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Napoleon's Courtship

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Napoleon's Courtship Napoleon arnved in person beíore the walls of Vienna, immediately planted his batteries, and in less than ten hours, three thousand flaming projectiles were thrown into the city. Vienna contains about two hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants, enclosed in a very narrow space, and is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. There is an average of forty inhabitants to each house. One house is occupied by four hundred tennts, and yields an annual rental of thirty thousand dollars. Such was the city before which Napoleon planted his terriable batteries, and upon which, for ten bours, he rained down a shower of bomb shells at the rate of five a minute. It is not easy to imagine, and it is impossible to describe the terrors of this night. Amid the rush and the uproar of contending armies, there was the incessant explosion of artillery keeping up one continuous roar, louder than heaven's heaviest thunders. The midnight sky was streaked with the fiery glare of bomb shells, falling upon every part of the city, breaking through the roofs of the houses, exploding at the fireside, where terrified mothers and children were gathered together, and even in the very cradle of the infant, and burying mangled families in the ruins of their own dwellings. Conflagrations were bursting forth in every quarter. - Dismay and death were everywhere. - The shouts of the combatants, the shrieks of the terrified, the groans of the dying, the mangled corpses strewed over the streets and through the dwellings, the explosions of artillery, the glare of bombs and red-hot balls, and the wasting conflagration, conspired to create a scene which has had but few parallels, even in this warring world. The young Princess Maria Louisa, the subsequent bride of Napoleon, was at that time sick in the imperial palace, and incapable of being removed to a place of safety. The palace was directly opposite the French batteries. "It was," says Allison, "by the thunders of artillery, and the flaming light of bombs across the sky, that Napoleon's first addresses to the Archduchess Maria Louisa were made." Such were the characteristic billet doux with which the conquerer of Europe wooed his bride. Napoleon being informed of the dangerous situation of the noble captive, ordered the direction of the pieces to be changed. Thus, while destruction and death were rained down upon every other part of the city, the future Empress of France reposed upon her sick bed, secure and unharmed. Napoleon soon silenced all opposition, and taking possession, with his victorious troops, of the riddled and blazing city, sought repose from his own fatigue in the magnificent chambers of the Austrian king. The king of Austria and his spouse had found safety by flight into the wilds of Hungary. The rnmparts of Vienna had long been the peculiar glory of the metropolis. - They were shaded by magnificent trees, which had been accumulating their growth for centuries. These ramparts formed a delightful public promenade for the citizens. They were the favorite, and almost the only resort for the young and the old, on every bright evening and every gala day. These venerable fortifications had ages before arrested the progress of the victorious Turks, when they were sweeping like a desolating flood over Europe and they had been rendered illustrious by the heroism of Maria Theresa. Napoleon ordered, as he left the city, their entire demolition. Mines of terrific power were constructed under the principal bastions. These exploding with the energy of volcanic fires, uphove the mountainous ramparts from their foundations, and scattered them through the air, mingled with volumes of flame and smoke, darkening the sky and strewing the earth with the enormous ruin. It is said that these successive explosions, one after another, presented one of the most sublime and awful spectacles of the whole revolutionary war. "Showers of stones and fragments of masonry," says Alison, "fell on all sides. The subterraneous fires ran along the mines, with a smothered roar which froze every heart with terror. One after another the bastions were heaved up and exploded, till the city was enveloped on all sides by ruins; and the rattle of the falling masses broke the awful stillness of the capital." This cruel devastation produced the most profound impression in Vienna; it exasperated the people more than could have been done by the loss of half the monarchy; it brought the bilterness of conquest home to every man's breast; the iron had pierced into the soul of the nation. And thus Napoleon terminated his most singular courtship of Maria Louisa. - Abbott. American biscuits have become an article of import at Liverpool. They are in great demand, and afford a good profit to the exporter.