« ZurückWeiter »
flowed upon them by their country, and by a prospect of the future triumphs awaiting them. . He was now meditating expeditions into the territories of those princes of whose enmity to France sufficient proofs had been given. A detachment of his army had already entered the duchy of Modena, the sovereign of which had fled to Venice with his treasures. From this city he deputed a minister to the French general, with whom he concluded a suspension of arms on much the same conditions as those granted to the duke of Parma.
of art, which was now annexed to the conditions of treaties with the Italian princes, proved one of the most vexatious as well as mortifying circumstances of the French invasion. The monuments of painting and of statuary, which adorned their palaces, cities, and churches, were viewed by, the natives with a mixture of delight and veneration. They entertained a species of affection for them; and, in the presence of some of them, they placed not a little confidence. They had become a kind of tutelary deities and household gods. The Italians were sensible of emotions not altogether dissimilar to those of the Israelite Micah, into whose house armed men from Dan entered, and took away “the graven image, and the ephod, and the seraphim, and the molten image.” In one respect, the oppressions of the French in Italy were greater than those of the northern hordes under Attila and Odoacer; for those chiefs did not trouble the Romans with de
* “Ye have taken away the gods which I made, and what have I more "—Judges xviii. 24.
broken forces of the Austrians had in their retreat taken refuge on the Venetian territory. Hither they were closely pursued by the French. But previously to the commencement of operations in the Venetian state, Buonaparte was careful to give forshal notice of his intentions to the senate. i The disposition of the Venetian overnment, towards France, was #. suspected to be inimical. Had it been friendly before the entrance of the French into Italy, their successes, and the powerful footing they had now obtained, would have rendered them too dangerous to be viewed with a favourable eye. Situated between two such powers as France and Austria, Venice had no inclination to befriend the one more than the other, and would gladly have been delivered from the proximity of both. Unwilling to offend a state, between which, and the French republic, an amicable intercourse subsisted, the French general published an address to that government and people, wherein he assured
them, that in following the enemies