The siege of the Citadel of Antwerp moves on but
slowly. The Lunette St. Laurent, which has -been taken by report half-a-dozen times at least, is still in the hands of the Dutch. In fact, the be- siegers are still employed with their approaches. We continue the account in the narrative form in which it comes to us.
Our last week's notices came down to Thursday night. On the . previous night, a new battery of mortars had been erected in the second parallel towards the town side, for the purpose of throwing shells into the bastion of Toledo, one of the defences of the Citadel, . which occupies a distinguished place in the despatches ; and in the course of Thursday a second mortar battery was erected in :advance of the Lunette Montebello, the Belgian fort whose occu- pation it was anticipated would afford CHASSE an excuse for firing on the town. The fire of the Dutch during Friday was principally directed. towards Montebello. That of the besiegers was not slack; and in a short time, the fires, which had been extinguished from Wednesday evening, again broke out in three several parts of the large barracks. The flag-staff which surmounted the barracks also caught fire, and burnt down,—an omen which the Dutch do not seem to have endeavoured to avert. On Saturday, a shell fell in the suburb of St. Laurent, where a house was in consequence set fire to. Up to Saturday, the eighth day of the actual siege, the French, according to the Mimorial Beige, had only about one hundred men put hors de combat ; and their sick, notwithstanding their privations, were very few. An idea of the exposure to which they are Subject may be formed from the fact, that they have occa- sionally, during the terrible wet and cold Weather that has pre- vailed since the siege began, had to pass the night without even a truss of straw to keep them from the ground. — The work of sapping is not familiar to common readers, though described in every book of military tactics. It is performed thus— Four workmen work in a line, one after the other : they are within sight of the besieged, who can hear the strokes of their pickaxes. The man in advance is protected by a gabion, or basket, filled with wool, hay, or cotton. He has another at one side of him, which he is employed in filling with the earth that he throws up. The three others follow the first, who has already cleared the way, ard are protected only by the gabions which they are filling' with earth. Immediately behind them is a sentinel, who watches, his musket to his shoulder, and his eye fixed on the parapet, ready to fire the moment he sees any of the enemy make their appearance. The men, who work this way in parties of four, with a soldier to each, are relieved every half hour ; but this half hour never passes without a shower of balls lodging in the gabious. When a bomb is seen, the cry is raised, "A bomb," on which the workmen throw themselves flat Oil the earth. When it bursts, such of them as are not hurt rise, atd go on with their work.
The burnings in the Citadel continued during nearly the whole of Saturday; and were at one time so considerable, that although the day was bright and clear, the flames could be seen at a great distance. This is the eighth fire that has taken place in the Cita- del in the course of the siege. On Saturday morning, one of those incidents that often distin- guish the operations of war, when carried on, as it were, hand to hand, took place. Seven Dutch soldiers on a sudden issued from_ the Citadel, with a view to signalize themselves by exchanging shots with their opponents. The whole of the little party, more brave than wise, instantly fell by the French fire. Six were killed on the spot, and the seventh died before he could be removed to the hospital.
The third parallel towards the bastion Toledo was begun at midday of Sunday. "Sunday shines no Sabbath-day" in the trenches. The third parallel is the last, and the breaching,. batteries follow. The fire of musketry, from the Citadel, conti- nued to be galling on Sunday ; and upon the whole, as was to be expected, the casualties, as the French approach the works, in- crease in number. The nearest lodgment is nov only seventy-six yards from the bastion • the breaching-battery destined tD batter it was commenced on Sunday night. LEOPOLD, who had been in Antwerp for several days, visited the whole of the works on Sunday. He seems to make himself extremely acceptable to the soldiers. A poor wounded sapper, whom his com- rades were carrying to the rear, was stopped for a moment, and ques- tioned by the King : the man answeied with the coolness and perti- nence that Frenchmerr in such cases so commonly display : the King, previous to ordering the men to proceed with their burden, took n cross of merit from his own breast, and hung it round the neck of the wounded man. The Duke D'ORLEANS has also been exhibiting in a way which is extremely well adapted for insuring the applause of the million. He regularly visits the trenches ;_ and on one of these occasions, the balls coming from the Citadel whistled so close to the ears of the soldiers, that one of them by an involun- tary movement stooped his head : the Duke immediately ad- vanced in the midst of the men, saying, " Make yourselves easy, my friends ; the Dutch fire too high—you see I am taller than you, and their balls touch me not." This is acting, but it is good acting.
The great barracks of the Citadel, which were not homb-proof, and had in consequence been early abandoned, were entirely con- sumed before the evening of Sunday. The fire of the besiegers was mainly directed during Sunday against a sluice by which the water of the Scheldt is kept in the ditch of the Citadel at ebb-tide. In this they seem to have been partially successful the sluice is so destroyed, that no effort of the besieged will be equal to its restoration. The ditch of the Lunette is, it seems, not so easily drained, in consequence of the sluices that retain the water there being placed within the Citadel.
The position of the French, then, is this. In ten days, under every circumstance of discouragement, in bitter bad weather, during the worst season of the year--deprived by agreement of the choice of their ground, and making their attack in conse- quence from a point - that is surrounded with difficulties—with troops hardly a man of which ever saw a siege, have seen a ball fired in earnest,—against an skilled, who ha s had nearly two years in whi parations,—with all these things against them, they have broken -ground, formed their first, secbnd, and in part their third parallel; they have erected many batteries ; their breaching-batteries are ll but completed ; and Alley have done all, this with a loss of some 200 or 300 men. However, therefore, we may regret the loss of human life—whatever repinings we may indulge in at the injury to trade and commerce, arising out of the delay—though we may, nay must execrate the selfish policy of the Dutch King, -who, for no visible purpose, has caused all this injury, it is impos- sible to deny to the besiegers the highest praise of courage and perseverance; and it is equally impossible to deny, that, taking all things into account, their progress is not calculated to disappoint those that are learned, though it may disappoint the ignorant in these matters. We mentioned Marshal SouLfs calculation, that if the weather were bad—and it has been very bad—the siege -would occupy twenty days. Up to Thursday, to which our latest trews comes, only fourteen of the twenty days had elapsed. It would appear that the firing from Fort Montebello and the works in advance of it had given offence to CHASSE. The following letters have passed on the subject.
GENERAL CHASSE TO MARSHAL GERARD.
"Citadel of Antwerp, December 5.
." Monsieur le Mareelial--.-The calamities which your aggression calls down on the city of Antwerp, during th&negotiations yet going forward to bring about the main- tenance of peace, appear to require to be realized in their fullest extent, inconsequence of what I am as yet willing to believe to be the results of the imprudence of your 'troops, and not dictated by your will. Notwithstanding my answer B, of the 30th of 'November 1832, to the second letter which you did me the honour to address to me, there has been a fire frequently opened against the Citadel from Fort Montebello, and :even from the rampart of the enceinte of the city at the gate of Beguines. Those are breaches to the bases of the arrangement which your Excellency proposed to me, as melt as to those which I declared in my reply. "I believe it therefore proper to state this to your Excellency, in order to do all that ales in my power to prevent a disastrous conflict, the results of which must for ever de- volve on the authors of an aggression which, undertaken at a moment when efforts were making to bring the negotiations of peace to their conclusion, and when there mere but some trifling matters to be decided, compromises interests so important, and *which, although undertaken with such considerable means against the point which I
• occupy, does not seem to hesitate to place under lire a city, of which its importance as well as humanity demand the preservation.
I have therefore to require from your Excellency, to please to give an explanation ion the subject of those breaches which I have the honour to specify. The Fort of 'Montebello is so far a dependence on the place, that I cannot abstain from returning ell the the hereafter directed against me from that fort, as well as from the ramparts of the enceinte. The inhabitants of Antwerp already know me too well, and the conduct I have observed since I have occupied this position, which conduct.has been thoroughly appreciated by their Excellencies the French and English Commissions of the Confe- zence, not to be aware to whom to attribute the calamity which menaces them, if those provocations oblige me thereunto.
"Receive, M. le Marechal, the assurances of my high consideration,
"The General of Infantry, Baron CHASSE."
MARSHAL GERARD TO GENERAL CHASSE.
"Head-quarters, near Antwerp. December 5. " M. le General—In the letter which I had the honour to write to you in the even- ing of the 30th of November, in reply to yours of that date. I clearly explained to you
the line of conduct marked down for me by my instructions relative to the siege of the Citadel of Antwerp. I do not demand in the name of my Government any thing more than the execution of the treaty of the 15th of November 1831, a treaty signed and guaranteed. To attack the Citadel of Antwerp, which you ought to give up to me, I alow make use of no means but those without the enceinte of the city; and I quoted to you the examples and the right which justify my conduct in this respect. By pre- venting my lire from the interior of the city from being opened against you, I give the strongest proof of my desire to spare the city and its population, since the city offers sue means and a spot for attack which would promptly bring about your destruction. Jiffy intention bets- to close all communication with you, it notwithstanding all your statements, you inhumanly sacrifice the city of Antwerp, I am ready to make you feel that your conduct will not be the less contrary to your own interests than to humanity, mud that you will repent the consequences thereof.
"Receive the assurances of my consideration,
"The Marshal Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the North, Count GERARD."
There has been' it is said, some coolness between Colonel C ARADOC and the French Marshal; but it is so obscurely noticed in-the correspondence, that we can only infer " there is some- thing in it."
An ingenious gentleman has been at the trouble of calculating the number of balls discharged by the French at old CHA.SSE from the 4th to the 8th : we give it, as curious. Its truth must be 'taken for granted- " From the 4th to the 5th, 1,149 bullets of 241b.
630 ditto of 161b. 950 howitzers and 766 bombs. 5th to the 6th, 1.235 bullets of 241b. 626 ditto of 161b. 969 howitzers and 723 bombs. 6th to the 7th, 1,515 bullets of 241b. 752 ditto of 161b. 1,043 howitzers and 835 bombs. 7th to the 8th, 574 bullets of 241b. 511 ditto of 161b. 655 howitzers and 536 bombs. In the whole, 4,473 shot of 241b., 2,519 of 161b., 3,617 howitzers, and 2,860 bombs ;
making in actual weight of metal above 477,000 pounds."
The operations on the Scheldt, not immediately connected with the siege, are uninteresting. The French occupy the dike of the the Pyp de Tabac, in order to prevent its being cut. SEBAS- TIANI some time ago took possession of a small fort, called Fort St. Marie, whence the Dutch naval force made a show of dislodging him; but were speedily compelled to sheer off. The vessels belong- ing to the Dutch, and their position on the 1st of December, were as follows— ow the Citadel and in the Polders-13 gun-boats, and 1 armed steam-vessel.
Off the Pyp de Tabac—the corvette Comet (22 guns), and 2 gun-boats. -Off Fort St. Marie—the Proscrpine (22 guns), and 4 gun-boats.
Off Willemsreck—the frigate Eurydice (50 guns), and an armed steam-vessel. •
Cif Krugshaus-4 gun-boats. Off Lillo-1 bomb-vessel, the Medusa (40 guns), and 12 gun-boats. Off Toeflingen—the Zenw (90 guns), and 8 gun-boats. Off Terneuse—the corvette Dolphin (32 guns).