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Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete by Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

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The will of Bonaparte being thus expressed in his message to the--Senate,
that body, which was created to preserve the institutions consecrated by
the Constitution of the year VIII., had no alternative but to submit to
the intentions manifested by the First Consul. The reply to the message
was, therefore, merely a counterpart of the message itself. It
positively declared that hereditary government was essential to the
happiness, the glory, and the prosperity of France, and that that
government could be confided only to Bonaparte and his family. While the
Senate so complaisantly played its part in this well-get-up piece, yet,
the better to impose on the credulity of the multitude, its reply, like
Bonaparte's message, resounded with the words liberty and equality.
Indeed, it was impudently asserted in that reply that Bonaparte's
accession to hereditary power would be a certain guarantee for the
liberty of the press, a liberty which Bonaparte held in the greatest
horror, and without which all other liberty is but a vain illusion.

By this reply of the Senate the most important step was performed. There
now remained merely ceremonies to regulate and formulas to fill up.
These various arrangements occasioned a delay of a fortnight. On the
18th of May the First Consul was greeted for the first time by the
appellation of Sire by his former colleague, Cambaceres, who at the head
of the Senate went to present to Bonaparte the organic 'Senatus-consulte'
containing the foundation of the Empire. Napoleon was at St. Cloud,
whither the Senate proceeded in state. After the speech of Cambaceres,
in which the old designation of Majesty was for the first time revived,
the EMPEROR replied:--

All that can contribute to the welfare of the country is essentially
connected with my happiness. I accept the title which you believe
to be conducive to the glory of the nation. I submit to the
sanction of the people the law of hereditary succession. I hope
that France will never repent the honours she may confer on my
family. At all events, my spirit will not be with my posterity when
they cease to merit the confidence and love of the great nation.

Cambaceres next went to congratulate the Empress, and then was realised
to Josephine the prediction which I had made to her three years before at

--[In the original motion as prepared by Curee, the Imperial dignity
was to be declared hereditary in the family of Napoleon. Previous to
being formerly read before the Tribunate, the First Consul sent for
the document, and when it was returned it was found that the word
family was altered to descendants. Fabre, the President of the
Tribunate, who received the altered document from Maret, seeing the
effect the alteration would have on the brothers of Napoleon, and
finding that Maret affected to crest the change as immaterial, took
on himself to restore the original form, and in that shape it was
read by the unconscious Curee to the Tribunals. On this curious,
passage see Miot de Melito, tome ii, p. 179. As finally settled the
descent of the crown in default of Napoleon's children was limited
to Joseph and Louis and their descendants, but the power of adoption
was given to Napoleon. The draft of the 'Senates-consulte' was
heard by the Council of State in silence, and Napoleon tried in vain
to get even the most talkative of the members now to speak. The
Senate were not unanimous in rendering the 'Senatus-consulte'. The
three votes given against it were said to have been Gregoire, the
former constitutional Bishop of Blois, Carat, who as Minister of
Justice had read to Louis XVI. the sentence of death, and
Lanjuinais, one of the very few survivors of the Girondists, Thiers
says there was only one dissentient voice. For the fury of the
brothers of Napoleon, who saw the destruction of all their ambitions
hopes in any measure for the descent of the crown except in the
family, see Miot, tome ii. p.. 172, where Joseph is described as
cursing the ambition of his brother, and desiring his death as a
benefit for France and his family.]--

Bonaparte's first act as Emperor, on the very day of his elevation to the
Imperial throne, was the nomination of Joseph to the dignity of Grand
Elector, with the title of Imperial Highness. Louis was raised to the
dignity of Constable, with the same title, and Cambaceres and Lebrun were
created Arch-Chancellor and Arch-Treasurer of the Empire. On the same
day Bonaparte wrote the following letter to Cambaceres, the first which
he signed as Emperor, and merely with the name of Napoleon:--

CITIZEN CONSUL CAMBACERES--Your title has changed; but your
functions and my confidence remain the same. In the high dignity
with which you are now invested you will continue to manifest, as
you have hitherto done in that of Consul, that wisdom and that
distinguished talent which entitle you to so important a share in
all the good which I may have effected. I have, therefore, only to
desire the continuance of the sentiments you cherish towards the
State and me.

Given at the Palace of St. Cloud, 28th Floreal, an XII.
(18th May 1804).
(Signed) NAPOLEON.

By the Emperor.

I have quoted this first letter of the Emperor because it is
characteristic of Bonaparte's art in managing transitions. It was to the
Citizen Consul that the Emperor addressed himself, and it was dated
according to the Republican calendar. That calendar, together with the
delusive inscription on the coin, were all that now remained of the
Republic. Next day the Emperor came to Paris to hold a grand levee at
the Tuileries, for he was not the man to postpone the gratification that
vanity derived from his new dignity and title. The assembly was more
numerous and brilliant than on any former occasion. Bessieres having
addressed the Emperor on the part of the Guards, the Emperor replied in
the following terms: "I know the sentiments the Guards cherish towards
me. I repose perfect confidence in their courage and fidelity. I
constantly see, with renewed pleasure, companions in arms who have
escaped so many dangers, and are covered with so many honourable wounds.
I experience a sentiment of satisfaction when I look at the Guards, and
think that there has not, for the last fifteen years, in any of the four
quarters of the world, been a battle in which some of them have not taken

On the same day all the generals and colonels in Paris were presented to
the Emperor by Louis Bonaparte, who had already begun to exercise his
functions of Constable. In a few days everything assumed a new aspect;
but in spite of the admiration which was openly expressed the Parisians
secretly ridiculed the new courtiers. This greatly displeased Bonaparte,
who was very charitably informed of it in order to check his
prepossession in favour of the men of the old Court, such as the Comte de
Segur, and at a later period Comte Louis de Narbonne.

To give all possible solemnity to his accession Napoleon ordered that the
Senate itself should proclaim in Paris the organic 'Senates-consulte',
which entirely changed the Constitution of the State. By one of those
anomalies which I have frequently had occasion to remark, the Emperor
fixed for this ceremony Sunday, the 30th Floral. That day was a festival
in all Paris, while the unfortunate prisoners were languishing in the
dungeons of the Temple.

On the day after Bonaparte's accession the old formulae were restored.
The Emperor determined that the French Princes and Princesses should
receive the title of Imperial Highness; that his sisters should take the
same title; that the grand dignitaries of the Empire should be called
Serene Highnesses; that the Princes and titularies of the grand
dignitaries should be addressed by the title of Monseigneur; that M.
Maret, the Secretary of State, should have the rank of Minister; that the
ministers should retain the title of Excellency, to which should be added
that of Monseigneur in the petitions addressed to them; and that the
title of Excellency should be given to the President of the Senate.

At the same time Napoleon appointed the first Marshals of the Empire,
and determined that they should be called Monsieur le Marechal when
addressed verbally, and Monseigneur in writing. The following are the
names of these sons of the Republic transformed into props of the Empire:
Berthier, Murat, Moncey, Jourdan, Massena, Augereau, Bernadotte, Soult,
Brune, Lannes, Mortier, Ney, Davoust, and Besaieres. The title of
Marshal of the Empire was also granted to the generals Kellerman,
Lefebvre, Perignon, and Serrurier, as having served as commander-in-

The reader cannot have failed to observe that the name of Lucien has not
been mentioned among the individuals of Bonaparte's family on whom
dignities were conferred. The fact is, the two brothers were no longer
on good terms with each other. Not, as it has been alleged, because
Lucien wished to play the part of a Republican, but because he would not
submit to the imperious will of Napoleon in a circumstance in which the
latter counted on his brother's docility to serve the interests of his
policy. In the conferences which preceded the great change in the form
of government it was not Lucien but Joseph who, probably for the sake of
sounding opinion, affected an opposition, which was by some mistaken for
Republicanism. With regard to Lucien, as he had really rendered great
services to Napoleon on the 19th Brumaire at St. Cloud, and as he himself
exaggerated the value of those services, he saw no reward worthy of his
ambition but a throne independent of his brother. It is certain that
when at Madrid he had aspired to win the good graces of a Spanish
Infanta, and on that subject reports were circulated with which I have
nothing to do, because I never had any opportunity of ascertaining their
truth. All I know is that, Lucien's first wife being dead, Bonaparte,
wished him to marry a German Princess, by way of forming the first great
alliance in the family. Lucien, however, refused to comply with
Napoleon's wishes, and he secretly married the wife of an agent, named,
I believe, Joubertou, who for the sake of convenience was sent to the
West Indies, where he: died shortly after. When Bonaparte heard of this
marriage from the priest by whom it had been clandestinely performed, he
fell into a furious passion, and resolved not to confer on Lucien the
title of French Prince, on account of what he termed his unequal match.
Lucien, therefore, obtained no other dignity than that of Senator.

--[According to Lucien himself, Napoleon wished him to marry the
Queen of Etruria Maria-Louise, daughter of Charles IV. of Spain, who
had married, 1795 Louie de Bourbon, Prince of Parma, son of the Duke
of Parma, to whom Napoleon had given Tuscany in 1801 as the Kingdom
of, Etruria. Her husband had died in May 1808, and she governed in
the name of her son. Lucien, whose first wife, Anne Christine
Boyer, had died in 1801, had married his second wife, Alexandrine
Laurence de Bleschamps, who had married, but who had divorced, a M.
Jonberthon. When Lucien had been ambassador in Spain in 1801,
charged among other things with obtaining Elba, the Queen, he says,
wished Napoleon should marry an Infanta,--Donna Isabella, her
youngest daughter, afterwards Queen of Naples, an overture to which
Napoleon seems not to have made any answer. As for Lucien, he
objected to his brother that the Queen was ugly, and laughed at
Napoleon's representations as to her being "propre": but at last he
acknowledged his marriage with Madame Jouberthon. This made a
complete break between the brothers, and on hearing of the execution
of the Due d'Enghien, Lucien said to his wife, "Alexandrine, let us
go; he has tasted blood." He went to Italy, and in 1810 tried to go
to the United States. Taken prisoner by the English, he was
detained first at Malta, and then in England, at Ludlow Castle and
at Thorngrove, till 1814, when he went to Rome. The Pope, who ever
showed a kindly feeling towards the Bonapartes, made the ex-
"Brutus" Bonaparte Prince de Canino and Due de Musignano. In 1815
he joined Napoleon and on the final fall of the Empire he was
interned at Rome till the death of his brother.]--

Jerome, who pursued an opposite line of conduct, was afterwards made a
King. As to Lucien's Republicanism, it did not survive the 18th
Brumaire, and he was always a warm partisan of hereditary succession.

But I pass on to relate what I know respecting the almost incredible
influence which, on the foundation of the Empire, Bonaparte exercised
over the powers which did not yet dare to declare war against him.
I studied Bonaparte's policy closely, and I came to this conclusion on
the subject, that he was governed by ambition, by the passion of
dominion, and that no relations, on a footing of equality, between
himself and any other power, could be of long duration. The other States
of Europe had only to choose one of two things--submission or war. As to
secondary States, they might thenceforth be considered as fiefs of the
French Government; and as they could not resist, Bonaparte easily
accustomed them to bend to his yoke. Can there be a stronger proof of
this arbitrary influence than what occurred at Carlsruhe, after the
violation of the territory of Baden, by the arrest of the Due d'Enghien?
Far from venturing to make any observation on that violation, so contrary
to the rights of nations, the Grand Duke of Baden was obliged to publish,
in his own State, a decree evidently dictated by Bonaparte. The decree
stated, that many individuals formerly belonging to the army of Conde
having come to the neighbourhood of Carlsruhe, his Electoral Highness had
felt it his duty to direct that no individual coming from Conde's army,
nor indeed any French emigrant, should, unless he had permission
previously to the place, make a longer sojourn than was allowed to
foreign travellers. Such was already the influence which Bonaparte
exercised over Germany, whose Princes, to use an expression which he
employed in a later decree, were crushed by the grand measures of the

But to be just, without however justifying Bonaparte, I must acknowledge
that the intrigues which England fomented in all parts of the Continent
were calculated to excite his natural irritability to the utmost degree.
The agents of England were spread over the whole of Europe, and they
varied the rumours which they were commissioned to circulate, according
to the chances of credit which the different places afforded. Their
reports were generally false; but credulity gave ear to them, and
speculators endeavoured, each according to his interest, to give them
support. The headquarters of all this plotting was Munich, where Drake,
who was sent from England, had the supreme direction. His
correspondence, which was seized by the French Government, was at first
placed amongst the documents to be produced on the trial of Georges,
Moreau, and the other prisoners; but in the course of the preliminary
proceedings the Grand Judge received directions to detach them, and make
them the subject of a special report to the First Consul, in order that
their publication beforehand might influence public opinion, and render
it unfavourable to those who were doomed to be sacrificed. The
instructions given by Drake to his agents render it impossible to doubt
that England wished to overthrow the Government of Bonaparte. Drake
wrote as follows to a man who was appointed to travel through France:--

The principal object of your journey being the overthrow of the
existing Government, one of the means of effecting it is to acquire
a knowledge of the enemy's plans. For this purpose it is of the
highest importance to begin, in the first place, by establishing
communications with persons who may be depended upon in the
different Government offices in order to obtain exact information of
all plans with respect to foreign or internal affairs. The
knowledge of these plans will supply the best means of defeating
them; and failure is the way to bring the Government into complete
discredit--the first and most important step towards the end
proposed. Try to gain over trustworthy agents in the different
Government departments. Endeavour, also, to learn what passes in
the secret committee, which is supposed to be established at St
Cloud, and composed of the friends of the First Consul. Be careful
to furnish information of the various projects which Bonaparte may
entertain relative to Turkey and Ireland. Likewise send
intelligence respecting the movements of troops, respecting vessels
and ship-building, and all military preparations.

Drake, in his instructions, also recommended that the subversion of
Bonaparte's Government should, for the time, be the only object in view,
and that nothing should be said about the King's intentions until certain
information could be obtained respecting his views; but most of his
letters and instructions were anterior to 1804. The whole bearing of the
seized documents proved what Bonaparte could not be ignorant of, namely,
that England was his constant enemy; but after examining them, I was of
opinion that they contained nothing which could justify the belief that
the Government of Great Britain authorised any attempt at assassination.

When the First Consul received the report of the Grand Judge relative to
Drake's plots' against his Government he transmitted a copy of it to the
Senate, and it was in reply to this communication that the Senate made
those first overtures which Bonaparte thought vague, but which,
nevertheless, led to the formation of the Empire. Notwithstanding this
important circumstance, I have not hitherto mentioned Drake, because his
intrigues for Bonaparte'soverthrow appeared to me to be more immediately
connected with the preliminaries of the trial of Georges and Moreau,
which I shall notice in my next chapter.

--[These were not plots for assassination. Bonaparte, in the same
way, had his secret agents in every country of Europe, without
excepting England. Alison (chap. xxxvii. par. 89) says on this
matter of Drake that, though the English agents were certainly
attempting a counter-revolution, they had no idea of encouraging the
assassination of Napoleon, while "England was no match for the
French police agents in a transaction of this description, for the
publication of Regular revealed the mortifying fact that the whole
correspondence both of Drake and Spencer Smith had been regularly
transmitted, as fast as it took place, to the police of Paris, and
that their principal corresponded in that city, M. Mehu de la
Tonche, was himself an agent of the police, employed to tempt the
British envoys into this perilous enterprise."]--

At the same time that Bonaparte communicated to the Senate the report of
the Grand Judge, the Minister for Foreign Affairs addressed the following
circular letter to the members of the Diplomatic Body:

The First Consul has commanded me to forward to your Excellency a
copy of a report which has been presented to him, respecting a
conspiracy formed in France by Mr. Drake, his Britannic Majesty's
Minister at the Court of Munich, which, by its object as well as its
date, is evidently connected with the infamous plot now in the
course of investigation.

The printed copy of Mr. Drake's letters and authentic documents is
annexed to the report. The originals will be immediately sent, by
order of the First Consul, to the Elector of Bavaria.

Such a prostitution of the most honourable function which can be
intrusted to a man is unexampled in the history of civilised
nations. It will astonish and afflict Europe as an unheard of
crime, which hitherto the most perverse Governments have not dared
to meditate. The First Consul is too well acquainted with
sentiments of the Diplomatic Body accredited to him not to be fully
convinced that every one of its members will behold, with profound
regret, the profanation of the sacred character of Ambassador,
basely transformed into a minister of plots, snares, and corruption.

All the ambassadors, ministers, plenipotentiaries, envoys, ordinary or
extraordinary, whatever might be their denomination, addressed answers to
the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in which they expressed horror and
indignation at the conduct of England and Drake's machinations. These
answers were returned only five days after the Duc d'Enghien's death;
and here one cannot help admiring the adroitness of Bonaparte, who thus
compelled all the representatives of the European Governments to give
official testimonies of regard for his person and Government.



Trial of Moreau, Georges, and others--Public interest excited by
Moreau--Arraignment of the prisoners--Moreau's letter to Bonaparte--
Violence of the President of the Court towards the prisoners--
Lajolais and Rolland--Examinations intended to criminate Moreau--
Remarkable observations--Speech written by M. Garat--Bonaparte's
opinion of Garat's eloquence--General Lecourbe and Moreau's son--
Respect shown to Moreau by the military--Different sentiments
excited by Georges and Moreau--Thoriot and 'Tui-roi'--Georges'
answers to the interrogatories--He refuses an offer of pardon--
Coster St. Victor--Napoleon and an actress--Captain Wright--
M. de Riviere and the medal of the Comte d'Artois--Generous struggle
between MM. de Polignac--Sentence on the prisoners--Bonaparte's
remark--Pardons and executions.

On the 28th of May, about ten days after Napoleon had been declared
Emperor, the trials of Moreau and others commenced. No similar event
that has since occurred can convey an idea of the fermentation which then
prevailed in Paris. The indignation excited by Moreau's arrest was
openly manifested, and braved the observation of the police. Endeavours
had been successfully made to mislead public opinion with respect to
Georges and some others among the accused, who were looked upon as
assassins in the pay of England, at least by that numerous portion of the
public who lent implicit faith to declarations presented to them as
official. But the case was different with regard to those individuals
who were particularly the objects of public interest, -viz. MM. de
Polignac, de Riviere, Charles d'Hozier, and, above all, Moreau. The name
of Moreau towered above all the rest, and with respect to him the
Government found itself not a little perplexed. It was necessary on the
one hand to surround him with a guard sufficiently imposing, to repress
the eagerness of the people and of his friends, and yet on the other hand
care was required that this guard should not be so strong as to admit of
the possibility of making it a rallying-point, should the voice of a
chief so honoured by the army appeal to it for defence. A rising of the
populace in favour of Moreau was considered as a very possible event,--
some hoped for it, others dreaded it. When I reflect on the state of
feeling which then prevailed, I am certain that a movement in his favour
would infallibly have taken place had judges more complying than even
those who presided at the trial condemned Moreau to capital punishment.

It is impossible to form an idea of the crowd that choked up the avenues
of the Palace of Justice on the day the trials commenced. This crowd
continued during the twelve days the proceedings lasted, and was
exceedingly great on the day the sentence was pronounced. Persons of the
highest class were anxious to be present.

I was one of the first in the Hall, being determined to watch the course
of these solemn proceedings. The Court being assembled, the President
ordered the prisoners to be brought in. They entered in a file, and
ranged themselves on the benches each between two gendarmes. They
appeared composed and collected, and resignation was depicted on the
countenances of all except Bouvet de Lozier, who did not dare to raise
his eyes to his companions in misfortune, whom his weakness, rather than
his will, had betrayed. I did not recognise him until the President
proceeded to call over the prisoners, and to put the usual questions
respecting their names, professions, and places of abode. Of the forty-
nine prisoners, among whom were several females, only two were personally
known to me; namely, Moreau, whose presence on the prisoner's bench
seemed to wring every heart, and Georges, whom I had seen at the
Tuileries in the First Consul's cabinet.

The first sitting of the Court was occupied with the reading of the act
of accusation or indictment, and the voices of the ushers, commanding
silence, could scarce suppress the buzz which pervaded the Court at the
mention of Moreau's name. All eyes were turned towards the conqueror of
Hohenlinden, and while the Procureur Imperial read over the long
indictment and invoked the vengeance of the law on an attempt against the
head of the Republic, it was easy to perceive how he tortured his
ingenuity to fasten apparent guilt on the laurels of Moreau. The good
sense of the public discerned proofs of his innocence in the very
circumstances brought forward against him. I shall never forget the
effect produced--so contrary to what was anticipated by the prosecutors--
by the reading of a letter addressed by Moreau from his prison in the
Temple to the First Consul, when the judges appointed to interrogate him
sought to make his past conduct the subject of accusation, on account of
M. de Klinglin's papers having fallen into his hands. He was reproached
with having too long delayed transmitting these documents to the
Directory; and it was curious to see the Emperor Napoleon become the
avenger of pretended offences committed against the Directory which he
had overthrown.

In the letter here alluded to Moreau said to Bonaparte, then First

"In the short campaign of the year V. (from the 20th to the 23d of
March 1797) we took the papers belonging to the staff of the enemy's
army, and a number of documents were brought to me which General
Desaix, then wounded, amused himself by perusing. It appeared from
this correspondence that General Pichegru had maintained
communications with the French Princes. This discovery was very
painful, and particularly to me, and we agreed to say nothing of the
matter. Pichegru, as a member of the Legislative Body, could do but
little to injure the public cause, since peace was established. I
nevertheless took every precaution for protecting the army against
the ill effects of a system of espionage . . . . The events of
the 18th Fructidor occasioned so much anxiety that two officers, who
knew of the existence of the correspondence, prevailed on me to
communicate it to the Government . . . . I felt that, as a
public functionary, I could no longer remain silent . . . .
During the two last campaigns in Germany, and since the peace,
distant overtures have been made to me, with the view of drawing me
into connection with the French Princes. This appeared so absurd
that I took no notice of these overtures. As to the present
conspiracy, I can assure you I have been far from taking any share
in it. I repeat to you, General, that whatever proposition to that
effect was made me, I rejected it, and regarded it as the height of
madness. When it was represented to me that the invasion of England
would offer a favourable opportunity for effecting a change in the
French Government, I invariably answered that the Senate was the
authority to which the whole of France would naturally cling in the
time of trouble, and that I would be the first to place myself under
its orders. To such overtures made to a private individual, who
wished to preserve no connection either with the army, of whom nine-
tenths have served under me, or any constituted authority, the only
possible answer was a refusal. Betrayal of confidence I disdained.
Such a step, which is always base, becomes doubly odious when the
treachery is committed against those to whom we owe gratitude, or
have been bound by old friendship.

"This, General, is all I have to tell you respecting my relations
with Pichegru, and it must convince you that very false and hasty
inferences have been drawn from conduct which, though perhaps
imprudent, was far from being criminal."

Moreau fulfilled his duty as a public functionary by communicating to the
Directory the papers which unfolded a plot against the Government, and
which the chances of war had thrown into his hands. He fulfilled his
duty as a man of honour by not voluntarily incurring the infamy which can
never be wiped from the character of an informer. Bonaparte in Moreau's
situation would have acted the same part, for I never knew a man express
stronger indignation than himself against informers, until be began to
consider everything a virtue which served his ambition, and everything a
crime which opposed it.

The two facts which most forcibly obtruded themselves on my attention
during the trial were the inveterate violence of the President of the
Court towards the prisoners and the innocence of Moreau.

--[It is strange that Bourrienne does not acknowledge that he was
charged by Napoleon with the duty of attending this trial of Moreau,
and of sending in a daily report of the proceedings.]--

But, in spite of the most insidious examinations which can be conceived,
Moreau never once fell into the least contradiction. If my memory fail
me not, it was on the fourth day that he was examined by Thuriot, one of
the judges. The result, clear as day to all present, was, that Moreau
was a total stranger to all the plots, all the intrigues which had been
set on foot in London. In fact, during the whole course of the trial, to
which I listened with as much attention as interest, I did not discover
the shadow of a circumstance which could in the least commit him, or
which had the least reference to him. Scarcely one of the hundred and
thirty-nine witnesses who were heard for the prosecution knew him, and he
himself declared on the fourth sitting, which took place on the 31st of
May, that there was not an individual among the accused whom he knew,--
not one whom he had ever seen. In the course of the long proceedings,
notwithstanding the manifest efforts of Thuriot to extort false
admissions and force contradictions, no fact of any consequence was
elicited to the prejudice of Moreau. His appearance was as calm as his
conscience; and as he sat on the bench he had the appearance of one led
by curiosity to be present at this interesting trial, rather than of an
accused person, to whom the proceedings might end in condemnation and
death. But for the fall of Moreau in the ranks of the enemy,--but for
the foreign cockade which disgraced the cap of the conqueror of
Hohenlinden, his complete innocence would long since have been put beyond
doubt, and it would have been acknowledged that the most infamous
machinations were employed for his destruction. It is evident that
Lajolais, who had passed from London to Paris, and from Paris to London,
had been acting the part of an intriguer rather than of a conspirator;
and that the object of his missions was not so much to reconcile Moreau
and Pichegru as to make Pichegru the instrument of implicating Moreau.
Those who supposed Lajolais to be in the pay of the British Government
were egregiously imposed on. Lajolais was only in the pay of the secret
police; he was condemned to death, as was expected, but he received his
pardon, as was agreed upon. Here was one of the disclosures which
Pichegru might have made; hence the necessity of getting him out of the
way before the trial. As to the evidence of the man named Rolland,
it was clear to everybody that Moreau was right when he said to the
President, "In my opinion, Rolland is either a creature of the police, or
he has given his evidence under the influence of fear." Rolland made two
declarations the first contained nothing at all; the second was in answer
to the following observations: "You see you stand in a terrible
situation; you must either be held to be an accomplice in the conspiracy,
or you must be taken as evidence. If you say nothing, you will be
considered in the light of an accomplice; if you confess, you will be
saved." This single circumstance may serve to give an idea of the way
the trials were conducted so as to criminate Moreau. On his part the
general repelled the attacks, of which he was the object, with calm
composure and modest confidence, though flashes of just indignation would
occasionally burst from him. I recollect the effect he produced upon the
Court and the auditors at one of the sittings, when the President had
accused him of the design of making himself Dictator. He exclaimed,
"I Dictator! What, make myself Dictator at the head of the partisans of
the Bourbons! Point out my partisans! My partisans would naturally be
the soldiers of France, of whom I have commanded nine-tenths, and saved
more than fifty thousand. These are the partisans I should look to! All
my aides de camp, all the officers of my acquaintance, have been
arrested; not the shadow of a suspicion could be found against any of
them, and they have been set at liberty. Why, then, attribute to me the
madness of aiming to get myself made Dictator by the aid of the adherents
of the old French Princes, of persons who have fought in their cause
since 1792? You allege that these men, in the space of four-and-twenty
hours, formed the project of raising me to the Dictatorship! It is
madness to think of it! My fortune and my pay have been alluded to; I
began the world with nothing; I might have had by this time fifty
millions; I have merely a house and a bit of ground; as to my pay, it is
forty thousand francs. Surely that sum will not be compared with my

During the trial Moreau delivered a defence, which I knew had been
written by his friend Garat, whose eloquence I well remember was always
disliked by Bonaparte. Of this I had a proof on the occasion of a grand
ceremony which took place in the Place des Victoires, on laying the first
stone of a monument which was to have been erected to the memory of
Desaix, but which was never executed. The First Consul returned home in
very ill-humour, and said to me, "Bourrienne, what a brute that Garat is!
What a stringer of words! I have been obliged to listen to him for
three-quarters of an hour. There are people who never know when to hold
their tongues!"

Whatever might be the character of Garat's eloquence or Bonaparte's
opinion of it, his conduct was noble on the occasion of Moreau's trial;
for he might be sure Bonaparte would bear him a grudge for lending the
aid of his pen to the only man whose military glory, though not equal to
that of the First Consul, might entitle him to be looked upon as his
rival in fame. At one of the sittings a circumstance occurred which
produced an almost electrical effect. I think I still see General
Lecourbe, the worthy friend of Moreau, entering unexpectedly into the
Court, leading a little boy. Raising the child in his arms, he exclaimed
aloud, and with considerable emotion, "Soldiers, behold the son of your

--[This action of Lecourbe, together with the part played in this
trial by his brother, one of the judges, was most unfortunate, not
only for Lecourbe but for France, which consequently lost the
services of its best general of mountain warfare. His campaigns of
Switzerland in 1799 on the St. Gothard against Suwarrow are well
known. Naturally disgraced for the part he took with Moreau, he was
not again employed till the Cent Jours, when he did good service,
although he had disapproved of the defection of Ney from the
Royalist cause. He died in 1816; his brother, the judge, had a most
furious reception from Napoleon, who called him a prevaricating
judge, and dismissed him from his office (Remusat, tome ii. p.

At this unexpected movement all the military present spontaneously rose
and presented arms; while a murmur of approbation from the spectators
applauded the act. It is certain that had Moreau at that moment said but
one word, such was the enthusiasm in his favour, the tribunal would have
been broken up and the prisoners liberated. Moreau, however, was silent,
and indeed appeared the only unconcerned person in Court. Throughout the
whole course of the trial Moreau inspired so much respect that when he
was asked a question and rose to reply the gendarmes appointed to guard
him rose at the same time and stood uncovered while he spoke.

Georges was far from exciting the interest inspired by Moreau. He was an
object of curiosity rather than of interest. The difference of their
previous conduct was in itself sufficient to occasion a great contrast in
their situation before the Court. Moreau was full of confidence and
Georges full of resignation. The latter regarded his fate with a fierce
kind of resolution. He occasionally resumed the caustic tone which he
seemed to have renounced when he harangued his associates before their
departure from the Temple. With the most sarcastic bitterness he alluded
to the name and vote of Thuriot, one of the most violent of the judges,
often terming him 'Tue-roi';

--[Thuriot and the President Hemart both voted for the death of the
King. Merlin, the imperial Procureur-General, was one of the

and after pronouncing his name, or being forced to reply to his
interrogatories, he would ask for a glass of brandy to wash his mouth.

Georges had the manners and bearing of a rude soldier; but under his
coarse exterior he concealed the soul of a hero. When the witnesses of
his arrest had answered the questions of the President Hemart, this judge
turned towards the accused, and inquired whether he had anything to say
in reply.--"No."--"Do you admit the facts?"--"Yes." Here Georges busied
himself in looking over the papers which lay before him, when Hemart
warned him to desist, and attend to the questions. The following
dialogue then commenced. "Do you confess having been arrested in the
place designated by the witness?"--"I do not know the name of the
place."--"Do you confess having been arrested?"--"Yes."--" Did you twice
fire a pistol?"--"Yes."--"Did you kill a man?"--"Indeed I do not know."--
"Had you a poniard?"--"Yes."--"And two pistols?"--" Yes."--"Who was in
company with you?"--"I do not know the person."--" Where did you lodge in
Paris?"--" Nowhere."--"At the time of your arrest did you not reside in
the house of a fruiterer in the Rue de la Montagne St. Genevieve?"--
"At the time of my arrest I was in a cabriolet. I lodged nowhere."--
"Where did you sleep on the evening of your arrest?"--"Nowhere."--"What
were you doing in Paris?"--"I was walking about."--" Whom have you seen
in Paris?"--" I shall name no one; I know no one."

From this short specimen of the manner in which Georges replied to the
questions of the President we may judge of his unshaken firmness during
the proceedings. In all that concerned himself he was perfectly open;
but in regard to whatever tended to endanger his associates he maintained
the moat obstinate silence, notwithstanding every attempt to overcome his

That I was not the only one who justly appreciated the noble character of
Georges is rendered evident by the following circumstance. Having
accompanied M. Carbonnet to the police, where he went to demand his
papers, on the day of his removal to St. Pelagic, we were obliged to
await the return of M. Real, who was absent. M. Desmarets and several
other persons were also in attendance. M. Real had been at the
Conciergerie, where he had seen Georges Cadoudal, and on his entrance
observed to M. Desmarets and the others, sufficiently loud to be
distinctly heard by M. Carbonnet and myself, "I have had an interview
with Georges who is an extraordinary man. I told him that I was disposed
to offer him a pardon if he would promise to renounce the conspiracy and
accept of employment under Government. But to my arguments and
persuasions he only replied, 'My comrades followed me to France, and I
shall fellow them, to death.'" In this he kept his word.

Were we to judge these memorable proceedings from the official documents
published in the Moniteur and other journals of that period, we should
form a very erroneous opinion. Those falsities were even the object of a
very serious complaint on the part of Cosier St. Victor, one of the

After the speech of M. Gauthier, the advocate of Coster St. Victor, the
President inquired of the accused whether he had anything further to say
in his defence, to which he replied, "I have only to add that the
witnesses necessary to my exculpation have not yet appeared. I must
besides express my surprise at the means which have been employed to lead
astray public opinion, and to load with infamy not only the accused but
also their intrepid defenders. I have read with pain in the journals of
to-day that the proceedings--" Here the President interrupting, observed
that "these were circumstances foreign to the case."--" Not in the
least," replied Cosier St. Victor; "on the contrary, they bear very
materially on the cause, since mangling and misrepresenting our defence
is a practice assuredly calculated to ruin us in the estimation of the
public. In the journals of to-day the speech of M. Gauthier is
shamefully garbled, and I should be deficient in gratitude were I not
here to bear testimony to the zeal and courage which he has displayed in
my defence. I protest against the puerilities and absurdities which have
been put into his mouth, and I entreat him not to relax in his generous
efforts. It is not on his account that I make this observation; he does
not require it at my hands; it is for 'myself, it is for the accused,
whom such arts tend to injure in the estimation of the public."

Coster St. Victor had something chivalrous in his language and manners
which spoke greatly in his favour; he conveyed no bad idea of one of the
Fiesco conspirators, or of those leaders of the Fronds who intermingled
gallantry with their politics.

An anecdote to this effect was current about the period of the trial.
Coster St. Victor, it is related, being unable any longer to find a
secure asylum in Paris, sought refuge for a single night in the house of
a beautiful actress, formerly in the good graces of the First Consul; and
it is added that Bonaparte, on the same night, having secretly arrived on
a visit to the lady, found himself unexpectedly in the presence of Coster
St. Victor, who might have taken his life; but that only an interchange
of courtesy took place betwixt the rival gallants.

This ridiculous story was doubtless intended to throw additional odium on
the First Consul, if Cosier St. Victor should be condemned and not obtain
a pardon, in which case malignity would not fail to attribute his
execution to the vengeance of a jealous lover.

I should blush to relate such stories, equally destitute of probability
and truth, had they not obtained some credit at the time. Whilst I was
with Bonaparte he never went abroad during the night; and it was not
surely at a moment when the saying of Fouche, "The air is full of
poniards," was fully explained that he would have risked such nocturnal

Wright was heard in the sixth sitting, on the 2d of June, as the hundred
and thirty-fourth witness in support of the prosecution. He, however,
refused to answer any interrogatories put to him, declaring that, as a
prisoner of war, he considered himself only amenable to his own

The Procureur-General requested the President to order the examinations
of Captain Wright on the 21st of May' and at a later period to be read
over to him; which being done, the witness replied, that it was omitted
to be stated that on these occasions the questions had been accompanied
with the threat of transferring him to a military tribunal, in order to
be shot, if he did not betray the secrets of his country.

In the course of the trial the most lively interest was felt for MM. de

--[The eldest of the Polignacs, Armand (1771-1847), condemned to
death, had that penalty remitted, but was imprisoned in Ham till
permitted to escape m 1813. He became Duc de Richelieu in 1817.
His younger brother, Jules (1780-1847) was also imprisoned and
escaped. In 1814 he was one of the first to display the white flag
in Paris. In 1829 he became Minister of Charles X. and was
responsible for the ordinances which oust his master his throne in
1830. Imprisoned, nominally for life, he was released in 1836, and
after passing some time in England returned to France. The
remission of the sentence of death on Prince Armand was obtained by
the Empress Josephine. Time after time, urged on by Madame de
Remusat, she implored mercy from Napoleon, who at last consented to
see the wife of the Prince. Unlike the Bourbon Louis XVIII., who
could see Madame de Lavalette only to refuse the wretched woman's
prayer for her husband, for Napoleon to grant the interview was to
concede the pardon. The Prince escaped death, and his wife who had
obtained the interview by applying to Madame de Remusat, when she
met her benefactress in the times of the Restoration, displayed a
really grand forgetfulness of what had passed (see Remusat, tome ii.
chap. i.).]--

Charles d'Hozier, and de Riviere. So short a period had elapsed since
the proscription of the nobility that, independently of every feeling of
humanity, it was certainly impolitic to exhibit before the public the
heirs of an illustrious name, endowed with that devoted heroism which
could not fail to extort admiration even from those who condemned their
opinions and principles.

The prisoners were all young, and their situation create universal
sympathy. The greatest number of them disdained to have recourse to a
denial, and seemed less anxious for the preservation of their own lives
than for the honour of the cause in which they had embarked, not with the
view of assassination, as had been demonstrated, but for the purpose of
ascertaining the true state of the public feeling, which had been
represented by some factious intriguers as favourable to the Bourbons.
Even when the sword of the law was suspended over their heads the
faithful adherents of the Bourbons displayed on every occasion their
attachment and fidelity to the royal cause. I recollect that the Court
was dissolved in tears when the President adduced as a proof of the guilt
of M. de Riviere his having worn a medal of the Comte d'Artois, which the
prisoner requested to examine; and, on its being handed to him by an
officer, M. de Riviere pressed it to his lips and his heart, then
returning it, he said that he only wished to render homage to the Prince
whom he loved.

The Court was still more deeply affected on witnessing the generous
fraternal struggle which took place during the last sitting between the
two De Polignacs. The emotion was general when the eldest of the
brothers, after having observed that his always going out alone and
during the day did not look like a conspirator anxious for concealment,
added these remarkable words which will remain indelibly engraven on my
memory: "I have now only one wish, which is that, as the sword is
suspended over our heads, and threatens to cut short the existence of
several of the accused, you would, in consideration of his youth if not
of his innocence, spare my brother, and shower down upon me the whole
weight of your vengeance." It was during the last sitting but one, on
Friday the 8th of June, that M. Armand de Polignac made the above
affecting appeal in favour of his brother. The following day, before the
fatal sentence was pronounced, M. Jules de Polignac addressed the judges,
saying, "I was so deeply affected yesterday, while my brother was
speaking, as not fully to have attended to what I read in my own defence:
but being now perfectly tranquil, I entreat, gentlemen, that you will not
regard what he urged in my behalf. I repeat, on the contrary, and with
most justice, if one of us must fall a sacrifice, if there be yet time,
save him, restore him to the tears of his wife; I have no tie like him, I
can meet death unappalled;--too young to have tasted the pleasures of the
world, I cannot regret their loss."--" No, no," exclaimed his brother,
"you are still in the outset of your career; it is I who ought to fall."

At eight in the morning the members of the Tribunal withdrew to the
council-chamber. Since the commencement of the proceedings the crowd,
far from diminishing, seemed each day to increase; this morning it was
immense, and, though the sentence was not expected to be pronounced till
a late hour, no one quitted the Court for fear of not being able to find
a place when the Tribunal should resume its sitting.

Sentence of death was passed upon Georges Caudoudal, Bouvet de Lozier,
Rusillon, Rochelle, Armand de Polignac, Charles d'Hozier, De Riviere,
Louis Ducorps, Picot, Lajolais, Roger, Coster St. Victor, Deville,
Gaillard, Joyaub, Burban; Lemercier, Jean Cadudol, Lelan, and Merille;
while Lies de Polignac, Leridant, General Moreau,--[General Moreau's
sentence was remitted, and he was allowed to go to America.]--Rolland,
and Hisay were only condemned to two years' imprisonment.

This decree was heard with consternation by the assembly, and soon spread
throughout Paris. I may well affirm it to have been a day of public
mourning; even though it was Sunday every place of amusement was nearly
deserted. To the horror inspired by a sentence of death passed so
wantonly, and of which the greater number of the victims belonged to the
most distinguished class of society, was joined the ridicule inspired by
the condemnation of Moreau; of the absurdity of which no one seemed more
sensible than Bonaparte himself, and respecting which he expressed
himself in the most pointed terms. I am persuaded that every one who
narrowly watched the proceedings of this celebrated trial must have been
convinced that all means were resorted to in order that Moreau, once
accused, should not appear entirely free from guilt.

Bonaparte is reported to have said, "Gentlemen, I have no control over
your proceedings; it is your duty strictly to examine the evidence before
presenting a report to me. But when it has once the sanction of your
signatures, woe to you if an innocent man be condemned." This remark is
in strict conformity with his usual language, and bears a striking
similarity to the conversation I held with him on the following Thursday;
but though this language might be appropriate from the lips of a
sovereign whose ministers are responsible, it appears but a lame excuse
in the mouth of Bonaparte, the possessor of absolute power.

The condemned busied themselves in endeavouring to procure a repeal of
their sentence, the greatest number of them yielded in this respect to
the entreaties of their friends, who lost no time in taking the steps
requisite to obtain the pardon of those in whom they were most
interested. Moreau at first also determined to appeal; but he
relinquished his purpose before the Court of Cessation commenced its

As soon as the decree of the special Tribunal was delivered, Murat,
Governor of Paris, and brother-in-law to the Emperor, sought his presence
and conjured him in the most urgent manner to pardon all the criminals,
observing that such an act of clemency would redound greatly to his
honour in the opinion of France and all Europe, that it would be said the
Emperor pardoned the attempt against the life of the First Consul, that
this act of mercy would shed more glory over the commencement of his
reign than any security which could accrue from the execution of the
prisoners. Such was the conduct of Murat; but he did not solicit, as
has been reported, the pardon of any one in particular.

Those who obtained the imperial pardon were Bouvet de Lozier, who
expected it from the disclosures he had made; Rusillon, de Riviere,
Rochelle, Armand de Polignac, d'Hozier, Lajolais, who had beforehand
received a promise to that effect, and Armand Gaillard.

The other ill-fated victims of a sanguinary police underwent their
sentence on the 25th of June, two days after the promulgation of the
pardon of their associates.

Their courage and resignation never forsook them even for a moment, and
Georges, knowing that it was rumoured he had obtained a pardon,
entreated that he might die the first, in order that his companions in
their last moments might be assured he had not survived them.


Malice delights to blacken the characters of prominent men
Manufacturers of phrases
More glorious to merit a sceptre than to possess one
Necessary to let men and things take their course



His Private Secretary

Edited by R. W. Phipps
Colonel, Late Royal Artillery





Clavier and Hemart--Singular Proposal of Corvisart-M. Desmaisons--
Project of influencing the judges--Visit to the Tuileries--Rapp in
attendance--Long conversation with the Emperor--His opinion on the
trial of Moreau--English assassins and Mr. Fox--Complaints against
the English Government--Bonaparte and Lacuee--Affectionate
behaviour--Arrest of Pichegru--Method employed by the First Consul
to discover his presence in Paris--Character of Moreau--Measures of
Bonaparte regarding him--Lauriston sent to the Temple--Silence
respecting the Duc d'Enghien--Napoleon's opinion of Moreau and
Georges--Admiration of Georges--Offers of employment and dismissal--
Recital of former vexations--Audience of the Empress--Melancholy
forebodings--What Bonaparte said concerning himself--Marks of

The judges composing the Tribunal which condemned Moreau were not all
like Thuriot and Hemart. History has recorded an honourable contrast to
the general meanness of the period in the reply given by M. Clavier, when
urged by Hemart to vote for the condemnation of Moreau. "Ah, Monsieur,
if we condemn him, how shall we be able to acquit ourselves?" I have,
besides, the best reason for asserting that the judges were tampered
with, from, a circumstance which occurred to myself.

Bonaparte knew that I was intimately connected with M. Desmaisons, one of
the members of the Tribunal, and brother in-law to Corvisart; he also
knew that Desmaisons was inclined to believe in Moreau's innocence, and
favourable to his acquittal. During the progress of the trial Corvisart
arrived at my house one morning at a very early hour, in a state of such
evident embarrassment that, before he had time to utter a word, I said to
him, "What is the matter? Have you heard any bad news?"

"No," replied Corvisart, "but I came by the Emperor's order. He wishes
you to see my brother-in-law. 'He is,' said he to me, 'the senior judge,
and a man of considerable eminence; his opinion will carry with it great
weight, and I know that he is favourable to Moreau; he is in the wrong.
Visit Bourrienne, said the Emperor, and concert with him respecting the
best method of convincing Desmaisons of his error, for I repeat he is
wrong, he is deceived.' This is the mission with which I am entrusted."

"How," said I, with thorough astonishment, "how came you to be employed
in this affair? Could you believe for one moment that I would tamper
with a magistrate in order to induce him to exercise an unjust rigour?"

"No, rest assured," replied Corvisart, "I merely visited you this morning
in obedience to the order of the Emperor; but I knew beforehand in what
manner you would regard the proposition with which I was charged. I knew
your opinions and your character too well to entertain the smallest doubt
in this respect, and I was convinced that I ran no risk in becoming the
bearer of a commission which would be attended with no effect. Besides,
had I refused to obey the Emperor, it would have proved prejudicial to
your interest, and confirmed him in the opinion that you were favourable
to the acquittal of Moreau. For myself," added Corvisart, "it is
needless to affirm that I have no intention of attempting to influence
the opinion of my brother-in-law; and if I had, you know him sufficiently
well to be convinced in what light he would regard such a proceeding."

Such were the object and result of Corvisart's visit, and I am thence led
to believe that similar attempts must have been made to influence other
members of the Tribunal.

--["The judges had been pressed and acted on in a thousand ways by
the hangerson of the Palace and especially by Real, the natural
intermediary between justice and the Government. Ambition,
servility, fear, every motive capable of influencing them, had been
used: even their humane scruples were employed" (Lanfrey tome iii.
p. 193, who goes on to say that the judges were urged to sentence
Moreau to death in order that the Emperor might fully pardon him).]

But however this may be, prudence led me to discontinue visiting
M. Desmaisons, with whom I was in habits of the strictest friendship.

About this period I paid a visit which occupies an important place in my
recollections. On the 14th of June 1804, four days after the
condemnation of Georges and his accomplices, I received a summons to
attend the Emperor at St. Cloud. It was Thursday, and as I thought on
the great events and tragic scenes about to be acted, I was rather uneasy
respecting his intentions.

But I was fortunate enough to find my friend Rapp in waiting, who said to
me as I entered, "Be not alarmed; he is in the best of humours at
present, and wishes to have some conversation. with you."

Rapp then announced me to the Emperor, and I was immediately admitted to
his presence. After pinching my ear and asking his usual questions, such
as, "What does the world say? How are your children? What are you
about? etc.," he said to me, "By the by, have you attended the
proceedings against Moreau?"--" Yes, Sire, I have not been absent during
one of the sittings."--" Well, Bourrienne, are you of the opinion that
Moreau is innocent?"--"Yes, Sire; at least I am certain that nothing has
come out in the course of the trial tending to criminate him; I am even
surprised how he came to be implicated in this conspiracy, since nothing
has appeared against him which has the most remote connexion with the
affair."--" I know your opinion on this subject; Duroc related to me the
conversation you held with him at the Tuileries; experience has shown
that you were correct; but how could I act otherwise? You know that
Bouvet de Lozier hanged himself in prison, and was only saved by
accident. Real hurried to the Temple in order to interrogate him, and in
his first confessions he criminated Moreau, affirming that he had held
repeated conferences with Pichegru. Real immediately reported to me this
fact, and proposed that Moreau should be arrested, since the rumours
against him seemed to be well founded; he had previously made the same
proposition. I at first refused my sanction to this measure; but after
the charge made against him by Bouvet de Lozier, how could I act
otherwise than I did? Could I suffer such open conspiracies against the
Government? Could I doubt the truth of Bouvet de Lozier's declaration,
under the circumstances in which it was made? Could I foresee that he
would deny his first declaration when brought before the Court? There
was a chain of circumstances which human sagacity could not penetrate,
and I consented to the arrest of Moreau when it was proved that he was in
league with Pichegru. Has not England sent assassins?"--"Sire," said I,
"permit me to call to your recollection the conversation you had in my
presence with Mr. Fox, after which you said to me, 'Bourrienne, I am very
happy at having heard from the mouth of a man of honour that the British
Government is incapable of seeking my life; I always wish to esteem my
enemies."--"Bah! you are a fool! Parbleu! I did not say that the
English Minister sent over an assassin, and that he said to him, 'Here is
gold and a poniard; go and kill the First Consul.' No, I did not believe
that; but it cannot be denied that all those foreign conspirators against
my Government were serving England, and receiving pay from that power.
Have I agents in London to disturb the Government of Great Britain?
I have waged with it honourable warfare; I have not attempted to awaken a
remembrance of the Stuarts amongst their old partisans. Is not Wright,
who landed Georges and his accomplices at Dieppe, a captain in the
British navy? But rest assured that, with the exception of a few
babblers, whom I can easily silence, the hearts of the French people are
with me; everywhere public opinion has been declared in my favour, so
that I have nothing to apprehend from giving the greatest publicity to
these plots, and bringing the accused to a solemn trial. The greater
number of those gentlemen wished me to bring the prisoners before a
military commission, that summary judgment might be obtained; but I
refused my consent to this measure. It might have been said that I
dreaded public opinion; and I fear it not. People may talk as much as
they please, well and good, I am not obliged to hear them; but I do not
like those who are attached to my person to blame what I have done."

As I could not wholly conceal an involuntary emotion, in which the
Emperor saw something more than mere surprise, he paused, took me by the
ear, and, smiling in the most affectionate manner, said, "I had no
reference to you in what I said, but I have to complain of Lacuee. Could
you believe that during the trial he went about clamouring in behalf of
Moreau? He, my aide de camp--a man who owes everything to me! As for
you, I have said that you acted very well in this affair."--" I know not,
Sire, what has either been done or said by Lacuee,--whom I have not seen
for a long time; what I said to Duroc is what history teaches in every
page."--"By the by," resumed the Emperor, after a short silence, "do you
know that it was I myself who discovered that Pichegru was in Paris.
Everyone said to me, Pichegru is in Paris; Fouche, Real, harped on the
same string, but could give me no proof of their assertion. 'What a fool
you are,' said I to Real, when in an instant you may ascertain the fact.
Pichegru has a brother, an aged ecclesiastic, who resides in Paris; let
his dwelling be searched, and should he be absent, it will warrant a
suspicion that Pichegru is here; if, on the contrary, his brother should
be at home, let him be arrested: he is a simple-minded man, and in the
first moments of agitation will betray the truth. Everything happened as
I had foreseen, for no sooner was he arrested than, without waiting to be
questioned, he inquired if it was a crime to have received his brother
into his house. Thus every doubt was removed, and a miscreant in the
house in which Pichegru lodged betrayed him to the police. What horrid
degradation to betray a friend for the sake of gold."

Then reverting to Moreau, the Emperor talked a great deal respecting that
general. "Moreau," he said, "possesses many good qualities; his bravery
is undoubted; but he has more courage than energy; he is indolent and
effeminate. When with the army he lived like a pasha; he smoked, was
almost constantly in bed, and gave himself up to the pleasures of the
table. His dispositions are naturally good; but he is too indolent for
study; he does not read, and since he has been tied to his wife's
apronstrings is fit for nothing. He sees only with the eyes of his wife
and her mother, who have had a hand in all these late plots; and then,
Bourrienne, is it not very strange that it was by my advice that he
entered into this union? I was told that Mademoiselle Hulot was a
creole, and I believed that he would find in her a second Josephine; how
greatly was I mistaken! It is these women who have estranged us from
each other, and I regret that he should have acted so unworthily. You
must remember my observing to you more than two years ago that Moreau
would one day run his head against the gate of the Tuileries; that he has
done so was no fault of mine, for you know how much I did to secure his
attachment. You cannot have forgotten the reception I gave him at
Malmaison. On the 18th Brumaire I conferred on him the charge of the
Luxembourg, and in that situation he fully justified my, choice. But
since that period he has behaved towards me with the utmost ingratitude
--entered into all the silly cabala against me, blamed all my measures,
and turned into ridicule the Legion of Honour. Have not some of the
intriguers put it into his head that I regard him with jealousy? You
must be aware of that. You must also know as well as I how anxious the
members of the Directory were to exalt the reputation of Moreau. Alarmed
at my success in Italy, they wished to have in the armies a general to
serve as a counterpoise to my renown. I have ascended the throne and he
is the inmate of a prison! You are aware of the incessant clamouring
raised against me by the whole family, at which I confess I was very much
displeased; coming from those whom I had treated so well! Had he
attached himself to me, I would doubtless have conferred on him the title
of First Marshal of the Empire; but what could I do? He constantly
depreciated my campaigns and my government. From discontent to revolt
there is frequently only one step, especially when a man of a weak
character becomes the tool of popular clubs; and therefore when I was
first informed that Moreau was implicated in the conspiracy of Georges I
believed him to be guilty, but hesitated to issue an order for his arrest
till I had taken the opinion of my Council. The members having
assembled, I ordered the different documents to be laid before them, with
an injunction to examine them with the utmost care, since they related to
an affair of importance, and I urged them candidly to inform me whether,
in their opinion, any of the charges against Moreau were sufficiently
strong to endanger his life. The fools! their reply was in the
affirmative; I believe they were even unanimous! Then I had no
alternative but to suffer the proceedings to take their course. It is
unnecessary to affirm to you, Bourrienne, that Moreau never should have
perished on a scaffold! Most assuredly I would have pardoned him; but
with the sentence of death hanging over his head he could no longer have
proved dangerous; and his name would have ceased to be a rallying-point
for disaffected Republicans or imbecile Royalists. Had the Council
expressed any doubts respecting his guilt I would have intimated to him
that the suspicions against him were so strong as to render any further
connection between us impossible; and that the best course he could
pursue would be to leave France for three years, under the pretext of
visiting some of the places rendered celebrated during the late wars; but
that if he preferred a diplomatic mission I would make a suitable
provision for his expenses; and the great innovator, Time, might effect
great changes during the period of his absence. But my foolish Council
affirmed to me that his guilt, as a principal, being evident, it was
absolutely necessary to bring him to trial; and now his sentence is only
that of a pickpocket. What think you I ought to do? Detain him? He
might still prove a rallying-point. No. Let him sell his property and
quit? Can I confine him in the Temple? It is full enough without him.
Still, if this had been the only great error they had led me to commit--"

"Sire, how greatly you have been deceived."

"Oh yes, I have been so; but I cannot see everything with my own eyes."

At this part of our conversation, of which I have suppressed my own share
as much as possible, I conceived that the last words of Bonaparte alluded
to the death of the Duc d'Enghien; and I fancied he was about to mention
that event but he again spoke of Moreau.

"He is very much mistaken," resumed the Emperor, "if he conceives I bore
any ill-will towards him. After his arrest I sent Lauriston to the
Temple, whom I chose because he was of an amiable and conciliating
disposition; I charged him to tell Moreau to confess he had only seen
Pichegru, and I would cause the proceedings against him to be suspended.
Instead of receiving this act of generosity as he ought to have done, he
replied to it with great haughtiness, so much was he elated that Pichegru
had not been arrested; he afterwards, however, lowered his tone. He wrote
to me a letter of excuse respecting his anterior conduct, which I caused
to be produced on the trial. He was the author of his own ruin; besides,
it would have required men of a different stamp from Moreau to conspire
against me. Amoung, the conspirators, for example, was an individual
whose fate I regret; this Georges in my hands might have achieved great
things. I can duly appreciate the firmness of character he displayed,
and to which I could have given a proper direction. I caused Real to
intimate to him that, if he would attach himself to me, not only should
he be pardoned, but that I would give him the command of a regiment.
Perhaps I might even have made him my aide de camp. Complaints would
have been made, but, parbleu, I should not have cared. Georges refused
all my offers; he was as inflexible as iron. What could I do? he
underwent his fate, for he was a dangerous man; circumstances rendered
his death a matter of necessity. Examples of severity were called for,
when England was pouring into France the whole offscouring of the
emigration; but patience, patience! I have a long arm, and shall be able
to reach them, when necessary. Moreau regarded Georges merely as a
ruffian--I viewed him in a different light. You may remember the
conversation I had with him at the Tuileries--you and Rapp were in an
adjoining cabinet. I tried in vain to influence him--some of his
associates were affected at the mention of country and of glory; he alone
stood cold and unmoved. I addressed myself to his feelings, but in vain;
he was insensible to everything I said. At that period Georges appeared
to me little ambitious of power; his whole wishes seemed to centre in
commanding the Vendeans. It was not till I had exhausted every means of
conciliation that I assumed the tone and language of the first
magistrate. I dismissed him with a strong injunction to live retired--
to be peaceable and obedient--not to misinterpret the motives of my
conduct towards himself--nor attribute to weakness what was merely the
result of moderation and strength. 'Rest assured,' I added, 'and repeat
to your associates, that while I hold the reins of authority there will
be neither chance nor salvation for those who dare to conspire against
me: How he conformed to this injunction the event has shown. Real told
me that when Moreau and Georges found themselves in the presence of
Pichegru they could not come to any understanding, because Georges would
not act against the Bourbons. Well, he had a plan, but Moreau had none;
he merely wished for my overthrow, without having formed any ulterior
views whatever. This showed that he was destitute of even common sense.
Apropos, Bourrienne, have you seen Corvisart?"--"Yes, Sire."--"Well!"
"He delivered to me the message with which you entrusted him."--"And
Desmaisons!--I wager that you have not spoken to him in conformity to my
wishes."--" Sire, the estimation in which I hold Desmaisons deterred me
from a course so injurious to him; for in what other light could he have
considered what I should have said to him? I have never visited at his
house since the commencement of the trial."--"Well! well! Be prudent and
discreet, I shall not forget you." He then waved a very gracious salute
with his hand, and withdrew into his cabinet.

The Emperor had detained me more than an hour. On leaving the audience-
chamber I passed through the outer salon, where a number of individuals
were waiting; and I perceived that an observance of etiquette was fast
gaining ground, though the Emperor had not yet adopted the admirable
institution of Court Chamberlains.

I cannot deny that I was much gratified with my reception; besides I was
beginning to be weary of an inactive life, and was anxious to obtain a
place, of which I stood in great need, from the losses I had sustained
and the unjust resumption which Bonaparte had made of his gifts. Being
desirous to speak of Napoleon with the strictest impartiality, I prefer
drawing my conclusions from those actions in which I had no personal
concern. I shall therefore only relate here, even before giving an
account of my visit to the Empress on leaving the audience-chamber, the
former conduct of Napoleon towards myself and Madame de Bourrienne, which
will justify the momentary alarm with which I was seized when summoned to
the Tuileries, and the satisfaction I felt at my reception. I had a
proof of what Rapp said of the Emperor being in good-humour, and was
flattered by the confidential manner in which he spoke to me concerning
some of the great political secrets of his Government. On seeing me come
out Rapp observed, "You have had a long audience."--"Yes, not amiss;" and
this circumstance procured for me a courtly salutation from all persons
waiting in the antechamber.'

I shall now relate how I spent the two preceding years. The month after
I tendered my resignation to the First Consul, and which he refused to
accept, the house at St. Cloud belonging to Madame Deville was offered to
me; it was that in which the Due d'Angouleme and the Due de Berri were
inoculated. I visited this mansion, thinking it might be suitable for my
family; but, notwithstanding the beauty of its situation, it seemed far
too splendid either for my taste or my fortune. Except the outer walls,
it was in a very dilapidated state, and would require numerous and
expensive repairs. Josephine, being informed that Madame de Bourrienne
had set her face against the purchase, expressed a wish to see the
mansion, and accompanied us for that purpose. She was so much delighted
with it that she blamed my wife for starting any objections to my
becoming, its possessor. "With regard to the expense," Josephine replied
to her, "ah, we shall arrange that." On our return to Malmaison she
spoke of it in such high terms that Bonaparte said to me, "Why don't you
purchase it, Bourrienne, since the price is so reasonable?"

The house was accordingly purchased. An outlay of 20,000 francs was
immediately required to render it habitable. Furniture was also
necessary for this large mansion, and orders for it were accordingly
given. But no sooner were repairs begun than everything crumbled to
pieces, which rendered many additional expenses necessary.

About this period Bonaparte hurried forward the works at St. Cloud,
to which place he immediately removed. My services being constantly
required, I found it so fatiguing to go twice or thrice a day from Ruel
to St. Cloud that I took possession of my new mansion, though it was
still filled with workmen. Scarcely eight days had elapsed from this
period when Bonaparte intimated that he no longer had occasion for my
services. When my wife went to take leave Napoleon spoke to her in a
flattering manner of my good qualities, my merit, and the utility of my
labours, saying that he was himself the most unfortunate of the three,
and that my loss could never be replaced. He then added, "I shall be
absent for a month, but Bourrienne may be quite easy; let him remain in
retirement, and on my return I shall reward his services, should I even
create a place on purpose for him."

Madame de Bourrienne then requested leave to retain the apartments
appropriated to her in the Tuileries till after her accouchement, which
was not far distant, to which he replied, "You may keep them as long as
you please; for it will be some time before I again reside in Paris."

Bonaparte set out on his journey, and shortly afterwards I went with my
family to visit Madame de Coubertin, my cousin-german, who received us
with her usual kindness. We passed the time of the First Consul's
absence at her country seat, and only returned to St. Cloud on the day
Bonaparte was expected.

Scarcely a quarter of an hour had elapsed after his arrival when I
received an intimation to give up, in twenty-four hours, the apartments
in the Tuileries, which he had promised my wife should retain till after
her confinement. He reclaimed at the same time the furniture of Ruel,
which he presented to me two years before, when I purchased that small
house on purpose to be near him.

I addressed several memorials to him on this subject, stating that I had
replaced the worn-out furniture with new and superior articles; but this
he wholly disregarded, compelling me to give up everything, even to the
greatest trifle. It may be right to say that on his return the Emperor
found his table covered with information respecting my conduct in Paris,
though I had not held the smallest communication with any one in the
capital, nor once entered it during his absence.

After my departure for Hamburg, Bonaparte took possession of my stables
and coach-house, which he filled with horses. Even the very avenues and
walks were converted into stabling. A handsome house at the entrance to
the park was also appropriated to similar purposes; in fact, he spared
nothing. Everything was done in the true military style; I neither had
previous intimation of the proceedings nor received any remuneration for
my loss. The Emperor seemed to regard the property as his own; but
though he all but ordered me to make the purchase, he did not furnish the
money that was paid for it. In this way it was occupied for more than
four years.

The recollection of those arbitrary and vexatious proceedings on the part
of Bonaparte has led me farther than I intended. I shall therefore
return to the imperial residence of St. Cloud. On leaving the audience-
chamber, as already stated, I repaired to the apartments of the Empress,
who, knowing that I was in the Palace, had intimated her wishes for my
attendance. No command could have been more agreeable to me, for every
one was certain of a gracious reception from Josephine. I do not
recollect which of the ladies in waiting was in attendance when my name
was announced; but she immediately retired, and left me alone with
Josephine. Her recent elevation had not changed the usual amenity of her
disposition. After some conversation respecting the change in her
situation, I gave her an account of what had passed between the Emperor
and myself.

I faithfully related all that he had said of Moreau, observing that at
one moment I imagined he was about to speak of the Due d'Enghien, when he
suddenly reverted to what he had been saying, and never made the
slightest allusion to the subject.

Madame Bonaparte replied to me, "Napoleon has spoken the truth respecting
Moreau. He was grossly deceived by those who believed they could best
pay their court to him by calumniating that general. His silence on the
subject of the Due d'Enghien does not surprise me; he says as little
respecting it as possible, and always in a vague manner, and with
manifest repugnance. When you see Bonaparte again be silent on the
subject, and should chance bring it forward, avoid every expression in
the smallest degree indicative of reproach; he would not suffer it; you
would ruin yourself for ever in his estimation, and the evil is, alas!
without remedy. When you came to Malmaison I told you that I had vainly
endeavoured to turn him from his fatal purpose, and how he had treated
me. Since then he has experienced but little internal satisfaction; it
is only in the presence of his courtiers that he affects a calm and
tranquil deportment; but I perceive his sufferings are the greater from
thus endeavouring to conceal them. By the by, I forgot to mention that
he knew of the visit you paid me on the day after the catastrophe. I
dreaded that your enemies, the greater number of whom are also mine,
might have misrepresented that interview; but, fortunately, he paid
little attention to it. He merely said, 'So you have seen Bourrienne?
Does he sulk at me? Nevertheless I must do something for him.' He has
again spoken in the same strain, and repeated nearly the same expressions
three days ago; and since he has commanded your presence to-day, I have
not a doubt but he has something in view for your advantage."--" May I
presume to inquire what it is?"--"I do not yet know; but I would
recommend to you, in the meantime, to be more strictly on your guard than
ever; he is so suspicious, and so well informed of all that is done or
said respecting himself. I have suffered so much since I last saw you;
never can I forget the unkind manner in which he rejected my entreaties!
For several days I laboured under a depression of spirits which greatly
irritated him, because he clearly saw whence it proceeded. I am not
dazzled by the title of Empress; I dread some evil will result from this
step to him, to my children, and to myself. The miscreants ought to be
satisfied; see to what they have driven us! This death embitters every
moment of my life. I need not say to you, Bourrienne, that I speak this
in confidence."--"You cannot doubt my prudence."--" No, certainly not,
Bourrienne. I do not doubt it. My confidence in you is unbounded. Rest
assured that I shall never forget what you have done for me, under
various circumstances, and the devotedness you evinced to me on your
return from Egypt.--Adieu, my friend. Let me see you soon again."

It was on the 14th of June 1804 that I had this audience of the Emperor,
and afterwards attended the Empress.

On my return home I spent three hours in making notes of all that was
said to me by these two personages; and the substance of these notes I
have now given to the reader.



Curious disclosures of Fouche--Remarkable words of Bonaparte
respecting the protest of Louis XVIII--Secret document inserted in
the Moniteur--Announcement from Bonaparte to Regnier--Fouche
appointed Minister of Police--Error of Regnier respecting the
conspiracy of Georges--Undeserved praise bestowed on Fouche--
Indication of the return of the Bourbons--Variation between the
words and conduct of Bonaparte--The iron crown--Celebration of the
14th of July--Church festivals and loss of time--Grand ceremonial at
the Invalides--Recollections of the 18th Brumaire--New oath of the
Legion of Honour--General enthusiasm--Departure for Boulogne--Visits
to Josephine at St. Cloud and Malmaison--Josephine and Madame de
Remusat--Pardons granted by the Emperor--Anniversary of the 14th of
July--Departure for the camp of Boulogne--General error respecting
Napoleon's designs--Caesar's Tower--Distribution of the crosses of
the Legion of Honour--The military throne--Bonaparte's charlatanism
--Intrepidity of two English sailors--The decennial prizes and the
Polytechnic School--Meeting of the Emperor and Empress--First
negotiation with the Holy Sea--The Prefect of Arras and Comte Louis
de Narbonne--Change in the French Ministry.

Louis XVIII., being at Warsaw when he was informed of the elevation of
Napoleon to the Imperial dignity, addressed to the sovereigns of Europe a
protest against that usurpation of his throne. Fouche, being the first
who heard of this protest, immediately communicated the circumstance to
the Emperor, observing that doubtless the copies would be multiplied and
distributed amongst the enemies of his Government, in the Faubourg St.
Germain, which might produce the worst effects, and that he therefore
deemed it his duty to inform him that orders might be given to Regnier
and Real to keep a strict watch over those engaged in distributing this

"You may judge of my surprise," added Fouche, "you who know so well that
formerly the very mention of the Bourbons rendered Bonaparte furious,
when, after perusing the protest, he returned it to me, saying, 'Ah, ah,
so the Comte de Lille makes his protest! Well, well, all in good time.
I hold my right by the voice of the French nation, and while I wear a
sword I will maintain it! The Bourbons ought to know that I do not fear
them; let them, therefore, leave me in tranquillity. Did you say that
the fools of the Faubourg St. Germain would multiply the copies of this
protest of Comte de Lille? well, they shall read it at their ease. Send
it to the Moniteur, Fouche; and let it be inserted to-morrow morning.'"
This passed on the 30th of June, and the next day the protest of Louis
XVIII. did actually appear in that paper.

Fouche was wholly indifferent respecting the circulation of this protest;
he merely wished to show the Emperor that he was better informed of
passing events than Regnier, and to afford Napoleon another proof of the
inexperience and inability of the Grand Judge in police; and Fouche was
not long in receiving the reward which he expected from this step. In
fact, ten days after the publication of the protest, the Emperor
announced to Regnier the re-establishment of the Ministry of General

The formula, I Pray God to have you in His holy keeping, with which the
letter to Regnier closed, was another step of Napoleon in the knowledge
of ancient usages, with which he was not sufficiently familiar when he
wrote Cambaceres on the day succeeding his elevation to the Imperial
throne; at the same time it must be confessed that this formula assorted
awkwardly with the month of "Messidor," and the "twelfth year of the

The errors which Regnier had committed in the affair of Georges were the
cause which determined Bonaparte to re-establish the Ministry of Police,
and to bestow it on a man who had created a belief in the necessity of
that measure, by a monstrous accumulation of plots and intrigues. I am
also certain that the Emperor was swayed by the probability of a war
breaking out, which would force him to leave France; and that he
considered Fouche as the most proper person to maintain the public
tranquillity during his absence, and detect any cabala that might be
formed in favour of the Bourbons.

At this period, when Bonaparte had given the finishing blow to the
Republic, which had only been a shadow since the 19th Brumaire, it was
not difficult to foresee that the Bourbons would one day remount the
throne of their ancestors; and this presentiment was not, perhaps,
without its influence in rendering the majority greater in favour of the
foundation of the Empire than for the establishment of a Consulate for
life. The reestablishment of the throne was a most important step in
favour of the Bourbons, for that was the thing most difficult to be done.
But Bonaparte undertook the task; and, as if by the aid of a magic rod,
the ancient order of things was restored in the twinkling of an eye. The
distinctions of rank--orders--titles, the noblesse--decorations--all the
baubles of vanity--in short, all the burlesque tattooing which the vulgar
regard as an indispensable attribute of royalty, reappeared in an
instant. The question no longer regarded the form of government, but the
individual who should be placed at its head. By restoring the ancient
order of things, the Republicans had themselves decided the question, and
it could no longer be doubted that when an occasion presented itself the
majority of the nation would prefer the ancient royal family, to whom
France owed her civilisation, her greatness, and her power, and who had
exalted her to such a high degree of glory and prosperity.

It was not one of the least singular traits in Napoleon's character that
during the first year of his reign he retained the fete of the 14th of
July. It was not indeed strictly a Republican fate, but it recalled the
recollection of two great popular triumphs,--the taking of the Bastille
and the first Federation. This year the 14th of July fell on a Saturday,
and the Emperor ordered its celebration to be delayed till the following
day, because it was Sunday; which was in conformity with the sentiments
he delivered respecting the Concordat. "What renders me," he said, "most
hostile to the re-establishment of the Catholic worship is the number of
festivals formerly observed. A saint's day is a day of indolence, and I
wish not for that; the people must labour in order to live. I consent to
four holidays in the year, but no more; if the gentlemen from Rome are
not satisfied with this, they may take their departure."

The loss of time seemed to him so great a calamity that he seldom failed
to order an indispensable solemnity to be held on the succeeding holiday.
Thus he postponed the Corpus Christi to the following Sunday.

On Sunday, the 15th of July 1804, the Emperor appeared for the first time
before the Parisians surrounded by all the pomp of royalty. The members
of the Legion of Honour, then in Paris, took the oath prescribed by the
new Constitution, and on this occasion the Emperor and Empress appeared
attended for the first time by a separate and numerous retinue.

The carriages in the train of the Empress crossed the garden of the
Tuileries, hitherto exclusively appropriated to the public; then followed
the cavalcade of the Emperor, who appeared on horseback, surrounded by
his principal generals, whom he had created Marshals of the Empire.
M. de Segur, who held the office of Grand Master of Ceremonies, had the
direction of the ceremonial to be observed on this occasion, and with,
the Governor received the Emperor on the threshold of the Hotel des
Invalides. They conducted the Empress to a tribune prepared for her
reception, opposite the Imperial throne which Napoleon alone occupied, to
the right of the altar. I was present at this ceremony, notwithstanding
the repugnance I have to such brilliant exhibitions; but as Duroc had two
days before presented me with tickets, I deemed it prudent to attend on
the occasion, lest the keen eye of Bonaparte should have remarked my
absence if Duroc had acted by his order.

I spent about an hour contemplating the proud and sometimes almost
ludicrous demeanour of the new grandees of the Empire; I marked the
manoeuvring of the clergy, who, with Cardinal Belloy at their head,
proceeded to receive the Emperor on his entrance into the church. What a
singular train of ideas was called up to my mind when I beheld my former
comrade at the school of Brienne seated upon an elevated throne,
surrounded by his brilliant staff, the great dignitaries of his Empire--
his Ministers and Marshals! I involuntarily recurred to the 19th
Brumaire, and all this splendid scene vanished; when I thought of
Bonaparte stammering to such a degree that I was obliged to pull the
skirt of his coat to induce him to withdraw.

It was neither a feeling of animosity nor of jealousy which called up
such reflections; at no period of our career would I have exchanged my
situation for his; but whoever can reflect, whoever has witnessed the
unexpected elevation of a former equal, may perhaps be able to conceive
the strange thoughts that assailed my mind, for the first time, on this

When the religious part of the ceremony terminated, the church assumed,
in some measure, the appearance of a profane temple. The congregation
displayed more devotion to the Emperor than towards the God of the
Christians,--more enthusiasm than fervour. The mass had been heard with
little attention; but when M. de Lacepede, Grand Chancellor of the Legion
of Honour, after pronouncing a flattering discourse, finished the call of
the Grand Officers of the Legion, Bonaparte covered, as did the ancient
kings of France when they held a bed of justice. A profound silence, a
sort of religious awe, then reigned throughout the assembly, and
Napoleon, who did not now stammer as in the Council of the Five Hundred,
said in a firm voice:

"Commanders, officers, legionaries, citizens, soldiers; swear upon your
honour to devote yourselves to the service of the Empire--to the
preservation of the integrity of the French territory--to the defence of
the Emperor, of the laws of the Republic, and of the property which they
have made sacred--to combat by all the means which justice, reason, and
the laws authorise every attempt to reestablish the feudal system; in
short, swear to concur with all your might in maintaining liberty and
equality, which are the bases of all our institutions. Do you swear?"

Each member of the Legion of Honour exclaimed, "I swear;" adding, "Vive
l'Empereur!" with an enthusiam it is impossible to describe, and in which
all present joined.

What, after all, was this new oath? It only differed from that taken by
the Legion of Honour, under the Consulate, in putting the defence of the
Emperor before that of the laws of the Republic; and this was not merely
a form. It was, besides, sufficiently laughable and somewhat audacious,
to make them swear to support equality at the moment so many titles and
monarchical distinctions had been re-established.

On the 18th of July, three days after this ceremony, the Emperor left
Paris to visit the camp at Boulogne. He was not accompanied by the
Empress on this journey, which was merely to examine the progress of the
military operations. Availing myself of the invitation Josephine had
given me, I presented myself at St. Cloud a few days after the departure
of Napoleon; as she did not expect my visit, I found her surrounded by
four or five of the ladies in waiting, occupied in examining some of the
elegant productions of the famous Leroi and Madame Despeaux; for amidst
the host of painful feelings experienced by Josephine she was too much of
a woman not to devote some attention to the toilet.

On my introduction they were discussing the serious question of the
costume to be worn by the Empress on her journey to Belgium to meet
Napoleon at the Palace of Lacken, near Brussels. Notwithstanding those
discussions respecting the form of hats, the colour and shape of dresses,
etc., Josephine received me in her usual gracious manner. But not being
able to converse with me, she said, without giving it an appearance of
invitation but in a manner sufficiently evident to be understood, that
she intended to pass the following morning at Malmaison.

I shortened my visit, and at noon next day repaired to that delightful
abode, which always created in my mind deep emotion. Not an alley, not a
grove but teemed with interesting recollections; all recalled to me the
period when I was the confidant of Bonaparte. But the time was past when
he minutely calculated how much a residence at Malmaison would cost, and
concluded by saying that an income of 30,000 livrea would be necessary.

When I arrived Madame Bonaparte was in the garden with Madame de Remusat,
who was her favourite from the similarity of disposition which existed
between them.

Madame de Remusat was the daughter of the Minister Vergennes, and sister
to Madame de Nansouty, whom I had sometimes seen with Josephine, but not
so frequently as her elder sister. I found the ladies in the avenue
which leads to Ruel, and saluted Josephine by inquiring respecting the
health of Her Majesty. Never can I forget the tone in which she replied:
"Ah! Bourrienne, I entreat that you will suffer me, at least here, to
forget that I am an Empress." As she had not a thought concealed from
Madame de Remusat except some domestic vexations, of which probably I was
the only confidant, we conversed with the same freedom as if alone, and
it is easy to define that the subject of our discourse regarded

After having spoken of her intended journey to Belgium, Josephine said
tome, "What a pity, Bourrienne, that the past cannot be recalled!
He departed in the happiest disposition: he has bestowed some pardons
and I am satisfied that but for those accursed politics he would have
pardoned a far greater number. I would have said much more, but I
endeavoured to conceal my chagrin because the slightest contradiction
only renders him the more obstinate. Now, when in the midst of his army,
he will forget everything. How much have I been afflicted that I was not
able to obtain a favourable answer to all the petitions which were
addressed to me. That good Madame de Monteason came from Romainville to
St. Cloud to solicit the pardon of MM. de Riviere and de Polignac; we
succeeded in gaining an audience for Madame de Polignac; . . . how
beautiful she is! Bonaparte was greatly affected on beholding her; he
said to her, 'Madame, since it was only my life your husband menaced, I
may pardon him.' You know Napoleon, Bourrienne; you know that he is not
naturally cruel; it is his counsellors and flatterers who have induced
him to commit so many villainous actions. Rapp has behaved extremely
well; he went to the Emperor, and would not leave him till he had
obtained the pardon of another of the condemned, whose name I do not
recollect. How much these Polignacs have interested me! There will be
then at least some families who will owe him gratitude! Strive, if it be
possible, to throw a veil over the past; I am sufficiently miserable in
my anticipations of the future. Rest assured, my dear Bourrienne, that I
shall not fail to exert myself during our stay in Belgium in your behalf,
and inform you of the result. Adieu!"

During the festival in celebration of the 14th of July, which I have
already alluded to, the Emperor before leaving the Hotel des Invalides
had announced that he would go in person to distribute the decorations of
the Legion of Honour to the army assembled in the camp of Boulogne. He
was not long before he fulfilled his promise. He left St. Cloud on the
18th and travelled with such rapidity that the next morning, whilst every
one was busy with preparations for his reception, he was already at that
port, in the midst of the labourers, examining the works. He seemed to
multiply himself by his inconceivable activity, and one might say that he
was present everywhere.

At the Emperor's departure it was generally believed at Paris that the
distribution of the crosses at the camp of Boulogne was only a pretext,
and that Bonaparte had at length gone to carry into execution the project
of an invasion of England, which every body supposed he contemplated. It
was, indeed, a pretext. The Emperor wished to excite more and more the
enthusiasm of the army--to show himself to the military invested in his
new dignity, to be present at some grand manoeuvres, and dispose the army
to obey the first signal he might give. How indeed, on beholding such
great preparations, so many transports created, as it were, by
enchantment, could any one have supposed that be did not really intend to
attempt a descent on England? People almost fancied him already in
London; it was known that all the army corps echelloned on the coast from
Maples to Ostend were ready to embark. Napoleon's arrival in the midst
of his troops inspired them, if possible, with a new impulse. The French
ports on the Channel had for a long period been converted into dockyards
and arsenals, where works were carried on with that inconceivable
activity which Napoleon knew so well how to inspire. An almost
incredible degree of emulation prevailed amongst the commanders of the
different camps, and it descended from rank to rank to the common
soldiers and even to the labourers.

As every one was eager to take advantage of the slightest effects of
chance, and exercised his ingenuity in converting them into prognostics
of good fortune for the Emperor, those who had access to him did not fail
to call his attention to some remains of a Roman camp which had been
discovered at the Tour d'Ordre, where the Emperor's tent was pitched.
This was considered an evident proof that the French Caesar occupied the
camp which the Roman Caesar had formerly constructed to menace Great
Britain. To give additional force to this allusion, the Tour d'Ordre
resumed the name of Caesar's Tower. Some medals of William the
Conqueror, found in another spot, where, perhaps, they had been buried
for the purpose of being dug up, could not fail to satisfy the most
incredulous that Napoleon must conquer England.

It was not far from Caesar's Tower that 80,000 men of the camps of
Boulogne and Montreuil, under the command of Marshal Soult, were
assembled in a vast plain to witness the distribution of the crosses of
the Legion of Honour impressed with the Imperial effigy. This plain,
which I saw with Bonaparte in our first journey to the coast, before our
departure to Egypt, was circular and hollow; and in the centre was a
little hill. This hill formed the Imperial throne of Bonaparte in the
midst of his soldiers. There he stationed himself with his staff and
around this centre of glory the regiments were drawn up in lines and
looked like so many diverging rays. From this throne, which had been
erected by the hand of nature, Bonaparte delivered in a loud voice the
same form of oath which he had pronounced at the Hotel des Invalides a
few days before. It was the signal for a general burst of enthusiasm,
and Rapp, alluding to this ceremony, told me that he never saw the
Emperor appear more pleased. How could he be otherwise? Fortune then
seemed obedient to his wishes. A storm came on during this brilliant
day, and it was apprehended that part of the flotilla would have

Bonaparte quitted the hill from which he had distributed the crosses and
proceeded to the port to direct what measures should be taken, when upon
his arrival the storm--

--[The following description of the incident when Napoleon nearly
occasioned the destruction of the Boulogne flotilla was forwarded to
the 'Revue Politique et Litteraire' from a private memoir. The
writer, who was an eye-witness, says--

One morning, when the Emperor was mounting his horse, he announced
that he intended to hold a review of his naval forces, and gave the
order that the vessels which lay in the harbour should alter their
positions, as the review was to be held on the open sea. He started
on his usual ride, giving orders that everything should be arranged
on his return, the time of which be indicted. His wish was
communicated to Admiral Bruix, who responded with imperturbable
coolness that he was very sorry, but that the review could not take
place that day. Consequently not a vessel was moved. On his return
back from his ride the Emperor asked whether all was ready. He was
told what the Admiral had said. Twice the answer had to be repeated
to him before he could realise its nature, and then, violently
stamping his foot on the ground, he sent for the Admiral. The
Emperor met him halfway. With eyes burning with rage, he exclaimed
in an excited voice, "Why have my orders not been executed?" With
respectful firmness Admiral Bruix replied, "Sire, a terrible storm
is brewing. Your Majesty may convince yourself of it; would you
without need expose the lives of so many men?" The heaviness of the
atmosphere and the sound of thunder in the distance more than
justified the fears of the Admiral. "Sir, said the Emperor, getting
more and more irritated, "I have given the orders once more; why
have they not been executed? The consequences concern me alone.
Obey!" 'Sire, I will not obey,' replied the Admiral. "You are
insolent!" And the Emperor, who still held his riding-whip in his
hand, advanced towards the admiral with a threatening gesture.
Admiral Bruix stepped back and put his hand on the sheath of his
sword and said, growing very pale, "sire, take care!" The whole
suite stood paralysed with fear. The Emperor remained motionless
for some time, his hand lifted up, his eyes fixed on the Admiral,
who still retained his menacing attitude. At last the Emperor threw
his whip on the floor. M. Bruix took his hand off his sword, and
with uncovered head awaited in silence the result of the painful
scene. Rear-Admiral Magon was then ordered to see that the
Emperor's orders were instantly executed. "As for you, sir," said
the Emperor, fixing his eyes on Admiral Bruix, you leave Boulogne
within twenty-four hours and depart for Holland. Go!" M. Magon
ordered the fatal movement of the fleet on which the Emperor had
insisted. The first arrangements had scarcely been made when the
sea because very high. The black sky was pierced by lightning, the
thunder rolled and every moment the line of vessels was broken by
the wind, and shortly after, that which the Admiral had foreseen
came to pass, and the most frightful storm dispersed the vessels in
each a way that it seamed impossible to save them. With bent head,
arms crossed, and a sorrowful look in his face, the Emperor walked
up and down on the beach, when suddenly the most terrible cries were
heard. More than twenty gunboats filled with soldiers and sailors
were being driven towards the shore, and the unfortunate men were
vainly fighting against the furious waves, calling for help which
nobody could give them. Deeply touched by the spectacle and the
heart-rending cries and lamentations of the multitude which had
assembled on the beach, the Emperor, seeing his generals and
officers tremble with horror, attempted to set an example of
devotion, and, in spite of all efforts to keep him back, he threw
himself into a boat, saying, "Let me go! let me go! they must be
brought out of this." In a moment the boat was filled with water.
The waves poured over it again and again, and the Emperor was
drenched. One wave larger than the others almost threw him
overboard and his hat was carried sway. Inspired by so much
courage, officers, soldiers, seamen, and citizens tried to succour
the drowning, some in boats, some swimming. But, alas! only a small
number could be saved of the unfortunate men. The following day
more than 200 bodies were thrown ashore, and with them the hat of
the conqueror of Marengo. That sad day was one of desolation for
Boulogne and for the camp. The Emperor groaned under the burden of
an accident which he had to attribute solely to his own obstinacy.
Agents were despatched to all parts of the town to subdue with gold
the murmurs which ware ready to break out into a tumult.]--

--ceased as if by enchantment. The flotilla entered the port safe and
sound and he went back to the camp, where the sports and amusements
prepared for the soldiers commenced, and in the evening the brilliant
fireworks which were let off rose in a luminous column, which was
distinctly seen from the English coast.--[It appears that Napoleon was
so well able to cover up this fiasco that not even Bourrienne ever heard
the true story. D.W.]

When he reviewed the troops he asked the officers, and often the
soldiers, in what battles they had been engaged, and to those who had
received serious wounds he gave the cross. Here, I think, I may
appropriately mention a singular piece of charlatanism to which the
Emperor had recourse, and which powerfully contributed to augment the
enthusiasm of his troops. He would say to one of his aides decamp,
"Ascertain from the colonel of such a regiment whether he has in his
corps a man who has served in the campaigns of Italy or the campaigns of
Egypt. Ascertain his name, where he was born, the particulars of his
family, and what he has done. Learn his number in the ranks, and to what
company he belongs, and furnish me with the information."

On the day of the review Bonaparte, at a single glance, could perceive
the man who had been described to him. He would go up to him as if he
recognised him, address him by his name, and say, "Oh! so you are here!
You area brave fellow--I saw you at Aboukir--how is your old father?
What! have you not got the Cross? Stay, I will give it you." Then the
delighted soldiers would say to each other, "You see the Emperor knows us
all; he knows our families; he knows where we have served." What a
stimulus was this to soldiers, whom he succeeded in persuading that they
would all some time or other become Marshals of the Empire!

Lauriston told me, amongst other anecdotes relating to Napoleon's sojourn
at the camp at Boulogne, a remarkable instance of intrepidity on the part
of two English sailors. These men had been prisoners at Verdun, which
was the most considerable depot of English prisoners in France at the
rupture of the peace of Amiens. They effected their escape from Verdun,
and arrived at Boulogne without having been discovered on the road,
notwithstanding the vigilance with which all the English were watched
They remained at Boulogne for some time, destitute of money, and without
being able to effect their escape. They had no hope of getting aboard a
boat, on account of the strict watch that was kept upon vessels of every
kind. These two sailors made a boat of little pieces of wood, which they
put together as well as they could, having no other tools than their
knives. They covered it with a piece of sail-cloth. It was only three
or four feet wide, and not much longer, and was so light that a man could
easily carry it on his shoulders,--so powerful a passion is the love of
home and liberty! Sure of being shot if they were discovered, almost
equally sure of being drowned if they effected their escape, they,
nevertheless, resolved to attempt crossing the Channel in their fragile
skiff. Perceiving an English frigate within sight of the coast, they
pushed off and endeavoured to reach her. They had not gone a hundred
toises from the shore when they were perceived by the custom-house
officers, who set out in pursuit of them, and brought them back again.
The news of this adventure spread through the camp, where the
extraordinary courage of the two sailors was the subject of general
remark. The circumstance reached the Emperor's ears. He wished to see
the men, and they were conducted to his presence, along with their little
boat. Napoleon, whose imagination was struck by everything
extraordinary, could not conceal his surprise at so bold a project,
undertaken with such feeble means of execution. "Is it really true,"
said the Emperor to them, "that you thought of crossing the sea in
this?"--"Sire," said they, "if you doubt it, give us leave to go, and you
shall see us depart."--"I will. You are bold and enterprising men--I
admire courage wherever I meet it. But you shall not hazard your lives.
You are at liberty; and more than that, I will cause you to be put on
board an English ship. When you return to London tell how I esteem brave
men, even when they are my enemies." Rapp, who with Lauriaton, Duroc,
and many others were present at this scene, were not a little astonished
at the Emperor's generosity. If the men had not been brought before him,
they would have been shot as spies, instead of which they obtained their
liberty, and Napoleon gave several pieces of gold to each. This
circumstance was one of those which made the strongest impression on
Napoleon, and he recollected it when at St. Helena, in one of his
conversations with M. de Las Casas.

No man was ever so fond of contrasts as Bonaparte. He liked, above
everything, to direct the affairs of war whilst seated in his easy chair,
in the cabinet of St. Cloud, and to dictate in the camp his decrees
relative to civil administration. Thus, at the camp of Boulogne, he
founded the decennial premiums, the first distribution of which he
intended should take place five years afterwards, on the anniversary of
the 18th Brumaire, which was an innocent compliment to the date of the
foundation of the Consular Republic. This measure also seemed to promise
to the Republican calendar a longevity which it did not attain. All
these little circumstances passed unobserved; but Bonaparte had so often
developed to me his theory of the art of deceiving mankind that I knew
their true value. It was likewise at the camp of Boulogne that, by a
decree emanating from his individual will, he destroyed the noblest
institution of the Republic, the Polytechnic School, by converting it
into a purely military academy. He knew that in that sanctuary of high
study a Republican spirit was fostered; and whilst I was with him he had
often told me it was necessary that all schools, colleges, and
establishments for public instruction should be subject to military
discipline. I frequently endeavoured to controvert this idea, but
without success.

It was arranged that Josephine and the Emperor should meet in Belgium.
He proceeded thither from the camp of Boulogne, to the astonishment of
those who believed that the moment for the invasion of England had at
length arrived. He joined the Empress at the Palace of Lacken, which the
Emperor had ordered to be repaired and newly furnished with great

The Emperor continued his journey by the towns bordering on the Rhine.
He stopped first in the town of Charlemagne, passed through the three

--[There are two or three little circumstances in connection with
this journey that seem worth inserting here:

Mademoiselle Avrillion was the 'femme de chambre' of Josephine, and
was constantly about her person from the time of the first
Consulship to the death of the Empress in 1814. In all such matters
as we shall quote from them, her memoirs seem worthy of credit.
According to Mademoiselle, the Empress during her stay at Aix-la-
Chapelle, drank the waters with much eagerness and some hope. As
the theatre there was only supplied with some German singers who
were not to Josephine's taste, she had part of a French operatic
company sent to her from Paris. The amiable creole had always a
most royal disregard of expense. When Bonaparte joined her, he
renewed his old custom of visiting his wife now and then at her
toilet, and according to Mademoiselle Avrillion, he took great
interest in the subject of her dressing. She says, "It was a most
extraordinary thing for us to see the man whose head was filled with
such vast affairs enter into the most minute details of the female
toilet and of what dresses, what robes, and what jewels the Empress
should wear on such and such an occasion. One day he daubed her
dress with ink because be did not like it, and wanted her to put on
another. Whenever he looked into her wardrobe he was sure to throw
everything topsy-turvy."

This characteristic anecdote perfectly agrees with what we have
heard from other persons. When the Neapolitan Princess di----- was
at the Tuileries as 'dame d'honneur' to Bonaparte's sister Caroline
Murat, then Queen of Naples, on the grand occasion of the marriage
with Maria Louisa, the, Princess, to her astonishment, saw the
Emperor go up to a lady of the Court and address her thus: "This is
the same gown you wore the day before yesterday! What's the meaning
of this, madame? This is not right, madame!"

Josephine never gave him a similar cause of complaint, but even when
he was Emperor she often made him murmur at the profusion of her
expenditure under this head. The next anecdote will give some idea
of the quantity of dresses which she wore for a day or so, and then
gave away to her attendants, who appear to have carried on a very
active trade in them.

"While we were at Mayence the Palace was literally besieged by Jews,
who continually brought manufactured and other goods to show to the
followers of the Court; and we had the greatest difficulty to avoid
buying them. At last they proposed that we should barter with them;
and when Her Majesty had given us dresses that were far too rich for
us to wear ourselves, we exchanged them with the Jews for
piecegoods. The robes we thus bartered did not long remain in the
hands of the Jews, and there must have been a great demand for them
among the belles of Mayence, for I remember a ball there at which
the Empress might have seen all the ladies of a quadrille party
dressed in her cast-off clothes.--I even saw German Princesses
wearing them" (Memoires de Mademoiselle Avrillion).

--on his way Cologne and Coblentz, which the emigration had rendered so
famous, and arrived at Mayence, where his sojourn was distinguished by the
first attempt at negotiation with the Holy See, in order to induce the
Pope to come to France to crown the new Emperor, and consolidate his
power by supporting it with the sanction of the Church. This journey of
Napoleon occupied three months, and he did not return to St. Cloud till
October. Amongst the flattering addresses which the Emperor received in
the course of his journey I cannot pass over unnoticed the speech of M.
de la Chaise, Prefect of Arras, who said, "God made Bonaparte, and then
rested." This occasioned Comte Louis de Narbonne, who was not yet
attached to the Imperial system, to remark "That it would have been well
had God rested a little sooner."

During the Emperor's absence a partial change took place in the Ministry.
M. de Champagny succeeded M. Chaptal as Minister of the Interior. At the
camp of Boulogne the pacific Joseph found himself, by his brother's
wish, transformed into a warrior, and placed in command of a regiment of
dragoons, which was a subject of laughter with a great number of
generals. I recollect that one day Lannes, speaking to me of the
circumstance in his usual downright and energetic way, said, "He had
better not place him under my orders, for upon the first fault I will put
the scamp under arrest."



England deceived by Napoleon--Admirals Missiessy and Villeneuve--
Command given to Lauriston--Napoleon's opinion of Madame de Stael--
Her letters to Napoleon--Her enthusiasm converted into hatred--
Bonaparte's opinion of the power of the Church--The Pope's arrival
at Fontainebleau--Napoleon's first interview with Pius VII.--
The Pope and the Emperor on a footing of equality--Honours rendered
to the Pope--His apartments at the Tuileries--His visit to the
Imperial printing office--Paternal rebuke--Effect produced in
England by the Pope's presence in Paris--Preparations for Napoleon's
coronation--Votes in favour of hereditary succession--Convocation of
the Legislative Body--The presidents of cantons--Anecdote related by
Michot the actor--Comparisons--Influence of the Coronation on the
trade of Paris--The insignia of Napoleon and the insignia of
Charlemagne--The Pope's mule--Anecdote of the notary Raguideau--
Distribution of eagles in the Champ de Mars--Remarkable coincidence.

England was never so much deceived by Bonaparte as during the period of
the encampment at Boulogne. The English really believed that an invasion
was intended, and the Government exhausted itself in efforts for raising
men and money to guard against the danger of being taken by surprise.
Such, indeed, is the advantage always possessed by the assailant. He can
choose the point on which he thinks it most convenient to act, while the
party which stands on the defence, and is afraid of being attacked, is
compelled to be prepared in every point. However, Napoleon, who was then
in the full vigour of his genius and activity, had always his eyes fixed
on objects remote from those which surrounded him, and which seemed to
absorb his whole attention. Thus, during the journey of which I have
spoken, the ostensible object of which was the organisation of the
departments on the Rhine, he despatched two squadrons from Rochefort and
Boulogne, one commanded by Missiessy, the other by Villeneuve--I shall
not enter into any details about those squadrons; I shall merely mention
with respect to them that, while the Emperor was still in Belgium,
Lauriston paid me a sudden and unexpected visit. He was on his way to
Toulon to take command of the troops which were to be embarked on
Villeneuve's squadron, and he was not much pleased with the service to
which he had been appointed.

Lauriston's visit was a piece of good fortune for me. We were always on
friendly terms, and I received much information from him, particularly
with respect to the manner in which the Emperor spent his time. "You can
have no idea," said he, "how much the Emperor does, and the sort of
enthusiasm which his presence excites in the army. But his anger at the
contractors is greater than ever, and he has been very severe with some

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