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Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud, entire by Stewarton, a Gentleman at Paris, to a Nobleman in London

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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 Beurnonville
away in a hurry from the agreeable society of gamesters and prostitutes,
chiefly frequented by him in this capital.

It is not and cannot be known yet what was the exact plan of the Prince
and Princess of Asturias and their adherents; but a diplomatic gentleman,
who has just arrived from Madrid, and who can have no reason to impose
upon me, has informed me of the following particulars:

Their Royal Highnesses succeeded perfectly in their endeavours to gain
the well-merited tenderness and approbation of their Sovereigns in
everything else but when the favourite was mentioned with any slight,
or when any insinuations were thrown out concerning the mischief arising
from his tenacity of power, and incapacity of exercising it with
advantage to the State. The Queen was especially irritated when such was
the subject of conversation or of remark; and she finally prohibited it
under pain of her displeasure. A report even reached Their Royal
Highnesses, that the Prince of Peace had demanded their separation and
separate confinement. Nothing could, therefore, be effected to impede
the progress of wickedness and calamity, but by some temporary measure of
severity. In this disagreeable dilemma, it was resolved by the cabal to
send the Queen to a convent, until her favourite had been arrested and
imprisoned; to declare the Prince of Asturias Regent during the King's
illness (His Majesty then still suffered from several paralytic strokes),
and to place men of talents and patriotism in the place of the creatures
of the Prince of Peace. As soon as this revolution was organized, the
Queen would have been restored to full liberty and to that respect due to
her rank.

This plan had been communicated to our Ambassador, and approved of by our
Government; but when Herman in such an honest manner had inspected the
confidential correspondence of the Princess of Asturias, Beurnonville was
instructed by Talleyrand to, warn the favourite of the impending danger,
and to advise him to be beforehand with his enemies. Instead of telling
the truth, the Prince of Peace alarmed the King and Queen with the most
absurd fabrications; and assured Their Majesties that their son and their
daughter-in-law had determined not only to dethrone them, but to keep
them prisoners for life, after they had been forced to witness his

Indolence and weakness are often more fearful than guilt. Everything he
said was at once believed; the Prince and Princess were ordered under
arrest in their own apartments, without permission to see or correspond
with anybody; and so certain was the Prince of Peace of a complete and
satisfactory revenge for the attempt against his tyranny, that a frigate
at Cadiz was ready waiting to carry the Princess of Asturias back to
Naples. All Spaniards who had the honour of their Sovereigns and of
their country at heart lamented these rash proceedings; but no one dared
to take any measures to counteract them. At last, however, the Duke of
Montemar, grand officer to the Prince of Asturias, demanded an audience
of Their Majesties, in the presence of the favourite. He began by
begging his Sovereign to recollect that for the place he occupied he was
indebted to the Prince of Peace; and he called upon him to declare
whether he had ever had reason to suspect him either of ingratitude or
disloyalty. Being answered in the negative, he said that, though his
present situation and office near the heir to the throne was the pride
and desire of his life, he would have thrown it up the instant that he
had the least ground to suppose that this Prince ceased to be a dutiful
son and subject; but so far from this being the case, he had observed him
in his most unguarded moments--in moments of conviviality had heard him
speak of his royal parents with as much submission and respect as if he
had been in their presence. "If," continued he, "the Prince of Peace has
said otherwise, he has misled his King and his Queen, being, no doubt,
deceived himself. To overthrow a throne and to seize it cannot be done
without accomplices, without arms, without money. Who are the
conspirators hailing the Prince as their chief? I have heard no name but
that of the lovely Princess, his consort, the partaker of his sentiments
as well as of his heart. And his arms? They are in the hands of those
guards his royal parent has given to augment the necessary splendour of
his rank. And as to his money? He has none but what is received from
royal and paternal munificence and bounty. You, my Prince," said he to
the favourite (who seemed much offended at the impression the speech made
on Their Majesties), "will one day thank me, if I am happy enough to
dissuade dishonourable, impolitic, or unjust sentiments. Of the
approbation of posterity I am certain--"

"If," interrupted the favourite, "the Prince of Asturias and his consort
will give up their bad counsellors, I hope Their Majesties will forget
and forgive everything with myself."

"Whether Their Royal Highnesses," replied the Duke of Montemar, "have
done anything that deserves forgiveness, or whether they have any
counsellors, I do not know, and am incompetent to judge; but I am much
mistaken in the character of Their Royal Highnesses if they wish to
purchase favour at the expense of confidence and honour. An order from
His Majesty may immediately clear up this doubt."

The Prince of Peace was then ordered to write, in the name of the King,
to his children in the manner he proposed, and to command an answer by
the messenger. In half an hour the messenger returned with a letter
addressed to the favourite, containing only these lines:

"A King of Spain is well aware that a Prince and Princess of Asturias can
have no answer to give to such proposals or to such questions."

After six days' arrest, and after the Prince of Peace had in vain
endeavoured to discover something to inculpate Their Royal Highnesses,
they were invited to Court, and reconciled both to him and their royal


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--I will add in this letter, to the communication of the
gentlemen mentioned in my last, what I remember myself of the letter
which was circulated among our diplomatists, concerning the intrigues at

The Prince of Peace, before he listened to the advice of Duke of
Montemar, had consulted Beurnonville, who dissuaded all violence, and as
much as possible all noise. This accounts for the favourite's pretended
moderation on this occasion. But though he was externally reconciled,
and, as was reported at Madrid, had sworn his reconciliation even by
taking the sacrament, all the undertakings of the Prince and Princess of
Asturias were strictly observed and reported by the spies whom he had
placed round Their Royal Highnesses. Vain of his success and victory, he
even lost that respectful demeanour which a good, nay, a well-bred
subject always shows to the heir to the throne, and the Princes related
to his Sovereign. He sometimes behaved with a premeditated familiarity,
and with an insolence provoking or defying resentment. It was on the
days of great festivities, when the Court was most brilliant, and the
courtiers most numerous, that he took occasion to be most arrogant to
those whom he traitorously and audaciously dared to call his rivals. On
the 9th of last December, at the celebration of the Queen's birthday, his
conduct towards Their Royal Highnesses excited such general indignation
that the remembrance of the occasion of the fete, and the presence of
their Sovereigns, could not repress a murmur, which made the favourite
tremble. A signal from the Prince of Asturias would then have been
sufficient to have caused the insolent upstart to be seized and thrown
out of the window. I am told that some of the Spanish grandees even laid
their hands on their swords, fixing their eyes on the heir to the throne,
as if to say: "Command, and your unworthy enemy shall exist no more."

To prepare, perhaps, the royal and paternal mind for deeds which
contemporaries always condemn, and posterity will always reprobate, the
Prince of Peace procured a history to be written in his own way and
manner, of Don Carlos, the unfortunate son of the barbarous and unnatural
Philip II.; but the Queen's confessor, though, like all her other
domestics, a tool of the favourite, threw it into the fire with reproof,
saying that Spain did not remember in Philip II. the grand and powerful
Monarch, but abhorred in him the royal assassin; adding that no laws,
human or divine, no institutions, no supremacy whatever, could authorize
a parent to stain his hands in the blood of his children. These
anecdotes are sufficient both to elucidate the inveteracy of the
favourite, the abject state of the heir to the throne, and the
incomprehensible infatuation of the King and Queen.

Our Ambassador, in the meantime, dissembled always with the Prince and
Princess of Asturias; and even made them understand that he disapproved
of those occurrences so disagreeable to them; but he neither offered to
put an end to them nor to be a mediator for a perfect reconciliation with
their Sovereigns. He was guided by no other motive but to keep the
favourite in subjection and alarm by preserving a correspondence with his
rivals. That this was the case and the motive cannot be doubted from the
financial intrigue he carried on in the beginning of last month.

Foreigners have but an imperfect or erroneous idea of the amount of the
immense sums Spain has paid to our Government in loans, in contributions,
in donations, and in subsidies. Since the reign of Bonaparte, or for
these last five years, upwards of half the revenue of the Spanish
monarchy has either been brought into our National Treasury or into the
privy purse of the Bonaparte family. Without the aid of Spanish money,
neither would our gunboats have been built, our fleets equipped, nor our
armies paid. The dreadful situation of the Spanish finances is,
therefore, not surprising--it is, indeed, still more surprising that a
general bankruptcy has not already involved the Spanish nation in a
general ruin.

When, on his return from Italy, the recall of the Russian negotiator and
the preparations of Austria convinced Bonaparte of the probability of a
Continental war, our troops on the coast had not been paid for two
months, and his Imperial Ministers of Finances had no funds either to
discharge the arrears or to provide for future payments until the
beginning of the year 14, or the 22d instant. Beurnonville was,
therefore, ordered to demand peremptorily from the Cabinet of Madrid
forty millions of livres--in advance upon future subsidies. Half of that
sum had, indeed, shortly before arrived at Cadiz from America, but much
more was due by the Spanish Government to its own creditors, and promised
them in payment of old debts. The Prince of Peace, in consequence,
declared that, however much he wished to oblige the French Government,
it was utterly impossible to procure, much less to advance such sums.
Beurnonville then became more assiduous than ever about the Prince and
Princess of Asturias; and he had the impudence to assert that they had
promised, if their friends were at the head of affairs, to satisfy the
wishes and expectation of the Emperor of the French, by seizing the
treasury at Cadiz, and paying the State creditors in vales deinero; notes
hitherto payable in cash, and never at a discount. The stupid favourite
swallowed the palpable bait; four millions in dollars were sent under an
escort to this country, while the Spanish notes instantly fell to a
discount at first of four and afterwards of six per cent., and probably
will fall lower still, as no treasures are expected from America this
autumn. It was with two millions of these dollars that the credit of the
Bank of France was restored, or at least for some time enabled to resume
its payments in specie. Thus wretched Spain pays abroad for the forging
of those disgraceful fetters which oppress her at home; and supports a
foreign tyranny, which finally must produce domestic misery as well as

When the Prince and Princess of Asturias were informed of the scandalous
and false assertion of Beurnonville, they and their adherents not only
publicly, and in all societies, contradicted it, but affirmed that,
rather than obtain authority or influence on such ruinous terms, they
would have consented to remain discarded and neglected during their
lives. They took the more care to have their sentiments known on this
subject, as our Ambassador's calumny had hurt their popularity. It was
then first that, to revenge the shame with which his duplicity had
covered him, Beurnonville permitted and persuaded the Prince of Peace to
begin the chastisement of Their Royal Highnesses in the persons of their
favourites. Duke of Montemar, the grand officer to the Prince of
Asturias; Marquis of Villa Franca, the grand equerry to the Princess of
Asturias; Count of Miranda, chamberlain to the King; and the Countess
Dowager del Monte, with six other Court ladies and four other noblemen,
were, therefore, exiled from Madrid into different provinces, and
forbidden to reside in any place within twenty leagues of the residence
of the royal family. According to the last letters and communications
from Spain, the Prince and Princess of Asturias had not appeared at Court
since the insult offered them in the disgrace of their friends, and were
resolved not to appear in any place where they might be likely to meet
with the favourite.

Among our best informed politicians here, it is expected that a
revolution and a change of dynasty will be the issue of this our
political embryo in Spain. Napoleon has more than once indirectly hinted
that the Bonaparte dynasty will never be firm and fixed in France as long
as any Bourbons reign in Spain or Italy. Should he prove victorious in
the present Continental contest, another peace, and not the most
advantageous, will again be signed with your country--a peace which, I
fear, will leave him absolute master of all Continental States. His
family arrangements are publicly avowed to be as follow: His third
brother, Louis, and his sons, are to be the heirs of the French Empire.
Joseph Bonaparte is, at the death or resignation of Napoleon, to succeed
to the Kingdom of Italy, including Naples. Lucien, though at present in
disgrace, is considered as the person destined to supplant the Bourbons
in Spain, where, during his embassy in 1800, and in 1801, he formed
certain connections which Napoleon still keeps up and preserves. Holland
will be the inheritance of Jerome should Napoleon not live long enough to
extend his power in Great Britain. Such are the modest pretensions our
Imperial courtiers bestow upon the family of our Sovereign.

As to the Prince of Peace, he is only an imbecile instrument in the hands
of our intriguers and innovators, which they make use of as long as they
find it necessary, and which, when that ceases to be the case, they break
and throw away. This idiot is made to believe that both his political
and physical existence depends entirely upon our support, and he has
infused the same ridiculous notion into his accomplices and adherents.
Guilt, ignorance, and cowardice thus misled may, directed by art,
interest, and craft, perform wonders to entangle themselves in the
destruction of their country.

Beurnonville, our present Ambassador at Madrid, is the son of a porter,
and was a porter himself when, in 1770, he enlisted as a soldier in one
of our regiments serving in the East Indies. Having there collected some
pillage, he purchased the place of a major in the militia of the Island
of Bourbon, but was, for his immorality, broken by the governor.
Returning to France, he bitterly complained of this injustice, and, after
much cringing in the antechambers of Ministers, he obtained at last the
Cross of St. Louis as a kind of indemnity. About the same time he also
bought with his Indian wealth the place of an officer in the Swiss Guard
of Monsieur, the present Louis XVIII. Being refused admittance into any
genteel societies, he resorted with Barras and other disgraced nobles to
gambling-houses, and he even kept to himself when the Revolution took
place. He had at the same time, and for a certain interest, advanced
Madame d'Estainville money to establish her famous, or rather infamous,
house in the Rue de Bonnes Enfants, near the Palais Royal,--a house that
soon became the fashionable resort of our friends of Liberty and

In 1790, Beurnonville offered his services as aide-de-camp to our then
hero of great ambition and small capacity, La Fayette, who declined the
honour. The Jacobins were not so nice. In 1792, they appointed him a
general under Dumouriez, who baptized him his Ajax. This modern Ajax,
having obtained a separate command, attacked Treves in a most ignorant
manner, and was worsted with great loss. The official reports of our
revolutionary generals have long been admired for their modesty as well
as veracity; but Beurnonville has almost outdone them all, not excepting
our great Bonaparte. In a report to the National Convention concerning a
terrible engagement of three hours near Grewenmacker, Beurnonville
declares that, though the number of the enemy killed was immense, his
troops got out of the scrape with the loss of only the little finger of
one of his riflemen. On the 4th of February, 1793, a fortnight after the
execution of Louis XVI., he was nominated Minister of the War Department-
a place which he refused, under a pretence that he was better able to
serve his country with his sword than with his pen, having already been
in one hundred and twenty battles (where, he did not enumerate or state).
On the 14th of the following March, however, he accepted the ministerial
portfolio, which he did not keep long, being delivered up by his Hector,
Dumouriez, to the Austrians. He remained a prisoner at Olmutz until the
22d of November, 1795, when he was included among the persons exchanged
for the daughter of Louis XVI., Her present Royal Highness, the Duchess
of Angouleme.

In the autumn of 1796 he had a temporary, command of the dispersed
remnants of Jourdan's army,, and in 1797 he was sent as a French
commander to Holland. In 1799, Bonaparte appointed him an Ambassador to
the Court of Berlin; and in 1803 removed him in the same character to the
Court of Madrid. In Prussia, his talents did not cause him to be
dreaded, nor his personal qualities make him esteemed. In France, he is
laughed at as a boaster, but not trusted as a warrior. In Spain, he is
neither dreaded nor esteemed, neither laughed at nor courted; he is there
universally despised. He studies to be thought a gentleman; but the
native porter breaks through the veil of a ridiculously affected and
outre politeness. Notwithstanding the complacent grimaces of his face,
the self-sufficiency of his looks, his systematically powdered and
dressed hair, his showy dress, his counted and short bows, and his
presumptuous conversation, teeming with ignorance, vulgarity, and
obscenity, he cannot escape even the most inattentive observer.

The Ambassador, Beurnonville, is now between fifty and sixty years of
age; is a grand officer of our Imperial Legion of Honour; has a brother
who is a turnkey, and two sisters, one married to a tailor, and another
to a merchant who cries dogs' and cats' meat in our streets.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--Bonaparte did not at first intend to take his wife with him
when he set out for Strasburg; but her tears, the effect of her
tenderness and apprehension for his person, at last altered his
resolution. Madame Napoleon, to tell the truth, does not like much to be
in the power of Joseph, nor even in that of her son-in-law, Louis
Bonaparte, should any accident make her a widow.

During the Emperor's absence, the former is the President of the Senate,
and the latter the Governor of this capital, and commander of the troops
in the interior; so that the one dictates the Senatus Consultum, in case
of a vacancy of the throne, and the other supports these civil
determinations with his military forces. Even with the army in Germany,
Napoleon's brother-in-law, Murat, is as a pillar of the Bonaparte
dynasty, and to prevent the intrigues and plots of other generals from an
Imperial diadem; while, in Italy, his step-son, Eugene de Beauharnais, as
a viceroy, commands even the commander-in-chief, Massena. It must be
granted that the Emperor has so ably taken his precautions that it is
almost certain that, at first, his orders will be obeyed, even after his
death; and the will deposited by him in the Senate, without opposition,
carried into execution. These very precautions evince, however, how
uncertain and precarious he considers his existence to be, and that,
notwithstanding addresses and oaths, he apprehends that the Bonaparte
dynasty will not survive him.

Most of the generals now employed by him are either of his own creation,
or men on whom he has conferred rank and wealth, which they might
consider unsafe under any other Prince but a Bonaparte. The superior
officers, not included in the above description, are such insignificant
characters that, though he makes use of their experience and courage, he
does not fear their views or ambition. Among the inferior officers, and
even among the men, all those who have displayed, either at reviews or in
battles, capacity, activity, or valour, are all members of his Legion of
Honour; and are bound to him by the double tie of gratitude and self-
interest. They look to him alone for future advancements, and for the
preservation of the distinction they have obtained from him. His
emissaries artfully disseminate that a Bourbon would inevitably overthrow
everything a Bonaparte has erected; and that all military and civil
officers rewarded or favoured by Napoleon the First will not only be
discarded, but disgraced, and perhaps punished, by a Louis XVIII. Any
person who would be imprudent enough to attempt to prove the
impossibility, as well as the absurdity, of these impolitic and
retrospective measures, would be instantly taken up and shot as an
emissary of the Bourbons.

I have often amused myself in conversing with our new generals and new
officers; there is such a curious mixture of ignorance and information,
of credulity and disbelief, of real boasting and affected modesty, in
everything they say or do in company; their manners are far from being
elegant, but also very distant from vulgarity; they do not resemble those
of what we formerly called 'gens comme il faut', and 'la bonne societe'!
nor those of the bourgeoisie, or the lower classes. They form a new
species of fashionables, and a 'haut ton militaire', which strikes a
person accustomed to Courts at first with surprise, and perhaps with
indignation; though, after a time, those of our sex, at last, become
reconciled, if not pleased with it, because there is a kind of military
frankness interwoven with the military roughness. Our ladies, however
(I mean those who have seen other Courts, or remember our other
coteries), complain loudly of this alteration of address, and of this
fashionable innovation; and pretend that our military, under the notion
of being frank, are rude, and by the negligence of their manners and
language, are not only offensive, but inattentive and indelicate. This
is so much the more provoking to them, as our Imperial courtiers and
Imperial placemen do not think themselves fashionable without imitating
our military gentry, who take Napoleon for their exclusive model and
chief in everything, even in manners.

What I have said above applies only to those officers whose parents are
not of the lowest class, or who entered so early or so young into the
army that they may be said to have been educated there, and as they
advanced, have assumed the 'ton' of their comrades of the same rank.
I was invited, some time ago, to a wedding, by a jeweller whose sister
had been my nurse, and whose daughter was to be married to a captain of
hussars quartered here. The bridegroom had engaged several other
officers to assist at the ceremony, and to partake of the fete and ball
that followed. A general of the name of Liebeau was also of the party,
and obtained the place of honour by the side of the bride's mother. At
his entrance into the apartment I formed an opinion of him which his
subsequent conduct during the ball confirmed.

During the dinner he seemed to forget that he had a knife and a fork,
and he did not eat of a dish (and he ate of them all, numerous as they
were) without bespattering or besmearing himself or his neighbours. He
broke two glasses and one plate, and, for equality's sake, I suppose,
when he threw the wine on the lady to his right, the lady to his left was
inundated with sauces. In getting up from dinner to take coffee and
liqueurs, according to our custom, as he took the hand of the mistress of
the house, he seized at the same time a corner of the napkin, and was not
aware of his blunder till the destruction of bottles, glasses, and plate,
and the screams of the ladies, informed him of the havoc and terror his
awkward gallantry had occasioned. When the ball began, he was too vain
of his rank and precedency to suffer any one else to lead the bride down
the first dance; but she was not, I believe, much obliged to him for his
politeness; it cost her the tail of her wedding-gown and a broken nail,
and she continued lame during the remainder of the night. In making an
apology to her for his want of dexterity, and assuring her that he was
not so awkward in handling the enemies of his country in battle as in
handling friends he esteemed in a dance, he gave no quarter to an old
maid aunt, whom, in the violence of his gesticulation, he knocked down
with his elbow and laid sprawling on the ground. He was sober when these
accidents literally occurred.

Of this original I collected the following particulars: Before the
Revolution he was a soldier in the regiment of Flanders, from which he
deserted and became a corporal in another regiment; in 1793 he was a
drum-major in one of the battalions in garrison in Paris. You remember
the struggles of factions in the latter part of May and in the beginning
of June, the same year, when Brissot and his accomplices were contending
with Marat, Robespierre, and their adherents for the reins of power. On
the 1st of June the latter party could not get a drummer to beat the
alarm, though they offered money and advancement. At last Robespierre
stepped forward to Liebeau and said, "Citizen, beat the alarm march, and
to-day you shall be nominated a general." Liebeau obeyed, Robespierre
became victorious and kept his promise, and thus my present associate
gained his rank. He has since been employed under Jourdan in Germany,
and under Le Courbe in Switzerland. When, under the former, he was
ordered to retreat towards the Rhine, he pointed out the march route to
his division according to his geographical knowledge, but mistook upon
the map the River Main for a turnpike road, and commanded the retreat
accordingly. Ever since, our troops have called that river 'La chausee
de Liebeau'. He was not more fortunate in Helvetia. Being ordered to
cross one of the mountains, he marched his men into a glacier, where
twelve perished before he was aware of his mistake.

Being afterwards appointed a governor of Blois, he there became a petty,
insupportable tyrant, and laid all the inhabitants indiscriminately under
arbitrary contribution. Those who refused to pay were imprisoned as
aristocrats, and their property confiscated in the name and on the part
of the nation; that is to say, he appropriated to himself in the name of
the nation everything that struck his fancy; and if any complaints were
made, the owners were seized and sent to the Revolutionary Tribunal at
Paris to be condemned as the correspondents or adherents of the royalists
of La Vendee. After the death of Robespierre he was deprived of this
profitable place, in which, during the short space of eleven months, he
amassed five millions of livres. The Directory, then gave him a
division, first under Jourdan, and afterwards under Le Courbe.

Bonaparte, after witnessing his incapacity in Italy, in 1800, put him on
the full half-pay, and has lately made him a commander of the Legion of

His dear spouse, Madame Liebeau, is his counterpart. When he married
her, she was crying mackerel and herrings in our streets; but she told me
in confidence, during the dinner, being seated by my side, that her
father was an officer of fortune, and a Chevalier of the Order of St.
Louis. She assured me that her husband had done greater services to his
country than Bonaparte; and that, had it not been for his patriotism in
1793, the Austrians would have taken Paris. She was very angry with
Madame Napoleon, to whom she had been presented, but who had not shown
her so much attention and civility, as was due to her husband's rank,
having never invited her to more than one supper and two tea-parties; and
when invited by her, had sent Duroc with an apology that she was unable
to come, though the same evening she went to the opera.

Another guest, in the regimentals of a colonel, seemed rather bashful
when I spoke to him. I could not comprehend the reason, and therefore
inquired of our host who he was. (You know that with us it is not the
custom to introduce persons by name, etc., as in your country, when
meeting in mixed companies.) He answered:

"Do you not remember your brother's jockey, Prial?"

"Yes," said I, "but he was established by my brother as a hairdresser."

"He is the very same person," replied the jeweller. "He has fought very
bravely, and is now a colonel of dragoons, a great favourite with
Bonaparte, and will be a general at the first promotion."

As the colonel did not seem to desire a renewal of acquaintance with me,
I did not intrude myself upon him.

During the supper the military gentlemen were encouraged by the
bridegroom, and the bottle went round very freely; and the more they
drank, the greater and more violent became their political discussions.
Liebeau vociferated in favour of republican and revolutionary measures,
and avowed his approbation of requisitions, confiscations, and the
guillotine; while Frial inclined to the regular and organized despotism
of one, to secret trial, and still more secret executions; defending
arbitrary imprisonments, exiles, and transportations. This displeased
Madame Liebeau, who exclaimed:

"Since the colonel is so fond of an Imperial Government, he can have no
objection to remain a faithful subject whenever my husband, Liebeau,
becomes, an Antoine the First, Emperor of the French."

Frial smiled with contempt.

"You seem to think it improbable," said Liebeau. "I, Antoine Liebeau,
I have more prospect of being an Emperor than Napoleon Bonaparte had ten
years ago, when he was only a colonel, and was arrested as a terrorist.
And am I not a Frenchman? And is he not a foreigner? Come, shake hands
with me; as soon as I am Emperor, depend upon it you shall be a general,
and a grand officer of the Legion of Honour."

"Ah! my jewel," interrupted Madame Liebeau, "how happy will France then
be. You are such a friend of peace. We will then have no wars, no
contributions; all the English milords may then come here and spend their
money, nobody cares about where or how. Will you not, then, my sweet
love, make all the gentlemen here your chamberlains, and permit me to
accept all the ladies of the company for my Maids of Honour or ladies-in-

"Softly, softly," cried Frial, who now began to be as intoxicated and as
ambitious as the general; "whenever Napoleon dies, I have more hope,
more: claim, and more right than you to the throne. I am in actual
service; and had not Bonaparte been the same, he might have still
remained upon the half-pay, obscure and despised. Were not most of the
Field-marshals and generals under him now, above him ten years ago? May
I not, ten years hence, if I am satisfied with you, General Liebeau, make
you also a Field-marshal, or my Minister of War; and you, Madame Liebeau,
a lady of my wife's wardrobe, as soon as I am married? I, too, have my
plans and my views, and perhaps one day you will recollect this
conversation, and not be sorry for my acquaintance."

"What! you a colonel, an Emperor, before me, who have so long been a
general?" howled Liebeau, who was no longer able to speak. "I would
sooner knock your brains out with this bottle than suffer such a
precedence; and my wife a lady of your wardrobe! she who has possessed
from her birth the soul of an Empress! No, sir! never will I take the
oath to you, nor suffer anybody else to take it."

"Then I will punish you as a rebel," retorted Frial; "and as sure as you
stand here you shall be shot."

Liebeau then rose up to fetch his sword, but the company interfered, and
the dispute about the priority of claim to the throne of France between
the ci-devant drummer and ci-devant jockey was left undecided. From the
words and looks of several of the captains present, I think that they
seemed, in their own opinions, to have as much prospect and expectation
to reign over the French Empire as either General Liebeau or Colonel

As soon as I returned home I wrote down this curious conversation and
this debate about supremacy. To what a degradation is the highest rank
in my unfortunate country reduced when two such personages seriously
contend about it! I collected more subjects for meditation and
melancholy in this low company (where, by the bye, I witnessed more
vulgarity and more indecencies than I had before seen during my life)
than from all former scenes of humiliation and disgust since my return
here. When I the next day mentioned it to General de M------, whom you
have known as an emigrant officer in your service, but whom policy has
since ranged under the colours of Bonaparte, he assured me that these
discussions about the Imperial throne are very frequent among the
superior officers, and have caused many bloody scenes; and that hardly
any of our generals of any talent exist who have not the same 'arriere
pensee of some day or other. Napoleon cannot, therefore, well be
ignorant of the many other dynasties here now rivalling that of the
Bonapartes, and who wait only for his exit to tear his Senatus Consultum,
his will, and his family, as well as each other, to pieces.


Hero of great ambition and small capacity: La Fayette
Marble lives longer than man
Satisfying himself with keeping three mistresses only
Under the notion of being frank, are rude
Want is the parent of industry
With us, unfortunately, suspicion is the same as conviction


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



PARIS, September, 1805.

My LORD:--I was lately invited to a tea-party by one of our rich
upstarts, who, from a scavenger, is, by the Revolution and by Bonaparte,
transformed into a Legislator, Commander of the Legion of Honour, and
possessor of wealth amounting to eighteen millions of livres. In this
house I saw for the first time the famous Madame Chevalier, the mistress,
and the indirect cause of the untimely end, of the unfortunate Paul the
First. She is very short, fat, and coarse. I do not know whether
prejudice, from what I have heard of her vile, greedy, and immoral
character, influenced my feelings, but she appeared to me a most artful,
vain, and disagreeable woman. She looked to be about thirty-six years of
age; and though she might when younger have been well made, it is
impossible that she could ever have been handsome. The features of her
face are far from being regular. Her mouth is large, her eyes hollow,
and her nose short. Her language is that of brothels, and her manners
correspond with her expressions. She is the daughter of a workman at a
silk manufactory at Lyons; she ceased to be a maid before she had
attained the age of a woman, and lived in a brothel in her native city,
kept by a Madame Thibault, where her husband first became acquainted with
her. She then had a tolerably good voice, was young and insinuating,
and he introduced her on the same stage where he was one of the inferior
dancers. Here in a short time she improved so much, that she was engaged
as a supernumerary; her salary in France as an actress was, however,
never above twelve hundred livres in the year--which was four hundred
livres more than her husband received.

He, with several other inferior and unprincipled actors and dancers,
quitted the stage in the beginning of the Revolution for the clubs; and
instead of diverting his audience, resolved to reform and regenerate his
nation. His name is found in the annals of the crimes perpetrated at
Lyons, by the side of that of a Fouche, a Collot d'Herbois, and other
wicked offsprings of rebellion. With all other terrorists, he was
imprisoned for some time after the death of Robespierre; as soon as
restored to liberty, he set out with his wife for Hamburg, where some
amateurs had constructed a French theatre.

It was in the autumn of 1795 when Madame Chevalier was first heard of in
the North of Europe, where her arrival occasioned a kind of theatrical
war between the French, American, and Hamburg Jacobins on one side, and
the English and emigrant loyalists on the other. Having no money to
continue her pretended journey to Sweden, she asked the manager of the
French theatre at Hamburg to allow her a benefit, and permission to play
on that night. She selected, of course, a part in which she could appear
to the most advantage, and was deservedly applauded. The very next
evening the Jacobin cabal called the manager upon the stage, and insisted
that Madame Chevalier should be given a regular engagement. He replied
that no place suitable to her talents was vacant, and that it would be
ungenerous to turn away for her sake another actress with whom the public
had hitherto declared their satisfaction. The Jacobins continued
inflexible, and here, as well as everywhere else, supported injustice by
violence. As the patriotism of the husband, more than the charms of the
wife, was known to have produced this indecent fracas, which for upwards
of a week interrupted the plays, all anti-Jacobins united to restore
order. In this they would, perhaps, have finally succeeded, had not the
bayonets of the Hamburg soldiers interfered, and forced this precious
piece of revolutionary furniture upon the manager and upon the stage.

After displaying her gratitude in her own way to each individual of the
Jacobin levy en masse in her favour, she was taken into keeping by a then
rich and married Hamburg merchant, who made her a present of a richly and
elegantly furnished house, and expended besides ten thousand louis d'or
on her, before he had a mortifying conviction that some other had
partaken of those favours for which he had so dearly paid. A countryman
of yours then showed himself with more noise than honour upon the scene,
and made his debut with a phaeton and four, which he presented to his
theatrical goddess, together with his own dear portrait, set round with
large and valuable diamonds. Madame Chevalier, however, soon afterwards
hearing that her English gallant had come over to Germany for economy,
and that his credit with his banker was nearly exhausted, had his
portrait changed for that of another and richer lover, preserving,
however, the diamonds; and she exposed this inconstancy even upon the
stage, by suspending, as if in triumph, the new portrait fastened on her
bosom. The Englishman, wishing to retrieve his phaeton and horses, which
he protested only to have lent his belle, found that she had put the
whole equipage into a kind of lottery, or raffle, to which all her
numerous friends had subscribed, and that an Altona Jew had won it.

The successor of your countryman was a Russian nobleman, succeeded in his
turn by a Polish Jew, who was ruined and discarded within three months.
She then became the property of the public, and, by her active industry,
during a stay of four years at Hamburg, she was enabled to remit to
France, before her departure for Russia, one million two hundred thousand
livres. Her popularity was, however, at that period, very much on the
decline, as she had stooped to the most indelicate means to collect
money, and to extort it from her friends and acquaintances. She had
always lists of subscriptions in her pocket; some with proposals to play
in her lotteries for trinkets unnecessary to her; others, to procure her,
by the assistance of subscribers, some trinkets which she wanted.

I suppose it to be no secret to you that the female agents of
Talleyrand's secret diplomacy are frequently more useful than those of
the other sex. I am told that Madame Rochechouart was that friend of our
Ministers who engaged Madame Chevalier in her Russian expedition, and who
instructed her how to act her parts well at St. Petersburg. I need not
repeat what is so well known, that, after this artful emissary had ruined
the domestic happiness of the Russian Monarch, she degraded him in his
political transactions, and became the indirect cause of his untimely
end, in procuring, for a bribe of fifty thousand roubles in money and
jewels, the recall of one of the principal conspirators against the
unfortunate Paul.

The wealth she plundered in the Russian capital, within the short period
of twenty months, amounted to much above one million of roubles. For
money she procured impunity for crime, and brought upon innocence the
punishment merited by guilt. The scaffolds of Russia were bleeding, and
the roads to Siberia crowded with the victims of the avarice of this
female demon, who often promised what she was unable to perform, and,
to silence complaint, added cruelty to fraud, and, after pocketing the
bribe, resorted to the executioner to remove those whom she had duped.
The shocking anecdote of the Sardinian secretary, whom she swindled out
of nearly a hundred thousand roubles, and on whom she afterwards
persuaded her Imperial lover to inflict capital punishment, is too recent
and too public to be unknown or forgotten. A Russian nobleman has
assured me that the number of unfortunate individuals whom her and her
husband's intrigues have caused to suffer capitally during 1800 and 1801
was forty-six; and that nearly three hundred persons besides, who could
not or would not pay their extortionate demands, were exiled to Siberia
during the same period of time.

You may, perhaps, think that a low woman who could produce such great and
terrible events, must be mistress of natural charms, as well as of
acquired accomplishments. As I have already stated, she can have no
pretensions to either, but she is extremely insinuating, sings tolerably
well, has a fresh and healthy look, and possesses an unusually good share
of cunning, presumption, and duplicity. Her husband, also, everywhere
took care to make her fashionable; and the vanity of the first of their
dupes increased the number of her admirers and engaged the vanity of
others in their turn to sacrifice themselves at her shrine.

The immorality of our age, also, often procured her popularity for what
deserved, and in better times would have encountered, the severest
reprobation. In 1797, an emigrant lodged at an inn at Hamburg where
another traveller was robbed of a large sum in ready money and jewels.
The unfortunate is always suspected; and in the visit made to his room by
the magistrates was found a key that opened the door of the apartment
where the theft had been committed. In vain did he represent that had he
been the thief he should not have kept an instrument which was, or might
be, construed into an argument of guilt; he was carried to prison, and,
though none of the property was discovered in his possession, would have
been condemned, had he not produced Madame Chevalier, who avowed that the
key opened the door of her bedroom, which the smith who had made it
confirmed, and swore that he had fabricated eight keys for the same
actress and for the same purpose.

At that time this woman lived in the same house with her husband, but
cohabited there with the husband of another woman. She had also places
of assignation with other gallants at private apartments, both in Hamburg
and at Altona. All these, her scandalous intrigues, were known even to
the common porters of these cities. The first time, after the affair of
the key had become public, she acted in a play where a key was mentioned,
and the audience immediately repeated, "The key! the key!" Far from
being ashamed, she appeared every night in pieces selected by her, where
there was mention of keys, and thus tired the jokes of the public. This
impudence might have been expected from her, but it was little to be
supposed that her barefaced vices should, as really was the case, augment
the crowd of suitors, and occasion even some duels, which latter she both
encouraged and rewarded.

Two brothers, of the name of De S-----, were both in love with her, and
the eldest, as the richest, became her choice. Offended at his refusal
of too large a sum of money, she wrote to the younger De S-----, and
offered to accede to his proposals if, like a gentleman, he would avenge
the affront she had experienced from his brother. He consulted a friend,
who, to expose her infamy, advised him to send some confidential person
to inform her that he had killed his elder brother, and expected the
recompense on the same night. He went and was received with open arms,
and had just retired with her, when the elder brother, accompanied by his
friend, entered the room. Madame Chevalier, instead of upbraiding,
laughed, and the next day the public laughed with her, and applauded her
more than ever. She knew very well what she was doing. The stories of
the key and the duel produced for her more than four thousand louis d'or
by the number of new gallants they enticed. It was a kind of emulation
among all young men in the North who should be foremost to dishonour and
ruin himself with this infamous woman.

Madame Chevalier and her husband now live here in grand style, and have
their grand parties, grand teas, grand assemblies, and grand balls.
Their hotel, I am assured, is even visited by the Bonapartes and by the
members of the foreign diplomatic corps. In the house where I saw her,
I observed that Louis Bonaparte and two foreign Ambassadors spoke to her
as old acquaintances. Though rich, to the amount of ten millions of
livres--she, or rather her husband, keeps a gambling-house, and her
superannuated charms are still to be bought for money, at the disposal of
those amateurs who are fond of antiques. Both her husband and herself
are still members of our secret diplomacy, though she complains loudly
that, of the two millions of livres--promised her in 1799 by Bonaparte
and Talleyrand if she could succeed in persuading Paul I. to withdraw
from his alliance with England and Austria, only six hundred thousand
livres--has been paid her.

I cannot finish this letter without telling you that before our military
forces had reached the Rhine, our political incendiaries had already
taken the field, and were in full march towards the Austrian, Russian,
and Prussian capitals. The advanced guard of this dangerous corps
consists entirely of females, all gifted with beauty and parts as much
superior to those of Madame Chevalier as their instructions are better
digested. Bonaparte and Talleyrand have more than once regretted that
Madame Chevalier was not ordered to enter into the conspiracy against
Paul (whose inconsistency and violence they foresaw would make his reign
short), that she might have influenced the conspirators to fix upon a
successor more pliable and less scrupulous, and who would have suffered
the Cabinet of St. Cloud to dictate to the Cabinet of St. Petersburg.

I dined in company several times this last spring with two ladies who,
rumour said, have been destined for your P----- of W---- and D--- of Y---
ever since the Peace of Amiens. Talleyrand is well informed what figures
and what talents are requisite to make an impression on these Princes,
and has made his choice accordingly. These ladies have lately
disappeared, and when inquired after are stated to be in the country,
though I do not consider it improbable that they have already arrived at
headquarters. They are both rather fair and lusty, above the middle
size, and about twenty-five years of age. They speak, besides French,
the English and Italian languages. They are good drawers, good
musicians, good singers, and, if necessary, even good drinkers.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--Had the citizens of the United States been as submissive to the
taxation of your Government as to the vexations of our ruler, America
would, perhaps, have been less free and Europe more tranquil.
After the treaty of Amiens had Produced a general pacification, our
Government was seriously determined to reconquer from America a part of
those treasures its citizens had gained during the Revolutionary War, by
a neutrality which our policy and interest required, and which the
liberality of your Government endured. Hence the acquisition we made of
New Orleans from Spain, and hence the intrigues of our emissaries in that
colony, and the peremptory requisitions of provision for St. Domingo by
our Minister and generals. Had we been victorious in St. Domingo, most
of our troops there were destined for the American Continent, to invade,
according to circumstances, either the Spanish colonies on the terra
firma or the States of the American Commonwealth. The unforeseen rupture
with your country postponed a plan that is far from being laid aside.

You may, perhaps, think that since we sold Louisiana we have no footing
in America that can threaten the peace or independence of the United
States; but may not the same dictates that procured us at Madrid the
acquisition of New Orleans, also make us masters of Spanish Florida? And
do you believe it improbable that the present disagreement between
America and Spain is kept up by our intrigues and by our future views?
Would not a word from us settle in an instant at Madrid the differences
as well as the frontiers of the contending parties in America? And does
it not seem to be the regular and systematic plan of our Government to
provoke the retaliation of the Americans, and to show our disregard of
their privilege of neutrality and rights of independence; and that we
insult them only because we despise them, and despise them only because
we do not apprehend their resentment.

I have heard the late American Minister here assert that the American
vessels captured by our cruisers and condemned by our tribunals, only
during the last war, amounted to about five hundred; and their cargoes
(all American property) to one hundred and fifty millions of livres--
L6,000,000. Some few days ago I saw a printed list, presented by the
American consul to our Minister of the Marine Department, claiming one
hundred and twelve American ships captured in the West Indies and on the
coast of America within these last two years, the cargoes of which have
all been confiscated, and most of the crews still continue prisoners at
Martinico, Gaudeloupe, or Cayenne. Besides these, sixty-six American
ships, after being plundered in part of their cargoes at sea by our
privateers, had been released; and their claims for property thus lost,
or damage thus done, amounting to one million three hundred thousand

You must have read the proclamations of our governors in the West Indies,
and therefore remember that one dated at Guadeloupe, and another dated at
the City of San Domingo, both declare, without farther ceremony, all
American and other neutral ships and cargoes good and lawful prizes, when
coming from or destined to any port in the Island of St. Domingo, because
Bonaparte's subjects there were in a state of rebellion. What would
these philosophers who, twelve years ago, wrote so many libels against
your Ministers for their pretended system of famine, have said, had they,
instead of prohibiting the carrying of ammunition and provisions to the
ports of France, thus extended their orders without discrimination or
distinction? How would the neutral Americans, and the neutral Danes, and
their then allies, philosophers, and Jacobins of all colours and classes,
have complained and declaimed against the tyrants of the seas; against
the enemies of humanity, liberty, and equality. Have not the negroes
now, as much as our Jacobins had in 1793, a right to call upon all those
tender-hearted schemers, dupes, or impostors, to interest humanity in
their favour? But, as far as I know, no friends of liberty have yet
written a line in favour of these oppressed and injured men, whose former
slavery was never doubtful, and who, therefore, had more reason to rise
against their tyrants, and to attempt to shake off their yoke, than our
French insurgents, who, free before, have never since they revolted
against lawful authority enjoyed an hour's freedom. But the Emperor
Jacques the First has no propagators, no emissaries, no learned savans
and no secret agents to preach insurrection in other States, while
defending his own usurpation; besides, his treasury is not in the most
brilliant and flourishing situation, and the crew of our white
revolutionists are less attached to liberty than to cash.

Our Ambassador to the United States, General Turreaux, is far from being
contented with our friend, the President Jefferson, whose patriotic
notions have not yet soared to the level of our patriotic transactions.
He refused both to prevent the marriage of Jerome Bonaparte with a female
American citizen, and to detain her after her marriage when her husband
returned to Europe. To our continual representation against the
liberties which the American newspapers take with our Government, with
our Emperor, with our Imperial Family, and with our Imperial Ministers,
the answer has always been, "Prosecute the libeller, and as soon as he is
convicted he will be punished." This tardy and negative justice is so
opposite to our expeditious and summary mode of proceeding, of punishing
first and trying afterwards, that it must be both humiliating and
offensive. In return, when the Americans have complained to Turreaux
against the piracy of our privateers, he has sent them here to seek
redress, where they also will, to their cost, discover that in civil
cases our justice has not the same rapid march as when it is a question
of arresting or transporting suspected persons, or of tormenting,
shooting, or guillotining a pretended spy, or supposed conspirator.

Had the peace of Europe continued, Bernadotte was the person selected by
Bonaparte and Talleyrand as our representative in America; because we
then intended to strike, and not to negotiate. But during the present
embroiled state of Europe, an intriguer was more necessary there than
either a warrior or a politician. A man who has passed through all the
mire of our own Revolution, who has been in the secrets, and an
accomplice of all our factions, is, undoubtedly, a useful instrument
where factions are to be created and directed, where wealth is designed
for pillage, and a State for overthrow. General Turreaux is, therefore,
in his place, and at his proper post, as our Ambassador in America.

The son of a valet of the late Duc de Bouillon, Turreaux called himself
before the Revolution Chevalier de Grambonville, and was, in fact, a
'chevalier d'industrie' (a swindler), who supported himself by gambling
and cheating. An associate of Beurnonville, Barras, and other vile
characters, he with them joined the colours of rebellion, and served
under the former in 1792, in the army of the Moselle, first as a
volunteer, and afterwards as an aide-de-camp. In a speech at the Jacobin
Club at Quesnoy, on the 20th of November, 1792, he made a motion--"That,
throughout the whole republican army, all hats should be prohibited, and
red caps substituted in their place; and that, not only portable
guillotines, but portable Jacobin clubs, should accompany the soldiers of
Liberty and Equality."

A cousin of his was a member of the National Convention, and one of those
called Mountaineers, or sturdy partisans of Marat and Robespierre. It
was to the influence of this cousin, that he was indebted, first for a
commission as an adjutant-general, and afterwards for his promotion to a
general of brigade. In 1793, he was ordered to march, under the command
of Santerre, to La Vendee, where he shared in the defeat of the
republicans at Vihiers. At the engagement near Roches d'Erigne he
commanded, for the first time, a separate column, and the capacity and
abilities which he displayed on that occasion were such as might have
been expected from a man who had passed the first thirty years of his
life in brothels and gambling-houses. So pleasant were his dispositions,
that almost the whole army narrowly escaped having been thrown and pushed
into the River Loire. The battle of Doux was the only one in which he
had a share where the republicans were not routed; but some few days
afterwards, near Coron, all the troops under him were cut to pieces, and
he was himself wounded.

The confidence of his friends, the Jacobins, increased, however, in
proportion to his disasters, and he was, in 1794, after the superior
number of the republican soldiers had forced the remnants of the
Royalists to evacuate what was properly called La Vendee, appointed a
commander-in-chief. He had now an opportunity to display his infamy and
barbarity. Having established his headquarters at Mantes, where he was
safe, amidst the massacres of women and children ordered by his friend
Carriere, he commanded the republican army to enter La Vendee in twelve
columns, preceded by fire and sword; and within four weeks, one of the
most populous departments of France, to the extent and circumference of
sixty leagues, was laid waste-not a house, not a cottage, not a tree was
spared, all was reduced to ashes; and the unfortunate inhabitants, who
had not perished amid the ruin of their dwellings, were shot or stabbed;
while attempting to save themselves from the common conflagration. On
the 22d of January, 1794, he wrote to the Committee of Public Safety of
the National Convention: "Citizen Representatives!--A country of sixty
leagues extent, I have the happiness to inform you, is now a perfect
desert; not a dwelling, not a bush, but is reduced to ashes; and of one
hundred and eighty thousand worthless inhabitants, not a soul breathes
any longer. Men and women, old men and children, have all experienced
the national vengeance, and are no more. It was a pleasure to a true
republican to see upon the bayonets of each of our brave republicans the
children of traitors, or their, heads. According to the lowest
calculation, I have despatched, within three months, two hundred thousand
individuals of both sexes, and of all ages. Vive la Republique!!!"
In the works of Prudhomme and our republican writers, are inserted
hundreds of letters, still more cruelly extravagant, from this ci-devant
friend of Liberty and Equality, and at present faithful subject, and
grand officer of the Legion of Honour, of His Imperial Majesty Napoleon
the First.

After the death of Robespierre, Turreaux, then a governor at Belleisle,
was arrested as a terrorist, and shut up at Du Plessis until the general
amnesty released him in 1795. During his imprisonment he amused himself
with writing memoirs of the war of La Vendee, in which he tried to prove
that all his barbarities had been perpetrated for the sake of humanity,,
and to save the lives of republicans. He had also the modesty to
announce that, as a military work, his production would be equally
interesting as those of a Folard and Guibert. These memoirs, however,
proved nothing but that he was equally ignorant and wicked, presumptuous
and ferocious.

During the reign of the Directory he was rather discarded, or only
employed as a kind of recruiting officer to hunt young conscripts, but in
1800 Bonaparte gave him a command in the army of reserve; and in 1802,
another in the army of the interior. He then became one of the most
assiduous and cringing courtiers at the Emperor's levies; while in the
Empress's drawing-room he assumed his former air and ton of a chevalier,
in hopes of imposing upon those who did not remember the nickname which
his soldiers gave him ten years before, of Chevalier of the Guillotine.

At a ball of the Bonaparte family to which he was invited, the Emperor
took the fancy to dance with his stepdaughter, Madame Louis. He,
therefore, unhooked his sword, which he handed to a young colonel, D'
Avry, standing by his side. This colonel, who had been a page at the
Court of Louis XVI,, knew that it would have been against etiquette, and
even unbecoming of him, to act as a valet to Napoleon while there were
valets in the room; he therefore retreated, looking round for a servant.
"Oh!" said the Emperor, "I see that I am mistaken; here, generals,"
continued he (addressing himself to half a dozen, with whose independent
principles and good breeding he was acquainted), "take this sword during
my dance." They all pushed forward, but Turreaux and La Grange, another
general and intriguer, were foremost; the latter, however, received the
preference. On the next day, D' Avry was ordered upon service to

Turreaux has acquired, by his patriotic deeds in La Vendee, a fortune of
seven millions of livres. He has the highest opinion of his own
capacity, while a moment's conversation will inform a man of sense that
he is only a conceited fool. As to his political transactions, he has by
his side, as a secretary, a man of the name of Petry, who has received a
diplomatic education, and does not want either subtlety or parts; and on
him, no doubt, is thrown the drudgery of business. During a European
war, Turreaux's post is of little relative consequence; but should
Napoleon live to dictate another general pacification, the United States
will be exposed, on their frontiers, or in their interior, to the same
outrages their commercial navy now experiences on the main.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--A general officer, who has just arrived from Italy, has assured
me that, so far from Bonaparte's subjects on the other side of the Alps
being contented and attached to his person and Government, were a
victorious Austrian army to enter the plains of Lombardy a general
insurrection would be the consequence. During these last nine years the
inhabitants have not enjoyed a moment's tranquillity or safety. Every
relation or favourite whom Napoleon wished to provide for, or to enrich,
he has saddled upon them as in free quarters; and since 1796, when they
first had the honour of our Emperor's acquaintance, they have paid more
in taxes, in forced loans, requisitions, and extortions of every
description, than their ancestors or themselves had paid during the one
hundred and ninety-six preceding years.

Such is the public spirit, and such have been the sufferings of the
people in the ci-devant Lombardy; in Piedmont they are still worse off.
Having more national character and more fidelity towards their
Sovereign than their neighbours, they are also more cruelly treated.
Their governor, General De Menou, has caused most of the departments to
be declared under martial law, and without right to claim the protection
of our happy constitution. In every city or town are organized special
tribunals, the progeny of our revolutionary tribunals, against the
sentences of which no appeal can be made, though these sentences are
always capital ones. Before these, suspicion is evidence, and an
imprudent word is subject to the same punishment as a murderous deed.
Murmur is regarded as mutiny, and he who complains is shot as a

There exist only two ways for the wretched Piedmontese to escape these
legal assassinations. They must either desert their country or sacrifice
a part of their property. In the former case, if retaken, they are
condemned as emigrants; and in the latter they incur the risk that those
to whom they have already given a part of their possessions will also
require the remainder, and having obtained it, to enjoy in security the
spoil, will send them to the tribunals and to death. De Menou has a
fixed tariff for his protection, regulated according to the riches of
each person; and the tax-gatherers collect these arbitrary contributions
with the regular ones, so little pains are taken to conceal or to
disguise these robberies.

De Menou, by turns a nobleman and a sans-culotte, a Christian and a
Mussulman, is wicked and profligate, not from the impulse of the moment
or of any sudden gust of passion, but coldly and deliberately. He
calculates with sangfroid the profit and the risk of every infamous
action he proposes to commit, and determines accordingly. He owed some
riches and the rank of the major-general to the bounty of Louis XVI.,
but when he considered the immense value of the revolutionary plunder,
called national property, and that those who confiscated could also
promote, he did not hesitate what party to take. A traitor is generally
a coward; he has everywhere experienced defeats; he was defeated by his
Royalist countrymen in 1793, by his Mahometan sectaries in 1800, and by
your countrymen in 1801.

Besides his Turkish wife, De Menou has in the same house with her one
Italian and two French girls, who live openly with him, but who are
obliged to keep themselves by selling their influence and protection,
and, perhaps, sometimes even their personal favours. He has also in his
hotel several gambling-tables, where those who are too bashful to address
themselves to himself or his mistresses may deposit their donations, and
if they are thought sufficient, the hint is taken and their business
done. He never pays any debts and never buys anything for ready money,
and all persons of his suite, or appertaining to his establishment, have
the same privilege. Troublesome creditors are recommended to the care of
the special tribunals, which also find means to reduce the obstinacy of
those refractory merchants or traders who refuse giving any credit. All
the money he extorts or obtains is brought to this capital and laid out
by his agents in purchasing estates, which, from his advanced age and
weak constitution, he has little prospect of long enjoying. He is a
grand officer of Bonaparte's Legion of Honour, and has a long claim to
that distinction, because as early as on the 25th of June, 1790, he made
a motion in the National Assembly to suppress all former Royal Orders in
France, and to create in their place only a national one. Always an
incorrigible flatterer, when Napoleon proclaimed himself Ali the
Mussulman, De Menou professed himself Abdallah the believer in the

The late vice-president of the Italian Republic, Melzi-Eril, is now in
complete disgrace with his Sovereign, Napoleon the First. If persons of
rank and property would read through the list of those, their equals by
birth and wealth, who, after being seduced by the sophistry of impostors,
dishonoured and exposed themselves by joining in the Revolution, they
might see that none of them have escaped insults, many have suffered
death, and all have been, or are, vile slaves, at the mercy of the whip
of some upstart beggar, and trampled upon by men started up from the mud,
of lowest birth and basest morals. If their revolutionary mania were not
incurable, this truth and this evidence would retain them within their
duty, so corresponding with their real interest, and prevent them from
being any longer borne along by a current of infamy and danger, and
preserve them from being lost upon quicksands or dashed against rocks.

The conduct and fate of the Italian nobleman and Spanish grandee, Melzi-
Eril, has induced me to make these reflections. Wealthy as well as
elevated, he might have passed his life in uninterrupted tranquillity,
enjoying its comforts without experiencing its vicissitudes, with the
esteem of his contemporaries and without reproach from posterity or from
his own conscience. Unfortunately for him, a journey into this country
made him acquainted both with our philosophers and with our philosophical
works; and he had neither natural capacity to distinguish errors from
reality, nor judgment enough to perceive that what appeared improving and
charming in theory, frequently became destructive and improper when
attempted to be put into practice. Returned to his own country, his
acquired half-learning made him wholly dissatisfied with his Government,
with his religion, and with himself. In our Revolution he thought that
he saw the first approach towards the perfection of the human species,
and that it would soon make mankind as good and as regenerated in society
as was promised in books. With our own regenerators he extenuated the
crimes which sullied their work from its first page, and declared them
even necessary to make the conclusion so much the more complete. When,
therefore, Bonaparte, in 1796, entered the capital of Lombardy, Melzi was
among the first of the Italian nobility who hailed him as a deliverer.
The numerous vexations and repeated pillage of our Government, generals,
commissaries, and soldiers, did not abate his zeal nor alter his opinion.
"The faults and sufferings of individuals," he said, "are nothing to the
goodness of the cause, and do not impair the utility of the whole." To
him, everything the Revolution produced was the best; the murder of
thousands and the ruin of millions were, with him, nothing compared with
the benefit the universe would one day derive from the principles and
instruction of our armed and unarmed philosophers. In recompense for so
much complacency, and such great patriotism, Bonaparte appointed him, in
1797, a plenipotentiary from the Cisalpine Republic to the Congress at
Rastadt; and, in 1802, a vice-president of the Italian Republic.
As Melzi was a sincere and disinterested republican fanatic, he did not
much approve of the strides Bonaparte made towards a sovereignty that
annihilated the sovereignty of his sovereign people. In a conference,
however, with Talleyrand, at Lyons, in February, 1802, he was convinced
that this age was not yet ripe for all the improvements our philosophers
intended to confer on it; and that, to prevent it from retrogading to the
point where it was found by our Revolution, it was necessary that it
should be ruled by enlightened men, such as he and Bonaparte, to whom he
advised him by all means never to give the least hint about liberty and
equality. Our Minister ended his fraternal counsel with obliging Melzi
to sign a stipulation for a yearly sum, as a douceur for the place he

The sweets of power shortly caused Melzi to forget both the tenets of his
philosophy and his schemes of regeneration. He trusted so much to the
promises of Bonaparte and Talleyrand, that he believed himself destined
to reign for life, and was, therefore, not a little surprised when he was
ordered by Napoleon the First to descend and salute Eugene de Beauharnais
as the deputy Sovereign of the Sovereign King of Italy. He was not
philosopher enough to conceal his chagrin, and bowed with such a bad
grace to the new Viceroy that it was visible he would have preferred
seeing in that situation an Austrian Archduke as a governor-general.
To soften his disappointment, Bonaparte offered to make him a Prince, and
with that rank indemnify him for breaking the promises given at Lyons,
where it is known that the influence of Melzi, more than the intrigues of
Talleyrand, determined the Italian Consulta in the choice of a president.

Immediately after Bonaparte's return to France, Melzi left Milan, and
retired to an estate in Tuscany; from that place he wrote to Talleyrand
a letter full of reproach, and concluded by asking leave to pass the
remainder of his days in Spain among his relatives. An answer was
presented him by an officer of Bonaparte's Gendarmes d'Elite, in which
he was forbidden to quit Italy, and ordered to return with the officer
to Milan, and there occupy his office of Arch-Chancellor to which he had
been nominated. Enraged at such treatment, he endeavoured to kill
himself with a dose of poison, but his attempt did not succeed. His
health was, however, so much injured by it that it is not supposed he can
live long. What, a lesson for reformers and innovators!


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--A ridiculous affair lately occasioned a great deal of bustle
among the members of our foreign diplomatic corps. When Bonaparte
demanded for himself and for his wife the title of Imperial Majesty, and
for his brothers and sisters that of Imperial Highness, he also insisted
on the salutation of a Serene Highness being given to his Arch-
Chancellor, Cambaceres, and his Arch-Treasurer, Lebrun. The political
consciences of the independent representatives of independent Continental
Princes immediately took the alarm at the latter innovation, as the
appellation of Serene Highness has never hitherto been bestowed on
persons who had not princely rank. They complained to Talleyrand, they
petitioned Bonaparte, and they even despatched couriers to their
respective Courts. The Minister smiled, the Emperor cursed, and their
own Cabinets deliberated. All routs, all assemblies, all circles, and
all balls were at a stop. Cambaceres applied to his Sovereign to support
his pretensions, as connected with his own dignity; and the diplomatic
corps held forward their dignity as opposing the pretensions of
Cambaceres. In this dilemma Bonaparte ordered all the Ambassadors,
Ministers, envoys, and agents 'en masse' to the castle of the Tuileries.
After hearing, with apparent patience, their arguments in favour of
established etiquette and customs, he remained inflexible, upon the
ground that he, as master, had a right to confer what titles he chose
within his own dominions on his own subjects; and that those foreigners
who refused to submit to his regulations might return to their own
country. This plain explanation neither effecting a conversion nor
making any, impression, he grew warm, and left the refractory
diplomatists with these remarkable words: "Were I to create my Mameluke
Rostan a King, both you and your masters should acknowledge him in that

After this conference most of Their Excellencies were seized with terror
and fear, and would, perhaps, have subscribed to the commands of our
Emperor had not some of the wisest among them proposed, and obtained the
consent of the rest, to apply, once more to Talleyrand, and purchase by
some douceur his assistance in this great business. The heart of our
Minister is easily softened; and he assented, upon certain conditions, to
lay the whole before his Sovereign in such a manner that Cambaceres
should be made a Prince as well as a Serene Highness.

It is said that Bonaparte was not easily persuaded to this measure, and
did not consent to it before the Minister remarked that his condescension
in this insignificant opposition to his will would proclaim his
moderation and generosity, and empower him to insist on obedience when
matters of the greatest consequence should be in question or disputed.
Thus our regicide, Cambaceres, owes his princely title to the shallow
intrigues of the agents of legitimate Sovereigns. Their nicety in
talking of innovations with regard to him, after they had without
difficulty hailed a sans-culotte an Emperor, and other sans-culottes
Imperial Highnesses, was as absurd as improper. Report, however, states,
what is very probable, that they were merely the duped tools of
Cambaceres's ambition and vanity, and of Talleyrand's corruption and

Cambaceres expected to have been elevated to a Prince on the same day
that he was made a Serene Highness; but Joseph Bonaparte represented to
his brother that too many other princedoms would diminish the respect and
value of the princedoms of the Bonaparte family. Cambaceres knew that
Talleyrand had some reason at that period to be discontented with Joseph,
and, therefore, asked his advice how to get made a Prince against the
wishes of this Grand Elector. After some consideration, the Minister
replied that he was acquainted with one way, which would, with his
support, certainly succeed; but it required a million of livres to set
the wheels in motion, and keep them going afterwards. The hint was
taken, and an agreement signed for one million, payable on the day when
the princely patent should be delivered to the Arch-Chancellor.

Among the mistresses provided by our Minister for the members of the
foreign diplomatic corps, Madame B----s is one of the ablest in the way
of intrigue. She was instructed to alarm her 'bon ami', the Bavarian
Minister, Cetto, who is always bustling and pushing himself forward in
the grand questions of etiquette. A fool rather than a rogue, and an
intriguer while he thinks himself a negotiator, he was happy to have this
occasion to prove his penetrating genius and astonishing information.
A convocation of the diplomatic corps was therefore called, and the
suggestions of Cetto were regarded as an inspiration, and approved, with
a resolution to persevere unanimously. At their first audience with
Talleyrand on this subject, he seemed to incline in their favour; but,
as soon as he observed how much they showed themselves interested about
this trifling punctilio, it occurred to him that they, as well as
Cambaceres, might in some way or other reward the service he intended to
perform. Madame B----s was again sent for; and she once more advised her
lover, who again advised his colleagues. Their scanty purses were
opened, and a subscription entered into for a very valuable diamond,
which, with the millions of the Arch-Chancellor, gave satisfaction to all
parties; and even Joseph Bonaparte was reconciled, upon the consideration
that Cambaceres has no children, and that, therefore, the Prince will
expire with the Grand Officer of State.

Cambaceres, though before the Revolution a nobleman of a Parliamentary
family, was so degraded and despised for his unnatural and beastly
propensities, that to see him in the ranks of rebellion was not
unexpected. Born in Languedoc, his countrymen were the first to suffer
from his revolutionary proceedings, and reproached him as one of the most
active instruments of persecution against the clergy of Toulouse, and as
one of the causes of all the blood that flowed in consequence. A coward
as well as a traitor, after the death of Louis XVI. he never dared ascend
the tribune of the National Convention, but always gave a silent vote to
all the atrocious laws proposed and carried by Marat, Robespierre, and
their accomplices. It was in 1795, when the Reign of Terror had ceased,
that he first displayed his zeal for anarchy, and his hatred to royalty;
his contemptible and disgusting vices were, however, so publicly
reprobated, that even the Directory dared not nominate him a Minister of
Justice, a place for which he intrigued in vain, from 1796 to 1799; when
Bonaparte, either not so scrupulous, or setting himself above the public
opinion, caused him to be called to the Consulate; which, in 1802, was
ensured him for life, but exchanged, in 1804, for the office of an Arch-

He is now worth thirty millions of livres--all honestly obtained by his
revolutionary industry. Besides a Prince, a Serene Highness, an Arch-
Chancellor, a grand officer of the Legion of Honour, he is also a Knight
of the Prussian Black Eagle! For his brother, who was for a long time an
emigrant clergyman, and whom he then renounced as a fanatic, he has now
procured the Archbishopric of Rouen and a Cardinal's hat. His Eminence
is also a grand officer of the Legion of Honour in France, and a Pope in
petto at Rome.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--No Sovereign Prince has more incurred the hatred of Bonaparte
than the present King of Sweden; and I have heard from good authority
that our Government spares neither bribes nor intrigues to move the tails
of those factions which were dissolved, but not crushed, after the murder
of Gustavus III. The Swedes are generally brave and loyal, but their
history bears witness that they are easily misled; all their grand
achievements are their own, and the consequence of their national spirit
and national valour, while all their disasters have been effected by the
influence of foreign gold and of foreign machinations. Had they not been
the dupes of the plots and views of the Cabinets of Versailles and St.
Petersburg, their country might have been as powerful in the nineteenth
century as it was in the seventeenth.

That Gustavus IV. both knew the danger of Europe, and indicated the
remedy, His Majesty's notes, as soon as he came of age, presented by the
able and loyal Minister Bildt to the Diet of Ratisbon, evince. Had they
been more attended to during 1798 and 1799, Bonaparte would not, perhaps,
have now been so great, but the Continent would have remained more free
and more independent. They were the first causes of our Emperor's
official anger against the Cabinet of Stockholm.

When, however, His Swedish Majesty entered into the Northern league, his
Ambassador, Baron Ehrensward, was for some time treated with no insults
distinct or different from those to which all foreign diplomatic agents
have been accustomed during the present reign; but when he demanded
reparation for the piracies committed during the last war by our
privateers on the commerce of his nation, the tone was changed; and when
his Sovereign, in 1803, was on a visit to his father-in-law, the Elector
of Baden, and there preferred the agreeable company of the unfortunate
Duc d'Enghien to the society of our Minister, Baron Ehrensward never
entered Napoleon's diplomatic circle or Madame Napoleon's drawing-room
without hearing rebukes and experiencing disgusts. One day, when more
than usually attacked, he said, on leaving the apartment, to another
Ambassador, and in the hearing of Duroc, "that it required more real
courage to encounter with dignity and self-command unbecoming
provocations, which the person who gave them knew could not be resented,
than to brave a death which the mouths of cannon vomit or the points of
bayonets inflict." Duroc reported to his master what he heard, and but
for Talleyrand's interference, the Swedish Ambassador would, on the same
night, have been lodged in the Temple. Orders were already given to that
purpose, but were revoked.

This Baron Ehrensward, who is also a general in the service of his
country, has almost from his youth passed his time at Courts; first in
his own country, and afterwards in Spain, where he resided twelve years
as our Ambassador. Frank as a soldier, but also polite as a courtier,
he was not a little surprised at the new etiquette of our new court,
and at the endurance of all the members of the diplomatic corps, of whom
hardly one had spirit enough to remember that he was the representative
of one, at least nominally, independent Prince or State. It must be
added that he was the only foreign diplomatist, with Count Markof, who
was not the choice of our Cabinet, and, therefore, was not in our

As soon as His Swedish Majesty heard of the unexpected and unlawful
seizure of the Duc d'Enghien, he wrote a letter with his own hand to
Bonaparte, which he sent by his adjutant-general, Tawast; but this
officer arrived too late, and only in time to hear of the execution of
the Prince he intended to save, and the indecent expressions of Napoleon
when acquainted with the object of his mission. Baron Ehrensward was
then recalled, and a Court mourning was proclaimed by Gustavus IV., as
well as by Alexander the First, for the lamented victim of the violated
laws of nations and humanity. This so, enraged our ruler that General
Caulincourt (the same who commanded the expedition which crossed the
Rhine and captured the Duc d' Enghien) was engaged to head and lead fifty
other banditti, who were destined to pass in disguise into Baden, and to
bring the King of Sweden a prisoner to this capital. Fortunately, His
Majesty had some suspicion of the attempt, and removed to a greater
distance from our frontiers than Carlsruhe. So certain was our
Government of the success of this shameful enterprise, that our charge
d'affaires in Sweden was preparing to engage the discontented and
disaffected there for the convocation of a diet and the establishment of
a regency.

According to the report in our diplomatic circle. Bonaparte and
Talleyrand intended nevermore to, release their royal captive when once
in their power; but, after forcing him to resign the throne to his son,
keep him a prisoner for the remainder of his days, which they would have
taken care should not have been long. The Duke of Sudermania was to have
been nominated a regent until the majority of the young King, not yet six
years of age. The Swedish diets were to recover that influence, or,
rather, that licentiousness, to which Gustavus III., by the revolution of
the 19th of August, 1772, put an end. All exiled regicides, or traitors,
were to be recalled, and a revolutionary focus organized in the North,
equally threatening Russia and Denmark. The dreadful consequences of
such an event are incalculable. Thanks to the prudence of His Swedish
Majesty, all these schemes evaporated in air.

Not being able to dethrone a Swedish Monarch, our Cabinet resolved to
partition the Swedish territory, to which effect I am assured that
proposals were last summer made to the Cabinets of St. Petersburg,
Berlin, and Copenhagen. Swedish Finland was stated to have been offered
to Russia, Swedish Pomerania to Prussia, and Scania and Blekinge to
Denmark; but the overture was rejected.

The King of Sweden possesses both talents and information superior to
most of his contemporaries, and he has surrounded himself with
counsellors who, with their experience, make wisdom more firm, more
useful, and more valuable. His chancellor, D'Ehrenheim, unites modesty
with sagacity; he is a most able statesman, an accomplished gentleman,
and the most agreeable of men. He knows the languages, as well as the
constitutions, of every country in Europe, with equal perfection as his
native tongue and national code. Had his Sovereign the same ascendency
over the European politics as Christina had during the negotiation of the
Treaty of Munster, other States would admire, and Sweden be proud of,
another Axel Oxenstiern.

Count Fersen, who also has, and is worthy of, the confidence of his
Prince, is a nobleman, the honour and pride of his rank. A colonel
before the Revolution of the regiment Royal Suedois, in the service of my
country, his principles were so well appreciated that he was entrusted by
Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette, when so many were so justly suspected,
and served royalty in distress, at the risk of his own existence. This
was so much the more generous in him as he was a foreigner, of one of the
most ancient families, and one of the richest noblemen in his own
country. To him Louis XVIII. is indebted for his life; and he brought
consolation to the deserted Marie Antoinette even in the dungeon of the
Conciergerie, when a discovery would have been a sentence of death.
In 1797, he was appointed by his King plenipotentiary to the Congress of
Rastadt, and arrived there just at the time when Bonaparte, after the
destruction of happiness in Italy, had resolved on the ruin of liberty in
Switzerland, and came there proud of past exploits and big with future
schemes of mischief. His reception from the conquerer of Italy was such
as might have been expected by distinguished loyalty from successful
rebellion. He was told that the Congress of Rastadt was not his place!
and this was true; for what can be common between honour and infamy,
between virtue and vice? On his return to Sweden, Count Fersen was
rewarded with the dignity of a Grand Officer of State.

Of another faithful and trusty counsellor of His Swedish Majesty, Baron
d'Armfeldt, a panegyric would be pronounced in saying that he was the
friend of Gustavus III. From a page to that chevalier of royalty he was
advanced to the rank of general; and during the war with Russia, in 1789
and 1790, he fought and bled by the side of his Prince and benefactor.
It was to him that his King said, when wounded mortally, by the hand of a
regicide, at a masquerade in March, 1792, "Don't be alarmed, my friend.
You know as well as myself that all wounds are not dangerous."
Unfortunately, his were not of that description.

In the will of this great Monarch, Baron d'Armfeldt was nominated one of
the guardians of his present Sovereign, and a governor of the capital;
but the Duke Regent, who was a weak Prince, guided by philosophical
adventurers, by Illuminati and Freemasons, most of whom had imbibed the
French revolutionary maxims, sent him, in a kind of honourable exile,
as an Ambassador to Italy. Shortly afterwards, under pretence of having
discovered a conspiracy, in which the Baron was implicated, he was
outlawed. He then took refuge in Russia, where he was made a general,
and as such distinguished him self under Suwarow during the campaign of
1799. He was then recalled to his country, and restored to all his
former places and dignities, and has never since ceased to merit and
obtain the favour, friendship, and approbation of his King. He is said
to be one of the Swedish general officers intended to serve in union with
the Russian troops expected in Pomerania. Wherever he is employed, I am
convinced that he will fight, vanquish, or perish like a hero. Last
spring he was offered the place of a lieutenant-general in the Austrian
service, which, with regard to salary and emoluments, is greatly superior
to what he enjoys in Sweden; he declined it, however, because, with a
warrior of his stamp, interest is the last consideration.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--Believe me, Bonaparte dreads more the liberty of the Press than
all other engines, military or political, used by his rivals or foes for
his destruction. He is aware of the fatal consequences all former
factions suffered from the public exposure of their past crimes and
future views; of the reality of their guilt, and of the fallacy of their
boasts and promises. He does not doubt but that a faithful account of
all the actions and intrigues of his Government, its imposition, fraud,
duplicity, and tyranny, would make a sensible alteration in the public
opinion; and that even those who, from motives of patriotism, from being
tired of our revolutionary convulsions, or wishing for tranquillity,
have been his adherents, might alter their sentiments when they read of
enormities which must indicate insecurity, and prove to every one that he
who waded through rivers of blood to seize power will never hesitate
about the means of preserving it.

There is not a printing-office, from the banks of the Elbe to the Gulf
of Naples, which is not under the direct or indirect inspection of our
police agents; and not a bookseller in Germany, France, Italy, Spain,
Portugal, Holland, or Switzerland, publishes a work which, if contrary to
our policy or our fears, is not either confiscated, or purchased on the
day it, makes its appearance. Besides our regular emissaries, we have
persons travelling from the beginning to the end of the year, to pick up
information of what literary productions are printing; of what authors
are popular; of their political opinions and private circumstances. This
branch of our haute police extends even to your country.

Before the Revolution, we had in this capital only two daily papers, but
from 1789 to 1799 never less than thirty, and frequently sixty journals
were daily printed. After Bonaparte had assumed the consular authority,
they were reduced to ten. But though these were under a very strict
inspection of our Minister of Police, they were regarded still as too
numerous, and have lately been diminished to eight, by the incorporation
of 'Le Clef du Cabinet' and 'Le Bulletin de l'Europe' with the 'Gazette
de France', a paper of which the infamously famous Barrere is the editor.
According to a proposal of Bonaparte, it was lately debated in the
Council of State whether it would not be politic to suppress all daily
prints, with the sole exception of the Moniteur. Fouche and Talleyrand
spoke much in favour of this measure of security. Real, however, is said
to have suggested another plan, which was adopted; and our Government,
instead of prohibiting the appearance of our daily papers, has resolved
by degrees to purchase them all, and to entrust them entirely to the
direction of Barrere, who now is consulted in everything concerning books
or newspapers.

All circulation of foreign papers is prohibited, until they have
previously obtained the stamp of approbation from the grand literary
censor, Barrere. Any person offending against this law is most severely
punished. An American gentlemen, of the name of Campbell, was last
spring sent to the Temple for lending one of your old daily papers to a
person who lodged in the same hotel with him. After an imprisonment of
ten weeks he made some pecuniary sacrifices to obtain his liberty,
but was carried to Havre, under an escort of gendarmes, put on board a
neutral vessel, and forbidden, under pain of death, ever to set his foot
on French ground again. An American vessel was, about the same time,
confiscated at Bordeaux, and the captain and crew imprisoned, because
some English books were found on board, in which Bonaparte, Talleyrand,
Fouche, and some of our great men were rather ill-treated. The crew have
since been liberated, but the captain has been brought here, and is still
in the Temple. The vessel and the cargo have been sold as lawful
captures, though the captain has proved from the names written in the
books that they belonged to a passenger. A young German student in
surgery, who came here to improve himself, has been nine months in the
same state prison, for having with him a book, printed in Germany during
Bonaparte's expedition to Egypt, wherein the chief and the undertaking
are ridiculed. His mother, the widow of a clergyman, hearing of the
misfortune of her son, came here, and has presented to the Emperor and
Empress half a dozen petitions, without any effect whatever, and has
almost ruined herself and her other children by the expenses of the
journey. During a stay of four months she has not yet been able to gain
admittance into the Temple, to visit or see her son, who perhaps expired
in tortures, or died brokenhearted before she came here.

A dozen copies of a funeral sermon on the Duc d'Enghien had found their
way here, and were secretly circulated for some time; but at last the
police heard of it, and every person who was suspected of having read
them was arrested. The number of these unfortunate persons, according to
some, amounted to one hundred and thirty, while others say that they were
only eighty-four, of whom twelve died suddenly in the Temple, and the
remainder were transported to Cayenne; upwards of half of them were
women, some of the ci-devant highest rank among subjects.

A Prussian, of the name of Bulow, was shot as a spy in the camp of
Boulogne, because in his trunk was an English book, with the lives of
Bonaparte and of some of his generals. Every day such and other examples
of the severity of our Government are related; and foreigners who visit
us continue, nevertheless, to be off their guard. They would be less
punished had they with them forged bills than, printed books or
newspapers, in which our Imperial Family and public functionaries are not
treated with due respect. Bonaparte is convinced that in every book
where he is not spoken of with praise, the intent is to blame him; and
such intents or negative guilt never escape with impunity.

As, notwithstanding the endeavours of our Government, we are more fond of
foreign prints, and have more confidence in them than in our own,
official presses have lately been established at Antwerp, at Cologne, and
at Mentz, where the 'Gazette de Leyden', 'Hamburg Correspondenten', and
'Journal de Frankfort' are reprinted; some articles left out, and others
inserted in their room. It was intended to reprint also the 'Courier de
Londres', but our types, and particularly, our paper, would detect the
fraud. I have read one of our own Journal de Frankfort, in which were
extracts from this French paper, printed in your country, which I
strongly suspect are of our own manufacture. I am told that several new
books, written by foreigners, in praise of our present brilliant
Government, are now in the presses of those our frontier towns, and will
soon be laid before the public as foreign productions.

A clerk of a banking-house had lately the imprudence to mention, during
his dinner at the restaurateur's of 'Cadran Vert', on the Boulevards,
some doubt of the veracity of an official article in the 'Moniteur'.
As he left the house he was arrested, carried before Fouche, accused of
being an English agent, and before supper-time he was on the road to
Rochefort on his way to Cayenne. As soon as the banker Tournon was
informed of this expeditious justice, as it is called here, he waited on
Fouche, who threatened even to transport him if he dared to interfere
with the transactions of the police. This banker was himself seized in
the spring of last year by a police agent and some gendarmes, and carried
into exile forty leagues from this capital, where he remained six.
months, until a pecuniary douceur procured him a recall. His crime was
having inquired after General Moreau when in the Temple, and of having
left his card there.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--The Prince Borghese has lately been appointed a captain of the
Imperial Guard of his Imperial brother-in-law, Napoleon the First, and is
now in Germany, making his first campaign. A descendant of a wealthy and
ancient Roman family, but born with a weak understanding, he was easily
deluded into the ranks of the revolutionists of his own country, by a
Parisian Abbe, his instructor and governor, and gallant of the Princesse
Borghese, his mother. He was the first secretary of the first Jacobin
club established at Rome, in the spring of 1798; and in December of the
same year, when the Neapolitan troops invaded the Ecclesiastical States,
he, with his present brother-in-law, another hopeful Roman Prince, Santa
Cruce, headed the Roman sans-culottes in their retreat. To show his love
of equality, he had previously served as a common man in a company of
which the captain was a fellow that sold cats' meat and tripe in the
streets of Rome, and the lieutenant a scullion of his mother's kitchen.
Since Imperial aristocracy is now become the order of the day, he is as
insupportable for his pride and vanity as he, some years ago, was
contemptible for his meanness. He married, in 1803, Madame Leclerc, who,
between the death of a first and a wedding with a second husband--a space
of twelve months--had twice been in a fair way to become a mother. Her
portion was estimated at eighteen millions of livres--a sum sufficient to
palliate many 'faux pas' in the eyes of a husband more sensible and more
delicate than her present Serene Idiot, as she styles the Prince

The lady is the favourite sister of Napoleon, the ablest, but also the
most wicked of the female Bonapartes. She had, almost from her infancy,
passed through all the filth of prostitution, debauchery, and profligacy
before she attained her present elevation; rank, however, has not altered
her morals, but only procured her the means of indulging in new excesses.
Ever since the wedding night the Prince Borghese has been excluded from
her bed; for she declared frankly to him, as well as to her brother, that
she would never endure the approach of a man with a bad breath; though
many who, from the opportunities they have had of judging, certainly
ought to know, pretend that her own breath is not the sweetest in the
world. When her husband had marched towards the Rhine, she asked her
brother, as a favour, to procure the Prince Borghese, after a useless
life, a glorious death. This curious demand of a wife was, made in
Madame Bonaparte's drawing-room, in the presence of fifty persons. "You
are always 'etourdie'," replied Napoleon, smiling.

If Bonaparte, however, overlooks the intrigues of his sisters, he is not
so easily pacified when any reports reach him inculpating the virtues of
his sisters-in-law. Some gallants of Madame Joseph Bonaparte have
already disappeared to return no more, or are wandering in the wilds of
Cayenne; but the Emperor is particularly attentive to everything
concerning the morality of Madame Louis, whose descendants are destined
to continue the Bonaparte dynasty. Two officers, after being cashiered,
were, with two of Madame Louis's maids, shut up last month in the Temple,
and have not since been heard of, upon suspicion that the Princess
preferred their society to that of her husband.

Louis Bonaparte, whose constitution has been much impaired by his
debaucheries, was, last July, advised by his physicians to use the baths
at St. Amand. After his wife had accompanied him as far as Lille, she
went to visit one of her friends, Madame Ney, the wife of General Ney,
who commanded the camp near Montreuil. This lady resided in a castle
called Leek, in the vicinity, where dinners, concerts, balls, and other
festivities celebrated the arrival of the Princess; and to these the
principal officers of the camp were invited. One morning, about an hour
after the company had retired to bed, the whole castle was disturbed and
alarmed by an uproar in the anteroom of Princesse Louis's bedchamber.
On coming to the scene of riot, two officers were found there fighting,
and the Princesse Louis, more than half undressed, came out and called
the sentries on duty to separate the combatants, who were both wounded.
This affair occasioned great scandal; and General Ney, after having put
the officers under arrest, sent a courier to Napoleon at Boulogne,
relating the particulars and demanding His Majesty's orders. It was
related and believed as a fact that the quarrel originated about two of
the maids of the Princess (whose virtue was never suspected), with whom
the officers were intriguing. The Emperor ordered the culprits to be
broken and delivered up to his Minister of Police, who knew how to
proceed. The Princesse Louis also received an invitation to join her
sister-in-law, Madame Murat, then in the camp at Boulogne, and to remain
under her care until her husband's return from St. Amand.

General Murat was then at Paris, and his lady was merely on a visit to
her Imperial brother, who made her responsible for Madame Louis, whom he
severely reprimanded for the misconduct of her maids. The bedrooms of
the two sisters were on the same floor. One night, Princesse Louis
thought she heard the footsteps of a person on the staircase, not like
those of a female, and afterwards the door of Madame Murat's room opened
softly. This occurrence deprived her of all desire to sleep; and
curiosity, or perhaps revenge, excited her to remove her doubts
concerning the virtue of her guardian. In about an hour afterwards,
she stole into Madame Murat's bedroom, by the way of their sitting-room,
the door in the passage being bolted. Passing her hand over the pillow,
she almost pricked herself with the strong beard of a man, and, screaming
out, awoke her sister, who inquired what she could want at such an
unusual hour.

"I believe," replied the Princess, "my room is haunted. I have not shut
my eyes, and intended to ask for a place by your side, but I find it is
already engaged:

"My maid always sleeps with me when my husband is absent," said Madame

"It is very rude of your maid to go to bed with her mistress without
first shaving herself," said the Princess, and left the room.

The next morning an explanation took place; the ladies understood each
other, and each, during the remaining part of her husband's absence, had
for consolation a maid for a bedfellow. Madame Murat also convinced the
Emperor that his suspicions with regard to the Princesse Louis were
totally unfounded; and he with some precious presents, indemnified her
for his harsh treatment.

It is reported that the two maids of the Princesse Louis, when before
Fouche, first denied all acquaintance with the officers; but, being
threatened with tortures, they signed a 'proces verbal', acknowledging
their guilt. This valuable and authentic document the Minister sent by
an extra courier to the Emperor, who showed it to his stepdaughter. Her
generosity is proverbial here, and therefore nobody is surprised that she
has given a handsome sum of money to the parents of her maids, who had in
vain applied to see their children; Fouche having told them that affairs
of State still required their confinement. One of them, Mariothe, has
been in the service of the Princess ever since her marriage, and is known
to possess all her confidence; though during that period of four years
she has twice been in a state of pregnancy, through the condescending
attention of her princely master.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--When preparations were made for the departure of our army of
England for Germany, it excited both laughter and murmuring among the
troops. Those who had always regarded the conquest of England as
impracticable in present circumstances, laughed, and those who had in
their imagination shared the wealth of your country, showed themselves
vexed at their disappointment. To keep them in good spirits, the company
of the theatre of the Vaudevilles was ordered from hence to Boulogne,
and several plays, composed for the occasion, were performed, in which
the Germans were represented as defeated, and the English begging for
peace on their knees, which the Emperor of the French grants upon
condition that one hundred guineas ready money should be paid to each of
his soldiers and sailors. Every corps in its turn was admitted gratis to
witness this exhibition of the end of all their labours; and you can form
no idea what effect it produced, though you are not a stranger to our
fickle and inconsiderate character. Ballads, with the same predictions
and the same promises, were written and distributed among the soldiers,
and sung by women sent by Fouche to the coast. As all productions of
this sort were, as usual, liberally rewarded by the Emperor, they poured
in from all parts of his Empire.

Three poets and authors of the theatre of the Vaudevilles, Barrel, Radet,
and Desfontaines, each received two hundred napoleons d'or for their
common production of a ballad, called "Des Adieux d'un Grenadier au Camp
de Boulogne." From this I have extracted the following sample, by which
you may judge of the remainder:



The drum is beating, we must march,
We're summon'd to another field,
A field that to our conq'ring swords
Shall soon a laurel harvest yield.
If English folly light the torch
Of war in Germany again
The loss is theirs--the gain is ours
March! march! commence the bright campaign.

There, only by their glorious deeds
Our chiefs and gallant bands are known;
There, often have they met their foes,
And victory was all their own:
There, hostile ranks, at our approach,
Prostrate beneath our feet shall bow;
There, smiling conquest waits to twine
A laurel wreath round every brow.

Adieu, my pretty turf-built hut *
Adieu, my little garden, too!
I made, I deck'd you all myself,
And I am loth to part with you:
But since my arms I must resume,
And leave your comforts all behind,
Upon the hostile frontier soon
My tent shall flutter in the wind.

My pretty fowls and doves, adieu!
Adieu, my playful cat, to thee!
Who every morning round me came,
And were my little family.
But thee, my dog, I shall not leave
No, thou shalt ever follow me,
Shalt share my toils, shaft share my fame
For thou art called VICTORY.

But no farewell I bid to you,
Ye prams and boats, which, o'er the wave,
Were doom'd to waft to England's shore
Our hero chiefs, our soldiers brave.
To you, good gentlemen of Thames,
Soon, soon our visit shall be paid,
Soon, soon your merriment be o'er
'T is but a few short hours delay'd.

* During the long continuance of the French encampment at Boulogne
the troops had formed, as it were, a romantic town of huts. Every
but had a garden surrounding it, kept in neat order and stocked with
vegetables and flowers. They had, besides, fowls, pigeons, and
rabbits; and these, with a cat and a dog, generally formed the
little household of every soldier.

As I am writing on the subject of poetical agents, I will also say some
words of our poetical flatterers, though the same persons frequently
occupy both the one office and the other. A man of the name of Richaud,
who has sung previously the glory of Marat and Robespierre, offered to
Bonaparte, on the evening preceding his departure for Strasburg, the
following lines; and was in return presented with a purse full of gold,
and an order to the Minister of the Interior, Champagny, to be employed
in his offices, until better provided for.



Kings who, so often vanquish'd, vainly dare
Menace the victor that has laid you low--
Look now at France--and view your own despair
In the majestic splendour of your foe.

What miserable pride, ye foolish kings,
Still your deluded reason thus misleads?
Provoke the storm--the bolt with lightning wings
Shall fall--but fall on your devoted heads.

And thou, Napoleon, if thy mighty sword
Shall for thy people conquer new renown;
Go--Europe shall attest, thy heart preferr'd
The modest olive to the laurel crown.

But thee, lov'd chief, to new achievements bold

The aroused spirit of the soldier calls;
Speak!--and Vienna cowering shall behold
Our banners waving o'er her prostrate walls.

I received, four days afterwards, at the circle of Madame Joseph
Bonaparte, with all other visitors, a copy of these stanzas. Most of
the foreign Ambassadors were of the party, and had also a share of this
patriotic donation. Count von Cobenzl had prudently absented himself;
otherwise, this delenda of the Austrian Carthage would have been
officially announced to him.

Another poetaster, of the name of Brouet, in a long, dull, disgusting
poem, after comparing Bonaparte with all great men of antiquity, and
proving that he surpasses them all, tells his countrymen that their
Emperor is the deputy Divinity upon earth--the mirror of wisdom, a demi-
god to whom future ages will erect statues, build temples, burn incense,
fall down and adore. A proportionate share of abuse is, of course,
bestowed on your nation. He says:

A Londres on vit briller d'un eclat ephemere

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