« ZurückWeiter »
a brigadier. In 1726 they were na- Vault, however, very patriotically re-
attached. Fourteen cartoons appear From the war depôt Voltaire bor- in the depôt, from the pencils of these rowed his most valuable materials to officers, giving a connected view of commemorate the age of Louis XIV.: the seven years' war, together with ohis work therefore bears a stamp of ther designs, equally honourable to unrivalled authority.
the talents of the corps. The seven years' war having consi But their brilliant career was soon derably extended the war department, after arrested by M. de St Germain, the French government, at the sug- the then minister, who, by a new regestion of M. Berthier, ordered the gulation in 1776, embodied them with Hôtel de la Guerre to be erected at the engineer corps, under the orders Versailles, in 1758, that the different of the director of fortifications. As vifices might be united.
gainst this innovation they presented a This building was completed in meinorial, and in 1777 the former or1760, and occupied the following der was amended, and they were ayear, when M. Berthier, a staff-offi- gain styled “ Military and Geographicer, and the intimate friend of Mar- cal Engineers." shal Saxe, was appointed chief of the Notwithstanding these dissatisfacgeographical engineer department, tions, Roger, Deplanque, Duplain, having under his immediate charge Montesson, Gauthier, &c. zealously the enrolment of all charts and plans exerted their professional abilities in not exactly relating to fortification. the service of their country. About this time many valuable topo M. de Vault died in 1790 a lieute - graphical and geographical designs, nant-general in the arıny, after devoon the Lower Rhine, Westphalia, ting forty years to the improvement Hesse, Hanover, &c. enriched the of this branch of history. M. de collection.
Beaudoin, who had been named his · M. d'Argenson having been suc- colleague, died in 1787, with the rank ceeded by the Marshal de Belleisle.; of field-marshal. and M. de Vault, a very distinguished General Mathieu Dumas next sucofficer, being appointed director of the ceeded to the direction of this departdepôt, vice Maillebois, new plans were ment, but soon after, the spirit of readopted.
volution becoming universal, and the At this period the materials of the overthrow of ancient customs being the war depôt, though volumed and cata- primary object of its grasp, the war logued, were rather a collection than depôt, at the close of 1791, was remoa digestion of authorities. M. de ved from Versailles to Paris, for safety:
In the same year the depôt for for pence of the interior amounted to tifications was detached from the war 123,000 francs, and that of the geodepôt; and by a national decree of graphical engineers employed with the August 17, the geographical engineers army to 102,500 francs. were suppressed; their duty was once By an order from the committee of more transferred to the engineer de- safety, of 22 Brumaire, year 2, the partment. But the new government grand map of France, aitributed to being fully aware that the preserva. Cassini, was removed from the obsertion of the country depended on the vatory to the war depôt; and twelve protection of this important depart- engravers and five deputies were apment, gave it a new organization. pointed to retouch and perfect the
At this period the annual expences plate. Latterly the depôt has been of the war depôt were estimated at enriched by a chart of the Low Coun68,000 francs, and soon after geogra- tries by Feraris, and another of Piedphy and history were deprived of ar mont by Borgonio. tificers, and remained stationary. E Such, at the commencement of the ven the war depôt was for some time year 2, was the actual situation of the totally neglected : it is true Citizen war depôt, then established at the Poncet was ostensibly the director of Place Vendome ; and a committee was that department; but the situation appointed to collect all geographical was not virtually filled ull May, materials, of whatever nature, and 1793, when Citizen Calon, formerly wherever to be found. This order of the geographical engineer depart was productive of many valuable addi. ment, was appointed by the minister tions to the war depôt; but the service Bouchotte to that office, in which he had withdrawn so many plans, &c. was assisted by Citizen Desdorides, ge- during the war, that unless governneral of division.
ment had taken some very decisive In the same year Citizen Carnot es- step towards their restoration, a setablished a private topographical ca vere loss would have been sustained. binet, the materials for which were The rapidity of events, and fredrawn from the war depôt; and this quent changes of government, which institution re-awakened the then go- agitated the republic at this momenvernment to the importance of this ne tous crisis, prevent any regular detail glected department.
of the various operations which inAs the troops of the republic were fluenced the war depôt ; but under called into action, the want of geogra- the direction of General Dupont, maphical engineers was very severely felt ny useful arrangements were made. by the staff of the army; and after a In the year 5, that General having yariety of efforts to supply this defi- been otherwise appointed, was succiency, it became advisable to revivé ceeded by the General of Division
Three new companies Ernouf, formerly chef de l'etat major were accordingly raised, each compo- in the army of the Sambre and Meuse. sen of twelve artists, and classed in During his administration, a valuable proportion to their respective merits. library was established at the war deThese persons were engaged in pre- pôt, and has since been very
considera paring plans of Bavaria, Suabia, &c. ably augmented by every interesting
The materials collected in Egypt, at work on war, whether a national or Naples, Piedmont, and St Domingo, foreigr. publication. The grand plate have since occupied their attention. of the map of France was completed In 1793 this depôt not only resu
about this time, at the expence of med its former importance, but with 85,400 francs, afterwards paid by inereased establishment. The ex- monthly instalments of 1,896 francs.
The great resources afforded by engraved or in manuscript, attention is this depôt to the military service, at had to their geographical position ; sơn length determined the directory to that all interior topographical inforperfect its organization ; which it did mation may be found classed with the by framing a plan for its administra- division allotted to the country of tion, under which it now flourishes. which it forms a part.
The interior is conducted by twen In the year 9, (1801) the depôt ty-one clerks, and the geographical was enriched by nine plates of the engineers employed on service are geography of France, by Robert Hespaid out of the “ extraordinary dis, seln, and an infinity of topographical bursements" of the army. In their information, the fruits of the concapacities of topographical draftsmen, quests of the French armies, arrived it is their duty to address to the direc- from Italy-chiefly from Turin, and tor of the war depôt, all charts, routes, a variety of interesting works are preplans, and other military operations, paring from these valuable materials. resulting from their labours; and such The following is an abstract of the persons as were omitted in the minis- contents of the War Depôt : ter's yearly list, were considered as no Independently of 8000 select volonger employed. The duties of the lumes, among which are many very director, and the attributes of the de- valuable atlases, of 2700 volumes of pôt remain nearly the same as then the ancient archives, and of more than imposed by the arret of 25 April, 900 rolls of original modern plans; 1792.
the Depôt contains 131 volumes and The reduction of the map of the seventy-eight rolls of narrative, each Tyrol into a pocket compass, was a- of which is composed of at least fifty mong its labours in that year. individual memoirs ; 4700 engraved
In the year 8, the first of the Con- maps, of which there are from two to sulate, the war depôt was confided to twenty-five copies of each, without the direction of the General of. Divi- counting those printed at the Depôt, sion Clarke, employed near the per- and more than 7400 manuscript plans son of the First Consul, when he es or drawings of marches, encampments, tablished a private topographical bu- and battles.
General Desdorides was now The Depôt furnished, by order of replaced by the Adjutant-commandant government, in the course of the war, Hastrel.
7278 engraved maps, 207 manuscript At the close of this year, all the plans or drawings, 61 atlases of differpublic offices resumed a permanentent parts of the globe, and upwards of form, and many considerable improve- 600 narrative memoirs. ments took place in the war depôt.. Great part, if not the whole, of the An analytical catalogue is in forward- latter must have been dispersed among ness of the ancient archives. The li- officers in the army. They form a brary has been classed, methodized, chasm in history, but will, doubtless, and catalogued. It amounts to up- be restored to their former station wards of 8000 volumes, comprehend- through the mediation of government : ing every thing rare and scientific, re- still, with all these disadvantages, it lating either to the arts, geography, must be evident to the world that this ancient or modern history, voyages, establishment, created by Louvois, the art of war, philosophy, literature, reared by Maillebois, and modelled by &c. and every attention is paid to- De Vaulb, is the richest in the world; wards augmenting the collection with as to authentic elements of history, the works of other nations.
topography, and the art of war. It In the enrolment of charts, either is of a description peculiar to France
and on principles worthy the imita- inhabited it, were early initiated into
ledonians of the west, who in the
Scots, were not altogether ignorant
Jerome reproaches Celestius, who was
husbandry was long unknown, and or hasty-pudding.” This is at least a
arose from the number of Anglo-Saxtains, or desert marshy plains ; that ons who migrated at that time into they had neither towns nor cultivated Scotland, by whose endeavours the lands, but lived on the milk and flesh face of the country was changed from of their flocks and herds, on what that of a barren wilderness, to that of they got by plunder, or catched by a well regulated and cultivated terrihunting, and on the fruit of trees.” tory. During the twelfth and thirThese barbarous nations, however, be- teenth centuries, the lowlands of Scot ing obliged by Severus to yield up & land, were improved considerably, and part of their country to the Romans, their inhabitants were prosperous and that industrious people, in the course happy. As a proof of their internal of the third century, built several prosperity, it was in these periods towns and stations, constructed high- that all the religious houses were eways, cut down woods, drained mar- rected ; and it is plain, that before shes
, and introduced agriculture into any nation can be munificently pious, the districts south of the Frith of it must first be flourishing and rich. Forth, which are generally well cal. In these periods the greatest part of culated for tillage. Though the Ro
our modern towns and villages were mans never formed any lasting station also built ; and it was then that the north of the Forth, yet many of them people began to be civilized, and soand of the provincial Britons retired ciety to assume something of its preinto Caledonia, at different times, par- sent shape. Circumstances, however, ticularly about the end of the third cen soon occurred, which blasted, and in tury, to escape from the Dioclesian per a manner destroyed, all these fair secution. It is probable these refugees prospects; and Scotland, from contiinstructed the natives; and as the nuing flourishing and prosperous, was eastern coast of Caledonia was remark- so completely wasted by civil broils ably fit for cultivation, there is little and foreign wars, that the efforts of Loubt but that the Pictish nation, who the people, during the four succeeding
centuries, were scarcely sufficient to ters, it may only be added, that the restore matters to their former foot- large armies brought into the field by ing.
the partizans of Baliol. and Bruce, These civil broils originated in a chiefly drawn from the Low-country contested succession to the crown, districts, furnish incontestable proof, wherein the parties, in the first in- that the population of the country stance, were nearly matched; but af. was then extensive and numerous. terwards, by the interference of Ed. Now, as population and food must alward of England, the scale was túrn- ways go hand in hand, or, speaking ed, and, as generally happens in such more correctly, food must always precases, the country was brought under cede population ; a sure evidence of the dominion of a foreign invader. agricultural prosperity at the end of . The death of Alexander III. in 1286, the 19th century is thence furnished. was the source of all these evils, occa- Indeed, independent of abstract reasonsioning a contest concerning the suc- ing, we have conclusive proof of the cession between John Baliol and Ro- flourishing state of agriculture in Scotbert Bruce ; which, in the first place, land from other sources. According almost ruined Scotland, and ultimate- to Hemingford, a writer of no mean ly brought destruction upon the fol. authority, it appears that the English lowers of Baliol, and those who ad- army, when besieging the castle of hered to Edward of England, who Dirleton, in East Lothian, A. D. claimed the sovereignty as lord para- 1299, subsisted upon the peas and mount of the country. This contest, beans growing in the adjoining fields. which lasted for many years, stopped Every agriculturist knows well, that the growing prosperity of the country; these grains cannot be successfully occasioned the towns and villages to be cultivated, till husbandry has reached destroyed; turned the people's atten a pretty advanced state ; therefore it tion from internal improvement to re may be presumed, that the agriculture sisting external attacks; and rendered of the district alluded to, was at that them as barbarous and uncivilized, as period considerably improved. But they were before the days of Malcolm another circumstance, still more deci. Canmore. The baneful consequences ,sive, may be gleaned from the wardwhich flowed from a disputed sueces. robe account of Edward I. ; wherein sion, were hardly overcome, when it
appears, that, when that monarch England and Scotland were united invaded Galloway in 1300, he purunder the government of one sove. chased and exported from Kirkcudreign :; nor did they altogether dissap- bright to Whitehaven, and other parts pear till the middle of the 18th cen of Cumberland, greater quantities of tury. Before that time, the internál wheat than perhaps the modern agriimprovement of the country was ne- culture of that province can supply at glected and overlooked, whilst the the present day. great bulk of the inhabitants conti But the most precise and correct nued in an abject and miserable state, account of Scottish agriculture, during imperfectly fed, destitute of other the Anglo-Saxon government, or from comforts, without the means of im- the reign of Edgar, who mounted the provement, and altogether in a situa- throne in 1097,
to the decease of Ation which can hardly be described, lexander III. 1286, may be found in far less figured, at the present mo Mr Chalmers's Caledontia, recently ment, when all these circumstances published, wherein the most diligent are completely reversed.
research is displayed, and every stateWithout insisting upon these mat- ment supported by respectable authoJune 1809.