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lousy and resentment increased on their way into the town. The both sides, burst into acts of open Brabanters, as they retreated along hostility : but the first blow was the main street, which they did in struck by the injured and op- good order, maintained a hot fire,not pressed party.
without considerable execution on A body of insurgents, towards the their pursuers. In this manner the end of October 1789, without much Imperialists were drawn farther and resistance, took the two small forts fariher into the town, until Schroeof Lillo and Liefenshock, which der, with his whole force in a comhad been originally constructed by pact body, arrived at the marketthe Dutch, to prevent all intercourse place. Here he was saluted with a between the sea and Antwerp; but roar of artillery from different which, being of little importance, openings : while a fire of small arms had been given up to the vanity of deliberately pointed, still more trethe Emperor, in the adjustment of mendous, incessantly poured from the late differences respecting the the roofs and windows of all the navigation of the Scheldt. In Fort surrounding houses. The number Lillo, besides the military stores, and compacted order of the assailthey found a considerable sum of ants, which in other circumstances money. They likewise seized a might have been their strength, frigate, which had been stationed was now their weakness. Schroeoff Lillo, in the vain parade of ap- der, caught in the toils of crosspearing to protect a trade that was streets, houses, lanes, and unknown
, not permitted to exist, or perhaps passages,laboured for extrication by as a kind of protest that the domi- the greatest presence of mind and nion over the Scheldt belonged to personal courage in vain.
Two the Imperialists. General d'Alton
General d'Alton horses were shot under him, and he sent General Schroeder against the was severely wounded. His troops, invaders, atthe head of 4,000 troops, to withstand the intolerable fire well disciplined. On the advance that streamed upon them in every of this force the insurgents aban- direction, fell into immediate doned the two forts, and retreated confusion, and made a very disortowards Turnhout, a small town derly retreat out of Turnhout, by situated about eight miles to the the gate at which they entered. north-east of the forts. The Im- Their loss was computed at no less perialists pursued them closely: but than 700 men, besides at least two with all their expedition they could pieces of cannon. The date of this only obtain sight of a small party event is October 27th, 1789.* The who brought up their rear, and who rage of the Austrians at this unexwere immediately received within pected defeat and disaster, was the gates before they could come vented in the most frightful masup with them. The gates were instantly shut; but soon forced by The indignation of the Emperor the Imperialists, who made good at this « shameful affair," as he considered it and pronounced it to be, regiment from Luxemburgh, had was
• The reports_transmitted by the General to Vienna were so inaccurate and con. fused, that the Emperor himself could not make out whether two or four pieces of artillery had been lost. VOL. XXXIII.
extreme, Schroeder was taken refuge in that place; but into stripped of all his military com- which, being an open town, Ben. mands, and ordered to return to der forced his way sword in hand. Germany. The misfortune of The inhabitants of Tirlemont, Count Schroeder, who had enjoyed though they had no artillery, and a considerable military reputation, were but badly provided with small evidently arose from the contempt arms and ammunition, immediately in which he held raw and undisci- and universally took part with their plined troops; and the eagerness countrymen, determined to afford with which he grasped at the glory them protection, or to perish in the ofcrushingrat once the insurrection, attempt. The small band of paand restoring the provinces to their triots, mingling and supported by wonted obedience ; for there were those generous citizens, kept up as two other columns of troops on constant a fire from the roofs and their march to join him: so that windows of the houses as their proby only enclosing the insurgents in vision of arms and ammunition the town, they must have been could possibly supply,and defended compelled to surrender in a few every house, street, and avenue, days for want of provisions. withi the utmost intrepidity. On
The success at Turnhout awak- the other hand, the Austrians peneened by hope all the passions that trating into many houses and even warmed the breasts of the Belgian churches, perpetrated such massapatriots into an ardent flame. The cres as had been committed by their emigrants assuming the name of countrymen in their retreat from patriotic troops and patriotic army, Turnhout, and which we shudder penetrated the open frontiers, in to relate.
The conflict was conmore or less numerous bands, on tinued with unabated fury and obevery quarter. The peasants in stinacy on both sides, till the ap. Brabant, Flanders, Namur, Hain. proach of night compelled General ault, and other provinces, embodied Bender to relinquish his enterprize themselves wherever theimmediate and withdraw his troops. In this presence of the Austrians did not paltry and disgraceful affair, the loss restrain their motions. All ranks of lives on both sides, including in of men burned with impatience to that number both sexes and all join their countrymen in the field, só ages and conditions, was said to that they might be entitled to some amount to 1300. It was stated by share of the praise due for the the patriots, that in General Bendeliverance of their country from der's retreat from Tirlemont in the foreign tyrants.
night, he met General d'Alton The action at Turnhout was fol- full in his way, at the bead of lowed in a few days by another, in a strong detachment to his assistsome points of a similar nature, at ance; and that each party fired Tirlemont, a large town in Brabant, on the other, under the douon the river Geet, nine miles south- ble mistake of their being mueast from Louvain. A small body tually enemies; and that seveofpatriots,closelypursued by General hundreds were killed and ral Bender, just arrived with his wounded on both sides before the
error could be detected.* The sailants drove the Austrians before repulse of General Bender was soon them with such impetuosity, that followed by the defeat of a body of one part of them fled for refuge to. Austrians under General d'Arberg, the citadel, and another to the barto whom the Brabanters dared togive racks; which however they prebattle in the open field. We have pared resolutely to defend. This not been able to ascertain either the party, to the number of 500, and time or place of this action; but it commanded by Colonel Landhen, was said, and generally understood on the third day of the siege hung out at the time, to have been very dis- a whole flag, gave up their arms, and astrous to the Austrians; who it was surrendered themselves prisoners of also said and credited, would have war. During the time of the attack been cut off in their disorderly flight on the barracks, the citadel, instead over the Scheldt, if their retreat had of attempting to relieve the besiegnot been covered on the banks of ed, was wholly occupied in throwthe river by, the singular bravery of ing bombs and combustibles of difthe regiment of Bender. While ferent sorts, with a view of destroythis brilliant success attended the ing the town by one general confiaBelgian arms, the patriots gained gration. But these, whether front
, possession of Ostend, Bruges, Lou- a want of a sufficient stock of comvain, and other places, without any bustibles, or from whatever cause, contest: victory and uninterrupted produced no other effect than that success inspired bolder and bolder of destroying a number of houses, designs. Early in the morning of damaging others, rendering the the 13th of November 1789, a small streets impassable by the ruins, and, body of patriot troops, not exceed- by the fires which were continually ing it was said 700 men, marched breaking out in different quarters, with unparalleled boldness and au- keeping the inhabitants in a state of dacity to attack the city of Ghent. constant terror and confusion. The They directed their course to the base garrison, who durst not atgate which takes the name of Bru. tempt the relief of the barracks, ges, which they forced. During the made frequent sallies into the conflict which attended this opera- streets, particularly by night; tion, the bridges within the walls when, besides rapine, the most were all taken up, and every other horrid crimes are said to have been measure adopted for preventing or committed. retarding their progress when they The patriots obliged Colonel should enter the town. A battle Landhen to write an order to the ensued in the streets, which conti- commandant of the citadel for its nued for some hours, when the as- immediate surrender; which hevery ;
properly * Though there is nothing incredible in this report, as such fatal mistakes have often happened, yet the truth of it has been doubted. In such a cruel and bloody war as this, in which exorbitances committed on one side drew forth severe retaliation from the other, and all things were involved in blind prejudice, animosity, and rage, the reports of common fame are more than usually exaggerated. We have no other accounts of the military exploits in the Netherlands at this period, than those published by the patriots. The Austrians, under their misfortunes, were wholly silent.
properly refused to obey. Never. strung by a relaxation of discipline theless, devoid of courage as of ge. and habits of vicious indulgence: nerosity and a sense of honour, con- evils not arising merely from the scious of guilt, and probably desirous proneness of human nature to sink, withal of preserving the pillage he whenever an opportunity offers, inhad obtained, the commandant eva- to indulgence and the lap of pleacuated the citadel in the dead of the sure, but which may be traced to night, and marched off bag and bag. the very mind of the restless, rash, gage, having at his departure ren- and incorrigible Joseph. dered himself, if possible, still more It had been a maxim, long and infamous than before, by enormities closely pressed by the Emperor, on committed in all the streets and his commanders in the Netherlands, houses within the reach of the gar- to render the duty of the soldiers as rison. When we thus contemplate light and as pleasing to them as the city and citadel of Ghent, pos- possible ; and particularly not to sessed by a powerful and numerous weary and disgust them, by an atgarrison of regular forces, reduced tention to the minutiæ of discipline.
a small party of raw insurgents, His object plainly was, to attach we are strongly excited to inquire them to his service and person;
and into the cause or causes of so won- to make them faithful partizans in derful an event. Allowing all that all disputes with the people:-an can possibly be granted or demand- unwise and dangerous policy even ed in favour of the enthusiasm of to his own authority. From this liberty, it is yet wholly incredible indulgence and the habits of trampthat a band of 700 men, who seemed ling on (not to say massacring) a to be lost in the magnitude of so defenceless people without danger great a city, could have triumphed or resistance, the imperial troops over a garrison so greatly superior seemed to have changed their nain strength, number, and all military ture as well as character; for as soon advantages, if they had not been as they came to be engaged in real seconded by the general voice, and service, and compelled to face an the active support of numbers of enemy on equal terms, they shewed the inhabitants: a support which themselves to be as mean and das(though not so much as once men- tardly as they were on other oceationed in the details published of sions cruel and profligate. It may that affair) we must conclude to also be observed, that the striking have been afforded. Nor perhaps contempt for religion, which at this would the united efforts of the band time so flagrantly marked the con. of 700, and the patriotic citizens of duct of the soldiery, and which was Ghent, have been able to prevail, so eminently prejudicial to the imat least in so short a time, over the perial cause in the most religious citarlel, if the nerves of its nume- country in Europe, had sprung up rous defenders had not been un- in the Austrian armies, only under
the Soldiers are never so fondly attached to any military chief as to the rigid disciplinarian, provided he observe the striet rules of discipline to all, and show as great concern to provide for their wants and reward their merit, as to punish their faults and failure in duty: their attachment in this case being heightened by res spect, esteem, and perhaps even by a degree of awe.
the auspices of Joseph II., for un- those numerous and conquering ar? der the government of his prede. mies, which were now so successcessors, and particularly of his mo. fully employed against a foreign ther, whatever their disorders might enemy. He endeavoured partly to have been in other matters, they justify, and partly to explain several maintained the outward appearance of the most offensive parts of his at least of respect to christianity, and conduct. He mentioned every thing appertaining to religion. steps he had already taken for their So certainly and quickly may the gratification, and offered to revoke character of a sovereign prince be all the edicts of which they comdiffused among his subjects ! plained, and to comply with every
The reduction of Ghent was of demand they had formerly made. the greatest consequence to the In conclusion, he ordered that no Flemish patriots; and the more es- person shall be arrested for any pecially that it enabled the states of cause, or under any pretence whatFlanders to assemble in that capital ever, but according to the existing of the province, for the purpose of laws and established usages; and legalising their public proceedings, grants a general, full, and perpetual giving a form to their intended amnesty to all who should return to new constitution, and concluding a their duty within a specified, but league and federal union with the considerable space of time, the other provinces.
Jeaders of the revolt alone ex. The emperor, on receiving intel- cepted. But a cordial reconcilialigence of this alarming situation of tion on such grounds was now imaffairs, descended from his usual practicable. And even before the pride and obstinacy, and endeavour- emperor's manifesto was known, ed to reconcile the provinces by the although it be probable that it was fairest promises ; although he could expected, the states of Flanders on pot entertain any lively hope that the same day with the date of that the people, so often deceived, would piece, 20th November, 1789, boldly be inclined to repose any confidence seized the sovereign authority in in his engagements. In what may their province, and in imitation of be considered a penitentiary decla- their Dutch neighbours, assumed ration dated at Vienna on the 20th the title of High and Mighty States. of November, 1789, after expressing They passed six resolutions :-by great sorrow at the present troubles, the first of which they declared, and some surprise at the violent that the emperor had forfeited all measures that had been pursued, he title to the sovereignty of Flanders: exhorted the malcontents to lay by the others they agreed immedidown their arms, and to trust for aiely to raise an army of 20,000 the redress of any real grievances to men, including 1,000 rifle-men, exhis clemency and paternal affection. clusively of the quotas voted to be He painted in strong colours the furnished by the different towns in dreadful consequences that must the province;-appointed commisensue, if they should compel him to sioners for raising, organizing, and relinquish the great line of con- providing this army with all things quest which he was now pursuing, necessary for subsistence and for and to pour in for their suppression the field;-resolved to unite them