江西消防总队总队长宋树欣访谈

The news spread on every side; the retreat of the English from Concord, which always was intended, as soon as the object was accomplished, was represented as an ignominious flight before the conquering Americans, and the effect was marvellous. Men flocked from all quarters. There were some twenty thousand men assembled round Boston, forming a line nearly twenty miles in extent, with their left leaning on the river Mystic, and their right on the town of Boston. Putnam and Ward became the souls of the American army. Gage, who was awaiting fresh reinforcements, lay quiet, contented to hold his post, when he might, according to military authorities, have attacked the American lines, at first loose, and without any proper order and consistency, with great advantage. The inhabitants of Boston, not relishing the idea of a blockade, applied to Gage for permission to retire. He replied that they were at liberty to do so with their families and effects, on surrendering their arms. The Bostonians at once interpreted this to mean the whole of their merchandise, and Gage, in consequence, countermanded his permission.

Napoleon, seeing that Bernadotte was become King of Sweden contrary to his secret will and to his expectations, determined, however, that he should still serve him. He gave him no respite. He demanded incessantly, and with his usual impetuosity, that Bernadotte should declare war against Great Britain and shut out of the Baltic both British and American merchandise. Alexander regarded him first with suspicion but his spies soon dissipated his fears. They soon perceived that Bernadotte was not disposed to be at once master of a powerful kingdom and the vassal of France. Alexander made offers of friendship; they were accepted by Bernadotte with real or affected pleasure, and his course became clearer. For the next two years there was a great strife to secure the alliance of the Crown Prince; and the proud, disdainful, imperious temper of Napoleon, who could not brook that one who had been created by him out of nothing but a sergeant of marines should presume to exercise an independent will, threw the prize into the hands of the more astute Russian, and decided the fate of Europe and of himself.

Meanwhile Buonaparte had taken the route for Troyes and Dijon, ignorant of the rapid advance of the Allies on Paris. Never in any of his campaigns does he seem to have been so ill-informed of the movements of the enemy as at this most momentous juncture. On the 26th of March he was attacked by the flying squadrons of Winzengerode. At Doulaincourt he was startled by learning that Paris was on the point of being assaulted by the Allies. From this place he dispatched one courier after another to command the forces in Paris to hold out, and, ordering the army to march with all speed, he himself entered his carriage and was driven in all haste to Fontainebleau. Thence he was driving to Paris, when, at an inn, called La Cour de France, he met General Belliard with his cavalry, who gave him the confounding information that the Empress, King Joseph, and the Court had fled; that the Allies were in Paris, and a convention was signed. At this news he began to rave like an insane man, blamed Marmont and Mortieras, during his defeats, he had often bitterly upbraided his generals,blamed Joseph, and everybody but himself, and insisted on going to Paris, and seeing the Allies himself, but was at length persuaded to return to Fontainebleau, and ordered his army to assemble, as it came up on the heights of Longjumeau, behind the little river Essonnes.