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channel for a national harbour, and being aided by the zeal, activity, and influence of the Duke d'Harcourt, governor of the province, he obtained a decision, in favour of Cherbourg, of a question that had been agitated during an hundred years, concerning the preference to be given to Cherbourg or La Hogue, for the site of a naval port. From that time till 1789, he was occupied in superintending the works of Cherbourg; and, during that period, he was but three times at Paris. When he first arrived at Cherbourg, it contained no more than seven thousand three hundred inhabitants, and. when he quitted that place it contained nearly twenty thousand.
At the commencement of the Revolution Dumouriez deprived its character of much of its evil, in the place where he commanded. At Cherbourg, the excesses of the populace were punished by him with death; but still he could not be accused of being inimical to the liberty of the people. Other individuals who were placed in similar situations would have rendered an inestimable service to their country, if they had exerted the same firmness with the same discernment.
The military governments of towns in France being suppressed, Dumouriez went to Paris, where, during two years, he studied the influence and character of the Revolution. The flight of the princes of France was an irreparable injury done to the cause of the king. Dumouriez foresaw that the exercise of the Veto would not produce the end that was pro-. posed by it, and would occasion the ruin of the monarch's cause, and he opposed it by all the means that were in his power.
In 1791 he was appointed to the command of the country from Nantz to Bourdeaux. At that period a religious war raged in La Vendée, and the people laid waste the castles and lands of the nobility. He had the good fortune to calm the minds of the people, and to preserve tranquillity in that country till the month of February, 1792, when he was recalled to Paris, was raised to the rank of lieutenant-general, and appointed minister of foreign affairs.
Dumouriez has been reproached with having caused the war by his counsels; but he proved that the war was already inevitable, when he began his administration, and that indeed it might be said to have commenced. He acknowledged, however, that his opinion was decidedly for the declaration of war, as was also that of the king, who not only approved of his memorial to the National Assembly on that subject (which was three days in his hands,) but made corrections in it, and himself composed the speech he delivered to the Assembly on that occasion.
At the end of three months, finding himself embarrassed by the various factions, and being sincerely desirous to see the king's council possessing proper dignity, and his measures governed by constitutional principles, he changed the ministry, and obtained a promise that the king would sanction two decrees, which appeared expedient to his service. The king, however, eventually refused his sanction; the ministry was again changed by his order, and General Dumouriez took the war department. But, perceiving that the court had deceived him, he resolved not to be the instrument of their intrigues. He predicted to the unhappy king and queen all the misfortunes in which they were involving themselves, and he gave in his resignation three days after being appointed minister of war.
Louis was two days before he would accept Dumouriez's resignation; and did not suffer him to go without expressing the deepest regret.
One month had not elapsed after the departure of the minister for the army before the king was insulted; and at the end of the second month, he was a prisoner in the temple.
The enemy entered France; the leaders of the Revolution revenged themselves on the unfortunate Louis. Dumouriez, as a citizen and a general, had only to repulse the enemy, in the expectation that their retreat would lessen the danger which surrounded the king. There was still reason to think, that the excesses of the Revolutionists might be checked. Dumouriez refused to follow Lafayette's premature example, and
he succeeded him in the command of the army of the North. He marched with a few soldiers against the Prussian army, of almost. 100,000 men strong, and by the most expert manœuvres arrested their march, took their strongest positions, and wrote to the Assembly -" Verdun is taken: I wait for the Prussians. The defiles of the Argonne are the Thermopyle of France; but I shall be happier than Leonidas." In a very few days the invaders fled.
The genius of Dumouriez changed in this campaign the destinies of France, and of Europe.
His prudence had obtained him the victory almost without a combat, and Dumouriez flew to oppose other enemies, and to display a very varied talent. Hitherto the inferiority of his force, and the various obstacles opposed to him, had compelled him to proceed with caution. But now he no longer procrastinated; he gave immediate battle, and on the plains of Jemappes the standard of France was triumphant, and in six weeks after the acquisition of that victory, it floated over the towers of all Belgium.
After these successful events, General Dumouriez returned to Paris, where the trial of Louis XVI. had already commenced. He did not conceal his intentions: -he had little doubt of saving Louis XVI. He had sent a certain number of his officers to Paris to facilitate this design, and depended in a great measure, also, on the co-operation of a part of the Assembly, and on the population.
All his expectations deceived him he sought for the members of the Assembly who possessed the greatest influence, and sounded the intentions of Garat, Lebrun, and Roland, ministers of justice, of foreign affairs, and for the home department, who entered into his views; the non-execution of which was prevented by the perfidy of some officers, who divulged the secret. The unhappy Louis XVI. perished.
The general retired to the country during those horrible days; and, soon after, found no place of safety but at the head' of his army. He had now no hope of saving his
country, nor of saving other illustrious victims, sacrificed by the monsters who governed France. His army was alone. capable of bringing back the Revolution to its proper limits. But the Convention had ascertained the intentions of General Dumouriez, and dared neither to dismiss him, nor to accept of his resignation, which he offered again and again: for his soldiers would have followed him, and have revenged any of his wrongs. They endeavoured to destroy the love his troops bore to him, as well as the confidence they put in him. The commissariat supplies were withheld, the invaded provinces were exhausted, all his resources were diminished, in order to encourage insubordination, and to prepare for the overthrow of this great general, whose renown was become so alarming. These measures were publicly acknowledged, and put into execution with such effect, that, in spite of the most prudent precautions, and most useful combinations, Dumouriez failed in a campaign, which might have been most importantly beneficial to France.
General Dumouriez hastened to treat with the Prince of Coburg, for the evacuation of Belgium, and very soon after obliged him, by a new treaty, to respect the French territory; whilst he himself determined to lead his soldiers to the capital, to disperse these tyrannical legislators, to save the family of the unfortunate monarch, and to re-establish the constitution of 1791. The anarchy of the government was to be reformed by Frenchmen alone; and it was only in case of Dumouriez's want of sufficient forces, that, at his demand, the Prince of Coburg was to furnish what he should require, while the remainder of the army of the enemy should remain on the frontiers.
The Convention was instantly informed of all by treachery. They summoned the general to their bar; and sent policeofficers to arrest him. He determined upon arresting the police-officers himself, and delivered them up to the Prince of Coburg, as hostages and guarantees for the safety of the royal family, who might have been massacred when the
news of his march should arrive. At least one victim was saved.
General Dumouriez issued his orders; but many of his Generals neglected to execute them, and some even refused. The army, to which the Convention had sent its spies, became disobedient to him; the brave General was obliged to leave them, and to take refuge at the head-quarters of the enemy. The Prince of Coburg, full of loyalty, wished to be faithful to his engagements: his court of Vienna interfered, and ordered him to pursue his operations; they even raised Dumouriez, and gave him command. "No, (replied he to the
Prince,) no- it was not that you promised me: I am going away.”—“And whither? (asked the Prince.) You are in safety here; while they have offered, by a decree, 300,000 francs to whoever shall bring your head to the Convention."-" What care I for that? I go!"
Dumouriez found an asylum in Switzerland, and there published a volume of his "Memoirs," which soon obtained him many friends; but Switzerland was too near France, and was about to yield to the latter. The General was obliged to fly: he went to Hamburg. The Landgrave Charles of HesseCassel, father-in-law of the King of Denmark, bought a mansion in Holstein, of which he was the governor; furnished it, placed horses and a carriage in the stables, and went in search of his friend, whom he conducted to this retreat. This is yours (said he): I am sorry it is not in my power to offer you more than a pension of 400 louis!"
When Buonaparte menaced England with invasion, Dumouriez was summoned hither. The English government received him with generous hospitality, and asked his counsel: he arranged a plan of defence for every part of Great Britain, as well as for the different countries of Europe where the soldiers of the French emperor had raised their standards and Spain, with which he was well acquainted, owes to him a portion of her liberty.
The Restoration was not effected as he would have desired; nor did he think that the restored acted as it was their