle of Jena, as Bonaparte was proceeding to Berlin, he passed through Potsdam, where he stopped to view the apartments and visit the tomb of the great Frederick. He ordered the sword and scarf of that monarch, together with the colours which he took in the seven years' war, to be sent as trophies to Paris.
Whilst in the Prussian capital in November 1816, he issued from that city his famous edict, commonly called “the Berlin decree," interdicting all commerce and intercourse between the countries under his control, and the British Islands, which he declared in a state of blockade. This decree occasioned the British orders in Council, of the 11th of November, 1807,