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ims in his family, and to make such party that had for some time, in the arrangements, as shall secure the midst of the violent dissentions and patrimony he leaves, against thecacontests that divided and tore the prices and follies of individuals, and country, lain dormant. This was transmit it with additions, at least theloyalists, or friends to the House without diminution, from generation of Austria ; who now began to deto generation. But most of all do clare themselves openly, to be disthe heads of royal houses carry tinguished by cockades of a different their views backward into past, and colour from those of the patriots, forward into future times. Survey- and who, being probably joined by ing the images of their ancestry, many persons
of other parties who and anticipating in their imagination were dissatisfied with ihe present the fancied forms of a progeny yet state of affairs, appeared to be by unborn, they consider themselves far more numerous than they had as accountable to those invisible been before imagined. In proportion judges of their conduct. Their as aversion to the present govern. own personal character is modified, ment prevailed, the loyalists inin some measure, by that of the creased in numbers and in courage. race from whence they are sprung. The inhabitants of several villages The aggrandizement of this, in assembled in bodies, wearing Aussome shape or other, is generally trian cockades, displaying Austrian among their governing passions. standards, and, until the troops
Though the character of Leopold, were collected for their dispersion, therefore, was as opposite to the proceeded to various acts of irrecharacter of Joseph II as that of gularity and violence. It was evi. Philip II was to Philip III of Austria, dent that the Congress did not pos. still it was not to be expected that sess either the dispositions, the ta. he, any more than Philip the Pious lents, or the authority that would and Good,* should renounce the have been necessary for conciliating, claims of his family. The love of harmonizing, and governing so disovereign power was as natural to vided a people. Many moderate the representatives of the Austrians, and judicious men, who had at the as that of liberty was to the people outset favoured the revolution, be. of the Netherlands: nor were these
gan compare the
present miserapassions, though different, necessa- ble posture of affairs with the tran. rily of an opposite and mutually hos- quillity and contentment enjoyed tile nature, the stability and the under Maria Theresa. Their atglory of monarchical power being tachment to the family of their anbest promoted by a just regard to cient sovereigns revived; they rethe interests and rights of the people; collected, that from the period when and the interests and rights of the the Burgundian provinces were people being safest under the wing united to the Austrian dominions to of a limited monarchy. The de- the present time, from the archclared intention of L opold to assert and maintain his ri Pold to as- duke Maximilian to Joseph II there
of sove- was but one instance of an Austrian reignty to the provinces, revived a monarch attacking what might be
called * The epithet bestowed by the Spaniards on Philip III.
called his maternal inheritance. the horrors of a civil war be re“ Ah!" it was commonly said by peated at every election. An here- : men of sober and sound minds at ditary monarchy when duly mothe very commencement of the dified, the best species of governtroubles, “ if the emperor were to ment, would prevent those calami. come amongst us, alone and un ties which so often overtook the armed as the successor to the sove- Roman empire, and which now so reign dukes of Burgundy, we would frequently desolate eastern nations, receive him with open arms :--but and have so often afflicted the king. the archduke, or rather the genius dom of Poland. A claimant, with of the House of Austria, is ever to so natural a title to the Burgundian be suspected.”
throne, and so fair a character as Nevertheless, when it became Leopold, ought not to be opposed evident that a double aristocracy in the present circumstances, but had combined with the rudest of received with joy. He is willing ihe people, only for the purposes of to grant all that the Flemings can self-interest and aggrandizement, desire for the security of their priand all things were involved in vileges : he has never yet been public confusion and calamity, the known to forfeit his word any evils that might be apprehendedfrom more than his title to be their a re-union with a power so greatly sovereign.” superior to that of the provinces, The declining power of the con-. werecompared with those to be cer- gress, and its approaching dissolutainly expected from a continuance iion, in some way or other, was. of the present distractions. “ If the perceptible to most people but states-general," it was observed, themselves, when they received a “should continue to hold the reins letter about the middle of August of government in the Catholic Ne- from the king of Prussia, signifying therlands, the Belgic nation groans that he had acknowledged Leopold under the pressure of a twofold to be duke of Brabant: an acand a species of monstrous aristo- knowledgment which implied his cracy; if a republic is attempted, succession, under different titles,t there is the utmost reason to fear, to the other Austrian provinces in. from what we have seen, that anar the Netherlands. chy and uproar will ensue ; and So intoxicated were the congress terminate, as anarchies usually do, by the small taste they had received in the tyranny of one man. Vari- of supreme power, that they would ous popular leaders would put in not suffer themselves to see that the their claim to the supreme power, fate of the Netherlands, for the and the nation would not be able present, was undoubtedly decided to obtain even the lethargic shades by the convention of Reichenbach : of despotism without wading to but, in spite of internal division and them through blood : the govern- an external union among so many ment might become elective, and great powers, in opposition to their
According to the terms of the treaty of Reichenbach, concluded on the 27th of July, as stated in a preceding chapter.
+ As earls of Flanders, &c. &c.
pretensions; and notwithstanding and Berlin, and the republic of the recent proof they had received the United Provinces, to govern of their unpopularity and inability each of his Belgian provinces to carry on any great enterprize, according to the constitutions, they obstinately, rashly, and madly charters, and privileges which were endeavoured to prolong the exist- in force during the reign of the ence of their short-lived government late empress. He invites, calls, by force of arms. Concealing the and summons all his Belgic subjects purport of the king of Prussia's to acknowledge his lawful autholetter from the public, they assumed rity, and to take an oath of fidelity an appearance of extraordinary and allegiance; declaring that he vigour, courage, and confidence. will bury in profound oblivion all They issued long printed proposals the excesses and disorders comfor raising a vast patriotic army; a mitted during these late
years by scheme which, like the former pro- a general amnesty, to be published ject of a grand expedition against in favour of all who, before the the Austrians, came to nothing. 21st of November next, shall lay
The new emperor, immediately down their arms, and put an end after his coronarion, issued a mani- to all instigations and attempts festo respecting the Austrian Ne- against the peaceable exercise of therlands at Frankfort, on the 14th his authority. He declares that, as of October 1790,
pa- soon as the cessation of the present ternal sentiments of affection, and troubles shall have afforded an opbreathing a spirit of moderation, portunity for his solemn inaugurapeace, and conciliation. It was tion, successively and separately in conceived in a milder and more the respective provinces, he will gracious tone than his former de. receive with pleasure, examine claration, after his arrival at Vienna. with attention, and treat with conHis conduct was the reverse of that fidence, in concert with the states of Joseph, who carried matters of each of the provinces, all the with a high and heavy hand, when demands, general and particular, he did not apprehend any resist- which, without destroying the conance; but who, when vigorously stitution, shall have some direct opposed, put on the appearance of reference to the public prosperity. gentleness, and a regard to huma- His imperial majesty proceeds in nity and justice. Leopold, raised his manifesto to state certain mea. to the throne of the empire, and sures to be pursued for ascertaining supported by the three allied pow- the wishes of all the classes of the ers, could afford to make conces- citizens who shall have in the resions to the provinces with a good spective provinces an interest really grace, and without seeming to make founded on the public good ; and them from any other motives than also for securing the freedom of those of princely magnanimity and suffrage in all elections: and he goodness. He engaged in the most conjures and entreats them sepasolemn manner,
« under the obli- rately, in the name of that oath gation of an oath, to be taken at which they had sworn to their his inauguration, and under the country, which, he says, is as dear guarantee of the courts of London to him as it is to them, not to re
pulse the hand which he stretches able and incessant interposition of out to them, and which is the hand the allied powers, who represented of an affectionate father,"
the futility and cruelty of efforts so A notification of the same terms wild and extravagant. of reconciliation and peace, dated In the present contest between at the Hague the 14th of Oct., the house of Austria and the New was sent by the mediating powers therlands, two provinces remained to the congress.
The emperor's in obedience to the former, and manifesto, so well calculated to acted with great vigour against the make good impressions on the latter. These provinces were Luxminds of the Flemings in general, emburgh and Limbourg. They produced no effect on the conduct
were a great resource to the Ausof the congress. In a short printed trians, who without them must have paper, handed about as their an. been compelled to evacuate the swer, they totally denied his claim low countries. of any right to the sovereignty of The defection, or rather the that country derived from his an- non-accession of the province of cestors; and asserted, that though Limbourg to the confederation of many of them had enjoyed the so- the united Belgic states, was vereignty of the Netherlands, they highly resented by the Brabanters, oued it entirely to the free choice that eight hundred of them, in the of the people, who had a right to pride of new sovereignty, in the choose for their governors whom- month of January, set out for the soever they pleased.
invasion of that country, in order The same common hatred of the to punish another people for laying Austrian government that had claim to the same freedom of mind united so many different and even and conduct which they exercised discordant parties in unity of design themselves. The natives of Braand action, in the first movements bant are generally said to be of a towards a revolution, re-united more mercurial disposition than them in some measure, and for those of the other provinces, and some little time, in the present in their pature to mingle with the alarming crisis, after they had been phlegm of the Netherlanders the disunited by the usual influence of volatility and arrogance of the extraordinary success. The demo- French. Nothing less was talked. cratical party, now including the of, after the Austrians were driven army, seemed to lose sight of the from Brussels, than the conquest of encroachments of the double arise, the duchy and strong city and tocracy, while they contemplated fortress of Luxemburgh. And so, the foreign yoke which they had rapid is the growth of blind amlately thrown off; but to which bition, that distant hints were they were summoned again to sub- thrown out of the propriety of mit. The war on the confines of re-uniting the French provinces the territories that remained in the to their old neighbours and copossession of the Austrians, was estates, the new Belgic repubrenewed with great animosity, and lic. much blood spilt to no end: and The river Meuse was a fortunate all this, notwithstanding the amic- barrier between the people of Bra
bant and those of Limbourg. The advance till they came into a narBrabanters being encountered, on row space of ground, where their their attempt to cross this river, by numbers could not avail them, and a party of Austrians were entirely where they were attacked with a defeated and driven back in great degree of skill as well as of spirit, disorder, with the loss of above that threw them into a disorder three hundred men. This repulse from which they never recovered. served only to inflame the rage of They fled, and were pursued with a the Brabanters: a strong detach- great slaughter.
This victory, ment of the patriotic army, fur- which nearly decided the contest, nished with artillery, was sent for was obtained by the Austrians on the formal invasion and conquest the 23rd of September. But such of Limbourg. But still the Meuse was the obstinacy of the confedelay in the way; and no other me. rates, that five days subsequent to thod occurred for surmounting that their defeat, they collected a large obstacle, than an application to the force under general Rochler, a very people for leave to pass the river active and expert commander, in by the bridge of that city. A the hope of counteracting by some Prussian general, then stationed at signal success the great misfortune Liege, possessed such influence, if they had sustained. They attacked not authority, over the turbulent with great spirit, and gained some Liegois, that, contrarily to their important advantages over the eneown disposition and wishes, which my, whose cannon they took, and accorded entirely with those of the who lost a very considerable numpeople of Brabant, he procured a ber of men.
But the Austrians refusal of their request.
found means in their retreat to pedition against the Limbourghers rally behind some works, where was dropt for some time, but re- they made a stand and renewed vived on the occasion just men- the fight; in which the confedetioned. After the receipt of rates were worsted, in their turn. the letter from the king of Prussia, These met with success in several and the manifesto of Leopold from ensuing skirmishes : but this did Frankfort, a force was collected not balance the disaster in Lim. consisting chiefly of the peasantry bourg; which was of so serious a of Brabant, of near thirty thousand nature, as to strike terror into the men, among whom was a number whole confederacy. of parochial clergy and monks, who It was now the general opinion marched in the ranks with cruci- of the Netherlands of all classes, fixes in their hands, and fortified that the affairs of the confederacy the resolution of their countrymen were not to be retrieved by any by sentiments of devotion. On effort in their power. the entrance of this undisciplined, The Austrian army was on its but bold and hardy, multitude into march through Germany to the low the province of Limbourg, they countries. It amounted to more were met by a very large body of than 30,000 men, and was composed the inhabitants, supported by a of the best troops in the emperor's strong corps of Austrian regulars. service. The leaders of the Belgic The confederates were suffered to confederacy, having failed in their