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FrRevol_351-400.indd 43 3/16/12 1:10 PM CHAPTER XXIII Ofthe Army ofItaly. The two great armies ofthe republic, those ofthe Rhine and ofltaly, were almost constantly victorious, until the treaty of Campo Formio,1 which for a short time suspended the long Continental war. The army of the Rhine, of which Moreau was General, had preserved all the republican simplicity; the army of Italy, commanded by General Bonaparte, dazzled by its conquests but was every day deviating further from the patriotic spirit which till then had animated the French armies. Personal interest was taking the place of a patriotic spirit, and attachment to one man was prevailing over a devotion to liberty. The generals of the army of Italy, likewise, sought ere long to enrich themselves, thus proportionally diminishing that enthusiasm for austere principles without which afree state cannot exist. General Bernadotte,2 ofwhom I shall have occasion to speaklater, came with a division of the army of the Rhine to join the army of Italy. There was a sort of contrast between the noble poverty of the one and the irregular riches of the other: they resembled only in bravery. The army of Italy was the army of Bonaparte, that of the Rhine3 was the army of the 1. The Treaty of Campo Formio was signed on October 17, 1797 (26 Vendemiaire, Year VI ofthe French Republic),by France and Austria. It marked the victory ofNapoleon's campaigns in Italy, although France had to surrender the Venetian republic. 2. Bernadotte (1763- 1844) served as minister of war in 1799 and soon after that became the brother-in-law of Napoleon, who promoted him to the rank of marshal. In 1810 Bernadotte was elected hereditary prince of Sweden; three years later, he joined the coalition against Napoleon. 3· There were, in fact, two armies of the Rhine: the army of Sambre-et-Meuse (with republican leanings) and the army ofRhin-et-Moselle (with royalistleanings). As Godechot pointed out (notes to Considerations, 648, n. 173), the army of Italy also had strong republican leanings. 3.93 FrRevol_351-400.indd 44 3/16/12 1:10 PM PART III French republic. Yet nothing was so brilliant as the rapid conquest ofitaly. Doubtless, the desire which the enlightened Italians have always felt to unite themselves into one state, and thus to possess so much national strength as to have nothing either to fear or to hope from strangers, contributed much to favor the progress of General Bonaparte. It was with the cry ofItalyforever that he passed the bridge ofLodi; and it was to the hope of independence that he owed his reception among the Italians. But the victories which subjected to France countries beyond her natural limits, far from favoring liberty, exposed it to the danger of military government. Bonaparte was already much talked of in Paris; the superiority of his capacity in business, joined to the splendor of his talents as a General, gave to his name an importance which no individual had ever acquired from the commencement of the Revolution. But although in his proclamations he spoke incessantly ofthe republic, attentive men perceived that it was in his eyes a mean, and not an end. It was in this same light that he viewed all things and all men. A rumor prevailed that he meant to make himself King of Lombardy. One day I met General Augereau,4 who had just returned from Italy, and who was cited, I believe then with reason, as a zealous republican. I asked him whether it was true that General Bonaparte was thinking ofbecoming a king. "No, assuredly," replied he; "he is a young man oftoo good principles for that." This singular answer was in exact conformity with the ideas ofthe moment. The sincere republicans would have regarded it as a degradation for a man, however distinguished he might be, to wish to turn the Revolution to his personal advantage. Why had not this sentiment more force and longer duration among Frenchmen! Bonaparte was stopped in his march to Rome by signing the peace of Tolentino;5 and it was then that he obtained the surrender6 of the superb monuments ofthe arts which we have long seen collected in the Museum of Paris. The true abode of these masterpieces was, without doubt, Italy, 4· Augereau (r7p-r8r6) was sent by Napoleon to stage the coup d'etat on r8 Fructidor. He was promoted to the rank of marshal in r8o4. 5· On...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781614878636
Related ISBN
9780865977327
MARC Record
OCLC
836874520
Pages
834
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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