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Worlds Best Histories - France Vol 7 by M. Guizot and Madame Guizot De Witt

Part 2 out of 9

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without reluctance. The constitutional bishops had just dissolved their
council, which Bonaparte had authorized in order to influence the Court of
Rome; but he ordered its cessation as soon as the Concordat was signed.
His resolution to place several constitutional priests among the new
bishops annoyed and disturbed the Pope. The First Consul became angry,
making charges of systematic delay which prevented him from publishing the
Concordat, and introducing into their dioceses the prelates nominated
during Lent. The legate quietly claimed the submission which the
constitutional priests had promised. "There is haughtiness in asking it,"
exclaimed Bonaparte; "there would be cowardice in submitting." The conduct
of the constitutional prelates remained doubtful: ten, however, were
nominated. Cardinal Caprara was both less resolute and less clear-sighted
than Consalvi: at one time frightened, at another easily persuaded. In
spite of his resistance, "his cries and tears," he at last yielded to the
pressing demands of the First Consul. On the 18th April, 1802, Easter
Sunday, the Concordat was proclaimed in the streets of Paris. At eleven
o'clock an immense crowd thronged Notre Dame, curious to see the legate
officiating, and gaze again on the pompous ritual of the Catholic service;
but still more eager to look at the First Consul in the brilliancy of his
triumph and power, surrounded by his companions in arms, all compelled by
his will to assist at a ceremony at variance with the opinions of several
of them. The concessions of the Court of Rome and the obedience of the
generals could not conceal the vast gulf that separated Revolutionary
France from the religious tradition of the past. Bonaparte felt this. He
wished for the Concordat, understanding its lofty aim and practical
utility; he had conceded more in appearance than he intended to grant in
reality. The _Te Deum_ was chanted: the bishops were confirmed, and had
now set out for their dioceses. In every district, along with the
Concordat, and as if invested with the same sanction, the First Consul
published a series of "organic articles," regulating in detail the
relations of the civil power with the religious authority. Already, when
discussing the Concordat the representative of the Holy See had rejected
most of Bonaparte's pretensions on that subject; but he now reproduced
them, transformed, by the power of his will alone, into administrative
measures, voted like the Concordat by the Corps Législatif, and having
equal force for the Catholic Church, the Protestant Church, and the Jewish
form of worship. The anger and sorrow of the Court of Rome had no effect
in modifying the resolution of the First Consul. Cardinal Caprara was
constantly passing from submission to despair. "He who is fated to treat
with the First Consul," he wrote to Cardinal Consalvi, "must bear always
in mind that he is treating with a man who is arbiter of the affairs of
the world--a man who has paralyzed, one might say, all the other powers of
Europe, who has conceived projects the execution of which seemed
impossible, and who has conducted them with a success which astonishes the
whole world. Nor should it be forgotten that I am appointed here in a
nation where the Catholic religion has not a ruling power, even in peace.
Here all the powerful personages are against her, and they strive as much
as possible against the First Consul. He is the only man who watches over
her. Unfortunately, her future depends on his intention, but at least that
intention is sure of completion. When the First Consul is against us,
things proceed with a frightful rapidity." The Pope felt obliged to
protest against the organic articles in an allocution to the Consistory,
and to address his claims to the First Consul, who took no notice of them.
In his communications with the religious authority in France, he proved
imperious and insolent. "If the morality of the gospel is insufficient to
direct a bishop," he wrote Portalis, "he must act by policy, and by fear
of the prosecution which government might institute against him as a
disturber of the public peace. I could not be otherwise than full of
sorrow at the conduct of certain bishops. Why have you not informed the

The ecclesiastical organization in France would have been incomplete, had
Bonaparte not extended his care to the Protestant churches. In a kindly
report addressed to him on the subject, it was stated that "the
government, in declaring that Catholicism was in a majority in France, had
no wish to authorize in its favor any political or civil pre-eminence.
Protestanism is a Christian communion, bringing together, in the same
faith and to the same rites, a very large number of Frenchmen. In recent
times the Protestants were in the foremost ranks under the standards of
liberty, and have never abandoned them. All that is secured to the various
Christian communions by the articles of agreement between his Holiness and
the Government of the Republic is equally guaranteed to the Protestants,
_with the exception of the pecuniary subvention_."

The original idea of Bonaparte had, in fact, been to leave to the
Protestants the full liberty of their internal government, as well as the
charge of their worship. The principle, admitted by the Constituent
Assembly, of compensating the Catholic clergy for the confiscation of
their property, was not applicable to the Protestant Church. On a
consideration of the administrative advantages of a church paid by the
state, Bonaparte decided that the law of the 18th Germinal, year X.,
should be drawn up, regulating the nomination of pastors and consistories
after the manner of the interior government of the Protestant Church. The
principle which, in this respect, equalized the Protestant and Catholic
modes of worship was hailed with satisfaction by the reformers. The Jews
established in France were admitted to enjoy the same privileges.

At the same time that an alliance between religion and the state was being
re-established in France, Chateaubriand, still a very young man, published
his "Genius of Christianity." The sense of the poetic beauty of
Christianity then reawakening in men's minds, the success of the book was
deservedly great. It marked in recent history the epoch of literary
admiration for the greatness and beauty of the gospel. We have since sadly
learnt that it was only a shallow and barren admiration.

Peace seemed again established in the world and the church. In spite of
several difficulties and suspicions, the definitive treaty with England
was at last to be signed at Amiens. But rest seemed already to weigh
heavily on the new master of France, and the increasing ambition of his
power could not deceive men of foresight as to the causes of disturbance
in Europe which were perpetually reappearing. Scarcely were the
preliminaries of peace signed in London, when the Batavian Republic--
recently composed, after the example of the French Republic, of a
Directory and two Legislative Chambers--found itself again undergoing a
revolution, the necessary reaction of what was being done in France. On a
new constitution being proposed to the Chambers they rejected it. The
Dutch Directory, with the assistance of General Augereau, effected at the
Hague, in September, 1800, the _coup d'état_ which took place in Paris on
the 18th Brumaire; the representatives were dismissed, and the people were
assembled to pronounce upon the new constitution. Only 50,000 voters out
of 400,000 electors presented themselves in the Assemblies. A president
was chosen for three months. The absolute authority of the First Consul
was secured in the Batavian Republic.

In Switzerland, an agitation diligently kept up throughout all the
cantons, rendered a government there impossible. The French minister at
Berne, "a powerless conciliator of the divided parties," as Bonaparte
called him, received secret instructions from him. "Citizen Verninac must,
under all the circumstances, say publicly that the present government can
only be considered provisional, and give them to understand that, not only
does the French Government not rely upon it, but it is even dissatisfied
with its composition and procedure. It is a mockery of nations to believe
that France will acknowledge as the intention of the Helvetic people the
will of the sixteen persons who compose the Legislative Body." The French
troops had evacuated Switzerland. The First Consul was scheming to annex
the canton of Valais to the two departments of Mont Terrible and Léman,
which he had already taken from the Helvetian territory. After several
months passed, the seeds of discord began to bear fruit; and Aloys of
Reding, formerly Landamman, being overthrown, Dolder, the leader of the
radicals, was raised in his place. As a concession to the patriotic wishes
of the Swiss, the French troops were suddenly recalled from their
territory. When freed from that constant menace, interior dissensions
burst forth; the Landamman Dolder, replaced at Berne by Mulinen, took
refuge in Lausanne, where he founded a new government. The cantons were
already taking sides, when the First Consul launched a proclamation as the
natural arbiter of the destinies of Switzerland:--

"People of Helvetia, you have been disputing for three years without
understanding each other. If you are left longer to yourselves, you will
kill yourselves in three years without understanding each other any
better. Your history, moreover, proves that your civil wars have never
been finished unless by the efficacious intervention of France. I shall
therefore be mediator in your quarrels, but my mediation will be an active
one, such as becomes the great nation in whose name I speak. All the
powers will be dissolved. The Senate alone, assembled at Berne, will send
deputies to Paris; each canton can also send some; and all the former
magistrates can come to Paris, to make known the means of restoring union
and tranquillity and conciliating all parties. Inhabitants of Helvetia!
revive your hopes!" At the same time Bonaparte said to Mulinen, who had
already escaped to Paris, "I am now thoroughly persuaded of the necessity
of some definitive measure. If in a few days the conditions of my
proclamation are not fulfilled, 30,000 men will enter Switzerland under
General Ney's orders; and if they thus compel me to use force it is all
over with Switzerland. It is time to put an end to that; and I see no
middle course between a Swiss government strongly organized, and friendly
to France, or no Switzerland at all."

On the 15th October, 1802, General Ney received orders to enter
Switzerland, and publish "a short proclamation in simple terms, announcing
that the small cantons and the Senate had asked for the mediation of the
First Consul, who had granted it; but a handful of men, friends of
disorder, and indifferent to the evils of their country, having deceived
and led astray a portion of the people, the First Consul was obliged to
take measures to disperse these senseless persons, and punish them if they
persisted in their rebellion." At the same time, after an imperious
summons, the chiefs of the Swiss aristocracy, Mulinen, Affry, and
Watteville, joined the radical deputies in Paris. There could be no long
discussion, as the plan of the Helvetic Constitution was decided upon in
the mind of the First Consul. He had recognized the inconveniences arising
from the "unitary government:" he next abolished the old independent
institutions of the cantons, and systematically weakened the central
power, as the Diet, composed of twenty-five deputies, was to sit by
rotation in the six principal cantons; he at the same time nominated Affry
as President of the Helvetian Confederation, after carefully securing his
services. Henceforward the Swiss cantons, free in their internal
government, fell as a state under the rule of France. "I shall never
permit in Switzerland any other influence than my own, though it should
cost me 100,000 men," Bonaparte had said to the assembled deputies. "It is
acknowledged by Europe that Italy, Holland, and Switzerland are at the
disposition of France." At the same time (11th September, 1802), and as if
to justify this haughty declaration, the territory of Piedmont was divided
into six French departments, the Isle of Elba was united to France, and
the Duchy of Parma was definitively occupied by our troops.

For a long time the north of Italy was subjected to the laws of its
conqueror, and he arrogantly made it bear the whole burden. When the
Congress of Vienna had begun its sittings, Talleyrand absolutely forbade
Joseph Bonaparte to allow the usurpations of France in Europe to be
discussed. "You will consider it a fixed point that the French Government
can listen to nothing regarding the King of Sardinia, the Stadtholder, or
the internal affairs of Batavia, Germany, Helvetia, or the Italian
republics. All these subjects are absolutely unknown to our discussions
with England."

England admitted the truce of which she stood in need. She tacitly
accepted the reticences of the negotiators; and without any protest on her
part the First Consul set out for Lyons, where he had summoned the 500
members of the Italian Consulte. Overwhelmed with the gifts of her
conqueror, the Cisalpine Republic was now to receive from his hands a
definitive constitution. Lombardy as far as the Adige, the Legations, the
Duchy of Modena, had sent their deputies to France, prepared to vote by
acclamation for the constitution, which had been carefully prepared by
several leading Italians under the eyes of the First Consul. The Consulte
of Milan had accepted it. Bonaparte reserved to himself the direction of
the choice of functionaries, and the important nomination of the President
of the Republic. Lyons was in grand holiday, crowded by the Italians and
numerous bodies of troops. The old army of Italy, on arriving from Egypt,
had been ordered to Lyons; and the populace hailed with delight the
arrival of the First Consul, who was always popular personally. The
Consulte opened its sittings with distinction; and soon the Italian
deputies understood who was the president designed for them by the
solicitude of General Bonaparte. They accepted without repugnance his
proclamation:--"The Consulte has appointed a committee of thirty persons,"
wrote the First Consul to his colleagues; "they have reported that,
considering the internal and external circumstances of the Cisalpine, it
was indispensable to allow me to conduct the first magistracy, till such
time as the situation may permit, and I may judge it suitable, to name a
successor." To the request of the Consulte, in humble terms, the general
replied, "I find no one among you who has sufficient claims upon public
opinion--who would be sufficiently independent of local influences--who,
in short, has rendered to his country sufficiently great services, for me
to trust him with the first magistracy." The Count Melzi accepted the
vice-presidentship of the Republic. On the 28th January, after reviewing
the army of Egypt, the First Consul, president of the Italian Republic,
started again for Paris.

He was now waiting for news of the expedition which he had recently sent
to St. Domingo. The horrors which signalized the violent emancipation of
our negroes and their possession of the territory, was succeeded by a
state somewhat regular, largely due to the unexpected authority of a
black, recently a slave, who displayed faculties which are very unusual in
his race. In his difficult government, Toussaint Louverture had given
proofs of a generalship, foresight, courage, and gentleness which gave him
the right to address Bonaparte, the object of his passionate admiration,
in the following terms: "The first of the blacks to the first of the
whites." Toussaint Louverture loved France, and rendered homage to it by
driving from the island the Spanish and English troops. He claimed the
ratification of his Constitution, and sent his sons to France to be
properly educated.

The instructions given by the First Consul to his brother-in-law, General
Leclerc, are still secret. He had placed under his command 20,000 men,
excellent troops, borrowed from the old army of the Rhine, the generals
and officers of which were unwilling to resign during the peace. The
squadron, in charge of Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse, was a large one. The
English had been informed of the expedition, by a note signed by
Talleyrand but drawn up by Bonaparte himself. "Let England know," said he,
"that in undertaking to destroy the government of the negroes at St.
Domingo, I have been less guided by commercial and financial
considerations than by the necessity of smothering in all parts of the
world every kind of inquietude and disturbance--that one of the chief
benefits of peace for England at the present moment was that it was
concluded at a time when the French Government had not yet recognized the
organization of St. Domingo, and afterwards the power of the negroes. The
liberty of the blacks acknowledged at St. Domingo, and legitimized by the
French Government, would be for all time a fulcrum for the Republic in the
New World. In that case the sceptre of the New World must sooner or later
have fallen into the hands of the negroes; the shock resulting for England
is incalculable, whereas the shock of the empire of the negroes would,
with reference to France, reckon as part of the Revolution."

At the same time, and in contradiction to the intentions which he
announced to England, Bonaparte wrote to Toussaint Louverture: "We have
conceived esteem for you, and we are pleased to recognize and proclaim the
services which you have rendered to the French people. If their flag still
floats over St. Domingo, it is to you and the brave blacks it is due.
Called by your talents and the force of circumstances to the first
command, you have overthrown the civil war, curbed the persecution of
several fierce men, restored honor to religion and the worship to God, to
whom everything is due. The Constitution which you have made contains many
good things: the circumstances in which you are placed, surrounded on
every side by enemies, without the power of being assisted or provisioned
by the capital (mother country), have rendered legitimate the articles of
the Constitution which otherwise are not so. We have informed your
children and their tutor of our sentiments towards you. We shall send them
back to you. Assist the general by your advice, your influence, and your
talents. What can you desire? The liberty of the negroes? You know that in
every country in which we have been, we have given it to the peoples who
had it not. Hence consideration, honors, fortune! After the services which
you have rendered, which you can render in this matter, with the personal
feelings which we entertain for you, you ought not to be doubtful as to
the position before you. Consider, general, that if you are the first of
your color who has arrived at so great power, and is distinguished by his
valor and military talents, you are also before God and before us the most
responsible for their conduct. Count without reserve upon our esteem, and
let your behavior be that which becomes one of the principal citizens of
the greatest nation of the world."

One of the incurable evils of a long state of slavery is the distrust
begot in those who have undergone it, though it is also the defence and
instinctive protection of weakness. Along with his admiration for the
First Consul and his traditional attachment to France, Toussaint
Louverture remained uneasy and suspicious as a slave. Already, under the
orders of General Richepanse, the expedition was being prepared which was
to re-establish slavery in Guadeloupe, in spite of the decrees of the
Constituent Assembly and the formal declaration of the First Consul in a
statement of the State of the Republic (November 30th, 1801). When the
French squadron was signalled at St. Domingo, and the negro dictator
ascertained the crushing force brought to impose upon him the will of the
mother country, he made preparations for defence, entrusted his
lieutenant, Christophe, with the guard of the shore and the town of Le
Cap, ordering him to oppose the landing by threatening the white
population with fire and sword should they offer to assist the French
troops. Toussaint, counting upon the effect of threats, had not estimated
the savage horror of slavery which animated his companions, nor the
ferocity which could be displayed by men of his race when let loose upon
their former masters. On entering the roads the French squadron began to
fire; the negroes set the town on fire, put chains on some of the
principal white men, and withdrew to the mountains or hills. Toussaint
having preceded them, the army of negroes was again formed round him. The
coast, however, being already taken by General Leclerc, the white
population joined them; and a large number of the negroes, becoming
alarmed, accepted the conditions offered by the general. Then, after
offering some defence, several of Toussaint's lieutenants, one after
another, surrendered. The most ferocious of them, Dessalines, had just
been driven from St. Marc, where he committed great atrocities. Toussaint
was pursued to his retreat, and after his entrenchments were forced he
accepted a capitulation, and withdrew to his plantation at Ennery. The
climate of St. Domingo caused frightful ravages to the French army, and
the consequent weakness of his troops greatly increased General Leclerc's
alarm. He had, moreover received peremptory orders, the severity of which
he frequently modified. "Follow exactly my instructions," General
Bonaparte wrote to him on the 16th of March, 1802, "and as soon as ever
you have got rid of Toussaint, Christophe, Dessalines, and the leading
brigands, and the masses of the blacks are disarmed, send away all the
blacks and men of color who shall have played any part in the civil
troubles." A certain agitation continued to reign among the blacks, and
Leclerc seized upon this pretext to summon Toussaint to a conference. The
vanity of the former dictator was flattered, and triumphed over his
mistrust. "These white gentlemen who know everything still have need of
the old negro," said he, and he set out for the French camp (June 10,
1802). Immediately arrested and cast into a frigate, he was taken to the
town of Le Cap; his family had been captured as well as himself, and he
found them on board the vessel that carried him to France. He was alone
when he was imprisoned in the Temple, and afterwards transferred to the
fortress of Joux, in the icy casemates under the canopy of the mountains.
The only question asked him was where he had hidden his treasures. The
dictator of the blacks gave no answer; he had fallen into a deep lethargy.
On the 27th April, 1803, he at last expired, the victim of cold,
imprisonment, and solitude. A few months later (November, 1803) the
mournful remains of our army evacuated St. Domingo, for ever lost to the
power of France. General Leclerc was dead of fever, as well as the greater
part of his officers, like Richepanse at Guadeloupe. The climate of his
country had avenged Toussaint Louverture; the instruments of Bonaparte had
perished, the enterprise had failed. The sister of General Bonaparte
returned to France, ready for higher destinies; the wife and children of
the dictator of St. Domingo pined away slowly in exile.

This check was insignificant in the midst of so much success for his
armies, and so many easy triumphs over the subdued nations; but the
jealous susceptibility of the First Consul kept increasing. He had
punished Toussaint Louverture for the resistance he had encountered in St.
Domingo; he was irritated against the remnants of isolated opposition
which he encountered at times among a few members of the Tribunate. The
treaties of peace, so brilliantly concluded after the signature of the
preliminaries of London, had been ratified without difficulty by the Corps
Législatif. A single article of the treaty with Russia raised strong
objections; it was obscure, and assured the Czar of the repression of
Polish plots in France. The republican pride was irritated at the word
_subjects_ which, was found in the clause. "Our armies have fought for ten
years because we were citizens," cried Chenier, "and we have become
subjects! Thus has been accomplished the desire of the double coalition!"
The treaty was, nevertheless, ratified by an immense majority. But the
anger of the master had been roused; "The tribunes are _dogs_ that I
encounter everywhere," he often exclaimed. The Tribunate and the Corps
Législatif soon incurred his displeasure afresh--the one by discussing,
the other by rejecting, a few preliminary articles of the new civil code.
The First Consul was present at the discussions of the Council of State,
often taking part in them with singular spirit and penetration, sometimes
warped by personal or political prejudices. He had adopted as his own the
work of the learned lawyers who had drawn up and compiled for the honor
and utility of France the wisest and the simplest doctrines of civil and
commercial law. "We can still risk two battles," said Bonaparte, after the
rejection of the first head of the code. "If we gain them we will continue
the march we have commenced. If we lose them we will enter into our winter
quarters, and will advise as to the course to be taken."

The second head of the code was voted; the third, relative to the
deprivation of civil rights, was excessive in its rigor; it was rejected.
At the same time, and as if to give proof of its independence, the Corps
Législatif, which had just chosen as its president Dupuis, author of a
philosophical work, then famous, upon the "Origin of all Religions," sent
up as candidates for the Senate the Abbé Grégoire and Daunou. The former
had been dismissed from his charge as constitutional bishop at the time of
the Concordat, the second was honored of all men, moderate in a very firm
opposition. The Abbé Grégoire was elected. The First Consul had presented
Generals Jourdan, Lamartillière, and Berruyer, accompanying their
candidature with a message. He broke out violently during a sitting of the
Senate. "I declare to you," he said, "that if you appoint Daunou senator,
I shall take it as a personal injury, and you know that I never suffer
that!" General Lamartillière was appointed, but the slight notion of
independence in the constituent bodies had troubled and displeased
Bonaparte; he recoiled before the risks that awaited the Concordat and the
great project of public instruction presented for the acceptance of the
Corps Législatif. On the 8th of January, 1802, a message was brought in
during the sitting. "Legislators," said the First Consul, "the government
has resolved to withdraw the projects of law of the civil code. It is with
pain that it finds itself obliged to defer to another period laws in which
the interests of the nation are so much involved, but it is convinced that
the time has not yet come when these great discussions can be carried on
with that calm and unity of intention which they require."

This was not enough to assure the repose of General Bonaparte and the
docile acceptance of his wishes; Consul Cambacérès, clever at veiling
absolute power with an appearance of legality, proposed to confide to the
Senate the task of eliminating from the Tribunate and the Corps Législatif
the fifth who ought regularly to be designated by lot. The legislative
labors were suspended; the First Consul had set out for Lyons, in order to
guide the destinies of the Italian Republic. He wrote thence to his
colleagues: "I think that I shall be in Paris at the end of the decade,
and that I shall myself be able to make the Senate understand the
situation in which we find ourselves. I do not think it will be possible
to continue to march forward when the constituted authorities are composed
of enemies; the system has none greater than Daunou; and since, in fine,
all these affairs of the Corps Législatif and the Tribunate have resulted
in scandal, the least thing that the Senate can do is to remove the twenty
and the sixty bad members, and replace them by well-disposed persons. The
will of the nation is that the government may not be hindered from doing
well, and that the head of Medusa may no longer be displayed in our
Tribunes and in our Assemblies. The conduct of Sieyès in this circumstance
proves perfectly that, after having concurred in the destruction of all
the constitutions since 1791, he still wishes to try his hand against this
one. It is very extraordinary that he does not see the folly of it. He
ought to go and burn a wax taper at Notre Dame for having been delivered
so happily and in a manner so unhoped for. But the older I grow the more I
perceive that every one has to fulfil his destiny."

When the First Consul returned to Paris, the opposition, more brilliant
than effective, of a few eloquent members, had ceased in the Tribunate;
the Corps Législatif had undergone the same purification. Faithful
servants had been carefully chosen by the Senate--some capable of ill-
temper and anger, like Lucien Bonaparte and Carnot; others distinguished
by their administrative merit, like Daru--all fit to vote the great
projects which the First Consul meditated. He did not, however, condescend
to submit to them the general amnesty in favor of all the emigrants whose
names had not yet been erased from the fatal list. Perhaps he still
dreaded some remains of revolutionary passion. This act of justice and
clemency was the object of a Senatus Consultum. The First Consul kept in
his own hands the unsold confiscated property of emigrants--a powerful
means of action, which he often exercised in order to attach to himself
men and families of consideration by direct or personal restitution.

He created at the same time a new instrument of government the fruit of a
powerful mind and profound acquaintance with human nature. Formerly the
honorary orders successively founded by kings of France had been reserved
for a small number of privileged persons; in this limited circle they had
been the object of great ambition and of long intrigues. By the
institution of the Legion of Honor, Bonaparte resolved to extend to the
entire nation, in the camp and in civil life, that rivalry of hopes and
that ardent thirst for honors which formerly animated the courtiers. He
had proved the importance which the military attached to arms of honor,
and he was impatient of the objections which the Council of State brought
before him on this subject. "People call this kind of thing a bauble,"
said he. "Well! it is with baubles that men are managed. I would not say
it to a Tribune, but I do not believe that Frenchmen love liberty and
equality; they have not been changed by ten years of Revolution; like the
Gauls, they must have distinctions. It is one means more of managing men."
The experience of the rulers who have succeeded him has justified the far-
seeing and cynical conception of Bonaparte. It has proved once more what
abuses can be brought about, and what weaknesses can be created, by an
institution originally intended to appeal to noble sentiments. The passion
for equality was much stronger than the First Consul thought; the
institution of the Legion of Honor encountered great opposition in the
purified Tribunate and Corps Législatif, and was only voted by a small

A great law on public instruction prepared the way for the foundation of
the University, from that time one of the favorite ideas of the First
Consul. Primary instruction remained neglected, as it had been practically
by the Convention. The communes were entrusted with the direction and
construction of schools; no salary was assured to the instructor beyond
the school fees. The central schools were suppressed; their method of
mixed instruction had succeeded badly. The project of the First Consul
instituted thirty-two Lycées, intended for instruction in the classical
languages and in the sciences. He had little taste for the free exercise
of reflection and human thought; instruction in history and philosophy
found no place in his programme. "We have ceased to make of history a
particular study," said M. Roederer, "because history properly so called
only needs to be read to be understood." The great revival of historic
studies in France was soon to protest eloquently against a theory which
separated the present from the past, and which left in consequence a most
grievous blank in education. Military exercises were everywhere carefully
organized. Six thousand four hundred scholarships, created by the State,
were to draw the young into the new establishments, or into the schools
already founded to which the State extended its grants and its patronage.
Without being officially abolished, the freedom of secondary instruction
was thus subjected to a destructive rivalry, and the action of the
government penetrated into the bosom of all families. "What more sweet,"
said M. Roederer, "than to see one's children in a manner adopted by the
State, at the moment when it becomes a question of providing for their
establishment?" "This is only a commencement," said the First Consul to
Fourcroy, the principal author of the project, and its clever defender
before the Corps Législatif; "by and by we shall do better."

The Treaty of Amiens had already been signed several months (25th March,
1802), but it had not yet been presented for the ratification of the Corps
Législatif; this was the supreme satisfaction reserved for it, and the
brilliant consummation of its labors. It was at the same time the price
paid in advance for a manifestation long prepared for, but which, however,
still remained obscure even among those most trusted by the all-powerful
master of France. The destinies of the nation rested in his hands, but the
power had been confided to him for ten years only; it was necessary to
insure the prolongation of this dictatorship, which all judged useful at
the present moment, and of which few people had foreseen the danger.
Bonaparte persisted in hiding his thought; he waited for the spontaneous
homage of the constituent bodies in the name of the grateful nation.
Cambacérès was acquainted with this desire, and he exerted himself to
prepare the votes in the Senate. A certain mistrust reigned in some minds.
The Tribunate, alone permitted to speak, at length took the initiative.
Its President, Chabot de l'Allier, the friend of Cambacérès made this
proposal:--"The Senate is invited to give the consuls a testimony of the
national gratitude." This wish, transmitted to the Senate, was at the same
time carried to the Tuileries; Siméon was entrusted with presenting it to
the First Consul. "I desire no other glory than that of having entirely
completed the task which was imposed on me," replied Bonaparte; "I am
ambitious of no other recompense than the affection of my fellow-citizens;
life is only dear to me for the services I can render to my country; death
itself will have for me no bitterness, if I can only see the happiness of
the Republic as well assured as its glory."

So many protestations of disinterestedness deceived nobody; the thirst for
power betrayed itself even in the most modest words. Through ignorance, or
uneasiness as to the future, the Senate made a mistake as to the measure
of an ambition that knew no limit. It voted for General Bonaparte a
prolongation of his powers during ten years; Lanjuinais alone protested
against the dictatorship, as he had formerly protested against demagogy.
The officials, badly informed, ran with eagerness to the Tuileries; they
were received with evident ill-temper. The first impulse of Bonaparte was
to refuse the proposal of the Senate; prudent counsels opened to him
another way.

It was from Malmaison, the pretty country-house dear to Madame Bonaparte,
that the First Consul replied to the message of the Senate. "Senators,"
said he, "the honorable proof of esteem embodied in your deliberation of
the 18th will be always graven upon my heart. In the three years that have
just passed away, fortune has smiled upon the Republic; but fortune is
inconstant, and how many men whom she has loaded with her favors have
lived more than a few years!

"The interest of my glory and that of my happiness would seem to assign as
the term of my public life the moment when the peace of the world is

"But you judge that I ought to make a new sacrifice for the people; I will
do it if the wish of the people commands what your suffrage authorizes."
In all times, and under all forms of arbitrary government, the appeal to
the people has offered to power an easy resource; Cambacérès had cleverly
suggested it to the First Consul. In explaining to the Council of State
the reasons which rendered the vote of the Senate unacceptable, he
formulated immediately the proposal which ought to be put before the
nation: "Napoleon Bonaparte, shall he be consul for life?" To this first
question Roederer proposed to add a second, immediately rejected by the
explicit wish of the First Consul himself: "Shall he have the right of
appointing his successor?" For three weeks, in all the cities and in all
the villages, the registries of votes remained open. The Tribunate and the
Corps Législatif presented themselves in a body at the Tuileries, in order
to vote into the hands of the First Consul. The Senate had the honor of
casting up the votes. It remained mute and powerless in consequence of its
awkward proposal. "Come to the help of people who have made a mistake in
trying to divine your purposes too deeply," said Cambacérès to the First
Consul. 3,577,259 "Yeas" had agreed to the Consulate for life. Rather more
than 800 "Noes" alone represented the opposition. La Fayette refused his
assent; he wrote upon the registry of votes, "I should not know how to
vote for such a magistracy, inasmuch as political liberty will not be

The feeble and insufficient guarantees of political liberty were about to
undergo fresh restrictions. In receiving from the Senate the return of the
votes, the First Consul said, "The life of a citizen is for his country.
The French people wish mine to be entirely consecrated to it; I obey its
will. In giving me a new pledge--a permanent pledge of its confidence, it
imposes upon me the duty of basing the legal system on far-seeing
institutions." A Senatus Consultum, reforming the Constitution of the year
VIII., substituted for the lists of notables, the formation of Cantonal
Colleges, Colleges of Arrondissements, and Colleges of Departments, the
members of which, few in number, and appointed for life by the cantonal
assemblies, were to nominate candidates for selection by the executive
authority. The Tribunate was limited to fifty members; the Council of
State saw its importance diminished by the formation of a Privy Council.
The number of senators was fixed at eighty, but the First Consul was left
at liberty to add forty members at his pleasure. This assurance of the
docility of the Assembly was not sufficient. The Senate was invested with
the right of interpreting the constitution, of suspending it when
necessary, or of dissolving the Tribunate and the Corps Législatif; but it
might not adopt any measure without the initiative of the government. The
First Consul reserved for himself the right of pardon and the duty of
naming his successor. This last clause was forced on him by reasons of
State policy, but he deferred it for a long time. His mind could only be
satisfied with the principle of hereditary succession, and he had no
children. Madame Bonaparte feared a divorce, the principle of which had
been maintained by the First Consul in the Council of State with
remarkable earnestness. The choice of a successor remained an open
question, which encouraged many hopes. The brothers of the First Consul
were loaded with honors; the family of the master took rank by themselves
from the moment when the name they bore in common appeared with a
freshness which was in part to eclipse its glory. In imitation of the
Italian Consulate, the Senate proclaimed Napoleon Bonaparte Consul for

A few prudent friends of liberty in France began to feel uneasy at this
unheard-of aggrandizement of power without a curb. To the fear which
France in anarchy had caused in Europe already succeeded the disquietude
inspired by an absolute master, little careful of rights or engagements,
led by the arbitrary instincts of his own mind, susceptible by nature or
by policy, and always disposed to use his advantages imperiously. Peace
was already beginning to be irksome to him; he cherished hopes of new
conquests; his temper became every day more exacting, and the feebleness
of the English minister furnished him with occasions of quarrel. A
stranger to the liberal spirit of the English constitution, a systematic
enemy to the freedom of the press, Bonaparte required from Addington and
Lord Hawkesbury that they should expel from England the revolutionary
libellers, whose daily insults in the journals irritated him, and the
emigrant Chouans, whose criminal enterprises he dreaded. To the demands of
the French minister at London was added the official violence of the
_Moniteur_, edited and inspired by Barère. "What result," said the journal
of the First Consul, "what result can the English Government expect by
fomenting the troubles of the Church, by harboring, and re-vomiting on our
territory, the scoundrels of the Côtes-du-Nord and Morbihan, covered with
the blood of the most important and richest proprietors of those
unfortunate departments? Does it not know that the French Government is
now more firmly established than the English Government? Does it imagine
that for the French Government reciprocity will be difficult? What might
be the effect of an exchange of such insults--of this protection and this
encouragement accorded to assassins?"

The irritation was real, and its manifestations sincere; but they cloaked
more serious incentives to anger, and pretensions fatal to the repose of
Europe. For a long time the First Consul had repelled with scorn any
intervention of England in the affairs of the new States he had created,
and which the English Government had constantly refused to recognize. The
complaints of Lord Hawkesbury on the subject of the French mediation in
Switzerland provoked an explosion of anger and threats. "Whatever may be
said or not said," wrote Talleyrand to Otto, "the resolution of the First
Consul is irrevocable. He will not have Switzerland converted into a new
Jersey. You will never speak of war, but you will not suffer any one to
speak to you of it. With what war could they threaten us? With a naval
war? But our commerce has only just started afresh, and the prey that we
should afford the English would be scarcely worth while. Our West Indies
are supplied with acclimatized soldiers! St. Domingo alone contains 25,000
of them. They might blockade our ports, it is true; but at the very moment
of the declaration of war England would find herself blockaded in turn.
The territory of Hanover, of Holland, of Portugal, of Italy, down to
Tarento, would be occupied by our troops. The countries we are accused of
domineering over too openly--Liguria, Lombardy, Switzerland, Holland--
instead of being left in this uncertain situation, from which we sustain a
thousand embarrassments, would be converted into French provinces, from
which we should draw immense resources; and we should be compelled to
realize that empire of the Gauls which is ceaselessly held up as a terror
to Europe. And what would happen if the First Consul, quitting Paris for
Lille or St. Omer, collecting all the flat-bottomed vessels of Flanders
and Holland, and preparing the means of transport for 100,000 men, should
plunge England into the agonies of an invasion--always possible, almost
certain? Would England stir up a continental war? But where would she find
her allies? In any case, if the war on the continent were to be renewed,
it would be England who would compel us to conquer Europe. The First
Consul is only thirty-three years old; he has as yet only destroyed States
of the second rank. Who knows but that he might have time enough yet (if
forced to attempt it) to change the face of Europe, and resuscitate the
Empire of the West?"

The violence of these words went beyond the thought of the First Consul;
he had not yet firmly made up his mind for the recommencement of
hostilities. France submissive, Europe silent and resigned, accepting
without a murmur the encroachments of his ambition--such were for him the
conditions of peace; England could not accept them. With Piedmont and the
island of Elba annexed to France, Holland and Switzerland subdued, and the
Duchy of Parma occupied, England had eluded the agreements relative to the
island of Malta. Profiting by the difficulties which opposed themselves to
the reconstitution of the order of things guaranteed by the great powers,
she had detained in her hands this pledge of empire in the Mediterranean.
It was the object of continual complaints from the First Consul, and the
pretext for his outburst of anger. "The whole Treaty of Amiens, and
nothing but the Treaty of Amiens," Otto kept constantly repeating to Lord
Hawkesbury. The minister of foreign affairs responded by a declaration
equally peremptory: "The condition of the continent at the time of the
Treaty of Amiens, and nothing but that condition." The mutual
understandings and reticences which had enabled a truce to be arranged,
little by little disappeared. The truth began to come to light. A mission
of General Sébastiani to Egypt resulted in awakening general uneasiness.

The report of the First Consul's envoy was textually published in the
_Moniteur_; it enumerated the forces at the disposal of England and Turkey
in the East, and in conclusion expressed its opinion that "6000 Frenchmen
would now be sufficient to reconquer Egypt."

This was, perhaps, saying more than Napoleon Bonaparte had resolved upon;
and the ambassador's desire to please had responded to the remote and
vague desires of the master. England was much disturbed at it, and yet
more so at the haughty declarations of the First Consul in a statement of
the condition of the republic. "In England," said he, "two parties contend
for power. One has concluded peace and appears resolved on its
maintenance; the other has sworn implacable hatred to France. Whilst this
strife of parties lasts, there are measures which prudence dictates to the
government. Five hundred thousand men ought to be, and shall be, ready to
defend and to avenge her. Whatever be the success of her intrigues,
England will not be able to draw other nations into new leagues, and the
government declares with just pride that England alone could not now
contend with France." The spirited indignation of the English people
prevailed over the moderation and weakness of the government. George III.,
in a message to his Parliament, said, "In view of the military
preparations which are being made in the ports of France and Holland, the
king has believed it to be his duty to adopt new measures of precaution
for the security of his States. These preparations are, it is true,
officially intended for colonial expeditions; however, as there exists
important differences of sentiment between his Majesty and the French
Government, his Majesty has felt it necessary to address his Parliament,
counting on its concurrence in order to assure all the measures which the
honor and interests of the English people require." The public voice
demanded the return to power of Pitt. "It is an astonishing and sorrowful
fact," said his old adversary, Sir Philip Francis, "that in a moment like
this all the eminent men of England are excluded from its government and
its councils. For calm weather an ordinary amount of ability in the pilot
might suffice; the storm which is now brewing calls for men of greater
experience. If the vessel founders, we shall all perish with her."

The ambassador from England had just arrived at Paris. Lord Whitworth was
a man of resolute and simple character, without either taste or ability
for the complicated manoeuvres of diplomacy; he was well received by the
First Consul, and conversation soon began. "He reproaches us above all
with not having evacuated Egypt and Malta," wrote the ambassador to Lord
Hawkesbury. "'Nothing will make me accept that,' he said to me. 'Of the
two, I would sooner see you master of the Faubourg St. Antoine than of
Malta. My irritation against England is constantly increasing. Every wind
that blows from England bears to me the evidence of its hatred and ill-
will. If I wanted to take back Egypt by force, I could have had it a month
ago, by sending 25,000 men to Aboukir; but I should lose there more than I
should gain. Sooner or later Egypt must belong to France, either by the
fall of the Ottoman Empire, or by some arrangement concluded with it. What
advantage should I derive from making war? I can only attack you by means
of a descent upon your coasts. I have resolved upon it, and shall be
myself the leader. I know well that there are a hundred chances to one
against me; but I shall attempt it if I am forced to it; and I assure you
that such is the feeling of the troops, that army after army will be ready
to rush forward to the danger. If France and England understand each
other, the one, with its army of 480,000 men which is now being got in
readings, and the other with the fleet which has rendered it mistress of
the seas, and which I should not be able to equal in less than ten years--
they might govern the world; by their hostility they will ruin it. Nothing
has been able to overcome the enmity of the English Government. Now we
have arrived at this point: Do you want peace or war? It is upon Malta
that the issue depends.'" Lord Whitworth attempted in vain a few
protestations. "I suppose you want to speak about Piedmont and
Switzerland? These are bagatelles! That ought to have been foreseen during
the negotiations; you have no right to complain at this time of day."

The warlike ardour of the Parliament and the English nation was the answer
to the hostile declaration of the First Consul. He had counted upon a more
confirmed desire for peace, and upon the disquietude his threats would
produce. He attempted once more the effect produced by one of those
outbursts of violence to which he was subject, and of which he was
accustomed to make use.

The message of George III. to Parliament was known to the First Consul
when, on Sunday, March 13, 1803, the ambassador of England presented
himself at the Tuileries. Bonaparte was still in the apartment of his
wife; when Lord Whitworth was announced, he entered immediately into the
salon. The crowd was large; the entire corps diplomatique was present. The
First Consul, advancing towards Lord Whitworth, said, "You have news from
London;" then, without leaving the ambassador time to answer: "So you wish
for war!" "No," replied Lord Whitworth; "we know too well the advantages
of peace." "We have already made war for ten years; you wish to make it
for another fifteen years; you force it upon me." He strode with long
steps before the amazed circle of diplomats. "The English wish for war,"
said he, drawing himself up before the ambassadors of Russia and Spain--
Markoff and Azara; "but if they are the first to draw the sword, I will
not be the last to put it back in the scabbard. They will not evacuate
Malta. Since there is no respect for treaties, it is necessary to cover
them over with a black pall!" The First Consul returned to Lord Whitworth,
who remained motionless in his place. "How is it they have dared to say
that France is arming? I have not a single vessel of the line in our
ports! You want to fight; I will fight also. France may be killed, my
lord; but intimidated, never!" "We desire neither the one nor the other,"
replied the ambassador; "we only aspire to live on a good understanding
with her." "Then treaties must be respected," cried Bonaparte. "Woe to
those who don't respect treaties."

He went away his eyes sparkling, his countenance full of wrath--when he
stopped for a moment; the sentiment of decorum had again taken possession
of his mind. "I hope," said he to Lord Whitworth, "that the Duchess of
Dorset [Footnote: Wife of Lord Whitworth.] is well, and that after having
passed a bad season in Paris, she will be able to pass a good one there."
Then suddenly, and as if his former anger again seized him: "That depends
upon England. If things so fall out that we have to make war, the
responsibility, in the eyes of God and man, will rest entirely upon those
who deny their own signature, and refuse to execute treaties."

It was one of Bonaparte's habits to calm himself suddenly after an
outburst of violence. A few days were passed by Talleyrand and Lord
Whitworth in sincere efforts to plan pacific expedients; the ambassador
had received from the English Cabinet its ultimatum: "1. The cession of
the isle of Lampedusa. 2. The occupation of Malta for ten years. 3. The
evacuation of the Batavian Republic and Switzerland. 4. An indemnity for
the King of Sardinia. On these conditions England would recognize the
Kingdom of Etruria and the Cisalpine Republic."

The warmth of public opinion in England had obliged the minister to take
up a fixed attitude; the consequences could not be doubtful. In vain Lord
Whitworth retarded to the utmost limits of his power the departure for
which he had received orders. The advances of Talleyrand and the
concessions of the First Consul did not seriously touch the essence of the
questions in dispute. The decision of Napoleon remained the same: "I will
not let them have two Gibraltars in the Mediterranean, one at the entrance
and another in the middle." The ambassador quitted Paris on the 12th of
May, journeying by short stages, as if still to avert the inevitable
rupture between the two nations; at the same time General Andréossy,
accredited at the court of George III., quitted London. The two
ambassadors separated on the 17th of May at Dover, sorrowful and grave, as
men who had striven to avert indescribable sorrows and struggles from
their country and the world.

It was the harsh and barbarous custom of the English navy to fall upon the
merchant vessels of an enemy's country immediately peace was broken. Two
French ships of commerce were thus captured on the day following the
departure of General Andréossy for Paris. The First Consul replied to this
act of hostility by causing to be arrested, and soon afterwards interned
at various places in his territory, all the English sojourning or
travelling in France. Some had recently received from Talleyrand the most
formal assurances of their safety. "Many English addressed themselves to
me," said Napoleon in his "Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène;" "I constantly
referred them to their government. On it alone their lot depended."
England did not claim its citizens, it resolutely persisted in leaving
upon its author the full weight of this odious act, disapproved by his
most faithful adherents. No Frenchmen were annoyed on English soil.

Europe was agitated and disquieted, still entrenched in its neutrality,
more or less malevolent, and terrified at the consequences it foresaw from
the renewal of the strife between France and England. "If General
Bonaparte does not accomplish the miracle that he is preparing at this
moment," said the Emperor of Germany, Francis II., "if he does not pass
the straits, he will throw himself upon us, and will fight England in
Germany." "You inspire too much fear in all the world, for it to dream now
of fearing England," cried Philippe de Cobentzel, ambassador of Austria at
Paris. It was upon this universal fear that the First Consul had counted.
Already his troops had invaded Hanover, without England thinking it
possible to defend the patrimonial domains of its sovereign. The
Hanoverian army did not attempt to resist: Marshal de Walmoden concluded
with General Mortier at Suhlingen a convention which permitted the former
to retire beyond the Elbe with arms and baggage, on condition of not
serving against France in the present war. These resolutions not having
been ratified by George III., the Hanoverian army was disbanded after
laying down its arms; 30,000 Frenchmen continued to occupy Hanover. The
uneasiness of Germany continued to increase. The Emperor of Russia offered
himself as mediator; the King of Prussia offered to arrange for the
neutrality of the north; but the First Consul remained deaf to these
advances. He sent Gouvion de Saint Cyr into the gulf of Tarento, formerly
evacuated after the peace of Amiens. The forces intended for this
expedition were to live at the expense of the kingdom of Naples. "I will
no more suffer the English in Italy than in Spain or Portugal," he had
said to Queen Caroline. "At the first act of complicity with England, war
will give me redress for your enmity."

The attitude of Spain was doubtful, and its language little satisfactory.
By the threat of invasion by Augereau, whose forces were already collected
at Bayonne, the First Consul acted on the disgraceful terrors of the
Prince de la Paix; he only exacted money from his powerless ally. As he
now found it impossible to occupy Louisiana, Bonaparte conceived the idea
of ceding it to the United States for a sum of 80,000,000 francs, which
the Americans hastened to pay. Holland was to furnish troops and vessels,
Etruria and Switzerland soldiers.

It was upon a maritime enterprise that the efforts and thoughts of the
First Consul were at this moment entirely concentrated. The attempt at an
invasion of England which the Directory had formerly wished to impose on
him, and which he had rejected with scorn on the eve of the campaign in
Egypt, had become the object of his most serious hopes. To throw 150,000
men into England on a calm day by means of a flotilla of flat-bottomed
boats, which should be rowed across whilst the great vessels of the
English navy would be immovable through the absence of wind--such was the
primitive conception of the enterprise. Bonaparte prepared for it with
that persevering activity, and that marvellous pre-arrangement of details
with a view to the entire plan, which he knew how constantly to carry out
in administration as in war. To the original project of the Directory he
had added more masterly combinations, which still remained secret. A
squadron was preparing at Brest, under the orders of Admiral Ganteaume;
the Dutch vessels, commanded by Admiral Verhuell, were collected at Texel;
Admiral Latouche-Tréville, clever and daring, was to direct the squadron
of Toulon destined for a decisive manoeuvre. Admiral Brueix was entrusted
with the conduct of the flotilla of the Channel; everywhere boats had been
requisitioned, gun-boats and pinnaces were in course of construction; the
departments, the cities, the corporate bodies, offered gifts of vessels or
maritime provisions; the forests of the departments of the north fell
under the axe. Camps had been formed at Boulogne, at Étaples, at St. Omer;
fortifications rose along the coast; the First Consul undertook a journey
through the Flemish and Belgian departments, accompanied by Madame
Bonaparte and all the splendor of a royal household. The presence of the
Legate in the _cortège_ was to impress with respect and confidence the
minds of the devout populations of the north. The first point at which
Napoleon Bonaparte stayed his progress was at Boulogne; he pressed forward
the works, commenced, and ordered new ones. On his return from the
triumphal march to Brussels and back, he resumed himself the direction of
his great enterprise. Established in the little chateau of Pont de Briques
at the gate of Boulogne, he hastened over to St. Cloud, and returned, with
a rapidity which knew no fatigue. Without cessation, on the shore, in the
workshops, in the camps, he animated the sailors, the workmen, and the
soldiers with the indomitable activity of his soul. The minister of
marine, Decrès, clever, penetrating, with a nature gloomy and mournful,
suggested all the difficulties of the expedition, and yielded to the
imperial will that dominated all France. Admiral Brueix, already ill, and
soon afterwards dying, was installed in a little house which overlooked
the sea, witnessing the frequent experiments tried on the new vessels,
sometimes even the little encounter that took place with the English
ships. The First Consul braved all inclemencies of weather; he was eager
"to play his great game." "I received your letter of the 18th Brumaire,"
wrote he to Cambacérès. "The sea continues to be very bad, and the rain to
fall in torrents. Yesterday I was on horseback or in a boat all day. That
is the same thing as telling you I was continually wet. At this season
nothing can be accomplished without braving the water. Fortunately for my
purpose, it suits me perfectly, and I was never better in health."

Already the night expeditions, intended to exercise the sailors and inure
the soldiers, had commenced; the ardor of the chief spread to the army. On
the 7th of January, 1804, the minister of marine wrote from Boulogne to
the First Consul: "In the flotilla they are beginning to believe firmly
that the departure will be more immediate than is generally supposed, and
they have promised to prepare seriously for it. They shake off all
thoughts of danger, and each man sees only Cæsar and his fortunes. The
ideas of all the subalterns do not pass the limits of the roadstead and
its currents. They argue about the wind, and the anchorage, and the line
of bearing. As for the crossing, that is your affair. You know more about
it than they do, and your eyes are worth more than their telescopes. They
have implicit faith in everything that you do. The admiral himself is in
just the same condition. He has never presented you any plan, because in
fact he has none. Besides, you have not yet asked him for it; it will be
the moment of execution which will decide him. Very possibly he will be
obliged to sacrifice a hundred vessels to draw down the enemy upon them,
whilst the rest, setting out at the moment of the defeat of the others,
will go across without hindrance."

The First Consul, ceasingly watching the sea which protected his enemies,
wrote to Cambacérès on November 16th: "I have passed these three days in
the midst of the camp and the port. I have seen from the heights of
Ambleteuse the coasts of England, as one sees the Calvaire from the
Tuileries. You can distinguish the houses, and the movements going on. It
is a ditch, which shall be crossed as soon as we shall have the audacity
to attempt it."

So many preparations, pushed forward with such ardor, disquieted England.
The most illustrious of her naval officers--Nelson, Lord Cornwallis, and
Lord Keith--were ordered to blockade the French ports, and hinder the
return of distant squadrons. Everywhere corps of volunteers were formed,
and actively exercised on the coasts. Men of considerable note in the
political or legal world--Pitt and Addington, as well as the great lords
and the great judges--clothed themselves in uniform, and commanded
regiments. Pitt proposed to fortify London. Insurrectionary movements were
being fomented in Ireland; the French squadron at Brest was destined to
aid them.

In the midst of this warlike and patriotic agitation, it was only natural
that the excitement should gain a party, naturally restless and credulous.
The French emigrants could not but feel a desire for action, in the hope
of taking an active part in the general struggle waged against the enemy
who kept them far from their country by the very fact of his existence and
his power. The First Consul had offered an amnesty to all the emigrants,
restored their property to some, and attracted a certain number of them
round his own person; he had recalled the priests, and re-established the
Catholic religion; but he had repelled the advances of the House of
Bourbon. His hostility to the restoration of the monarchy had always been
flagrant; the throne might be re-erected, but it should be for his own
profit. He alone was the obstacle to the hopes cherished by the exiled
princes and their friends, in presence of the re-establishment of order
and the public prosperity. Delivered from his yoke, that pressed heavily
upon her, France would salute with enthusiasm the return of her legitimate

It was in England even, and amongst the circle that surrounded the Count
d'Artois, that expression was given to these hopes and ignorant illusions
as to the true state of men's minds in France. The Princes of the House of
Condé, recently enrolled with their little army in the service of England,
held themselves ready to fight, without conspiring. Louis XVIII. lived in
Germany, withdrawn from the centre of warlike preparations; he was cold,
sensible, and prudent; he thought little of plots, and had a healthier
judgment than his brother as to the chances which might restore his
fortune. The actual resources, the noisy agents of the emigration, were
collected in England: there were found the chiefs of the Chouans, with
Georges Cadoudal at their head; there dwelt the generals who had had the
misfortune to abandon their country or betray their honor--Willot,
Dumouriez, Pichegru; there were hatched chimerical projects, impressed
from the first with the fatal errors and the terrible ignorance which doom
to inevitable sterility the hopes and the efforts of exiles.

By his counsels, or his orders, Georges Cadoudal had taken part in the
plot which had been discovered in 1801. After the failure of the infernal
machine of St. Réjant he had felt regret, and some repugnance, for such
proceedings. He proposed to go to Paris, with twenty or twenty-five
resolute men, to attack the guard of the First Consul while he passed
along the street, and strike him in the midst of his defenders. In order
to profit by this bold stroke intrigues were to be carried on beforehand
with discontented generals, who might be able to dispose the forces
necessary for the sudden overthrow of the consular government. Bonaparte
dead, the Count d'Artois and his son the Duc de Berry, secretly brought
into France, would rally their friends round them, and proclaim the
restoration of the House of Bourbon.

Two principal actors were indispensable to the execution of the project;
Georges at Paris, unknown to the prying police of the First Consul; and
General Moreau, favorable to the fall of Bonaparte, if not to his
assassination. A nearly complete rupture had succeeded to the professed
regard which for a long time covered the secret jealousy of the First
Consul with respect to his glorious companion-in-arms. At the summit of
his power and glory, Napoleon Bonaparte was never exempt from a
recollection of rivalry with regard to the former chiefs of the republican
army, his old rivals, and who had not bowed before the prestige of his
recognized superiority. He liked neither Kléber, nor Masséna, nor Gouvion
St. Cyr. As regards Moreau, he experienced a concealed uneasiness; it was
the only military name that had been mentioned as that of a possible
successor to himself. Wounded susceptibilities, and the quarrels of women,
had aggravated a situation naturally delicate and strained. Moreau was
spirited as well as modest; he felt himself injured; he dwelt in the
country, living in grand style, sought after by the discontented, and
speaking of Bonaparte without much reserve. The emigrant conspirators
believed that circumstances were favorable for engaging him in their
plans. General Pichegru had formerly been his friend. Moreau had long
concealed the proofs of the former treason; perhaps he regretted having
given them up at the moment of his comrade's just disgrace: he was known
to be favorable to the return of Pichegru to France. It was in the name of
Pichegru, and for his interests, that Moreau was to be approached. The
first agent sent to Moreau was soon arrested; he has said in his
"Mémoires," "Moreau would have nothing to do with conspiracy, and said,
'he must cease to waste men and things.'" Other emissaries had no better
success. An active intriguer, General Lajolais, an old friend of Pichegru,
meanwhile left Paris for London; he repeated the bitter words of Moreau
respecting the First Consul--words which created illusions and hopes. On
the 21st August, 1803, Georges landed at the cliff of Biville, crossing
the rocks by the footpaths of smugglers. The police had for some time been
on the traces of the conspiracy: they were, perhaps, actively concerned in
it. A few Chouans, obscure companions of Cadoudal, were arrested and put
in prison, without their trial being proceeded with; their chief succeeded
in reaching Paris safely, where he hid himself. Two successive arrivals
completed the band of conspirators; on January 16th, 1804, General
Pichegru, the Marquis de la Rivière, Jules and Armand de Polignac, landed
in France. On the same day, and by a coincidence which suggests the idea
of a certain knowledge of the situation, the First Consul said in his
statement as to the condition of the republic,--

"The British Government will attempt to cast, and has perhaps already cast
upon our shores, a few of those monsters which it has nourished during the
peace, in order to injure the land which gave them birth. But they will no
longer find the impious bands who were the instruments of their first
crimes; terror has dissolved them, or justice has purged our country of
their presence. They will no longer find that credulity they abused, or
that hatred which once sharpened their daggers. Surrounded everywhere by
the public power, everywhere within the grasp of the tribunals, these
horrible wretches will be able henceforth neither to make rebels, nor to
resume with impunity their profession as brigands and assassins."

The conspirators succeeded in assuring themselves that, contrary to the
hopes of some English diplomatists, an insurrection was no longer possible
in Vendée or Brittany. Already a certain amount of discouragement was
influencing their minds as to the success of their perilous enterprise. At
their first interview, by night, on the Boulevard of La Madeleine, Moreau
showed himself cold towards Pichegru. Georges, who had accompanied the
latter, was dissatisfied and gloomy. "This looks bad," said he, at once.
The two generals conferred. Moreau displayed no repugnance towards the
overthrow of the First Consul; he would form no project of conspiracy, but
he believed himself sure of becoming the master of power if Bonaparte
happened to disappear; he was, and he remained, a republican. He
reproached Pichegru with being mixed up with men unworthy of him. The
general had more than once bitterly felt this. "You are with us (_avec
nous_)," the Chouans used to say to him. "No gentlemen," cried Pichegru,
one day; "I am in your company (_chez vous_)."

"Poor man!" said the conqueror of Holland, on quitting the conqueror of
Hohenlinden, "he also has his ambition, and wishes to have a turn at
governing France: he would not be its master for twenty-four hours."
Georges Cadoudal laughed scornfully; "Usurper for usurper! I love better
the one who is ruling now than this Moreau, who has neither heart nor
head!" The conspirators felt their danger. Their preliminary interviews
had led to no result; the murmurs of discontent had not developed into
serious promises, still less into effective actions. La Rivière lost hope
every day; the First Consul every day became better informed as to what
was going on.

He had recently suppressed the ministry of police; Fouché continued,
without authority, the profession which he had always practised with
enthusiasm; he informed Napoleon as to the result of his researches. The
latter had ardently cherished a hope of pursuing, and striking down at one
blow, enemies of diverse origin, dangerous on different accounts. Amongst
the Chouans arrested in the month of August, two had remained obstinately
silent, and had been shot; a third was less courageous. "I have secret
information which makes me believe that they only came here to assassinate
me," wrote Bonaparte to Cambacérès. Querelle revealed all he knew of the
plot; he named the place of disembarkation; General Savory was sent there
in disguise, ordered to wait for that arrival of a prince, as had been
promised to the conspirators. Already his doom was determined on in the
mind of the First Consul.

Fresh arrests had taken place in Paris, for a servant of Georges had given
information. One of his principal officers, Bouvet de Lozier, vainly
attempted to kill himself; rescued from death, he asked to see the chief
judge. Régnier sent in his place Réal, the counsellor of state, more
penetrating and more clever than himself. It is supposed that the latter
was no stranger to the drawing up of the deposition of Bouvet, who
implicated General Moreau in the gravest manner. "Here is a man who comes
back from the gates of the tomb, still surrounded by the shadows of death,
who demands vengeance upon those who by their perfidy have thrown him and
his party into the abyss where they now find themselves. Sent to sustain
the cause of the Bourbons, he finds himself compelled either to fight for
Moreau, or to renounce an enterprise which was the sole object of his
mission. Monsieur was to pass into France, to put himself at the head of
the royalist party. Moreau promised to unite himself to the cause of the
Bourbons; the royalists arrived in France, and Moreau retracts. He
proposes to them to work for him, and to get him named Dictator. Hence the
hesitation, the dissension, and the almost total loss of the royalist
party. I know not what weight you will attach to the assertions of a man
snatched an hour ago from the death to which he had devoted himself, and
who sees before him the fate which an offended government has in reserve
for him. But I cannot withhold the cry of despair, or refrain from
attacking the man who has reduced me to this."

Réal hastened to the Tuileries. The First Consul was less astonished than
himself; he was acquainted with the interviews of Moreau and Pichegru. He
was well aware that the opinions of Moreau were quite opposed to any
thought of monarchical restoration. The general returned to Paris, after a
visit to Grosbois, on the morning of the 15th of February; he was arrested
on the bridge of Charenton, and taken to the Temple. Lajolais was arrested
at the same time. The trial was directed to take place before the civil
tribunal of the Seine. Cambacérès had proposed a military commission.
"No," said the First Consul; "it would be said that I desire to
disembarrass myself of Moreau, and to get him judicially assassinated by
own creatures." The jury was chosen in the department of the Seine; a
report upon the causes of the arrest of Moreau was sent to the Senate, the
Corps Législatif, and the Tribunate.

The commotion in Paris was great, and the public instinct was favorable to
General Moreau. The presumed accomplices of his crime had not yet fallen
into the hands of the government. People refused to believe him guilty, a
traitor to the opinions of a lifetime, and mixed up in a royalist
conspiracy. The attitude of the general was firm and calm. For a moment,
the First Consul conceived the idea of seeing him. "I pardon Moreau," said
he; "let him own everything to me, and I will forget the errors of a
foolish jealousy." General Lajolais had recounted the details of the
interviews of Moreau with Pichegru; the accused persisted in denying
everything. "Ah, well," replied Napoleon, "since he will not open with me,
it will be necessary for him to yield to justice." Anger broke forth, in
spite of the efforts of the First Consul to preserve the appearance of a
sorrowful justice. The brother of Moreau, was a member of the Tribunate;
he had loudly pleaded in favor of the accused. "I declare," cried he, "to
the assembly, to the entire nation, that my brother is innocent of the
atrocious crimes that are imputed to him. Let him be given the means of
justifying himself, and he will do so. I demand that he may be judged by
his natural judges," The president of the Tribunate dared to style the
accusation against Moreau a _denunciation_; the First Consul warmly
criticised this expression. "The greatness of the services rendered by
Moreau is not a sufficient motive for screening him from the rigor of the
laws," cried he. "There is no government in existence where a man by
reason of his past services may screen himself from the law, which ought
to have the same grasp on him as on the meanest individual. What! Moreau
is already guilty in the eyes of the highest powers of the State, and you
will not even consider him as accused!" "Paris and France have only one
sentiment, only one opinion," wrote he to Comte Melzi, vice-president of
the Italian Republic.

The pursuit had become rigorous. It was known that Pichegru and Georges
were hidden in Paris; the gates of the city were closed, egress by the
river watched by armed vessels. The Corps Législatif voted a measure
condemning to death whoever should conceal the conspirators, to the number
of sixty. Whoever should be cognizant of them without denouncing them, was
liable to six years in irons. One night General Pichegru went to ask
asylum of Barbé-Marbois, formerly intendant of St. Domingo, transported,
like himself, to Sinnamari, and now become a minister of the First Consul.
Barbé-Marbois did not hesitate to receive him. When he avowed it
afterwards to Napoleon, the latter warmly congratulated him upon it.

A few days passed by; General Pichegru, shamefully betrayed by one of his
former officers, was arrested on the 28th of February, bravely resisting
the agents of the police. Georges, seized in the street on the 9th of
March, blew out the brains of the first gendarme who seized the bridle of
his horse. La Rivière and Polignac were also in prison. Moreau had given
up his system of absolute denials; at the prayer of his wife and his
friends he wrote to the First Consul, simply recounting his relations with
Pichegru, without asking pardon, and without denying the past
transactions, seeking to disengage his cause from the Royalist conspiracy
--less haughty, however, than he had till then appeared. Bonaparte had the
letter affixed to the process of the trial. He appeared moved at the
situation of Pichegru. "A fine end!" said he to Réal: "A fine end for the
conqueror of Holland. It will not do for the men of the Revolution to
devour each other. I have long had a dream about Cayenne; it is the finest
country in the world for founding a colony. Pichegru has been proscribed,
as he knows; ask him how many men and how much money he wants to create a
great establishment; I will give them to him, and he will retrieve his
glory by rendering a service to France." The general did not reject the
proposition, but he persisted in his silence. "I will speak before the
tribunal," said he. Before the supreme day when the trial was about to
take place before human justice, Pichegru had appeared before a more
august tribunal; on the morning of the 6th of April he was found dead in
his bed, strangled, it was said, by his own hands.

The royalist conspirators at first proudly avowed the aim of their
enterprise. "What did you come to do in Paris?" asked the prefect of the
police of Georges Cadoudal. "I came to attack the First Consul." "What
were your means?" "I had as yet little enough; I counted on collecting
them." "Of what nature were your means of attack?" "By means of living
force." "Where did you count on finding this force?" "In all France." "And
what was your project?" "To put a Bourbon in the place of the First
Consul." "Had you many people with you?" "No, because I was not to attack
the First Consul until there was a French prince in Paris, and he has not
yet arrived."

This was the prince for whom General Savary had been, waiting in vain for
nearly a month on the cliff of Biville. The anger of the First Consul
continued to increase. "The Bourbons think they can get me killed like a
dog," said he. "My blood is worth more than theirs; I shall make no more
of their case than of Moreau or Pichegru; the first Bourbon prince who
falls into my hands, I will have shot remorselessly." The Comte d'Artois
and the Duc de Berry were announced, and did not arrive. Napoleon
stretched forth his arm to seize an innocent prince, whose misfortune it
was to be within his reach. On the 10th of March, 1804, he wrote to
General Berthier: "You will do well, citizen minister, to give orders to
General Ordener, whom I place at your disposal, to repair at night, by
post, to Strasburg. He will travel under another name than his own, and
see the general of division. The aim of his mission is to throw himself
upon Ettenheim, invest the city, and carry away from it the Duc d'Enghien,
Dumouriez, an English colonel, and any other individual who may be in
their suite. The general of division, the marshal of the barracks of
gendarmes, who has been to reconnoitre Ettenheim, as well as the
commissary of police, will give him all necessary information."

The young Duc d'Enghien, son of the Duc de Bourbon, and grandson of the
Prince of Condé, resided in fact at Ettenheim, in the grand duchy of
Baden. Drawn at times to Strasburg, by his taste for the theatre, he was
held fast in this little city by a passionate attachment for the Princess
Charlotte of Rohan, who lived there. He was young and brave, and was
waiting for the call from England to take part in the war. He was not
implicated in the plot hatched round the Comte d'Artois, and was
absolutely ignorant of it. A few emigrants--very few in numbers, and
without political importance--resided near him; one of them was the
Marquis de Thumery, whose name, mispronounced with a German accent, gave
rise to the error which supposed the presence of Dumouriez at Ettenheim.
This supposition might for a moment deceive the First Consul as to the
complicity of the Duc d'Enghien; it was cleared up when, after having
violated the territory of the Grand Duke of Baden (for which Talleyrand
was careful to apologize), he learnt the arrival of the unfortunate prince
at Strasburg; all the papers seized at Ettenheim were in his hands.

The first movement of the Duc d'Enghien had been to defend himself. "Are
you compromised?" asked a German officer who was at his house. "No!"
replied the young man with astonishment. Resistance was useless; he
surrendered. There was one single ground of accusation against him: like
all the princes of his house, and thousands of emigrants, he had borne
arms against France. Nearly all the nobility had been permitted again to
tread the soil of their country: he alone was about to expiate the fault
of all. The minister of France at Baden, Massias, felt compelled to bear
witness that "the conduct of the Prince had always been innocent and
guarded." A few days later the _Moniteur_ had to announce the assembling
of emigrants, with a staff of officers and bureaux of officials round a
prince of the House of Bourbon. Massias had beforehand given the lie to
this rumor. The Duc d'Enghien was brought to Paris; detained for a few
hours at the barriers, he was then conducted to the chateau of Vincennes.
On the same morning the First Consul had sent this order to his brother-
in-law, General Murat, whom he had just named governor of Paris: "General,
in accordance with the orders of the First Consul, the Duc d'Enghien is to
be conducted to the castle of Vincennes, where arrangements are made to
receive him. He will probably arrive at his destination to-night. I pray
you to make such arrangements as shall provide for the safety of this
prisoner at Vincennes, as well as on the road from Meaux by which he
comes. The First Consul has ordered that the name of this prisoner, and
everything relative to him, shall be kept a profound secret. In
consequence, the officer entrusted with his guard ought not to be made
acquainted with the name and rank of his prisoner; he travels under the
name of Plessis."

Bonaparte was at Malmaison, gloomy and agitated; since the day when the
order had been given to arrest the Duc d'Enghien, the intimate companions
of the First Consul had no doubt as to his fatal resolution. Cambacérès
had warmly insisted upon the deplorable consequences of such an act;
Madame Bonaparte had cast herself at his feet, but he raised her up ill-
temperedly. "You have grown very saving over the blood of the Bourbons,"
said he bitterly to Cambacérès. "I shall not allow myself to be killed
without being able to defend myself." The fatal moment approached. Madame
de Remusat, playing at chess with Napoleon, heard him repeating in a low
voice the noble words of Augustus pardoning Cinna, and she believed the
prince saved: he had just entered the castle of Vincennes, and already the
judges were awaiting him.

Murat had loudly declared his repugnance for the functions imposed on him
by his brother-in-law. "He wants to stain my uniform with blood," said he
with anger. He was not called to Vincennes. General Savary, devoted
without reserve to the First Consul, had set out with a corps of
gendarmes. Already the Duc d'Enghien, weighed down by fatigue, was asleep;
he was roused up at midnight. A captain, as judge advocate, was entrusted
with a first examination. He being asked his names, Christian names, age,
and place of birth, in reply said "he was named Louis-Antoine-Henri de
Bourbon, Duc d'Enghien, born at Chantilly, the 2nd of August, 1772." Being
asked at what time he quitted France, in reply he said, "I cannot say
precisely, but I think it was on the 16th July, 1789, that I set out with
the Prince de Condé my grandfather, my father the Comte d'Artois, and the
children of the Comte d'Artois." Being asked where he had resided since
leaving France, in reply he said, "On leaving France I passed with my
parents, whom I always accompanied, by Mons and Brussels; thence we
returned to Turin, to the palace of the king, where we remained nearly
sixteen months. Thence, always with my parents, I went to Worms and the
neighborhood, upon the banks of the Rhine. Lastly the Condé corps was
formed, and I was with it throughout the war. I had before that made the
campaign of 1792, in Brabant, with the Bourbon corps, in the army of Duke
Albert. We terminated the last campaign in the environs of Grätz, and I
asked permission of the Cardinal de Rohan to go into his country, to
Ettenheim, in Brisgau, the former bishopric of Strasburg. For two years
and a half I remained in this country, with the permission of the Elector
of Baden." Being asked if he had ever passed into England, and if that
power had always accorded him a grant of money, in reply he said he had
never been there; that England always accorded him a grant of money, and
that he had only that to live upon. Being asked if he kept up
correspondence with the French princes in London, and if he had seen them
for some time, he said that naturally he kept up a correspondence with his
grandfather, and that equally naturally he corresponded with his father,
whom he had not seen, so far as he could recollect, since 1794 or 1795.
Being asked if he knew General Pichegru, and if he had any relations with
him, he said, "I believe I have never seen him; I have had no relations
with him. I know that he has desired to see me. I am thankful not to have
known him, after the vile means of which it is said he has desired to make
use, if it is true." Being asked if he knew the ex-general Dumouriez, and
if he had had relations with him, he said, "On the contrary, I have never
seen him." Being asked if, since the peace, he had not kept up
correspondence with the interior of the republic, he said, "I have written
to a few friends who are still attached to me, who have been my companions
in war, about their affairs and my own; these correspondences are not, I
think, those to which it is intended to refer."

Upon the minute of the examination, beneath his signature, the Duc
d'Enghien wrote, "I earnestly entreat to have a private audience with the
First Consul. My name, my rank, my way of thinking, and the horror of my
situation, make me hope that he will not refuse me my request." The
request was foreseen, and the answer, according to instructions given,
that under no pretext would the First Consul be willing to receive the Duc
d'Enghien. At two o'clock in the morning the military commission was
assembled, presided over by General Hullin, formerly life-guard of Louis
XVI., and one of the insurgent leaders before the Bastille. The same
questions were addressed to the prince, more briefly--less explicitly, as
if the time was short, and the enemy threatening. Sometimes the president
interfered with an appearance of rude benevolence. General Savary did not
speak. When the examination was finished he rose up. "Now this is my
concern," said he. The judges deliberated a moment. The sentence, signed
in blank, was already in their hands. The Governor of Vincennes, Harel,
appeared at the gate carrying a light. He had formerly delivered to
Bonaparte the conspirators of the plot of Aréna and Topino-Lebrun; to-day
he preceded in the sombre corridors the prisoner, escorted by a piquet of
troops. The prince did not pale; he reiterated his request for an
audience, which was harshly denied. Already the grave was dug in the ditch
of the chateau; a detachment of gendarmes waited for the condemned.

The Duke stopped. "Comrades," said he loudly, "there is without doubt
among you a man of honor who will charge himself with receiving and
transmitting my last thoughts." And as a young officer stepped out of the
ranks, "Has any one here a pair of scissors?" asked the Prince. He cut a
lock of his hair, and joining it in the form of a ring, he pronounced in
low tones the name of the person for whom he intended this souvenir; then
pushing back with his hands the bandage with which they wished to cover
his eyes, he made one step towards the soldiers: they fired, and he was
dead. General Savary went to tell his master that he was obeyed.

Shakespeare has depicted remorse with that terrible truthfulness which
carries home to our minds the horror of crime. Lady Macbeth passes before
us haunted by a vision, and ceaselessly washing her blood-stained hands.
During all his life, even in his exile, Napoleon vainly sought to wash off
the innocent and illustrious blood which he caused to flow in the fosse of
Vincennes on the 20th of March, 1804. The men whom he had employed as the
instruments of his heinous crime struggled like himself under this
terrible responsibility. In vain has Bonaparte reproached Talleyrand with
having perfidiously urged him on in the fatal path; in vain has Réal
affirmed that an order reached his house during the night assuring to the
prisoner a new examination, unfortunately forestalled by his death. All
explanations, and all accusations have failed before the severe justice of
history and the infallible instinct of the public conscience. The odious
burden of a cowardly assassination was constantly weighing upon him who
had ordered it. The blood of his victim created round him an abyss that
all the efforts of supreme power could never succeed in filling up.

When the news spread in Paris, on March 21st, it was received with stupor;
people wept, even at Malmaison. Caulaincourt, previously entrusted with
the explanatory letter for the Elector of Baden, complained bitterly of
the stain upon his honor. Fourcroy was sent to dissolve the Corps
Législatif; Fontanes, who presided over the assembly, replied to the
counsellor of state without making allusion to the catastrophe, the
intelligence of which the latter had mixed up with matters of business.
His speech was modified in the _Moniteur_. Fontanes had the courage to
protest against the approbation which had been attributed to him. The same
journal contained the judgment of the military commission which had
condemned the Duc d'Enghien; like the speech of Fontanes, the wording had
been altered.

Alone amongst the public functionaries of every rank or origin, young
Chateaubriand, minister of France to the republic of Valais, felt himself
constrained to give in his resignation. Louis XVIII. sent back the collar
of the Golden Fleece to the King of Spain, who remained the ally of
Napoleon. The courts of Russia and Sweden put on mourning for the Duc

Thus was preparing in Europe, under the impulse of public opinion, the
third coalition, which was to unite all the sovereigns against France.
Alone till then, England had hatched against us the plots in which its
diplomatic agents were found compromised; but the denunciations of the
First Consul against Spencer and Drake vanish, and lose all importance in
presence of the crime committed at Vincennes. Prussia, long and
obstinately faithful to its policy of neutrality, and recently disposed to
draw nearer to us, began to incline towards Russia, with whom she soon
concluded an alliance. Austria evinced neither regret nor anger, but the
action of the German powers was silently influencing her. The First Consul
broke out against the Emperor Alexander, violently hurling a gross insult
at him. "When England meditated the assassination of Paul I., if it had
been known that the authors of the plot could be found at a place on the
frontiers, would not you have been inclined to have them seized?" General
Hédouville, ambassador of France at St. Petersburg, received the order to
set out in forty-eight hours. "Know for your direction," said he to the
chargé d'affaires, "that the First Consul does not wish for war, but he
does not fear it with anybody."

In presence of this general perturbation of Europe, of the loud
indignation of some and the dull uneasiness of others--in order to respond
to the denunciations of the royalists, who understood the fatal
consequences of the blow that Bonaparte had dealt to his own glory, the
First Consul resolved to take at length the last step which separated him
from supreme greatness. A year before he had been appointed Consul for
life of the French Republic: the murderer of a prince of the house of
Bourbon, he raised again on his own account the overturned throne. Still
without children, he founded in his person an hereditary monarchy, assured
of finding in the nation the assent of admiration as of lassitude and
fear. Eight days had scarcely passed since the execution of the Duc
d'Enghien; the brothers of the First Consul were absent and discontented.
Cambacérès was opposed to the projects which he had divined in the mind of
Napoleon Bonaparte. In his place, Fouché, always eager to serve the man
whose favor he courted, cleverly prepared the minds of the Senate. No
equivocation was possible as to the desires of Napoleon. On March 27th the
first assembly of the state addressed to the supreme chief this humble
request: "You found a new era," said the Senate, "but you ought to make it
eternal. Splendor is nothing without duration. You are harassed by
circumstances, by conspirators, by the ambitious. You are also in another
sense harassed by the uneasiness which agitates all Frenchmen. You can
conquer the times, master circumstances, put a curb on conspirators,
disarm the ambitious, tranquillize all France, by giving it institutions
which shall cement your edifice, and prolong for the children what you
have done for the fathers. In town and country if you could interrogate
all Frenchmen one after another, no one would speak otherwise than we.
Great Man, complete your work by rendering it as immortal as your glory;
you have drawn us forth from the chaos of the past, you make us blessed in
the benefits of the present--make us sure of the future."

The clever manoeuvre of Fouché gave Napoleon the opportunity of declaring
himself; he wished to be invited to speak. His answer was not, and could
not, be ready; he asked of the Senate time to reflect. Meanwhile he set
himself to sound the courts of Europe. On the morrow of the insult he had
offered to all the sovereigns by the murder of the Duc d'Enghien, their
good-will was doubtful: the earnest adhesion of Prussia and Austria
astonished and satisfied him; he was at war with England, embroiled with
Russia; the rest of Europe seemed to be at his feet. Clever at managing
those of whom he had need, he wished to assure himself of the disposition
of the army still agitated by the arrest of Moreau. He wrote to General
Soult, who commanded the camp of Saint Omer: "Citizen General Soult, I
have received your letter. The Councils-General of the departments, the
Electoral Colleges, and all the great bodies of the State, ask that an end
should be at last put to the hopes of the Bourbons, by placing the
republic in safety from the shocks of elections and the uncertainty of the
life of a single man. But up to this moment I have decided upon nothing;
meanwhile I desire that you should instruct me in great detail as to the
opinion of the army on a measure of this nature. You perceive that I would
not be drawn into it except with the sole object of the nation's interest,
for the French people have made me so great and so powerful that I can
desire nothing more."

The malcontents in the army were silent; the ambitious, the courtiers, the
faithful and devoted servants of the great general, brought him the
protestation of their devotion; the addresses from the departments
succeeded each other in great numbers. On April 25 the First Consul sent a
message to the Senate: "Your address of the 6th Germinal has not ceased to
be present to my thoughts," said he. "You have judged the hereditary
succession of the chief magistrate to be necessary to shelter the French
people from the plots of our enemies, and the agitation born of rival
ambitions. Many of our institutions have at the same time appeared to you
to require to be improved in order to assure without reversal the triumph
of equality and public liberty, and to offer to the government and the
nation the double guarantee of which they have need. In proportion as I
have fixed my attention on these great objects, I have perceived more and
more that, under circumstances as novel as they are important, the
counsels of your wisdom and of your experience are necessary to me in
order to fix all my ideas. I invite you then to let me become completely
acquainted with all your thoughts. I desire that on the 14th July this
year we shall be able to say to the French people: Fifteen years ago, by a
spontaneous movement, you rushed to arms; you required liberty, equality,
and glory. To-day, this best of all national wealth, assured to you
without fear of reversal, is protected from all tempests. Institutions
conceived and commenced in the midst of the storms of internal and
external war, developed with constancy, have been brought to their climax
amidst the noise of the efforts and plots of our mortal enemies, by the
adoption of all that the experience of ages and of peoples has
demonstrated as fit to guarantee the laws which the nation has judged
necessary for its dignity, its liberty, and its honor."

On the day following the 14th of July, 1789, the Duc de Rochefoucauld
said, with prophetic sadness, "It is very difficult to enter into true
liberty by such a gate." General Bonaparte was destined to confirm this
solemn truth, so often and so sorrowfully misunderstood by our country.
France, exhausted and disgusted by the enthusiasms of demagogy and the
bloody tyranny of the Terror, had been tossed by shock after shock into
the arms of the conqueror who promised her order and energy in government;
she had forgotten for a time those great and salutary conquests of the
liberty which she unreservedly yielded up at his feet.

By a tardy return towards the convictions of the past, Carnot alone raised
his voice in the Tribunate to recall the Republic, abandoned by all, in
the name of that liberty which he wrongly attributed to it. "Was liberty
then always to be shown to man without his being able to enjoy it? Was it
ceaselessly offered for his desires, like a fruit to which he could not
stretch forth his hand without being in danger of death? No! I cannot
consent to regard this gift, so universally preferable to all others,
without which the others are nothing, as a simple illusion. My heart tells
me that liberty is possible, that its rule is easy and more stable than
any arbitrary or oligarchic government. You say that Bonaparte has
effected the salvation of his country, that he has restored public
liberty; is it then a recompense to offer up to him this same liberty as a

On the 3rd of May, on the proposal of Curée and the report of Jard-
Panvillier, the Tribunate sent to the Senate a proposal to the effect:
"Firstly, that Napoleon Bonaparte, at present Consul for life, be
appointed Emperor, and in this capacity entrusted with the government of
the French Republic. Secondly, that the title of Emperor and the imperial
power be hereditary in his family, from male to male, in order of
primogeniture. Thirdly and lastly, that in deciding as regards the
organization of the constituted authorities upon the modifications
required by the establishment of hereditary power--equality, liberty, and
the rights of the people, be preserved in their integrity."

The Senate was resolved not to lose the fruits of its initiative; the
project of the senatus-consultum was ready, and was immediately carried to
the First Consul, accompanied by the views of all the great bodies of the
State. When it returned to the Senate, amended and modified by the will of
the supreme chief, the authority which the senators had sought to arrogate
to themselves had been taken away. "The senators, if they were allowed to
do it, would go on to absorb the Corps Législatif, and, who knows? perhaps
even to restore the Bourbons," said the First Consul to the Council of
State. "They wish at once to legislate, to judge, and to govern. Such a
union of powers would be monstrous; I shall not suffer it!" The Tribunate
ceased to exist as an assembly, and could no longer discuss except in
sections; the Corps Législatif were permitted to debate in secret
committees only. A High Court was to be constituted, to judge the crimes
of personages too important for the jurisdictions of ordinary tribunals.
In order to satisfy the vanity of Joseph and Louis Bonaparte, alone
entitled to the succession of the empire, two officers were borrowed from
the constitution devised by Sieyès, and from mediaeval history; the one
became Grand Elector, and the other Constable. Sagacious and docile
counsellor of the First Consul in their apparent equality, Cambacérès was
appointed arch-chancellor of the empire, and Lebrun became arch-treasurer.
Four honorary marshals [Footnote: Kellermann, Pérignon, Lefèvre,
Sérurier.] and fourteen active marshals [Footnote: Murat, Berthier,
Masséna, Lannes, Soult, Brune, Ney, Augereau, Moncey, Mortier, Davout,
Jourdan, Bernadotte, Bessières.] were grouped around the restored throne.
Alone and beforehand the Senate decided upon the destinies of France,
arrogantly called upon to ratify decisions over which it exercised no
authority; on May 19th, 1804, at the close of the sitting, all the
senators went together to St. Cloud, and by the voice of Cambacérès prayed
his _Imperial Majesty_ that the organic arrangements might come into force
immediately. "For the glory, as for the happiness of the country, we
proclaim at this very moment Napoleon Bonaparte Emperor of the French."

Those present cried, "Long live the Emperor!" Only the sanction of the law
of hereditary succession was submitted to the popular vote. By the force
of his genius as much as by the splendor of his military glory, Napoleon
had conquered France more completely than Italy or Egypt.


GLORY AND SUCCESS (1804-1805).

On the eve of the declaration of the Senate in favor of the empire,
Cambacérès had said to Lebrun, "All is over! the monarchy is re-
established! But I have a presentiment that what they are now constructing
will not be durable. We made war upon Europe to give it republics, which
should be daughters of the French Republic; now we shall make it to give
Europe monarchs, sons or brothers of ours; and France, exhausted, will
finally succumb to such fatal attempts."

A year before that, when the consulship for life was proclaimed, the wise
and virtuous Tronchet, when a sorrowful witness of the revolutionary
crimes against which he had defended King Louis XVI., had shown the same
inquietude and fatal presentiment. "This young man begins like Caesar," he
said of General Bonaparte; "I am afraid he may end as he did."

The daggers of the Roman conspirators had arrested Caesar in his course.
Napoleon had found neither a Brutus nor a Cassius: he reigned without
contest, by a triumphal acclamation of 3,572,329 suffrages against 2569
"Noes." The country was eager to salute its new master, with a curiosity
mixed with confidence in the unexpected resources of his genius. The
courtiers alone around him who had found no place in the prodigal
distribution of honors, muttered their murmurs. They served him
nevertheless; and Talleyrand remained minister of foreign affairs, even
when all the important posts of the empire had escaped his desires.

With more calmness and pride than the courtiers, Moreau and the royalist
conspirators waited in prison for their verdict. Napoleon was as eager as
they were, being in haste to rid himself of an embarrassment which could
become a danger. In proportion as the trial proceeded, Moreau's case was
more and more kept distinct from that of the other prisoners. The mode of
defence adopted by the royalists tended entirely to prove his innocence.
"We entered France," they said, "deceived by false reports, and with the
hope of securing our restoration: General Moreau refused us his
assistance, and our project failed." The general did not appear disturbed
by the irregular jurisdiction to which his case was to be referred.
"Strive," he wrote to his wife, "to make sure that those who are to judge
me are just men, incapable of betraying their conscience. If I am judged
by persons of honor, I cannot complain, although they have apparently
suppressed the jury."

The public interest was lively, and openly shown, in spite of the evident
annoyance of the emperor. The friends of the royalist prisoners were
numerous and ardent; and, whether from admiration or indifference, the
public believed General Moreau innocent of all conspiracy, and made excuse
for the dissatisfaction or ambition which he might have manifested. The
sharers of his renown--Dessoles, Gouvion St. Cyr, Macdonald, Lecourbe--
were faithfully present at every sitting. I borrow from the interesting
recollections of Madame Récamier the picture of the spectacle then seen in
the hall of the Palace of Justice, every approach to which was choked by
the crowd. "The prisoners, of whom there were forty-seven, were for the
most part unknown to each other, and filled the raised seats facing those
where the judges sat. Each prisoner was seated between two gendarmes;
those near Moreau were full of respect. When I raised my veil the general
recognized me, and rose to salute me. I returned his salute with emotion
and respect. I was deeply touched at seeing them treat as a criminal that
great general whose reputation was then so glorious and unstained. It was
no longer a question of republic and republicans. Excepting Moreau, who I
am certain was an entire stranger to the conspiracy, it was the royalist
loyalty that alone was on its defence against the new power. This cause of
the ancient monarchy had as its head a man of the people, Georges

"That fearless Georges! We looked at him with the thought that that head,
so freely and energetically devoted, must fall on the scaffold; or that he
alone, probably, would not escape death, as he did nothing for that
purpose. Disdaining to defend himself, he only defended his friends; and
when they tried to persuade him to ask for pardon, as the other prisoners
had done, he replied, 'Do you promise me a fairer opportunity of dying?'

"In the ranks of the accused, Polignac and Rivière were still noticeable,
interesting from their youth and devotion. Pichegru, whose name will
remain historically united with Moreau's, was missing at his side--or
rather, one believed his shade was visible there, because it was known
that he also was not in the prison.

"Another recollection, the death of the Duc d'Enghien, increased the
sorrow and terror of many minds, even among the most devoted partisans of

Taken as a whole, and in spite of the embarrassment caused by the
persistence of two or three of the accusers, the public judicial
examination was favorable to General Moreau. On being accused of having
agreed to a reconciliation with the traitor Pichegru, he replied, "Since
the beginning of the Revolution there have been many traitors. There were
some who were traitors in 1789, without being so in 1793; there were
others who were so in '93 but were not in '95, others who were so in '95
but have not been so since. Many were republicans who are not so now.
General Pichegru may have had an understanding with Condé in the year IV.;
I believe that he had; but he was included in the proscription of
Fructidor, and must be considered as one of those who were then
proscribed. When I saw other Fructidorians at the head of the authorities
of state--when Condé's army filled the Parisian drawing-rooms and those of
the First Consul, I might very well take a share in restoring to France
the conqueror of Holland. I am credited with the absurd idea of making use
of royalists in the hope of regaining power if they were successful. I
have made war for ten years, and during those ten years I am not aware of
having done absurd things." When they laid emphasis on his interview with
Pichegru and Georges, he said, "A quarter of an hour is but little for the
discussion of a plan of government. It is said that Pichegru was
dissatisfied; probably we were not of the same mind." On the president
regretting that he had not denounced Pichegru and the royalists, saying
that he owed it to a government that loaded him with benefits, Moreau
exclaimed, "The conqueror of Hohenlinden is not a denouncer, M. le
President. Do not put my services and my fortune in the same balance, for
there is no possible comparison between the things. I should have fifty
millions to-day, had I made the same use of victory which many others have

Moreau wished to plead himself the cause of his life and renown. "It is
only by my counsel," he said, "that I wish to address justice"--here the
illustrious general looked round upon the attentive multitude--"but I feel
that both on your account and mine I ought to speak myself. Unfortunate
circumstances, produced by chance or caused by hatred, may for an instant
obscure the life of the most honorable man; and a clever criminal may keep
off suspicion and the proof of his crimes. The whole life of a prisoner is
always the most certain testimony against him and for him. I therefore set
my whole life to witness against my accusers and prosecutors; it has been
public enough to be known: I shall only recall a few of its epochs: and
the witnesses whom I shall summon will be the French people, and the
people whom France has conquered. I was devoted to the study of law at the
beginning of that revolution which was to establish the liberty of the
French people; and the object of my life being thus changed, I devoted it
to arms. I became a warrior because I was a citizen: I bore this character
beneath our standards, and have always preserved it. I was promoted
quickly, but always from step to step without passing any; always by
serving my country, never by flattering the committees. On being appointed
commander, when victory obliged us to march through the countries of our
enemies, I was as anxious that our character should be respected as that
our arms should be dreaded. War, under my orders, was a calamity only on
the battlefield. I have the presumption to think that the country has not
forgotten my services then, nor the ready devotion which I showed when
fighting as a subordinate; nor how I was appointed to the command-in-chief
by the reverses of our arms, and, in one sense, named general by our
misfortunes. It is still remembered how I twice recomposed the army from
the fragments of those which had been scattered, and how, after having
twice restored it to a condition of being able to cope with the Russians
and Austrians, I twice laid down the command to take another of greater
responsibility. I was not during that period of my life more republican
than during the others, though I seemed so. It is well known that there
was a proposal to put me at the head of a movement similar to that of the
18th Brumaire. I refused, believing that I was made to command armies, and
having no desire to command a Republic. I did more; on the 18th Brumaire I
was in Paris. That revolution, instigated by others, could not disturb my
peace of mind; but directed by a man surrounded by great renown, I might
have hoped for happy results from it. I took part in it to assist it,
whilst some other parties urged me to lead them in opposing it. I received
in Paris General Bonaparte's orders, and, in seeing them executed, I
assisted in raising him to that high degree of power which circumstances
rendered necessary. When, shortly afterwards, he offered me the command of
the army of the Rhine, I accepted it from him with as much devotion as
from the hands of the Republic itself. Never had my successes been more
rapid, more numerous, or more decisive, than during that period; and their
renown was reflected upon the government which accuses me. What a moment
for conspiring, if such a scheme had ever entered my mind! Would an
ambitious man, or a conspirator, have let slip the opportunity when at the
head of an army of 100,000 men so often victorious? I only thought of
disbanding the army before returning to the repose of civil life.

"During that rest, which has not been without glory, I enjoyed my honors
(such honors as no human power can deprive me of), the recollections of
what I had done, the testimony of my conscience, the esteem of my country
and of foreigners, and, to be candid, the flattering and pleasant
presentiment of the esteem of posterity. My mind and disposition were so
well known, and I kept myself so far aloof from any ambitious project,
that from the victory of Hohenlinden till my arrest my enemies were never
able to accuse me of any crime except freedom in speaking. Do conspirators
openly find fault with that which they do not approve? So much candor is
scarcely reconcilable with political secrets and plots. If I had wished to
adopt and follow the plans of any conspirators, I should have concealed my
sentiments, and solicited every appointment which might have restored me
to power. As a guide on such a route, in default of the political talent
which I have never had, there were examples known to all the world and
rendered imposing by success. I might have known that Monk retained
command of his armies when he wished to conspire, and that Cassius and
Brutus came nearer Caesar's heart in order to pierce it."

When the pleading was finished, the emperor and the public anxiously
waited for the sentence. The fact of the royalist plot being proved, the
condemnation of the prisoners was certain, and the inquietude and hopes of
all were concentrated on Moreau. "Towards the close of the trial," said
Madame Récamier, "all business was stopped, the entire population were out
of doors, they talked of nothing but Moreau." The emperor had informed the
judges that he would not demand that the general be condemned to death
unless in the interest of justice, and as a salutary example, his fixed
intention being to grant him pardon. One of the members of the tribunal,
Clavier, a man of great virtue and learning, said, on hearing General
Murat's proposition, "And who will pardon us ourselves, if we pass
judgment and condemnation against our consciences?" At the first
deliberation of the tribunal, seven judges out of twelve voted for
acquittal pure and simple: being afraid of Napoleon's anger, they
sentenced Moreau to two years' imprisonment. "Why, that's a punishment for
a pickpocket!" exclaimed the emperor in a passion. By wise counsel he was
induced to show a prudent clemency. Moreau, nearly ruined by the expense
of the trial, and as annoyed by the sentence as Napoleon was, refused to
ask any favor. "If it was certain that I took part in the conspiracy," he
exclaimed, "I ought to have been condemned to death as a leader. I undergo
the extremity of horror and disgrace. Nobody will believe that I played
the part of a corporal."

His young and handsome wife, being near confinement, asked for and
obtained permission to sail to America with her husband, and when delayed
at Cadiz by child-birth, was urged to set out on the voyage through
Fouché's influence in the Spanish court. "Four years ago about this time,"
wrote the general, "I gained the battle of Hohenlinden. That event, so
glorious for my country, procured for my fellow-countrymen a repose which
they had long wanted. I alone have been unable to obtain it. Will they
refuse it me at the extremity of Europe, 500 leagues from my native land?"

Moreau carried with him into exile the cruel recollection of the name
"brigand" (ruffian), which had been formerly abusively replied to him, and
that keen desire for vengeance which was one day to prove so fatal to his

Of the royalist prisoners, twenty were condemned to death. In spite of
Murat's eager pleading, eleven perished on the scaffold with Georges
Cadoudal, equal to him in the imperturbability of their political and
religious faith. Rivière and Polignac, General Lajolais, and four others
owed their lives to the supplications of their families, judiciously
assisted by the kindness of the Empress Josephine. They were all sent to

Napoleon felt with more justice than Moreau himself that the conscience of
the judges had been opposed to his supreme will. In spite of the silence
which he imposed upon the organs of the press, more and more roughly
treated by him, public opinion remained equally stirred up against the
murder of the Duc d'Enghien. A thought which had arisen in his mind from
the day of his elevation to the empire, gained fresh forces from the
feeling of silent disapprobation of all honorable men. He wished to place
a religious stamp upon his greatness, and instructed Cardinal Caprara to
ask the Pope to come to Paris to consecrate him. "It is most unlikely,"
said he, "that any power will make objection to it either in right or in
fact. Therefore broach the subject, and when you have transmitted the
reply, I shall make the suitable and necessary arrangements with the

As in the case of the Concordat, the emperor's confidential advisers were
not favorable to the idea of consecration. The discussion in the Council
of State was lively, characterized by all the philosophical and
revolutionary suspicion as to the pretensions of a power being invited to
bestow the crown and thus probably believing it had the power to withdraw
it. Napoleon had formed a better judgment of the profound and permanent
effect of the condescension which he asked from the Pope. "Gentlemen,"
said he to his council, "you are deliberating in Paris in the Tuileries;
suppose that you were deliberating in London in the British cabinet, that
in a word, you were ministers of the King of England, and that you were
told that at this moment the Pope was crossing the Alps to consecrate the
Emperor of the French, would you consider that as a triumph for England or
for France?"

The council had not insisted, and the court of Rome felt their force of
resistance becoming weaker every day. The death of the Duc d'Enghien had
caused the Pope much sorrow:--"My tears now," said Pius VII., "at the
death of the one and the attempt upon the other." The French bishops who
had not resigned had renewed their protestations against the Concordat.
The Sacred College, when consulted as to the journey of the holy father,
were divided in their opinion. Five cardinals declared that by so doing
the Pope would ratify all the usurpations of which the new Emperor of the
French had rendered himself culpable; fifteen showed less severity, but
all insisted upon surrounding the solicited favor with numerous
conditions. "The actual advantage to religion expressly professed in the
invitation which his Holiness is about to accept, but actually injured in
the result, can alone excuse in the eyes of Catholics the temporary
abandonment of the holy seat," wrote Cardinal Consalvi to Cardinal
Caprara: "the dignity and honor of the head of religion both require it."
He also wrote, "The form of oath taken by the emperor raises great
difficulties. We cannot admit the oath _to respect and caused to be
respected the laws of the Concordat_, which is the same thing as saying
that one must respect the organic articles and cause them to be respected.
_To respect the liberty of worship_ supposes an engagement not to tolerate
and allow, but to sustain and protect, and extends not only to persons,
but to the thing, that is to say to all forms of worship. But a Catholic
cannot defend the error of false forms of worship."

Cardinal Caprara, as papal legate in Paris, and Cardinal Fesch, as French
ambassador in Rome, explained away or avoided the difficulties. The
legate, always timid and easily persuaded, gave grounds for hopes which he
was not always able to realize; the cardinal, haughty and violent, divided
between devotion to his all-powerful nephew and his own restoration to
ecclesiastical practices and sentiments, was at Rome lavish of presents
and threats. He at the same time advised the court of Rome to claim the
Legations, whatever were the scruples of the Pope to confound temporal
questions with spiritual concessions. Skilful in making use of the real
Intentions or wishes which he was aware of, without compromising his
government by any formal engagement, Cardinal Fesch at last triumphed over
the repugnances of the Pope by avoiding most of the conditions of the Holy
College, and on the 30th September, 1804, he presented to Pius VII.
General Caffarelli, the emperor's deputy at Rome, instead of the two
bishops formerly insisted upon. Still less explicit than his ambassador,
Napoleon gave no hopes to the holy father of the important concessions
with which the latter was fondly flattering himself.

"Very Holy Father," said the emperor, "the happy result evinced in the
morality and character of my people by the re-establishment of the
Christian religion, leads me to pray your Holiness to give me a new proof
of the interest which your Holiness takes in my destiny and that of this
great nation, in one of the most important periods shown in the annals of
the world. I beg your Holiness to come and give a religious character of
the highest degree to the ceremony of the consecration and coronation of
the first Emperor of the French. That ceremony will acquire a new lustre
if done by your Holiness. It will bring upon us and our peoples the
blessing of God, whose decrees govern according to His will the lot of
empires and of families.

"Your Holiness knows the friendly feeling which I have long had towards
you, and must therefore infer the pleasure which I shall have in giving
you fresh proofs.

"Thereupon we pray God, most holy father, that He may keep you for many
years in the rule and government of our mother the holy Church.

"Your devoted son,


The Pope had determined to set out, being convinced that resistance was
impossible, and harassed by a serious inquietude the importance of which
was afterwards confirmed, and by the vague fears of a sickly old man. He
was offended by the contemptuous terms which the foreign ambassadors
applied to the condescension of him whom they called the "French emperor's
chaplain." His Italian subtilty was disturbed, and his natural kindness
chafed by the dryness of the emperor's message. "This is poison which you
have brought to me," said he to General Caffarelli, after reading
Napoleon's letter. He set out nevertheless, obstinately refusing to take
with him Cardinal Consalvi, in whose hands he had placed his abdication.
"If they keep me here," said he one day in Paris, "they will find that
they only have in their power a wretched monk called Barnabus

The Pope's departure had been much hastened by the repeated urgency of the
emperor, and his journey was so also. The time for the ceremony was fixed
without consulting him. As Cardinal Consalvi said in his Memoirs, "they
made the holy father gallop from Rome to Paris like an almoner summoned by
his master to say mass."

On the 25th November, 1804, about mid-day, the emperor was hunting in the
forest of Fontainebleau, and went towards Croix St. Herem at the moment
when the Pope's carriage just reached that spot. The carriage stopped, and
"the holy father stepped out in his white dress; as the road was muddy he
could not soil his silk stockings by stepping on the ground." He got out,
however, whilst the emperor, leaping from his horse, advanced to him and
embraced him. The meeting had been skilfully arranged in order that the
new master of France might be spared the annoyance of a deference which he
considered excessive. Both doors of the emperor's carriage were opened at
once, and Napoleon entering by the right, Pius VII. naturally took the
left. The empress and imperial family were waiting for the Pope at the
great portico of the palace. The emperor seemed triumphant. The Pope was
full of emotion, affected by the kind reception he had met with by the
people during his journey. "I have passed through a population all on
their knees," said he.

The Emperor Napoleon was not on his knees, and Pius VII. was even sensible
of it. Several questions had remained undecided before the holy father's
departure for France: Napoleon had resolutely disposed of them, and
yielded only on one point. Still bandied about between his own
uncertainty, the love which he still felt for the Empress Josephine, the
intrigues of her family, who were opposed to him, and the passionate
longing to have a son to inherit his crown, he had been on the point of
demanding a divorce a few days previously, but on the empress making the
Pope her confidant their union was confirmed, and on the eve of the
coronation, with the greatest secrecy, the religious marriage of the
emperor with Josephine was celebrated by Cardinal Fesch. Pius VII.
declared that it was impossible for him to proceed with the ceremony of
the double consecration so long as that act of reparation remained

Those who had charge of the arrangements for the great spectacle, the Abbé
Bernier, lately appointed Bishop of Orleans, and the Arch-chancellor
Cambacérès, had frequently discussed the ceremonial of the coronation
properly so-called. In France the peers, in Italy the bishops, formerly
held the crown above the head of the sovereign, who then received it from
the hands of the pontiff. "All the French emperors, all those of Germany
who have been consecrated by the popes were at the same crowned by them.
The holy father, in order to decide as to the journey, must receive from
Paris the assurance that in this case there will be no innovation contrary
to the honor and dignity of the sovereign pontiff." At Rome the replies
bad been vague; at Paris the emperor had calmed the zeal and inquietude of
his servants. "I shall arrange that myself," said he. On the 2nd December,
1804, the ceremony of consecration took place according to the solemn
ceremonial, and the emperor, after being anointed with the holy oil, held
out his hand towards the crown which the Pope had just taken from the
altar. Pius VII., completely taken by surprise, made no resistance, and
Napoleon himself placing on his head the emblem of sovereign power, then
crowned with his own hands the empress, who was in tears kneeling before
him. Mounting his throne whilst his brothers held up his robe, being
compelled to that act of humility by his imperious will, and their sisters
bore the train of the empress, the Pope pronounced the solemn formula,
"Vivat in aeternum Augustus!" And under the very eyes of the holy pontiff,
the Emperor Napoleon took the oath in the form which had been so much
opposed in Rome. His victory was complete: he triumphed over the old
revolutionary prejudices, whilst at the same time confirming in Notre
Dame, in spite of the scruples of the court of Rome, the principles of
liberty acquired by the French Revolution.

When the Pope, sad and discouraged, at last set out for Rome, 4th April,
1805, he had obtained none of the favors which he thought he had a right
to expect. The emperor was inflexible on the question of the "organic
articles," making no concession as to their application. The statement
presented by the Pope and drawn up by Cardinal Antonelli, the most
enthusiastic of his councillors, was on Napoleon's orders replied to by
Portalis, who was skilful in concealing the refusal under the grave
phraseology of legal and Christian language. Urged to extremity, Pius VII.
applied to the emperor himself to ask the restoration of the Legations.
Talleyrand wrote in reply, "France has very dearly bought the power which
she enjoys. It is not in the emperor's power to take anything from an
empire which is the fruit of ten years' war and bloodshed, continued with
an admirable courage and accompanied with the most unhappy agitation and
an unexampled constancy. It is still less in his power to diminish the
territory of a foreign state which, by entrusting him with the care of
governing, had laid upon him the duty of protecting it." A few sentences
added by the emperor to the diplomatic document left room for vague hopes
of certain consolations. The illusions of Pius VII. began to disappear;
without compensation or recompense, he had worked to consolidate for a
short time the throne of the conqueror; the conquests which he had won
were not of this world; the complete submission of the constitutional
bishops, and the genuine respect with which the French people constantly
surrounded him were due to the personal veneration which he inspired. When
at last he crossed the mountains the Emperor Napoleon had reached Italy
before him, as if to indicate more emphatically the condescension which
the sovereign pontiff had shown to him. It was at Turin that he finally
took leave of Pius VII., letting him return to Rome while he took in the
cathedral of Milan the iron crown of the Lombard kings, and placed it on
his head before an immense crowd of on-lookers, using the traditional
words of the ancient Lombard monarchy, "God has given it me, who dare
touch it?"

The Cisalpine Republic no longer existed, and the Emperor of the French,
King of Italy, boasted of the moderation he had evinced in keeping the two
crowns apart. At one time he intended raising his brother Joseph to the
new throne, but the latter was afraid of compromising his right to succeed
to the imperial crown. Louis Bonaparte refused to govern in the name of
the child which he had by Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of the Empress
Josephine by her first marriage, whom he had married with regret.
Compelled to unite, on his own head, the two crowns of France and Italy,
Napoleon entrusted the care of the government to his son-in-law, Eugène de
Beauharnais. His protestations of respect for the independence of the

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