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duchy rendering Alexander apprehensive that he in his turn might be called upon to expiate his share in the partition, he demanded from Napoleon an explicit promise, that the kingdom should never be restored.
To avoid the ridicule as well as the odium attendant on his assuming a tone suited only to the Deity, Napoleon at once cut the knot, by transmitting the following declaration to the Duke de Vincence, his ambassador at the Court of St. Petersburgh :
Si je signais que le royaume de Pologne ne sera jamais rétabli, c'est que je voudrais le rétablir, et l'infamie d'une telle déclaration serait effacée par le 'fait qui le démentirait *."
The mere existence of the duchy was, indeed, under any circumstances, a source of much uneasiness to Russia; since, in the event of a French war, her Polish provinces would inevitably separate from her de facto, and her expulsion from Europe might be the consequence. So impressed was Alexander by this idea, that, on receiving tidings of Napoleon's marriage with the Archduchess Louisa, he is reported to have shed tears, and to have uttered these memorable words:" I foresee the fate of Russia; the "moment is approaching when I shall bid farewell to
Europe and welcome to the steppes of Asia." A rupture between these two autocrats becoming daily more probable, Alexander endeavoured to preserve by
*Bignon, Histoire de France sous Napoléon.
intrigue what he could not defend by force.
you desire a constitution?" said he to some of the Poles at St. Petersburgh-" You shall have it. "Would you be again united? You shall be so. Why should not I take the title of King of Poland, if that would please you-(si cela peut vous faire
plaisir *)." So artfully did he conduct himself, that it almost seemed as if he wished to snatch from Napoleon the glory of the re-establishment.
To give some colouring to his flattering promises, he affected much anxiety for the happiness of his Polish subjects; and that those of the Vistula might understand his disposition, and not pity their brethren beyond the Bug, whilst these on their part should have no cause to envy the independence of the others, he summoned Count Oginski to listen to a scheme for erecting the provinces into a kingdom, united with Russia, as Hungary is with Austria; as well as to "his grand project," unless prevented by fresh war, for ameliorating the condition of the inhabitants. Eight distinguished Lithuanians were commissioned to prepare the draft of a constitution for the provinces, and two Polish generals were to draw up a plan for organising a national army. The necessity of calming the patriotism which found its focus in the duchy, and of consigning, if possible, to oblivion, the injuries inflicted by Russia on the Lithuanians during the preceding fifty years; the
* Memoirs of Count Oginski.
necessity, in short, of paralysing the efforts of the Poles in the approaching struggle, prompted him to these measures, which have since been deemed magnanimous; and many Lithuanians, though proverbial for caution, fell into the snare, hoping to enjoy from him the benefits of a constitution, whilst their own efforts might have rendered them free and independent.
Napoleon, on his part, did much to counteract the exertions of the Poles. His evasive answer, when requested at Vilno (1812) to proclaim their independence, might be epitomized in the thrice repeated words-if-if-if. To comprehend his motives on that occasion, it should be recollected, that he did not wish irrevocably to break with Alexander, by depriving him of his Polish provinces; that the object of his campaign was to crush England, and with that view to dictate from Moscow a treaty, despatching a joint force of French and Russians to India *.
* Prior to the campaign of 1812, he had sent M. Gardanne to Persia, ostensibly for scientific purposes, but really to discover the best overland route to India. M. Gardanne corresponded with the emperor from Teheran, viá Russia, and it was some time before the Russian government suspected the object of his mission. At the commencement of the war of 1812, his maps and papers fell accidentally into the hands of the Czar, who then engaged him and his thirteen companions in his own service. A copy of Napoleon's plan was subsequently found in the War Office at Paris, and of this Alexander possessed himself during his stay there. The proposed campaign had been calculated for 70,000 men, French and Russian. They were to reach the Indus in less than
Believing his quota of men to be already sufficient, he discouraged the Poles from arming; 70,000, nevertheless, joined his army. The frost defeated his gigantic schemes. Had he followed a simpler and less unjust course, and taken up his winter quarters in Poland, he might still have been Emperor, and Poland might have been free. This unlooked-for overthrow inflamed the ambition of Alexander, who next determined to appropriate the whole of Poland, by means in which the Poles themselves should concur. With this view, therefore, whilst in Paris, he paid great court to all those who distinguished themselves against Russia, especially to Kosciuszko, placing an honorary guard at his residence, and overwhelming him with offers for his ill-fated countrymen. Sensible of their helpless condition, Kosciuszko confined himself to the following demands:-" That the Emperor should grant them full amnesty-that he should proclaim himself King of Poland, and give a constitution resembling that of "Britain." Would the Emperor but grant these conditions, Kosciuszko, who had refused to listen to Napoleon, offered, though out of health, to serve Alexander in person, as a faithful subject. The Czar purposely delayed his answer till the 3rd of May--the day dear to every Pole-and then promised allthe best proof that he intended to perform little.
119 days, the principal stations being Taganrog, Palubiarskaya, Czarytchyn, Astrachan, and Astrabad, from which place Napoleon assigned forty-five days march to the river.
Whilst Kosciuszko and other eminent patriots were thus begging for a constitutional Poland under his sceptre, the Congress of Vienna, moved by the active though invisible influence of Prince Adam Czartoryski, resolved to re-establish the whole kingdom; not from any respect to national rights, since at the same moment they were violating those of other countries, but from a sense of self-interest and selfpreservation.
The fall of Constantinople being the inevitable result of the partition of Poland, and of most consequence to Great Britain, Lord Castlereagh was the first to demand the complete re-establishment of Poland under a dynasty of her own. Prince Metternich declared that the Emperor was ready to make the greatest sacrifices to effect this consummation, and Prince Talleyrand supported these ministers with great force of argument. Prussia merely offered to restore her share for a compensation in Germany. Alexander was determined, at all events, to wrest from Europe the nation thus considered essential to her future security, and hoped so to contrive as to make the Poles themselves accessory to his designs.
His troops still occupied the duchy of Warsaw, and a Polish army was by his orders being rapidly organized throughout the territory, although he was pledged by the treaty of Reichenbach (27th of June, 1813), and by that of Töplitz (the 9th of September, 1813), to decide, in common with Prussia and