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And there arose a time of anarchy and mutual slaughter CHAP. which was universal: two hundred Poles belonging to the French army were massacred at Salo, and those French who happened to be isolated, fared no better. Bonaparte paused in his invasion of Austria to find some remedy for this disorder. He sent threats and offers alternately to the Venetian authorities, but these were equally powerless against French soldiers and native insurgents, and were quite unequal to the task of recovering their power or restoring order. Meantime, Bonaparte advanced and had encounters with the Archduke on the 1st and on the 3rd of April at Neumark, and at Unzmark. The latter was unable to resist, and at Leoben, on the 7th, plenipotentiaries arrived from Vienna to demand a suspension of arms, which Bonaparte consented to for five days. He had offered the Directory to continue the war, and press it to the gates of Vienna, if they would strongly reinforce him and put the armies on the Rhine in motion. But they hesitated, and showed at once a desire not to make peace, yet to refuse Bonaparte the means of dictating a more favourable one.* He therefore signed the Preliminaries of Leoben. The Austrians offered to recognise the French Republic—Recognize the sun in heaven, observed Napoleon. They ceded Belgium and Lombardy, the former to be a French province, the latter to become a republic. Austria asked an indemnity for these losses, and France proposed giving it in the Venetian provinces all round the northern shore of the Adriatic, whilst Venice it offered to indemnify with the Papal Legations.
These had already become French. After the defeat of Alvinzi, and previous to his crossing the Tagliamento, General Bonaparte had marched an army into the Roman territories. Ample proofs had been discovered of the full complicity of the papal government with the
CHAP. Austrians, which was natural enough, as the French had
long since seized Bologna. Some papal soldiers and inore priests under the conduct of a cardinal, attempted to resist the French. The latter pushed their way to Ancona, and from thence by Loretto to Rome. Bonaparte was puzzled as to how he should treat the pope. The Directory were for annihilating what constituted the unity of the Catholic church. But to do this, the French should occupy Rome permanently, and Austria was yet in arms. Bonaparte first proposed giving Rome to Spain, but he thought better of it. Bonaparte felt a respect for all the elements of power. However he might have come to Italy a mere Jacobin, his sojourn, with the practical experience of government and its necessities, which he there acquired, his negotiations with foreign powers, and the knowledge which he was called upon to acquire and to weigh of their nature and services, had greatly modified in him that policy of mere revolutionary instinct, which still actuated the then dominant members of the Directory. He therefore altogether swerved from their order to persecute priests and destroy the popedom. He held out on the contrary a protecting hand to the poor French refugee ecclesiastics.* And whilst he shore the pope of the Legations and Ancona, stripped our Lady of Loretto of her jewels, and sent her wooden image to Paris, he showed such respect for the spiritual power, that when told that the Inquisition was now purely spiritual, he refrained from insisting on its abolition. Rome submitted to these terms, and the heavy payment and sacrifice of its best works of art in the treaty of Tolentino (Feb. 19th, 1797).
It is singular enough that all Bonaparte's policy in Italy should thus be in real accord with that of the moderates and constitutionalists in Paris, whilst yet he
See his Correspondence.
and they denounced each other, they treating him as a Jacobin, he spurning them as royalist. The first question which formed the ground of quarrel in the Cinq Cents and Ancients, was the treatment of nobles, of priests, and of those prosecuted by the revolution. The Thermidoriens of the Directory, and the Conventionalists of the Assemblies were for maintaining the old revolutionary enactments, exiling priests, prosecuting nobles, and excluding from office all who had emigrated, or been connected with emigration. The Constitutionalists were for abrogating or modifying those severe laws, and were for allowing priests to ring their bells and perform their rites. When Sièges concocted a law of puritanic democracy to banish the well-born, the majority of the public as well as the Assemblies scouted it. During the terror those who dominated had forcibly imposed upon children brought to be registered the names of Marat, Clootz, and Sans-culottes. The Moderates wanted to allow persons to change these odious names; not so the Directory. In a host of minor matters, national guard, observation of the decade, or tenth day, instead of Sunday, wearing of cockades and so forth, the Directory employed its police to enforce what the people universally rejected. The revolutionary tyranny in minute matters survived the guillotine. The sceptre of the Directory was, as Bonaparte expressed it, “ of lead.”
In Italy the general reversed the Directorial policy. He took the poor exiled French priests under his protection, and refused to sacrifice the Pope to the Theophilanthropy of La Réveillère. When the Genoese in framing their new republic proposed to banish their noblesse, Bonaparte told them, that to proscribe any one class of citizens was just as pernicious and unjust as to proscribe another class.*
Bonaparte's principle of foreign policy was equally
CHAP. the reverse of that of the Directory. It was for
revolutionizing every country in Europe, preparatory to robbing them. It would not hear of peace, and breathed nothing but war and revolution. Bonaparte declined to follow such rules: he treated with Piedmont, with the Pope, and with the Austrians, and no doubt he would have treated with England too, had he at the time had any influence over the negotiations with that power.
Unfortunately the Constitutionalists in Paris, and the general in Italy, were too far removed to understand each other. Instead of allying, they indulged in mutual denunciation. The prints of the Moderates in Paris denounced Bonaparte as a rank Jacobin, whilst he retaliated by threatening to put them down as royalist. These looked for other military leaders. In Pichegru they showed confidence by electing him president of the Cinq Cents ; whilst Moreau, who had discovered Pichegru's relations with Condé without disclosing them, was considered more as a tacit and cautious friend to royalism than an enemy.
That the opposition to those Directors who were for persisting in the fanaticism and intolerance of the revolution was not royalist, is sufficiently proved in the fact that Carnot favoured it. He too, like Bonaparte, had gathered wisdom from practical experience. He was for effacing in domestic politics the line of demarcation between the men of the revolution and those who had held aloof from it. As Bonaparte in Italy, he protected the priests and did not consider gentle birth a crime. He moreover approved Napoleon's refusal to revolutionize South Italy.*
In these moderate views Carnot was supported by Letourneur, and was for a time and to a certain degree not opposed by La Réveillère Lepaux, who of a
Carnot's Memoirs and Letters.
studious and visionary character naturally leaned to CHAP. moderation. Unfortunately Lepaux conceived the idea of founding a new religion, that of the Theo-Philanthropists, a dreamy worship of the invisible without priests or dogmas or even rites. To establish this sect, La Reveillère was for proscribing the priests of the old religion and immolating the Pope. Carnot smiled in derision at the project, which Bonaparte coolly set aside. La Réveillère did not forgive this, and when Letourneur as Director gave way to Barthelemy, Carnot at once found La Réveillère to be estranged from him, and united to Barras and Rewbell, whilst Barthelemy was of too royalist a colour to be the safe ally that Letourneur had been.
As the summer of 1797 advanced, the Cinq Cents, hostile to the Directory, broke into more flagrant opposition. Motions more and more menacing were passed, many even threatening impeachment. The debates assumed a strong anti-revolutionary colour. A deputy named Bailleul denounced the many murders committed in and near Lyons, by the royalist associations, upon the old Terrorists. Camille Jordan, the eloquent orator, excused as much as condemned such excesses. The Constitutionalists themselves thought the Royalists were going too far; and proposed a reconciliation and alliance with the Directory, the terms of which were to be a more moderate policy and a new ministry of both parties. Madame de Staël laboured in favour of such a coalition. Barras, Rewbell, and La Réveillère declined, and appointed a new ministry still more hostile to the Constitutionalists. The triumvirate reckoned on Hoche, who, under pretext of pressing the invasion of the British Isles, was to move his army from the Rhine to the vicinity of Paris. He did so, ere the three Directors were quite prepared for the coup d'état. Summoned to account for his movement Hoche hesitated, hoping that Barras would extricate him from the