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Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, v7 by Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

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Bonaparte as during the trial of Moreau; nor was the popular sentiment in
error on the subject of the death of Pichegru, who was clearly strangled
in the Temple by secret agents. The authors, the actors, and the
witnesses of the horrible prison scenes of the period are the only
persons capable of removing the doubts which still hang over the death of
Pichegru; but I must nevertheless contend that the preceding
circumstances, the general belief at the time, and even probability, are
in contradiction with any idea of suicide on the part of Pichegru. His
death was considered necessary, and this necessity was its real cause.



Arrest of Georges--The fruiterer's daughter of the Rue de La
Montagne--St. Genevieve--Louis Bonaparte's visit to the Temple--
General Lauriston--Arrest of Villeneuve and Barco--Villeneuve
wounded--Moreau during his imprisonment--Preparations for leaving
the Temple--Remarkable change in Georges--Addresses and
congratulations--Speech of the First Consul forgotten--Secret
negotiations with the Senate--Official proposition of Bonaparte's
elevation to the Empire--Sitting of the Council of State--
Interference of Bonaparte--Individual votes--Seven against twenty--
His subjects and his people--Appropriateness of the title of
Emperor--Communications between Bonaparte and the Senate--Bonaparte
first called Sire by Cambaceres--First letter signed by Napoleon as
Emperor--Grand levee at the Tuileries--Napoleon's address to the
Imperial Guard--Organic 'Senatus-consulte'--Revival of old formulas
and titles--The Republicanism of Lucien--The Spanish Princess--
Lucien's clandestine marriage--Bonaparte's influence on the German
Princes--Intrigues of England--Drake at Munich--Project for
overthrowing Bonaparte's Government--Circular from the Minister for
Foreign Affairs to the members of the Diplomatic Body--Answers to
that circular.

Georges was arrested about seven o'clock, on the evening of the 9th of
March, with another conspirator, whose name, I think, was Leridan.
Georges was stopped in a cabriolet on the Place de l'Odeon, whither he
had no doubt been directed by the police agent, who was constantly about
him. In not seizing him at his lodgings, the object, probably, was to
give more publicity to his arrest, and to produce an effect upon the
minds of the multitude. This calculation cost the life of one man, and
had well-nigh sacrificed the lives of two, for Georges, who constantly
carried arms about him, first shot dead the police officer who seized the
horse's reins, and wounded another who advanced to arrest him is the
cabriolet. Besides his pistols there was found upon him a poniard of
English manufacture.

Georges lodged with a woman named Lemoine, who kept a fruiterer's shop in
the Rue de la Montagne St. Genevieve, and on the evening of the 9th of
March he had just left his lodging to go, it was said, to a perfumer's
named Caron. It is difficult to suppose that the circumstance of the
police being on the spot was the mere effect of chance. The fruiterer's
daughter was putting into the cabriolet a parcel belonging to Georges at
the moment of his arrest. Georges, seeing the officers advance to seize
him, desired the girl to get out of the way, fearing lest he should shoot
her when he fired on the officers. She ran into a neighbouring house,
taking the parcel along with her. The police, it may readily be
supposed, were soon after her. The master of the house in which she had
taken refuge, curious to know what the parcel contained, had opened it,
and discovered, among other things, a bag containing 1000 Dutch
sovereigns, from which he acknowledged he had abstracted a considerable
sum. He and his wife, as well as the fruiterer's daughter, were all
arrested; as to Georges, he was taken that same evening to the Temple,
where he remained until his removal to the Conciergerie when the trial

During the whole of the legal proceedings Georges and the other important
prisoners were kept in solitary confinement. Immediately on Pichegru's
death the prisoners were informed of the circumstance. As they were all
acquainted with the general, and none believed the fact of his reported
suicide, it may easily be conceived what consternation and horror the
tragical event excited among them. I learned, and I was sorry to hear of
it, that Louis Bonaparte, who was an excellent man, and, beyond all
comparison, the best of the family, had the cruel curiosity to see
Georges in his prison a few days after the death of Pichegru, and when
the sensation of horror excited by that event in the interior of the
Temple was at its height, Louis repaired to the prison, accompanied by a
brilliant escort of staff-officers, and General Savary introduced him to
the prisoners. When Louis arrived, Georges was lying on his bed with his
hands strongly bound by manacles. Lauriston, who accompanied Louis,
related to me some of the particulars of this visit, which, in spite of
his sincere devotedness to the first Consul, he assured me had been very
painful to him.

After the arrest of Georges there were still some individuals marked out
as accomplices in the conspiracy who had found means to elude the search
of the police. The persons last arrested were, I think, Villeneuve, one-
of the principal confidants of Georges, Burban Malabre, who went by the
name of Barco, and Charles d'Hozier. They were not taken till five days
after the arrest of the Duc d'Enghien. The famous Commissioner
Comminges, accompanied by an inspector and a detachment of gendarmes
d'Elite, found Villeneuve and Burban Malabre in the house of a man named
Dubuisson, in the Rue Jean Robert.

This Dubuisson and his wife had sheltered some of the principal persons
proscribed by the police. The Messieurs de Polignac and M. de Riviere
had lodged with them. When the police came to arrest Villeneuve and
Burban Malabre the people with whom they lodged declared that they had
gone away in the morning. The officers, however, searched the house, and
discovered a secret door within a closet. They called, and receiving no
answer, the gendarmerie had recourse to one of those expedients which
were, unfortunately, too familiar to them. They fired a pistol through
the door. Villeneuve, who went by the name of Joyau, was wounded in the
arm, which obliged him and his companion to come from the place of their
concealment, and they were then made prisoners.

Moreau was not treated with the degree of rigour observed towards the
other prisoners. Indeed, it would not have been safe so to treat him,
for even in his prison he received the homage and respect of all the
military, not excepting even those who were his guards. Many of these
soldiers had served under him, and it could not be forgotten how much he
was beloved by the troops he had commanded. He did not possess that
irresistible charm which in Bonaparte excited attachment, but his
mildness of temper and excellent character inspired love and respect.
It was the general opinion in Paris that a single word from Moreau to the
soldiers in whose custody he was placed would in a moment have converted
the gaoler-guard into a guard of honour, ready to execute all that might
be required for the safety of the conqueror of Hohenlinden. Perhaps the
respect with which he was treated and the indulgence of daily seeing his
wife and child were but artful calculations for keeping him within the
limits of his usual character. Besides, Moreau was so confident of the
injustice of the charge brought against him that he was calm and
resigned, and showed no disposition to rouse the anger of an enemy who
would have been happy to have some real accusation against him. To these
causes combined I always attributed the resignation; and I may say the
indifference, of Moreau while he was in prison and on his trial.

When the legal preparations for the trial were ended the prisoners of the
Temple were permitted to communicate with each other, and, viewing their
fate with that indifference which youth, misfortune, and courage
inspired, they amused themselves with some of those games which usually
serve for boyish recreation. While they were thus engaged the order
arrived for their removal to the Conciergerie. The firmness of all
remained unshaken, and they made their preparations for departure as if
they were going about any ordinary business. This fortitude was
particularly remarkable in Georges, in whose manner a change had taken
place which was remarked by all his companions in misfortune.

For some time past the agents of Government throughout France had been
instructed to solicit the First Consul to grant for the people what the
people did not want, but what Bonaparte wished to take while he appeared
to yield to the general will, namely, unlimited sovereign authority, free
from any subterfuge of denomination. The opportunity of the great
conspiracy just discovered, and in which Bonaparte had not incurred a
moment's danger, as he did at the time of the infernal machine, was not
suffered to escape; that opportunity was, on the contrary, eagerly
seized by the authorities of every rank, civil, ecclesiastical, and
military, and a torrent of addresses, congratulations, and thanksgivings
inundated the Tuileries. Most of the authors of these addressee did not
confine themselves to mere congratulations; they entreated Bonaparte to
consolidate his work, the true meaning of which was that it was time he
should make himself Emperor and establish hereditary succession. Those
who on other occasions had shown an officious readiness to execute
Bonaparte's commands did not now fear to risk his displeasure by opposing
the opinion he had expressed in the Council of State on the discussion of
the question of the Consulate for life. Bonaparte then said, "Hereditary
succession is absurd. It is irreconcilable with the principle of the
sovereignty of the people, and impossible in France."

In this scene of the grand drama Bonaparte played his part with his
accustomed talent, keeping himself in the background and leaving to
others the task of preparing the catastrophe. The Senate, who took the
lead in the way of insinuation, did not fail, while congratulating the
First Consul on his escape from the plots of foreigners, or, as they were
officially styled, the daggers of England, to conjure him not to delay
the completion of his work. Six days after the death of the Due
d'Enghien the Senate first expressed this wish. Either because Bonaparte
began to repent of a useless crime, and felt the ill effect it must
produce on the public mind, or because he found the language of the
Senate somewhat vague, he left the address nearly a month unanswered, and
then only replied by the request that the intention of the address might
be more completely expressed. These negotiations between the Senate and
the Head of the Government were not immediately published. Bonaparte did
not like publicity except for what had arrived at a result; but to attain
the result which was the object of his ambition it was necessary that the
project which he was maturing should be introduced in the Tribunate, and
the tribune Curee had the honour to be the first to propose officially,
on the 30th of April 1804, the conversion of the Consular Republic into
an Empire, and the elevation of Bonaparte to the title of Emperor; with
the rights of hereditary succession.

If any doubts could exist respecting the complaisant part which Curee
acted on this occasion one circumstance would suffice to remove them;
that is, that ten days before the development of his proposition
Bonaparte had caused the question of founding the Empire and establishing
hereditary succession in his family to be secretly discussed in the
Council of State. I learned from one of the Councillors of State all
that passed on that occasion, and I may remark that Cambaceres showed
himself particularly eager in the Council of State, as well as afterwards
in the Senate, to become the exalted subject of him who had been his
first colleague in the Consulate.

About the middle of April, the Council of State being assembled as for an
ordinary sitting, the First Consul, who was frequently present at the
sittings, did not appear. Cambaceres arrived and took the Presidency in
his quality of Second Consul, and it was remarked that his air was more
solemn than usual, though he at all times affected gravity.

The partisans of hereditary succession were the majority, and resolved to
present an address to the First Consul. Those of the Councillors who
opposed this determined on their part to send a counter-address; and to
avoid this clashing of opinions Bonaparte signified his wish that each
member of the Council should send him his opinion individually, with his
signature affixed. By a singular accident it happened to be Berlier's
task to present to the First Consul the separate opinions of the Council.
Out of the twenty-seven Councillors present only seven opposed the
question. Bonaparte received them all moat graciously, and told them,
among other things, that be wished for hereditary power only for the
benefit of France; that the citizens would never be his subjects, and
that the French people would never be his people. Such were the
preliminaries to the official proposition of Curee to the Tribunate, and
upon reflection it was decided that, as all opposition would be useless
and perhaps dangerous to the opposing party, the minority should join the
majority. This was accordingly done.

The Tribunate having adopted the proposition of Curee, there was no
longer any motive for concealing the overtures of the Senate. Its
address to the First Consul was therefore published forty days after its
date: the pear was then ripe. This period is so important that I must
not omit putting together the most remarkable facts which either came
within my own observation, or which I have learned since respecting the
foundation of the Empire.

Bonaparte had a long time before spoken to me of the title of Emperor as
being the most appropriate for the new sovereignty which he wished to
found in France. This, he observed, was not restoring the old system
entirely, and he dwelt much on its being the title which Caesar had
borne. He often said, "One may be the Emperor of a republic, but not the
King of a republic, those two terms are incongruous."

In its first address the Senate had taken as a test the documents it had
received from the Government in relation to the intrigues of Drake, who
had been sent from England to Munich. That text afforded the opportunity
for a vague expression of what the Senate termed the necessities of
France. To give greater solemnity to the affair the Senate proceeded in
a body to the Tuileries, and one thing which gave a peculiar character to
the preconcerted advances of the Senate was that Cambaceres, the Second
Consul, fulfilled his functions of President on this occasion, and
delivered the address to the First Consul.

However, the First Consul thought the address of the Senate, which, I
have been informed, was drawn up by Francois de Neufchateau, was not
expressed with sufficient clearness; he therefore, after suffering a
little interval to elapse, sent a message to the Senate signed by
himself, in which he said, "Your address has been the object of my
earnest consideration." And though the address contained no mention of
hereditary succession, he added, "You consider the hereditary succession
of the supreme magistracy necessary to defend the French people against
the plots of our enemies and the agitation arising from rival ambition.
At the same time several of our institutions appear to you to require
improvement so as to ensure the triumph of equality and public liberty,
and to offer to the nation and the Government the double guarantee they
require." From the subsequent passages of the message it will be
sufficient to extract the following: "We have been constantly guided by
this great truth: that the sovereignty dwells with the French people, and
that it is for their interest, happiness, and glory that the Supreme
Magistracy, the Senate, the Council of State, the Legislative Body, the
Electoral Colleges, and the different branches of the Government, are and
must be instituted." The omission of the Tribunate in this enumeration
is somewhat remarkable. It announced a promise which was speedily

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By the Emperor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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