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By thefe conquefts Jourdan was now ftationed in the heart of Ger many, whence he threatened to invade, at his pleafure, the dominions of all the neighbouring princes. Saxony and Bohemia lay open to him, and fuch was the confternation univerfally occafioned by these victorios irruptions of the French into the empire, that its numerous princialities and ftates feemed to have If all courage, and to be preared for any conditions the victor fhould think it proper to impose upon them.

General Moreau, on the other hand, immediately after his victory at Ettlingen, took poffeffion of Friburgh, the capital of the Brifgaw, and of Stutgard, the capital of the duchy of Wirtemburg; the archduke endeavoured to impede his operations; but was speedily conftrained to retire across the Necker, where, taking advantageous pofitions, he refolutely ftrove again to refift him: but his efforts were inefectual, and he was compelled to confult his fafety, by paffing to the other fide of the Danube, while Moreau made himself mafter of the rich and extenfive circle of Swabia.

The refpective dominions of the duke of Wirtemburg, and the margrave of Baden, being now in poffeffion of the French, thofe princes were compelled to make application to the directory, for a ceflation of hoftilities against them. They eafily obtained their requeft, and their dominions were reftored to them, on condition of entirely detaching themselves from the enemies to the republic, and affording them no affiftance of any kind. The poffeffions of the duke, on the left of the Rhine, were ceded to France.

The facility and moderation dif


played by the directory, on this occafion, was, in the unanimous opinion of politicians, the foundest licy they could purfue in their prefent circumftances. As it could not be the defign of the French government, to retain any of the acquifitions made in Germany, the wifeft measures they could embrace, were to restore them to their ownners, on the fimple condition of ceafing to act against the French. This alone would gradually establish an amicable correfpondence with thofe fovereigns and ftates in Germany, whofe friendship it behoved them to cultivate, and whom it was their bufinefs to detach from the interefts of the houfe of Austria, by holding out the aid of the republic against its too extenfive power and influence in all that related to the management and concerns of the Germanic body.

This period feemed appropriated, as it were, to the depreffion of this ambitious power. The policy of the French was indefatigably exercifed in confirming the antipathy of its former enemies, and in raising up as many new ones as circumftances would enable them. Pruffia, the hereditary rival of Auftria, was encouraged to form as many new pretenfions, and to revive as many old and obfolete claims, as it had ftrength to enforce.

The ambition of the house of Brandenburgh had conftantly been upon the increafe, fince its exaltation to the regal title, in the commencement of the prefent century. It had omitted no opportunity of adding to its territories, and the circumftances of Europe had, in general, been favourable to its pursuits.

The jealoufy of the house of Auftria did not view this aggrandifement

disement of an inveterate rival, without paying a conftant, though fruitlefs attention to the means of preventing it. Hence the two ruin ous wars, during the reign of Frederick, ftyled the great, that deprived Auftria of fuch extenfive territories. The court of Vienna had ample caufe to rue its endeavours to reduce a power fo ftrongly fupported by others, and efpecially by the houfe of Bourbon, the fworn foe, during a long period, to the poffeffors of the Imperial crown, whofe defpotic aims, at the liberties of Germany, had more than once been fruftrated by its interpofition.

Though the French monarchy was no more, its politics ftill fubfifted refpecting the houfes of Auftria and Brandenburgh. Of course, the court of Berlin, confcious of the utility to be derived from fo powerful an ally, foon retracted its fhortlived enmity to France, when it found that, whether a kingdom or a commonwealth, its aid might fafely be relied upon in any future conteft with the court of Vienna.

To thefe motives may be afcribed the paffive acquiefcence of the Pruffian council, in the enterprizes of the French in Germany. As Pruffia expected, and was promifed a fare in the fpoils of Auftria, it connived at all the proceedings of these dangerous invaders, fecure of a like connivance on their part.

The neceffity of coinciding with many of the views of this ambitious court, induced the directory to give an indirect affent to the ufurpations it had refolved on. While the French armies were employed in the feizure of fo many towns and territories, the Pruffian miniftry revived claims upon the Imperial city of Nuremberg, that had lain

dormant upwards of two hundred years. They were of a most serious nature, and directed to no less than the fovereignty of that large and flourishing city; the fuburbs of which the king of Pruffia challenged as his property, and took forcible poffeffion of them, in contempt of the reclamation of the fenate and regency.

So manifeft a violation of the native and long acknowledged right of no inconfiderable ftate in Germany, countenanced in fo glaring and unqueftionable a manner by the French generals, was viewed, by the dif cerning part of the Germans, as the remuneration tacitly allowed to Pruffia by France, for affenting to its invafion of the empire, and showed, at the fame time, how readily the rulers of the republic would facrifice the liberties and independence of others to their own ambitious pursuits.

The diffatisfaction univerfally produced, by this conduct of the French, did them effential differvice throughout all Germany, and indeed through all Europe. It now became certain, by the evidence of facts, that their pretences, to affume the protection of ftates and nations against tyranny, were a mere impofition upon the credulity of mankind. The connection of Pruffia with the republic, expofed it to the fufpicion of abetting the project of diffolving all the political ties that held together the Germanic body, and under the protection of which the immunities and liberties of the leffer princes and states were refpected by the more powerful.

A furmife had prevailed for many years, that the houfe of Brandenburgh had conceived the idea of placing itfelf at the head of the



empire, fupported by the proteftant intereft, which stood on a parity of ftrength and importance with that of the Roman catholic; it alfo counted among its friends and wellwifhers, thofe powers abroad, with which Auftria was liable to be at variance. But the fupport of the most potent of these powers had vanished from its ideas, fince the matrimonial alliance that took place between the houses of Bourbon and Auftria, in the perfon of the late unhappy queen of France. It had revived however on the treaty that fevered Pruffia from the coalition, and it was fecretly held out, by France, as the moft efficacious temp tation to a court, the aspiring views of which required no lefs motives at this period to fecure its alliance.

Could the conftitution of Germany have undergone fuch a change, as to place the Imperial diadem on the head of a proteftant prince, and could the houfe of Brandenburgh have fecured its fucceffion to this dignity, it was generally imagined that Pruffia would have interested itself in the defence of the empire; but the little expectation it entertained, of being able to compafs fuch a point, rendered it, in the general opinion, indifferent to the preservation of the Germanic conftitution. Provided the difmemberment of this great body fhould be accompanied with thefe advantages, which the politics of Pruffia kept in view, it was the public perfuafion that no oppofition would arife from the court of Berlin, to an alteration, from which it would derive fuch material benefit. The smaller ftates firft, and then the greater in lower Germany, feemed likely to be fwallowed up

peace-meal in a rifing Pruffian empire: if this empire itself fhould not be divided, by that partitioning policy, which has fupplanted the law of nations, among the Ruffians, Swedes, and Auftrians.


A conviction of the rapacious views of Pruffia had greatly alienated the attachment of the Germans to that power. The willingness of the French, to permit the encroachments it had in contemplation, fubjected them no lefs to a diminution of that partiality with which they had hitherto been favoured by the people of Germany. These had hoped, that the dread of this victorious nation would have so far rated in favour of the common claffes every where, as to have induced the divers princes, engaged in the coalition, to have abated of the rigorous exactions from their refpective fubjects, and procured to thefe a milder treatment than if their arms had been fuccefsful. But when they began to feel the weight of the contributions demanded by the French in the countries of which they had taken poffeffion, and found that the authority they exercifed was no lefs grievous and fevere, than that of their former rulers, their good wishes to the French diminished, and they began. to miftruft thofe promifes of equity and moderation, to those who submitted to them, which had induced fuch numbers to give them a friendly reception, and to welcome them as their deliverers from oppreffion.

The mafs of the people in the numerous diftricts, where contributions were required by the French, had expected that no more would have been exacted from these than their juft proportion; but,


contrary to their hopes, and in contradiction to thofe principles of equality on, which the French laid fo much ftrefs, thefe, with a degree of careleffness and improvidence, that belied the ideas, which had been fo univerfally formed of their fagacity, left the repartition of the fums to be raised, to the management of those very perfons who had been objects of public difcontent and complaint, for the injuftice and partiality of which they had been the inftruments, under their respective governments. Thefe being, for the fake of expedition, entrusted with those levies, made no alteration in the manner, and adhered to eftablifhed precedents. Thus the privileged claffes ftill enjoyed their former exemptions, and the inferior part of the community was loaded, as antecedently, with almoft the whole burden of the taxes, impofed for the raifing of the contributions.

This was the moft injudicious of all the measures adopted by the French in the management of their new acquifitions, and it operated more fatally to their intereft than was perceptible to the generality. It excited the most violent refentment in the multitude, which had been taught to believe, that whereever the French became mafters, all oppreffions would be at an end, and no man would be treated worse than his neighbour. To be deceived in fo barbarous and oppreflive a manner: to behold their tyrannical rulers authorized to lord it over them as usual, and to find that the prefence of the French, from which fo much had been expected, produced no mitigation of their flavery. To be rendered, in fhort, no lefs

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miferable by the fucceffes of the French, than they could have been, had their boasted republic been deftroyed, and the completeft defpotifm established on its ruins, filled them with the keenest indignation at a people whom they now branded as deceivers and impoftors, and wholly unworthy of the good fortune that had attended them. Had the French republic been true to the principles profefled in their declarations and manifeftoes to all nations, they would have been wholly irrefiftible. All thrones raised on defpotic power would have fallen; and, as was faid of Alexander * the Great, the earth would have ftood filent before them. It is to their weakness and vices, the inconfiftency of their conduct in Italy, Germany, and wherever they went, with their profeffions, the prevalence of their paffions over their principles, that most of the European potentates owe their crowns at the prefent moment.

One of the caufes of the readiness with which the French allowed the petty fovereigns of Germany, to collect in their own manner the contributions impofed upon them, was, to conciliate their good will, and convince them that no interference was, aimed at in their domeftic affairs, by leaving to them the arrangement, of which their fovereignty and independence remained unviolated. Had the French purfued another fyftem, and proclaimed an entire emancipation of their fubjects from all farther allegiance to their native princes, it was far from clear that fuch a measure would have produced any other confe quence than throwing the countries,

* First Book of the Maccabees, Ch. 1. [K3]



thus revolutionifed, into confufion, and embroiling the French with feveral princes, the amity of whom they were defirous to obtain, and were at that time earnestly feeking. But

a measure of this kind muft at once have rendered these princes irreconcilably averfe to any connections with a ftate evidently bent on the deftruction of every fpecies of fovereignty, but that of the people at large; and determined to abolish every where the rights of princes and reigning families, and every trace of hereditary government.

The real truth was, that the fituation of France, at this period, was extremely critical. The pecuniary wants of the republic were fuch, that it could not provide the fupplies required by the commanders of their numerous armies abroad, which, though victorious, were frequently reduced to the most deplorable need of the commoneft neceffaries. It was therefore indifpenfibly requifite to procure them at any rate, and with the most effectual expedition, for men who nei ther would, nor indeed could, wait for them, and who thought themfelves entitled to a comfortable main tenance, and fome remuneration for the fervices they were continually performing for their country.

The German people, in confequence of the depredations exercifed upon them by the French armies, became their most invete rate foes, and loft no opportunity of doing them every fpecies of detriment. They joined in crowds the Imperial armies; they formed themselves into bodies under chiefs of their own chufing, and fell upon the French wherever they could do it with advantage. They proved, in short, the most useful auxiliaries

to the Auftrian troops, through their local knowledge of the countries where the war was waged, and through the refentment that animated them against the French, for the loffes they had fuftained in the predatory incurfions of the republican foldiery, and the avidity of booty for which these were peculiarly noted.

Such were the causes of the rapid decline of that partial difpofition towards the French, expreffed by the commonalty in fo many countries in Germany, at their first entrance. As they viewed them in the light of friends and brethren, coming to their relief, they were the more exafperated, when they found them to be enemies and plunderers.

In the mean time, the army, commanded by Jourdan, having overrun Franconia, was advancing towards Ratisbon, levying contributions from all the districts in its way. The diet of the empire, fit, ting in that city, was ftruck with confternation, at the rapidity of its approach, notwithstanding that the Imperial army difputed every ftep with the utmost resolution.

The army, under general Moreau, was, at the fame time, marching from Swabia, of which he had completed the reduction, by taking Ulm and Donawerth, places of great importance on the Danube. He was now mafter of both fides of that river, and propofed to pass the Lech, dividing Swabia from Bavaria, in order to penetrate into this circle.

The Auftrians, apprifed of his intention, collected a ftrong force to oppose him; but he forced his paffage over,on the twentyfourth of Auguft, near the city of Augsburg, and compelled the Auf

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