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defence, struck: the frigates then made sail from the British squadron, ami the signal for a general chase was immediately made by . the admiral. After a running fight ot five hours, three of the frigates were captured in the course of the day, and three others afterwards became prizes. Thus the whole squadron, two frigates excepted, fell irlto the hands of the British; and tbe hopes of the French„ as well as of the malcontents in Ireland, were thus completely defeated.
Among the prisoners taken in the Hoche was the famous and unfortunate Theobald Wolfe Tone, so long considered as the most active and able negotiator among the Irish fugitives at Paris, and as the great #a<iviser of most of the measures pursued by his rebellious countrymen. He was brought to Dublin, and tried by a court-martial there; and in a most manly defence attempted neither to deny nor excuse his offence. The plea on which he rested was that of being a denisen of France, and an officer in the service of the republic. When he found that this plea did not avail, he requested that he might die like a soldier, and not as a felon; and be shot, according to military usage, rather than hanged. The court, however, did not accede to his request, and the unhappy delinquent cut his throat in the prison. Tbe wound was at first supposed not to be mortal; but,, after languishing a short time, it terminated his existence. On the morning after he had made an attempt upon his life, Mr. Curran exerted his great taItnts in moving the King's-bench for a'.habeas corpus, upon this
fround — «* That court-martials ad no jurisdiction over subjects
not in military service, while the court of King's bench was sitting." The plea was, after a full hearing,' allowed by the court, and the writ was ordered to be made out immediately; but on the arrival of the messenger at the prison, the unhappy, man was found not in a condition to be moved with safety. The writ, however, was obeyed by the military, and the execution, which was to have taken place that morning, was suspended.
The rebellion itself did not long survive Mr. Tone, who, we have already seen, might be considered as the original projector of that, formidable society which gave it birth. The few companies of rebels who lurked in the woods and mountains, dispirited totally by the ill-success of their allies, and dreading the approach of winter, successively laid down their arms. The last of their chieftains, who surrendered to government, was Holt, a man of mean origin, but of great spirit and enterprise. In the mountainous parts of Wicklow, he maintained, notwithstanding the failure of his con-> federates, a desultory warfare till after the defeat of the French under Humbert. It is believed that he at last made terms with government; but the utmost he could obtain was to save his life by relinquishing his native sail for ever.
By a calculation, which appears to be tolerably correct, upwards of 30,000 persons are supposed to have lost their lives in this deplorable contest, independent of those who were wounded, and of those who were transported or sent on board the fleet. Whatever might have been the occasional or even unjustifiable severities exercised upon suspected individuals, we must, in candour, acquit the Irish go
vernment of the charge which has, we think, rashly been brought against tliem, " of having goaded the people into rebellion." The rebellion was evidently the result of a deep conspiracy laid by a few ambitious and disaffected persons, who insidiously wrought upon the passions and prejudices of the lower orders or catholics to promote their own destructive designs. There is much reason to believe that the eyes of the people are now open to the mischieis into which they had been seduced ; and it only remains for government to sway the sceptre of author.tv with temperance, and properly to blend conciliation with a firm and not timid conduct. The path of pe ice and prosperity, we now think, is laid open to both parties; and, we trust, they will keep it. As a sovereign remedy for similar disorders, a legislative union of the two kingdoms has been recommended. We own ourselves partial to a unity of government; and we can see that the plan might ultimately be attended with some advantages; but those advantages are certainly remote, and they canaot be worth the risk of the smallest disturbance or discontent among the people. With respect to the immediate object, we cannot discover in what way a legislative union can be a means of preventing the revival of the scenes^which we have now been reviewing. It cannot remove the prejudices of the catholics; it cannot enlighten the people, or relieve them from their burdens. It may indeed, on the contrary, for the moment, tend to increase one of the principal
grievances of which the Irish at present complain,—the expenditure of Irish pro[>erty at a distance from the country, where that property is acquired. We think, in fine, that there are other measures which would be much more effectual than this in promoting the peace, tranquillity, and welfare of Ireland. If it were possible to promote, by any means, the transfer of capital to the Irish coast, and to excite in the people the spirit of commerce and manufactures; if some commercial concessions could be made by the opulence of Britain to the poverty oT Ireland; if schools could be established for the promotion at onre of knowledge and industry; if the gentry of Ireland could be persuaded to embody themselves in a patriotic union for the protection and the aid of the poor; if they could follow the example of. a society in this kingdom, whose generous efforts in the cause of humanity are above our praise, "the society for bettering the condition of the poor;" and if they could reduce to practice some of the judicious speculations of that society, we are persuaded they would effect more towards reconciling the minds of the people to order and subjection than any experiment on the constitution and the government. We have had enough of innovation; and, however, salutary the plan, we are persuade I, that in the present temper and condition of the Irish, people, " this is not," to use the language of the British minister on another occasion, "this is not the time for reform."
Retrospect of Continental Affairs during thepreceding Year. State of the belligerent Powers on the Rhine on the Opening of the Year 1797. Siege and Capitulation of the Fort opposite Hunhigue. State of the Austrian find French Annie." in Italy. New and extraordinary Levies of Austrian Troops. March of the Papal Troops to the Aid of General Wurmscr. Supposed Hostility of the Venetian Government. The French take Possession of
■ Bergamo. Preparations made by Buonaparte. Attack of the Austrians under Alvinzi, and Repulse of the French to the Adige. Position of Buonaparte. Battle of Rivoli. Success of the Austrians. Perilous Sitvation of Buonaparte, and of the left Wing of the French. Defeat of the right Wing of the Austrians. Battle of Porto Legnano. Defeat of the right Wing of the French. Prorcra's Progress towards Mantua. Rout of the right Wing of the Austrian Army. Attack ofProvera on the Forts before Mantua. Sortie of the Garrison under General Wurmser. Defeat and Surrender of the left Wing of the Austrian Army under Prorera. Destruction of the fifth Austrian Army in Italy by the French. Situation of Affairs in tie French Republic. State of the Finances—Of Parties—Factions. Supposed Royo/ist Plot. Plan of the Conspiracy. Arrest of the Conspirators. Trial and Conviction of the Chiefs before a Military Commission. Effects of the Lenity of the Commission on the different Parties. Mysterious Conduct and Policy of the Directory. Confession of the Chiefs of the Conspiracy. Pursuit ot the Remains of the Austrian Army, by the French, into the Venetian Territory. Surrender of Mantua. Preparations fur the Invasion of the States of the Holt/ See. Intercepted Correspondence of the Papal Ministry. Manifesto and Proclamation of Buonaparte. Refections on the Proclamation. Defeat of the Papal Troops. Surrender of various Cities. The miraculous Image of Loretto. Progress of the French Army towards Rome. Pope's Letter to Buonaparte with offers of Peace. Conditions of the Peace. Buonaparte's Letter to the Pope. Negotiation be
* tween the French General and the Republic of St. Marino.
IN our last volume we promised the whole of these events, as, from
a more ample and accurate de- the sources from which it is drawn,
tail of ctrtain transactions of the we can venture to pronounce at
French in Italy, than from the do- once correct and authentic, cuments before us we were able at The clos« of the year 179& °«i
that time to lay before our readers, been unfavourable to the arms of
On a review of the whole cam- the French republic. The fort of
paign we find the military move- Kehl, the only post which they
ments of the French so much con- held on the Upper Rhine, except
nected with the civil changes which the redoubt opposite Huningue,
they affected, and we find the of- had fallen into the bands of the
ficial reports, from which our nar- Imperialists: and the winds of bra—
rative last year was chiefly compiled, ven had visited their fleets in the
•o defective, that we determined to expedition to the coasts of Ireland,
lay before the public such a view of so roughly, that all projects of fu.~
ture invasion were deferred to an indefinite period. Notwithstanding these defeats, the campaign, on the whole, had been highly prosperous, as the conquests in Italy had more than counterbalanced the success of the allied armies in the north. The glory which the archduke had acquired in repelling the invaders of Germany was diminished by the length of resistance made at Kehl, whilst Moreau had added greatly to his military reputation by the skill with which he had effected his retreat. The redoubt opposite to Huningue.which had been, for some time, besieged by the Austrians, had, since the capitulation of Kehl, become useless, as the whole of Suabia, and the country on the right of the Upper Rhine was in possession of the imperialists.
General Moreau determined, nevertheless, to defend it to the last extremity, having judged that, by detaining the Austrian army on the Upper-Rhine, he should prevent them from descending to force the French from the posts they held on the right side of the lower Rhine, down to Dusseldorf; as well as contribute to weaken their strength, in which he had so eminently succeeded by his resistance at Kehl. The fort around which the Austrians were now assembling their forces consisted of works hastily thrown up after the passage of the French across the rivtr at Huningue, when Moreau penetrated into Germany, and was called the head of the bridge, though no bridge existed. It had originally been a regular fortification, constructed by the celebrated Vauban, but as these -works had been levelled at every successive peace, the head of the bridge presented no other
appearance, previous to the last passage of the French, than scattered heaps of ruins, along which, the cattle fed.
An island that lay a few yard* below Hitninnue, and which served as a communication with the works on the opposite side, was also fortified. These; two works contained about three thousand men. The Austrians, after having cannonaded it for a considerable time, opened their trenches tu reduce it in the regular forms. Ttic French, by their frequent, sallies, had considerably retarded their advance*, and had even pushed their success so far in one sally as to drive the enemy ba'"k to their most distant battelics, filling up part ol the third parallel which they had opened, spiking numbers of their cannon, and bringing away others, with the prisoners which they had made. What rendered the attack and defence of this place so remarkable is, that there is scarcely an instance in history where so great an expence in military stores, and so large a waste of life has been made for an object apparently so trifling* The Austrians having received considerable reinforcements, and having transported the greater part of their heavy artillery and mortars from Kehl, had constructed new batteries so near the works, that the French, having neither the means of securing themselves from the bombs, nor of making the enemy, from the great superiority of their numbers, and their artillery, desist from the enterprise, agreed, on the 5th of February, to a capitulation, by which they left the assailants in possession of the works, almost reduced to ruins, after witlid'awing every thing from thence, even to the fascines and palisades. The • Imperialist*
Imperialists afterwards reduced this place to its primitive state by levelling all that remained.
The affairs of the Austrians were less fortunate on the side of Italy. After the defeat of general YVurmser, and his retreat to Mantua, every nerve was strained to repair the immense losses which had been sustained during the former part of the campaign, and general Alvinzi found himself, in a short time, at the head of a body of forces for superior to those of the republic. The general had formed a comprehensive plan of attack from the mountains of the Tyrol to the Brenta, but frustrated in his designs by the activity of Buonaparte; he was defeated, as we have already related, in various previous combats, from the.8thtothel2thof December, and was totally routed on the 15th, 16th, and 17th of December, at the famous battle of Arcole.
The emperor, however, far from being discouraged, had made the greatest efforts to raise this new army; he had stripped the whole of his frontiers; the youth of Vienna had formed themselves into regiments of volunteers, and no exertions were spared to retrieve the tarnished glory of the Austrian arms, relieve Mantua, and drive the French from Italy. This new levy of 40,000 warriors, of no vulgar or ordinary character, advancing with new and formidable trains of artillery, and with no common rapidity in their movements, were animated with high hopes that the purpose for which they were assembled would be accomplished.
The court of Rome, so far as its power extended, contributed also its aid. The forces which the pope collected were not, indeed, formidable, either for military fame
or numbers; but such as they were-, his holiness put them in march towards Rom^gna, to watch the states of Reggio, Ferrara, Bologna, and Modcna, which had declared themselves independent; and also to favour the escape of general Wurmser into the Ferrarese, or into the pope's territories from Mantua, in case he should not be relieved, which was discovered by his intercepted correspondence.
The government of Venice had preserved, or affected a strict neutrality between the belligerent powers, though their adversaries assert that the assistance given to the Imperial troops, according to the report of the French generals, was neither trifling, nor concealed. The province of Bergamo, they say, had shown the greatest hostility. In the city of Bergamo, an anti-gaUican committee had been formed, the cause of the Austrians was openly countenanced, and many of the French had been assassinated. Whether these charges were true or false, the French found it convenient (and that has ever been sufficient excuse for their rapacity) to seise on the citadel, which not only silenced the Bergamese committees, but served to keep up the communication between the rivers of the Adda and the Adige. Buonaparte, informed of the rapidity with which the armies of the emperor and the pope were collecting, pressed the arrival of the reinforcements which his government had promised hrm, and made the necessary dispositions to withstand the shock., In the mean time he drew from every division in his army a small number of troops, which he formed into a moving column at Bologna, and to which, from the variety of its motions, and its presence in different quarters,