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

Part 21 out of 24

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I cannot answer for is to induce them to abandon the colours which have
led them to victory for the last twenty years. Therefore do not count
upon me for a thing which I consider to be totally hostile to the
interests of France. I will speak to the Emperor Alexander on the
subject." Such were Marmont's words. Every one appeared to concur in
his opinion, and the discussion terminated. For my own part, I find by
my notes that I declared myself strongly in favour of Marmont's

The Marshal's opinion having been adopted, at least provisionally, an
article was prepared for the Moniteur in nearly the following terms:

The white cockade has been, during the last four days, a badge for
the manifestation of public opinion in favour of the overthrow of an
oppressive Government: it has been the only means of distinguishing
the partisans of the restoration of the old dynasty, to which at
length we are to be indebted for repose. But as the late Government
is at an end, all colours differing from our national colours are
useless: let us, therefore, resume those which have so often led us
to victory.

Such was the spirit of the article, though possibly the above copy may
differ in a few words. It met with the unqualified approbation of every
one present. I was therefore extremely surprised, on looking at the
'Moniteur' next day, to find that the article was not inserted. I knew
not what courtly interference prevented the appearance of the article,
but I remember that Marmont was very ill pleased at its omission. He
complained on the subject to the Emperor Alexander, who promised to
write, and in fact did write, to the Provisional Government to get the
article inserted. However, it did not appear, and in a few days we
obtained a solution of the enigma, as we might perhaps have done before
if we had tried. The Emperor Alexander also promised to write to the
Comte d'Artois, and to inform him that the opinion of France was in
favour of the preservation of the three colours, but I do not know
whether the letter was written, or, if it was, what answer it received.

Marshal Jourdan, who was then at Rouen, received a letter, written
without the knowledge of Marmont, informing him that the latter had
mounted the white cockade in his corps. Jourdan thought he could not do
otherwise than follow Marmont's example, and he announced to the
Provisional Government that in consequence of the resolution of the Duke
of Ragusa he had just ordered his corps to wear the white cockade.
Marmont could now be boldly faced, and when he complained to the
Provisional Government of the non-insertion of the article in the
Moniteur the reply was, "It cannot now appear. You see Marshal Jourdan
has mounted the white cockade: you would not give the army two sets of

Marmont could make no answer to so positive a fact. It was not till some
time after that I learned Jourdan had determined to unfurl the white flag
only on the positive assurance that Marmont had already done so. Thus we
lost the colours which had been worn by Louis XVI., which Louis XVIII.,
when a Prince, had adopted, and in which the Comte d'Artois showed
himself on his return to the Parisians, for he entered the capital in the
uniform of the National Guard. The fraud played off by some members of
the Provisional Government was attended by fatal consequences; many evils
might have been spared to France had Marmont's advice been adopted.

At the period of the dissolution of the Empire there might be said to be
three Governments in France, viz. the Provisional Government in Paris,
Napoleon's at Fontainebleau, and the doubtful and ambulatory Regency of
"Maria Louisa." Doubtful and ambulatory the Regency might well be called,
for there was so little decision as to the course to be adopted by the
Empress that it was at first proposed to conduct her to Orleans, then to
Tours, and she went finally to Blois. The uncertainty which prevailed
respecting the destiny of Maria Louisa is proved by a document which I
have in my possession, and of which there cannot be many copies in
existence. It is a circular addressed to the prefects by M. de
Montalivet, the Minister of the Interior, who accompanied the Empress.
In it a blank is left for the seat of the Government, to which the
prefects are desired to send their communications. In the copy I possess
the blank is filled up with the word "Blois" in manuscript.

As soon as Maria Louisa was made acquainted with the events that had
taken place around Paris she sent for the Duc de Cadore, and gave him a
letter addressed to the Emperor of Austria, saying, "Take this to my
father, who must be at Dijon. I rely on you for defending the interests
of France, those of the Emperor, and above all those of my son."
Certainly Maria Louisa's confidence could not be better placed, and those
great interests would have been defended by the Duc de Cadore 'si defendi

After the departure of the Due de Cadore Maria Louisa published the
following proclamation, addressed to the French people:


A Proclamation

The events of the war have placed the capital in the power of
foreigners. The Emperor has marched to defend it at the head of his
armies, so often victorious. They are face to face with the enemy
before the walls of Paris. From the residence which I have chosen,
and from the Ministers of the Emperor, will emanate the only orders
which you can acknowledge. Every town in the power of foreigners
ceases to be free, and every order which may proceed from them is
the language of the enemy, or that which it suits his hostile views
to propagate. You will be faithful to your oaths. You will listen
to the voice of a Princess who was consigned to your good faith, and
whose highest pride consists in being s Frenchwoman, and in being
united to the destiny of the sovereign whom you have freely chosen.
My son was less sure of your affections in the time of our
prosperity; his rights and his person are under your safeguard.

BLOIS, 3d April 1814.

It is to be inferred that the Regency had within three days adopted the
resolution of not quitting Blois, for the above document presents no
blanks, nor words filled up in writing. The Empress' proclamation,
though a powerful appeal to the feelings of the French people, produced
no effect. Maria Louisa's proclamation was dated the 4th of April, on
the evening of which day Napoleon signed the conditional abdication, with
the fate of which the reader has already been made acquainted. M. de
Montalivet transmitted the Empress' proclamation, accompanied by another
circular, to the prefects, of whom very few received it.

M. de Champagny, having left Blois with the letter he had received from
the Empress, proceeded to the headquarters of the Emperor of Austria,
carefully avoiding those roads which were occupied by Cossack troops.
He arrived, not without considerable difficulty, at Chanseaux, where
Frances II. was expected. When the Emperor arrived the Duc de Cadore
was announced, and immediately introduced to his Majesty. The Duke
remained some hours with Francis II., without being able to obtain from
him anything but fair protestations. The Emperor always took refuge
behind the promise he had given to his Allies to approve whatever
measures they might adopt. The Duke was not to leave the Emperor's
headquarters that evening, and, in the hope that his Majesty might yet
reflect on the critical situation of his daughter, he asked permission to
take leave next morning. He accordingly presented himself to the
Emperor's levee, when he renewed his efforts in support of the claims of
Maria Louisa. "I have a great affection for my daughter, and also for my
son-in law," said the Emperor. "I bear them both in my heart, and would
shed my blood for them"--"Ah, Sire!" exclaimed M. de Champagny, "such a
sacrifice is not necessary."--"Yes, Duke, I say again I would shed my
blood, I would resign my life for them, but I have given my Allies a
promise not to treat without them, and to approve all that they may do.
Besides," added the Emperor, "my Minister, M. de Metternich, has gone to
their headquarters, and I will ratify whatever he may sign."

When the Duc de Cadore related to me the particulars of his mission, in
which zeal could not work an impossibility, I remarked that he regarded
as a circumstance fatal to Napoleon the absence of M. de Metternich and
the presence of M. Stadion at the headquarters of the Emperor of Austria.
Though in all probability nothing could have arrested the course of
events, yet it is certain that the personal sentiments of the two
Austrian Ministers towards Napoleon were widely different. I am not
going too far when I affirm that, policy apart, M. de Metternich was much
attached to Napoleon. In support of this assertion I may quote a fact of
which I can guarantee the authenticity:

When M. de Metternich was complimented on the occasion of Maria Louisa's
marriage he replied, "To have contributed to a measure which has received
the approbation of 80,000,000 men is indeed a just subject of
congratulation." Such a remark openly made by the intelligent Minister
of the Cabinet of Vienna was well calculated to gratify the ears of
Napoleon, from whom, however, M. de Metternich in his personal relations
did not conceal the truth. I recollect a reply which was made by M. de
Metternich at Dresden after a little hesitation. "As to you," said the
Emperor, "you will not go to war with me. It is impossible that you can
declare yourself against me. That can never be."--" Sire, we are not now
quite allies, and some time hence we may become enemies." This hint was
the last which Napoleon received from Metternich, and Napoleon must have
been blind indeed not to have profited by it. As to M. Stadion, he
entertained a profound dislike of the Emperor. That Minister knew and
could not forget that his preceding exclusion from the Cabinet of Vienna
had been due to the all-powerful influence of Napoleon.

Whether or not the absence of Metternich influenced the resolution of
Francis II., it is certain that that monarch yielded nothing to the
urgent solicitations of a Minister who conscientiously fulfilled the
delicate mission consigned to him. M. de Champagny rejoined the Empress
at Orleans, whither she had repaired on leaving Blois. He found Maria
Louisa almost deserted, all the Grand Dignitaries of the Empire having
successively returned to Paris after sending in their submissions to the
Provisional Government.

I had scarcely entered upon the exercise of my functions as Postmaster-
General when, on the morning of the 2d of April, I was surprised to see a
Prussian general officer enter my cabinet. I immediately recognised him
as General Blucher. He had commanded the Prussian army in the battle
which took place at the gates of Paris. "Sir," said he, "I consider it
one of my first duties on entering Paris to thank you for the attention I
received from you in Hamburg. I am sorry that I was not sooner aware of
your being in Pains. I assure you that had I been sooner informed of
this circumstance the capitulation should have been made without a blow
being struck. How much blood might then have been spared!"--"General,"
said I, "on what do you ground this assurance?"--"If I had known that you
were in Paris I would have given you a letter to the King of Prussia.
That monarch, who knows the resources and intentions of the Allies,
would, I am sure, have authorised you to decide a suspension of arms
before the neighbourhood of Paris became the theatre of the war."--
"But," resumed I, "in spite of the good intentions of the Allies, it
would have been very difficult to prevent resistance. French pride,
irritated as it was by reverses, would have opposed insurmountable
obstacles to such a measure."--"But, good heavens! you would have seen
that resistance could be of no avail against such immense masses."--
"You are right, General; but French honour would have been defended to
the last."--"I am fully aware of that; but surely you have earned glory
enough!"--"Yet our French susceptibility would have made us look upon
that glory as tarnished if Paris had been occupied without defence ...
But under present circumstances I am well pleased that you were satisfied
with my conduct in Hamburg, for it induces me to hope that you will
observe the same moderation in Paris that I exercised there. The days
are past when it could be said, Woe to the conquered."--" You are right;
yet," added he, smiling, "you know we are called the northern
barbarians."--" Then, General," returned I, "you have a fair opportunity
of showing that that designation is a libel."

Some days after Blucher's visit I had the honour of being admitted to a
private audience of the King of Prussia. Clarke and Berthier were also
received in this audience, which took place at the hotel of Prince
Eugene, where the King of Prussia resided in Paris. We waited for some
minutes in the salon, and when Frederick William entered from his cabinet
I remarked on his countenance an air of embarrassment and austerity which
convinced me that he had been studying his part, as great personages are
in the habit of doing on similar occasions. The King on entering the
salon first noticed Berthier, whom he addressed with much kindness,
bestowing praises on the French troops, and complimenting the Marshal on
his conduct during the war in Germany. Berthier returned thanks for
these well-merited praises, for though he was not remarkable for strength
of understanding or energy of mind, yet he was not a bad man, and I have
known many proofs of his good conduct in conquered countries.

After saluting Berthier the King of Prussia turned towards Clarke, and
his countenance immediately assumed an expression of dissatisfaction.
He had evidently not forgotten Clarke's conduct in Berlin. He reminded
him that he had rendered the Continental system more odious than it was
in itself, and that he had shown no moderation in the execution of his
orders. "In short," said his Majesty, "if I have any advice to give you,
it is that you never again return to Prussia." The King pronounced these
words in so loud and decided a tone that Clarke was perfectly confounded.
He uttered some unintelligible observations, which, however, Frederick
William did not notice, for suddenly turning towards me he said, with an
air of affability, "Ah! M. de Bourrienne, I am glad to see you, and I
take this opportunity of repeating what I wrote to you from Gonigsberg.
You always extended protection to the Germans, and did all you could to
alleviate their condition. I learned with great satisfaction what you
did for the Prussians whom the fate of war drove into Hamburg; and I feel
pleasure in telling you, in the presence of these two gentlemen, that if
all the French agents had acted as you did we should not, probably, be
here." I expressed, by a profound bow, how much I was gratified by this
complimentary address, and the king, after saluting us, retired.

About the middle of April Bernadotte arrived in Paris. His situation had
become equivocal, since circumstances had banished the hopes he might
have conceived in his interview with the Emperor Alexander at Abo.
Besides, he had been represented in some official pamphlets as a traitor
to France, and among certain worshippers of our injured glory there
prevailed a feeling of irritation, and which was unjustly directed
towards Bernadotte.

I even remember that Napoleon, before he had fallen from his power, had a
sort of national protest made by the police against the Prince Royal of
Sweden. This Prince had reserved an hotel in the Rue d'Anjou, and the
words, "Down with the traitor! down with the perjurer," were shouted
there; but this had no result, as it was only considered an outrage
caused by a spirit of petty vengeance.

While Bernadotte was in Paris I saw him every day. He but faintly
disguised from me the hope he had entertained of ruling France; and in
the numerous conversations to which our respective occupations led I
ascertained, though Bernadotte did not formally tell me so, that he once
had strong expectations of succeeding Napoleon.

Pressed at last into his final intrenchments he broke through all reserve
and confirmed all I knew of the interview of Abo.

I asked Bernadotte what he thought of the projects which were attributed
to Moreau; whether it was true that he had in him a competitor, and
whether Moreau had aspired to the dangerous honour of governing France:
"Those reports," replied the Prince Royal of Sweden, "are devoid of
foundation: at least I can assure you that in the conversations I have
had with the Emperor Alexander, that sovereign never said anything which
could warrant such a supposition. I know that the Emperor of Russia
wished to avail himself of the military talents of Moreau in the great
struggle that had commenced, and to enable the exiled general to return
to his country, in the hope that, should the war prove fortunate, he
would enjoy the honours and privileges due to his past services."

Bernadotte expressed to me astonishment at the recall of the Bourbons,
and assured me that he had not expected the French people would so
readily have consented to the Restoration. I confess I was surprised
that Bernadotte, with the intelligence I knew him to possess, should
imagine that the will of subjects has any influence in changes of

During his stay in Paris Bernadotte evinced for me the same sentiments of
friendship which he had shown me at Hamburg. One day I received from him
a letter, dated Paris, with which he transmitted to me one of the crosses
of the Polar Star, which the King of Sweden had left at his disposal.
Bernadotte was not very well satisfied with his residence in Paris, in
spite of the friendship which the Emperor Alexander constantly manifested
towards him. After a few days he set out for Sweden, having first taken
leave of the Comte d'Artois. I did not see him after his farewell visit
to the Count, so that I know not what was the nature of the conversation
which passed between the two Princes.


Treaties of peace no less disastrous than the wars
Yield to illusion when the truth was not satisfactory



His Private Secretary

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


CHAPTER I. to CHAPTER VI. 1814-1815



Unalterable determination of the Allies with respect to Napoleon--
Fontainebleau included in the limits to be occupied by the Allies--
Alexander's departure from Paris--Napoleon informed of the necessity
of his unconditional abdication--Macdonald and Ney again sent to
Paris--Alleged attempt of Napoleon to poison himself--Farewell
interview between Macdonald and Napoleon--The sabre of Murad Bey--
Signature of the act of unconditional abdication--Tranquillity of
Paris during the change of Government--Ukase of the Emperor of
Russia relative to the Post-office--Religious ceremony on the Place
Louis XV.--Arrival of the Comte d'Artois--His entrance into Paris--
Arrival of the Emperor of Austria--Singular assemblage of sovereigns
in France--Visit of the Emperor of Austria to Maria Louisa--Her
interview with the Emperor Alexander--Her departure for Vienna.

When Marmont left Paris on the receipt of the intelligence from Essonne,
Marshals Macdonald and Ney and the Duke of Vicenza waited upon the
Emperor Alexander to learn his resolution before he could have been
informed of the movement of Marmont's troops. I myself went during the
morning to the hotel of M. de Talleyrand, and it was there I learnt how
what we had hoped for had become fact: the matter was completely decided.
The Emperor Alexander had walked out at six in the morning to the
residence of the King of Prussia in the Rue de Bourbon. The two
sovereigns afterwards proceeded together to M. de Talleyrand's, where
they were when Napoleon's Commissioners arrived. The Commissioners being
introduced to the two sovereigns, the Emperor Alexander, in answer to
their proposition, replied that the Regency was impossible, as
submissions to the Provisional Government were pouring in from all parts,
and that if the army had formed contrary wishes those should have been
sooner made known. "Sire," observed Macdonald, "that--was--impossible,
as none of the Marshals were in Paris, and besides, who could foresee the
turn which affairs have taken? Could we imagine that an unfounded alarm
would have removed from Essonne the corps of the Duke of Ragusa, who has
this moment left us to bring his troops back to order?" These words
produced no change in the determination of the sovereigns, who would hear
of nothing but the unconditional abdication of Napoleon. Before the
Marshals took leave of the Emperor Alexander they solicited an armistice
of forty-eight hours, which time they said was indispensable to negotiate
the act of abdication with Napoleon. This request was granted without
hesitation, and the Emperor Alexander, showing Macdonald a map of the
environs of Paris, courteously presented him with a pencil, saying,
"Here, Marshal, mark yourself the limits to be observed by the two
armies."--"No, Sire," replied Macdonald, "we are the conquered party, and
it is for you to mark the line of demarcation." Alexander determined
that the right bank of the Seine should be occupied by the Allied troops,
and the left bank by the French; but it was observed that this
arrangement would be attended with inconvenience, as it would cut Paris
in two, and it was agreed that the line should turn Paris. I have been
informed that on a map sent to the Austrian staff to acquaint Prince
Schwartzenberg with the limits definitively agreed on, Fontainebleau, the
Emperor's headquarters, was by some artful means included within the
line. The Austrians acted so implicitly on this direction that Marshal
Macdonald was obliged to complain on the subject to Alexander,
who removed all obstacles.

When, in discussing the question of the abdication conformably with the
instructions he had received, Macdonald observed to the Emperor Alexander
that Napoleon wished for nothing for himself, "Assure him," replied
Alexander, "that a provision shall be made for him worthy of the rank he
has occupied. Tell him that if he wishes to reside in my States he shall
be well received, though he brought desolation there. I shall always
remember the friendship which united us. He shall have the island of
Elba, or something else." After taking leave of the Emperor Alexander, on
the 5th of April, Napoleon's Commissioners returned to Fontainebleau to
render an account of their mission. I saw Alexander that same day, and
it appeared to me that his mind was relieved of a great weight by the
question of the Regency being brought to an end. I was informed that he
intended to quit Paris in a few days, and that he had given full powers
to M. Pozzo-di-Borgo, whom he appointed his Commissioner to the
Provisional Government.

On the same day, the 5th of April, Napoleon inspected his troops in the
Palace yard of Fontainebleau. He observed some coolness among his
officers, and even among the private soldiers, who had evinced such
enthusiasm when he inspected them on the 2d of April. He was so much
affected by this change of conduct that he remained but a short time on
the parade, and afterwards retired to his apartments.

About one o'clock on the morning of the 6th of April Ney, Macdonald, and
Caulaincourt arrived at Fontainebleau to acquaint the Emperor with the
issue of their mission, and the sentiments expressed by Alexander when
they took leave of him. Marshal Ney was the first to announce to
Napoleon that the Allies required his complete and unconditional
abdication, unaccompanied by any stipulation, except that of his personal
safety, which should be guaranteed. Marshal Macdonald and the Duke of
Vicenza then spoke to the same effect, but in more gentle terms than
those employed by Ney, who was but little versed in the courtesies of
speech. When Marshal Macdonald had finished speaking Napoleon said with
some emotion, "Marshal, I am sensible of all that you have done for me,
and of the warmth with which you have pleaded the cause of my son. They
wish for my complete and unconditional abdication . . . . Very well.
I again empower you to act on my behalf. You shall go and defend my
interests and those of my family." Then, after a moment's pause, he
added, still addressing Macdonald, "Marshal, where shall I go?"
Macdonald then informed the Emperor what Alexander had mentioned in the
hypothesis of his wishing to reside in Russia. "Sire," added he, "the
Emperor of Russia told me that he destined for you the island of Elba, or
something else."--"Or something else!" repeated Napoleon hastily," and
what is that something else?"--"Sire, I know not."--"Ah! it is doubtless
the island of Corsica, and he refrained from mentioning it to avoid
embarrassment! Marshal, I leave all to you."

The Marshals returned to Paris as soon as Napoleon furnished them with
new powers; Caulaincourt remained at Fontainebleau. On arriving in Paris
Marshal Ney sent in his adhesion to the Provisional Government, so that
when Macdonald returned to Fontainebleau to convey to Napoleon the
definitive treaty of the Allies, Ney did not accompany him, and the
Emperor expressed surprise and dissatisfaction at his absence. Ney, as
all his friends concur in admitting, expended his whole energy in battle,
and often wanted resolution when out of the field, consequently I was not
surprised to find that he joined us before some other of his comrades.
As to Macdonald, he was one of those generous spirits who may be most
confidently relied on by those who have wronged them. . Napoleon
experienced the truth of this. Macdonald returned alone to
Fontainebleau, and when he entered the Emperor's chamber he found him
seated in a small armchair before the fireplace. He was dressed in a
morning-gown of white dimity, and lie wore his slippers without
stockings. His elbows rested on his knees and his head was supported by
his hands. He was motionless, and seemed absorbed in profound
reflection. Only two persons were in the apartment, the Duke of Bassano;
who was at a little distance from the Emperor, and Caulaincourt, who was
near the fireplace. So profound was Napoleon's reverie that he did not
hear Macdonald enter, and the Duke of Vicenza was obliged to inform him
of the Marshal's presence. "Sire," said Caulaincourt, "the Duke of
Tarantum has brought for your signature the treaty which is to be
ratified to-morrow." The Emperor then, as if roused from a lethargic
slumber, turned to Macdonald, and merely said, "Ah, Marshal! so you are
here!" Napoleon's countenance was so altered that the Marshal, struck
with the change, said, as if it were involuntarily, "Is your Majesty
indisposed?"--"Yes," answered Napoleon, "I have passed a very bad night."

The Emperor continued seated for a moment, then rising, he took the
treaty, read it without making any observation, signed it, and returned
it to the Marshal, saying; "I am not now rich enough to reward these last
services."--"Sire, interest never guided my conduct."--"I know that, and
I now see how I have been deceived respecting you. I also see the
designs of those who prejudiced me against you."--"Sire, I have already
told you, since 1809 I am devoted to you in life and death."--"I know it.
But since I cannot reward you as I would wish, let a token of
remembrance, inconsiderable though it be, assure you that I shall ever
bear in mind the services you have rendered me." Then turning to
Caulaincourt Napoleon said, "Vicenza, ask for the sabre which was given
me by Murad Bey in Egypt, and which I wore at the battle of Mount
Thabor." Constant having brought the sabre, the Emperor took it from the
hands of Caulaincourt and presented it to the Marshal "Here, my faithful
friend," said he, "is a reward which I believe will gratify you."
Macdonald on receiving the sabre said, "If ever I have a son, Sire, this
will be his most precious inheritance. I will never part with it as long
as I live."--" Give me your hand," said the Emperor, "and embrace me."
At these words Napoleon and Macdonald affectionately rushed into each
other's arms, and parted with tears in their eyes. Such was the last
interview between Macdonald and Napoleon. I had the above particulars
from the Marshal himself in 1814., a few days after he returned to Paris
with the treaty ratified by Napoleon.

After the clauses of the treaty had been guaranteed Napoleon signed, on
the 11th of April, at Fontainebleau, his act of abdication, which was in
the following terms:--

"The Allied powers having proclaimed that the Emperor Napoleon is the
only obstacle to the re-establishment of peace in Europe, the
Emperor Napoleon, faithful to his oath, declares that he renounces
for himself and his heirs the thrones of France and Italy, and that
there is no personal sacrifice, even that of life, which he is not
ready to make for the interests of France."

It was not until after Bonaparte had written and signed the above
act that Marshal Macdonald sent to the Provisional Government his
recognition, expressed in the following dignified and simple manner:--

"Being released from my allegiance by the abdication of the Emperor
Napoleon, I declare that I conform to the acts of the Senate and the
Provisional Government."

It is worthy of remark that Napoleon's act of abdication was published in
the 'Moniteur' on the 12th of April, the very day on which the Comte
d'Artois made his entry into Paris with the title of Lieutenant-General
of the Kingdom conferred on him by Louis XVIII. The 12th of April was
also the day on which the Imperial army fought its last battle before
Toulouse, when the French troops, commanded by Soult, made Wellington
purchase so dearly his entrance into the south of France.--[The battle of
Toulouse was fought on the 10th not 12th April D.W.]

Political revolutions are generally stormy, yet, during the great change
of 1814 Paris was perfectly tranquil, thanks to the excellent discipline
maintained by the commanders of the Allied armies, and thanks also to the
services of the National Guard of Paris, who every night patrolled the
streets. My duties as Director-General of the Post-office had of course
obliged me to resign my captain's epaulette.

When I first obtained my appointment I had been somewhat alarmed to hear
that all the roads were covered with foreign troops, especially Cossacks,
who even in time of peace are very ready to capture any horses that may
fall in their way. On my application to the Emperor Alexander his
Majesty immediately issued a ukase, severely prohibiting the seizure of
horses or anything belonging to the Post-office department. The ukase
was printed by order of the Czar, and filed up at all the poet-offices,
and it will be seen that after the 20th of March, when I was placed in an
embarrassing situation, one of the postmasters on the Lille road
expressed to me his gratitude for my conduct while I was in the service.

On the 10th of April a ceremony took place in Paris which has been much
spoken of; and which must have had a very imposing effect on those who
allow themselves to be dazzled by mere spectacle. Early in the morning
some regiments of the Allied troops occupied the north side of the
Boulevard, from the site of the old Bastille to the Place Louis XV., in
the middle of which an altar of square form was erected. Thither the
Allied sovereigns came to witness the celebration of mass according to
the rites of the Greek Church. I went to a window of the hotel of the
Minister of the Marine to see the ceremony. After I had waited from
eight in the morning till near twelve the pageant commenced by the
arrival of half a dozen Greek priests, with long beards, and as richly
dressed as the high priests who figure in the processions of the opera.
About three-quarters of an hour after this first scene the infantry,
followed by the cavalry, entered the place, which, in a few moments was
entirely covered with military. The Allied sovereigns at length
appeared, attended by brilliant staffs. They alighted from their horses
and advanced to the altar. What appeared to me most remarkable was the
profound silence of the vast multitude during the performance of the
mass. The whole spectacle had the effect of a finely-painted panorama.
For my own part, I must confess I was heartily tired of the ceremony, and
was very glad when it was over. I could not admire the foreign uniforms,
which were very inferior to ours. Many of them appeared fanciful, and
even grotesque, and nothing can be more unsoldier-like than to see a man
laced in stays till his figure resembles a wasp. The ceremony which took
place two days after, though less pompous, was much more French. In the
retinue which, on the 12th of April, momentarily increased round the
Comte d'Artos, there were at least recollections for the old, and hopes
for every one.

When, on the departure of the Commissioners whom Napoleon had sent to
Alexander to treat for the Regency, it was finally determined that the
Allied sovereigns would listen to no proposition from Napoleon and his
family, the Provisional Government thought it time to request that
Monsieur would, by his presence, give a new impulse to the partisans of
the Bourbons. The Abby de Montesquiou wrote to the Prince a letter,
which was carried to him by Viscount Sosthenes de la Rochefoucauld, one
of the individuals who, in these difficult circumstances, most zealously
served the cause of the Bourbons. On the afternoon of the 11th Monsieur
arrived at a country-house belonging to Madame Charles de Dames, where he
passed the night. The news of his arrival spread through Paris with the
rapidity of lightning, and every one wished to solemnise his entrance
into the capital. The National Guard formed a double line from the
barrier of Bondy to Notre Dame, whither the Prince was first to proceed,
in observance of an old custom, which, however, had become very rare in
France during the last twenty years.

M. de Talleyrand, accompanied by the members of the Provisional
Government, several Marshals and general officers, and the municipal
body, headed by the prefect of the Seine, went in procession beyond the
barrier to receive Monsieur. M. de Talleyrand, in the name of the
Provisional Government, addressed the Prince, who in reply made that
observation which has been so often repeated, "Nothing is changed in
France: there is only one Frenchman more."

--[These words were never really uttered by the Comte d'Artois, and
we can in this case follow the manufacture of the phrase. The reply
actually made to Talleyrand was, "Sir, and gentlemen, I thank you; I
am too happy. Let us get on; I am too happy." When the day's work
was done, "Let us see," said Talleyrand; "what did Monsieur say? I
did not hear much: be seemed much moved, and desirous of hastening
on, but if what he did say will not suit you (Beugnot), make an
answer for him, . . and I can answer that Monsieur will accept it,
and that so thoroughly that by the end of a couple of days he will
believe he made it, and he will have made it: you will count for
nothing." After repeated attempts, rejected by Talleyraud, Beugnot
at last produced, "No more divisions. Peace and France! At last I
see her once more, and nothing in her is changed, except that here
is one more Frenchman." At last the great critic (Talleyrand) said,
"This time I yield; that is realty Monsieur's speech, and I will
answer for you that he is the man who made it." Monsieur did not
disdain to refer to it in his replies, end the prophecy of M. de
Talleyrand was completely realised (Beugnot, vol. ii, p. 119)]--

This remark promised much. The Comte Artois next proceeded on horseback
to the barrier St. Martin. I mingled in the crowd to see the procession
and to observe the sentiments of the spectators. Near me stood an old
knight of St. Louis, who had resumed the insignia of the order, and who
wept for joy at again seeing one of the Bourbons. The procession soon
arrived, preceded by a band playing the air, "Vive Henri Quatre!" I had
never before seen Monsieur, and his appearance had a most pleasing effect
upon me. His open countenance bore the expression of that confidence
which his presence inspired in all who saw him. His staff was very
brilliant, considering it was got together without preparation. The
Prince wore the uniform of the National Guard, with the insignia of the
Order of the Holy Ghost.

I must candidly state that where I saw Monsieur pass, enthusiasm was
chiefly confined to his own retinue, and to persons who appeared to
belong to a superior class of society. The lower order of people seemed
to be animated by curiosity and astonishment rather than any other
feeling. I must add that it was not without painful surprise I saw a
squadron of Cossacks close the procession; and my surprise was the
greater when I learned from General Sacken that the Emperor Alexander had
wished that on that day the one Frenchman more should be surrounded
only by Frenchmen, and that to prove that the presence of the Bourbons
was the signal of reconciliation his Majesty had ordered 20,000 of the
Allied troops to quit Paris. I know not to what the presence of the
Cossacks is to be attributed, but it was an awkward circumstance at the
time, and one which malevolence did not fail to seize upon.

Two days only intervened between Monsieur's entrance into Paris and the
arrival of the Emperor of Austria. That monarch was not popular among
the Parisians. The line of conduct he had adopted was almost generally
condemned, for, even among those who lead most ardently wished for the
dethronement of his daughter, through their aversion to the Bonaparte
family, there were many who blamed the Emperor of Austria's behaviour to
Maria Louisa: they would have wished that, for the honour of Francis II.,
he had unsuccessfully opposed the downfall of the dynasty, whose alliance
he considered as a safeguard in 1809. This was the opinion which the
mass of the people instinctively formed, for they judged of the Emperor
of Austria in his character of a father and not in his character of a
monarch; and as the rights of misfortune are always sacred in France,
more interest was felt for Maria Louisa when she was known to be forsaken
than when she was in the height of her splendour. Francis II. had not
seen his daughter since the day when she left Vienna to unite her destiny
with that of the master of half of Europe, and I have already stated how
he received the mission with which Maria Louisa entrusted the Duc de

I was then too intent on what was passing in Paris and at Fontainebleau
to observe with equal interest all the circumstances connected with the
fate of Maria Louisa, but I will present to the reader all the
information I was able to collect respecting that Princess during the
period immediately preceding her departure from France. She constantly
assured the persons about her that she could rely on her father. The
following words, which were faithfully reported to me, were addressed by
her to an officer who was at Blois during the mission of M. de Champagny.
"Even though it should be the intention of the Allied sovereigns to
dethrone the Emperor Napoleon, my father will not suffer it. When he
placed me on the throne of France he repeated to me twenty times his
determination to uphold me on it; and my father is an honest man." I also
know that the Empress, both at Blois and at Orleans, expressed her regret
at not having followed the advice of the members of the Regency, who
wished her to stay in Paris.

On leaving Orleans Maria Louisa proceeded to Rambouillet; and it was not
one of the least extraordinary circumstances of that eventful period to
see the sovereigns of Europe, the dethroned sovereigns of France, and
those who had come to resume the sceptre, all crowded together within a
circle of fifteen leagues round the capital. There was a Bourbon at the
Tuileries, Bonaparte at Fontainebleau, his wife and son at Rambouillet,
the repudiated Empress at Malmaison three leagues distant, and the
Emperors of Russia and Austria and the King of Prussia in Paris.

When all her hopes had vanished Maria Louisa left Rambouillet to return
to Austria with her son. She did not obtain permission to see Napoleon
before her departure, though she had frequently expressed a wish to that
effect. Napoleon himself was aware of the embarrassment which might have
attended such a farewell, or otherwise he would no doubt have made a
parting interview with Maria Louisa one of the clauses of the treaty of
Paris and Fontainebleau, and of his definitive act of abdication. I was
informed at the time that the reason which prevented Maria Louisa's wish
from being acceded to was the fear that, by one of those sudden impulses
common to women, she might have determined to unite herself to Napoleon's
fallen fortune, and accompany him to Elba; and the Emperor of Austria
wished to have his daughter back again.

Things had arrived at this point, and there was no possibility of
retracting from any of the decisions which had been formed when the
Emperor of Austria went to see his daughter at Rambouillet. I recollect
it was thought extraordinary at the time that the Emperor Alexander
should accompany him on this visit; and, indeed, the sight of the
sovereign, who was regarded as the head and arbiter of the coalition,
could not be agreeable to the dethroned Empress.

--[ Meneval (tome ii. p. 112), then with Maria Louisa as Secretary,
who gives some details of her interview with the Emperor Francis on
the 16th of April, says nothing about the Czar having been there; a
fact he would have been sure to have remarked upon. It was only on
the 19th of April that Alexander visited her, the King of Prussia
coming in his turn on the 22d; but Bourrienne is right in saying
that Maria Louisa complained bitterly of having to receive
Alexander, and considered that she was forced by her father to do
so. The poor little King of Rome, then only three years old, had
also to be seen by the monarchs. He was not taken with his
grandfather, remarking that he was not handsome. Maria Louisa
seems, according to Meneval, to have been at this time really
anxious to join Napoleon (Meneval, tome ii. p. 94). She left
Rambouillet on the 28d of April stopped one day at Grossbois,
receiving there her father and Berthier, and taking farewell of
several persons who came from Paris for that purpose. On the 25th
of April she started for Vienna, and later for Parma, which state
she received under the treaty of 1814 and 1815. She yielded to the
influence brought to bear on her, became estranged from Napoleon,
and eventually married her chamberlain, the Comte de Neipperg, an
Austrian general.]--

The two Emperors set off from Paris shortly after each other. The
Emperor of Austria arrived first at Rambouillet, where he was received
with respect and affection by his daughter. Maria Louisa was happy to
see him, but the many tears she shed were not all tears of joy. After
the first effusion of filial affection she complained of the situation to
which she was reduced. Her father sympathised with her, but could offer
her no consolution, since her misfortunes were irreparable. Alexander
was expected to arrive immediately, and the Emperor of Austria therefore
informed his daughter that the Russian monarch wished to see her. At
first Maria Louisa decidedly refused to receive him, and she persisted
for some time in this resolution. She said to her father, "Would he too
make me a prisoner before your eyes? If he enters here by force I will
retire to my chamber. There, I presume, he will not dare to follow me
while you are here." But there was no time to be lost; Francis II.
heard the equipage of the Emperor of Russia rolling through the courtyard
of Rambouillet, and his entreaties to his daughter became more and more
urgent. At length she yielded, and the Emperor of Austria went himself
to meet his ally and conduct him to the salon where Maria Louisa
remained, in deference to her father. She did not, however, carry her
deference so far as to give a favourable reception to him whom she
regarded as the author of all her misfortunes. She listened with
considerable coldness to the offers and protestations of Alexander, and
merely replied that all she wished for was the liberty of returning to
her family. A few days after this painful interview Maria Louisa and her
son set off for Vienna.

--[A few days after this visit Alexander paid his respects to
Bonaparte's other wife, Josephine. In this great breaking up of
empires and kingdoms the unfortunate Josephine, who had been
suffering agonies on account of the husband who had abandoned her,
was not forgotten. One of the first things the Emperor of Russia
did on arriving at Paris was to despatch a guard for the protection
of her beautiful little palace at Malmaison. The Allied sovereigns
treated her with delicacy and consideration.

"As soon as the Emperor Alexander knew that the Empress Josephine
had arrived at Malmaison he hastened to pay her a visit. It is not
possible to be more amiable than he was to her. When in the course
of conversation he spoke of the occupation of Paris by the Allies,
and of the position of the Emperor Napoleon, it was always in
perfectly measured language: he never forgot for a single instant
that be was speaking before one who had been the wife of his
vanquished enemy. On her side the ex-Empress did not conceal the
tender sentiments, the lively affection she still entertained for
Napoleon . . . . Alexander had certainly something elevated and
magnanimous in his character, which would not permit him to say a
single word capable of insulting misfortune; the Empress had only
one prayer to make to him, and that was for her children."]--

This visit was soon followed by those of the other Allied Princes.

"The King of Prussia and the Princes, his sons, came rather
frequently to pay their court to Josephine; they even dined with her
several times at Malmaison; but the Emperor Alexander come much more
frequently. The Queen Hortense was always with her mother when she
received the sovereigns, and assisted her in doing the honours of
the house. The illustrious strangers exceedingly admired Malmaison,
which seemed to them a charming residence. They were particularly
struck with the fine gardens and conservatories."

From this moment, however, Josephine's health rapidly declined, and
she did not live to see Napoleon's return from Elba. She often said
to her attendant, "I do not know what is the matter with me, but at
times I have fits of melancholy enough to kill me." But on the very
brink of the grave she retained all her amiability, all her love of
dress, and the graces and resources of a drawing-room society. The
immediate cause of her death was a bad cold she caught in taking a
drive in the park of Malmaison on a damp cold day. She expired on
the noon of Sunday, the 26th of May, in the fifty-third year of her
age. Her body was embalmed, and on the sixth day after her death
deposited in a vault in the church of Ruel, close to Malmaison. The
funeral ceremonies were magnificent, but a better tribute to the
memory of Josephine was to be found is the tears with which her
children, her servants, the neighbouring poor, and all that knew her
followed her to the grave. In 1826 a beautiful monument was erected
over her remains by Eugene Beauharnais and his sisters with this
simple inscription:





Italy and Eugene--Siege of Dantzic-Capitulation concluded but not
ratified-Rapp made prisoner and sent to Kiow--Davoust's refusal to
believe the intelligence from Paris--Projected assassination of one
of the French Princes--Departure of Davoust and General Hogendorff
from Hamburg--The affair of Manbreuil--Arrival of the Commissioners
of the Allied powers at Fontainebleau--Preference shown by Napoleon
to Colonel Campbell--Bonaparte's address to General Kohler--His
farewell to his troops--First day of Napoleon's journey--The
Imperial Guard succeeded by the Cossacks--Interview with Augerean--
The first white cockades--Napoleon hanged in effigy at Orgon--His
escape in the disguise of a courier--Scene in the inn of La Calade--
Arrival at Aix--The Princess Pauline--Napoleon embarks for Elba--His
life at Elba.

I must now direct the attention of the reader to Italy, which was the
cradle of Napoleon's glory, and towards which he transported himself in
imagination from the Palace of Fontainebleau. Eugene had succeeded in
keeping up his means of defence until April, but on the 7th of that
month, being positively informed of the overwhelming reverses of France,
he found himself constrained to accede to the propositions of the Marshal
de Bellegarde to treat for the evacuation of Italy; and on the 10th a
convention was concluded, in which it was stipulated that the French
troops, under the command of Eugene, should return within the limits of
old France. The clauses of this convention were executed on the 19th of

--[Lord William Bentinck and Sir Edward Pellew had taken Genoa on
the 18th Of April. Murat was in the field with the Austrians
against the French.]--

Eugene, thinking that the Senate of Milan was favourably disposed towards
him, solicited that body to use its influence in obtaining the consent of
the Allied powers to his continuance at the head of the Government of
Italy; but this proposition was rejected by the Senate. A feeling of
irritation pervaded the public mind in Italy, and the army had not
proceeded three marches beyond Mantua when an insurrection broke out in
Milan. The Finance Minister, Pizna, was assassinated, and his residence
demolished, and nothing would have saved the Viceroy from a similar fate
had he been in his capital. Amidst this popular excitement, and the
eagerness of the Italians to be released from the dominion of the French,
the friends of Eugene thought him fortunate in being able to join his
father-in-law at Munich almost incognito.

--[Some time after Eugene visited France and had a long audience of
Louis XVIII. He announced himself to that monarch by his father's
title of Marquis de Beauharnais. The King immediately saluted him
by the title of Monsieur le Marechal, and proposed that he should
reside in France with that rank. But this invitation Eugene
declined, because as a French Prince under the fallen Government he
had commanded the Marshals, and he therefore could not submit to be
the last in rank among those illustrious military chiefs.

Thus, at the expiration of nine years, fell the iron crown which Napoleon
had placed on his head saying, "Dieu me l'a donne; gare a qui la touche."

I will now take a glance at the affairs of Germany. Rapp was not in
France at the period of the fall of the Empire. He had, with
extraordinary courage and skill, defended himself against a year's siege
at Dantzic. At length, being reduced to the last extremity, and
constrained to surrender, he opened the gates of the city, which
presented nothing but heaps of ruins. Rapp had stipulated that the
garrison of Dantzic should return to France, and the Duke of Wurtemberg,
who commanded the siege, had consented to that condition; but the Emperor
of Russia having refused to ratify it, Rapp, having no means of defence,
was made prisoner with his troops; and conducted to Kiow, whence he
afterwards returned to Paris, where I saw him.

Hamburg still held out, but at the beginning of April intelligence was
received there of the extraordinary events which had delivered Europe
from her oppressor. Davoust refused to believe this news, which at once
annihilated all his hopes of power and greatness. This blindness was
persisted in for some time at Hamburg. Several hawkers, who were marked
out by the police as having been the circulators of Paris news, were
shot. An agent of the Government publicly announced his design of
assassinating one of the French Princes, in whose service he was said to
have been as a page. He said he would go to his Royal Highness and
solicit to be appointed one of his aides de camp, and that, if the
application were refused, as it probably would be, the refusal would only
confirm him in his purpose.

At length, when the state of things was beyond the possibility of doubt,
Davoust assembled the troops, acquainted them with the dethronement of
the Emperor, hoisted a flag of truce, and sent his adhesion to the
Provisional Government. All then thought of their personal safety,
without losing sight of their honestly-acquired wealth. Diamonds and
other objects of value and small bulk were hastily collected and packed
up. The Governor of Hamburg, Count Hogendorff, who, in spite of some
signal instances of opposition, had too often co-operated in severe and
vexatious measures, was the first to quit the city. He was, indeed,
hurried off by Davoust; because he had mounted the Orange cockade and
wished to take his Dutch troops away with him. After consigning the
command to General Gerard, Davoust quitted Hamburg, and arrived at Paris
on the 18th of June.

I have left Napoleon at Fontainebleau. The period of his departure for
Elba was near at hand: it was fixed for the 17th of April.

On that day Maubreuil, a man who has become unfortunately celebrated,
presented himself at the Post-office, and asked to speak with me. He
showed me some written orders, signed by General Saeken, the Commander of
the Russian troops in Palls, and by Baron Brackenhausen, chief of the
staff. These orders set forth that Maubreuil was entrusted with an
important mission, for the execution of which he was authorised to demand
the assistance of the Russian troops; and the commanders of those men
were enjoined to place at his disposal as many troops as he might apply
for. Maubreuil was also the bearer of similar orders from General
Dupont, the War Minister, and from M. Angles, the Provisional Commissary-
General of the Police, who directed all the other commissaries to obey
the orders they might receive from Maubreuil. On seeing these documents,
of the authenticity of which there was no doubt, I immediately ordered
the different postmasters to provide Maubreuil promptly with any number
of horses he might require.

Some days after I was informed that the object of Maubreuil's mission was
to assassinate Napoleon. It may readily be imagined what was my
astonishment on hearing this, after I had seen the signature of the
Commander of the Russian forces, and knowing as I did the intentions of
the Emperor Alexander. The fact is, I did not, and never can, believe
that such was the intention of Mabreuil. This man has been accused of
having carried off the jewels of the Queen of Westphalia.

Napoleon having consented to proceed to the island of Elba, conformably
with the treaty he had ratified on the 13th, requested to be accompanied
to the place of embarkation by a Commissioner from each of the Allied
powers. Count Schouwaloff was appointed by Russia, Colonel Neil Campbell
by England, General Kohler by Austria, and Count Waldbourg-Truchess by
Prussia. On the 16th the four Commissioners came for the first time to
Fontainebleau, where the Emperor, who was still attended by Generals
Drouot and Bertrand, gave to each a private audience on the following

Though Napoleon received with coldness the Commissioners whom he had
himself solicited, yet that coldness was far from being manifested in an
equal degree to all. He who experienced the best reception was Colonel
Campbell, apparently because his person exhibited traces of wounds.
Napoleon asked him in what battles he had received them, and on what
occasions he had been invested with the orders he wore. He next
questioned him as to the place of his birth, and Colonel Campbell having
answered that he was a Scotchman, Napoleon congratulated him on being the
countryman of Ossian, his favourite author, with whose poetry, however,
he was only acquainted through the medium of wretched translations.
On this first audience Napoleon said to the Colonel, "I have cordially
hated the English. I have made war against you by every possible means,
but I esteem your nation. I am convinced that there is more generosity
in your Government than in any other. I should like to be conveyed from
Toulon to Elba by an English frigate."

The Austrian and Russian Commissioners were received coolly, but without
any marked indications of displeasure. It was not so with the Prussian
Commissioner, to whom he said duly, "Are there any Prussians in my
escort?"--"No, Sire."--"Then why do you take the trouble to accompany
me?"--"Sire, it is not a trouble, but an honour."--"These are mere words;
you have nothing to do here."--"Sire, I could not possibly decline the
honourable mission with which the King my master has entrusted me." At
these words Napoleon turned his back on Count Truchess.

The Commissioners expected that Napoleon would be ready to set out
without delay; but they were deceived. He asked for a sight of the
itinerary of his route, and wished to make some alterations in it.
The Commissioners were reluctant to oppose his wish, for they had been
instructed to treat him with all the respect and etiquette due to a
sovereign. They therefore suspended the departure, and, as they could
not take upon themselves to acquiesce in the changes wished for by the
Emperor, they applied for fresh orders. On the night of the 18th of
April they received these orders, authorising them to travel by any road
the Emperor might prefer. The departure was then definitively fixed for
the 20th.

Accordingly, at ten on the morning of the 20th, the carriages were in
readiness, and the Imperial Guard was drawn up in the grand court of the
Palace of Fontainebleau, called the Cour du Cheval Blanc. All the
population of the town and the neighbouring villages thronged round the
Palace. Napoleon sent for General Kohler, the Austrian Commissioner, and
said to him, "I have reflected on what I ought to do, and I am determined
not to depart. The Allies are not faithful to their engagements with me.
I can, therefore, revoke my abdication, which was only conditional. More
than a thousand addresses were delivered to me last night: I am conjured
to resume the reins of government I renounced my rights to the crown only
to avert the horrors of a civil war, having never had any other abject in
view than the glory and happiness of France. But, seeing as I now do,
the dissatisfaction inspired by the measures of the new Government, I can
explain to my Guard the reasons which induced me to revoke my abdication.
It is true that the number of troops on which I can count will scarcely
exceed 30,000 men, but it will be easy for me to increase their numbers
to 130,000. Know, then, that I can also, without injuring my honour, say
to my Guard, that having nothing but the repose and happiness of the
country at heart, I renounce all my rights, and exhort my troops to
follow my example, and yield to the wish of the nation."

I heard these words reported by General Kohler himself, after his return
from his mission. He did not disguise the embarrassment which this
unexpected address had occasioned; and I recollect having remarked at the
time that had Bonaparte, at the commencement of the campaign of Paris,
renounced his rights and returned to the rank of citizen, the immense
masses of the Allies must have yielded to the efforts of France. General
Kohler also stated that Napoleon complained of Maria Louisa not being
allowed to accompany him; but at length, yielding to the reasons urged by
those about him, he added, "Well, I prefer remaining faithful to my
promise; but if I have any new ground of complaint, I will free myself
from all my engagements."

At eleven o'clock Comte de Bussy, one of the Emperor's aides de camp, was
sent by the Grand Marshal (General Bertrand) to announce that all was
ready for departure. "Am I;" said Napoleon, "to regulate my actions by
the Grand Marshal's watch? I will go when I please. Perhaps I may not
go at all. Leave me!"

All the forms of courtly etiquette which Napoleon loved so much were
observed; and when at length he was pleased to leave his cabinet to enter
the salon, where the Commissioners were waiting; the doors were thrown
open as usual, and "The Emperor" was announced; but no sooner was the
word uttered than he turned back again. However, he soon reappeared,
rapidly crossed the gallery, and descended the staircase, and at twelve
o'clock precisely he stood at the head of his Guard, as if at a review in
the court of the Tuileries in the brilliant days of the Consulate and the

Then took place a really moving scene--Napoleon's farewell to his
soldiers. Of this I may abstain from entering into any details, since
they are known everywhere, and by everybody, but I may subjoin the
Emperor's last address to his old companions-in-arms, because it belongs
to history. This address was pronounced in a voice as firm and sonorous
as that in which Bonaparte used to harangue his troops in the days of his
triumphs. It was as follows:

"Soldiers of my Old Guard, I bid you farewell. For twenty years I
have constantly accompanied yon on the road to honour and glory. In
these latter times, as in the days of our prosperity, you have
invariably been models of courage and fidelity. With men such as
you our cause could not be lost, but the war would have been
interminable; it would have been civil war, and that would have
entailed deeper misfortunes on France. I have sacrificed all my
interests to those of the country. I go; but you, my friends, will
continue to serve France. Her happiness was my only thought.. It
will still be the object of my wishes. Do not regret my fate: if I
have consented to survive, it is to serve your glory. I intend to
write the history of the great achievements we have performed
together. Adieu, my friends. Would I could press you all to my,

During the first day cries of "Vive l'Empereur!" resounded along the
road, and Napoleon, resorting to his usual dissimulation, censured the
disloyalty of the people to their legitimate sovereign, which he did with
ill disguised irony. The Guard accompanied him as far as Briars. At
that place Napoleon invited Colonel Campbell to breakfast with him. He
conversed on the last war in Spain, and spoke in complimentary terms of
the English nation and the military talents of Wellington. Yet by that
time he must have heard of the battle of Toulouse.

On the night of the 21st Napoleon slept at Nevers, where he was received
by the acclamations of the people, who here, as in several other towns,
mingled their cries in favour of their late sovereign with imprecations
against the Commissioners of the Allies. He left Nevers at six on the
morning of the 22d. Napoleon was now no longer escorted by the Guards,
who were succeeded by a corps of Cossacks: the cries of "Vive
l'Empereur!" accordingly ceased, and he had the mortification to hear in
its stead, "Vivent les Allies!" However, I have been informed that at
Lyons, through which the Emperor passed on the 23d at eleven at night,
the cry of "Vive l'Empereur!" was still echoed among the groups who
assembled before the post-office during the change of horses.

Augereau, who was still a Republican, though he accepted the title of
Duke of Castiglione from Napoleon, had always been among the
discontented. On the downfall of the Emperor he was one of that
considerable number of persons who turned Royalists not out of love for
the Bourbons but out of hatred to Bonaparte. He held a command in the
south when he heard of the forfeiture of Napoleon pronounced by the
Senate, and he was one of the first to send his recognition to the
Provisional Government. Augereau, who, like all uneducated men, went to
extremes in everything, had published under his name a proclamation
extravagantly violent and even insulting to the Emperor. Whether
Napoleon was aware of this proclamation I cannot pretend to say, but he
affected ignorance of the matter if he was informed of it, for on the
24th, having met Augereau at a little distance from Valence, he stopped
his carriage and immediately alighted. Augereau did the same, and they
cordially embraced in the presence of the Commissioners. It was remarked
that in saluting Napoleon took off his hat and Augereau kept on his.
"Where are you going?", said the Emperor; "to Court?"--"No, I am going to
Lyons."--"You have behaved very badly to me." Augereau, finding that the
Emperor addressed him in the second person singular, adopted the same
familiarity; so they conversed as they were accustomed to do when they
were both generals in Italy. "Of what do you complain?" said he.
"Has not your insatiable ambition brought us to this? Have you not
sacrificed everything to that ambition, even the happiness of France?
I care no more for the Bourbons than for you. All I care for is the
country." Upon this Napoleon turned sharply away from the Marshal,
lifted his hat to him, and then stepped into his carriage. The
Commissioners, and all the persons in Napoleon's suite, were indignant at
seeing Augereau stand in the road still covered, with his hands behind
his back, and instead of bowing, merely making a contemptuous salutation
to Napoleon with his hand. It was at the Tuileries that these haughty
Republicans should have shown their airs. To have done so on the road to
Elba was a mean insult which recoiled upon themselves.

--[The following letter, taken from Captain Bingham's recently
published selections from the Correspondence of the first Napoleon,
indicates in emphatic language the Emperor's recent dissatisfaction
with Marshal Augereau when in command at Lyons daring the "death
straggle" of 1814:

To Marshal Augereau.

NOGENT, 21st February, 1814,

....What! six hours after having received the first troops coming
from Spain you were not in the field! Six hours repose was
sufficient. I won the action of Naugis with a brigade of dragoons
coming from Spain which, since it had left Bayonne, had not
unbridled its horses. The six battalions of the division of Nimes
want clothes, equipment, and drilling, say you? What poor reasons
yon give me there, Augereau! I have destroyed 80,000 enemies with
conscripts having nothing but knapsacks! The National Guards, say
you, are pitiable; I have 4000 here in round hats, without
knapsacks, in wooden shoes, but with good muskets, and I get a great
deal out of them. There is no money, you continue; and where do you
hope to draw money from! You want waggons; take them wherever you
can. You have no magazines; this is too ridiculous. I order you
twelve hours after the reception of this letter to take the field.
If you are still Augereau of Castiglione, keep the command, but if
your sixty years weigh upon you hand over the command to your senior
general. The country is in danger; and can be saved by boldness and
alacrity alone....
(Signed) NAPOLEON]--

At Valence Napoleon, for the first time, saw French soldiers with the
white cockade in their caps. They belonged to Augereau's corps. At
Orange the air resounded with tines of "Vive le Roi!" Here the gaiety,
real or feigned, which Napoleon had hitherto evinced, began to forsake

Had the Emperor arrived at Avignon three hours later than he did there is
no doubt that he would have been massacred.--[The Royalist mob of Avignon
massacred Marshal Brune in 1816.]-- He did not change horses at Avignon,
through which he passed at five in the morning, but at St. Andiol, where
he arrived at six. The Emperor, who was fatigued with sitting in the
carnage, alighted with Colonel Campbell and General Bertrand, and walked
with them up the first hill. His valet de chambre, who was also walking
a little distance in advance, met one of the mail couriers, who said is
him, "Those are the Emperor's carriages coming this way?"--"No, they are
the equipages of the Allies."--"I say they are the Emperor's carriages.
I am an old soldier. I served in the campaign of Egypt, and I will save
the life of my General."--"I tell you again they are not the Emperor's
carriages."--"Do not attempt to deceive me; I have just passed through
Organ, where the Emperor has been hanged in effigy. The wretches erected
a scaffold and hanged a figure dressed in a French uniform covered with
blood. Perhaps I may get myself into a scrape by this confidence, but no
matter. Do you profit by it." The courier then set off at full gallop.
The valet de chambre took General Drouot apart, and told him what he had
heard. Drouot communicated the circumstance to General Bertrand, who
himself related it to the Emperor in the presence of the Commissioners.
The latter, justly indignant, held a sort of council on the highway, and
it was determined that the Emperor should go forward without his retinue.
The valet de chambre was asked whether he had any clothes in the
carriage. He produced a long blue cloak and a round hat. It was
proposed to put a white cockade in the hat, but to this Napoleon would
not consent. He went forward in the style of a courier, with Amaudru,
one of the two outriders who had escorted his carriage, and dashed
through Orgon. When the Allied Commissioners arrived there the assembled
population were uttering exclamations of "Down with the Corsican! Down
with the brigand!" The mayor of Orgon (the, same man whom I had seen
almost on his knees to General Bonaparte on his return from Egypt)
addressed himself to Pelard, the Emperor's valet de chambre, and said,
"Do you follow that rascal?"--"No," replied Pelard, "I am attached to the
Commisairiers of the Allied powers."--Ah! that is well! I should like
to hang the villain with my own hands.

"Ah! if you knew, sir, how the scoundrel has deceived us! It was I who
received him on his return from Egypt. We wished to take his horses out
and draw his carriage. I should like to avenge myself now for the
honours I rendered him at that time."

The crowd augmented, and continued to vociferate with a degree of fury
which may be imagined by those who have heard the inhabitants of the
south manifest, by cries, their joy or their hatred. Some more violent
than the rest wished to force Napoleon's coachman to cry "Vive le Roi!"
He courageously refused, though threatened with a stroke of a sabre,
when, fortunately; the carriage being ready to start, he whipped the
horses and set off at full gallop. The Commissioners would not breakfast
at Orgon; they paid for what had been prepared, and took some
refreshments away with them. The carriages did not overtake the Emperor
until they came to La Calade, where he had arrived a quarter of an hour
before with Amaudru.

They found him standing by the fire in the kitchen of the inn talking
with the landlady. She had asked him whether the tyrant was soon to pass
that way? "Ah! sir," said she, "it is all nonsense to say we have got
rid of him. I always, have said, and always will say, that we shall
never be sure of being done with him until he be laid at the bottom of a
well, covered over with stones. I wish we had him safe in the well in
our yard. You see, sir, the Directory sent him to Egypt to get rid of
him; but he came back again! And he will come back again, you maybe sure
of that, sir; unless--" Here the good woman, having finished skimming her
pot, looked up and perceived that all the party were standing uncovered
except the individual to whom, she had been speaking. She was
confounded, and the embarrassment she experienced at having spoken so ill
of the Emperor to the Emperor himself banished all her anger, and she
lavished every mark of attention, and respect on Napoleon and his
retinue. A messenger was immediately sent to Aix to purchase ribbons for
making white cockades. All the carriages were brought into the courtyard
of the inn, and the gate was closed; the landlady informed Napoleon that
it would not be prudent for him to venture on passing through Aix, where
a population of more than 20,000 were waiting to stone him.

Meanwhile dinner was served, and Napoleon sat down to table. He
admirably disguised the agitation which he could not fail to experience,
and I have been assured, by some of the individuals who were present on
that remarkable occasion, that he never made himself more agreeable. His
conversation, which was enriched by the resources of his memory and his
imagination, charmed every one, and he remarked, with an air of
indifference which was perhaps affected, "I believe the new French
Government has a design on my life."

The Commissioners, informed of what was going on at Aix, proposed sending
to the Mayor an order for closing the gates and adopting measures for
securing the public tranquillity. About fifty individuals had assembled
round the inn, and one among them offered to carry a letter to the Mayor
of Aix The Commissioners accepted his services, and in their letter
informed the Mayor that if the gates of the town were not closed within
an hour they would advance with two regiments of uhlans and six pieces of
artillery, and would fire upon all who might oppose them. This threat
had the desired effect; and the Mayor returned for answer that the gates
should be closed, and that he would take upon himself the responsibility
of everything which might happen.

The danger which threatened the Emperor at Aix was thus averted; but
there was another to be braved. During the seven or eight hours he
passed at La Calade a considerable number of people had gathered round-
the inn, and manifested every disposition to proceed to some excess.
Most of them had in their hands five-franc pieces, in order to recognise
the Emperor by his likeness on the coin. Napoleon, who had passed two
nights without sleep, was in a little room adjoining the kitchen, where
he had fallen into a slumber, reclining an the shoulder of his valet de
chambre. In a moment of dejection he had said, "I now renounce the
political world forever. I shall henceforth feel no interest about
anything that may happen. At Porto-Ferrajo I may be happy--more happy
than I have ever been! No!--if the crown of Europe were now offered to
me I would not accept it. I will devote myself to science. I was right
never to esteem mankind! But France and the French people--what
ingratitude! I am disgusted with ambition, and I wish to rule no

When the moment for departure arrived it was proposed that he should put
on the greatcoat and fur cap of General Kohler, and that he should go
into the carriage of the Austrian Commissioner. The Emperor, thus
disguised, left the inn of La Calade, passing between two lines of
spectators. On turning the walls of Aix Napoleon had again the
mortification to hear the cries of "Down with the tyrant! Down with
Nicolas!" and these vociferations resounded at the distance of a quarter
of a league from the town.

Bonaparte, dispirited by these manifestations of hatred, said, in a tone
of mingled grief and contempt, "These Provencals are the same furious
brawlers that they used to be. They committed frightful massacres at the
commencement of the Revolution. Eighteen years ago I came to this part
of the country with some thousand men to deliver two Royalists who were
to be hanged. Their crime was having worn the white cockade. I saved
them; but it was not without difficulty that I rescued them from the
hands of their assailants; and now, you see, they resume the same
excesses against those who refuse to wear the white cockade.". At about
a league from Aix the Emperor and his retinue found horses and an escort
of gendarmerie to conduct them to the chateau of Luc.

The Princess Pauline was at the country residence of M. Charles, member
of the Legislative Body, near the castle of Luc. On hearing of the
misfortunes of her brother she determined to accompany him to the isle of
Elba, and she proceeded to Frejus to embark with him. At Frejus the
Emperor rejoined Colonel Campbell, who had quitted the convoy on the
road, and had brought into the port the English frigate the 'Undaunted'
which was appointed to convey the Emperor to the place of his
destination. In spite of the wish he had expressed to Colonel Campbell
he manifested considerable reluctance to go on board. However, on the
28th of April he sailed for the island of Elba in the English frigate, in
which it could not then be said that Caesar and his fortune were

[It was on the 3d of May 1814 that Bonaparte arrived within sight of
Porto-Ferrajo, the capital of his miniature empire; but he did not
land till the nest morning. At first he paid a short visit
incognito, being accompanied by a sergeant's party of marines from
the Undaunted. He then returned on board to breakfast, and at about
two o'clock made his public entrance, the 'Undaunted' firing a royal

In every particular of his conduct he paid great attention to the
maintenance of his Imperial dignity. On landing he received the keys of
his city of Porto-Ferrajo, and the devoirs of the Governor, prefect, and
other dignitaries, and he proceeded immediately under a canopy of State
to the parish church, which served as a cathedral. There he heard Te
Deum, and it is stated that his countenance was dark and melancholy, and
that he even shed tears.

One of Bonaparte's first cares was to select a flag for the Elbese
Empire, and after some hesitation he fixed on "Argent, on a bend gules,
or three bees," as the armorial ensign of his new dominion. It is
strange that neither he nor any of those whom he consulted should have
been aware that Elba had an ancient and peculiar ensign, and it is still
more remarkable that this ensign should be one singularly adapted to
Bonaparte's situation; being no more than "a wheel,--the emblem," says
M. Bernaud, "of the vicissitudes of human life, which the Elbese had
borrowed from the Egyptian mysteries." This is as curious a coincidence
as any we ever recollect to have met; as the medals of Elba with the
emblem of the wheel are well known, we cannot but suppose that Bonaparte
was aware of the circumstance; yet he is represented as having in vain
made several anxious inquiries after the ancient arms of the island.

During the first months of his residence there his life was, in general,
one of characteristic activity and almost garrulous frankness. He gave
dinners, went to balls, rode all day about his island, planned
fortifications, aqueducts, lazarettos, harbours, and palaces; and the
very second day after he landed fitted out an expedition of a dozen
soldiers to take possession of a little uninhabited island called
Pianosa, which lies a few leagues from Elba; on this occasion he said
good-humouredly, "Toute l'Europe dira que j'ai deja fait une conqute"
(All Europe will say I have already made a conquest). The cause of the
island of Pianosa being left uninhabited was the marauding of the
Corsairs from the coast of Barbary, against whom Bonaparte considered
himself fully protected by the 4th Article of the Treaty of

The greatest wealth of Elba consists in its iron mines, for which the
island was celebrated in the days of Virgil. Soon after his arrival
Napoleon visited the mines in company with Colonel Campbell, and being
informed that they produced annually about 500,000 francs he exclaimed
joyfully, "These, then, are my own !" One of his followers, however,
reminded him that he had long since disposed of that revenue, having
given it to his order of the Legion of Honour, to furnish pensions, etc.
"Where was my head when I made that grant?" said he, "but I have made
many foolish decrees of that sort!"

Sir Walter Scott, in telling a curious fact, makes a very curious
mistake. "To dignify his capital," he says, "having discovered that the
ancient name of Porto-Ferrajo was Comopoli (the city of Como), he
commanded it to be called Cosmopoli, or the city of all nations." Now
the old name of Porto-Ferrajo was in reality not Comopoli, but Cosmopoli,
and it obtained that name from the Florentine Cosmo de' Medici, to whose
ducal house Elba belonged, as an integral part of Tuscany. The name
equally signified the city of Cosmo, or the city of all nations, and the
vanity of the Medici had probably been flattered by the double meaning of
the appellation. But Bonaparte certainly revived the old name, and did
not add a letter to it to dignify his little capital.

The household of Napoleon, though reduced to thirty-five persons, still
represented an Imperial Court. The forms and etiquette of the Tuileries
and St, Cloud were retained on a diminished scale, but the furniture and
internal accommodations of the palace are represented as having been
meaner by far than those of an English gentleman of ordinary rank. The
Bodyguard of his Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Elba consisted of about
700 infantry and 80 cavalry, and to this handful of troops Napoleon
seemed to pay almost as much attention as he had formerly given to his
Grande Armee. The men were constantly exercised, particularly in
throwing shot and shells, and he soon began to look out for good recruits.

He early announced that he would hold a Court and receive ladies twice a
week; the first was on the 7th of May, and a great concourse assembled.
Bonaparte at first paid great attention to the women, particularly those
who possessed personal attractions, and asked them, in his rapid way,
whether they were married? how many children they had, and who their
husbands were? To the last question he received one universal answer; it
happened that every lady was married to a merchant, but when it came to
be further explained that they were merchant butchers and merchant
bakers, his Imperial Majesty permitted some expression of his
dissatisfaction to escape him and hastily retired. On the 4th of June
there was a ball on board the British frigate, in honour of the King's
birthday; the whole beauty and fashion of Elba were assembled, and
dancing with great glee, when, about midnight, Bonaparte came in his
barge, unexpectedly, and masked, to join the festivity. He was very
affable, and visited every part of the ship, and all the amusements which
had been prepared for the different classes of persons. On his birthday,
the 15th of August, he ordered the mayor to give a ball, and for this
purpose a temporary building, capable of holding 300 persons, was to be
erected, and the whole entertainment, building and all, were to be at the
expense of the inhabitants themselves. These were bad auspices, and
accordingly the ball completely failed. Madame Mtire, Madame Bertrand,
and the two ladies of honour, attended, but not above thirty of the fair
islanders, and as the author of the IEineraire remarks, "Le bal ful
triste quoique Bonaparte n'y parut pas."

Having in an excursion reached the summit of one of the highest hills on
the island, where the sea was visible all round him, he shook his head
with affected solemnity, and exclaimed in a bantering tone, "Eh! il faut
avouer que mon ile est bien petite."

On this mountain one of the party saw a little church in an almost
inaccessible situation, and observed that it was a most inconvenient site
for a church, for surely no congregation could attend it. "It is on that
account the more convenient to the parson," replied Bonaparte, "who may
preach what stuff he pleases without fear of contradiction."

As they descended the hill and met some peasants with their goats who
asked for charity, Bonaparte told a story which the present circumstances
brought to his recollection, that when he was crossing the Great St.
Bernard, previously to the battle of Marengo, he had met a goatherd, and
entered into conversation with him. The goatherd, not knowing to whom he
was speaking, lamented his own hard lot, and envied the riches of some
persons who actually had cows and cornfields. Bonaparte inquired if some
fairy were to offer to gratify all his wishes what he would ask? The
poor peasant expressed, in his own opinion, some very extravagant
desires, such as a dozen of cows and a good farmhouse. Bonaparte
afterwards recollected the incident, and astonished the goatherd by the
fulfilment of all his wishes.

But all his thoughts and conversations were not as light and pleasant as
these. Sometimes he would involve himself in an account of the last
campaign, of his own views and hopes, of the defection of his marshals,
of the capture of Paris, and finally of his abdication; on these he would
talk by the hour with great earnestness and almost fury, exhibiting in
very rapid succession traits of eloquence, of military genius, of
indignation; of vanity, and of selfishness. With regard to the audience
to whom he addressed these tirades he was not very particular.

The chief violence of his rage seemed to be directed against Marshal
Marmont whom, as well as Augereau, he sometimes called by names too gross
for repetition, and charged roundly with treachery. Marmont, when he
could no longer defend Paris by arms, saved it by an honourable
capitulation; he preserved his army for the service of his country and
when everything else was lost stipulated for the safety of Bonaparte.
This last stipulation, however, Bonaparte affected to treat with contempt
and indignation.--[Editor of 1836 edition.]



Changes produced by time--Correspondence between the Provisional
Government and Hartwell--Louis XVIII's reception in London--
His arrival at Calais--Berthier's address to the King at Compiegne--
My presentation to his Majesty at St. Ouen-Louis--XVIII's entry into
Paris--Unexpected dismissal from my post--M. de Talleyrand's
departure for the Congress of Vienna--Signs of a commotion--
Impossibility of seeing M. de Blacas--The Abby Fleuriel--Unanswered
letters--My letter to M. de Talleyrand at Vienna.

No power is so great as that resulting from the changes produced by time.
Wise policy consists in directing that power, but to do so it is
requisite to know the wants of the age. For this reason Louis XVIII.
appeared, in the eyes of all sensible persons, a monarch expressly formed
for the circumstances in which we stood after the fall of Napoleon.

In the winter of 1813-14 some Royalist proclamations had been circulated
in Paris, and as they contained the germs of those hopes which the
Charter, had it been executed, was calculated to realise, the police
opposed their circulation, and I recollect that, in order to multiply the
number of copies, my family and I daily devoted some hours to
transcribing them. After the definitive declaration of Alexander a very
active correspondence ensued between the Provisional Government and
Hartwell, and Louis XVIII. was even preparing to embark for Bordeaux when
he learned the events of the 31st of March. That news induced the King
to alter his determination, and he soon quitted his retirement to proceed
to London. Louis XVIII. and the Prince Regent of England exchanged the
orders of the Holy Ghost and the Garter, and I believe I may affirm that
this was the first occasion on which any but a Catholic Prince was
invested with the order of the Holy Ghost.

Louis XVIII. embarked at Dover on board the Royal Sovereign, and landed
at Calais on the 24th of April. I need not enter into any description of
the enthusiasm which his presence excited; that is generally known
through the reports of the journals of the time. It is very certain that
all rational persons saw with satisfaction the Princes of the House of
Bourbon reascend the throne of their ancestors, enlightened by experience
and misfortune, which, as some ancient philosopher observes, are the best
counsellors of kings.

I had received a letter addressed to me from London by the Duc de Duras,
pointing out the route which Louis XVIII. was to pursue from Calais to
Paris: In this he said, "After the zeal, monsieur, you have shown for the
service of the King, I do not doubt your activity to prevent his
suffering in any way at a moment so happy and interesting for every
Frenchman." The King's wishes on this subject were scrupulously
fulfilled, and I recollect with pleasure the zeal with which my
directions were executed by all the persons in the service of the
Postoffice. His Majesty stopped for a short time at Amiens, and then
proceeded to Compiegne, where the Ministers and Marshals had previously
arrived to present to him their homage and the assurance of their
fidelity. Berthier addressed the King in the name of the Marshals, and
said, among other things, "that France, groaning for five and twenty
years under the weight of the misfortunes that oppressed her, had
anxiously looked forward to the happy day which she now saw dawning."
Berthier might justly have said for "ten years"; but at all events, even
had he spoken the truth, it was ill placed in the mouth of a man whom the
Emperor had constantly loaded with favours: The Emperor Alexander also
went to Compiegne to meet Louis XVIII., and the two monarchs dined

I did not go to Compiegne because the business which I had constantly to
execute did not permit me to leave Paris for so long an interval as that
journey would have required, but I was at St. Ouen when Louis XVIII.
arrived on the 2d of May. There I had to congratulate myself on being
remembered by a man to whom I was fortunate enough to render some service
at Hamburg. As the King entered the salon through which he had to pass
to go to the dining-room M. Hue recognising me said to his Majesty,
"There is M. de Bourrienne." The King then stepping up to me said, "Ah!
M. de Bourrienne, I am very glad to see you. I am aware of the services
you have rendered me in Hamburg and Paris, and I shall feel much pleasure
in testifying my gratitude."

At St. Ouen Louis XVIII. promulgated the declaration which preceded the
Charter, and which repeated the sentiments expressed by the King twenty
years before, in the Declaration of Colmar. It was also at St, Ouen that
project of a Constitution was presented to him by the Senate in which
that body, to justify 'in extremis' its title of conservative, stipulated
for the preservation of its revenues and endowments.

On the 3d of May Louis XVIII. made his solemn entrance into Paris, the
Duchess d'Angouleme being in the carriage with the King. His Majesty
proceeded first to Notre Dame. On arriving at the Pont Neuf he saw the
model of the statue of Henri IV. replaced, on the pedestal of which
appeared the following words: 'Ludovico reduce, Henricus redivivus',
which were suggested by M. de Lally-Tollendal, and were greatly
preferable to the long and prolix inscription composed for the bronze

The King's entrance into Paris did not excite so much enthusiasm as the
entrance of Monsieur. In the places through which I passed on the 3d of
May astonishment seemed to be the prevailing feeling among the people.
The abatement of public enthusiasm was more perceptible a short time
after, when Louis XVIII. restored "the red corps" which Louis XVI. had
suppressed long before the Revolution.

It was not a little extraordinary to see the direction of the Government
consigned to a man who neither had nor could have any knowledge of
France. From the commencement M. de Blacas affected ministerial
omnipotence. When I went on the 11th of May to the Tuileries to present,
as usual, my portfolio to the King, in virtue of my privilege of
transacting business with the sovereign, M. de Blacas wished to take the
portfolio from me, which appeared to me the more surprising as, during
the seven days I had the honour of coming in contact with Louis XVIII.,
his Majesty had been pleased to bestow many compliments upon me. I at
first refused to give up the portfolio, but M. de Blacas told me the King
had ordered him to receive it; I then, of course, yielded the point.

However, it, was not long before I had experience of a courtier's
revenge, for two days after this circumstance, that is to say, on the
13th of May, on entering my cabinet at the usual hour, I mechanically
took up the 'Moniteur', which I found lying on my desk. On glancing
hastily over it what was my astonishment to find that the Comte Ferrand
had been appointed Director of the Post-office in my stead. Such was the
strange mode in which M. de Blacas made me feel the promised gratitude of
the sovereign. Certainly, after my proofs of loyalty, which a year
afterwards procured for me the honour of being outlawed in quite a
special way, I had reason to complain, and I might have said 'Sic vos non
vobis' as justly as Virgil when he alluded to the unmerited favours
lavished by Augustus on the Maevii and Bavii of his time.

The measures of Government soon excited complaints in every quarter.
The usages of the old system were gradually restored, and ridicule being
mingled with more serious considerations, Paris was speedily inundated
with caricatures and pamphlets. However, tranquillity prevailed until
the month of September, when M. de Talleyrand departed for the Congress
of Vienna. Then all was disorder at the Tuileries. Every one feeling
himself free from restraint, wished to play the statesman, and Heaven
knows how many follies were committed in the absence of the schoolmaster.

Under a feeble Government there is but one step from discontent to
insurrection, under an imbecile Government like that of France in 1814,
after the departure of M. de Talleyrand, conspiracy has free Scope.
During the summer of 1814 were initiated the events which reached their
climax on the 20th of March 1815. I almost fancy I am dreaming when I
look back on the miraculous incapacity of the persons who were then at
the head of our Government. The emigrants, who, as it has been truly
said, had neither learned nor forgotten anything, came back with all the
absurd pretensions of Coblentz. Their silly vanity reminded one of a
character in one of Voltaire's novels who is continually saying, "Un
homme comme moi!" These people were so engrossed with their pretended
merit that they were blind to everything else. They not only disregarded
the wishes and the wants of France; which in overthrowing the Empire
hoped to regain liberty, but they disregarded every warning they had

I recollect one circumstance which was well calculated to excite
suspicion. Prince Eugene proposed going to the waters of Plombieres to
join his sister Hortense. The horses, the carriages, and one of the
Prince's aides de camp had already arrived at Plombieres, and his
residence was prepared; but he did not go. Eugene had, no doubt,
received intimation of his sister's intrigues with some of the
individuals of the late Court of Napoleon who were then at the waters,
and as he had determined to reside quietly at the Court of his father-in-
law; without meddling with public affairs, he remained at Munich. This
fact, however, passed off unnoticed.

At the end of 1814 unequivocal indications of a great catastrophe were
observable. About that time a man, whom I much esteem, and with whom I
have always been on terms of friendship, said to me, "You see how things
are going on: they are committing fault upon fault. You must be
convinced that such a state of things cannot last long. Between
ourselves, I am of opinion that all will be over in the month of March;
that month will repair the disgrace of last March. We shall then, once
for all, be delivered from fanaticism and the emigrants. You see the
intolerable spirit of hypocrisy that prevails, and you know that the
influence of the priests is, of all things, the most hateful to the
nation. We have gone back a long way within the last eight months. I
fear you will repent of having taken too active a part in affairs at the
commencement of the present year. You see we have gone a very different
way from what you expected. However, as I have often told you before,
you had good reason to complain; and after all, you acted to the best of
your judgment."

I did not attach much importance to this prediction of a change in the
month of March. I deplored, as every one did, the inconceivable errors
of "Ferrand and Company," and I hoped that the Government would gradually
return to those principles which were calculated to conciliate the
feelings of the people. A few days after another of my friends called on
me. He had exercised important functions, and his name had appeared on a
proscription list. He had claims upon the Government, which was by no
means favourably disposed towards him. I asked him how things were going
on, and he replied, "Very well; no opposition is made to my demands. I
have no reason bo complain." This reminded me of the man in the 'Lettres
Persanes', who admired the excellent order of the finances under Colbert
because his pension was promptly paid. I congratulated my friend on the
justice which the Government rendered him, as well as on the justice
which he rendered to the Government, and I remarked that if the same
course were adopted towards every one all parties would speedily be
conciliated. "I do not think so," said my friend. "If the Government
persist in its present course it cannot possibly stand, and we shall have
the Emperor back again."--"That," said I, "would be a very great
misfortune; and even if such were the wish of France, it would be opposed
by Europe. You who are so devotedly attached to France cannot be
indifferent to the danger that would threaten her if the presence of
Bonaparte should bring the foreigners back again. Can you endure to
think of the dismemberment of our country?"--"That they would never dare
to attempt. But you and I can never agree on the question of the Emperor
and your Bourbons. We take a totally different view of the matter. You
had cause to complain of Bonaparte, but I had only reason to be satisfied
with him. But tell me, what would you do if he were to return?"--
"Bonaparte return!"--"Yes."--"Upon my word, the best thing I could do
would be to set off as speedily as I could, and that is certainly what I
should do. I am thoroughly convinced that he would never pardon me for
the part I have taken in the Restoration, and I candidly confess that I
should not hesitate a moment to save my life by leaving France."--"Well,
you are wrong, for I am convinced that if you would range yourself among
the number of his friends you might have whatever you wished--titles,
honours, riches. Of this I could give you assurance."--"All this, I must
tell you, does not tempt me. I love France as dearly, as you do, and I
am convinced that she can never be happy under Bonaparte. If he should
return I will go and live abroad."

This is only part of a conversation which lasted a considerable time,
and, as is often the case after a long discussion, my friend retained his
opinion, and I mine. However, this second warning, this hypothesis of
the return of Bonaparte, made me reflect, and I soon received another
hint which gave additional weight to the preceding ones. An individual
with whom I was well acquainted, and whom I knew from his principles and
connections to be entirely devoted to the royal cause, communicated to me
some extraordinary circumstances which he said alarmed him. Among other
things he said, "The day before yesterday I met Charles de Labedoyere,
who, you know, is my intimate friend. I remarked that he had an air of
agitation and abstraction. I invited him to come and dine with me, but
he declined, alleging as an excuse that we should not be alone. He then
asked me to go and dine with him yesterday, as he wanted to talk with me.
I accepted his invitation, and we conversed a long time on political
affair's and the situation of France. You know my sentiments are quite
the reverse of his, so we disputed and wrangled, though we are still very
good friends. But what alarms me is, that at parting Charles pressed my
hand, saying, 'Adieu; to-morrow I set off for Grenoble. In a month you
will hear something of Charles de Labedoyere.'"

These three successive communications appeared to me very extraordinary.
The two first were made to me by persons interested in the event, and the
third by one who dreaded it. They all presented a striking coincidence
with the intrigues at Plombieres a few months before. In the month of
January I determined to mention the business to M. de Blacas, who then
engrossed all credit and all power, and through whose medium alone
anything could reach the sovereign. I need scarcely add that my
intention was merely to mention to him the facts without naming the
individuals from whom I obtained them. After all, however, M. de Blacas
did not receive me, and I only had the honour of speaking to his
secretary, who, if the fact deserve to be recorded, was an abbe named
Fleuriel. This personage, who was an extraordinary specimen of
impertinence and self-conceit, would have been an admirable study for a
comic poet. He had all the dignity belonging to the great secretary of a
great Minister, and, with an air of indifference, he told me that the
Count was not there; but M. de Blacas was there, and I knew it.

Devoted as I was to the cause of the Bourbons, I thought it my duty to
write that very day to M. de Blacas to request an interview; I received
no answer. Two days after I wrote a second letter, in which I informed
M. de Blacas that I had something of the greatest importance to
communicate to him; this letter remained unnoticed like the first.
Unable to account for this strange treatment I again repaired to the
Pavilion de Flore, and requested the Abbe Fleuriel to explain to me if he
could the cause of his master's silence. "Sir," said he, "I received
your two letters, and laid them before the Count; I cannot tell why he
has not sent you an answer; but Monsieur le Comte is so much engaged . .
. . Monsieur le Comte is so overwhelmed with business that"--"Monsieur
le Comte may, perhaps, repent of it. Good morning, sir!"

I thus had personal experience of the truth of what I had often heard
respecting M. de Blacas. That favourite, who succeeded Comte d'Avaray,
enjoyed the full confidence of the King, and concentrated the sovereign
power in his own cabinet. The only means of transmitting any
communication to Louis XVIII. was to get it addressed to M. de Blacas by
one of his most intimate friends.

Convinced as I was of the danger that threatened France, and unable to
break through the blockade which M. de Blacas had formed round the person
of the King, I determined to write to M. de Talleyrand at Vienna,' and
acquaint him with the communications that had been made to me. M. de
Talleyrand corresponded directly with the King, and I doubt not that my
information at length reached the ears of his Majesty. But when Louis
XVIII. was informed of what was to happen it was too late to avert the



Escape from Elba--His landing near Cannes--March on Paris.

About the middle of summer Napoleon was visited by his mother and his
sister the Princess Pauline. Both these ladies had very considerable
talents for political intrigue, and then natural faculties in this way
had not lain dormant or been injured by want of practice. In Pauline
this finesse was partially concealed by a languor and indecision of
manner and an occasional assumption of 'niaiserie'; or almost infantine
simplicity; but this only threw people the more off their guard, and made
her finesse the more sure in its operation. Pauline was handsome too,
uncommonly graceful, and had all that power of fascination which has been
attributed to the Bonaparte family. She could gain hearts with ease, and
those whom her charms enslaved were generally ready to devote themselves
absolutely to her brother. She went and came between Naples and Elba,
and kept her brother-in-law, Murat, in mind of the fact that the lion was
not yet dead nor so much as sleeping, but merely retiring the better to
spring forward on his quarry.

Having taken this resolution and chosen his time, Napoleon kept the
secret of his expedition until the last moment; and means were found to
privately make the requisite preparations. A portion of the soldiers was
embarked in a brig called the 'Inconstant' and the remainder in six small
craft. It was not till they were all on board that the troops first
conceived a suspicion of the Emperor's purpose: 1000 or 1200 men had
sailed to regain possession of an Empire containing a population of
30,000,000! He commenced his voyage on Sunday the 26th of February 1815,
and the next morning at ten o'clock was not out of sight of the island,
to the great annoyance of the few friends he had left behind. At this
time Colonel Sir Neil Campbell was absent on a tour to Leghorn, but being
informed by the French Consul and by Spanocchi, the Tuscan Governor of
the town, that Napoleon was about to sail for the Continent, he hastened
back, and gave chase to the little squadron in the Partridge sloop of
war, which was cruising in the neighbourhood, but, being delayed by
communicating with a French frigate, reached Antibes too late.

There were between 400 and 500 men on board the brig (the 'Inconstant')
in which Bonaparte embarked. On the passage they met with a French ship
of war, with which they spoke. The Guards were ordered to pull off their
caps and lie down on the deck or go below while the captain exchanged
some words with the commander of the frigate, whom he afterwards proposed
to pursue and capture. Bonaparte rejected the idea as absurd, and asked
why he should introduce this new episode into his plan.

As they stood over to the coast of France the Emperor was in the highest
spirits. The die was cast, and he seemed to be quite himself again. He
sat upon the deck and amused the officers collected round him with a
narrative of his campaigns, particularly those of Italy and Egypt. When
he had finished he observed the deck to be encumbered with several large
chests belonging to him. He asked the maitre d'hotel what they
contained. Upon being told they were filled with wine he ordered them to
be immediately broken open, saying, "We will divide the booty." The
Emperor superintended the distribution himself, and presented bottle by
bottle to his comrades, till tired of this occupation he called out to
Bertrand, "Grand Marshal, assist me, if you please. Let us help these
gentlemen. They will help us some day." It was with this species of
bonhomie that he captivated when he chose all around him. The following
day he was employed in various arrangements, and among others in
dictating to Colonel Raoul the proclamations to be issued on his landing
In one of these, after observing, "we must forget that we have given law
to the neighbouring nations," Napoleon stopped. "What have I said?"
Colonel Raoul read the passage. "Stop!" said Napoleon. "Omit the word
'neighbouring;' say simply 'to nations.'" It was thus his pride revealed
itself; and his ambition seemed to rekindle at the very recollections of
his former greatness.

Napoleon landed without any accident on the 1st of March at Cannes, a
small seaport in the Gulf of St. Juan, not far from Frejus, where he had
disembarked on his return from Egypt sixteen years before, and where he
had embarked the preceding year for Elba. A small party of the Guards
who presented themselves before the neighbouring garrison of Antibes were
made prisoners by General Corsin, the Governor of the place. Some one
hinted that it was not right to proceed till they had released their
comrades, but the Emperor observed that this was poorly to estimate the
magnitude of the undertaking; before them were 30,000,000 men uniting to
be set free! He, however, sent the Commissariat Officer to try what be
could do, calling out after him, "Take care you do not get yourself made
prisoner too!"

At nightfall the troops bivouacked on the beach. Just before a
postillion, in a splendid livery, had been brought to Napoleon. It
turned out that this man had formerly been a domestic of the Empress
Josephine, and was now in the service of the Prince of Monaco, who
himself had been equerry to the Empress. The postillion, after
expressing his great astonishment at finding the Emperor there, stated,
in answer to the questions that were put to him, that he had just come
from Paris; that all along the road, as far as Avignon, he had heard
nothing but regret for the Emperor's absence; that his name was
constantly echoed from mouth to mouth; and that, when once fairly through
Provence, he would find the whole population ready to rally round him.
The man added that his laced livery had frequently rendered him the
object of odium and insult on the road. This was the testimony of one of
the common class of society: it was very gratifying to the Emperor, as it
entirely corresponded with his expectations. The Prince of Monaco
himself, on being presented to the Emperor, was less explicit. Napoleon
refrained from questioning him on political matters. The conversation
therefore assumed a more lively character, and turned altogether on the
ladies of the former Imperial Court, concerning whom the Emperor was very
particular in his inquiries.

As soon as the moon had risen, which was about one or two in the morning
of the 2d, the bivouacs were broken up, and Napoleon gave orders for
proceeding to Grasse. There he expected to find a road which he had
planned during the Empire, but in this he was disappointed, the Bourbons
having given up all such expensive works through want of money.
Bonaparte was therefore obliged to pass through narrow defiles filled
with snow, and left behind him in the hands of the municipality his
carriage and two pieces of cannon, which had been brought ashore. This
was termed a capture in the bulletins of the day. The municipality of
Grasse was strongly in favour of the Royalist cause, but the sudden
appearance of the Emperor afforded but little time for hesitation, and
they came to tender their submission to him. Having passed through the
town be halted on a little height some way beyond it, where he
breakfasted. He was soon surrounded by the whole population of the
place; and he heard the same sentiments and the same prayers as before he
quitted France. A multitude of petitions had already been drawn up, and
were presented to him, just as though he had come from Paris and was
making a tour through the departments. One complained that his pension
had not been paid, another that his cross of the Legion of Honour had
been taken from him. Some of the more discontented secretly informed
Napoleon that the authorities of the town were very hostile to him, but
that the mass of the people were devoted to him, and only waited till his
back was turned to rid themselves of the miscreants. He replied, "Be not
too hasty. Let them have the mortification of seeing our triumph without
having anything to reproach us with." The Emperor advanced with all the
rapidity in his power. "Victory," he said, "depended on my speed. To me
France was in Grenoble. That place was a hundred miles distant, but I
and my companions reached it in five days; and with what weather and what
roads! I entered the city just as the Comte d'Artois, warned by the
telegraph, was quitting the Tuileries."

Napoleon himself was so perfectly convinced of the state of affairs that
he knew his success in no way depended on the force he might bring with
him. A 'piquet' of 'gens d'armes', he said, was all that was necessary.
Everything turned out as he foresaw. At first he owned he was not
without some degree of uncertainty and apprehension. As he advanced,
however, the whole population declared themselves enthusiastically in his
favour: but he saw no soldiers. It was not till he arrived between Mure
and Vizille, within five or six leagues from Grenoble, and on the fifth
day after his landing, that he met a battalion. The commanding officer
refused to hold even a parley. The Emperor, without hesitation, advanced
alone, and 100 grenadiers marched at some distance behind him, with their
arms reversed. The sight of Napoleon, his well-known costume, and his
gray military greatcoat, had a magical effect on the soldiers, and they
stood motionless. Napoleon went straight up to them and baring his
breast said, "Let him that has the heart kill his Emperor!" The soldiers
threw down their arms, their eyes moistened with tears, and cries of
"Vive l'Empereur!" resounded on every side. Napoleon ordered the
battalion to wheel round to the right, and all marched on together.

At a short distance from Grenoble Colonel Labedoyere, who had been sent
at the head of the 7th regiment to oppose his passage, came to join the
Emperor. The impulse thus given in a manner decided the question.
Labedoyere's superior officer in vain interfered to restrain his
enthusiasm and that of his men. The tri-coloured cockades, which had
been concealed in the hollow of a drum, were eagerly distributed by
Labedoyere among them, and they threw away the white cockade as a badge
of their nation's dishonour. The peasantry of Dauphiny, the cradle of
the Revolution, lined the roadside: they were transported and mad with
joy. The first battalion, which has just been alluded to, had shown some
signs of hesitation, but thousands of the country people crowded round
it, and by their shouts of "Vive l'Empereur!" endeavoured to urge the
troops to decision, while others who followed in Napoleon's rear
encouraged his little troop to advance by assuring them that they would
meet with success. Napoleon said he could have taken 2,000,000 of these
peasants with him to Paris, but that then he would have been called "the
King of the Jaequerie."

Napoleon issued two proclamations on the road. He at first regretted
that he had not had them printed before he left Elba; but this could not
have been done without some risk of betraying his secret designs. He
dictated them on board the vessel, where every man who could write was
employed in copying them. These copies soon became very scarce; many of
them were illegible; and it was of till he arrived at Gap, on the 5th of
March, that he found means to have them printed. They were from that
time circulated and read everywhere with the utmost avidity.

The address to the army was considered as being still more masterly and
eloquent, and it was certainly well suited to the taste of French
soldiers, who, as Bourrienne remarks, are wonderfully pleased with
grandiloquence, metaphor, and hyperbole, though they do not always
understand what they mean. Even a French author of some distinction
praises this address as something sublime. "The proclamation to the
army," says he, "is full of energy: it could not fail to make all
military imaginations vibrate. That prophetic phrase, 'The eagle, with
the national colours, will fly from church steeple to church steeple,
till it settles on the towers of Notre Dame,' was happy in the extreme."

These words certainly produced an immense effect on the French soldiery,
who everywhere shouted, "Vive l'Empereur!" "Vive le petit Caporal!"
"We will die for our old comrade!" with the most genuine enthusiasm.

It was some distance in advance of Grenoble that Labedoyere joined, but
he could not make quite sure of the garrison of that city, which was
commanded by General Marchand, a man resolved to be faithful to his
latest master. The shades of night had fallen when Bonaparte arrived in
front of the fortress of Grenoble, where he stood for some minutes in a
painful state of suspense and indecision.

It was on the 7th of March, at nightfall, that Bonaparte thus stood
before the walls of Grenoble. He found the gates closed, and the
commanding officer refused to open them. The garrison assembled on the
ramparts shouted "Vive l'Empereur!" and shook hands with Napoleon's
followers through the wickets, but they could not be prevailed on to do
more. It was necessary to force the gates, and this was done under the
mouths of ten pieces of artillery, loaded with grapeshot. In none of his
battles did Napoleon ever imagine himself to be in so much danger as at
the entrance into Grenoble. The soldiers seemed to turn upon him with
furious gestures: for a moment it might be supposed that they were going
to tear him to pieces. But these were the suppressed transports of love
and joy. The Emperor and his horse were both borne along by the
multitude, and he had scarcely time to breathe in the inn where he
alighted when an increased tumult was heard without; the inhabitants of
Grenoble came to offer him the broken gates of the city, since they could
not present him with the keys.

From Grenoble to Paris Napoleon found no further opposition. During the
four days of his stay at Lyons, where he had arrived on the 10th, there
were continually upwards of 20,000 people assembled before his windows;
whose acclamations were unceasing. It would never have been supposed
that the Emperor had even for a moment been absent from the, country.
He issued orders, signed decrees, reviewed the troops, as if nothing had
happened. The military corps, the public bodies, and all classes of
citizens, eagerly came forward to tender their homage and their services.
The Comte d'Artois, who had hastened to Lyons, as the Duc and Duchesse
d'Augouleme had done to Bourdeaux, like them in vain attempted to make a
stand. The Mounted National Guard (who were known Royalists) deserted
him at this crisis, and in his flight only one of them chose to follow
him. Bonaparte refused their services when offered to him, and with a
chivalrous feeling worthy of being recorded sent the decoration of the
Legion of Honour to the single volunteer who had thus shown his fidelity
by following the Duke.

As soon as the Emperor quitted Lyons he wrote to Ney, who with his army
was at Lons-le-Saulnier, to come and join him. Ney had set off from the
Court with a promise to bring Napoleon, "like a wild beast in a cage, to
Paris." Scott excuses Ney's heart at the expense of his head, and
fancies that the Marshal was rather carried away by circumstances, by
vanity, and by fickleness, than actuated by premeditated treachery, and
it is quite possible that these protestations were sincerely uttered when
Ney left Paris, but, infected by the ardour of his troops, he was unable
to resist a contagion so much in harmony with all his antecedents, and to
attack not only his leader in many a time of peril, but also the
sovereign who had forwarded his career through every grade of the army.

The facts of the cane were these:--

On the 11th of March Ney, being at Besancon, learned that Napoleon was at
Lyons. To those who doubted whether his troops would fight against their
old comrades he said, "They shall fight! I will take a musket from a
grenadier and begin the action myself! I will run my sword to the hilt
in the body of the first man who hesitates to fire." At the same time he
wrote to the Minister of War at Paris that he hoped to see a fortunate
close to this mad enterprise.

He then advanced to Lons-le-Saulnier, where, on the night between the
13th and 14th of March, not quite three days after his vehement
protestations of fidelity, he received, without hesitation, a letter from
Bonaparte, inviting him, by his old appellation of the "Bravest of the
Brave," to join his standard. With this invitation Ney complied, and
published an order of the day that declared the cause of the Bourbons,
which he had sworn to defend, lost for ever.

It is pleaded in extenuation of Ney's defection that both his officers
and men were beyond his control, and determined to join their old Master;
but in that case he might have given up his command, and retired in the
same honourable way that Marshals Macdonald and Marmont and several other
generals did. But even among his own officers Ney had an example set
him, for many of them, after remonstrating in vain, threw up their
commands. One of them broke his sword in two and threw the pieces at
Ney's feet, saying, "It is easier for a man of honour to break iron than
to break his word."

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