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

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Government I am not bound to keep any terms with it. I have no
faith in its promises. You have attacked me. If I should agree to
what you ask, Mack would pledge his word, I know. But, even relying
on his good faith, would be he able to keep his promise? As far as
regards himself--yes; but as regards his army--no. If the Archduke
Ferdinand were still with you I could rely upon his word, because he
would be responsible for the conditions, and he would not disgrace
himself; but I know he has quitted Ulm and passed the Danube. I
know how to reach him, however."

Rapp said it was impossible to imagine the embarrassment of Prince
Liechtenstein whilst the Emperor was speaking. He, however,
somewhat regained his self-possession, and observed that, unless the
conditions which he proposed were granted the army would not
capitulate. "If that be the case," said Napoleon. "you may as well
go back to Mack, for I will never grant such conditions. Are you
jesting with me? Stay; here is the capitulation of Memingen--show
it to your General--let him surrender on the same conditions--I will
consent to no others. Your officers may return to Austria, but the
soldiers must be prisoners. Tell him to be speedy, for I have no
time to lose. The more he delays the worse he will render his own
condition and yours. To-morrow I shall have here the corps to which
Memingen capitulated, and then we shall see what is to be done.
Make Mack clearly understand that he has no alternative but to
conform to my will."

The imperious tones which Napoleon employed towards his enemies
almost always succeeded, and it produced the accustomed effect upon
Mack. On the same day that Prince Liechtenstein had been at our
headquarters Mack wrote to the Emperor, stating that he would not
have treated with any other on such terms; but that he yielded to
the ascendency of Napoleon's fortune; and on the following day
Berthier was sent into Ulm, from whence he returned with the
capitulation signed. Thus Napoleon was not mistaken respecting the
Caudine Forks of the Austrian army. The garrison of Ulm marched out
with what are called the honours of war, and were led prisoners into

Napoleon, who was so violently irritated by any obstacle which opposed
him, and who treated with so much hauteur everybody who ventured to
resist his inflexible will, was no longer the same man when, as a
conqueror, he received the vanquished generals at Ulm. He condoled with
them on their misfortune; and this, I can affirm, was not the result of a
feeling of pride concealed beneath a feigned generosity. Although he
profited by their defeat he pitied them sincerely. How frequently has he
observed to me, "How much to be pitied is a general on the day after a
lost battle." He had himself experienced this misfortune when he was
obliged to raise the siege of St. Jean d'Acre. At that moment he would,
I believe, have strangled Djezzar; but if Djezzar had surrendered, he
would have treated him with the same attention which he showed to Mack
and the other generals of the garrison of Ulm. These generals were
seventeen in number, and among them was Prince Liechtenstein. There were
also General Klenau (Baron de Giulay), who had acquired considerable
military reputation in the preceding wars, and General Fresnel, who stood
in a more critical situation than his companions in misfortune, for he
was a Frenchman, and an emigrant.

Rapp told me that it was really painful to see these generals. They
bowed respectfully to the Emperor, having Mack at their head. They
preserved a mournful silence, and Napoleon was the first to speak, which
he did in the following terms: "Gentlemen, I feel sorry that such brave
men as you are should be the victims of the follies of a Cabinet which
cherishes insane projects, and which does not hesitate to commit the
dignity of the Austrian nation by trafficking with the services of its
generals. Your names are known to me--they are honourably known wherever
you have fought. Examine the conduct of those who have committed you.
What could be more iniquitous than to attack me without a declaration of
war? Is it not criminal to bring foreign invasion upon a country? Is it
not betraying Europe to introduce Asiatic barbarities into her disputes?
If good policy had been followed the Aulic Council, instead of attacking
me, would have sought my alliance in order to drive back the Russians to
the north. The alliance which your Cabinet has formed will appear
monstrous in history. It is the alliance of dogs, shepherds, and wolves
against sheep--such a scheme could never have been planned in the mind of
a statesman. It is fortunate for you that I have not been defeated in
the unjust struggle to which I have been provoked; if I had, the Cabinet
of Vienna would have soon perceived its error, for which, perhaps, it
will yet one day pay dearly."

What a change fifteen days of success, crowned by the capture of Ulm, had
made in affairs! At Hamburg I knew through my agents to what a degree of
folly the hopes of Napoleon's enemies had risen before he began the
campaign. The security of the Cabinet of Vienna was really inexplicable;
not only did they not dream of the series of victories which made
Napoleon master of all the Austrian monarchy, but the assistants of Drake
and all the intriguers of that sort treated France already as a conquered
country, and disposed of some of our provinces. In the excess of their
folly, to only give one instance, they promised the town of Lyons to the
King of Sardinia, to recompense him for the temporary occupation of

--[In the treaties and declarations (see Martens and Thiers, tome v.
p. 355) there is rather a tendency to sell the skin of the bear
before killing him.]--

While Napoleon flattered his prisoners at the expense of their Government
he wished to express satisfaction at the conduct of his own army, and
with this view he published a remarkable proclamation, which in some
measure presented an abstract of all that had taken place since the
opening of the campaign.

This proclamation was as follows:--

SOLDIERS OF THE GRAND ARMY--In a fortnight we have finished an
entire campaign. What we proposed to do has been done. We have
driven the Austrian troops from Bavaria, and restored our ally to
the sovereignty of his dominions.

That army, which, with equal presumption and imprudence, marched
upon our frontiers, is annihilated.

But what does this signify to England? She has gained her object.
We are no longer at Boulogne, and her subsidy will be neither more
nor less.

Of a hundred thousand men who composed that army, sixty thousand are
prisoners. They will replace our conscripts in the labours of

Two hundred pieces of cannon, the whole park of artillery, ninety
flags, and all their generals are in our power. Fifteen thousand
men only have escaped.

Soldiers! I announced to you the result of a great battle; but,
thanks to the ill-devised schemes of the enemy, I was enabled to
secure the wished-for result without incurring any danger, and, what
is unexampled in the history of nations, that result has been gained
at the sacrifice of scarcely fifteen hundred men killed and wounded.

Soldiers! this success is due to your unlimited confidence in your
Emperor, to your patience in enduring fatigues and privations of
every kind, and to your singular courage and intrepidity.

But we will not stop here. You are impatient to commence another

The Russian army, which English gold has brought from the
extremities of the universe, shall experience the same fate as that
which we have just defeated.

In the conflict in which we are about to engage the honour of the
French infantry is especially concerned. We shall now see another
decision of the question which has already been determined in
Switzerland and Holland; namely, whether the French infantry is the
first or the second in Europe.

Among the Russians there are no generals in contending against whom
I can acquire any glory. All I wish is to obtain the victory with
the least possible bloodshed. My soldiers are, my children.

This proclamation always appeared to me a masterpiece of military
eloquence. While he lavished praises on his troops, he excited their
emulation by hinting that the Russians were capable of disputing with
them the first rank among the infantry of Europe, and he concluded his
address by calling them his children.

The second campaign, to which Napoleon alleged they so eagerly looked
forward, speedily ensued, and hostilities were carried on with a degree
of vigour which fired the enthusiasm of the army. Heaven knows what
accounts were circulated of the Russians, who, as Bonaparte solemnly
stated in his proclamation, had come from the extremity of the world.
They were represented as half-naked savages, pillaging, destroying and
burning wherever they went. It was even asserted that they were
cannibals, and had been seen to eat children. In short, at that period
was introduced the denomination of northern barbarians which has since
been so generally applied to the Russians. Two days after the
capitulation of Ulm Murat obtained the capitulation of Trochtelfingen
from General Yarneck, and made 10,000 prisoners, so that, without
counting killed and wounded, the Austrian army had sustained a diminution
of 50,000 men after a campaign of twenty days. On the 27th of October
the French army crossed the Inn, and thus penetrated into the Austrian
territory. Salzburg and Brannan were immediately taken. The army of
Italy, under the command of Massena, was also obtaining great advantages.
On the 30th of October, that is to say, the very day on which the Grand
Army took the above-mentioned fortresses, the army of Italy, having
crossed the Adige, fought a sanguinary battle at Caldiero, and took 5000
Austrian prisoners.

In the extraordinary campaign, which has been distinguished by the name
of "the Campaign of Austerlitz," the exploits of our troops succeeded
each other with the rapidity of thought. I confess I was equally
astonished and delighted when I received a note from Duroc, sent by an
extraordinary courier, and commencing laconically with the words, "We are
in Vienna; the Emperor is well."

Duroc's letter was dated the 13th November, and the words, "We are in
Vienna," seemed to me the result of a dream. The capital of Austria,
which from time immemorial had not been occupied by foreigners--the city
which Sobieski had saved from Ottoman violence, had become the prey of
the Imperial eagle of France, which, after a lapse of three centuries,
avenged the humiliations formerly imposed upon Francis I. by the 'Aquila
Grifagna' of Charles V. Duroc had left the Emperor before the camp of
Boulogne was raised; his mission to Berlin being terminated, he rejoined
the Emperor at Lintz.

--[As soon as Bonaparte became Emperor he constituted himself the
avenger of all the insults given to the sovereigns, whom he styled
his predecessors. All that related to the honour of France was
sacred to him. Thus he removed the column of Rosbach from the
Prussian territory.--Bourrienne.]--

Before I noticed the singular mission of M. Haugwitz to the Emperor
Napoleon, and the result of that mission, which circumstances rendered
diametrically the reverse of its object, I will relate what came to my
knowledge respecting some other negotiations on the part of Austria, the
evident intent of which was to retard Napoleon's progress, and thereby to
dupe him. M. de Giulay, one of the generals included in the capitulation
of Ulm, had returned home to acquaint his sovereign with the disastrous
event. He did not conceal, either from the Emperor Francis or the
Cabinet of Vienna, the destruction of the Austrian army, and the
impossibility of arresting the rapid advance of the French. M. de Giulay
was sent with a flag of truce to the headquarters of Napoleon, to assure
him of the pacific intentions of the Emperor of Austria, and to solicit
an armistice. The snare was too clumsy not to be immediately discovered
by so crafty a man as Napoleon.

--[Metternich (tome ii. p. 346, compare French edition, tome ii.
p. 287) says, "Let us hold always the sword in one hand and the
olive branch in the other; always ready to negotiate, but only
negotiating while advancing." Here is Napoleons system.]--

He had always pretended a love for peace, though be was overjoyed at the
idea of continuing a war so successfully commenced, and he directed
General Giulay to assure the Emperor of Austria that he was not less
anxious for peace than he, and that he was ready to treat for it, but
without suspending the course of his operations. Bonaparte, indeed,
could not, without a degree of imprudence of which he was incapable,
consent to an armistice; for M. de Giulay, though entrusted with powers
from Austria, had received none from Russia. Russia, therefore, might
disavow the armistice and arrive in time to defend Vienna, the occupation
of which was so important to the French army. The Russians, indeed, were
advancing to oppose us, and the corps of our army, commanded by Mortier
on the left bank of the Danube, experienced in the first engagement a
check at Dirnstein, which not a little vexed the Emperor. This was the
first reverse of fortune we had sustained throughout the campaign. It
was trivial, to be sure, but the capture by the Russians of three French
eagles, the first that had fallen into the hands of the enemy, was very
mortifying to Napoleon, and caused him to prolong for some days his staff
at St. Folten, where he then was.

The rapid occupation of Vienna was due to the successful temerity of
Lannes and Murat, two men alike distinguished for courage and daring
spirit. A bold artifice of these generals prevented the destruction of
the Thabor bridge at Vienna, without which our army would have
experienced considerable difficulty in penetrating into the Austrian
capital. This act of courage and presence of mind, which had so great an
influence on the events of the campaign, was described to me by Lannes,
who told the story with an air of gaiety, unaccompanied by any self-
complacency, and seemed rather pleased with the trick played upon the
Austrians than proud of the brilliant action which had been performed.
Bold enterprises were so natural to Lannes that he was frequently the
only person who saw nothing extraordinary in his own exploits. Alas!
what men were sacrificed to Napoleon's ambition!

The following is the story of the Bridge of Thabor as I heard it from

--[I was one day walking with Murat, on the right bank of the
Danube, and we observed on the left bank, which was occupied by the
Austrians, some works going on, the evident object of which was to
blow up the bridge on the approach of our troops. The fools had the
impudence to make these preparations under our very noses; but we
gave them a good lesson. Having arranged our plan, we returned to
give orders, and I entrusted the command of my column of grenadiers
to an officer on whose courage and intelligence I could rely. I
then returned to the bridge, accompanied by Murat and two or three
other officers. We advanced, unconcernedly, and entered into
conversation with the commander of a post in the middle of the
bridge. We spoke to him about an armistice which was to be speedily
concluded: While conversing with the Austrian officers we contrived
to make them turn their eyes towards the left bank, and then,
agreeably to the orders we had given, my column of grenadiers
advanced on the bridge. The Austrian cannoneers, on the left bank,
seeing their officers in the midst of us, did not dare to fire, and
my column advanced at a quick step. Murat and I, at the head of it,
gained the left bank. All the combustibles prepared for blowing up
the bridge were thrown into the river, and my men took possession of
the batteries erected for the defence of the bridge head. The poor
devils of Austrian officers were perfectly astounded when I told
them they were my prisoners.]--

Such, as well as I can recollect, was the account given by Lannes, who
laughed immoderately in describing the consternation of the Austrian
officers when they discovered the trick that had been played upon them.
When Lannes performed this exploit he had little idea of the, important
consequences which would attend, it. He had not only secured to the
remainder of the French army a sure and easy entrance to Vienna, but,
without being aware of it, he created an insurmountable impediment to the
junction of the Russian army with the Austrian corps, commanded by Prince
Charles, who, being pressed by Massena, hastily advanced into the heart
of the Hereditary States, where he fully expected a great battle would
take place.

As soon as the corps of Murat and Lannes had taken possession of Vienna
the Emperor ordered all the divisions of the army to march upon that

--[The story to told in much the same way in Theirs (tome vi, p.
260), Rupp (p. 57), and Savory (tome ii. p. 162), but as Erreurs
(tome i. p. 814) points out, Bourrienne makes an odd mistake in
believing the Thabor Bridge gave the French access to Vienna. The
capital is on the right bank, and was already in their power. The
possession of the bridge enabled them to pass over to the left bank,
and to advance towards Austerlitz before the Archduke Charles,
coming from Italy, could make his junction with the allied army.
See plan 48 of Thiers' Atlas, or 58 of Alison's. The immediate
result of the success of this rather doubtful artifice would have
been the destruction of the corps of Kutusoff; but Murat in his turn
was deceived by Bagration into belief in an armistice. In fact,
both sides at this time fell into curious errors.]--

Napoleon established his headquarters at Schoenbrunn, where he planned
his operations for compelling the corps of Prince Charles to retire to
Hungary, and also for advancing his own forces to meet the Russians.
Murat and Lannes always commanded the advanced guard during the forced
marches ordered by Napoleon, which were executed in a way truly

To keep up the appearance of wishing to conclude peace as soon as
reasonable propositions should be made to him, Napoleon sent for his
Minister for foreign Affairs, who speedily arrived at Vienna, and General
Savary was sent on a mission to the Emperor Alexander. The details of
this mission I have learned only from the account of it given by the Duc
de Rovigo in his apologetic Memoirs. In spite of the Duke's eagerness to
induce a belief in Napoleon's pacific disposition, the very facts on
which he supports his argument lead to the contrary conclusion. Napoleon
wished to dictate his conditions before the issue of a battle the success
of which might appear doubtful to the young Emperor of Russia, and these
conditions were such as he might impose when victory should be declared
in favour of our eagles. It must be clear to every reflecting person
that by always proposing what he knew could not be honourably acceded to,
he kept up the appearance of being a pacificator, while at the same time
he ensured to himself the pleasure of carrying on the war.



My functions at Hamburg--The King of Sweden at Stralsund--
My bulletin describing the situation of the Russian armies--Duroc's
recall from Berlin--General Dumouriez--Recruiting of the English in
Hanover--The daughter of M. de Marbeof and Napoleon--Treachery of
the King of Naples--The Sun of Austerlitz--Prince Dolgiorouki
Rapp's account of the battle of Austerlitz--Gerard's picture--
Eugene's marriage.

I must now relate how, in conformity with my instructions, I was employed
in Hamburg in aiding the success of the French army. I had sent an agent
to observe the Russian troops, which were advancing by forced marches to
the banks of the Elbe. This agent transmitted to me from Gadbusch an
account of the routes taken by the different columns. It was then
supposed that they would march upon Holland by the way of Bremen and
Oldenburg. On the receipt of thus intelligence the Electorate of Hanover
was evacuated by the French, and General Barbou, who had commanded there
concentrated his forces in Hamelin.

On the 2d of November 1805 the King of Sweden arrived at Stralsund. I
immediately intimated to our Government that this circumstance would
probably give a new turn to the operations of the combined army, for
hitherto the uncertainty of its movements and the successive counter-
orders afforded no possibility of ascertaining any determined plan. The
intention seemed to be, that all the Swedo-Russian troops should cross
the Elbe at the same point; viz., Lauenburg, six miles from Hamburg.

There was not on the 5th of November a single Russian on the southern
bank of the Elbe.

The first column of the grand Russian army passed through Warsaw on the
1st of November, and on the 2d the Grand-Duke Constantine was expected
with the Guards. This column, which amounted to 6000 men, was the first
that passed through Prussian Poland.

At this time we momentarily expected to see the Hanoverian army landed on
the banks of the Weser or the Elbe, augmented by some thousands of
English. Their design apparently was either to attack Holland, or to
attempt some operation on the rear of our Grand Army.

The French Government was very anxious to receive accurate accounts of
the march of the Swedo-Russian troops through Hanover, and of the Russian
army through Poland. My agents at Warsaw and Stralsund, who were
exceedingly active and intelligent, enabled me to send off a bulletin
describing the state of Hanover, the movements of the Russians and
Swedes, together with information of the arrival of English troops in the
Elbe, and a statement of the force of the combined army in Hanover, which
consisted of 15,000 Russians, 8000 Swedes, and 12,000 English; making in
all 35,000 men.

It was probably on account of this bulletin that Napoleon expressed to
Duroc his satisfaction with my services. The Emperor on recalling Duroc
from Berlin did not manifest the least apprehension respecting Prussia.
Duroc wrote to me the following letter on the occasion of his recall:

MY DEAR BOURRIENNE--The Emperor having thought my services necessary
to the army has recalled me. I yesterday had a farewell audience of
the King and Queen, who treated me very graciously. His Majesty
presented me with his portrait set in diamonds. The Emperor
Alexander will probably depart to morrow, and the Archduke Anthony
vary speedily. We cannot but hope that their presence here will
facilitate a good understanding.
(Signed) DUROC.

Whenever foreign armies were opposing France the hopes of the emigrants
revived. They falsely imagined that the powers coalesced against
Napoleon were labouring in their cause; and many of them entered the
Russian and Austrian armies. Of this number was General Dumouriez.
I received information that he had landed at Stade on the 21st of
November; but whither he intended to proceed was not known. A man named
St. Martin, whose wife lived with Dumouriez, and who had accompanied the
general from England to Stade, came to Hamburg, where he observed great
precautions for concealment, and bought two carriages, which were
immediately forwarded to Stade. St, Martin himself immediately proceeded
to the latter place. I was blamed for not having arrested this man; but
he had a commission attesting that he was in the English service, and, as
I have before mentioned; a foreign commission was a safeguard; and the
only one which could not be violated in Hamburg.

In December 1805 the English recruiting in Hanover was kept up without
interruption, and attended with extraordinary success. Sometimes a
hundred men were raised in a day. The misery prevailing in Germany,
which had been ravaged by the war, the hatred against the French, and the
high bounty that was offered enabled the English to procure as many men
as they wished.

The King of Sweden, meditating on the stir he should make in Hanover,
took with him a camp printing-press to publish the bulletins of the grand
Swedish army.--The first of these bulletins announced to Europe that his
Swedish Majesty was about to leave Stralsund; and that his army would
take up its position partly between Nelsen and Haarburg, and partly
between Domitz and the frontiers of Hamburg.

Among the anecdotes of Napoleon connected with this campaign I find in my
notes the following, which was related to me by Rapp. Some days before
his entrance into Vienna Napoleon, who was riding on horseback along the
road, dressed in his usual uniform of the chasseurs of the Guard, met an
open carriage, in which were seated a lady and a priest. The lady was in
tears, and Napoleon could not refrain from stopping to ask her what was
the cause of her distress. "Sir," she replied, for she did not know the
Emperor, "I have been pillaged at my estate, two leagues from hence, by a
party of soldiers, who have murdered my gardener. I am going to seek
your Emperor, who knows my family, to whom he was once under great
obligations."--"What is your name?" inquired Napoleon.--"De Bunny,"
replied the lady. "I am the daughter of M de Marbeuf, formerly Governor
of Corsica."--" Madame," exclaimed Napoleon, "I am the Emperor. I am
delighted to have the opportunity of serving you."--"You cannot
conceive," continued Rapp, "the attention which the Emperor showed Madame
de Bunny. He consoled her, pitied her, almost apologised for the
misfortune she had sustained. 'Will you have the goodness, Madame,' said
he, 'to go and wait for me at my head-quarters? I will join you
speedily; every member of M. de Marbeuf's family has a claim on my
respect.' The Emperor immediately gave her a picquet of chasseurs of his
guard to escort her. He saw her again during the day, when he loaded her
with attentions, and liberally indemnified her for the losses she had

For some time previous to the battle of Austerlitz the different corps of
the army intersected every part of Germany and Italy, all tending towards
Vienna as a central point. At the beginning of November the corps
commanded by Marshal Bernadotte arrived at Saltzburg at the moment when
the Emperor had advanced his headquarters to Braunau, where there were
numerous magazines of artillery and a vast quantity of provisions of
every kind. The junction of the corps commanded by Bernadotte in Hanover
with the Grand Army was a point of such high importance that Bonaparte
had directed the Marshal to come up with him as speedily as possible, and
to take the shortest road. This order obliged Bernadotte to pass through
the territory of the two Margravates.

At that time we were at peace with Naples. In September the Emperor had
concluded with Ferdinand IV. a treaty of neutrality. This treaty enabled
Carra St. Cyr, who occupied Naples, to evacuate that city and to join
Massena in Upper Italy; both reached the Grand Army on the 28th of
November. But no sooner had the troops commanded by Carra St. Cyr
quitted the Neapolitan territory than the King of Naples, influenced by
his Ministers, and above all by Queen Caroline, broke the treaty of
neutrality, ordered hostile preparations against France, opened his ports
to the enemies of the Emperor, and received into his States 12,000
Russians and 8000 English. It was on the receipt of this news that
Bonaparte, in one of his most violent bulletins, styled the Queen of
Naples a second Fredegonda. The victory of Austerlitz having given
powerful support to his threats, the fall of Naples was decided, and
shortly after his brother Joseph was seated on the Neapolitan throne.

At length came the grand day when, to use Napoleon's expression, the Sun
of Austerlitz rose. All our forces were concentrated on one point, at
about 40 leagues beyond Vienna. There remained nothing but the wreck of
the Austrian army, the corps of Prince Charles being by scientific
manoeuvres kept at a distance from the line of operations; but the
Russians alone were superior to us in numbers, and their army was almost
entirely composed of fresh troops. The most extraordinary illusion
prevailed in the enemy's camp. The north of Europe has its Gascons as
well as the south of France, and the junior portion of the Russian army
at this period assumed an absurd braggadocio tone. On the very eve of
the battle the Emperor Alexander sent one of his aides de camp, Prince
Dolgorouki, as a flag of truce to Napoleon. The Prince could not repress
his self-sufficiency even in the presence of the Emperor, and Rapp
informed me that on dismissing him the Emperor said, "If you were on 'the
heights of Montmartre,' I would answer such impertinence only by cannon-
balls." This observation was very remarkable, inasmuch as subsequent
events rendered it a prophecy.

As to the battle itself, I can describe it almost as well as if I had
witnessed it, for some time after I had the pleasure of seeing my friend
Rapp, who was sent an a mission to Prussia. He gave me the following

"When we arrived at Austerlitz the Russians were not aware of the
scientific plans which the Emperor had laid for drawing them upon
the ground he had marked out; and seeing our advanced guards fall
back before theirs they already considered themselves conquerors.
They supposed that their Guard alone would secure an easy triumph.
But the action commenced, and they experienced an energetic
resistance on all points. At one o'clock the victory was yet
uncertain, for they fought admirably. They wished to make a last
effort by directing close masses against our centre. Their Imperial
Guard deployed; their artillery, cavalry, and infantry marched upon
a bridge which they attacked, and this movement, which was concealed
by the rising and falling of the ground, was not observed by
Napoleon. I was at that moment near the Emperor, awaiting his
orders. We heard a well-maintained firing of musketry. The
Russians were repulsing one of our brigades. The Emperor ordered me
to take some of the Mamelukes, two squadrons of chasseurs, and one
of grenadiers of the Guard, and to go and reconnoitre the state of
things. I set off at full gallop, and soon discovered the disaster.
The Russian cavalry had penetrated our squares, and was sabring our
men. I perceived in the distance some masses of cavalry and
infantry; which formed the reserve of the Russians. At that moment
the enemy advanced to meet us, bringing with him four pieces of
artillery, and ranged himself in order of battle. I had the brave
Morland on my left, and General D'Allemagne on my right. 'Forward,
my lads!' exclaimed I to my troop. 'See how your brothers and
friends are being cut to pieces. Avenge them! avenge our flag!
Forward !' These few words roused my men. We advanced as swiftly as
our horses could carry us upon the artillery, which was taken. The
enemy's cavalry, which awaited us firmly, was repulsed by the same
shock, and fled in disorder, galloping as we did over the wrecks of
our squares. The Russians rallied but a squadron of horse
grenadiers came up to reinforce me, and thus enabled me to hold
ground against the reserves of the Russian Guard. We charged again,
and this charge was terrible. The brave Morland was killed by my,
side. It was downright butchery. We were opposed man to man, and
were so mingled together that the infantry of neither one nor the
other side could venture to fire for fear of killing its own men.
At length the intrepidity of our troops overcame every obstacle, and
the Russians fled in disorder, in sight of the two Emperors of
Russia and Austria, who had stationed themselves on a height in
order to witness the battle. They saw a desperate one," said Rapp,
"and I trust they were satisfied. For my part, my dear friend, I
never spent so glorious a day. What a reception the Emperor gave me
when I returned to inform him that we had won the battle! My sword
was broken, and a wound which I received on my head was bleeding
copiously, so that I was covered with blood! He made me a General
of Division. The Russians did not return to the charge; we had
taken all their cannon and baggage, and Prince Repnin was among the

Thus it was that Rapp related to me this famous battle of which he was
the hero, as Kellerman had been the hero of Marengo. What now remains of
Austerlitz? The recollection, the glory, and the magnificent picture of
Gerard, the idea of which was suggested to the Emperor by the sight of
Rapp with the blood streaming from his wound.

I cannot forbear relating here a few particulars which I learned from
Rapp respecting his mission after the cure of his wound; and the marriage
of Prince Eugene to the Princess Augusta of Bavaria. The friendship
which Rapp cherished for me was of the most sincere kind. During my
disgrace he did not even conceal it from Napoleon; and whoever knows
anything of the Emperor's Court will acknowledge that that was a greater
mark of courage than the carrying of a redoubt or making the most
brilliant charge of cavalry. Rapp possessed courage of every kind, an
excellent heart, and a downright frankness, which for a time brought him
into disgrace with Napoleon. The only thing for which Rapp could be
reproached was his extreme prejudice against the nobility, which I am
convinced was the sole reason why he was not created a Duke. The Emperor
made him a Count because he wished that all his aides de camp should have

"He had been a fortnight at Schoenbrunn," said Rapp to me, "and I had
not yet resumed my duties, when the Emperor sent for me. He asked
me whether I was able to travel, and on my replying in the
affirmative, he said, 'Go then, and give an account of the battle of
Austerlitz to Marmont, and vex him for not having been at it.' I set
off, and in conformity with the instructions I had received from the
Emperor I proceeded to Gratz, where I found Marmont, who was indeed
deeply mortified at not having had a share in the great battle.
I told him, as the Emperor had directed me, that the negotiations
were commenced, but that nothing was yet concluded, and that
therefore, at all events, he must hold himself in readiness. I
ascertained the situation of his army in Styria, and the amount of
the enemy's force before him: The Emperor wished him to send a
number of spies into Hungary, and to transmit to him a detailed
report from their communications. I next proceeded to Laybach,
where I found Massena at the head of the eighth corps, and I
informed him that the Emperor wished him to march in all haste upon
Vienna, in case he should hear of the rupture of the negotiations.
I continued the itinerary marked out for me until I reached Venice,
and thence till I met the troops of Carra St. Cyr, who had received
orders to march back upon Naples as soon as the Emperor heard of the
treachery of the King of Naples and the landing of the English and
Russians. Having fulfilled these different missions I proceeded to
Klagenfurth, where I saw Marshal Ney, and I afterwards rejoined the
Emperor at Munich. There I had the pleasure of finding our friends
assembled, and among them Josephine, still as affable and amiable as
ever. How delighted I was when, an my arrival, I learned that the
Emperor had adopted Eugene. I was present at his marriage with the
Princess Augusta of Bavaria. As to me, you know I am not very fond
of fetes, and the Emperor might have dispensed with my performing
the duties of Chamberlain; Eugene had no idea of what was going on
when the Emperor sent to desire his presence at Munich with all
possible speed. He, too, remains unchanged; he is still our old
comrade. At first he was not much pleased with the idea of a
political marriage; but when he saw his bride he was quite
enchanted; and no wonder, for I assure you she is a very charming



Depreciation of the Bank paper--Ouvrard--His great discretion--
Bonaparte'e opinion of the rich--Ouvrard's imprisonment--His
partnership with the King of Spain--His connection with Waalenberghe
and Desprez--Bonaparte's return to Paris after the campaign of
Vienna--Hasty dismissal of M. Barbe Marbois.

At the moment when the Emperor had reason to hope that the news of his
extraordinary success would animate public spirit he was informed that
considerable disquietude prevailed, and that the Bank of France was
assailed by demands for the payment of its paper, which had fallen, more
than 5 per cent. I was not ignorant of the cause of this decline. I had
been made acquainted, through the commercial correspondence between
Hamburg and Paris, with a great financial operation, planned by M.
Ouvrard, in consequence of which he was to obtain piastres from Spanish
America at a price much below the real value; and I had learned that he
was obliged to support this enterprise by the funds which he and his
partners previously employed in victualling the forces. A fresh
investment of capital was therefore necessary for this service, which,
when on a large scale, requires extensive advances, and the tardy payment
of the Treasury at that period was well known.

I was well acquainted with M. Ouvrard, and in what I am about to say I do
not think there will be found anything offensive or disagreeable to him.
I observed the greater number of the facts to which I shall refer in
their origin, and the rest I learned from M. Ouvrard himself, who, when
he visited Hamburg in 1808, communicated to me a variety of details
respecting his immense transaction with the King of Spain. Among other
things I recollect he told me that before the 18th Brumaire he was
possessed of 60,000,000, without owing a franc to any person.

This celebrated financier has been the object of great public attention.
The prodigious variations of fortune which he has experienced, the
activity of his life, the immense commercial operations in which he has
been engaged; the extent and the boldness of his enterprises, render it
necessary, in forming a judgment of M. Ouvrard, to examine his conduct
with due care and deliberation. The son of a stationer, who was able
merely through his own resources to play so remarkable a part, could be
no ordinary man. It may be said of M. Ouvrard what Beaumarchais said of
himself, that his life was really a combat. I have known him long, and I
saw much of him in his relations with Josephine. He always appeared to
me to possess great knowledge of the world, accompanied by honourable
principles, and a high degree of generosity, which added greatly to the
value of his prudence and discretion. No human power, no consideration,
not even the ingratitude of those whom he had obliged, could induce him
to disclose any sacrifice which he had made at the time when, under the
Directory, the public revenue may be said to have been always at the
disposal of the highest bidder, and when no business could be brought to
a conclusion except by him who set about it with his hands full of money.
To this security, with which M. Ouvrard impressed all official persons
who rendered him services, I attribute the facility with which be
obtained the direction of the numerous enterprises in which he engaged,
and which produced so many changes in his fortune. The discretion of M.
Ouvrard was not quite agreeable to the First Consul, who found it
impossible to extract from him the information he wanted. He tried every
method to obtain from him the names of persons to whom he had given those
kind of subsidies which in vulgar language are called sops in the pan,
and by ladies pin money. Often have I seen Bonaparte resort to every
possible contrivance to gain his object. He would sometimes endeavour to
alarm M. Ouvrard by menaces, and at other times to flatter him by
promises, but he was in no instance successful.

While we were at the Luxembourg, on, as I recollect, the 25th of January
1800, Bonaparte said to me during breakfast, "Bourrienne, my resolution
is taken. I shall have Ouvrard arrested."--"General, have you proofs
against him?"--"Proofs, indeed! He is a money-dealer, a monopoliser; we
must make him disgorge. All the contractors, the provision agents, are
rogues. How have they made their fortunes? At the expense of the
country, to be sure. I will not suffer such doings. They possess
millions, they roll in an insolent luxury, while my soldiers have neither
bread nor shoes! I will have no more of that! I intend to speak on the
business to-day in the Council, and we shall see what can be done."

I waited with impatience for his return from the Council to know what had
passed. "Well, General?" said I "The order is given." On hearing this
I became anxious about the fate of M. Ouvrard, who was thus to be treated
more like a subject of the Grand Turk than a citizen of the Republic; but
I soon learned that the order had not been executed because he could not
be found.

Next day I learned that a person, whom I shall not name, who was present
at the Council, and who probably was under obligations to Ouvrard, wrote
him a note in pencil to inform him of the vote for his arrest carried by
the First Consul. This individual stepped out for a moment and
despatched his servant with the note to Ouvrard. Having thus escaped the
writ of arrest, Ouvrard, after a few days had passed over, reappeared,
and surrendered himself prisoner. Bonaparte was at first furious on
learning that he had got out of the way; but on hearing that Ouvrard had
surrendered himself he said to me, "The fool! he does not know what is
awaiting him! He wishes to make the public believe that he has nothing
to fear; that his hands are clean. But he is playing a bad game; he will
gain nothing in that way with me. All talking is nonsense. You may be
sure, Bourrienne, that when a man has so much money he cannot have got it
honestly, and then all those fellows are dangerous with their fortunes.
In times of revolution no man ought to have more than 3,000,000 francs,
and that is a great deal too much."

Before going to prison Ouvrard took care to secure against all the
searches of the police any of his papers which might have committed
persons with whom he had dealings; and I believe that there were
individuals connected with the police itself who had good reason for not
regretting the opportunity which M. Ouvrard had taken for exercising this
precaution. Seals, however, were put upon his papers; but on examining
them none of the information Bonaparte so much desired to obtain was
found. Nevertheless on one point his curiosity was satisfied, for on
looking over the documents he found from some of them that Madame
Bonaparte had been borrowing money from Ouvrard.

As Ouvrard had a great number of friends they bestirred themselves to get
some person of influence to speak to the First Consul in his favour.
But this was a commission no one was willing to undertake; because,
prejudiced as Bonaparte was, the least hint of the kind would have
appeared to him to be dictated by private interest. Berthier was very
earnestly urged to interfere, but he replied, "That is impossible. He
would say that it was underhand work to get money for Madame Visconti."

I do not recollect to what circumstance Ouvrard was indebted for his
liberty, but it is certain that his captivity did not last long.
Sometime after he had left his prison Bonaparte asked him for 12,000,000,
which M. Ouvrard refused.

On his accession to the Consulate Bonaparte found M. Ouvrard contractor
for supplying the Spanish fleet under the command of Admiral Massaredo.
This business introduced him to a correspondence with the famous Godoy,
Prince of the Peace. The contract lasted three years, and M. Ouvrard
gained by it a net profit of 15,000,000. The money was payable in
piastres, at the rate of 3 francs and some centimes each, though the
piastre was really worth 5 francs 40 centimes. But to recover it at this
value it was necessary for M. Ouvrard to go and get the money in Mexico.
This he was much inclined to do, but he apprehended some obstacle on the
part of the First Consul, and, notwithstanding his habitual shrewdness,
he became the victim of his over-precaution. On his application M. de
Talleyrand undertook to ask the First Consul for authority to give him a
passport. I was in the cabinet at the time, and I think I still hear the
dry and decided "No," which was all the answer M. de Talleyrand
obtained. When we were alone the First Consul said to me, "Do you not
see, Bourrienne, this Ouvrard must have made a good thing of his business
with the Prince of the Peace? But the fool! Why did he get Talleyrand
to ask me for a passport? That is the very thing that raised my
suspicion. Why did he not apply for a passport as every one else does?
Have I the giving of them? He is an ass; so much the worse for him."

I was sorry for Ouvrard's disappointment, and I own none the less so
because he had intimated his willingness to give me a share in the
business he was to transact its Spain; and which was likely to be very
profitable. His brother went to Mexico in his stead.

In 1802 a dreadful scarcity afflicted France. M. Ouvrard took upon
himself, in concert with Wanlerberghe, the task of importing foreign
grain to prevent the troubles which might otherwise have been expected.
In payment of the grain the foreign houses who sent it drew upon Ouvrard
and Wanlerberghe for 26,000,000 francs in Treasury bills, which,
according to the agreement with the Government, were to be paid. But
when the bills of the foreign houses became due there was no money in the
Treasury, and payment was refused. After six months had elapsed payment
was offered, but on condition that the Government should retain half the
profit of the commission! This Ouvrard and Wanlerberghe refused, upon
which the Treasury thought it most economical to pay nothing, and the
debt remained unsettled. Notwithstanding this transaction Ouvrard and
Wanlerberghe engaged to victual the navy, which they supplied for six
years and three months. After the completion of these different services
the debt due to them amounted to 68,000,000.

In consequence of the long delay of, payment by the Treasury the
disbursements for supplies of grain amounted at least to more than
40,000,000; and the difficulties which arose had a serious effect on the
credit of the principal dealers with those persons who supplied them.
The discredit spread and gradually reached the Treasury, the
embarrassments of which augmented with the general alarm. Ouvrard,
Wanlerberghe, and Seguin were the persons whose capital and credit
rendered them most capable of relieving the Treasury, and they agreed to
advance for that purpose 102,000,000, in return for which they were
allowed bonds of the Receivers-General to the amount of 150,000,000. M.
Desprez undertook to be the medium through which the 102,000,000 were to
be paid into the Treasury, and the three partners transferred the bands
to him.

Spain had concluded a treaty with France, by which she was bound to pay a
subsidy of 72,000,000 francs, and 32,000,000 had become due without any
payment being made: It was thought advisable that Ouvrard should be sent
to Madrid to obtain a settlement, but he was afraid that his business in
Paris would suffer during his absence, and especially the transaction in
which he was engaged with Desprez. The Treasury satisfied him on this
point by agreeing to sanction the bargain with Desprez, and Ouvrard
proceeded to Madrid. It was on this occasion he entered into the immense
speculation for trading with Spanish America.

Spain wished to pay the 32,000,000 which were due to France as soon as
possible, but her coffers were empty, and goodwill does not ensure
ability; besides, in addition to the distress of the Government, there
was a dreadful famine in Spain. In this state of things Ouvrard proposed
to the Spanish Government to pay the debt due to France, to import a
supply of corn, and to advance funds for the relief of the Spanish
Treasury. For this he required two conditions. (1.) The exclusive right
of trading with America. (2.) The right of bunging from America on his
own account all the specie belonging to the Crown, with the power of
making loans guaranteed and payable by the Spanish Treasuries.

About the end of July 1805 the embarrassment which sometime before had
begun to be felt in the finances of Europe was alarmingly augmented.
Under these circumstances it was obviously the interest of Ouvrard to
procure payment as soon as possible of the 32,000,000 which he had
advanced for Spain to the French Treasury. He therefore redoubled his
efforts to bring his negotiation to a favourable issue, and at last
succeeded in getting a deed of partnership between himself and Charles
IV. which contained the following stipulation:--"Ouvrard and Company are
authorised to introduce into the ports of the New World every kind of
merchandise and production necessary for the consumption of those
countries, and to export from the Spanish Colonies, during the
continuance of the war with England; all the productions and all specie
derivable from them." This treaty was only to be in force during the war
with England, and it was stipulated that the profits arising from the
transactions of the Company should be equally divided between Charles IV.
and the rest of the Company; that is to say, one-half to the King and the
other half to his partners.

The consequences of this extraordinary partnership between a King and a
private individual remain to be stated. On the signing of the deed
Ouvrard received drafts from the Treasury of Madrid to the extent of
52,500,000 piastres; making 262,500,000 francs; but the piastres were to
be brought from America, while the terms of the treaty required that the
urgent wants of the Spanish Government should be immediately supplied,
and, above all, the progress of the famine checked. To accomplish this
object fresh advances to an enormous amount were necessary, for M.
Ouvrard had to begin by furnishing 2,000,000 of quintals of grain at the
rate of 26 francs the quintal. Besides all this, before he could realise
a profit and be reimbursed for the advances he had made to the Treasury
of Paris, be had to get the piastres conveyed from America to Europe.
After some difficulty the English Government consented to facilitate the
execution of the transaction by furnishing four frigates for the
conveyance of the piastres.

Ouvrard had scarcely completed the outline of his extraordinary
enterprise when the Emperor suddenly broke up his camp at Boulogne to
march to Germany. It will readily be conceived that Ouvrard's interests
then imperatively required his presence at Madrid; but he was recalled to
Paris by the Minister of the Treasury, who wished to adjust his accounts.
The Emperor wanted money for the war on which he was entering, and to
procure it for the Treasury Ouvrard was sent to Amsterdam to negotiate
with the House of Hope. He succeeded, and Mr. David Parish became the
Company's agent.

Having concluded this business Ouvrard returned in all haste to Madrid;
but in the midst of the most flattering hopes and most gigantic
enterprises he suddenly found himself threatened with a dreadful crisis.
M. Desprez, as has been stated, had, with the concurrence of the
Treasury, been allowed to take upon himself all the risk of executing the
treaty, by which 150,000,000 were to be advanced for the year 1804, and
400,000,000 for the year 1805. Under the circumstances which had arisen
the Minister of the Treasury considered himself entitled to call upon
Ouvrard to place at his disposal 10,000,000 of the piastres which he had
received from Spain. The Minister at the same time informed him that he
had made arrangements on the faith of this advance, which he thought
could not be refused at so urgent a moment.

The embarrassment of the Treasury, and the well-known integrity of the
Minister, M. de Barbe Marbois, induced Ouvrard to remit the 10,000,000
piastres. But a few days after he had forwarded the money a Commissioner
of the Treasury arrived at Madrid with a ministerial despatch, in which
Ouvrard was requested to deliver to the Commissioner all the assets he
could command, and to return immediately to Paris.

The Treasury was then in the greatest difficulty, and a general alarm
prevailed. This serious financial distress was occasioned by the
following circumstances. The Treasury had, by a circular, notified to
the Receivers-General that Desprez was the holder of their bonds. They
were also authorised to transmit to him all their disposable funds, to be
placed to their credit in an account current. Perhaps the giving of this
authority was a great error; but, be that as it may, Desprez, encouraged
by the complaisance of the Treasury, desired the Receivers-General to
transmit to him all the sums they could procure for payment of interest
under 8 per cent., promising to allow them a higher rate of interest. As
the credit of the house of Desprez stood high, it may be easily conceived
that on such conditions the Receivers-General, who were besides secured
by the authority of the Treasury, would enter eagerly into the proposed
plan. In short, the Receivers-General soon transmitted very considerable
sums. Chests of money arrived daily from every point of France.
Intoxicated by this success, Desprez engaged in speculations which in his
situation were extremely imprudent. He lent more than 50,000,000 to the
merchants of Paris, which left him no command of specie. Being obliged
to raise money, he deposited with the Bank the bonds of the Receivers-
General which had been consigned to him, but which were already
discharged by the sums transmitted to their credit in the account
current. The Bank, wishing to be reimbursed for the money advanced to
Desprez, applied to the Receivers-General whose bonds were held an
security. This proceeding had become necessary on the part of the Bank,
as Desprez, instead of making his payments in specie, sent in his
acceptances. The Directors of the Bank, who conducted that establishment
with great integrity and discretion, began to be alarmed, and required
Desprez to explain the state of his affairs. The suspicions of the
Directors became daily stronger, and were soon shared by the public. At
last the Bank was obliged to stop payment, and its notes were soon at a
discount of 12 per cent.

The Minister of the Treasury, dismayed, as well may be supposed, at such
a state of things during the Emperor's absence, convoked a Council, at
which Joseph Bonaparte presided, and to which Desprez and Wanlerberghe
were summoned. Ouvrard being informed of this financial convulsion made
all possible haste from Madrid, and on his arrival at Paris sought
assistance from Amsterdam. Hope's house offered to take 15,000,000
piastres at the rate of 3 francs 75 centimes each. Ouvrard having
engaged to pay the Spanish Government only 3 francs, would very willingly
have parted with them at that rate, but his hasty departure from Madrid,
and the financial events at Paris, affected his relations with the
Spanish Treasury, and rendered it impossible for him to afford any
support to the Treasury of France; thus the alarm continued, until the
news of the battle of Austerlitz and the consequent hope of peace
tranquillised the public mind. The bankruptcy of Desprez was dreadful;
it was followed by the failure of many houses, the credit of which was
previously undoubted.

To temper the exultation which victory was calculated to excite, the news
of the desperate situation of the Treasury and the Bank reached the
Emperor on the day after the battle of Austerlitz. The alarming accounts
which he received hastened his return to France; and on the very evening
on which he arrived in Paris he pronounced, while ascending the stairs of
the Tuileries, the dismissal of M. de Barbs Marbois. This Minister had
made numerous enemies by the strict discharge of his duty, and yet,
notwithstanding his rigid probity, he sunk under the accusation of having
endangered the safety of the State by weakness of character. At this
period even Madame de Stael said, in a party where the firmness of M.
Barbs Marbois was the topic of conversation--"What, he inflexible? He is
only a reed bronzed!" But whatever may be the opinion entertained of the
character of this Minister, it is certain that Napoleon's rage against
him was unbounded. Such was the financial catastrophe which occurred
during the campaign of Vienna; but all was not over with Ouvrard, and in
so great a confusion of affairs it was not to be expected that the
Imperial hand, which was not always the hand of justice, should not make
itself somewhere felt.

In the course of the month of February 1806 the Emperor issued two
decrees, in which he declared Ouvrard, Wanlerberghe, and Michel,
contractors for the service of 1804, and Desprez their agent, debtors to
the amount of 87,000,000, which they had misapplied in private
speculations, and in transactions with Spain "for their personal
interests." Who would not suppose from this phrase that Napoleon had
taken no part whatever in the great financial operation between Spain and
South America? He was, however, intimately acquainted with it, and was
himself really and personally interested. But whenever any enterprise
was unsuccessful he always wished to deny all connection with it.
Possessed of title-deeds made up by himself--that is to say, his own
decrees--the Emperor seized all the piastres and other property belonging
to the Company, and derived from the transaction great pecuniary
advantage,--though such advantage never could be regarded by a sovereign
as any compensation for the dreadful state into which the public credit
had been brought.



Declaration of Louis XVIII.--Dumouriez watched--News of a spy--
Remarkable trait of courage and presence of mind--Necessity of
vigilance at Hamburg--The King of Sweden--His bulletins--Doctor Gall
--Prussia covets Hamburg--Projects on Holland--Negotiations for
peace--Mr. Fox at the head of the British Cabinet--Intended
assassination of Napoleon--Propositions made through Lord Yarmouth
--Proposed protection of the Hanse towns--Their state--
Aggrandisement of the Imperial family--Neither peace nor war--
Sebastiani's mission to Constantinople--Lord Lauderdale at Paris,
and failure of the negotiations--Austria despoiled--Emigrant
pensions--Dumouriez's intrigues--Prince of Mecklenburg-Schwerin--

I have been somewhat diffuse respecting the vast enterprises of M.
Ouvrard, and on the disastrous state of the finances during the campaign
of Vienna. Now, if I may so express myself, I shall return to the
Minister Plenipotentiary's cabinet, where several curious transactions
occurred. The facts will not always be given in a connected series,
because there was no more relation between the reports which I received
on a great variety of subjects than there is in the pleading of the
barristers who succeed each other in a court of justice.

On the 2d of January 1806 I learned that many houses in Hamburg had
received by post packets, each containing four copies of a declaration of
Louis XVIII. Dumouriez had his carriage filled with copies of this
declaration when he passed through Brunswick; and in that small town
alone more than 3000 were distributed. The size of this declaration
rendered its transmission by post very easy, even in France.

All my letters from the Minister recommended that I should keep a strict
watch over the motions of Dumouriez; but his name was now as seldom
mentioned as if he had ceased to exist. The part he acted seemed to be
limited to disseminating pamphlets more or less insignificant.

It is difficult to conceive the great courage and presence of mind
sometimes found in men so degraded as are the wretches who fill the
office of spies. I had an agent amongst the Swedo-Russians, named
Chefneux, whom I had always found extremely clever and correct. Having
for a long time received no intelligence from him I became very anxious,
--an anxiety which was not without foundation. He had, in fact, been
arrested at Lauenburg, and conducted, bound, tied hand and foot, by some
Cossacks to Luneburg. There was found on him a bulletin which he was
about to transmit to me, and he only escaped certain death by having in
his possession a letter of recommendation from a Hamburg merchant well
known to M. Alopaeus, the Russian Minister in that city. This
precaution, which I had taken before he set out, saved his life.
M. Alopaeus replied to the merchant that, in consequence of his
recommendation the spy should be sent back safe and sound, but that
another time neither the recommended nor the recommender should escape so
easily. Notwithstanding this, Chefneux would certainly have paid with
his head for the dangerous business in which he was embarked but for the
inconceivable coolness he displayed under the most trying circumstances.
Though the bulletin which was found upon him was addressed to M. Schramm,
merchant, they strongly suspected that it was intended for me. They
demanded of the prisoner whether he knew me; to which he boldly replied
that he had never seen me. They endeavoured, by every possible means, to
extort a confession from him, but without success. His repeated denials,
joined to the name of M. Schramm, created doubts in the minds of his
interrogators; they hesitated lest they should condemn an innocent man.
They, however, resolved to make a last effort to discover the truth, and
Chefneux, condemned to be shot, was conducted to the plain of Luneburg.
His eyes were bandaged, and he heard the command of preparation given to
the platoon, which was to fire upon him; at that moment a man approaching
him whispered in his ear, in a tone of friendship and compassion, "They
are going to fire; but I am your friend; only acknowledge that you know
M. de Bourrienne and you are safe."--"No," replied Chefneux in a firm
tone; "if I said so I should tell a falsehood." Immediately the bandage
was removed from his eyes, and he was set at liberty. It would be
difficult to cite a more extraordinary instance of presence of mind.

Much as I execrate the system of espionage I am nevertheless compelled to
admit that the Emperor was under the necessity of maintaining the most
unremitting vigilance amidst the intrigues which were going forward in
the neighbourhood of Hamburg, especially when the English, Swedes, and
Russians were in arms, and there were the strongest grounds for
suspecting the sincerity of Prussia.

On the 5th of January 1806 the King of Sweden arrived before the gates of
Hamburg. The Senate of that city, surrounded on all sides by English,
Swedish, and Russian troops, determined to send a deputation to
congratulate the Swedish monarch, who, however, hesitated so long about
receiving this homage that fears were entertained lest his refusal should
be followed by some act of aggression. At length, however, the deputies
were admitted, and they returned sufficiently well satisfied with their

The King of Sweden then officially declared, "That all the arrangements
entered into with relation to Hanover had no reference to hint, as the
Swedish army was under the immediate command of its august sovereign."

The King, with his 6000 men, seemed inclined to play the part of the
restorer of Germany, and to make himself the Don Quixote of the treaty of
Westphalia. He threatened the Senate of Hamburg with the whole weight of
his anger, because on my application the colours which used to be
suspended over the door of the house for receiving Austrian recruits had
been removed. The poor Senate of Hamburg was kept in constant alarm by
so dangerous a neighbour.

The King of Sweden had his headquarters at Boetzenburg, on the northern
bank of the Elbe. In order to amuse himself he sent for Dr. Gall, who
was at Hamburg, where he delivered lectures on his system of phrenology,
which was rejected in the beginning by false science and prejudice, and
afterwards adopted in consequence of arguments, in my opinion,
unanswerable. I had the pleasure of living some time with Dr. Gall, and
I owe to the intimacy which subsisted between us the honour he conferred
on me by the dedication of one of his works. I said to him, when he
departed for the headquarters of the King of Sweden, "My dear doctor, you
will certainly discover the bump of vanity." The truth is, that had the
doctor at that period been permitted to examine the heads of the
sovereigns of Europe they would have afforded very curious craniological

It was not the King of Sweden alone who gave uneasiness to Hamburg; the
King of Prussia threatened to seize upon that city, and his Minister
publicly declared that it would very soon belong to his master. The
Hamburgers were deeply afflicted at this threat; in fact, next to the
loss of their independence, their greatest misfortune would have been to
fall under the dominion of Prussia, as the niggardly fiscal system of the
Prussian Government at that time would have proved extremely detrimental
to a commercial city. Hanover, being evacuated by the French troops, had
become a kind of recruiting mart for the British army, where every man
who presented himself was enrolled, to complete the Hanoverian legion
which was then about to be embodied. The English scattered gold by
handfuls. One hundred and fifty carriages, each with six horses, were
employed in this service, which confirmed me in the belief I had
previously entertained, that the English were to join with the Russians
in an expedition against Holland. The aim of the Anglo-Russians was to
make a diversion which might disconcert the movements of the French
armies in Germany, the allies being at that time unacquainted with the
peace concluded at Presburg. Not a moment was therefore to be lost in
uniting the whole of our disposable force for the defence of Holland; but
it is not of this expedition that I mean to speak at present. I only
mention it to afford some idea of our situation at Hamburg, surrounded,
as we then were, by Swedish, English, and Russian troops. At this period
the Russian Minister at Hamburg, M. Forshmann, became completely insane;
his conduct had been more injurious than advantageous to his Government.
He was replaced by M. Alopcous, the Russian Minister at Berlin; and they
could not have exchanged a fool for a more judicious and able

I often received from the Minister of Marine letters said packets to
transmit to the Isle of France,(Mauritius) of which the Emperor was
extremely anxious to retain possession; and I had much trouble in finding
any vessels prepared for that colony by which I could forward the
Minister's communications. The death of Pitt and the appointment of
Fox as his successor had created a hope of peace. It was universally
known that Mr. Fox, in succeeding to his office, did not inherit the
furious hatred of the deceased Minister against France and her Emperor.
There moreover existed between Napoleon and Mr. Fox a reciprocal esteem,
and the latter had shown himself really disposed to treat. The
possibility of concluding a peace had always been maintained by that
statesman when he was in opposition to Mr. Pitt; and Bonaparte himself
might have been induced, from the high esteem he felt for Mr. Fox, to
make concessions from which he would before have recoiled. But there
were two obstacles, I may say almost insurmountable ones. The first was
the conviction on the part of England that any peace which might be made
would only be a truce, and that Bonaparte would never seriously
relinquish his desire of universal dominion. On the other side, it was
believed that Napoleon had formed the design of invading England. Had he
been able to do so it would have been less with the view of striking a
blow at her commerce and destroying her maritime power, than of
annihilating the liberty of the press, which he had extinguished in his
own dominions. The spectacle of a free people, separated only by six
leagues of sea, was, according to him, a seductive example to the French,
especially to those among them who bent unwillingly under his yoke.

At an early period of Mr. Fox's ministry a Frenchman made the proposition
to him of assassinating the Emperor, of which information was immediately
transmitted to M. de Talleyrand. In this despatch the Minister said
that, though the laws of England did not authorise the permanent
detention of any individual not convicted of a crime, he had on this
occasion taken it on himself to secure the miscreant till such time as
the French Government could be put on its guard against his attempts.
Mr. Fox said in his letter that he had at first done this individual "the
honour to take him for a spy," a phrase which sufficiently indicated the
disgust with which the British Minister viewed him.

This information was the key which opened the door to new negotiations.
M. de Talleyrand was ordered to express, in reply to the communication of
Mr. Fox, that the Emperor was sensibly affected at the index it afforded
of the principles by which the British Cabinet was actuated. Napoleon
did not limit himself to this diplomatic courtesy; he deemed it a
favourable occasion to create a belief that he was actuated by a sincere
love of peace. He summoned to Paris Lord Yarmouth, one of the most
distinguished amongst the English who had been so unjustly detained
prisoners at Verdun on the rupture of the peace of Amiens. He gave his
lordship instructions to propose to the British Government a new form of
negotiations, offering to guarantee to England the Cape of Good Hope and
Malta. Some have been inclined from this concession to praise the
moderation of Bonaparte; others to blame him for offering to resign these
two places, as if the Cape and Malta could be put in competition with the
title of Emperor, the foundation of the Kingdom of Italy, the acquisition
of Genoa and of all the Venetian States, the dethronement of the King of
Naples and the gift of his kingdom to Joseph, and finally, the new
partition of Germany. These transactions, of which Bonaparte said not a
word, and from which he certainly had no intention of departing, were all
long after the treaty of Amiens.

Every day brought with it fresh proofs of insatiable ambition. In fact,
Napoleon longed to obtain possession of the Hanse Towns. I was, however,
in the first place, merely charged to make overtures to the Senates of
each of these towns, and to point out the advantages they would derive
from the protection of Napoleon in exchange for the small sacrifice of
6,000,000 francs in his favour. I had on this subject numerous
conferences with the magistrates: they thought the sum too great,
representing, to me that the city was not so rich as formerly, because
their commerce had been much curtailed by the war; in short, the Senate
declared that, with the utmost goodwill, their circumstances would not
permit them to accept the "generous proposal" of the Emperor.

I was myself, indeed, at a loss to conceive how the absurdity of
employing me to make such a proposition was overlooked, for I had, really
no advantage to offer in return to the Hanse Towns. Against whom did
Bonaparte propose to protect them? The truth is, Napoleon then wished to
seize these towns by direct aggression, which, however, he was not able
to accomplish until four years afterwards.

During five years I witnessed the commercial importance of these cities,
and especially of Hamburg. Its geographical situation, on a great river
navigable by large vessels to the city, thirty leagues from the mouth of
the Elbe; the complete independence it enjoyed; its municipal regulations
and paternal government, were a few amongst the many causes which had
raised Hamburg to its enviable height of prosperity. What, in fact, was
the population of these remnants of the grand Hanseatic League of the
Middle Ages? The population of Hamburg when I was there amounted to
90,000, and that of its small surrounding territory to 25,000. Bremen
had 36,000 inhabitants, and 9000 in its territory; the city of Lubeck,
which is smaller and its territory a little more extensive than that of
Bremen, contained a population of 24,000 souls within and 16,000 without
the walls. Thus the total population of the Hanse Towns amounted to only
200,000 individuals; and yet this handful of men carried on an extensive
commerce, and their ships ploughed every sea, from the shores of India to
the frozen regions of Greenland.

The Emperor arrived at Paris towards the end of January 1806. Having
created kings in Germany he deemed the moment favourable for surrounding
his throne with new princes. It was at this period that he created
Murat, Grand Duke of Cleves and Berg; Bernadotte, Prince of Ponte-Corvo;
M. de Talleyrand, Duke of Benevento; and his two former colleagues,
Cambaceres and Lebrun, Dukes of Parma and Piacenza. He also gave to his
sister Pauline, a short time after her second marriage with the Prince
Borghese, the title of Duchess of Guastalla. Strange events! who could
then have foreseen that the duchy of Cambaceres would become the refuge
of a Princess of Austria, the widowed wife of Napoleon Bonaparte?
In the midst of the prosperity of the Imperial family, when the eldest of
the Emperor's brothers had ascended the throne of Naples, when Holland
was on the eve of being offered to Louis, and Jerome had exchanged his
legitimate wife for the illegitimate throne of Westphalia, the Imperial
pillow was still far from being free from anxiety. Hostilities did not
actually exist with the Continental powers; but this momentary state of
repose lacked the tranquillity of peace. France was at war with Russia
and England, and the aspect of the Continent presented great uncertainty,
while the treaty of Vienna had only been executed in part. In the
meantime Napoleon turned his eyes towards the East. General Sebastiani
was sent to Constantinople. The measures be pursued and his judicious
conduct justified the choice of the Emperor. He was adroit and
conciliating, and peace with Turkey was the result of his mission. The
negotiations with England did not terminate so happily, although, after
the first overtures made to Lord Yarmouth, the Earl of Lauderdale had
been sent to Paris by Mr. Fox. In fact, these negotiations wholly
failed. The Emperor had drawn enormous sums from Austria, without
counting the vases, statues, and pictures. With which he decorated the
Louvre, and the bronze with which he clothed the column of the Place
Vendome,--in my opinion the finest monument of his reign and the most
beautiful one in Paris. As Austria was exhausted all the contributions
imposed on her could not be paid in cash, and they gave the Emperor bills
in payment. I received one for about 7,000,000 on Hamburg on account of
the stipulations of the treaty of Presburg.

The affairs of the Bourbon Princes became more and more unfavourable, and
their finances, as well as their chances of success, were so much
diminished that about this period it was notified to the emigrants in
Brunswick that the pretender (Louis XVIII.) had no longer the means of
continuing their pensions. This produced great consternation amongst
those emigrants, many of whom had no other means of existence; and
notwithstanding their devotion to the cause of royalty they found a
pension very useful in strengthening their zeal.

--[When Louis XVIII. returned to France, and Fouche was his Minister
of Police, the King asked Fouche whether during his (the King's)
exile, had not set spies over him, and who they were. Fouche
hesitated to reply, but the King insisting he said: "If your Majesty
presses for an answer, it was the Due de Blacas to whom this matter
was confided."--"And how much did you pay him?" said the King.
"Deux cents mille livres de rents, Sire."--"Ah, so!" said the King,
"then he has played fair; we went halves."--Henry Greville's Diary,
p. 430.]--

Amongst those emigrants was one whose name will occupy a certain place in
history; I mean Dumouriez, of whom I have already spoken, and who had for
some time employed himself in distributing pamphlets. He was then at
Stralsund; and it was believed that the King of Sweden would give him a
command. The vagrant life of this general, who ran everywhere begging
employment from the enemies of his country without being able to obtain
it, subjected him to general ridicule; in fact, he was everywhere

To determine the difficulties which had arisen with regard to Holland,
which Dumouriez dreamed of conquering with an imaginary army, and being
discontented besides with the Dutch for not rigorously excluding English
vessels from their ports, the Emperor constituted the Batavian territory
a kingdom under his brother Louis. When I notified to the States of the
circle of Lower Saxony the accession of Louis Bonaparte to the throne of
Holland, and the nomination of Cardinal Fesch as coadjutor and successor
of the Arch-chancellor of the Germanic Empire, along with their official
communications, the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was the only member of
the circle who forebore to reply, and I understood be had applied to the
Court of Russia to know "whether" and "how" he should reply. At the same
time he made known to the Emperor the marriage of his daughter, the
Princess Charlotte Frederica, with Prince Christian Frederick of Denmark.

At this period it would have been difficult to foresee the way in which
this union would terminate. The Prince was young and handsome, and of an
amiable disposition, which seemed to indicate that he would prove a good
husband. As for the Princess, she was as beautiful as love; but she was
heedless and giddy; in fact, she was a spoiled child. She adored her
husband, and during several years their union proved happy. I had the
honour of knowing them at the period when the Duke of Mecklenburg, with
his family, sought refuge at Altona. Before leaving that town the
Duchess of Mecklenburg, a Princess of Saxony, paid a visit to Madame de
Bourrienne and loaded her with civilities. This Princess was perfectly
amiable, and was therefore generally regretted when, two years
afterwards, death snatched her from her family. Before leaving Altona
the Duke of Mecklenburg gave some parties by way of bidding adieu to
Holstein, where he had been so kindly received; and I can never forget
the distinguished reception and many kindnesses Madame de Bourrienne and
myself received from that illustrious family.

It consisted of the hereditary Prince, so distinguished by his talents
and acquirements (he was at that time the widower of a Grand Duchess of
Russia, a sister of the Emperor Alexander), of Prince Gustavus, so
amiable and graceful, and of Princess Charlotte and her husband, the
Prince Royal of Denmark.

This happy couple were far from foreseeing that in two years they would
be separated for ever. The Princess was at this period in all the
splendour of her beauty; several fetes were given on her account on the
banks of the Elbe, at which the Prince always opened the ball with Madame
de Bourrienne. Notwithstanding her amiability the Princess Charlotte was
no favourite at the Danish Court. Intrigues were formed against her. I
know not whether any foundation existed for the calumnies spread to her
disadvantage, but the Court dames accused her of great levity of conduct,
which, true or false, obliged her husband to separate from her; and at
the commencement of 1809 he sent her to Altona, attended by a chamberlain
and a maid of honour. On her arrival she was in despair; hers was not a
silent grief, for she related her story to every one. This unfortunate
woman really attracted pity, as she shed tears for her son, three years
of age, whom she was doomed never again to behold. But her natural
levity returned; she did not always maintain the reserve suitable to her
rank, and some months afterwards was sent into Jutland, where I believe
she still lives.

The enemies of the French Government did not confine themselves to
writing and publishing invectives against it. More than one wretch was
ready to employ daggers against the Emperor. Among this number was a man
named Louis Loizeau, recently arrived from London. He repaired to
Altona, there to enjoy the singular privilege which that city afforded of
sheltering all the ruffians, thieves, and bankrupts who fled from the
justice of their own Governments. On the 17th of July Loizeau presented
himself to Comte de Gimel, who resided at Altona, as the agent of the
Comte de Lille. He offered to repair to Paris and assassinate the
Emperor. Comte de Gimel rejected the proposal with indignation; and
replied, that if he had no other means of serving the Bourbons than
cowardly assassination he might go elsewhere and find confederates. This
fact, which was communicated to me by a friend of M. de Gimel, determined
me to arrest Loizeau. Not being warranted, however, to take this step at
Altona, I employed a trusty agent to keep watch, and draw him into a
quarrel the moment he should appear on the Hamburg side of a public walk
which divides that city from Altona, and deliver him up to the nearest
Hamburg guard-house. Loizeau fell into the snare; but finding that he
was about to be conducted from the guardhouse to the prison of Hamburg,
and that it was at my request he had been arrested, he hastily unloosed
his cravat, and tore with his teeth the papers it contained, part of
which he swallowed. He also endeavoured to tear some other papers which
were concealed under his arm, but was prevented by the guard. Furious at
this disappointment, he violently resisted the five soldiers who had him
in custody, and was not secured until he had been slightly wounded. His
first exclamation on entering prison was, "I am undone!" Loizeau was
removed to Paris, and, though I am ignorant of the ultimate fate of this
wretch, I am pretty certain that Fouche would take effectual means to
prevent him from doing any further mischief.



Menaces of Prussia--Offer for restoring Hanover to England--Insolent
ultimatum--Commencement of hostilities between France and Prussia--
Battle of Auerstadt--Death of the Duke of Brunswick--Bernadotte in
Hamburg--Davonet and Bernadotte--The Swedes at Lubeck--Major Amiel--
Service rendered to the English Minister at Hamburg--My appointment
of Minister for the King of Naples--New regulation of the German
post-office--The Confederation of the North--Devices of the Hanse
Towns--Occupation of Hamburg in the name of the Emperor--Decree of
Berlin--The military governors of Hamburg--Brune, Michaud, and

The moment now approached when war was about to be renewed in Germany,
and in proportion as the hopes of peace diminished Prussia redoubled her
threats, which were inspired by the recollection of the deeds of the
great Frederick. The idea of peace was hateful to Prussia. Her
measures, which till now had been sufficiently moderate, suddenly assumed
a menacing aspect on learning that the Minister of the King of England
had declared in Parliament that France had consented to the restitution
of Hanover. The French Ministry intimated to the Prussian Government
that this was a preliminary step towards a general peace, and that a
large indemnity would be granted in return. But the King of Prussia,
who was well informed, and convinced that the House of Hanover clung to
this ancient domain, which gave to England a certain preponderance in
Germany, considered himself trifled with, and determined on war.

Under these circumstances Lord Lauderdale was recalled from Paris by his
Government. War continued with England, and was about to commence with
Prussia. The Cabinet of Berlin sent an ultimatum which could scarcely be
regarded in any other light than a defiance, and from the well-known
character of Napoleon we may judge of his irritation at this ultimatum.

--[The severity with which Bonaparte treated the press may be
inferred from the case of Palm the publisher. In 1808 Johann
Phillip Palm, of Nuremberg, was shot by Napoleon's order for issuing
a pamphlet against the rule of the French in Germany.]--

The Emperor, after his stay of eight months in Paris passed in abortive
negotiations for peace, set out on the 25th of September for the Rhine.

Hostilities commenced on the 10th of October 1806 between France and
Prussia, and I demanded of the Senate that a stop should be put to the
Prussians recruiting. The news of a great victory gained by the Emperor
over the Prussians on the 14th of October reached Hamburg on the 19th,
brought by some fugitives, who gave such exaggerated accounts of the loss
of the French army that it was not until the arrival of the official
despatches on the 28th of October that we knew whether to mourn or to
rejoice at the victory of Jena.

The Duke of Brunswick, who was dangerously wounded at the battle of
Auerstadt, arrived on the 29th of October at Altona.--[This Prince was in
the seventy-second year of his age, and extremely infirm.]--His entrance
into that city afforded a striking example of the vicissitudes of
fortune. That Prince entered Altona on a wretched litter, borne by ten
men, without officers, without domestics, followed by a troop of
vagabonds and children, who were drawn together by curiosity. He was
lodged in a wretched inn, and so much worn out by fatigue and the pain of
his eyes that on the day after his arrival a report of his death very
generally prevailed. Doctor Unzer was immediately sent for to attend the
unfortunate Duke, who, during the few days that he survived his wounds,
saw no one else except his wife, who arrived on the 1st of November. He
expired on the 10th of the same month.

--[For the mistimed but rather pathetic belief of the old dying Duke
in the courtesy with which he and his States would be treated by the
French, see Beugnot, tome 1. p. 80: "I feel sure that there is a
courier of the Emperor's on the road to know how I am."]--

At this juncture Bernadotte returned to Hamburg. I asked him how I was
to account for his conduct while he was with Davoust, who had left
Nuremberg to attack the Prussian army; and whether it was true that he
had refused to march with that general, and afterwards to aid him when he
attacked the Prussians on the Weimar road. "The letters I received,"
observed I, "state that you took no part in the battle of Auerstadt; that
I did not believe, but I suppose you saw the bulletin which I received a
little after the battle, and which stated that Bonaparte said at
Nuremberg, in the presence of several officers, 'Were I to bring him
before a court-martial he would be shot. I shall say nothing to him
about it, but I will take care he shall know what I think of his
behaviour. He has too keen a sense of honour not to be aware that he
acted disgracefully."--"I think him very likely," rejoined Bernadotte,
"to have made these observations. He hates me because he knows I do not
like him; but let him speak to me and he shall have his answer. If I am
a Gascon, he is a greater one. I might have felt piqued at receiving
something like orders from Davoust, but I did my duty."

--[The complaints of Bernadotte's conduct on the 14th of October
1806. when he gave no assistance to Davoust in repulsing the main
body of the Prussians at Aneratadt, are well known. Jomini says
that Davoust proposed to Bernadotte to march with him, and even
offered him the command of the two corps. Bernadotte refused, and
marched away to Dornburg, where he was of no use, "his obstinacy,
difficult to explain, nearly compromised both Davoust and the
success of the battle;" See also Thiers (tome vii. p. 172), who
attributes Bernadotte's conduct to a profound aversion for Davoust
conceived on the most frivolous grounds. Bernadotte had frequently
given cause of complaint to Napoleon in the two campaigns of 1806
and 1806. In the movement on Vienna Napoleon considered he showed
want of activity and of zeal. These complaints seem to have been
made in good faith, for in a letter to Bernadotte's brother-in-law,
Joseph, Napoleon suggests that health may have been the causes (Du
Cases, tome i. p. 322). Bernadotte was equally unfortunate in
putting in his appearance too late at Eylan (see Due de Rovigo's
Memoirs, tome ii. p. 48), and also incurred the displeasure of
Napoleon at Wagram (see later on).]--

In the beginning of November the Swedes entered Lubeck; but on the 8th of
that month the town was taken by assault, and the Swedes, as well as the
rest of the corps which had escaped from Jena, were made prisoners.

A troop of Prussians had advanced within four leagues of Hamburg, and
that town had already prepared for a vigorous resistance, in case they
should attempt an entrance, when Major Amiel attacked them at
Zollenspieker and made some prisoners. Hamburg was, however, threatened
with another danger, for Major Amiel expressed his intention of entering
with all his prisoners, notwithstanding the acknowledged neutrality of
the town. Amiel was a partisan leader in the true sense of the word; he
fought rather on his own account than with the intention of contributing
to the success of the operations of the army. His troop did not consist
of more than forty men, but that was more than sufficient to spread
terror and devastation in the surrounding villages. He was a bold
fellow, and when, with his handful of men, he threw himself upon Hamburg,
the worthy inhabitants thought he had 20,000 troops with him. He had
pillaged every place through which he passed, and brought with him 300
prisoners, and a great many horses he had taken on his road. It was
night when he presented himself at the gates of the city, which he
entered alone, having left his men and booty at the last village. He
proceeded to the French Embassy. I was not there at the time, but I was
sent for, and about seven o'clock in the evening I had my first interview
with the Major. He was the very, beau ideal of a bandit, and would have
been an admirable model for a painter. I was not at all surprised to
hear that on his arrival his wild appearance and huge mustachios had
excited some degree of terror among those who were in the salon. He
described his exploits on the march, and did not disguise his intention
of bringing his troops into Hamburg next day. He talked of the Bank and
of pillage. I tried for some time to divert him from this idea, but
without effect, and at length said to him, "Sir, you know that this is
not the way the Emperor wishes to be served. During the seven years that
I have been about him, I have invariably heard him express his
indignation against those who aggravate the misery which war naturally
brings in her train. It is the express wish of the Emperor that no
damage, no violence whatever, shall be committed on the city or territory
of Hamburg." These few words produced a stronger effect than any
entreaties I could have used, for the mere name of the Emperor made even
the boldest tremble, and Major Amiel next thought of selling his booty.
The Senate were so frightened at the prospect of having Amiel quartered
upon them that to get rid of him they determined to purchase his booty at
once, and even furnished him with guards for his prisoners. I did not
learn till some time afterwards that among the horses Major Amiel had
seized upon the road were those of the Countess Walmoden. Had I known
this fact at the time I should certainly have taken care to have had them
restored to her. Madame Walmoden was then a refugee at Hamburg, and
between her and my family a close intimacy existed. On the very day, I
believe, of the Major's departure the Senate wrote me a letter of thanks
for the protection I afforded the town.

Before the commencement of the Prussian campaign, while anxiety was
entertained respecting the designs of the Cabinet of Berlin, my task was
not an easy one. I exerted all my efforts to acquaint the French
Government with what was passing on the Spree. I announced the first
intelligence of an unexpected movement which had taken place among the
Prussian troops cantoned in the neighbourhood of Hamburg. They suddenly
evacuated Lauenburg, Platzburg, Haarburg, Stade, Twisenfelth, and
Cuxhaven. This extraordinary movement gave rise to a multitude of
surmises. I was not wrong when I informed the French Government that,
according to every probability, Prussia was about to declare hostilities
against France, and to enter into an alliance with England.

I much regretted that my situation did not allow me more frequent
opportunities of meeting Mr. Thornton, the English Minister to the circle
of Lower Saxony. However; I saw him sometimes, and had on two different
occasions the opportunity of rendering him some service. Mr. Thornton
had requested me to execute a little private business for him, the
success of which depended on the Emperor. I made the necessary
communication to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, adding in my letter
that Mr. Thornton's conduct towards the French who had come in any way in
contact with him had ever been just and liberal, and that I should
receive great pleasure in being able to announce to him the success of
his application. His request was granted.

On another occasion Mr. Thornton applied to me for my services, and I had
once more the pleasure of rendering them. He wished to procure some
information respecting an Englishman named Baker, who had gone to
Terracina, in the Campagna di Roma, for the benefit of sea-bathing. He
was there arrested, without any cause assigned, by order of the
commandant of the French troops in Terracina. The family of Mr. Baker,
not having heard from him for some months, became very uneasy respecting
him, for they had not the least idea of his arrest. His relations
applied to Mr. Thornton, and that gentleman, notwithstanding the
circumstances which, as I have stated, prevented our frequent
intercourse, hesitated not a moment in requesting me to furnish him with
some information respecting his countryman. I lost no time in writing to
M. Alquier, our Ambassador at Rome, and soon enabled Mr. Thornton to ease
the apprehension of Mr. Baker's friends.

I had every opportunity of knowing what was passing in Italy, for I had
just been invested with a new dignity. As the new King of Naples,
Joseph, had no Minister in Lower Saxony, he wished that I should
discharge the function of Minister Plenipotentiary for Naples. His
Ministers accordingly received orders to correspond with me upon all
business connected with his government and his subjects. The relations
between Hamburg and Naples were nearly nil, and my new office made no
great addition to my labours.

I experienced, however, a little more difficulty in combining all the
post-offices of Hamburg in the office of the Grand Duchy of Berg, thus
detaching them from the offices of Latour and Taxis, so named after the
German family who for a length of time had had the possession of them,
and who were devoted to Austria.

After some days of negotiation I obtained the suppression of these
offices, and their union with the postoffice of the Grand Due de Berg
(Murat), who thus received letters from Italy, Hungary, Germany, Poland,
part of Russia, and the letters from England for these countries.

The affair of the post-offices gained for me the approbation of Napoleon.
He expressed his satisfaction through the medium of a letter I received
from Duroc, who at the same time recommended me to continue informing the
Emperor of all that was doing in Germany with relation to the plans of
the Confederation of the North. I therefore despatched to the Minister
for Foreign Affairs a detailed letter, announcing that Baron Grote, the
Prussian Minister at Hamburg, had set off on a visit to Bremen and
Lubeck. Among those who accompanied him on this excursion was a person
wholly devoted to me; and I knew that Baron Grote's object was to offer
to these towns verbal propositions for their union with the Confederation
of the North, which the King of Prussia wished to form as a counterpoise
to the Confederation of the Rhine, just created by Napoleon. Baron Grote
observed the strictest secrecy in all his movements. He showed, in
confidence, to those to whom he addressed himself, a letter from M.
Haugwitz, the Minister of the King of Prussia,

--[In July 1806, after Austerlitz, Napoleon had formed the
"Confederation du Rhin." to include the smaller States of Germany,
who threw off all connection with the German Empire, and formed a
Confederation furnishing a considerable army. ]--

--[The Emperor of Germany, Francis IL, had already in 1804, on
Napoleon taking the title of Emperor, declared himself Hereditary
Emperor of Austria. After the formation of the Rhenish
Confederation and Napoleon's refusal to acknowledge the German
Empire any longer, he released the States of the Holy Roman Empire
from their allegiance, declared the Empire dissolved, and contented
himself with the title of Emperor of Austria, as Francis I.]--

who endeavoured to point out to the Hanse Towns how much the
Confederation of the North would turn to their advantage, it being the
only means of preserving their liberty, by establishing a formidable
power. However, to the first communication only an evasive answer was
returned. M. Van Sienen, the Syndic of Hamburg, was commissioned by the
Senate to inform the Prussian Minister that the affair required the
concurrence of the burghers, and that before he could submit it to them
it would be necessary to know its basis and conditions. Meanwhile the
Syndic Doormann proceeded to Lubeck, where there was also a deputy from
Bremen. The project of the Confederation, however, never came to

I scrupulously discharged the duties of my functions, but I confess I
often found it difficult to execute the orders I received, and more than
once I took it upon myself to modify their severity. I loved the frank
and generous character of the Hamburgers, and I could not help pity the
fate of the Hanse Towns, heretofore so happy, and from which Bonaparte
had exacted such immense sacrifices.

On the principal gate of the Hanse Towns is inscribed the following
motto, well expressing the pacific spirit of the people: 'Da nobis pacem,
Domine, in diebus nostris'. The paternal and elected government, which
did everything to secure the happiness of these towns, was led to believe
that the sacrifices imposed on them would be recompensed by the
preservation of their neutrality. No distrust was entertained, and hope
was kept alive by the assurances given by Napoleon. He published in the
Moniteur that the Hanse Towns could not be included in any particular
Confederation. He thus strangled in its birth the Confederation of the
North, to which those feeble States would otherwise have been obliged to
consent. When in 1806 Napoleon marched against Prussia, he detached
Marshal Mortier from the Grand Army when it had passed the Rhine, and
directed him to invade the Electorate of Hesse, and march on Hamburg. On
the 19th of November the latter town was occupied by the French army in
the name of the Emperor, amidst the utmost order and tranquillity.

I must acknowledge that I was under much apprehension as to this event.
At the intelligence of the approach of the French army consternation was
great and universal in Hamburg, which was anxious to maintain its
neutrality unimpaired. At the urgent request of the magistrates of the
city I assumed functions more than diplomatic, and became, in some
respects, the first magistrate of the town. I went to meet Marshal
Mortier to endeavour to dissuade him from entering. I thought I should
by this means better serve the interests of France than by favouring the
occupation of a neutral town by our troops. But all my remonstrances
were useless. Marshal Mortier had received formal orders from the

No preparations having been made at Hamburg for the reception of Marshal
Mortier, he quartered himself and his whole staff upon me. The few
troops he had with him were disposed of in my courtyard, so that the
residence of a Minister of peace was all at once converted into
headquarters. This state of things continued until a house was got ready
for the Marshal.

Marshal Mortier had to make very rigorous exactions, but my
representations suspended for a while Napoleon's orders for taking
possession of the Bank of Hamburg. I am here bound to bear testimony to
the Marshal's honourable principles and integrity of character. The
representations which I had sent to Marshal Mortier were transmitted by
the latter to the Emperor at Berlin; and Mortier stated that he had
suspended the execution of the orders until he should receive others.
The Emperor approved of this. It was, indeed, a happy event for France
and for Europe, even more so than for Hamburg. Those who suggested to
the Emperor the idea of pillaging that fine establishment must have been
profoundly ignorant of its importance. They thought only of the
90,000,000 of marks banco deposited in its cellars.

By the famous decree of Berlin, dated 21st November 1806, Mortier was
compelled to order the seizure of all English merchandise in the Hanse
Towns, but he enforced the decree only so far as to preserve the
appearance of having obeyed his orders.

Mortier, on leaving Hamburg for Mecklenburg, was succeeded by General
Michaud, who in his turn was succeeded by Marshal Brune in the beginning
of 1807. I am very glad to take the present opportunity of correcting
the misconceptions which arose through the execution of certain acts of
Imperial tyranny. The truth is, Marshal Brune, during his government,
constantly endeavoured to moderate, as far as he could, the severity of
the orders he received. Bernadotte became Governor of Hamburg when the
battle of Jena rendered Napoleon master of Prussia and the north of

The Prince of Ponte-Corvo lightened, as far as possible, the unjust
burdens and vexations to which that unfortunate town was subject. He
never refused his assistance to any measures which I adopted to oppose a
system of ruin and persecution. He often protected Hamburg against
exorbitant exactions, The Hanse Towns revived a little under his
government, which continued longer than that of Mortier, Michaud, and
Brune. The memory of Bernadotte will always be dear to the Hamburgers;
and his name will never be pronounced without gratitude. His attention
was especially directed to moderate the rigour of the custom-houses; and
perhaps the effect which his conduct produced on public opinion may be
considered as having, in some measure, led to the decision which, four
years after, made him Hereditary Prince of Sweden.



Ukase of the Emperor of Russia--Duroc's mission to Weimar--
Napoleon's views defeated--Triumphs of the French armies--Letters
from Murat--False report respecting Murat--Resemblance between
Moreau and M. Billand--Generous conduct of Napoleon--His interview
with Madame Hatzfeld at Berlin--Letter from Bonaparte to Josephine--
Blucher my prisoner--His character--His confidence in the future
fate of Germany--Prince Paul of Wurtemberg taken prisoner--His wish
to enter the French service--Distinguished emigrants at Altona--
Deputation of the Senate to the Emperor at Berlin--The German
Princes at Altona--Fauche-Boiel and the Comte de Gimel.

In September 1806 it became very manifest that, as soon as war should
break out between France and Prussia, Russia would not be slow in forming
an alliance with the latter power. Peace had, however, been
reestablished between Napoleon and Alexander by virtue of a treaty just
signed at Paris. By that treaty Russia was to evacuate the Bouches du
Cattaro,--[The Bouches do Cattaro, on the eastern coast of the Adriatic,
had formed part of the Dalmatian possessions of Venice.]--a condition
with which she was in no hurry to comply. I received a number of the
Court Gazette of St. Petersburg, containing a ukase of the Emperor of
Russia, in which Alexander pointed out the danger which again menaced
Europe, showed the necessity of adopting precautions for general
tranquillity and the security of his own Empire, and declared his
determination of not only completing but augmenting his army. He
therefore ordered a levy of four men out of every 500 inhabitants.

Before the commencement of hostilities Duroc was sent to the King of
Prussia with the view of discovering whether there was any possibility of
renewing negotiations; but affairs were already too much embarrassed.
All Duroc's endeavours were in vain, and perhaps it was no longer in the
power of the King of Prussia to avoid war with France. Besides, he had
just grounds of offence against the Emperor. Although the latter had
given him Hanover in exchange for the two Margravates, he had,
nevertheless, offered to England the restoration of that province as one
of the terms of the negotiations commenced with Mr. Fox. This underhand
work was not unknown to the Berlin Cabinet, and Napoleon's duplicity
rendered Duroc's mission useless. At this time the King of Prussia was
at Weimar.

Victory everywhere favoured the French arms. Prince Hohenlohe, who
commanded a corps of the Prussian army, was forced to capitulate at
Prentzlau. After this capitulation General Blucher took the command of
the remains of the corps, to which he joined the troops whose absence
from Prentzlau exempted them from the capitulation. These corps, added
to those which Blucher had at Auerstadt, were then almost the only
ramparts of the Prussian monarchy. Soult and Bernadotte received orders
from Murat to pursue Blucher, who was using all his efforts to draw from
Berlin the forces of those two generals. Blucher marched in the
direction of Lubeck.

General Murat pursued the wreck of the Prussian army which had escaped
from Saxony by Magdeburg. Blucher was driven upon Lubeck. It was very
important to the army at Berlin that this numerous corps should be
destroyed, commanded as it was by a skillful and brave general, who drew
from the centre of the military operations numerous troops, with which he
might throw himself into Hanover, or Hesse, or even Holland, and by
joining the English troops harass the rear of the Grand Army. The Grand
Duke of Berg explained to me his plans and expectations, and soon after
announced their fulfilment in several letters which contained, among
other things, the particulars of the taking of Lubeck.

In two of these letters Murat, who was probably deceived by his agents,
or by some intriguer, informed me that General Moreau had passed through
Paris on the 12th of October, and had arrived in Hamburg on the 28th of
October. The proof which Murat possessed of this circumstance was a
letter of Fauche-Borel, which he had intercepted. I recollect a curious
circumstance which serves to show the necessity of mistrusting the vague
intelligence furnished to persons in authority. A fortnight before I
received Murat's first letter a person informed me that General Moreau
was in Hamburg. I gave no credit to this intelligence, yet I endeavoured
to ascertain whether it had any foundation, but without effect. Two days
later I was assured that an individual had met General Moreau, that he
had spoken to him, that he knew him well from having served under him--
together with various other circumstances, the truth of which there
appeared no reason to doubt. I immediately sent for the individual in
question, who told me that he knew Moreau, that he had met him, that the
General had inquired of him the way to the Jungfersteige (a promenade at
Hamburg), that he had pointed it out to him, and then said, "Have I not
the honour to speak to General Moreau?" upon which the General answered,
"Yes, but say nothing about having seen me; I am here incognito." All
this appeared to me so absurd that, pretending not to know Moreau, I
asked the person to describe him to me. He described a person bearing
little resemblance to Moreau, and added that he wore a braided French
coat and the national cockade in his hat. I instantly perceived the
whole was a mere scheme for getting a little money. I sent the fellow
about his business. In a quarter of an hour after I had got rid of him
M. la Chevardiere called on me, and introduced M. Billaud, the French
Consul at Stettin. This gentleman wore a braided coat and the national
cockade in his hat. He was the hero of the story I had heard from the
informer. A slight personal resemblance between the Consul and the
General had caused several persons to mistake them for each other.

During the Prussian campaign nothing was talked of throughout Germany but
Napoleon's generous conduct with respect to Prince Hatzfeld. I was
fortunate enough to obtain a copy of a letter which the Emperor wrote to
Josephine on the subject, and which I shall presently lay before the
reader. In conformity with the inquisitorial system which too frequently
characterised the Emperor's government, and which he extended to every
country of which he had military possession, the first thing done on
entering a town was to take possession of the post-office, and then,
Heaven knows how little respect was shown to the privacy of
correspondence. Among the letters thus seized at Berlin and delivered to
Napoleon was one addressed to the King of Prussia by Prince Hatzfeld, who
had imprudently remained in the Prussian capital. In this letter the
Prince gave his Sovereign an account of all that had occurred in Berlin
since he had been compelled to quit at; and at the same time he informed
him of the force and situation of the corps of the French army. The
Emperor, after reading this letter, ordered that the Prince should be
arrested, and tried by a court-martial on the charge of being a spy.

The Court was summoned, and little doubt could be entertained as to its
decision when Madame Hatzfeld repaired to Duroc, who on such occasions
was always happy when he could facilitate communication with the Emperor.
On that day Napoleon had been at a review. Duroc knew Madame Hatzfeld,
whom he had several times seen on his visits to Berlin. When Napoleon
returned from the review he was astonished to see Duroc at the palace at
that hour, and inquired whether he had brought any news. Duroc answered
in the affirmative, and followed the Emperor into his Cabinet, where he
soon introduced Madame Hatzfeld. The remainder of the scene is described
in Napoleon's letter. It may easily be perceived that this letter is an
answer to one from Josephine reproaching him for the manner in which he
spoke of women, and very probably of the beautiful and unfortunate Queen
of Prussia, respecting whom he had expressed himself with too little
respect in one of his bulletins. The following is Napoleon's letter:--

I have received your letter, in which you seem to reproach me for
speaking ill of women. It is true that I dislike female intriguers
above all things. I am used to kind, gentle, and conciliatory
women. I love them, and if they have spoiled me it is not my fault,
but yours. However, you will see that I have done an act of
kindness to one deserving woman. I allude to Madame de Hatzfeld.
When I showed her her husband's letter she stood weeping, and in a
tone of mingled grief and ingenuousness said, "It is indeed his
writing!" This went to my heart, and I said, "Well, madame, throw
the letter into the fire, and then I shall have no proof against
your husband." She burned the letter, and was restored to
happiness. Her husband now is safe: two hours later, and he would
have been lost. You see, therefore, that I like women who are
simple, gentle, and amiable; because they alone resemble you.

November 6, 1806, 9 o'clock P.M.

When Marshal Bernadotte had driven Blucher into Lubeck and made him
prisoner, he sent to inform me of the circumstance; but I was far from,
expecting that the prisoner would be confided to my charge. Such,
however, was the case. After his capitulation he was sent to Hamburg,
where he had the whole city for his prison.

I was curious to become acquainted with this celebrated man, and I saw
him very frequently. I found that he was an enthusiastic Prussian
patriot--a brave man, enterprising even to rashness, of limited
education, and almost to an incredible degree devoted to pleasure, of
which he took an ample share while he remained in Hamburg. He sat an
enormous time at table, and, notwithstanding his exclusive patriotism,
he rendered full justice to the wines of France. His passion for women
was unbounded, and one of his most favourite sources of amusement was the
gaming-table, at which he spent a considerable portion of his time.
Blucher was of an extremely gay disposition; and considered merely as a
companion he was very agreeable. The original style of his conversation
pleased me much. His confidence in the deliverance of Germany remained
unshaken in spite of the disasters of the Prussian army. He often said
to me, "I place great reliance on the public spirit of Germany--on the
enthusiasm which prevails in our universities. The events of war are
daily changing, and even defeats con tribute to nourish in a people
sentiments of honour and national glory. You may depend upon it that
when a whole nation is determined to shake off a humiliating yoke it will
succeed. There is no doubt but we shall end by having a landwehr very
different from any militia to which the subdued spirit of the French
people could give birth. England will always lend us the support of her
navy and her subsidies, and we will renew alliances with Russia and
Austria. I can pledge myself to the truth of a fact of which I have
certain knowledge, and you may rely upon it; namely, that none of the
allied powers engaged in the present war entertain views of territorial
aggrandisement. All they unanimously desire is to put an end to the
system of aggrandisement which your Emperor has established and acts upon
with such alarming rapidity. In our first war against France, at the
commencement of your Revolution, we fought for questions respecting the
rights of sovereigns, for which, I assure you, I care very little; but
now the case is altered, the whole population of Prussia makes common
cause with its Government. The people fight in defence of their homes,
and reverses destroy our armies without changing the spirit of the
nation. I rely confidently on the future because I foresee that fortune
will not always favour your Emperor. It is impossible; but the time will
come when all Europe, humbled by his exactions, and impatient of his
depredations, will rise up against him. The more he enslaves nations,
the more terrible will be the reaction when they break their chains.
It cannot be denied that he is tormented with an insatiable desire of
acquiring new territories. To the war of 1805 against Austria and Russia
the present war has almost immediately succeeded. We have fallen.
Prussia is occupied; but Russia still remains undefeated. I cannot
foresee what will be the termination of the war; but, admitting that the
issue should be favourable to you, it will end only to break out again
speedily. If we continue firm, France, exhausted by her conquests, must
in the end fall. You may be certain of it. You wish for peace.
Recommend it! By so doing You will give strong proofs of love for your

In this strain Blucher constantly spoke to me; and as I never thought it
right to play the part of the public functionary in the drawing-room I
replied to him with the reserve necessary in my situation. I could not
tell him how much my anticipations frequently coincided with his; but I
never hesitated to express to him how much I wished to see a reasonable
peace concluded.

Blucher's arrival at Hamburg was preceded by that of Prince Paul of
Wutrtemberg, the second son of one of the two kings created by Napoleon,
whose crowns were not yet a year old. This young Prince, who was imbued
with the ideas of liberty and independence which then prevailed in
Germany, had taken a headlong step. He had quitted Stuttgart to serve in
the Prussian campaign without having asked his father's permission, which
inconsiderate proceeding might have drawn Napoleon's anger upon the King
of Wurtemberg. The King of Prussia advanced Prince Paul to the rank of
general, but he was taken prisoner at the very commencement of
hostilities. Prince Paul was not, as has been erroneously stated,
conducted to Stuttgart by a captain of gendarmerie. He came to Hamburg,
where I received many visits from him. He did not yet possess very
definite ideas as to what he wished; for after he was made prisoner he
expressed to me his strong desire to enter the French service, and often
asked me to solicit for him an interview with the Emperor. He obtained
this interview, and remained for a long time in Paris, where I know he
has frequently resided since the Restoration.

The individuals whom I had to observe in Hamburg gave me much less
trouble than our neighbours at Altona. The number of the latter had
considerably augmented, since the events of the war had compelled a great
number of emigrants who had taken refuge at Munster to leave that town.
They all proceeded to Altona. Conquered countries became as dangerous to
them as the land which they had forsaken. The most distinguished amongst
the individuals assembled at Altona were Vicomte de Sesmaisons, the
Bailly d'Hautefeuille, the Duchess of Luxembourg, the Marquis de Bonnard,
the Due d'Aumont (then Due de Villequier), the wife of Marshal de Brogue
and her daughter, Cardinal de Montmorency, Madame de Cosse, her two
daughters and her son (and a priest), and the Bishop of Boulogne.

Bonaparte stayed long enough at Berlin to permit of the arrival of a
deputation from the French Senate to congratulate him on his first
triumphs. I learned that in this instance the Senatorial deputation,
departing from its accustomed complaisance, ventured not to confine
itself to compliments and felicitations, but went so far as to interfere
with the Emperor's plan of the campaign, to speak of the danger that
might be incurred and finally to express a desire to in passing the Oder,
see peace concluded. Napoleon received this communication with a very
bad grace. He thought the Senators very bold to meddle with his affairs,
treated the conscript fathers of France as if they had been inconsiderate
youths, protested, according to custom, his sincere love of peace, and
told the deputation that it was Prussia, backed by Russia, and not he,
who wished for war!

All the German Princes who had taken part against Napoleon fled to Altona
after the battle of Jena with as much precipitation as the emigrants
themselves. The Hereditary Prince of Weimar, the Duchess of Holstein,
Prince Belmonte-Pignatelli, and a multitude of other persons
distinguished for rank and fortune, arrived there almost simultaneously.
Among the persons who took refuge in Altona were some intriguers, of whom
Fauche-Borel was one. I remember receiving a report respecting a violent
altercation which Fauche had the audacity to enter into with Comte de
Gimel because he could not extort money from the Count in payment of his
intrigues. Comte de Gimel had only funds for the payment of pensions,
and, besides, he had too much sense to suppose there was any utility in
the stupid pamphlets of Fauche-Borel, and therefore he dismissed him with
a refusal. Fauche was insolent, which compelled Comte de Gimel to send
him about his business as he deserved. This circumstance, which was
first communicated to me in a report, has since been confirmed by a
person who witnessed the scene. Fauche-Borel merely passed through
Hamburg, and embarked for London on board the same ship which took Lord
Morpeth back to England.

--[Louis Fauche-Borel (1762-1829), a Swiss who devoted himself to
the cause of the Royalists. As Louis stepped on the shore of France
in 1814, Fauche-Borel was ready to assist him from the boat, and was
met with the gracious remark that he was always at hand when a
service was required. His services were however left unrewarded]--



Alarm of the city of Hamburg--The French at Bergdorf--Favourable
orders issued by Bernadotte--Extortions in Prussia--False
endorsements--Exactions of the Dutch--Napoleon's concern for his
wounded troops--Duroc's mission to the King of Prussia--Rejection of
the Emperor's demands--My negotiations at Hamburg--Displeasure of
the King of Sweden--M. Netzel and M. Wetteratedt.

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