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The Dynasts by Thomas Hardy

Part 13 out of 16

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God--here how difficult it is to die:
How easy on the passionate battle-plain!

[They open a window and carry him to it. He mends.]

Fate has resolved what man could not resolve.
I must live on, and wait what Heaven may send!

[MACDONALD and other marshals re-enter. A letter is brought from
MARIE LOUISE. NAPOLEON reads it, and becomes more animated.

They are well; and they will join me in my exile.
Yes: I will live! The future who shall spell?
My wife, my son, will be enough for me.--
And I will give my hours to chronicling
In stately words that stir futurity
The might of our unmatched accomplishments;
And in the tale immortalize your names
By linking them with mine.

[He soon falls into a convalescent sleep. The marshals, etc. go
out. The room is left in darkness.]



[The foreground is an elevated stretch of land, dotted over in rows
with the tents of the peninsular army. On a parade immediately
beyond the tents the infantry are drawn up, awaiting something.
Still farther back, behind a brook, are the French soldiery, also
ranked in the same manner of reposeful expectation. In the middle-
distance we see the town of Bayonne, standing within its zigzag
fortifications at the junction of the river Adour with the Nive.

On the other side of the Adour rises the citadel, a fortified
angular structure standing detached. A large and brilliant
tricolor flag is waving indolently from a staff on the summit.
The Bay of Biscay, into which the Adour flows, is seen on the
left horizon as a level line.

The stillness observed by the soldiery of both armies, and by
everything else in the scene except the flag, is at last broken
by the firing of a signal-gun from a battery in the town-wall.
The eyes of the thousands present rivet themselves on the citadel.
Its waving tricolor moves down the flagstaff and disappears.]

THE REGIMENTS (unconsciously)


[In a few seconds there shoots up the same staff another flag--one
intended to be white; but having apparently been folded away a long
time, it is mildewed and dingy.

From all the guns on the city fortifications a salute peals out.
This is responded to by the English infantry and artillery with a



[The various battalions are then marched away in their respective
directions and dismissed to their tents. The Bourbon standard is
hoisted everywhere beside those of England, Spain, and Portugal.
The scene shuts.]



[The Rhone, the old city walls, the Rocher des Doms and its
edifices, appear at the back plane of the scene under the
grey light of dawn. In the foreground several postillions
and ostlers with relays of horses are waiting by the roadside,
gazing northward and listening for sounds. A few loungers
have assembled.]


He ought to be nigh by this time. I should say he'd be very glad
to get this here Isle of Elba, wherever it may be, if words be true
that he's treated to such ghastly compliments on's way!


Blast-me-blue, I don't care what happens to him! Look at Joachim
Murat, him that's made King of Naples; a man who was only in the
same line of life as ourselves, born and bred in Cahors, out in
Perigord, a poor little whindling place not half as good as our
own. Why should he have been lifted up to king's anointment, and
we not even have had a rise in wages? That's what I say.


But now, I don't find fault with that dispensation in particular.
It was one of our calling that the Emperor so honoured, after all,
when he might have anointed a tinker, or a ragman, or a street
woman's pensioner even. Who knows but that we should have been
king's too, but for my crooked legs and your running pole-wound?


We kings? Kings of the underground country, then, by this time, if
we hadn't been too rotten-fleshed to follow the drum. However, I'll
think over your defence, and I don't mind riding a stage with him,
for that matter, to save him from them that mean mischief here.
I've lost no sons by his battles, like some others we know.

[Enter a TRAVELLER on horseback.]

Any tidings along the road, sir of the Emperor Napoleon that was?


Tidings verily! He and his escort are threatened by the mob at
every place they come to. A returning courier I have met tells me
that at an inn a little way beyond here they have strung up his
effigy to the sign-post, smeared it with blood, and placarded it
"The Doom that awaits Thee!" He is much delayed by such humorous
insults. I have hastened ahead to escape the uproar.


I don't know that you have escaped it. The mob has been waiting
up all night for him here.

MARKET-WOMAN (coming up)

I hope by the Virgin, as 'a called herself, that there'll be no
riots here! Though I have not much pity for a man who could treat
his wife as he did, and that's my real feeling. He might at least
have kept them both on, for half a husband is better than none for
poor women. But I'd show mercy to him, that's true, rather than
have my stall upset, and messes in the streets wi' folks' brains,
and stabbings, and I don't know what all!


If we can do the horsing quietly out here, there will be none of
that. He'll dash past the town without stopping at the inn where
they expect to waylay him.--Hark, what's this coming?

[An approaching cortege is heard. Two couriers enter; then a
carriage with NAPOLEON and BERTRAND; then others with the
Commissioners of the Powers,--all on the way to Elba.

The carriages halt, and the change of horses is set about instantly.
But before it is half completed BONAPARTE'S arrival gets known, and
throngs of men and women armed with sticks and hammers rush out of
Avignon and surround the carriages.]


Ogre of Corsica! Odious tyrant! Down with Nicholas!

BERTRAND (looking out of carriage)

Silence, and doff your hats, you ill-mannered devils!

POPULACE (scornfully)

Listen to him! Is that the Corsican? No; where is he? Give him up;
give him up! We'll pitch him into the Rhone!

[Some cling to the wheels of NAPOLEON'S carriage, while others,
more distant, throw stones at it. A stone breaks the carriage

OLD WOMAN (shaking her fist)

Give me back my two sons, murderer! Give me back my children, whose
flesh is rotting on the Russian plains!


Ay; give us back our kin--our fathers, our brothers, our sons--
victims to your curst ambition!

[One of the mob seizes the carriage door-handle and tries to
unfasten it. A valet of BONAPARTE'S seated on the box draws his
sword and threatens to cut the man's arm off. The doors of the
Commissioners' coaches open, and SIR NEIL CAMPBELL, GENERAL
KOLLER, and COUNT SCHUVALOFF--The English, Austrian, and Russian
Commissioners--jump out and come forward.]


Keep order, citizens! Do you not know
That the ex-Emperor is wayfaring
To a lone isle, in the Allies' sworn care,
Who have given a pledge to Europe for his safety?
His fangs being drawn, he is left powerless now
To do you further harm.


People of France
Can you insult so miserable a being?
He who gave laws to a cowed world stands now
At that world's beck, and asks its charity.
Cannot you see that merely to ignore him
Is the worst ignominy to tar him with,
By showing him he's no longer dangerous?


How do we know the villain mayn't come back?
While there is life, my faith, there's mischief in him!

[Enter an officer with the Town-guard.]


Citizens, I am a zealot for the Bourbons,
As you well know. But wanton breach of faith
I will not brook. Retire!

[The soldiers drive back the mob and open a passage forward. The
Commissioners re-enter their carriages. NAPOLEON puts his head
out of his window for a moment. He is haggard, shabbily dressed,
yellow-faced, and wild-eyed.]


I thank you, captain;
Also your soldiery: a thousand thanks!
(To Bertrand within) My God, these people of Avignon here
Are headstrong fools, like all the Provencal fold,
--I won't go through the town!


We'll round it, sire;
And then, as soon as we get past the place,
You must disguise for the remainder miles.


I'll mount the white cockade if they invite me!
What does it matter if I do or don't?
In Europe all is past and over with me. . . .
Yes--all is lost in Europe for me now!


I fear so, sire.

NAPOLEON (after some moments)

But Asia waits a man,
And--who can tell?

OFFICER OF GUARD (to postillions)

Ahead now at full speed,
And slacken not till you have slipped the town.

[The postillions urge the horses to a gallop, and the carriages
are out of sight in a few seconds. The scene shuts.]



[The walls are in white panels, with gilt mouldings, and the
furniture is upholstered in white silk with needle-worked flowers.
The long windows and the bed are similarly draped, and the toilet
service is of gold. Through the panes appears a broad flat lawn
adorned with vases and figures on pedestals, and entirely
surrounded by trees--just now in their first fresh green under
the morning rays of Whitsunday. The notes of an organ are audible
from a chapel below, where the Pentecostal Mass is proceeding.

JOSEPHINE lies in the bed in an advanced stage of illness, the
ABBE BERTRAND standing beside her. Two ladies-in-waiting are
seated near. By the door into the ante-room, which is ajar,
HOREAU the physician-in-ordinary and BOURDOIS the consulting
physician are engaged in a low conversation.]


Lamoureux says that leeches would have saved her
Had they been used in time, before I came.
In that case, then, why did he wait for me?


Such whys are now too late! She is past all hope.
I doubt if aught had helped her. Not disease,
But heart-break and repinings are the blasts
That wither her long bloom. Soon we must tell
The Queen Hortense the worst, and the Viceroy.


Her death was made the easier task for grief
(As I regarded more than probable)
By her rash rising from a sore-sick bed
And donning thin and dainty May attire
To hail King Frederick-William and the Tsar
As banquet-guests, in the old regnant style.
A woman's innocent vanity!--but how dire.
She argued that amenities of State
Compelled the effort, since they had honoured her
By offering to come. I stood against it,
Pleaded and reasoned, but to no account.
Poor woman, what she did or did not do
Was of small moment to the State by then!
The Emperor Alexander has been kind
Throughout his stay in Paris. He came down
But yester-eve, of purpose to inquire.


Wellington is in Paris, too, I learn,
After his wasted battle at Toulouse.


Has his Peninsular army come with him?


I hear they have shipped it to America,
Where England has another war on hand.
We have armies quite sufficient here already--
Plenty of cooks for Paris broth just now!
--Come, call we Queen Hortense and Prince Eugene.

[Exeunt physicians. The ABBE BERTRAND also goes out. JOSEPHINE
murmurs faintly.]

FIRST LADY (going to the bedside)

I think I heard you speak, your Majesty?


I asked what hour it was---if dawn or eve?


Ten in the morning, Madame. You forget
You asked the same but a brief while ago.


Did I? I thought it was so long ago! . . .
I wish to go to Elba with him so much,
But the Allies prevented me. And why?
I would not have disgraced him, or themselves!
I would have gone to him at Fontainebleau,
With my eight horses and my household train
In dignity, and quitted him no more. . . .
Although I am his wife no longer now,
I think I should have gone in spite of them,
Had I not feared perversions might be sown
Between him and the woman of his choice
For whom he sacrificed me.


It is more
Than she thought fit to do, your Majesty.


Perhaps she was influenced by her father's ire,
Or diplomatic reasons told against her.
And yet I was surprised she should allow
Aught secondary on earth to hold her from
A husband she has outwardly, at least,
Declared attachment to.


With ever one at hand--his son and hers--
Reminding her of him.


Yes. . . . Glad am I
I saw that child of theirs, though only once.
But--there was not full truth--not quite, I fear--
In what I told the Emperor that day
He led him to me at Bagatelle,
That 'twas the happiest moment of my life.
I ought not to have said it. No! Forsooth
My feeling had too, too much gall in it
To let truth shape like that!--I also said
That when my arms were round him I forgot
That I was not his mother. So spoke I,
But oh me,--I remembered it too well!--
He was a lovely child; in his fond prate
His father's voice was eloquent. One might say
I am well punished for my sins against him!


You have harmed no creature, madame; much less him!


O but you don't quite know! . . . My coquetries
In our first married years nigh racked him through.
I cannot think how I could wax so wicked! . . .
He begged me come to him in Italy,
But I liked flirting in fair Paris best,
And would not go. The independent spouse
At that time was myself; but afterwards
I grew to be the captive, he the free.
Always 'tis so: the man wins finally!
My faults I've ransomed to the bottom sou
If ever a woman did! . . . I'll write to him--
I must--again, so that he understands.
Yes, I'll write now. Get me a pen and paper.

FIRST LADY (to Second Lady)

'Tis futile! She is too far gone to write;
But we must humour her.

[They fetch writing materials. On returning to the bed they find
her motionless. Enter EUGENE and QUEEN HORTENSE. Seeing the state
their mother is in, they fall down on their knees by her bed.
JOSEPHINE recognizes them and smiles. Anon she is able to speak

JOSEPHINE (faintly)

I am dying, dears;
And do not mind it--notwithstanding that
I feel I die regretted. You both love me!--
And as for France, I ever have desired
Her welfare, as you know--have wrought all things
A woman's scope could reach to forward it. . . .
And to you now who watch my ebbing here,
Declare I that Napoleon's first-chose wife
Has never caused her land a needless tear.
Tell him--these things I have said--bear him my love--
Tell him--I could not write!

[An interval. She spasmodically flings her arms over her son and
daughter, lets them fall, and becomes unconscious. They fetch a
looking-glass, and find that her breathing has ceased. The clock
of the Chateau strikes noon. The scene is veiled.]



[The house is lighted up with a blaze of wax candles, and a State
performance is about to begin in honour of the Allied sovereigns
now on a visit to England to celebrate the Peace. Peace-devices
adorn the theatre. A band can be heard in the street playing
"The White Cockade."

An extended Royal box has been formed by removing the partitions
of adjoining boxes. It is empty as yet, but the other parts of
the house are crowded to excess, and somewhat disorderly, the
interior doors having been broken down by besiegers, and many
people having obtained admission without payment. The prevalent
costume of the ladies is white satin and diamonds, with a few in

The curtain rises on the first act of the opera of "Aristodemo,"
MADAME GRASSINI and SIGNOR TRAMEZZINI being the leading voices.
Scarcely a note of the performance can be heard amid the exclamations
of persons half suffocated by the pressure.

At the end of the first act there follows a divertissement. The
curtain having fallen, a silence of expectation succeeds. It is
a little past ten o'clock.

Enter the Royal box the PRINCE REGENT, accompanied by the EMPEROR
OF RUSSIA, demonstrative in manner now as always, the KING OF
PRUSSIA, with his mien of reserve, and many minor ROYAL PERSONAGES
of Europe. There are moderate acclamations. At their back and in
neighbouring boxes LORD LIVERPOOL, LORD CASTLEREAGH, officers in
the suite of the sovereigns, interpreters, and others take their

The curtain rises again, and the performers are discovered drawn
up in line on the stage. They sing "God save the King." The
sovereigns stand up, bow, and resume their seats amid more

A VOICE (from the gallery)

Prinny, where's your wife? (Confusion.)


To which of us is the inquiry addressed, Prince?


To you, sire, depend upon't--by way of compliment.

[The second act of the Opera proceeds.]


Any later news from Elba, sir?


Nothing more than rumours, which, 'pon my honour, I can hardly
credit. One is that Bonaparte's valet has written to say the
ex-Emperor is becoming imbecile, and is an object of ridicule to
the inhabitants of the island.


A blessed result, sir, if true. If he is not imbecile he is worse
--planning how to involve Europe in another way. It was a short-
sighted policy to offer him a home so near as to ensure its becoming
a hot-bed of intrigue and conspiracy in no long time!


The ex-Empress, Marie-Louise, hasn't joined him after all, I learn.
Has she remained at Schonbrunn since leaving France, sires?


Yes, sir; with her son. She must never go back to France. Metternich
and her father will know better than let her do that. Poor young
thing, I am sorry for her all the same. She would have joined
Napoleon if she had been left to herself.--And I was sorry for the
other wife, too. I called at Malmaison a few days before she died.
A charming woman! SHE would have gone to Elba or to the devil with
him. Twenty thousand people crowded down from Paris to see her lying
in state last week.


Pity she didn't have a child by him, by God.


I don't think the other one's child is going to trouble us much.
But I wish Bonaparte himself had been sent farther away.


Some of our Government wanted to pack him off to St. Helena--an
island somewhere in the Atlantic, or Pacific, or Great South Sea.
But they were over-ruled. 'Twould have been a surer game.


One hears strange stories of his saying and doings. Some of my
people were telling me to-day that he says it is to Austria that
he really owes his fall, and that he ought to have destroyed her
when he had her in his power.


Dammy, sire, don't ye think he owes his fall to his ambition to
humble England by rupture of the Peace of Amiens, and trying to
invade us, and wasting his strength against us in the Peninsula?


I incline to think, with the greatest deference, that it was Moscow
that broke him.


The rejection of my conditions in the terms of peace at Prague, sires,
was the turning-point towards his downfall.

[Enter a box on the opposite side of the house the PRINCESS OF
others. Louder applause now rings through the theatre, drowning
the sweet voice of the GRASSINI in "Aristodemo."]


It is meant for your Royal Highness!


I don't think so, my dear. Punch's wife is nobody when Punch himself
is present.


I feel convinced that it is by their looking this way.


Surely ma'am you will acknowledge their affection? Otherwise we may
be hissed.


I know my business better than to take that morsel out of my husband's
mouth. There--you see he enjoys it! I cannot assume that it is
meant for me unless they call my name.

[The PRINCE REGENT rises and bows, the TSAR and the KING OF PRUSSIA
doing the same.]


He and the others are bowing for you, ma'am!


Mine God, then; I will bow too! (She rises and bends to them.)


She thinks we rose on her account.--A damn fool. (Aside.)


What--didn't we? I certainly rose in homage to her.


No, sire. We were supposed to rise to the repeated applause of the


H'm. Your customs sir, are a little puzzling. . . . (To the King of
Prussia.) A fine-looking woman! I must call upon the Princess of
Wales to-morrow.


I shall, at any rate, send her my respects by my chamberlain.

PRINCE REGENT (stepping back to Lord Liverpool)

By God, Liverpool, we must do something to stop 'em! They don't
know what a laughing-stock they'll make of me if they go to her.
Tell 'em they had better not.


I can hardly tell them now, sir, while we are celebrating the Peace
and Wellington's victories.


Oh, damn the peace, and damn the war, and damn Boney, and damn
Wellington's victories!--the question is, how am I to get over this
infernal woman!--Well, well,--I must write, or send Tyrwhitt to-
morrow morning, begging them to abandon the idea of visiting her
for politic reasons.

[The Opera proceeds to the end, and is followed by a hymn and
chorus laudatory to peace. Next a new ballet by MONSIEUR VESTRIS,
in which M. ROZIER and MADAME ANGIOLINI dance a pas-de-deux. Then
the Sovereigns leave the theatre amid more applause.

The pit and gallery now call for the PRINCESS OF WALES unmistakably.
She stand up and is warmly acclaimed, returning three stately


Shall we burn down Carlton House, my dear, and him in it?


No, my good folks! Be quiet. Go home to your beds, and let me do
the same.

[After some difficulty she gets out of the house. The people thin
away. As the candle-snuffers extinguish the lights a shouting is
heard without.]


Long life to the Princess of Wales! Three cheers for a woman wronged!

[The Opera-house becomes lost in darkness.]




[Night descends upon a beautiful blue cove, enclosed on three sides
by mountains. The port lies towards the western (right-hand) horn
of the concave, behind it being the buildings of the town; their
long white walls and rows of windows rise tier above tier on the
steep incline at the back, and are intersected by narrow alleys
and flights of steps that lead up to forts on the summit.

Upon a rock between two of these forts stands the Palace of the
Mulini, NAPOLEONS'S residence in Ferrajo. Its windows command
the whole town and the port.]


The Congress of Vienna sits,
And war becomes a war of wits,
Where every Power perpends withal
Its dues as large, its friends' as small;
Till Priests of Peace prepare once more
To fight as they have fought before!

In Paris there is discontent;
Medals are wrought that represent
One now unnamed. Men whisper, "He
Who once has been, again will be!"


Under cover of the dusk there assembles in the bay a small flotilla
comprising a brig called _l'Inconstant_ and several lesser vessels.


The guardian on behalf of the Allies
Absents himself from Elba. Slow surmise
Too vague to pen, too actual to ignore,
Have strained him hour by hour, and more and more.
He takes the sea to Florence, to declare
His doubts to Austria's ministrator there.


When he returns, Napoleon will be--where?

Boats put off from these ships to the quay, where are now discovered
to have silently gathered a body of grenadiers of the Old Guard. The
faces of DROUOT and CAMBRONNE are revealed by the occasional fleck of
a lantern to be in command of them. They are quietly taken aboard
the brig, and a number of men of different arms to the other vessels.

CHORUS OF RUMOURS (aerial music)

Napoleon is going,
And nought will prevent him;
He snatches the moment
Occasion has lent him!

And what is he going for,
Worn with war's labours?
--To reconquer Europe
With seven hundred sabres.

About eight o'clock we observe that the windows of the Palace of
the Mulini are lighted and open, and that two women sit at them:
the EMPEROR'S mother and the PRINCESS PAULINE. They wave adieux
to some one below, and in a short time a little open low-wheeled
carriage, drawn by the PRINCESS PAULINE'S two ponies, descends
from the house to the port. The crowd exclaims "The Emperor!"
NAPOLEON appears in his grey great-coat, and is much fatter than
when he left France. BERTRAND sits beside him.

He quickly alights and enters the waiting boat. It is a tense
moment. As the boat rows off the sailors sing the Marseillaise,
and the gathered inhabitants join in. When the boat reaches the
brig its sailors join in also, and shout "Paris or death!" Yet
the singing has a melancholy cadence. A gun fires as a signal
of departure. The night is warm and balmy for the season. Not
a breeze is there to stir a sail, and the ships are motionless.


Haste is salvation;
And still he stays waiting:
The calm plays the tyrant,
His venture belating!

Should the corvette return
With the anxious Scotch colonel,
Escape would be frustrate,
Retention eternal.

Four aching hours are spent thus. NAPOLEON remains silent on the
deck, looking at the town lights, whose reflections bore like augers
into the water of the bay. The sails hang flaccidly. Then a feeble
breeze, then a strong south wind, begins to belly the sails; and the
vessels move.


The south wind, the south wind,
The south wind will save him,
Embaying the frigate
Whose speed would enslave him;
Restoring the Empire
That fortune once gave him!

The moon rises and the ships silently disappear over the horizon
as it mounts higher into the sky.



[The fore-part of the scene is the interior of a dimly lit gallery
with an openwork screen or grille on one side of it that commands
a bird's-eye view of the grand saloon below. At present the screen
is curtained. Sounds of music and applause in the saloon ascend
into the gallery, and an irradiation from the same quarter shines
up through chinks in the curtains of the grille.

Enter the gallery MARIE LOUISE and the COUNTESS OF BRIGNOLE,
followed by the COUNT NEIPPERG, a handsome man of forty two with
a bandage over one eye.]


Listen, your Majesty. You gather all
As well as if you moved amid them there,
And are advantaged with free scope to flit
The moment the scene palls.


Ah, my dear friend,
To put it so is flower-sweet of you;
But a fallen Empress, doomed to furtive peeps
At scenes her open presence would unhinge,
Reads not much interest in them! Yet, in truth,
'Twas gracious of my father to arrange
This glimpse-hole for my curiosity.
--But I must write a letter ere I look;
You can amuse yourself with watching them.--
Count, bring me pen and paper. I am told
Madame de Montesquiou has been distressed
By some alarm; I write to ask its shape.

[NEIPPERG spreads writing materials on a table, and MARIE LOUISE
sits. While she writes he stays near her. MADAME DE BRIGNOLE
goes to the screen and parts the curtains.

The light of a thousand candles blazes up into her eyes from
below. The great hall is decorated in white and silver, enriched
by evergreens and flowers. At the end a stage is arranged, and
Tableaux Vivants are in progress thereon, representing the history
of the House of Austria, in which figure the most charming women
of the Court.

There are present as spectators nearly all the notables who have
assembled for the Congress, including the EMPEROR OF AUSTRIA
himself, has gay wife, who quite eclipses him, the EMPEROR
ALEXANDER, the KING OF PRUSSIA--still in the mourning he has
never abandoned since the death of QUEEN LUISA,--the KING
NESSELRODE, HARDENBERG; and minor princes, ministers, and
officials of all nations.]

COUNTESS OF BRIGNOLE (suddenly from he grille)

Something has happened--so it seems, madame!
The Tableau gains no heed from them, and all
Turn murmuring together.


What may be?

[She rises with languid curiosity, and COUNT NEIPPERG adroitly
takes her hand and leads her forward. All three look down through
the grille.]


some strange news, certainly, your Majesty,
Is being discussed.--I'll run down and inquire.

MARIE LOUISE (playfully)

Nay--stay here. We shall learn soon enough.


Look at their faces now. Count Metternich
Stares at Prince Talleyrand--no muscle moving.
The King of Prussia blinks bewilderedly
Upon Lord Wellington.

MARIE LOUISE (concerned)

Yes; so it seems. . . .
They are thunderstruck. See, though the music beats,
The ladies of the Tableau leave their place,
And mingle with the rest, and quite forget
That they are in masquerade. The sovereigns show
By far the gravest mien. . . . I wonder, now,
If it has aught to do with me or mine?
Disasters mostly have to do with me!


Those rude diplomists from England there,
At your Imperial father's consternation,
And Russia's, and the King of Prussia's gloom,
Shake shoulders with hid laughter! That they call
The English sense of humour, I infer,--
To see a jest in other people's troubles!

MARIE LOUISE (hiding her presages)

They ever take things thus phlegmatically:
The safe sea minimizes Continental scare
In their regard. I wish it did in mine!
But Wellington laughs not, as I discern.


Perhaps, though fun for the other English here,
It means new work for him. Ah--notice now
The music makes no more pretence to play!
Sovereigns and ministers have moved apart,
And talk, and leave the ladies quite aloof--
Even the Grand Duchesses and Empress, all--
Such mighty cogitations trance their minds!

MARIE LOUISE (with more anxiety)

Poor ladies; yea, they draw into the rear,
And whisper ominous words among themselves!
Count Neipperg--I must ask you now--go glean
What evil lowers. I am riddled through
With strange surmises and more strange alarms!


Ah--we shall learn it now. Well--what, madame?


Your Majesty, the Emperor Napoleon
Has vanished from Elba! Wither flown,
And how, and why, nobody says or knows.

MARIE LOUISE (sinking into a chair)

My divination pencilled on my brain
Something not unlike that! The rigid mien
That mastered Wellington suggested it. . . .
Complicity will be ascribed to me,
Unwitting though I stand! . . . (A pause.)
He'll not succeed!
And my fair plans for Parma will be marred,
And my son's future fouled!--I must go hence,
And instantly declare to Metternich
That I know nought of this; and in his hands
Place me unquestioningly, with dumb assent
To serve the Allies. . . . Methinks that I was born
Under an evil-coloured star, whose ray
Darts death at joys!--Take me away, Count.--You (to the ladies)
Can stay and see the end.

DE BRIGNOLE go to the grille and watch and listen.]


I told you, Prince, that it would never last!


Well, sire, you should have sent him to the Azores,
Or the Antilles, or best, Saint-Helena.


Instead, we send him but two days from France,
Give him an island as his own domain,
A military guard of large resource,
And millions for his purse!


The immediate cause
Must be a negligence in watching him.
The British Colonel Campbell should have seen
That apertures for flight were wired and barred
To such a cunning bird!


By all report
He took the course direct to Naples Bay.

VOICES (of new arrivals)

He has made his way to France--so all tongues tell--
And landed there, at Cannes! (Excitement.)


Do now but note
How cordial intercourse resolves itself
To sparks of sharp debate! The lesser guests
Are fain to steal unnoticed from a scene
Wherein they feel themselves as surplusage
Beside the official minds.--I catch a sign
The King of Prussia makes the English Duke;
They leave the room together.


Yes; wit wanes,
And all are going--Prince Talleyrand,
The Emperor Alexander, Metternich,
The Emperor Francis. . . . So much for the Congress!
Only a few blank nobodies remain,
And they seem terror-stricken. . . . Blackly ends
Such fair festivities. The red god War
Stalks Europe's plains anew!

[The curtain of the grille is dropped. MESDAMES DE MONTESQUIOU
and DE BRIGNOLE leave the gallery. The light is extinguished
there and the scene disappears.]



[A lonely road between a lake and some hills, two or three miles
outside the village of la Mure, is discovered. A battalion of
the Fifth French royalist regiment of the line under COMMANDANT
LESSARD, is drawn up in the middle of the road with a company of
sappers and miners, comprising altogether about eight hundred men.

Enter to them from the south a small detachment of lancers with
an aide-de-camp at their head. They ride up to within speaking


They are from Bonaparte. Present your arms!

AIDE (calling)

We'd parley on Napoleon's behalf,
And fain would ask you join him.


Al parole
With rebel bands the Government forbids.
Come five steps further and we fire!


To France,
And to posterity through fineless time,
Must you then answer for so foul a blow
Against the common weal!

[NAPOLEON'S aide-de-camp and the lancers turn about and ride
back out of sight. The royalist troops wait. Presently there
reappears from the same direction a small column of soldiery,
representing the whole of NAPOLEON'S little army shipped from
Elba. It is divided into an advance-guard under COLONEL MALLET,
and two bodies behind, a troop of Polish lancers under COLONEL
JERMANWSKI on the right side of the road, and some officers
without troops on the left, under MAJOR PACCONI.

NAPOLEON rides in the midst of the advance-guard, in the old
familiar "redingote grise," cocked hat, and tricolor cockade,
his well-known profile keen against the hills. He is attended
by GENERALS BERTRAND, DROUOT, and CAMBRONNE. When they get within
gun-shot of the royalists the men are halted. NAPOLEON dismounts
and steps forward.]


Direct the men
To lodge their weapons underneath the arm,
Points downward. I shall not require them here.


Sire, is it not a needless jeopardy
To meet them thus? The sentiments of these
We do not know, and the first trigger pressed
May end you.


I have thought it out, my friend,
And value not my life as in itself,
But as to France, severed from whose embrace]
I am dead already.

[He repeats the order, which is carried out. There is a breathless
silence, and people from the village gather round with tragic
expectations. NAPOLEON walks on alone towards the Fifth battalion,
Throwing open his great-coat and revealing his uniform and the
ribbon of the Legion of Honour. Raising his hand to his hat he


Present arms!

[The firelocks of the royalist battalion are levelled at NAPOLEON.]

NAPOLEON (still advancing)

Men of the Fifth,
See--here I am! . . . Old friends, do you not know me?
If there be one among you who would slay
His Chief of proud past years, let him come on
And do it now! (A pause.)

LESSARD (to his next officer)

They are death-white at his words!
They'll fire not on this man. And I am helpless.

SOLDIERS (suddenly)

Why yes! We know you, father. Glad to see ye!
The Emperor for ever! Ha! Huzza!

[They throw their arms upon the ground, and, rushing forward,
sink down and seize NAPOLEON'S knees and kiss his hands. Those
who cannot get near him wave their shakos and acclaim him
passionately. BERTRAND, DROUOT, and CAMBRONNE come up.]

NAPOLEON (privately)

All is accomplished, Bertrand! Ten days more,
And we are snug within the Tuileries.

[The soldiers tear out their white cockades and trample on them,
and disinter from the bottom of their knapsacks tricolors, which
they set up.

NAPOLEON'S own men now arrive, and fraternize with and embrace
the soldiers of the Fifth. When the emotion has subsided,
NAPOLEON forms the whole body into a square and addresses them.]

Soldiers, I came with these few faithful ones
To save you from the Bourbons,--treasons, tricks,
Ancient abuses, feudal tyranny--
From which I once of old delivered you.
The Bourbon throne is illegitimate
Because not founded on the nation's will,
But propped up for the profit of a few.
Comrades, is this not so?


Yes, verily, sire.
You are the Angel of the Lord to us;
We'll march with you to death or victory! (Shouts.)

[At this moment a howling dog crosses in front of them with a
cockade tied to its tail. The soldiery of both sides laugh

NAPOLEON forms both bodies of troops into one column. Peasantry
run up with buckets of sour wine and a single glass; NAPOLEON
takes his turn with the rank and file in drinking from it. He
bids the whole column follow him to Grenoble and Paris. Exeunt
soldiers headed by NAPOLEON. The scene shuts.]



[The gardens of the Palace. Fountains and statuary are seen
around, and the Gloriette colonnade rising against the sky on
a hill behind.

The ex-EMPRESS MARIE LOUISE is discovered walking up and down.
Accompanying her is the KING OF ROME--now a blue-eye, fair-haired
child--in the charge of the COUNTESS OF MONTESQUIOU. Close by is
COUNT NEIPPERG, and at a little distance MENEVAL, her attendant
and Napoleon's adherent.

The EMPEROR FRANCIS and METTERNICH enter at the other end of the

MARIE LOUISE (with a start)

Here are the Emperor and Prince Metternich.
Wrote you as I directed?


Promptly so.
I said your Majesty had not part
In this mad move of your Imperial spouse,
And made yourself a ward of the Allies;
Adding, that you had vowed irrevocably
To enter France no more.


Your worthy zeal
Has been a trifle swift. My meaning stretched
Not quite so far as that. . . . And yet--and yet
It matters little. Nothing matters much!

[The EMPEROR and METTERNICH come forward. NEIPPERG retires.]


My daughter, you did not a whit too soon
Voice your repudiation. Have you seen
What the allies have papered Europe with?


I have seen nothing.


Please you read it, Prince.

METTERNICH (taking out a paper)

"The Powers assembled at the Congress here
Owe it to their own troths and dignities,
And to the furtherance of social order,
To make a solemn Declaration, thus:
By breaking the convention as to Elba,
Napoleon Bonaparte forthwith destroys
His only legal title to exist,
And as a consequence has hurled himself
Beyond the pale of civil intercourse.
Disturber of the tranquillity of the world,
There can be neither peace nor truce with him,
And public vengeance is his self-sought doom.--
Signed by the Plenipotentiaries."


O God,
How terrible! . . . What shall---(she begins weeping.)


Is it papa
They want to hurt like that, dear Mamma 'Quiou?
Then 'twas no good my praying for him so;
And I can see that I am not going to be
A King much longer!

COUNTESS OF MONTESQUIOU (retiring with the child)

Pray for him, Monseigneur,
Morning and evening just the same! They plan
To take you off from me. But don't forget--
Do as I say!


Yes, Mamma 'Quiou, I will!--
But why have I no pages now? And why
Does my mamma the Empress weep so much?


We'll talk elsewhere.

[MONTESQUIOU and the KING OF ROME withdraw to back.]


At least, then, you agree
Not to attempt to follow Paris-ward
Your conscience-lacking husband, and create
More troubles in the State?--Remember this,
I sacrifice my every man and horse
Ere he Rule France again.


I am pledged already
To hold by the Allies; let that suffice!


For the clear good of all, your Majesty,
And for your safety and the King of Rome's,
It most befits that your Imperial father
Should have sole charge of the young king henceforth,
While these convulsions rage. That this is so
You will see, I think, in view of being installed
As Parma's Duchess, and take steps therefor.


I understand the terms to be as follows:
Parma is mine--my very own possession,--
And as a counterquit, the guardianship
Is ceded to my father of my son,
And I keep out of France.


And likewise this:
All missives that your Majesty receives
Under Napoleon's hand, you tender straight
The Austrian Cabinet, the seals unbroke;
With those received already.


You discern
How vastly to the welfare of your son
This course must tend? Duchess of Parma throned
You shine a wealthy woman, to endow
Your son with fortune and large landed fee.

MARIE LOUISE (bitterly)

I must have Parma: and those being the terms
Perforce accept! I weary of the strain
Of statecraft and political embroil:
I long for private quiet! . . . And now wish
To say no more at all.

[MENEVAL, who has heard her latter remarks, turns sadly away.]


There's nought to say;
All is in train to work straightforwardly.

[FRANCIS and METTERNICH depart. MARIE LOUISE retires towards the
child and the COUNTESS OF MONTESQUIOU at the back of the parterre,
where they are joined by NEIPPERG.

Enter in front DE MONTROND, a secret emissary of NAPOLEON, disguised
as a florist examining the gardens. MENEVAL recognizes him and
comes forward.]


Why are you here, de Montrond? All is hopeless!


Wherefore? The offer of the Regency
I come empowered to make, and will conduct her
Safely to Strassburg with her little son,
If she shrink not to breech her as a man,
And tiptoe from a postern unperceived?


Though such quaint gear would mould her to a youth
Fair as Adonis on a hunting morn,
Yet she'll refuse! A German prudery
Sits on her still; more, kneaded by her arts
There's no will left to her. I conjured her
To hold aloof, sign nothing. But in vain.

DE MONTROND (looking towards Marie Louise)

I fain would put it to her privately!


A thing impossible. No word to her
Without a word to him you see with her,
Neipperg to wit. She grows indifferent
To dreams as Regent; visioning a future
Wherein her son and self are two of three
But where the third is not Napoleon.

DE MONTROND (In sad surprise)

I may as well go hence then as I came,
And kneel to Heaven for one thing--that success
Attend Napoleon in the coming throes!


I'll walk with you for safety to the gate,
Though I am as the Emperor's man suspect,
And any day may be dismissed. If so
I go to Paris.



Had he but persevered, and biassed her
To slip the breeches on, and hie away,
Who knows but that the map of France had shaped
And it will never now!

[There enters from the other side of the gardens MARIA CAROLINA,
ex-Queen of Naples, and grandmother of Marie Louise. The latter,
dismissing MONTESQUIOU and the child, comes forward.]


I have crossed from Hetzendorf to kill an hour;
Why art so pensive, dear?


Ah, why! My lines
Rule ruggedly. You doubtless have perused
This vicious cry against the Emperor?
He's outlawed--to be caught alive or dead,
Like any noisome beast!


Nought have I heard,
My child. But these vile tricks, to pluck you from
Your nuptial plightage and your rightful glory
Make me belch oaths!--You shall not join your husband
Do they assert? My God, I know one thing,
Outlawed or no, I'd knot my sheets forthwith,
Were I but you, and steal to him in disguise,
Let come what would come! Marriage is for life.


Mostly; not always: not with Josephine;
And, maybe, not with me. But, that apart,
I could do nothing so outrageous.
Too many things, dear grand-dame, you forget.
A puppet I, by force inflexible,
Was bid to wed Napoleon at a nod,--
The man acclaimed to me from cradle-days
As the incarnate of all evil things,
The Antichrist himself.--I kissed the cup,
Gulped down the inevitable, and married him;
But none the less I saw myself therein
The lamb whose innocent flesh was dressed to grace
The altar of dynastic ritual!--
Hence Elba flung no duty-call to me,
Neither does Paris now.


I do perceive
They have worked on you to much effect already!
Go, join your Count; he waits you, dear.--Well, well;
The way the wind blows needs no cock to tell!

[Exeunt severally QUEEN MARIA CAROLINA and MARIE LOUISE with
NEIPPERG. The sun sets over the gardens and the scene fades.]



[The interior of the Chamber appears as in Scene III., Act I.,
Part I., except that the windows are not open and the trees
without are not yet green.

Among the Members discovered in their places are, of ministers
and their supporters, LORD CASTLEREAGH the Foreign Secretary,
VANSITTART Chancellor of the Exchequer, BATHURST, PALMERSTON
the Attorney General, SHEPHERD, LONG, PLUNKETT, BANKES; and among

Much interest in the debate is apparent, and the galleries are
full. LORD CASTLEREAGH rises.]


At never a moment in my stressed career,
Amid no memory-moving urgencies,
Have I, sir, felt so gravely set on me
The sudden, vast responsibility
That I feel now. Few things conceivable
Could more momentous to the future be
Than what may spring from counsel here to-night
On means to meet the plot unparalleled
In full fierce play elsewhere. Sir, this being so,
And seeing how the events of these last days
Menace the toil of twenty anxious years,
And peril all that period's patient aim,
No auguring mind can doubt that deeds which root
In steadiest purpose only, will effect
Deliverance from a world-calamity
As dark as any in the vaults of Time.

Now, what we notice front and foremost is
That this convulsion speaks not, pictures not
The heart of France. It comes of artifice--
From the unique and sinister influence
Of a smart army-gamester--upon men
Who have shared his own excitements, spoils, and crimes.--
This man, who calls himself most impiously
The Emperor of France by Grace of God,
Has, in the scale of human character,
Dropt down so low, that he has set at nought
All pledges, stipulations, guarantees,
And stepped upon the only pedestal
On which he cares to stand--his lawless will.
Indeed, it is a fact scarce credible
That so mysteriously in his own breast
Did this adventurer lock the scheme he planned,
That his companion Bertrand, chief in trust,
Was unapprised thereof until the hour
In which the order to embark was given!

I think the House will readily discern
That the wise, wary trackway to be trod
By our own country in the crisis reached,
Must lie 'twixt two alternatives,--of war
In concert with the Continental Powers,
Or of an armed and cautionary course
Sufficing for the present phase of things.

Whatever differences of view prevail
On the so serious and impending question--
Whether in point of prudent reckoning
'Twere better let the power set up exist,
Or promptly at the outset deal with it--
Still, to all eyes it is imperative
That some mode of safeguardance be devised;
And if I cannot range before the House,
At this stage, all the reachings of the case,
I will, if needful, on some future day
Poise these nice matters on their merits here.

Meanwhile I have to move:
That an address unto His Royal Highness
Be humbly offered for his gracious message,
And to assure him that his faithful Commons
Are fully roused to the dark hazardries
To which the life and equanimity
Of Europe are exposed by deeds in France,
In contravention of the plighted pacts
At Paris in the course of yester-year.

That, in a cause of such wide-waked concern,
It doth afford us real relief to know
That concert with His Majesty's Allies
Is being effected with no loss of time--
Such concert as will thoroughly provide
For Europe's full and long security. (Cheers.)

That we, with zeal, will speed such help to him
So to augment his force by sea and land
As shall empower him to set afoot
Swift measures meet for its accomplishing. (Cheers.)


It seems to me almost impossible,
Weighing the language of the noble lord,
To catch its counsel,--whether peace of war. (Hear, hear.)
If I translate his words to signify
The high expediency of watch and ward,
That we may not be taken unawares,
I own concurrence; but if he propose
Too plunge this realm into a sea of blood
To reinstate the Bourbon line in France,
I should but poorly do my duty here
Did I not lift my voice protestingly
Against so ruinous an enterprise!

Sir, I am old enough to call to mind
The first fierce frenzies for the selfsame end,
The fruit of which was to endow this man,
The object of your apprehension now,
With such a might as could not be withstood
By all of banded Europe, till he roamed
And wrecked it wantonly on Russian plains.
Shall, then, another score of scourging years
Distract this land to make a Bourbon king?
Wrongly has Bonaparte's late course been called
A rude incursion on the soil of France.--
Who ever knew a sole and single man
Invade a nation thirty million strong,
And gain in some few days full sovereignty
Against the nation's will!--The truth is this:
The nation longed for him, and has obtained him. . . .

I have beheld the agonies of war
Through many a weary season; seen enough
To make me hold that scarcely any goal
Is worth the reaching by so red a road.
No man can doubt that this Napoleon stands
As Emperor of France by Frenchmen's wills.
Let the French settle, then, their own affairs;
I say we shall have nought to apprehend!--

Much as I might advance in proof of this,
I'll dwell not thereon now. I am satisfied
To give the general reasons which, in brief,
Balk my concurrence in the Address proposed. (Cheers.)


My words will be but few, for the Address
Constrains me to support it as it stands.
So far from being the primary step to war,
Its sense and substance is, in my regard,
To leave the House to guidance by events
On the grave question of hostilities.

The statements of the noble lord, I hold,
Have not been candidly interpreted
By grafting on to them a headstrong will,
As does the honourable baronet,
To rob the French of Buonaparte's rule,
And force them back to Bourbon monarchism.
That our free land, at this abnormal time,
Should put her in a pose of wariness,
No unwarped mind can doubt. Must war revive,
Let it be quickly waged; and quickly, too,
Reach its effective end: though 'tis my hope,
My ardent hope, that peace may be preserved.


Were it that I could think, as does my friend,
That ambiguity of sentiment
Informed the utterance of the noble lord
(As oft does ambiguity of word),
I might with satisfied and sure resolve
Vote straight for the Address. But eyeing well
The flimsy web there woven to entrap
The credence of my honourable friends,
I must with all my energy contest
The wisdom of a new and hot crusade
For fixing who shall fill the throne of France.

Already are the seeds of mischief sown:
The Declaration at Vienna, signed
Against Napoleon, is, in my regard,
Abhorrent, and our country's character
Defaced by our subscription to its terms!
If words have any meaning it incites
To sheer assassination; it proclaims
That any meeting Bonaparte may slay him;
And, whatso language the Allies now hold,
In that outburst, at least, was war declared.
The noble lord to-night would second it,
Would seem to urge that we full arm, then wait
For just as long, no longer, than would serve
The preparations of the other Powers,
And then--pounce down on France!


No, no! Not so.


Good God, then, what are we to understand?--
However, this denial is a gain,
And my misapprehension owes its birth
Entirely to that mystery of phrase
Which taints all rhetoric of the noble lord,

Well, what is urged for new aggression now,
To vamp up and replace the Bourbon line?
The wittiest man who ever sat here(21) said
That half our nation's debt had been incurred
In efforts to suppress the Bourbon power,
The other half in efforts to restore it, (laughter)
And I must deprecate a further plunge
For ends so futile! Why, since Ministers
Craved peace with Bonaparte at Chatillon,
Should they refuse him peace and quiet now?

This brief amendment therefore I submit
To limit Ministers' aggressiveness
And make self-safety all their chartering:
"We at the same time earnestly implore
That the Prince Regent graciously induce
Strenuous endeavours in the cause of peace,
So long as it be done consistently
With the due honour of the English crown." (Cheers.)


The arguments of Members opposite
Posit conditions which experience proves
But figments of a dream;--that honesty,
Truth, and good faith in this same Bonaparte
May be assumed and can be acted on:
This of one who is loud to violate
Bonds the most sacred, treaties the most grave! . . .

It follows not that since this realm was won
To treat with Bonaparte at Chatillon,
It can treat now. And as for assassination,
The sentiments outspoken here to-night
Are much more like to urge to desperate deeds
Against the persons of our good Allies,
Than are, against Napoleon, statements signed
By the Vienna plenipotentiaries!

We are, in fine, too fully warranted
On moral grounds to strike at Bonaparte,
If we at any crisis reckon it
Expedient so to do. The Government
Will act throughout in concert with the Allies,
And Ministers are well within their rights
To claim that their responsibility
Be not disturbed by hackneyed forms of speech ("Oh, oh")
Upon war's horrors, and the bliss of peace,--
Which none denies! (Cheers.)


I ask the noble lord,
If that his meaning and pronouncement be
Immediate war?


I have not phrased it so.


The question is unanswered!

[There are excited calls, and the House divides. The result is
announced as thirty-seven for WHITBREAD'S amendment, and against
it two hundred and twenty. The clock strikes twelve as the House



[On a patch of green grass on Durnover Hill, in the purlieus of
Casterbridge, a rough gallows has been erected, and an effigy of
Napoleon hung upon it. Under the effigy are faggots of brushwood.

It is the dusk of a spring evening, and a great crowd has gathered,
comprising male and female inhabitants of the Durnover suburb
and villagers from distances of many miles. Also are present
some of the county yeomanry in white leather breeches and scarlet,
volunteers in scarlet with green facings, and the REVEREND MR.
PALMER, vicar of the parish, leaning against the post of his
garden door, and smoking a clay pipe of preternatural length.
Casterbridge. The Durnover band, which includes a clarionet,
{serpent,} oboe, tambourine, cymbals, and drum, is playing "Lord
Wellington's Hornpipe."]

RUSTIC (wiping his face)

Says I, please God I'll lose a quarter to zee he burned! And I left
Stourcastle at dree o'clock to a minute. And if I'd known that I
should be too late to zee the beginning on't, I'd have lost a half
to be a bit sooner.


Oh, you be soon enough good-now. He's just going to be lighted.


But shall I zee en die? I wanted to zee if he'd die hard,


Why, you don't suppose that Boney himself is to be burned here?


What--not Boney that's to be burned?


Why, bless the poor man, no! This is only a mommet they've made of
him, that's got neither chine nor chitlings. His innerds be only a
lock of straw from Bridle's barton.


He's made, neighbour, of a' old cast jacket and breeches from our
barracks here. Likeways Grammer Pawle gave us Cap'n Meggs's old
Zunday shirt that she'd saved for tinder-box linnit; and Keeper
Tricksey of Mellstock emptied his powder-horn into a barm-bladder,
to make his heart wi'.

RUSTIC (vehemently)

Then there's no honesty left in Wessex folk nowadays at all! "Boney's
going to be burned on Durnover Green to-night,"-- that was what I
thought, to be sure I did, that he'd been catched sailing from his
islant and landed at Budmouth and brought to Casterbridge Jail, the
natural retreat of malefactors!--False deceivers--making me lose a
quarter who can ill afford it; and all for nothing!


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