In this focus of trained and organized savagery, where ferocity was cultivated as a virtue, and every emotion of pity stifled as unworthy of a man; where ancient rites, customs, and traditions were held with the tenacity of a people who joined the extreme of wildness with the extreme of conservatism,here burned the council fire of the five confederate tribes; and here, in time of need, were gathered their bravest and their wisest to debate high questions of policy and war.Napoleon now called up his auxiliary forces from Saxony, Würtemberg, Bavaria, and from all the Confederation of the Rhine, as well as new battalions from France, and advanced against the Russians. In the first place, the French, who had completed the subjugation of the Prussian states east of the Oder, pushed forward towards Poland, to attack the Russian general, Benningsen, who advanced to Warsaw, and occupied it in conjunction with the Prussians. Benningsen, however, finding the Prussians few and dispirited, fell back beyond the Vistula, and Murat, at the head of the French vanguard, entered Warsaw on the 28th of November. He was soon after joined there by Buonaparte, and Warsaw being put into a state of defence, the French army advanced to the Vistula and the Bug, in spite of the lateness of the season. Benningsen again retreated behind the Wkra, where he united his forces with those of Generals Buxhowden and Kaminskoi. Kaminskoi took the supreme command. When Napoleon arrived at the Wkra on the 23rd of December, he formed his army into three divisions, and forced the passages of the river. Kaminskoi fell back behind the Niemen, and the French pursued him, committing some injury on him. This trifling advantage Napoleon converted, in his bulletins to Paris, into the rout and general defeat of the Russians. It was true that the Russians were destitute of stores, having applied to Britain for money, and obtained only eighty thousand pounds. They fought, therefore, under great disadvantages, against an army furnished with everything. Notwithstanding, Benningsen, who was by far the most vigorous of their generalsfor Kaminskoi was fast falling into lunacyposted himself strongly behind Pultusk, his right led by Barclay de Tolly, and his left by Ostermann. Kaminskoi ordered Benningsen to retreat, but he refused, and stood his ground. At first Tolly was driven back by Lannes and Davoust, but Benningsen converted this disadvantage into a ruse, ordering Tolly to continue his retreat, till the French were drawn on, so that he could bring down his left wing on them. This he did with such effect that he killed and wounded nearly eight thousand of them, having, however, himself five thousand killed and wounded. Lannes and five other generals were amongst the wounded. The French seized the opportunity of darkness to retreat with such speed, that the next morning not a trace of them could be seen near Pultusk. Prince Galitzin fought another division of the French the same day at Golynim, and with the same success. Had Benningsen had the chief command, and brought down the whole united Russian army on Napoleon, the victory must have been most decisive; as it was, it taught the French that they had different troops to Prussians or Austrians to contend with. They drew off, and went into winter quarters at Warsaw and the towns to the eastward. The chief command of the Russian army was now conferred on Benningsen, and so far from Buonaparte having, as he boasted, brought the war to a close with the year, we shall find Benningsen, at the head of ninety thousand men, soon forcing him into a winter campaign.
In March of this year Lord Cornwallis had brought a war in India with the implacable enemy of the British to a very successful close. Early in the preceding year, 1791, he had reinstated our ally, the Rajah of Travancore, in his dominions, and had further seized nearly all Tippoo's territories on the Malabar coast. He then determined to strike a decisive blow, by marching upon Tippoo's capital, Seringapatam. In February he took the city of Bangalore, and early in May he was on his route for Seringapatam. Tippoo was in the deepest consternation. Lord Cornwallis arrived in the neighbourhood of Seringapatam on the 13th of May, and immediately attacked Tippoo, who was drawn up with a large force. The Mysoreans broke and fled before the British bayonets. The British army was in full view of the capital, and expected a rich booty, when Cornwallis was compelled to order a retreat. The forces of General Abercromby, who had to make his way from another quarter through the mountains, had not come up; neither had the Mahrattas, who were to join with twenty thousand men. The rains had set in, and the army was without provisions, for Tippoo had laid all the country waste. In these circumstances, Lord Cornwallis somewhat precipitately destroyed his battering guns, and retired from before Seringapatam. He sent word to Abercromby, who was now approaching, to retire also. On the 26th of May, the very first day of his retreat, the Mahrattas arrived; but as the rains continued and his soldiers were suffering from illness, he determined to retreat to Bangalore, where he procured four battering trains; and having laid in plentiful stores and obtained strong reinforcements, as soon as the season was favourable he again set out for Seringapatam. After taking different forts on his way, he appeared before that wealthy city on the 5th of February, 1792, in company with General Abercromby and a native force belonging to our ally, the Nizam. Tippoo was drawn up before the city, having between it and himself the rapid river Cauvery, and the place extremely well fortified and defended by batteries. He had forty thousand infantry and five thousand horse; but he was speedily defeated, and driven across the river into the city. There the British followed him, and, under the guidance of the brave generals, Medows and Abercromby, they soon penetrated so deeply into the place that Tippoo was compelled to capitulate. In these actions the British were said to have lost about six hundred men, Tippoo four thousand. according to his own accounts, had in his hands 37,516