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

Part 4 out of 9

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present to the young monarch, humiliated and conquered, wishing to display
it before his eyes in order to blind him more completely.

The Russians and Prussians were equally irritated against England. She had
granted them money, but her military efforts had not corresponded with her
promises; and it was to her obstinate hatred of France that the two
monarchs attributed the origin of their defeats. "If you have a grudge
against England," said Alexander, "we shall easily understand each other,
for I have myself to complain of her as much as you have." It was in this
first interview the sole effort of Napoleon to develop in the mind of
Alexander the sentiments of anger and weariness by which he had been
inspired by the selfishness which he imputed to Great Britain and the
inability and weakness which he recognized in Prussia, and to engage the
Russian emperor to become friendly with the only power which could offer
him a glorious and profitable alliance. In the mind of the emperor, we
have already said, the necessity for a continental alliance had long since
made itself felt. "Austria or Russia," he had said to Talleyrand. Napoleon
offered his hand to the Emperor Alexander.

The city of Tilsit was neutralized, and the two emperors established their
quarters there. Before quitting the opposite shore of the Niemen,
Alexander presented the King of Prussia to Napoleon in that floating
pavilion on the river which flowed between the two nations. Honest,
moderate, and dignified even in his profound abasement, Frederick William
neither experienced nor exercised in any degree the seductiveness to which
the Emperor Alexander succumbed, and which he was in his turn capable of
displaying. He entreated his ally to make constant and persevering efforts
in his behalf, which Alexander felt himself compelled to do not without a
secret ill feeling. It was with an ostentatious display of graciousness
and condescension that Napoleon ceaselessly reminded the young Czar that
he accorded no favor to the King of Prussia except out of regard for his

"In the midst of the war in which Russia and France have been engaged,"
wrote Napoleon, on the 4th of July, 1807, "both sovereigns, enlightened as
to the situation and the true policy of their empires, have desired the
re-establishment not only of peace, but of a common accord, and by the
force of reason and truth have wished to form an alliance, and to pass in
a single instant from open war to the most intimate relations. The
boundless amity and confidence which the high qualities of the Emperor
Alexander have inspired in the Emperor Napoleon have caused his heart to
seal that which his reason had already approved and ratified. The
protection of the emperor will result in the King of Prussia being allowed
to re-enter into the possession of all the countries which border on the
two Haffs, extending from the sources of the Oder to the sea. Solely with
a desire of pleasing the Emperor Alexander, a large number of fortified
towns will be restored to the King of Prussia. The policy of the Emperor
Napoleon is that his immediate influence should be bounded by the Elbe;
and he has adopted this policy because it is the only one which can be
reconciled with the system of sincere and constant amity which he wishes
to maintain with the great empire of the north."

Under the veil of this apparent moderation the pretensions or resolutions
of the Emperor Napoleon were thus summed up: King Frederick William
recovered Old Prussia, Pomerania, Brandenburg, Upper and Lower Silesia; he
would abandon all the provinces to the left of the Elbe, which were to
constitute, with the Grand Duchy of Hesse, a kingdom of Westphalia,
destined for Joseph Bonaparte. The Duchies of Posen and Warsaw, snatched
from Russian Poland, were to form a Polish State under the title of the
Grand Duchy of Warsaw, of which the Elector of Saxony, recently elevated
to the royal dignity, received the gift, on condition of maintaining a
military road across Silesia. All the States founded by Napoleon were to
be recognized. Russia was charged with the mediation between France and
England; France became arbitrator between Russia and the Porte.

It was much, and indeed too much, for Prussia, torn asunder without being
completely destroyed, reduced to the half of its territory, and deprived
of its most important towns--for Dantzig became a free city, and Magdeburg
formed part of the new kingdom of Westphalia. When these hard conditions
were revealed to Frederick William by the Emperor Alexander, the
unfortunate king protested against a ruin so complete. He conceived, for a
moment, the vain hope of obtaining from Napoleon some concessions, by
bringing to bear on him the influence of the genius and beauty of Queen
Louisa. This princess quitted Memel to present herself at Tilsit. "She is
charming," wrote Napoleon to the Empress Josephine; but this cold
appreciation of the accomplishments of the woman exercised no influence
upon the resolutions of the conqueror and the politician. The queen in
vain brought into play all the resources of her intellect and her charming
graces; in vain presenting to the conqueror a rose which she had just
plucked, she ventured to ask for Magdeburg in exchange for her flower. "It
is you who have offered it to me, madame," said Napoleon, roughly. Queen
Louisa quitted Memel, humiliated and sorrowful down to the very depths of
her soul. Her children and her people were never to pardon us for their

Alexander had loyally defended his friend, and felt assured of having
obtained for him all that it was possible to obtain; in his secret
thoughts he consoled himself for the concessions he had been constrained
to make for others as well as for himself, by the dazzling prospects which
Napoleon knew so well how to open brightly to his view. To the north and
south the young Czar believed himself master of new territories, long
objects of ambition to the Russian Empire. The Sultan Selim had just
fallen at Constantinople before a revolt of the Janissaries; he was a
prisoner in his own palace, and the government which was about to succeed
him would naturally be hostile to French influence. Napoleon then found
himself free to abandon to Russia a large part of that Ottoman Empire
always coveted by her. "Constantinople! never!" Napoleon had said, in
exclamation to himself, heard by one of his secretaries; "the empire of
the world is at Constantinople!" But the _débris_ of the Turkish power
were of a character to satisfy all the claimants; and in case Turkey
should not accept the peace, the secret treaty concluded between France
and Russia assured to the Czar all the European provinces, with the
exception of Constantinople and Roumelia. In case of the cabinet of London
refusing the mediation of Russia, Alexander engaged himself to declare war
against England. Should Portugal and Sweden, equally subject to European
influence, participate in the same refusal, it was agreed that the Emperor
Napoleon should send an army into Portugal, and that the Emperor Alexander
should enter Sweden. Finland lay very convenient for the Russian Empire.
"The King of Sweden is in truth your brother-in-law and your ally," said
Napoleon; "let him follow the changes in your policy, or let him undergo
the consequences of his ill-will. Sweden is the geographical enemy of
Russia. St. Petersburg finds itself too near to Finland. The good Russians
must no longer hear from their palaces at St. Petersburg the cannon of the

The treaty of Tilsit was concluded on the 7th of July, 1807, and was
signed on the 8th. The King and Queen of Prussia departed immediately,
full of bitter sorrow and discouragement. The two emperors separated on
the 9th, with a cordiality at that time sincere in its ostentatious
display. More than once they had together passed their troops in review;
yet once again they showed themselves to the two armies. Napoleon
decorated, with his own hand, a soldier of the Russian army, who had been
pointed out to him by the Czar. At last he accompanied Alexander to the
shores of the Niemen, waiting upon the bank until his friend and ally had
reached the farther shore. Then entering his carriage, he took the road to
Königsberg, and immediately afterwards that to France, charging Berthier
and Marshal Kalbreuth with the regulation of the details of the evacuation
of Prussia, and the payment of the war contributions with which the
conquered countries were to be crushed down. On the 27th of July, at six
o'clock in the morning, the emperor re-entered Paris, which he had quitted
the preceding year, and which, since then, he had so many times
intoxicated with the report of his victories. The military glory was
brilliant and even dazzling; the political work remained precarious, by
its nature as well as by its immensity. Empires founded upon conquest are
necessarily fragile, even when the war has been undertaken from serious
and legitimate motives. When the war is carried on through the ambition of
a man or a people, in scorn of right or justice--when it injures at once
the interests, the pride, and the repose of all nations--no genius or
brightness of glory can succeed in assuring its duration, or
legitimatizing its success. France perceived this in the midst of the
enthusiasm of victory. England repeated it with malicious confidence, in
the hope of confirming the courage of its people. Once more the latter
power found itself alone, in face of the ever-increasing might of France
and the incomparable genius of its sovereign.

It is the mournful effect of a weakening of the moral sense in the chief
of a state, to enfeeble that moral sense at the same time, and by an
inevitable contagion, amongst his rivals and adversaries. In presence of
the continental blockade, and of the resolution which the Emperor Napoleon
had announced of imposing it upon the whole of Europe, the English
cabinet, henceforth directed by the inheritors of the policy of Pitt, by
Canning and Lord Castlereagh, resolved upon using violence in its turn.
Fearful of seeing the maritime forces of Denmark pass into the power of
Napoleon, England violated the neutrality of this little kingdom, and
forestalled the secret conditions of the treaty of Tilsit. Lord Cathcart,
at the head of a considerable squadron, was charged with the duty of
summoning the Prince Regent to deliver to him the Danish fleet, as a
pledge of the loyal intentions of his country; he offered at the same time
to defend the Danish territory and all its colonies. The prince responded
with bitter irony, "Your protection? Have we not seen your allies waiting
for succor more than a year, without receiving it?" Copenhagen was
bombarded; Sir Arthur Wellesley, whose name, for the first time, became
known in Europe, effected his disembarkation with a corps of 10,000 men.
The prince saw himself compelled to capitulate, and deliver to the English
his fleet, with all the materiel of his arsenals. Vehemently did Europe
reprobate this act of violence. The English cabinet made public the
article of the Treaty of Tilsit, which had furnished the motive for its
aggression. But any effort at mediation was now ridiculous. The Emperor
Alexander perceived it to be so. On the 11th of November, Lord Leveson
Gower, then Ambassador of England at St. Petersburg, received his
passports, and the Czar haughtily adhered to the French alliance. "I deem
it prudent to close one's eyes against the orders which English mercantile
vessels have received to quit Russian ports," said General Savary, whom
Napoleon had accredited to the Emperor Alexander. The latter treated the
French envoy with distinction, but the court and world of St. Petersburg
had not forgotten the part that Savary had taken in the murder of the Duke
d'Enghien; he remained isolated in his palace, and even in the saloons of
the emperor. The Russian declaration of war was responded to by the
manifesto of England. "Publish the treaty of Tilsit, with the secret
articles," said Canning; "they have not been communicated to England, but
we are acquainted with them, nevertheless; they will explain to Europe our
conduct and our fears, as well as the change of attitude on the part of
Russia." The Emperor Napoleon was already regretting the magnificent
prospect which he had opened before the Czar on the side of Turkey; the
government of the Sublime Porte had adroitly accepted the mediation of
France. Napoleon sought to excite the covetousness of the Russians towards
the north; M, de Caulaincourt, who had replaced Savary at St. Petersburg,
pushed forward with ardor the war against Sweden, and the conquest of
Finland. As a consequence of the English aggression, Denmark had cast
itself into the arms of France; it accordingly became easy to close
against England the passage of the Sound. The Czar and his favorite
counsellor, M. de Romanzoff, returned ceaselessly to the hopes that
Napoleon had led them to conceive. "The ancient Ottoman Empire is played
out," said the Russian minister; "unless the Czar lays his hand on it, the
Emperor Napoleon will be soon obliged to announce in the _Moniteur_ that
the succession of the Sultans is open, and the natural heirs have only to
present themselves."

In the meantime, and as a constant menace against an ally whom he was not
completely satisfying, Napoleon was prolonging his occupation of the
Prussian territory, under the pretext of the alleged slowness of payment
of the war contributions; he was organizing provisionally the government
of Hanover, which he had reserved as a future bait for the English
government; and he was treating with Spain for the passage of troops
necessary for the invasion of Portugal. This power, constantly faithful to
the English alliance, having refused to give in its adhesion to the
continental blockade, the emperor had sent against it General Junot with
26,000 men. The negotiations with Madrid had not been completed, and the
French soldiers had already entered Spanish territory. A second army was
preparing to follow them. Austria remained disquieted, and ready to take
offence; a convention favorable to her was signed at Fontainebleau, on
October 10th. On the 27th the eventual and provisional partition of
Portugal was accepted by the Spanish envoy, Yzquierdo. A kingdom of
Southern Lusitania was assigned to the Queen of Etruria, who renounced her
Italian possessions; the independent principality of Algarve was to be
constituted for the Prince de la Paix; the emperor reserved for himself
the centre of the country, conquered by anticipation. A Spanish corps was
to join the French troops for the invasion of Portugal. General Junot
marched upon Lisbon. Vast projects, unjustifiable in their nature, were
linked with this invasion of the Peninsula, necessarily entailing blunders
and crimes as dangerous as lamentable. Napoleon had resolved upon driving
the Bourbons from all the thrones of Europe, in order to replace them with
Bonapartes. He set out for Italy with the view of completing one part of
his work before laying his hand on Spain.

Quitting Paris on November 16th, the Emperor surprised Eugène Beauharnais
(whom he was about solemnly to adopt) by assuring to him the succession of
the crown of Italy. He ran through the north of the Italian peninsula,
reorganizing at Venice the public services, which had fallen into
desuetude; decreeing the creation of a commune on Mont Cenis; and
providing for the needs of travellers by the new route which he had
opened. At Mantua he had an interview with his brother Lucien, whom he
would have wished to place upon the throne of Portugal, but that the
latter remained obstinately rebellious against the authority of his all-
powerful brother, who required of him the rupture of an already old union
with Madame Jouberthon. Having returned to Milan on the 13th of December,
Napoleon published there, on the 17th, a decree destined to aggravate the
rigors of the continental blockade. By reprisals as unjust as awkward,
directed against decree of Berlin, the English Cabinet had promulgated, on
the 11th of November, 1807, an Order in Council which compelled the ships
of all neutral nations to touch at an English port to import or export
merchandise, paying custom-house dues averaging 25 per cent. The ships
which neglected this precaution were to be declared lawful prizes. In
response, the Emperor Napoleon decreed that any vessel touching at an
English port, or submitting to inspection from an English ship, should be
by that very fact deneutralized, and become in its turn a lawful prize. In
this insensate rivalry, which ruined at the same time the commerce of
England and of the world, the Cabinet of London had taken no care to
modify, in favor of the United States, the rigor of its ordinances. This
was for England the occasion of grave difficulties, and of a war at one
time dangerous. Arbitrary interference and violence were the rule on all
the seas.

Through difficulties and sufferings which threatened to destroy the army
placed under his orders, General Junot arrived at the gates of Lisbon. He
had to struggle with no other enemy than the bad roads and the want of
provisions. Terror had seized upon the royal house of Portugal. The
_Moniteur_ of November 13th already contained an article upon the fall of
the illustrious house of Braganza. "The Prince Regent of Portugal loses
his throne," said the official journal; "he loses it influenced by the
intrigues of the English; he loses it for not having been willing to seize
the English merchandise at Lisbon. What does England do.--this ally so
powerful? She regards with indifference all that is passing in Portugal.
What will she do when Portugal shall be taken? Will she go to seize
Brazil? No; if the English make this attempt the Catholics will drive them
out. The fall of the House of Braganza will remain another proof that the
fall of whatever attaches itself to the English is inevitable."

The Prince Regent of Portugal had thought it possible to arrest the march
of General Junot by sending to him emissaries charged to make all the
submissions required by Napoleon. The envoys had not been able to meet the
French army, scattered and decimated by the ills it had undergone; it
advanced, however, and the news of its approach drove the Court of
Portugal on board the ships which were still to be found at the mouth of
the Tagus. On November 27th the mad queen, her son the prince regent, her
daughters, and nearly all the families of distinction in Lisbon,
accompanied by their servants, crowded on board the Portuguese fleet,
resolved to take their flight to Brazil. From seven to eight thousand
persons, with all their portable property, thus obstructed the mouth of
the Tagus, protected by the English fleet; on the 28th a favorable wind
permitted them to sail. When General Junot entered Lisbon, on the 30th of
November, at eight o'clock in the morning, the treasures which he was
charged to seize were beyond his reach. He established himself without
resistance in the capital, soon overwhelmed with confiscations and war
contributions. "Everything is more easy in the first moment than
afterwards," wrote the Emperor to Junot on the 13th of December, 1807. "Do
not seek for popularity at Lisbon, nor for the means of pleasing the
nation; that would be failing in your aim, emboldening the people, and
preparing misfortunes for yourself. The hope that you conceive of commerce
and prosperity, is a chimera with which one is lulled asleep."

Jerome Bonaparte had been declared King of Westphalia on the 8th of
December. On the 10th the act announced by the treaty of Fontainebleau was
consummated. The Queen Regent of Etruria, Maria Louisa of Bourbon,
declared to her subjects, in the name of her son, that she was called upon
to reign over a new kingdom. Tuscany then fell directly into the hands of
the Emperor Napoleon, who confided its government to his sister, Eliza
Baciocchi, to whom he had already given the principality of Lucca and

Submission or flight! such was the only alternative that seemed to remain
to continental sovereigns in presence of the exactions and the imperious
will of Napoleon. The Pope alone, as already for two years past, was still
resisting his demands, and was evincing an independence with regard to him
which was every day irritating more and more the all-powerful master of
Europe. Sadly disabused of the illusions and the hopes which had drawn him
to Paris for the coronation of Napoleon, Pius VII. had preserved in his
personal communications with the emperor a paternal and tender
graciousness. He had much to obtain and much to fear on the part of the
conqueror. Returning to Italy in the month of June, 1805, he said, in his
allocution to the cardinals: "We have clasped in our arms at Fontainebleau
this prince, so powerful and so full of love for us. Many things have
already been done, and are only the earnest of that which is yet to be

Meanwhile, the Code Napoleon had been applied to Italy, authorizing
divorce, and taking the place of the Italian Concordat, which declared the
Catholic religion to be the religion of the State. The Pope had complained
of it, not without warmth, and had received on the part of the emperor
assurances which were as vain as they were futile. But already the
conflict was becoming personal and more pressing; the refusal of the Holy
Father to dissolve the marriage of Jerome Bonaparte with Miss Paterson
(June, 1805), at once produced antagonism between the conscience of the
Pope and the views of Napoleon as to the elevation of his family to the
new or ancient thrones which he destined for them in Europe. Pius VII. had
long studied canonical interdictions; he consulted neither his ministers
nor his doctors; it was a personal reply he addressed to the emperor. "It
is out of our power." said he, "to pronounce the judgment of nullity; if
we were to usurp such an authority that we have not, we should render
ourselves culpable of an abominable abuse before the tribunal of God; and
your Majesty yourself, in your justice, would blame us for pronouncing a
sentence contrary to the testimony of our conscience and to the invariable
principles of our Church."

Napoleon's anger remained warm, but he had surmounted the difficulty by
dissolving by an imperial decree the marriage of his brother, and by
causing him soon after to marry a princess of Wurtemberg. The disagreement
with the Court of Rome, which was soon to break forth, depended on his
all-powerful will, and caused him no care. In the movement of the troops,
necessitated in October, 1805, by his campaign against Austria, the
emperor had charged General Gouvion St. Cyr to traverse the States of the
Church in order to take up a position in Lombardy. Upon the route lay the
town of Ancona. The French troops received an order to seize the place and
establish a garrison there, an order which was immediately executed.

In spite of the difficulties which had recently arisen between the emperor
and himself, the Pope thought that Napoleon and the French Revolution were
much indebted to him personally. Europe took this view, and frequent
reproaches had been addressed to the Court of Rome by the powers who were
enemies or rivals of France. It was, then, with astonishment, mingled with
indignation, that Pius VII. learnt the news of the occupation of Ancona;
he wrote, on the 13th November, 1805, a personal and secret letter to the
emperor:--"We avow frankly to your Majesty the keen chagrin that we
experience in seeing ourselves treated in a way that we do not think we
have in any degree merited. Our neutrality has been recognized by your
Majesty, as by all other powers. The latter have fully respected it, and
we had especial motives for thinking that the sentiments of amity which
your Majesty professed with regard to us would have preserved us from such
a cruel affront. We will tell you frankly, since our return from Paris we
have experienced only bitterness and trouble, and we do not find in your
Majesty a return of those sentiments which we think ourselves warranted in
justly expecting from you. That which we owe to ourselves is to ask from
your Majesty the evacuation of Ancona, and, if met with a refusal, we
should not see how to reconcile therewith a continuation of a good
understanding with the French minister."

It was from Munich, on the morrow of the battle of Austerlitz and of the
peace of Presburg, that Napoleon at length responded, on the 7th of
January, 1806, to the letter of the Pope, in the midst of the concert of
adulations and transports which were lavished on him by the vanquished as
well as by his courtiers. The protest of Pius VII. recalled to him the
disagreeable remembrance of an independent authority, and one which he had
not been always able to submit to his will; the anger of the despot broke
forth with violence at once spontaneous and measured: "Your Holiness
complains that since your return from Paris you have had nothing but
causes of sorrow. The reason is, that since then all those who were
fearing my power and testifying their friendship have changed their
sentiments, thinking themselves authorized to do so by the power of the
coalition; and that since the return of your Holiness to Rome I have
experienced nothing but refusals to all my designs, even those that were
of the utmost importance to religion; as, for example, when it was a
question of hindering Protestantism from raising its head in France. I
look upon myself as the protector of the Holy See, and by this title I
have occupied Ancona. I look upon myself, like my predecessors of the
second and third dynasty, as the eldest son of the Church, as alone
bearing the sword to protect it and to shelter it from being defiled by
Greeks and Mussulmans. I should ever be the friend of your Holiness, if
you would only consult your heart and the true friends of religion. If
your Holiness wishes to send away my minister, you are free to do so. You
are free to receive in preference the English and the Caliph of
Constantinople. God is the judge who has done most for the religion of all
the princes who reign."

Napoleon had excluded his brother Jerome from the succession to the
Empire, but he affected to dread for France the possibility of a
Protestant sovereign. It was with an increase of coarse violence that he
wrote on the same day to his uncle, Cardinal Fesch: "Since these imbeciles
think there will be no inconvenience in a Protestant occupying the throne
of France, I will send them a Protestant ambassador. I am religious, but I
am not a bigot. Constantine separated the civil from the military, and I
also may appoint a senator to command in my name at Rome. Tell Consalvi--
tell even the Pope himself--that since he wishes to drive my minister from
Rome, I should be well able to re-establish him there. For the Pope, I am
Charlemagne, because, like Charlemagne, I unite the crown of France with
that of the Lombards, and my empire borders on that of the East. I expect
then that his conduct towards me shall be regulated from this point of
view. Otherwise I shall reduce the Pope to the position of Bishop of

The French troops did not evacuate Ancona, and the French minister
remained at Rome. But soon new subjects of disagreement arose between
Napoleon and the Pope, always a scrupulous observer of the neutrality
which he thought due from him to all the powers. The emperor had already
required that all the ports of his allies should be closed against English
commerce; in proportion as his enemies became more numerous and his
arbitrary power more oppressive, he extended his pretensions even over the
countries neutral by situation and by state obligations. Joseph Bonaparte
had just been proclaimed King of Naples; the house of Bourbon occupied in
Italy only the ridiculous throne of Etruria, already on the point of being
taken from them. Napoleon wished to exact from the Pope an interdiction of
his ports and his territory to the exiles or the refugees who had from
time immemorial been accustomed to seek an asylum in Rome. "Your Holiness
would be able to avoid all these embarrassments by going forward in a
straight road," wrote Napoleon to Pius VII., on February 22, 1806. "All
Italy will be subject to my laws. I will not touch in any way the
independence of the Holy See; I will even repay it for the injuries which
the movements of my armies may occasion to it; but it must be on the
condition that your Holiness will show the same regard for me in temporal
affairs as I show for you in spiritual ones, and that you will cease your
useless consideration for the heretical enemies of the Church, and for the
powers who can do nothing for you. Your Holiness is sovereign of Rome, but
I am its emperor. All my enemies ought to be yours. It is not proper then
that any agent of the King of Sardinia, any Englishman, Russian, or Swede,
should reside at Rome or in your states, neither that any ship belonging
to these powers should enter your ports. Those who speak any other
language to your Holiness deceive you, and will end by drawing down upon
you misfortunes that will be disastrous." He added in his letter to
Cardinal Fesch: "Say plainly that I have my eyes open, that I am not
deceived any more than I choose to be; that I am Charlemagne, the sword of
the Church, the emperor; and that they ought not to know that there is an
empire of Russia. I make the Pope acquainted with my intentions in a few
words. If he does not agree, I shall reduce him to the same position which
he occupied before Charlemagne."

It was against Cardinal Consalvi, formerly the clever and firm negotiator
of the Concordat, that the emperor, assisted by Cardinal Fesch, nursed his
suspicions and his anger; he regarded him as systematically hostile to
France; but the attachment of the Pope for his minister remained
unshakable; it was from Consalvi alone that a voluntary submission might
be hoped for. "If he loves his religion and his country, tell Consalvi,
plainly," wrote the emperor to his uncle, "that there are only two courses
to select from--either to do always what I wish, or to quit the ministry."

The moderation and prudent resolutions of the Roman ministry showed itself
in the response of the Pope to the requirements of Napoleon. Already an
obscure Englishman--Mr. Jackson, for a long time accredited to the King of
Sardinia--had excited the mistrust of Napoleon, who insulted him in
official documents. "An English minister, the disgrace of his country,
found in Rome an asylum. There he organized conspiracies, subsidized
brigands, hatched perfidies, bribed assassins; and Rome protected the
traitor and his agents--becoming a theatre of scandal, a manufactory of
libels, and an asylum of brigandage." The only crime of Jackson had been
to keep his court _au courant_ with the state of affairs in Rome. Quietly,
and with all the respect his character merited, Cardinal Consalvi
prevailed on Mr. Jackson to quit Rome. The cardinals were assembled in
secret Consistory. Cardinal Fesch was not summoned; he was informed that
they were aware of his opinions, and that his station as ambassador
disqualified him for the Council of the holy father.

The Consistory did not deceive itself for a single instant as to the
consequences that the concessions demanded by Napoleon would forcibly draw
in their train. "We all saw," says Cardinal Consalvi in his memoirs, "that
far from admitting the neutrality of the Holy See, Bonaparte expected it
in the capacity of feudatory and vassal to take up the quarrels of France
in no matter what war the latter might subsequently be engaged. The Holy
See might then see itself, any morning or evening, attacked by Austria or
Spain, or by all the Catholic or non-Catholic powers. What! the sole
ambition or greed of France was to have the right of despoiling the holy
father of his title of the common father of the faithful, and of
compelling the representative of a God of Peace and the head of the
religious world, to sow everywhere desolation and ruin, by keeping in a
perpetual state of war the nations owing fealty to the tiara."

So many reasons, human and divine, as evident to common sense as to
conscience, decided the response of the Pope. He was moderate, tender,
prudent; but he replied categorically to the requirements of the emperor.
Pius VII wished to remain neuter, and not to drive from his states the
English or the Russians; he did not admit the claim of the emperor to
exercise over Rome a supreme protectorate. "The Pope does not recognize,
and never has recognized, any power superior to himself. Your Majesty is
infinitely great; you have been elected, crowned, consecrated, recognized
emperor of the French, but not emperor of Rome. There exists no emperor of

There was a good deal of boldness in repelling so haughtily the imperial
pretensions; the Pope and Cardinal Consalvi were soon involved in a still
more dangerous course. The accession of the new King of Naples had been
announced to the court of Rome, by Cardinal Fesch, in arrogant terms: "The
throne of Naples being vacant by a penalty incurred by the most scandalous
perfidy of which the annals of nations have ever made mention, and his
Majesty having found himself under the necessity of shielding this
country, and the whole of Italy, from the madness of an insensate court,
has judged it suitable to his dignity to confide the destinies of this
country, which he loves, to a prince of his own house. The undersigned
doubts not but that the Pontifical Government will see in this happy event
a new guarantee of the system of order, justice, and consistency, which he
has always had at heart to establish in all the places which have
submitted to his influence."

To this circuitous demand for the recognition of Joseph Bonaparte, the
Pope replied by urging his ancient feudal rights over the kingdom of
Naples--"agreements," said Cardinal Consalvi, "which have always been
observed, especially in the case of conquests; not only at the
establishment of a new dynasty, but also at the commencement of each new

It was going very far back into history to reclaim doubtful rights.
Napoleon keenly criticised the pretension: "His Majesty needs to make no
researches to become aware of the fact that in times of ignorance the
court of Rome usurped the right of giving away crowns and temporal rights
to the princes of the earth; but if we found that in other ages the court
at Rome dethroned sovereigns, preached crusades, and laid entire kingdoms
under interdict, we should also discover that the Popes have always
considered their temporal power as springing from the French emperors; and
the court of Rome, without doubt, does not claim that Charlemagne received
from it the investiture of his kingdom. If this is to go on," added
Napoleon, brusquely abandoning his historic researches, "I shall cause
Consalvi to quit Rome, and make him responsible for what he is trying to
do, because he is evidently bought by the English. He will see whether or
not I have the power to maintain my imperial crown. Lay stress on that
word _imperial_, and not royal, and upon the fact that the relations of
the Pope with me must be those of his predecessors with the emperors of
the west." [Footnote: Draft of a note sent to Talleyrand by the emperor.]

At the same time, and as the thunder follows the lightning, the court of
Rome learnt that the threat had been followed by performance. Upon the
express order of the Emperor Napoleon, Civita Vecchia had been occupied by
two regiments of the Neapolitan army. The districts of Benevento and
Ponte-Corvo, surrounded by the kingdom of Naples, and belonging to the
Holy See, were erected into principalities in favor of Talleyrand and
Marshal Bernadotte. Cardinal Fesch was recalled. He quitted Rome after a
warm altercation with the Pope. A few days later, and in the vain hope of
ameliorating political relations becoming more and more difficult,
Cardinal Consalvi gave in his resignation. He wrote to Cardinal Caprara,
perpetual papal legate at Paris and completely subject to the imperial
authority: "If any one had told me when I was negotiating the Concordat
that in a short time I should appear to the French Government in the light
of an enemy, I should have thought I was dreaming. But I am too much
attached to the Holy See, to my sovereign, to my benefactor, and to my
country, not to consider myself as compelled to dispel by my retirement
the evils which might result from my presence. His Holiness consents to my
resignation. His object has been to satisfy the emperor, and give him a
proof of his desire to preserve harmony with his government by removing
everything that might compromise it."

The sacrifice of Cardinal Consalvi was useless, and passed unnoticed.
Napoleon required from the Holy See not only submission to his will, but
the acceptance of his principles. The caution of the court of Rome
irritated him more and more. He frightened Cardinal Caprara with a violent
scene: "Write that I demand from his Holiness a declaration without
ambiguity, stating that during the present war, and any other future war,
all the ports of the pontifical states shall be closed to all English
vessels, either of war or commerce. Without this I shall cause all the
rest of the pontifical states to be occupied, I will have the eagles fixed
up over the gates of all its cities and domains, and, as I have done for
Benevento and Ponte Corvo, I shall divide the provinces possessed by the
Pope into so many duchies and principalities, which I shall confer upon
whomsoever I please. If the Pope persists in his refusal, I will establish
a senate at Rome; and when once Rome and the pontifical states shall be in
my hands, they will never be out of them again." Already the revenues of
Civita Vecchia had been seized by Generals Lemarrois and Duhesme. "By what
right do you do this?" demanded an employé of the pontifical treasury.
"You serve a little prince and I serve a great sovereign," replied the
officer; "in that you can see all my right." Such was throughout Europe
the foundation of the right of the Emperor Napoleon. The governor of
Civita Vecchia, Mgr. Negreta, had been seized by force in his residence,
and sent back to Rome without an escort. Personal communication no longer
existed between the Pope and the emperor. The letter of Pius VII., sent by
the hands of Cardinal Caprara, remained unanswered. Alquier alone, who had
succeeded Cardinal Fesch at Rome, still informed Napoleon as to the state
of feeling there. An old Conventional, intelligent and moderate, the
Minister of France, reported to Talleyrand, then Minister of Foreign
Affairs, "People are strangely mistaken as to the character of the
sovereign pontiff, if they have thought his apparent flexibility was
yielding to all that they were striving to impress upon him. In all that
pertains to the authority of the head of the Church, he takes counsel with
himself alone. The Pope has a mild character, but very irritable, and
susceptible of displaying a firmness proof against any trial; already they
are openly saying, 'If the emperor overturns us, his successor will re-
establish us.'"

On the morrow of the battle of Jena, when the ruin of the Prussian
monarchy had added new lustre to the splendor of Napoleon's victories, the
emperor wished to make one last effort in order to establish an absolute
dominion over that little corner of Italy which still preserved an
independent sovereignty. For more than a year he had not accepted any
direct communication with the court of Rome: he commanded the attendance
of Mgr. Arezzo, Bishop _in partibus_ of Seleucia, formerly papal nuncio in
Russia, and who then happened to be at Dresden. The prelate was admitted
to the emperor at Berlin, in the cabinet of the great Frederick: he has
preserved a textual account of his conversation with Napoleon. "What did
you have to do with Russia?" "Your Majesty is aware that there are in
Russia 4,000,000 of Catholics. It is for that reason that the Pope
maintains a representative there." "The Pope ought not to have a minister
at St. Petersburg; the Greeks have always been the enemies of Rome, and I
do not know by what spirit of madness Rome can be possessed to desire the
good of its enemies rather than of its friends. You are about to quit
Dresden, and repair to Rome. You are my enemy. In the first place, you are
not a Sicilian for nothing. I do not mean by that that you have spoken
abusively of me, but you have desired that I should come to nothing, that
my armies should be beaten, and that my enemies should triumph. You are
not the only one to wish me evil; at Rome people think no better than
elsewhere. The Pope is a holy man, whom they make believe whatever they
please. They represent my demands to him under a false aspect, as Cardinal
Consalvi has done, and then the good Pope is roused up to say that he will
be killed rather than yield. Who thinks of killing him, _bon Dieu_? If he
will not take the course I wish, I will certainly deprive him of his
temporal power at Rome, but I shall always respect him as the head of the
Church. There is no necessity that the Pope should be sovereign of Rome.
The most holy Popes were not so. I shall secure him a good appanage of
three millions, upon which he can properly keep up his position; and I
shall place at Rome a king or a senator, and I shall divide his states
into so many duchies. In reality, the main point of the matter is, that I
wish the Pope to accede to the confederation; I expect him to be the
friend of my friends, and the enemy of my enemies. In fifteen days you
will be at Rome, and will peremptorily signify this to him." "Your Majesty
will permit me to repeat to him that which has been already said to him so
many times: that the Pope, being the common father of the faithful, cannot
separate himself from some to attach himself to others; and his ministry
being a ministry of peace, he cannot make war against anybody, nor declare
himself the enemy of any one whatever without failing in his duties and
compromising his sacred character." "But I do not claim at all that he
should make war against anybody. I wish him to shut his ports against the
English, and that he should not receive them into his states, and that not
being able to defend his ports and fortresses he should permit me to
defend them. Rest assured that at Rome they have lost their heads. They
have no longer there the great men of the time of Leo X. Ganganelli would
not have conducted himself in this style. I wish to be in safety in my own
house. The whole of Italy belongs to me by right of conquest. Let the Pope
do what I wish, and he will be recompensed for the past and for the
future. I only forewarn you that all must be completed before the 1st of
January: if the Pope will consent, he will lose nothing; if he will
refuse, then I shall take away his states. Excommunications are no longer
in fashion, and my soldiers will not refuse to march wherever I send them.
Call to mind Charles V., who kept the Pope prisoner, and who made him
recite prayers for him at Madrid. I shall take the same course if I am
brought to bay."

Mgr. Arezzo having asked for some prolongation of the delay: "Ah well! I
give you till February," replied the emperor; "but let everything be
finished before February." "And where will it be necessary to send the
ambassador of the Pope? to Berlin, to Warsaw, to St. Petersburg? Your
Majesty moves so quickly!" Napoleon began to laugh. "No, to Paris," said

It was in fact at Paris, in the month of October, 1807, when the victory
of Friedland had delivered Russia, like Prussia, to the influence of
Napoleon, that the envoy of the Pope succeeded in obtaining an audience--
not of the emperor, but of Champagny, his new Minister of Foreign Affairs.
New difficulties had aggravated the bitterness of the relations between
France and Rome. Pius VII., however, had perceived that the requirements
of the emperor, so absolute in their harshness, would not yield to his
moderate and passive resistance. He had authorized his French
representative, the Cardinal de Bayanne, to make an important concession.
"The last demands of his Imperial Majesty," wrote Cardinal Casoni,
Minister of State, on the 14th of October, "are limited as regards the
English to the closure of the ports. The holy father has every reason to
think that his adherence ought to be limited to this closure; but if
anything else is required of him he will consent to it, provided that it
does not compel him to engage in actual war, and that it does not injure
the independence of the pontifical sovereignty. It will he desirable then
that your Eminence and the cardinal legate, to whom this despatch is
common, should be on your guard, to concert the explanation and import of
these words in order to satisfy his Imperial Majesty as the holy father
desires, but at the same time not to impose upon his Holiness an
obligation opposed to his duties and his honor."

This was a good deal to grant, and it curtailed considerably the formal
declarations of neutrality so often repeated by the court of Rome.
Napoleon required still more, and his secret thoughts were not in accord
with his public declarations. The obstacles to the free choice of an
ambassador; the requirements with regard to the full powers which were to
be conferred on Cardinal de Bayanne; the forcible hindrance to the journey
of the latter, arbitrarily detained at Milan; the systematic neglect of
his requests for an audience--clearly proved the decision taken to obtain
all or nothing--to subjugate or break the pontifical power. The last
offers of the Pope fully satisfied the demands of the emperor, as
expressed by Cardinal Fesch, Talleyrand, and Napoleon himself again and
again. Champagny declared that these concessions were no longer
sufficient. The Pope was to engage himself to make common cause with the
Emperor Napoleon, and to unite his land and sea forces with those of
France in all wars against England. The ports closed against the English;
the care of the ports of Ostia, Ancona, and Civita Vecchia confided to
France; 2000 men of the French troops maintained at Ancona at the cost of
the Holy See; and concessions without reserve on the subject of the number
of French cardinals, as of the consecration of Italian bishops--such were
the conditions of the convention presented to the Cardinal de Bayanne by
Champagny. A few other articles, treating of the spiritual power, and
which had been abandoned at the request of Cardinal Fesch, remained as a
menace suspended over the head of the negotiator, in case his submission
should not be sufficiently prompt and complete. General Lemarrois had
already taken possession of the duchy of Urbino, of the province of
Macerata, of Fermo, and Spoleto. The Cardinal de Bayanne was still
negotiating, but the order for his recall had been sent from Rome (9th of
November, 1807). "God and the world will do us justice against the
proceedings of the emperor, let them be what they may," wrote Pius VII.

The exactions of Champagny had heaped up a measure which was already
overflowing. In full Consistory, and without any hesitation on the part of
either Pope or cardinals, the proposals were unanimously rejected. "This
is the fruit of our journey to Paris, of our patience, of the forbearance
which has led us to make so many sacrifices, to suffer so many
humiliations. If such pretensions are persisted in, you must immediately
demand your passport, and come away." Such were the instructions sent on
the 2nd of December to the Cardinal de Bayanne by the holy father. The
orders sent by the emperor to his agents did not wait long for a response.
Already for some time past very considerable forces had been grouped to
the north and south of the pontifical states, under the orders of General
Miollis. Six thousand Frenchmen were destined for this expedition. A
Neapolitan column of 3000 men was to occupy Terracina. All the movements
of the troops had been carefully calculated and foreseen; the care of
watching over their execution was confided to Prince Eugène and the King
of Naples. The emperor wrote to Champagny on the 22nd of January, 1808:

"On the 25th of January the French army will be at Perugia; on the 3rd of
February it will be at Rome. The express, setting out on the 25th, will
arrive at Rome on the 1st of February, and will thus carry your orders to
Signer Alquier two days before the troops arrive. You ought to make known
to Signer Alquier that General Miollis, who commands my troops, and who
appears to be directing his course towards Naples, will stay at Rome and
take possession of the castle of St. Angelo. When Signer Alquier shall
become aware that the troops are at the gate of Rome, he shall present to
the Cardinal Secretary of State the subjoined note: 'The arrival of
General Miollis has for its aim the protection of the rearguard of the
army of Naples. On his way, he presents himself at Rome to give force to
the measures which the emperor has resolved on taking to purge this city
of the scoundrels to whom it has given asylum, and consequently to all the
enemies of France.' You will put in cipher in your despatch the following
paragraph: 'The intention of the emperor is to accustom by this note, and
by these proceedings, the people of Rome and the French troops to live
together, in order that if the court of Rome should continue to show
itself as insensate as it now is, it might insensibly cease to exist as a
temporal power without any notice being taken of it.' Nevertheless, whilst
desiring to avoid disturbance, and to leave things _in statu quo_, I am
prepared to take strong measures the first time the Pope indulges in any
bull or manifesto; for a decree shall be immediately published, revoking
the gift of Charlemagne, and reuniting the states of the Church to the
kingdom of Italy, furnishing proofs of the evils that religion has
suffered through the sovereignty of Rome, and making apparent the contrast
between Jesus Christ dying on the cross and His successor making himself a

It was not without a certain uneasiness that the emperor was preparing
thus to use violence against an unarmed sovereign, and historical decrees
were not the only arms on which he expected to rely. "The slightest
insurrection that may break out," wrote he to Prince Eugène (February 7th,
1808), "must be repressed with grape-shot, if necessary, and severe
examples must be made."

No insurrection broke out; the Pope and his followers had resolved upon
giving to the world a startling demonstration of the material
powerlessness of the Holy See in presence of brute force. Whilst General
Miollis was entering Rome, on February 2nd, 1808, at eight o'clock in the
morning, disarming the pontifical troops in order to seize upon the Castle
of St. Angelo, the Pope was officiating in the chapel of the Quirinal,
surrounded by the Sacred College. The palace was invested by the troops,
and cannon were pointed at the walls; the cardinals went forth without
tumult or protest. The French officers were not a little surprised to see
them get into their carriages and retire without letting any trace of
annoyance be visible on their countenances. [Footnote: Memoirs of Cardinal

Only a protest by the holy father, conceived in the most moderate terms,
was affixed to the walls of Rome: "Not having been able to comply with all
the demands which have been made to him on the part of the French
Government, because the voice of his conscience and his sacred duties
forbade it, his Holiness Pius VII. has believed it his duty to submit to
the disastrous consequences with which he has been threatened as the
result of his refusal, and even the military occupation of his capital.
Resigned in the humility of his heart to the unsearchable judgments of
heaven, he commits his cause into the hands of God; but at the same time,
unwilling to fail in his essential obligations to guarantee the rights of
his sovereignty, he has given orders to protest, as he protests daily,
against every usurpation of his dominions, his will being that the rights
of the Holy See should be and remain always intact."

The times of supreme violence had not yet come, and the emperor himself
had not perhaps foreseen to what extremities he would be led, by the
aggression he had just committed, and the underhand struggle he had been
maintaining for three years against the conscientious will of an unarmed
old man. However, the habitual roughness of his arbitrary proceedings did
not fail to manifest themselves from the beginning. Champagny had been
ordered to declare to the Cardinal de Bayanne that the French soldiers
established at Rome would remain there until the Pope should have entered
into the Italian Confederation, and should have consented to make common
cause with the powers composing it, in every case and against all enemies.
"This condition is the _sine qua non_ of his Majesty's proposal. If the
Pope does not accept it, his Majesty will not know how to recognize his
temporal sovereignty. He has decided to transfer the power of Rome into
secular hands."

At the same time, and as a necessary commentary on these imperious
injunctions, the foreign cardinals in the pontifical states received
orders from Napoleon to quit Rome. The Neapolitan cardinals, to the number
of seven, had up to that time refused to take an oath to King Joseph. At
the first news of the measure which threatened them, the Pope ordered them
to remain near himself, "for the service of the Holy See;" they were
seized in their houses, and conducted to the frontiers of the kingdom of
Naples by gendarmes. On March 10th the same order was addressed by the
emperor to the vice-King of Italy for fourteen new members of the Sacred
College. "Let Litta return to Milan; let the Genoese return to Genoa, the
Italians to the kingdom of Italy, the Piedmontese to Piedmont, the
Neapolitans to Naples. This measure is to be executed by fair means or
foul. Since it is the cardinals who have lost the states of the Church by
their evil counsels, let them return every one to his own place." Cardinal
Casoni, till recently Secretary of State to the Pope, and Cardinal Doria
Pamphili, now officiating--the one born at Sarzana, the other a Genoese--
were prevented by this interdiction from living in the Roman States.
Alquier, the minister of France, was quietly recalled to Paris; a simple
secretary of legation remained at Rome to represent the diplomatic
service. General Miollis well seconded the intentions of the emperor with
regard to the Holy See. Against the advice of his counsellors, the Pope
sent to Cardinal Caprara an order to quit Paris. "Violence has been
resorted to," wrote Pius VII. to his easygoing legate, "even to laying
hands on four of our cardinals and conducting them to Naples in the midst
of an armed force; an excess which only requires the violation of our own
personal freedom for the scandal to be complete. We cannot, by the
residence of our representative with the French Government, give occasion
for thinking any longer that we are not deeply wounded by the persecution
we have been made to suffer, and the oppression manifested towards the
Holy See. Our intention is, then, if our capital is not without delay
evacuated by the French troops, that you should demand your passports, and
that you should set out with the Cardinal de Bayanne, our legate
extraordinary, in order to come and share with us and your brothers the
lot which is reserved for us."

I wished to tell in some detail the relations of Napoleon with the court
of Rome, because they clearly point out the first steps decidedly taken
along a path that grew more and more daring. Conquest had for a long time
borne its bitter fruits. Conquered sovereigns had submitted to the yoke
and to the haughty requirements of the conqueror; such was the absolute
right of victory, and those who suffered from it recognized a power which
in all time had belonged to the conqueror. The emperor henceforth went
much further than this; he did not confine himself to fighting,
conquering, and dispossessing those he had vanquished, and dividing their
spoils. He began at Rome to impose his arbitrary caprices upon a prince
who had never taken up arms against him. At the same time, and by a
manoeuvre concocted in the most masterly manner, and yet most inexcusable,
he was about to dethrone a king, his ally, humbly submissive to his power
and his exactions. The throne of Spain was the only one still occupied by
a prince of the house of Bourbon. Napoleon had resolved upon seating a
Bonaparte upon it. Already the troops destined for this enterprise were
quitting Paris, marching, without knowing it, towards long disasters.
Yielding to the irresistible impulses of absolute power without limits and
without a curb, Napoleon was led into having recourse to every description
of violence, and making use of every kind of perfidy. He wished to be
everywhere and always obeyed. For six years past no one had resisted his
will without being crushed; he was at last about to meet with a check--at
Rome, in the conscience of the Pope; in Spain, in the passions of an
aroused people.

The situation of Spain had for a long time been sad and wretched. Governed
by a favorite, whose crimes he ignored, King Charles IV. had abandoned
power into the hands of the Prince de la Paix. At his side, and in a
condition of suspicion which resembled captivity, the heir to the throne,
Ferdinand, Prince of Asturias, had become the idol of the people, as a
consequence of the scorn and aversion inspired by the favorite. The young
prince, weak and cunning, submissive in his turn to his old tutor, the
Canon Escoiquiz, was carrying on underhand intrigues with a few great
lords who were devoted to him. He had attached to himself Beauharnais, the
ambassador of France, an upright and sincere man, with no great political
penetration. The little council of the prince had thought themselves
capable of concluding an alliance between Ferdinand and the all-powerful
sovereign of France. On the 11th of October, 1807, the Prince of Asturias
sent by Beauharnais a letter addressed to the "hero who threw into the
shade all those who had preceded him;" Ferdinand solicited the hand of a
princess of the imperial house.

It was the moment of the negotiation of the treaty of Fontainebleau and
the anticipated partition of Portugal. On the same day on which the
signatures were exchanged (October 27th, 1807) the Prince of Asturias, for
a long time suspected of criminal intrigues, was arrested at Madrid, as
well as his accomplices. On the 29th, King Charles IV. wrote to the
emperor, in order to make him acquainted with the sad discovery which had
just wounded all his paternal sentiments. "I pray your Majesty," added the
unfortunate monarch, "to aid me with your knowledge and advice."

The troops that were to enter Spain were ready, and the first movement of
Napoleon was to march them forward immediately. The trouble existing in
the royal house afforded a ready excuse for an intervention entreated at
once by both father and son. The King of Spain himself invoked assistance.
The army of the Gironde was immediately reinforced and provisioned. A
second corps was already preparing, but the Prince de la Paix discovered
in the correspondence of Ferdinand the proof of his relations with
Beauharnais. He did not wish to compromise his principality of Algarve by
exciting the anger of Napoleon: the Prince of Asturias was exempted from
the law, and his pardon solemnly proclaimed in an official decree by
Charles IV. Only his accomplices were prosecuted, but the tribunals
acquitted them. Meanwhile the army of the Gironde, under General Dupont,
had entered Spain. The corps for watching the sea coasts, commanded by
Marshal Moncey, followed in the same direction. Other detachments seized
upon the fortresses of the frontiers. "On arriving at Pampeluna, General
Duhesme will take possession of the town," wrote the emperor to General
Clarke, Minister of War (January 28th, 1808), "and without making any show
he will occupy the citadel and the fortifications, treating the
commandants and the inhabitants with the greatest courtesy, making no
movement, and saying that he is expecting further orders."

The orders were not long in arriving; 100,000 men of the grand army were
effecting a backward movement, approaching France, and consequently Spain.
At the same time, Joachim Murat, the living hero of hazardous and doubtful
enterprises, had just been appointed general-in-chief of the armies in
Spain. His instructions were all military. "Do not disturb in any manner
the division of Duhesme," wrote the emperor to his lieutenant, on the 16th
of March, 1808; "leave that where it is. It guards Barcelona and holds
that province, and fulfils its purpose sufficiently. When the 3000 men of
the reinforcement who are about to rejoin this division, and who will be
at Barcelona towards the 5th or 6th of April, shall have arrived, it will
be another thing. Then he will have an army capable of carrying him
anywhere. At the moment when you receive this letter, the head of General
Verdier's corps will touch the borders of Spain, and General Merle ought
to find himself at Burgos. Continue to speak smooth words. Reassure the
king, the Prince de la Paix, the Prince of Asturias, and the queen. The
great thing is to arrive at Madrid, and there let your troops rest, and
replenish their stores of provisions. Say that I am soon coming in order
to reconcile and arrange matters; above all, do not commit any
hostilities, if it can possibly be helped. I hope that everything may be
arranged, and it would be dangerous to scare these folks too much."

Murat had conceived intoxicating hopes which did not tend to the
tranquillity of the Spanish court. He had asked for political
instructions, which were refused to him. "What I do not tell you is what
you ought not to know," wrote Napoleon to his lieutenant. Uneasiness and
fear reigned in the household of the king, under the outside show of
welcome lavished on the French soldiers. Already the Prince de la Paix was
preparing for the flight of the royal family. That which the house of
Braganza had done by setting out for Brazil, the house of Bourbon could do
by taking refuge in Peru. The departure of the court for Seville was
announced; it was the first step in a longer journey, of which the project
had not yet been revealed to Charles IV. The royal family were besides
profoundly divided. The Prince of Asturias swore that he would not quit
Aranjuez; his uncle Don Antonio supported him in resistance. A few of the
ministers were seemingly throwing off the yoke of the Prince de la Paix.
The Marquis of Caballero, the Minister of Justice, refused to sign the
orders necessary for the departure. "I command it," said the Prince de la
Paix imperiously. "I only receive orders from the king," said the Spanish
nobleman in a tone to which the favorite was not accustomed.

Meanwhile the population of Madrid, and the peasants in the environs of
Aranjuez, were stirred up by the reports of the departure which circulated
in the country; the preparations carried on by the confidants of the
Prince de la Paix, excited much anger and uneasiness. An agitated and
inquisitive crowd ceaselessly surrounded the palace, carefully watching
all the movements of the inmates: a proclamation of the King, promising
not to withdraw, did not suffice to allay suspicion. On the night of March
17th, a veiled lady came forth from the house of the Prince de la Paix to
a carriage which was waiting for her. The multitude thought they had
discovered a prelude to the departure; all hands were extended to stay the
fugitive. In the struggle a shot was fired; the crowd immediately rushed
forward, forcing the gates, and overturning the guards who protected the
palace of the favorite. In an instant his dwelling was pillaged, his art
treasures destroyed, his tapestries torn up and scattered to the winds. We
have been witnesses of the sorrowful results of popular fury. The Princess
de la Paix alone, trembling for her life in the palace where her just
pride had so often suffered, was spared by the vengeance of the multitude;
they brought her in triumph to the house of the king. "Behold innocence!"
cried the people. The Prince de la Paix had disappeared.

They were seeking for him thirty-six hours, and the anxiety of the king
and queen was becoming insupportable; both loudly demanded their favorite.
With a view of turning away the anger of the people from his head, Charles
IV. issued an edict depriving Emanuel Godoy, Prince de la Paix, of all his
offices and dignities, and authorizing him to choose for himself the place
of his retreat. The favorite had more correctly estimated the hatred
excited against himself; he had sought no other retreat than a loft in his
palace. There, rolled up in a mat, with a few pieces of gold in his hands,
he waited for the moment to take his flight. On March 19th, at ten o'clock
in the morning; as he attempted to escape secretly, he was perceived by a
soldier of that guard to which he had formerly belonged; immediately
arrested, he was dragged to a guard-house. When he at length reached this
sad refuge he was bruised and bleeding, from the blows showered upon him
by all those who could reach him through the crowding ranks of the
multitude and the barriers formed by the soldiers. At the barracks where
the Prince de la Paix lay on the straw, the Prince of Asturias came to
seek him out in the name of his parents, and to promise him his life. "Art
thou already king, that thou canst thus dispense pardon?" asked Godoy,
with a bitter perception of the change which had been effected in the
position of the prince as in his own. "No," replied Ferdinand, "but I soon
shall be."

The royal uneasiness did not permit them long to leave the favorite in a
guard-house, a prey to the insults and ill-usage of the populace; the king
and queen remained obstinately faithful to their friend. A coach was got
ready to take him away to a place of safety; as soon as it appeared, the
people threw themselves upon the carriage and broke it up. When the noise
reached the palace the old king burst into tears: "My people no longer
love me!" cried he; "I will no longer reign over them. I shall abdicate in
favor of my son." The queen's mind was occupied with no other thought than
the safety of Godoy; she thought it assured by this renunciation of the
throne, and willingly set her hands to it. The act of abdication was
immediately made public, and saluted, at Madrid as at Aranjuez, by the
transports of the multitude. Henceforth King Ferdinand VII. was alone
surrounded by the courtiers; his aged father remained abandoned in the
palace of Aranjuez. Murat was already approaching Madrid, and all eyes
were turned towards him as towards the forerunner of the supreme arbiter.
Ferdinand VII. hastened to send emissaries to him. The Queen of Etruria,
who had only just reached her parents, wrote to him conjuring him to come
to Aranjuez, to judge for himself of the situation. On March 25th, 1808,
the French army made its entry into the capital.

The popular insurrection which had overthrown the Prince de la Paix and
provoked the abdication of Charles IV., had thwarted the plans of Napoleon
so far as his lieutenant was able to divine them. The flight of the royal
family would have left the throne of Spain vacant, and Murat had cherished
the hope of posing as a liberator of the Spanish nation, delivered from
the yoke so long imposed on it by a miserable favorite. In the presence of
a new and popular royalty, born of a patriotic sentiment, Murat
comprehended for the first time the necessity of reserve and prudence. The
distrust of the new monarch as regards fallen royalty, the anger and ill-
will of the parents as regards the son who had dethroned them, were to
bring both parties before the powerful protector who had been wise enough
beforehand to effect a military occupation of their country. It was
important to remain free, and to prepare for war with King Ferdinand VII.
The popular passion naturally offered a point of support against Charles
IV., his wife, and his favorite. Montyon, aide-de-camp to Murat, repaired
to Aranjuez, counselling the old king to draw up a protest against the
violence of which he had been the victim. Until then, the queen in the
letters which she had addressed to Napoleon and to Murat, had only asked
for a place in which to lay her head: "Let the grand duke prevail upon the
emperor to give to the king my husband, to myself, and to the Prince de la
Paix, sufficient for all three to subsist upon in a place good for our
health, free from oppression or intrigues." At the instigation of Murat,
and not without some hesitation, Charles IV. declared that he had only
abdicated in order to avoid greater evils, and to prevent the effusion of
the blood of his subjects, "which rendered the act null and of no effect."
Murat at the same time made use of the friendship and confidence which had
long existed between Beauharnais and Ferdinand VII., to suggest to this
prince the idea of presenting himself before the emperor and asking
sanction for his royal authority. The Spanish troops received orders to
effect a retrograde movement, and the new monarch solemnly entered into
Madrid on the 24th of March, amidst impassioned cries of joy from the

The lieutenant had well divined the idea of the imperious master from whom
he was separated by a distance that perilously retarded his orders. The
emperor had heard the news of the royal departure for Seville and for
America. He had written, on March 23rd, the same day upon which Murat had
watered Madrid in the footprints of the revolutions: "I suppose I am about
to receive the news of all that will have taken place at Madrid on the
17th and 18th of March." Unforeseen events having occurred, he wrote to
Murat on the 27th: "You are to prevent any harm from being done, either to
the king or queen or to the Prince de la Paix. If the latter is brought to
trial, I imagine that I shall be consulted. You are to tell M. de
Beauharnais that I desire him to intervene, and that this affair should be
hushed up. Until the new king is recognized by me you are to act as if the
old king was still reigning; on that point you are to await my orders. As
I have already commanded you, maintain good order at Madrid; prevent any
extraordinary warlike preparations. Employ M. de Beauharnais in all this
until my arrival, which you are to declare to be imminent. You are always
saying that you have no instructions; I give you them every time; I tell
you to keep your troops well rested, to replenish your commissariat, and
not to prejudice the question in any way. It seems to me that you have no
need to know anything more."

The political instructions were to reach Murat through the agency of
General Savary, often charged by the emperor with delicate missions
requiring absolute and unscrupulous devotion. On seizing by stratagem the
fortress of Pampeluna, General Darmagnac had frankly said, "This is dirty
work." General Savary obeyed without reserve, always absorbed in the
enterprise confided to him, and never letting himself be turned aside by
any obstacle. The emperor wrote on the 30th of March to the Grand Duke of

"I received your letters with those of the King of Spain. Snatch the
Prince de la Paix from the hands of these people. My intention is that no
harm shall be done to him, since he is two leagues from Madrid and almost
in your reach; I shall be much vexed to hear that any evil has happened to

"The king says that he will repair to your camp; I wait to know that he is
in safety, in order to make known to you my intentions. You have done
well in not recognizing the Prince of Asturias.

"You are to place King Charles IV. at the Escurial, to treat him with the
greatest respect, to declare that he continues always to rule in Spain,
until I shall have recognized the revolution.

"I strongly approve your conduct in these unforeseen circumstances. I
suppose you will not have allowed the Prince de la Paix to perish, and
that you will not have permitted King Charles to go Badajoz. If he is
still in your hands, you must dissemble with Beauharnais, and say that you
cannot recognize the Prince of Asturias, whom I have not recognized; that
it is necessary to let King Charles come to the Escurial; that the first
thing I shall require on my arrival will be to see him. Take all measures
not to have his life in jeopardy. I hope the position in which you find
yourself will have led you to adopt a sound policy."

On the 27th of March, three days before ordering Murat to hold the balance
suspended between father and son, Napoleon had written to the King of
Holland, Louis Bonaparte: "My brother, the King of Spain has just
abdicated; the Prince de la Paix has been thrown into prison. The
commencement of an insurrection has broken forth at Madrid. On that
occasion my troops were forty leagues away from Madrid. The Grand Duke of
Berg was to enter on the 23rd with 40,000 men. Up to this time the people
loudly call for me. Certain that I should have no solid peace with England
except by effecting a great change on the continent, I have resolved to
place a French prince upon the throne of Spain. The climate of Holland
does not suit you. Besides, Holland would never know how to emerge from
its ruins. In this whirlwind of the world, whether we have peace or not,
there are no means by which Holland can sustain herself. In this state of
things, I think of you for the throne of Spain. You will be the sovereign
of a generous nation, of 11,000,000 of men, and of important colonies.
With economy and activity, Spain could have 60,000 men under arms and
fifty vessels in her ports. You perceive that this is still only a
project, and that, although I have 100,000 men in Spain, it is possible,
according to the circumstances that may arise, either that I may march
directly, and that all may be accomplished in a fortnight, or that I may
march more slowly, and that this may be a secret during several months of
operations. Answer me categorically. If I appoint you King of Spain, do
you agree? Can I count upon you? Answer me only these two words: 'I have
received your letter of such date; I answer Yes;' and then I shall
conclude that you will do what I wish; or, otherwise, 'No,' which will
give me to understand that you do not agree to my proposition. Do not take
anyone into your confidence, and do not speak to anyone whatever as to the
purport of this letter, for a thing must be done before we confess to
having thought of it."

Full of these resolves, which he had not yet completely revealed to his
most intimate confidants, the emperor quitted Paris on the 2nd of April.
He was expected in Spain, and he had announced his arrival over and over
again, but his purpose was not to push forward his journey so far.
Already, at the instigation of General Savary, who knowingly seconded the
advice innocently given by Beauharnais, the new king had resolved upon
presenting himself before Napoleon. The latter was equally expecting the
arrival of the Prince de la Paix, the bearer of messages from the king,
Charles IV., and the queen. The emperor had written on his behalf to
Marshal Bessières, recommending him to protect the progress of the
formerly all-powerful favorite. "I have not to complain of him in any
way," said he; "he is only sent into France for his safety; reassure him
by all means." The counsellors of Ferdinand VII. refused to allow the
Prince de la Paix to set out; he was regarded as a hostage. The young king
had vainly solicited from his father a letter of introduction to Napoleon.
"In this letter," said he, "you will felicitate the emperor on his
arrival, and you bear witness that I have the same sentiments with regard
to him that you have always shown." Anger and distrust remained very
powerful in the little court of Aranjuez. Ferdinand VII. set out on the
10th of April, accompanied by General Savary, who lavished upon him the
royal titles rigorously refused by Murat. The emperor had given similar
instructions to Bessières. "Without entering into the political question,
on those occasions on which you will be compelled to speak of the Prince
of Asturias do not call him Ferdinand VII.; evade the difficulty by
calling those who rule at Madrid the government." A junta, or Council of
State, had been formed at Madrid, under the presidency of the Infanta Don
Antonio, in order to direct affairs in the absence of the new monarch. The
latter had already arrived at Burgos.

Napoleon had not yet passed Bordeaux, where he remained a few days,
designedly vying in delay with the Spanish court. He wrote on the 10th of
April to Murat: "If the Prince of Asturias presents himself at Burgos and
at Bayonne, he will have kept his word. When the end that I propose to
myself, and with which Savary will have made you acquainted, is
accomplished, you will be able to declare verbally and in all
conversations that my intention is not only to preserve the integrity of
the provinces and the independence of the country, but also the privileges
of all classes, and that I will pledge myself to do that; that I am
desirous of seeing Spain happy, and in such circumstances that I may never
see it an object of dread to France. Those who wish for a liberal
government and the regeneration of Spain will find them in my plan; those
who fear the return of the queen and the Prince de la Paix may be
reassured, since those individuals will have no influence and no credit.
The nobles who wish for consideration and honors which they did not have
in the past administration, will find them. Good Spaniards who wish for
tranquillity and a wise administration, will find these advantages in a
system which will maintain the integrity and independence of the Spanish

Perhaps some provision of the _system_ that the Emperor Napoleon was
projecting had crossed the mind of Ferdinand VII. and of his counsellors;
perhaps the Spanish pride was wounded by the little eagerness to set foot
in Spain shown by the all-powerful sovereign of the French. Certain it is
that General Savary, who had had much difficulty in persuading Ferdinand
VII. to decide on pursuing his journey beyond Burgos, failed in his
efforts to induce him to quit Vittoria. The behavior of the general became
rude and haughty. "I set out for Bayonne," said he; "you will have
occasion to regret your decision." Napoleon arrived, in fact, at Bayonne a
few hours after his envoy.

Two days later General Savary retook the road to Vittoria, $he bearer of a
letter from the emperor for the _Prince of Asturias_.

"My brother, I have received the letter of your Royal Highness. You ought
to have found proof, by the papers which you have had from the king your
father, of the interest I have always taken in him. You will permit me,
under the circumstances, to speak to you freely and faithfully. On
arriving at Madrid I was hoping to induce my illustrious friend to accept
a few reforms necessary in his states, and to give some satisfaction to
public opinion. The dismissal of the Prince de la Paix appeared to me
necessary for his happiness and that of his subjects. The affairs of the
north have retarded my journey. The events of Aranjuez have taken place. I
am not the judge of what has passed, and of the conduct of the Prince de
la Paix; but I know well that it is dangerous for kings to accustom their
people to shed blood and do justice for themselves. I pray God that your
Royal Highness may not one day have to make the experiment. How could you
bring the Prince de la Paix to trial without including with him the queen,
and your father the king? He has no longer any friends. Your Royal
Highness will have none if ever you are unfortunate. The people willingly
avenge themselves for the honor they render to us. I have often manifested
a desire that the Prince de la Paix should be withdrawn from affairs; the
friendship of King Charles has as often induced me to hold my tongue and
turn away my eyes from the weakness of his attachment. Miserable men that
we are! feebleness and error are our mottoes. But all this can be set
right. Let the Prince de la Paix be exiled from Spain, and I will offer
him a refuge in France. As to the abdication of Charles IV., it took place
at a moment when my armies covered Spain, and in the eyes of Europe and of
posterity I should appear to have despatched so many troops only to
precipitate from the throne my ally and friend. As a neighboring sovereign
it is permitted me to wish to become fully acquainted with this abdication
before recognizing it. I say to your Royal Highness, to the Spaniards, to
the entire world, If the abdication of King Charles is a spontaneous
movement, if it has not been forced upon him by the insurrection and the
mob of Aranjuez, I make no difficulty about admitting it, and I recognize
your Royal Highness as King of Spain. I desire then to talk with you on
this point. When King Charles informed me of the occurrence of October
last I was sorrowfully affected by it.

"Your Royal Highness has been much in the wrong: I did not require as a
proof of it the letter you wrote to me, and which I have always wished to
ignore. Should you be a king in your turn you would know how sacred are
the rights of the throne; any application to a foreign sovereign on the
part of an hereditary prince is criminal. As regards the marriage of a
French princess with your Royal Highness, I hold it would be conformable
to the interests of my people, and above all a circumstance which would
attach me by new bonds to a family that has won nothing but praises from
me since I ascended the throne. Your Royal Highness ought to mistrust the
outbreaks of popular emotions; they may be able to commit a few murders on
my isolated soldiers, but the ruin of Spain would be the result of it.
Your Highness understands my thoughts fully; you see that I am floating
between diverse ideas, that require to be fixed. You may be certain that
in any case I shall comport myself towards you as towards the king your

On receiving this letter, by turns menacing and caressing, and on
listening to the commentaries with which General Savary accompanied it,
the prince and his followers still hesitated to advance beyond the
frontiers. The repugnance manifested by the population became every day
more intense. Urquijo, one of the oldest and wisest counsellors of King
Charles IV., insisted upon the advantages that Napoleon would realize by
counterbalancing the claims of the son by those of the father, and by thus
placing the peninsula under the laws of the general system of the French
Empire. He asserted that the intention was already apparent under the
words used, official and private, and that Ferdinand would lose himself,
and lose Spain, in repairing to Bayonne. "What!" cried the Duc de
l'Infantado, for a long time an accomplice in all the intrigues of the
Prince of Asturias, "what! would a hero surrounded with so much glory
descend to the basest of perfidies?" "You do not understand heroes,"
replied Urquijo, bitterly. "You have not read Plutarch. The greatest
amongst them have raised their greatness upon heaps of corpses. What did
our own Charles V. do in Germany and Italy, and in Spain itself? I do not
go back to the most wicked of our princes. Posterity takes no account of

This counsel was too prudent and wise to prevail with minds at once
headstrong and feeble. Ferdinand resolved to trust to the hopes that
Napoleon caused to gleam before his eyes; he knew not that his retreat was
cut off. "If the prince comes to Bayonne," the emperor had written to
Marshal Bessières, "it is very well; if he retires to Burgos, you will
have him arrested, and conducted to Bayonne. You will inform the Grand
Duke of Berg of this occurrence; and you will make it known at Burgos that
King Charles has protested, and that the Prince of Asturias is not king.
If he refuses the interview that I propose, it is a sign of his belonging
to the English party, and then there will be nothing more to arrange." On
the 20th of April the prince and his suite crossed the little river of the
Bidassoa. As he was leaving Vittoria, the crowd assembled in the streets
became violent, and cut the traces of the horses. In order to avoid a
popular riot, the squadrons of the imperial guard had to surround the
carriage of the prince; he set out from his states as if already a

It was as a suppliant that he arrived at Bayonne, and the sorrowful
impression he had experienced on passing the frontier increased as he drew
nigh to the end of his journey. There was no one on his road to meet him
or compliment him, save the three Spanish noblemen whom he had himself
sent to Napoleon, and who returned to their prince troubled with the
gloomiest presentiments. Marshals Duroc and Berthier received him,
however, with courtesy when he arrived at Bayonne, and the emperor soon
had him brought to the chateau of Marac, in which he himself was
installed. Carrying out his previous declaration, Napoleon would give to
his visitor no other title than that of Prince of Asturias. At the end of
the day, General Savary escorted Ferdinand to his apartment; the emperor
kept beside himself Canon Escoiquiz.

The hour for revelations had arrived. Napoleon took the trouble to develop
to the canon preceptor his reasons for depriving the house of Bourbon of
the throne, and for placing upon it a prince of the Bonaparte family. "I
will give Etruria to Prince Ferdinand in exchange," said he; "it is a fine
country; he will be happy and tranquil. The populace will perhaps rebel on
a few points, but I have on my side religion and the monks. I have had
experience of it, and the countries where there are plenty of monks are
easy to subjugate."

Napoleon paced to and fro in his room, sometimes stopping in front of the
canon, whom he terrified by his flashing glances and by the extreme
animation of his language, sometimes according to him one of those
familiar and waggish gestures which were the signs of his favor. The
unfortunate Escoiquiz sought in vain to defend the cause of his prince,
making the most of his merits and his personal attachment to the emperor,
and pledging his submission if he became sovereign of Spain and an ally of
the imperial family. "You are telling me stories, canon," replied
Napoleon. "You are too well informed to be ignorant of the fact that a
woman is too feeble a bond to determine the political conduct of a prince:
and who will guarantee that you will be near him in six months' time. All
this is only bad politics. Your Bourbons have never served me except
against their will. They have always been ready to betray me. A brother
will be worth more to me, whatever you say about it. The regeneration of
Spain is impossible in their hands; they will be always, in spite of
themselves, the support of ancient abuses. My part is decided on; the
revolution must be accomplished. Spain will not lose a village, and I have
taken my precautions as to the colonies. Let your prince decide before the
arrival of King Charles relative to the exchange of his rights against
Tuscany. If he accepts, the treaty will be concluded; if he refuses, it is
of little consequence, for I shall obtain from his father the cession that
I require, Tuscany will remain in possession of France, and his royal
highness will receive no indemnity."

The canon covered his face with his hands. "Alas!" cried he, "what will be
said of us who counselled our prince to come hither?" The emperor again
reassured him. "Do not annoy yourself, canon," said he; "neither you nor
the others have any cause to afflict yourselves. You could not divine my
intentions, for nobody was acquainted with them. Go and find your prince."

General Savary displayed less eloquence and power of persuasion in
announcing to the unfortunate Ferdinand the intentions of the emperor,
whom he had on his part so adroitly served. The prince was utterly
astounded when his old preceptor entered his room. The intimate
counsellors were convoked; they persisted in seeing in the declaration of
Napoleon a daring manoeuvre intended to terrify the house of Spain into
some important cession of territory. The prince formally refused to accept
the kingdom of Etruria; he maintained that the rights of the crown of
Spain were unalienable; he possessed them by consent of his father Charles
IV., who alone could dispute the throne with him. Two negotiators were
successively commissioned to carry this reply to Champagny, the Minister
for Foreign Affairs.

The latter had just drawn up a report for the emperor, deciding upon
taking possession of Spain. "We must recommence the work of Louis XIV.,"
it said. "That which policy counsels, justice authorizes. The present
circumstances do not permit your Majesty to refrain from intervention in
the affairs of this kingdom. The King of Spain has been precipitated from
his throne. Your Majesty is called upon to judge between the father and
son: which part will you take? Would you sacrifice the cause of sovereigns
and of all fathers, and permit an outrage to be done to the majesty of the
throne? Would you leave upon the throne of Spain a prince who will not be
able to preserve himself from the yoke of the English, so that your
Majesty will have constantly to maintain a large army in Spain? If, on the
contrary, your Majesty is determined to replace Charles IV. on the throne,
you know that it could not be done without having to overcome great
resistance, nor without causing French blood to flow. Lastly, could your
Majesty, taking no interest in these great differences, abandon the
Spanish nation to its doom, when already a violent fermentation is
agitating it, and England is sowing there the seeds of trouble and
anarchy? Ought your Majesty then to leave this new prey to be devoured by
the English? Certainly not. Thus your Majesty, compelled to undertake the
regeneration of Spain, in a manner useful for her and useful for France,
ought neither to re-establish at the price of much blood a dethroned king,
nor to sanction the revolt of his son, nor to abandon Spain to itself; for
in these two last cases it would be to deliver it to the English, who by
their gold and their intrigues have succeeded in tearing and rending this
country, and thus you would assure their triumph.

"I have set forth to your Majesty the circumstances which compel you to
come to a great determination. Policy counsels it, justice authorizes it,
the troubles of Spain impose it as a necessity. Your Majesty has to
provide for the safety of your empire, and save Spain from the influence
of the English."

Even the most resolute and scrupulous men love to be bolstered up with
words, and to surround themselves with vain pretexts. The Emperor
Napoleon, resolved on robbing the house of Bourbon of a throne which had
become suspected by him, had asked from Champagny an explanatory memoir,
and took care to pose as an arbitrator between King Charles IV. and his
son, in order to cover his perfidy with a mantle of distributive justice.
He had already apprised Murat of his desire to see the old sovereign of
Spain before him; the request of Charles IV. and his queen forestalled
this proposal. The lieutenant-general had at last snatched away the Prince
de la Paix from the hands which detained him. The favorite had taken
refuge under the wing of Murat, in the most pitiable condition. "The
Prince de la Paix arrives this evening," wrote Napoleon to Talleyrand on
the 25th of April; "he has been for a month between life and death, always
menaced with the latter. Would you believe it that, in this interval, he
has never changed his shirt, and has a beard seven inches long? The most
absurd calumnies have been laid to his charge. Cause articles to be
written, not justifying the Prince de la Paix, but depicting in characters
of fire the evils of popular insurrections, and drawing forth pity for
this unfortunate man. It will be as well for him not to delay his arrival
in Paris." On the 1st of May, after the arrival of the entire royal
family: "The Prince de la Paix is here. King Charles is a brave man. I
know not whether it is his position or circumstances, but he has the air
of a frank and good patriarch. The queen has her heart and history on her
countenance; that is enough to say to you; it surpasses everything that it
is permitted to imagine. The Prince de la Paix has the air of a bull. He
is beginning to feel himself again; he has been treated with unexampled
barbarity. It will be well for him to be discharged from all false
imputations, but it will be necessary to leave him covered by a slight
touch of contempt.

"The Prince of Asturias is very stupid, very evilly disposed, very much
the enemy of the French. You readily perceive that with my practice in
managing men his experience of twenty-four years has not been able to
impose upon me; and this is so evident to me, that it would take a long
war to bring me to recognize him as King of Spain. Moreover, I have had it
notified to him that I ought not to hold communications with him, King
Charles being upon my frontiers. I have consequently had his couriers
arrested. One of them was the bearer of a letter to Don Antonio: 'I
forewarn you that the emperor has in his hands a letter from Maria Louisa
(the Queen of Etruria, his sister), which states that the abdication of my
father was forced. Act as if you did not know this, but conduct yourself
accordingly, and strive to prevent these accursed Frenchmen from gaining
any advantage by their wickedness.'" All the correspondence of the Prince
of Asturias passed under the eyes of Napoleon.

On their arrival at Bayonne on the 30th of April, King Charles IV. and his
queen were received with all royal honors. The emperor had himself
regulated the ceremonial. "All who are here, even the Infantado and
Escoiquiz, came to kiss the hand of the king and queen, kneeling," wrote
Napoleon to Murat on May 1st. "This scene roused the indignation of the
king and queen, who all the time regarded them with contempt. They
proceeded to their apartments ushered by Marshal Duroc, when the two
princes wished to follow them; but the king turning towards them, thus
addressed them: 'Princes, you have covered my gray hairs with shame and
sorrow; you come to add derision also. Depart, that I may never see you
again.' Since this occurrence the princes appear considerably stunned and
astonished. I know not yet upon what they have resolved."

On arriving at the gate of the chateau of Marac the old king, Charles IV.,
fell weeping into the arms of Napoleon. "Lean upon me," said the emperor;
"I have strength enough for both." "I know it well!" replied Charles: it
was the genuine expression of his thoughts. The Prince de la Paix was not
long in coming to the conclusion that all hope of his master's restoration
was lost. Repose, with an ample competency, was promised to him; Napoleon
also enabled him to get a taste of the pleasure of vengeance. Charles IV.
had given command to his son, requiring from him a pure and simple
renunciation of the crown which he had usurped: the prince peremptorily
refused. The old king rose up with difficulty, brandishing his cane above
his head: "I will have you treated like the rebel emigrants," cried he,
"as an unnatural son who wished to snatch away my life and my crown." They
had to restrict themselves to written communications. A letter from
Charles IV. reclaimed the crown, and presented to his son's notice a
mournful picture of his proceedings. "I have had recourse to the Emperor
of the French," said he, "no longer as a king, at the head of his army and
surrounded with the splendor of a throne, but as an unfortunate and
forsaken monarch. I have found protection and refuge in the midst of his
camp. I owe him my life and that of my queen and of my First Minister. All
now depends on the mediation and protection of this great prince. I have
reigned for the happiness of my subjects; I do not wish to bequeath them
civil war, rebellions, and the popular assemblies of revolution.
Everything ought to be done for the people, and nothing for one's self.
All my life I have sacrificed myself for my people; and it is not at the
age at which I have now arrived that I should do anything contrary to
their religion, their tranquillity, and their happiness. When I shall be
assured that the religion of Spain, the integrity of my provinces, their
independence and their privileges, will be maintained, I shall descend
into the tomb pardoning you the bitterness of my last years."

The king had already invested Murat with supreme power in the capacity of
Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom. Ferdinand continually resisted--
proposing, indeed, to make an act of renunciation, but only at Madrid, in
presence of the Cortes, and under the condition that the king, Charles
IV., should himself resume possession of the throne. The preliminary
negotiations became each day more bitter. Napoleon pursued his aim without
disturbing himself at the refusals of the prince, who, however, provoked
in him some ill-humor. He had by a single stroke destroyed the illusions
and hopes of Murat by writing to him on the 2nd of May, "I intend the King
of Naples to reign at Madrid. I wish to give you the kingdom of Naples, or
that of Portugal. Answer me immediately what you think of it, for it is
necessary for this to be done in a day." The very day on which Napoleon
thus inflicted on his brother-in-law a stroke for which Murat never
consoled himself, the insurrection which broke out at Madrid rendered
impossible the elevation to the throne of Spain of the man whose duty it
was so roughly to repress it. For a fortnight the excitement in the
capital had been intense, carefully kept up by the reports which Ferdinand
and his friends found the means of freely spreading amongst the
population. An order had been sent to Murat to make all those princes of
the royal house who were still at Madrid set out for Bayonne; when the
Junta had been induced with great difficulty to give its consent to this
measure, the populace opposed the departure. A certain number of soldiers
were massacred, an aide-de-camp of Murat escaping by a miracle from the
popular anger. The troops had for a long time been posted as a precaution
against an insurrection, and all the streets were soon swept by charges of
cavalry; cannon resounded in all directions. The Spanish troops, consigned
to their quarters, only took part in the struggle at one point; a company
of artillery gave up its pieces to the people. When the insurrection was
suppressed a hundred insurgents were shot without any form of trial.

This was, in the capital, the last and feeble effort of a resistance which
had not yet had time to become a patriotic passion. Henceforth Murat felt
himself master of Madrid; he became President of the Junta. Don Antonio
had accompanied to Bayonne his nephew, François de Paule, and his niece,
the Queen of Etruria.

"Your Majesty has nothing more to do than to designate the king whom you
destine for Spain," mournfully wrote the lieutenant-general on the morning
of the 3rd; "this king will reign without obstacle." But lately he had
repeated this proposal, heard on several occasions amongst the inhabitants
of Madrid: "Let us run to the house of the Grand Duc de Berg, and proclaim
him king."

The news of the insurrection of Madrid precipitated at Bayonne the
_denoûment_ of the tragi-comedy in which for several days the illustrious
actors had been playing their parts. The emperor feigned great anger, and
the terror of the old Spanish sovereigns was real.

"It is thou who art the cause of all this!" cried the king, Charles IV.,
violently apostrophizing his son. "Thou hast caused the blood of our
subjects and of our allies to flow, in order to hasten by a few days the
moment of bearing a crown too heavy for thee. Restore it to him who can
sustain it." The prince remained taciturn and sombre, limiting himself to
protesting his innocence. His mother threw herself upon him. "Thou hast
always been a bad son," she cried with violence; "thou hast wished to
dethrone thy father, to cause thy mother's death; and thou art standing
there before us insensible, without replying either to us or to our friend
the great Napoleon: speak, justify thyself, if thou canst." The emperor,
who was present at this sorrowful scene, intervened: "If between this and
midnight you have not recognized your father as the lawful king, and have
not sent word to Madrid to that effect, you shall be treated as a rebel."

This was too much for the courage of Ferdinand; he was in the hands of an
irritated master, who had drawn him and his into a snare which was at this
time impossible to be broken through. Weakness and cowardice in the
present did not forbid far-off hopes; the prince yielded, counting on the
future. "For any one who can see it, his character is depicted by a single
word," Napoleon had said; "he is a sneak."

The treaty was concluded the same evening, through the mediation of the
Prince de la Paix. King Charles IV., recognizing that he and his family
were incapable of assuring the repose of Spain, of which he was the sole
lawful sovereign, surrendered the crown to the Emperor of the French, for
him to dispose of it at his will. Spain and her colonies were to form an
independent state. The Catholic religion was to remain dominant, to the
exclusion of all others. King Charles IV. was to enjoy during life the
castle and forest of Compiègne; the castle of Chambord was to belong to
him in perpetuity; a civil list of 7,500,000 francs was assured to him
from the French Treasury. A particular convention accorded the absolute
property of the castle of Navarre to Prince Ferdinand, with a revenue of
1,000,000 francs, and 400,000 livres income for each of the Infantas. When
the emperor notified to Count Mollien, then Minister of the Treasury, the
tenor of the treaty, he added: "That will make 10,000,000. All these sums
will be reimbursed by Spain." The Spanish nation was to pay for the fall
of its dynasty and the pacific conquest upon which Napoleon counted. She
reserved for him another price for his perfidious manoeuvres.

Already the Spanish princes were on the way to their retreats. Compiègne
and Navarre not being ready for their reception, the old king was to
inhabit Fontainebleau provisionally. The emperor ordered Talleyrand to
receive the Infantas at Valençay, thus confiding to his vice-grand-elector
the honorable functions of a jailer. "I desire," he wrote to him on the
9th of May, "that the princes may be received with no external ceremony,
but with respect and care, and that you do everything possible to amuse
them. Be on Monday evening at Valençay. If you have a theatre there, and
could get a few comedians to come, it would not be a bad idea; you might
bring Madame de Talleyrand there, with four or five ladies. I have the
greatest interest in the Prince of Asturias being prevented from taking
any false steps. I desire, then, that he may be amused and occupied. Harsh
policy would lead one to put him in the Bicêtre, or in some strong castle;
but as he has thrown himself into my arms, and has promised me to do
nothing without my orders, and as all goes on in Spain as I desire, I have
decided to send him into a country place, surrounding him at the same time
with pleasures and keeping him under strict surveillance. Let this last
during the month of May and part of June; the affairs of Spain will have
taken a turn, and I shall then see what part I shall take.

"As to you, your mission is honorable enough; to receive at your house
these three illustrious personages, in order to amuse them, is altogether
worthy of the nation and of your rank."

The captivity of the Spanish princes was to be much longer and less
cheerful than the Emperor Napoleon was depicting it beforehand. He had
already provided for the government of Spain. Sorrowfully and with great
difficulty, Murat had prevailed upon the Grand Council of Castile and the
Indies to indicate a preference for the King of Naples. The Junta had
absolutely refused to take part in any manifestations of this nature. On
the 10th of May, Napoleon wrote to King Joseph, "King Charles, by the
treaty I have made with him, cedes to me all the rights of the crown of
Spain. The nation, through the medium of the Supreme Council of Castile,
asks from me a king. It is for you that I destine this crown. Spain is not
like the kingdom of Naples: it has 11,000,000 of inhabitants, more than a
hundred and fifty millions of revenue, without counting the immense
revenues and possessions of all the Americas. It is, besides, a crown
which places you at Madrid, within three days of France, which entirely
covers one of its frontiers. At Madrid you are in France; Naples is at the
end of the world. I desire, then, that immediately you have received this
letter you should confide the regency to whoever you will, and the command
of the troops to Marshal Jourdan, and that you should set out for Bayonne
by way of Turin, Mont Cenis, and Lyons. You will receive this letter on
the 19th, you will set out on the 20th, and you will be here on the 1st of
June. Withal, keep the matter secret; people will perhaps suspect
something, but you can say that you have to go to Upper Italy in order to
confer with me on important affairs."

Napoleon had said, the moment when he concluded the treaty which deprived
the house of Bourbon of its last throne, "What I am doing is not well in a
certain point of view, I know. But policy demands that I should not leave
in my rear, so near Paris, a dynasty inimical to my own."

Justice and right possess lights of which the cleverest framers of human
politics are at times ignorant. The Emperor Napoleon descended several
steps towards his fall when he abused his power as regards Pope Pius VII.,
and used odious means to dethrone the feeble and ignorant princes who were
ruling over Spain. Very slippery are the roads of universal power; in the
steps of its master, France was rushing to disaster.



For more than twenty years the history of France was the history of
Europe; for more than fifteen years the history of Napoleon was the
history of France, but a history cruelly bloody and agitated, often
adorned with so much glory and splendor, that the country might, and in
fact did, indulge itself in long and fatal illusions which drew down
bitter sufferings. All this life of our country, however, was not
dissipated afar off in the train of its victorious armies, or its arrogant
ambassadors; if old France was sometimes astonished to find herself so
much increased that she ran the risk of becoming one of the provinces of
the Empire, she always remained the centre, and her haughty master did not
forget her. Carried beyond her territory by the wild instinct of ambition,
he did not renounce the home government of his first and most famous
conquest. Seconded by several capable and modest men to whom he
transmitted peremptory orders, often modified by them in the execution,
Napoleon founded again the French administration, formerly powerful in the
hands of the great minister of Louis XIV., but destroyed and overthrown by
the shocks of the Revolution. He established institutions, he raised
monuments which have remained while all the dazzling trophies of his arms
have disappeared, while all his conquests have been torn from us, after
worn out France, bruised and bleeding, found herself smaller than at the
end of the evil days of the French Revolution.

"Scarcely invested with a sovereignty, new both to France and to himself,"
said Count Mollien in his memoirs, "Napoleon imposed upon himself the task
of ascertaining all the revenues and expenses of the state. He had
acquired patience for the details from the fact that, in his campaigns, he
depended entirely upon himself for the care of securing food, clothing and
pay of his armies." On the eve of Austerlitz, after immense efforts made
by the government as well as the public, to re-establish order and
activity in a country so long agitated and weakened by incessant shocks,
the measure of new enterprises had been exceeded; embarrassments extended
from public to private fortunes, all the symptoms of a serious and
impending crisis were already shown. Napoleon did not hide this from
himself, but he saw and sought for no other remedy than victory. Passing
before Mollien, when going to theatre, he said to him, "The finances are
in a bad way, the Bank is embarrassed. I cannot put these matters right."
For a long time the fortune as well as the repose of France was to depend
upon the ever doubtful chances of victory; long she submitted to it with a
constancy without example. The day came when victory was not sufficient
for our country, she had not strength enough to support the price of her
glory. The Emperor Napoleon was deceived in seeking the sources of public
prosperity in conquest; the blood which flows in the veins of a nation is
not restored as soon as another nation, humiliated and vanquished, shall
in its turn give up drop by drop its blood, its children, and its
treasures. Society is exhausted unless war contributions and exactions
definitively fill the coffers of the victor. The long hostilities of
Europe, and our alternate successes and reverses, have sufficiently taught
us this hard lesson. Victor or vanquished, France has never completely
crushed her enemies, she has never been crushed by them. All have
suffered, all still suffer from this outrage on the welfare of society,
which is called a war of conquest. In the beginning of his supreme power,
Napoleon thought to find in victory an inexhaustible source of riches. "It
was the ideas of the ancients which Napoleon applied to the right of
conquest," said Mollien.

He learnt even on the morrow of the battle of Austerlitz that victory is
not sufficient for the repose and prosperity of a state; the expenses
necessitated by the preparations for war, the enormous sums which the
treasury had had to pay, the general crisis in the commercial world had
induced the minister of the treasury, Barbé Marbois, to have recourse to
hazardous enterprises entrusted to unsafe hands. "You are a very honest
man," the emperor wrote [Footnote: The "Négociants réunis."] to his
minister, "but I cannot help believing that you are surrounded by rogues."
Six weeks after the battle of Austerlitz, on the 26th January, 1806,
Napoleon arrived at Paris in the night and summoned a council of finance
for the following morning. The emperor scarcely permitted a few words to
be addressed to him on a campaign so promptly and gloriously terminated.
"We have," he said, "questions to deal with which are more serious; it
appears that the greatest dangers of the state are not in Austria; listen
to the report of the minister of the treasury."

"Barbé Marbois commenced the report with the calm of a conscience which
has nothing to reproach itself," adds M. Mollien. He soon showed how the
receipts, constantly inferior to the indispensable expenses, had obliged
the treasury to borrow, first from the receivers-general, then from a new
company of speculators at the head of whom was M. Ouvrard, a man of
ability, but of doubtful reputation; the brokers as they were called, had
in their turn engaged the state in perilous affairs with Spain, and the
commissions upon the receivers-general, which had been conceded to them,
enormously surpassed their advances. "The State is the sole creditor of
the company," Marbois said at last. The emperor got in a passion. His
prompt and penetrating mind, always ready to distrust, discovered by
instinct, and without penetrating into details, the fraud to which his
minister was blind. He called before him the brokers, the principal clerks
at the treasury, and confounding them all by the bursts of his anger, he
forgot at the same time the respect he owed to the age and character of
Marbois, who was suddenly dismissed, and immediately replaced by Mollien.

"I had no need to listen to the entire report to guess that the brokers
had converted to their own use more than sixty millions," said Napoleon to
his new minister; "the money must be recovered."

The debts of the brokers to the public treasury were still more
considerable: Mollien had to find the proof and ward off in a great
measure the dangers resulting to the treasury from this fatal association
with a company of speculators.

Two years later the emperor placed Barbé Marbois at the head of the Court
of Accounts which he had just founded. He did not admit the want of repose
or a wish for retirement. For a moment Mollien had hesitated to accept the
post imposed upon him by his master. He was director of the _caisse
d'amortissement_ (bank for redemption of rents), and was satisfied with
his place. "You cannot refuse a ministry," said the emperor, suddenly,
"this evening you will take the oath." Count Mollien introduced important
improvements into the management of the finances. The foundation of the
bank of service, in current account with the receivers-general, book-
keeping by double entry, formerly brought into France by Law, but which
had not been established at the treasury, the publication of annual
balance sheets, such were the improvements accomplished at that time by
the minister of the treasury.

The public works had not been neglected in this whirlwind of affairs which
circled round Napoleon. He had ordered vast contracts in road and canal-
making; in the intervals of leisure which he devoted to France and the
home government, he conceived the idea of monuments destined to
immortalize his glory and to fix in the spirit of the people the
remembrance of the past, on which the new master of France, set much
value. He repaired the basilica of St. Denis, built sepulchral chapels,
and instituted a chapter composed of former bishops. He finished the
Pantheon, restored to public worship under the old name of Sainte-
Geneviève, ordered the construction of the arcs de triomphe (triumphal
arches) of the Carrousel and l'Etoile, and the erection of the column in
the Place Vendôme. He also decreed two new bridges over the Seine, those
of Austerlitz and Jena. The termination of the Louvre, the construction of
the Bourse, the erection of a temple consecrated to the memory of the
exploits of the great army and which became the church of the Madeleine,
were also decreed. In the great range of his thoughts, which constantly
advanced before his epoch and the resources at his disposal, Napoleon
prepared an enormous task for the governments succeeding him. All have
laboriously contributed to the completion of the works which he had

At the same time that he constructed monuments and reorganized the public
administration, Napoleon desired to found new social conditions. He had
created kings and princes; he had raised around him his family and the
companions of his glory, to unheard-of fortune; he wished to consolidate
this aristocracy, which owed all its splendor to him, by extending it. He
had magnificently endowed the great functionaries of the Empire; he wished
to re-establish below and around them a hierarchy of subalterns, honored
by public offices and henceforth, for this reason, to have themselves and
families distinguished by hereditary titles. In the speech from the
throne, by which he opened the session of the legislative body in 1807,
Napoleon showed his intentions on this subject. "The nation," said he,
"has experienced the most happy results from the establishment of the
Legion of Honor. I have created several imperial titles, to give new
splendor to my principal subjects, to honor striking services by striking
recompenses, and also to prevent the return of any feudal titles
incompatible with our Constitution."

Thus it was that, by a child of the Revolution, still possessed by most of
its doctrines, a nobility was to be created in France. The country was not
deceived. The emperor could make dukes, marquises, counts, barons; he
could not constitute an aristocracy, that slow product of ages in the
history of nations. The new nobles remained functionaries when they were
not soldiers, illustrious by themselves as well as by the incomparable
lustre of the glory of their chief.

The emperor gained battles, concluded treaties, raised or overthrew
thrones; he founded a new nobility, and decreed the erection of
magnificent monuments by the simple effort of his all-powerful will; he
imagined that his imperial action had no limit, and thought himself able
to command the master-pieces of genius as well as the movements of his
armies. He was not, and had never been, indifferent to the great beauties
of intellect, and his taste was shocked when he was extolled at the opera
in bad verses.

In his opinion, mind had its place in the social state, and should be
everywhere regulated as a class of that institute which he had
reconstituted and completed. He had already laid the foundations of a
great university corporation, which he was soon to establish, and which
has since, in spite of some defects, rendered such important services to
the national education and instruction. In the session of 1806, a project
of law, drawn up by M. Fourcroy, Director of Public Instruction, had made
the fundamental principles known. By the side of the clerical body, to
whom Napoleon would not confide the public education, he had imagined the
idea of a lay corporation, which should not be subject to permanent vows,
while at the same time imbued with that _esprit de corps_ which he had
come to look on as one of the great moral forces of society. Under the
name of the Imperial University, a new body of teachers was to be
entrusted with the public education throughout the empire; the members of
this body of teachers were to undertake civil, special, and temporary
obligations. The professional education of the men destined to this
career, their examinations, their incorporation in the university, the
government of this body, confided to a superior council, composed of men
illustrious by their talents; all this vast and fertile scheme, due in a
great measure to the aid of Fontanes, was afterwards to be developed in
the midst of the storms which already commenced to gather around France.
Napoleon had long conceived the project, but deferred the details to
another time, waiting until he had created the nursery which should
furnish France with learned men, whose duty was to educate the rising
generation. The all-powerful conqueror, in the midst of his Polish
campaign, and in his winter-quarters of Finkestein, prepared a minute on
the establishment of Écouen, which had been recently founded for the
education of poor girls belonging to members of the Legion of Honor. I
wish to quote this document, which, though blunt and insolent, shows much
good sense, in order to show how this infinitely active and powerful mind
pursued at once different enterprises and thoughts, stamping on all his
works the seal of his character and his personal will.

"This establishment must be handsome in all that relates to building, and
simple in all that relates to education. Beware of following the example
of the old establishment of St. Cyr, where they spent considerable sums
and brought up the young ladies badly. The employment and distribution of
time are objects which principally demand your attention. What shall be
taught to the young ladies who are to be educated at Écouen? We must begin
by religion in all its strictness. Do not admit on this point any
modification. Religion is an important matter in a public institution for
young ladies. It is, whatever may be said to the contrary, the surest
guarantee for mothers and for husbands. Let us bring up believers, and not
reasoners. The weakness of woman's brain, the uncertainty of their ideas,
their destiny in society, the necessity of constant and perpetual
resignation, and a sort of indulgent and easy charity; all this cannot be
obtained, except by religion, by a religion charitable and mild. I
attached but small importance to the religious institutions of the
military school of Fontainebleau, and I have ordained only what is
absolutely necessary for the lyceums. It is quite the reverse for the
institution of Écouen. Nearly all the science taught there ought to be
that of the Gospel. I desire that there may proceed from it not very
charming women, but virtuous women; that their accomplishments may be
those of manners and heart, not of wit and amusement.

"There must, therefore, be at Écouen a director, an intelligent man, of
middle age and good morals. The pupils must each day say regular prayers,
hear mass, and receive lessons on the catechism. This part of their
education must be most carefully attended to.

"The pupils must then also be taught arithmetic, writing, and the
principles of their mother tongue, so that they know orthography. They
must be taught a little geography and history, but be careful not to teach
them Latin or any foreign tongue. To the eldest may be taught a little
botany, or a slight course of physics or natural history, and even that
may have a bad effect. They must be limited in physics to what is
necessary to prevent gross ignorance or stupid superstition, and must keep
to facts, without reasonings which tend directly or indirectly to first

"It will afterwards be considered if it would be useful to give to those
who attain to a certain class a sum for their clothing. They might by that
get accustomed to economy, to calculate the value of things, and to keep
their own accounts. But, in general, they must all be occupied during
three fourths of the day in manual work; they ought to know how to make
stockings, chemises, embroidery--in fact, all kinds of women's work. These
young girls ought to be considered as if they belonged to families who
have in the provinces from fifteen to eighteen thousand francs a year, and
be treated accordingly. You will therefore understand that hand-work in
the household should not be indifferent to them.

"I do not know if it is possible to teach them some little of medicine and
pharmacy, at least of that kind of medicine which is within the reach of a
nurse. It would be well also if they knew a little part of the kitchen
occupied by medicinal herbs. I wish that a young girl, quitting Écouen to
take her place at the head of a small household, should know how to cut
out her dresses, mend her husband's clothes, make her baby-linen, and
procure little comforts for her family by the means usually employed in a
provincial household; nurse her husband and children when ill, and know on
these points, because it has been early inculcated on her, all that nurses
have learnt by habit. All this is so simple and trivial as scarcely to
require reflection. As to dress, it ought to be uniform and of common
material, but well made. I think that on that head the present female
costume leaves nothing to be desired. The arms, however, must of course be
covered, and other modifications adopted which modesty and the conditions
of health require.

"As to the food, it cannot be too simple; soup, boiled beef, and a little
_entrée_; there is no need for more.

"I do not dare, as at Fontainebleau, order the pupils to do their own
cooking; I should have too many people against me; but they may be allowed
to prepare their dessert, and what is given to them either for lunch or
for holidays. I will dispense with their cooking, but not with their
making their own bread. The advantage of all this is, that they will be
exercised in all they may be called on to do, and find the natural
employment of their time in practical and useful things.

"If I am told that the establishment will not be very fashionable, I reply
that this is what I desire, because it is my opinion that of all
educations the best is that of mothers; because my intention is
principally to assist those young girls who have lost their mothers, and
whose relations are poor. To sum up all, if the members of the Legion of
Honor who are rich disdain to put their daughters at Écouen, if those who
are poor desire that they shall be received, and if these young persona;
returning to their provinces, enjoy there the reputation of good women, I
shall have completely attained my end, and I am certain that the
establishment will acquire a high and genuine reputation.

"In this matter we must go to the verge of ridicule. I do not bring up
either dressmakers, or waiting-women, or housekeepers, but women for
modest and poor households. The mother, in a poor household, is the
housekeeper of the family."

The spirit of the age and the fascinations of luxury in an agitated epoch
were too strong for the determined and reasoned will of the legislator.
The houses of the Legion of Honor were not destined to become the best
schools for the mothers of families "in modest and poor households."
Napoleon had well judged the superior influence of daily example when he
said, "My opinion is, that the best education is that of mothers." The
wisest and most far-seeing rules know not how to replace it. Religion
cannot be taught by order, like sewing or cooking. The great lesson of
daily virtue and devotion will ever remain the lot of mothers.

The delicate question of female education carried the mark of the Emperor
Napoleon's genius for organization. He had also sought to reduce to rules
the encouragement that power owed to genius. Since the year 1805, he had
instituted prizes every ten years, intended to recompense the authors of
the best works on the physical sciences, mathematics, history, the author
of the best theatrical piece, the best opera, the best poem, the best
painters and sculptors; "so that," according to the preamble of the
decree, "France may not only preserve the superiority she has acquired in
science, literature, and the arts, but that the age which commences may
surpass those which have preceded it."

It would be an arrogant pretension for the nineteenth century to assert
its superiority over its illustrious predecessors, the sixteenth,
seventeenth, and eighteenth century, in all that concerns literature or
art. However, we have had the good fortune and the honor to be witnesses
of a wonderful display of creative genius in France in all branches of
literature and art; we have seen orators, poets, artists who could take
rank with the most illustrious chiefs of the ancient schools; all this
splendor, all this national and peaceful glory, has only taken root in
regular liberty and constitutional order. The troubles of the French
Revolution, the violent and continual emotions of the war, above all the
rule of an arbitrary will, which opened or shut at pleasure both lips and
printing-presses, had not been propitious to the expansion of human
thought under the reign of the Emperor Napoleon. Those who possessed a
spark of the admirable gift of genius, preserved at the same time in their
hearts that passion for liberty which necessarily ranked them among the
enemies or suspected persons. At the height of his supreme power, Napoleon
could never suffer independence either of thought or speech. He long
persecuted Benjamin Constant after he had taken his place among the
members of the Tribunate; and he manifested a persecuting aversion towards
Madame de Staël, which betrayed that littleness of character often lying
hid under a greatness of mind and views. When I turn over the table of
contents of that immense correspondence of Napoleon which reveals the
entire man in spite of the prudence of the editors, I find continually the
name of Madame de Staël, joined to rigorous measures of spiteful epithets.
"I write to the Minister of Police to finish with that mad Madame de
Staël," he wrote on the 20th April, 1807, to the Count Regnault St. Jean
d'Angely, who had apologized for his correspondence with the illustrious
outlaw. "She is not to be suffered to leave Geneva, unless she wishes to
go to a foreign country to write libels. Every day I obtain new proofs
that no one can be worse than that women, enemy of the government and of
France, without which she cannot live;" and several days previously he
wrote to Fouché, "When I occupy myself with Madame de Staël, it is because
I have the facts before me. That woman is a true bird of bad omen; she
believes the tempest already arrived, and delights in intrigues and
follies. Let her go to her Lake Leman. Have not the Genevans done us harm

Inspired from other sources than Madame de Staël was, but as ardent in his
opposition to the sovereign master of the destinies of France,
Chateaubriand supported, like her, the flag of an independent spirit and
of genius against the arbitrary will of one man. He manifested this in a
brilliant manner. Already famous by the publication of his _Genius of
Christianity_, he was then writing in the _Mercure_. "Eighteen months
before the publication of the _Martyrs_," says M. Guizot, in his memoirs,
"in August, 1807, I stopped several days in Switzerland, when going to
visit my mother at Nîmes, and in the eager confidence of youth, as curious
to see celebrated persons as I was unknown myself, I wrote to Madame de
Staël to ask for the honor of an interview. She invited me to dinner at
Ouchy, near Lausanne, where she then resided. I was seated by her side,
and having come from Paris she questioned me on all passing there, what
people were saying, what occupied the public and the salons. I spoke of an
article by Chateaubriand in the _Mercure_, which attracted attention at
the moment of my leaving. One sentence had particularly struck me, and I
quoted it word for word, for it was fixed in my memory: 'When in the
abject silence the only sound heard is the chain of the slave, and the
voice of the informer, when all tremble before the tyrant, and it is as
dangerous to incur his favor as to merit his displeasure, it seems to be
the historian's duty to avenge the people. The prosperity of Nero is in
vain, Tacitus is already born in the empire, he grows up unknown by the
ashes of Germanicus, and already a just providence has delivered to an
obscure child the glory of the master of the world.' My accent was
doubtless impressive and full of emotion, for I was impressed and moved
myself. Madame de Staël seized me quickly by the arm, saying, 'I am sure
that you would act tragedy admirably; stop with us and take a part in
_Andromaque_.' That was her hobby and amusement of the moment.

"I resisted her kindly suggestion, and the conversation came back to
Chateaubriand and his article, which was much admired, and caused some
anxiety. There was reason to admire it, for the passage was truly
eloquent; and also cause for anxiety, for the _Mercure_ was suppressed
precisely because of that passage. Thus the Emperor Napoleon, conqueror of

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