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owing to the superior number and character of their troops ; yet, we must search deeper, if we wish to ascertain the whole chain of causes which have contributed to those successes. France, as well in the days of her ancient monarchy, as under her new dynasty, has known the advantages of intrigue ; and unfortunately, in the contests beiween revolutionary France and the powers of the continent, intrigue has been too successful. The generals of her opponents have been as often seduced by means of it, as by superior discipline or force ; this remark will particularly apply to that war between France and Austria, in which general Mack was engaged on the side of the latter. But besides their superiority in the arts of intrigue and bribery, the French had another advantage; they have more national spirit and feeling than most of the other nations of Europe ; while the people of the other nations are looking almost exclusively to their own interest, or at least lukewarm in their feelings and exertions for the public good, the glory of his country is the darling passion in the breast of almost every Frenchman. Hence, the plans and orders of the ruler of France have generally found active and zealous supporters in all ranks and classes of this singular people ; whereas in the other nations of Europe, with too few ex. ceptions, what has been planned with the greatest wisdom, and in the purest spirit of patriotism, is generally executed in a careless and inefficient
Such a difference of the character of the French, and in most of those with whom they have contended in their revolutionary wars, cannot have failed to produce wonderful effects ; in France, all are united in one object, that object may be ur principled and unjust : it has been always so with France in her wars, but it is an
object which no Frenchman can regard with indifference, and which effectually preserves him at once from inactivity, the controlling and contravening influence of self-interest, and the intrigues of his enemy. Hence it is that so few Frenchmen desert, fewer perhaps than in any other nation; they are kept true to their country by their intense national feeling, and by their conviction that France is the greatest country in the world, or worthy and destined to become so ; and that, therefore, they shall not only disgrace themselves, but cut themselves off from being sharers in her glory, if they desert her service. There is a deal of this nationality among the British, but it is of a purer and higher character; it is founded on more just and worthy feelings, and directed to more laudable objects, but at the same time it yields to circumstances sooner than the nationality of the French does. The Russians also possess a very large portion of this nationality, of a different character both from that of the French and English, while the nationality of the latter nation is the result of some reflection, and grounded on principle, though that principle may be narrow and erroneous, the nationality of the Russian is merely instinctive and animal : but though thus low and degraded in its nature, it is from this very circumstance of the most obstinate and lasting kind. The representations of the liberty, the comforts, and the happiness which other nations possess, make little impression on the mind of a Russian : he still prefers his own country and government, such as they are, to any thing foreign. Some vations are much more attached to personal and individual, than to national liberty and independence, and are indifferent by whom they are ruled, provided
they are ruled with gentleness, and enjoy their civil and political rights: other nations, on the contrary, having no conception of or relish for individual liberty and privileges, feel an interest only in the preservation of their national indepen. dence. Such appear to be the Spaniards and Russians; we may wonder that any people should find motives for fighting for a weak and oppressive government; but however it may contradict our experience, or our theories, the fact is well established, and it is fortunate that it is so, since perhaps this blind and semi-barbarous preference of a weak and wicked goverment, merely because it is the government of one's own country, is a more effectual safeguard against the intrigues and power of France, than the more enlightened and rational attachment to individual liberty : the latter is too apt to be deceived by French promises, and to expect from them a reformation of public abuses : the former has implanted in the breast such an instinctive dread of every thing foreign, and such an indifference about personal liberty and rights, that French intrigue must be displayed, and French promises made in vain. The French, therefore, are a very national people, and who bad derived great advantages in their wars from this nationality, were now about to commence hostilities against the Russians, who were at least equally national ; from this cause of their former successes, therefore, the French in their contest with the Russians had little to hope.
Another cause of French success must be traced in the very decisive manner in which they conduct war: perhaps decision is not the term which most aptly and precisely designates what we mean ; it is more than decision, it is the adoption of the most bold and apparently hazardous plan ; a plan
which, seeming to indicate a consciousness of superiority, in most cases has produced to the French people all the advantages of it, by intimidating their opponents. Bonaparte well knows how difficult it is to distinguish between rational boldness and rashness; he acts on this principle, and has thus too frequently succeeded in conquering his enemy by his own rashness. But this plan was not likely to succeed so well in Russia, and among the Russian people, as it had done elsewhere; when he penetrated into the very heart of Germany, though he was thus placed at an immense distance from his own territories, he still was in the midst of a people at least not hostile to him, and of a country extremely fertile. The Austrian government issued no orders to impede bis progress by laying waste the country, and, if they bad issued 'these orders, their subjects possessed too little attachment to them, and too small a portion of nationality, to have obeyed them :--but in Russia the case would be completely reversed; he would be much further reinoved from his own territories and resources; he would be in the midst of a comparatively barren and uncivilized country, where the means of subsistence were neither so abundant, nor so easily and regularly procured; and above all, he would be in the midst of a people, who were naturally disposed to resist the French by all possible means, and who, at the command of their sovereign, would undergo the greatest pri. vations for this, or any other purpose of his pleasure. The only hope of success, therefore, which Bonaparte could indulge, if he was fully aware of the character of the Russians, must have been from his knowledge of the emperor Alexander : him he had once already intimidated or cajoled ; and he must have expected, if he entered on the war
with such very formidable means, in a rapid and decisive manner; if he penetrated into the heart of Russia, so as to threaten either Moscow or Petersburgh, and especially if he signally defeated the Russian army, that Alexander would sue for peace on his own terms.
The plan of the campaign, on the part of the Russians, was founded on a regard to all these cir, cumstances; on the experience that Bonaparte always pushed forward in the hope of signalizing the commencement of hostilities by some splendid, if not decisive action ; on the belief that he might be thus drawn into the interior of Russia ; and on the firm conviction, that if he were thus drawn into the interior, he would find every Russian hostile to him, and perfectly disposed to contribute to the destruction of his army, by the abandonment of their homes, and the devastation of their country. By this plan of continually retreating before him, the French commissariat, so perfect under other circumstances, would be of little service, while the Russians would feel little or no distress from their deficiency in this respect. The climate of Russia and the season of the year were also taken into the account in forming the plan of the campaign, so that in every point of view it presaged to the Russians victory, and to the French defeat and disgrace. There were, however, two circumstances to be guarded against, either of which might render the plan destructive : in the first place, it would be necessary for the Russians to oppose
progress of the French in every situation where it could be done with advantage, but carefully to guard against committing themselves in a decisive battle : this with most troops would have been extremely difficult ; in the moment of zeal or supposed victory, soldiers are apt to be