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Count Potocki was now sent by the patriots at Warsaw to negotiate with Suworow, and received a haughty refusal.—Deputies were then sent from the magistrates of the city; and were answered that, on submission at discretion, their lives and property would be spared.—These terms being necessarily accepted, the keys of the city were formally delivered to Suworow, and he made his solemn entry into it.t .
Such was the termination of a campaign which put a period to the existence of the Polish republic, but not to the sufferings of the patriots.
-Catharine, through her general and plenipotentiary, had promised them an amnesty. But it was found by experience to be such an one as, with the empress's pardon, did not afford them protection from injury. Several : of their chiefs were arrested. All those who were distinguished for their patriotism were proscribed, and their property was confiscated. And neither the amiable character of Stanislaus, nor the high place which he had once held in the empress's good graces, nor his former obsequiousness, could screen him from the most humiliating treatment. Being reduced to the condition of a pensioner to his oppressors, he repaired by the empress's orders to Grodno; and was thence called into Russia; where he spent the short remainder of his calamitous life.
The courts of Vienna, Petersburg, and Berlin, then, says an historian of this period, “ being relieved from all obstacles, quietly divided the “ ensanguined prey, and wished to annihilate even the name of Poland; “ but history will eternize the glory of the vanquished, and the injustice of “ the victors."
We have 'hitherto contemplated these events in that gloomy light in which the violation of national rights and the practice of injustice and oppression must ever be viewed by men of upright minds. But if, agreeably with the true use of history, we carry our contemplations forward to the probable consequences of them, we shall, perhaps, receive a satisfaction from them which will induce us to revere that superintending Providence which so directs the actions of men, that, even when the agents are not conscious of it themselves, those which are apparently hostile to the peace and happiness of the world are not unfrequently seen to conduce to the general
welfare. + November 9. • Segur. 3. 162.
welfare.-A person who is disposed to view the present events in Poland in such a light will observe the house of Brandenburg, which a little more than a century ago held only the station of a German electorate, gradually raised up, by a variety of events, till it became a balance to the Austrian house; in consequence of which it was induced by self-interest to protect the smaller states of Germany against its oppression. A similar consequence may be expected to ensue from the partition of Poland. For although the territories allotted to the other powers are more extensive than those given to Prussia, and more desirable to them from local circumstances, yet they are not calculated to add so much either to their positive or relative weight. Therefore, the partition will have the effect of rendering Prussia more capable of balancing the power and resisting the enterprises of Russia on the one hand and Austria on the other. If we consider the transaction in this light, we shall be reconciled to it in a political view, though we continue to deplore the wrongs of an injured people, and to execrate the conduct of their oppressors. *
* The writer was led to make these observations by the reflections of a German author on the present state of Europe.-" The balance of power,” says he, “ was not merely uninjured by the «« Polish partition; that event even tended to strengthen and improve it. The equality of the par* tition was only apparent; for the weaker parties were in fact much greater gainers by it than “ the stronger. This circumstance, the most important of all, deserves to be more attentively " examined.
“ I argue from the two following principles: if two or more nations of very unequal magnitude, " are increased in an exact numerical proportion (that is, with respect to their territorial extent, « their population, revenues, &c.) the political result will always be more advantageous than in " that proportion to the smaller state; and if two states, of which one has its territories sufficiently « rounded, while the other yet wants that compactness, extend their territories in an equal degree, " the advantage of the latter is without comparison more considerable than that of the former,
" It will be easy to decide upon the consequences of the above partition, if these principles be " admitted, and I think the truth of them is evident from the very nature of the things them" selves. The advantage which Prussia derived from the measure exceeded what accrued to the (6 others. If Prussia, for example, acquired as many hundred square miles as Russia did thou" sands, the real increase of strengih resulting from these respective additions, was the most impor« tant for Prussia. Hitherto all the exertions of that state, the strength of its armies, the number " of its fortresses, its magazines, its accumulated treasures, its preparations for defence, had either " exceeded, or dangerously encroached upon the true basis of its power. That Russia was enabled “ by this acquisition to add 20 or 30,000 men to her armies, was of far less consequence to her, “ than it was to Prussia (without any considerable addition to her military establishment) to secure “ new sources of riches and revenue, and to give new strength to the overstrained springs of her " bold and artificial machine. With respect to the rounding of her territories, she was perhaps a
The British general, strengthened with the troops which had arrived in the autumn, resumed the design of reducing Cape Tiburon, the possession of which was deemed essential to the conquest of the southern peninsula of St. Domingo, as Cape St. Nicholas was to that of the northern.---This was happily accomplished with the loss of only three men on the part of the assailants.+-L’Acul, a fortress near Leogane, was afterwards surrendered to the British troops; I an acquisition of greater importance on account of its
vicinity “ still greater gainer. Austria acquired no more by the province of Gallicia than its intrinsic " value: for Austria had long since been a compact and rounded state. But Prussia only became 66 such by her share of the partition of Poland, which connected her provinces, till then divided 6 and dispersed. The boundaries of her territory were now in one continued line, and the " detached parts of her dominions were now blended into a solid mass, more capable of uniform " activity and effectual resistance. If, while one state is merely increased, another is at once * increased and improved in its situation, it certainly cannot be doubtful which of the two is the 6 greater gainer.
66 These observations are decisive in the present argument: they reconcile Europe to the parti" tion of Poland; so far, at least, as it is possible to acquiesce in an unjust proceeding. Prussia " must be provided with strength to enable her to cope with any power in Europe, in order to « establish an effective balance among the principal states, and to carry the general federative
system to that degree of perfection at least, of which the elements, as they now exist, are 66 capable. This is the real and general interest of Europe; this is a principle of wbich no one " any longer doubls, who considers it 'with candour and impartiality, and who understands the 66 nature of the political balance, and federal constitution. Prussia was 'not so circumstanced “ until the partition of Poland. The genius and heroism of an extraordinary prince upheld it “ some time at a degree of elevation, which its strength at that period seemed inadequate to main“ tain: but in order to fulfil her entire destination, she required that degree of aggrandizement “ she has attained by the Polish partition. In this important point, that event has proved an addi« tional support to the federal constitution, and a general advantage to Europe.”-[Gentz's State of Europe. 136.]- We shall be more able to judge of the justness of these observations if we advert to the allotments assigned to each partitioning power.--By the treaty concluded between the three co-partitioning powers, Brezesk became the central point of the frontiers of these three states,
“ Warsaw fell under the dominion of the king of Prussia, who had not been able to take it by " arms. The Vistula separated Prussia from Austria. The Bog divided Austria from Russia. * The Neimen marked the limits betwixt the possessions of the Russians and the Prussians. One " half of the city of Grodno belonged to the king of Prussia and the other to the empress.” Segur's Frederic William. 3. 163. I t In February,
vicinity to Port au Prince, which was now the general's grand object. This was followed by an attempt on Fort Bompard, a strong post fifteen miles from Cape St. Nicholas. But here the British troops experienced a reverse of fortune. The same valour was displayed by them as in other enterprises; but they were overpowered by numbers and forced to retreat.
A vigorous attempt made by the enemy, under general Rigaud, for the recovery of Cape Tiburon was defeated by the firmness of the garrison; | but with a loss of men which was severely felt at a time when there were not above 900 effective troops in the island.
In the month of may general Whyte arrived with three regiments to take the command. The expedition against Port au Prince was then undertaken, The value of this fortress, on account of its local advantages, being situated at the bottom of the vast bay inclosed between Capes Tiburon and St. Nicholas, was enhanced by the magazines which it contained. It was strongly garrisoned and well secured by artillery. But fort Bizotton, on which it chiefly depended for defence, was carried, sword in hand, by the exemplary bravery of a detachment employed in its attack. After that, the town itself surrendered;t and twenty-two top-sail vessels laden with merchandise, valued at £.400,000, together with other effects, became the reward of the victors.
With this achievement the good fortune of the British arms terminated. General Whyte, being disabled by ill health, was succeeded in the command by general Horneck:14 and a small reinforcement was sent, some months after his arrival, to the remains of his army. But they came only to witness the terrible destruction made by disease among the troops which had demeaned themselves so gallantly against the enemy, and at last to yield to the same dreadful scourge themselves.—No further enterprise could now be undertaken: our partisans began to grow disaffected to a cause which wore so inauspicious an aspect: the planters which had stood aloof, intend-. ing to be determined by events, now became hostile:e the fortresses of Jean Rabell and St. Marc were lost by desection; and the events of this year were closed with the reduction of Tiburon by the French forces under Rigaud. +
AMERICAN | April 16. + June 4. I In September. December 25. • Edwards. 251 to 55. b Idem. 156. Idem. 158. 60. d Idem. 164. Idem. 156.
vol. III. 3 M
The president's conduct during the present contest in Europe was agree able with the general tenour of his policy; which was to avoid whatever might embroil the states in war. It was one of the grand objects of the French government to engage them in their quarrel with the coalition, and especially with Great Britain, as a mean for making a diversion of the naval force of that kingdom, and to undermine it in its trade with America; which had increased in consequence of that revolution which was intended to accomplish its ruin. Their having been the chief instrument in effecting the independency of the American states gave them grounds to expect their support on this occasion; and, as a motive to it, Genet, the indefatigable minister of the French republic, represented the interest which all republican governments had in the destruction of those monarchies which had resisted the establishment of a republic in France.
These were specious reasonings: and the sentiments resulting from them were entertained by many men of warm passions, who were carried away by the prevailing rage for liberty; but they had little weight with the cool, reflecting, judicious Washington. He saw, with satisfaction, the provinces flourishing under his auspices; enriched with the profits of an increasing commerce, the fruits of peace. Therefore, whilst the counteracted the intrigues of Genet by the weight which his patriotism gave him in the congress, he disregarded the displeasure which the French republicans expressed at his conduct: and at the same time that he dispatched an ambassador to Paris, to testify his desire of living on terms of amity with them, he resisted all the lures by which they would willingly have prevailed on him to enter into an offensive alliance with them, and firmly adhered to a neutrality. *