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

Part 7 out of 9

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to arrive, rapidly concentrating upon the threatened spot. According to
the emperor's order the Prince of Pontecorvo had set out for Antwerp, and
took the command there. While the army was being formed round the town,
the English with great difficulty got their fleet into the Scheldt as far
as Fort Batz. Their forces being already considerably reduced by the
fever, and the preparations made at Antwerp to receive them causing Lord
Chatham some uneasiness, he held a council of war on the 26th, and sent
their decision to London, where it was approved by the ministry. It was
too late now to attack Antwerp, the opportunity having been lost; and the
huge army, collected with so much display, fell back upon the island of
Walcheren, and a large number of the vessels sailed for the Downs. Every
day 800 casks of fresh water were brought from the Downs to the garrison
still occupying Flushing, Middelburg, and the forts. The English were
completely checked; and there were already signs that they might evacuate
the island of Walcheren altogether.

The emperor triumphed at Schönbrunn. Advising his generals not to attack
the English, but to leave them to be killed by ague, he congratulated
himself on the unexpected reinforcement thus gained by his army. "It is a
continuation of the good fortune attending our present circumstances," he
wrote, "that this expedition, which has reduced to nothing England's
greatest effort, gives us an army of 24,000 men, which otherwise we should
have been unable to get." He at once made use of it to organize the new
army of the north, suddenly called out by the country's danger. At the
same time, by a strong instinct of government, he severely blamed the
revolutionary movement which Fouché had excited in the departments. On the
26th September he wrote to him: "I have your letter informing me that the
'cadres' of the regiment for the national guard are formed everywhere. I
know it, but am not pleased at it. Such a measure cannot be taken without
my order. There has been too great haste; all that has been done will not
hasten by a single hour the arming of the national guard, if they are
needed. That causes fermentation, whereas it would have been sufficient to
put in movement the national guards of the military divisions which I have
indicated. Then you call out the national guards of Flanders to assist on
the frontiers by which the enemy intend invading Flanders; the reason is
obvious. But when there is a levy in Languedoc, Piedmont, Burgundy, people
think there is an agitation, though there is none. My intentions are not
fulfilled, and I am put to unnecessary expense."

The command, accordingly, was withdrawing from the Prince of Pontecorvo,
who, though always called to serve at the moment of danger, was considered
fickle and suspicious by the emperor. "You will let him know," wrote
Napoleon to his minister of war, "that I am displeased with his 'order of
the day;' that it is not true that he had only 15,000 men, when, with the
soldiers of the Duke of Conegliano and Istria, I have on the Scheldt more
than 60,000 men; but that even if he only had 15,000, his duty was to give
the enemy no hint of it. It is the first time that a general, from excess
of vanity, has been seen to betray the secret of his position. He at the
same time eulogized the national guards, who know very well themselves
that they have had no opportunity of doing anything. You will also express
to him my dissatisfaction with his Paris correspondence, and insist upon
his ceasing to receive mischievous letters from the wretches whom he
encourages by such conduct. The third point as to which you will indicate
to him my intentions is, that he should go to the army or to the waters."

The useless attempt of the English at Walcheren, and their prudent retreat
from Antwerp, was made use of by the French diplomatists who were still
discussing the terms of peace at Altenburg. The Emperor Napoleon, however,
was tired of the delays of their negotiations. Being now certain that
Austria could have no more support, he received Bubna and Prince John of
Lichtenstein, who had been sent to him directly by the Emperor Francis.
Napoleon haughtily dwelt upon the value of the concessions which he had
already granted. "What!" said he to the envoys, "I had not yet
relinquished the principle of the _uti possidetis_, and now I relinquish
it at your emperor's request! I claimed 400,000 souls of the population of
Bohemia, now I cease to demand them! I wished 800,000 souls in Upper
Austria, and I am satisfied with 400,000! I asked for 1,400,000 souls in
Carinthia and Carniola, and I give up Klagenfurth, which is a further
sacrifice of 200,000 souls. I therefore restore to your master a
population of a million of subjects, and he says I have made no
concession! I have only kept what is necessary to keep the enemy away from
Passau and the Inn--what is necessary to connect the territories of Italy
and Dalmatia; yet they persuade him that I have not modified any of my
demands! It is thus that they have led on the Emperor Francis to war; it
is thus that they will finally bring him to ruin!" He refrained, however,
from replying to the Emperor Francis's letter. "It were undignified for me
to say to a prince, 'You don't know what you say;' but that is what I find
myself compelled to say, since his letter is founded upon an error."
"Leave vain repetitions and silliness to the Austrians," he wrote to
Champagny. At the same time he reviewed his troops, and hurried the
movements of the reinforcements which were arriving. The Emperor Alexander
had received Austria's promise to make a speedy settlement, refusing to
take part in the negotiations, and trusting that Napoleon would look after
his interests. The only point which he reserved was the Polish question:
he was afraid of the increase of the grand duchy of Warsaw. "Your Majesty
can give me a certain pledge of your friendship towards me," he wrote to
Napoleon on the 31st August, "by recalling what I frequently said at
Tilsit and Erfurt, as to the interests of Russia with reference to the
affairs of Poland (lately so-called), and what I have since instructed
your ambassador to repeat to you."

It was precisely upon Galicia that the ambitious views of Napoleon were at
that moment directed. Being repeatedly pressed by the Austrian envoys to
explain his definitive intentions, he at last declared that he wished
Carniola, the circle of Wilbach, and the right bank of the Save as far as
Bosnia; ceding Linz, and keeping Salzburg. He thus became master of
1,500,000 souls in Austria. In Galicia he claimed all the territory which
Austria had obtained at the second partition of Poland, as well as the
circles of Solkiew and Zeloczow, which he intended to cede to Russia, in
order to restrain her displeasure. The population of these territories
amounted to 2,000,000 souls. To these conditions Napoleon added a war
contribution of 100,000,000, and the obligation of Austria reducing her
army to 150,000 men. The Austrian diplomatists succeeded in getting off
15,000,000 from the military contribution. That was the only favor
granted. "I have given Austria the most advantageous peace she could
expect," wrote Napoleon to the Emperor Alexander, on the 10th October,
1809. "She only cedes Salzburg and a small district on the Inn; she cedes
nothing in Bohemia; and on the Italian side she only cedes what is
indispensable to me for communication with Dalmatia. The monarchy
therefore remains entire. It is a second experiment which I wished to
make, and I have shown towards her a moderation which she had no right to
expect. In doing so I trust to have pleased your Majesty. You will see
that, in accordance with your desires, the greater part of Galicia does
not change masters, and that I have been as careful of your interests as
you could have been yourself, by reconciling everything with what honor
demands from me. For the prosperity and well-being of the duchy of Warsaw,
it is necessary that it should be in your Majesty's good graces; and the
subjects of your Majesty may be assured that in no case, on no
contingency, ought they to expect any protection from me."

So many protestations and flattering assurances could not destroy the
effect of the development of the grand duchy of Warsaw, and the constant
menace created for Russia by that partial resuscitation of a Poland
submitted to French influence. The Emperor Alexander made Caulaincourt
sensible of this by a few sharp words. The secret discord was now
increasing between the two allies, in proportion as the divergence of
their interests made itself felt. The unreasonable passions of Napoleon
were soon to open between them the gulf into which he was to drag France.

The Tyrol was not included in the negotiations of peace, any more than in
the armistice. When at last the treaty was signed at Vienna, on the 20th
October, a few days after the discovery of a plot to assassinate Napoleon,
the fighting was still continued in the mountains with the keen
determination of despair. In vain did Prince Eugène offer the insurgents a
general pardon, confirming the subservience of their country; the peasants
proudly rejected the conditions offered them. Crushed by the combined
French and Bavarian forces, the Tyrolese succumbed with glory: their
popular leader, Andrew Hofer, was taken in a remote mountain retreat where
he had taken refuge, brought to Mantua on the 19th January, 1810, and
there shot on the 25th February, by Napoleon's express order. "I gave you
instructions to have Hofer brought to Paris," wrote Napoleon to the
Viceroy of Italy; "but since he is at Mantua, send an order to have him
tried at once by court-martial, and shot on the spot. Let it be an affair
of twenty-four hours." Hofer underwent his fate with an heroic and pious
simplicity. It was only in 1824 that Austria paid to this humble patriot
the honors due to his memory, his body being then transported to
Innsbruck, and buried there with pomp in the cathedral. A statue was
placed on his tomb.


THE DIVORCE (1809-1810).

On his return to France, after the peace of Vienna, the Emperor Napoleon,
though triumphant and all-powerful to those who looked only on the
surface, felt secretly conscious that his supreme prestige had been
shaken. He experienced the necessity of strengthening and consolidating
his conquests by some startling act, and of finally founding upon
immovable bases that empire which he had raised by his victorious hands
without ever believing it really permanent. The advances made at Erfurt
towards a family alliance with the Emperor of Russia remained without any
result, in spite of the friendly protestations of the Emperor Alexander;
and since Napoleon's return to Paris those admitted to his closest
intimacy detected a perceptible change in his manner. "He seemed to be
walking in the midst of his glory," wrote the Arch-chancellor Cambacérès.
It was to him that Napoleon first broached the project of divorce, which
was soon to become a settled determination. The loving tone in which he
wrote to her as his wife might well deceive the Empress Josephine; for
Napoleon still retained some love for her, though it was powerless in
hindering his ambitious resolutions. The rumor of the great event was
already spreading in Paris and Europe, though Josephine was still unaware
of it. She was uneasy, however, and numerous indications daily increased
her anxiety: her children shared her apprehension. The whole of the
imperial family were assembled about their renowned head, divided as they
were in their inclinations and interests; and Napoleon had himself
summoned Prince Eugène to Paris.

Under the emperor's order, Champagny had already written to Caulaincourt:
"You will wait upon the Emperor Alexander, and speak to him in these
terms: 'Sire, I have reason to believe that the emperor, at the request of
the whole of France, is making arrangements for a divorce. May I write to
say that they can reckon on your sister? Let your Majesty take two days to
consider it, and give me frankly your reply, not as French ambassador, but
as a man warmly devoted to both families. It is not a formal request that
I now make; it is a confidential expression of your intentions that I beg
from you. I am too much accustomed to tell your Majesty all my thoughts to
be afraid of ever being compromised by you.'"

Caulaincourt was greatly perplexed. The peace of Vienna had been badly
received at St. Petersburg, and had caused so many complaints and
recriminations that the French ambassador found himself compelled to
appease the irritation which threatened to break the alliance, by
translating Napoleon's promises into official engagements. The terms of
the convention were agreed upon by the diplomatists, and it was about to
be signed. Napoleon engaged never to re-establish the kingdom of Poland;
the names Poland and Polish were to disappear in all the acts; the grand
duchy could not for the future be increased by annexing any part of the
old Polish monarchy: the conditions of the convention were binding upon
the King of Saxony, Grand Duke of Warsaw. At the same time that he was
begged to accept this unsuitable engagement, Napoleon had harshly reminded
his ally of the inaction of his forces during the war. "I wish," said he,
"that in the discussions which take place, the Duke of Vicentia should
make the following remarks to Romanzoff: 'You are sensible that there is
nothing of the past that the emperor has laid hold of: in the affairs of
Austria you made no sign. How has the emperor acted? He has given you a
province which more than repays all the expense you have incurred for the
war; and openly declares that you have joined to your empire Finland,
Moldavia, and Wallachia.'"

However delicate the circumstances and question were which Caulaincourt
had to propose, he obeyed. The Emperor Alexander was not disinclined to
listen to the proposals, but would have preferred first to make sure of
the signature to the convention relative to Poland as the price of his
acceptance. The empress mother, dissatisfied and spiteful, suggested
religious objections. The kind considerations of Napoleon seemed
boundless. The Emperor Alexander and his advisers asked time to consider.

Meantime the projected divorce had become known in Paris, even in the
bosom of the imperial family. Napoleon could not longer keep his secret.
In presence of the vague uneasiness of the empress his mind was burdened
with some feeling of remorse for the act which he was secretly meditating,
and he at last gave her some hint of his intention, as well as of the
reasons for his decision, and the pain it had caused him. The unhappy
Josephine screamed, and fell fainting. When she recovered consciousness,
she was supported by her daughter the Queen of Holland, who was also in
tears, and proudly offended at the harshness which Napoleon had shown her
in the first moment of his anger at the sight of Josephine's sufferings.
Soon moved by the return of better and truer sentiments which still
exercised a certain influence upon him, the emperor shared the sorrows of
the mother and daughter, without for a moment relaxing by word or thought
the determination which he had formed. Prince Eugène, as well as Queen
Hortense, had declared their intentions of following their mother in her
retirement; Napoleon opposed it, and overwhelmed with presents and favors
the wife whom he was forsaking for reasons of state. Two days after
solemnly breaking the tie by which they were united, he wrote to her at
Malmaison, with much genuine affection in spite of his strange and
imperious style:--"My dear, you seem to me to-day weaker than you ought to
be. You showed courage, and you will do so again in order to support
yourself. You must not let yourself sink into a fatal melancholy. You must
be happy, and, before everything, take care of your health, which is so
precious to me. If you are fond of me and love me, you ought to show some
energy, and make yourself happy. You understand my sentiments towards you
very imperfectly, if you imagine that I can be happy when you are not so,
and satisfied when you are still anxious. Good-bye, darling; pleasant
dreams! Be assured that I am sincere."

The Empress Josephine had often shown a fickle character and frivolous
mind; but being kind, obliging, and gifted with a grace that had gained
her many friends before her greatness had surrounded her with courtiers
and flatterers, she was popular; and the public, who were not in favor of
the divorce, sympathized with her sorrow. On the 15th December, 1809, in a
formally summoned meeting of the imperial family, with the arch-chancellor
and Count Regnault d'Angely also present, Napoleon himself openly
announced the resolution which he had taken. "The policy of my monarchy,
the interest and wants of my peoples which have invariably guided all my
actions, require," said he, "that I should leave this throne on which
Providence has placed me, to children inheriting my love for my peoples.
For several years, however, I have lost hopes of having children by my
marriage with my well-beloved spouse the Empress Josephine, which urges me
to sacrifice the dearest affections of my heart, to consider only the
well-being of the State, and to will the dissolution of our marriage. God
knows how much such a resolution has cost my heart; but there is no
sacrifice which is beyond my courage, if proved to be useful to the well-
being of France."

The Empress Josephine wished to speak, but her voice was choked by her
tears; she handed to Count Regnault the paper evidencing her assent to the
emperor's wishes. A few words spoken by Prince Eugène, as he took his
place in the Senate, confirmed the sacrifice; and by a "senatus-consulte"
the civil marriage was formally dissolved. The religious marriage gave
rise to greater difficulty. The absence of the proper cure and of the
witnesses required by the rules of the Church served as a pretext, in
spite of the protestations of Cardinal Fesch, who had celebrated the
marriage, and declared that the Pope had granted him full dispensation.
There was no intention of consulting the pontiff on this occasion. The
emperor sent an address to the magistracy of Paris, like the meanest of
his subjects, declaring that his consent had not been complete; he had
only agreed to a useless formality with the object of tranquillising the
conscience of the empress and that of the holy father, feeling certain
since then that he must have recourse to a divorce. The scruples of the
ecclesiastics were overcome; and the religious marriage declared null by
the diocesan and metropolitan authorities. The news was inserted in the
Moniteur, together with the decree settling upon the repudiated empress a
magnificent dowry.

The reply from St. Petersburg, however, was still forthcoming, and the
emperor began to feel very angry. The King of Saxony had already made
overtures, offering the hand of his daughter to his illustrious ally; and
soon still more flattering hopes were aroused. The peace party ruled in
Vienna, Metternich having replaced Stadion in power; and some words of
Swartzenburg, the new ambassador at Paris, seemed to imply matrimonial
advances. The Archduchess Marie-Louise was eighteen years of age, amiable
and gentle in disposition: the alliance was a brilliant one, and would
permanently establish a good understanding between Austria and France.
Many intrigues were now started: those of the politicians or courtiers who
held to the old regime by tradition or taste were in favor of the Austrian
marriage; they were supported by Prince Eugène, Queen Hortense, and even
by the Empress Josephine herself, though not avowedly. The imperial family
and councillors, sprung from the French Revolution, had a repugnance to
alliance with the house of Austria, as a return towards the past, which
was still present to the minds of all: they dwelt upon the dangers of a
rupture with Russia, who would be indignant at seeing herself scorned
after being sought for. There were fewer objections on the side of
Austria, already beaten and humiliated. The emperor hesitated, and twice
consulted his most intimate council. At the second sitting his mind was
made up. The delay of Russia had stirred up his anger, and, according to
his custom, he listened only to his haughty and implacable will. Orders
were given to Caulaincourt to overthrow the negotiations respecting the
Grand Duchess Catherine. Marriage with the Archduchess Marie-Louise was
resolved upon.

The Emperor Francis showed none of the repugnance or hesitation which
irritated Napoleon against the Russians. No gloomy forecast seems to have
passed through the minds of that august family, which had formerly seen
Marie-Antoinette leave Vienna to sit at Paris upon a fatal throne. Yet all
the efforts of both the emperors tended to suggest constant analogies.
Napoleon's contract was copied from the act which united the destinies of
Louis XVI. and Marie-Antoinette. The marriage ceremonial was throughout
the same, with the redoubled splendor of an unprecedented magnificence.
The new empress had willingly accepted the throne which was offered her.
The Archduke Charles agreed to represent the Emperor Napoleon at the
celebration of the official marriage. Marshal Berthier, major-general of
the Imperial army, was appointed to go and fetch the princess. Her first
lady of honor was the Duchess of Montebello, widow of Marshal Lannes, who
was killed at Wagram. The tragical remembrances of by-gone alliances
between France and the reigning house of Austria, the bitter and
bloodstained recollections of recent struggles, seemed to serve only to
enhance the brilliancy of the new ties uniting the two countries. The
Emperor Napoleon took possession of the imperial family, as he had
recently conquered their capital and occupied their palaces. The people of
Paris thought they saw in this alliance a final and permanent triumph: and
the magnificence of the fetes given in honor of the young empress's
arrival increased their intoxication. "She brings news to the world of
peaceful days," was the inscription on all the triumphal arches.

In fact the world was hopeful but men of foresight and wisdom were not
deceived. There were germs of discord everywhere, in spite of the
appearance of peace. Fighting was still going on in Spain, and the
obstinacy of the Spanish insurgents equalled the perseverance of Sir
Arthur Wellesley. The Emperor Alexander had courteously congratulated
Caulaincourt upon the assurance of peace between Austria and France,
resulting from the projected union; at the same time not failing to point
out the contradictory negotiations simultaneously carried on by Napoleon
at St. Petersburg and Vienna. The substitution, which the emperor had just
proposed, of a new convention for the articles decided upon in the Polish
question, deeply excited the Czar's displeasure. "It is not I who shall
disturb the peace of Europe or attack any one," said he, with a keen and
determined irony; "but if they come to look for me, I shall defend

Another protestation, startling in its silence, annoyed the imperious
ruler of Europe. Most of the cardinals had been brought to Paris, not
without some threats of physical compulsion, several of them weakly hoping
to obtain important concessions. Cardinal Consalvi energetically supported
the courage of a large number, who were determined to take no part in the
emperor's religious marriage, as being illegal. They told Cardinal Fesch
of their intention, adding, that they would afterwards wait upon the
empress to be presented, but that they were bound to defend the rights of
the holy seat, injured on that occasion by the appeal pure and simple to
the magistracy of Paris. "That," said Cardinal Consalvi, "was wounding the
emperor in the apple of the eye." "They will never dare!" answered
Napoleon, angrily, when his uncle told him of the resolution of the

Thirteen of them dared, notwithstanding. When, on the 2nd April, 1810, the
Emperor Napoleon entered the great saloon of the Louvre, changed for that
day into a chapel, after casting his eyes over the crowd who thronged the
benches and galleries, he turned towards his chaplain, Abbé Pradt, and
said, "Where are the cardinals? I don't see any." There were, however,
fourteen there, though not enough to conceal the number of absentees.
"There are many here," replied the abbé, "and several are old and infirm."
"Ah! the idiots! the idiots!" exclaimed the emperor. He again repeated
those words when the ceremony began.

Napoleon's anger was especially directed against Cardinal Consalvi. "The
rest have their theological prejudices," said he, "but he has offended me
on political grounds; he is my enemy; he has dared to lay a trap for me by
holding out against my dynasty a pretext of illegitimacy. They will not
fail to make use of it after my death, when I am no longer there to keep
them in awe!" On the day after the marriage the whole court were to defile
before the new empress, and the cardinals were in attendance with the
utmost punctuality, as they had announced. After the distinguished
assemblage had waited three hours, an aide-de-camp came to announce the
order that the prelates who had not been present on the previous evening
in the chapel of the Louvre were to withdraw, because the emperor would
not receive them. On the same day, Napoleon wrote to M. Bigot de
Préameneu: "Several cardinals did not come yesterday, although invited, to
the ceremony of my marriage. They have, therefore, failed in an essential
duty towards me. I wish to know the names of those cardinals, and which of
them are bishops in France, in my kingdom of Italy, or in the kingdom of
Naples. My intention is to discharge them from their office, and suspend
the payment of their salaries by no longer regarding them as cardinals."

In the first impulse of his anger, Napoleon thought of summoning the rebel
prelates before a special court. "Since there is no ecclesiastical
jurisdiction in France," said he to the minister of public worship,
"nothing prevents them from being condemned." He was contented, however,
with making use only of his own supreme authority. Despoiled of the
insignia of their ecclesiastical dignity--which procured them the nickname
of the "black cardinals"--and deprived of their private fortunes as well
as of the revenues of their dioceses, which had been sequestered by the
treasury, Consalvi and his colleagues were interned, two and two, in towns
assigned to them for the purpose, put under police supervision, and
reduced to the most precarious means of living. "Without the Pope they are
nothing," said Napoleon. The Pope was still kept at Savona, meekly
inflexible, like the cardinals.

A few men thus resolutely opposed their wills to the formidable power of
the Emperor Napoleon. Just after the peace of Vienna, his hands filled
with new conquests, he modified the frontiers of several of the states
which he had recently formed or increased; some territories he yielded up,
others he took back; to some he was prodigal of his favors, to others he
denied them. He showed at this time special severity towards King Louis, a
prince who was naturally of a serious, honorable, and upright character,
and had tried sincerely to fulfil his duties as king towards the Dutch. He
thought it his duty to protect against Napoleon himself the subjects which
the latter had given him, and whom he saw ruined by the arbitrary acts of
the imperial power. When, at the end of 1809, the emperor's family all met
in Paris, King Louis had great difficulty in persuading himself to obey
the order by which he was summoned. Napoleon had already threatened
Holland in his speech at the opening of the Legislative Body. "Placed
between England and France, the principal arteries of my empire meet
there," said the emperor. "Changes will be necessary; the safety of my
frontiers, and naturally the interests of both countries, imperiously
demand it." Zealand and Brabant had not been evacuated by our troops, who
advanced there when the English took possession of the island of

It was the union of Holland and France which Napoleon then intended, and
he did not conceal it from his brother. Recriminations and reproaches were
only followed by an obstinate determination. "Holland is really only a
part of France," said the minister of the interior, officially, "and it is
time she held her natural position." This determination was announced to
Louis on his arrival in Paris. "That is the most deadly blow I can inflict
upon England," said Napoleon.

The King of Holland had long and frequently cursed the imperious will
which had called him to the throne. He had extolled the charms of private
life; when abdication was, as it were, forced upon him, he drew back and
defended himself. Napoleon insisted upon having a disguised national
bankruptcy, an increase of their navy for French service alone, the strict
application of the "continental blockade," which till then had been
frequently evaded by the Dutch merchants, the rejection of the honorary
titles accepted or created by his brother for the benefit of his subjects.
King Louis struggled against such hateful conditions, implying the ruin of
his adopted country as well as of his personal authority in Holland. The
intimate relationship of the imperial family was disturbed by the
discussions carried on between the two brothers; Champagny naturally had
some share in them, and Fouché also. Napoleon seemed to become more
reasonable. Nevertheless, he wished to take advantage of the alarm he had
caused, and make its influence extend even to England. A trustworthy agent
was appointed to inform the English ministry of the impending union
between France and Holland, and the consequent danger for England; vast
armaments were said to be prepared in our harbors. Peace was the only
means of avoiding so many dangers; Holland would do herself honor by
assisting to guarantee Europe of a rest now become possible by Napoleon's
union with Marie-Louise.

Labouchère, descended from a family of French refugees, was appointed by
the emperor, in the name of King Louis, to carry these overtures to the
English cabinet. On account of the unfortunate campaign in Walcheren,
which caused universal indignation in England, Canning and Castlereagh had
been replaced in power by Perceval and the Marquis Wellesley, elder
brother of Sir Arthur, formerly governor-general of India and the intimate
friend of Pitt. He courteously received Labouchère, who was introduced by
his brother-in-law, Mr. Baring, one of the principal bankers in London. It
was not the first time that overtures of peace had reached the ministry.
On his own account, and from the incessant passion for intrigue which
seemed to haunt him everywhere, Fouché had instructed one of his agents to
make to Lord Wellesley advances which had no real aim or earnestness. To
these, as well as those, the English cabinet replied that they were firmly
resolved never to abandon Spain or the kingdom of Naples to Bonaparte.
Holland in King Louis' hands was unreservedly under French influence, and
its union to the empire conveyed no threat of danger to England, which
was, besides, well accustomed to the evils of the war, and determined to
suffer the consequences to the last. Some new overtures with reference to
modifying the continental blockade had been entrusted to Labouchère, but
they were hampered and complicated by Fouché's intrigues. The minister of
police had recently authorized Ouvrard to leave Vincennes, and employed
him in those mysterious negotiations which was soon afterwards to cost him
the confidence and favor of his master. At this time, however, it was
against the King of Holland that the anger of the latter was let loose.

The emperor had agreed to delay his projected union, thus a second time
granting his brother the honor of obedience. In accordance with his strict
demands, he resolved to rectify the frontier separating Holland from
Belgium, and by taking the Waal as the future limit to form two new French
departments on this side the river, called Bouches-du-Rhin and Bouches-de-
l'Escaut. Zealand and its islands, North Brabant, part of Guelder, and the
towns Bergen-op-Zoom, Breda, Bois-le-Duc, and Nimeguen were thus taken
away from Holland, with a population of 400,000 souls. Heavy conditions
were imposed on the commerce; and the guard of all the river mouths was
entrusted to Franco-Dutch troops under the orders of a French general.

Against this the conscience and reason of the King of Holland revolted
equally. He gave secret instructions to his ministers to fortify
Amsterdam, and forbid our troops to enter any stronghold. General Maison
found the gates of Bergen-op-Zoom shut before him.

The action was as imprudent as the resolution was honorable. At the news
of it Napoleon's violence exceeded all bounds. In accordance with the
custom which he had followed for several weeks in his communications with
his brother, with whom he was not on visiting terms, he wrote to Fouché,
at the same time sending him a letter from Rochefoucault, the French
minister in Holland:--

"I beg of you to read this letter, and call upon the King of Holland and
let him know of it. Is that prince become quite mad? You will tell him
that he has done his best to lose his kingdom, and that I shall never make
arrangements which may make such people think they have imposed upon me.
You will ask him if it is by his order that his ministers have acted, or
if it is of their own authority: and let him know that if it is by their
authority I shall have them arrested and their heads cut off, every one of
them. If they have acted by the king's order, what must I think of that
prince? And how, after that, can he think of commanding my troops, since
he has perjured his oaths?"

Any personal resistance was impossible to the unhappy king of Holland,
melancholy and obstinate, but without energy. He became afraid, and
yielded every point; his ministers were dismissed, and the strongholds
opened to the French generals. "Hitherto there has been no western
empire," wrote Louis to his terrible brother; "there is soon to be one,
apparently. Then, sire, your Majesty will be certain that I can no longer
be deceived or cause you trouble. Kindly consider that I was without
experience, in a difficult country, living from day to day. Allow me to
conjure you to forget everything. I promise you to follow faithfully all
the engagements which you may impose upon me."

King Louis set out again for Holland, after signing the conventions which
were to disgrace him in the eyes of his subjects. Only one bitter item was
spared him; he was not compelled to plead bankruptcy. Henceforth the
valuation of things taken was to take place in Paris, and the French
troops were already seizing in the annexed provinces the prohibited goods
which were stored in the warehouses; and Marshal Oudinot fixed his head-
quarters at Utrecht. On the 13th March, 1810, the emperor wrote to his
brother: "All political reasons are in favor of my joining Holland to
France. The misconduct of the men belonging to the administration made it
a law to me; but I see that it is so painful to you, that for the first
time I make my policy bend to the desire of pleasing you. At the same
time, be well assured that the principles of your administration must be
altered, and that, on the first occasion which you offer for complaint I
shall do what I am not doing now. These complaints are of two kinds, and
have as their object either the continuation of the relations of Holland
with England, or reactionary speeches and edicts which are contrary to
what I ought to expect from you. For the future your whole conduct must
tend to inculcate in the minds of the Dutch friendship for France. I
should not have taken Brabant, and I should even have increased Holland by
several millions of inhabitants, if you had acted as I had a right to
expect from my brother and a French prince. There is no remedy, however,
for the past. Let what has happened serve you for the future."

Scarcely had the King of Holland returned to his kingdom, bringing back to
his subjects the solitary consolation that their national independence was
precariously preserved, when the emperor, who was then travelling through
Belgium, came in great pomp to visit the new departments which he had just
taken from his weak neighbor. The Empress Marie-Louise, who accompanied
him, was everywhere surprised at the unprecedented display of forces and
the activity of the empire. Napoleon inspected Flushing, which had been
recently evacuated by the English; and at Breda received deputations from
all the constituted authorities, the presence of a vicar-apostolic
supplying an occasion for a violent attack upon the papacy. "Who nominated
you?" asked he. "The Pope? He has no such right in my empire. I appoint
the bishops charged with administering the Church. Render to Cæsar the
things that are Cæsar's; it is not the Pope who is Cæsar, it is I. It is
not to the Pope that God has committed the sceptre and the sword, it is to
me. I have in hand proofs that you will not obey the civil authority, that
you will not pray for me. Why? Is it because a Roman priest has
excommunicated me? But who has given him the right to do so? Who can, here
below, relieve subjects from their oath of obedience to the sovereign
instituted by the laws? Nobody. You ought to know it, if you understand
your religion. Are you ignorant of the fact that it is your culpable
pretensions which drove Luther and Calvin to separate from Rome half the
Catholic world? I also might have freed France from the Roman authority,
and forty millions of men would have followed me. I did not wish to do so,
because I believed the true principles of the Catholic religion
reconcilable with the principles of civil authority. But renounce the idea
of putting me in a convent or of shaving my head, like Louis le
Débonnaire, and submit yourselves, for I am Cæsar; if not, I will banish
you from my empire, and I will disperse you, like the Jews, over the face
of the earth."

These irregular outbursts of arbitrary will loudly proclaiming its
omnipotence were excited by the very appearance of resistance. The King of
Holland had sought to defend the interests of his subjects; the captive
chief of the Catholic Church sometimes allowed the remains of his broken
authority to appear; the most intimate counsellors of the emperor could
not always hide their disapprobation and uneasiness. Fouché had gone
further still. The emperor had in his hands proof of the intrigues in
which he had been engaged in Holland and England. When Napoleon returned
to Paris, Fouché did not present himself at the Council. "What would you
think," said the emperor, "of a minister who, abusing his position,
should, without the knowledge of his sovereign, have opened communications
with the foreigner on bases of his own invention, and thus have
compromised the policy of the State? What punishment can be inflicted on
him?" Fouché had few friends; no one, however, dared to pronounce his
doom. "M. Fouché has committed a great fault," said Talleyrand. "I should
give him a successor, but one only--M. Fouché himself." Napoleon,
dissatisfied, shrugged his shoulders, and sent away his ministers. His
decision was taken. "Your remarkable views with regard to the duties of
the minister of police do not agree with the welfare of the State," he
wrote to Fouché. "Although I do not mistrust your attachment and your
fidelity, I am, however, compelled to maintain a perpetual surveillance,
which fatigues me, and to which I ought not to be condemned. You have
never been able to understand that one may do a great deal of harm whilst
intending to do a great deal of good."

Fouché was despoiled of his dignities, and relegated to the senatorship of
Aix. General Savary, now become Duke of Rovigo, was chosen as minister of
police. Napoleon was sure of his boundless and unscrupulous devotion, as
well as of his executive ability. The decision of the emperor was ill
received by the public. "I inspired every one with terror," says the Duke
of Rovigo, in his "Memoirs;" "every one was packing up; nothing was
talked about but banishments and imprisonments, and still worse; in fact,
I believe that the news of a pestilence at some point on the coast would
not have produced more fright than my appointment to the ministry of
police." Savary succeeded to the ministry without any other resources than
his personal sagacity and the activity of the police. Fouché had destroyed
all traces of his administration. "I had not a great deal to burn, but all
that I had I have burnt," said the disgraced minister, when the emperor
sent to demand his papers. Many people breathed more freely when they
heard this news. The Duke of Otranto became popular.

Nearly at the same moment the public interest was fastened on another
rebelling personage, more worthy than Fouché of general esteem, and who
had just dealt the emperor a more perceptible stroke. New difficulties had
arisen between Napoleon and Louis Bonaparte, the vexations of the
surveillance everywhere instituted in his States, the sufferings and the
hindrances which resulted from it as regards the affairs of his subjects;
the humiliation which he himself experienced from it every moment,
exasperated the heart of King Louis. He wrote affectionately to the
ministers whom he had been forced to dismiss. To this powerless
manifestation of a natural feeling, strongly encouraged by the state of
public opinion in Holland, was added the resolution to interdict the
complete occupation of the territory by the French troops. The gates of
Haarlem were closed to the imperial eagles. The populace of the Hague ill-
treated in the street a servant of the minister of France. The emperor was
only waiting for a pretext for a long time foreseen. Marshal Oudinot
received orders to enter Haarlem and Amsterdam, with flags displayed. At
the same time, the division of General Molitor entered Holland by the
north and the south; everywhere the Netherlands found themselves occupied.
The minister of Holland at Paris, Admiral Verhuell, received his

Resistance was impossible; the councillors of King Louis felt it as
bitterly as he did himself. The king was resolved upon not accepting the
personal yoke that his brother wished to impose upon him; he signed an act
of abdication in favor of his eldest son, until then favorably treated by
the Emperor Napoleon. He committed to his ministers a touching farewell
message for the Corps Législatif, and secretly entering a carriage, on the
night of the 1st of July, 1810, he quitted Haarlem, in order to take
refuge at the baths of Töplitz. The fugitive carefully concealed his
journey and his presence; he was weary of the power which he sorrowfully
exercised; he remained esteemed and regretted in the country which he
sadly abandoned without having ever been able to defend it.

This flight from the throne, and this mute protest against the tyranny
which rendered it insupportable, caused some ill-humor in Napoleon, and
constrained him to act openly, and without the soothing forms with which
he had reckoned upon enveloping his taking possession of Holland. An
imperial decree of the 9th of July, 1810, announced to the world that
Holland was reunited to France. The abdication of King Louis in favor of
his son was treated as null and void. Rome had been declared the second
city of the empire after the confiscation of the Papal States. Amsterdam
was promoted to the third rank. Seven new departments were formed from the
territory of the Netherlands. Holland was to send six members to the
Senate of the Empire, six deputies to the Council of State, twenty-five to
the Corps Législatif, two Councillors to the Court of Cassation. The
emperor often vaunted the rare capacity of the Dutch whom he had thus
drawn into his service. The first use which he now made of his supreme
authority was to reduce the public debt from 80,000,000 to 20,000,000.
This act of bankruptcy introduced into the charges of the budget an
economy which it was thought ought to satisfy all those who had not
personally to suffer the consequences. "The Corps Législatif will be
another object of economy," wrote Napoleon, on the 23rd of July, to
Lebrun, his arch-treasurer, whom he had charged to represent him in
Holland; "the external relations will be an object of economy; the Council
of State will be an object of economy; the civil list will be still
another object of economy." The emperor had not reckoned on two
sentiments, more powerful than all others in this little country, which
had conquered its liberty at the price of so many sufferings. Its union to
France cost Holland its national independence; the bankruptcy tainted its
honor and its credit; whilst submitting to an imperious necessity, the
Dutch nation never forgot it.

The condition of Europe thus underwent, under the hand of the Emperor
Napoleon, fundamental modifications, of which he scarcely took the trouble
to inform his allies. The Emperor Alexander alone received some
explanations on the subject of the union of Holland and France. "The
Netherlands have not in reality had a change of master," Caulaincourt was
instructed to say; "it is a country of lagoons, ports, and dockyards. They
are not much known on the continent, and have no importance except for
England; the naval forces of France will be augmented by it, and the
general peace will become more easy and more certain." A few months only
were to pass away before Napoleon would complete his maritime lines of
defence, by taking possession of the coasts as far as the Weser and the
Elbe. In the month of December, 1810, a simple decree formed three French
departments [Footnote: L'Ems Supérieur, les Bouches-du-Weser, and les
Bouches-de-l'Elbe.] from the territory of the Hanseatic towns, the States
of the Prince of Oldenburg and a small portion of Hanover. In his quality
of uncle to the Emperor Alexander, the Prince of Oldenburg received the
town of Erfurt by way of indemnity. At the same time the territory of the
Valais became French, under the name of the department of the Simplon. The
former masters of the annexed countries received purely and simply a
notification of the sovereign will. Irritation was everywhere increasing;
no one resented these things more keenly than the Emperor Alexander, still
a nominal ally of France. Meanwhile he silently waited.

Quite close to Russia, in a country recently dismembered by the Emperor
Alexander with the consent of Napoleon, there was preparing at this time
an event which was soon to assure to the fifth European coalition one of
its most useful supports. The King of Sweden, Gustavus IV., unstable,
violent, and eccentric enough to warrant doubts as to the soundness of his
reason, had been deposed on the 10th of May, 1809, by the assembled
States, as the result of a military conspiracy. His uncle, the Duke of
Sudermania, elevated to the throne under the title of Charles XIII., had
no children; the Diet designated as his successor the Duke of
Augustenburg. This prince expired suddenly, in the midst of a review. The
claimants were numerous, and the King of Sweden desired to know the wish
of Napoleon. The latter secretly favored the King of Denmark, but the
States were not well disposed in his favor: the emperor refused to give a
decision. "A word from his Majesty would suffice to decide everything,"
said Désaugiers, the chargé-d'affaires at Stockholm. Some proposed to
choose a stranger, and Marshal Bernadotte was thought of. During our
occupation of Pomerania he had known how to render himself agreeable to
the population over whom he ruled, and to persons of consideration who had
known how to appreciate the vivacity and capacity of his mind. He was a
kinsman of the Bonapartes, and conspicuous amongst the lieutenants of
Napoleon. An obscure member of the Diet repaired to Paris, and knitted the
first threads of an intrigue, destined to succeed by the very fact of the
ignorance and illusions of its authors. By placing Bernadotte upon the
steps of the throne, the States of Sweden thought to assure themselves of
the good-will of the Emperor Napoleon; his name was popular amongst the
lower classes. He was proclaimed Prince Royal of Sweden 17th August, 1810.

Napoleon had delayed too long to express his mind. A messenger arrived at
Stockholm bearing despatches which emphatically disavowed the declarations
of the partisans of Bernadotte. "I cannot think," said Napoleon, "that
these individuals could have had the impudence to assert themselves to be
charged with any mission whatever." The official announcement of the
elevation of the Prince of Pontecorvo was already on its way to Paris. "I
was little prepared for this news," replied Napoleon to the letter of King
Charles XIII. He wished to wrest from Bernadotte a pledge never to bear
arms against France. The marshal formally refused. For a long time in
secret hostility to the emperor, he severely judged the errors of his
ambition, and the consequences that would result for the peace of Europe.
"Go then," said Napoleon, "and let destiny be accomplished!" On the
evening of the 18th Brumaire, Bernadotte wrote to General Bonaparte: "My
idea of liberty differs from yours, and your plan kills it. Three weeks
ago I retired; but if I receive orders from those who have still the right
to give me them, I shall resist all illegal attempts against the
established powers."

The struggle was not to be long in breaking forth between the new heir to
the throne of Sweden and the exacting master who claimed to subject all
European powers to his laws. Everywhere the questions that grew out of the
continental blockade in right as well as in practice, brought about
difficulties, and gave rise to sufferings by which all the governments
were injured. In annexing Holland to France, Napoleon had authorized,
under a duty of 50 per cent., the sale of goods of English production
which the contraband had kept stored up in their warehouses. He conceived
the idea of applying the same duty to all sales of colonial products which
until then had only been able to enter France by virtue of a special
license. All the merchandise of this kind found in store, either in the
countries dependent on the French Empire, or in foreign territories within
four hours' journey of the frontier, were suddenly affected by this tax,
and placed under the obligation of a certificate of origin (5th August,
1810). In default of this justification, the goods were seized as of
English production, and in consequence contraband. The colonial produce
was to be sold; the manufactured articles were to be everywhere burnt. In
Spain, in the Canton of Tessin, at Frankfort, in the Hanseatic towns, at
Stettin, at Custrin, at Dantzig, the troops were ordered to carry out the
searches and seizures. A few dependent or vanquished sovereigns--Saxony or
Prussia, for example--themselves consented to make the required
requisitions. The sums produced by sales made in Prussia were generously
credited by the Emperor Napoleon as deductions from the Prussian debt to
France. A director of the French Customs superintended the Swiss troops in
their inquisitions. At all points of the immense territory subjugated by
Napoleon, the merchants crowded to the markets opened for confiscated
goods, whilst every article proved to be of English manufacture was
delivered to the flames in public. "For confiscation, for expulsion from
the country, they came to substitute the punishment of burning," writes
Mollien in his Memoirs; "and the reading of the correspondence of commerce
might have convinced Napoleon what complaint the bankers and maritime
speculators were making against a policy which, in the most industrious
century, was destroying by fire the creations of industry. Until then,
however, French manufacturers had flattered themselves with being able to
supply the consumers whom English commerce was to lose by so severe a
system of prohibition; but this illusion vanished when Napoleon, seduced
by the hope of assuring to France a part in the enterprises of the
commercial monopoly of England, was seen to be putting in some sort up to
auction the right of introducing into Europe the productions of America
and India, loading several raw materials--such as cotton and wool--with
enormous duties, and, by an inexplicable contradiction, rendering to the
productions of English industry, by these very taxes, more advantages than
prohibition caused them to lose. Then this fictitious system, which was to
free the continent from the domination of English commerce, became patent
to all eyes as nothing else but the most disastrous and false of fiscal
inventions; for it was creating two monopolies in place of one--
aggravating at once the condition of the French manufacturers and that of
the speculators of all countries, and giving up the privilege of
commercial speculation to a few interested adventurers."

Hitherto the United States of America alone had protested equally against
the Emperor Napoleon's system of continental blockade and the English
ordinances. Already, for several months past, an embargo had been placed
in their ports on French and English vessels, unless driven to take refuge
in consequence of a tempest. Mistress, the one of the seas, the other of
the land, it was on the United States that both England and France
lavished their caresses, eager to enrol them in the service of their
hostile passions. For a long time the Emperor Napoleon had required the
seizure of American vessels sailing under a neutral flag, in spite of the
interdiction of their government, and this rigor had been one of the
causes of the dissensions between him and the King of Holland. In the
month of July, 1810, he made known to Congress, that on and after the 1st
of November the Americans should not be subject to the decrees of Berlin
and Milan, and that they might enter into the ports of France, provided
that they could obtain from England a revocation of the ordinances of the
Council. "In continuing to submit to them," Napoleon had formerly said,
"the peoples who are menaced by the pretensions of England would do better
to recognize her sovereignty, and America ought to press forward to return
under the yoke from which she has so gloriously delivered herself."

On its part, the English cabinet revoked the ordinances of the Council
with regard to the Americans, and relieved them of the toll by way of
harbor dues imposed on all other vessels; but it persisted in forbidding
to neutral vessels the entry into French ports, thus confirming its system
of a paper blockade. The measure was insufficient for the satisfaction of
the United States; it did little harm to that commerce and industry of
Great Britain which Napoleon strove so madly to injure by land as well as
by sea.

A sign of the discontent of the Emperor Alexander was his clearly
manifested resolution not to impose upon his subjects new and exorbitant
pecuniary sacrifices. Nearly all the European powers had accepted or
submitted to the decree of the 1st of August. "There are no true
neutrals," maintained Napoleon; "they are all English, masked under divers
flags, and bearers of false papers. They must be confiscated, and England
is lost." Russia constantly refused to yield to these entreaties. Faithful
to the law of the blockade as regards the capture of English vessels, the
Emperor Alexander authorized navigation under a neutral flag. No seizure
was effected in his States.

Sweden protested in vain. Denmark had been authorized to effect the sale
of prohibited merchandise by means of the fifty per cent. tariff; the new
Prince of Sweden begged a similar indulgence in favor of his adopted
country. The emperor, dissatisfied, was angered. "Choose," said he,
"between the cannon-balls for the English or war with France." Bernadotte
consented to commence hostilities against the English; he was without
resources, and without defences. "We offer you our arms and our iron,"
wrote he to the emperor; "give us in return the means that nature has
refused to us." Other allies were soon to accept the offers of the
illustrious marshal of the empire.

Meanwhile the months rolled past, and Napoleon did not quit Paris. He had
just contracted new ties; he was occupied with the cares necessitated by
the internal administration of the empire--with the legal creation of the
extraordinary Domain, the fruit of conquests and confiscations, and which
had already served to supply without control the divers needs of the
emperor. The very appearance of authority was thus little by little
escaping from the Corps Législatif, the retiring deputies of which had
their commissions arbitrarily prolonged. The representatives of the new
departments had been directly chosen by the Senate. The censorship had
been re-established, and its favorable decrees did not always suffice to
save works and their authors. The "Germany" of Madame de Staël had
received the authorization of the censors, when the edition was seized and
placed in the pillory. Madame de Staël was compelled to quit France in
twenty-four hours. The rigors of Savary with regard to the press surpassed
the traditions left by Fouché; the greater number of the journals were
subjected to permanent fines, under the form of pensions to literary men.
The erection of eight state prisons seemed to presage times still more
harsh; however, the emperor demanded from the Council of State, in order
to explain the motive for these erections, a couple of pages of clauses
"containing liberal ideas." He had for a long time exercised towards
France the power of words; he knew their influence and weight. More than
once, in deeds of warfare his acts had gone beyond his promises; the day
had come when he was about to promise more than he could perform. Liberal
phrases no longer concealed from the nation the yoke which crushed it. The
pompous declarations against the English leopard, hurled forth at the
opening of the session of the Corps Législatif, in December, 1809, did not
hasten the end of the war in Spain. The emperor did not set out as he had
solemnly announced. He called Marshal Masséna, scarcely recovered from his
fatigue and his wounds during the war in Germany, and confided to him the
task of vanquishing the English in Portugal. Sir Arthur Wellesley
continued to occupy his positions between Badajoz and Alcantara. Since the
battle of Talavera and the combats which then accompanied his last
movements of troops, the English general had not actively taken part in

The war had not, however, ceased in Spain, and the insurgents had not
diminished their efforts. General Kellermann had depicted in its true
light the particular character of the struggle, when he wrote to Marshal
Berthier: "The war in Spain is not at all an ordinary affair. Doubtless
one has not to fear reverses and disastrous checks; but this stubborn
nation wears away the army with its detailed resistance. Independently of
the regular corps, which must be faced, it is also necessary to guard
against the numerous swarms of brigands and strong organized bands, which
infest the country, and which by their mobility, and above all by the
favor of the inhabitants, escape from all pursuit, and come up behind you
a quarter of an hour after your return. It is in vain that we beat down on
one side the heads of the hydra; they reappear on the other, and without a
revolution in the minds of men you will not succeed for a long time in
subduing this vast peninsula. It will absorb the population and the
treasures of France. They wish to gain time, and to weary us by
persistency. We shall only obtain their submission by their exhaustion,
and the annihilation of half the population. Such is the spirit which
animates this nation, that one cannot even create in it a few partisans.
It is in vain to treat it with mode ration and justice; in a difficult
moment, no governor or leader whatever would find ten men who would dare
to arm for his defence. We must, then, have more men. The emperor perhaps
grows weary of sending them, but it is necessary to make an end of the
business, or to be contented with establishing ourselves in one half of
Spain in order afterwards to conquer the other. Meanwhile, resources
diminish, the means perish, money is exhausted or disappears; one knows
not where to direct one's energies to provide for the pay, for the
maintenance of the troops, for the needs of the hospitals, for the
infinite details necessary for an army in need of everything. Misery and
privations increase sickness, and enfeeble the army continually; whilst,
on the other side, the bands that swarm on all sides seize every day upon
small parties or isolated men, who venture into the open country with
extreme imprudence, notwithstanding the most positive, reiterated

It was the effort of all the generals commanding in Spain to destroy the
bands of guerillas, who harassed their soldiers and slowly decimated their
armies. General Suchet had, more than any other, succeeded in Aragon;
General Gouvion St. Cyr had been absorbed by the siege of Girone, which
had at length just submitted to him when Marshal Augereau was sent into
Catalonia, in order to take from him at once his command and the glory of
his conquest. The end of the campaign of 1809 had been signalized by a
victory, gained on the 19th of November, at Ocaña, by Marshal Mortier and
General Sebastiani over the insurgent army of the centre. The central
Junta had confided its powers to a commission, at the head of which was
the Marquis de la Romana, always more active than effective. The
insurrectional government retired into the Ile de Leon, boldly convoking
the Cortes at Madrid for the 1st of March, 1810.

Marshal Soult had become major-general of the army of Spain, since Marshal
Jourdan had been recalled after the battle of Talavera; he was meditating
a great campaign against Andalusia. Napoleon hesitated to consent to it;
the English alone appeared to him to be formidable, and he had been
wishing to concentrate all his forces against them: Marshal Massena was
not, however, ready to enter on the campaign. King Joseph received the
authorization to advance upon Andalusia; he ordered, at the same time,
Marshals Ney and Suchet to lay siege to Ciudad Rodrigo and Valencia. Both
attempted operations with insufficient forces, and were to fail in an
enterprise which drew upon them the bitter reproaches of the emperor. The
army of the King of Spain advanced towards Seville; the defiles of the
Sierra Morena had been occupied without resistance by Marshal Victor. The
intestine dissensions which divided the capital of Andalusia had deprived
it of its means of defence; a great part of the population took to flight.
A few cannon, pointed from the ramparts, did not arrest for a moment the
march of the French. Marshal Soult summoned the place to surrender, and
the Junta of the province consented to capitulate. All the military chiefs
recently assembled in Seville had succeeded in escaping. King Joseph made
his entry on the 1st of February, 1810. Malaga and Granada were not long
in surrendering.

All the leaders of the insurrection were found henceforth at Cadiz; the
central Junta and its executive commission had abdicated in favor of a
royal regency. The preparations for resistance in this place, fortified on
the side of the land by man, as on the side of the sea by nature,
disquieted King Joseph, who had long been desirous of detaching a _corps
d'armée_ against Cadiz. "Assure me of Seville, and I will assure you of
Cadiz," said Marshal Soult. Now it was found necessary to guard Seville,
Granada, and Malaga; a corps of observation was being maintained before
Badajoz; the forces which were laying siege to Cadiz were necessarily
restrained; everywhere the Spanish armies were forming again.

Napoleon had been for a long time weary of the war in Spain, which he had
at first regarded as an easy enterprise; he had conceived ill-feeling
towards his brother, whom he rightly judged incapable of accomplishing the
work which he himself had been wrong in committing to his charge. The
continual demands for men and money which came to him from the peninsula
hindered his operations and his schemes; he resolved upon modifying the
organization of the government in Spain. On the 28th of January, 1810, he
wrote to the Duke of Cadore (Champagny): "Write by the express, and
several times, to the Sieur Laforest, at Madrid, in order that he may
present notes as to the impossibility of my continuing to sustain the
enormous expenses of Spain; that I have already sent there more than
300,000,000; that such considerable exportations of money exhaust France;
that it is, then, indispensable that the engineers, the artillery, the
administrations, and the soldiers' pay should be henceforth supplied from
the Spanish treasury; that all which I can do is to give a supplemental
grant of two millions per month for the soldiers' pay; that if this
proposition is not agreed to, it will only remain for me to administer the
provinces of Spain on my own account--in that case they will abundantly
supply the maintenance and pay of the army. To see the resources of this
country lost by false measures and a feeble administration, and to send
thither my best blood, is impossible. The provinces have plenty of money,
when the soldier is not paid he will pillage, and I know not what to do
with him."

It was in the midst of his joy and his easy triumph in Andalusia that the
severe protests of Napoleon arrived to surprise King Joseph. A few
liberalities he had permitted himself with regard to his servants had
succeeded in exasperating the emperor. He decreed the state of siege in
all the provinces [Footnote: Catalonia, Aragon, Navarre, and Biscay.] to
the left of the Ebro, confiding the military command to four generals--
Augereau, Suchet, Reille, and Thouvenot. All the administrative powers
were at the same time, committed to these generals, who were to correspond
directly with the emperor. The idea of Napoleon, with which he acquainted
his lieutenants, was to unite to France the territories which he thus
isolated from the rest of the empire, as an indemnity for the sacrifices
which the war had imposed upon him. General Suchet was charged with
completing the conquest of the towns in Catalonia and Aragon which were
still held by the insurgents. He achieved brilliantly the siege of Lerida.

At the same time, and in order to take away from King Joseph an authority
which he knew not how to use, the armies in the country were divided into
three corps. The army of the south was confided to Marshal Soult; the army
of Portugal was waiting for the arrival of Marshal Masséna; the army of
the centre--the least important of all--was alone left under the personal
direction of King Joseph, who was appointed its general-in-chief. The
embassies of King Joseph, the complaint of his wife, who was still in
Paris, remained without result. In place of a central, powerless, and
insufficient power, Napoleon was desirous of establishing delegates of his
supreme authority. He had sanctioned anarchy; the rights of the hierarchy
had disappeared before the lieutenants of a chief arbitrary, but until now
constantly attended by victory. Far from the presence of Napoleon, in a
country given over for two years to the disorder of civil war, obedience
had given place to mistrust, and regularity to disorder. Scarcely had
Marshal Masséna joined the army of Portugal, of which he had accepted the
command with regret, than he had immediately a perception of the
difficulties which awaited it. The emperor had given orders to commence by
the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo and of Almeida. Marshal Ney and General Junot,
whose corps were placed under the command of Masséna, made such clamorous
protests that the old marshal was obliged to display all his authority.
"They say that Masséna has grown old," cried he with just anger; "they
will see that my will has lost nothing of its force." Already Sir Arthur
Wellesley, become Lord Wellington, was preparing not far from Lisbon,
between the Tagus and the sea, that invulnerable position which history
has designated "the lines of Torres Vedras." It was thither that he
counted on drawing the French army, slowly exhausting its forces before an
enemy patiently unassailable. The orders of Napoleon, and the deference of
Masséna to these instructions, had spared us the danger of being attacked
in the rear; when the French army advanced to encounter Lord Wellington,
it had taken possession of Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida, but the two sieges
had been long and painful, having cost the lives of many soldiers;
important garrisons occupied the places. In accordance with a mental habit
which grew upon him through default of contradiction, the Emperor Napoleon
did not admit the enfeeblement of his forces, whilst depreciating
beforehand those of his enemy. "My cousin," wrote he on the 10th of
September, 1810, to Marshal Berthier, "let a French officer set out
immediately as bearer of a letter for the Prince of Essling, in which you
will make him understand that my intention is that he should attack and
rout the English; that Lord Wellington has no more than 18,000 men, of
which only 15,000 are infantry, and the remainder cavalry and artillery;
that General Hill has no more than 6000 men, infantry and cavalry; that it
would be ridiculous for 25,000 English to hold in suspense 60,000
Frenchmen; that, by not groping about, but by attacking them openly, after
having reconnoitred them, they will be made to experience severe repulses.
The Prince of Essling has four times as many cavalry as he needs for
defeating the enemy's army. I am too far off, and the position of the
enemy changes too often, for me to be able to counsel you as to the manner
of leading the attack, but it is certain that the enemy is not in a state
to resist."

Marshal Masséna was wrong in accepting a mission of which he foresaw the
immense dangers, and in refraining from personally impressing the emperor,
by the weight of his old experience, as regards the illusions that were
prevalent in Paris on the subject of the respective situations of the two
armies. Counting upon victory on the day when he should succeed in meeting
the enemy, he became involved, with 50,000 men in the impracticable roads
of Portugal in the vicinity of Lord Wellington, already his equal in
forces, and seconded by the whole Portuguese nation in insurrection
against the French. The lieutenants of Masséna, as bold and more youthful,
estimated as he did the disastrous chances of the campaign. "Do not stand
haggling with the English," replied Napoleon. He was obeyed.

Lord Wellington remained in his retreat upon the heights of Busaco, above
the valley of Mondego, in front of Coimbra; he barred the passage to
Marshal Masséna, who resolved to give battle. After a furious and
sanguinary combat (27th of September, 1810), the attack of the French was
decisively repulsed. For the first time the Portuguese, mixed with the
English troops, had courageously sustained their allies. "They have shown
themselves worthy of fighting beside English soldiers," says Lord
Wellington in his report. The road remained closed, and the English,
masters of their position, saw already Marshal Masséna constrained to
retreat. He had recovered on the field of battle all his indomitable
ardor. "We ought to be able to turn the hills," said he to his
lieutenants, and he detached immediately General Montbrun upon the right,
to traverse an unknown country, hostile, and already enveloped in the
darkness of night. The perspicacity and perseverance of the marshal had
not been deceived; his scouts discovered a passage which the English had
not occupied. On the 29th, at sunset, Lord Wellington learnt all of a
sudden that the French army had defiled by the little village of Bazalva
upon the back of the mountain; it was already debouching upon the plain of
Coimbra, when the English saw themselves compelled to evacuate the town in
all haste: the French passed through behind them, only leaving their sick
and wounded. The Portuguese militia immediately resumed possession of the
town. Masséna advanced upon Lisbon by forced marches; on the 11th of
October he arrived before the lines of Torres Vedras, by this time
completely finished, and furnished with 600 pieces of ordnance. Behind
three successive series of formidable entrenchments, supplied with
resources of every kind, and supported on one side by the Tagus and on the
other by the ocean, Lord Wellington had resolved to shut up his army,
until then victorious, and to wait until hunger, sickness, and exhaustion
should at length deliver him from his enemies, whatever might be the
difficulties of the undertaking, and the clamors that might be raised
against him.

"I am convinced," wrote the English general to his government, "that the
honor and the interest of the country require us to remain here to the
latest possible moment, and, with the aid of Heaven, I will hold on here
as long as I can. I shall not seek to relieve myself of the burden of
responsibility by causing the burden of a defeat to rest upon the
shoulders of ministers; I will not ask from them resources which they
cannot spare, and which will not contribute perhaps in an effective manner
to the success of our enterprise; I will not again give to the weakness of
the ministry an excuse for withdrawing the army from a situation which the
honor and interest of the country compel us to guard. If the Portuguese do
their duty, I can maintain myself here; if they do not do their duty, no
effort in the power of Great Britain to make will suffice to save
Portugal; and if I am obliged to retire, I shall be in a situation to
bring away the English army with me."

It was with this firm and modest confidence in a situation that he had
prudently chosen, and of which all the resources had been multiplied by
his foresight, that Lord Wellington awaited the attack of Masséna, and the
seasoned troops who were deploying before his lines. The soldiers were
exasperated at this unforeseen obstacle raised by the hand of man, and of
which no one had penetrated the secret. "We shall succeed, as we should
have succeeded at Busaco, if we had been allowed to," said the troops.
Masséna judged otherwise.

On the 10th of October the marshal with his staff-officers examined with
care the enemy's lines; one discharge of a cannon, one only, resounded in
their ears, and the wall upon which the telescope rested was overthrown.
Masséna looked at his lieutenants. "The only thing to do is to occupy both
shores of the Tagus, and keep them and Lisbon blockaded," said he: "we
will wait for reinforcements, and when the army of Andalusia shall have
arrived we will see if, behind those cannons there, there are other
cannons and other walls, as the peasants say."

In their rigid simplicity, the conceptions of Lord Wellington had taken
little account of the sufferings of the Portuguese nation. Resolved upon
defending Portugal to the last extremity, he had left Lisbon exposed to
cannon-balls, and the country a prey to the systematic depredations of the
French. Masséna decided upon constituting a military establishment in face
of the enemy's lines. Everywhere the resources of the surrounding country
were stored in the magazines; an hospital was prepared; General Eblé, old
and fatigued, but always inexhaustible in resources, was preparing boats
in order to form a bridge. Effecting a movement in rear, Masséna and his
lieutenants occupied all the positions from Santarem to Thomar, eager to
instal themselves upon the two shores of the Tagus, to seize upon
Abrantes, and to invest the English each day more closely in their lines.
Already discontent was great in Lisbon, where provisions arrived with
difficulty. Wellington urged upon the regency of Portugal the devastation
of the country districts, and especially that of Alemtejo, the natural
resource of the French army; the Portuguese authorities resisted. "Deliver
Portugal, instead of famishing it," said they.

This was repeated in England, where the Prince of Wales had just assumed
the regency, in consequence of a decided relapse into madness of King
George III. The opposition thought itself returning to power; it had long
sustained against the ministers of his father the policy of the heir to
the throne; it now pleaded the cause of peace. The dangers to which the
army of Portugal was exposed, the evils it might have to undergo, formed
the subject of the debates in Parliament. The Prince Regent did not hasten
to change his cabinet, but the violence of the recriminations in the ranks
of the opposition affected the Marquis of Wellesley; he pressed his
brother to make an effort to relieve England from the enormous weight that
was crushing her. "I know it will cost me the little reputation I have
been able to obtain, and the good will of the population that surrounds
me," said Wellington; "but I shall not accomplish my duty towards England
and this country, if I do not persevere in the prudence which can alone
assure us success." Marshal Masséna had sent the eloquent and adroit
General Foy to Paris, charged with representing to the Emperor the
difficulties of the situation of the army, and the absolute need of a
supreme effort in its favor.

The general arrived at Paris at the moment when new complications were
preparing. The harshness of the proceedings of Napoleon, the violence
which he had displayed towards the small independent princes whose
territories he had confiscated, the yoke of iron under which he claimed to
place all the commercial interests of Europe, had, little by little,
effaced the remains of the youthful admiration and confidence with which
his brilliant genius had inspired the Emperor Alexander. Personally
wounded by the sudden abandonment of the matrimonial negotiations, the
Czar experienced serious uneasiness at the insatiable ambition which
threatened to invade the most distant regions. He had made some
preparations for defence, of little importance in themselves, and simply
manifesting his fears. Napoleon took umbrage at it; the mad passion for
conquests was again roused in his mind; he already meditated a new
enterprise, bolder and less justifiable than all those which he had
hitherto accomplished, necessitating efforts which became every day more
difficult. No resource would be neglected; no reinforcement could be
detached for Portugal and Spain from the armies which were being prepared
in France and Germany. The intelligent ardor of General Foy, his loyal
pleadings on behalf of Marshal Masséna, did not completely succeed in
enlightening Napoleon as to the situation of affairs in the peninsula; he
understood enough of it, however, to order new dispositions of his troops.
The corps of General Drouet, in Old Castile, and the fifth corps of the
army of Andalusia, commanded by Marshal Mortier, were to proceed to the
aid of Marshal Masséna. The emperor recommended the latter to occupy
without delay the two shores of the Tagus--to throw a couple of bridges
across, as formerly over the Danube at Essling, in order to assure his
communications whilst waiting for the reinforcements, which would permit
him to attack the English lines with 80,000 men, perhaps to seize them,
and in any case to inflict such sufferings upon the Portuguese population
and upon the English that the latter should be obliged to retire. "The
policy of the English Government inclines to change," added Napoleon; "my
grand and final efforts will at last bring us the general peace." He
commenced at the same moment his preparations for the Russian campaign.

"Everything depends of the Tagus!" Such was the watchword sent back to
Spain by General Foy, and the tenor of the correspondence between Major-
General Berthier and the leaders of the armies in the Peninsula. General
Drouet began the march with his army reduced to 15,000 men, which Napoleon
reckoned as 30,000. In consequence of the delay of the operations, only
one division of 7000 men was effectively at the disposal of the general
when he took the road from Santarem. General Gardanne, sent forward in
advance, had become alarmed through the report of a movement of the
English, and had promptly fallen back upon Almeida, leaving to the
soldiers of Massena, and to the general-in-chief himself, the wretchedness
of a hope deceived. The instructions sent to General Drouet still gave
evidence of the obstinate illusions of the Emperor Napoleon as regards the
respective situation of the two armies in Portugal. "Repeat to General
Drouet the order to go to Almeida," wrote Napoleon to Marshal Berthier,
"and to collect considerable forces, in order to be of use to the Prince
of Essling, and to aid in keeping open his communications. It will be
necessary that he should give to General Gardanne, or any other general, a
force of 6000 men, with six pieces of cannon, in order to reopen the
communication, and that a corps of the same force should be placed at
Almeida, to correspond with him. In short, it is important that the
communications of the army of Portugal should be re-established, in order
that during all the time that the English remain in the country the rear
of the Prince of Essling may be securely guarded. Immediately the English
have re-embarked he will make his headquarters at Ciudad Rodrigo, my
intention being that only the ninth corps should be engaged in Portugal,
unless the English still hold it; and even the ninth corps ought never to
let itself be separated from Almeida; but it ought to manoeuvre between
Almeida and Coimbra."

When General Drouet, collecting all his forces, arrived at length with
8000 or 9000 men at Thomar (January, 1811), Marshal Massena had been
struggling for five months in complete isolation against a situation which
became every day more critical. He had successively seized Punhete and
Leyria, constantly occupied in preparing for that passage of the Tagus
which Napoleon was recommending to him without fathoming the enormous
difficulties of the task. The soldiers had been organized into companies
of foragers, from day to day obliged to go out further from the
encampments in order to be sure of some resources, exposing themselves in
consequence to attacks from a population everywhere hostile. Marauders
often detached themselves from their regiments, living for several weeks
by veritable pillage before returning under their flags. The officers
suffered still more than the soldiers, for they did not pillage. Money and
rations failed them; their clothes were worn to rags; courage alone
remained inexhaustible; discipline grew feeble in every rank of the
military hierarchy. The lieutenants of Marshal Masséna did not experience
the same confidence in him which sustained the soldiers. The bridges at
length reached completion, thanks to prodigies of perseverance and
cleverness; bitter discussions arose every day as to the most favorable
point for the passage, when the approach of General Drouet infused joy and
hope into the entire army. General Gardanne, who commanded the vanguard,
announced the arrival of all the straggling divisions of the ninth corps,
and the orders sent to Marshal Soult for the movement of Marshal Mortier.
Money as well as reinforcements was about to rain upon the army. The
instructions of the emperor were precise. The English were to be speedily
dislodged from their famous lines; and, if it was necessary still to
blockade them for some time, the Tagus once crossed, the troops would no
longer want for resources. The plain of Alemtejo would be open to them;
the fine season was approaching; all efforts would become easy. Confidence
and cheerfulness spread through all the encampments.

Marshal Masséna alone remained sad and uneasy. He had read the despatches
which General Drouet brought him; he had smiled bitterly at the hopes and
counsels of the Emperor Napoleon; he comprehended that the reinforcements
were insufficient, and that the attempt at resistance was in advance
condemned to failure. General Drouet had the order to maintain
communications between Santarem and Almeida; already the insurrection had
closed up all the roads behind him, and new skirmishes were necessary to
open a passage. Only the corps of General Gardanne was destined to remain
in the encampments, and that corps did not amount to 1500 men. Masséna
resolved upon keeping General Drouet near himself; not without pain did he
arrive at this conclusion. Discouragement was already penetrating the
army, with a true knowledge of the situation and of the notorious
insufficiency of the succors. General Foy had just arrived, accompanied by
a small corps of recruits or convalescents, which he had formed at Ciudad
Rodrigo. Before quitting that post, he had written to Marshal Soult,
continually occupied in Andalusia: "I beseech you, Monsieur le Maréchal,
in the name of a sentiment sacred to all French hearts--of the sentiment
which inflames us all for the interests and glory of our august master--to
present at the soonest possible moment a corps of troops upon the left
bank of the Tagus, opposite to the mouth of the Zezere. It is scarcely
four days' journey from Badajoz to Breto, a village situated opposite
Punhete. The English are not numerous on the left bank of the Tagus; they
cannot dare anything in this part without compromising the safety of their
formidable entrenchments before Lisbon, which are only eight leagues from
the bridge of Rio Mazac. According to the decision that your Excellency
may arrive at, the army of the Prince of Essling will pass the Tagus, hold
in check the English on both banks of the river, will fatigue them, will
prey upon them, will keep them in painful and ruinous inaction, will form
between them and your sieges a barrier likely to accelerate the surrender
of the towns; or, on the other hand, this army, failing to effect the
passage that has become necessary, will be forced to withdraw from the
Tagus and from the English in order to find sufficient to eat, and by the
same movement will give the day to our eternal enemies, in a struggle in
which till now the chances have been in our favor. The country between the
Mondego and the Tagus being eaten up and entirely devastated, there can be
no question as to the army of Portugal having to make a retrograde step of
about five or six leagues. Hunger will follow it even into the provinces
of the north. The consequences of such a retreat are incalculable. It
appertains to you, Monsieur le Maréchal, to be at once the saviour of a
great army and the powerful instrument in carrying out the ideas of our
glorious sovereign. On the day when the troops under your orders shall
have appeared on the banks of the Tagus, and facilitated the passage of
this great river, you will be the true conqueror of Portugal."

When Marshal Soult received this eloquent and truthful summing up from
General Foy, already forestalled by the formal orders of the emperor, he
was personally in a grave embarrassment. Like Masséna in Portugal, he was
disposing in Andalusia of forces less considerable than Napoleon estimated
them in France. General Suchet, after having brilliantly accomplished his
enterprise against Tortosa, which was reduced on the 2nd of January, had
immediately commenced the difficult siege of Tarragona, which occupied
almost all his forces. General Sebastiani with difficulty sufficed for
guarding Granada; Marshal Victor was detained before Cadiz, where the
Cortes had solemnly assembled on the 4th of September. The resistance was
to be long, the place being manned by good troops, and constantly
revictualled by the English vessels. Generals Blake and Castaños had
collected their forces, and ceaselessly harassed the corps occupied by the
sieges, as well as the armies which kept the country. Marshal Soult had
just asked for important reinforcements from Paris, when he received the
order to attempt the difficult enterprise of an expedition into Portugal.
He thought he had the right to comment on the instructions sent to him,
and whilst urging the obstacles which were opposed to his prompt
obedience, he announced his intention of proceeding to the aid of Marshal
Masséna, by reducing the hostile towns found upon the road to Portugal.
The sieges accomplished, nothing more would hinder the march upon
Santarem. He advanced then, with Marshal Mortier and the fifth corps, to
the attack of Olivença, which did not oppose a long resistance. On the
27th of January he invested Badajoz.

The place was strong, protected by the Guadiana and by solid ramparts; it
communicated by a stone bridge with Fort St. Cristoval, built upon the
right bank, and defending the entrenched camp of Santa Engracia. At the
moment when Marshal Soult approached Badajoz, the corps of the Marquis de
la Romana, formerly occupied in Portugal in the service of the English,
and recently recalled by the Spanish insurrection, took possession of
these entrenchments; its indefatigable chief had just died at Lisbon. It
was in presence of these hostile forces that the fifth corps commenced the
work of a siege destined to detain them for several weeks. A successful
attack on a little detached fort permitted the marshals to attempt the
passage of the Guadiana, then much swollen by the rains, and to give
battle to the Spanish army. On the 19th of February, in the morning, upon
the banks of the Gevara, the corps of the insurgents were completely
defeated, without having been able to succeed in establishing themselves
in the entrenched camp of Santa Engracia. Marshal Soult was now in a
situation to hasten the taking of Badajoz, and to push forward into
Portugal before the Spanish army could be re-formed. He does not appear to
have conceived this idea, and resumed with perseverance the work of the
trenches. "I hope that Badajoz will have been taken in the course of
January, and that the junction with the Prince of Essling will have taken
place before the 20th of January," wrote the emperor, meanwhile. "If it is
necessary, the Duke of Dalmatia can withdraw troops from the fourth corps.
I repeat to you, everything depends upon the Tagus."

The cannon of Badajoz were heard at Santarem and at Torres Vedras, and the
hearts of the two armies beat with uneasiness and hope. Upon the arrival
of General Foy, in presence of the insufficiency of the disposable forces,
the question lay between a retreat upon Mondego and an attempt at the
passage of the Tagus. The wish of the emperor strongly expressed to Foy
himself, the patriotic honor which animated all the generals, even the
most dissatisfied, had made the balance incline in favor of a prolonged
occupation. It was necessary, then, to attempt to cross the river; the
distress which reigned in certain divisions, absolutely reduced by famine,
did not permit of hesitation; the shores of the stream were reconnoitred
with care. For a moment the idea was entertained of making use, as a
guiding mark, of the isle of Alviela, situated in the midst of the river,
as the isle of Lobau was found placed in the midst of the Danube. The
materials of the bridge were collected at Punhete, but horses were
wanting. General Eblé opposed an attempt, the advantages of which were to
be too tardily recognized. The passage from Santarem to Abrantes offered
the inconvenience of an immediate attack from the enemy in possession of
that town, recently fortified by General Hill. It was resolved to wait for
the arrival of Marshal Soult, or for the reinforcements which he had been
ordered to send into Portugal. Masséna had never believed, and did not
believe, in the promises which had been made him on this side; he
consented, however, upon the advice of all, to retard for a few days a
retrograde movement which became necessary, the impossibility of
attempting alone the passage of the Tagus being recognized. The enemy had
occupied the isle of Alviela; all the local resources were exhausted; the
reserve of biscuit assured still fifteen days' provisions to the army. The
weeks passed without news: the wind no longer brought the sound of the
cannonade; the soldiers felt themselves abandoned at the end of the world;
the anger of the generals no longer permitted them to reanimate the
failing courage of an army famished and without hope. Masséna commenced
the skilful preparations for his retreat upon Mondego. Under pretext of
effecting a concentration of the corps necessary for the passage of the
Tagus, he detached Marshal Ney towards Leyria, with a view of cutting off
from the enemy the roads to the sea, in order to form afterwards a rear-
guard. The wounded and the sick had been taken on before. On the 5th of
March, at the end of the day, the whole French army was on the march, sad
and gloomy in spite of their joy at quitting the places where they had
suffered without compensation and without glory. The materials of the
bridges, prepared with so much care by General Eblé, were burnt. General
Junot pressed forward, in order to occupy Coimbra and the Mondego--a
rallying-point indicated beforehand to all the corps.

Lord Wellington issued forth from his entrenchments on learning the
movements which announced to him our retreat. His accustomed prudence kept
him from precipitating the pursuit by an effort that might become
dangerous; the well-known character of Marshal Ney protected the rear-
guard no less than the valor of his troops. He ranged his forces in order
of battle before Pombal, which obliged Wellington to recall the troops
which he had detached for the succor of Badajoz. But the hurry of the
retreat had resumed possession of the mind of General Drouet, ever haunted
by compunctions for his disobedience to the formal orders of Napoleon. Ney
was not in a position seriously to defend his positions against the
English; after a brilliant skirmish, he fell back upon Redinha. His
division of infantry had constantly fought under his orders in all the
campaigns of the six previous years; it disputed the land, foot to foot,
with the 25,000 English, who followed the French army, without letting
itself, for a single moment, be troubled or pressed by the superiority of
the enemy. The least offensive movement of the English columns was
responded to by a charge from our troops, which soon re-established the
distance between the two armies. Masséna, who was present at the
manoeuvres of Marshal Ney, admired them without reserve, beseeching his
clever and courageous lieutenant not to abandon the heights, in order to
give the other corps the time and space necessary for the continuance of
their march. A last engagement, which took place upon the banks of the
Soure, in front of the position of Redinha, permitted Ney at last to cross
the river, and gain the town of Condeixa.

The position was strong, and Masséna counted on the energetic resistance
of his rear-guard, in order to hinder the English, and leave time for the
different corps to reassemble at Coimbra. Marshal Ney on this occasion
failed to realize the just hopes of his chief; after a slight skirmish, he
abandoned Condeixa, and overtaking in his haste the corps that his
movement had exposed, he fell back upon the main body of the army. A
position at Coimbra became impossible, as Lord Wellington was following
closely on our divided forces. Masséna gained the Alva by a series of
clever manoeuvres, constantly thwarted by the want of discipline in his
lieutenants. Marshal Ney had let himself be surprised at Foz d'Arunce by
the English; General Régnier extended his camp to a distance, without care
for the safety of other corps; the position of the Alva was no longer
tenable. Masséna, exasperated and grieved, continued his march towards the
frontier of Spain; re-entered it without glory, after having displayed,
during six months, all the resources of his courage, and the energy of his
will in a situation which had been imprudently imposed upon him by
peremptory orders. He led back an army inured to fatigue and privations,
but disorganized by an existence at once idle and irregular, directed by
chiefs soured and discontented. The consequences of this state of things
were not long in bursting forth; scarcely had the troops taken a few days'
rest in Spain, when Marshal Masséna conceived the idea of assuming the
offensive by descending upon the Tagus by Alcantara, in order to re-enter
Portugal and recommence the campaign. Marshal Ney frankly refused to
follow him without the communication of the formal orders of the emperor.
In consideration of this act of revolt, twice repeated, Masséna took from
Ney the command of the sixth corps, which was confided to General Loyson.
Ney obeyed, not without some regret for his conduct; the ill-humor of all
the chiefs of the corps rendered the resumption of the campaign in
Portugal utterly impossible: the army was cantoned between Almeida, Ciudad
Rodrigo, and Salamanca. The emperor had just confided the general command
of all the provinces of the north to Marshal Bessières; the latter had
promised much to Marshal Massena, who still nursed the hope of a great
battle. Lord Wellington, following the French, had entered Spain.

The situation of affairs became critical, in spite of the _éclat_ of the
taking of Badajoz, which had been at length reduced to capitulate, on the
11th of March, on the eve of a general assault. Marshal Soult now found
himself pressed to fly to the assistance of Cadiz. Marshal Victor was
threatened in his positions of siege by the Spanish general Blake, and by
an English corps recently embarked at Gibraltar. But already the energetic
defence of Victor had triumphed over the enemy in the battle of Barossa.
The assailants had retired, but remained in a threatening attitude. The
army of Wellington, formerly kept immovable by Massena at Torres Vedras,
became every day a danger for those who had not been able, or who had not
been willing, to go to the aid of the expedition in Portugal. Our forces,
everywhere dispersed, were everywhere insufficient. Marshal Soult, justly
uneasy, demanded reinforcements from all sides. General Foy had returned
to Paris, in order to explain to the emperor the retreat of Masséna.

Great was the wrath of Napoleon. He had not yet opened his eyes to the
profound causes of so many repeated checks. He did not comprehend the
lessons which events were pointing out to his conquering ambition. He
imputed to his lieutenants faults sometimes inevitable, or easily to be
foreseen, in the circumstances in which they were placed. The
inexhaustible resources of his military genius were not, however, at a
loss on the occasion of this first outburst of embarrassments, destined
daily to increase. He recalled Marshal Ney, incapable of serving under any
other than himself, and replaced him by Marshal Marmont, more docile, more
skilled in questions of military organization, and very earnest in the
service of Marshal Masséna. The latter was charged with watching Lord
Wellington, and with closely following the English army. Marshal Soult
received the reinforcements which had become necessary to him in order to
defend the frontiers of Estramadura. The garrison of Badajoz was
insufficient; that of Almeida had been furnishing provisions for several
weeks to the troops of Masséna cantoned in the environs of the place;
resources began to be exhausted. Wellington was triumphing in Portugal, in
Spain, and even in England. His detractors had been constrained to admire
the wisdom of his contrivances, and to admit their success; the opposition
loudly proclaimed it in Parliament; the war party prevailed in the
councils, and nobody any longer haggled over the succors to the victorious
general. Past clamor did not trouble Lord Wellington; the flatteries of
public favor did not intoxicate him. He decided on laying siege to the
places recently conquered by the French. He himself proceeded to the
environs of Badajoz, in order to settle his plan for the campaign. The
bulk of his army were menacing Almeida.

Masséna was informed of the departure of Wellington; he conceived the hope
of profiting by his absence to inflict upon the English a startling
defeat. Hastily collecting a convoy of provisions destined to revictual
Almeida, he pressed Marshal Bessières to join with him in order to attack
the army of the enemy. Bessières lingered; the lieutenants of Masséna did
not give evidence of the ardor which still inflamed the heroic defender of
Genoa. Using on this occasion all his rights as general-in-chief, Masséna
ordered at length the concentration of the forces. He was getting ready to
set out, "without bread, without cannons, without horses," wrote he to
Marshal Bessières, resolved upon no longer deferring his attack. The Duke
of Istria (Bessières) arrived at last, on the 1st of May, with a
reinforcement of 1500 horses and a convoy of grain. When the troops
quitted Ciudad Rodrigo, on the 2nd of May, they had appeased their hunger.
About 36,000 men were under arms. Wellington had had time to rejoin his

The English occupied the village of Fuentes d'Onoro, between the two
streams of the Dos Casas and the Furones; they covered thus their
principal communications with Portugal by the bridge of Castelbon over the
Coa, and defended against us the road of Almeida. The combat began (3rd
May, 1811) upon the two shores of the Dos Casas. Extremely furious on both
sides, it left the English in possession of the village. Our columns of
attack found themselves insufficient, and dispersed over too wide an
extent of country. They occupied, however, both shores of the stream,
when, night falling, caused the combat to cease. On the morrow Marshal
Masséna, changing the point of his principal effort, marched with the main
body of his forces upon Pozo-Velho. He attacked on May 5th, at daybreak.
Some brilliant charges of cavalry threw the English into disorder, but the
guard refused to act without the orders of Marshal Bessières, who was not
found in time on the field of battle. The division of General Loyson went
astray in the woods, while General Reynier limited himself to keeping back
the English brigade which was directly opposed to him. The ammunition
failed; Marshal Bessières, alleging the fatigue of the teams, refused to
despatch immediately the wagons to Ciudad Rodrigo, where there was a store
of cartridges. Discussion and want of discipline had borne their fruits.
The first glorious outburst at the beginning of the day remained without
result. Masséna slept upon the field of battle, within range of the guns
of the English; but the latter had not recoiled, and everywhere maintained
their position. When the marshal, provided with ammunition, wished to
recommence hostilities, the most devoted amongst his lieutenants dissuaded
him from the enterprise. Discouragement spread among the soldiers, as ill-
humor among the officers. With despair in his heart, Masséna remained in
face of the English whilst he gave orders to blow up the ramparts of
Almeida. The movement of retreat had scarcely commenced, on the 10th of
May, when the explosion was heard which announced the execution of the
orders given. The town of Almeida existed no longer. The garrison had
succeeded in escaping the watchfulness of the English, rejoining the corps
of General Heudelet, who had been sent to meet it. "That act is as good as
a victory!" cried Lord Wellington in anger. Masséna, however, did not
allow himself to be deceived.

A few days later (16th May, 1811), Marshal Soult failed in his turn to
overcome the resistance of the English posted before Badajoz, on the
shores of the Albuera. A corps of the Anglo-Spanish army had laid siege to
the place. The efforts of the French general to seize the village of
Albuera were not successful. The marshal was constrained to place his
cantonments at some distance, without, however, withdrawing from Badajoz.
Masséna had just been recalled to France, and replaced in his command by
Marshal Marmont. He had the misfortune to be constantly sacrificed to an
ambition bolder and cleverer than his own, and to bear more than once the
punishment for faults which he had not committed. His soul remained
indomitable, even in his bitter sorrow; but his military career was
terminated. Henceforth he was to fight no more: none of the last efforts
of Napoleon were confided to the warlike genius of an ancient rival, who
had become a loyal and useful lieutenant, without ever sinking to the
_rôle_ of the courtier or the servant.

For three years past, the stubborn antipathy of the Spaniards to the
foreign yoke had been struggling foot to foot against the power of
Napoleon. For two years the most brilliant efforts of our courage had been
vainly employed against the boldly-planned resistance of the English. The
enormous sacrifices necessitated by the conquest of Spain were not
compensated for, either by repose or glory. The armies were exhausted, and
the generals grew weary of struggling with enemies impossible to destroy,
whilst they fled only to form again immediately, like the Spaniards; or
whilst they defended intrepidly positions cleverly chosen, like the
English. The power and the reputation of Wellington went on increasing in
proportion to our defeats. King Joseph, feeble and honorable, unjustly
imposed by a perfidious contrivance on a people who repelled him, carried
to France the recital of his griefs and sorrows.

Such was the situation in Spain in the month of May, 1811, after the hopes
and long illusions of the campaigns of Andalusia and Portugal. The emperor
had just experienced a great joy; he possessed at last a son. The King of
Rome was born at Paris on the 20th of March. But day by day the situation
was becoming more grave. The rupture with Russia was imminent. We had lost
one after the other our most important colonies. In 1809 the English had
seized upon our factories in the Senegal, and had succeeded in destroying
our power in St. Domingo; in the months of July and December, 1810, the
Isle of Bourbon and the Isle of France were in their turn snatched away.
Our courageous efforts on the seas were powerless to defend the ancient
possessions of France, as our brilliant valor failed in Spain to assure us
an unjust conquest. In the interim, the industrial and commercial crisis
was developing, though the superabundance of production in face of a
European market more and more restricted. At the same time the Emperor
Napoleon found himself battling with the heedlessly contracted
difficulties of the spiritual government of the Catholic Church. The new
prelates were still waiting for their bulls of institution, and the Pope
still continued a prisoner.

Napoleon took his decision. He gave orders to the appointed bishops of
Orleans, St. Flour, Asti, and Liège to repair to their sees without any
other ecclesiastical formalities. He had elevated his uncle, Cardinal
Fesch, to the archbishopric of Paris, after the death of Cardinal de
Belloy. Fesch provisionally accepted, whilst continuing to hold his
archbishopric of Lyons, the titles of which were canonically regular. The
emperor flew into a passion. He had been to pay a visit to Notre Dame
without being received by Cardinal Fesch. "I expect," said he, "to find
the Archbishop of Paris at the door of his cathedral." He ordered the
newly-elected prelate to take possession of his see. "No," said the
cardinal; "I shall wait for the institution of the holy father." "But the
chapter has given you powers." "It is true, but I should not know how to
use them in this case." "Ah!" cried the emperor, "you condemn those who
have obeyed me. I shall certainly know how to force you to it." "_Potius
mori_," replied the cardinal. "Ah! _mori, mori_," repeated the emperor.
"You choose Maury; you shall have him!"

Cardinal Maury, formerly the fiery defender of the rights and liberties of
the Catholic Church before the Constituent Assembly, was appointed
Archbishop of Paris on the 14th of October, 1810. On the 22nd, Osmond, the
Bishop of Nancy, was called to the vacant archbishopric of Florence.
Command was given to the two prelates to take possession of their sees.
From Savona, Pius VII. had often succeeded in causing some canonical
dispensations and some indications of his spiritual authority to reach the
French and Italian clergy. Several associations were formed in order to
supply him with the means for doing so. The Pope profited by them to send
to Cardinal Maury, as Archbishop of Florence, a prohibition against
ascending episcopal chairs without his institution. The brief addressed to
Florence was promptly circulated in the city. A canon and two priests were
on this account thrown into prison. At Paris the brief was secretly
committed to the Abbé d'Astros, grand capitular vicar, cousin of Portalis,
the councillor of state, and the son of the former minister of religion.
The canon was moderate in his opinions as in his conduct; he conformed,
however, to the instructions of the holy father. When Cardinal Maury
wished to have the episcopal cross borne before him, the chapter abandoned
him _en masse_, in order to retire to the sacristy. A second brief from
the Pope fell into the hands of the police, "removing from the appointed
archbishop all power and all jurisdiction, declaring null and without
effect all that might be done to the contrary, knowingly or through
ignorance." The emperor flew into a rage, attributing the resistance to
the Abbé d'Astros, whom he violently apostrophized in public in a
reception at the Tuileries. "I avow that I had kept myself a little on one
side," Astros himself says; "but I did not wish to have myself sought for,
and I always presented myself when the emperor asked for me." "Before all,
monsieur, it is necessary to be a Frenchman," cried Napoleon; "it is the
way to be, at the same time, a good Christian. The doctrine of Bossuet is
the sole guide one ought to follow. With him one is sure of not losing
one's way. I expect every one to acknowledge the liberties of the Gallican
Church. The religion of Bossuet is as far from that of Gregory VII. as
heaven is from hell. I know, monsieur, that you are in opposition to the
measures that my policy prescribes. I have the sword on my side; take care
of yourself!" The Abbé d'Astros was put in prison at Vincennes, and was to
remain there until the fall of the empire. It was not long before the
Cardinals de Pietro and Gabrielli were brought there also. Portalis had
secretly learnt of the papal interdiction from his relative. He limited
himself to informing Pasquier, recently charged with the direction of the
police. He was expelled in full sitting of the Council of State by the
emperor, with the most harsh reproaches on his perfidy. "Go, monsieur,"
said he to him, "and let me never again see you before my eyes!" At the
same time, and in accordance with formal orders received from Paris, Pius
VII was surrounded with the most paltry vexations; henceforth he was
deprived in his captivity of all his old servants. The papers and
portfolios of the Pope were all seized. "Never mind my purse," said the
holy father; "but what will they do with my breviary and the office of the
Virgin?" He did not consent to deliver to Prince Borghese the ring of the
Fisherman, which he wore habitually on his finger, until he had himself
broken it. About the same time, on several occasions, Italian priests who
had refused to swear allegiance to the new state of things were
transported to Corsica. Napoleon had himself given his instructions to the
minister of religion. The boundaries of the dioceses and parishes in the
Pontifical States underwent a complete alteration. Their number was much
restricted. All the archives of the court of Rome were transported to

The emperor had not lost the remembrance of the concessions he had
formerly obtained from Pius VII, when strong and free: he had reckoned
upon a complete submission from the aged prisoner. Already the refusal of
the holy father to the insinuations of the Cardinals Spina and Caselli had
disquieted Napoleon: he had formerly flattered himself that he could make
the Pope accept the suppression of his temporal power and the confiscation
of his states by offering him palaces at Paris and Avignon, a rich income,
and the noble grandeur of his spiritual authority over the whole Catholic
Church. The extent of this authority, such as the emperor conceived it,
was beginning to reveal itself. Napoleon wished to be the master in the
Church as in the State. The authority of the Czar over the Russian Church,
or of the Sultan over the Mussulmans, could alone satisfy his ideas.
"Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's," limiting within the
narrowest boundaries that portion which he still ostentatiously reserved
for God. He thought for a moment of regulating by a law the question of
episcopal institution. Diverted from this project by the wise counsels of
Cambacérès and of Bigot de Préameneu, he resolved upon consulting a
commission of ecclesiastics upon the convocation of a national Council.
Already a first Council had been gathered, at the time of the debates on
the investiture of the bishops. The illustrious Superior of St. Sulpice,
the Abbé Emery, had sat in it, strongly against his will. "The emperor has
appointed a commission of bishops and cardinals to examine certain
questions," wrote the Abbé Emery, to his disciple, the Abbé Nageot,
Superior of the Seminary of Baltimore. "He has desired that I should be
added to it. All that I can say to you is, that I have come forth from it
without having anything to reproach myself with; that I think God has
given me the spirit of counsel in this affair. I am sure that He has given
me the spirit of power through His holy mercy."

The Emperor Napoleon judged soundly of that spirit of power and counsel
for which the Abbé Emery piously ascribed to God all the praise. "M. Emery
is the only man who makes me afraid," said he; "he makes me do all that he
wishes, and perhaps more than I ought. For the first time, I meet a man
gifted with a veritable power over men, and from whom I ask no account of
the use to which he will put it. On the contrary, I wish to be able to
confide to him all our youth; I should die more reassured as to the

Notwithstanding the ascendancy which his holy character and the firm
moderation of his spirit exercised over the emperor, the Abbé Emery was
not deceived as to his personal action in the ecclesiastical commission.
"Permit me," he wrote to the minister of religion, "out of respect for the
bishops, to abstain from taking any deliberative part, and only to have a
consulting voice; that is to say, that I may simply furnish upon the
matters which may be discussed the lights and documents which my studies
and experience may enable me to give." The Superior of St. Sulpice was
once more to give his opinion freely before the impatient and haughty
master, who claimed to subdue all wills and all consciences to his empire,
"I do not call in question the spiritual power of the Pope," said Napoleon
one day, when he had called the Ecclesiastical Commission to the
Tuileries: "he has received it from Jesus Christ; but Jesus Christ has not
given him the temporal power. It was Charlemagne who gave it to him, and
I, as the successor of Charlemagne, wish to take it away from him, because
he does not know how to use it, and because it hinders him from exercising
his spiritual functions. What inconvenience will there be in the Pope
being subject to me, now that Europe knows no other master?" "Sire,"
replied Emery, "your Majesty is better acquainted than I am with the
history of revolutions. The present state of things may not always exist.
It is not, then, necessary to change the order wisely established. The
holy father will not agree to the concessions which your Majesty demands
from him, because he cannot do it." Napoleon did not answer. The Abbé
Emery had refused to sign the propositions accepted by the Ecclesiastical
Commission; he dreaded the Council. "How is it that our bishops do not
see," wrote he, "that the means of conciliation which the emperor demands
from them are only a trick on his part to impose upon the simple, and a
mask to cover his tyranny? Let him leave the Church tranquil; let him
restore their functions to the Pope, the cardinals, and the bishops; let
him renounce extravagant pretensions, and all will soon be arranged." The
emperor, meanwhile, let it be known amongst the delegates that he intended
to send to Savona to have an understanding with the Pope. "This is a good
time to die," said Emery. God granted him this favor. He had suffered
long, and on the 28th of April, 1811, he breathed his last.

It was at this very moment that the Archbishop of Tours and the Bishops of
Nantes and Treves set out for Savona, charged to obtain from the Pope the
concessions necessary for the re-establishment of ecclesiastical order.
Already the Council had been ostentatiously convoked without the circular
letters making mention of the name of Pius VII. "One of the contracting
parties has disowned the Concordat," said the summons to attend; "the
conduct that has been persevered in, in Germany for ten years past, has
almost destroyed the episcopate in that part of Christendom; the Chapters
have been disturbed in their rights, dark manoeuvres have been contrived,
tending to excite discord and sedition among our subjects." It was in
order to prevent a state of things contrary to the welfare of religion, to
the principles of the Gallican Church, and to the interests of the state,
that the emperor had resolved upon collecting, on the 9th of July
following, in the church of Notre Dame at Paris, all the bishops of France
and Italy in national council.

The prelates delegated to Savona had for their mission to announce to Pius
VII the convocation of the Council and the repeal of the Concordat. "We
intend," said their instructions, "that the bishops should be instituted
according to the Concordat of Francis I., which we have renewed, and in
such a manner as shall be established by the Council, and shall have
received our approbation. However, it would be possible to revert to the
Concordat on the following conditions: 1st. That the Pope should institute
all the bishops that we have appointed; 2nd. That in future our
appointment shall be communicated to the Pope in the ordinary form; that
if three months after the court of Rome has not instituted, the
institution shall be performed by the Metropolitan." A letter, almost
threatening, written by nineteen bishops assembled at the house of
Cardinal Fesch, accompanied the officious propositions of the emperor. The
anger of Napoleon had weighed heavily on the Council. On the 9th of May
the three prelates arrived secretly at Savona.

Chabrol, the Prefect of Montenotte, announced their visit to the Pope.
"They can come in when they wish," replied Pius VII. For four months the
old man had been living alone, without external communication, deprived of
his friends and his servants, without pen and ink, gently accepting his
sufferings, but visibly enfeebled in mind and body. Disturbed at first, he
soon recovered himself, talked familiarly with the bishops, and limited
himself to asking that he might be granted the support of a few of his
counsellors on this grave occasion. The request was denied in the most
respectful manner; the prelates delegated by the Emperor Napoleon offered
their assistance to the holy Father. The letter of the nineteen bishops
dwelt upon the hope that the Pope would engage himself to do nothing
contrary to the declarations of the Gallican Church in 1682; Pius VII
protested that he had never had any intention of doing so, but that it was
impossible for him to enter into any written engagement on the subject,
the declaration having been condemned by Pope Alexander VIII. He
discussed, without bitterness, the question of canonical institution,
whilst altogether repelling the propositions put forth by the bishops.
"All alone by himself, a poor man could not take upon himself such a great
change in the Church," said he, smiling.

The discussion was prolonged, not only on the part of the prelates, but
also on the part of the Prefect of Montenotte, who had frequent interviews
with the Pope, using by turns menaces and caresses, seeking to act on the
mind of Pius VII by the interposition of his physician, Dr. Porta,
completely devoted to the imperial service. The Pope was complaining of
his health; his intellect appeared at times affected by his long anguish.
"The chief of the Church is in prison, and alone," said he, "nothing can
be decided by him."

The virtues of Pius VII, like his natural weaknesses, contributed to the
trouble of his conscience and his mind. Gentle and good, easily tormented
by scruples, he was tossed about between the conviction of the duties
which he owed to the holy see, and the fear of prolonging in the Church a
grave disorder, which might bring about grievous consequences. In his
interviews with the bishops he yielded everything, whilst thinking he was
resisting, and finished by accepting a note, drawn up under his own eyes,
containing in principle all the required concessions. He had not signed
it, but the negotiators were contented with what they had obtained. "This
morning we have drawn up the whole clearly and in French," wrote the
Archbishop of Tours. "We have presented it to the Pope, he has desired a
few changes in expression, some addition of phrases, some trifling
erasures, and there has resulted from it an _ensemble_ quite as good, and
indeed much better than we flattered ourselves on obtaining a few days
ago." Next day, May 20th, in the morning, the negotiators took the road to

They had scarcely got a few leagues from Savona, and already the Pope was
seized with remorse. Ill for several days past, deprived of sleep by the
agitations of his mind and conscience, he reproached himself for all the
articles of the note he had agreed to, and fell into a state of suffering
which gravely disquieted his jailers. "I cannot conceive how I could
accept these articles," repeated Pius VII; "some of them are tainted with
heresy; it is an act of folly on my part, I have been half mad." "Absorbed
in a complete silence, he closed his eyes in the attitude of a man who
pondered deeply," wrote Chabrol, on May 23rd; "he only roused himself to
cry out, 'Happily, I have signed nothing.' I told him to put full
confidence in that which he had adopted in his conscience, which had no
need of signatures, nor of conventions made by civil laws. He answered me
that from that moment he had lost all peace of mind, and he has again
fallen into the same absorbed reverie."

Thus the courage, and even the reason, of the unfortunate pontiff
momentarily gave way under the pressure of a moral suffering beyond his
forces. In order to calm him, Chabrol was obliged to despatch a courier in
pursuit of the bishops, withdrawing the concessions implied in the first
article of the note; then, at last, the scruples of the Pope were

"This suppression is absolutely necessary," said he, "without which I
shall raise a disturbance in order to make my intentions known." In
advance, and by the very fact of the violent pressure exercised over a
captive, old, sick, and alone, the emperor found himself in reality
disarmed in face of the Council which he had just convoked; the concession
which he had snatched from Pius VII became null, for the pope was
protesting from the depth of his prison.

Napoleon judged thus; he did not avail himself of the articles immediately
denied in the note drawn up by his negotiators, and painfully accepted by
the Pope. In fact, the undertaking at Savona had failed; it began again at
Paris, where the Council at length assembled on June 17th. The emperor had
beforehand sought to intimidate a few of the priests called to take part
in it. During his recent journey in Normandy he had Bois Chollet, the
Bishop of Séez, called before him, accused of rigor towards the priests
who had lately accepted the constitution. "You wish for civil war; you
have already engaged in it," cried Napoleon, "you have embrued your hands
in French blood. I have pardoned you, and you will not pardon others,
miserable wretch; you are a bad subject, give me your resignation
immediately." One of the canons of Séez, the Abbé Le Gallois, learned and
virtuous, and who was looked upon as exercising a great influence over his
bishop, was conducted to Paris, and put in prison in La Force. "The canon
is too clever," said the emperor, "let him be brought to Vincennes." Le
Gallois was to pass nine months there, and only the fall of the Empire was
to put an end to his detention.

"Your conscience is a fool!" said Napoleon to De Broglie, Bishop of Ghent,
whom he had made a chevalier of the legion of honor, when the latter
protested against a clause in the oath. He had said as much to other
prelates whom he had just convoked to the Council. It is a serious case
for absolute power when it enters into a struggle with the most noble
sentiments of human nature. The Emperor Napoleon had come to that point
when he regarded as his enemies freedom of thought and freedom of
conscience amongst his subjects still suspected of independence,
_littérateurs_ or bishops.

Ninety-five prelates assembled, on the 17th of June, in the morning, in
the church of Notre Dame. They were joined by nine bishops appointed by
Napoleon, although they had not yet received canonical institution. At the
second séance, when the affairs of the Council began to be seriously
considered, the Ministers of Religion of France and Italy took their
places in the assembly. In opening, on the 16th, the session of the Corps
Législatif, the emperor had haughtily proclaimed his supremacy. "The
affairs of religion," he said, "have been too often mixed up with, and
sacrificed to, the interests of a state of the third order. I have put an
end to this scandal forever. I have united Rome to the Empire. I have
accorded palaces to the popes at Rome and in Paris. If they have at heart
the interests of religion, they will often desire to sojourn at the centre
of the affairs of Christendom. It was thus that St. Peter preferred Rome
to a sojourn in the Holy Land."

On taking his seat at the Council, Bigot de Préameneu, then Minister of
Religion, pronounced in his turn a discourse which history ought to assign
to its true origin. The emperor enumerated, by the mouth of his minister,
his numerous grievances with regard to the court of Rome, dioceses without
bishops, the prelates deprived of canonical institution. "By this means
the Pope has tried to create troubles in the Church and in the state. The
sinister projects of the Pope have been rendered null by the firmness of
the chapters in maintaining their rights, and by the good feeling of the
people, accustomed to respect only the legitimate authorities. His Majesty
declares that he will never suffer in France as in Germany, that the court
of Rome should exercise on vacancies in the sees any influence by vicars
apostolic, because the Christian religion being necessary to the faithful,
and to the state, its existence would be compromised in countries where
vicars, whom the government might not recognize should be charged with the
direction of the faithful. His Majesty wishes to protect the religion of
his fathers; he wishes to preserve it; and yet it would be no longer the
same religion if it ceased to have bishops, and if one claimed to
concentrate in himself the power of all. His Majesty expects, as emperor
and king, as protector of the Church, as the father of his people, that
the bishops should be instituted according to the forms anterior to the
Concordat, and without a see ever remaining vacant over three months, a
time more than sufficient for its being filled up."

The declaration fell like a thunderbolt in the midst of the Council. With
the exception of a very small number of prelates acquainted with the
negotiations of Savona, or in the confidence of the emperor, the mass of
the bishops, come from a distance, ignorant or deceived, thought to find
peace accomplished, or on the way of being accomplished, in the Church
between the civil power and the holy see. On the previous evening all had
applauded the words of Boulogne, Bishop of Troyes, then the most
celebrated amongst the religious orators, when he cried, "Whatever
vicissitudes the see of Peter may experience, whatever may be the state
and condition of his august successor, we shall always be linked to him by
the bonds of respect and filial reverence. This see may be removed, it can
never be destroyed. They may deprive it of its splendor, they can never
deprive it of its force. Wheresoever the see may be, there all others will
meet. Wheresoever this see may be transported, all Catholics will follow
it, because wheresoever it may be settled there will be the stem of the
succession, the centre of government, and the sacred depository of the
apostolic traditions." When the prelates were successively called upon to
give their consent to the opening of the Council, Mgr. d'Aviau, Archbishop
of Bordeaux, replied, "Yes, I wish it; excepting, nevertheless, the
obedience due to the sovereign pontiff, an obedience to which I pledge
myself on oath." All the members of the Council, its president, Cardinal
Fesch, at the head of it, took the oath of allegiance to the Catholic
Church, apostolic and Roman, and at the same time a "faithful obedience to
the Roman pontiff, successor of St. Peter, the prince of the apostles, and
successor of Jesus Christ."

Such was not the end which the emperor had proposed to himself in
convoking the Council, and his wrath towards Cardinal Fesch was violent,
as well as towards Boulogne. "I have ever in my heart the oath taken to
the Pope, which seemed to me very ill-timed," wrote he to Bigot de
Préameneu; "make researches to discover what is meant by this oath, and
how the parliaments regarded it. Let the sittings of the Council be
secret, and let it not have, either in session or in committee, any motion
of order. The report that you make to the Council ought not to be
printed." The commissions were to be appointed by ballot; the first
elected was charged with drawing up the address to the emperor. The task
was confided to the Bishop of Nantes, Mgr. Duvoisin, clever and wise, well
advanced in the good graces of Napoleon, and who had been one of the
delegates to Savona. To the first objections that his colleagues presented
to him, the prelate responded that his draft of the address had received
the approval of the emperor.

It was much to presume on the docility of an assembly, incomplete in
truth, for a very small part of the Italian and German bishops had been
convoked, independent, however, by character and station. Whilst Mgr.
Duvoisin submitted his draft with regret to a revision which allowed
nothing to remain of the complaisance but lately evinced for the imperial
policy, an obscure prelate demanded that the entire Council should entreat
from the emperor the liberty of the Pope. "It is our right; it is also our
duty," cried Dessolles, Bishop of Chambery; "we owe it not only to
ourselves, but we owe it also to the faithful of our dioceses--what do I
say, to ail the Catholics of Europe, and of the whole world? Let us not
hesitate; let us go, we must, let us go to throw ourselves in a body at
the feet of the emperor, in order to obtain this indispensable
deliverance." And as timid objections began to manifest themselves in the
assembly, "What, messieurs?" resumed the bishop, "the Chapter of Paris has
been able to ask for mercy to M. d'Astros, one of its members, and we will
not have the courage to ask for the freedom of the Pope. And why should
the emperor be provoked at it? Messeigneurs, the Divinity himself consents
to be solicited, persecuted, importuned with our prayers; sovereigns are
the image of God upon earth; by what right ought they to complain if we
act towards them as towards the Master of Heaven?"

Emotion overcame all the members of the Council; the moderates and the
waverers were drawn along by the ardor of the prelates personally attached
to the Pope, or nobly resolved upon sustaining their convictions even to
the end. The old Archbishop of Bordeaux, the Bishops of Ghent and of
Troyes, claimed at once the liberty of the pontiff, and his canonical
right to use the ecclesiastical thunderbolts. "Judge the Pope, if you
dare, and condemn the Church if you can," cried Mgr. d'Aviau. The prelates
pledged to the imperial power wished to adjourn the discussion; when they
came to the vote on the draft of the address, now without color or life,
Cardinal Maury proposed that it should only be signed by the president and
the secretaries. This overture suited all the timid characters; the

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