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Convention, a spirit of opposition and horror began to stir in the
provinces; fear of the terrorists, of the Convention, began to kindle
the courage, to make defiance to these men of horror, and to put an end
to terrorism. The province of Vendee, in her faithfulness and loyalty to
the royal family, arose in deadly conflict against the republicans;
the large cities of the south, with Toulon at their head, had shielded
themselves from the horrors which the home government would have brought
them, by uniting with the enemies who now from all sides pressed upon
France.

Toulon gave itself up to the combined fleet of England and Spain.
Marseilles, Lyons, and Nismes, contracted an alliance together, and
declared their independence of the Convention and of the terrorists.
Everywhere in all the cities and communities of the south the people
rose up, and seditions and rebellions took place. Everywhere the
Convention had to send its troops to re-establish peace by force, and
to compel the people to submit to its rule. Whole army corps had to be
raised to win back to the republic the rebellious cities, and only after
hard fighting did General Carteaux subdue Marseilles.

But Toulon held out still, and within its protecting walls had the
majority of the inhabitants of Marseilles taken refuge before the wrath
of the Convention, which had already sent to the latter some of
its representatives, to establish there the destructive work of the
guillotine. Toulon offered them safety; it seemed impregnable, as much
by its situation as by the number and strength of its defenders. It
could also defy any siege, since the sea was open, and it could by this
channel be provisioned through the English and Spanish fleet.

No one trembled before the little army of seventeen thousand men which,
under General Carteaux, had invested Toulon.

But in this little army of the republicans was a young soldier whom yet
none knew, none feared, but whose fame was soon to resound throughout
the world, and before whom all Europe was soon tremblingly to bow.

This young man was Napoleon Bonaparte, the captain of artillery. He had
come from Italy (where his regiment was) to France, to make there, by
order of his general, some purchases for the park of artillery of
the Italian army. But some of the people's representatives had had an
opportunity of recognizing the sharp eye and the military acquirements
of the young captain of artillery; they interceded in his favor, and he
was promoted to the army corps which was before Toulon, and at once sent
in the capacity of assistant to General Carteaux, with whom also was
Napoleon's brother Joseph, as chief of the general's staff.

From this moment the siege, which until now had not progressed
favorably, was pushed on with renewed energy, and it was due to the
cautious activity, the daring spirit of the captain of artillery, that
marked advantages were gained over the English, and that from them many
redoubts were taken, and the lines of the French drawn closer and closer
to the besieged city.

But yet, after many months of siege, Toulon held out still. From the
sea came provisions and ammunition, and on the land-side Toulon was
protected against capture by a fort occupied by English troops, and
which, on account of its impregnable position, was called "Little
Gibraltar." From this position hot-balls and howitzers had free range
all over the seaboard, for this fort stood between the two harbors
of the city and immediately opposite Toulon. The English, fully
appreciating the importance of the position, had occupied it with six
thousand men, and surrounded it with intrenchments.

It came to this, as Napoleon in a council of war declared to the
general, that the English must be driven out of their position; then,
when this fort was taken, in two days Toulon must yield.

The plan was decided upon, and from this moment the besiegers directed
all their strength no more against Toulon, but against the important
fort, "Little Gibraltar," "for there," as Napoleon said, "there was the
key to Toulon."

All Europe now watched with intense anxiety the events near Toulon; all
France, which hitherto with divided sentiments had wished the victory
to side now with the besieged, now with the besiegers, forgot its
differences of opinion, and was united in the one wish to expel the
hated enemy and rival, the English, from the French city, and to crown
the efforts of the French army with victory.

The Convention, irritated that its orders should not have been
immediately carried out, had in its despotic power recalled from his
command General Carteaux, who could not succeed in capturing Toulon,
and had appointed as chief of battalion the young captain of artillery,
Napoleon Bonaparte, on account of his bravery in capturing some
dangerous redoubts. The successor of Carteaux, the old General
Dugommier, recognizing the superior mind of the young chief of
battalion, willingly followed his plans, and was readily guided and led
by the surer insight of the young man.

The position of new Gibraltar had to be conquered so as to secure the
fall of Toulon; such was, such remained Napoleon's unswerving judgment.
No effort, no cost, no blood, was to be spared to attain this result. He
placed new batteries against the fort; stormed the forts Malbosquet and
Ronge; a terrible struggle ensued, in which the English General O'Hara
was taken prisoner by the French, and the English had to leave the fort
and retreat into the city.

The first great advantage was won, but Little Gibraltar remained still
in the hands of the English, and Napoleon desired, and felt it as an
obligation, to subdue it at any price.

But already the Convention began to be discouraged, and to lose energy,
and the deputies of the people, Barras and Freron, who until now had
remained with the besieging army, hastened to Paris to implore the
Convention to give up the siege, and to recall the army from Toulon.

But before they reached Paris the matter was to be decided before
Toulon. The fate of the Little Gibraltar was to be fulfilled; it was to
be taken, or in the storming of it the French army was to perish.

Thousands of shells were thrown into the fort, thirty cannon thundered
against it. Napoleon Bonaparte mixed with the artillerymen, encouraged
by his bold words their activity, their energy, and their bravery, and
pointed to them the spots where to direct their balls. Whilst he was
in conversation with one of the cannoneers near whom he stood, a
cannon-ball from the English tore away the head of the artilleryman who
had just lifted up the match to fire his cannon.

Napoleon quietly took up the burning match out of the hand of the dead
man, and discharged the gun. Then, with all the zeal and tact of an
experienced cannoneer, he began to load the piece, to send forth its
balls against the enemy and for many hours he remained at this post,
until another artilleryman was found to relieve the chief of division.
[Footnote: This brave action of Napoleon was to have for him evil
results. The cannoneer, from whose hand he took the match, was suffering
from the most distressing skin-disease, generally breaking out with the
greatest violence in the hand. The match which the cannoneer had for
hours held in his hand was yet warm with its pressure, and imparted to
Napoleon's hand the poison of the contagious disease. For years he had
to endure the eruption, which he could not conquer, as he had conquered
nations and princes, but to its destructive and painful power he had
to subdue his body. The nervous agitations to which he was subject, the
shrugging of his right shoulder, the white-greenish complexion of his
face, the leanness of his body, were all consequences of this disease.
It was only when Napoleon had become emperor, that Corvisart succeeded,
by his eloquence, in persuading him to follow a regular course of
treatment. This treatment cured him; his white-greenish complexion and
his leanness disappeared. The nervous movement of the shoulder remained,
and became a habit. - See "Memoires de Constant," vol. i.]

But whilst Napoleon made himself a cannoneer in the service of his
country, he remained at the same time the chief of division, whose
attention was everywhere, whose eagle glance nothing escaped, and who
knew how to improve every advantage.

A body of troops was at a distant point, and Bonaparte wanted to send
them an important order. Whilst loading his cannon, he called aloud
to an under-officer to whom he might dictate the dispatch. A young man
hastened to the call, and said he was ready to write. Upon a mound of
sand he unfolded his pocket-book, drew out of it a piece of paper, and
began to write what Napoleon, with a voice above the cannon's roar,
was dictating to him. At this very moment, as the order was written,
a cannon-ball fell quite near the officer, burrowing the ground, and
scattering some of the light sand over the written paper. The young man
raised his hat and made a bow to the cannon-ball, that buried itself in
the sand.

"I thank you," said he, "you have saved me sand for my paper."

Napoleon smiled, and looked with a joyous, sympathizing glance at the
young officer, whose handsome pleasing countenance was radiant with bold
daring and harmless merriment.

"Now, I need a brave messenger to carry this order to that exposed
detachment," said Napoleon.

"I will be the messenger," cried out the officer, eagerly.

"Well, I accept you, but you must remove your uniform, and put on a
blouse, so as not to be too much exposed."

"That I will not do," exclaimed the young man. "I am no spy."

"What! you refuse to obey?" asked Napoleon, threateningly.

"No, I refuse to assume a disguise," answered the officer "I am ready to
obey, and even to carry the order into the very hands of the devil.
But with my uniform I go, otherwise those cursed Englishmen might well
imagine that I am afraid of them."

"But you imperil your life if you go in your glittering uniform."

"My life does not belong to me," cried out gayly the young soldier. "Who
cares if I risk it? You will not be sorry about it, for you know me
not, citizen-officer, and it is all the same to me. Shall I not go in
my uniform? I should be delighted to encounter those English gentlemen,
for, with my sword and the sprightly grains in my patron's pocket,
the conversation will not sleep, I vow. Now, then, shall I go,
citizen-officer?"

"Go," said Napoleon, smiling. "But you are wrong if you think I will
not be sorry in case you pay this duty with your life. You are a brave
fellow, and I love the brave. Go; but first tell me your name, that when
you return I may tell General Dugommier what name he has to inscribe in
his papers of recommendation for officers; that will be the reward for
your message."

"My name is Junot, citizen-officer," exclaimed the young man as,
swinging the paper in his hand, he darted away eagerly.

The roar of the cannon was still heard, when Napoleon's messenger
returned, after a few hours, and reported to him. The chief of division
received him with a friendly motion of his head.

"Welcome, Junot," said he. "I am glad to see you back, and that you
have successfully accomplished your task. I must now make a change of
position in yonder battallion. To-morrow I will give you your commission
of lieutenant, citizen-soldier."

"And to-day grant me a nobler reward, citizen-officer," said the young
man, tenderly; "give me your hand, and allow me to press it in mine."

Napoleon, smiling, gave him his hand. The eyes of both young men met in
radiant looks, and with these looks was sealed the covenant which united
them both in a friendship enduring to the tomb. For not one of his
companions-in-arms remained attached to Napoleon with so warm, true,
nearly impassioned tenderness as Junot, and none of them was by the
general, the consul, the emperor, more implicitly trusted, more heartily
beloved than his Junot, whom he exalted to the ranks of general,
governor of Lisbon, Duke d'Abrantes, who was one of the few to whom
in his days of glory he allowed to speak to him in all truth, in all
freedom, and without reserve.

But whilst the two young men were sealing this covenant of friendship
with this look of spiritual recognition, the cannon was thundering forth
on all sides. The earth trembled from the reports of the pieces; all the
elements seemed unloosed; the storm howled as if to mingle the noise
of human strife with the uproar of Nature; the sea dashed its frothy,
mound-like waves with terrible noise on the shore; the rain poured down
from the skies in immense torrents, and everything around was veiled in
mists of dampness and smoke. And amid all this, crackled, thundered,
and hissed the shells which were directed against Little Gibraltar, or
whizzed from Toulon, to bring death and destruction among the besiegers.

Night sank down, and yet Little Gibraltar was not taken. "I am lost,"
sighed General Dugommier. "I shall have to pay with my head, if we are
forced to retreat."

"Then we must go forward," cried Bonaparte; "we must have Little
Gibraltar."

An hour after, a loud cry of victory announced to General Dugommier that
the chief of division had reached his aim, that Little Gibraltar was
captured by the French.

As the day began to dawn, the French had already captured two other
forts; and Bonaparte roused all his energies to fire from Little
Gibraltar upon the enemy's fleet. But the English admiral, Lord Hood,
knew very well the terrible danger to which he was exposed if he did not
at once weigh anchor.

The chief of division had prophesied correctly: in Little Gibraltar was
the key of Toulon; and since the French had now seized the keys, the
English ships could no longer close the city against them. Toulon was
lost - it had to surrender to the conquerors. [Footnote: Toulon fell on
the 18th of December, 1793.]

It is true, defensive operations were still carried on, but Napoleon's
balls scattered death and ruin into the city; the bursting of shells
brought destruction and suffering everywhere, and in the city as well as
in the harbor columns of flames arose from houses and ships.

Toulon was subdued; and the chief of division, Napoleon Bonaparte, had
achieved his first brilliant pass of arms before jubilant France and
astonished Europe; he had made his name shine out from the obscurity of
the past, and placed it on the pages of history.

The Convention showed itself thankful to the daring soldier, who had
won such a brilliant victory alike over the foreign as well as over the
internal enemies of the republic; and Napoleon Bonaparte, the chief of
division, was now promoted to the generalship of division.

He accepted the nomination with a quiet smile. The wondrous brilliancy
of his eyes betrayed only to a few friends and confidants the important
resolves and thoughts which moved the soul of the young general.

In virtue of the order of the Convention, the newly-appointed General
Bonaparte was to go to the army of the republic which was now stationed
in Italy; and he received secret instructions from the Directory
concerning Genoa. Bonaparte left Paris, to gather, as he hoped, fresh
laurels and new victories.




CHAPTER XVIII. BONAPARTE'S IMPRISONMENT.


On the 25th day of March, 1794. General Bonaparte entered the
headquarters of the French army in Nice. He was welcomed with joy and
marks of distinction, for the fame of his heroic deeds before Toulon
had preceded him; and on Bonaparte's pale, proud face, with its dark,
brilliant eyes, was written that he was now come into Italy to add fresh
laurels to the victor's crown won before Toulon.

The old commander-in-chief of the French army, General Dumerbion,
confined oftentimes to his bed through sickness, was very willing to be
represented by General Bonaparte, and to place every thing in his hands;
and the two representatives of the people, Ricord and Robespierre (the
younger brother of the all-powerful dictator) - these two representatives
in the army corps of Italy bound themselves in intimate friendship with
the young general, who seemed to share their glowing enthusiasm for the
republic, and their hatred against the monarchy and the aristocrats.
They cherished, moreover, an unreserved confidence in the military
capacities of young Bonaparte, and always gave to his plans their
unconditional assent and approbation. Upon Napoleon's suggestion
batteries were erected on the coast of Provence for the security of the
fleet and of trading-vessels; and when this had been accomplished,
the general began to carry out the plan which he had laid before the
representatives of the republic, and according to which the republican
army, with its right and left wings advancing simultaneously on the
sea-coast, was to march through the neutral territory of Genoa into
Italy.

This plan of Bonaparte was crowned with the most unexpected success.
Without observing the neutrality of Genoa, Generals Massena and Arena
marched through the territory of the proud Italian republic, and thus
began the bloody war which was to desolate the Italian soil for so many
years.

Ever faithful to Bonaparte's war-schemes, which the general-in-chief,
Dumerbion, and the two representatives of the people, Ricord and
Robespierre, had sanctioned, the French columns moved from the valleys,
within whose depths they had so long and so uselessly shed their
blood, up to the heights and conquered the fortresses which the King of
Sardinia had built on the mountains for the protection of his frontiers.
Thus Fort Mirabocco, on the pass of the Cross, fell into the hands of
General Dumas, who then conquered the intrenched Mount Cenis; thus the
pass of Tenda, with the fortress Saorgio, was captured by the French;
and there, in the general depot of the Piedmontese army, they found
sixty cannon and war materials of all kinds.

The French had celebrated their first victories in Italy, and both
commanding officers of the fortresses of Mirabocco and Saorgio had to
pay for these triumphs in Turin with the loss of their lives; whilst
General Bonaparte, "as the one to whose well-matured plans and
arrangements these brilliant results were due," received from the
Convention brilliant encomiums.

But suddenly the state of affairs assumed another shape, and at one blow
all the hopes and plans of the young, victorious general were destroyed.

Maximilian Robespierre had fallen; with him fell the whole party; then
fell his brother, who a short time before had returned to Paris, and had
there endeavored to obtain from Maximilian new and more ample powers
for Bonaparte, and even the appointment to the chief command of the
army - there fell also Ricord, who had given to General Bonaparte the
letter of secret instructions for energetic negotiations with the
government of Genoa, and to carry out which instructions Bonaparte had
at this time gone to that city.

As he was returning to his headquarters in Saona, from Paris had arrived
the new representatives, who came to the army of Italy as delegates of
the Convention, and were armed with full powers.

These representatives were Salicetti, Albitte, and Laporte. The first of
these, a countryman of Bonaparte, had been thus far his friend and his
party associate. He was in Corsica at the same time as Napoleon, in the
year 1793; he had been, like his young friend, a member of the Jacobin
Club of Ajaccio, and Salicetti's speeches had not been inferior to those
of Napoleon, either in wildness or in exalted republicanism.

But now Salicetti had become the representative of the moderate party;
and it was highly important for him to establish himself securely in his
new position, and to give to the Convention a proof of the firmness
of his sentiments by manifesting the hatred which he had sworn to the
terrorists, and to all those who, under the fallen regime, had obtained
recognition and distinction.

General Bonaparte had been a friend of the young Robespierre; loudly and
openly he had expressed his republican and democratic sentiments; he
had been advanced under the administration of Robespierre, from
simple lieutenant to general; he had been sent to Genoa, with secret
instructions by the representatives of the Committee of Safety, made up
of terrorists - all this was sufficient to make him appear suspicious
to the moderate party, and to furnish Salicetti an opportunity to show
himself a faithful partisan of the new system of moderation.

General Bonaparte was, by order of the representatives of the people,
Salicetti and Albitte, arrested at his headquarters in Saona, because,
as the warrant for arrest, signed by both representatives, asserted:
"General Bonaparte had completely lost their confidence through his
suspicious demeanor, and especially through the journey which he had
lately made to Genoa." The warrant of arrest furthermore ordered
that General Bonaparte, whose effects should be sealed and his papers
examined, was to be sent to Paris, under sure escort, and be brought for
examination before the Committee of Safety.

If this order were carried into execution, then Bonaparte was lost; for,
though Robespierre had fallen, yet with his fall the system of blood and
terror had not been overthrown in Paris; it had only changed its name.

The terrorists, who now called themselves the moderates, exercised the
same system of intimidation as their predecessors; and to be brought
before the Committee of Safety, signified the same thing as to receive a
death-warrant.

Bonaparte was lost, if it truly came to this, that he must be led to
Paris.

This was what Junot, the present adjutant of Napoleon, and his faithful
friend and companion, feared. It was therefore necessary to anticipate
this order, and to procure freedom to Bonaparte.

A thousand schemes for the rescue of his beloved chief, crossed the soul
of the young man. But how make them known to the general? how induce
him to flee, since all approaches to him were forbidden? His zeal, his
inventive friendship, succeeded at last in finding a means. One of the
soldiers, who was placed as sentry at the door of the arrested general,
was bribed by Junot; through him a letter from Junot reached Bonaparte's
hands, which laid before him a scheme of flight that the next night
could be accomplished with Junot's help.

Not far from Bonaparte's dwelling Junot awaited the answer, and soon a
soldier passed by and brought it to him.

This answer ran thus: "In the propositions you make, I acknowledge your
deep friendship, my dear Junot; you are also conscious of the friendship
I have consecrated to you for a long time, and I trust you have
confidence in it.

"Man may do wrong toward me, my dear Junot; it is enough for me to be
innocent; my conscience is the tribunal which I recognize as sole judge
of my conduct.

"This conscience is quiet when I question it; do, therefore, nothing,
if you do not wish to compromise me. Adieu, dear Junot. Farewell, and
friendship." [Footnote: Abrantes, "Memoires," vol. i., p. 241.]

Meanwhile, notwithstanding his quiet conscience, Bonaparte was not
willing to meet his fate passively and silently, and, perchance, it
seemed to him that it was "not enough to be innocent," so as to be
saved from the guillotine. He therefore addressed a protest to both
representatives of the people who had ordered his arrest, and this
protest, which he dictated to his friend Junot, who had finally
succeeded in coming to Bonaparte, is so extraordinary and so peculiar
in its terseness of style, in its expressions of political sentiment; it
furnishes so important a testimony of the republican democratic opinions
of the young twenty-six-year-old general, that we cannot but give here
this document.

Bonaparte then dictated to his friend Junot as follows:

"To the representatives Salicetti and Albitte:

"You have deprived me of my functions, you have arrested me and declared
me suspected.

"I am, then, ruined without being condemned; or else, which is much more
correct, I am condemned without being heard.

"In a revolutionary state exist two classes: the suspected and the
patriots.

"When those of the first class are accused, they are treated as the
common law of safety provides.

"The oppression of those of the second class is the ruin of public
liberty. The judge must condemn only after mature deliberation, and when
a series of unimpeachable facts reaches the guilty.

"To denounce a patriot as guilty is a condemnation which deprives him of
what is most dear - confidence and esteem.

"In which class am I to be ranked?



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