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selves with the states of Brabant ; Yet even in these humiliating cirand decreed that the council of cumstances, he persevered in the Flanders should no longer be con- same tone of manners and conduct sidered as provincial, but sove. which bad rendered him already reign.
universally odious. The military ardour and the rapid In such circumstances, a choice and splendid success of the patriots band of the inhabitants of Brussels, in so many parts of the Nether- inspired with enthusiasm in the lands, seemed to the inhabitants of cause of freedom, and a contempt the capital of Brabant, the seat of for the minister of oppression, formgovernment, to upbraid their inac- ed the generous and gallant, though tion and tardiness in supporting the apparently too daring design of rescommon cause. Ason the one hand cuing Brussels from its present they were indignant at the despot- thraldom, or losing their lives in the ism and the haughty and harsh glorious attempt. It is asserted that manners of d'Alton, so on the other, their whole number did not exceed they were encouraged to resist 500, while that of the Austrians was his tyranny by the visible anxi- estimated at 5 or 6,000 : though ety and depression of spirits which it is to be observed that these last had seized on that General, in con- were dispersed in various posts, at sequence of the progress of the in- great distances from each other in surgents, and particularly by the re. various parts of the city and subduction of Ghent. He had already, urbs. No riot or tumult was though for the first time, expe- made or pretended, in order to corienced a change in the counte- ver the real design ; nor was the atnance of his master, and in some tack, as usual in such cases, commeasure shared in the effects of his menced by surprise or assassination. chagrin on the defeat of Schroeder, About four o'clock in the afternoon, and knew not how to encounter December 9th, 1789, this band of his displeasure a second time : so heroic, and as it seemed, self-devoted dreadful an eclipse of royal sunshine citizens, marched boldly and openly to an old favourite! nor yet to re- to attack and seize the soldiers who late so many unfortunate events in were appointed to guard the mint, such a manner as to ward off all as well as those who were stationed censure on his own judgment, con- or quartered in the different conduct, and perhaps even his inten- vents. In these enterprises they tions. Confounded and over- succeeded without difficulty; for whelmed with vexation and despair, General d’Alton, who had for some he shut himself up in Brussels, time, contrarily to his usual disposiwhere for some time the gates were tion, begun to entertain ideas, and shut, and strongly guarded by day to place his hopes in plans of peace as well as by night. But perceiving and conciliation, did not choose to at length that this measure was con- exasperate matters for the present sidered as a proof of weakness and by an attack on the patriots. A apprehension, and farther, that he cessation of arms took place for sehad become a standing subject of veral hours, which were employed mirth and ridicule, lie ordered the in a negotiation for an armistice ; a gates by day to be again opened. delay at all events favourable to the
patriotic band, as it afforded time By this time General d'Alton, to their fellow-citizens to collect with what troops he could collect their thoughts and resolution, and in the present confusion, had reto determine the part which it was tired into the park and royal square fit for them to take in the present with twelve pieces of cannon.
Af. crisis. It is not to be supposed; ter a desperate engagement, conti.. though the circumstance has not nued for about an hour, he was rebeen mentioned, and was, no doubt, duced to the mortification of deon purpose omitted, but that the siring a capitulation; which was 500 original insurgents were joined readily granted. Having obtained during the pause by great numbers, a safe retreat for himseli and his if not the greater part of their fel- garrison, he marched out within an low-citizens. On the other hand, hour, according to agreement, and in the Austrians, during the same great disorder, as may readily be pause, received a reinforcement of imagined, directing his course to 800 men, with two pieces of can- Namur ; where he remained but a non; which they placed in the great short time. Quitting the town and square of Brussels.
province of Namur, he retired with The negotiation for an armistice his baffled troops to Luxemburgh.. being broken off, General d'Alton Count Trautsmandorf, with other sent a strong detachment to deliver principal members of the late gothe officers and soldierswho had been vernment, retired to Liege; the Go. made prisoners, and put in confine. vernors-general, the Archduchess ment in the lower town at the com- and her husband the Prince of mencement of the insurrection. Saxe Teschen, had quitted Brussels This movement served as a signalfor for some time before ; although, a general action to the patriots: who, from the gentleness and humanity having by an irresistible impetuo- of their dispositions, and their resity routed the detachment on its peated applications to the court of way, invested the great market. Vienna in favour of the provinces, place, which was used as a principal they were not in any danger of beplace of arms. Here, after a long coming objects of popular outrage and obstinate conflict, they drove among a people of so moderate and every thing before them, became equal a temper. masters of the corps de garde, took Iris impossible in surveying these two pieces of cannon, and made contests in the Netherlands, not to above 400 Austrian prisoners. In mark the contrast between the the mean time, different engage
of the Flemings and ments were carried on in every those of the French in similar quarter of the city ;* and in a few circumstances. The animosities of hours, the insurgents gained pos- contending parties, as in the civil session of the barracks and maga- wars of England, spent their force zines, in which they found 2,000 in open debate, or the field of batmuskets, besides à considerable tle; not in massacres, poisonings, quantity of ammunition.
and assassinations. Not a man, af
ter That the original insurgents were joined and supported by great numbers of the other inhabitants of Brussels, is clearly proved by this circumstance.
ter victory had declared on the as well as to all the deputies of the side of the patriots, in this engage- committee of the states of Brabant; ment in the capital of Brabant, tranquillity was established at once, nor in that of Ghent or any other, together with the regular exercise was killed in cold blood; nor quar- of sovereign power. It would have ter refused by the Flemings to any been difficult for a stranger newly who demanded it in the heat of arrived at Brussels, to believe that action. Not a single house in it had been so recently a scene of Brussels was burnt or plundered, arms, and of political revolution. although the owners who were ini. The states of Brabant being asmical to the revolution were gene- sembled at Brussels on the last day rally known; nor any injury of- of the year 1789, bound themselves fered to any person, except in fair by oath in the presence of the citiand open encounters. The pri- zens, to preserve the rights, privisoners taken in the course of these leges, and constitution of their various actions, of the 9th and i0th country; and then proceeded to of December, and who were not administer the same oath to the included in the capitulation, members of the Sovereign Council amounted to no less than 3,000. of Brabant, amidst the general ac
By the rapid successes of the pa- clamations of the people. A few triots, particularly the extraordi- days after, the states of Flannary victories in Ghent and Brus- ders concluded and published an sels, the Austrian dominion in the act of union with those of Brabant, low countries seemed for the pre- offensive and defensive; by which sent to be almost annihilated; as the contracting parties bound themthere was no place now remaining selves not to enter into any negoin their possession which they tiation or agreement whatever with could hope long to retain, except any foreign state (particularly with the duchy of Luxemburg.
their late Sovereign) without the The patriotism of the Belgic na- approbation and consent of the tion seemed now to be triumphant. other. This union was to compose The inhabitants of Brussels, natu- a sovereignty of the two states, in rally elated with their success, ex- such a manner that all the power pressed their joy in various modes: and exercise of that sovereignty but in the midst of their rejoicings, should be concentered in a congress did not omit to celebrate the most which should be composed of a presolemn offices of religion, for the scribed number of deputies from double purpose of returning thanks each party, according to articles and to the Supreme Disposer of all regulations hereafter to be agreed events, for their happy deliverance, on. In case of differences arising and offering up their orisons for the between two provinces, they were souls of those brave men who had to be settled by the intervention of fallen in the cause of their country. the sovereign power, or the mediaThe ancient courts of justice were tion of persons appointed by the restored; Gazettes were published, contending parties. It was pro, under the auspices of government; vided however, that the powers of a new oath of allegiance was ad- the congress should be restricted to ministered to all officers of the state, mutual defence, the right of mak
ing peace and declaring war, of monies, nor any internal laws and raising and supporting a national mi- regulations alone, that the sovelitia, maintaining necessary fortifi- reignty which they had now assumed cations, entering into alliances with could be long preserved. The conforeign powers, and other matters gress, at the head of which was Van. equally relating to the interests of dernoot, immediately took measures both states. This treaty, accepted for strengthening the army. There and ratified by the states of Brabant, was already in ihe service of the was soon acceded to by Hainault, Belgic states, a considerable numiand all the other Austrian provinces, ber of excellent officers, at the head except Limburg. This plan of gn- of which was General Vanderverninent, it is evident, was after mersclı, whose military talents had the example of their neighbours the led to the first successes of the reSeven United Provinces, and the volution. They now came to the remore recent precedent of the Ame- solution of taking into their service rican states. It was signed by de- ' a certain number of the subjects of puties from Brabant, Flanders, West the three allied powers (on whose Flanders, Flemish' Guelderland, assistance they principally relied),
, Hainault, Namur, Tournay, the England, Holland, and Prussia. Tournesis, and Mechlin, on the 10th Herein perhaps they imitated the of January, 1790. The province of politics of their brethren the Dutch, Limburg sent three deputies to the who, on their throwing off the Spaassembly of the States General; but nish yoke, by adopting a similar they declined to sign the act of con- measure, supplied themselves with federation and union, on the ground excellent officers and soldiers, and of their not having received in- interested the states to whom they structions on that head from their belonged in the success of that constituents. This was certainly a cause for which their people were plausible argument: but the truth fighting. Recruits came in from all was, that the measure proposed parts, and the military department was not agreeable to the Lim- was modelled on the best plan that burghers.
in the pressing exigencies of the The general confederacy of the state could be devised. In complistates of the Netherlands was in fu- ment to England and Prussia, the ture to be distinguished by the title English code
was adopted in matters of the United Belgic States. In of regulation, and the Prussian in commemoration of the revolution, those of exercise and action. A a medal was struck by ihe states of great number of British subjects, Flanders,and immediatelyafter their the greater part of whom had served example, by those of Brabant.* The as officers in the American war, Belgic states were well aware that it were inclined by martial ardour and was not by any memorials of this a generous sympathy with the Flekind, nor processions or other cere- mish nation, to pass over into the
• It was ornamented on both sides with a garland of laurel, and on one side was the following inscription :-Jugo Austriaco Excusso Religione et Patria Libertate Vindicata. Soli deo Honor. 1789. On the other side, Ex decreto Comitiorum Flandriæ. 1790.
low countries as volunteers. These cern as the Austrian Netherlands. gentlemen were received by the All liberal minds recollected what Netherlanders with open arms, and the Flemings had formerly been, most, if not all of them, were ap- contemplated with the highest depointed to immediate commands. light what they had recently Their numbers soon became so con- proved, that they still were and siderable, as not a few of them formed the most pleasing interpopossessed sufficient influence in their sitions of what they were now not respective countries for the levying unlikely to be. As they were the of men; that in consequence of first people in the north of Europe proposals made to them by congress, that cultivated arts and manufacthey raised and formed, under the tures, a satisfaction was felt at name of the British Legion, a body their successful efforts to shake off of troops composed entirely of Eng. the yoke of Austrian despotism, lish, Scots, and Irish. Recruits in of the same nature with what was the mean time came into the ser- experienced about the same period vice of the states from all parts of at the glorious struggles of the the Netherlands, both the towns Greeks, which we shall by and by and the country. A large portion have occasion to relate, in opposiof them found their own arms and tion to the heavy and degrading ammunition. This uncommon fer- yoke of the Ottomans. All neighvour was peculiarly discernible in bouring nations that had any rights the rustic classes. The peasantry of to protect, were interested in the the villages, in the proximity of support of the generous spirit and Brussels especially, flocked in energy of freedom in the Austrian crowds to that city. It was computed Netherlands. The ancient and inthat on one particular day, not less timate connexions between the than 10,000 had paraded through Netherlands and England are well the streets. The means by which known. The Flemings drew from these multitudes were collected with this country the greater part of such readiness, and actuated by so the materials for their principal ardent a zeal, was the influence of manufacture the woollen; and the the clergy,who persuaded them that English, from their commerce with it was their duty to repel the at. Flanders, imbibed, or were more tacks that had been made on the and more confirmed in sentiments property of the church, and on its of freedom. At all times habits immunities, by the suppression of of various intercourse prevailed monasteries, and the introduction of between the English and Flemish new regulations in matters of ec. nations; who, besides the circumclesiastical jurisdiction; which was stances of near neighbourhood stated as tending in its consequences and the sameness of descent, posto the utter ruin of religion itself. sess a near resemblance to each
Amidst so many great and inte- other in national character. Acresting scenes going on at this time cordingly there was no nation that in so many places_of Europe, took so warm an interest in the af. France, Germany, Turkey, and fairs of the Flemish patriots as the Poland, there was none that at- British : of which we shall present. tracted so general and lively a con- ly see a striking proof and instance.