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The Historic Court Memoirs of France, complete

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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
Le front tout radieux d'un ministre influent;
Mais pour faire palir l'etoile d'Angleterre,
Un SOLEIL tout nouveau parut au firmament,
Et ce soleil du peuple franc
Admire de l'Europe entiere
Sur la terre est nomme BONAPARTE LE GRAND.

For this delicate compliment Brouet was made deputy postmaster-general in
Italy, and a Knight of the Legion of Honour. It must be granted that,
if Bonaparte is fond of flattery, he does not receive it gratis, but pays
for it like a real Emperor.

It has lately become the etiquette, not only in our Court circle and
official assemblies, but even in fashionable societies of persons who
are, or wish to become, Bonaparte's public functionaries, to distribute
and have read and applauded these disinterested effusions of our poetical
geniuses. This fashion occasioned lately a curious blunder at a tea-
party in the hotel of Madame de Talleyrand. The same printer who had
been engaged by this lady had also been employed by Chenier, or some
other poet, to print a short satire against several of our literary
ladies, in which Madame de Genlis and Madame de Stael (who has just
arrived here from her exile) were, with others, very severely handled.
By mistake, a bundle of this production was given to the porter of Madame
de Talleyrand, and a copy was handed to each visitor, even to Madame de
Genlis and Madame de Stael, who took them without noticing their
contents. Picard, after reading an act of a new play, was asked by the
lady of the house to read this poetic worship of the Emperor of the
French. After the first two lines he stopped short, looking round him
confused, suspecting a trick had been played upon him. This induced the
audience to read what had been given them, and Madame de Talleyrand with
the rest; who, instead of permitting Picard to continue with another.
scene of his play, as he had adroitly begun, made the most awkward
apology in the world, and by it exposed the ladies still more who were
the objects of the satire; which, an hour afterwards, was exchanged for
the verses intended for the homage of the Emperor, and the cause of the
error was cleared up.

I have read somewhere of a tyrant of antiquity who forced all his
subjects to furnish one room of their houses in the best possible manner,
according to their circumstances, and to have it consecrated for the
reception of his bust, before which, under pain of death, they were
commanded to prostrate themselves, morning, noon, and night. They were
to enter this room, bareheaded and barefooted, to remain there only on
their knees, and to leave it without turning their back towards the
sacred representative of their Prince. All laughing, sneezing, coughing,
speaking, or even whispering, were capitally prohibited; but crying was
not only permitted, but commanded, when His Majesty was offended, angry,
or unwell. Should our system of cringing continue progressively to
increase as it has done these last three years, we, too, shall very soon
have rooms consecrated, and an idol to adore.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--Portugal has suffered more from the degraded state of Spain,
under the administration of the Prince of Peace, than we have yet gained
by it in France. Engaged by her, in 1793, in a war against its
inclination and interest, it was not only deserted afterwards, but
sacrificed. But for the dictates of the Court of Madrid, supported,
perhaps, by some secret influence of the Court of St. James, the Court of
Lisbon would have preserved its neutrality, and, though not a well-wisher
of the French Republic, never have been counted among her avowed enemies.

In the peace of 1795, and in the subsequent treaty of 1796, which
transformed the family compact of the French and Spanish Bourbons into a
national alliance between France and Spain, there was no question about
Portugal. In 1797, indeed, our Government condescended to receive a
Portuguese plenipotentiary, but merely for the purpose of plundering his
country of some millions of money, and to insult it by shutting up its
representative as a State prisoner in the Temple. Of this violation of
the laws of civilized nations, Spain never complained, nor had Portugal
any means to avenge it. After four years of negotiation, and an
expenditure of thirty millions, the imbecile Spanish premier supported
demands made by our Government, which, if assented to, would have left
Her Most Faithful Majesty without any territory in Europe, and without
any place of refuge in America. Circumstances not permitting your
country to send any but pecuniary succours, Portugal would have become an
easy prey to the united Spanish and French forces, had the marauders
agreed about the partition of the spoil. Their disunion, the consequence
of their avidity, saved it from ruin, but not from pillage. A province
was ceded to Spain, the banks and the navigation of a river to France,
and fifty millions to the private purse of the Bonaparte family.

It might have been supposed that such renunciations, and such offerings,
would have satiated ambition, as well as cupidity; but, though the
Cabinet of Lisbon was in peace with the Cabinet of St. Cloud, the
pretensions and encroachments of the latter left the former no rest.
While pocketing tributes it required commercial monopolies, and when its
commerce was favoured, it demanded seaports to ensure the security of its
trade. Its pretensions rose in proportion to the condescensions of the
State it, oppressed. With the money and the value of the diamonds which
Portugal has paid in loans, in contributions, in requisitions, in
donations, in tributes, and in presents, it might have supported, during
ten years, an army of one hundred thousand men; and could it then have
been worse situated than it has been since, and is still at this moment?

But the manner of extorting, and the individuals employed to extort,
were more humiliating to its dignity and independence than the extortions
themselves were injurious to its resources. The first revolutionary
Ambassador Bonaparte sent thither evinced both his ingratitude and his

Few of our many upstart generals have more illiberal sentiments, and more
vulgar and insolent manners, than General Lasnes. The son of a publican
and a smuggler, he was a smuggler himself in his youth, and afterwards a
postilion, a dragoon, a deserter, a coiner, a Jacobin, and a terrorist;
and he has, with all the meanness and brutality of these different
trades, a kind of native impertinence and audacity which shocks and
disgusts. He seems to say, "I am a villain. I know that I am so, and I
am proud of being so. To obtain the rank I possess I have respected no
human laws, and I bid defiance to all Divine vengeance. I might be
murdered or hanged, but it is impossible to degrade me. On a gibbet or
in the palace of a Prince, seized by the executioner or dining with
Sovereigns, I am, I will, and I must, always remain the same. Infamy
cannot debase me, nor is it in the power of grandeur to exalt me."
General, Ambassador, Field-marshal, First Consul, or Emperor, Lasnes will
always be the same polluted, but daring individual; a stranger to remorse
and repentance, as well as to honour and virtue. Where Bonaparte sends a
banditto of such a stamp, he has resolved on destruction.

A kind of temporary disgrace was said to have occasioned Lasnes's first
mission to Portugal. When commander of the consular guard, in 1802, he
had appropriated to himself a sum of money from the regimental chest,
and, as a punishment, was exiled as an Ambassador, as he said himself.
His resentment against Bonaparte he took care to pour out on the Regent
of Portugal. Without inquiring or caring about the etiquette of the
Court of Lisbon, he brought the sans-culotte etiquette of the Court of
the Tuileries with him, and determined to fraternize with a foreign and
legitimate Sovereign, as he had done with his own sans-culotte friend and
First Consul; and, what is the more surprising, he carried his point.
The Prince Regent not only admitted him to the royal table, but stood
sponsor to his child by a wife who had been two years his mistress before
he was divorced from his first spouse, and with whom the Prince's
consort, a Bourbon Princess and a daughter of a King, was also obliged to

Avaricious as well as unprincipled, he pursued, as an Ambassador, his
former business of a smuggler, and, instead of being ashamed of a
discovery, proclaimed it publicly, deserted his post, was not reprimanded
in France, but was, without apology, received back again in Portugal.
His conduct afterwards could not be surprising. He only insisted that
some faithful and able Ministers should be removed, and others appointed
in their place, more complaisant and less honest.

New plans of Bonaparte, however, delivered Portugal from this plague; but
what did it obtain in return?--another grenadier Ambassador, less brutal
but more cunning, as abandoned but more dissimulating.

Gendral Junot is the son of a corn-chandler near the corn-market of this
capital, and was a shopman to his father in 1789. Having committed some
pilfering, he was turned out of the parental dwelling, and therefore
lodged himself as an inmate of the Jacobin Club. In 1792, he entered,
as a soldier, in a regiment of the army marching against the county of
Nice; and, in 1793, he served before Toulon, where he became acquainted
with Bonaparte, whom he, in January, 1794, assisted in despatching the
unfortunate Toulonese; and with whom, also, in the autumn of the same
year, he, therefore, was arrested as a terrorist.

In 1796, when commander-in-chief, Bonaparte made Junot his aide-de-camp;
and in that capacity he accompanied him, in 1798, to Egypt. There, as
well as in Italy, he fought bravely, but had no particular opportunity of
distinguishing himself. He was not one of those select few whom Napoleon
brought with him to Europe in 1799, but returned first to France in 1801,
when he was nominated a general of division and commander of this
capital, a place he resigned last year to General Murat.

His despotic and cruel behaviour while commander of Paris made him not
much regretted. Fouche lost in him, indeed, an able support, but none of
us here ever experienced from him justice, much less protection. As with
all other of our modern public functionaries, without money nothing was
obtained from him. It required as much for not doing any harm as if, in
renouncing his usual vexatious oppressions, he had conferred benefits.
He was much suspected of being, with Fouche, the patron of a gang of
street robbers and housebreakers, who, in the winter of 1803, infested
this capital, and who, when finally discovered, were screened from
justice and suffered to escape punishment.

I will tell you what I personally have seen of him. Happening one
evening to enter the rooms at Frascati, where the gambling-tables are
kept, I observed him, undressed, out of regimentals, in company with at
young man, who afterwards avowed himself an aide-de-camp of this general,
and who was playing with rouleaux of louis d'or, supposed to contain
fifty each, at Rouge et Noir. As long as he lost, which he did several
times, he took up the rouleau on the table, and gave another from his
pocket. At last he won, when he asked the bankers to look at their loss,
and count the money in his rouleau before they paid him. On opening it,
they found it contained one hundred bank-notes of one thousand livres
each--folded in a manner to resemble the form and size of louis d'or.
The bankers refused to pay, and applied to the company whether they were
not in the right to do so, after so many rouleaux had been changed by the
person who now required such an unusual sum in such an unusual manner.
Before any answer could be given, Junot interfered, asking the bankers
whether they knew who he was. Upon their answering in the negative, he
said: "I am General Junot, the commander of Paris, and this officer who
has won the money is my aide-de-camp; and I insist upon your paying him
this instant, if you do not wish to have your bank confiscated and your
persons arrested." They refused to part with money which they protested
was not their own, and most of the individuals present joined them in
their resistance. "You are altogether a set of scoundrels and sharpers,"
interrupted Junot; "your business shall soon be done."

So saying, he seized all the money on the table, and a kind of boxing-
match ensued between him and the bankers, in which he, being a tall and
strong man, got the better of them. The tumult, however, brought in the
guard, whom he ordered, as their chief, to carry to prison sixteen
persons he pointed out. Fortunately, I was not of the number--I say
fortunately, for I have heard that most of them remained in prison six
months before this delicate affair was cleared up and settled. In the
meantime, Junot not only pocketed all the money he pretended was due to
his aide-de-camp, but the whole sum contained in the bank, which was
double that amount. It was believed by every one present that this was
an affair arranged between him and his aide-de-camp beforehand to pillage
the bank. What a commander, what a general, and what an Ambassador!

Fitte, the secretary of our Embassy to Portugal, was formerly an Abbe,
and must be well remembered in your country, where he passed some years
as an emigrant, but was, in fact, a spy of Talleyrand. I am told that,
by his intrigues, he even succeeded in swindling your Ministers out of a
sum of money by some plausible schemes he proposed to them. He is, as
well as all other apostate priests, a very dangerous man, and an immoral
and unprincipled wretch. During the time of Robespierre he is said to
have caused the murder of his elder brother and younger sister; the
former he denounced to appropriate to himself his wealth, and the latter
he accused of fanaticism, because she refused to cohabit with him. He
daily boasts of the great protection and great friendship of Talleyrand.
'Qualis rex, talis grex'.


PARIS, September, 1805.

MY LORD:--In some of the ancient Republics, all citizens who, in time of
danger and trouble, remained neutral, were punished as traitors or
treated as enemies. When, by our Revolution, civilized society and the
European Commonwealth were menaced with a total overthrow, had each
member of it been considered in the same light, and subjected to the same
laws, some individual States might, perhaps, have been less wealthy, but
the whole community would have been more happy and more tranquil, which
would have been much better. It was a great error in the powerful league
of 1793 to admit any neutrality at all; every Government that did not
combat rebellion should have been considered and treated as its ally.
The man who continues neutral, though only a passenger, when hands are
wanted to preserve the vessel from sinking, deserves to be thrown
overboard, to be swallowed up by the waves and to perish the first.
Had all other nations been united and unanimous, during 1793 and 1794,
against the monster, Jacobinism, we should not have heard of either
Jacobin directors, Jacobin consuls, or a Jacobin Emperor. But then,
from a petty regard to a temporary profit, they entered into a truce with
a revolutionary volcano, which, sooner or later, will consume them all;
for I am afraid it is now too late for all human power, with all human
means, to preserve any State, any Government, or any people, from
suffering by the threatening conflagration. Switzerland, Venice, Geneva,
Genoa, and Tuscany have already gathered the poisoned fruits of their
neutrality. Let but Bonaparte establish himself undisturbed in Hanover
some years longer, and you will see the neutral Hanse Towns, neutral
Prussia, and neutral Denmark visited with all the evils of invasion,
pillage, and destruction, and the independence of the nations in the
North will be buried in the rubbish of the liberties of the people of the
South of Europe.

These ideas have frequently occurred to me, on hearing our agents
pronounce, and their dupes repeat: "Oh! the wise Government of Denmark!
Oh, what a wise statesman the Danish Minister, Count von Bernstorff!"
I do not deny that the late Count von Bernstorff was a great politician;
but I assert, also, that his was a greatness more calculated for regular
times than for periods of unusual political convulsion. Like your Pitt,
the Russian Woronzow, and the Austrian Colloredo, he was too honest to
judge soundly and to act rightly, according to the present situation of
affairs. He adhered too much to the old routine, and did not perceive
the immense difference between the Government of a revolutionary ruler
and the Government of a Louis XIII. or a Louis XIV. I am certain, had he
still been alive, he would have repented of his errors, and tried to have
repaired them.

His son, the present Danish Minister, follows his father's plans, and
adheres, in 1805, to a system laid down by him in 1795; while the
alterations that have occurred within these ten years have more affected
the real and relative power and weakness of States than all the
revolutions which have been produced by the insurrections, wars, and
pacifications of the two preceding centuries. He has even gone farther,
in some parts of his administration, than his father ever intended.
Without remembering the political TRUTH, that a weak State which courts
the alliance of a powerful neighbour always becomes a vassal, while
desiring to become an ally, he has attempted to exchange the connections
of Denmark and Russia for new ones with Prussia; and forgotten the
obligations of the Cabinet of Copenhagen to the Cabinet of St.
Petersburg, and the interested policy of the House of Brandenburgh.
That, on the contrary, Russia has always been a generous ally of Denmark,
the flourishing state of the Danish dominions since the beginning of the
last century evinces. Its distance and geographical position prevent all
encroachments from being feared or attempted; while at the same time it
affords protection equally against the rivalry of Sweden and ambition of

The Prince Royal of Denmark is patriotic as well as enlightened, and
would rule with more true policy and lustre were he to follow seldomer
the advice of his counsellors, and oftener the dictates of his own mind.
Count von Schimmelmann, Count von Reventlow, and Count von Bernstorff,
are all good and moral characters; but I fear that their united capacity
taken together will not fill up the vacancy left in the Danish Cabinet by
the death of its late Prime Minister. I have been personally acquainted
with them all three, but I draw my conclusions from the acts of their
administration, not from my own knowledge. Had the late Count von
Bernstorff held the ministerial helm in 1803, a paragraph in the Moniteur
would never have disbanded a Danish army in Holstein; nor would, in 1805,
intriguers have been endured who preached neutrality, after witnessing
repeated violation of the law of nations, not on the remote banks of the
Rhine, but on the Danish frontiers, on the Danish territory, on the banks
of the Elbe.

It certainly was no compliment to His Danish Majesty when our Government
sent Grouvelle as a representative to Copenhagen, a man who owed his
education and information to the Conde branch of the Bourbons, and who
afterwards audaciously and sacrilegiously read the sentence of death on
the chief of that family, on his good and legitimate King, Louis XVI.
It can neither be called dignity nor prudence in the Cabinet of Denmark
to suffer this regicide to serve as a point of rally to sedition and
innovation; to be the official propagator of revolutionary doctrines,
and an official protector of all proselytes and sectaries of this anti-
social faith.

Before the Revolution a secretary to the Prince of Conde, Grouvelle was
trusted and rewarded by His Serene Highness, and in return betrayed his
confidence, and repaid benefactions and generosity with calumny and
persecution, when his patron was obliged to seek safety in emigration
against the assassins of successful rebellion. When the national seals
were put on the estates of the Prince, he appropriated to himself not
only the whole of His Highness's library, but a part of his plate. Even
the wardrobe and the cellar were laid under contributions by this
domestic marauder.

With natural genius and acquired experience, Grouvelle unites impudence
and immorality; and those on whom he fixes for his prey are, therefore,
easily duped, and irremediably undone. He has furnished disciples to all
factions, and to all sects, assassins to the revolutionary tribunals, as
well as victims for the revolutionary guillotine; sans-culottes to
Robespierre, Septembrizers to Marat, republicans to the Directory, spies
to Talleyrand, and slaves to Bonaparte, who, in 1800, nominated him a
tribune, but in 1804 disgraced him, because he wished that the Duc d'
Enghien had rather been secretly poisoned in Baden than publicly
condemned and privately executed in France.

Our present Minister at the Court of Copenhagen, D' Aguesseau, has no
virtues to boast of, but also no crimes to blush for. With inferior
capacity, he is only considered by Talleyrand as an inferior intriguer,
employed in a country ruled by an inferior policy, neither feared nor
esteemed by our Government. His secretary, Desaugiers the elder, is our
real and confidential firebrand in the North, commissioned to keep
burning those materials of combustion which Grouvelle and others of our
incendiaries have lighted and illuminated in Holstein, Denmark, Sweden,
and Norway.


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--The insatiable avarice of all the members of the Bonaparte
family has already and frequently been mentioned; some of our
philosophers, however, pretend that ambition and vanity exclude from the
mind of Napoleon Bonaparte the passion of covetousness; that he pillages
only to get money to pay his military plunderers, and hoards treasures
only to purchase slaves, or to recompense the associates and instruments
of his authority.

Whether their assertions be just or not, I will not take upon myself to
decide; but to judge from the great number of Imperial and royal palaces,
from the great augmentation of the Imperial and royal domains; from the
immense and valuable quantity of diamonds, jewels, pictures, statues,
libraries, museums, etc., disinterestedness and self-denial are certainly
not among Napoleon's virtues.

In France, he not only disposes of all the former palaces and extensive
demesnes of our King, but has greatly increased them, by national.
property and by lands and estates bought by the Imperial Treasury, or
confiscated by Imperial decrees. In Italy, he has, by an official act,
declared to be the property of his crown, first, the royal palace at
Milan, and a royal villa, which he now calls Villa Bonaparte; second, the
palace of Monza and its dependencies; third, the palace of Mantua, the
palace of The, and the ci-devant ducal palace of Modena; fourth, a palace
situated in the vicinity of Brescia, and another palace in the vicinity
of Bologna; fifth, the ci-devant ducal palaces of Parma and Placenza;
sixth, the beautiful forest of Tesin. Ten millions were, besides,
ordered to be drawn out of the Royal Treasury at Milan to purchase lands
for the formation of a park, pleasure-grounds, etc.

To these are added all the royal palaces and domains of the former Kings
of Sardinia, of the Dukes of Brabant, of the Counts of Flanders, of the
German Electors, Princes, Dukes, Counts, Barons, etc., who, before the
last war, were Sovereigns on the right bank of the Rhine. I have seen a
list, according to which the number of palaces and chateaux appertaining
to Napoleon as Emperor and King, are stated to be seventy-nine; so that
he may change his habitations six times in the month, without occupying
during the same year the same palace, and, nevertheless, always sleep at

In this number are not included the private chateaux and estates of the
Empress, or those of the Princes and Princesses Bonaparte. Madame
Napoleon has purchased, since her husband's consulate, in her own name,
or in the name of her children, nine estates with their chateaux, four
national forests, and six hotels at Paris. Joseph Bonaparte possesses
four estates and chateaux in France, three hotels at Paris and at
Brussels, three chateaux and estates in Italy,, and one hotel at Milan,
and another at Turin. Lucien Bonaparte has now remaining only one hotel
at Paris, another at Bonne, and a third at Chambery. He has one estate
in Burgundy, two in Languedoc, and one in the vicinity of this capital.
At Bologna, Ferrara, Florence, and Rome, he has his own hotels, and in
the Papal States he has obtained, in exchange for property in France,
three chateaux with their dependencies. Louis Bonaparte has three hotels
at Paris, one at Cologne, one at Strasburg, and one at Lyons. He has two
estates in Flanders, three in Burgundy, one in Franche-Comte, and another
in Alsace. He has also a chateau four leagues from this city. At Genoa
he has a beautiful hotel, and upon the Genoese territory a large estate.
He has bought three plantations at Martinico, and two at Guadeloupe. To
Jerome Bonaparte has hitherto been presented only an estate in Brabant,
and a hotel in this capital. Some of the former domains of the House of
Orange, in the Batavian Republic, have been purchased by the agents of
our Government, and are said to be intended for him.

But, while Napoleon Bonaparte has thus heaped wealth on his wife and his
brothers, his mother and sisters have not been neglected or left
unprovided for. Madame Bonaparte, his mother, has one hotel at Paris,
one at Turin, one at Milan, and one at Rome. Her estates in France are
four, and in Italy two. Madame Bacciochi, Princess of Piombino and
Lucca, possesses two hotels in this capital, and one palace at Piombino
and another at Lucca. Of her estates in France, she has only retained
two, but she has three in the Kingdom of Italy, and four in her husband's
and her own dominions. The Princess Santa Cruce possesses one hotel at
Rome and four chateaux in the papal territory. At Milan she has, as well
as at Turin and at Paris, hotels given her by her Imperial brother,
together with two estates in France, one in Piedmont, and two in
Lombardy. The Princesse Murat is mistress of two hotels here, one at
Brussels, one at Tours, and one at Bordeaux, together with three estates
on this, and five on the other side of the Alps. The Princesse Borghese
has purchased three plantations at Guadeloupe, and two at Martinico, with
a part of the treasures left her by her first husband, Leclerc. With her
present husband she received two palaces at Rome, and three estates on
the Roman territory; and her Imperial brother has presented her with one
hotel at Paris, one at Cologne, one at Turin, and one at Genoa, together
with three estates in France and five in Italy. For his mother, and for
each of his sisters, Napoleon has also purchased estates, or lands to
form estates, in their native island of Corsica.

The other near or distant relatives of the Emperor and King have also
experienced his bounty. Cardinal Fesch has his hotels at Paris, Milan,
Lyons, Turin, and Rome; with estates both in France and Italy.
Seventeen, either first, second, or third cousins, by his father's or
mother's side, have all obtained estates either in the French Empire, or
in the Kingdom of Italy, as well as all brothers, sisters, or cousins of
his own wife, and the wives of his brothers, or of the husbands of his
sisters. Their exact number cannot well be known, but a gentleman who
has long been collecting materials for some future history of the House
of Bonaparte, and of the French Empire, has already shown me sixty-six
names of individuals of that description, and of both sexes, who all,
thanks to the Imperial liberality, have suddenly and unexpectedly become
people of property.

When you consider that all these immense riches have been seized and
distributed within the short period of five years, it is not hazardous to
say that, in the annals of Europe, another such revolution in property,
as well as in power, is not to be found.

The wealth of the families of all other Sovereigns taken together does
not amount to half the value of what the Bonapartes have acquired and

Your country, more than any other upon earth, has to be alarmed at this
revolution of property. Richer than any other nation, you have more to
apprehend; besides, it threatens you more, both as our frequent enemies
and as our national rivals; as a barrier against our plans of universal
dominion, and as our superiors in pecuniary resources. May we never live
to see the day when the mandates of Bonaparte or Talleyrand are honoured
at London, as at Amsterdam, Madrid, Milan, and Rome. The misery of ages
to come will then be certain, and posterity will regard as comparative
happiness, the sufferings of their forefathers. It is not probable that
those who have so successfully pillaged all surrounding States will rest
contented until you are involved in the same ruin. Union among
yourselves only can preserve you from perishing in the universal wreck;
by this you will at least gain time, and may hope to profit by probable
changes and unexpected accidents.


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--The Counsellor of State and intendant of the Imperial civil
list, Daru, paid for the place of a commissary-general of our army in
Germany the immense sum of six millions of livres--which was divided
between Madame Bonaparte (the mother), Madame Napoleon Bonaparte,
Princesse Louis Bonaparte, Princesse Murat and the Princesse Borghese.
By this you may conclude in what manner we intend to treat the wretched
inhabitants of the other side of the Rhine. This Daru is too good a
calculator and too fond of money to throw away his expenses; he is master
of a great fortune, made entirely by his arithmetical talents, which have
enabled him for years to break all the principal gambling-banks on the
Continent, where he has travelled for no other purpose. On his return
here, he became the terror of all our gamesters, who offered him an
annuity of one hundred thousand livres--not to play; but as this sum
would have been deducted from what is weekly paid to Fouche, this
Minister sent him an order not to approach a gambling-table, under pain
of being transported to Cayenne. He obeyed, but the bankers soon
experienced that he had deputies, and for fear that even from the other
side of the Atlantic he might forward his calculations hither, Fouche
recommended him, for a small douceur, to the office of an intendant of
Bonaparte's civil list, upon condition of never, directly or indirectly,
injuring our gambling-banks. He has kept his promise with regard to
France, but made, last spring, a gambling tour in Italy and Germany,
which, he avows, produced him nine millions of livres. He always points,
but never keeps a bank. He begins to be so well known in many parts of
the Continent, that the instant he arrives all banks are shut up, and
remain so until his departure. This was the case at Florence last April.
He travels always in style, accompanied by two mistresses and four
servants. He is a chevalier of the Legion of Honour.

He will, however, have some difficulty to make a great profit by his
calculations in Germany, as many of the generals are better acquainted
than he with the country, where their extortions and dilapidations have
been felt and lamented for these ten years past. Augereau, Bernadotte,
Ney, Van Damme, and other of our military banditti, have long been the
terror of the Germans and the reproach of France.

In a former letter I have introduced to you our Field-marshal,
Bernadotte, of whom Augereau may justly be called an elder revolutionary
brother--like him, a Parisian by birth, and, like him, serving as a
common soldier before the Revolution. But he has this merit above
Bernadotte, that he began his political career as a police spy, and
finished his first military engagement by desertion into foreign
countries, in most of which, after again enlisting and again deserting,
he was also again taken and again flogged. Italy has, indeed, since he
has been made a general, been more the scene of his devastations than
Germany. Lombardy and Venice will not soon forget the thousands he
butchered, and the millions he plundered; that with hands reeking with
blood, and stained with human gore, he seized the trinkets which devotion
had given to sanctity, to ornament the fingers of an assassin, or
decorate the bosom of a harlot. The outrages he committed during 1796
and 1797, in Italy, are too numerous to find place in any letter, even
were they not disgusting to relate, and too enormous and too improbable
to be believed. He frequently transformed the temples of the divinity
into brothels for prostitution; and virgins who had consecrated
themselves to remain unpolluted servants of a God, he bayoneted into dens
of impurity, infamy, and profligacy; and in these abominations he prided
himself. In August, 1797, on his way to Paris to take command of the
sbirri, who, on the 4th of the following September, hunted away or
imprisoned the representatives of the people of the legislative body, he
paid a prostitute, with whom he had passed the night at Pavia, with a
draft for fifty louis d'or on the municipality of that town, who dared
not dishonour it; but they kept the draft, and in 1799 handed it over to
Gendral Melas, who sent it to Vienna, where I saw the very original.

The general and grand officer of Bonaparte's Legion of Honour, Van Damme,
is another of our military heroes of the same stamp. A barber, and son
of a Flemish barber, he enlisted as a soldier, robbed, and was condemned
to be hanged. The humanity of the judge preserved him from the gallows;
but he was burnt on the shoulders, flogged by the public executioner, and
doomed to serve as a galley-slave for life. The Revolution broke his
fetters, made him a Jacobin, a patriot, and a general; but the first use
he made of his good fortune was to cause the judge, his benefactor, to be
guillotined, and to appropriate to himself the estate of the family. He
was cashiered by Pichegru, and dishonoured by Moreau, for his ferocity
and plunder in Holland and Germany; but Bonaparte restored him to rank
and confidence; and by a douceur of twelve hundred thousand livres--
properly applied and divided between some of the members of the Bonaparte
family, he procured the place of a governor at Lille, and a commander-in-
chief of the ci-devant Flanders. In landed property, in jewels, in
amount in the funds, and in ready money (he always keeps, from prudence,
six hundred thousand livres--in gold), his riches amount to eight
millions of livres. For a ci-devant sans-culotte barber and galley-
slave, you must grant this is a very modest sum.


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--You must often have been surprised at the immense wealth which,
from the best and often authentic information, I have informed you our
generals and public functionaries have extorted and possess; but the
catalogue of private rapine committed, without authority, by our
soldiers, officers, commissaries, and generals, is likewise immense, and
surpassing often the exactions of a legal kind that is to say, those
authorized by our Government itself, or by its civil and military
representatives. It comprehends the innumerable requisitions demanded
and enforced, whether as loans, or in provisions or merchandise, or in
money as an equivalent for both; the levies of men, of horses, oxen, and
carriages; corvees of all kinds; the emptying of magazines for the
service of our armies; in short, whatever was required for the
maintenance, a portion of the pay, and divers wants of those armies,
from the time they had posted themselves in Brabant, Holland, Italy,
Switzerland, and on either bank of the Rhine. Add to this the pillage of
public or private warehouses, granaries, and magazines, whether belonging
to individuals, to the State, to societies, to towns, to hospitals, and
even to orphan-houses.

But these and other sorts of requisitions, under the appellation of
subsistence necessary for the armies, and for what was wanted for
accoutring, quartering, or removing them, included also an infinite
consumption for the pleasures, luxuries, whims, and debaucheries of our
civil or military commanders. Most of those articles were delivered in
kind, and what were not used were set up to auction, converted into ready
money, and divided among the plunderers.

In 1797, General Ney had the command in the vicinity of the free and
Imperial city of Wetzlar. He there put in requisition all private stores
of cloths; and after disposing of them by a public sale, retook them upon
another requisition from the purchasers, and sold them a second time.
Leather and linen underwent the same operation. Volumes might be filled
with similar examples, all of public notoriety.

This Gendral Ney, who is now one of the principal commanders under
Bonaparte in Germany, was a bankrupt tobacconist at Strasburg in 1790,
and is the son of an old-clothes man of Sarre Louis, where he was born in
1765. Having entered as a common soldier in the regiment of Alsace, to
escape the pursuit of his creditors, he was there picked up by some
Jacobin emissaries, whom he assisted to seduce the men into an
insurrection, which obliged most of the officers to emigrate. From that
period he began to distinguish himself as an orator of the Jacobin clubs,
and was, therefore, by his associates, promoted by one step to an
adjutant-general. Brave and enterprising, ambitious for advancement,
and greedy after riches, he seized every opportunity to distinguish and
enrich himself; and, as fortune supported his endeavours, he was in a
short time made a general of division, and acquired a property of several
millions. This is his first campaign under Bonaparte, having previously
served only under Pichegru, Moreau, and Le Courbe.

He, with General Richepanse, was one of the first generals supposed to be
attached to their former chief, General Moreau, whom Bonaparte seduced
into his interest. In the autumn of 1802, when the Helvetic Republic
attempted to recover its lost independence, Ney was appointed commander-
in-chief of the French army in Switzerland, and Ambassador from the First
Consul to the Helvetic Government. He there conducted himself so much to
the satisfaction of Bonaparte, that, on the rupture with your country, he
was made commander of the camp near Montreuil; and last year his wife was
received as a Maid of Honour to the Empress of the French.

This Maid of Honour is the daughter of a washer-woman, and was kept by a
man-milliner at Strasburg, at the time that she eloped with Ney. With
him she had made four campaigns as a mistress before the municipality of
Coblentz made her his wife. Her conduct since has corresponded with that
of her husband. When he publicly lived with mistresses, she did not live
privately with her gallants, but the instant the Emperor of the French
told him to save appearances, if he desired a place for his wife at the
Imperial Court, he showed himself the most attentive and faithful of
husbands, and she the most tender and dutiful of wives. Her manners are
not polished, but they are pleasing; and though not handsome in her
person, she is lively; and her conversation is entertaining, and her
society agreeable. The Princesse Louis Bonaparte is particularly fond of
her, more so than Napoleon, perhaps, desires. She has a fault common
with most of our Court ladies: she cannot resist, when opportunity
presents itself, the temptation of gambling, and she is far from being
fortunate. Report says that more than once she has been reduced to
acquit her gambling debts by personal favours.

Another of our generals, and the richest of them all who are now serving
under Bonaparte, is his brother-in-law, Prince Murat. According to some,
he had been a Septembrizer, terrorist, Jacobin, robber, and assassin,
long before he obtained his first commission as an officer, which was
given him by the recommendation of Marat, whom he in return afterwards
wished to immortalize, by the exchange of one letter in his own name, and
by calling himself Marat instead of Murat. Others, however, declare that
his father was an honest cobbler, very superstitious, residing at
Bastide, near Cahors, and destined his son to be a Capuchin friar, and
that he was in his novitiate when the Revolution tempted him to exchange
the frock of the monk for the regimentals of a soldier. In what manner,
or by what achievements, he gained promotion is not certain, but in 1796
he was a chief of brigade, and an aide-de-camp of Bonaparte, with whom he
went to Egypt, and returned thence with him, and who, in 1801, married
him to his sister, Maria Annunciade, in 1803 made him a governor of
Paris, and in 1804 a Prince.

The wealth which Murat has collected, during his military service, and by
his matrimonial campaign, is rated at upwards of fifty millions of
livres. The landed property he possesses in France alone has cost him
forty--two millions--and it is whispered that the estates bought in the
name of his wife, both in France and Italy, are not worth much less.
A brother-in-law of his, who was a smith, he has made a legislator;
and an uncle, who was a tailor, he has placed in the Senate. A cousin of
his, who was a chimneysweeper, is now a tribune; and his niece, who was
an apprentice to a mantua-maker, is now married to one of the Emperor's
chamberlains. He has been very generous to all his relations, and would
not have been ashamed, even, to present his parents at the Imperial
Court, had not the mother, on the first information of his princely rank,
lost her life, and the father his senses, from surprise and joy. The
millions are not few that he has procured his relatives an opportunity to
gain. His brother-in-law, the legislator, is worth three millions of

It has been asserted before, and I repeat it again:

"It is avarice, and not the mania of innovation, or the jargon of
liberty, that has led, and ever will lead, the Revolution--its promoters,
its accomplices, and its instruments. Wherever they penetrate, plunder
follows; rapine was their first object, of which ferocity has been but
the means. The French Revolution was fostered by robbery and murder; two
nurses that will adhere to her to the last hour of her existence."

General Murat is the trusty executioner of all the Emperor's secret deeds
of vengeance, or public acts of revolutionary justice. It was under his
private responsibility that Pichegru, Moreau, and Georges were guarded;
and he saw Pichegru strangled, Georges guillotined, and Moreau on his way
to his place of exile. After the seizure and trial of the Duc d'
Enghien, some doubts existed with Napoleon whether even the soldiers of
his Italian guard would fire at this Prince. "If they hesitate," said
Murat, who commanded the expedition in the wood of Vincennes, "my pistols
are loaded, and I will blow out his brains."

His wife is the greatest coquette of the Bonaparte family. Murat was,
at first, after his marriage, rather jealous of his brother-in-law,
Lucien, whom he even fought; but Napoleon having assured him, upon his
word of honour, that his suspicions were unfounded, he is now the model
of complaisant and indulgent husbands; but his mistresses are nearly as
numerous as Madame Murat's favourites. He has a young aide-de-camp of
the name of Flahault, a son of Talleyrand, while Bishop of Autun, by the
then Countess de Flahault, whom Madame Murat would not have been sorry to
have had for a consoler at Paris, while her princely spouse was
desolating Germany.


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--Since Bonaparte's departure for Germany, the vigilance of the
police has much increased: our patrols are doubled during the night, and
our spies more numerous and more insolent during the day. Many suspected
persons have also been exiled to some distance from this capital, while
others, for a measure of safety, have been shut up in the Temple, or in
the Castle of Vincennes. These 'lettres de cachet', or mandates of
arrest, are expedited during the Emperor's absence exclusively by his
brother Louis, after a report, or upon a request, of the Minister of
Police, Fouche.

I have mentioned to you before that Louis Bonaparte is both a drunkard
and a libertine. When a young and unprincipled man of such propensities
enjoys an unrestrained authority, it cannot be surprising to hear that he
has abused it. He had not been his brother's military viceroy for
twenty-four hours before one set of our Parisians were amused, while
others were shocked and scandalized, at a tragical intrigue enterprised
by His Imperial Highness.

Happening to see at the opera a very handsome young woman in the boxes,
he despatched one of his aides-de-camp to reconnoitre the ground, and to
find out who she was. All gentlemen attached to his person or household
are also his pimps, and are no novices in forming or executing plans of
seduction. Caulincourt (the officer he employed in this affair) returned
soon, but had succeeded only in one part of the business. He had not
been able to speak to the lady, but was informed that she had only been
married a fortnight to a manufacturer of Lyons, who was seated by her
side, jealous of his wife as a lover of his mistress. He gave at the
same time as his opinion that it would be necessary to employ the police
commissary to arrest the husband when he left the play, under some
pretext or other, while some of the friends of Prince Louis took
advantage of the confusion to seize the wife, and carry her to his hotel.
An order was directly signed by Louis, according to which the police
commissary, Chazot, was to arrest the manufacturer Leboure, of Lyons, and
put him into a post-chaise, under the care of two gendarmes, who were to
see him safe to Lyons, where he was to sign a promise of not returning to
Paris without the permission of Government, being suspected of
stockjobbing (agiotage). Everything succeeded according to the proposal
of Caulincourt, and Louis found Madame Leboure crying in his saloon. It
is said that she promised to surrender her virtue upon condition of only
once more seeing her husband, to be certain that he was not murdered, but
that Louis refused, and obtained by brutal force, and the assistance of
his infamous associates, that conquest over her honour which had not been
yielded to his entreaties or threats. His enjoyment, however, was but of
short continuance; he had no sooner fallen asleep than his poor injured
victim left the bed, and, flying into his anteroom, stabbed herself with
his sword. On the next morning she was found a corpse, weltering in her
blood. In the hope of burying this infamy in secrecy, her corpse was, on
the next evening, when it was dark, put into a sack, and thrown into the
river, where, being afterwards discovered, the police agents gave out
that she had fallen the victim of assassins. But when Madame Leboure was
thus seized at the opera, besides her husband, her parents and a brother
were in her company, and the latter did not lose sight of the carriage in
which his sister was placed till it had entered the hotel of Louis
Bonaparte, where, on the next day, he, with his father, in vain claimed
her. As soon as the husband was informed of the untimely end of his
wife, he wrote a letter to her murderer, and shot himself immediately
afterwards through the head, but his own head was not the place where he
should have sent the bullet; to destroy with it the cause of his
wretchedness would only have been an act of retaliation, in a country
where power forces the law to lie dormant, and where justice is invoked
in vain when the criminal is powerful.

I have said that this intrigue, as it is styled by courtesy in our
fashionable circles, amused one part of the Parisians; and I believe the
word 'amuse' is not improperly employed in this instance. At a dozen
parties where I have been since, this unfortunate adventure has always
been an object of conversation, of witticisms, but not of blame, except
at Madame Fouche's, where Madame Leboure was very much blamed indeed for
having been so overnice, and foolishly scrupulous.

Another intrigue of His Imperial Highness, which did not, indeed, end
tragically, was related last night, at the tea-party of Madame Recamier.
A man of the name of Deroux had lately been condemned by our criminal
tribunal, for forging bills of exchange, to stand in the pillory six
hours, and, after being marked with a hot iron on his shoulders, to work
in the galleys for twenty years. His daughter, a young girl under
fifteen, who lived with her grandmother (having lost her mother), went,
accompanied by the old lady, and presented a petition to Louis, in favour
of her father. Her youth and modesty, more than her beauty, inspired the
unprincipled libertine with a desire of ruining innocence, under the
colour of clemency to guilt. He ordered her to call on his chamberlain,
Darinsson, in an hour, and she should obtain an answer. There, either
seduced by paternal affection, intimidated by threats, or imposed upon by
delusive and engaging promises, she exchanged her virtue for an order of
release for her parent; and so satisfied was Louis with his bargain that
he added her to the number of his regular mistresses.

As soon as Deroux had recovered his liberty, he visited his daughter in
her new situation, where he saw an order of Louis, on the Imperial
Treasury, for twelve thousand livres--destined to pay the upholsterer who
had furnished her apartment. This gave him, no doubt, the idea of making
the Prince pay a higher value for his child, and he forged another order
for sixty thousand livres--so closely resembling it that it was without
suspicion acquitted by the Imperial Treasurer. Possessing this money,
he fabricated a pass, in the name of Louis, as a courier carrying
despatches to the Emperor in Germany, with which he set out, and arrived
safe on the other side of the Rhine. His forgeries were only discovered
after he had written a letter from Frankfort to Louis, acquitting his
daughter of all knowledge of what he had done. In the first moment of
anger, her Imperial lover ordered her to be arrested, but he has since
forgiven her, and taken her back to his favour. This trick of Deroux has
pleased Fouche, who long opposed his release, from a knowledge of his
dangerous talent and vicious character. He had once before released
himself with a forged order from the Minister of Police, whose
handwriting he had only seen for a minute upon his own mandate of


A stranger to remorse and repentance, as well as to honour
Accused of fanaticism, because she refused to cohabit with him
As everywhere else, supported injustice by violence
Bonaparte dreads more the liberty of the Press than all other
Chevalier of the Guillotine: Toureaux
Country where power forces the law to lie dormant
Encounter with dignity and self-command unbecoming provocations
Error to admit any neutrality at all
Expeditious justice, as it is called here
French Revolution was fostered by robbery and murder
He was too honest to judge soundly and to act rightly
Her present Serene Idiot, as she styles the Prince Borghese
If Bonaparte is fond of flattery--pays for it like a real Emperor
Its pretensions rose in proportion to the condescensions
Jealous of his wife as a lover of his mistress
Justice is invoked in vain when the criminal is powerful
May change his habitations six times in the month--yet be home
Men and women, old men and children are no more
My maid always sleeps with me when my husband is absent
Napoleon invasion of States of the American Commonwealth
Not only portable guillotines, but portable Jacobin clubs
Procure him after a useless life, a glorious death
Should our system of cringing continue progressively
Sold cats' meat and tripe in the streets of Rome
Sufferings of individuals, he said, are nothing
Suspicion is evidence
United States will be exposed to Napoleon's outrages
Who complains is shot as a conspirator


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



PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--Though loudly complained of by the Cabinet of St. Cloud, the
Cabinet of St. Petersburg has conducted itself in these critical times
with prudence without weakness, and with firmness without obstinacy.
In its connections with our Government it has never lost sight of its
own dignity, and, therefore, never endured without resentment those
impertinent innovations in the etiquette of our Court, and in the manner
and language of our Emperor to the representatives of legitimate
Sovereigns. Had similar becoming sentiments directed the councils of all
other Princes and the behaviour of their Ambassadors here, spirited
remonstrances might have moderated the pretensions or passions of upstart
vanity, while a forbearance and silence, equally impolitic and shameful,
have augmented insolence by flattering the pride of an insupportable and
outrageous ambition.

The Emperor of Russia would not have been so well represented here, had
he not been so wisely served and advised in his council chamber at St.
Petersburg. Ignorance and folly commonly select fools for their agents,
while genius and capacity employ men of their own mould, and of their own
cast. It is a remarkable truth that, notwithstanding the frequent
revolutions in Russia, since the death of Peter the First the ministerial
helm has always been in able hands; the progressive and uninterrupted
increase of the real and relative power of the Russian Empire evinces the
reality of this assertion.

The Russian Chancellor, Count Alexander Woronzoff, may be justly called
the chief of political veterans, whether his talents or long services are
considered. Catherine II., though a voluptuous Princess, was a great
Sovereign, and a competent judge of merit; and it was her unbiased choice
that seated Count Woronzoff, while yet young, in her councils. Though
the intrigues of favourites have sometimes removed him, he always retired
with the esteem of his Sovereign, and was recalled without caballing or
cringing to return. He is admired by all who have the honour of
approaching him, as much for his obliging condescension as for his great
information. No petty views, no petty caprices, no petty vengeances find
room in his generous bosom. He is known to have conferred benefactions,
not only on his enemies, but on those who, at the very time, were
meditating his destruction. His opinion is that a patriotic Minister
should regard no others as his enemies but those conspiring against their
country, and acknowledge no friends or favourites incapable of well
serving the State. Prince de Z-------- waited on him one day, and, after
hesitating some time, began to compliment him on his liberal sentiments,
and concluded by asking the place of a governor for his cousin, with whom
he had reason to suppose the Count much offended. "I am happy," said His
Excellency, "to oblige you, and to do my duty at the same time. Here is
a libel he wrote against me, and presented to the Empress, who graciously
has communicated it to me, in answer to my recommendation of him
yesterday to the place you ask for him to-day. Read what I have written
on the libel, and you will be convinced that it will not be my fault if
he is not to-day a governor." In two hours afterwards the nomination was
announced to Prince de Z--------, who was himself at the head of a cabal
against the Minister. In any country such an act would have been
laudable, but where despotism rules with unopposed sway, it is both
honourable and praiseworthy.

Prince Adam Czartorinsky, the assistant of Count Woronzoff, and Minister
of the foreign department, unites, with the vigour of youth, the
experience of age. He has travelled in most countries of Europe, not
solely to figure at Courts, to dance at balls, to look at pictures, or to
collect curiosities, but to study the character of the people, the laws
by which they are governed, and their moral or social influence with
regard to their comforts or misery. He therefore brought back with him a
stock of knowledge not to be acquired from books, but only found in the
world by frequenting different and opposite societies with observation,
penetration, and genius. With manners as polished as his mind is well
informed, he not only, possesses the favour, but the friendship of his
Prince, and, what is still more rare, is worthy of both. All Sovereigns
have favourites, few ever had any friends; because it is more easy to
flatter vanity, than to display a liberal disinterestedness; to bow
meanly than to instruct or to guide with delicacy and dignity; to abuse
the confidence of the Prince than to use it to his honour, and to the
advantage of his Government.

That such a Monarch as an Alexander, and such Ministers as Count
Woronzoff and Prince Czartorinsky, should appoint a Count Markof to a
high and important post, was not unexpected by any one not ignorant of
his merit.

Count Markof was, early in the reign of Catherine II., employed in the
office of the foreign department at St. Petersburg, and was, whilst
young, entrusted with several important negotiations at the Courts of
Berlin and Vienna., when Prussia had proposed the first partition of
Poland. He afterward went on his travels, from which he was recalled to
fill the place of an Ambassador to the late King of Sweden, Gustavus III.
He was succeeded, in 1784, at Stockholm, by Count Muschin Puschin, after
being appointed a Secretary of State in his own country, a post he
occupied with distinction, until the death of Catherine II., when Paul
the First revenged upon him, as well as on most others of the faithful
servants of this Princess, his discontent with his mother. He was then
exiled to his estates, where he retired with the esteem of all those who
had known him. In 1801, immediately after his accession to the throne,
Alexander invited Count Markof to his Court and Council, and the trusty
but difficult task of representing a legitimate Sovereign at the Court of
our upstart usurper was conferred on him. I imagine that I see the great
surprise of this nobleman, when, for the first time, he entered the
audience-chamber of our little great man, and saw him fretting, staring,
swearing, abusing to right and to left, for one smile conferring twenty
frowns, and for one civil word making use of fifty hard expressions,
marching in the diplomatic audience as at the head of his troops, and
commanding foreign Ambassadors as his French soldiers. I have heard that
the report of Count Markof to his Court, describing this new and rare
show, is a chef-d'oeuvre of wit, equally amusing and instructive. He is
said to have requested of his Cabinet new and particular orders how to
act--whether as the representative of an independent Sovereign, or, as
most of the other members of the foreign diplomatic corps in France, like
a valet of the First Consul; and that, in the latter case, he implored as
a favour, an immediate recall; preferring, had he no other choice left,
sooner to work in the mines at Siberia than to wear, in France the
disgraceful fetters of a Bonaparte. His subsequent dignified conduct
proves the answer of his Court.

Talleyrand's craft and dissimulation could not delude the sagacity of
Count Markof, who was, therefore, soon less liked by the Minister than by
the First Consul. All kind of low, vulgar, and revolutionary chicanery
was made use of to vex or to provoke the Russian Ambassador. Sometimes
he was reproached with having emigrants in his service; another time
protection was refused to one of his secretaries, under pretence that he
was a Sardinian subject. Russian travellers were insulted, and detained
on the most frivolous pretences. Two Russian noblemen were even arrested
on our side of the Rhine, because Talleyrand had forgotten to sign his
name to their passes, which were otherwise in order. The fact was that
our Minister suspected them of carrying some papers which he wanted to
see, and, therefore, wrote his name with an ink of such a composition
that, after a certain number of days, everything written with it
disappeared. Their effects and papers were strictly searched by an agent
preceding them from this capital, but nothing was found, our Minister
being misinformed by his spies.

When Count Markof left Sweden, he carried with him an actress of the
French theatre at Stockholm, Madame Hus, an Alsatian by birth, but who
had quitted her country twelve years before the Revolution, and could,
therefore, never be included among emigrants. She had continued as a
mistress with this nobleman, is the mother of several children by him,
and an agreeable companion to him, who has never been married. As I have
often said, Talleyrand is much obliged to any foreign diplomatic agent
who allows him to be the indirect provider or procurer of his mistresses.
After in vain tempting Count Markof with new objects, he introduced to
the acquaintance of Madame Hus some of his female emissaries. Their
manoeuvres, their insinuations, and even their presents were all thrown
away. The lady remained the faithful friend, and therefore refused with
indignation to degrade herself into a spy on her lover. Our Minister
then first discovered that, not only was Madame Hus an emigrant, but had
been a great benefactress and constant companion of emigrants at St.
Petersburg, and, of course, deserved to be watched, if not punished.
Count Markof is reported to have said to Talleyrand on this grave
subject, in the presence of two other foreign Ambassadors:

"Apropos! what shall I do to prevent my poor Madame Hus from being shot
as an emigrant, and my poor children from becoming prematurely orphans?"

"Monsieur," said our diplomatic oracle, "she should have petitioned the
First Consul for a permission to return, to France before she entered it;
but out of regard for you, if she is prudent, she will not, I daresay, be
troubled by our Government."

"I should be sorry if she was not," replied the Count, with a significant
look; and here this grand affair ended, to the great entertainment of
those foreign agents who dared to smile or to laugh.


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--The Legion of Honour, though only proclaimed upon Bonaparte's
assumption of the Imperial rank, dates from the first year of his
consulate. To prepare the public mind for a progressive elevation of
himself, and for consequential distinctions among all classes of his
subjects, he distributed among the military, arms of honour, to which
were attached precedence and privileges granted by him, and, therefore,
liable to cease with his power or life. The number of these arms
increased in proportion to the approach of the period fixed for the
change of his title and the erection of his throne. When he judged them
numerous enough to support his changes, he made all these wearers of arms
of honour knights. Never before were so many chevaliers created en
masse; they amounted to no less than twenty-two thousand four hundred,
distributed in the different corps of different armies, but principally
in the army of England. To these were afterwards joined five thousand
nine hundred civil functionaries, men of letters, artists, etc. To
remove, however, all ideas of equality, even among the members of the
Legion of Honour, they were divided into four classes--grand officers,
commanders, officers, and simple legionaries.

Every one who has observed Bonaparte's incessant endeavours to intrude
himself among the Sovereigns of Europe, was convinced that he would
cajole, or force, as many of them as he could into his revolutionary
knighthood; but I heard men, who are not ignorant of the selfishness and
corruption of our times, deny the possibility of any independent Prince
suffering his name to be registered among criminals of every description,
from the thief who picked the pockets of his fellow citizens in the
street, down to the regicide who sat in judgment and condemned his King;
from the plunderers who have laid waste provinces, republics, and
kingdoms, down to the assassins who shot, drowned, or guillotined their
countrymen en masse. For my part, I never had but one opinion, and,
unfortunately, it has turned out a just one. I always was convinced that
those Princes who received other presents from Bonaparte could have no
plausible excuse to decline his ribands, crosses, and stars. But who
could have presumed to think that, in return for these blood-stained
baubles, they would have sacrificed those honourable and dignified
ornaments which, for ages past, have been the exclusive distinction of
what birth had exalted, virtue made eminent, talents conspicuous, honour
illustrious, or valour meritorious? Who would have dared to say that the
Prussian Eagle and the Spanish Golden Fleece should thus be prostituted,
thus polluted? I do not mean by this remark to throw any blame on the
conferring those and other orders on Napoleon Bonaparte, or even on his
brothers; I know it is usual, between legitimate Sovereigns in alliance,
sometimes to exchange their knighthoods; but to debase royal orders so
much as to present them to a Cambaceres, a Talleyrand, a Fouche, a
Bernadotte, a Fesch, and other vile and criminal wretches, I do not deny
to have excited my astonishment as well as my indignation. What honest--
I do not say what noble--subjects of Prussia, or of Spain, will hereafter
think themselves rewarded for their loyalty, industry, patriotism, or
zeal, when they remember that their Sovereigns have nothing to give but
what the rebel has obtained, the robber worn, the murderer vilified, and
the regicide debased?

The number of grand officers of the Legion of Honour does not yet amount
to more than eighty, according to a list circulated at Milan last spring,
of which I have seen a copy. Of these grand officers, three had been
shoemakers, two tailors, four bakers, four barbers, six friars, eight
abbes, six officers, three pedlers, three chandlers, seven drummers,
sixteen soldiers, and eight regicides; four were lawful Kings, and the
six others, Electors or Princes of the most ancient houses in Europe.
I have looked over our, own official list, and, as far as I know, the
calculation is exact, both with regard to the number and to the quality.

This new institution of knighthood produced a singular effect on my vain
and giddy, countrymen, who, for twelve years before, had scarcely seen a
star or a riband, except those of foreign Ambassadors, who were
frequently insulted when wearing them. It became now the fashion to be a
knight, and those who really were not so, put pinks, or rather blooms, or
flowers of a darker red, in their buttonholes, so as to resemble, and to
be taken at a distance for, the red ribands of the members of the Legion
of Honour.

A man of the name of Villeaume, an engraver by profession, took advantage
of this knightly fashion and mania, and sold for four louis d'or, not
only the stars, but pretended letters of knighthood, said to be procured
by his connection with persons of the household of the Emperor. In a
month's time, according to a register kept by him, he had made twelve
hundred and fifty knights. When his fraud was discovered, he was already
out of the way, safe with his money; and, notwithstanding the researches
of the police, has not since been taken.

A person calling himself Baron von Rinken, a subject and an agent of one
of the many Princes of Hohenlohe, according to his own assertion, arrived
here with real letters and patents of knighthood, which he offered for
sale for three hundred livres. The stars of this Order were as large as
the star of the grand officers of the Legion of Honour, and nearly
resembled it; but the ribands were of a different colour. He had already
disposed of a dozen of these stars, when he was taken up by the police
and shut up in the Temple, where he still remains. Four other agents of
inferior petty German Princes have also been arrested for offering the
Orders of their Sovereigns for sale.

A Captain Rouvais, who received six wounds in his campaign under Pichegru
in 1794, wore the star of the Legion of Honour without being nominated a
knight. He has been tried by a military commission, deprived of his
pension, and condemned to four years' imprisonment in irons. He proved
that he had presented fourteen petitions to Bonaparte for obtaining this
mark of distinction, but in vain; while hundreds of others, who had
hardly seen an enemy, or, at the most, made but one campaign, or been
once wounded, had succeeded in their demands. As soon as sentence had
been pronounced against him, he took a small pistol from his pocket, and
shot himself through the head, saying, "Some one else will soon do the
same for Bonaparte."

A cobbler, of the name of Matthieu, either in a fit of madness or from
hatred to the new order of things, decorated himself with the large
riband of the Legion of Honour, and had an old star fastened on his coat.
Thus accoutred, he went into the Palais Royal, in the middle of the day,
got upon a chair, and began to speak to his audience of the absurdity of
true republicans not being on a level, even under an Emperor, and putting
on, like him, all his ridiculous ornaments. "We are here," said he,
"either all grand officers, or there exist no grand officers at all; we
have all fought and paid for liberty, and for the Revolution, as much as
Bonaparte, and have, therefore, the same right and claim with him." Here
a police agent and some gendarmes interrupted his eloquence by taking him
into custody. When Fouche asked him what he meant by such rebellious
behaviour, he replied that it was only a trial to see whether destiny had
intended him to become an Emperor or to remain a cobbler. On the next
day he was shot as a conspirator. I saw the unfortunate man in the
Palais Royal; his eyes looked wild, and his words were often incoherent.
He was certainly a subject more deserving a place in a madhouse than in a

Cambaceres has been severely reprimanded by the Emperor for showing too
much partiality for the Royal Prussian Black Eagle, by wearing it in
preference to the Imperial Legion of Honour. He was given to understand
that, except for four days in the year, the Imperial etiquette did not
permit any subjects to display their knighthood of the Prussian Order.
In Madame Bonaparte's last drawing-room, before His Imperial Majesty set
out for the Rhine, he was ornamented with the Spanish, Neapolitan,
Prussian, and Portuguese orders, together with those of the French Legion
of Honour and of the Italian Iron Crown. I have seen the Emperor Paul,
who was also an amateur of ribands and stars, but never with so many at
once. I have just heard that the Grand Master of Malta has presented
Napoleon with the Grand Cross of the Maltese Order. This is certainly a
negative compliment to him, who, in July, 1798, officially declared to
his then sectaries, the Turks and Mussulmans, "that the Grand Master,
Commanders, Knights, and Order of Malta existed no more."

I have heard it related for a certainty among our fashionable ladies,
that the Empress of the French also intends to institute a new order of
female knighthood, not of honour, but of confidence; of which all our
Court ladies, all the wives of our generals, public functionaries, etc.,
are to be members. The Imperial Princesses of the Bonaparte family are
to be hereditary grand officers, together with as many foreign Empresses,
Queens, Princesses, Countesses, and Baronesses as can be bayoneted into
this revolutionary sisterhood. Had the Continent remained tranquil, it
would already have been officially announced by a Senatus Consultum. I
should suppose that Madame Bonaparte, with her splendid Court and
brilliant retinue of German Princes and Electors at Strasburg, need only
say the word to find hundreds of princely recruits for her knighthood in
petto. Her mantle, as a Grand Mistress of the Order of CONFIDENCE, has
been already embroidered at Lyons, and those who have seen it assert that
it is truly superb. The diamonds of the star on the mantle are valued at
six hundred thousand livres.


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--Since Bonaparte's departure for Germany, fifteen individuals
have been brought here, chained, from La Vendee and the--Western
Departments, and are imprisoned in the Temple. Their crime is not
exactly known, but private letters from those countries relate that they
were recruiting for another insurrection, and that some of them were
entrusted as Ambassadors from their discontented countrymen to Louis
XVIII. to ask for his return to France, and for the assistance of Russia,
Sweden, and England to support his claims.

These are, however, reports to which I do not affix much credit. Had the
prisoners in the Temple been guilty, or only accused of such crimes, they
would long ago have been tortured, tried, and executed, or executed
without a trial. I suppose them mere hostages arrested by our
Government, as security for the tranquillity of the Chouan Departments
during our armies' occupation elsewhere. We have, nevertheless, two
movable columns of six thousand men each in the country, or in its
vicinity, and it would be not only impolitic, but a cruelty, to engage or
allure the unfortunate people of these wretched countries into any plots,
which, situated as affairs now are, would be productive of great and
certain evil to them, without even the probability of any benefit to the
cause of royalty and of the Bourbons. I do not mean to say that there
are not those who rebel against Bonaparte's tyranny, or that the Bourbons
have no friends; on the contrary, the latter are not few, and the former
very numerous. But a kind of apathy, the effect of unavailing resistance
to usurpation and oppression, has seized on most minds, and annihilated
what little remained of our never very great public spirit. We are tired
of everything, even of our existence, and care no more whether we are
governed by a Maximilian Robespierre or by a Napoleon Bonaparte, by a
Barras or by Louis XVIII. Except, perhaps, among the military, or among
some ambitious schemers, remnants of former factions, I do not believe a
Moreau, a Macdonald, a Lucien Bonaparte, or any person exiled by the
Emperor, and formerly popular, could collect fifty trusty conspirators in
all France; at least, as long as our armies are victorious, and organized
in their present formidable manner. Should anything happen to our
present chief, an impulse may be given to the minds now sunk down, and
raise our characters from their present torpid state. But until such an
event, we shall remain as we are, indolent but submissive, sacrificing
our children and treasures for a cause we detest, and for a man we abhor.
I am sorry to say it, but it certainly does, no honour to my nation when
one million desperados of civil and military banditti are suffered to
govern, tyrannize, and pillage, at their ease and undisturbed, thirty
millions of people, to whom their past crimes are known, and who have
every reason to apprehend their future wickedness.

This astonishing resignation (if I can call it so, and if it does not
deserve a worse name), is so much the more incomprehensible, as the
poverty of the higher and middle classes is as great as the misery of the
people, and, except those employed under Bonaparte, and some few upstart
contractors or army commissaries, the greatest privations must be
submitted to in order to pay the enormous taxes and make a decent
appearance. I know families of five, six, and seven persons, who
formerly were wealthy, and now have for a scanty subsistence an income of
twelve or eighteen hundred livres--per year, with which they are obliged
to live as they can, being deprived of all the resource that elsewhere
labour offers to the industrious, and all the succours compassion bestows
on the necessitous. You know that here all trade and all commerce are at
a stand or destroyed, and the hearts of our modern rich are as unfeeling
as their manners are vulgar and brutal.

A family of ci-devant nobles of my acquaintance, once possessing a
revenue of one hundred and fifty thousand livres--subsist now on fifteen
hundred livres--per year; and this sum must support six individuals--the
father and mother, with four children! It does so, indeed, by an
arrangement of only one poor meal in the day; a dinner four times, and a
supper three times, in the week. They endure their distress with
tolerable cheerfulness, though in the same street, where they occupy the
garrets of a house, resides, in an elegant hotel, a man who was once
their groom, but who is now a tribune, and has within these last twelve
years, as a conventional deputy, amassed, in his mission to Brabant and
Flanders, twelve millions of livres. He has kindly let my friend
understand that his youngest daughter might be received as a chambermaid
to his wife, being informed that she has a good education. All the four
daughters are good musicians, good drawers, and very able with their
needles. By their talents they supported their parents and themselves
during their emigration in Germany; but here these are of but little use
or advantage. Those upstarts who want instruction or works of this sort
apply to the first, most renowned, and fashionable masters or mistresses;
while others, and those the greatest number, cannot afford even to pay
the inferior ones and the most cheap. This family is one of the many
that regret having returned from their emigration. But, you may ask, why
do they not go back again to Germany? First, it would expose them to
suspicion, and, perhaps, to ruin, were they to demand passes; and if this
danger or difficulty were removed, they have no money for such a long

But this sort of penury and wretchedness is also common with the families
of the former wealthy merchants and tradesmen. Paper money, a maximum,
and requisitions, have reduced those that did not share in the crimes and
pillage of the Revolution, as much as the proscribed nobility. And,
contradictory as it may seem, the number of persons employed in
commercial speculations has more than tripled since we experienced a
general stagnation of trade, the consequence of war, of want of capital,
protection, encouragement, and confidence; but one of the magazines of
1789 contained more goods and merchandize than twenty modern magazines
put together. The expenses of these new merchants are, however, much
greater than sixteen years ago, the profit less, and the credit still
less than the profit. Hence numerous bankruptcies, frauds, swindling,
forgeries, and other evils of immorality, extravagance, and misery. The
fair and honest dealers suffer most from the intrusion of these infamous
speculators, who expecting, like other vile men wallowing in wealth under
their eyes, to make rapid fortunes, and to escape detection as well as
punishment--commit crimes to soothe disappointment. Nothing is done but
for ready money, and even bankers' bills, or bills accepted by bankers,
are not taken in payment before the signatures are avowed by the parties
concerned. You can easily conceive what confusion, what expenses, and
what; loss of time these precautions must occasion; but the numerous
forgeries and fabrications have made them absolutely necessary.

The farmers and landholders are better off, but they also complain of the
heavy taxes, and low price paid for what they bring to the market, which
frequently, for want of ready money, remains long unsold. They take
nothing but cash in payment; for, notwithstanding the endeavours of our
Government, the notes of the Bank of France have never been in
circulation among them. They have also been subject to losses by the
fluctuation of paper money, by extortions, requisitions, and by the
maximum. In this class of my countrymen remains still some little
national spirit and some independence of character; but these are far
from being favourable to Bonaparte, or to the Imperial Government, which
the yearly increase of taxes, and, above all, the conscription, have
rendered extremely odious. You may judge of the great difference in the
taxation of lands and landed property now and under our Kings, when I
inform you that a friend of mine, who, in 1792, possessed, in one of the
Western Departments, twenty-one farms, paid less in contribution for them
all than he does now for the three farms he has recovered from the wreck
of his fortune.


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--In a military empire, ruled by a military despot, it is a
necessary policy that the education of youth should also be military.
In all our public schools or prytanees, a boy, from the moment of
entering, is registered in a company, and regularly drilled, exercised,
and reviewed, punished for neglect or fault according to martial law,
and advanced if displaying genius or application. All our private
schools that wish for the protection of Government are forced to submit
to the same military rules, and, therefore, most of our conscripts, so
far from being recruits, are fit for any service as soon as put into
requisition. The fatal effects to the independence of Europe to be
dreaded from this sole innovation, I apprehend, have been too little
considered by other nations. A great Power, that can, without obstacle,
and with but little expense, in four weeks increase its disposable
military force from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and eighty
thousand young men, accustomed to military duty from their youth, must
finally become the master of all other or rival Powers, and dispose at
leisure of empires, kingdoms, principalities, and republics. NOTHING CAN

When l'Etat Militaire for the year 13 (a work containing the official
statement of our military forces) was presented to Bonaparte by Berthier,
the latter said: "Sire, I lay before Your Majesty the book of the destiny
of the world, which your hands direct as the sovereign guide of the
armies of your empire." This compliment is a truth, and therefore no
flattery. It might as justly have been addressed to a Moreau,
a Macdonald, a Le Courbe, or to any other general, as to Bonaparte,
because a superior number of well disciplined troops, let them be well
or even indifferently commanded, will defeat those inferior in number.
Three to one would even overpower an army of giants. Add to it the unity
of plans, of dispositions, and of execution, which Bonaparte enjoys
exclusively over such a great number of troops, while ten, or perhaps
fifty, will direct or contradict every movement of his opponents. I
tremble when I meditate on Berthier's assertion; may I never live to see
it realized, and to see all hitherto independent nations prostrated,
acknowledge that Bonaparte and destiny are the same, and the same
distributor of good and evil.

One of the bad consequences of this our military education of youth is a
total absence of all religious and moral lessons. Arnaud had, last
August, the courage to complain of this infamous neglect, in the National
Institute. "The youth," said he, "receive no other instruction but
lessons to march, to fire, to bow, to dance, to sit, to lie, and to
impose with a good grace. I do not ask for Spartans or Romans, but we
want Athenians, and our schools are only forming Sybarites." Within
twenty-four hours afterwards, Arnaud was visited by a police agent,
accompanied by two gendarmes, with an order signed by Fouche, which
condemned him to reside at Orleans, and not to return to Paris without
the permission of the Government,--a punishment regarded here as very
moderate for such an indiscreet zeal.

A schoolmaster at Auteuil, near this capital, of the name of Gouron, had
a private seminary, organized upon the footing of our former colleges.
In some few months he was offered more pupils than he could well attend
to, and his house shortly became very fashionable, even for our upstarts,
who sent their children there in preference. He was ordered before
Fouche last Christmas, and commanded to change the hours hitherto
employed in teaching religion and morals, to a military exercise and
instruction, as both more necessary and more salubrious for French youth.
Having replied that such an alteration was contrary to his plan and
agreement with the parents of his scholars, the Minister stopped him
short by telling him that he must obey what had been prescribed by
Government, or stand the consequences of his refractory spirit. Having
consulted with his friends and patrons, he divided the hours, and gave
half of the time usually allotted to religion or morality to the study of
military exercise. His pupils, however, remained obstinate, broke the
drum, and tore and burnt the colours he had bought. As this was not his
fault, he did not expect any further disturbance, particularly after
having reported to the police both his obedience and the unforeseen
result. But last March his house was suddenly surrounded in the night by
gendarmes, and some police agents entered it. All the boys were ordered
to dress and to pack up their effects, and to follow the gendarmes to
several other schools, where the Government had placed them, and of which
their parents would be informed. Gouron, his wife, four ushers, and six
servants, were all arrested and carried to the police office, where
Fouche, after reproaching them for their fanatical behaviour, as he
termed it, told them, as they were so fond of teaching religious and
moral duties, a suitable situation had been provided for them in Cayenne,
where the negroes stood sadly in need of their early arrival, for which
reason they would all set out on that very morning for Rochefort. When
Gouron asked what was to become of his property, furniture, etc., he was
told that his house was intended by Government for a preparatory school,
and would, with its contents, be purchased, and the amount paid him in
lands in Cayenne. It is not necessary to say that this example of
Imperial justice had the desired effect on all other refractory private

The parents of Gouron's pupils were, with a severe reprimand, informed
where their sons had been placed, and where they would be educated in a
manner agreeable to the Emperor, who recommended them not to remove them,
without a previous notice to the police. A hatter, of the name of
Maille, however, ordered his son home, because he had been sent to a
dearer school than the former. In his turn he was carried before the
police, and, after a short examination of a quarter of an hour, was
permitted, with his wife and two children, to join their friend Gouron at
Rochefort, and to settle with him at Cayenne, where lands would also be
given him for his property, in France. These particulars were related to
me by a neighbour whose son had, for two years previous to this, been
under Gouron's care, but who was now among those placed out by our
Government. The boy's present master, he said, was a man of a
notoriously bad and immoral character; but he was intimidated, and weak
enough to remain contented, preferring, no doubt, his personal safety to
the future happiness of his child. In your country, you little
comprehend what a valuable instrument terror has been in the hands of our
rulers since the Revolution, and how often fear has been mistaken abroad
for affection and content.

All these minutiae and petty vexations, but great oppressions, of petty
tyrants, you may easily guess, take up a great deal of time, and that,
therefore, a Minister of Police, though the most powerful, is also the
most occupied of his colleagues. So he certainly is, but, last year, a
new organization of this Ministry was regulated by Bonaparte; and Fouche
was allowed, as assistants, four Counsellors of State, and an
augmentation of sixty-four police commissaries. The French Empire was
then divided into four arrondissements, with regard to the general
police, not including Paris and its vicinity, inspected by a prefect of
police under the Minister. Of the first of these arrondissements, the
Counsellor of State, Real, is a kind of Deputy Minister; the Counsellor
of State, Miot, is the same of the second; the Counsellor of State, Pelet
de la Lozere, of the third; and the Counsellor of State, Dauchy, of the
fourth. The secret police agents, formerly called spies, were also
considerably increased.


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--Before Bonaparte set out for the Rhine, the Pope's Nuncio was
for the first time publicly rebuked by him in Madame Bonaparte's drawing-
room, and ordered loudly to write to Rome and tell His Holiness to think
himself fortunate in continuing to govern the Ecclesiastical States,
without interfering with the ecclesiastical arrangements that might be
thought necessary or proper by the Government in France.

Bonaparte's policy is to promote among the first dignitaries of the
Gallican Church the brothers or relatives of his civil or military
supporters; Cambacere's brother is, therefore, an Archbishop and
Cardinal, and one of Lebrun's, and two of Berthier's cousins are Bishops.
As, however, the relatives of these Senators, Ministers, or generals,
have, like themselves, figured in many of the scandalous and blasphemous
scenes of the Revolution, the Pope has sometimes hesitated about
sanctioning their promotions. This was the case last summer, when
General Dessolles's brother was transferred from the Bishopric of Digne
to that of Chambry, and Bonaparte nominated for his successor the brother
of General Miollis, who was a curate of Brignoles, in the diocese of Aix.
This curate had not only been one of the first to throw up his letters of
priesthood at the Jacobin Club at Aix, but had also sacrilegiously denied
the divinity of the Christian religion, and proposed, in imitation of
Parisian atheists, the worship of a Goddess of Reason in a common
prostitute with whom he lived. The notoriety of these abominations made
even his parishioners at Brignoles unwilling to go to church, and to
regard him as their pastor, though several of them had been imprisoned,
fined, and even transported as fanatics, or as refractory.

During the negotiation with Cardinal Fesch last year, the Pope had been
promised, among other things, that, for the future, his conscience should
not be wounded by having presented to him for the prelacy any persons but
those of the purest morals of the French Empire; and that all his
objections should be attended to, in case of promotions; his scruples
removed, or his refusal submitted to. When Cardinal Fesch demanded His
Holiness's Bull for the curate Miollis, the Cardinal Secretary of State,
Gonsalvi, showed no less than twenty acts of apostasy and blasphemy,
which made him unworthy of such a dignity. To this was replied that,
having obtained an indulgence in toto for what was past, he was a proper
subject; above all, as he had the protection of the Emperor of the
French. The Pope's Nuncio here then addressed himself to our Minister of
the Ecclesiastical Department, Portalis, who advised him not to speak to
Bonaparte of a matter upon which his mind had been made up; he,
nevertheless, demanded an audience, and it was in consequence of this
request that he, in his turn, became acquainted with the new Imperial
etiquette and new Imperial jargon towards the representatives of
Sovereigns. On the same evening the Nuncio expedited a courier to Rome,
and I have heard to-day that the nomination of Miollis is confirmed by
the Pope.

From this relatively trifling occurrence, His Holiness might judge of the
intention of our Government to adhere to its other engagements; but at
Rome, as well as in most other Continental capitals, the Sovereign is the
dupe of the perversity of his Counsellors and Ministers, who are the
tools, and not seldom the pensioners, of the Cabinet of St. Cloud.

But in the kingdom of Italy the parishes and dioceses are, if possible,
still worse served than in this country. Some of the Bishops there,
after having done duty in the National Guards, worn the Jacobin cap, and
fought against their lawful Prince, now live in open adultery; and, from
their intrigues, are the terror of all the married part of their flock.
The Bishop of Pavia keeps the wife of a merchant, by whom he has two
children; and, that the public may not be mistaken as to their real
father, the merchant received a sum of money to establish himself at
Brescia, and has not seen his wife for these two years past. General
Gourion, who was last spring in Italy, has assured me that he read the
advertisement of a curate after his concubine, who had eloped with
another curate; and that the Police Minister at Milan openly licensed
women to be the housekeepers of priests.

A grand vicar, Sarini, at Bologna, was, in 1796, a friar, but
relinquished then the convent for the tent, and exchanged the breviary
for the musket. He married a nun of one cloister, from whom he procured
a divorce in a month, to unite himself with an Abbess of another,
deserted by him in her turn for the wife of an innkeeper, who robbed and
eloped from her husband. Last spring he returned to the bosom of the
Church, and, by making our Empress a present of a valuable diamond cross,
of which he had pillaged the statue of a Madonna, he obtained the dignity
of a grand vicar, to the great edification, no doubt, of all those who
had seen him before the altar or in the camp, at the brothel, or in the

Another grand vicar of the same Bishop, in the same city, of the name of
Rami, has two of his illegitimate children as singing-boys in the same
cathedral where he officiates as a priest. Their mother is dead, but her
daughter, by another priest, is now their father's mistress. This
incestuous commerce is so little concealed that the girl does the honours
of the grand vicar's house, and, with naivete enough, tells the guests
and visitors of her happiness in having succeeded her mother. I have
this anecdote from an officer who heard her make use of that expression.

In France, our priests, I fear, are equally as debauched and
unprincipled; but, in yielding to their vicious propensities, they take
care to save the appearance of virtue, and, though their guilt is the
same, the scandal is less. Bonaparte pretends to be severe against all
those ecclesiastics who are accused of any irregularities after having
made their peace with the Church. A curate of Picardy, suspected of
gallantry, and another of Normandy, accused of inebriety, were last
month, without further trial or ceremony than the report of the Minister
Portalis, delivered over to Fouche, who transported them to Cayenne,
after they had been stripped of their gowns. At the same time, Cardinal
Cambaceres and Cardinal Fesch, equally notorious for their excesses, were
taken no notice of, except that they were laughed at in our Court

I am, almost every day, more and more convinced that our Government is
totally indifferent about what becomes of our religious establishment
when the present race of priests is extinguished; which, in the course of
nature, must happen in less than thirty years. Our military system and
our military education discourage all young men from entering into
orders; while, at the same time, the army is both more honourable and
more profitable than the Church. Already we want curates, though several
have been imported from Germany and Spain, and, in some departments,
four, and even six parishes have only one curate to serve them all. The
Bishops exhort, and the parents advise their children to study theology;
but then the law of conscription obliges the student of theology, as well
as the student of philosophy, to march together; and, when once in the
ranks, and accustomed to the licentiousness of a military life, they are
either unwilling, unfit, or unworthy to return to anything else. The
Pope, with all his entreaties, and with all his prayers, was unable to
procure an exception from the conscription of young men preparing
themselves for priesthood. Bonaparte always answered: "Holy Father, were
I to consent to your demand, I should soon have an army of priests,
instead of an army of soldiers." Our Emperor is not unacquainted with
the real character and spirit of his Volunteers. When the Pope
represented the danger of religion expiring in France, for want of
priests to officiate at the altars, he was answered that Bonaparte, at
the beginning of his consulate, found neither altars nor priests in
France; that if his reign survived the latter, the former would always be
standing, and survive his reign. He trusted that the chief of the Church
would prevent them from being deserted. He assured him that when once he
had restored the liberties of the seas, and an uninterrupted tranquillity
on the Continent, he should attend more, and perhaps entirely, to the
affairs of the Church. He consented, however, that the Pope might
institute, in the Ecclesiastical States, a seminary for two hundred young
Frenchmen, whom he would exempt from military conscription. This is the
stock from which our Church establishment is to be supplied!


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--The short journey of Count von Haugwitz to Vienna, and the long
stay of our Imperial Grand Marshal, Duroc, at Berlin, had already caused
here many speculations, not quite corresponding with the views and,
perhaps, interests of our Court, when our violation of the Prussian
territory made our courtiers exclaim: "This act proves that the Emperor
of the French is in a situation to bid defiance to all the world, and,
therefore, no longer courts the neutrality of a Prince whose power is
merely artificial; who has indemnities to restore, but no delicacy, no
regard to claims." Such was the language of those very men who, a month
before, declared "that His Prussian Majesty held the balance of peace or
war in his hands; that he was in a position in which no Prussian Monarch
ever was before; that while his neutrality preserved the tranquillity of
the North of Germany, the South of Europe would soon be indebted to his
powerful mediation for the return of peace."

The real cause of this alteration in our courtiers' political jargon has
not yet been known; but I think it may easily be discovered without any
official publication. Bonaparte had the adroitness to cajole the Cabinet
of Berlin into his interest, in the first month of his consulate,
notwithstanding his own critical situation, as well as the critical
situation of France; and he has ever since taken care both to attach it
to his triumphal car and to inculpate it indirectly in his outrages and
violations. Convinced, as he thought, of the selfishness which guided
all its resolutions, all his attacks and invasions against the law of
nations, or independence of States, were either preceded or followed with
some offers of aggrandizement, of indemnity, of subsidy, or of alliance.
His political intriguers were generally more successful in Prussia than
his military heroes in crossing the Rhine or the Elbe, in laying the
Hanse Towns under contribution, or in occupying Hanover; or, rather, all
these acts of violence and injustice were merely the effects of his
ascendency in Prussia. When it is, besides, remembered what provinces
Prussia accepted from his bounty, what exchange of presents, of ribands,
of private letters passed between Napoleon the First and Frederick
William III., between the Empress of the French and the Queen of Prussia,
it is not surprising if the Cabinet of St. Cloud thought itself sure of
the submission of the Cabinet of Berlin, and did not esteem it enough to
fear it, or to think that it would have spirit enough to resent, or even
honour to feel, the numerous Provocations offered.

Whatever Bonaparte and Talleyrand write or assert to the contrary, their
gifts are only the wages of their contempt, and they despise more that
State they thus reward than those nations at whose expense they are
liberal, and with whose spoil they delude selfishness or meanness into
their snares. The more legitimate Sovereigns descend from their true
dignity, and a liberal policy, the nearer they approach the baseness of
usurpation and the Machiavellism of rebellion. Like other upstarts, they
never suffer an equal. If you do not keep yourself above them, they will
crush you beneath them. If they have no reason to fear you, they will
create some quarrel to destroy you.

It is said here that Duroc's journey to Berlin was merely to demand a
passage for the French troops through the Prussian territory in
Franconia, and to prevent the Russian troops from passing through the
Prussian territory in Poland. This request is such as might have been
expected from our Emperor and his Minister. Whether, however, the tone
in which this curious negotiation with a neutral power was begun, or
that, at last, the generosity of the Russian Monarch awakened a sense of
duty in the Cabinet of Berlin, the arrival of our pacific envoy was
immediately followed with warlike preparations. Fortunate, indeed, was
it for Prussia to have resorted to her military strength instead of
trusting any longer to our friendly assurances. The disasters that have
since befallen the Austrian armies in Suabia, partly occasioned by our
forced marches through neutral Prussia, would otherwise soon have been
felt in Westphalia, in Brandenburgh, and in Pomerania. But should His
Prussian Majesty not order his troops to act in conjunction with Russia,
Austria, England, and Sweden, and that very soon, all efforts against
Bonaparte will be vain, as those troops which have dispersed the
Austrians and repulsed the Russians will be more than equal to master the
Prussians, and one campaign may be sufficient to convince the Prussian
Ministers of their folly and errors for years, and to punish them for
their ignorance or selfishness.

Some preparations made in silence by the Marquis of Lucchesini, his
affected absence from some of our late Court circles, and the number of
spies who now are watching his hotel and his steps, seem to indicate that
Prussia is tired of its impolitic neutrality, and inclined to join the
confederacy against France. At the last assembly at our Prince
Cambaceres's, a rumour circulated that preliminary articles for an
offensive alliance with your country had already been signed by the
Prussian Minister, Baron Von Hardenberg, on one side, and by your
Minister to the Court of Berlin on the other; according to which you were
to take sixty thousand Prussians and twelve thousand Hessians into your
pay, for five years certain. A courier from Duroc was said to have
brought this news, which at first made some impression, but it wore away
by degrees; and our Government, to judge from the expressions of persons
in its confidence, seems more to court than to fear a rupture with
Prussia. Indeed, besides all other reasons to carry on a war in the
North of Europe, Bonaparte's numerous and young generals are impatient to
enrich themselves, as Italy, Switzerland, Holland, and the South of
Germany are almost exhausted.


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--The provocations of our Government must have been extraordinary
indeed, when they were able to awaken the Cabinet of Berlin from its long
and incomprehensible infatuation of trusting to the friendly intentions
of honest Talleyrand, and to the disinterested policy of our generous
Bonaparte. To judge its intents from its acts, the favour of the Cabinet
of St. Cloud was not only its wish but its want. You must remember that,
last year, besides his ordinary Ambassador, Da Lucchesini, His Prussian
Majesty was so ill advised as to despatch General Knobelsdorff as his
extra representative, to assist at Napoleon's coronation, a degradation
of lawful sovereignty to which even the Court of Naples, though
surrounded with our troops, refused to subscribe; and, so late as last
June, the same Knobelsdorff did, in the name of his Prince, the honours
at the reviews near Magdeburg, to all the generals of our army in Hanover
who chose to attend there. On this occasion the King lodged in a
farmhouse, the Queen in the house of the curate of Koestelith, while our
sans-culotte officers, Bernadotte & Co., were quartered and treated in
style at the castle of Putzbull, fitted up for their accommodation. This
was certainly very hospitable, and very civil, but it was neither prudent
nor politic. Upstarts, experiencing such a reception from Princes, are
convinced that they are dreaded, because they know that they have not
merit to be esteemed.

Do not confound this Knobelsdorff with the late Field-marshal of that
name, who, in 1796, answered to a request which our then Ambassador at
Berlin (Abbe Sieges) had made to be introduced to him, NON ET SANS
PHRASE, the very words this regicide used when he sat in judgment on his
King, and voted LA MORT ET SANS PHRASE. This Knobelsdorff is a very
different character. He pretends to be equally conspicuous in the
Cabinet as in the field, in the boudoir as in the study. A demi-
philosopher, a demi-savant, a demi-gallant and a demi-politician,
constitute, all taken together, nothing except an insignificant courtier.
I do not know whether he was among those Prussian officers who, in 1798,
CRIED when it was inserted in the public prints that the Grand Bonaparte
had been killed in an insurrection at Cairo, but of this I am certain,
that were Knobelsdorff to survive Napoleon the First, none of His
Imperial Majesty's own dutiful subjects would mourn him more sincerely
than this subject of the King of Prussia. He is said to possess a great
share of the confidence of his King, who has already employed him in
several diplomatic missions. The principal and most requisite qualities
in a negotiator are political information, inviolable fidelity,
penetrating but unbiased judgment, a dignified firmness, and
condescending manners. I have not been often enough in the society of
General Knobelsdorff to assert whether nature and education have destined
him to illumine or to cloud the Prussian monarchy.

I have already mentioned in a former letter that it was Count von
Haugwitz who, in 1792, as Prussian Ambassador at Vienna, arranged the
treaty which then united the Austrian and Prussian Eagles against the
Jacobin Cap of Liberty. It is now said in our diplomatic circle that his
second mission to the same capital has for an object the renewal of these
ties, which the Treaty of Basle dissolved; and that our Government, to
impede his success, or to occasion his recall, before he could have time
to conclude, had proposed to Prussia an annual subsidy of thirty millions
of liveres--which it intended to exact from Portugal for its neutrality.
The present respectable appearance of Prussia, shows, however, that
whether the mission of Haugwitz had the desired issue or not, His
Prussian Majesty confides in his army in preference to our parchments.

Some of our politicians pretend that the present Minister of the foreign
department in Prussia, Baron von Hardenberg, is not such a friend of the
system of neutrality as his predecessor. All the transactions of his
administration seem, nevertheless, to proclaim that, if he wished his
country to take an active part in the present conflict, it would not have
been against France, had she not begun the attack with the invasion of
Anspach and Bayreuth. Let it be recollected that, since his Ministry,
Prussia has acknowledged Bonaparte an Emperor of the French, has
exchanged orders with him, and has sent an extraordinary Ambassador to be
present at his coronation,--not common compliments, even between Princes
connected by the nearest ties of friendship and consanguinity. Under his
administration, the Rhine has been passed to seize the Duc d'Enghien,
and the Elbe to capture Sir George Rumbold; the Hanse Towns have been
pillaged, and even Emden blockaded; and the representations against,
all these outrages have neither been followed by public reparation nor
a becoming resentment; and was it not also Baron von Hardenberg, who,
on the 5th of April, 1795, concluded at Basle that treaty to which we owe
all our conquests and Germany and Italy all their disasters? It is not
probable that the parent of pacification will destroy its own progeny,
if self-preservation does not require it.

Baron von Hardenberg is both a learned nobleman and an enlightened
statesman, and does equal honour both to his own rank and to the choice
of his Prince. The late Frederick William II. nominated him a Minister
of State and a Counsellor of his Cabinet. On the 26th of January, 1792,
as a directorial Minister, he took possession, in the name of the King of
Prussia, of the Margravates of Anspach and Bayreuth, and the inhabitants
swore before him, as their governor, their oaths of allegiance to their
new Sovereign.--He continued to reside as a kind of viceroy, in these
States, until March, 1795, when he replaced Baron von Goltz as negotiator
with our republican plenipotentiary in Switzerland; but after settling
all differences between Prussia and France, he returned to his former
post at Anspach, where no complaints have been heard against his

The ambition of Baron von Hardenberg has always been to obtain the place
he now occupies, and the study of his life has been to gain such
information as would enable him to fill it with distinction. I have
heard it said that in most countries he had for years kept and paid
private agents, who regularly corresponded with him and sent him reports
of what they heard or saw of political intrigue or machinations. One of
these his agents I happened to meet with, in 1796, at Basle, and were I
to conclude from what I observed in him, the Minister has not been very
judicious in his selection of private correspondents. Figure to yourself
a bald-headed personage, about forty years of age, near seven feet high,
deaf as a post, stammering and making convulsive efforts to express a
sentence of five words, which, after all, his gibberish made
unintelligible. His dress was as eccentric as his person was singular,
and his manners corresponded with both. He called himself Baron von
Bulow, and I saw him afterwards, in the autumn of 1797, at Paris, with
the same accoutrements and the same jargon, assuming an air of diplomatic
mystery, even while displaying before me, in a coffee-house, his letters
and instructions from his principal. As might be expected, he had the
adroitness to get himself shut up in the Temple, where, I have been told,
the generosity of your Sir Sidney Smith prevented him from starving.

No member of the foreign diplomatic corps here possesses either more
knowledge, or a longer experience, than the Prussian Ambassador, Marquis
of Lucchesini. He went with several other philosophers of Italy to
admire the late hero of modern philosophy at Berlin, Frederick the Great,
who received him well, caressed him often, but never trusted or employed
him. I suppose it was not at the mention of the Marquis's name for the
place of a governor of some province that this Monarch said, "My subjects
of that province have always been dutiful; a philosopher shall never rule
in my name but over people with whom I am discontented, or whom I intend
to chastise." This Prince was not unacquainted with the morality of his

During the latter part of the life of this King, the Marquis of
Lucchesini was frequently of his literary and convivial parties; but he
was neither his friend nor his favourite, but his listener. It was first

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