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The Second Funeral of Napoleon by William Makepeace Thackeray

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This etext was prepared by Donald Lainson, charlie@idirect.com.

The Second Funeral of Napoleon

by William Makepeace Thackeray
"by Michael Angelo Titmarch."

I. On the Disinterment of Napoleon at St. Helena

II. On the Voyage from St. Helena to Paris

III. On the Funeral Ceremony



MY DEAR ----,--It is no easy task in this world to distinguish
between what is great in it, and what is mean; and many and many is
the puzzle that I have had in reading History (or the works of
fiction which go by that name), to know whether I should laud up to
the skies, and endeavor, to the best of my small capabilities, to
imitate the remarkable character about whom I was reading, or
whether I should fling aside the book and the hero of it, as things
altogether base, unworthy, laughable, and get a novel, or a game of
billiards, or a pipe of tobacco, or the report of the last debate in
the House, or any other employment which would leave the mind in a
state of easy vacuity, rather than pester it with a vain set of
dates relating to actions which are in themselves not worth a fig,
or with a parcel of names of people whom it can do one no earthly
good to remember.

It is more than probable, my love, that you are acquainted with what
is called Grecian and Roman history, chiefly from perusing, in very
early youth, the little sheepskin-bound volumes of the ingenious Dr.
Goldsmith, and have been indebted for your knowledge of the English
annals to a subsequent study of the more voluminous works of Hume
and Smollett. The first and the last-named authors, dear Miss
Smith, have written each an admirable history,--that of the Reverend
Dr. Primrose, Vicar of Wakefield, and that of Mr. Robert Bramble, of
Bramble Hall--in both of which works you will find true and
instructive pictures of human life, and which you may always think
over with advantage. But let me caution you against putting any
considerable trust in the other works of these authors, which were
placed in your hands at school and afterwards, and in which you were
taught to believe. Modern historians, for the most part, know very
little, and, secondly, only tell a little of what they know.

As for those Greeks and Romans whom you have read of in "sheepskin,"
were you to know really what those monsters were, you would blush
all over as red as a hollyhock, and put down the history-book in a
fury. Many of our English worthies are no better. You are not in a
situation to know the real characters of any one of them. They
appear before you in their public capacities, but the individuals
you know not. Suppose, for instance, your mamma had purchased her
tea in the Borough from a grocer living there by the name of
Greenacre: suppose you had been asked out to dinner, and the
gentleman of the house had said: "Ho! Francois! a glass of champagne
for Miss Smith;"--Courvoisier would have served you just as any
other footman would; you would never have known that there was
anything extraordinary in these individuals, but would have thought
of them only in their respective public characters of Grocer and
Footman. This, Madam, is History, in which a man always appears
dealing with the world in his apron, or his laced livery, but which
has not the power or the leisure, or, perhaps, is too high and
mighty to condescend to follow and study him in his privacy. Ah, my
dear, when big and little men come to be measured rightly, and great
and small actions to be weighed properly, and people to be stripped
of their royal robes, beggars' rags, generals' uniforms, seedy out-
at-elbowed coats, and the like--or the contrary say, when souls come
to be stripped of their wicked deceiving bodies, and turned out
stark naked as they were before they were born--what a strange
startling sight shall we see, and what a pretty figure shall some of
us cut! Fancy how we shall see Pride, with his Stultz clothes and
padding pulled off, and dwindled down to a forked radish! Fancy
some Angelic Virtue, whose white raiment is suddenly whisked over
his head, showing us cloven feet and a tail! Fancy Humility, eased
of its sad load of cares and want and scorn, walking up to the very
highest place of all, and blushing as he takes it! Fancy,--but we
must not fancy such a scene at all, which would be an outrage on
public decency. Should we be any better than our neighbors? No,
certainly. And as we can't be virtuous, let us be decent.
Figleaves are a very decent, becoming wear, and have been now in
fashion for four thousand years. And so, my dear, history is
written on fig-leaves. Would you have anything further? O fie!

Yes, four thousand years ago that famous tree was planted. At their
very first lie, our first parents made for it, and there it is still
the great Humbug Plant, stretching its wide arms, and sheltering
beneath its leaves, as broad and green as ever, all the generations
of men. Thus, my dear, coquettes of your fascinating sex cover
their persons with figgery, fantastically arranged, and call their
masquerading, modesty. Cowards fig themselves out fiercely as
"salvage men," and make us believe that they are warriors. Fools
look very solemnly out from the dusk of the leaves, and we fancy in
the gloom that they are sages. And many a man sets a great wreath
about his pate and struts abroad a hero, whose claims we would all
of us laugh at, could we but remove the ornament and see his
numskull bare.

And such--(excuse my sermonizing)--such is the constitution of
mankind, that men have, as it were, entered into a compact among
themselves to pursue the fig-leaf system a l'outrance, and to cry
down all who oppose it. Humbug they will have. Humbugs themselves,
they will respect humbugs. Their daily victuals of life must be
seasoned with humbug. Certain things are there in the world that
they will not allow to be called by their right names, and will
insist upon our admiring, whether we will or no. Woe be to the man
who would enter too far into the recesses of that magnificent temple
where our Goddess is enshrined, peep through the vast embroidered
curtains indiscreetly, penetrate the secret of secrets, and expose
the Gammon of Gammons! And as you must not peer too curiously
within, so neither must you remain scornfully without. Humbug-
worshippers, let us come into our great temple regularly and
decently: take our seats, and settle our clothes decently; open our
books, and go through the service with decent gravity; listen, and
be decently affected by the expositions of the decent priest of the
place; and if by chance some straggling vagabond, loitering in the
sunshine out of doors, dares to laugh or to sing, and disturb the
sanctified dulness of the faithful;--quick! a couple of big beadles
rush out and belabor the wretch, and his yells make our devotions
more comfortable.

Some magnificent religious ceremonies of this nature are at present
taking place in France; and thinking that you might perhaps while
away some long winter evening with an account of them, I have
compiled the following pages for your use. Newspapers have been
filled, for some days past, with details regarding the St. Helena
expedition, many pamphlets have been published, men go about crying
little books and broadsheets filled with real or sham particulars;
and from these scarce and valuable documents the following pages are
chiefly compiled.

We must begin at the beginning; premising, in the first place, that
Monsieur Guizot, when French Ambassador at London, waited upon Lord
Palmerston with a request that the body of the Emperor Napoleon
should be given up to the French nation, in order that it might find
a final resting-place in French earth. To this demand the English
Government gave a ready assent; nor was there any particular
explosion of sentiment upon either side, only some pretty cordial
expressions of mutual good-will. Orders were sent out to St. Helena
that the corpse should be disinterred in due time, when the French
expedition had arrived in search of it, and that every respect and
attention should he paid to those who came to carry back to their
country the body of the famous dead warrior and sovereign.

This matter being arranged in very few words (as in England, upon
most points, is the laudable fashion), the French Chambers began to
debate about the place in which they should bury the body when they
got it; and numberless pamphlets and newspapers out of doors joined
in the talk. Some people there were who had fought and conquered
and been beaten with the great Napoleon, and loved him and his
memory. Many more were there who, because of his great genius and
valor, felt excessively proud in their own particular persons, and
clamored for the return of their hero. And if there were some few
individuals in this great hot-headed, gallant, boasting, sublime,
absurd French nation, who had taken a cool view of the dead
Emperor's character; if, perhaps, such men as Louis Philippe, and
Monsieur A. Thiers, Minister and Deputy, and Monsieur Francois
Guizot, Deputy and Excellency, had, from interest or conviction,
opinions at all differing from those of the majority; why, they knew
what was what, and kept their opinions to themselves, coming with a
tolerably good grace and flinging a few handfuls of incense upon the
altar of the popular idol.

In the succeeding debates, then, various opinions were given with
regard to the place to be selected for the Emperor's sepulture.
"Some demanded," says an eloquent anonymous Captain in the Navy who
has written an "Itinerary from Toulon to St. Helena," "that the
coffin should be deposited under the bronze taken from the enemy by
the French army--under the Column of the Place Vendome. The idea
was a fine one. This is the most glorious monument that was ever
raised in a conqueror's honor. This column has been melted out of
foreign cannon. These same cannons have furrowed the bosoms of our
braves with noble cicatrices; and this metal--conquered by the
soldier first, by the artist afterwards--has allowed to be imprinted
on its front its own defeat and our glory. Napoleon might sleep in
peace under this audacious trophy. But, would his ashes find a
shelter sufficiently vast beneath this pedestal? And his puissant
statue dominating Paris, beams with sufficient grandeur on this
place: whereas the wheels of carriages and the feet of passengers
would profane the funereal sanctity of the spot in trampling on the
soil so near his head."

You must not take this description, dearest Amelia, "at the foot of
the letter," as the French phrase it, but you will here have a
masterly exposition of the arguments for and against the burial of
the Emperor under the Column of the Place Vendome. The idea was a
fine one, granted; but, like all other ideas, it was open to
objections. You must not fancy that the cannon, or rather the
cannon-balls, were in the habit of furrowing the bosoms of French
braves, or any other braves, with cicatrices: on the contrary, it is
a known fact that cannon-balls make wounds, and not cicatrices
(which, my dear, are wounds partially healed); nay, that a man
generally dies after receiving one such projectile on his chest,
much more after having his bosom furrowed by a score of them. No,
my love; no bosom, however heroic, can stand such applications, and
the author only means that the French soldiers faced the cannon and
took them. Nor, my love, must you suppose that the column was
melted: it was the cannon was melted, not the column; but such
phrases are often used by orators when they wish to give a
particular force and emphasis to their opinions.

Well, again, although Napoleon might have slept in peace under "this
audacious trophy," how could he do so and carriages go rattling by
all night, and people with great iron heels to their boots pass
clattering over the stones? Nor indeed could it be expected that a
man whose reputation stretches from the Pyramids to the Kremlin,
should find a column of which the base is only five-and-twenty feet
square, a shelter vast enough for his bones. In a word, then,
although the proposal to bury Napoleon under the column was
ingenious, it was found not to suit; whereupon somebody else
proposed the Madelaine.

"It was proposed," says the before-quoted author with his usual
felicity, "to consecrate the Madelaine to his exiled manes"--that
is, to his bones when they were not in exile any longer. "He ought
to have, it was said, a temple entire. His glory fills the world.
His bones could not contain themselves in the coffin of a man--in
the tomb of a king!" In this case what was Mary Magdalen to do?
"This proposition, I am happy to say, was rejected, and a new one--
that of the President of the Council adopted. Napoleon and his
braves ought not to quit each other. Under the immense gilded dome
of the Invalides he would find a sanctuary worthy of himself. A
dome imitates the vault of heaven, and that vault alone" (meaning of
course the other vault) "should dominate above his head. His old
mutilated Guard shall watch around him: the last veteran, as he has
shed his blood in his combats, shall breathe his last sigh near his
tomb, and all these tombs shall sleep under the tattered standards
that have been won from all the nations of Europe."

The original words are "sous les lambeaux cribles des drapeaux
cueillis chez toutes les nations;" in English, "under the riddled
rags of the flags that have been culled or plucked" (like roses or
buttercups) "in all the nations." Sweet, innocent flowers of
victory! there they are, my dear, sure enough, and a pretty
considerable hortus siccus may any man examine who chooses to walk
to the Invalides. The burial-place being thus agreed on, the
expedition was prepared, and on the 7th July the "Belle Poule"
frigate, in company with "La Favorite" corvette, quitted Toulon
harbor. A couple of steamers, the "Trident" and the "Ocean,"
escorted the ships as far as Gibraltar, and there left them to
pursue their voyage.

The two ships quitted the harbor in the sight of a vast concourse of
people, and in the midst of a great roaring of cannons. Previous to
the departure of the "Belle Poule," the Bishop of Frejus went on
board, and gave to the cenotaph, in which the Emperor's remains were
to be deposited, his episcopal benediction. Napoleon's old friends
and followers, the two Bertrands, Gourgaud, Emanuel Las Cases,
"companions in exile, or sons of the companions in exile of the
prisoner of the infame Hudson," says a French writer, were passengers
on board the frigate. Marchand, Denis, Pierret, Novaret, his old
and faithful servants, were likewise in the vessel. It was
commanded by his Royal Highness Francis Ferdinand Philip Louis Marie
d'Orleans, Prince de Joinville, a young prince two-and-twenty years
of age, who was already distinguished in the service of his country
and king.

On the 8th of October, after a voyage of six-and-sixty days, the
"Belle Poule" arrived in James Town harbor; and on its arrival, as
on its departure from France, a great firing of guns took place.
First, the "Oreste" French brig-of-war began roaring out a
salutation to the frigate; then the "Dolphin" English schooner gave
her one-and-twenty guns; then the frigate returned the compliment of
the "Dolphin" schooner; then she blazed out with one-and-twenty guns
more, as a mark of particular politeness to the shore--which
kindness the forts acknowledged by similar detonations.

These little compliments concluded on both sides, Lieutenant
Middlemore, son and aide-de-camp of the Governor of St. Helena, came
on board the French frigate, and brought his father's best respects
to his Royal Highness. The Governor was at home ill, and forced to
keep his room; but he had made his house at James Town ready for
Captain Joinville and his suite, and begged that they would make use
of it during their stay.

On the 9th, H. R. H. the Prince of Joinville put on his full uniform
and landed, in company with Generals Bertrand and Gourgaud, Baron
Las Cases, M. Marchand, M. Coquereau, the chaplain of the
expedition, and M. de Rohan Chabot, who acted as chief mourner. All
the garrison were under arms to receive the illustrious Prince and
the other members of the expedition--who forthwith repaired to
Plantation House, and had a conference with the Governor regarding
their mission.

On the 10th, 11th, 12th, these conferences continued: the crews of
the French ships were permitted to come on shore and see the tomb of
Napoleon. Bertrand, Gourgaud, Las Cases wandered about the island
and revisited the spots to which they had been partial in the
lifetime of the Emperor.

The 15th October was fixed on for the day of the exhumation: that
day five-and twenty years, the Emperor Napoleon first set his foot
upon the island.

On the day previous all things had been made ready: the grand
coffins and ornaments brought from France, and the articles
necessary for the operation were carried to the valley of the Tomb.

The operations commenced at midnight. The well-known friends of
Napoleon before named and some other attendants of his, the chaplain
and his acolytes, the doctor of the "Belle Poule," the captains of
the French ships, and Captain Alexander of the Engineers, the
English Commissioner, attended the disinterment. His Royal highness
Prince de Joinville could not be present because the workmen were
under English command.

The men worked for nine hours incessantly, when at length the earth
was entirely removed from the vault, all the horizontal strata of
masonry demolished, and the large slab which covered the place where
the stone sarcophagus lay, removed by a crane. This outer coffin of
stone was perfect, and could scarcely be said to be damp.

"As soon as the Abbe Coquereau had recited the prayers, the coffin
was removed with the greatest care, and carried by the engineer-
soldiers, bareheaded, into a tent that had been prepared for the
purpose. After the religious ceremonies, the inner coffins were
opened. The outermost coffin was slightly injured: then came, one
of lead, which was in good condition, and enclosed two others--one
of tin and one of wood. The last coffin was lined inside with white
satin, which, having become detached by the effect of time, had
fallen upon the body and enveloped it like a winding-sheet, and had
become slightly attached to it.

"It is difficult to describe with what anxiety and emotion those who
were present waited for the moment which was to expose to them all
that death had left of Napoleon. Notwithstanding the singular state
of preservation of the tomb and coffins, we could scarcely hope to
find anything but some misshapen remains of the least perishable
part of the costume to evidence the identity of the body. But when
Doctor Guillard raised the sheet of satin, an indescribable feeling
of surprise and affection was expressed by the spectators, many of
whom burst into tears. The Emperor was himself before their eyes!
The features of the face, though changed, were perfectly recognized;
the hands extremely beautiful; his well-known costume had suffered
but little, and the colors were easily distinguished. The attitude
itself was full of ease, and but for the fragments of the satin
lining which covered, as with a fine gauze, several parts of the
uniform, we might have believed we still saw Napoleon before us
lying on his bed of state. General Bertrand and M. Marchand, who
were both present at the interment, quickly pointed out the
different articles which each had deposited in the coffin, and
remained in the precise position in which they had previously
described them to be.

"The two inner coffins were carefully closed again; the old leaden
coffin was strongly blocked up with wedges of wood, and both were
once more soldered up with the most minute precautions, under the
direction of Dr. Guillard. These different operations being
terminated, the ebony sarcophagus was closed as well as its oak
case. On delivering the key of the ebony sarcophagus to Count de
Chabot, the King's Commissioner, Captain Alexander declared to him,
in the name of the Governor, that this coffin, containing the mortal
remains of the Emperor Napoleon, was considered as at the disposal
of the French Government from that day, and from the moment at which
it should arrive at the place of embarkation, towards which it was
about to be sent under the orders of General Middlemore. The King's
Commissioner replied that he was charged by his Government, and in
its name, to accept the coffin from the hands of the British
authorities, and that he and the other persons composing the French
mission were ready to follow it to James Town, where the Prince de
Joinville, superior commandant of the expedition, would be ready to
receive it and conduct it on board his frigate. A car drawn by four
horses, decked with funereal emblems, had been prepared before the
arrival of the expedition, to receive the coffin, as well as a pall,
and all the other suitable trappings of mourning. When the
sarcophagus was placed on the car, the whole was covered with a
magnificent imperial mantle brought from Paris, the four corners of
which were borne by Generals Bertrand and Gourgaud, Baron Las Cases
and M. Marchand. At half-past three o'clock the funeral car began
to move, preceded by a chorister bearing the cross, and by the Abbe
Coquereau. M. de Chabot acted as chief mourner. All the
authorities of the island, all the principal inhabitants, and the
whole of the garrison, followed in procession from the tomb to the
quay. But with the exception of the artillerymen necessary to lead
the horses, and occasionally support the car when descending some
steep parts of the way, the places nearest the coffin were reserved
for the French mission. General Middlemore, although in a weak
state of health, persisted in following the whole way on foot,
together with General Churchill, chief of the staff in India, who
had arrived only two days before from Bombay. The immense weight of
the coffins, and the unevenness of the road, rendered the utmost
carefulness necessary throughout the whole distance. Colonel
Trelawney commanded in person the small detachment of artillerymen
who conducted the car, and, thanks to his great care, not the
slightest accident took place. From the moment of departure to the
arrival at the quay, the cannons of the forts and the 'Belle Poule'
fired minute-guns. After an hour's march the rain ceased for the
first time since the commencement of the operations, and on arriving
in sight of the town we found a brilliant sky and beautiful weather.
From the morning the three French vessels of war had assumed the
usual signs of deep mourning: their yards crossed and their flags
lowered. Two French merchantmen, 'Bonne Amie' and 'Indien,' which
had been in the roads for two days, had put themselves under the
Prince's orders, and followed during the ceremony all the manoeuvers
of the 'Belle Poule.' The forts of the town, and the houses of the
consuls, had also their flags half-mast high.

"On arriving at the entrance of the town, the troops of the garrison
and the militia formed in two lines as far as the extremity of the
quay. According to the order for mourning prescribed for the
English army, the men had their arms reversed and the officers had
crape on their arms, with their swords reversed. All the
inhabitants had been kept away from the line of march, but they
lined the terraces, commanding the town, and the streets were
occupied only by the troops, the 91st Regiment being on the right
and the militia on the left. The cortege advanced slowly between
two ranks of soldiers to the sound of a funeral march, while the
cannons of the forts were fired, as well as those of the 'Belle
Poule' and the 'Dolphin;' the echoes being repeated a thousand times
by the rocks above James Town. After two hours' march the cortege
stopped at the end of the quay, where the Prince de Joinville had
stationed himself at the head of the officers of the three French
ships of war. The greatest official honors had been rendered by the
English authorities to the memory of the Emperor--the most striking
testimonials of respect had marked the adieu given by St. Helena to
his coffin; and from this moment the mortal remains of the Emperor
were about to belong to France. When the funeral-car stopped, the
Prince de Joinville advanced alone, and in presence of all around,
who stood with their heads uncovered, received, in a solemn manner,
the imperial coffin from the hands of General Middlemore. His Royal
Highness then thanked the Governor, in the name of France, for all
the testimonials of sympathy and respect with which the authorities
and inhabitants of St. Helena had surrounded the memorable
ceremonial. A cutter had been expressly prepared to receive the
coffin. During the embarkation, which the Prince directed himself,
the bands played funeral airs, and all the boats were stationed
round with their oars shipped. The moment the sarcophagus touched
the cutter, a magnificent royal flag, which the ladies of James Town
had embroidered for the occasion, was unfurled, and the 'Belle
Poule' immediately squared her masts and unfurled her colors. All
the manoeuvers of the frigate were immediately followed by the other
vessels. Our mourning had ceased with the exile of Napoleon, and
the French naval division dressed itself out in all its festal
ornaments to receive the imperial coffin under the French flag. The
sarcophagus was covered in the cutter with the imperial mantle. The
Prince de Joinville placed himself at the rudder, Commandant Guyet
at the head of the boat; Generals Bertrand and Gourgaud, Baron Las
Cases, M. Marchand, and the Abbe Coquereau occupied the same places
as during the march. Count Chabot and Commandant Hernoux were
astern, a little in advance of the Prince. As soon as the cutter
had pushed off from the quay, the batteries ashore fired a salute of
twenty-one guns, and our ships returned the salute with all their
artillery. Two other salutes were fired during the passage from the
quay to the frigate; the cutter advancing very slowly, and
surrounded by the other boats. At half-past six o'clock it reached
the 'Belle Poule,' all the men being on the yards with their hats in
their hands. The Prince had had arranged on the deck a chapel,
decked with flags and trophies of arms, the altar being placed at
the foot of the mizzen-mast. The coffin, carried by our sailors,
passed between two ranks of officers with drawn swords, and was
placed on the quarter-deck. The absolution was pronounced by the
Abbe Coquereau the same evening. Next day, at ten o'clock, a solemn
mass was celebrated on the deck, in presence of the officers and
part of the crews of the ships. His Royal Highness stood at the
foot of the coffin. The cannon of the 'Favorite' and 'Oreste' fired
minute-guns during this ceremony, which terminated by a solemn
absolution; and the Prince de Joinville, the gentlemen of the
mission, the officers, and the premiers maitres of the ship,
sprinkled holy water on the coffin. At eleven, all the ceremonies
of the church were accomplished, all the honors done to a sovereign
had been paid to the mortal remains of Napoleon. The coffin was
carefully lowered between decks, and placed in the chapelle ardente
which had been prepared at Toulon for its reception. At this
moment, the vessels fired a last salute with all their artillery,
and the frigate took in her flags, keeping up only her flag at the
stern and the royal standard at the maintopgallant-mast. On Sunday,
the 18th, at eight in the morning, the 'Belle Poule' quitted St.
Helena with her precious deposit on board.

"During the whole time that the mission remained at James Town, the
best understanding never ceased to exist between the population of
the island and the French. The Prince de Joinville and his
companions met in all quarters and at all times with the greatest
good-will and the warmest testimonials of sympathy. The authorities
and the inhabitants must have felt, no doubt, great regret at seeing
taken away from their island the coffin that had rendered it so
celebrated; but they repressed their feelings with a courtesy that
does honor to the frankness of their character."



On the 18th October the French frigate quitted the island with its
precious burden on board.

His Royal Highness the Captain acknowledged cordially the kindness
and attention which he and his crew had received from the English
authorities and the inhabitants of the Island of St. Helena; nay,
promised a pension to an old soldier who had been for many years the
guardian of the imperial tomb, and went so far as to take into
consideration the petition of a certain lodging-house keeper, who
prayed for a compensation for the loss which the removal of the
Emperor's body would occasion to her. And although it was not to be
expected that the great French nation should forego its natural
desire of recovering the remains of a hero so dear to it for the
sake of the individual interest of the landlady in question, it must
have been satisfactory to her to find, that the peculiarity of her
position was so delicately appreciated by the august Prince who
commanded the expedition, and carried away with him animae dimidium
suae--the half of the genteel independence which she derived from
the situation of her hotel. In a word, politeness and friendship
could not be carried farther. The Prince's realm and the landlady's
were bound together by the closest ties of amity. M. Thiers was
Minister of France, the great patron of the English alliance. At
London M. Guizot was the worthy representative of the French good-
will towards the British people; and the remark frequently made by
our orators at public dinners, that "France and England, while
united, might defy the world," was considered as likely to hold good
for many years to come,--the union that is. As for defying the
world, that was neither here nor there; nor did English politicians
ever dream of doing any such thing, except perhaps at the tenth
glass of port at "Freemason's Tavern."

Little, however, did Mrs. Corbett, the St. Helena landlady, little
did his Royal Highness Prince Ferdinand Philip Marie de Joinville
know what was going on in Europe all this time (when I say in
Europe, I mean in Turkey, Syria, and Egypt); how clouds, in fact,
were gathering upon what you call the political horizon; and how
tempests were rising that were to blow to pieces our Anglo-Gallic
temple of friendship. Oh, but it is sad to think that a single
wicked old Turk should be the means of setting our two Christian
nations by the ears!

Yes, my love, this disreputable old man had been for some time past
the object of the disinterested attention of the great sovereigns of
Europe. The Emperor Nicolas (a moral character, though following
the Greek superstition, and adored for his mildness and benevolence
of disposition), the Emperor Ferdinand, the King of Prussia, and our
own gracious Queen, had taken such just offence at his conduct and
disobedience towards a young and interesting sovereign, whose
authority he had disregarded, whose fleet he had kidnapped, whose
fair provinces he had pounced upon, that they determined to come to
the aid of Abdul Medjid the First, Emperor of the Turks, and bring
his rebellious vassal to reason. In this project the French nation
was invited to join; but they refused the invitation, saying, that
it was necessary for the maintenance of the balance of power in
Europe that his Highness Mehemet Ali should keep possession of what
by hook or by crook he had gotten, and that they would have no hand
in injuring him. But why continue this argument, which you have
read in the newspapers for many months past? You, my dear, must
know as well as I, that the balance of power in Europe could not
possibly be maintained in any such way; and though, to be sure, for
the last fifteen years, the progress of the old robber has not made
much difference to us in the neighborhood of Russell Square, and the
battle of Nezib did not in the least affect our taxes, our homes,
our institutions, or the price of butcher's meat, yet there is no
knowing what MIGHT have happened had Mehemet Ali been allowed to
remain quietly as he was: and the balance of power in Europe might
have been--the deuce knows where.

Here, then, in a nutshell, you have the whole matter in dispute.
While Mrs. Corbett and the Prince de Joinville were innocently
interchanging compliments at St. Helena,--bang! bang! Commodore
Napier was pouring broadsides into Tyre and Sidon; our gallant navy
was storming breaches and routing armies; Colonel Hodges had seized
upon the green standard of Ibrahim Pacha; and the powder-magazine of
St. John of Acre was blown up sky-high, with eighteen hundred
Egyptian soldiers in company with it. The French said that l'or
Anglais had achieved all these successes, and no doubt believed that
the poor fellows at Acre were bribed to a man.

It must have been particularly unpleasant to a high-minded nation
like the French--at the very moment when the Egyptian affair and the
balance of Europe had been settled in this abrupt way--to find out
all of a sudden that the Pasha of Egypt was their dearest friend and
ally. They had suffered in the person of their friend; and though,
seeing that the dispute was ended, and the territory out of his
hand, they could not hope to get it back for him, or to aid him in
any substantial way, yet Monsieur Thiers determined, just as a mark
of politeness to the Pasha, to fight all Europe for maltreating
him,--all Europe, England included. He was bent on war, and an
immense majority of the nation went with him. He called for a
million of soldiers, and would have had them too, had not the King
been against the project and delayed the completion of it at least
for a time.

Of these great European disputes Captain Joinville received a
notification while he was at sea on board his frigate: as we find by
the official account which has been published of his mission.

"Some days after quitting St. Helena," says that document, "the
expedition fell in with a ship coming from Europe, and was thus made
acquainted with the warlike rumors then afloat, by which a collision
with the English marine was rendered possible. The Prince de
Joinville immediately assembled the officers of the 'Belle Poule,'
to deliberate on an event so unexpected and important.

"The council of war having expressed its opinion that it was
necessary at all events to prepare for an energetic defence,
preparations were made to place in battery all the guns that the
frigate could bring to bear against the enemy. The provisional
cabins that had been fitted up in the battery were demolished, the
partitions removed, and, with all the elegant furniture of the
cabins, flung into the sea. The Prince de Joinville was the first
'to execute himself,' and the frigate soon found itself armed with
six or eight more guns.

"That part of the ship where these cabins had previously been, went
by the name of Lacedaemon; everything luxurious being banished to
make way for what was useful.

"Indeed, all persons who were on board agree in saying that
Monseigneur the Prince de Joinville most worthily acquitted himself
of the great and honorable mission which had been confided to him.
All affirm not only that the commandant of the expedition did
everything at St. Helena which as a Frenchman he was bound to do in
order that the remains of the Emperor should receive all the honors
due to them, but moreover that he accomplished his mission with all
the measured solemnity, all the pious and severe dignity, that the
son of the Emperor himself would have shown upon a like occasion.
The commandant had also comprehended that the remains of the Emperor
must never fall into the hands of the stranger, and being himself
decided rather to sink his ship than to give up his precious
deposit, he had inspired every one about him with the same
energetic resolution that he had himself taken 'AGAINST AN EXTREME

Monseigneur, my dear, is really one of the finest young fellows it
is possible to see. A tall, broad-chested, slim-waisted, brown-
faced, dark-eyed young prince, with a great beard (and other martial
qualities no doubt) beyond his years. As he strode into the Chapel
of the Invalides on Tuesday at the head of his men, he made no small
impression, I can tell you, upon the ladies assembled to witness the
ceremony. Nor are the crew of the "Belle Poule" less agreeable to
look at than their commander. A more clean, smart, active, well-
limbed set of lads never "did dance" upon the deck of the famed
"Belle Poule" in the days of her memorable combat with the "Saucy
Arethusa." "These five hundred sailors," says a French newspaper,
speaking of them in the proper French way, "sword in hand, in the
severe costume of board-ship (la severe tenue du bord), seemed proud
of the mission that they had just accomplished. Their blue jackets,
their red cravats, the turned-down collars of blue shirts edged with
white, ABOVE ALL their resolute appearance and martial air, gave a
favorable specimen of the present state of our marine--a marine of
which so much might be expected and from which so little has been
required."--Le Commerce: 16th December.

There they were, sure enough; a cutlass upon one hip, a pistol on
the other--a gallant set of young men indeed. I doubt, to be sure,
whether the severe tenue du bord requires that the seaman should be
always furnished with those ferocious weapons, which in sundry
maritime manoeuvers, such as going to sleep in your hammock for
instance, or twinkling a binnacle, or luffing a marlinspike, or
keelhauling a maintopgallant (all naval operations, my dear, which
any seafaring novelist will explain to you)--I doubt, I say, whether
these weapons are ALWAYS worn by sailors, and have heard that they
are commonly and very sensibly too, locked up until they are wanted.
Take another example: suppose artillerymen were incessantly
compelled to walk about with a pyramid of twenty-four pound shot in
one pocket, a lighted fuse and a few barrels of gunpowder in the
other--these objects would, as you may imagine, greatly inconvenience
the artilleryman in his peaceful state.

The newspaper writer is therefore most likely mistaken in saying
that the seamen were in the severe tenue du bord, or by "bord"
meaning "abordage"--which operation they were not, in a harmless
church, hung round with velvet and wax-candles, and filled with
ladies, surely called upon to perform. Nor indeed can it be
reasonably supposed that the picked men of the crack frigate of the
French navy are a "good specimen" of the rest of the French marine,
any more than a cuirassed colossus at the gate of the Horse Guards
can be considered a fair sample of the British soldier of the line.
The sword and pistol, however, had no doubt their effect--the former
was in its sheath, the latter not loaded, and I hear that the French
ladies are quite in raptures with these charming loups-de-mer.

Let the warlike accoutrements then pass. It was necessary, perhaps,
to strike the Parisians with awe, and therefore the crew was armed
in this fierce fashion; but why should the captain begin to swagger
as well as his men? and why did the Prince de Joinville lug out
sword and pistol so early? or why, if he thought fit to make
preparations, should the official journals brag of them afterwards
as proofs of his extraordinary courage?

Here is the case. The English Government makes him a present of the
bones of Napoleon: English workmen work for nine hours without
ceasing, and dig the coffin out of the ground: the English
Commissioner hands over the key of the box to the French
representative, Monsieur Chabot: English horses carry the funeral
car down to the sea-shore, accompanied by the English Governor, who
has actually left his bed to walk in the procession and to do the
French nation honor.

After receiving and acknowledging these politenesses, the French
captain takes his charge on board, and the first thing we afterwards
hear of him is the determination "qu'il a su faire passer" into all
his crew, to sink rather than yield up the body of the Emperor aux
mains de l'etranger--into the hands of the foreigner. My dear
Monseigneur, is not this par trop fort? Suppose "the foreigner" had
wanted the coffin, could he not have kept it? Why show this
uncalled-for valor, this extraordinary alacrity at sinking? Sink or
blow yourself up as much as you please, but your Royal Highness must
see that the genteel thing would have been to wait until you were
asked to do so, before you offended good-natured, honest people,
who--heaven help them!--have never shown themselves at all
murderously inclined towards you. A man knocks up his cabins
forsooth, throws his tables and chairs overboard, runs guns into the
portholes, and calls le quartier du bord ou existaient ces chambres,
Lacedaemon. Lacedaemon! There is a province, O Prince, in your
royal father's dominions, a fruitful parent of heroes in its time,
which would have given a much better nickname to your quartier du
bord: you should have called it Gascony.

"Sooner than strike we'll all ex-pi-er
On board of the Bell-e Pou-le."

Such fanfaronading is very well on the part of Tom Dibdin, but a
person of your Royal Highness's "pious and severe dignity" should
have been above it. If you entertained an idea that war was
imminent, would it not have been far better to have made your
preparations in quiet, and when you found the war rumor blown over,
to have said nothing about what you intended to do? Fie upon such
cheap Lacedaemonianism! There is no poltroon in the world but can
brag about what he WOULD have done: however, to do your Royal
Highness's nation justice, they brag and fight too.

This narrative, my dear Miss Smith, as you will have remarked, is
not a simple tale merely, but is accompanied by many moral and pithy
remarks which form its chief value, in the writer's eyes at least,
and the above account of the sham Lacedaemon on board the "Belle
Poule" has a double-barrelled morality, as I conceive. Besides
justly reprehending the French propensity towards braggadocio, it
proves very strongly a point on which I am the only statesman in
Europe who has strongly insisted. In the "Paris Sketch Book" it was
stated that THE FRENCH HATE US. They hate us, my dear, profoundly
and desperately, and there never was such a hollow humbug in the
world as the French alliance. Men get a character for patriotism in
France merely by hating England. Directly they go into strong
opposition (where, you know, people are always more patriotic than
on the ministerial side), they appeal to the people, and have their
hold on the people by hating England in common with them. Why? It
is a long story, and the hatred may be accounted for by many reasons
both political and social. Any time these eight hundred years this
ill-will has been going on, and has been transmitted on the French
side from father to son. On the French side, not on ours: we have
had no, or few, defeats to complain of, no invasions to make us
angry; but you see that to discuss such a period of time would
demand a considerable number of pages, and for the present we will
avoid the examination of the question.

But they hate us, that is the long and short of it; and you see how
this hatred has exploded just now, not upon a serious cause of
difference, but upon an argument: for what is the Pasha of Egypt to
us or them but a mere abstract opinion? For the same reason the
Little-endians in Lilliput abhorred the Big-endians; and I beg you
to remark how his Royal Highness Prince Ferdinand Mary, upon hearing
that this argument was in the course of debate between us,
straightway flung his furniture overboard and expressed a preference
for sinking his ship rather than yielding it to the etranger.
Nothing came of this wish of his, to be sure; but the intention is
everything. Unlucky circumstances denied him the power, but he had
the will.

Well, beyond this disappointment, the Prince de Joinville had
nothing to complain of during the voyage, which terminated happily
by the arrival of the "Belle Poule" at Cherbourg, on the 30th of
November, at five o'clock in the morning. A telegraph made the glad
news known at Paris, where the Minister of the Interior, Tanneguy-
Duchatel (you will read the name, Madam, in the old Anglo-French
wars), had already made "immense preparations" for receiving the
body of Napoleon.

The entry was fixed for the 15th of December.

On the 8th of December at Cherbourg the body was transferred from
the "Belle Poule" frigate to the "Normandie" steamer. On which
occasion the mayor of Cherbourg deposited, in the name of his town,
a gold laurel branch upon the coffin--which was saluted by the forts
and dykes of the place with ONE THOUSAND GUNS! There was a treat
for the inhabitants.

There was on board the steamer a splendid receptacle for the coffin:
"a temple with twelve pillars and a dome to cover it from the wet
and moisture, surrounded with velvet hangings and silver fringes.
At the head was a gold cross, at the foot a gold lamp: other lamps
were kept constantly burning within, and vases of burning incense
were hung around. An altar, hung with velvet and silver, was at the
mizzen-mast of the vessel, AND FOUR SILVER EAGLES AT EACH CORNER OF
THE ALTAR." It was a compliment at once to Napoleon and--excuse me
for saying so, but so the facts are--to Napoleon and to God Almighty.

Three steamers, the "Normandie," the "Veloce," and the "Courrier,"
formed the expedition from Cherbourg to Havre, at which place they
arrived on the evening of the 9th of December, and where the
"Veloce" was replaced by the Seine steamer, having in tow one of the
state-coasters, which was to fire the salute at the moment when the
body was transferred into one of the vessels belonging to the Seine.

The expedition passed Havre the same night, and came to anchor at
Val de la Haye on the Seine, three leagues below Rouen.

Here the next morning (10th), it was met by the flotilla of
steamboats of the Upper Seine, consisting of the three "Dorades,"
the three "Etoiles," the "Elbeuvien," the "Pansien," the
"Parisienne," and the "Zampa." The Prince de Joinville, and the
persons of the expedition, embarked immediately in the flotilla,
which arrived the same day at Rouen.

At Rouen salutes were fired, the National Guard on both sides of the
river paid military honors to the body; and over the middle of the
suspension-bridge a magnificent cenotaph was erected, decorated with
flags, fasces, violet hangings, and the imperial arms. Before the
cenotaph the expedition stopped, and the absolution was given by the
archbishop and the clergy. After a couple of hours' stay, the
expedition proceeded to Pont de l'Arche. On the 11th it reached
Vernon, on the 12th Mantes, on the 13th Maisons-sur-Seine.

"Everywhere," says the official account from which the above
particulars are borrowed, "the authorities, the National Guard, and
the people flocked to the passage of the flotilla, desirous to
render the honors due to his glory, which is the glory of France.
In seeing its hero return, the nation seemed to have found its
Palladium again,--the sainted relics of victory."

At length, on the 14th, the coffin was transferred from the "Dorade"
steamer on board the imperial vessel arrived from Paris. In the
evening, the imperial vessel arrived at Courbevoie, which was the
last stage of the journey.

Here it was that M. Guizot went to examine the vessel, and was very
nearly flung into the Seine, as report goes, by the patriots
assembled there. It is now lying on the river, near the Invalides,
amidst the drifting ice, whither the people of Paris are flocking
out to see it.

The vessel is of a very elegant antique form, and I can give you on
the Thames no better idea of it than by requesting you to fancy an
immense wherry, of which the stern has been cut straight off, and on
which a temple on steps has been elevated. At the figure-head is an
immense gold eagle, and at the stern is a little terrace, filled
with evergreens and a profusion of banners. Upon pedestals along
the sides of the vessel are tripods in which incense was burned, and
underneath them are garlands of flowers called here "immortals."
Four eagles surmount the temple, and a great scroll or garland, held
in their beaks, surrounds it. It is hung with velvet and gold; four
gold caryatides support the entry of it; and in the midst, upon a
large platform hung with velvet, and bearing the imperial arms,
stood the coffin. A steamboat, carrying two hundred musicians
playing funereal marches and military symphonies, preceded this
magnificent vessel to Courbevoie, where a funereal temple was
erected, and "a statue of Notre Dame de Grace, before which the
seamen of the 'Belle Poule' inclined themselves, in order to thank
her for having granted them a noble and glorious voyage."

Early on the morning of the 15th December, amidst clouds of incense,
and thunder of cannon, and innumerable shouts of people, the coffin
was transferred from the barge, and carried by the seamen of the
"Belle Poule" to the Imperial Car.

And, now having conducted our hero almost to the gates of Paris, I
must tell you what preparations were made in the capital to receive

Ten days before the arrival of the body, as you walked across the
Deputies' Bridge, or over the Esplanade of the Invalides, you saw on
the bridge eight, on the esplanade thirty-two, mysterious boxes
erected, wherein a couple of score of sculptors were at work night
and day.

In the middle of the Invalid Avenue, there used to stand, on a kind
of shabby fountain or pump, a bust of Lafayette, crowned with some
dirty wreaths of "immortals," and looking down at the little
streamlet which occasionally dribbled below him. The spot of ground
was now clear, and Lafayette and the pump had been consigned to some
cellar, to make way for the mighty procession that was to pass over
the place of their habitation.

Strange coincidence! If I had been Mr. Victor Hugo, my dear, or a
poet of any note, I would, in a few hours, have made an impromptu
concerning that Lafayette-crowned pump, and compared its lot now to
the fortune of its patron some fifty years back. From him then
issued, as from his fountain now, a feeble dribble of pure words;
then, as now, some faint circles of disciples were willing to admire
him. Certainly in the midst of the war and storm without, this pure
fount of eloquence went dribbling, dribbling on, till of a sudden
the revolutionary workmen knocked down statue and fountain, and the
gorgeous imperial cavalcade trampled over the spot where they stood.

As for the Champs Elysees, there was no end to the preparations; the
first day you saw a couple of hundred scaffoldings erected at
intervals between the handsome gilded gas-lamps that at present
ornament that avenue; next day, all these scaffoldings were filled
with brick and mortar. Presently, over the bricks and mortar rose
pediments of statues, legs of urns, legs of goddesses, legs and
bodies of goddesses, legs, bodies, and busts of goddesses. Finally,
on the 13th December, goddesses complete. On the 14th they were
painted marble-color; and the basements of wood and canvas on which
they stood were made to resemble the same costly material. The
funereal urns were ready to receive the frankincense and precious
odors which were to burn in them. A vast number of white columns
stretched down the avenue, each bearing a bronze buckler on which
was written, in gold letters, one of the victories of the Emperor,
and each decorated with enormous imperial flags. On these columns
golden eagles were placed; and the newspapers did not fail to remark
the ingenious position in which the royal birds had been set: for
while those on the right-hand side of the way had their heads turned
TOWARDS the procession, as if to watch its coming, those on the left
were looking exactly the other way, as if to regard its progress.
Do not fancy I am joking: this point was gravely and emphatically
urged in many newspapers; and I do believe no mortal Frenchman ever
thought it anything but sublime.

Do not interrupt me, sweet Miss Smith. I feel that you are angry.
I can see from here the pouting of your lips, and know what you are
going to say. You are going to say, "I will read no more of this
Mr. Titmarsh; there is no subject, however solemn, but he treats it
with flippant irreverence, and no character, however great, at whom
he does not sneer."

Ah, my dear! you are young now and enthusiastic; and your Titmarsh
is old, very old, sad, and gray-headed. I have seen a poor mother
buy a halfpenny wreath at the gate of Montmartre burying-ground, and
go with it to her little child's grave, and hang it there over the
little humble stone; and if ever you saw me scorn the mean offering
of the poor shabby creature, I will give you leave to be as angry as
you will. They say that on the passage of Napoleon's coffin down
the Seine, old soldiers and country people walked miles from their
villages just to catch a sight of the boat which carried his body
and to kneel down on the shore and pray for him. God forbid that we
should quarrel with such prayers and sorrow, or question their
sincerity. Something great and good must have been in this man,
something loving and kindly, that has kept his name so cherished in
the popular memory, and gained him such lasting reverence and

But, Madam, one may respect the dead without feeling awe-stricken at
the plumes of the hearse; and I see no reason why one should
sympathize with the train of mutes and undertakers, however deep may
be their mourning. Look, I pray you, at the manner in which the
French nation has performed Napoleon's funeral. Time out of mind,
nations have raised, in memory of their heroes, august mausoleums,
grand pyramids, splendid statues of gold or marble, sacrificing
whatever they had that was most costly and rare, or that was most
beautiful in art, as tokens of their respect and love for the dead
person. What a fine example of this sort of sacrifice is that
(recorded in a book of which Simplicity is the great characteristic)
of the poor woman who brought her pot of precious ointment--her all,
and laid it at the feet of the Object which, upon earth, she most
loved and respected. "Economists and calculators" there were even
in those days who quarrelled with the manner in which the poor woman
lavished so much "capital;" but you will remember how nobly and
generously the sacrifice was appreciated, and how the economists
were put to shame.

With regard to the funeral ceremony that has just been performed
here, it is said that a famous public personage and statesman,
Monsieur Thiers indeed, spoke with the bitterest indignation of the
general style of the preparations, and of their mean and tawdry
character. He would have had a pomp as magnificent, he said, as
that of Rome at the triumph of Aurelian: he would have decorated the
bridges and avenues through which the procession was to pass, with
the costliest marbles and the finest works of art, and have had them
to remain there for ever as monuments of the great funeral.

The economists and calculators might here interpose with a great
deal of reason; for, indeed, there was no reason why a nation should
impoverish itself to do honor to the memory of an individual for
whom, after all, it can feel but a qualified enthusiasm: but it
surely might have employed the large sum voted for the purpose more
wisely and generously, and recorded its respect for Napoleon by some
worthy and lasting memorial, rather than have erected yonder
thousand vain heaps of tinsel, paint, and plaster, that are already
cracking and crumbling in the frost, at three days old.

Scarcely one of the statues, indeed, deserves to last a month: some
are odious distortions and caricatures, which never should have been
allowed to stand for a moment. On the very day of the fete, the
wind was shaking the canvas pedestals, and the flimsy wood-work had
begun to gape and give way. At a little distance, to be sure, you
could not see the cracks; and pedestals and statues LOOKED like
marble. At some distance, you could not tell but that the wreaths
and eagles were gold embroidery, and not gilt paper--the great
tricolor flags damask, and not striped calico. One would think that
these sham splendors betokened sham respect, if one had not known
that the name of Napoleon is held in real reverence, and observed
somewhat of the character of the nation. Real feelings they have,
but they distort them by exaggeration; real courage, which they
render ludicrous by intolerable braggadocio; and I think the above
official account of the Prince de Joinville's proceedings, of the
manner in which the Emperor's remains have been treated in their
voyage to the capital, and of the preparations made to receive him
in it, will give my dear Miss Smith some means of understanding the
social and moral condition of this worthy people of France.



Shall I tell you, my dear, that when Francois woke me at a very
early hour on this eventful morning, while the keen stars were still
glittering overhead, a half-moon, as sharp as a razor, beaming in
the frosty sky, and a wicked north wind blowing, that blew the blood
out of one's fingers and froze your leg as you put it out of bed;--
shall I tell you, my dear, that when Francois called me, and said,
"V'la vot' cafe, Monsieur Titemasse, buvez-le, tiens, il est tout
chaud," I felt myself, after imbibing the hot breakfast, so
comfortable under three blankets and a mackintosh, that for at least
a quarter of an hour no man in Europe could say whether Titmarsh
would or would not be present at the burial of the Emperor Napoleon.

Besides, my dear, the cold, there was another reason for doubting.
Did the French nation, or did they not, intend to offer up some of
us English over the imperial grave? And were the games to be
concluded by a massacre? It was said in the newspapers that Lord
Granville had despatched circulars to all the English resident in
Paris, begging them to keep their homes. The French journals
announced this news, and warned us charitably of the fate intended
for us. Had Lord Granville written? Certainly not to me. Or had
he written to all EXCEPT ME? And was I THE VICTIM--the doomed one?--
to be seized directly I showed my face in the Champs Elysees, and
torn in pieces by French Patriotism to the frantic chorus of the
"Marseillaise?" Depend on it, Madam, that high and low in this city
on Tuesday were not altogether at their ease, and that the bravest
felt no small tremor! And be sure of this, that as his Majesty
Louis Philippe took his nightcap off his royal head that morning, he
prayed heartily that he might, at night, put it on in safety.

Well, as my companion and I came out of doors, being bound for the
Church of the Invalides, for which a Deputy had kindly furnished us
with tickets, we saw the very prettiest sight of the whole day, and
I can't refrain from mentioning it to my dear, tender-hearted Miss

In the same house where I live (but about five stories nearer the
ground) lodges an English family, consisting of-- 1. A great-
grandmother, a hale, handsome old lady of seventy, the very best-
dressed and neatest old lady in Paris. 2. A grandfather and
grandmother, tolerably young to bear that title. 3. A daughter.
And 4. Two little great-grand, or grandchildren, that may be of the
age of three and one, and belong to a son and daughter who are in
India. The grandfather, who is as proud of his wife as he was
thirty years ago when he married, and pays her compliments still
twice or thrice in a day, and when he leads her into a room looks
round at the persons assembled, and says in his heart, "Here,
gentlemen, here is my wife--show me such another woman in England,"--
this gentleman had hired a room on the Champs Elysees, for he would
not have his wife catch cold by exposing her to the balconies in the
open air.

When I came to the street, I found the family assembled in the
following order of march:--

--No. 1, the great-grandmother walking daintily along, supported by
No. 3, her granddaughter.

--A nurse carrying No. 4 junior, who was sound asleep: and a huge
basket containing saucepans, bottles of milk, parcels of infants'
food, certain dimity napkins, a child's coral, and a little horse
belonging to No. 4 senior.

--A servant bearing a basket of condiments.

--No. 2, grandfather, spick and span, clean shaved, hat brushed,
white buckskin gloves, bamboo cane, brown great-coat, walking as
upright and solemn as may be, having his lady on his arm.

--No. 4, senior, with mottled legs and a tartan costume, who was
frisking about between his grandpapa's legs, who heartily wished him
at home.

"My dear," his face seemed to say to his lady, "I think you might
have left the little things in the nursery, for we shall have to
squeeze through a terrible crowd in the Champs Elysees."

The lady was going out for a day's pleasure, and her face was full
of care: she had to look first after her old mother who was walking
ahead, then after No. 4 junior with the nurse--he might fall into
all sorts of danger, wake up, cry, catch cold; nurse might slip
down, or heaven knows what. Then she had to look her husband in the
face, who had gone to such expense and been so kind for her sake,
and make that gentleman believe she was thoroughly happy; and,
finally, she had to keep an eye upon No. 4 senior, who, as she was
perfectly certain, was about in two minutes to be lost for ever, or
trampled to pieces in the crowd.

These events took place in a quiet little street leading into the
Champs Elysees, the entry of which we had almost reached by this
time. The four detachments above described, which had been
straggling a little in their passage down the street, closed up at
the end of it, and stood for a moment huddled together. No. 3, Miss
X--, began speaking to her companion the great-grandmother.

"Hush, my dear," said that old lady, looking round alarmed at her
daughter. "SPEAK FRENCH." And she straightway began nervously to
make a speech which she supposed to be in that language, but which
was as much like French as Iroquois. The whole secret was out: you
could read it in the grandmother's face, who was doing all she could
to keep from crying, and looked as frightened as she dared to look.
The two elder ladies had settled between them that there was going
to be a general English slaughter that day, and had brought the
children with them, so that they might all be murdered in company.

God bless you, O women, moist-eyed and tender-hearted! In those
gentle silly tears of yours there is something touches one, be they
never so foolish. I don't think there were many such natural drops
shed that day as those which just made their appearance in the
grandmother's eyes, and then went back again as if they had been
ashamed of themselves, while the good lady and her little troop
walked across the road. Think how happy she will be when night
comes, and there has been no murder of English, and the brood is all
nestled under her wings sound asleep, and she is lying awake
thanking God that the day and its pleasures and pains are over.
Whilst we were considering these things, the grandfather had
suddenly elevated No. 4 senior upon his left shoulder, and I saw the
tartan hat of that young gentleman, and the bamboo cane which had
been transferred to him, high over the heads of the crowd on the
opposite side through which the party moved.

After this little procession had passed away--you may laugh at it,
but upon my word and conscience, Miss Smith, I saw nothing in the
course of the day which affected me more--after this little
procession had passed away, the other came, accompanied by gun-
banging, flag-waving, incense-burning, trumpets pealing, drums
rolling, and at the close, received by the voice of six hundred
choristers, sweetly modulated to the tones of fifteen score of
fiddlers. Then you saw horse and foot, jack-boots and bear-skin,
cuirass and bayonet, National Guard and Line, marshals and generals
all over gold, smart aides-de-camp galloping about like mad, and
high in the midst of all, riding on his golden buckler, Solomon in
all his glory, forsooth--Imperial Caesar, with his crown over his
head, laurels and standards waving about his gorgeous chariot, and a
million of people looking on in wonder and awe.

His Majesty the Emperor and King reclined on his shield, with his
head a little elevated. His Majesty's skull is voluminous, his
forehead broad and large. We remarked that his Imperial Majesty's
brow was of a yellowish color, which appearance was also visible
about the orbits of the eyes. He kept his eyelids constantly
closed, by which we had the opportunity of observing that the upper
lids were garnished with eyelashes. Years and climate have effected
upon the face of this great monarch only a trifling alteration; we
may say, indeed, that Time has touched his Imperial and Royal
Majesty with the lightest feather in his wing. In the nose of the
Conqueror of Austerlitz we remarked very little alteration: it is of
the beautiful shape which we remember it possessed five-and-twenty
years since, ere unfortunate circumstances induced him to leave us
for a while. The nostril and the tube of the nose appear to have
undergone some slight alteration, but in examining a beloved object
the eye of affection is perhaps too critical. Vive l'Empereur! the
soldier of Marengo is among us again. His lips are thinner,
perhaps, than they were before! how white his teeth are! you can
just see three of them pressing his under lip; and pray remark the
fulness of his cheeks and the round contour of his chin. Oh, those
beautiful white hands! many a time have they patted the cheek of
poor Josephine, and played with the black ringlets of her hair. She
is dead now, and cold, poor creature; and so are Hortense and bold
Eugene, than whom the world never saw a curtier knight," as was said
of King Arthur's Sir Lancelot. What a day would it have been for
those three could they have lived until now, and seen their hero
returning! Where's Ney? His wife sits looking out from M. Flahaut's
window yonder, but the bravest of the brave is not with her. Murat
too is absent: honest Joachim loves the Emperor at heart, and
repents that he was not at Waterloo: who knows but that at the sight
of the handsome swordsman those stubborn English "canaille" would
have given way. A king, Sire, is, you know, the greatest of
slaves--State affairs of consequence--his Majesty the King of Naples
is detained no doubt. When we last saw the King, however, and his
Highness the Prince of Elchingen, they looked to have as good health
as ever they had in their lives, and we heard each of them calmly
calling out "FIRE!" as they have done in numberless battles before.

Is it possible? can the Emperor forget? We don't like to break it
to him, but has he forgotten all about the farm at Pizzo, and the
garden of the Observatory? Yes, truly: there he lies on his golden
shield, never stirring, never so much as lifting his eyelids, or
opening his lips any wider.

O vanitas vanitatum! Here is our Sovereign in all his glory, and
they fired a thousand guns at Cherbourg and never woke him!

However, we are advancing matters by several hours, and you must
give just as much credence as you please to the subjoined remarks
concerning the Procession, seeing that your humble servant could not
possibly be present at it, being bound for the church elsewhere.

Programmes, however, have been published of the affair, and your
vivid fancy will not fail to give life to them, and the whole
magnificent train will pass before you.

Fancy then, that the guns are fired at Neuilly: the body landed at
daybreak from the funereal barge, and transferred to the car; and
fancy the car, a huge Juggernaut of a machine, rolling on four
wheels of an antique shape, which supported a basement adorned with
golden eagles, banners, laurels, and velvet hangings. Above the
hangings stand twelve golden statues with raised arms supporting a
huge shield, on which the coffin lay. On the coffin was the
imperial crown, covered with violet velvet crape, and the whole vast
machine was drawn by horses in superb housings, led by valets in the
imperial livery.

Fancy at the head of the procession first of all--

The Gendarmerie of the Seine, with their trumpets and Colonel.

The Municipal Guard (horse), with their trumpets, standard, and

Two squadrons of the 7th Lancers, with Colonel, standard, and music.

The Commandant of Paris and his Staff.

A battalion of Infantry of the Line, with their flag, sappers,
drums, music, and Colonel.

The Municipal Guard (foot), with flag, drums, and Colonel.

The Sapper-pumpers, with ditto.

Then picture to yourself more squadrons of Lancers and Cuirassiers.
The General of the Division and his Staff; all officers of all arms
employed at Paris, and unattached; the Military School of Saint Cyr,
the Polytechnic School, the School of the Etat-Major; and the
Professors and Staff of each. Go on imagining more battalions of
Infantry, of Artillery, companies of Engineers, squadrons of
Cuirassiers, ditto of the Cavalry, of the National Guard, and the
first and second legions of ditto.

Fancy a carriage, containing the Chaplain of the St. Helena
expedition, the only clerical gentleman that formed a part of the

Fancy you hear the funereal music, and then figure in your mind's

THE EMPEROR'S CHARGER, that is, Napoleon's own saddle and bridle
(when First Consul) upon a white horse. The saddle (which has been
kept ever since in the Garde Meuble of the Crown) is of amaranth
velvet, embroidered in gold: the holsters and housings are of the
same rich material. On them you remark the attributes of War,
Commerce, Science, and Art. The bits and stirrups are silver-gilt
chased. Over the stirrups, two eagles were placed at the time of
the empire. The horse was covered with a violet crape embroidered
with golden bees.

After this came more Soldiers, General Officers, Sub-Officers,
Marshals, and what was said to be the prettiest sight almost of the
whole, the banners of the eighty-six Departments of France. These
are due to the invention of M. Thiers, and were to have been
accompanied by federates from each Department. But the government
very wisely mistrusted this and some other projects of Monsieur
Thiers; and as for a federation, my dear, IT HAS BEEN TRIED. Next

His Royal Highness, the Prince de Joinville.

The 600 sailors of the "Belle Poule" marching in double file on each
side of


[Hush! the enormous crowd thrills as it passes, and only some few
voices cry Vive l'Empereur! Shining golden in the frosty sun--with
hundreds of thousands of eyes upon it, from houses and housetops,
from balconies, black, purple, and tricolor, from tops of leafless
trees, from behind long lines of glittering bayonets under schakos
and bear-skin caps, from behind the Line and the National Guard
again, pushing, struggling, heaving, panting, eager, the heads of an
enormous multitude stretching out to meet and follow it, amidst long
avenues of columns and statues gleaming white, of standards rainbow-
colored, of golden eagles, of pale funereal urns, of discharging
odors amidst huge volumes of pitch-black smoke,


The cords of the pall are held by two Marshals, an Admiral and
General Bertrand; who are followed by--

The Prefects of the Seine and Police, &c.

The Mayors of Paris, &c.

The Members of the Old Guard, &c.

A Squadron of Light Dragoons, &c.

Lieutenant-General Schneider, &c.

More cavalry, more infantry, more artillery, more everybody; and as
the procession passes, the Line and the National Guard forming line
on each side of the road fall in and follow it, until it arrives at
the Church of the Invalides, where the last honors are to be paid to

Among the company assembled under the dome of that edifice, the
casual observer would not perhaps have remarked a gentleman of the
name of Michael Angelo Titmarsh, who nevertheless was there. But
as, my dear Miss Smith, the descriptions in this letter, from the
words in page 298, line 20--THE PARTY MOVED--up to the words PAID TO
IT, on this page, have purely emanated from your obedient servant's
fancy, and not from his personal observation (for no being on earth,
except a newspaper reporter, can be in two places at once), permit
me now to communicate to you what little circumstances fell under my
own particular view on the day of the 15th of December.

As we came out, the air and the buildings round about were tinged
with purple, and the clear sharp half-moon before-mentioned was
still in the sky, where it seemed to be lingering as if it would
catch a peep of the commencement of the famous procession. The Arc
de Triomphe was shining in a keen frosty sunshine, and looking as
clean and rosy as if it had just made its toilette. The canvas or
pasteboard image of Napoleon, of which only the gilded legs had been
erected the night previous, was now visible, body, head, crown,
sceptre and all, and made an imposing show. Long gilt banners were
flaunting about, with the imperial cipher and eagle, and the names
of the battles and victories glittering in gold. The long avenues
of the Champs Elysees had been covered with sand for the convenience
of the great procession that was to tramp across it that day.
Hundreds of people were marching to and fro, laughing, chattering,
singing, gesticulating as happy Frenchmen do. There is no
pleasanter sight than a French crowd on the alert for a festival,
and nothing more catching than their good-humor. As for the notion
which has been put forward by some of the opposition newspapers that
the populace were on this occasion unusually solemn or sentimental,
it would be paying a bad compliment to the natural gayety of the
nation, to say that it was, on the morning at least of the 15th of
December, affected in any such absurd way. Itinerant merchants were
shouting out lustily their commodities of segars and brandy, and the
weather was so bitter cold, that they could not fail to find plenty
of customers. Carpenters and workmen were still making a huge
banging and clattering among the sheds which were built for the
accommodation of the visitors. Some of these sheds were hung with
black, such as one sees before churches in funerals; some were robed
in violet, in compliment to the Emperor whose mourning they put on.
Most of them had fine tricolor hangings with appropriate inscriptions
to the glory of the French arms.

All along the Champs Elysees were urns of plaster-of-Paris destined
to contain funeral incense and flames; columns decorated with huge
flags of blue, red, and white, embroidered with shining crowns,
eagles, and N's in gilt paper, and statues of plaster representing
Nymphs, Triumphs, Victories, or other female personages, painted in
oil so as to represent marble. Real marble could have had no better
effect, and the appearance of the whole was lively and picturesque
in the extreme. On each pillar was a buckler, of the color of
bronze, bearing the name and date of a battle in gilt letters: you
had to walk through a mile-long avenue of these glorious
reminiscences, telling of spots where, in the great imperial days,
throats had been victoriously cut.

As we passed down the avenue, several troops of soldiers met us: the
garde-muncipale a cheval, in brass helmets and shining jack-boots,
noble-looking men, large, on large horses, the pick of the old army,
as I have heard, and armed for the special occupation of peace-
keeping: not the most glorious, but the best part of the soldier's
duty, as I fancy. Then came a regiment of Carabineers, one of
Infantry--little, alert, brown-faced, good-humored men, their band
at their head playing sounding marches. These were followed by a
regiment or detachment of the Municipals on foot--two or three
inches taller than the men of the Line, and conspicuous for their
neatness and discipline. By-and-by came a squadron or so of
dragoons of the National Guards: they are covered with straps,
buckles, aguillettes, and cartouche-boxes, and make under their
tricolor cock's-plumes a show sufficiently warlike. The point which
chiefly struck me on beholding these military men of the National
Guard and the Line, was the admirable manner in which they bore a
cold that seemed to me as sharp as the weather in the Russian
retreat, through which cold the troops were trotting without
trembling and in the utmost cheerfulness and good-humor. An aide-
de-camp galloped past in white pantaloons. By heavens! it made me
shudder to look at him.

With this profound reflection, we turned away to the right towards
the hanging-bridge (where we met a detachment of young men of the
Ecole de l'Etat Major, fine-looking lads, but sadly disfigured by
the wearing of stays or belts, that make the waists of the French
dandies of a most absurd tenuity), and speedily passed into the
avenue of statues leading up to the Invalides. All these were
statues of warriors from Ney to Charlemagne, modelled in clay for
the nonce, and placed here to meet the corpse of the greatest
warrior of all. Passing these, we had to walk to a little door at
the back of the Invalides, where was a crowd of persons plunged in
the deepest mourning, and pushing for places in the chapel within.

The chapel is spacious and of no great architectural pretensions,
but was on this occasion gorgeously decorated in honor of the great
person to whose body it was about to give shelter.

We had arrived at nine; the ceremony was not to begin, they said,
till two: we had five hours before us to see all that from our
places could be seen.

We saw that the roof, up to the first lines of architecture, was
hung with violet; beyond this with black. We saw N's, eagles, bees,
laurel wreaths, and other such imperial emblems, adorning every nook
and corner of the edifice. Between the arches, on each side of the
aisle, were painted trophies, on which were written the names of
some of Napoleon's Generals and of their principal deeds of arms--
and not their deeds of arms alone, pardi, but their coats of arms
too. O stars and garters! but this is too much. What was Ney's
paternal coat, prithee, or honest Junot's quarterings, or the
venerable escutcheon of King Joachim's father, the innkeeper?

You and I, dear Miss Smith, know the exact value of heraldic
bearings. We know that though the greatest pleasure of all is to
ACT like a gentleman, it is a pleasure, nay a merit, to BE one--to
come of an old stock, to have an honorable pedigree, to be able to
say that centuries back our fathers had gentle blood, and to us
transmitted the same. There IS a good in gentility: the man who
questions it is envious, or a coarse dullard not able to perceive
the difference between high breeding and low. One has in the same
way heard a man brag that he did not know the difference between
wines, not he--give him a good glass of port, and he would pitch all
your claret to the deuce. My love, men often brag about their own
dulness in this way.

In the matter of gentlemen, democrats cry, "Psha! Give us one of
Nature's gentlemen, and hang your aristocrats." And so indeed
Nature does make SOME gentlemen--a few here and there. But Art
makes most. Good birth, that is, good handsome well-formed fathers
and mothers, nice cleanly nursery-maids, good meals, good physicians,
good education, few cares, pleasant easy habits of life, and
luxuries not too great or enervating, but only refining--a course of
these going on for a few generations are the best gentleman-makers
in the world, and beat Nature hollow.

If, respected Madam, you say that there is something BETTER than
gentility in this wicked world, and that honesty and personal wealth
are more valuable than all the politeness and high-breeding that
ever wore red-heeled pumps, knights' spurs, or Hoby's boots,
Titmarsh for one is never going to say you nay. If you even go so
far as to say that the very existence of this super-genteel society
among us, from the slavish respect that we pay to it, from the
dastardly manner in which we attempt to imitate its airs and ape its
vices, goes far to destroy honesty of intercourse, to make us meanly
ashamed of our natural affections and honest, harmless usages, and
so does a great deal more harm than it is possible it can do good by
its example--perhaps, Madam, you speak with some sort of reason.
Potato myself, I can't help seeing that the tulip yonder has the
best place in the garden, and the most sunshine, and the most water,
and the best tending--and not liking him over well. But I can't
help acknowledging that Nature has given him a much finer dress than
ever I can hope to have, and of this, at least, must give him the

Or say, we are so many cocks and hens, my dear (sans arriere
pensee), with our crops pretty full, our plumes pretty sleek, decent
picking here and there in the straw-yard, and tolerable snug
roosting in the barn: yonder on the terrace, in the sun, walks
Peacock, stretching his proud neck, squealing every now and then in
the most pert fashionable voice and flaunting his great supercilious
dandified tail. Don't let us be too angry, my dear, with the
useless, haughty, insolent creature, because he despises us.
SOMETHING is there about Peacock that we don't possess. Strain your
neck ever so, you can't make it as long or as blue as his--cock your
tail as much as you please, and it will never be half so fine to
look at. But the most absurd, disgusting, contemptible sight in the
world would you and I be, leaving the barn-door for my lady's
flower-garden, forsaking our natural sturdy walk for the peacock's
genteel rickety stride, and adopting the squeak of his voice in the
place of our gallant lusty cock-a-doodle-dooing.

Do you take the allegory? I love to speak in such, and the above
types have been presented to my mind while sitting opposite a
gimcrack coat-of-arms and coronet that are painted in the Invalides
Church, and assigned to one of the Emperor's Generals.

Ventrebleu! Madam, what need have THEY of coats-of-arms and
coronets, and wretched imitations of old exploded aristocratic
gewgaws that they had flung out of the country--with the heads of
the owners in them sometimes, for indeed they were not particular--a
score of years before? What business, forsooth, had they to be
meddling with gentility and aping its ways, who had courage, merit,
daring, genius sometimes, and a pride of their own to support, if
proud they were inclined to be? A clever young man (who was not of
high family himself, but had been bred up genteelly at Eton and the
university)--young Mr. George Canning, at the commencement of the
French Revolution, sneered at "Roland the Just, with ribbons in his
shoes," and the dandies, who then wore buckles, voted the sarcasm
monstrous killing. It was a joke, my dear, worthy of a lackey, or
of a silly smart parvenu, not knowing the society into which his
luck had cast him (God help him! in later years, they taught him
what they were!), and fancying in his silly intoxication that
simplicity was ludicrous and fashion respectable. See, now, fifty
years are gone, and where are shoebuckles? Extinct, defunct, kicked
into the irrevocable past off the toes of all Europe!

How fatal to the parvenu, throughout history, has been this respect
for shoebuckles. Where, for instance, would the Empire of Napoleon
have been, if Ney and Lannes had never sported such a thing as a
coat-of-arms, and had only written their simple names on their
shields, after the fashion of Desaix's scutcheon yonder?--the bold
Republican who led the crowning charge at Marengo, and sent the best
blood of the Holy Roman Empire to the right-about, before the
wretched misbegotten imperial heraldry was born, that was to prove
so disastrous to the father of it. It has always been so. They
won't amalgamate. A country must be governed by the one principle
or the other. But give, in a republic, an aristocracy ever so
little chance, and it works and plots and sneaks and bullies and
sneers itself into place, and you find democracy out of doors. Is
it good that the aristocracy should so triumph?--that is a question
that you may settle according to your own notions and taste; and
permit me to say, I do not care twopence how you settle it. Large
books have been written upon the subject in a variety of languages,
and coming to a variety of conclusions. Great statesmen are there
in our country, from Lord Londonderry down to Mr. Vincent, each in
his degree maintaining his different opinion. But here, in the
matter of Napoleon, is a simple fact: he founded a great, glorious,
strong, potent republic, able to cope with the best aristocracies in
the world, and perhaps to beat them all; he converts his republic
into a monarchy, and surrounds his monarchy with what he calls
aristocratic institutions; and you know what becomes of him. The
people estranged, the aristocracy faithless (when did they ever
pardon one who was not of themselves?)--the imperial fabric tumbles
to the ground. If it teaches nothing else, my dear, it teaches one
a great point of policy--namely, to stick by one's party.

While these thoughts (and sundry others relative to the horrible
cold of the place, the intense dulness of delay, the stupidity of
leaving a warm bed and a breakfast in order to witness a procession
that is much better performed at a theatre)--while these thoughts
were passing in the mind, the church began to fill apace, and you
saw that the hour of the ceremony was drawing near.

Imprimis, came men with lighted staves, and set fire to at least ten
thousand wax-candles that were hanging in brilliant chandeliers in
various parts of the chapel. Curtains were dropped over the upper
windows as these illuminations were effected, and the church was
left only to the funereal light of the spermaceti. To the right was
the dome, round the cavity of which sparkling lamps were set, that
designed the shape of it brilliantly against the darkness. In the
midst, and where the altar used to stand, rose the catafalque. And
why not? Who is God here but Napoleon? and in him the sceptics have
already ceased to believe; but the people does still somewhat. He
and Louis XIV. divide the worship of the place between them.

As for the catafalque, the best that I can say for it is that it is
really a noble and imposing-looking edifice, with tall pillars
supporting a grand dome, with innumerable escutcheons, standards,
and allusions military and funereal. A great eagle of course tops
the whole: tripods burning spirits of wine stand round this kind of
dead man's throne, and as we saw it (by peering over the heads of
our neighbors in the front rank), it looked, in the midst of the
black concave, and under the effect of half a thousand flashing
cross-lights, properly grand and tall. The effect of the whole
chapel, however (to speak the jargon of the painting-room), was
spoiled by being CUT UP: there were too many objects for the eye to
rest upon: the ten thousand wax-candles, for instance, in their
numberless twinkling chandeliers, the raw tranchant colors of the
new banners, wreaths, bees, N's, and other emblems dotting the place
all over, and incessantly puzzling, or rather BOTHERING the beholder.

High overhead, in a sort of mist, with the glare of their original
colors worn down by dust and time, hung long rows of dim ghostly-
looking standards, captured in old days from the enemy. They were,
I thought, the best and most solemn part of the show.

To suppose that the people were bound to be solemn during the
ceremony is to exact from them something quite needless and
unnatural. The very fact of a squeeze dissipates all solemnity.
One great crowd is always, as I imagine, pretty much like another.
In the course of the last few years I have seen three: that
attending the coronation of our present sovereign, that which went
to see Courvoisier hanged, and this which witnessed the Napoleon
ceremony. The people so assembled for hours together are jocular
rather than solemn, seeking to pass away the weary time with the
best amusements that will offer. There was, to be sure, in all the
scenes above alluded to, just one moment--one particular moment--
when the universal people feels a shock and is for that second

But except for that second of time, I declare I saw no seriousness
here beyond that of ennui. The church began to fill with personages
of all ranks and conditions. First, opposite our seats came a
company of fat grenadiers of the National Guard, who presently, at
the word of command, put their muskets down against benches and
wainscots, until the arrival of the procession. For seven hours
these men formed the object of the most anxious solicitude of all
the ladies and gentlemen seated on our benches: they began to stamp
their feet, for the cold was atrocious, and we were frozen where we
sat. Some of them fell to blowing their fingers; one executed a
kind of dance, such as one sees often here in cold weather--the
individual jumps repeatedly upon one leg, and kicks out the other
violently, meanwhile his hands are flapping across his chest. Some
fellows opened their cartouche-boxes, and from them drew eatables of
various kinds. You can't think how anxious we were to know the
qualities of the same. "Tiens, ce gros qui mange une cuisse de
volaille!"--"Il a du jambon, celui-la." "I should like some, too,"
growls an Englishman, "for I hadn't a morsel of breakfast," and so
on. This is the way, my dear, that we see Napoleon buried.

Did you ever see a chicken escape from clown in a pantomime, and hop
over into the pit, or amongst the fiddlers? and have you not seen
the shrieks of enthusiastic laughter that the wondrous incident
occasions? We had our chicken, of course: there never was a public
crowd without one. A poor unhappy woman in a greasy plaid cloak,
with a battered rose-colored plush bonnet, was seen taking her place
among the stalls allotted to the grandees. "Voyez donc l'Anglaise,"
said everybody, and it was too true. You could swear that the
wretch was an Englishwoman: a bonnet was never made or worn so in
any other country. Half an hour's delightful amusement did this
lady give us all. She was whisked from seat to seat by the
huissiers, and at every change of place woke a peal of laughter. I
was glad, however, at the end of the day to see the old pink bonnet
over a very comfortable seat, which somebody had not claimed and she
had kept.

Are not these remarkable incidents? The next wonder we saw was the
arrival of a set of tottering old Invalids, who took their places
under us with drawn sabres. Then came a superb drum-major, a
handsome smiling good-humored giant of a man, his breeches
astonishingly embroidered with silver lace. Him a dozen little
drummer-boys followed--"the little darlings!" all the ladies cried
out in a breath: they were indeed pretty little fellows, and came
and stood close under us: the huge drum-major smiled over his little
red-capped flock, and for many hours in the most perfect contentment
twiddled his moustaches and played with the tassels of his cane.

Now the company began to arrive thicker and thicker. A whole covey
of Conseillers-d'Etat came in, in blue coats, embroidered with blue
silk, then came a crowd of lawyers in toques and caps, among whom
were sundry venerable Judges in scarlet, purple velvet, and ermine--
a kind of Bajazet costume. Look there! there is the Turkish
Ambassador in his red cap, turning his solemn brown face about and
looking preternaturally wise. The Deputies walk in in a body.
Guizot is not there: he passed by just now in full ministerial
costume. Presently little Thiers saunters back: what a clear, broad
sharp-eyed face the fellow has, with his gray hair cut down so
demure! A servant passes, pushing through the crowd a shabby wheel-
chair. It has just brought old Moncey the Governor of the Invalids,
the honest old man who defended Paris so stoutly in 1814. He has
been very ill, and is worn down almost by infirmities: but in his
illness he was perpetually asking, "Doctor, shall I live till the
15th? Give me till then, and I die contented." One can't help
believing that the old man's wish is honest, however one may doubt
the piety of another illustrious Marshal, who once carried a candle
before Charles X. in a procession, and has been this morning to
Neuilly to kneel and pray at the foot of Napoleon's coffin. He
might have said his prayers at home, to be sure; but don't let us
ask too much: that kind of reserve is not a Frenchman's

Bang--bang! At about half-past two a dull sound of cannonading was
heard without the church, and signals took place between the
Commandant of the Invalids, of the National Guards, and the big
drum-major. Looking to these troops (the fat Nationals were
shuffling into line again) the two Commandants tittered, as nearly
as I could catch them, the following words--


At once all the National bayonets were on the present, and the
sabres of the old Invalids up. The big drum-major looked round at
the children, who began very slowly and solemnly on their drums,
Rub-dub-dub--rub-dub-dub--(count two between each)--rub-dub-dub, and
a great procession of priests came down from the altar.

First, there was a tall handsome cross-bearer, bearing a long gold
cross, of which the front was turned towards his grace the
Archbishop. Then came a double row of about sixteen incense-boys,
dressed in white surplices: the first boy, about six years old, the
last with whiskers and of the height of a man. Then followed a
regiment of priests in black tippets and white gowns: they had black
hoods, like the moon when she is at her third quarter, wherewith
those who were bald (many were, and fat too) covered themselves.
All the reverend men held their heads meekly down, and affected to
be reading in their breviaries.

After the Priests came some Bishops of the neighboring districts, in
purple, with crosses sparkling on their episcopal bosoms.

Then came, after more priests, a set of men whom I have never seen
before--a kind of ghostly heralds, young and handsome men, some of
them in stiff tabards of black and silver, their eyes to the ground,
their hands placed at right angles with their chests.

Then came two gentlemen bearing remarkable tall candlesticks, with
candles of corresponding size. One was burning brightly, but the
wind (that chartered libertine) had blown out the other, which
nevertheless kept its place in the procession--I wondered to myself
whether the reverend gentleman who carried the extinguished candle,
felt disgusted, humiliated, mortified--perfectly conscious that the
eyes of many thousands of people were bent upon that bit of
refractory wax. We all of us looked at it with intense interest.

Another cross-bearer, behind whom came a gentleman carrying an
instrument like a bedroom candlestick.

His Grandeur Monseigneur Affre, Archbishop of Paris: he was in black
and white, his eyes were cast to the earth, his hands were together
at right angles from his chest: on his hands were black gloves, and
on the black gloves sparkled the sacred episcopal--what do I say?--
archiepiscopal ring. On his head was the mitre. It is unlike the
godly coronet that figures upon the coach-panels of our own Right
Reverend Bench. The Archbishop's mitre may be about a yard high:
formed within probably of consecrated pasteboard, it is without
covered by a sort of watered silk of white and silver. On the two
peaks at the top of the mitre are two very little spangled tassels,
that frisk and twinkle about in a very agreeable manner.

Monseigneur stood opposite to us for some time, when I had the
opportunity to note the above remarkable phenomena. He stood
opposite me for some time, keeping his eyes steadily on the ground,
his hands before him, a small clerical train following after. Why
didn't they move? There was the National Guard keeping on
presenting arms, the little drummers going on rub-dub-dub--rub-dub-
dub--in the same steady, slow way, and the Procession never moved an
inch. There was evidently, to use an elegant phrase, a hitch

[Enter a fat priest who bustles up to the drum-major.]

Fat priest--"Taisez-vous."

Little drummer--Rub-dub-dub--rub-dub-dub--rub-dub-dub, &c.

Drum-major--"Qu'est-ce donc?"

Fat priest--"Taisez-vous, dis-je; ce n'est pas le corps. Il
n'arrivera pas--pour une heure."

The little drums were instantly hushed, the procession turned to the
right-about, and walked back to the altar again, the blown-out
candle that had been on the near side of us before was now on the
off side, the National Guards set down their muskets and began at
their sandwiches again. We had to wait an hour and a half at least
before the great procession arrived. The guns without went on
booming all the while at intervals, and as we heard each, the
audience gave a kind of "ahahah!" such as you hear when the rockets
go up at Vauxhall.

At last the real Procession came.

Then the drums began to beat as formerly, the Nationals to get under
arms, the clergymen were sent for and went, and presently--yes,
there was the tall cross-bearer at the head of the procession, and
they came BACK!

They chanted something in a weak, snuffling, lugubrious manner, to
the melancholy bray of a serpent.

Crash! however, Mr. Habeneck and the fiddlers in the organ loft
pealed out a wild shrill march, which stopped the reverend
gentlemen, and in the midst of this music--

And of a great trampling of feet and clattering,

And of a great crowd of Generals and Officers in fine clothes,

With the Prince de Joinville marching quickly at the head of the

And while everybody's heart was thumping as hard as possible,


It was done in an instant. A box covered with a great red cross--a
dingy-looking crown lying on the top of it--Seamen on one side and
Invalids on the other--they had passed in an instant and were up the

A faint snuffling sound, as before, was heard from the officiating
priests, but we knew of nothing more. It is said that old Louis
Philippe was standing at the catafalque, whither the Prince de
Joinville advanced and said, "Sire, I bring you the body of the
Emperor Napoleon."

Louis Philippe answered, "I receive it in the name of France."
Bertrand put on the body the most glorious victorious sword that
ever has been forged since the apt descendants of the first murderer
learned how to hammer steel; and the coffin was placed in the temple
prepared for it.

The six hundred singers and the fiddlers now commenced the playing
and singing of a piece of music; and a part of the crew of the
"Belle Poule" skipped into the places that had been kept for them
under us, and listened to the music, chewing tobacco. While the
actors and fiddlers were going on, most of the spirits-of-wine lamps
on altars went out.

When we arrived in the open air we passed through the court of the
Invalids, where thousands of people had been assembled, but where
the benches were now quite bare. Then we came on to the terrace
before the place: the old soldiers were firing off the great guns,
which made a dreadful stunning noise, and frightened some of us, who
did not care to pass before the cannon and be knocked down even by
the wadding. The guns were fired in honor of the King, who was
going home by a back door. All the forty thousand people who
covered the great stands before the Hotel had gone away too. The
Imperial Barge had been dragged up the river, and was lying lonely
along the Quay, examined by some few shivering people on the shore.

It was five o'clock when we reached home: the stars were shining
keenly out of the frosty sky, and Francois told me that dinner was
just ready.

In this manner, my dear Miss Smith, the great Napoleon was buried.


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