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

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the day after, gave him an invitation to dinner. When this intelligence
arrived at the Luxembourg I could perceive that the Chief of the Republic
was flattered that one of his aides de camp should have sat at table with
a King, who some years after was doomed to wait for him in his
antechamber at Tilsit.

Duroc never spoke on politics to the King of Prussia, which was very
fortunate, for, considering his age and the exclusively military life he
had led, he could scarcely have been expected to avoid blunders. Some
time later, after the death of Paul I., he was sent to congratulate
Alexander on his accession to the throne. Bonaparte's design in thus
making choice of Duroc was to introduce to the Courts of Europe, by
confidential missions, a young man to whom he was much attached, and also
to bring him forward in France. Duroc went on his third mission to
Berlin after the war broke out with Austria. He often wrote to me, and
his letters convinced me how much he had improved himself within a short

Another circumstance which happened at the commencement of the Consulate
affords an example of Bonaparte's inflexibility when he had once formed a
determination. In the spring of 1799, when we were in Egypt, the
Directory gave to General Latour-Foissac, a highly distinguished officer,
the command of Mantua, the taking of which had so powerfully contributed
to the glory of the conqueror of Italy. Shortly after Latour's
appointment to this important post the Austrians besieged Mantua. It was
welt known that the garrison was supplied with provisions and ammunition
for a long resistance; yet, in the month of July it surrendered to the
Austrians. The act of capitulation contained a curious article, viz.
"General Latour-Foissac and his staff shall be conducted as prisoners to
Austria; the garrison shall be allowed to return to France." This
distinction between the general and the troops entrusted to his command,
and at the same time the prompt surrender of Mantua, were circumstances
which, it must be confessed, were calculated to excite suspicions of
Latour-Foissac. The consequence was, when Bernadotte was made War
Minister he ordered an inquiry into the general's conduct by a court-
martial. Latour-Foissac had no sooner returned to France than he
published a justificatory memorial, in which he showed the impossibility
of his having made a longer defence when he was in want of many objects
of the first necessity.

Such was the state of the affair on Bonaparte's elevation to the Consular
power. The loss of Mantua, the possession of which had cost him so many
sacrifices, roused his indignation to so high a pitch that whenever the
subject was mentioned he could find no words to express his rage.
He stopped the investigation of the court-martial, and issued a violent
decree against Latour-Foissac even before his culpability had been
proved. This proceeding occasioned much discussion, and was very
dissatisfactory to many general officers, who, by this arbitrary
decision, found themselves in danger of forfeiting the privilege of being
tried by their natural judges whenever they happened to displease the
First Consul. For my own part, I must say that this decree against
Latour-Foissac was one which I saw issued with considerable regret. I was
alarmed for the consequences. After the lapse of a few days I ventured
to point out to him the undue severity of the step he had taken; I
reminded him of all that had been said in Latour-Foissac's favour, and
tried to convince him how much more just it would be to allow the trial
to come to a conclusion. "In a country," said I, "like France, where the
point of honour stands above every thing, it is impossible Foissac can
escape condemnation if he be culpable."--"Perhaps you are right,
Bourrienne," rejoined he; "but the blow is struck; the decree is issued.
I have given the same explanation to every one; but I cannot so suddenly
retrace my steps. To retro-grade is to be lost. I cannot acknowledge
myself in the wrong. By and by we shall see what can be done. Time will
bring lenity and pardon. At present it would be premature." Such, word
for word, was Bonaparte's reply. If with this be compared what he said
on the subject at St. Helena it will be found that his ideas continued
nearly unchanged; the only difference is that, instead of the impetuosity
of 1800, he expressed himself with the calmness which time and adversity
naturally produce.

--["It was," says the 'Memorial of St. Helena', "an illegal and
tyrannical act, but still it was a necessary evil. It was the fault
of the law. He was a hundred, nay, a thousand fold guilty, and yet
it was doubtful whether he would be condemned. We therefore
assailed him with the shafts of honour and public opinion. Yet I
repeat it was a tyrannical act, and one of those violent measures
which are at times necessary in great nations and in extraordinary

Bonaparte, as I have before observed, loved contrasts; and I remember at
the very time he was acting so violently against Latour-Foissac he
condescended to busy himself about a company of players which he wished
to send to Egypt, or rather that he pretended to wish to send there,
because the announcement of such a project conveyed an impression of the
prosperous condition of our Oriental colony. The Consuls gravely
appointed the Minister of the Interior to execute this business, and the
Minister in his turn delegated his powers to Florence, the actor. In
their instructions to the Minister the Consuls observed that it would be
advisable to include some female dancers in the company; a suggestion
which corresponds with Bonaparte's note, in which were specified all that
he considered necessary for the Egyptian expedition.

The First Consul entertained singular notions respecting literary
property. On his hearing that a piece, entitled 'Misanthropie et
Repentir', had been brought out at the Odeon, he said to me, "Bourrienne,
you have been robbed."--"I, General? how?"--"You have been robbed,
I tell you, and they are now acting your piece." I have already
mentioned that during my stay at Warsaw I amused myself with translating
a celebrated play of Kotzebue. While we were in Italy I lent Bonaparte
my translation to read, and he expressed himself much pleased with it.
He greatly admired the piece, and often went to see it acted at the
Odeon. On his return he invariably gave me fresh reasons for my claiming
what he was pleased to call my property. I represented to him that the
translation of a foreign work belonged to any one who chose to execute
it. He would not, however, give up his point, and I was obliged to
assure him that my occupations in his service left me no time to engage
in a literary lawsuit. He then exacted a promise from me to translate
Goethe's 'Werther'. I told him it was already done, though
indifferently, and that I could not possibly devote to the subject the
time it merited. I read over to him one of the letters I had translated
into French, and which he seemed to approve.

That interval of the Consular Government during which Bonaparte remained
at the Luxembourg may be called the preparatory Consulate. Then were
sown the seeds of the great events which he meditated, and of those
institutions with which he wished to mark his possession of power. He
was then, if I may use the expression, two individuals in one: the
Republican general, who was obliged to appear the advocate of liberty and
the principles of the Revolution; and the votary of ambition, secretly
plotting the downfall of that liberty and those principles.

I often wondered at the consummate address with which he contrived to
deceive those who were likely to see through his designs. This
hypocrisy, which some, perhaps, may call profound policy, was
indispensable to the accomplishment of his projects; and sometimes, as if
to keep himself in practice, he would do it in matters of secondary
importance. For example, his opinion of the insatiable avarice of Sieyes
is well known; yet when he proposed, in his message to the Council of
Ancients, to give his colleague, under the title of national recompense,
the price of his obedient secession, it was, in the words of the message,
a recompense worthily bestowed on his disinterested virtues.

While at the Luxembourg Bonaparte showed, by a Consular act, his hatred
of the liberty of the press above all liberties, for he loved none.
On the 27th Nivose the Consuls, or rather the First Consul, published a
decree, the real object of which was evidently contrary to its implied

This decree stated that:

The Consuls of the Republic, considering that some of the journals
printed at Paris are instruments in the hands of the enemies of the
Republic, over the safety of which the Government is specially entrusted
by the people of France to watch, decree--

That the Minister of Police shall, during the continuation of the war,
allow only the following journals to be printed and published, viz.
(list of 20 publications)

.....and those papers which are exclusively devoted to science, art,
literature, commerce, and advertisements.

Surely this decree may well be considered as preparatory; and the
fragment I have quoted may serve as a standard for measuring the greater
part of those acts by which Bonaparte sought to gain, for the
consolidation of his power, what he seemed to be seeking solely for the
interest of the friends of the Republic. The limitation to the period of
the continuance of the war had also a certain provisional air which
afforded hope for the future. But everything provisional is, in its
nature, very elastic; and Bonaparte knew how to draw it out ad infinitum.
The decree, moreover, enacted that if any of the uncondemned journals
should insert articles against the sovereignty of the people they would
be immediately suppressed. In truth, great indulgence was shown on this
point, even after the Emperor's coronation.

The presentation of swords and muskets of honour also originated at the
Luxembourg; and this practice was, without doubt, a preparatory step to
the foundation of the Legion of Honour.

--["Armes d'honneur," decreed 25th December 1799. Muskets for
infantry, carbines for cavalry, grenades for artillery, swords for
the officers. Gouvion St. Cyr received the first sword (Thiers,
tome i. p. 126).]--

A grenadier sergeant, named Leon Aune, who had been included in the first
distribution, easily obtained permission to write to the First Consul to
thank him. Bonaparte, wishing to answer him in his own name, dictated to
me the following letter for Aune:--

I have received your letter, my brave comrade. You needed not to
have told me of your exploits, for you are the bravest grenadier in
the whole army since the death of Benezete. You received one of the
hundred sabres I distributed to the army, and all agreed you most
deserved it.

I wish very much again to see you. The War Minister sends you an
order to come to Paris.

This wheedling wonderfully favoured Bonaparte's designs. His letter to
Aune could not fail to be circulated through the army. A sergeant called
my brave comrade by the First Consul--the First General of France! Who
but a thorough Republican, the stanch friend of equality, would have done
this? This was enough to wind up the enthusiasm of the army. At the
same time it must be confessed that Bonaparte began to find the
Luxembourg too little for him, and preparations were set on foot at the

Still this great step towards the re-establishment of the monarchy was to
be cautiously prepared. It was important to do away with the idea that
none but a king could occupy the palace of our ancient kings. What was
to be done? A very fine bust of Brutus had been brought from Italy.
Brutus was the destroyer of tyrants! This was the very thing; and David
was commissioned to place it in a gallery of the Tuileries. Could there
be a greater proof of the Consul's horror of tyranny?

To sleep at the Tuileries, in the bedchamber of the kings of France, was
all that Bonaparte wanted; the rest would follow in due course. He was
willing to be satisfied with establishing a principle the consequences of
which were to be afterwards deduced. Hence the affectation of never
inserting in official acts the name of the Tuileries, but designating
that place as the Palace of the Government. The first preparations were
modest, for it did not become a good Republican to be fond of pomp.
Accordingly Lecomte, who was at that time architect of the Tuileries,
merely received orders to clean the Palace, an expression which might
bear more than one meaning, after the meetings which had been there. For
this purpose the sum of 500,000 francs was sufficient. Bonaparte's drift
was to conceal, as far as possible, the importance he attached to the
change of his Consular domicile. But little expense was requisite for
fitting up apartments for the First Consul. Simple ornaments, such as
marbles and statues, were to decorate the Palace of the Government.

Nothing escaped Bonaparte's consideration. Thus it was not merely at
hazard that he selected the statues of great men to adorn the gallery of
the Tuileries. Among the Greeks he made choice of Demosthenes and
Alesander, thus rendering homage at once to the genius of eloquence and
the genius of victory. The statue of Hannibal was intended to recall the
memory of Rome's most formidable enemy; and Rome herself was represented
in the Consular Palace by the statues of Scipio, Cicero, Cato, Brutus and
Caesar--the victor and the immolator being placed side by side. Among
the great men of modern times he gave the first place to Gustavus
Adolphus, and the next to Turenne and the great Conde, to Turenne in
honour of his military talent, and to Conde to prove that there was
nothing fearful in the recollection of a Bourbon. The remembrance of the
glorious days of the French navy was revived by the statue of Duguai
Trouin. Marlborough and Prince Eugene had also their places in the
gallery, as if to attest the disasters which marked the close of the
great reign; and Marshal Sage, to show that Louis XV.'s reign was not
without its glory. The statues of Frederick and Washington were
emblematic of false philosophy on a throne and true wisdom founding a
free state. Finally, the names of Dugommier, Dampierre, and Joubert were
intended to bear evidence of the high esteem which Bonaparte cherished
for his old comrades,--those illustrious victims to a cause which had now
ceased to be his.

The reader has already been informed of the attempts made by Bonaparte to
induce England and Austria to negotiate with the Consular Government,
which the King of Prussia was the first of the sovereigns of Europe to
recognise. These attempts having proved unavailing, it became necessary
to carry on the war with renewed vigour, and also to explain why the
peace, which had been promised at the beginning of the Consulate, was
still nothing but a promise. In fulfilment of these two objects
Bonaparte addressed an energetic proclamation to the armies, which was
remarkable for not being followed by the usual sacred words, "Vive la

At the same time Bonaparte completed the formation of the Council of
State, and divided it into five sections:--(1) The Interior; (2) Finance;
(3) Marine; (4) The War Department; (5) Legislation. He fixed the
salaries of the Councillors of the State at 25,000 francs, and that of
the Precedents of Sections at 30,000. He settled the costume of the
Consuls, the Ministers, and the different bodies of the State. This led
to the re-introduction of velvet, which had been banished with the old
regime, and the encouragement of the manufactures of Lyons was the reason
alleged for employing this un-republican article in the different
dresses, each as those of the Consuls and Ministers. It was Bonaparte's
constant: aim to efface the Republic, even in the utmost trifles, and to
prepare matters so well that the customs and habits of monarchy being
restored, there should only then remain a word to be changed.

I never remember to have seen Bonaparte in the Consular dress, which he
detested, and which he wore only because duty required him to do so at
public ceremonies. The only dress he was fond of, and in which he felt
at ease, was that in which he subjugated the ancient Eridanus and the
Nile, namely, the uniform of the Guides, to which corps Bonaparte was
always sincerely attached.

The masquerade of official dresses was not the only one which Bonaparte
summoned to the aid of his policy. At that period of the year VIII.
which corresponded with the carnival of 1800, masques began to be resumed
at Paris. Disguises were all the fashion, and Bonaparte favoured the
revival of old amusements; first, because they were old, and next,
because they were, the means of diverting the attention of the people:
for, as he had established the principle that on the field of battle it
is necessary to divide the enemy in order to beat him, he conceived it no
less advisable to divert the people in order to enslave them. Bonaparte
did not say 'panem et circenses', for I believe his knowledge of Latin
did not extend even to that well-known phrase of Juvenal, but he put the
maxim in practice. He accordingly authorised the revival of balls at the
opera, which they who lived during that period of the Consulate know was
an important event in Paris. Some gladly viewed it as a little conquest
in favour of the old regime; and others, who for that very reason
disapproved it, were too shallow to understand the influence of little
over great things. The women and the young men did not bestow a thought
on the subject, but yielded willingly to the attractions of pleasure.
Bonaparte, who was delighted at having provided a diversion for the
gossiping of the Parisian salons, said to me one day, "While they are
chatting about all this, they do not babble upon politics, and that is
what I want. Let them dance and amuse themselves as long as they do not
thrust their noses into the Councils of the Government; besides,
Bourrienne," added he, "I have other reasons for encouraging this, I see
other advantages in it. Trade is languishing; Fouche tells me that there
are great complaints. This will set a little money in circulation;
besides, I am on my guard about the Jacobins. Everything is not bad,
because it is not new. I prefer the opera-balls to the saturnalia of the
Goddess of Reason. I was never so enthusiastically applauded as at the
last parade."

A Consular decision of a different and more important nature had, shortly
before, namely, at the commencement of Nivose, brought happiness to many
families. Bonaparte, as every one knows, had prepared the events of the
18th Fructidor that he might have some plausible reasons for overthrowing
the Directors. The Directory being overthrown, he was now anxious, at
least in part, to undo what he had done on the 18th Fructidor. He
therefore ordered a report on the persons exiled to be presented to him
by the Minister of Police. In consequence of this report he authorised
forty of them to return to France, placing them under the observation of
the Police Minister, and assigning them their place of residence.
However, they did not long remain under these restrictions, and many of
them were soon called to fill high places in the Government. It was
indeed natural that Bonaparte, still wishing, at least in appearance, to
found his government on those principles of moderate republicanism which
had caused their exile, should invite them to second his views.

Barrere wrote a justificatory letter to the First Consul, who, however,
took no notice of it, for he could not get so far as to favour Barrere.
Thus did Bonaparte receive into the Councils of the Consulate the men who
had been exiled by the Directory, just as he afterwards appointed the
emigrants and those exiles of the Revolution to high offices under the
Empire. The time and the men alone differed; the intention in both cases
was the same.



Bonaparte and Paul I.--Lord Whitworth--Baron Sprengporten's arrival
at Paris--Paul's admiration of Bonaparte--Their close connection and
correspondence--The royal challenge--General Mack--The road to
Malmaison--Attempts at assassination--Death of Washington--National
mourning--Ambitious calculation--M. de Fontanel, the skilful orator
--Fete at the Temple of Mars--Murat's marriage with Caroline
Bonaparte--Madame Bonaparte's pearls.

The first communications between Bonaparte and Paul I. commenced a short
time after his accession to the Consulate. Affairs then began to look a
little less unfavourable for France; already vague reports from
Switzerland and the banks of the Rhine indicated a coldness existing
between the Russians and the Austrians; and at the same time, symptoms of
a misunderstanding between the Courts of London and St. Petersburg began
to be perceptible. The First Consul, having in the meantime discovered
the chivalrous and somewhat eccentric character of Paul I., thought the
moment a propitious one to attempt breaking the bonds which united Russia
and England. He was not the man to allow so fine an opportunity to pass,
and he took advantage of it with his usual sagacity. The English had
some time before refused to include in a cartel for the exchange of
prisoners 7000 Russians taken in Holland. Bonaparte ordered them all to
be armed, and clothed in new uniforms appropriate to the corps to which
they had belonged, and sent them back to Russia, without ransom, without
exchange, or any condition whatever. This judicious munificence was not
thrown away. Paul I. showed himself deeply sensible of it, and closely
allied as he had lately been with England, he now, all at once, declared
himself her enemy. This triumph of policy delighted the First Consul.

Thenceforth the Consul and the Czar became the best friends possible.
They strove to outdo each other in professions of friendship; and it may
be believed that Bonaparte did not fail to turn this contest of
politeness to his own advantage. He so well worked upon the mind of Paul
that he succeeded in obtaining a direct influence over the Cabinet of St.

Lord Whitworth, at that time the English ambassador in Russia, was
ordered to quit the capital without delay, and to retire to Riga, which
then became the focus of the intrigues of the north which ended in the
death of Paul. The English ships were seized in all the ports, and, at
the pressing instance of the Czar, a Prussian army menaced Hanover.
Bonaparte lost no time, and, profiting by the friendship manifested
towards him by the inheritor of Catherine's power, determined to make
that friendship subservient to the execution of the vast plan which he
had long conceived: he meant to undertake an expedition by land against
the English colonies in the East Indies.

The arrival of Baron Sprengporten at Paris caused great satisfaction
among the partisans of the Consular Government, that is to say, almost
every one in Paris. M. Sprengporten was a native of Swedish Finland.
He had been appointed by Catherine chamberlain and lieutenant-general of
her forces, and he was not less in favour with Paul, who treated him in
the most distinguished manner. He came on an extraordinary mission,
being ostensibly clothed with the title of plenipotentiary, and at the
same time appointed confidential Minister to the Consul. Bonaparte was
extremely satisfied with the ambassador whom Paul had selected, and with
the manner in, which he described the Emperor's gratitude for the
generous conduct of the First Consul. M. Sprengporten did not conceal
the extent of Paul's dissatisfaction with his allies. The bad issue, he
said, of the war with France had already disposed the Czar to connect
himself with that power, when the return of his troops at once determined

We could easily perceive that Paul placed great confidence in M.
Sprengporten. As he had satisfactorily discharged the mission with which
he had been entrusted, Paul expressed pleasure at his conduct in several
friendly and flattering letters, which Sprengporten always allowed us to
read. No one could be fonder of France than he was, and he ardently
desired that his first negotiations might lead to a long alliance between
the Russian and French Governments. The autograph and very frequent
correspondence between Bonaparte and Paul passed through his hands. I
read all Paul's letters, which were remarkable for the frankness with
which his affection for Bonaparte was expressed. His admiration of the
First Consul was so great that no courtier could have written in a more
flattering manner.

This admiration was not feigned on the part of the Emperor of Russia: it
was no less sincere than ardent, and of this he soon gave proofs. The
violent hatred he had conceived towards the English Government induced
him to defy to single combat every monarch who would not declare war
against England and shut his ports against English ships. He inserted a
challenge to the King of Denmark in the St. Petersburg Court Gazette; but
not choosing to apply officially to the Senate of Hamburg to order its
insertion in the 'Correspondant', conducted by M. Stoves, he sent the
article, through Count Pahlen, to M. Schramm, a Hamburg merchant. The
Count told M. Schramm that the Emperor would be much pleased to see the
article of the St. Petersburg Court Gazette copied into the
Correspondant; and that if it should be inserted, he wished to have a
dozen copies of the paper printed on vellum, and sent to him by an
extraordinary courier. It was Paul's intention to send a copy to every
sovereign in Europe; but this piece of folly, after the manner of Charles
XII., led to no further results.

Bonaparte never felt greater satisfaction in the-whole course of his life
than he experienced from Paul's enthusiasm for him. The friendship of a
sovereign seemed to him a step by which he was to become a sovereign
himself. At the same time the affairs of La Vendee began to assume a
better aspect, and he hoped soon to effect that pacification in the
interior which he so ardently desired.

It was during the First Consul's residence at the Luxembourg that the
first report on the civil code was made to the legislative body. It was
then, also, that the regulations for the management of the Bank of France
were adopted, and that establishment so necessary to France was founded.

There was at this time in Paris a man who has acquired an unfortunate
celebrity, the most unlucky of modern generals--in a word, General Mack.
I should not notice that person here were it not for the prophetic
judgment which Bonaparte then pronounced on him. Mack had been obliged
to surrender himself at Championnet some time before our landing at
Frejus. He was received as a prisoner of war, and the town of Dijon had
been appointed his place of residence, and there he remained until after
the 18th Brumaire. Bonaparte, now Consul, permitted him to come to
Paris, and to reside there on his parole. He applied for leave to go to
Vienna, pledging himself to return again a prisoner to France if the
Emperor Francis would not consent to exchange him for Generals Wrignon
and Grouchy, then prisoners in Austria. His request was not granted, but
his proposition was forwarded to Vienna. The Court of Vienna refused to
accede to it, not placing perhaps so much importance on the deliverance
of Mack as he had flattered himself it would.

Bonaparte speaking to me of him one day said, "Mack is a man of the
lowest mediocrity I ever saw in my life; he is full of self-sufficiency
and conceit, and believes himself equal to anything. He has no talent.
I should like to see him opposed some day to one of our good generals;
we should then see fine work. He is a boaster, and that is all. He is
really one of the most silly men existing; and, besides all that, he is
unlucky." Was not this opinion of Bonaparte, formed on the past, fully
verified by the future?

It was at Malmaison that Bonaparte thus spoke of General Mack. That
place was then far from resembling what it afterwards became, and the
road to it was neither pleasant nor sure. There was not a house on the
road; and in the evening, during the season when we were there, it was
not frequented all the way from St. Germain. Those numerous vehicles,
which the demands of luxury and an increasing population have created,
did not then, as now, pass along the roads in the environs of Paris.
Everywhere the road was solitary and dangerous; and I learned with
certainty that many schemes were laid for carrying off the First Consul
during one of his evening journeys. They were unsuccessful, and orders
were given to enclose the quarries, which were too near to the road. On
Saturday evening Bonaparte left the Luxembourg, and afterwards the
Tuileries, to go to Malmaison, and I cannot better express the joy he
then appeared to experience than by comparing it to the delight of a
school-boy on getting a holiday.

Before removing from the Luxembourg to the Tuileries Bonaparte determined
to dazzle the eyes of the Parisians by a splendid ceremony. He had
appointed it to take place on the 'decadi', Pluviose 20 (9th February
1800), that is to say, ten days before his final departure from the old
Directorial palace. These kinds of fetes did not resemble what they
afterwards became; their attraction consisted in the splendour of
military dress: and Bonaparte was always sure that whenever he mounted
his horse, surrounded by a brilliant staff from which he was to be
distinguished by the simplicity of his costume, his path would be crowded
and himself greeted with acclamations by the people of Paris. The object
of this fete was at first only to present to the 'Hotel des Invalides',
their called the Temple of Mars, seventy-two flags taken from the Turks
in the battle of Aboukir and brought from Egypt to Paris; but
intelligence of Washington's death, who expired on the 14th of December
1799, having reached Bonaparte; he eagerly took advantage of that event
to produce more effect, and mixed the mourning cypress with the laurels
he had collected in Egypt.

Bonaparte did not feel much concerned at the death of Washington, that
noble founder of rational freedom in the new world; but it afforded him
an opportunity to mask his ambitious projects under the appearance of a
love of liberty. In thus rendering honour to the memory of Washington
everybody would suppose that Bonaparte intended to imitate his example,
and that their two names would pass in conjunction from mouth to mouth.
A clever orator might be employed, who, while pronouncing a eulogium on
the dead, would contrive to bestow some praise on the living; and when
the people were applauding his love of liberty he would find himself one
step nearer the throne, on which his eyes were constantly fixed. When
the proper time arrived, he would not fail to seize the crown; and would
still cry, if necessary, "Vive la Liberte!" while placing it on his
imperial head.

The skilful orator was found. M. de Fontanes

--[L. de Fontenes (1767-1821) became president of the Corps
Legislatif, Senator, and Grand Master of the University. He was the
centre of the literary group of the Empire,]--

was commissioned to pronounce the funeral eulogium on Washington, and the
flowers of eloquence which he scattered about did not all fall on the
hero of America.

Lannes was entrusted by Bonaparte with the presentation of the flags; and
on the 20th Pluviose he proceeded, accompanied by strong detachments of
the cavalry then in Paris, to the council-hall of the Invalides, where he
was met by the Minister of War, who received the colours. All the
Ministers, the councillors of, State, and generals were summoned to the
presentation. Lannes pronounced a discourse, to which Berthier replied,
and M. de Fontanes added his well-managed eloquence to the plain military
oratory of the two generals. In the interior of this military temple a
statue of Mars sleeping had been placed, and from the pillars and roof
were suspended the trophies of Denain, Fontenoy, and the campaign of
Italy, which would still have decorated that edifice had not the demon of
conquest possessed Bonaparte. Two Invalides, each said to be a hundred
years old, stood beside the Minister of War; and the bust of the
emancipator of America was placed under the trophy composed of the flags
of Aboukir. In a word, recourse was had to every sort of charlatanism
usual on such occasions. In the evening there was a numerous assembly at
the Luxembourg, and Bonaparte took much credit to himself for the effect
produced on this remarkable day. He had only to wait ten days for his
removal to the Tuileries, and precisely on that day the national mourning
for Washington was to cease, for which a general mourning for freedom
might well have been substituted.

I have said very little about Murat in the course of these Memoirs except
mentioning the brilliant part he performed in several battles. Having
now arrived at the period of his marriage with one of Napoleon's sisters
I take the opportunity of returning to the interesting events which
preceded that alliance.

His fine and well-proportioned form, his great physical strength and
somewhat refined elegance of manner,--the fire of his eye, and his fierce
courage in battle, gave to Murat rather the character of one of those
'preux chevaliers' so well described by Ariosto and Taro, that, that a
Republican soldier. The nobleness of his look soon made the lowness of
his birth be forgotten. He was affable, polished, gallant; and in the
field of battle twenty men headed by Murat were worth a whole regiment.
Once only he showed himself under the influence of fear, and the reader
shall see in what circumstance it was that he ceased to be himself.

--[Marshal Lannes, so brave and brilliant in war and so well able to
appreciate courage, one day sharply rebuked a colonel for having
punished a young officer just arrived from school at Fontainebleau
because he gave evidence of fear in his first engagement. "Know,
colonel," said he, "none but a poltroon (the term was oven more
strong) will boast that he never was afraid."--Bourrienne.]--

When Bonaparte in his first Italian campaign had forced Wurmser to
retreat into Mantua with 28,000 men, he directed Miollis, with only 4000
men, to oppose any sortie that might be attempted by the Austrian
general. In one of these sorties Murat, who was at the head of a very
weak detachment, was ordered to charge Wurmser. He was afraid, neglected
to execute the order, and in a moment of confusion said that he was
wounded. Murat immediately fell into disgrace with the General-in-Chief,
whose 'aide de camp' he was.

Murat had been previously sent to Paris to present to the Directory the
first colours taken by the French army of Italy in the actions of Dego
and Mondovi, and it was on this occasion that he got acquainted with
Madame Tallien and the wife of his General. But he already knew the
beautiful Caroline Bonaparte, whom he had seen at Rome in the residence
of her brother Joseph, who was then discharging the functions of
ambassador of the Republic. It appears that Caroline was not even
indifferent to him, and that he was the successful rival of the Princess
Santa Croce's son, who eagerly sought the honour of her hand. Madame
Tallien and Madame Bonaparte received with great kindness the first 'aide
de camp', and as they possessed much influence with the Directory, they
solicited, and easily obtained for him, the rank of brigadier-general.
It was somewhat remarkable at that time Murat, notwithstanding his newly-
acquired rank, to remain Bonaparte's 'aide de camp', the regulations not
allowing a general-in-chief an 'aide de camp' of higher rank than chief
of brigade, which was equal to that of colonel: This insignificant act
was, therefore, rather a hasty anticipation of the prerogatives
everywhere reserved to princes and kings.

It was after having discharged this commission that Murat, on his return
to Italy, fell into disfavour with the General-in Chief. He indeed
looked upon him with a sort of hostile feeling, and placed him in
Reille's division, and afterwards Baragasy d'Hilliers'; consequently,
when we went to Paris, after the treaty of Campo-Formio, Murat was not of
the party. But as the ladies, with whom he was a great favourite, were
not devoid of influence with the Minister of War, Murat was, by their
interest, attached to the engineer corps in the expedition to Egypt.
On board the Orient he remained in the most complete disgrace. Bonaparte
did not address a word to him during the passage; and in Egypt the
General-in-Chief always treated him with coldness, and often sent him
from the headquarters on disagreeable services. However, the General-in-
Chief having opposed him to Mourad Bey, Murat performed such prodigies of
valour in every perilous encounter that he effaced the transitory stain
which a momentary hesitation under the walls of Mantua had left on his
character. Finally, Murat so powerfully contributed to the success of
the day at Aboukir that Bonaparte, glad to be able to carry another
laurel plucked in Egypt to France, forgot the fault which had made so
unfavourable an impression, and was inclined to efface from his memory
other things that he had heard to the disadvantage of Murat; for I have
good reasons for believing, though Bonaparte never told me so, that
Murat's name, as well as that of Charles, escaped from the lips of Junot
when he made his indiscreet communication to Bonaparte at the walls of
Messoudiah. The charge of grenadiers, commanded by Murat on the 19th
Brumaire in the hall of the Five Hundred, dissipated all the remaining
traces of dislike; and in those moments when Bonaparte's political views
subdued every other sentiment of his mind, the rival of the Prince Santa
Croce received the command of the Consular Guard.

--[Joachim Murat (1771-1616), the son of an innkeeper, aide de camp
to Napoleon in Italy, etc.; Marshal, 1804; Prince in 1806; Grand
Admiral; Grand Duc de Berg et de Clesves, 1808; King of Naples,
1808. Shot by Bourbons 13th October 1815. Married Caroline
Bonaparte (third sister of Napoleon) 20th January 1600.]--

It may reasonably be supposed that Madame Bonaparte, in endeavouring to
win the friendship of Murat by aiding his promotion, had in view to gain
one partisan more to oppose to the family and brothers of Bonaparte; and
of this kind of support she had much need. Their jealous hatred was
displayed on every occasion; and the amiable Josephine, whose only fault
was being too much of the woman, was continually tormented by sad
presentiments. Carried away by the easiness of her character, she did
not perceive that the coquetry which enlisted for her so many defenders
also supplied her implacable enemies with weapons to use against her.

In this state of things Josephine, who was well convinced that she had
attached Murat to herself by the bonds of friendship and gratitude, and
ardently desired to see him united to Bonaparte by a family connection,
favoured with all her influence his marriage with Caroline. She was not
ignorant that a close intimacy had already sprung up at Milan between
Caroline and Murat, and she was the first to propose a marriage. Murat
hesitated, and went to consult M. Collot, who was a good adviser in all
things, and whose intimacy with Bonaparte had initiated him into all the
secrets of the family. M. Collot advised Murat to lose no time, but to
go to the First Consul and formally demand the hand of his sister. Murat
followed his advice. Did he do well? It was to this step that he owed
the throne of Naples. If he had abstained he would not have been shot at
Pizzo. 'Sed ipsi Dei fata rumpere non possunt!'

However that might be, Bonaparte received, more in the manner of a
sovereign than of a brother in arms, the proposal of Murat. He heard him
with unmoved gravity, said that he would consider the matter, but gave no
positive answer.

This affair was, as may be supposed, the subject of conversation in the
evening in the; salon of the Luxembourg. Madame Bonaparte employed all
her powers of persuasion to obtain the First Consul's consent, and her
efforts were seconded by Hortense, Eugene, and myself, "Murat," said he,
among other things, "Murat is an innkeeper's son. In the elevated rank
where glory and fortune have placed me, I never can mix his blood with
mine! Besides, there is no hurry: I shall see by and by." We forcibly
described to him the reciprocal affection of the two young people, and
did not fail to bring to his observation Murat's devoted attachment to
his person, his splendid courage and noble conduct in Egypt. "Yes," said
he, with warmth, "I agree with you; Murat was superb at Aboukir." We did
not allow so favourable a moment to pass by. We redoubled our
entreaties, and at last he consented. When we were together in his
cabinet in the evening, "Well; Bourrienne," said he to me, "you ought to
be satisfied, and so am I, too, everything considered. Murat is suited
to my sister, and then no one can say that I am proud, or seek grand
alliances. If I had given my sister to a noble, all your Jacobins would
have raised a cry of counter-revolution. Besides, I am very glad that my
wife is interested in this marriage, and you may easily suppose the
cause. Since it is determined on, I will hasten it forward; we have no
time to lose. If I go to Italy I will take Murat with me. I must strike
a decisive blow there. Adieu."

When I entered the First Consul's chamber at seven o'clock the next day
he appeared even more satisfied than on the preceding evening with the
resolution he had taken. I easily perceived that in spite of all his
cunning, he had failed to discover the real motive which had induced
Josephine to take so lively an interest respecting Murat's marriage with
Caroline. Still Bonaparte's satisfaction plainly showed that his wife's
eagerness for the marriage had removed all doubt in his mind of the
falsity of the calumnious reports which had prevailed respecting her
intimacy with Murat.

The marriage of Murat and Caroline was celebrated at the Luxembourg, but
with great modesty. The First Consul did not yet think that his family
affairs were affairs of state. But previously to the celebration a
little comedy was enacted in which I was obliged to take a part, and I
will relate how.

At the time of the marriage of Murat Bonaparte had not much money, and
therefore only gave his sister a dowry of 30,000 francs. Still, thinking
it necessary to make her a marriage present, and not possessing the means
to purchase a suitable one, he took a diamond necklace which belonged to
his wife and gave it to the bride. Josephine was not at all pleased with
this robbery, and taxed her wits to discover some means of replacing her

Josephine was aware that the celebrated jeweler Foncier possessed a
magnificent collection of fine pearls which had belonged, as he said, to
the late Queen, Marie Antoinette. Having ordered them to be brought to
her to examine them, she thought there were sufficient to make a very
fine necklace. But to make the purchase 250,000 francs were required,
and how to get them was the difficulty. Madame Bonaparte had recourse to
Berthier, who was then Minister of War. Berthier, after, biting his
nails according to his usual habit, set about the liquidation of the
debts due for the hospital service in Italy with as much speed as
possible; and as in those days the contractors whose claims were admitted
overflowed with gratitude towards their patrons, through whom they
obtained payment, the pearls soon passed from Foncier's shop to the
casket of Madame Bonaparte.

The pearls being thus obtained, there was still another difficulty, which
Madame Bonaparte did not at first think of. How was she to wear a
necklace purchased without her husband's knowledge? Indeed it was the
more difficult for her to do so as the First Consul knew very well that
his wife had no money, and being, if I may be allowed the expression,
something of the busybody, he knew, or believed he knew, all Josephine's
jewels. The pearls were therefore condemned to remain more than a
fortnight in Madame Bonaparte's casket without her daring to use them.
What a punishment for a woman! At length her vanity overcame her
prudence, and being unable to conceal the jewels any longer, she one day
said to me, "Bourrienne, there is to be a large party here to-morrow, and
I absolutely must wear my pearls. But you know he will grumble if he
notices them. I beg, Bourrienne, that you will keep near me. If he asks
me where I got my pearls I must tell him, without hesitation, that I have
had them a long time."

Everything happened as Josephine feared and hoped.

Bonaparte, on seeing the pearls, did not fail to say to Madame, "What is
it you have got there? How fine you are to-day! Where did you get these
pearls? I think I never saw them before."--"Oh! 'mon Dieu'! you have
seen them a dozen times! It is the necklace which the Cisalpine Republic
gave me, and which I now wear in my hair."--"But I think--"--"Stay: ask
Bourrienne, he will tell you."--"Well, Bourrienne, what do you say to it?
Do you recollect the necklace?"--"Yes, General, I recollect very well
seeing it before." This was not untrue, for Madame Bonaparte had
previously shown me the pearls. Besides, she had received a pearl
necklace from the Cisalpine Republic, but of incomparably less value than
that purchased from Fancier. Josephine performed her part with charming
dexterity, and I did not act amiss the character of accomplice assigned
me in this little comedy. Bonaparte had no suspicions. When I saw the
easy confidence with which Madame Bonaparte got through this scene, I
could not help recollecting Suzanne's reflection on the readiness with
which well-bred ladies can tell falsehoods without seeming to do so.



Police on police--False information--Dexterity of Fouche--Police
agents deceived--Money ill applied--Inutility of political police--
Bonaparte's opinion--General considerations--My appointment to the
Prefecture of police.

Before taking up his quarters in the Tuileries the First Consul organised
his secret police, which was intended, at the same time, to be the rival
or check upon Fouche's police. Duroc and Moncey were at first the
Director of this police; afterwards Davonst and Junot. Madame Bonaparte
called this business a vile system of espionage. My remarks on the
inutility of the measure were made in vain. Bonaparte had the weakness
at once to fear Fouche and to think him necessary. Fouche, whose talents
at this trade are too well known to need my approbation, soon discovered
this secret institution, and the names of all the subaltern agents
employed by the chief agents. It is difficult to form an idea of the
nonsense, absurdity, and falsehood contained in the bulletins drawn up by
the noble and ignoble agents of the police. I do not mean to enter into
details on this nauseating subject; and I shall only trespass on the
reader's patience by relating, though it be in anticipation, one fact
which concerns myself, and which will prove that spies and their wretched
reports cannot be too much distrusted.

During the second year of the Consulate we were established at Malmaison.
Junot had a very large sum at his disposal for the secret police of the
capital. He gave 3000 francs of it to a wretched manufacturer of
bulletins; the remainder was expended on the police of his stable and his
table. In reading one of these daily bulletins I saw the following

"M. de Bourrienne went last night to Paris. He entered an hotel of
the Faubourg St. Germain, Rue de Varenne, and there, in the course
of a very animated discussion, he gave it to be understood that the
First Consul wished to make himself King."

As it happens, I never had opened my mouth, either respecting what
Bonaparte had said to me before we went to Egypt or respecting his other
frequent conversations with me of the same nature, during this period of
his Consulship. I may here observe, too, that I never quitted, nor ever
could quit Malmaison for a moment. At any time, by night or day, I was
subject to be called for by the First Consul, and, as very often was the
case, it so happened that on the night in question he had dictated to me
notes and instructions until three o'clock in the morning.

Junot came every day to Malmaison at eleven o'clock in the morning. I
called him that day into my cabinet, when I happened to be alone. "Have
you not read your bulletin?" said I, "Yes, I have."--"Nay, that is
impossible."--"Why?"--"Because, if you had, you would have suppressed an
absurd story which relates to me."--"Ah!" he replied, "I am sorry on your
account, but I can depend on my agent, and I will not alter a word of his
report." I then told him all that had taken place on that night; but he
was obstinate, and went away unconvinced.

Every morning I placed all the papers which the First Consul had to read
on his table, and among the, first was Junot's report. The First Consul
entered and read it; on coming to the passage concerning me he began to

"Have you read this bulletin?"--"yes, General."--"What an ass that Junot
is! It is a long time since I have known that."--" How he allows himself
to be entrapped! Is he still here?"--"I believe so. I have just seen
him, and made observations to him, all in good part, but he would hear
nothing."--"Tell him to come here." When Junot appeared Bonaparte began
--"Imbecile that you are! how could you send me such reports as these?
Do you not read them? How shall I be sure that you will not compromise
other persons equally unjustly? I want positive facts, not inventions.
It is some time since your agent displeased me; dismiss him directly."
Junot wanted to justify himself, but Bonaparte cut him short--"Enough!--
It is settled!"

I related what had passed to Fouche, who told me that, wishing to amuse
himself at Junot's expense, whose police agents only picked up what they
heard related in coffeehouses, gaming-houses, and the Bourse, he had
given currency to this absurd story, which Junot had credited and
reported, as he did many other foolish tales. Fouche often caught the
police of the Palace in the snares he laid for them, and thus increased
his own credit.

This circumstance, and others of the same nature, induced the First
Consul to attach less importance than at first he had to his secret
police, which seldom reported anything but false and silly stories.
That wretched police! During the time I was with him it embittered his
life, and often exasperated him against his wife, his relations, and

--[Bourrienne, it must be remembered, was a sufferer from the
vigilance of this police.]--

Rapp, who was as frank as he was brave, tells us in his Memoirs (p. 233)
that when Napoleon, during his retreat from Moscow, while before
Smolenski, heard of the attempt of Mallet, he could not get over the
adventure of the Police Minister, Savary, and the Prefect of Police,
Pasquier. "Napoleon," says Rapp, "was not surprised that these wretches
(he means the agents of the police) who crowd the salons and the taverns,
who insinuate themselves everywhere and obstruct everything, should not
have found out the plot, but he could not understand the weakness of the
Duc de Rovigo. The very police which professed to divine everything had
let themselves be taken by surprise." The police possessed no foresight
or faculty of prevention. Every silly thing that transpired was reported
either from malice or stupidity. What was heard was misunderstood or
distorted in the recital, so that the only result of the plan was
mischief and confusion.

The police as a political engine is a dangerous thing. It foments and
encourages more false conspiracies than it discovers or defeats real
ones. Napoleon has related "that M. de la Rochefoucauld formed at Paris
a conspiracy in favour of the King, then at Mittau, the first act of
which was to be the death of the Chief of the Government: The plot being
discovered, a trusty person belonging to the police was ordered to join
it and become one of the most active agents. He brought letters of
recommendation from an old gentleman in Lorraine who had held a
distinguished rank in the army of Conde." After this, what more can be
wanted? A hundred examples could not better show the vileness of such a
system. Napoleon, when fallen, himself thus disclosed the scandalous
means employed by his Government.

Napoleon on one occasion, in the Isle of Elba, said to an officer who was
conversing with him about France, "You believe, then; that the police
agents foresee everything and know everything? They invent more than
they discover. Mine, I believe, was better than that they have got now,
and yet it was often only by mere chance, the imprudence of the parties
implicated, or the treachery of some of them, that something was
discovered after a week or fortnight's exertion." Napoleon, in directing
this officer to transmit letters to him under the cover of a commercial
correspondence, to quiet his apprehensions that the correspondence might
be discovered, said, "Do you think, then, that all letters are opened at
the post office? They would never be able to do so. I have often
endeavoured to discover what the correspondence was that passed under
mercantile forms, but I never succeeded. The post office, like the
police, catches only fools."

Since I am on the subject of political police, that leprosy of modern
society, perhaps I may be allowed to overstep the order of time, and
advert to its state even in the present day.

The Minister of Police, to give his prince a favourable idea of his
activity, contrives great conspiracies, which he is pretty sure to
discover in time, because he is their originator. The inferior agents,
to find favour in the eyes of the Minister, contrive small plots. It
would be difficult to mention a conspiracy which has been discovered,
except when the police agents took part in it, or were its promoters.
It is difficult to conceive how those agents can feed a little intrigue,
the result at first, perhaps, of some petty ill-humour and discontent
which, thanks to their skill, soon becomes a great affair. How many
conspiracies have escaped the boasted activity and vigilance of the
police when none of its agents were parties. I may instance Babeuf's
conspiracy, the attempt at the camp at Grenelle, the 18th Brumaire, the
infernal machine, Mallet, the 20th of March, the affair of Grenoble, and
many others.

The political police, the result of the troubles of the Revolution, has
survived them. The civil police for the security of property, health,
and order, is only made a secondary object, and has been, therefore,
neglected. There are times in which it is thought of more consequence
to discover whether a citizen goes to mass or confession than to defeat
the designs of a band of robbers. Such a state of things is unfortunate
for a country; and the money expended on a system of superintendence over
persons alleged to be suspected, in domestic inquisitions, in the
corruption of the friends, relations, and servants of the man marked out
for destruction might be much better employed. The espionage of opinion,
created, as I have said, by the revolutionary troubles, is suspicious,
restless, officious, inquisitorial, vexatious, and tyrannical.
Indifferent to crimes and real offences, it is totally absorbed in the
inquisition of thoughts. Who has not heard it said in company, to some
one speaking warmly, "Be moderate, M------ is supposed to belong to the
police." This police enthralled Bonaparte himself in its snares, and
held him a long time under the influence of its power.

I have taken the liberty thus to speak of a scourge of society of which
I have been a victim. What I here state may be relied on. I shall not
speak of the week during which I had to discharge the functions of
Prefect of Police, namely, from the 13th to the 20th of March 1816.
It may well be supposed that though I had not held in abhorrence the
infamous system which I have described, the important nature of the
circumstances and the short period of my administration must have
prevented me from making complete use of the means placed at my disposal.
The dictates of discretion, which I consider myself bound to obey,
forbid me giving proofs of what I advance. What it was necessary to do
I accomplished without employing violent or vexatious means; and I can
take on myself to assert that no one has cause to complain of me. Were I
to publish the list of the persons I had orders to arrest, those of them
who are yet living would be astonished that the only knowledge they had
of my being tho Prefect of Police was from the Moniteur. I obtained by
mild measures, by persuasion, and reasoning what I could never have got
by violence. I am not divulging any secrets of office, but I believe I
am rendering a service to the public in pointing out what I have often
observed while an unwilling confidant in the shameful manoeuvres of that
political institution.

The word ideologue was often in Bonaparte's mouth; and in using it he
endeavoured to throw ridicule on those men whom he fancied to have a
tendency towards the doctrine of indefinite perfectibility. He esteemed
them for their morality, yet he looked on them as dreamers seeking for
the type of a universal constitution, and considering the character of
man in the abstract only. The ideologues, according to him, looked for
power in institutions; and that he called metaphysics. He had no idea of
power except in direct force: All benevolent men who speculate on the
amelioration of human society were regarded by Bonaparte as dangerous,
because their maxims and principles were diametrically opposed to the
harsh and arbitrary system he had adopted. He said that their hearts
were better than their heads, and, far from wandering with them in
abstractions, he always said that men were only to be governed by fear
and interest. The free expression of opinion through the press has been
always regarded by those who are not led away by interest or power as
useful to society. But Bonaparte held the liberty of the press in the
greatest horror; and so violent was his passion when anything was urged
in its favour that he seemed to labour under a nervous attack. Great man
as he was, he was sorely afraid of little paragraphs.

--[Joseph Bonaparte fairly enough remarks on this that such writings
had done great harm in those extraordinary times (Erreurs, tome i,
p. 259). Metternich, writing in 1827 with distrust of the
proceedings of Louis XVIII., quotes, with approval, Napoleon's
sentiments on this point. "Napoleon, who could not have been
wanting in the feeling of power, said to me, 'You see me master of
Prance; well, I would not, undertake to govern her for three months
with liberty of the press. Louis XVIII., apparently thinking
himself stronger than Napoleon, is not content with allowing the
press its freedom, but has embodied its liberty in the charter"
(Metternich, tome iv, p. 391.)]--



Successful management of parties--Precautions--Removal from the
Luxembourg to the Tuileries--Hackney-coaches and the Consul's white
horses--Royal custom and an inscription--The review--Bonaparte's
homage to the standards--Talleyrand in Bonaparte's cabinet--
Bonaparte's aversion to the cap of liberty even in painting--The
state bed--Our cabinet.

Of the three brothers to whom the 18th Brumaire gave birth Bonaparte
speedily declared himself the eldest, and hastened to assume all the
rights of primogeniture. He soon arrogated to himself the whole power.
The project he had formed, when he favoured the revolution of the 18th
Fructidor, was now about to be realized. It was then an indispensable
part of his plan that the Directory should violate the constitution in
order to justify a subsequent subversion of the Directory. The
expressions which escaped him from time to time plainly showed that his
ambition was not yet satisfied, and that the Consulship was only a state
of probation preliminary to the complete establishment of monarchy.
The Luxembourg was then discovered to be too small for the Chief of the
Government, and it was resolved that Bonaparte should inhabit the
Tuileries. Still great prudence was necessary to avoid the quicksands
which surrounded him! He therefore employed great precaution in dealing
with the susceptibilities of the Republicans, taking care to inure them
gradually to the temperature of absolute power. But this mode of
treatment was not sufficient; for such was Bonaparte's situation between
the Jacobins and the Royalists that he could not strike a blow at one
party without strengthening the other. He, however, contrived to solve
this difficult problem, and weakened both parties by alternately
frightening each. "You see, Royalists," he seemed to say, "if you do not
attach yourselves to my government the Jacobins will again rise and bring
back the reign of terror and its scaffold." To the men of the Revolution
he, on the other hand, said, "See, the counter-Revolution appears,
threatening reprisals and vengeance. It is ready to overwhelm you; my
buckler can alone protect you from its attacks." Thus both parties were
induced, from their mutual fear of each other, to attach themselves to
Bonaparte; and while they fancied they were only placing themselves under
the protection of the Chief of the Government, they were making
themselves dependent on an ambitious man, who, gradually bending them to
his will, guided them as he chose in his political career. He advanced
with a firm step; but he never neglected any artifice to conceal, as long
as possible, his designs.

I saw Bonaparte put in motion all his concealed springs; and I could not
help admiring his wonderful address.

But what most astonished me was the control he possessed over himself, in
repressing any premature manifestation of his intentions which might
prejudice his projects. Thus, for instance, he never spoke of the
Tuileries but under the name of "the Palace of the Government," and he
determined not to inhabit, at first, the ancient palace of the kings of
France alone. He contented himself with selecting the royal apartments,
and proposed that the Third Consul should also reside in the Tuileries,
and in consequence he occupied the Pavilion of Flora. This skilful
arrangement was perfectly in accordance with the designation of "Palace
of the Government" given to the Tuileries, and was calculated to deceive,
for a time; the most clear-sighted.

The moment for leaving the Luxembourg having arrived, Bonaparte still
used many deceptive precautions. The day filed for the translation of
the seat of government was the 30th Pluviose, the previous day having
been selected for publishing the account of the votes taken for the
acceptance of the new Constitution. He had, besides, caused the
insertion in the 'Moniteur' of the eulogy on Washington, pronounced, by
M. de Fontanes, the decadi preceding, to be delayed for ten days. He
thought that the day when he was about to take so large a step towards
monarchy would be well chosen for entertaining the people of Paris with
grand ideas of liberty, and for coupling his own name with that of the
founder of the free government of the United States.

At seven o'clock on the morning of the 30th Pluviuse I entered, as usual,
the chamber of the First Consul. He was in a profound sleep, and this
was one of the days on which I had been desired to allow him to sleep a
little longer than usual. I have often observed that General Bonaparte
appeared much less moved when on the point of executing any great design
--than during the time of projecting it, so accustomed was he to think
that what he had resolved on in his mind, was already done.

When I returned to Bonaparte he said to me, with a marked air of
satisfaction, "Well, Bourrienne, to-night, at last, we shall sleep in the
Tuileries. You are better off than I: you are not obliged to make a
spectacle of yourself, but may go your own road there. I must, however,
go in procession: that disgusts me; but it is necessary to speak to the
eyes. That has a good effect on the people. The Directory was too
simple, and therefore never enjoyed any consideration. In the army
simplicity is in its proper place; but in a great city, in a palace,
the Chief of the Government must attract attention in every possible way,
yet still with prudence. Josephine is going to look out from Lebrun's
apartments; go with her, if you like; but go to the cabinet as soon as
you see me alight from my-horse."

I did not go to the review, but proceeded to the Tuileries, to arrange in
our new cabinet the papers which it was my duty to take care of, and to
prepare everything for the First Consul's arrival. It was not until the
evening that I learned, from the conversation in the salon, where there
was a numerous party, what had taken piece in the course of the day.

At one o'clock precisely Bonaparte left the Luxembourg. The procession
was, doubtless, far from approaching the magnificent parade of the
Empire: but as much pomp was introduced as the state of things in France
permitted. The only real splendour of that period consisted in fine
troops. Three thousand picked men, among whom was the superb regiment of
the Guides, had been ordered out for the occasion: all marched in the
greatest order; with music at the head of each corps. The generals and
their staffs were on horseback, the Ministers in carriages, which were
somewhat remarkable, as they were almost the only private carriages then
in Paris, for hackney-coaches had been hired to convey the Council of
State, and no trouble had been taken to alter them, except by pasting
over the number a piece of paper of the same colour as the body of the
vehicle. The Consul's carriage was drawn by six white horses. With the
sight of those horses was associated the recollection of days of glory
and of peace, for they had been presented to the General-in-Chief of the
army of Italy by the Emperor of Germany after the treaty of Campo-Formio.
Bonaparte also wore the magnificent sabre given him by the Emperor
Francis. With Cambaceres on his left, and Lebrun in the front of the
carriage, the First Consul traversed a part of Paris, taking the Rue de
Thionville; and the Quai Voltaire to the Pont Royal. Everywhere he was
greeted by acclamations of joy, which at that time were voluntary, and
needed not to be commanded by the police.

From the-wicket-of the Carrousel to the gate of the Tuileries the troops
of the Consular Guard were formed in two lines, through which the
procession passed--a royal custom, which made a singular contrast with an
inscription in front of which Bonaparte passed on entering the courtyard.
Two guard-houses had been built, one on the right and another on the left
of the centre gate. On the one to the right were written these words:


It was already re-established!

In the meantime the troops had been drawn up in line in the courtyard.
As soon as the Consul's carriage stopped Bonaparte immediately alighted,
and mounted, or, to speak more properly, leaped on his horse, and
reviewed his troops, while the other two Consuls proceeded to the state
apartments of the Tuileries, where the Council of State and the Ministers
awaited them. A great many ladies, elegantly dressed in Greek costume,
which was then the fashion, were seated with Madame Bonaparte at the
windows of the Third Consul's apartments in the Pavilion of Flora. It is
impossible to give an idea of the immense crowds which flowed in from all
quarters. The windows looking to the Carrousel were let for very large
sums; and everywhere arose, as if from one voice, shouts of "Long live
the First Consul! "Who could help being intoxicated by so much

Bonaparte prolonged the review for some time, passed down all the ranks,
and addressed the commanders of corps in terms of approbation and praise.
He then took his station at the gate of the Tuileries, with Murat on his
right, and Lannes on his left, and behind him a numerous staff of young
warriors, whose complexions had been browned by the sun of Egypt and
Italy, and who had been engaged in more battles than they numbered years
When the colours of the 96th, 43d, and 34th demi-brigades, or rather
their flagstaffs surmounted by some shreds, riddled by balls and
blackened by powder, passed before him, he raised his hat and inclined
his head in token of respect. Every homage thus paid by a great captain
to standards which had been mutilated on the field of battle was saluted
by a thousand acclamations. When the troops had finished defiling before
him, the First Consul, with a firm step, ascended the stairs of the

The General's part being finished for the day, that of the Chief of the
State began; and indeed it might already be said that the First Consul
was the whole Consulate. At the risk of interrupting my narrative of
what occurred on our arrival at the Tuileries, by a digression, which may
be thought out of place, I will relate a fact which had no little weight
in hastening Bonaparte's determination to assume a superiority over his
colleagues. It may be remembered that when Roger Ducos and Sieyes bore
the title of Consuls the three members of the Consular commission were
equal, if not in fact at least in right. But when Cambaceres and Lebrun
took their places, Talleyrand; who had at the same time been appointed to
succeed M. Reinhart as Minister of Foreign Affairs, obtained a private
audience of the First Consul in his cabinet, to which I was admitted.
The observations of Talleyrand on this occasion were highly agreeable to
Bonaparte, and they made too deep an impression on my mind to allow me to
forget them.

"Citizen Consul," said he to him, "you have confided to me the office of
Minister for Foreign Affairs, and I will justify your confidence; but I
must declare to you that from this moment, I will not transact business
with any but yourself. This determination does not proceed from any vain
pride on my part, but is induced, by a desire to serve France. In order
that France may be well governed, in order that there may be a unity of
action in the government, you must be First Consul, and the First Consul
must have the control over all that relates directly to politics; that is
to say, over the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Police,
for Internal Affairs, and over my department, for Foreign Affairs; and,
lastly, over the two great means of execution, the military and naval
forces. It will therefore be most convenient that the Ministers of those
five departments should transact business with you. The Administration
of Justice and the ordering of the Finances are objects certainly
connected with State politics by numerous links, which, however, are not
of so intimate a nature as those of the other departments. If you will
allow me, General, I should advise that the control over the
Administration of Justice be given to the Second Consul, who is well
versed in jurisprudence; and to the Third Consul, who is equally well
acquainted with Finance, the control over that department. That will
occupy and amuse them, and you, General, having at your disposal all the
vital parts of the government, will be able to reach the end you aim at,
the regeneration of France."

Bonaparte did not hear these remarkable words with indifference. They
were too much in accordance with his own secret wishes to be listened to
without pleasure; and he said to me as soon as Talleyrand had taken
leave, "Do you know, Bourrienne, I think Talleyrand gives good advice.
He is a man of great understanding."--"Such is the opinion," I replied,
"of all who know him."--"He is perfectly right." Afterwards he added,
smiling, "Tallyrand is evidently a shrewd man. He has penetrated my
designs. What he advises you know I am anxious to do. But again I say,
he is right; one gets on quicker by oneself. Lebrun is a worthy man, but
he has no policy in his head; he is a book-maker. Cambaceres carries
with him too many traditions of the Revolution. My government must be an
entirely new one."

Talleyrand's advice had been so punctually followed that even on the
occasion of the installation of the Consular Government, while Bonaparte
was receiving all the great civil and military officers of the State in
the hall of presentation, Cambaceres and Lebrun stood by more like
spectators of the scene than two colleagues of the First Consul. The
Minister of the Interior presented the civil authorities of Paris; the
Minister of War, the staff of the 17th military division; the Minister of
Marine, several naval officers; and the staff of the Consular Guard was
presented by Murat. As our Consular republicans were not exactly
Spartans, the ceremony of the presentations was followed by grand dinner-
parties. The First Consul entertained at his table, the two other
Consuls, the Ministers, and the Presidents of the great bodies of the
State. Murat treated the heads of the army; and the members of the
Council of State, being again seated in their hackney-coaches with
covered numbers, drove off to dine with Lucien.

Before taking possession of the Tuileries we had frequently gone there to
see that the repairs, or rather the whitewashing, which Bonaparte had
directed to be done, was executed. On our first visit, seeing a number
of red caps of liberty painted on the walls, he said to M. Lecomte, at
that time the architect in charge, "Get rid of all these things; I do not
like to see such rubbish."

The First Consul gave directions himself for what little alterations he
wanted in his own apartments. A state bed--not that of Louis XVI.--was
placed in the chamber next his cabinet, on the south side, towards the
grand staircase of the Pavilion of Flora. I may as well mention here
that he very seldom occupied that bed, for Bonaparte was very simple in
his manner of living in private, and was not fond of state, except as a
means of imposing on mankind. At the Luxembourg, at Malmaison, and
during the first period that he occupied the Tuileries, Bonaparte, if I
may speak in the language of common life, always slept with his wife.
He went every evening down to Josephine by a small staircase leading from
a wardrobe attached to his cabinet, and which had formerly been the
chapel of Maria de Medici. I never went to Bonaparte's bedchamber but
by this staircase; and when he came to our cabinet it was always by the
wardrobe which I have mentioned. The door opened opposite the only
window of our room, and it commanded a view of the garden.

As for our cabinet, where so many great, and also small events were
prepared, and where I passed so many hours of my life, I can, even now,
give the most minute description of it to those who like such details.

There were two tables. The best, which was the First Consul's, stood in
the middle of the room, and his armchair was turned with its back to the
fireplace, having the window on the right. To the right of this again
was a little closet where Duroc sat, through which we could communicate
with the clerk of the office and the grand apartments of tile Court.
When the First Consul was seated at his table in his chair (the arms of
which he so frequently mutilated with his penknife) he had a large
bookcase opposite to him. A little to the right, on one side of the
bookcase, was another door, opening into the cabinet which led directly
to the state bedchamber which I have mentioned. Thence we passed into
the grand Presentation Saloon, on the ceiling of which Lebrun had painted
a likeness of Louis XIV. A tri-coloured cockade placed on the forehead
of the great King still bore witness of the imbecile turpitude of the
Convention. Lastly came the hall of the Guards, in front of the grand
staircase of the Pavilion of Flora.

My writing-table, which was extremely plain, stood near the window, and
in summer I had a view of the thick foliage of the chestnut-trees; but in
order to see the promenaders in the garden I was obliged to raise myself
from my seat. My back was turned to the General's side, so that it
required only a slight movement of the head to speak to each other.
Duroc was seldom in his little cabinet, and that was the place where I
gave some audiences. The Consular cabinet, which afterwards became the
Imperial, has left many impressions on my mind; and I hope the reader, in
going through these volumes, will not think that they have been of too
slight a description.



The Tuileries--Royalty in perspective--Remarkable observation--
Presentations--Assumption of the prerogative of mercy--M. Defeu--
M. de Frotte--Georges Cadondal's audience of Bonaparte--Rapp's
precaution and Bonaparte's confidence--The dignity of France--
Napper Tandy and Blackwell delivered up by the Senate of Hamburg--
Contribution in the Egyptian style--Valueless bill--Fifteen thousand
francs in the drawer of a secretaire--Josephine's debts--Evening
walks with Bonaparte.

The morning after that ardently wished-for day on which we took
possession of the Palace of the Kings of France I observed to Bonaparte
on entering his chamber, "Well, General, you have got here without much
difficulty, and with the applause of the people! Do you remember what
you said to me in the Rue St. Anne nearly two years ago?"--"Ay, true
enough, I recollect. You see what it is to have the mind set on a thing.
Only two years have gone by! Don't you think we have not worked badly
since that time? Upon the whole I am very well content. Yesterday
passed off well. Do you imagine that all those who came to flatter me
were sincere? No, certainly not: but the joy of the people was real.
They know what is right. Besides, consult the grand thermometer of
opinion, the price of the funds: on the 17th Brumaire at 11 francs, on
the 20th at 16 and to-day at 21. In such a state of things I may let the
Jacobins prate as they like. But let them not talk too loudly either!"

As soon as he was dressed we went to look through the Gallery of Diana
and examine the statues which had been placed there by his orders. We
ended our morning's work by taking complete possession of our new
residence. I recollect Bonaparte saying to me, among other things, "To
be at the Tuileries, Bourrienne, is not all. We must stay here. Who, in
Heaven's name, has not already inhabited this palace? Ruffians,
conventionalists! But hold! there is your brother's house! Was it not
from those windows I saw the Tuileries besieged, and the good Louis XVI.
carried off? But be assured they will not come here again!"

The Ambassadors and other foreign Ministers then in Paris were presented
to the First Consul at a solemn audience. On this occasion all the
ancient ceremonials belonging to the French Court were raked up, and in
place of chamberlains and a grand master of ceremonies a Counsellor of
State, M. Benezech, who was once Minister for Foreign Affairs,

When the Ambassadors had all arrived M. Benezech conducted them into the
cabinet, in which were the three Consuls, the Ministers, and the Council
of State. The Ambassadors presented their credentials to the First
Consul, who handed them to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. These
presentations were followed by others; for example, the Tribunal of
Cassation, over which the old advocate, Target, who refused to defend
Louis XVI., then presided. All this passed in view of the three Consuls;
but the circumstance which distinguished the First Consul from his
colleagues was, that the official personages, on leaving the audience-
chamber, were conducted to Madame Bonaparte's apartments, in imitation of
the old practice of waiting on the Queen after presentation to the King.

Thus old customs of royalty crept by degrees into the former abodes of
royalty. Amongst the rights attached to the Crown, and which the
Constitution of the year VIII. did not give to the First Consul, was one
which he much desired to possess, and which, by the most happy of all
usurpations, he arrogated to himself. This was the right of granting
pardon. Bonaparte felt a real pleasure in saving men under the sentence
of the law; and whenever the imperious necessity of his policy, to which,
in truth, he sacrificed everything, permitted it, he rejoiced in the
exercise of mercy. It would seem as if he were thankful to the persons
to whom he rendered such service merely because he had given them
occasion to be thankful to him. Such was the First Consul: I do not
speak of the Emperor. Bonaparte, the First Consul, was accessible to the
solicitations of friendship in favour of persons placed under
proscription. The following circumstance, which interested me much,
affords an incontestable proof of what I state:--

Whilst we were still at the Luxembourg, M. Defeu, a French emigrant, was
taken in the Tyrol with arms in his hand by the troops of the Republic.
He was carried to Grenoble, and thrown into the military prison of that
town. In the course of January General Ferino, then commanding at
Grenoble, received orders to put the young emigrant on his trial. The
laws against emigrants taken in arms were terrible, and the judges dared
not be indulgent. To be tried in the morning, condemned in the course of
the day, and shot in the evening, was the usual course of those
implacable proceedings. One of my cousins, the daughter of M.
Poitrincourt, came from Sens to Paris to inform me of the dreadful
situation of M. Defeu. She told me that he was related to the most
respectable families of the town of Sens, and that everybody felt the
greatest interest in his fate.

I had escaped for a few moments to keep the appointment I made with
Mademoiselle Poitrincourt. On my return I perceived the First Consul
surprised at finding himself alone in the cabinet, which I was not in the
habit of quitting without his knowledge. "Where have you been?" said he.
"I have been to see one of my relations, who solicits & favour of you."--
"What is it?" I then informed him of the unfortunate situation of M.
Defeu. His first answer was dreadful. "No pity! no pity for emigrants!
Whoever fights against his country is a child who tries to kill his
mother!" This first burst of anger being over, I returned to the charge.
I urged the youth of M. Defeu, and the good effect which clemency would
produce. "Well," said he, "write--

"The First Consul orders the judgment on M. Defeu to be suspended."

He signed this laconic order, which I instantly despatched to General
Ferino. I acquainted my cousin with what had passed, and remained at
ease as to the result of the affair.

Scarcely had I entered the chamber of the First Consul the next morning
when he said to me, "Well, Bourrienne, you say nothing about your M.
Defeu. Are you satisfied?"--"General, I cannot find terms to express my
gratitude."--"Ah, bah! But I do not like to do things by halves. Write
to Ferino that I wish M. Defeu to be instantly set at liberty. Perhaps I
am serving one who will prove ungrateful. Well, so much the worse for
him. As to these matters, Bourrienne, always ask them from me. When I
refuse, it is because I cannot help it."

I despatched at my own expense an extraordinary courier, who arrived in
time to save M. Defeu's life. His mother, whose only son he was, and M.
Blanchet, his uncle, came purposely from Sens to Paris to express their
gratitude to me. I saw tears of joy fall from the eyes of a mother who
had appeared to be destined to shed bitter drops, and I said to her as I
felt, "that I was amply recompensed by the success which had attended my

Emboldened by this success, and by the benevolent language of the First
Consul, I ventured to request the pardon of M. de Frotte, who was
strongly recommended to me by most honourable persons. Comte Louis de
Frotte had at first opposed all negotiation for the pacification of La
Vendee. At length, by a series of unfortunate combats, he was, towards
the end of January, reduced to the necessity of making himself the
advances which he had rejected when made by others. At this period he
addressed a letter to General Guidal, in which he offered pacificatory
proposals. A protection to enable him to repair to Alencon was
transmitted to him. Unfortunately for M. de Frotte, he did not confine
himself to writing to General Guidal, for whilst the safe-conduct which
he had asked was on the way to him, he wrote to his lieutenants, advising
them not to submit or consent to be disarmed. This letter was
intercepted. It gave all the appearance of a fraudulent stratagem to his
proposal to treat for peace. Besides, this opinion appeared to be
confirmed by a manifesto of M. de Frotte, anterior, it is true, to the
offers of pacification, but in which he announced to all his partisans
the approaching end of Bonaparte's "criminal enterprise."

I had more trouble than in M: Defeu's case to induce the First Consul to
exercise his clemency. However, I pressed him so much, I laboured so
hard to convince him of the happy effect of such indulgence, that at
length I obtained an order to suspend the judgment. What a lesson I then
experienced of the evil which may result from the loss of time! Not
supposing that matters were so far advanced as they were, I did not
immediately send off the courier with the order for the suspension of the
judgment. Besides, the Minister-of-Police had marked his victim, and he
never lost time when evil was to be done. Having, therefore, I know not
for what motive, resolved on the destruction of M. de Frotte, he sent an
order to hasten his trial.

Comte Louis de Frotte was brought to trial on the 28th Pluviose,
condemned the same day, and executed the next morning, the day before we
entered the Tuileries. The cruel precipitation of the Minister rendered
the result of my solicitations abortive. I had reason to think that
after the day on which the First Consul granted me the order for delay he
had received some new accusation against M. de Frotte, for when he heard
of his death he appeared to me very indifferent about the tardy arrival
of the order for suspending judgment. He merely said to me, with unusual
insensibility, "You should take your measures better. You see it is not
my fault."

Though Bonaparte put no faith in the virtue of men, he had confidence in
their honour. I had proof of this in a matter which deserves to be
recorded in history. When, during the first period of our abode at the
Tuileries, he had summoned the principal chiefs of, La Vendee to
endeavour to bring about the pacification of that unhappy country; he
received Georges Cadoudal in a private audience. The disposition in
which I beheld him the evening before the day appointed for this audience
inspired me with the most flattering hopes. Rapp introduced Georges into
the grand salon looking into the garden. Rapp left him alone with the
First Consul, but on returning to the cabinet where I was he did not
close either of the two doors of the state bedchamber which separated the
cabinet from the salon. We saw the First Consul and Georges walk from
the window to the bottom of the salon--then return--then go back again.
This lasted for a long time. The conversation appeared very animated,
and we heard several things, but without any connection. There was
occasionally a good deal of ill-humour displayed in their tone and
gestures. The interview ended in nothing. The First Consul, perceiving
that Georges entertained some apprehensions for his personal safety, gave
him assurances of security in the most noble manner, saying, "You take a
wrong view of things, and are wrong in not coming to some understanding;
but if you persist in wishing to return to your country you shall depart
as freely as you came to Paris." When Bonaparte returned to his cabinet
he said to Rapp, "Tell me, Rapp, why you left these doors open, and
stopped with Bourrienne?" Rapp replied, "If you had closed the doors I
would have opened them again. Do you think I would have left you alone
with a man like that? There would have been danger in it."--"No, Rapp,"
said Bonaparte, "you cannot think so." When we were alone the First
Consul appeared pleased with Rapp's attachment, but very vexed at
Georges' refusal. He said, "He does not take a correct view of things;
but the extravagance of his principles has its source in noble
sentiments, which must give him great influence over his countrymen.
It is necessary, however, to bring this business soon to an end."

Of all the actions of Louis XIV. that which Bonaparte most admired was
his having made the Doge of Genoa send ambassadors to Paris to apologise
to him. The slightest insult offered in a foreign country to the rights
and dignity of France put Napoleon beside himself. This anxiety to have
the French Government respected exhibited itself in an affair which made
much noise at the period, but which was amicably arranged by the soothing
influence of gold.

Two Irishmen, Napper Tandy and Blackwell, who had been educated in
France, and whose names and rank as officers appeared in the French army
list, had retired to Hamburg. The British Government claimed them as
traitors to their country, and they were given up; but, as the French
Government held them to be subjects of France, the transaction gave rise
to bitter complaints against the Senate of Hamburg.

Blackwell had been one of the leaders of the united Irishmen. He had
procured his naturalisation in France, and had attained the rank, of chef
d'escadrou. Being sent on a secret mission to Norway, the ship in which
he was embarked was wrecked on the coast of that kingdom. He then
repaired to Hamburg, where the Senate placed him under arrest on the
demand of Mr. Crawford, the English Minister. After being detained in
prison a whole year he was conveyed to England to be tried. The French
Government interfered, and preserved, if not, his liberty, at least his

Napper Tandy was also an Irishman. To escape the search made after him,
on account of the sentiments of independence which had induced him to
engage in the contest for the liberty of his country, he got on board a
French brig, intending to land at Hamburg and pass into Sweden. Being
exempted from the amnesty by the Irish Parliament, he was claimed by the
British Government, and the Senators of Hamburg forgot honour and
humanity in their alarm at the danger which at that moment menaced their
little republic both from England and France. The Senate delivered up
Napper Tandy; he was carried to Ireland, and condemned to death, but owed
the suspension of his execution to the interference of France. He
remained two years in prison, when M. Otto, who negotiated with Lord
Hawkesbury the preliminaries of peace, obtained the release of Napper
Tandy, who was sent back to France.

The First Consul spoke at first of signal vengeance; but the Senate of
Hamburg sent him a memorial, justificatory of its conduct, and backed the
apology with a sum of four millions and a half, which mollified him
considerably. This was in some sort a recollection of Egypt--one of
those little contributions with which the General had familiarised the
pashas; with this difference, that on the present occasion not a single
sous went into the national treasury. The sum was paid to the First
Consul through the hands of M. Chapeau Rouge.

--[A solemn deputation from the Senate arrived at the Tuileries to
make public apologies to Napoleon. He again testified his
indignation: and when the envoys urged their weakness he said to
them. "Well and had you not the resource of weak states? was it not
in your power to let them escape?" (Napoleon's Memoirs).]--

I kept the four millions and a half in Dutch bonds in a secretaire for a
week. Bonaparte then determined to distribute them; after paying
Josephine's debts, and the whole of the great expenses incurred at
Malmaison, he dictated to me a list of persons to whom he wished to make
presents. My name did not escape his lips, and consequently I had not
the trouble to transcribe it; but some time after he said to me, with the
most engaging kindness, "Bourrienne, I have given you none of the money
which came from Hamburg, but I will make you amends for it." He took
from his drawer a large and broad sheet of printed paper, with blanks
filled up in his own handwriting, and said to me, "Here is a bill for
300,000 Italian livres on the Cisalpine Republic, for the price of cannon
furnished. It is endorsed Halter and Collot--I give it you." To make
this understood, I ought to state that cannon had been sold to the
Cisalpine. Republic, for the value of which the Administrator-general of
the Italian finances drew on the Republic, and the bills were paid over
to M. Collot, a provision contractor, and other persons. M. Collot had
given one of these bills for 300,000 livres to Bonaparte in quittance of
a debt, but the latter had allowed the bill to run out without troubling
himself about it. The Cisalpine Republic kept the cannons and the money,
and the First Consul kept his bill. When I had examined it I said,
"General, it has been due for a long time; why have you not got it paid?
The endorsers are no longer liable."--"France is bound to discharge debts
of this kind;" said he; "send the paper to de Fermont: he will discount
it for three per cent. You will not have in ready money more than about
9000 francs of renters, because the Italian livre is not equal to the
franc." I thanked him, and sent the bill to M. de Fermont. He replied
that the claim was bad, and that the bill would not be liquidated because
it did not come within the classifications made by the laws passed in the
months the names of which terminated in 'aire, ose, al, and or'.

I showed M. de Fermont's answer to the First Consul, who said, "Ah, bah!
He understands nothing about it--he is wrong: write." He then dictated a
letter, which promised very favourably for the discounting of the bill;
but the answer was a fresh refusal. I said, "General, M. de Fermont does
not attend to you any more than to myself." Bonaparte took the letter,
read it, and said, in the tone of a man who knew beforehand what he was
about to be, informed of, "Well, what the devil would you have me do,
since the laws are opposed to it? Persevere; follow the usual modes of
liquidation, and something will come of it! "What finally happened was,
that by a regular decree this bill was cancelled, torn, and deposited in
the archives. These 300,000 livres formed part of the money which
Bonaparte brought from Italy. If the bill was useless to me it was also
useless to him. This scrap of paper merely proves that be brought more.
than 25,000 francs from Italy.

I never had, from the General-in-Chief of the army of Italy, nor from the
General in-Chief of the army of, Egypt, nor from the First Consul, for
ten years, nor from the Consul for life, any fixed salary: I took from
his drawer what was necessary for my expenses as well as his own: He
never asked me for any account. After the transaction of the bill on the
insolvent Cisalpine Republic he said to me, at the beginning of the
winter of 1800, "Bourrienne, the weather, is becoming very bad; I will go
but seldom to Malmaison. Whilst I am at council get my papers and little
articles from Malmaison; here is the key of my secretaire, take out
everything that is there." I, got into the carriage at two o'clock and
returned at six. When he had dined I placed upon the table of his
cabinet the various articles which I had found in his secretaire
including 15,000 francs (somewhere about L 600 of English money) in
banknotes which were in the corner of a little drawer. When he looked at
them he said, "Here is money--what is the meaning of this?" I replied,
"I know nothing about it, except that it was in your secretaire."--
"Oh yes; I had forgotten it. It was for my trifling expenses. Here,
take it." I remembered well that one summer morning he had given me his
key to bring him two notes of 1000 francs for some incidental expense,
but I had no idea that he had not drawn further on his little treasure.

I have stated the appropriation of the four millions and a half, the
result of the extortion inflicted on the Senate of Hamburg, in the affair
of Napper Tandy and Blackwell.

The whole, however, Was not disposed of in presents. A considerable
portion was reserved fob paying Josephine's debts, and this business
appears to me to deserve some remarks.

The estate of Malmaison had cost 160,000 francs. Josephine had purchased
it of M. Lecouteuix while we were in Egypt. Many embellishments, and
some new buildings, had been made there; and a park had been added, which
had now become beautiful. All this could not be done for nothing, and
besides, it was very necessary that what was due for the original
purchase should be entirely discharged; and this considerable item was
not the only debt of Josephine. The creditors murmured, which had a bad
effect in Paris; and I confess I was so well convinced that the First
Consul would be extremely displeased that I constantly delayed the moment
of speaking to him on the subject. It was therefore with extreme
satisfaction I learned that M. de Talleyrand had anticipated me. No
person was more capable than himself of gilding the pill, as one may say,
to Bonaparte. Endowed with as much independence of character as of mind,
he did him the service, at the risk of offending him, to tell him that a
great number of creditors expressed their discontent in bitter complaints
respecting the debts contracted by Madame Bonaparte during his expedition
to the East. Bonaparte felt that his situation required him promptly to
remove the cause of such complaints. It was one night about half-past
eleven o'clock that M. Talleyrand introduced this delicate subject. As
soon he was gone I entered the little cabinet; Bonaparte said to me,
"Bourrienne, Talleyrand has been speaking to me about the debts of my
Wife. I have the money from Hamburg--ask her the exact amount of her
debts: let her confess all. I wish to finish, and not begin again. But
do not pay without showing me the bills of those rascals: they are a gang
of robbers."

Hitherto the apprehension of an unpleasant scene, the very idea of which
made Josephine tremble, had always prevented me from broaching this
subject to the First Consul; but, well pleased that Talleyrand had first
touched upon it, I resolved to do all in my power to put an end to the
disagreeable affair.

The next morning I saw Josephine. She was at first delighted with her
husband's intentions; but this feeling did not last long. When I asked
her for an exact account of what she owed she entreated me not to press
it, but content myself with what she should confess. I said to her,
"Madame, I cannot deceive you respecting the disposition of the First
Consul. He believes that you owe a considerable sum, and is willing to
discharge it. You will, I doubt not, have to endure some bitter
reproaches, and a violent scene; but the scene will be just the same for
the whole as for a part. If you conceal a large proportion of your debts
at the end of some time murmurs will recommence, they will reach the ears
of the First Consul, and his anger will display itself still more
strikingly. Trust to me--state all; the result will be the same; you
will hear but once the disagreeable things he will say to you; by
reservations you will renew them incessantly." Josephine said, "I can
never tell all; it is impossible. Do me the service to keep secret what
I say to you. I owe, I believe, about 1,200,000 francs, but I wish to
confess only 600,000; I will contract no more debts, and will pay the
rest little by little out of my savings."--"Here, Madame, my first
observations recur. As I do not believe he estimates your debts at so
high a sum as 600,000 francs, I can warrant that you will not experience
more displeasure for acknowledging to 1,200,000 than to 600,000; and by
going so far you will get rid of them for ever."--"I can never do it,
Bourrienne; I know him; I can never support his violence." After a
quarter of an hour's further discussion on the subject I was obliged to
yield to her earnest solicitation, and promise to mention only the
600,000 francs to the First Consul.

The anger and ill-humour of Bonaparte may be imagined. He strongly
suspected that his wife was dissembling in some respect; but he said,
"Well, take 600,000 francs, but liquidate the debts for that sum, and let
me hear nothing more on the subject. I authorise you to threaten these
tradesmen with paying nothing if they, do not reduce their enormous
charges. They ought to be taught not to be so ready in giving credit."
Madame Bonaparte gave me all her bills. The extent to which the articles
had been overcharged, owing to the fear of not being paid for a long
period, and of deductions being made from the amount, was inconceivable.
It appeared to me, also, that there must be some exaggeration in the
number of articles supplied. I observed in the milliner's bill thirty-
eight new hats, of great price, in one month. There was likewise a
charge of 1800 francs for heron plumes, and 800 francs for perfumes.
I asked Josephine whether she wore out two hats in one day? She objected
to this charge for the hats, which she merely called a mistake. The
impositions which the saddler attempted, both in the extravagance of his
prices and in charging for articles which he had not furnished, were
astonishing. I need say nothing of the other tradesmen, it was the same
system of plunder throughout.

I availed myself fully of the First Consul's permission, and spared
neither reproaches nor menaces. I am ashamed to say that the greater
part of the tradesmen were contented with the half of what they demanded.
One of them received 35,000 francs for a bill of 80,000; and he had the
impudence to tell me that he made a good profit nevertheless. Finally, I
was fortunate enough, after the most vehement disputes, to settle
everything for 600,000 francs. Madame Bonaparte, however, soon fell
again into the same excesses, but fortunately money became more
plentiful. This inconceivable mania of spending money was almost the
sole cause of her unhappiness. Her thoughtless provusion occasioned
permanent disorder in her household until the period of Bonaparte's
second marriage, when, I am informed, she became regular in her
expenditure. I could not say so of her when she was Empress in 1804.

--[Notwithstanding her husband's wish, she could never bring her
establishment into any order or rule. He wished that no tradesmen
should ever reach her, but he was forced to yield on this point.
The small inner roams were filled with them, as with artists of all
sorts. She had a mania for having herself painted, and gave her
portraits to whoever wished for one, relations, 'femmes de chambre',
even to tradesmen. They never ceased bringing her diamonds, jewels,
shawls, materials for dresses, and trinkets of all kinds; she bought
everything without ever asking the price; and generally forgot what
she had purchased. . . All the morning she had on a shawl which
she draped on her shoulders with a grace I have seen in no one else.
Bonaparte, who thought her shawls covered her too much, tore them
off, and sometimes threw them into the fire; then she sent for
another (Remusat, tome ii. pp. 343-345). After the divorce her
income, large as it was, was insufficient, but the Emperor was more
compassionate then, and when sending the Comte Mollien to settle her
affairs gave him strict orders "not to make her weep" (Meneval,
tome iii. p.237]--

The amiable Josephine had not less ambition in little thins than her
husband had in great. She felt pleasure in acquiring and not in
possessing. Who would suppose it? She grew tired of the beauty of the
park of Malmaison, and was always asking me to take her out on the high
road, either in the direction of Nanterre, or on that of Marly, in the
midst of the dust occasioned by the passing of carriages. The noise of
the high road appeared to her preferable to the calm silence of the
beautiful avenues of the park, and in this respect Hortense had the same
taste as her mother. This whimsical fancy astonished Bonaparte, and he
was sometimes vexed at it. My intercourse with Josephine was delightful;
for I never saw a woman who so constantly entered society with such an
equable disposition, or with so much of the spirit of kindness, which is
the first principle of amiability. She was so obligingly attentive as to
cause a pretty suite of apartments to be prepared at Malmaison for me and
my family.

She pressed me earnestly, and with all her known grace, to accept it; but
almost as much a captive at Paris as a prisoner of state, I wished to
have to myself in the country the moments of liberty I was permitted to
enjoy. Yet what was this liberty? I had bought a little house at Ruel,
which I kept during two years and a half. When I saw my friends there,
it had to be at midnight, of at five o'clock in the morning; and the
First Consul would often send for me in the night when couriers arrived.
It was for this sort of liberty I refused Josephine's kind offer.
Bonaparte came once to see me in my retreat at Ruel, but Josephine and
Hortense came often: It was a favourite walk with these ladies.

At Paris I was less frequently absent from Bonaparte than at Malmaison.
We sometimes in the evening walked together in the garden of the
Tuileries after the gates were closed. In these evening walks he always
wore a gray greatcoat, and a round hat. I was directed to answer,
"The First Consul," to the sentinel's challenge of, "Who goes there?"
These promenades, which were of much benefit to Bonaparte, and me also,
as a relaxation from our labours, resembled those which we had at
Malmaison. As to our promenades in the city, they were often very

At the period of our first inhabiting the Tuileries, when I saw Bonaparte
enter the cabinet at eight o'clock in the evening in his gray coat, I
knew he would say, "Bourrienne, come and take a turn." Sometimes, then,
instead of going out by the garden arcade, we would take the little gate
which leads from the court to the apartments of the Due d'Angouleme. He
would take my arm, and we would go to buy articles of trifling value in
the shops of the Rue St. Honore; but we did not extend our excursions
farther than Rue de l'Arbre Sec. Whilst I made the shopkeeper exhibit
before us the articles which I appeared anxious to buy he played his part
in asking questions.

Nothing was more amusing than to see him endeavouring to imitate the
careless and jocular tone of the young men of fashion. How awkward was
he in the attempt to put on dandy airs when pulling up the corners of his
cravat he would say, "Well, Madame, is there anything new to-day?
Citizen, what say they of Bonaparte? Your shop appears to be well
supplied. You surely have a great deal of custom. What do people say of
that buffoon; Bonaparte?" He was made quite happy one day when we were
obliged to retire hastily from a shop to avoid the attacks drawn upon us
by the irreverent tone in which Bonaparte spoke of the First Consul.



War and monuments--Influence of the recollections of Egypt--
First improvements in Paris--Malmaison too little--St. Cloud taken
--The Pont des Arts--Business prescribed for me by Bonaparte--
Pecuniary remuneration--The First Consul's visit to the Pritanee--
His examination of the pupils--Consular pensions--Tragical death of
Miackzinski--Introduction of vaccination--Recall of the members of
the Constituent Assembly--The "canary" volunteers--Tronchet and
Target--Liberation of the Austrian prisoners--Longchamps and sacred

The destruction of men and the construction of monuments were two things
perfectly in unison in the mind of Bonaparte. It may be said that his
passion for monuments almost equalled his passion for war;

--[Take pleasure, if you can, in reading your returns. The good
condition of my armies is owing to my devoting to them one or two
hours in every day. When the monthly returns of my armies and of my
fleets, which form twenty thick volumes, are sent to me. I give up
every other occupation in order to read them in detail and to
observe the difference between one monthly return and another.
No young girl enjoys her novel so much as I do these returns!
(Napoleon to Joseph, 20th August 1806--Du Casse, tome iii.
p. 145).]--

but as in all things he disliked what was little and mean, so he liked
vast constructions and great battles. The sight of the colossal ruins of
the monuments of Egypt had not a little contributed to augment his
natural taste for great structures. It was not so much the monuments
themselves that he admired, but the historical recollections they
perpetuate the great names they consecrate, the important events they
attest. What should he have cared for the column which we beheld on our
arrival in Alexandria had it not been Pompey's pillar? It is for artists
to admire or censure its proportions and ornaments, for men of learning
to explain its inscriptions; but the name of Pompey renders it an object
of interest to all.

When endeavouring to sketch the character of Bonaparte, I ought to have
noticed his taste for monuments, for without this characteristic trait
something essential is wanting to the completion of the portrait. This
taste, or, as it may more properly be called, this passion for monuments,
exercised no small influence on his thoughts and projects of glory; yet
it did not deter him from directing attention to public improvements; of
a less ostentatious kind. He wished for great monuments to perpetuate
the recollection of his glory; but at the same time he knew how to
appreciate all that was truly useful. He could very rarely be reproached
for rejecting any plan without examination; and this examination was a
speedy affair, for his natural tact enabled him immediately to see things
in their proper light.

Though most of the monuments and embellishments of Paris are executed
from the plans of men of talent, yet some owe their origin to
circumstances merely accidental. Of this I can mention an example.

I was standing at the window of Bonaparte's' cabinet, which looked into
the garden of the Tuileries. He had gone out, and I took advantage of
his absence to arise from my chair, for I was tired of sitting. He had
scarcely been gone a minute when he unexpectedly returned to ask me for a
paper. "What are you doing there, Bourrienne? I'll wager anything you
are admiring the ladies walking on the terrace."--"Why, I must confess I
do sometimes amuse myself in that way," replied I; "but I assure you,
General, I was now thinking of something else. I was looking at that
villainous left bank of the Seine, which always annoys me with the gaps
in its dirty quay, and the floodings which almost every winter prevent
communication with the Faubourg St. Germain; and I was thinking I would
speak to you on the subject." He approached the window, and, looking
out, said, "You are right, it is very ugly; and very offensive to see
dirty linen washed before our windows. Here, write immediately: 'The
quay of the Ecole de Natation is to. be finished during next campaign.'
Send that order to the Minister of the Interior." The quay was finished
the year following.

An instance of the enormous difference which frequently appears between
the original estimates of architects and their subsequent accounts I may
mention what occurred in relation to the Palace of St. Cloud. But I must
first say a word about the manner in which Bonaparte originally refused
and afterwards took possession of the Queen's pleasure-house. Malmaison
was a suitable country residence for Bonaparte as long as he remained
content with his town apartments in the little Luxembourg; but that
Consular 'bagatelle' was too confined in comparison with the spacious
apartments in the Tuileries. The inhabitants of St. Cloud, well-advised,
addressed a petition to the Legislative Body, praying that their deserted
chateau might be made the summer residence of the First Consul. The
petition was referred to the Government; but Bonaparte, who was not yet
Consul for life, proudly declared that so long as he was at the head of
affairs, and, indeed, for a year afterwards, he would accept no national
recompense. Sometime after we went to visit the palace of the 18th
Brumaire. Bonaparte liked it exceedingly, but all was in a, state of
complete dilapidation. It bore evident marks of the Revolution. The
First Consul did not wish, as yet, to burden the budget of the State with
his personal expenses, and he was alarmed at the enormous sum required to
render St. Cloud habitable. Flattery had not yet arrived at the degree
of proficiency which it subsequently attained; but even then his
flatterers boldly assured him he might take possession of St. Cloud for
25,000 francs. I told the First Consul that considering the ruinous
state of the place, I could to say that the expense would amount to more
than 1,200,000 francs. Bonaparte determined to have a regular estimate
of the expense, and it amounted to nearly 3,000,000. He thought it a
great sum; but as he had resolved to make St. Cloud his residence he gave
orders for commencing the repairs, the expense of which, independently of
the furniture, amounted to 6,000,000. So much for the 3,000,000 of the
architect and the 25,000 francs of the flatterers.

When the First Consul contemplated the building of the Pont des Arts we
had a long conversation on the subject. I observed that it would be much
better to build the bridge of stone. "The first object of monuments of
this kind," said I, "is public utility. They require solidity of
appearance, and their principal merit is duration. I cannot conceive,
General, why, in a country where there is abundance of fine stone of
every quality, the use of iron should be preferred."--"Write," said
Bonaparte, "to Fontaine and Percier, the architects, and ask what they
think of it." I wrote and they stated in their answer that "bridges were
intended for public utility and the embellishment of cities. The
projected bridge between the Louvre and the Quatre-Nations would
unquestionably fulfil the first of these objects, as was proved by the
great number of persons who daily crossed the Seine at that point in
boats; that the site fixed upon between the Pont Neuf and the Tuileries
appeared to be the best that could be chosen for the purpose; and that on
the score of ornament Paris would gain little by the construction of an
iron bridge, which would be very narrow, and which, from its light form,
would not correspond with the grandeur of the two bridges between which
it would be placed."

When we had received the answer of MM. Percier and Fontaine, we again had
a conversation on the subject of the bridge. I told the First Consul
that I perfectly concurred in the opinion of MM. Fontame and Percier; how
ever, he would have his own way, and thus was authorised the construction
of the toy which formed a communication between the Louvre and the
Institute. But no sooner was the Pont des Arts finished than Bonaparte
pronounced it to be mean and out of keeping with the other bridges above
and below it. One day when visiting the Louvre he stopped at one of the
windows looking towards the Pout des Arts and said, "There is no
solidity, no grandeur about that bridge. In England, where stone is
scarce, it is very natural that iron should be used for arches of large
dimensions. But the case is different in France, where the requisite
material is abundant."

The infernal machine of the 3d Nivose, of which I shall presently speak
more at length, was the signal for vast changes in the quarter of the
Tuileries. That horrible attempt was at least so far attended by happy
results that it contributed to the embellishment of Paris. It was
thought more advisable for the Government to buy and pull down the houses
which had been injured by the machine than to let them be put under
repair. As an example of Bonaparte's grand schemes in building I may
mention that, being one day at the Louvre, he pointed towards St. Germain
l'Auxerrois and said to me, "That is where I will build an imperial
street. It shall run from here to the Barriere du Trone. It shall be a
hundred feet broad, and have arcades and plantations. This street shall
be the finest in the world."

The palace of the King of Rome, which was to face the Pont de Jena and
the Champ de Mars, would have been in some measure isolated from Paris,
with which, however, it was to be connected by a line of palaces. These
were to extend along the quay, and were destined as splendid residences
for the Ambassadors of foreign sovereigns, at least as long as there
should be any sovereigns Europe except Napoleon. The Temple of Glory,
too, which was to occupy the site of the Church of la Madeleine, was
never finished. If the plan of this monument, proved the necessity.
which Bonaparte felt of constantly holding out stimulants to his
soldiers, its relinquishment was at least a proof of his wisdom. He who
had reestablished religious worship in France, and had restored to its
destination the church of the Invalides, which was for a time
metamorphosed into the Temple of Mars, foresaw that a Temple of Glory
would give birth to a sort of paganism incompatible with the ideas of the

The recollection of the magnificent Necropolis of Cairo frequently
recurred to. Bonaparte's mind. He had admired that city of the dead,
which he had partly contributed to people; and his design was to make,
at, the four cardinal points of Paris, four vast cemeteries on the plan
of that at Cairo.

Bonaparte determined that all the new streets of Paris should be 40 feet
wide, and be provided with foot-pavements; in short, he thought nothing
too grand for the embellishment of the capital of a country which he
wished to make the first in the world. Next to war, he regard the
embellishment of Paris as the source of his glory; and he never
considered a victory fully achieved until he had raised a monument to
transmit its memory to posterity. He, wanted glory, uninterrupted
glory, for France as well as for himself: How often, when talking over
his schemes, has he not said, "Bourrienne, it is for France I am doing
all this! All I wish, all I desire, the end of all my labours is, that
my name should be indissolubly connected with that of France!"

Paris is not the only city, nor is France the only kingdom, which bears
traces of Napoleon's passion for great and useful monuments. In Belgium,
in Holland, in Piedmont, in all Italy, he executed great improvements.
At Turin a splendid bridge was built over the Po, in lieu of an old
bridge which was falling in ruins.

How many things were undertaken and executed in Napoleon s short and
eventful reign! To obviate the difficulty of communication between Metz
and Mayence a magnificent road was made, as if by magic, across
impracticable marshes and vast forests. Mountains were cut through and
ravines filled up. He would not allow nature more than man to resist
him. One day when be was proceeding to Belgium by the way of Civet, he
was detained for a short time at Little Givet, on the right bank of the
Meuse, in consequence of an accident which happened to the ferry-boat.
He was within a gunshot of the fortress of Charlemont, on the left bank,
and in the vexation which the delay occasioned he dictated the following
decree: "A bridge shall be built over the Meuse to join Little Civet to
Great Givet. It shall be terminated during the ensuing campaign." It
was completed within the prescribed time: In the great work of bridges
and highways Bonaparte's chief object was to remove the obstacles and
barriers which nature had raised up as the limits of old France so as to
form a junction with the provinces which he successively annexed to the
Empire. Thus in Savoy a road, smooth as a garden-walk, superseded the
dangerous ascents and descents of the wood of Bramant; thus was the
passage of Mont Cenis a pleasant promenade at almost every season of the
year; thus did the Simplon bow his head, and Bonaparte might have said,
"There are now my Alps," with more reason than Louis XIV. said, "There
are now no Pyrenees."

--[Metternich (tome iv. p. 187) says on this subject, 'If you look
closely at the course of human affairs you will make strange
discoveries. For instance, that the Simplon Pass has contributed as
surely to Napoleon's immortality as the numerous works done in the
reign of the Emperor Francis will fail to add to his.]--

Such was the implicit confidence which Bonaparte reposed in me that I was
often alarmed at the responsibility it obliged me to incur.

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