« FöregåendeFortsätt »
has now lost somewhat of its original force; but which, as applied here, is still more just and significant in its etymological, than in its common acceptation. He was a man dissolute; that is, by a long course of vicious indulgences, enervated and loosened asunder. Everywhere in Werner's life and actions, we discern a mind relaxed from its proper tension; no longer capable of effort and toilsome resolute vigilance; but floating almost passively with the current of its impulses, in languid, imaginative, Asiatic reverie. That such a man should discriminate, with sharp, fearless logic, between beloved errors and unwelcome truths, was not to be expected. His belief is likely to have been persuasion rather than conviction, both as it related to Religion, and to other subjects. What, or how much a man in this way may bring himself to believe, with such force and distinctness as he honestly and usually calls belief, there is no predicting.
But another consideration, which we think should nowise be omitted, is the general state of religious opinion in Germany, especially among such minds as Werner was most apt to take for his examplars. To this complex and highly interesting subject, we can for the present do nothing more than allude. So much, however, we may say: It is a common theory among the Germans that every Creed, every Form of worship, is a form merely; the mortal and ever-changing body, in which the im mortal and unchanging spirit of Religion is, with more or less completeness, expressed to the material eye, and made manifest and influential among the doings of men. It is thus, for instance, that Johannes Müller, in his Universal History, professes to consider the Mosaic Law, the creed of Mahomet, nay Luther's Reformation; and, in short, all other systems of Faith; which he scruples not to designate, without special praise or censure, simply as Vorstellungsarten,'modes of Representation." We could report equally singular things of Schelling and others, belonging to the philosophic class; nay of Herder, a Protestant clergyman, and even bearing high authority in the Church. Now, it is clear, in a country where such opinions are openly and generally professed, a change of religious creed must be comparatively a slight matter. Conversions to Catholicism are accordingly by no means unknown among the Germans : Friedrich Schlegel, and the younger Count von Stolberg, men, as we should think, of vigorous intellect, and of character above suspicion, were colleagues, or rather precursors, of Werner in this adventure; and, indeed, formed part of his acquaintance at Vienna. It is but, they would say perhaps, as if a melodist, inspired with har
n but oundworbut itest heapparel, we off or
mony of inward music, should choose this instrument in preference to that for giving voice to it: the inward inspiration is the grand concern; and to express it, the deep majestic solemn organ' of the Unchangeable Church may be better fitted than the scrannel pipe' of a withered, trivial, Arian Protestantism. That Werner, still more that Schlegel and Stolberg could, on the strength of such hypotheses, put off or put on their religious creed, like a new suit of apparel, we are far from asserting; they are men of earnest hearts, and seem to have a deep feeling of devotion : but it should be remembered that, what forms the groundwork of their religion, is professedly not Demonstration but Faith; and so pliant a theory could not but help to soften the transition from the former to the latter. That some such principle, in one shape or another, lurked in Werner's mind, we think we can perceive from several indications; among others, from the Prologue to his last tragedy, where mysteriously enough, under the emblem of a Phænix, he seems to be shadowing forth the history of his own Faith; and represents himself even then as merely climbing the tree, where the pinions of his Phænix last vanished;' but not hoping to regain that blissful vision, till his eyes shall have been opened by death.
On the whole, we must not pretend to understand Werner, or expound him with scientific rigour: acting many times with only half consciousness, he was always, in some degree, an enigma to himself, and may well be obscure to us. Above all, there are mysteries and unsounded abysses in every human heart; and that is but a questionable philosophy which undertakes so readily to explain them. Religious belief especially, at least when it seems heartfelt and well-intentioned, is no subject for harsh or even irreverent investigation. He is a wise man that, having such a belief, knows and sees clearly the grounds of it in himself: and those, we imagine, who, have explored with strictest scrutiny the secret of their own bosoms, will be least apt to rush with intolerant violence into that of other men's.
• The good Werner,' says Jean Paul, “fell, like our more vigorous Hoffmann, into the poetical fermenting-vat (Gährbottich) of our time, where all Literatures, Freedoms, Tastes, and Untastes are foaming through each other; and where all is to be found, excepting truth, diligence, and the polish of the file. Both would have come forth clearer had they studied in Lessing's day.'* We cannot justify Werner: yet let him be
• Letter to Hitzig, in Jean Paul's Leben, by Doering.
condemned with pity! And well were it could each of us apply to himself those words, which Hitzig, in his friendly indignation, would “thunder in the ears' of many a German gainsayer : Take thou the beam out of thine own eye; then shalt thou see clearly to take the mote out of thy brother's.
ART. V.-Histoire de la Guerre de la Péninsule sous
Napoléon, précédée d'un Tableau Politique et Militaire des Puissances belligérantes. 4 tom. Paris. Baudouin,
freres. 1827. M AXIMILIEN Sebastien Foy was born of respectable
- parents, in the little town of Ham in Picardy, February 3, 1775. He received the first elements of his education at the college of Oratory at Soissons, whence he was removed, in 1790, to the Military Academy de la Fère. Towards the end of 1791, having obtained the appointment of sub-lieutenant, he was transferred to the higher school of Chalons-sur-Marne ; and in the following year, he was attached to the third regiment of artillery, in the capacity of lieutenant.
The state of Europe was at this time exremely critical, the Duke of Brunswick's proclamation having thrown France into a ferment, and Dumouriez drawn up the plan of the campaign, which he soon afterwards conducted with so remarkable an intermixture of glory and infamy to himself. It was the fate of M. Foy to act under the orders of that officer. With him, he took part in the memorable battle of Jemappe, and with unshaken fidelity, he followed his general's fortunes till the latter began to treat with the Prince of Cobourg ; but, as Foy was a republican, upon principle, he would not approve of the object of that treaty; and he therefore abandoned his patron, rather than betray the cause to which he devoted his life. Notwithstanding, however, M. Foy shortly after drew upon himself the hostility of the faction which at that period governed France. By order of the miscreant Lebon, he was cast into the dungeons of Arras; and, but for the counter-revolution of the 9th Thermidor, he would have fallen a victim to the reckless brutality of the sovereign populace. That memorable event preserved his life. He returned to the military service, was speedily promoted, and performed in the campaigns of 1795, 96, and 97, under Pichegru, Kleber, Jourdan, and Moreau. At the famous passage of the Rhine, and in the battle of Kambach, his services were of so much value, that he received on the field the rank of Chef-d'escadron; and, after passing the greater part of 1798 in
the encampment above Boulogne, he joined the troops destined, under Mesnard, for the campaign in Switzerland.
Foy was present in all the numerous engagements which took place within the Helvetian territory, but, strange to say, without attracting notice corresponding to his merits. Honours, however, fell rapidly upon him, while acting in the army of the Danube, for the successful passage of the Lummat is attributed mainly to his judicious manoeuvres; and he was rewarded for his services by the appointment of adjutant-general, in which capacity he was present at the actions of Enghen, Moertresh, and Beberach. But the peace of Amiens interrupted, for a season, the active career of Foy; while it saw him advanced to the permanent rank of Colonel, and invested with the command of the fifth regiment of horse-artillery. On the renewal of hostilities, Colonel Foy acted at Boulogne, and subsequently, in the campaigns of Germany and Austria. In 1806, when war was declared between Russia and the Sublime Porte, Buonaparte, then Emperor of the French, proposed to assist his ally Selim with a chosen band of cannoniers, at the head of which was Colonel Foy. This officer was thus enabled, for the first time, to come into contact with the English; for it was he who directed the defence of the forts in the Dardanelles against the attack of the combined British and Russian squadrons. Returned from Turkey, he accompanied Junot in his rapid march to Lisbon, and at the battle of Vimeiro commanded seven pieces of the division of the reserve, and is stated to have outdone himself in a vain attempt to penetrate the centre of the British line. He was severely wounded in the conflict, and in that condition was removed to France, on the evacuation of Portugal by the terms of the convention of Cintra. After Juuot's return into Spain, Foy, except on one memorable occasion, when he made his way, by the directions of Massena, to and from Paris,-through the heart of a population every way hostile,-never quitted the Peninsula till, with the whole French army, he was driven across the Bidassoa. In the course of that long and arduous struggle, his merits cannot be too highly rated. As general of brigade, in 1810, he surprised, at the head of a handful of men, a corps of three thousand Spanish troops; utterly dispersed them, and barely failed to take prisoner Colonel Grabam, now Lord Lynedoch, who escaped in the middle of the night, with the loss of papers, baggage, and horses. Attacked two days after by overwhelming numbers, he opposed a steady and successful resistance, and made good his retreat through the defiles of the Sierra de Caceres, though beset on all sides by upwards of six thousand infantry and eight hundred cavalry. At the battle of Salamanca, again, where, as
general of division, he commanded on the right of the French army, he particularly distinguished himself. So soon as the fate of the day became manifest, he threw himself between the main body of his countrymen and their enemies, and repeatedly sustained the shock of the victors. In a word, General Foy, on every occasion, proved himself worthy of filling a far higher and more responsible office than had yet been intrusted to him. We perfectly recollect his Division; and can attest that it invariably did its duty in a style which gave evidence of the sagacity and valour of its leader.
In expressing ourselves thus of General Foy and his services, it is very far from our intention to speak of him as a hero who never experienced defeat. He enjoyed few opportunities of commanding corps which were opposed to British troops or British-generals, and it so happened that, whenever such came in his way, he was usually unsuccessful. After the defeat at Vittoria, for example, Foy made strenuous efforts, at the head of twenty thousand men, to keep possession of Tolosa, and stop the advance of Sir Thomas Graham, by the great eastern road: he was driven back, but it is only justice to add, that he did not retire till after one of the most sanguinary affairs which had taken place since the opening of the campaign. Again, when the French were attacked in the position in front of St. Jean de Luz, November 10, 1813, General Foy, with a view of creating a diversion, effected a masterly movement upon the right of the British line. He advanced from the valley of Osses, attacked and carried the post of Bidarray, making some prisoners, and capturing a good deal of baggage; but the main body being defeated, he was compelled, on the following day, to fall back, after having sustained repeated assaults from the Spaniards who were opposed to him.
At the battle of Orthes, General Foy received a severe wound, which rendered him incapable of again taking the field throughout the remainder of the war. During the first months of the restoration, likewise, he appears to have filled no public office; but on the 5th of March, 1815, we find him nominated to the honourable situation of inspector of infantry. He was thus situated, his head-quarters being at Nantes, when Napoleon made his second appearance upon the stage. Foy, like other veterans, was not proof against the influence of old associations ; he renounced his allegiance to the Bourbons, and enrolled himself under the standard of his former chief. Let it not, however, be forgotten, that to General Foy the Duc de Bourbon was indebted for his safety, under circumstances which might have tempted a worse man to compromise it. Foy found the Duc