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

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not empowered to do.

On the 10th of October the Consuls, after the breaking up of the Council,
assembled in the cabinet of their colleague. Bonaparte asked them in my
presence whether they thought he ought to go to the opera. They observed
that as every precaution was taken no danger could be apprehended, and
that it was desirable to show the futility of attempts against the First
Consul's life. After dinner Bonaparte put on a greatcoat over his green
uniform and got into his carriage accompanied by me and Duroc. He seated
himself in front of his box, which at that time was on the left of the
theatre between the two columns which separated the front and side boxes.
When we had been in the theatre about half an hour the First Consul
directed me to go and see what was doing in the corridor. Scarcely had I
left the box than I heard a great uproar, and soon discovered that a
number of persons, whose names I could not learn, had been arrested. I
informed the First Consul of what I had heard, and we immediately
returned to the Tuileries.

It is certain that the object of the conspiracy was to take the First
Consul's life, and that the conspirators neglected nothing which could
further the accomplishment of their atrocious design. The plot, however,
was known through the disclosures of Harrel; and it would have been easy
to avert instead of conjuring up the storm. Such was, and such still is,
my opinion. Harrel's name was again restored to the army list, and he
was appointed commandant of Vincennes. This post he held at the time of
the Duc d'Enghien's assassination. I was afterwards told that his wife
was foster-sister to the unfortunate prince, and that she recognised him
when he entered the prison which in a few short hours was to prove his

Carbonneau, one of the individuals condemned, candidly confessed the part
he had taken in the plot, which he said was brought to maturity solely by
the agents of the police, who were always eager to prove their zeal to
their employers by some new discovery.

Although three months intervened between the machinations of Ceracchi and
Arena and the horrible attempt of the 3d Nivose, I shall relate these two
events in immediate succession; for if they had no other points of
resemblance they were at least alike in their object. The conspirators
in the first affair were of the revolutionary faction. They sought
Bonaparte's life as if with the view of rendering his resemblance to
Caesar so complete that not even a Brutus should be wanting. The latter,
it must with regret be confessed, were of the Royalist party, and in
their wish to destroy the First Consul they were not deterred by the fear
of sacrificing a great number of citizens.

The police knew nothing of the plot of the 3d Nivose for two reasons;
first, because they were no parties to it, and secondly, because two
conspirators do not betray and sell each other when they are resolute in
their purpose. In such cases the giving of information can arise only
from two causes, the one excusable, the other infamous, viz. the dread of
punishment, and the hope of reward. But neither of these causes
influenced the conspirators of the 3d Nivose, the inventors and
constructors of that machine which has so justly been denominated

On the 3d Nivose (24th December 1800) the first performance of Haydn's
magnificent oratorio of the "Creation" took place at the opera, and the
First Consul had expressed his intention of being present. I did not
dine with him that day, but as he left me he said, "Bourrienne, you know
I am going to the opera to-night, and you may go too; but I cannot take
you in the carriage, as Lannes, Berthier, and Lauriston are going with
me." I was very glad of this, for I much wished to hear one of the
masterpieces of the German school of composition. I got to the opera
before Bonaparte, who on his entrance seated himself, according to
custom, in front of the box. The eye's of all present were fixed upon
him, and he appeared to be perfectly calm and self-possessed. Lauriston,
as soon as he saw me, came to my box, and told me that the First Consul,
on his way to the opera, had narrowly escaped being assassinated in the
Rue St. Nicaise by the explosion of a barrel of gunpowder, the concussion
of which had shattered the windows of his carriage. "Within ten seconds
after our escape," added Lauriston, "the coachman having turned the
corner of the Rue St Honore, stopped to take the First Consul's orders;
and he coolly said, 'To the opera.'"

--[The following particulars respecting the affair of the infernal
machine are related by Rapp, who attended Madame Bonaparte to the
opera. He differs from Bourrienne as to the total ignorance of the

"The affair of the infernal machine has never been property
understood by the public. The police had intimated to Napoleon that
an attempt would be made against his life and cautioned him not to
go out. Madame Bonaparte, Mademoiselle Beauharnais, Madame Murat,
Lannes, Bessieres, the aide de camp on duty, Lieutenant Lebrun, now
duke of Placenza were all assembled in the salon, while the First
Consul was writing in his cabinet. Haydn's oratorio was to be
performed that evening; the ladies were anxious to hear the music,
and we also expressed a wish to that effect. The escort piquet was
ordered out; and Lannes requested that Napoleon would join the
party. He consented; his carriage was ready, and he took along with
him Bessieres and the aide de camp on duty. I was directed to
attend the ladies. Josephine had received a magnificent shawl from
Constantinople and she that evening wore it for the first time.
'Permit me to observe,' said I, 'that your shawl is not thrown on
with your usual elegance.' She good-humouredly begged that I would
fold it after the fashion of the Egyptian ladies. While I was
engaged in this operation we heard Napoleon depart. 'Come sister,'
said Madame Murat, who was impatient to get to the theatre:
'Bonaparte is going:' We stopped into the carriage: the First
Consul's equipage had already reached the middle of the Place du
Carrousel. We drove after it, but we had scarcely entered the place
when the machine exploded. Napoleon escaped by a singular chance,
St. Regent, or his servant Francois, had stationed himself in the
middle of tho Rue Nicaise. A grenadier of the escort, supposing he
was really what he appeared to be, a water-carrier, gave him a few
blows with the flat of his sabre and drove him off. The cart was
turned round, and the machine exploded between the carriages of
Napoleon and Josephine. The ladies shrieked on hearing the report;
the carriage windows were broken, and Mademoiselle Beauharnais
received a slight hurt on her hand. I alighted and crossed the Rue
Nicaise which was strewed with the bodies of those who had been
thrown down, and the fragments of the walls that had been shattered
with the explosion. Neither the consul nor any individual of his,
suite sustained any serious injury. When I entered the theatre
Napoleon was seated in his box; calm and composed, and looking at
the audience through his opera-glass. Fouche was beside him.
'Josephine' said he as soon as he observed me. She entered at that
instant and he did not finish his question 'The rascals' said he
very cooly, wanted to blow me up: Bring me a book of the oratorio'"
(Memoirs of General Count Rape. P. 19)]--

On hearing this I left the theatre and returned to the Palace, under the
expectation that I should speedily be wanted. Bonaparte soon returned
home; and as intelligence of the affair had spread through Paris the
grand salon on the ground-floor was filled with a crowd of functionaries,
eager to read in the eye of their master what they were to think and say
on the occasion. He did not keep them long in suspense. "This,"
exclaimed he vehemently, "is the work of the Jacobins: they have
attempted my life.... There are neither nobles, priests, nor Chouans in
this affair!.... I know what I am about, and they need not think to
impose on me. These are the Septembrizers who have been in open revolt
and conspiracy, and arrayed against every succeeding Government. It is
scarce three months since my life was attempted by Uracchi, Arena;
Topino-Lebrun, and Demerville. They all belong to one gang! The
cutthroats of September, the assassins of Versailles, the brigands of the
81st of May, the conspirators of Prairial are the authors of all the
crimes committed against established Governments! If they cannot be
checked they must be crashed! France must be purged of these ruffians!"
It is impossible to form any idea of the bitterness with which Bonaparte,
pronounced these words. In vain did some of the Councillors of State,
and Fouche in particular, endeavour to point out to him that there was no
evidence against any one, and that before he pronounced people to be
guilty it would be right to ascertain the fact. Bonaparte repeated with
increased violence what he had before said of the Jacobins; thus adding;
not without some ground of suspicion, one crime more to, the long
catalogue for which they had already to answer.

Fouche had many enemies, and I was not, therefore, surprised to find some
of the Ministers endeavouring to take advantage of the difference between
his opinion and that of the First Consul; and it must be owned that the
utter ignorance of the police respecting this event was a circumstance
not very favourable to Fouche. He, however, was like the reed in the
fable--he bent with the wind, but was soon erect again. The most skilful
actor could scarcely imitate the inflexible calmness he maintained during
Bonaparte's paroxysm of rage, and the patience with which he allowed
himself to be accused.

Fouche, when afterwards conversing with me, gave me clearly to understand
that he did not think the Jacobins guilty. I mentioned this to the First
Consul, but nothing could make him retract his opinion. "Fouche," said
he, "has good reason for his silence. He is serving his own party. It
is very natural that he should seek to screen a set of men who are
polluted with blood and crimes! He was one of their leaders. Do not I
know what he did at Lyons and the Loire? That explains Fouche's conduct

This is the exact truth; and now let me contradict one of the thousand
fictions about this event. It has been said and printed that "the
dignitaries and the Ministers were assembled at the Tuileries. 'Well,'
said the First Consul, advancing angrily towards Fouche, 'will you still
say that this is the Royalist party?' Fouche, better informed than was
believed, answered coolly, 'Yes, certainly, I shall say so; and, what is
more, I shall prove it.' This speech caused general astonishment, but
was afterwards fully borne out." This is pure invention. The First
Consul only said to Fouche; "I do not trust to your police; I guard
myself, and I watch till two in the morning." This however, was very
rarely the case.

On the day after the explosion of the infernal machine a considerable
concourse assembled at the Tuileries. There was absolutely a torrent of
congratulations. The prefect of the Seine convoked the twelve mayors of
Paris and came at their head to wait on the First Consul. In his reply
to their address Bonaparte said, "As long as this gang of assassins
confined their attacks to me personally I left the law to take its
course; but since, by an unparalleled crime, they have endangered the
lives of a portion of the population of Paris, their punishment must be
as prompt as exemplary. A hundred of these wretches who have libeled
liberty by perpetrating crimes in her name must be effectually prevented
from renewing their atrocities." He then conversed with the Ministers,
the Councillors of State, etc., on the event of the preceding day; and as
all knew the First Consul's opinion of the authors of the crime each was
eager to confirm it. The Council was several times assembled when the
Senate was consulted, and the adroit Fouche, whose conscience yielded to
the delicacy of his situation, addressed to the First Consul a report
worthy of a Mazarin. At the same time the journals were filled with
recollections of the Revolution, raked up for the purpose of connecting
with past crimes the individuals on whom it was now wished to cast odium.
It was decreed that a hundred persons should be banished; and the senate
established its character for complaisance by passing a 'Senatus-
consulte' conformable to the wishes of the First Consul.

A list was drawn up of the persons styled Jacobins, who were condemned to
transportation. I was fortunate enough to obtain the erasure of the
names of several whose opinions had perhaps been violent, but whose
education and private character presented claims to recommendation. Some
of my readers may probably recollect them without my naming them, and I
shall only mention M. Tissot, for the purpose of recording, not the
service I rendered him, but an instance of grateful acknowledgment.

When in 1815 Napoleon was on the point of entering Paris M. Tissot came
to the prefecture of police, where I then was, and offered me his house
as a safe asylum; assuring me I should there run no risk of being
discovered. Though I did not accept the offer yet I gladly seize on this
opportunity of making it known. It is gratifying to find that difference
of political opinion does not always exclude sentiments of generosity and
honour! I shall never forget the way in which the author of the essays
on Virgil uttered the words 'Domus mea'.

But to return to the fatal list. Even while I write this I shudder to
think of the way in which men utterly innocent were accused of a
revolting crime without even the shadow of a proof. The name of an
individual, his opinions, perhaps only assumed, were sufficient grounds
for his banishment. A decree of the Consuls, dated 4th of January 1801,
confirmed by a 'Senates-consulte' on the next day, banished from the
territory of the Republic, and placed under special inspectors, 130
individuals, nine of whom were merely designated in the report as

The exiles, who in the reports and in the public acts were so unjustly
accused of being the authors of the infernal machine, were received at
Nantes, with so much indignation that the military were compelled to
interfere to save them from being massacred.

In the discussions which preceded the decree of the Consuls few persons
had the courage to express a doubt respecting the guilt of the accused.
Truguet was the first to mount the breach. He observed that without
denying the Government the extraordinary means for getting rid of its
enemies he could not but acknowledge that the emigrants threatened the
purchasers of national domains, that the public mind was corrupted by
pamphlets, and that--Here the First Consul, interrupting him, exclaimed,
"To what pamphlets do you allude?"--"To pamphlets which are publicly
circulated."--"Name them!"--"You know them as well as I do."

--[The Parallel between Caesar, Cromwell, and Bonaparte, of which I
shall speak a little farther on, is here alluded to.--Bourrienne.]--

After a long and angry ebullition the First Consul abruptly dismissed the
Council. He observed that he would not be duped; that the villains were
known; that they were Septembrizers, the hatchers of every mischief. He
had said at a sitting three days before, "If proof should fail, we must
take advantage of the public excitement. The event is to me merely the
opportunity. They shall be banished for the 2d September, for the 31st
May, for Baboeuf's conspiracy--or anything else."

On leaving one of the sittings of the Council, at which the question of a
special tribunal had been discussed, he told me that he had been a little
ruffled; that he had said a violent blow must be struck; that blood must
be spilt; and that as many of the guilty should be shot as there had been
victims of the explosion (from fifteen to twenty); that 200 should be
banished, and the Republic purged of these scoundrels.

The arbitrariness and illegality of the proceeding were so evident that
the 'Senatus-consulte' contained no mention of the transactions of the 3d
Nivose, which was very remarkable. It was, however, declared that the
measure of the previous day had been adopted with a view to the
preservation of the Constitution. This was promising.

The First Consul manifested the most violent hatred of the Jacobins;
for this he could not have been blamed if under the title of Jacobins he
had not comprised every devoted advocate of public liberty. Their
opposition annoyed him and he could never pardon them for having presumed
to condemn his tyrannical acts, and to resist the destruction of the
freedom which he had himself sworn to defend, but which he was
incessantly labouring to overturn. These were the true motives of his
conduct; and, conscious of his own faults, he regarded with dislike those
who saw and disapproved of them. For this reason he was more afraid of
those whom he called Jacobins than of the Royalists.

I am here recording the faults of Bonaparte, but I excuse him; situated
as he was, any other person would have acted in the same way. Truth now
reached him with difficulty, and when it was not agreeable he had no
disposition to hear it. He was surrounded by flatterers; and, the
greater number of those who approached him, far from telling him what
they really thought; only repeated what he had himself been thinking.
Hence he admired the wisdom of his Counsellors. Thus Fouche, to maintain
himself in favour, was obliged to deliver up to his master 130 names
chosen from among his own most intimate friends as objects of

Meanwhile Fouche, still believing that he was not deceived as to the real
authors of the attempt of the 3d Nivose, set in motion with his usual
dexterity all the springs of the police. His efforts, however, were for
sometime unsuccessful; but at length on Saturday, the 31st January 1801,
about two hours after our arrival at Malmaison, Fouche presented himself
and produced authentic proofs of the accuracy of his conjectures. There
was no longer any doubt on the subject; and Bonaparte saw clearly that
the attempt of the 3d Nivose was the result of a plot hatched by the
partisans of royalty. But as the act of proscription against those who
were jumbled together under the title of the Jacobins had been executed,
it was not to be revoked.

Thus the consequence of the 3d Nivose was that both the innocent and
guilty were punished; with this difference, however, that the guilty at
least had the benefit of a trial.

When the Jacobins, as they were called, were accused with such
precipitation, Fouche had no positive proofs of their, innocence; and
therefore their illegal condemnation ought not to be attributed to him.
Sufficient odium is attached to his memory without his being charged with
a crime he never committed. Still, I must say that had he boldly opposed
the opinion of Bonaparte in the first burst of his fury he might have
averted the blow. Every time he came to the Tuileries, even before he
had acquired any traces of the truth, Fouche always declared to me his
conviction of the innocence of the persons first accused. But he was
afraid to make the same observation to Bonaparte. I often mentioned to
him the opinion of the Minister of Police; but as proof was wanting he
replied to me with a triumphant air, "Bah! bah! This is always the way
with Fouche. Besides, it is of little consequence. At any rate we shall
get rid of them. Should the guilty be discovered among the Royalists
they also shall be punished."

The real criminals being at length discovered through the researches of
Fouche, St. Regent and Carbon expiated their crimes by the forfeit of
their heads. Thus the First Consul gained his point, and justice gained

--[It was St. Regent, or St. Rejeant, who fired the infernal
machine. The violence of the shock flung him against a post and
part of his breast bone was driven in. He was obliged to resort to
a surgeon, and it would seem that this man denounced him. (Memoirs
of Miot de Melito, tome i. p. 264).

The discussions which took place in the Council of State on this
affair are remarkable, both for the violence of Napoleon and for the
resistance made in the Council, to a great extent successfully, to
his views as to the, plot being one of the Jacobin party.]--

I have often had occasion to notice the multifarious means employed by
Bonaparte to arrive at the possession of supreme power, and to prepare
men's minds for so great change. Those who have observed his life must
have so remarked how entirely he was convinced of the truth that public
opinion wastes itself on the rumour of a project and possesses no energy
at the moment of its execution. In order, therefore, to direct public
attention to the question of hereditary power a pamphlet was circulated
about Paris, and the following is the history of it:--

In the month of December 1800, while Fouche was searching after the real
authors of the attempt of the 3d Nivose, a small pamphlet, entitled
"Parallel between Caesar, Cromwell, anal Bonaparte," was sent to the
First Consul. He was absent when it came. I read it, and perceived that
it openly advocated hereditary monarchy. I then knew nothing about the
origin of this pamphlet, but I soon learned that it issued from the
office of the Minister of the Interior [Lucien Bonaparte], and that it
had been largely circulated. After reading it I laid it on the table.
In a few minutes Bonaparte entered, and taking up the pamphlet pretended
to look through it: "Have you read this?" said he.--"Yes, General."--
"Well! what is your opinion of it?"--"I think it is calculated to
produce an unfavourable effect on the public mind: it is ill-timed, for
it prematurely reveals your views." The First Consul took the pamphlet
and threw it on the ground, as he did all the stupid publications of the
day after having slightly glanced over them. I was not singular in my
opinion of the pamphlet, for next day the prefects in the immediate
neighbourhood of Paris sent a copy of it to the First Consul, complaining
of its mischievous effect; and I recollect that in one of their letters
it was stated that such a work was calculated to direct against him the
poniards of new assassins. After reading this correspondence he said to
me, "Bourrienne, sent for Fouche; he must come directly, and give an
account of this matter." In half an hour Fouche was in the First
Consul's cabinet. No sooner had he entered than the following dialogue
took place, in which the impetuous warmth of the one party was strangely
contrasted with the phlegmatic and rather sardonic composure of the

"What pamphlet is this? What is said about it in Paris?"--"General,
there is but one opinion of its dangerous tendency."--"Well, then, why
did you allow it to appear?"--"General, I was obliged to show some
consideration for the author!"--"Consideration for the author! What do
you mean? You should have sent him to the temple."--"But, General, your
brother Lucien patronises this pamphlet. It has been printed and
published by his order. In short, it comes from the office of the
Minister of the Interior."--"No matter for that! Your duty as Minister
of Police was to have arrested Lucien, and sent him to the Temple. The
fool does nothing but contrive how he can commit me!"

With these words the First Consul left the cabinet, shutting the door
violently behind him. Being now alone with Fouche, I was eager to get an
explanation of the suppressed smile which had more than once curled his
lips during Bonaparte's angry expostulation. I easily perceived that
there was something in reserve. "Send the author to the Temple!" said
Fouche; "that would be no easy matter! Alarmed at the effect which this
parallel between Caesar, Cromwell, and Bonaparte was likely to produce,
I went to Lucien to point out to him his imprudence. He made me no
answer, but went and got a manuscript, which he showed me, and which
contained corrections and annotations in the First Consul's handwriting."

When Lucien heard how Bonaparte had expressed his displeasure at the
pamphlet, he also came to the Tuileries to reproach his brother with
having thrust him forward and then abandoned him. "'Tis your own fault,"
said the First Consul. "You have allowed yourself to be caught! So much
the worse for you! Fouche is too cunning for you! You are a mere fool
compared with him!" Lucien tendered his resignation, which was accepted,
and he departed for Spain. This diplomatic mission turned to his
advantage. It was necessary that one should veil the Machiavellian
invention of the 'Parallel.'

--[The 'Parallel' has been attributed to different writers; some
phrases seemed the work of Lucien, but, says Thiers (tome ii p.
210), its rare elegance of language and its classical knowledge of
history should attribute it to its real anchor, Fontanel, Joseph
Bonaparte (Erreurs tome i. p. 270) says that Fontanel wrote it, and
Lucien Bonaparte corrected it. See Meneval, tome iii. p. 105.
Whoever wrote it Napoleon certainly planned its issue. "It was,"
said he to Roederer, "a work of which he himself had given the idea,
but the last pages were by a fool" (Miot, tome i, p. 318). See also
Lanfrey, tome ii. p. 208; and compare the story in Iung's Lucien,
tome ii. p. 490. Miot, then in the confidence of Joseph, says,
that Lucien's removal from, office was the result of an angry
quarrel between him and Fouche in the presence of Napoleon, when
Fouche attacked Lucien, not only for the pamphlet, but also for the
disorder of his public and his private life; but Miot (tome i, p,
319) places the date of this as the 3d November, while Bourrienne
dates the disapproval of the pamphlet in December.]--

Lucien, among other instructions, was directed to use all his endeavours
to induce Spain to declare against Portugal in order to compel that power
to separate herself from England.

The First Consul had always regarded Portugal as an English colony, and
he conceived that to attack it was to assail England. He wished that
Portugal should no longer favour England in her commercial relations,
but that, like Spain, she should become dependent on him. Lucien was
therefore sent as ambassador to Madrid, to second the Ministers of
Charles IV. in prevailing on the King to invade Portugal. The King
declared war, but it was not of long duration, and terminated almost
without a blow being struck, by the taking of Olivenza. On the 6th of
June 1801 Portugal signed the treaty of Badajoz, by which she promised to
cede Olivenza, Almeida, and some other fortresses to Spain, and to close
her ports against England. The First Consul, who was dissatisfied with
the treaty, at first refused to ratify it. He still kept his army in
Spain, and this proceeding determined Portugal to accede to some slight
alterations in the first treaty. This business proved very advantageous
to Lucien and Godoy.

The cabinet of the Tuileries was not the only place in which the question
of hereditary succession was discussed. It was the constant subject of
conversation in the salons of Paris, where a new dynasty was already
spoken of. This was by no means displeasing to the First Consul; but he
saw clearly that he had committed a mistake in agitating the question
prematurely; for this reason he waged war against the Parallel, as he
would not be suspected of having had any share in a design that had
failed. One day he said to me, "I believe I have been a little too
precipitate. The pear is not quite ripe!" The Consulate for life was
accordingly postponed till 1802, and the hereditary empire till 1804.

After the failure of the artful publication of the pamphlet Fouche
invited me to dine with him. As the First Consul wished me to dine out
as seldom as possible, I informed him of the invitation I had received.
He was, however, aware of it before, and he very readily gave me leave to
go. At dinner Joseph was placed on the right of Fouche, and I next to
Joseph, who talked of nothing but his brother, his designs, the pamphlet,
and the bad effect produced by it. In all that fell from him there was a
tone of blame and disapproval I told him my opinion, but with greater
reserve than I had used towards his brother. He seemed to approve of
what I said; his confidence encouraged me, and I saw with pleasure that
he entertained sentiments entirely similar to my own. His unreserved
manner so imposed upon me that, notwithstanding the experience I had
acquired, I was far from suspecting myself to be in the company of a spy.
Next day the First Consul said to me very coldly, "Leave my letters in
the basket, I will open them myself." This unexpected direction
surprised me exceedingly, and I determined to play him a trick in revenge
for his unfounded distrust. For three mornings I laid at the bottom of
the basket all the letters which I knew came from the Ministers, and all
the reports which were addressed to me for the First Consul. I then
covered them over with those which; judging from their envelopes and
seals, appeared to be of that trifling kind with which the First Consul
was daily overwhelmed: these usually consisted of requests that he would
name the number of a lottery ticket, so, that the writer might have the
benefit of his good luck--solicitations that he would stand godfather to
a child--petitions for places--announcements of marriages and births--
absurd eulogies, etc. Unaccustomed to open the letters, he became
impatient at their number, and he opened very few. Often on the same
day, but always on the morrow, came a fresh letter from a Minister, who
asked for an answer to his former one, and who complained of not having
received one. The First Consul unsealed some twenty letters and left the

The opening of all these letters, which he was not at other times in the
habit of looking at, annoyed him extremely; but as I neither wished to
carry the joke too far, nor to remain in the disagreeable position in
which Joseph's treachery had placed me, I determined to bring the matter
to a conclusion. After the third day, when the business of the night,
which had been interrupted by little fits of ill-humour, was concluded,
Bonaparte retired to bed. Half an hour after I went to his chamber, to
which I was admitted at all hours. I had a candle in my hand, and,
taking a chair, I sat down on the right side of the bed, and placed the
candle on the table. Both he and Josephine awoke. "What is the matter?"
he asked with surprise. "General, I have come to tell you that I can no
longer remain here, since I have lost your confidence. You know how
sincerely I am devoted to you; if you have, then, anything to reproach me
with, let me at least know it, for my situation during the last three
days lies been very painful."--"What has Bourrienne done?" inquired
Josephine earnestly.--"That does not concern you," he replied. Then
turning to me he said, "Tis true, I have cause to complain of you. I
have been informed that you have spoken of important affairs in a very
indiscreet manner."--"I can assure you that I spoke to none but your
brother. It was he who led me into the conversation, and he was too well
versed in the business for me to tell him any secret. He may have
reported to you what he pleased, but could not I do the same by him?
I could accuse and betray him as he has accused and betrayed me. When I
spoke in confidence to your brother, could I regard him as an
inquisitor?"--"I must confess," replied Bonaparte, "that after what I
heard from Joseph I thought it right to put my confidence in
quarantine."--"The quarantine has lasted three days, General; surely that
is long enough."--"Well, Bourrienne, let us say no more about it. Open
my letters as usual; you will find the answers a good deal in arrear,
which has much vexed me; and besides, I was always stumbling on some
stupid nonsense or other!"

I fancy I still see and hear the amiable Josephine sitting up in bed and
saying, in her gentle way, "What! Bonaparte, is it possible you could
suspect Bourrienne, who is so attached to you, and who is your only
friend? How could you suffer such a snare to be laid for him? What!
a dinner got up on purpose! How I hate these odious police manoeuvres!"
--"Go to sleep," said Bonaparte; "let women mind their gewgaws, and not
interfere with politics." It was near two in the morning before I

When, after a few hours' sleep, I again saw the First Consul, he was more
kind to me than ever, and I perceived that for the present every cloud
had dispersed.'

--[Joseph Bonaparte (Erreurs, tome i. p. 273) says what he
reported to his brother was Bourrienne's conversation to him in the
First Consul's cabinet during Napoleon's absence. It is curious
that at the only time when Napoleon became dissatisfied with Meneval
(Bourrienne's successor), and ordered him not to open the letters,
he used the same expression when returning to the usual order of
business, which in this case was to a few hours. "My dear Meneval,"
said he, "there are circumstances in which I am forced to put my
confidence in quarantine." (Meneval, tome i. p. 123). For any one
who has had to manage an office it is pleasant to find that even
Napoleon was much dependent on a good secretary. In an illness of
his secretary he said, showing the encumbrance of his desk, "with
Meneval I should soon clear off all that."(Meneval, tome i. p. 151.)]



Austria bribed by England--M. de St. Julien in Paris--Duroc's
mission--Rupture of the armistice--Surrender of three garrisons--
M. Otto in London--Battle of Hohenlinden--Madame Moreau and Madame
Hulot--Bonaparte's ill-treatment of the latter--Congress of
Luneville--General Clarke--M. Maret--Peace between France and
Austria--Joseph Bonaparte's speculations in the funds--
M. de Talleyrand's advice--Post-office regulation--Cambaceres--
Importance of good dinners in the affairs of Government--Steamboats
and intriguers--Death of Paul I.--New thoughts of the
reestablishment of Poland--Duroc at St. Petersburg--Bribe rejected--
Death of Abercromby.

Mm armistice concluded after the battle of Marengo, which had been first
broken and then resumed, continued to be observed for some time between
the armies of the Rhine and Italy and the Imperial armies. But Austria,
bribed by a subsidy of 2,000,000 sterling, would not treat for peace
without the participation of England. She did not despair of
recommencing the war successfully.

M. de St. Julien had signed preliminaries at Paris; but the Court of
Vienna disavowed them, and Duroc, whom Bonaparte sent to convey the
preliminaries to Vienna for the Imperial ratification, was not permitted
to pass the Austrian advance poets. This unexpected proceeding, the
result of the all-powerful influence of England, justly incensed the
First Consul, who had given decided proofs of moderation and a wish for
peace. "I want peace," said he to me, "to enable me to organise the
interior; the people also want it. You see the conditions I offer.
Austria, though beaten, obtains all she got at Campo-Formio. What can
she want more? I could make further exactions; but, without fearing the
reverses of 1799, I must think of the future. Besides, I want
tranquillity, to enable me to settle the affairs of the interior, and to
send aid to Malta and Egypt. But I will not be trifled with. I will
force an immediate decision!"

In his irritation the First Consul despatched orders to Moreau, directing
him to break the armistice and resume hostilities unless he regained
possession of the bridges of the Rhine and the Danube by the surrender of
Philipsburg, Ulm, and Ingolstadt. The Austrians then offered to treat
with France on new bases. England wished to take part in the Congress,
but to this the First Consul would not consent until she should sign a
separate armistice and cease to make common cause with Austria.

The First Consul received intelligence of the occupation of the three
garrisons on the 23d of September, the day he had fixed in his ultimatum
to England for the renewal of hostilities. But for the meanwhile he was
satisfied with the concessions of Austria: that power, in the expectation
of being supported by England, asked her on what terms she was to treat.

During these communications with Austria M. Otto was in London
negotiating for the exchange of prisoners. England would not hear of an
armistice by sea like that which France had concluded with Austria by
land. She alleged that, in case of a rupture, France would derive from
that armistice greater advantage than Austria would gain by that already
concluded. The difficulty and delay attending the necessary
communications rendered these reasons plausible. The First Consul
consented to accept other propositions from England, and to allow her to
take part in the discussions of Luneville, but on condition that she
should sign a treaty with him without the intervention of Austria. This
England refused to do. Weary of this uncertainty, and the tergiversation
of Austria, which was still under the influence of England, and feeling
that the prolongation of such a state of things could only turn to his
disadvantage, Bonaparte broke the armistice. He had already consented to
sacrifices which his successes in Italy did not justify. The hope of an
immediate peace had alone made him lose sight of the immense advantages
which victory had given him.

Far from appearing sensible to the many proofs of moderation which the
First Consul evinced, the combined insolence of England and Austria
seemed only to increase. Orders were immediately given for resuming the
offensive in Germany and Italy, and hostilities then recommenced.

The chances of fortune were long doubtful. After a reverse Austria made
promises, and after an advantage she evaded them; but finally, fortune
proved favourable to France. The French armies in Italy and Germany
crossed the Mincio and the Danube, and the celebrated battle of
Hohenlinden brought the French advanced posts within ten leagues of
Vienna. This victory secured peace; for, profiting by past experience,
the First Consul would not hear of any suspension of arms until Austria
should consent to a separate treaty. Driven into her last intrenchments,
Austria was obliged to yield. She abandoned England; and the English
Cabinet, in spite of the subsidy of 2,000,000 sterling, consented to the
separation. Great Britain was forced to come to this arrangement in
consequence of the situation to which the successes of the army of Moreau
had reduced Austria, which it was certain would be ruined by longer

England wished to enter into negotiations at Luneville. To this the
First Consul acceded; but, as he saw that England was seeking to deceive
him, he required that she should suspend hostilities with France, as
Austria had done. Bonaparte very reasonably alleged that an indefinite
armistice on the Continent would be more to the disadvantage of France
than a long armistice by sea would be unfavourable to England. All this
adjourned the preliminaries to 1801 and the peace to 1802.

The impatience and indignation of the First Consul had been highly
excited by the evasions of Austria and the plots of England, for he knew
all the intrigues that were carrying on for the restoration of the
Bourbons. His joy may be therefore conceived when the battle of
Hohenlinden balanced the scale of fortune in his favour. On the 3d of
December 1800 Moreau gained that memorable victory which at length put an
end to the hesitations of the Cabinet of Vienna.

--[On the eve of the battle of Hohenlinden Moreau was at supper with
his aides de camp and several general officers, when a despatch was
delivered to him. After he had read it be said to his guests,
though he was far from being in the habit of boasting, "I am here
made acquainted with Baron Kray's movements. They are all I could
wish. To-morrow we will take from him 10,000 prisoners." Moreau
took 40,000, besides a great many flags.--Bourrienne.]--

On the 6th of December the First Consul received intelligence of the
battle of Hohenlinden. It was on a Saturday, and he had just returned
from the theatre when I delivered the despatches to him. He literally
danced for joy. I must say that he did not expect so important a result
from the movements of the army of the Rhine. This victory gave a new
face to his negotiations for peace, and determined the opening of the
Congress of Luneville, which took place on the 1st of January following.

On receiving information of the battle of Hohenlinden, Madame Moreau came
to the Tuileries to call on the First Consul and Madame Bonaparte. She
did not see them, and repeated her calls several times with no better
success. The last time she came she was accompanied by her mother,
Madame Hulot. She waited for a considerable time in vain, and when she
was going away her mother, who could no longer restrain her feelings,
said aloud, before me and several persons of the household, that "it ill
became the wife of the conqueror of Hohenlinden to dance attendance in
this way." This remark reached the ears of those to whom it was
directed. Madame Moreau shortly after rejoined her husband in Germany;
and some time after her departure Madame Hulot came to Malmaison to
solicit promotion for her eldest son, who was in the navy. Josephine
received Madame Hulot very kindly, and requested her to stay to dinner.
She accepted the invitation. The First Consul, who did not see her until
the hour of dinner, treated her very coolly: he said little to her, and
retired as soon as dinner was over. His rudeness was so marked and
offensive that Josephine, who was always kind and amiable, thought it
necessary to apologise, by observing that his mind was disturbed by the
non-arrival of a courier whom he expected.

Bonaparte entertained no dislike of Moreau, because he did not fear him;
and after the battle of Hohenlinden he spoke of him in the highest terms,
and frankly acknowledged the services he had rendered on that important
occasion; but he could not endure his wife's family, who, he said, were a
set of intriguers.

--[Napoleon had good reason for his opinion. "Moreau had a mother-
in-law and a wife lively and given to intrigue. Bonaparte could not
bear intriguing women. Besides, on one occasion Madame Moreau's
mother, when at Malmaison, had indulged in sharp remarks on a
suspected scandalous intimacy between Bonaparte and his young sister
Caroline, then just married. The Consul had not forgiven such
conversation" (Remusat tome i. P. 192). see also Meneval, tome
iii. p. 57, as to the mischief done by Madame Hulot.]--

Luneville having been fixed upon for the Congress, the First Consul sent
his brother Joseph to treat with Count Louis de Cobentzel. On his way
Joseph met M. de Cobentzel, who had passed Luneville, and was coming to
Paris to sound the sentiments of the French Government. Joseph returned
to Paris with him. After some conversation with the First Consul they
set out next day for Luneville, of which place Bonaparte appointed
General Clarke governor. This appeared to satisfy Clarke, who was very
anxious to be something, and had long been importuning Bonaparte for an

A day or two after the news of the battle of Hohenlinden M. Maret came to
present for Bonaparte's signature some, decrees made in Council. While
affixing the signatures, and without looking up, the First Consul said to
M. Maret, who was a favourite with him, and who was standing at his right
hand, "Are you rich, Maret?"--"No, General."--" So much the worse: a man
should be independent."--"General, I will never be dependent on any one
but you." The First Consul then raised his eyes to Maret and said,
"Hem! that is not bad!" and when the secretary-general was gone he said
to me, "Maret is not deficient in cleverness: he made me a very good

On the 9th of February 1801, six weeks after the opening of the Congress
of Luneville, peace was signed between Austria and France. This peace--
the fruit of Marengo and Hohenlinden--restored France to that honourable
position which had been put in jeopardy by the feeble and incapable
government of the pentarchy and the reverses of 1799. This peace, which
in the treaty, according to custom, was called perpetual, lasted four

Joseph Bonaparte, while treating for France at Luneville, was speculating
on the rise of the funds which he thought the peace would produce.
Persons more wise, who were like him in the secret, sold out their stock
at the moment when the certainty of the peace became known. But Joseph
purchased to a great extent, in the hope of selling to advantage on the
signature of peace. However, the news had been discounted, and a fall
took place. Joseph's loss was considerable, and he could not satisfy the
engagements in which his greedy and silly speculations had involved him.
He applied to his brother, who neither wished nor was able to advance him
the necessary sum. Bonaparte was, however, exceedingly sorry to see his
elder brother in this embarrassment. He asked me what was to be done.
I told him I did not know; but I advised him to consult M. de Talleyrand,
from whom he had often received good advice. He did so, and M. de
Talleyrand replied, with that air of coolness which is so peculiar to
him, "What! is that all? Oh! that is nothing. It is easily settled.
You have only to raise the price of the funds."--"But the money?"--
"Oh, the money may be easily obtained. Make some deposits in the Mont-
de-Piste, or the sinking fund. That will give you the necessary money to
raise the funds; and then Joseph may sell out, and recover his losses."
M. de Talleyrand's advice was adopted, and all succeeded as he had
foretold. None but those who have heard M. de Talleyrand converse can
form an accurate idea of his easy manner of expressing himself, his
imperturbable coolness, the fixed unvarying expression of his
countenance, and his vast fund of wit.

--[Talleyrand had a large experience in all sorts of speculation.
When old he gave this counsel to one of his proteges: "Do not
speculate. I have always speculated on assured information, and
that has cost me so many millions;" and he named his losses. We may
believe that in this reckoning he rather forgot the amount of his
gains (Sainte-Beuve, Talleyrand, 93).]--

During the sitting of the Congress the First Consul learnt that the
Government couriers conveyed to favoured individuals in Paris various
things, but especially the delicacies of the table, and he ordered that
this practice should be discontinued. On the very evening on which this
order was issued Cambaceres entered the salon, where I was alone with the
First Consul, who had already been laughing at the mortification which he
knew this regulation would occasion to his colleague: "Well, Cambaceres,
what brings you here at this time of night?"--"I come to solicit an
exception to the order which you have just given to the Director of the
Posts. How do you think a man can make friends unless he keeps a good
table? You know very well how much good dinners assist the business of
Government." The First Consul laughed, called him a gourmand, and,
patting him on the shoulder, said, "Do not distress yourself, my dear
Cambaceres; the couriers shall continue to bring you your 'dindes aux
truffes', your Strasburg 'pates', your Mayence hams, and your other

Those who recollect the magnificent dinners given by Cambaceres and
others, which were a general topic of conversation at the time, and who
knew the ingenious calculation which was observed in the invitation of
the guests, must be convinced of the vast influence of a good dinner in
political affairs. As to Cambaceres, he did not believe that a good
government could exist without good dinners; and his glory (for every man
has his own particular glory) was to know that the luxuries of his table
were the subject of eulogy throughout Paris, and even Europe. A banquet
which commanded general suffrage was to him a Marengo or a Friedland.

--[Bourrienne does not exaggerate this excellent quality of the
worthy Cambaceres. When Beugnot was sent to administer the Grand
Duchy of Berg, Cambaceres said to him, "My dear Beugnot, the Emperor
arranges crowns as he chooses; here is the Grand Duke of Berg
(Murat) going to Naples; he is welcome, I have no objection, but
every year the Grand Duke sent me a couple of dozen hams from his
Grand Duchy, and I warn you I do not intend to lose them, so you
must make your preparations" . . . . I never once omitted to
acquit myself of the obligation, and if there were any delay, . .
his Highness never failed to cause one of his secretaries to write a
good scolding to my house steward; but when the hams arrived
exactly, his highness never failed to write to my wife himself to
thank her.

This was not all; the hams were to come carriage free. This petty
jobbery occasioned discontent, . . . and it would not have cost
me more to pay the carriage. The Prince would not allow it. There
was an agreement between him and Lavalette (the head of the Posts),
. . . And my Lord appeared to lay as much stress on the
performance of this treaty as on the procuring of the ham, (Beugnot,
tome i. p. 262).

Cambaceres never suffered the cares of Government to distract his
attention from the great object of life. On one occasion, for
example, being detained in consultation with Napoleon beyond the
appointed hour of dinner--it is said that the fate of the Duc
d'Enghien was the topic under discussion--he was observed, when the
hour became very late, to show great symptoms of impatience sod
restlessness. He at last wrote a note which he called a gentleman
usher in waiting to carry. Napoleon, suspecting the contents,
nodded to an aide de camp to intercept the despatch. As he took it
into his hands Cambaceres begged earnestly that he would not read a
trifling note upon domestic matters. Napoleon persisted, and found
it to be a note to the cook containing only the following words,
"Gardez les entremetes--les rotis sont perdue." When Napoleon was
in good humor at the result of a diplomatic conference he was
accustomed to take leave of the plenipotentiaries with, "Go and dine
Cambaceres." His table was in fact an important state engine, as
appears from the anecdote of the trout sent to him by the
municipality of Geneva, and charged 300 francs in their accounts.
The Imperial 'Cour des Comptes' having disallowed the item, was
interdicted from meddling with similar municipal affairs in future
(Hayward's Art of Dining, p. 20).]

At the commencement of 1801 Fulton presented to Bonaparte his memorial on
steamboats. I urged a serious examination of the subject. "Bah!" said
he, "these projectors are all either intriguers or visionaries. Don't
trouble me about the business." I observed that the man whom he called
an intriguer was only reviving an invention already known, and that it
was wrong to reject the scheme without examination. He would not listen
to me; and thus was adjourned, for some time, the practical application
of a discovery which has given such an important impulse to trade and

Paul I. fell by the hands of assassins on the night of the 24th of March
1801. The First Consul was much shocked on receiving the intelligence.
In the excitement caused by this unexpected event, which had so important
an influence on his policy, he directed me to send the following note to
the Moniteur:--

Paul I. died on the night of the 24th of March, and the English
squadron passed the Sound on the 30th. History will reveal the
connection which probably exists between these two events.

Thus were announced the crime of the 24th of March and the not ill-
founded suspicions of its authors.

--[We do not attempt to rescue the fair name of our country. This
is one among many instances in which Bourrienne was misled.--Editor
of 1886 edition.]--

The amicable relations of Paul and Bonaparte had been daily strengthened.
"In concert with the Czar," said Bonaparte, "I was sure of striking a
mortal blow at the English power in India. A palace revolution has
overthrown all my projects." This resolution, and the admiration of the
Autocrat of Russia for the head of the French Republic, may certainly be
numbered among the causes of Paul's death. The individuals generally
accused at the time were those who were violently and perseveringly
threatened, and who had the strongest interest in the succession of a new
Emperor. I have seen a letter from a northern sovereign which in my mind
leaves no doubt on this subject, and which specified the reward of the
crime, and the part to be performed by each actor. But it must also be
confessed that the conduct and character of Paul I., his tyrannical acts,
his violent caprices, and his frequent excesses of despotism, had
rendered him the object of accumulated hatred, for patience has its
limit. These circumstances did not probably create the conspiracy, but
they considerably facilitated the execution of the plot which deprived
the Czar of his throne and his life.

As soon as Alexander ascended the throne the ideas of the First Consul
respecting the dismemberment of Poland were revived, and almost wholly
engrossed his mind. During his first campaign in Italy, and several
times when in Egypt, he told Sulkowsky that it was his ardent wish to
reestablish Poland, to avenge the iniquity of her dismemberment, and by
that grand repertory act to restore the former equilibrium of Europe. He
often dictated to me for the 'Moniteur' articles tending to prove, by
various arguments, that Europe would never enjoy repose until those great
spoilations were avenged and repaired; but he frequently destroyed these
articles instead of sending them to press. His system of policy towards
Russia changed shortly after the death of Paul. The thought of a war
against that empire unceasingly occupied his mind, and gave birth to the
idea of that fatal campaign which took place eleven years afterwards, and
which had other causes than the re-establishment of Poland. That object
was merely set forward as a pretext.

Duroc was sent to St. Petersburg to congratulate the Emperor Alexander on
his accession to the throne. He arrived in the Russian capital on the
24th of May. Duroc, who was at this time very young, was a great
favourite of the First Consul. He never importuned Bonaparte by his
solicitations, and was never troublesome in recommending any one or
busying himself as an agent for favour; yet he warmly advocated the cause
of those whom he thought injured, and honestly repelled accusations which
he knew to be false. These moral qualities; joined to an agreeable
person and elegant manners, rendered him a very superior man.

The year 1801 was, moreover, marked by the fatal creation of special
tribunals, which were in no way justified by the urgency of
circumstances. This year also saw the re-establishment of the African
Company, the treaty of Luneville (which augmented the advantages France
had obtained by the treaty of Campo-Formio), and the peace concluded
between Spain and Portugal by means of Lucien. On the subject of this
peace I may mention that. Portugal, to obtain the cession of Olivenza,
secretly offered Bonaparte, through me, 8,000,000 of francs if he would
contribute his influence towards the acquisition of that town by
Portugal. He, rejected this offer indignantly, declaring that he would
never sell honour for money. He has been accused of having listened to a
similar proposition at Passeriano, though in fact no such proposition was
ever made to him. Those who bring forward such accusations little know
the inflexibility of his principles on this point.

One evening in April 1801 an English paper--the London Gazette--arrived
at Malmaison. It announced the landing in Egypt of the army commanded by
Abercromby, the battle given by the English, and the death of their
General. I immediately translated the article, and presented it to the
First Consul, with the conviction that the news would be very painful to
him. He doubted its truth, or at least pretended to do so. Several
officers and aides de camp who were in the salon coincided in his
opinion, especially Lannes, Bessieres, and Duroc. They thought by so
doing to please the First Consul, who then said to me, in a jeering tone,
"Bah! you do not understand English. This is the way with you: you are
always inclined to believe bad news rather than good!" These words, and
the approving smiles of the gentlemen present, ruffled me, and I said
with some warmth, "How, General, can you believe that the English
Government would publish officially so important an event if it were not
true? Do you think that a Government that has any self-respect would, in
the face of Europe, state a falsehood respecting an affair the truth of
which cannot long remain unknown? Did you ever know an instance of so
important an announcement proving untrue after it had been published in
the London Gazette? I believe it to be true, and the smiles of these
gentlemen will not alter my opinion." On these observations the First
Consul rose and said, "Come, Bourrienne, I want you in the library."
After we had left the salon he added, "This is always the way with you.
Why are you vexed at such trifles? I assure you I believe the news but
too confidently, and I feared it before it came. But they think they
please me by thus appearing to doubt it. Never mind them."--"I ask your
pardon," said I, "but I conceive the best way of proving my attachment to
you is to tell you what I believe to be true. You desire me not to delay
a moment in announcing bad news to you. It would be far worse to
disguise than to conceal it."



An experiment of royalty--Louis de Bourbon and Maria Louisa, of
Spain--Creation of the kingdom of Etruria--The Count of Leghorn in
Paris--Entertainments given him--Bonaparte's opinion of the King of
Etruria--His departure for Florence, and bad reception there--
Negotiations with the Pope--Bonaparte's opinion on religion--Te Deum
at Notre Dame--Behaviour of the people in the church--Irreligion of
the Consular Court--Augerean's remark on the Te Deum--First Mass at
St. Cloud-Mass in Bonaparte's apartments--Talleyrand relieved from
his clerical vows--My appointment to the Council of State.

Before he placed two crowns on his own head Bonaparte thought it would
promote the interests of his policy to place one on the head of a prince,
and even a prince of the House of Bourbon. He wished to accustom the
French to the sight of a king. It will hereafter be seen that he gave
sceptres, like his confidence, conditionally, and that he was always
ready to undo his own work when it became an obstacle to his ambitious

In May 1801 the Infanta of Spain, Maria Louisa, third daughter of Charles
IV., visited Paris. The Infante Louis de Bourbon, eldest son of the Duke
of Parma, had gone to Madrid in 1798 to contract a marriage with Maria
Amelia, the sister of Maria Louisa; but he fell in love with the latter.
Godoy favoured the attachment, and employed all his influence to bring
about the marriage. The son who, six years later, was born of this
union, was named Charles Louis, after the King of Spain. France occupied
the Duchy of Parma, which, in fulfilment of the conventions signed by
Lucien Bonaparte, was to belong to her after the death of the reigning
Duke. On the other hand, France was to cede the Grand Duchy of Tuscany
to the son of the Duke of Parma; and Spain paid to France, according to
stipulation, a considerable sum of money. Soon after the treaty was
communicated to Don Louis and his wife they left Madrid and travelled
through France. The prince took the title of Count of Leghorn. All
accounts are unanimous as to the attentions which the Prince and Princess
received on their journey. Among the, fetes in honour of the illustrious
couple that given by M. de Talleyrand at Neuilly was remarkable for

When the Count of Leghorn was coming to pay his first visit to Malmaison
Bonaparte went into the drawing-room to see that everything was suitably
prepared for his reception. In a few minutes he returned to his cabinet
and said to me, somewhat out of humour, "Bourrienne, only think of their
stupidity; they had not taken down the picture representing me on the
summit of the Alps pointing to Lombardy and commanding the conquest of
it. I have ordered its removal How mortifying it would have been if the
Prince had seen it!"

Another picture in the drawing-room at Malmaison represented the First
Consul sleeping on the snow on the summit of the Alps before the battle
of Marengo.

The Count of Leghorn's visit to Paris imparted brilliancy to the first
years of the reign of Bonaparte, of whom it was at that time said, "He
made kings, but would not be one!"

At the representation of AEdipus, the following expression of Philactetes
was received with transport:--

"J'ai fait des Souverains, et n'ai pas voulu l'etre."

["Monarchs I've made, but one I would not be."]

The First Consul, on leaving the theatre, did not conceal his
satisfaction. He judged, from the applause with which that verse had
been received, that his pamphlet was forgotten. The manner, moreover, in
which a king, crowned by his hands, had been received by the public, was
no indifferent matter to him, as he expected that the people would thus
again become familiar with what had been so long proscribed.

This King, who, though well received and well entertained, was in all
respects a very ordinary man, departed for Italy. I say very ordinary,
not that I had an opportunity of judging of his character myself, but the
First Consul told me that his capabilities were extremely limited; that
he even felt repugnance to take a pen in his hand; that he never cast a
thought on anything but his pleasures: in a word, that he was a fool.

One day, after the First Consul had spent several hours in company with
him and his consort, he said to me, "I am quite tired. He is a mere
automaton. I put a number of questions to him, but he can answer none.
He is obliged to consult his wife, who makes him understand as well as
she is able what he ought to say." The First Consul added, "The poor
Prince will set off to-morrow, without knowing what he is going to do."
I observed that it was a pity to see the happiness of the people of
Tuscany entrusted to such a prince. Bonaparte replied, "Policy requires
it. Besides, the young man is not worse than the usual run of kings."
The Prince fully justified in Tuscany the opinion which the First Consul
formed of him.

--[This unfortunate Prince was very ill-calculated to recommend, by
his personal character, the institutions to which the nobility clung
with so much fondness. Nature had endowed him with an excellent
heart, but with very limited talents; and his mind had imbibed the
false impress consequent upon his monastic education. He resided at
Malmaison nearly the whole time of his visit to Paris. Madame
Bonaparte used to lead the Queen to her own apartments; and as the
First Consul never left his closet except to sit down to meals, the
aides de camp were under the necessity of keeping the King company,
and of endeavoring to entertain him, so wholly was he devoid of
intellectual resources. It required, indeed, a great share of
patience to listen to the frivolities which engrossed his attention.
His turn of mind being thus laid open to view, care was taken to
supply him with the playthings usually placed in the hands of
children; he was, therefore, never at a loss for occupation. His
nonentity was a source of regret to us: we lamented to see s tall
handsome youth, destined to rule over his fellow-men, trembling at
the eight of a horse, and wasting his time in the game of hide-and-
seek, or at leap-frog and whose whole information consisted in
knowing his prayers, and in saying grace before and after meals.
Such, nevertheless, was the man to whom the destinies of a nation
were about to be committed! When he left France to repair to his
kingdom, "Rome need not be uneasy," said the First Consul to us
after the farewell audience, "there is no danger of his crossing the
Rubicon" (Memoirs of the Duke of Rovigo, vol. i. p. 363).]--

In order to show still further attention to the King of Etruria, after
his three weeks' visit to Paris, the First Consul directed him to be
escorted to Italy by a French guard, and selected his brother-in-law
Murat for that purpose.

The new King of a new kingdom entered Florence on the 12th of April 1801;
but the reception given him by the Tuscans was not at all similar to what
he had experienced at Paris. The people received the royal pair as
sovereigns imposed on them by France. The ephemeral kingdom of Etruria
lasted scarcely six years. The King died in 1803, in the flower of his
age, and in 1807 the Queen was expelled from her throne by him who had
constructed it for her.

At this period a powerful party urged Bonaparte to break with the Pope,
and to establish a Gallican Church, the head of which should reside in
France. They thought to flatter his ambition by indicating to him a new
source of power which might establish a point of comparison between him
and the first Roman emperors. But his ideas did not coincide with theirs
on this subject. "I am convinced," said he, "that a part of France would
become Protestant, especially if I were to favour that disposition.
I am also certain that the much greater portion would remain Catholic,
and would oppose, with the greatest zeal and fervour, the schism of a
part of their fellow-citizens. I dread the religious quarrels, the
family dissensions, and the public distractions, which such a state of
things would inevitably occasion. In, reviving a religion which has
always prevailed in the country, and which still prevails in the hearts
of the people, and in giving the liberty of exercising their worship to
the minority, I shall satisfy every one."

The First Consul, taking a superior view of the state of France,
considered that the re-establishment of religious worship would prove a
powerful support to his Government: and he had been occupied ever since
the commencement of 1801 in preparing a Concordat with the Pope. It was
signed in the month of July in the same year. It required some time to
enable the parties to come to an understanding on the subject.

Cardinal Consalvi arrived, in the month of June 1801, at Paris, to
arrange matters on the part of the Pope. Cardinal Caprara and M. de
Spina also formed part of the embassy sent by the Holy Father. There
were, besides, several able theologians, among whom Doctor C---- was

--[The "Doctor C----" was Caselti, later Archbishop of Parma. Bonier
was green the Bishopric of Orleans, not Versailles; see Erreurs,
tome i, p. 276. The details of the surprise attempted at the last
moment by putting before Cardinal Consalvi for his signature an
altered copy of the Concordat should be read in his Memoirs (tome i.
p. 355), or in Lanfrey (tome ii. p. 267). As for Napoleon's
belief that part of the nation might become Protestant, Narbonne
probably put the matter truly when he said there was not religion
enough in France to stand a division. It should be noted that the
Concordat did not so much restore the Catholic Church as destroy the
old Gallican Church, with all its liberties, which might annoy
either Pope or Emperor. But on this point see The Gallican Church
and the Revolution, by Jervis: London, Began Paul, Trench and Co.,
1882. The clergy may, it is true, have shown wisdom in acceding to
any terms of restoration.]--

He was a member of the Pope's chancery; his knowledge gave him so much
influence over his colleagues that affairs advanced only as much as he
pleased. However, he was gained over by honours conferred on him, and
promises of money. Business then went on a little quicker. The
Concordat was signed on the 15th of July 1801, and made a law of the
State in the following April. The plenipotentiaries on the part of
Bonaparte were Joseph Bonaparte, Cretet, and the Abby Bernier, afterwards
Bishop of Versailles.--[Orleans not Versailles. D.W.]

A solemn Te Deum was chanted at the cathedral of Notre Dame on Sunday,
the 11th of April. The crowd was immense, and the greater part of those
present stood during the ceremony, which was splendid in the extreme;
but who would presume to say that the general feeling was in harmony with
all this pomp? Was, then, the time for this innovation not yet arrived?
Was it too abrupt a transition from the habits of the twelve preceding
years? It is unquestionably true that a great number of the persons
present at the ceremony expressed, in their countenances and gestures,
rather a feeling of impatience and displeasure than of satisfaction or of
reverence for the place in which they were. Here and there murmurs arose
expressive of discontent. The whispering, which I might more properly
call open conversation, often interrupted the divine service, and
sometimes observations were made which were far from being moderate.
Some would turn their heads aside on purpose to take a bit of chocolate-
cake, and biscuits were openly eaten by many who seemed to pay no
attention to what was passing.

The Consular Court was in general extremely irreligious; nor could it be
expected to be otherwise, being composed chiefly of those who had
assisted in the annihilation of all religious worship in France, and of
men who, having passed their lives in camps, had oftener entered a church
in Italy to carry off a painting than to hear the Mass. Those who,
without being imbued with any religious ideas, possessed that good sense
which induces men to pay respect to the belief of others, though it be
one in which they do not participate, did not blame the First Consul for
his conduct, and conducted themselves with some regard to decency. But
on the road from the Tuileries to Notre Dame, Lannes and Augereau wanted
to alight from the carriage as soon as they saw that they ware being
driven to Mass, and it required an order from the First Consul to prevent
their doing so. They went therefore to Notre Dame, and the next day
Bonaparte asked Augereau what he thought of the ceremony. "Oh! it was
all very fine," replied the General; "there was nothing wanting, except
the million of men who have perished in the pulling down of what you are
setting up." Bonaparte was much displeased at this remark.

--[This remark has been attributed elsewhere to General Delmas.

According to a gentleman who played a part in this empty pageantry,
Lannes at one moment did get out of the carriage, and Augerean kept
swearing in no low whisper during the whole of the chanted Mass.
Most of the military chiefs who sprang out of the Revolution had no
religion at all, but there were some who were Protestants, and who
were irritated by the restoration of Catholicism as the national
faith.--Editor of 1896 edition.]--

During the negotiations with the Holy Father Bonaparte one day said to
me, "In every country religion is useful to the Government, and those who
govern ought to avail themselves of it to influence mankind. I was a
Mahometan in Egypt; I am a Catholic in France. With relation to the
police of the religion of a state, it should be entirely in the hands of
the sovereign. Many persons have urged me to found a Gallican Church,
and make myself its head; but they do not know France. If they did, they
would know that the majority of the people would not like a rupture with
Rome. Before I can resolve on such a measure the Pope must push matters
to an extremity; but I believe he will not do so."--"You are right,
General, and you recall to my memory what Cardinal Consalvi said:
'The Pope will do all the First Consul desires.'"--"That is the best
course for him. Let him not suppose that he has to do with an idiot.
What do you think is the point his negotiations put most forward? The
salvation of my soul! But with me immortality is the recollection one
leaves in the memory of man. That idea prompts to great actions. It
would be better for a man never to have lived than to leave behind him no
traces of his existence."

Many endeavours were made to persuade the First Consul to perform in
public the duties imposed by the Catholic religion. An influential
example, it was urged, was required. He told me once that he had put an
end to that request by the following declaration: "Enough of this.
Ask me no more. You will not obtain your object. You shall never make a
hypocrite of me. Let us remain where we are."

I have read in a work remarkable on many accounts that it was on the
occasion of the Concordat of the 15th July 1801 that the First Consul
abolished the republican calendar and reestablished the Gregorian. This
is an error. He did not make the calendar a religious affair. The
'Senatus-consulte', which restored the use of the Gregorian calendar, to
commence in the French Empire from the 11th Nivose, year XIV. (1st
January 1806), was adopted on the 22d Fructidor, year XIII. (9th
September 1805), more than four years after the Concordat. The re-
establishment of the ancient calendar had no other object than to bring
us into harmony with the rest of Europe on a point so closely connected
with daily transactions, which were much embarrassed by the decadary

Bonaparte at length, however, consented to hear Mass, and St. Cloud was
the place where this ancient usage was first re-established. He directed
the ceremony to commence sooner than the hour announced in order that
those who would only make a scoff at it might not arrive until the
service was ended.

Whenever the First Consul determined to hear Mass publicly on Sundays in
the chapel of the Palace a small altar was prepared in a room near his
cabinet of business. This room had been Anne of Austria's oratory.
A small portable altar, placed on a platform one step high, restored it
to its original destination. During the rest of the week this chapel was
used as a bathing-room. On Sunday the door of communication was opened,
and we heard Mass sitting in our cabinet of business. The number of
persons there never exceeded three or four, and the First Consul seldom
failed to transact some business during the ceremony, which never lasted
longer than twelve minutes. Next day all the papers had the news that
the First Consul had heard Mass in his apartments. In the same way Louis
XVIII. has often heard it in his!

On the 19th of July 1801 a papal bull absolved Talleyrand from his vows.
He immediately married Madame Grandt, and the affair obtained little
notice at the time. This statement sufficiently proves how report has
perverted the fact. It has been said that Bonaparte on becoming Emperor
wished to restore that decorum which the Revolution had destroyed, and
therefore resolved to put an end to the improper intimacy which subsisted
between Talleyrand and Madame Grandt. It is alleged that the Minister at
first refused to marry the lady, but that he at last found it necessary
to obey the peremptory order of his master. This pretended resurrection
of morality by Bonaparte is excessively ridiculous. The bull was not
registered in the Council of State until the 19th of August 1802.

--[The First Consul had on several occasions urged M. de Talleyrand
to return to holy orders. He pointed out to him that that course
world be most becoming his age and high birth, and premised that he
should be made a cardinal, thus raising him to a par with Richelieu,
and giving additional lustre to his administration (Memoirs of the
Duke of Rovigo, vol. i. p. 426).

But M. de Talleyrand vindicated his choice, saying, "A clever wife
often compromises her husband; a stupid one only compromises
herself" (Historical Characters, p.122, Bulwer, Lord Dulling).]--

I will end this chapter by a story somewhat foreign to the preceding
transactions, but which personally concerns myself. On the 20th of July
1801 the First Consul, 'ex proprio motu', named me a Councillor of State
extraordinary. Madame Bonaparte kindly condescended to have an elegant
but somewhat ideal costume made for me. It pleased the First Consul,
however, and he had a similar one made for himself. He wore it a short
time and then left it off. Never had Bonaparte since his elevation shown
himself so amiable as on this occasion.



Last chapter on Egypt--Admiral Gantheaume--Way to please Bonaparte--
General Menou's flattery and his reward--Davoust--Bonaparte regrets
giving the command to Menou, who is defeated by Abercromby--Otto's
negotiation in London--Preliminaries of peace.

For the last time in these Memoirs I shall return to the affairs of
Egypt--to that episode which embraces so short a space of time and holds
so high a place in the life of Bonaparte. Of all his conquests he set
the highest value on Egypt, because it spread the glory of his name
throughout the East. Accordingly he left nothing unattempted for the
preservation of that colony. In a letter to General Kleber he said,
"You are as able as I am to understand how important is the possession of
Egypt to France. The Turkish Empire, in which the symptoms of decay are
everywhere discernible, is at present falling to pieces, and the evil of
the evacuation of Egypt by France would now be the greater, as we should
soon see that fine province pass into the possession of some other
European power." The selection of Gantheaume, however, to carry
assistance to Kleber was not judicious. Gantheaume had brought the First
Consul back from Egypt, and though the success of the passage could only
be attributed to Bonaparte's own plan, his determined character, and
superior judgment, yet he preserved towards Gantheaume that favourable
disposition which is naturally felt for one who has shared a great danger
with us, and upon whom the responsibility may be said to have been

This confidence in mediocrity, dictated by an honourable feeling, did not
obtain a suitable return. Gantheaume, by his indecision and creeping
about in the Mediterranean, had already failed to execute a commission
entrusted to him. The First Consul, upon finding he did not leave Brest
after he had been ordered to the Mediterranean, repeatedly said to me,
"What the devil is Gantheaume about?" With one of the daily reports sent
to the First Consul he received the following quatrain, which made him
laugh heartily:

"Vaisseaux lestes, tete sans lest,
Ainsi part l'Amiral Gantheaume;
Il s'en va de Brest a Bertheaume,
Et revient de Bertheaume a Brest!"

"With ballast on board, but none in his brain,
Away went our gallant Gantheaume,
On a voyage from Brest to Bertheaume,
And then from Bertheaume--to Brest back again!"

Gantheaume's hesitation, his frequent tergiversations, his arrival at
Toulon, his tardy departure, and his return to that port on the 19th of
February 1801, only ten days prior to Admiral Keith's appearance with Sir
Ralph Abercromby off Alexandria, completely foiled all the plans which
Bonaparte had conceived of conveying succour and reinforcements to a
colony on the brink of destruction.

Bonaparte was then dreaming that many French families would carry back
civilisation, science, and art to that country which was their cradle.
But it could not be concealed that his departure from Egypt in 1799 had
prepared the way for the loss of that country, which was hastened by
Kleber's death and the choice of Menou as his successor.

A sure way of paying court to the First Consul and gaining his favour was
to eulogise his views about Egypt, and to appear zealous for maintaining
the possession of that country. By these means it was that Menou gained
his confidence. In the first year of the occupation of that country he
laid before him his dreams respecting Africa. He spoke of the negroes
of Senegal, Mozambique, Mehedie, Marabout, and other barbarous countries
which were all at once to assume a new aspect, and become civilised,
in consequence of the French possession of Egypt. To Menou's adulation
is to be attributed the favourable reception given him by the First
Consul, even after his return from Egypt, of which his foolish conduct
had allowed the English to get possession. The First Consul appointed
him Governor of Piedmont, and at my request gave my elder brother the
situation of Commissary-General of Police in that country; but I am in
candour obliged to confess that the First Consul was obliged to retract
this mark of his favour in consequence of my brother's making an abuse of

It was also by flattering the First Consul on the question of the East
that Davoust, on his return from Egypt in 1800 in consequence of the
Convention of El-Ariah, insinuated himself into Bonaparte's good graces
and, if he did not deserve, obtained his favour. At that time Davoust
certainly had no title whatever to the good fortune which he suddenly
experienced. He obtained, without first serving in a subordinate rank,
the command-in-chief of the grenadiers of the Consular Guard; and from
that time commenced the deadly hatred which Davoust bore towards me.
Astonished at the great length of time that Bonaparte had been one day
conversing with him I said, as soon as he was gone, "How could you talk
so long with a man whom you have always called a stupid fellow?"--"Ah!
but I did not know him well enough before. He is a better man, I assure
you, than he is thought; and you will come over to my opinion."--"I hope
so." The First Consul, who was often extremely indiscreet, told Davoust
my opinion of him, and his hostility against me ceased but with his life.

The First Consul could not forget his cherished conquest in the East.
It was constantly the object of his thoughts. He endeavoured to send
reinforcements to his army from Brest and Toulon, but without success.
He soon had cause to repent having entrusted to the hands of Menou the
command-in-chief, to which he became entitled only by seniority, after
the assassination of Kleber by Soleiman Heleby. But Bonaparte's
indignation was excited when he became acquainted with Menou's neglect
and mismanagement, when he saw him giving reins to his passion for
reform, altering and destroying everything, creating nothing good in its
stead, and dreaming about forming a land communication with the
Hottentots and Congo instead of studying how to preserve the country.
His pitiful plans of defence, which were useless from their want of
combination, appeared to the First Consul the height of ignorance.
Forgetful of all the principles of strategy, of which Bonaparte's conduct
afforded so many examples, he opposed to the landing of Abercromby a few
isolated corps, which were unable to withstand the enemy's attack, while
the English army might have been entirely annihilated had all the
disposable troops been sent against it.

The great admiration which Menou expressed at the expedition to Egypt;
his excessive fondness for that country, the religion of which he had
ridiculously enough embraced under the name of Abdallah; the efforts he
made, in his sphere, to preserve the colony; his enthusiasm and blind
attachment to Bonaparte; the flattering and encouraging accounts he gave
of the situation of the army, at first had the effect of entirely
covering Menou's incapacity.

--[For a ludicrous description of Menou see the Memoirs of Marmont:-
"Clever and gay, ho was an agreeable talker, but a great liar. He
was not destitute of some education. His character, one of the
oddest in the world, came very near to lunacy: Constantly writing,
always in motion in his room, riding for exercise every day, he was
never able to start on any necessary of useful journey . . . .
When, later, Bonaparte, then First Consul, gave him by special
favour the administration of Piedmont, he put off his departure from
day to day for six months; and then he only did start because his
friend Maret himself put him into his carriage, with post-horses
already harnessed to it . . . . When he left this post they
found in his cabinet 900 letters which he had not opened. He was an
eccentric lunatic, amusing enough sometimes, but a curse to
everything which depended on him " (Memoirs of the Duc de Raguse,
tome i. p. 410).]--

This alone can account for the First Consul's preference of him. But I
am far from concurring in what has been asserted by many persons, that
France lost Egypt at the very moment when it seemed most easy of
preservation. Egypt was conquered by a genius of vast intelligence,
great capacity, and profound military science. Fatuity, stupidity, and
incapacity lost it. What was the result of that memorable expedition?
The destruction of one of our finest armies; the loss of some of our best
generals; the annihilation of our navy; the surrender of Malta; and the
sovereignty of England in the Mediterranean. What is the result at
present? A scientific work. The gossiping stories and mystifications of
Herodotus, and the reveries of the good Rollin, are worth as much, and
have not cost so dear.

The First Consul had long been apprehensive that the evacuation of Egypt
was unavoidable. The last news he had received from that country was not
very encouraging, and created a presentiment of the approach of the
dreaded catastrophe. He, however, published the contrary; but it was
then of great importance that, an account of the evacuation should not
reach England until the preliminaries of peace were signed, for which
purpose M. Otto was exerting all his industry and talent. We made a
great merit of abandoning our conquests in Egypt; but the sacrifice would
not have been considered great if the events which took place at the end
of August had been known in London before the signing of the
preliminaries on the 1st of October. The First Consul himself answered
M. Otto's last despatch, containing a copy of the preliminaries ready to
be adopted by the English Ministry. Neither this despatch nor the answer
was communicated to M. de Talleyrand, then Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The First Consul, who highly appreciated the great talents and knowledge
of that Minister, never closed any diplomatic arrangement without first
consulting him; and he was right in so doing. On this occasion, however,
I told him that as M. de Talleyrand was, for his health, taking the
waters of Bourbon-l'Archambault, four days must elapse before his reply
could be received, and that the delay might cause the face of affairs to
change. I reminded him that Egypt was on the point of yielding. He took
my advice, and it was well for him that he did, for the news of the
compulsory evacuation of Egypt arrived in London the day after the
signing of the preliminaries. M. Otto informed the First Consul by
letter that Lord Hawkesbury, ill communicating to him the news of the
evacuation, told him he was very glad everything was settled, for it
would have been impossible for him to have treated on the same basis
after the arrival of such news. In reality we consented at Paris to the
voluntary evacuation of Egypt, and that was something for England, while
Egypt was at that very time evacuated by a convention made on the spot.
The definitive evacuation of Egypt took place on the 30th of August 1801;
and thus the conquest of that country, which had cost so dear, was
rendered useless, or rather injurious.



The most glorious epoch for France--The First Consul's desire of
peace--Malta ceded and kept--Bonaparte and the English journals--
Mr. Addington's letter to the First Consul--Bonaparte prosecutes
Peltier--Leclerc's expedition to St. Domingo--Toussaint Louverture--
Death of Leclerc--Rochambeau, his successor, abandons St. Domingo--
First symptoms of Bonaparte's malady--Josephine's intrigues for the
marriage of Hortense--Falsehood contradicted.

The epoch of the peace of Amiens must be considered as the most glorious
in the history of France, not excepting the splendid period of Louis
XIV.'s victories and the more brilliant era of the Empire. The Consular
glory was then pure, and the opening prospect was full of flattering
hope; whereas those who were but little accustomed to look closely into
things could discern mighty disasters lurking under the laurels of the

The proposals which the First Consul made in order to obtain peace
sufficiently prove his sincere desire for it. He felt that if in the
commencement of his administration he could couple his name with so hoped
for an act he should ever experience the affection and gratitude of the
French. I want no other proof of his sentiments than the offer he made
to give up Egypt to the Grand Seignior, and to restore all the ports of
the Gulf of Venice and of the Mediterranean to the States to which they
had previously belonged; to surrender Malta to the order of the Knights
of St. John, and even to raze its fortifications if England should think
such a measure necessary for her interests. In the Indies, Ceylon was to
be left to him,

--[Ceylon belonged to Holland, but was retained by England under the
treaty of Amiens.]--

and he required the surrender of the Cape of Good Hope and all the places
taken by the English in the West Indies.

England had firmly resolved to keep Malta, the Gibraltar of the
Mediterranean, and the Cape of Good Hope, the caravanserai of the Indies.
She was therefore unwilling to close with the proposition respecting
Malta; and she said that an arrangement might be made by which it would
be rendered independent both of Great Britain and France. We clearly saw
that this was only a lure, and that, whatever arrangements might be
entered into, England would keep Malta, because it was not to be expected
that the maritime power would willingly surrender an island which
commands the Mediterranean. I do not notice the discussions respecting
the American islands, for they were, in my opinion, of little consequence
to us.

--[It is strange that Bourrienne does not allude to one of the first
arbitrary acts of Napoleon, the discussions on which formed part of
those conversations between Napoleon and his brother Lucien of which
Bourrienne complained to Josephine he knew nothing. In 1763 France
had ceded to England the part of Louisiana on the east of the
Mississippi, and the part on the west of that river, with New
Orleans, to Spain. By the treaty negotiated with Spain by Lucien
Bonaparte in 1800 her share was given back to France. On the 80th
April 1803 Napoleon sold the whole to the United States for
80,000,000 francs (L 3,260,000), to the intense anger of his
brothers Joseph and Lucien. Lucien was especially proud of having
obtained the cession for which Napoleon was, at that time, very
anxious; but both brothers were horrified when Napoleon disclosed
how little he cared for constitutional forms by telling them that if
the Legislature, as his brothers threatened, would not ratify the
treaty, he would do without the ratification; see Iung's Letter,
tome ii. p. 128.

Napoleon's most obvious motives were want of money and the certainty
of the seizure of the province by England, as the rupture with her
was now certain. But there was perhaps another cause. The States
had already been on the point of seizing the province from Spain,
which had interfered with their trade (Hinton's United States, p.
435, and Thiers tome iv, p. 320).

Of the sum to be paid, 20,000,000 were to go to the States, to cover
the illegal seizures of American ships by the French navy, a matter
which was not settled for many years later. The remaining
80,000,000 were employed in the preparations for the invasion of
England; see Thiers, tome iv. pp. 320 and 326, and Lanfrey, tome
iii. p. 48. The transaction is a remarkable one, as forming the
final withdrawal of France from North America (with the exception of
some islands on the Newfoundland coast), where she had once held
such a proud position. It also eventually made an addition to the
number of slave States.]--

They cost more than they produce; and they will escape from us, some time
or other, as all colonies ultimately do from the parent country. Our
whole colonial system is absurd; it forces us to pay for colonial produce
at a rate nearly double that for which it may be purchased from our

When Lord Hawkesbury consented to evacuate Malta, on condition that it
should be independent of France and Great Britain, he must have been
aware that such a condition would never be fulfilled. He cared little
for the order of St. John, and he should have put, by way of postscript,
at the bottom of his note, "We will keep Malta in spite of you."
I always told the First Consul that if he were in the situation of the
English he would act the same part; and it did not require much sagacity
to foretell that Malta would be the principal cause of the rupture of
peace. He was of my opinion; but at that moment he thought everything
depended on concluding the negotiations, and I entirely agreed with him.
It happened, as was foreseen, that Malta caused the renewal of war. The
English, on being called upon to surrender the island, eluded the demand,
shifted about, and at last ended by demanding that Malta should be placed
under the protection of the King of Naples,--that is to say, under the
protection of a power entirely at their command, and to which they might
dictate what they pleased. This was really too cool a piece of irony!

I will here notice the quarrel between the First Consul and the English
newspapers, and give a new proof of his views concerning the freedom of
the press. However, liberty of the press did once contribute to give him
infinite gratification, namely, when all the London journals mentioned
the transports of joy manifested in London on the arrival of General
Lauriston, the bearer of the ratification of the preliminaries of peace.

The First Consul was at all times the declared enemy of the liberty of
the press, and therefore he ruled the journals with a hand of iron.

--[An incident, illustrative of the great irritation which Bonaparte
felt at the plain speaking of the English press, also shows the
important character of Coleridge's writings in the 'Morning Post'.
In the course of a debate in the House of Commons Fox asserted that
the rupture of the trace of Amiens had its origin in certain essays
which had appeared in the Morning POST, and which were known to have
proceeded from the pen of Coleridge. But Fox added an ungenerous
and malicious hint that the writer was at Rome, within the reach of
Bonaparte. The information reached the ears for which it was
uttered, and an order was sent from Paris to compass the arrest of
Coleridge. It was in the year 1806, when the poet was making a tour
in Italy. The news reached him at Naples, through a brother of the
illustrious Humboldt, as Mr. Gillman says--or in a friendly warning
from Prince Jerome Bonaparte, as we have it on the authority of Mr.
Cottle--and the Pope appears to have been reluctant to have a hand
in the business, and, in fact, to have furnished him with a
passport, if not with a carriage for flight, Coleridge eventually
got to Leghorn, where he got a passage by an American ship bound for
England; but his escape coming to the ears of Bonaparte, a look-out
was kept for the ship, and she was chased by a French cruiser, which
threw the captain into such a state of terror that he made Coleridge
throw all his journals and papers overboard (Andrews' History of
Journalism, vol. ii. p. 28).]--

I have often heard him say, "Were I to slacken the reins, I should not
continue three months in power." He unfortunately held the same opinion
respecting every other prerogative of public freedom. The silence he had
imposed in France he wished, if he could, to impose in England. He was
irritated by the calumnies and libels so liberally cast upon him by the
English journals, and especially by one written in French, called
'L'Ambigu', conducted by Peltier, who had been the editor of the 'Actes
des Apotres' in Paris. The 'Ambigu' was constantly teeming with the moat
violent attacks on the First Consul and the French nation. Bonaparte
could never, like the English, bring himself to despise newspaper libels,
and he revenged himself by violent articles which he caused to be
inserted in the 'Moniteur'. He directed M. Otto to remonstrate, in an
official note, against a system of calumny which he believed to be
authorised by the English Government. Besides this official proceeding
he applied personally to Mr. Addington, the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
requesting him to procure the adoption of legislative measures against
the licentious writings complained of; and, to take the earliest
opportunity of satisfying his hatred against the liberty of the press,
the First Consul seized the moment of signing the preliminaries to make
this request.

Mr. Addington wrote a long answer to the First Consul, which I translated
for him. The English Minister refuted, with great force, all the
arguments which Bonaparte had employed against the press. He also
informed the First Consul that, though a foreigner, it was competent in
him to institute a complaint in the courts of law; but that in such case
he must be content to see all the scandalous statements of which he
complained republished in the report of the trial. He advised him to
treat the libels with profound contempt, and do as he and others did, who
attached not the slightest importance to them. I congratulate myself on
having in some degree prevented a trial taking place at that time.

Things remained in this state for the moment; but after the peace of
Amiens the First Consul prosecuted Pettier, whose journal was always full
of violence and bitterness against him. Pettier was defended by the
celebrated Mackintosh, who, according to the accounts of the time,
displayed great eloquence on this occasion, yet, in spite of the ability
of his counsel, he was convicted. The verdict, which public opinion
considered in the light of a triumph for the defendant, was not followed
up by any judgment, in consequence of the rupture of the peace occurring
soon after. It is melancholy to reflect that this nervous susceptibility
to the libels of the English papers contributed certainly as much as, and
perhaps more than, the consideration of great political interests to the
renewal of hostilities. The public would be astonished at a great many
things if they could only look under the cards.

I have anticipated the rupture of the treaty of Amiens that I might not
interrupt what I had to mention respecting Bonaparte's hatred of the
liberty of the press. I now return to the end of the year 1801, the
period of the expedition against St. Domingo.

The First Consul, after dictating to me during nearly: the whole of one
night instructions for that expedition, sent for General Leclerc, and
said to him in my presence, "Here, take your instructions; you have a
fine opportunity for filling your purse. Go, and no longer tease me with
your eternal requests for money." The friendship which Bonaparte felt
for his sister Pauline had a good deal of influence in inducing him to
take this liberal way of enriching her husband.

The expedition left the ports of France on the 14th of December 1801, and
arrived off Cape St. Domingo on the 1st of February 1802. The fatal
result of the enterprise is well known, but we are never to be cured of
the folly of such absurd expeditions. In the instructions given to
Leclerc everything was foreseen; but it was painful to know that the
choice of one of the youngest and least capable of all the generals of
the army left no hope of a successful result. The expedition to St.
Domingo was one of Bonaparte's great errors. Almost every person whom he
consulted endeavoured to dissuade him from it. He attempted a
justification through the medium of his historians of St. Helena; but
does he succeed when he says, "that he was obliged to yield to the advice
of his Council of State?" He, truly, was a likely man to submit a
question of war to the discussion of the Council of State, or to be
guided in such an affair by any Council! We must believe that no other
motive influenced the First Consul but the wish, by giving him the means
of enriching himself, to get rid of a brother-in-law who had the gift of
specially annoying him. The First Consul, who did not really much like
this expedition, should have perhaps reflected longer on the difficulties
of attempting to subdue the colony by force. He was shaken by this
argument, which I often repeated to him, and he agreed with it, but the
inconceivable influence which the members of his family exercised on him
always overcame him.

Bonaparte dictated to me a letter for Toussaint, full of sounding words
and fine promises, informing him that his two children, who had been
educated in Paris, were sent back to him, offering him the title of vice-
governor, and stating that he ought readily to assist in an arrangement
which would contribute to reconnect the colony with the mother-country.
Toussaint, who had at first shown a disposition to close with the
bargain, yet feeling afraid of being deceived by the French, and probably
induced by ambitious motives, resolved on war. He displayed a great deal
of talent; but, being attacked before the climate had thinned the French
ranks, he was unable to oppose a fresh army, numerous and inured to war.
He capitulated, and retired to a plantation, which he was not to leave
without Leclerc's permission. A feigned conspiracy on the part of the
blacks formed a pretence for accusing Toussaint, and he was seized and
sent to France.

Toussaint was brought to Pains in the beginning of August. He was sent,
in the first instance, to the Temple, whence he was removed to the
Chateau de Joux. His imprisonment was rigorous; few comforts were
allowed him. This treatment, his recollection of the past, his
separation from the world, and the effects of a strange climate,
accelerated his death, which took place a few months after his arrival in
France. The reports which spread concerning his death, the assertion
that it was not a natural one, and that it had been caused by poison,
obtained no credit. I should add that Toussaint wrote a letter to
Bonaparte; but I never saw in it the expression attributed to him, "The
first man of the blacks to the first man of the whites" Bonaparte
acknowledged that the black leader possessed energy, courage, and great
skill. I am sure that he would have rejoiced if the result of his
relations with St. Domingo had been something else than the kidnaping and
transportation of Toussaint.

Leclerc, after fruitless efforts to conquer the colony, was himself
carried off by the yellow fever. Rochambeau succeeded him by right of
seniority, and was as unsuccessful as Menou had been in Egypt. The
submission of the blacks, which could only have been obtained by
conciliation, he endeavoured to compel by violence. At last, in December
1803, he surrendered to an English squadron, and abandoned the island to

Bonaparte often experienced severe bodily pain, and I have now little
doubt, from the nature of his sufferings, that they were occasioned by
the commencement of that malady which terminated his life at St. Helena.
These pains, of which he frequently complained, affected him most acutely
on the night when he dictated to me the instructions for General Leclerc.
It was very late when I conducted him to his apartment. We had just been
taking a cup of chocolate, a beverage of which we always partook when our
business lasted longer than one o'clock in the morning. He never took a
light with him when he went up to his bedroom. I gave him my arm, and we
had scarcely got beyond the little staircase which leads to the corridor,
when he was rudely run against by a man who was endeavouring to escape as
quickly as possible by the staircase. The First Consul did not fall
because I supported him. We soon gained his chamber, where we, found
Josephine, who, having heard the noise, awoke greatly alarmed. From the
investigations which were immediately made it appeared that the uproar
was occasioned by a fellow who had been keeping an assignation and had
exceeded the usual hour for his departure.

On the 7th of January 1802 Mademoiselle Hortense was married to Louis
Bonaparte. As the custom was not yet resumed of adding the religious
ceremony to the civil contract, the nuptial benediction was on this
occasion privately given by a priest at the house Rue de la Victoire.
Bonaparte also caused the marriage of his sister Caroline,--[The wife of
Murat, and the cleverest of Bonaparte's sisters.]--which had taken place
two years earlier before a mayor, to be consecrated in the same manner;
but he and his wife did not follow the example. Had he already, then, an
idea of separating from Josephine, and therefore an unwillingness to
render a divorce more difficult by giving his marriage a religious
sanction? I am rather inclined to think, from what he said to me, that
his neglecting to take a part in the religious ceremony arose from

Bonaparte said at St. Helena, speaking of Louis and Hortense, that "they
loved each other when they married: they desired to be united. The
marriage was also the result of Josephine's intrigues, who found her
account in it." I will state the real facts. Louis and Hortense did not
love one another at all. That is certain. The First Consul knew it,
just as he well knew that Hortense had a great inclination for Duroc, who
did not fully return it. The First Consul agreed to their union, but
Josephine was troubled by such a marriage, and did all she could to
prevent it. She often spoke to me about it, but rather late in the day.
She told me that her brothers-in law were her declared enemies, that I
well knew their intrigues, and that I well knew there was no end to the
annoyances they made her undergo. In fact, I did know all this
perfectly. She kept on repeating to me that with this projected marriage
she would not have any support; that Duroc was nothing except by the
favour of Bonaparte; that he had neither fortune, fame, nor reputation,
and that he could be no help to her against the well-known ill-will of
the brothers of Bonaparte. She wanted some assurance for the future.
She added that her husband was very fond of Louis, and that if she had
the good fortune to unite him to her daughter this would be a
counterpoise to the calumnies and persecutions of her other brothers-in-
law. I answered her that she had concealed her intentions too long from
me, and that I had promised my services to the young people, and the more
willingly as I knew the favourable opinion of the First Consul, who had
often said to me, "My wife has done well; they suit one another, they
shall marry one another. I like Duroc; he is of good family. I have
rightly given Caroline to Murat, and Pauline to Leclerc, and I can well
give Hortense to Duroc, who is a fine fellow. He is worth more than the
others. He is now general of a division there is nothing against this
marriage. Besides, I have other plans for Louis." In speaking to Madame
Bonaparte I added that her daughter burst into tears when spoken to about
her marriage with Louis.

The First Consul had sent a brevet of general of division to Duroc by a
special courier, who went to Holland, through which the newly-made
general had to pass on his return from St. Petersburg, where, as I have
already said, he had been sent to compliment the Emperor Alexander on his
accession to the throne. The First Consul probably paid this compliment
to Duroc in the belief that the marriage would take place.

During Duroc's absence the correspondence of the lovers passed, by their
consent, through my hands. Every night I used to make one in a party at
billiards, at which Hortense played very well. When I told her, in a
whisper, that I had got a letter for her, she would immediately leave off
playing and run to her chamber, where I followed and gave her Duroc's
epistle. When she opened it her eyes would fill with tears, and it was
some time before she could return to the salon. All was useless for her.
Josephine required a support in the family against the family. Seeing
her firm resolution, I promised to no longer oppose her wishes, which I
could not disapprove, but I told her I could only maintain silence and
neutrality in these little debates, and she seemed satisfied.

When we were at Malmaison those intrigues continued. At the Tuileries
the same conduct was pursued, but then the probability of success was on
Duroc's side; I even congratulated him on his prospects, but he received
my compliments in a very cold manner. In a few days after Josephine
succeeded in changing the whole face of affairs. Her heart was entirely
set on the marriage of Louis with her daughter; and prayers, entreaties,
caresses, and all those little arts which she so well knew how to use,
were employed to win the First Consul to her purpose.

On the 4th of January the First Consul, after dinner, entered our
cabinet, where I was employed. "Where is Duroc?" he inquired.--"He has
gone to the opera, I believe."--"Tell him, as soon as he returns, that I
have promised Hortense to him, and he shall have her. But I wish the
marriage to take place in two days at the latest. I will give him
500,000 francs, and name him commandant of the eighth military division;
but he must set out the day after his marriage with his wife for Toulon.
We must live apart; I want no son-in-law at home. As I wish to come to
some conclusion, let me know to-night whether this plan will satisfy
him."--"I think it will not."--"Very well! then she shall marry Louis."
--"Will she like that?"--"She must like it." Bonaparte gave me these
directions in a very abrupt manner, which made me think that some little
domestic warfare had been raging, and that to put an end to it he had
come to propose his ultimatum. At half-past ten in the evening Duroc
returned; I reported to him, word for word, the proposition of the First
Consul. "Since it has come to that, my good friend," said he, "tell him
he may keep his daughter for me. I am going to see the -----," and, with
an indifference for which I cannot account, he took his hat and went off.

--[Duroc eventually married a Mademoiselle Hervae d'Almenara, the
daughter of a Spanish banker, who was later Minister of Joseph, and
was created Marquis of Abruenara. The lady was neither handsome nor
amiable, but she possessed a vast fortune, and Bonaparte himself
solicited her hand for his aide de camp. After the death of Duroc
his widow married a M. Fabvier, and Napoleon gave his Duchy of
Frioul to his daughter.]--

The, First Consul, before going to bed, was informed of Duroc's reply,
and Josephine received from him the promise that Louis and Hortense
should be married. The marriage took place a few days after, to the
great regret of Hortense, and probably to the satisfaction of Duroc.
Louis submitted to have forced on him as a wife a woman who had hitherto
avoided him as much as possible. She always manifested as much
indifference for him as he displayed repugnance for her, and those
sentiments have not been effaced.

--[The marriage of Louis Bonaparte took place on the 7th January.
The bride and bridegroom were exceedingly dull, and Mademoiselle
Hortense wept daring the whole of the ceremony. Josephine, knowing
that this union, which commenced so inauspiciously, was her own
work, anxiously endeavoured to establish a more cordial feeling
between her daughter and son-in-law. But all her efforts were vain,
and the marriage proved a very unhappy one (Memoirs de Constant).

Napoleon III. was the son of the Queen of Holland (Hortense

Napoleon said at St. Helena that he wished to unite Louis with a niece of
Talleyrand. I can only say that I never heard a word of this niece,
either from himself, his wife, or his daughter; and I rather think that
at that time the First Consul was looking after a royal alliance for
Louis. He often expressed regret at the precipitate marriages of his
sisters. It should be recollected that we were now in the year which saw
the Consulship for life established, and which, consequently, gave
presage of the Empire. Napoleon said truly to the companions of his
exile that "Louis' marriage was the result of Josephine's intrigues," but
I cannot understand how he never mentioned the intention he once had of
uniting Hortense to Duroc. It has been erroneously stated that the First
Consul believed that he reconciled the happiness of his daughter with his
policy. Hortense did not love Louis, and dreaded this marriage. There
was no hope of happiness for her, and the event has proved this. As for
the policy of the First Consul, it is not easy to see how it was
concerned with the marriage of Louis to Hortense, and in any case the
grand policy which professed so loudly to be free from all feminine
influences would have been powerless against the intrigues of Josephine,
for at this time at the Tuileries the boudoir was often stronger than the
cabinet. Here I am happy to have it in my power to contradict most
formally and most positively certain infamous insinuations which have
prevailed respecting Bonaparte and Hortense. Those who have asserted
that Bonaparte ever entertained towards Hortense any other sentiments
than those of a father-in-law for a daughter-in-law have, as the ancient
knights used to say, "lied in their throats." We shall see farther on
what he said to me on this subject, but it is never too soon to destroy
such a base calumny. Authors unworthy of belief have stated, without any
proof, that not only was there this criminal liaison, but they have gone
so far as to say that Bonaparte was the father of the eldest son of
Hortense. It is a lie, a vile lie. And yet the rumour has spread
through all France and all Europe. Alas! has calumny such powerful
charms that, once they are submitted to, their yoke cannot be broken?

--[Bourrienne's account of this marriage, and his denial of the vile
calumny about Napoleon, is corroborated by Madame Remusat. After
saying that Hortense had refused to marry the son of Rewbell and
also the Comte de Nun, she goes on: "A short time afterwards Duroc,
then aide de camp to the Consul, and already noted by him, fell in
love with Hortense. She returned the feeling, and believed she had
found that other half of herself which she sought. Bonaparte looked
favourably on their union, but Madame Bonaparte in her turn was
inflexible. 'My daughter,' said she, 'must marry s gentleman or a
Bonaparte.' Louis was then thought of. He had no fancy for
Hortense; defeated the Beauharnais family, and had a supreme
contempt for his sister-in-law. But as he was silent, he was
believed to be gentle; and as he was severe by character, he was
believed to be upright. Madame Louis told me afterwards that at the
news of this arrangement she experienced violent grief. Not only
was she forbidden to think of the man she loved, but she was about
to be given to another of whom she had a secret distrust" (Remusat,
tome i. p. l56). For the cruel treatment of Hortense by Louis see
the succeeding pages of Remusat. As for the vile scandal about
Hortense and Napoleon, there is little doubt that it was spread by
the Bonapartist family for interested motives. Madame Louis became
enceinte soon after her marriage. The Bonapartists, and especially
Madame Murat (Caroline); had disliked this marriage because Joseph
having only daughters, it was forseen that the first son of Louis
and the grandson of Madame Bonaparte would be the object of great
interest. They therefore spread the revolting story that this was
the result of a connection of the First Consul with his daughter-in-
law, encouraged by the mother herself. "The public willingly
believed this suspicion.' Madame Murat told Louis," etc. (Remusat,
tome i, p. 169). This last sentence is corroborated by Miot de
Melito (tome ii. p. 170), who, speaking of the later proposal of
Napoleon to adopt this child, says that Louis "remembered the
damaging stories which ill-will had tried to spread among the public
concerning Hortense Beauharnais before be married her, and although
a comparison of the date of his marriage with that of the birth of
his son must have shown him that these tales were unfounded, he felt
that they world be revived by the adoption of this child by the
First Consul." Thus this wretched story did harm in every way.
The conduct of Josephine mast be judged with leniency, engaged as
she was in a desperate straggle to maintain her own marriage,--a
struggle she kept up with great skill; see Metternich, tome ii. p.
296. "she baffled all the calculations, all the manoeuvres of her
adversaries." But she was foolish enough to talk in her anger as if
she believed some of the disgraceful rumours of Napoleon. "Had he
not seduced his sisters, one after the other?" (Remusat, tome i. p.
204). As to how far this scandal was really believed by the
brothers of Napoleon, see Iung's Lucien (tome ii. pp. 268-269),
where Lucien describes Louis as coming three times to him for advice
as to his marriage with Hortense, both brothers referring to this
rumour. The third time Louis announces he is in love with Hortense.
"You are in love? Why the devil, then, do you come to me for
advice? If so, forget what has been rumoured, and what I have
advised you. Marry, and may God bless you."

Thiers (tome iii. p. 308) follows Bourrienne's account. Josephine,
alluding to Louis Bonaparte, said, "His family have maliciously
informed him of the disgraceful stories which have been spread on
the conduct of my daughter and on the birth of her son. Hate
assigns this child to Napoleon." (Remusat, tome i, p. 206). The
child in question was Napoleon Charles (1802-1807).]--



Bonaparte President of the Cisalpine Republic--Meeting of the
deputation at Lyons--Malta and the English--My immortality--Fete
given by Madame Murat--Erasures from the emigrant list--Restitution
of property--General Sebastiani--Lord Whitworth--Napoleon's first
symptoms of disease--Corvisart--Influence of physical suffering on
Napoleon's temper--Articles for the Moniteur--General Andreossi--
M. Talleyrand's pun--Jerome Bonaparte--Extravagance of Bonaparte's
brothers--M. Collot and the navy contract.

Bonaparte was anxious to place the Cisalpine Republic on a footing of
harmony with the Government of France. It was necessary to select a
President who should perfectly agree with Bonaparte's views; and in this
respect no one could be so suitable as Bonaparte himself. The two
Presidencies united would serve as a transition to the throne. Not
wishing to be long absent from Paris, and anxious to avoid the trouble of
the journey to Milan, he arranged to meet the deputation half-way at
Lyons. Before our departure I said to him, "Is it possible that you do
not wish to revisit Italy, the first scene of your glory, and the
beautiful capital of Lombardy, where you were the object of so much
homage?"--"I certainly should," replied the First Consul, "but the
journey to Milan would occupy too much precious time. I prefer that the
meeting should take place in France. My influence over the deputies will
be more prompt and certain at Lyons than at Milan; and then I should be
glad to see the noble wreck of the army of Egypt, which is collected at

On the 8th of January 1802 we set out. Bonaparte who was now ready to
ascend the throne of France, wished to prepare the Italians for one day
crowning him King of Italy, in imitation of Charlemagne, of whom in
anticipation he considered himself the successor. He saw that the title

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