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Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud, Complete by Stewarton

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because he kept, in the extensive house joining his palace as governor
and commander, ten women-three French, three Italians, two Germans, two
Irish or English girls. He supported them all in style; but they were
his slaves, and he was their sultan, whose official mutes (his
aides-de-camp) both watched them, and, if necessary, chastised them.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--I can truly defy the world to produce a corps of such a
heterogeneous composition as our Conservative Senate, when I except the
members composing Bonaparte's Legion of Honour. Some of our Senators
have been tailors, apothecaries, merchants, chemists, quacks, physicians,
barbers, bankers, soldiers, drummers, dukes, shopkeepers, mountebanks,
Abbes, generals, savans, friars, Ambassadors, counsellors, or presidents
of Parliament, admirals, barristers, Bishops, sailors, attorneys,
authors, Barons, spies, painters, professors, Ministers, sans-culottes,
atheists, stonemasons, robbers, mathematicians, philosophers, regicides,
and a long et cetera. Any person reading through the official list of
the members of the Senate, and who is acquainted with their former
situations in life, may be convinced of this truth. Should he even be
ignorant of them, let him but inquire, with the list in his hand, in any
of our fashionable or political circles; he will meet with but few
persons who are not able or willing to remove his doubts, or to gratify
his curiosity. There are not many of them whom it is possible to
elevate, but those are still more numerous whom it is impossible to
degrade. Their past lives, vices, errors, or crimes, have settled their
characters and reputation; and they must live and die in 'statu quo',
either as fools or as knaves, and perhaps as both.

I do not mean to say that they are all criminals or all equally criminal,
if insurrection against lawful authority and obedience to usurped tyranny
are not to be considered as crimes; but there are few indeed who can lay
their hands on their bosoms and say, 'vitam expendere vero'. Some of
them, as a Lagrange, Berthollet, Chaptal, Laplace, Francois de
Neuf-Chateau, Tronchet, Monge, Lacepede, and Bougainville, are certainly
men of talents; but others, as a Porcher, Resnier, Vimar, Auber, Perk,
Sera, Vernier, Vien, Villetard, Tascher, Rigal, Baciocchi, Beviere,
Beauharnais, De Luynea (a ci-devant duke, known under the name of Le Gros
Cochon), nature never destined but to figure among those half-idiots and
half-imbeciles who are, as it were, intermedial between the brute and
human creation.

Sieges, Cabanis, Garron Coulon, Lecouteul, Canteleu, Lenoin Laroche,
Volney, Gregoire, Emmery, Joucourt, Boissy d'Anglas, Fouche, and Roederer
form another class,--some of them regicides, others assassins and
plunderers, but all intriguers whose machinations date from the beginning
of the Revolution. They are all men of parts, of more or less knowledge,
and of great presumption. As to their morality, it is on a level with
their religion and loyalty. They betrayed their King, and had denied
their God already in 1789.

After these come some others, who again have neither talents to boast of
nor crimes of which they have to be ashamed. They have but little
pretension to genius, none to consistency, and their honesty equals their
capacity. They joined our political revolution as they might have done a
religious procession. It was at that time a fashion; and they applauded
our revolutionary innovations as they would have done the introduction of
a new opera, of a new tragedy, of a new comedy, or of a new farce. To
this fraternity appertain a ci-devant Comte de Stult-Tracy,
Dubois--Dubay, Kellerman, Lambrechts, Lemercier, Pleville--Le Pelley,
Clement de Ris, Peregeaux, Berthelemy, Vaubois, Nrignon, D'Agier, Abrial,
De Belloy, Delannoy, Aboville, and St. Martin La Motte.

Such are the characteristics of men whose 'senatus consultum' bestows an
Emperor on France, a King on Italy, makes of principalities departments
of a Republic, and transforms Republics into provinces or principalities.
To show the absurdly fickle and ridiculously absurd appellations of our
shamefully perverted institutions, this Senate was called the
Conservative Senate; that is to say, it was to preserve the republican
consular constitution in its integrity, both against the; encroachments
of the executive and legislative power, both against the manoeuvres of
the factions, the plots of the royalists or monarchists, and the clamours
of a populace of levellers. But during the five years that these honest
wiseacres have been preserving, everything has perished--the Republic,
the Consuls, free discussions, free election, the political liberty, and
the liberty of the Press; all--all are found nowhere but in old, useless,
and rejected codes. They have, however, in a truly patriotic manner
taken care of their own dear selves. Their salaries are more than
doubled since 1799.

Besides mock Senators, mock praetors, mock quaestors, other 'nomina
libertatis' are revived, so as to make the loss of the reality so much
the more galling. We have also two curious commissions; one called "the
Senatorial Commission of Personal Liberty," and the other "the Senatorial
Commission of the Liberty of the Press." The imprisonment without cause,
and transportation without trial, of thousands of persons of both sexes
weekly, show the grand advantages which arise from the former of these
commissions; and the contents of our new books and daily prints evince
the utility and liberality of the latter.

But from the past conduct of these our Senators, members of these
commissions, one may easily conclude what is to be expected in future
from their justice and patriotism. Lenoin Laroche, at the head of the
one, was formerly an advocate of some practice, but attended more to
politics than to the business of his clients, and was, therefore, at the
end of the session of the first assembly (of which he was a member),
forced, for subsistence, to become the editor of an insignificant
journal. Here he preached licentiousness, under the name of Liberty, and
the agrarian law in recommending Equality. A prudent courtier of all
systems in fashion, and of all factions in power, he escaped
proscription, though not accusation of having shared in the national
robberies. A short time in the summer of 1797, after the dismissal of
Cochon, he acted as a Minister of Police; and in 1798 the Jacobins
elected him a member of the Council of Ancients, where he, with other
deputies, sold himself to Bonaparte, and was, in return, rewarded with a
place in the Senate. Under monarchy he was a republican, and under a
Republic he extolled monarchical institutions. He wished to be singular,
and to be rich. Among so many shocking originals, however, he was not
distinguished; and among so many philosophical marauders, he had no
opportunity to pillage above two millions of livres. This friend of
liberty is now one of the most despotic Senators, and this lover of
equality never answers when spoken to, if not addressed as "His
Excellency," or "Monseigneur."

Boissy d' Anglas, another member of this commission, was before the
Revolution a steward to Louis XVIII. when Monsieur; and, in 1789, was
chosen a deputy of the first assembly, where he joined the factions, and
in his speeches and writings defended all the enormities that dishonoured
the beginning as well as the end of the Revolution. A member afterwards
of the National Convention, he was sent in mission to Lyons, where,
instead of healing the wounds of the inhabitants, he inflicted new ones.
When, on the 15th of March, 1796, in the Council of Five Hundred, he
pronounced the oath of hatred to royalty, he added, that this oath was in
his heart, otherwise no power upon earth could have forced him to take
it; and he is now a sworn subject of Napoleon the First! He pronounced
the panegyric of Robespierre, and the apotheosis of Marat. "The soul,"
said he, "was moved and elevated in hearing Robespierre speak of the
Supreme Being with philosophical ideas, embellished by eloquence;" and he
signed the removal of the ashes of Marat to the temple consecrated to
humanity! In September, 1797, he was, as a royalist, condemned to
transportation by the Directory; but in 1799 Bonaparte recalled him, made
him first a tribune and afterwards a Senator.

Boissy d' Anglas, though an apologist of robbers and assassins, has
neither murdered nor plundered; but, though he has not enriched himself,
he has assisted in ruining all his former protectors, benefactors, and

Sers, a third member of this commission, was, before the Revolution, a
bankrupt merchant at Bordeaux, but in 1791 was a municipal officer of the
same city, and sent as a deputy to the National Assembly, where he
attempted to rise from the clouds that encompassed his heavy genius by a
motion for pulling down all the statues of Kings all over France. He
seconded another motion of Bonaparte's prefect, Jean Debrie, to decree a
corps of tyrannicides, destined to murder all Emperors, Kings, and
Princes. At the club of the Jacobins, at Bordeaux, he prided himself on
having caused the arrest and death of three hundred aristocrats; and
boasted that he never went out without a dagger to despatch, by a summary
justice, those who had escaped the laws. After meeting with well-merited
contempt, and living for some time in the greatest obscurity, by a
handsome present to Madame Bonaparte, in 1799, he obtained the favour of
Napoleon, who dragged him forward to be placed among other ornaments of
his Senate. Sers has just cunning enough to be taken for a man of sense
when with fools; when with men of sense, he reassumes the place allotted
him by Nature. Without education, as well as without parts, he for a
long time confounded brutal scurrility with oratory, and thought himself
eloquent when he was only insolent or impertinent. His ideas of liberty
are such that, when he was a municipal officer, he signed a mandate of
arrest against sixty-four individuals of both sexes, who were at a ball,
because they had refused to invite to it one of his nieces.

Abrial, Emmery, Vernier, and Lemercier are the other four members of that
commission; of these, two are old intriguers, two are nullities, and all
four are slaves.

Of the seven members of the senatorial commission for preserving the
liberty of the Press, Garat and Roederer are the principal. The former
is a pedant, while pretending to be a philosopher; and he signed the
sentence of his good King's death, while declaring himself a royalist. A
mere valet to Robespierre, his fawning procured him opportunities to
enrich himself with the spoil of those whom his calumnies and plots
caused to be massacred or guillotined. When, as a Minister of Justice,
he informed Louis XVI. of his condemnation, he did it with such an
affected and atrocious indifference that he even shocked his accomplices,
whose nature had not much of tenderness. As a member of the first
assembly, as a Minister under the convention, and as a deputy of the
Council of Five Hundred, he always opposed the liberty of the Press. "The
laws, you say" (exclaimed he, in the Council), "punish libellers; so they
do thieves and housebreakers; but would you, therefore, leave your doors
unbolted? Is not the character, the honour, and the tranquillity of a
citizen preferable to his treasures? and, by the liberty of the Press,
you leave them at the mercy of every scribbler who can write or think.
The wound inflicted may heal, but the scar will always remain. Were you,
therefore, determined to decree the motion for this dangerous and
impolitic liberty, I make this amendment, that conviction of having
written a libel carries with it capital punishment, and that a label be
fastened on the breast of the libeller, when carried to execution, with
this inscription: 'A social murderer,' or 'A murderer of characters!'"

Roederer has belonged to all religious or antireligious sects, and to all
political or anti-social factions, these last twenty years; but, after
approving, applauding, and serving them, he has deserted them, sold them,
or betrayed them. Before the Revolution, a Counseller of Parliament at
Metz, he was a spy of the Court on his colleagues; and, since the
Revolution, he served the Jacobins as a spy on the Court. Immoral and
unprincipled to the highest degree, his profligacy and duplicity are only
equalled by his perversity and cruelty. It was he who, on the 10th of
August, 1792, betrayed the King and the Royal Family into the hands of
their assassins, and who himself made a merit of this infamous act. After
he had been repulsed by all, even by the most sanguinary of our parties
and partisans, by a Brissot, a Marat, a Robespierre, a Tallien, and a
Barras, Bonaparte adopted him first as a Counsellor of State, and
afterwards as a Senator. His own and only daughter died in a
miscarriage, the consequence of an incestuous commerce with her unnatural
parent; and his only, son is disinherited by him for resenting his
father's baseness in debauching a young girl whom the son had engaged to

With the usual consistency of my revolutionary countrymen, he has, at one
period, asserted that the liberty of the Press was necessary for the
preservation both of men and things, for the protection of governors as
well as of the governed, and that it was the best support of a
constitutional Government. At another time he wrote that, as it was
impossible to fix the limits between the liberty and the licentiousness
of the Press, the latter destroyed the benefits of the former; that the
liberty of the Press was useful only against a Government which one
wished to overturn, but dangerous to a Government which one wished to
preserve. To show his indifference about his own character, as well as
about the opinion of the public, these opposite declarations were
inserted in one of our daily papers, and both were signed "Roederer."

In 1789, he was indebted above one million two hundred thousand
livres--and he now possesses national property purchased for seven
millions of livres--and he avows himself to be worth three millions more
in money placed in our public funds. He often says, laughingly, that he
is under great obligations to Robespierre, whose guillotine acquitted in
one day all his debts. All his creditors, after being denounced for
their aristocracy, were murdered en masse by this instrument of death.

Of all the old beaux and superannuated libertines whose company I have
had the misfortune of not being able to avoid, Roederer is the most
affected, silly, and disgusting. His wrinkled face, and effeminate and
childish air; his assiduities about every woman of beauty or fashion; his
confidence in his own merit, and his presumption in his own power, wear
such a curious contrast with his trembling hands, running eyes, and
enervated person, that I have frequently been ready to laugh at him in
his face, had not indignation silenced all other feeling. A
light-coloured wig covers a bald head; his cheeks and eyelids are
painted, and his teeth false; and I have seen a woman faint away from the
effect of his breath, notwithstanding that he infects with his musk and
perfumes a whole house only with his presence. When on the ground floor
you may smell him in the attic.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--The reciprocal jealousy and even interest of Austria, France,
and Russia have hitherto prevented the tottering Turkish Empire from
being partitioned, like Poland, or seized, like Italy; to serve as
indemnities, like the German empire; or to be shared, as reward to the
allies, like the Empire of Mysore.

When we consider the anarchy that prevails, both in the Government and
among the subjects, as well in the capital as in the provinces of the
Ottoman Porte; when we reflect on the mutiny and cowardice of its armies
and navy, the ignorance and incapacity of its officers and military and
naval commanders, it is surprising, indeed, as I have heard Talleyrand
often declare, that more foreign political intrigues should be carried on
at Constantinople alone than in all other capitals of Europe taken
together. These intrigues, however, instead of doing honour to the,
sagacity and patriotism of the members of the Divan, expose only their
corruption and imbecility; and, instead of indicating a dread of the
strength of the Sublime Sultan, show a knowledge of his weakness, of
which the gold of the most wealthy, and the craft of the most subtle, by
turns are striving to profit.

Beyond a doubt the enmity of the Ottoman Porte can do more mischief than
its friendship can do service. Its neutrality is always useful, while
its alliance becomes frequently a burden, and its support of no
advantage. It is, therefore, more from a view of preventing evils than
from expectation of profit, that all other Powers plot, cabal, and bribe.
The map of the Turkish Empire explains what maybe though absurd or
nugatory in this assertion.

As soon as a war with Austria was resolved on by the Brissot faction in
1792, emissaries were despatched to Constantinople to engage the Divan to
invade the provinces of Austria and Russia, thereby to create a diversion
in favour of this country. Our Ambassador in Turkey at that time, Comte
de Choiseul-Gouffier, though an admirer of the Revolution, was not a
republican, and, therefore, secretly counteracted what he officially
seemed to wish to effect. The Imperial Court succeeded, therefore, in
establishing a neutrality of the Ottoman Porte, but Comte de Choiseul was
proscribed by the Convention. As academician, he was, however, at St.
Petersburg, liberally recompensed by Catherine II. for the services the
Ambassador had performed at Constantinople.

In May, 1793, the Committee of Public Safety determined to expedite
another embassy to the Grand. Seignior, at the head of which was the
famous intriguer, De Semonville, whose revolutionary diplomacy had,
within three years, alarmed the Courts of Madrid, Naples, and Turin, as
well as the republican Government of Genoa. His career towards Turkey
was stopped in the Grisons Republic, on the 25th of July following, where
he, with sixteen other persons of his suite, was arrested, and sent a
prisoner, first to Milan, and afterwards to Mantua. He carried with him
presents of immense value, which were all seized by the Austrians. Among
them were four superb coaches, highly finished, varnished, and gilt; what
is iron or brass in common carriages was here gold or silver-gilt. Two
large chests were filled with stuff of gold brocade, India gold muslins,
and shawls and laces of very great value. Eighty thousand louis d'or in
ready money; a service of gold plate of twenty covers, which formerly
belonged to the Kings of France; two small boxes full of diamonds and
brilliants, the intrinsic worth of which was estimated at forty-eight
millions of livres--and a great number of jewels; among others, the crown
diamond, called here the Regents', and in your country the Pitt Diamond,
fell, with other riches, into the hands of the captors. Notwithstanding
this loss and this disappointment, we contrived in vain to purchase the
hostility of the Turks against our enemies, though with the sacrifice of
no less a sum (according to the report of Saint Just, in June, 1794,)
than seventy millions of livres: These official statements prove the
means which our so often extolled economical and moral republican
Governments have employed in their negotiations.

After the invasion of Egypt, in time of peace, by Bonaparte, the Sultan
became at last convinced of the sincerity of our professions of
friendship, which he returned with a declaration of war. The
preliminaries of peace with your country, in October, 1801, were,
however, soon followed with a renewal of our former friendly intercourse
with the Ottoman Porte. The voyage of Sebastiani into Egypt and Syria, in
the autumn of 1802, showed that our tenderness for the inhabitants of
these countries had not diminished, and that we soon intended to bestow
on them new hugs of fraternity. Your pretensions to Malta impeded our
prospects in the East, and your obstinacy obliged us to postpone our so
well planned schemes of encroachments. It was then that Bonaparte first
selected for his representative to the Grand Seignior, General Brune,
commonly called by Moreau, Macdonald, and other competent judges of
military merit, an intriguer at the head of armies, and a warrior in time
of peace when seated in the Council chamber.

This Brune was, before the Revolution, a journeyman printer, and married
to a washerwoman, whose industry and labour alone prevented him from
starving, for he was as vicious as idle. The money he gained when he
chose to work was generally squandered away in brothels, among
prostitutes. To supply his excesses he had even recourse to dishonest
means, and was shut up in the prison of Bicetre for robbing his master of
types and of paper.

In the beginning of the Revolution, his very crimes made him an
acceptable associate of Marat, who, with the money advanced by the
Orleans faction, bought him a printing-office, and he printed the so
dreadfully well-known journal, called 'L'Amie du Peuple'. From the
principles of this atrocious paper, and from those of his sanguinary
patron, he formed his own political creed. He distinguished himself
frequently at the clubs of the Cordeliers, and of the Jacobins, by his
extravagant motions, and by provoking laws of proscription against a
wealth he did not possess, and against a rank he would have dishonoured,
but did not see without envy. On the 30th of June, 1791, he said, in the
former of these clubs:

"We hear everywhere complaints of poverty; were not our eyes so often
disgusted with the sight of unnatural riches, our hearts would not so
often be shocked at the unnatural sufferings of humanity. The blessings
of our Revolution will never be felt by the world, until we in France are
on a level, with regard to rank as well as to fortune. I, for my part,
know too well the dignity of human nature ever to bow to a superior; but,
brothers and friends, it is not enough that we are all politically equal,
we must also be all equally rich or equally poor--we must either all
strive to become men of property, or reduce men of property to become
sans-culottes. Believe me, the aristocracy of property is more dangerous
than the aristocracy of prerogative or fanaticism, because it is more
common. Here is a list sent to 'L' Amie du People', but of which
prudence yet prohibits the publication. It contains the names of all the
men of property of Paris, and of the Department of the Seine, the amount
of their fortunes, and a proposal how to reduce and divide it among our
patriots. Of its great utility in the moment when we have been striking
our grand blows, nobody dares doubt; I, therefore, move that a brotherly
letter be sent to every society of our brothers and friends in the
provinces, inviting each of them to compose one of similar contents and
of similar tendency, in their own districts, with what remarks they think
proper to affix, and to forward them to us, to be deposited, in the
mother club, after taking copies of them for the archives of their own

His motion was decreed.

Two days afterwards, he again ascended the tribune. "You approved," said
he, "of the measures I lately proposed against the aristocracy of
property; I will now tell you of another aristocracy which we must also
crush--I mean that of religion, and of the clergy. Their supports are
folly, cowardice, and ignorance. All priests are to be proscribed as
criminals, and despised as impostors or idiots; and all altars must be
reduced to dust as unnecessary. To prepare the public mind for such
events, we must enlighten it; which can only be done by disseminating
extracts from 'L' Amie du People', and other philosophical publications.
I have here some ballads of my own composition, which have been sung in
my quarter; where all superstitious persons have already trembled, and
all fanatics are raving. If you think proper, I will, for a mere trifle,
print twenty thousand copies of them, to be distributed and disseminated
gratis all over France."

After some discussion, the treasurer of the club was ordered to advance
Citizen Brune the sum required, and the secretary to transmit the ballads
to the fraternal societies in the provinces.

Brune put on his first regimentals as an aide-decamp to General Santerre
in December, 1792, after having given proofs of his military prowess the
preceding September, in the massacre of the prisoners in the Abbey. In
1793 he was appointed a colonel in the revolutionary army, which, during
the Reign of Terror, laid waste the departments of the Gironde, where he
was often seen commanding his corps, with a human head fixed on his
sword. On the day when he entered Bordeaux with his troops, a new-born
child occupied the same place, to the great horror of the inhabitants.
During this brilliant expedition he laid the first foundation of his
present fortune, having pillaged in a most unmerciful manner, and
arrested or shot every suspected person who could not, or would not,
exchange property for life. On his return to Paris, his patriotism was
recompensed with a commission of a general of brigade. On the death of
Robespierre, he was arrested as a terrorist, but, after some months'
imprisonment, again released.

In October, 1795, he assisted Napoleon Bonaparte in the massacre of the
Parisians, and obtained for it, from the director Barras, the rank of a
general of division. Though occupying, in time of war, such a high
military rank, he had hitherto never seen an enemy, or witnessed an

After Bonaparte had planned the invasion and pillage of Switzerland,
Brune was charged to execute this unjust outrage against the law of
nations. His capacity to intrigue procured him this distinction, and he
did honour to the choice of his employers. You have no doubt read that,
after lulling the Government of Berne into security by repeated proposals
of accommodation, he attacked the Swiss and Bernese troops during a
truce, and obtained by treachery successes which his valour did not
promise him. The pillage, robberies, and devastations in Helvetia added
several more millions to his previously great riches.

It was after his campaign in Holland, during the autumn of 1799, that he
first began to claim some military glory. He owed, however, his
successes to the superior number of his troops, and to the talents of the
generals and officers serving under him. Being made a Counsellor of
State by Bonaparte, he was entrusted with the command of the army against
the Chouans. Here he again seduced by his promises, and duped by his
intrigues, acted infamously--but was successful.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--Three months before Brune set out on his embassy to
Constantinople, Talleyrand and Fouche were collecting together all the
desperadoes of our Revolution, and all the Italian, Corsican, Greek, and
Arabian renegadoes and vagabonds in our country, to form him a set of
attendants agreeable to the real object of his mission.

You know too much of our national character and of my own veracity to
think it improbable, when I assure you that most of our great men in
place are as vain as presumptuous, and that sometimes vanity and
presumption get the better of their discretion and prudence. What I am
going to tell you I did not hear myself, but it was reported to me by a
female friend, as estimable for her virtues as admired for her
accomplishments. She is often honoured with invitations to Talleyrand's
familiar parties, composed chiefly of persons whose fortunes are as
independent as their principles, who, though not approving the
Revolution, neither joined its opposers nor opposed its adherents,
preferring tranquillity and obscurity to agitation and celebrity. Their
number is not much above half a dozen, and the Minister calls them the
only honest people in France with whom he thinks himself safe.

When it was reported here that two hundred persons of Brune's suite had
embarked at Marseilles and eighty-four at Genoa, and when it was besides
known that nearly fifty individuals accompanied him in his outset, this
unusual occurrence caused much conversation and many speculations in all
our coteries and fashionable circles. About that time my friend dined
with Talleyrand, and, by chance, also mentioned this grand embassy,
observing, at the same time, that it was too much honour done to the
Ottoman Porte, and too much money thrown away upon splendour, to honour
such an imbecile and tottering Government.

"How people talk," interrupted Talleyrand, "about what they do not
comprehend. Generous as Bonaparte is, he does not throw away his
expenses; perhaps within twelve months all these renegadoes or
adventurers, whom you all consider as valets of Brune, will be
three-tailed Pachas or Beys, leading friends of liberty, who shall have
gloriously broken their fetters as slaves of a Selim to become the
subjects of a Napoleon. The Eastern Empire has, indeed, long expired,
but it may suddenly be revived."

"Austria and Russia," replied my friend, "would never suffer it, and
England would sooner ruin her navy and exhaust her Treasury than permit
such a revolution."

"So they have tried to do," retorted Talleyrand, "to bring about a
counter revolution in France. But though only a moment is requisite to
erect the standard of revolt, ages often are necessary to conquer and
seize it. Turkey has long been ripe for a revolution. It wanted only
chiefs and directors. In time of war, ten thousand Frenchmen landed in
the Dardanelles would be masters of Constantinople, and perhaps of the
Empire. In time of peace, four hundred bold and well-informed men may
produce the same effect. Besides, with some temporary cession of a
couple of provinces to each of the Imperial Courts, and with the
temporary present of an island to Great Britain, everything may be
settled 'pro tempore', and a Joseph Bonaparte be permitted to reign at
Constantinople, as a Napoleon does at Paris."

That the Minister made use of this language I can take upon me to affirm;
but whether purposely or unintentionally, whether to give a high opinion
of his plans or to impose upon his company, I will not and cannot assert.

On the subject of this numerous suite of Brune, Markof is said to have
obtained several conferences with Talleyrand and several audiences of
Bonaparte, in which representations, as just as energetic, were made,
which, however, did not alter the intent of our Government or increase
the favour of the Russian Ambassador at the Court of St. Cloud. But it
proved that our schemes of subversion are suspected, and that our agents
of overthrow would be watched and their manoeuvres inspected.

Count Italinski, the Russian Ambassador to the Ottoman Porte, is one of
those noblemen who unite rank and fortune, talents and modesty, honour
and patriotism, wealth and liberality. His personal character and his
individual virtues made him, therefore, more esteemed and revered by the
members of the Divan, than the high station he occupied, and the powerful
Prince he represented, made him feared or respected. His warnings had
created prejudices against Brune which he found difficult to remove. To
revenge himself in his old way, our Ambassador inserted several
paragraphs in the Moniteur and in our other papers, in which Count
Italinski was libelled, and his transactions or views calumniated.

After his first audience with the Grand Seignior, Brune complained
bitterly, of not having learned the Turkish language, and of being under
the necessity, therefore, of using interpreters, to whom he ascribed the
renewed obstacles he encountered in every step he took, while his hotel
was continually surrounded with spies, and the persons of his suite
followed everywhere like criminals when they went out. Even the valuable
presents he carried with him, amounting in value to twenty-four millions
of livres--were but indifferently received, the acceptors, seeming to
suspect the object and the honesty of the donor.

In proportion as our politics became embroiled with those of Russia, the
post of Brune became of more importance; but the obstacles thrown in his
way augmented daily, and he was forced to avow that Russia and England
had greater influence and more credit than the French Republic and its
chief. When Bonaparte was proclaimed an Emperor of the French, Brune
expected that his acknowledgment as such at Constantinople would be a
mere matter of course and announced officially on the day he presented a
copy of his new credentials. Here again he was disappointed, and
therefore demanded his recall from a place where there was no
probability, under the present circumstances, of either exciting the
subjects to revolt, of deluding the Prince into submission, or seducing
Ministers who, in pocketing his bribes, forgot for what they were given.

It was then that Bonaparte sent Joubert with a letter in his own
handwriting, to be delivered into the hands of the Grand Seignior
himself. This Joubert is a foundling, and, was from his youth destined
and educated to be one of the secret agents of our secret diplomacy. You
already, perhaps, have heard that our Government selects yearly a number
of young foundlings or orphans, whom it causes to be brought up in
foreign countries at its expense, so as to learn the language as natives
of the nation, where, when grown up, they are chiefly to be employed.
Joubert had been educated under the inspection of our consuls at Smyrna,
and, when he assumes the dress of a Turk, from his accent and manners
even the Mussulmans mistake him for one of their own creed and of their
country. He was introduced to Bonaparte in 1797, and accompanied him to
Egypt, where his services were of the greatest utility to the army. He
is now a kind of undersecretary in the office of our secret diplomacy,
and a member of the Legion of Honour. Should ever Joseph Bonaparte be an
Emperor or Sultan of the East, Joubert will certainly be his Grand
Vizier. There is another Joubert (with whom you must not confound him),
who was; also a kind of Dragoman at Constantinople some years ago, and
who is still somewhere on a secret mission in the East Indies.

Joubert's arrival at Constantinople excited both curiosity among the
people and suspicion among the Ministry. There is no example in the
Ottoman history of a chief of a Christian nation having written to the
Sultan by a private messenger, or of His Highness having condescended to
receive the letter from the bearer, or to converse with him. The Grand
Vizier demanded a copy of Bonaparte's letter, before an audience could be
granted. This was refused by Joubert; and as Brune threatened to quit
the capital of Turkey if any longer delay were experienced, the letter
was delivered in a garden near Constantinople, where the Sultan met
Bonaparte's agent, as if by chance, who, it seems, lost all courage and
presence of mind, and did not utter four words, to which no answer was

This impertinent intrigue, and this novel diplomacy, therefore, totally
miscarried, to the great shame and greater disappointment of the schemers
and contrivers. I must, however, do Talleyrand the justice to say that
he never approved of it, and even foretold the issue to his intimate
friends. It was entirely the whim and invention of Bonaparte himself,
upon a suggestion of Brune, who was far from being so well acquainted
with the spirit and policy of the Divan as he had been with the genius
and plots of Jacobinism. Not rebuked, however, Joubert was ordered away
a second time with a second letter, and, after an absence of four months,
returned again as he went, less satisfied with the second than with his
first journey.

In these trips to Turkey, he had always for travelling companions some of
our emissaries to Austria, Hungary, and in particular to Servia, where
the insurgents were assisted by our councils, and even guided by some of
our officers. The principal aide-de-camp of Czerni George, the Servian
chieftain, is one Saint Martin, formerly a captain in our artillery,
afterwards an officer of engineers in the Russian service, and finally a
volunteer in the army of Conde. He and three other officers of artillery
were, under fictitious names, sent by our Government, during the spring
of last year, to the camp of the insurgents. They pretended to be of the
Grecian religion, and formerly Russian officers, and were immediately
employed. Saint Martin has gained great influence over Czerni George,
and directs both his political councils and military operations. Besides
the individuals left behind by Joubert; it is said that upwards of one
hundred persons of Brune's suite have been ordered for the same
destination. You see how great the activity of our Government is, and
that nothing is thought unworthy of its vigilance or its machinations. In
the staff of Paswan Oglou, six of my countrymen have been serving ever
since 1796, always in the pay of our Government.

It was much against the inclination and interest of our Emperor that his
Ambassador at Constantinople should leave the field of battle there to
the representatives of Russia, Austria, and England. But his dignity was
at stake. After many threats to deprive the Sultan of the honour of his
presence, and even after setting out once for some leagues on his return,
Brune, observing that these marches and countermarches excited more mirth
than terror, at last fixed a day, when, finally, either Bonaparte must be
acknowledged by the Divan as an Emperor of the French, or his departure
would take place. On that day he, indeed, began his retreat, but, under
different pretexts, be again stopped, sent couriers to his secretaries,
waited for their return, and sent new couriers again,--but all in vain,
the Divan continued refractory.

At his first audience after his return, the reception Bonaparte gave him
was not very cordial. He demanded active employment, in case of a
continental war, either in Italy or in Germany, but received neither.
When our army of England was already on its march towards the Rhine, and
Bonaparte returned here, Brune was ordered to take command on the coast,
and to organize there an army of observation, destined to succour Holland
in case of an invasion, or to invade England should a favourable occasion
present itself. The fact is, he was charged to intrigue rather than to
fight; and were Napoleon able to force upon Austria another Peace of
Luneville, Brune would probably be the plenipotentiary that would ask
your acceptance of another Peace of Amiens. It is here a general belief
that his present command signifies another pacific overture from
Bonaparte before your Parliament meets, or, at least, before the New
Year. Remember that our hero is more to be dreaded as a Philip than as
an Alexander.

General Brune has bought landed property for nine millions of livres--and
has, in different funds, placed ready money to the same amount. His own
and his wife's diamonds are valued by him at three millions; and when he
has any parties to dinner, he exhibits them with great complaisance as
presents forced upon him during his campaign in Switzerland and Holland,
for the protection he gave the inhabitants. He is now so vain of his
wealth and proud of his rank, that he not only disregards all former
acquaintances, but denies his own brothers and sisters,--telling them
frankly that the Fieldmarshal Brune can have no shoemaker for a brother,
nor a sister married to a chandler; that he knows of no parents, and of
no relatives, being the maker of his own fortune, and of what he is; that
his children will look no further back for ancestry than their father.
One of his first cousins, a postilion, who insisted, rather obstinately,
on his family alliance, was recommended by Brune to his friend Fouche,
who sent him on a voyage of discovery to Cayenne, from which he probably
will not return very soon.


PARIS, September, 1805.

My LORD:--Madame de C------n is now one of our most fashionable ladies.
Once in the week she has a grand tea-party; once in a fortnight a grand
dinner; and once in the month a grand ball. Foreign gentlemen are
particularly well received at her house, which, of course, is much
frequented by them. As you intend to visit this country after a peace,
it may be of some service to you not to be unacquainted with the portrait
of a lady whose invitation to see the original you may depend upon the
day after your arrival.

Madame de C----n is the widow of the great and useless traveller, Comte
de C----n, to whom his relatives pretend that she was never married. Upon
his death-bed he acknowledged her, however, for his wife, and left her
mistress of a fortune of three hundred thousand livres a year. The first
four years of her widowhood she passed in lawsuits before the tribunals,
where the plaintiffs could not prove that she was unmarried, nor she
herself that she was married. But Madame Napoleon Bonaparte, for a small
douceur, speaking in her favour, the consciences of the juries, and the
understanding of the judges, were all convinced at once that she had been
the lawful wife, and was the lawful heiress, of Comte de C----n, who had
no children, or nearer relatives than third cousins.

Comte de C----n was travelling in the East Indies when the Revolution
broke out. His occupation there was a very innocent one; he drew
countenances, being one of the most enthusiastic sectaries of Lavater,
and modestly called himself the first physiognomist in the world. Indeed,
he had been at least the most laborious one; for he left behind him a
collection of six thousand two hundred portraits, drawn by himself in the
four quarters of the world, during a period of thirty years.

He never engaged a servant, nor dealt with a tradesman, whose physiognomy
had not been examined by him. In his travels he preferred the worst
accommodation in a house where he approved of the countenance of the
host, to the best where the traits or lines of the landlord's face were
irregular, or did not coincide with his ideas of physiognomical
propriety. The cut of a face, its expression, the length of the nose,
the width or smallness of the mouth, the form of the eyelids or of the
ears, the colour or thickness of the hair, with the shape and tout
ensemble of the head, were always minutely considered and discussed
before he entered into any agreement, on any subject, with any individual
whatever. Whatever recommendations, or whatever attestations were
produced, if they did not correspond with his own physiognomical remarks
and calculations, they were disregarded; while a person whose physiognomy
pleased him required no other introduction to obtain his confidence.
Whether he thought himself wiser than his forefathers, he certainly did
not grow richer than they were. Charlatans who imposed upon his
credulity and impostors who flattered his mania, servants who robbed him
and mistresses who deceived him, proved that if his knowledge of
physiognomy was great, it was by no means infallible. At his death, of
the fortune left him by his parents only the half remained.

His friends often amused themselves at the expense of his foibles. When
he prepared for a journey to the East, one of them recommended him a
servant, upon whose fidelity he could depend. After examining with
minute scrupulosity the head of the person, he wrote: "My friend, I
accept your valuable present. From calculations, which never deceive me,
Manville (the servant's name) possesses, with the fidelity of a dog, the
intrepidity of the lion. Chastity itself is painted on his front,
modesty in his looks, temperance on his cheek, and his mouth and nose
bespeak honesty itself." Shortly after the Count had landed at
Pondicherry, Mauville, who was a girl, died, in a condition which showed
that chastity had not been the divinity to whom she had chiefly
sacrificed. In her trunk were found several trinkets belonging to her
master, which she honestly had appropriated to herself. His
miscalculation on this subject the Count could not but avow; he added,
however, that it was the entire fault of his friend, who had duped him
with regard to the sex.

Madame de C----n was, on account of her physiognomy, purchased by her
late husband, then travelling in Turkey, from a merchant of Circassian
slaves, when she was under seven years of age, and sent for her education
to a relative of the Count, an Abbess of a convent in Languedoc. On his
return from Turkey, some years afterwards, he took her under his own
care, and she accompanied him all over Asia, and returned first to France
in 1796, where her husband's name was upon the list of emigrants, though
he had not been in Europe for ten years before the Revolution.

However, by some pecuniary arrangements with Barras, he recovered his
property, which he did not long enjoy, for he died in 1798. The suitors
of Madame de C----n, mistress of a large fortune, with some remnants of
beauty and elegance of manners, have been numerous, and among them
several Senators and generals, and even the Minister Chaptal. But she
has politely declined all their offers, preferring her liberty and the
undisturbed right of following her own inclination to the inconvenient
ties of Hymen. A gentleman, whom she calls, and who passes for, her
brother, Chevalier de M de T----, a Knight of Malta, assists her in doing
the honours of her house, and is considered as her favourite lover;
though report and the scandalous chronicle say that she bestows her
favours on every person who wishes to bestow on her his name, and that,
therefore, her gallants are at least as numerous as her suitors.

Such is the true statement of the past, as well as the present, with
regard to Madame de C----n. She relates, however, a different story. She
says that she is the daughter of the Marquis de M de T-----, of a
Languedoc family; that she sailed, when a child, with her mother in a
felucca from Nice to Malta, there to visit her brother; was captured by
an Algerine pilot, separated from her mother, and carried to
Constantinople by a merchant of slaves; there she was purchased by Comte
de C----n, who restored her to her family, and whom, therefore,
notwithstanding the difference of their ages, she married from gratitude.
This pretty, romantic story is ordered in our Court circles to be
officially believed; and, of course, is believed by nobody, not even by
the Emperor and Empress themselves, who would not give her the place of a
lady-in-waiting, though her request was accompanied with a valuable
diamond to the latter. The present was kept, but the offer declined.

All the members of the Bonaparte family, female as well as male, honour
her house with their visits and with the acceptance of her invitations;
and it is, therefore, among our fashionables, the 'haut ton' to be of the
society and circle of Madame de C----n.

Last February, Madame de P----t (the wife of Comte de P----t, a relative,
by her husband's side, of Madame de C----n, and who by the Revolution
lost all their property, and now live with her as companions) was brought
to bed of a son; the child was baptized by the Cardinal de Belloy, and
Madame Joseph and Prince Louis Bonaparte stood sponsors. This occurrence
was celebrated with great pomp, and a fete was given to nearly one
hundred and fifty per sons of both sexes,--as usual, a mixture of
ci-devant nobles and of ci-devant sans-culottes; of rank and meanness; of
upstart wealth and beggared dignity.

What that day struck me most was the audacity of the Senator Villetard in
teasing and insulting the old Cardinal de Belloy with his impertinent
conversation and affected piety. This Villetard was, before the
Revolution, a journeyman barber, and was released in 1789 by the mob from
the prison of the Chatelet, where he was confined for theft. In 1791 his
patriotism was so well known in the Department of Yonne, that he was
deputed by the Jacobins there to the Jacobins of the capital with an
address, encouraging and advising the deposition of Louis XVI.; and in
1792 he was chosen a member of the National Convention, where the most
sanguinary and most violent of the factions were always certain to reckon
him in the number of their adherents.

In December, 1797, when an insurrection, prepared by Joseph Bonaparte at
Rome, deprived the late revered pontiff both of his sovereignty and
liberty, Villetard was sent by the Jacobin and atheistical party of the
Directory to Loretto, to seize and carry off the celebrated Madonna. In
the execution of this commission he displayed a conduct worthy the
littleness of his genius and the criminality of his mind. The wooden
image of the Holy Virgin, a black gown said to have appertained to her,
together with three broken china plates, which the Roman Catholic
faithful have for ages believed to have been used by her, were presented
by him to the Directory, with a cruelly scandalous show, accompanied by a
horribly blasphemous letter. He passed the next night, after he had
perpetrated this sacrilege, with two prostitutes, in the chapel of the
Holy Virgin; and, on the next morning, placed one of them, naked, on the
pedestal where the statue of the Virgin had formerly stood, and ordered
all the devotees at Loretto, and two leagues round, to prostrate
themselves before her. This shocking command occasioned the premature
death of fifteen ladies, two of whom, who were nuns, died on the spot on
beholding the horrid outrage; and many more were deprived of their
reason. How barbarously unfeeling must that wretch be who, in bereaving
the religious, the pious, and the conscientious of their consolation and
hope, adds the tormenting reproach of apostasy, by forcing virtue upon
its knees to bow before what it knows to be guilt and infamy.

A traitor to his associates as to his God, it was he who, in November,
1799, presented at St. Cloud the decree which excluded all those who
opposed Bonaparte's authority from the Council of Five Hundred, and
appointed the two committees which made him a First Consul. In reward
for this act of treachery, he was nominated to a place in the
Conservative Senate. He has now ranked himself among our modern saints,
goes regularly to Mass and confesses; has made a brother of his, who was
a drummer, an Abbe; and his assiduity about the Cardinal was probably
with a view to obtain advancement for this edifying priest.

The Cardinal de Belloy is now ninety-six years of age, being born in
1709, and has been a Bishop for fifty-three years, but, during the
Revolution, was proscribed, with all other prelates. He remained,
however, in France, where his age saved him from the guillotine, but not
from being reduced to the greatest want. A descendant of a noble family,
and possessing an unpolluted character, Bonaparte fixed upon him as one
of the pillars for the reestablishment of the Catholic worship, made him
an Archbishop of Paris, and procured him the rank of a Cardinal from
Rome. But he is now in his second childhood, entirely directed by his
grand vicaries, Malaret, De Mons, and Legeas, who are in the pay of, and
absolutely devoted to, Bonaparte. An innocent instrument in their hands,
of those impious compliments pronounced by him to the Emperor and the
Empress, he did not, perhaps, even understand the meaning. From such a
man the vile and artful Villetard might extort any promise. I observed,
however, with pleasure, that he was watched by the grand vicar, Malaret,
who seldom loses sight of His Eminence.

These two so opposite characters--I mean De Belloy and Villetard--are
already speaking evidences of the composition of the society at Madame de
C----n's. But I will tell you something still more striking. This lady
is famous for her elegant services of plate, as much as for her delicate
taste in entertaining her parties. After the supper on this night,
eleven silver and four gold plates, besides numerous silver and gold
spoons, forks, etc., were missed. She informed Fouche of her loss, who
had her house surrounded by spies, with orders not to let any servant
pass without undergoing a strict search. The first gentleman who called
for his carriage was His Excellency the Counsellor of State and grand
officer of the Legion of Honour, Treilhard. His servants were stopped
and the cause explained. They willingly, and against the protest of
their master, suffered themselves to be searched. Nothing was found upon
them; but the police agents, observing the full-dress hat of their master
rather bulky under his arm, took the liberty to look into it, where they
found one of Madame de C----n's gold plates and two of her spoons. His
Excellency immediately ordered his servants to be arrested, for having
concealed their theft there. Fouche, however, when called out, advised
his friend to forgive them for misplacing them, as the less said on the
subject the better. When Madame de C----n heard of this discovery, she
asked Fouche to recall his order or to alter it. "A repetition of such
misplacings in the hats or in the pockets of the masters," said she,
"would injure the reputation of my house and company." She never
recovered the remainder of her loss, and that she might not be exposed in
future to the same occurrences, she bought two services of china the
following day, to be used when she had mixed society.

Treilhard had, before the Revolution, the reputation of being an honest
man and an able advocate; but has since joined the criminals of all
factions, being an accomplice in their guilt and a sharer of their
spoils. In the convention, he voted for the death of Louis XVI. and
pursued without mercy the unfortunate Marie Antoinette to the scaffold.
During his missions in the departments, wherever he went the guillotine
was erected and blood flowed in streams. He was, nevertheless, accused
by Robespierre of moderatism. At Lille, in 1797, and at Rastadt, in
1798, he negotiated as a plenipotentiary with the representatives of
Princes, and in 1799 corresponded as a director with Emperors and Kings,
to whom he wrote as his great and dear friends. He is now a Counsellor
of State, in the section of legislation, and enjoys a fortune of several
millions of livres, arising from estates in the country, and from leases
in the capital. As this accident at Madame de C----n's soon became
public, his friends gave out that he had of late been exceedingly absent,
and, from absence of mind, puts everything he can lay hold of into his
pocket. He is not a favourite with Madame Bonaparte, and she asked her
husband to dismiss and disgrace him for an act so disgraceful to a grand
officer of the Legion of Honour, but was answered, "Were I to turn away
all the thieves and rogues that encompass me I should soon cease to
reign. I despise them, but I must employ them."

It is whispered that the police have discovered another of Madame de C
n's lost gold plates at a pawnbroker's, where it had been pledged by the
wife of another Counsellor of State, Francois de Nantes.

This I give you merely as a report! though the fact is, that Madame
Francois is very fond of gambling, but very unfortunate; and she, with
other of our fashionable ladies, has more than once resorted to her
charms for the payment of her gambling debts.


Being Secret Letters from a Gentleman at Paris to a Nobleman in London



PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--Since my return here, I have never neglected to present myself
before our Sovereign, on his days of grand reviews and grand diplomatic
audiences. I never saw him more condescending, more agreeable, or, at
least, less offensive, than on the day of his last levee, before he set
out to be inaugurated a King of Italy; nor worse tempered, more petulant,
agitated, abrupt, and rude than at his first grand audience after his
arrival from Milan, when this ceremony had been performed. I am not the
only one who has made this remark; he did not disguise either his good or
ill-humour; and it was only requisite to have eyes and ears to see and be
disgusted at the difference of behaviour.

I have heard a female friend of Madame Bonaparte explain, in part, the
cause of this alteration. Just before he set out for Italy, the
agreeable news of the success of the first Rochefort squadron in the West
Indies, and the escape of our Toulon fleet from the vigilance of your
Lord Nelson, highly elevated his spirits, as it was the first naval
enterprise of any consequence since his reign. I am certain that one
grand naval victory would flatter his vanity and ambition more than all
the glory of one of his most brilliant Continental campaigns. He had
also, at that time, great expectations that another negotiation with
Russia would keep the Continent submissive under his dictature, until he
should find an opportunity of crushing your power. You may be sure that
he had no small hopes of striking a blow in your country, after the
junction of our fleet with the Spanish, not by any engagement between our
Brest fleet and your Channel fleet, but under a supposition that you
would detach squadrons to the East and West Indies in search of the
combined fleet, which, by an unexpected return, according to orders,
would have then left us masters of the Channel, and, if joined with the
Batavian fleet, perhaps even of the North Sea. By the incomprehensible
activity of Lord Nelson, and by the defeat (or as we call it here, the
negative victory) of Villeneuve and Gravina, all this first prospect had
vanished. Our vengeance against a nation of shopkeepers we were not only
under the necessity of postponing, but, from the unpolite threats and
treaties of the Cabinet of St. Petersburg with those of Vienna and St.
James, we were on the eve of a Continental war, and our gunboats, instead
of being useful in carrying an army to the destruction of the tyrants of
the seas, were burdensome, as an army was necessary to guard them, and to
prevent these tyrants from capturing or destroying them. Such changes,
in so short a period of time as three months, might irritate a temper
less patient than that of Napoleon the First.

At his grand audience here, even after the army, of England had moved
towards Germany, when the die was cast, and his mind should, therefore,
have been made up, he was almost insupportable. The low bows, and the
still humbler expressions of the Prussian Ambassador, the Marquis da
Lucchesini, were hardly noticed; and the Saxon Ambassador, Count von
Buneau, was addressed in a language that no well-bred master ever uses in
speaking to a menial servant. He did not cast a look, or utter a word,
that was not an insult to the audience and a disgrace to his rank. I
never before saw him vent his rage and disappointment so
indiscriminately. We were, indeed (if I may use the term), humbled and
trampled upon en masse. Some he put out of countenance by staring
angrily at them; others he shocked by his hoarse voice and harsh words;
and all--all of us--were afraid, in our turn, of experiencing something
worse than our neighbours. I observed more than one Minister, and more
than one general, change colour, and even perspire, at His Majesty's

I believe the members of the foreign diplomatic corps here will all agree
with me that, at a future congress, the restoration of the ancient and
becoming etiquette of the Kings of France would be as desirable a point
to demand from the Emperor of the French as the restoration of the
balance of power.

Before his army of England quitted its old quarters on the coast, the
officers and men often felt the effects of his ungovernable temper. When
several regiments of grenadiers, of the division of Oudinot, were
defiling before him on the 25th of last month, he frequently and
severely, though without cause, reprobated their manner of marching, and
once rode up to Captain Fournois, pushed him forwards with the point of a
small cane, calling out, "Sacre Dieu! Advance; you walk like a turkey."
In the first moment of indignation, the captain, striking at the cane
with his sword, made a push, or a gesture, as if threatening the person
of Bonaparte, who called out to his aide-de-camp, Savary:

"Disarm the villain, and arrest him!"

"It is unnecessary," the captain replied, "I have served a tyrant, and
merit my fate!" So saying, he passed his sword through his heart.

His whole company stopped instantly, as at a word of command, and a
general murmur was heard.

"Lay down your arms, and march out of the file instantly," commanded
Bonaparte, "or you shall be cut down for your mutiny by my guides."

They hesitated for a moment, but the guides advancing to surround them,
they obeyed, and were disarmed. On the following afternoon, by a special
military commission, each tenth man was condemned to be shot; but
Bonaparte pardoned them upon condition of serving for life in the
colonies; and the whole company was ordered to the colonial depots. The
widow and five children of Captain Fournois the next morning threw
themselves at the Emperor's feet, presenting a petition, in which they
stated that the pay of the captain had been their only support.

"Well," replied Bonaparte to the kneeling petitioners, "Fournois was both
a fool and a traitor; but, nevertheless, I will take care of you."
Indeed, they have been so well taken care of that nobody knows what has
become of them.

I am almost certain that I am not telling you what you did not know
beforehand in informing you that the spirit of our troops is greatly
different from that of the Germans, and even from that of your own
country. Every, one of our soldiers would prefer being shot to being
beaten or caned. Flogging, with us, is out of the question. It may,
perhaps, be national vanity, but I am doubtful whether any other army is,
or can be, governed, with regard to discipline, in a less violent and
more delicate manner, and, nevertheless, be kept in subordination, and
perform the most brilliant exploits. Remember, I speak of our spirit of
subordination and discipline, and not of our character as citizens, as
patriots, or as subjects. I have often hinted it, but I believe I have
not explained myself so fully before; but my firm opinion and persuasion
is that, with regard to our loyalty, our duty, and our moral and
political principles, another equally inconsistent and despicable people
does not exist in the universe.

The condition of the slave is certainly in itself that of vileness; but
is that slave a vile being who, for a blow, pierces his bosom because he
is unable to avenge it? And what epithet can be given him who braves
voluntarily a death seemingly certain, not from the love of his country,
but from a principle of honour, almost incompatible with the dishonour of

During the siege of Yorktown, in America, we had, during one night,
erected a battery, with intent to blow up a place which, according to the
report of our spies, was your magazine of ammunition, etc. We had not
time to finish it before daylight; but one loaded twenty-four pounder was
mounted, and our cannoneer, the moment he was about to fire it, was
killed. Six more of our men, in the same attempt, experienced the same
fate. My regiment constituted the advanced guard nearest to the spot,
and La Fayette brought me the order from the commander-in-chief to engage
some of my men upon that desperate undertaking. I spoke to them, and two
advanced, but were both instantly shot by your sharpshooters. I then
looked at my grenadiers, without uttering anything, when, to my sorrow,
one of my best and most orderly men advanced, saying, "My colonel, permit
me to try my fortune!" I assented, and he went coldly amidst hundreds of
bullets whistling around his ears, set fire to the cannon, which blew up
a depot of powder, as was expected, and in the confusion returned unhurt.
La Fayette then presented him with his purse. "No, monsieur," replied
he, "money did not make me venture upon such a perilous undertaking." I
understood my man, promoted him to a sergeant, and recommended him to
Rochambeau, who, in some months, procured him the commission of a
sub-lieutenant. He is now one of Bonaparte's Field-marshals, and the
only one of that rank who has no crimes to reproach himself with. This
man was the soldier of a despot; but was not his action that of a man of
honour, which a stanch republican of ancient Rome would have been proud
of? Who can explain this contradiction?

This anecdote about Fournois I heard General Savary relate at Madame
Duchatel's, as a proof of Bonaparte's generosity and clemency, which, he
affirmed, excited the admiration of the whole camp at Boulogne. I do not
suppose this officer to be above thirty years of age, of which he has
passed the first twenty-five in orphan-houses or in watch-houses; but no
tyrant ever had a more cringing slave, or a more abject courtier. His
affectation to extol everything that Bonaparte does, right or wrong, is
at last become so habitual that it is naturalized, and you may mistake
for sincerity that which is nothing but imposture or flattery. This son
of a Swiss porter is now one of Bonaparte's adjutants-general, a colonel
of the Gendarmes d'Elite, a general of brigade in the army, and a
commander of the Legion of Honour; all these places he owes, not to
valour or merit, but to abjectness, immorality, and servility. When an
aide-de-camp with Bonaparte in Egypt, he served him as a spy on his
comrades and on the officers of the staff, and was so much detested that,
near Aboukir, several shots were fired at him in his tent by his own
countrymen. He is supposed still to continue the same espionage; and as
a colonel of the Gendarmes d'Elite, he is charged with the secret
execution of all proscribed persons or State prisoners, who have been
secretly condemned,--a commission that a despot gives to a man he trusts,
but dares not offer to a man he esteems. He is so well known that the
instant he enters a society silence follows, and he has the whole
conversation to himself. This he is stupid enough to take for a
compliment, or for a mark of respect, or an acknowledgment of his
superior parts and intelligence, when, in fact, it is a direct reproach
with which prudence arms itself against suspected or known dishonesty.
Besides his wife, he has to support six other women whom he has seduced
and ruined; and, notwithstanding the numerous opportunities his master
has procured him of pillaging and enriching himself, he is still much in
debt; but woe to his creditors were they indiscreet enough to ask for
their payments! The Secret Tribunal would soon seize them and transport
them, or deliver them over to the hands of their debtor, to be shot as
traitors or conspirators.


PARIS, September, 1805.

My LORD:--I am told that it was the want of pecuniary resources that made
Bonaparte so ill-tempered on his last levee day. He would not have come
here at all, but preceded his army to Strasburg, had his Minister of
Finances, Gaudin, and his Minister of the Public Treasury, Marbois, been
able to procure forty-four millions of livres--to pay a part of the
arrears of the troops; and for the speedy conveyance of ammunition and
artillery towards the Rhine.

Immediately after his arrival here, Bonaparte sent for the directors of
the Bank of France, informing them that within twenty-four hours they
must advance him thirty-six millions of livres--upon the revenue of the
last quarter of 1808. The president of the bank, Senator Garrat,
demanded two hours to lay before the Emperor the situation of the bank,
that His Majesty might judge what sum it was possible to spare without
ruining the credit of an establishment hitherto so useful to the commerce
of the Empire. To this Bonaparte replied that he was not ignorant of the
resources, or of the credit of the bank, any more than of its public
utility; but that the affairs of State suffered from every hour's delay,
and that, therefore, he insisted upon having the sum demanded even within
two hours, partly in paper and partly in cash; and were they to show any
more opposition, he would order the bank and all its effects to be seized
that moment. The directors bowed and returned to the bank; whither they
were followed by four waggons escorted by hussars, and belonging to the
financial department of the army of England. In these were placed eight
millions of livres in cash; and twenty-eight millions in bank-notes were
delivered to M. Lefevre, the Secretary-General of Marbois, who presented,
in exchange, Bonaparte's bond and security for the amount, bearing an
interest of five per cent. yearly.

When this money transaction was known to the public, the alarm became
general, and long before the hour the bank usually opens the adjoining
streets were crowded with persons desiring to exchange their notes for
cash. During the night the directors had taken care to pay themselves
for the banknotes in their own possession with silver or gold, and, as
they expected a run, they ordered all persons to be paid in copper coin,
as long as any money of this metal remained. It required a long time to
count those halfpennies and centimes (five of which make a sou, or
halfpenny), but the people were not tired with waiting until towards
three o'clock in the afternoon, when the bank is shut up. They then
became so clamorous that a company of gendarmes was placed for protection
at the entrance of the bank; but, as the tumult increased, the street was
surrounded by the police guards, and above six hundred individuals, many
of them women, were carried, under an escort, to different police
commissaries, and to the prefecture of the police. There most of them,
after being examined, were reprimanded and released. The same night, the
police spies reported in the coffee-houses of the Palais Royal, and on
the Boulevards, that this run on the bank was encouraged, and paid for,
by English emissaries, some of whom were already taken, and would be
executed on the next day. In the morning, however, the streets adjoining
the bank were still more crowded, and the crowd still more tumultuous,
because payment was refused for all notes but those of five hundred
livres. The activity of the police agents, supported by the gendarmes
and police soldiers, again restored order, after several hundred persons
had been again taken up for their mutinous conduct. Of these many were,
on the same evening, loaded with chains, and, placed in carts under
military escort, paraded about near the bank and the Palais Royal; the
police having, as a measure of safety, under suspicion that they were
influenced by British gold, condemned them to be transported to Cayenne;
and the carts set out on the same night for Rochefort, the place of their

On the following day, not an individual approached the bank, but all
trade and all payments were at a stand; nobody would sell but for ready
money, and nobody who had bank-notes would part with cash. Some Jews and
money-brokers in the Palais Royal offered cash for these bills, at a
discount of from ten to twenty per cent. But these usurers were, in
their turn, taken up and transported, as agents of Pitt. An interview
was then demanded by the directors and principal bankers with the
Ministers of Finance and of the Public Treasury. In this conference it
was settled that, as soon as the two millions of dollars on their way
from Spain had arrived at Paris, the bank should reassume its payments.
These dollars Government would lend the bank for three months, and take
in return its notes, but the bank was, nevertheless, to pay an interest
of six per cent. during that period. All the bankers agreed not to press
unnecessarily for any exchange of bills into cash, and to keep up the
credit of the bank even by the individual credit of their own houses.

You know, I suppose, that the Bank of France has never issued but two
sorts of notes; those of one thousand livres--and those of five hundred
livres. At the day of its stoppage, sixty millions of livres--of the
former, and fifteen millions of livres--of the latter, were in
circulation; and I have heard a banker assert that the bank had not then
six millions of livres--in money and bullion, to satisfy the claims of
its creditors, or to honour its bills.

The shock given to the credit of the bank by this last requisition of
Bonaparte will be felt for a long time, and will with difficulty ever be
repaired under his despotic government. Even now, when the bank pays in
cash, our merchants make a difference from five to ten per cent. between
purchasing for specie or paying in bank-notes; and this mistrust will not
be lessened hereafter. You may, perhaps, object that, as long as the
bank pays, it is absurd for any one possessing its bills to pay dearer
than with cash, which might so easily be obtained. This objection would
stand with regard to your, or any other free country, but here, where no
payments are made in gold, but always in silver or copper, it requires a
cart to carry away forty, thirty, or twenty thousand livres, in coin of
these metals, and would immediately excite suspicion that a bearer of
these bills was an emissary of our enemies, or an enemy of our
Government. With us, unfortunately, suspicion is the same as conviction,
and chastisement follows it as its shadow.

A manufacturer of the name of Debrais, established in the Rue St. Martin,
where he had for years carried on business in the woollen line, went to
the bank two days after it had begun to pay. He demanded, and obtained,
exchange for twenty-four thousand livres--in notes, necessary for him to
pay what was due by him to his workmen. The same afternoon six of our
custom-house officers, accompanied by police agents and gendarmes, paid
him a domiciliary visit under pretence of searching for English goods.
Several bales were seized as being of that description, and Debrais was
carried a prisoner to La Force. On being examined by Fouche, he offered
to prove, by the very men who had fabricated the suspected goods, that
they were not English. The Minister silenced him by saying that
Government had not only evidence of the contrary, but was convinced that
he was employed as an English agent to hurt the credit of the bank, and
therefore, if he did not give up his accomplices or employers, had
condemned him to transportation. In vain did his wife and daughters
petition to Madame Bonaparte; Debrais is now at Rochefort, if not already
embarked for our colonies.

When he was arrested, a seal, as usual, was put on his house, from which
his wife and family were turned out, until the police should have time to
take an inventory of his effects, and had decided on his fate. When
Madame Debrais, after much trouble and many pecuniary sacrifices, at last
obtained permission to have the seals removed, and reenter her house, she
found that all her plate and more than half her goods and furniture had
been stolen and carried away. Upon her complaint of this theft she was
thrown into prison for not being able to support her complaint with
proofs, and for attempting to vilify the characters of the agents of our
Government. She is still in prison, but her daughters are by her orders
disposing of the remainder of their parents' property, and intend to join
their father as soon as their mother has recovered her liberty.

The same tyranny that supports the credit of our bank also keeps up the
price of our stocks. Any of our great stockholders who sell out to any
large amount, if they are unable to account for, or unwilling to declare
the manner in which they intend to employ, their money, are immediately
arrested, sometimes transported to the colonies, but more frequently
exiled into the country, to remain under the inspection of some police
agent, and are not allowed to return here without the previous permission
of our Government. Those of them who are upstarts, and have made their
fortune since the Revolution by plunder or as contractors, are still more
severely treated, and are often obliged to renounce part of their
ill-gotten wealth to save the remainder, or to preserve their liberty or
lives. A revisal of their former accounts, or an inspection of their
past transactions, is a certain and efficacious threat to keep them in
silent submission, as they all well understand the meaning of them.

Even foreigners, whom our numerous national bankruptcies have not yet
disheartened, are subject to these measures of rigour or vigour requisite
to preserve our public credit. In the autumn of last year a Dutchman of
the name of Van der Winkle sold out by his agent for three millions of
livres--in our stock on one day, for which he bought up bills upon
Hamburg and London. He lodged in the Hotel des Quatre Nations, Rue
Grenelle, where the landlord, who is a patriot, introduced some police
agents into his apartments during his absence. These broke open all his
trunks, drawers, and even his writing-desk, and when he entered, seized
his person, and carried him to the Temple. By his correspondence it was
discovered that all this money was to be brought over to England; a
reason more than sufficient to incur the suspicion of our Government. Van
der Winkle spoke very little French, and he continued, therefore, in
confinement three weeks before he was examined, as our secret police had
not at Paris any of its agents who spoke Dutch. Carried before Fouche,
he avowed that the money was destined for England, there to pay for some
plantations which he desired to purchase in Surinam and Barbice. His
interpreter advised him, by the orders of Fouche, to alter his mind, and,
as he was fond of colonial property, lay out his money in plantations at
Cayenne, which was in the vicinity of Surinam, and where Government would
recommend him advantageous purchases. It was hinted to him, also, that
this was a particular favour, and a proof of the generosity of our
Government, as his papers contained many matters that might easily be
construed to be of a treasonable nature. After consulting with
Schimmelpenninck, the Ambassador of his country, he wrote for his wife
and children, and was seen safe with them to Bordeaux by our police
agents, who had hired an American vessel to carry them all to Cayenne.
This certainly is a new method to populate our colonies with capitalists.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--Hanover has been a mine of gold to our Government, to its
generals, to its commissaries, and to its favourites. According to the
boasts of Talleyrand, and the avowal of Berthier, we have drawn from it
within two years more wealth than has been paid in contributions to the
Electors of Hanover for this century past, and more than half a century
of peace can restore to that unfortunate country. It is reported here
that each person employed in a situation to make his fortune in the
Continental States of the King of England (a name given here to Hanover
in courtesy to Bonaparte) was laid under contribution, and expected to
make certain douceurs to Madame Bonaparte; and it is said that she has
received from Mortier three hundred thousand livres, and from Bernadotte
two hundred and fifty thousand livres, besides other large sums from our
military commissaries, treasurers, and other agents in the Electorate.

General Mortier is one of the few favourite officers of Bonaparte who
have distinguished themselves under his rivals, Pichegru and Moreau,
without ever serving under him. Edward Adolph Casimer Mortier is the son
of a shopkeeper, and was born at Cambray in 1768. He was a shopman with
his father until 1791, when he obtained a commission, first as a
lieutenant of carabiniers, and afterwards as captain of the first
battalion of volunteers of the Department of the North. His first sight
of an enemy was on the 30th of April, 1792, near Quievrain, where he had
a horse killed under him. He was present in the battles of Jemappes, of
Nerwinde, and of Pellenberg. At the battle of Houdscoote he
distinguished himself so much as to be promoted to an adjutant general.
He was wounded at the battle of Fleures, and again at the passage of the
Rhine, in 1795, under General Moreau. During 1796 and 1797 he continued
to serve in Germany, but in 1798 and 1799 he headed a division in
Switzerland from which Bonaparte recalled him in 1800, to command the
troops in the capital and its environs. His address to Bonaparte,
announcing the votes of the troops under him respecting the consulate for
life and the elevation to the Imperial throne, contain such mean and
abject flattery that, for a true soldier, it must have required more
self-command and more courage to pronounce them than to brave the fire of
a hundred cannons; but these very addresses, contemptible as their
contents are, procured him the Field-marshal's staff. Mortier well knew
his man, and that his cringing in antechambers would be better rewarded
than his services in the field. I was not present when Mortier spoke so
shamefully, but I have heard from persons who witnessed this farce, that
he had his eyes fixed on the ground the whole time, as if to say, "I
grant that I speak as a despicable being, and I grant that I am so; but
what shall I do, tormented as I am by ambition to figure among the great,
and to riot among the wealthy? Have compassion on my weakness, or, if
you have not, I will console myself with the idea that my meanness is
only of the duration of half an hour, while its recompense-my rank-will
be permanent."

Mortier married, in 1799, the daughter of the landlord of the Belle
Sauvage inn at Coblentz, who was pregnant by him, or by some other guest
of her father. She is pretty, but not handsome, and she takes advantage
of her husband's complaisance to console herself both for his absence and
infidelities. When she was delivered of her last child, Mortier
positively declared that he had not slept with her for twelve months, and
the babe has, indeed, less resemblance to him than to his valet de
chambre. The child was baptised with great splendour; the Emperor and
the Empress were the sponsors, and it was christened by Cardinal Fesch.
Bonaparte presented Madame Mortier on this occasion with a diamond
necklace valued at one hundred and fifty thousand livres.

During his different campaigns, and particularly during his glorious
campaign in Hanover, he has collected property to the amount of seven
millions of livres, laid out in estates and lands. He is considered by
other generals as a brave captain, but an indifferent chief; and among
our fashionables and our courtiers he is held up as a model of connubial
fidelity--satisfying himself with keeping three mistresses only.

There was no truth in the report that his recall from Hanover was in
consequence of any disgrace; on the contrary, it was a new proof of
Bonaparte's confidence and attachment. He was recalled to take the
command of the artillery of Bonaparte's, household troops the moment
Pichegru, George, and Moreau were arrested, and when the Imperial tide
had been resolved on. More resistance against this innovation was at
that time expected than experienced.

Bernadotte, who succeeded Mortier in the command of our army in Hanover,
is a man of a different stamp. His father was a chair-man, and he was
born at Paris in 1763. In 1779 he enlisted in the regiment called La
Vieille Harine, where the Revolution found him a sergeant. This regiment
was then quartered at Toulon, and the emissaries of anarchy and
licentiousness engaged him as one of their agents. His activity soon
destroyed all discipline, and the troops, instead of attending to their
military duty, followed him to the debates and discussions of the Jacobin
clubs. Being arrested and ordered to be tried for his mutinous,
scandalous behaviour, an insurrection liberated him, and forced his
accusers to save their lives by flight. In April, 1790, he headed the
banditti who murdered the Governor of the Fort St. Jean at Marseilles,
and who afterwards occasioned the Civil War in Comtat Venaigin, where he
served under Jourdan, known by the name of Coup-tell, or cut-throat, who
made him a colonel and his aide-de-camp. In 1794, he was employed, as a
general of brigade, in the army of the Sambre and Meuse; and during the
campaigns of 1795 and 1796, he served under another Jourdan, the general,
without much distinction,--except that he was accused by him of being the
cause of all the disasters of the last campaign, by the complete rout he
suffered near Neumark on the 23d of August, 1796. His division was
ordered to Italy in 1797, where, against the laws of nations, he arrested
M. d' Antraigues, who was attached to the Russian legation. When the
Russian Ambassador tried to dissuade him from committing this injustice,
and this violation of the rights of privileged persons, he replied:
"There is no question here of any other right or justice than the right
and justice of power, and I am here the strongest. M. d'Antraigues is
our enemy; were he victorious, he would cause us all to be shot. I
repeat, I am here the strongest, 'et nous verrons'."

After the Peace of Campo Formio, Bernadotte was sent as an Ambassador to
the Court of Vienna, accompanied by a numerous escort of Jacobin
propagators. Having procured the liberty of Austrian patriots, whose
lives, forfeit to the law, the lenity of the Cabinet of Vienna had
spared, he thought that he might attempt anything; and, therefore, on the
anniversary day of the fete for the levy en masse of the inhabitants of
the capital, he insulted the feelings of the loyal, and excited the
discontented to rebellion, by placing over the door and in the windows of
his house the tri-coloured flag. This outrage the Emperor was unable to
prevent his subjects from resenting. Bernadotte's house was invaded, his
furniture broken to pieces, and he was forced to save himself at the
house of the Spanish Ambassador. As a satisfaction for this attack,
provoked by his own insolence, he demanded the immediate dismissal of the
Austrian Minister, Baron Thugut, and threatened, in case of refusal, to
leave Vienna, which he did on the next day. So disgraceful was his
conduct regarded, even by the Directory, that this event made but little
impression, and no alteration in the continuance of their intercourse
with the Austrian Government.

In 1799, he was for some weeks a Minister of the war department, from
which his incapacity caused him to be dismissed. When Bonaparte intended
to seize the reins of State, he consulted Bernadotte, who spoke as an
implacable Jacobin until a douceur of three hundred thousand
livres--calmed him a little, and convinced him that the Jacobins were not
infallible or their government the best of all possible governments. In
1801, he was made the commander-in-chief in the Western Department, where
he exercised the greatest barbarities against the inhabitants, whom he
accused of being still chouans and royalists.

With Augereau and Massena, Bernadotte is a merciless plunderer. In the
summer, 1796, he summoned the magistrates of the free and neutral city of
Nuremberg to bring him, under pain of military execution, within
twenty-four hours, two millions of livres. With much difficulty this sum
was collected. The day after he had received it, he insisted upon
another sum to the same amount within another twenty-four hours, menacing
in case of disobedience to give the city up to a general pillage by his
troops. Fortunately, a column of Austrians advanced and delivered them
from the execution of his threats. The troops under him were, both in
Italy and in Germany, the terror of the inhabitants, and when defeated
were, from their pillage and murder, hunted like wild beasts. Bernadotte
has by these means within ten years become master of a fortune of ten
millions of livres.

Many have considered Bernadotte a revolutionary fanatic, but they are in
the wrong. Money engaged him in the cause of the Revolution, where the
first crimes he had perpetrated fixed him. The many massacres under
Jourdan the cut-throat, committed by him in the Court at Venaigin, no
doubt display a most sanguinary character. A lady, however, in whose
house in La Vendee he was quartered six months, has assured me that, to
judge from his conversation, he is not naturally cruel, but that his
imagination is continually tormented with the fear of gibbets which he
knows that his crimes have merited, and that, therefore, when he stabs
others, he thinks it commanded by the necessity of preventing others from
stabbing him. Were he sure of impunity, he would, perhaps, show humanity
as well as justice. Bernadotte is not, only a grand officer of the
Legion of Honour, but a knight of the Royal Prussian Order of the Black


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--Bonaparte has taken advantage of the remark of Voltaire, in his
"Life of Louis XIV.," that this Prince owed much of his celebrity to the
well--distributed pensions among men of letters in France and in foreign
countries. According to a list shown me by Fontanes, the president of
the legislative corps and a director of literary pensions, even in your
country and in Ireland he has nine literary pensioners. Though the names
of your principal authors and men of letters are not unknown to me, I
have never read nor heard of any of those I saw in the list, except two
or three as editors of some newspapers, magazines, or trifling and
scurrilous party pamphlets. I made this observation to Fontanes, who
replied that these men, though obscure, had, during the last peace, been
very useful, and would be still more so after another pacification; and
that Bonaparte must be satisfied with these until he could gain over men
of greater talents. He granted also that men of true genius and literary
eminence were, in England, more careful of the dignity of their character
than those of Germany and Italy, and more difficult to be bought over. He
added that, as soon as the war ceased, he should cross the Channel on a
literary mission, from which he hoped to derive more success than from
that which was undertaken three years ago by Fievee.

To these men of letters, who are themselves, with their writings, devoted
to Bonaparte, he certainly is very liberal. Some he has made tribunes,
prefects, or legislators; others he has appointed his Ministers in
foreign countries, and on those to whom he has not yet been able to given
places, he bestows much greater pensions than any former Sovereign of
this country allowed to a Corneille, a Racine, a Boileau, a Voltaire, a
De Crebillon, a D' Alembert, a Marmontel, and other heroes of our
literature and honours to our nation. This liberality is often carried
too far, and thrown away upon worthless subjects, whose very flattery
displays absence of taste and genius, as well as of modesty and shame. To
a fellow of the name of Dagee, who sang the coronation of Napoleon the
First in two hundred of the most disgusting and ill-digested lines that
ever were written, containing neither metre nor sense, was assigned a
place in the administration of the forest department, worth twelve
thousand livres in the year--besides a present, in ready money, of one
hundred napoleons d'or. Another poetaster, Barre, who has served and
sung the chiefs of all former factions, received, for an ode of forty
lines on Bonaparte's birthday, an office at Milan, worth twenty thousand
livres in the year--and one hundred napoleons d'or for his travelling

The sums of money distributed yearly by Bonaparte's agents for
dedications to him by French and foreign authors, are still greater than
those fixed for regular literary pensions. Instead of discouraging these
foolish and impertinent contributions, which genius, ingenuity,
necessity, or intrusion, lay on his vanity, he rather encourages them.
His name is, therefore, found in more dedications published within these
last five years than those of all other Sovereign Princes in Europe taken
together for the last century. In a man whose name, unfortunately for
humanity, must always live in history, it is a childish and unpardonable
weakness to pay so profusely for the short and uncertain immortality
which some dull or obscure scribbler or poetaster confers on him.

During the last Christmas holidays I dined at Madame Remisatu's, in
company with Duroc. The question turned upon literary productions and
the comparative merit of the compositions of modern French and foreign
authors. "As to the merits or the quality," said Duroc, "I will not take
upon me to judge, as I profess myself totally incompetent; but as to
their size and quantity I have tolerably good information, and it will
not, therefore, be very improper in me to deliver my opinion. I am
convinced that the German and Italian authors are more numerous than
those of my own country, for the following reasons: I suppose, from what
I have witnessed and experienced for some years past, that of every book
or publication printed in France, Italy, and Germany, each tenth is
dedicated to the Emperor. Now, since last Christmas ninety-six German
and seventy-one Italian authors have inscribed their works to His
Majesty, and been rewarded for it; while during the same period only
sixty-six Frenchmen have presented their offerings to their Sovereign."
For my part I think Duroc's conclusion tolerably just.

Among all the numerous hordes of authors who have been paid, recompensed,
or encouraged by Bonaparte, none have experienced his munificence more
than the Italian Spanicetti and the German Ritterstein. The former
presented him a genealogical table in which he proved that the Bonaparte
family, before their emigration from Tuscany to Corsica, four hundred
years ago, were allied to the most ancient Tuscany families, even to that
of the House of Medicis; and as this house has given two queens to the
Bourbons when Sovereigns of France, the Bonapartes are, therefore,
relatives of the Bourbons; and the sceptre of the French Empire is still
in the same family, though in a more worthy branch. Spanicetti received
one thousand louis--in gold, a pension of six thousand livres--for life,
and the place of a chef du bureau in the ministry of the home department
of the Kingdom of Italy, producing eighteen thousand livres yearly.

Ritterstein, a Bavarian genealogist, proved the pedigree of the
Bonapartes as far back as the first crusades, and that the name of the
friend of Richard Coeur de Lion was not Blondel, but Bonaparte; that he
exchanged the latter for the former only to marry into the Plantagenet
family, the last branch of which has since been extinguished by its
intermarriage and incorporation with the House of Stuart, and that,
therefore, Napoleon Bonaparte is not only related to most Sovereign
Princes of Europe, but has more right to the throne of Great Britain than
George the Third, being descended from the male branch of the Stuarts;
while this Prince is only descended from the female branch of the same
royal house. Ritterstein was presented with a snuff-box with Bonaparte's
portrait set with diamonds, valued at twelve thousand livres, and
received twenty-four thousand livres ready money, together with a pension
of nine thousand livres--in the year, until he could be better provided
for. He was, besides, nominated a Knight of the Legion of Honour. It
cannot be denied but that Bonaparte rewards like a real Emperor.

But artists as well as authors obtain from him the same encouragement,
and experience the same liberality. In our different museums we,
therefore, already, see and admire upwards of two hundred pictures,
representing the different actions, scenes, and achievements of
Bonaparte's public life. It is true they are not all highly finished or
well composed or delineated, but they all strike the spectators more or
less with surprise or admiration; and it is with us, as, I suppose, with
you, and everywhere else, the multitude decide: for one competent judge
or real connoisseur, hundreds pass, who stare, gape, are charmed, and
inspire thousands of their acquaintance, friends, and neighbours with
their own satisfaction. Believe me, Napoleon the First well knows the
age, his contemporaries, and, I fear, even posterity.

That statuaries and sculptors consider him also as a generous patron, the
numerous productions of their chisels in France, Italy, and Germany,
having him for their object, seem to evince. Ten sculptors have already
represented his passage over the Mount St. Bernard, eighteen his passage
over Pont de Lodi, and twenty-two that over Pont d' Arcole. At Rome,
Milan, Turin, Lyons, and Paris are statues of him representing his
natural size; and our ten thousand municipalities have each one of his
busts; without mentioning the thousands of busts all over Europe, not
excepting even your own country. When Bonaparte sees under the windows
of the Tuileries the statue of Caesar placed in the garden of that
palace, he cannot help saying to himself: "Marble lives longer than man."
Have you any doubt that his ambition and vanity extend beyond the grave?

The only artist I ever heard of who was disappointed and unrewarded for
his labour in attempting to eternize the memory of Napoleon Bonaparte,
was a German of the name of Schumacher. It is, indeed, allowed that he
was more industrious, able, and well-meaning than ingenious or
considerate. He did not consider that it would be no compliment to give
the immortal hero a hint of being a mortal man. Schumacher had employed
near three years in planning and executing in marble the prettiest model
of a sepulchral monument I have ever seen, read or heard of. He had
inscribed it: "The Future Tomb of Bonaparte the Great." Under the
patronage of Count von Beast, he arrived here; and I saw the model in the
house of this Minister of the German Elector Arch--Chancellor, where also
many French artists went to inspect it. Count von Beast asked De Segur,
the grand master of the ceremonies, to request the Emperor to grant
Schumacher the honour of showing him his performance. De Segur advised
him to address himself to Duroc, who referred him to Devon, who, after
looking at it, could not help paying a just tribute to the execution and
to the talents of the artist, though he disapproved of the subject, and
declined mentioning it to the Emperor. After three months' attendance in
this capital, and all petitions and memorials to our great folks
remaining unanswered, Schumacher obtained an audience of Fouche, in which
he asked permission to exhibit his model of Bonaparte's tomb to the
public for money, so as to be enabled to return to his country.

"Where is it now?" asked Fouche.

"At the Minister's of the Elector Arch-Chancellor," answered the artist.

"But where do you intend to show it for money?" continued Fouche.

"In the Palais Royal."

"Well, bring it there," replied Fouche.

The same evening that it was brought there, Schumacher was arrested by a
police commissary, his model packed up, and, with himself, put under the
care of two gendarmes, who carried them both to the other side of the
Rhine. Here the Elector of Baden gave him some money to return to his
home, near Aschaffenburg, where he has since exposed for money the model
of a grand tomb for a little man. I have just heard that one of your
countrymen has purchased it for one hundred and fifty louis d'or.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--Those who only are informed of the pageantry of our Court, of
the expenses of our courtiers, of the profusion of our Emperor, and of
the immense wealth of his family and favourites, may easily be led to
believe that France is one of the happiest and moat prosperous countries
in Europe. But for those who walk in our streets, who visit our
hospitals, who count the number of beggars and of suicides, of orphans
and of criminals, of prisoners and of executioners, it is a painful
necessity to reverse the picture, and to avow that nowhere,
comparatively, can there be found so much collective misery. And it is
not here, as in other States, that these unfortunate, reduced, or guilty
are persons of the lowest classes of society; on the contrary, many, and,
I fear, the far greater part, appertain to the ci-devant privileged
classes, descended from ancestors noble, respectable, and wealthy, but
who by the Revolution have been degraded to misery or infamy, and perhaps
to both.

When you stop but for a moment in our streets to look at something
exposed for sale in a shop-window, or for any other cause of curiosity or
want, persons of both sexes, decently dressed, approach you, and whisper
to you: "Monsieur, bestow your charity on the Marquis, or Marquise--on
the Baron or Baroness, such a one, ruined by the Revolution;" and you
sometimes hear names on which history has shed so brilliant a lustre
that, while you contemplate the deplorable reverses of human greatness,
you are not a little surprised to find that it is in your power to
relieve with a trifle the wants of the grandson of an illustrious
warrior, before whom nations trembled, or of the granddaughter of that
eminent statesman who often had in his hands the destiny of Empires. Some
few solitary walks, incognito, by Bonaparte, in the streets of his
capital, would perhaps be the best preservative against unbounded
ambition and confident success that philosophy could present to unfeeling

Some author has written that "want is the parent of industry, and
wretchedness the mother of ingenuity." I know that you have often
approved and rewarded the ingenious productions of my emigrated
countrymen in England; but here their labours and their endeavours are
disregarded; and if they cannot or will not produce anything to flatter
the pride or appetite of the powerful or rich upstarts, they have no
other choice left but beggary or crime, meanness or suicide. How many
have I heard repent of ever returning to a country where they have no
expectation of justice in their claims, no hope of relief in their
necessities, where death by hunger, or by their own hands, is the final
prospect of all their sufferings.

Many of our ballad-singers are disguised emigrants; and I know a
ci-devant Marquis who is, incognito, a groom to a contractor, the son of
his uncle's porter. Our old pedlars complain that their trade is ruined
by the Counts, by the Barons and Chevaliers who have monopolized all
their business. Those who pretend to more dignity, but who have in fact
less honesty, are employed in our billiard and gambling-houses. I have
seen two music-grinders, one of whom was formerly a captain of infantry,
and the other a Counsellor of Parliament. Every, day you may bestow your
penny or halfpenny on two veiled girls playing on the guitar or harp--the
one the daughter of a ci-devant Duke, and the other of a ci-devant
Marquis, a general under Louis XVI. They, are usually placed, the one on
the Boulevards, and the other in the Elysian Fields; each with an old
woman by her side, holding a begging-box in her hand. I am told one of
the women has been the nurse of one of those ladies. What a
recollection, if she thinks of the past, in contemplating the present!

On the day of Bonaparte's coronation, and a little before he set out with
his Pope and other splendid retinue, an old man was walking slowly on the
Quai de Voltaire, without saying a word, but a label was pinned to his
hat with this inscription: "I had sixty thousand livres rent--I am eighty
years of age, and I request alms." Many individuals, even some of
Bonaparte's soldiers, gave him their mite; but as soon as he was observed
he was seized by the police agents, and has not since been heard of. I am
told his name is De la Roche, a ci-devant Chevalier de St. Louis, whose
property was sold in 1793 as belonging to an emigrant, though at the time
he was shut up here as a prisoner, suspected of aristocracy. He has since
for some years been a water-carrier; but his strength failing, he
supported himself lately entirely by begging. The value of the dress of
one of Bonaparte's running footmen might have been sufficient to relieve
him for the probably short remainder of his days. But it is more easy and
agreeable in this country to bury undeserved want in dungeons than to
renounce unnecessary and useless show to relieve it. In the evening the
remembrance of these sixty thousand livres of the poor Chevalier deprived
me of all pleasure in beholding the sixty thousand lamps decorating and
illuminating Bonaparte's palace of the Tuileries.

Some of the emigrants, whose strength of body age has not impaired, or
whose vigour of mind misfortunes have not depressed, are now serving as
officers or soldiers under the Emperor of the French, after having for
years fought in vain for the cause of a King of France in the brave army
of Conde. Several are even doing duty in Bonaparte's household troops,
where I know one who is a captain, and who, for distinguishing himself in
combating the republicans, received the Order of St. Louis, but is now
made a knight of Napoleon's Republican Order, the Legion of Honour, for
bowing gracefully to Her Imperial Majesty the Empress. As he is a man of
real honour, this favour is not quite in its place; but I am convinced
that should one day an opportunity present itself, he will not miss it,
but prove that he has never been misplaced. Another emigrant who, after
being a page to the Duc d'Angouleme, made four campaigns as an officer of
the Uhlans in the service of the Emperor of Germany, and was rewarded
with the Military Order of Maria Theresa, is now a knight of the Legion
of Honour, and an officer of the Mamelukes of the Emperor of the French.
Four more emigrants have engaged themselves in the same corps as common
Mamelukes, after being for seven years volunteers in the legion of
Mirabeau, under the Prince de Conde. It were to be wished that the whole
of this favourite corps were composed of returned emigrants. I am sure
they would never betray the confidence of Napoleon, but they would also
never swear allegiance to another Bonaparte.

While the humbled remnants of one sex of the ci-devant privileged classes
are thus or worse employed, many persons of the other sex have preferred
domestic servitude to courtly splendour, and are chambermaids or
governesses, when they might have been Maids of Honour or
ladies-in-waiting. Mademoiselle de R------, daughter of Marquis de
R------, was offered a place as a Maid of Honour to Princesse Murat,
which she declined, but accepted at the same time the offer of being a
companion of the rich Madame Moulin, whose husband is a ci-devant valet
of Comte de Brienne. Her father and brother suffered for this choice and
preference, which highly offended Bonaparte, who ordered them both to be
transported to Guadeloupe, under pretence that the latter had said in a
coffee-house that his sister would rather have been the housemaid of the
wife of a ci-devant valet, than the friend of the wife of a ci-devant
assassin and Septembrizer. It was only by a valuable present to Madame
Bonaparte from Madame Moulin, that Mademoiselle de B----- was not
included in the act of proscription against her father and brother.

I am sorry to say that returned emigrants have also been arrested for
frauds and debts, and even tried and convicted of crimes. But they are
proportionally few, compared with those who, without support, and perhaps
without hope, and from want of resignation and submission to the will of
Providence, have, in despair, had recourse to the pistol or dagger, or in
the River Seine buried their remembrance both of what they have been and
of what they were. The suicides of the vicious capital are reckoned upon
an average to amount to one hundred in the month; and for these last
three years, one-tenth, at least, have been emigrants of both sexes!


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--Nobody here, except his courtiers, denies that Bonaparte is
vain, cruel, and ambitious; but as to his private, personal, or domestic
vices, opinions are various, and even opposite. Most persons, who have
long known him, assert that women are his aversion; and many anecdotes
have been told of his unnatural and horrid propensities. On the other
hand, his seeming attachment to his wife is contradictory to these
rumours, which certainly are exaggerated. It is true, indeed, that it
was to oblige Barras, and to obtain her fortune, that he accepted of her
hand ten years ago; though insinuating, she was far from being handsome,
and had long passed the period of inspiring love by her charms. Her
husband's conduct towards her may, therefore, be construed, perhaps, into
a proof of indifference towards the whole sex as much as into an evidence
of his affection towards her. As he knew who she was when he received
her from the chaste arms of Barras, and is not unacquainted with her
subsequent intrigues particularly during his stay in Egypt--policy may
influence a behaviour which has some resemblance to esteem. He may
choose to live with her, but it is impossible he can love her.

A lady, very intimate with Princesse Louis Bonaparte, has assured me
that, had it not been for Napoleon's singular inclination for his
youthful stepdaughter, he would have divorced his wife the first year of
his consulate, and that indirect proposals on that subject had already
been made her by Talleyrand. It was then reported that Bonaparte had his
eyes fixed upon a Russian Princess, and that from the friendship which
the late Emperor Paul professed for him, no obstacles to the match were
expected to be encountered at St. Petersburg. The untimely end of this
Prince, and the supplications of his wife and daughter, have since
altered his intent, and Madame Napoleon and her children are now, if I
may use the expression, incorporated and naturalized with the Bonaparte

But what has lately occurred here will better serve to show that
Bonaparte is neither averse nor indifferent to the sex. You read last
summer in the public prints of the then Minister of the Interior
(Chaptal) being made a Senator; and that he was succeeded by our
Ambassador at Vienna Champagny. This promotion was the consequence of a
disgrace, occasioned by his jealousy of his mistress, a popular actress,
Mademoiselle George, one of the handsomest women of this capital. He was
informed by his spies that this lady frequently, in the dusk of the
evening, or when she thought him employed in his office, went to the
house of a famous milliner in the Rue St. Honor, where, through a door in
an adjoining passage, a person, who carefully avoided showing his face,
always entered immediately before or after her, and remained as long as
she continued there. The house was then by his orders beset with spies,
who were to inform him the next time she went to the milliner. To be
near at hand, he had hired an apartment in the neighbourhood, where the
very next day her visit to the milliner's was announced to him. While
his secretary, with four other persons, entered the milliner's house
through the street door, Chaptal, with four of his spies, forced the door
of the passage open, which was no sooner done than the disguised gallant
was found, and threatened in the most rude manner by the Minister and his
companions. He would have been still worse used had not the unexpected
appearance of Duroc and a whisper to Chaptal put a stop to the fury of
this enraged lover. The incognito is said to have been Bonaparte
himself, who, the same evening, deprived Chaptal of his ministerial
portfolio, and would have sent him to Cayenne, instead of to the Senate,
had not Duroc dissuaded his Sovereign from giving an eclat to an affair
which it, would be best to bury in oblivion.

Chaptal has never from that day approached Mademoiselle George, and,
according to report, Napoleon has also renounced this conquest in favour
of Duroc, who is at least her nominal gallant. The quantity of jewels
with which she has recently been decorated, and displayed with so much
ostentation in the new tragedy, 'The Templars', indicate, however, a
Sovereign rather than a subject for a lover. And, indeed, she already
treats the directors of the theatre, her comrades, and even the public,
more as a real than a theatrical Princess. Without any cause whatever,
but from a mere caprice to see the camp on the coast, she set out,
without leave of absence, and without any previous notice, on the very
day she was to play; and this popular and interesting tragedy was put off
for three weeks, until she chose to return to her duty.

When complaint was made to the prefects of the palace, now the governors
of our theatres, Duroc said that the orders of the Emperor were that no
notice should be taken of this 'etourderie', which should not occur

Chaptal was, before the Revolution, a bankrupt chemist at Montpellier,
having ruined himself in search after the philosopher's stone. To
persons in such circumstances, with great presumption, some talents, but
no principles, the Revolution could not, with all its anarchy, confusion,
and crime, but be a real blessing, as Chaptal called it in his first
speech at the Jacobin Club. Wishing to mimic, at Montpellier, the taking
of the Bastille at Paris, he, in May, 1790, seduced the lower classes and
the suburbs to an insurrection, and to an attack on the citadel, which
the governor, to avoid all effusion of blood, surrendered without
resistance. He was denounced by the municipality to the National
Assembly, for these and other plots and attempts, but Robespierre and
other Jacobins defended him, and he escaped even imprisonment. During
1793 and 1794, he monopolized the contract for making and providing the
armies with gunpowder; a favour for which he paid Barrere, Carnot, and
other members of the Committee of Public Safety, six millions of
livres--but by which he pocketed thirty-six millions of livres--himself.
He was, under the Directory, menaced with a prosecution for his pillage,
but bought it off by a douceur to Rewbel, Barras, and Siyes. In 1799, he
advanced Bonaparte twelve millions of livres--to bribe adherents for the
new Revolution he meditated, and was, in recompense, instead of interest,
appointed first Counsellor of State; and when Lucien Bonaparte, in
September, 1800, was sent on an embassy to Spain, Chaptal succeeded him
in the Ministry of the Interior. You may see by this short account that
the chemist Chaptal has, in the Revolution, found the true philosophical
stone. He now lives in great style, and has, besides three wives alive
(from two of whom he has been divorced), five mistresses, with each a
separate establishment. This Chaptal is regarded here as the most moral
character that has figured in our Revolution, having yet neither
committed a single murder nor headed any of our massacres.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--I have read a copy of a letter from Madrid, circulated among
the members of our foreign diplomatic corps, which draws a most
deplorable picture of the Court and Kingdom of Spain. Forced into an
unprofitable and expensive war, famine ravaging some, and disease other
provinces, experiencing from allies the treatment of tyrannical foes,
disunion in his family and among his Ministers, His Spanish Majesty
totters on a throne exposed to the combined attacks of internal
disaffection and external plots, with no other support than the advice of
a favourite, who is either a fool or a traitor, and perhaps both.

As the Spanish monarchy has been more humbled and reduced during the
twelve years' administration of the Prince of Peace than during the whole
period that it has been governed by Princes of the House of Bourbon, the
heir of the throne, the young Prince of Asturias, has, with all the
moderation consistent with duty, rank, and consanguinity, tried to remove
an upstart, universally despised for his immorality as, well as for his
incapacity; and who, should he continue some years longer to rule in the
name of Charles IV., will certainly involve his King and his country in
one common ruin. Ignorant and presumptuous, even beyond upstarts in
general, the Prince of Peace treats with insolence all persons raised
above him by birth or talents, who refuse to be his accomplices or
valets. Proud and certain of the protection of the Queen, and of the
weakness of the King, the Spanish nobility is not only humbled, provoked,
and wronged by him, but openly defied and insulted.

You know the nice principles of honour and loyalty that have always
formerly distinguished the ancient families of Spain. Believe me that,
notwithstanding what appearances indicate to the contrary, the Spanish
grandee who ordered his house to be pulled down because the rebel
constable had slept in it, has still many descendants, but loyal men
always decline to use that violence to which rebels always resort. Soon
after the marriage of the Prince of Asturias, in October, 1801, to his
cousin, the amiable Maria Theresa, Princess Royal of Naples, the ancient
Spanish families sent some deputies to Their Royal Highnesses, not for
the purpose of intriguing, but to lay before them the situation of the
kingdom, and to inform them of the real cause of all disasters. They
were received as faithful subjects and true patriots, and Their Royal
Highnesses promised every support in their power towards remedying the
evil complained of, and preventing, if possible, the growth of others.

The Princess of Asturias is a worthy granddaughter of Maria Theresa of
Austria, and seems to inherit her character as well as her virtues. She
agreed with her royal consort that, after having gained the affection of
the Queen by degrees, it would be advisable for her to insinuate some
hints of the danger that threatened their country and the discontent that
agitated the people. The Prince of Asturias was to act the same part
with his father as the Princess did with his mother. As there is no one
about the person of Their Spanish Majesties, from the highest lord to the
lowest servant, who is not placed there by the favourite, and act as his
spies, he was soon aware that he had no friend in the heir to the throne.
His conversation with Their Majesties confirmed him in this supposition,
and that some secret measures were going on to deprive him of the place
he occupied, if not of the royal favour. All visitors to the Prince and
Princess of Asturias were, therefore, watched by his emissaries; and all
the letters or memorials sent to them by the post were opened, read, and;
if contrary to his interest, destroyed, and their writers imprisoned in
Spain or banished to the colonies. These measures of injustice created
suspicion, disunion, and, perhaps, fear, among the members of the
Asturian cabal, as it was called; all farther pursuit, therefore, was
deferred until more propitious times, and the Prince of Peace remained
undisturbed and in perfect security until the rupture with your country
last autumn.

It is to be lamented that, with all their valuable qualities and feelings
of patriotism, the Prince and Princess of Asturias do not possess a
little dissimulation and more knowledge of the world. The favourite
tried by all means to gain their good opinion, but his advances met with
that repulse they morally deserved, but which, from policy, should have
been suspended or softened, with the hope of future accommodation.

Beurnonville, the Ambassador of our Court to the Court of Madrid, was
here upon leave of absence when war was declared by Spain against your
country, and his first secretary, Herman, acted as charge d'affaires.
This Herman has been brought up in Talleyrand's office, and is both abler
and more artful than Beurnonville; he possesses also the full confidence
of our Minister, who, in several secret and pecuniary transactions, has
obtained many proofs of this secretary's fidelity as well as capacity.
The views of the Cabinet of St. Cloud were, therefore, not lost sight of,
nor its interest neglected at Madrid.

I suppose you have heard that the Prince of Peace, like all other
ignorant and illiberal people, believes no one can be a good or clever
man who is not also his countryman, and that all the ability and probity
of the world is confined within the limits of Spain. On this principle
he equally detests France and England, Germany and Russia, and is,
therefore, not much liked by our Government, except for his imbecility,
which makes him its tool and dupe. His disgrace would not be much
regretted here, where we have it in our power to place or displace
Ministers in certain States, whenever and as often as we like. On this
occasion, however, we supported him, and helped to dissolve the cabal
formed against him; and that for the following reasons:

By the assurances of Beurnonville, Bonaparte and Talleyrand had been led
to believe that the Prince and Princess of Asturias were well affected to
France, and to them personally; and conceiving themselves much more
certain of this than of the good disposition of the favourite, though
they did not take a direct part against him, at the same time they did
not disclose what they knew was determined on to remove him from the helm
of affairs. During Beurnonville's absence, however, Herman had formed an
intrigue with a Neapolitan girl, in the suite of Asturias, who,
influenced by love or bribes, introduced him into the Cabinet where her
mistress kept her correspondence with her royal parents. With a
pick-lock key he opened all the drawers, and even the writing-desk, in
which he is said to have discovered written evidence that, though the
Princess was not prejudiced against France, she had but an indifferent
opinion of the morality and honesty of our present Government and of our
present governors. One of these original papers Herman appropriated to
himself, and despatched to this capital by an extraordinary courier,
whose despatches, more than the rupture with your country, forced

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