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´╗┐Title: Joseph Bonaparte - Makers of History
Author: Abbott, John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot), 1805-1877
Language: English
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 Makers of History

 Joseph Bonaparte





 Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by


 In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for
 the Southern District of New York.

 Copyright, 1897, by SUSAN ABBOTT MEAD.


The writer trusts that he may be pardoned for relating the following
characteristic anecdote of President Lincoln, as it so fully illustrates
the object in view in writing these histories. In a conversation which
the writer had with the President just before his death, Mr. Lincoln

"I want to thank you and your brother for Abbotts' series of Histories.
I have not education enough to appreciate the profound works of
voluminous historians, and if I had, I have no time to read them. But
your series of Histories gives me, in brief compass, just that knowledge
of past men and events which I need. I have read them with the greatest
interest. To them I am indebted for about all the historical knowledge I

It is for just this purpose that these Histories are written. Busy men,
in this busy life, have now no time to wade through ponderous folios.
And yet every one wishes to know the general character and achievements
of the illustrious personages of past ages.

A few years ago there was published in Paris a life of King Joseph, in
ten royal octavo volumes of nearly five hundred pages each. It was
entitled "_Memoires et Correspondance, Politique et Militaire, du Roi
Joseph, Publies, Annotes et Mis en Ordre par A. du Casse, Aide-de-camp
de S. A. I. Le Prince Jerome Napoleon._" These volumes contained nearly
all the correspondence which passed between Joseph and his brother
Napoleon from their childhood until after the battle of Waterloo. Every
historical statement is substantiated by unequivocal documentary

From this voluminous work, aided by other historical accounts of
particular events, the author of this sketch has gathered all that would
be of particular interest to the general reader at the present time. As
all the facts contained in this narrative are substantiated by ample
documentary proof, the writer can not doubt that this volume presents an
accurate account of the momentous scenes which it describes, and that it
gives the reader a correct idea of the social and political relations
existing between those extraordinary men, Joseph and Napoleon Bonaparte.
It is not necessary that the historian should pronounce judgment upon
every transaction. But he is bound to state every event exactly as it

No one can read this account of the struggle in Europe _in favor of
popular rights_ against the old dynasties of _feudal oppression_,
without more highly appreciating the admirable institutions of our own
glorious Republic. Neither can any intelligent and candid man carefully
peruse this narrative, and not admit that Joseph Bonaparte was earnestly
seeking the welfare of the _people_; that, surrounded by dynasties
strong in standing armies, in pride of nobility, and which were
venerable through a life of centuries, he was endeavoring to promote,
under monarchical forms, which the posture of affairs seemed to
render necessary, the abolition of _aristocratic usurpation_, and the
establishment of _equal rights for all men_. Believing this, the writer
sympathizes with him in all his struggles, and reveres his memory.
The universal brotherhood of man, the fundamental principles of
Christianity, should also be the fundamental principles in the State.
Having spared no pains to be accurate, the writer will be grateful to
any critic who will point out any incorrectness of statement or false
coloring of facts, that he may make the correction in subsequent

This volume will soon be followed by another, "The History of Queen
Hortense," the daughter of Josephine, the wife of King Louis, the mother
of Napoleon III.

                         JOHN S. C. ABBOTT.

    May, 1869.


 Chapter                                                    Page

    I. SCENES IN EARLY LIFE                                  13

   II. DIPLOMATIC LABORS                                     36

  III. JOSEPH THE PEACE-MAKER                                67

   IV. JOSEPH KING OF NAPLES                                 93

    V. THE CROWN A BURDEN                                   135

   VI. THE SPANISH PRINCES                                  166

  VII. JOSEPH KING OF SPAIN                                 199


   IX. THE WAR IN SPAIN CONTINUED                           264

    X. THE EXPULSION FROM SPAIN                             291

   XI. LIFE IN EXILE                                        319

  XII. LAST DAYS AND DEATH                                  365



 JOSEPH AND NAPOLEON--TOUR IN CORSICA                        28


 CORNWALLIS AND JOSEPH                                       88

 JOSEPH AT MALMAISON                                         98

 JOSEPH ON HIS NEAPOLITAN TOUR                              155

 QUEEN JULIE LEAVING NAPLES                                 187

      SENATE                                                198

 JOSEPH ENTERING MALAGA                                     261

 SACK OF CIUDAD RODRIGO                                     286

 ANGUISH OF MARIA LOUISA                                    314

 DEATH OF THE DUKE OF REICHSTADT                            363





Corsica.--Parentage.--Birth of Joseph Bonaparte.--Journey to
France.--Fraternal Attachment.--Character of Joseph.--Prince of
Conde.--Anecdote.--Letter to Napoleon.--Return to Corsica.--Death
of his Father.--Letitia.--Her Character.--Madame Permon.--Lucien.
--Habits of Napoleon.--Studies of the Brothers.--Mirabeau.--Joseph
studies Law.--Commences Practice.--Treatise of Napoleon.--Testimony
of Joseph.--Ambition of Napoleon.--Foresight of Napoleon.--Constituent
Assembly.--Gratitude of Napoleon.--Anecdote.--Tour in Corsica.
--Characteristics.--Testimony of Louis Napoleon.--Death of Mirabeau.
--French Revolution.--Anecdote.--The Emigrants.--The Republicans.
--Paoli.--His Appreciation of Napoleon.--Corsican Peasantry.--Flight
of the Bonapartes.--Their Arrival in France.

The island of Corsica, in the Mediterranean Sea, sixty miles from the
coast of Tuscany, is about half as large as the State of Massachusetts.
In the year 1767 this island was one of the provinces of Italy. There
was then residing, in the small town of Corte, in Corsica, a young
lawyer nineteen years of age. He was the descendant of an illustrious
race, which could be traced back, through a succession of distinguished
men, far into the dark ages. Charles Bonaparte, the young man of whom
we speak, was tall, handsome, and possessed strong native powers of
mind, which he had highly cultivated. In the same place there was
a young lady, Letitia Raniolini, remarkable for her beauty and her
accomplishments. She also was of an ancient family. When but sixteen
years of age Letitia was married to Charles Bonaparte, then but
nineteen years old.

About a year after their marriage, on the 7th of January, 1768, they
welcomed their first-born child, Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte. In nineteen
months after the birth of Joseph, his world-renowned brother Napoleon
was born. But in the mean time the island had been transferred to
France. Thus while Joseph was by birth an Italian, his brother Napoleon
was a Frenchman.

Charles Bonaparte occupied high positions of trust and honor in
the government of Corsica, and his family took rank with the most
distinguished families in Italy and in France. Joseph passed the first
twelve years of his life upon his native island. He was ever a boy of
studious habits, and of singular amiability of character. When he was
twelve years of age his father took him, with Napoleon and their elder
sister Eliza, to France for their education. Leopold, the grand duke
of Tuscany, gave Charles Bonaparte letters of introduction to Maria
Antoinette, his sister, who was then the beautiful and admired Queen
of France.

Leaving Joseph at the college of Autun, in Burgundy, the father
continued his journey to Paris, with Napoleon and Eliza. Eliza was
placed in the celebrated boarding-school of St. Cyr, in the metropolis,
and Napoleon was taken to the military school at Brienne, a few miles
out from the city. The father was received as a guest in the gorgeous
palace of Versailles. Joseph and Napoleon were very strongly attached
to each other, and this attachment continued unabated through life.
When the two lads parted at Autun both were much affected. Joseph,
subsequently speaking of it, says:

"I shall never forget the moment of our separation. My eyes were flooded
with tears. Napoleon shed but one tear, which he in vain endeavored to
conceal. The abbe Simon, who witnessed our adieus, said to me, after
Napoleon's departure, 'He shed only one tear; but that one testified to
as deep grief in parting from you as all of yours.'"

The two brothers kept up a very constant correspondence, informing each
other minutely of their studies, and of the books in which they were
interested. Joseph became one of the most distinguished scholars in the
college of Autun, excelling in all the branches of polite literature. He
was a very handsome young man, of polished manners, and of unblemished
purity of life. His natural kindness of heart, combined with these
attractions, rendered him a universal favorite.

Autun was in the province of Burgundy, of which the Prince of Conde,
grandfather of the celebrated Duke d'Enghien, was governor. The prince
attended an exhibition at the college, to assist in the distribution of
the prizes. Joseph acquitted himself with so much honor as to attract
the attention of the prince, and he inquired of him what profession he
intended to pursue.

Joseph, in the following words, describes this eventful incident:

"The solemn day arrived. I performed my part to admiration, and when we
afterward went to receive the crown, which the prince himself placed on
our heads, I was the one whom he seemed most to have noticed. The Bishop
of Autun's friendship for our family, and no doubt also the curiosity
which a little barbarian, recently introduced into the centre of
civilization inspired, contributed to attract the prince's attention. He
caressed me, complimented me on my progress, and made particular
inquiries as to the intentions of my family with respect to me. The
Bishop of Autun said that I was destined for the Church, and that he had
a living in reserve, which he would bestow upon me as soon as the time

"'And you, my lad,' said the prince, 'have you your own projects, and
have you made up your mind as to what you wish?'

"'I wish,' said I, 'to serve the king.' Then seeing him disposed to
listen favorably to me, I took courage to tell him that it was not at
all my wish, though it was that of my family, that I should enter the
Church, but that my dearest wish was to enter the army.

"The Bishop of Autun would have objected to my project, but the prince,
who was colonel-general of the French infantry, saw with pleasure these
warlike dispositions on my part, and encouraged me to ask for what I
wanted. I then declared my desire to enter the artillery, and it was
determined that I should. Imagine my joy. I was proud of the prince's
caresses, and rejoiced more in his encouragement than I have since in
the two crowns which I have worn.

"I immediately wrote a long letter to my brother Napoleon, imparting my
happiness to him, and relating in detail all that had passed; concluding
by begging him, out of friendship for me, to give up the navy and devote
himself to the artillery, that we might be in the same regiment, and
pursue our career side by side. Napoleon immediately acceded to my
proposal, abandoned from that moment all his naval projects, and replied
that his mind was made up to dedicate himself, with me, to the
artillery--with what success the world has since learned. Thus it was to
this visit of the Prince of Conde that Napoleon owed his resolution of
entering on a career which paved the way to all his honors."

In 1784, Joseph, then sixteen years of age, returned to Corsica. During
his absence he had entirely forgotten the Italian, his native language,
and could neither speak it nor understand it. After a few months at
home, during which time he very diligently prosecuted his studies, his
father, whose health was declining, found it necessary to visit Paris to
seek medical advice. He took his son Joseph with him. Arriving at
Montpellier, after a tempestuous voyage, he became so ill as to be
unable to proceed any farther. After a painful sickness of three months,
he died of a cancer in the stomach, on the 24th of February, 1785. The
dying father, who had perceived indications of the exalted powers and
the lofty character of his son Napoleon, in the delirium of his last
hours repeatedly cried out,

"Napoleon! Napoleon! come and rescue me from this dragon of death by
whom I am devoured."

Upon his dying bed the father felt great solicitude for his wife, who
was to be left, at the early age of thirty-five, a widow with eight
children, six of whom were under thirteen years of age. Joseph willingly
yielded to his father's earnest entreaties to relinquish the profession
of arms and return to Corsica, that he might solace his bereaved mother
and aid her in her arduous cares. Napoleon says of this noble mother:

"She had the head of a man on the shoulders of a woman. Left without a
guide or protector, she was obliged to assume the management of affairs,
but the burden did not overcome her. She administered every thing with a
degree of sagacity not to be expected from her age or sex. Her
tenderness was joined with severity. She punished, rewarded all alike.
The good, the bad, nothing escaped her. Ah, what a woman! where shall we
look for her equal? She watched over us with a solicitude unexampled.
Every low sentiment, every ungenerous affection was discouraged and
discarded. She suffered nothing but that which was grand and elevated to
take root in our youthful understandings. She abhorred falsehood, and
would not tolerate the slightest act of disobedience. None of our faults
were overlooked. Losses, privations, fatigue had no effect upon her. She
endured all, braved all. She had the energy of a man combined with the
gentleness and delicacy of a woman."

Madame Permon, mother of the Duchess of Abrantes, a Corsican lady of
fortune who resided at Montpellier, immediately after the death of
Charles Bonaparte, took Joseph, the orphan boy, into her house. Madame
Permon and Letitia Raniolini had been companions and intimate friends in
their youthful days. "She was to me," says Joseph, "an angel of
consolation; and she lavished upon me all the attentions I could have
received from the most tender and affectionate of mothers."

Joseph soon returned to Corsica. Napoleon had just before been promoted
to the military school in Paris, in which city Eliza still continued at
school. Lucien, the next younger brother, had also now been taken to the
Continent, where he was pursuing his education. The four remaining
children were very young.

"My mother," says Joseph, "moderated the expression of her grief that
she might not excite mine. Heroic and admirable woman! the model of
mothers; how much thy children are indebted to thee for the example
which thou hast given them!"

Joseph remained at home about a year, devoting himself to the care of
the family, when Napoleon obtained leave of absence, and, to the great
joy of his mother, returned to Corsica. He brought with him two trunks,
a small one containing his clothing, and a large one filled with his
books. Seven years had now passed since the two affectionate brothers
had met. Napoleon had entirely forgotten the Italian language; but, much
chagrined by the loss, he immediately devoted himself with great energy
to its recovery. "His habits," says Joseph, "were those of a young man
retiring and studious." For nearly a year the two brothers prosecuted
their studies vigorously together, while consoling, with their filial
love, their revered mother. After some months Napoleon left home again,
to rejoin his regiment at Valence. During this brief residence on his
native island, with his accustomed habits of industry, he employed the
hours of vacation in writing a history of the revolutions in Corsica. At
Marseilles he showed the manuscript to the abbe Raynal. The abbe was so
much pleased with it that he sent it to Mirabeau. This distinguished man
remarked that the essay indicated a genius of the first order.

Joseph decided, being the eldest brother, to remain at home with his
mother, to study law, and commence its practice in Ajaccio, where his
mother then resided. He accordingly went to Pisa to attend lectures in
the law school connected with the celebrated university in that place.
His rank and character secured for him a distinguished reception, and he
was presented by the French minister to the grand duke. Here Joseph
became deeply interested in the lectures of Lampredi, who boldly
advocated the doctrine, then rarely heard in Europe, of the _sovereignty
of the people_. There were many illustrious patriots at Pisa, and many
ardent young men, whose minds were imbued with new ideas of political
liberty. Freely and earnestly they discussed the themes of aristocratic
usurpation, and of the equal rights of all men. Joseph, with enthusiasm,
embraced the cause of popular freedom, and became the unrelenting foe
of that feudal despotism which then domineered over all Europe. His
associates were the most illustrious and cultivated men of the liberal
party. At that early period Joseph published a pamphlet advocating the
rights of the people.

Having finished his studies and taken his degree, Joseph returned to
Corsica. He was admitted to the bar in 1788, being then twenty years of
age, and commenced the practice of law in Ajaccio. Upon this his return
to Corsica he met his brother Napoleon again, who, a few days before,
had landed upon the island. Napoleon was then intensely occupied in
writing a treatise upon the question, "What are the opinions and the
feelings with which it is necessary to inspire men for the promotion of
their happiness?"

"This was the subject of our conversations," says Joseph, "in our daily
walks, which were prolonged upon the banks of the sea; in sauntering
along the shores of a gulf which was as beautiful as that of Naples, in
a country fragrant with the exhalations of myrtles and oranges. We
sometimes did not return home until night had closed over us. There will
be found, in what remains of this essay, the opinions and the
characteristic traits of Napoleon, who united in his character qualities
which seemed to be contradictory--the calm of reason, illumined with the
flashes of an Oriental imagination; kindliness of soul, exquisite
sensibility; precious qualities which he subsequently deemed it his duty
to conceal, under an artificial character which he studied to assume
when he attained power, saying that men must be governed by one who is
fair and just as law, and not by a prince whose amiability might be
regarded as weakness, when that amiability is not controlled by the most
inflexible justice.

"He had continually in view," continues Joseph, "the judgment of
posterity. His heart throbbed at the idea of a grand and noble action
which posterity could appreciate.

"'I would wish to be myself my posterity,' he said to me one day, 'that
I may myself enjoy the sentiments which a great poet, like Corneille,
would represent me as feeling and uttering. The sentiment of duty, the
esteem of a small number of friends, who know us as we know ourselves,
are not sufficient to inspire noble and conscientious actions. With
such motives one can make sages, but not heroes. If the movement now
commenced continue in France, she will draw upon herself the entire of
Europe. She can only be defended by men passionate for glory, who will
be willing to die to-day, that they may live eternally. It is for an end
remote, indeterminate, of which no definite account is taken, that the
inspired minority triumphs over the inert masses. Those are the motives
which have guided the legislators, who have influenced the destinies of
the world.'"

It is remarkable that at so early a period Napoleon so clearly foresaw
that the opinions of political equality, then struggling for existence
in Paris, and of which he subsequently became so illustrious an
advocate, would, if successful, combine all the despots of Europe in a
warfare against regenerated France. Joseph and Napoleon both warmly
espoused the cause of popular liberty, which was even then upheaving the
throne of the Bourbons.

At this time, June, 1789, the Constituent Assembly commenced its
world-renowned session in Paris. As soon as the liberal constitution,
which it adopted, was issued, Joseph, who was then president of the
district in Ajaccio, published an elementary treatise upon the
constitution both in French and Italian, for the benefit of the
inhabitants of his native island. This work conferred upon him much
honor, and greatly increased his influence.

The mayor of the city, Jean Jerome Levie, was a very noble man, and a
particular friend of the Bonapartes. Very liberally he contributed of
his large fortune to aid the poor. "Napoleon," says Joseph, "honored him
at Saint Helena in his last hour, and left him a hundred thousand
francs. This proves the truth of what I have often said of the kindness
and tenderness of Napoleon's heart. It was this which led him in his
last moments to remember the abbe Recco, Professor of the Royal College
of Ajaccio, who in our early childhood, before our departure for the
Continent, kindly admitted us to his class, and devoted to us his
attention. I recall the incident when the pupils were arranged facing
each other upon the opposite sides of the hall under an immense banner,
one portion of which represented the flag of Rome, and the other that of
Carthage. As the elder of the two children, the professor placed me by
his side under the Roman flag.


"Napoleon, annoyed at finding himself beneath the flag of Carthage,
which was not the conquering banner, could have no rest until he
obtained a change of place with me, which I readily granted, and for
which he was very grateful. And still, in his triumph, he was disquieted
with the idea of having been unjust to his brother, and it required all
the authority of our mother to tranquilize him. This abbe Recco was also
remembered in his will."

On one occasion Napoleon accompanied Joseph on horseback to a remote
part of the island, to attend a Convention, where Joseph was to address
the assembly.

"Napoleon was continually occupied," says Joseph, "in collecting heroic
incidents of the ancient warriors of the country. I read to him my
speech, to which he added several names of the ancient patriots. During
the journey, which we made quite slowly, without a change of horses, his
mind was incessantly employed in studying the positions which the troops
of different nations had occupied, during the many years in which they
had combatted against the inhabitants of the island. My thoughts ran in
another direction. The singular beauty of the scenery interested me much

Louis Napoleon, in an article which he wrote while a prisoner at Ham,
upon his uncle, King Joseph, just after his death, says:

"Joseph was born to embellish the arts of peace, while the spirit of his
brother found itself at ease only amid events which war introduces. From
their earliest years this difference of capacity and of inclination was
clearly manifested. Associated in the college at Autun with his brother,
Joseph aided Napoleon in his Latin and Greek compositions, while
Napoleon aided Joseph in all the problems of physics and mathematics.
The one made verses, while the other studied Alexander and Caesar."[A]

[Footnote A: Quelques Mot sur Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte; Oeuvres de
Napoleon III., tome ii. p. 452.]

During the meeting of the Convention at Bastia, above alluded to, the
tidings came of the death of Mirabeau. By the request of the President,
Joseph Bonaparte announced the event to the Convention in an appropriate
eulogy. The two brothers had but just returned to Ajaccio when the
grand-uncle of the Bonaparte children died. He had been a firm friend of
the family, and was greatly revered by them all. A few moments before
his death he assembled them around his dying bed, and took an
affectionate leave of each one. Joseph was now a member of the
Directory of the department. We have the testimony of Joseph that the
dying uncle said to his sobbing niece,

"Letitia, do not weep. I am willing to die since I see you surrounded by
your children. My life is no longer necessary to protect the family of
Charles. Joseph is at the head of the administration of the country; he
can therefore take care of the interests of the family. You, Napoleon,
you will be a great man."

The French Revolution was now in full career. Napoleon returned to
Paris, and witnessed the awful scenes of the 10th of August, 1792, when
the palace of the Tuileries was stormed, the royal family outraged, and
the guard massacred. He wrote to Joseph,

"If the king had shown himself on horseback at the head of his troops,
he would have gained the victory; at least so it appeared to me, from
the spirit which that morning seemed to animate the groups of the

"After the victory of the Marseillaise, I saw one of them upon the
point of killing one of the body-guard; 'Man of the South,' said I,
'let us save the poor fellow.' 'Are you from the South?' said he.
'Yes,' I replied. 'Very well,' he rejoined, 'let him be saved then.'"

The French monarchy was destroyed. France, delivered from the despotism
of kings, was surrendered to the still greater despotism of irreligion
and ignorance. Faction succeeded faction in ephemeral governments, and
anarchy and terror rioted throughout the kingdom. Thousands of the
nobles fled from France and joined the armies of the surrounding
monarchies, which were on the march to replace the Bourbons on the
throne. The true patriots of the nation, anxious for the overthrow of
the intolerable despotism under which France had so long groaned, were
struggling against the coalition of despots from abroad, while at the
same time they were perilling their lives in the endeavor to resist
the blind madness of the mob at home. With these two foes, equally
formidable, pressing them from opposite quarters, they were making
gigantic endeavors to establish republican institutions upon the basis
of those then in successful operation in the United States. Joseph and
his brother Napoleon with all zeal joined the Republican party. They
were irreconcilably hostile to despotism on the one hand, and to
Jacobinical anarchy upon the other. In devotion to the principles of
republican liberty, they sacrificed their fortunes, and placed their
lives in imminent jeopardy. Anxious as they both were to see the
bulwarks of the old feudal aristocracy battered down, they were still
more hostile to the domination of the mob.

"I frankly declare," said Napoleon, "that if I were compelled to choose
between the old monarchy and Jacobin misrule, I should infinitely prefer
the former."

General Paoli had been appointed by Louis XVI. lieutenant-general of
Corsica. This illustrious man, disgusted with the lawless violence which
was now dominant in Paris, and despairing of any salutary reform from
the revolutionary influences which were running riot, through an error
in judgment, which he afterward bitterly deplored, joined the coalition
of foreign powers who, with fleets and armies, were approaching France
to replace, by the bayonet, the rejected Bourbons upon the throne. Both
Joseph and Napoleon were exceedingly attached to General Paoli. He was a
family friend, and his lofty character had won their reverence. Paoli
discerned the dawning greatness of Napoleon even in these early years,
and on one occasion said to him,

"O Napoleon! you do not at all resemble the moderns. You belong only to
the heroes of Plutarch."

Paoli made every effort to induce the young Bonapartes to join his
standard; but they, believing that popular rights would yet come out
triumphant, resolutely refused. The peasantry of Corsica, unenlightened,
and confiding in General Paoli, to whom they were enthusiastically
attached, eagerly rallied around his banner. England was the soul of the
coalition now formed against popular rights in France. Paoli, in loyalty
to the Bourbons, and in treason to the French people, surrendered the
island of Corsica to the British fleet.

The Bonaparte family, in wealth, rank, and influence, was one of the
most prominent upon the island. An exasperated mob surrounded their
dwelling, and the family narrowly escaped with their lives. The house
and furniture were almost entirely destroyed. At midnight Madame
Bonaparte, with Joseph, Napoleon, and all the other children who were
then upon the island, secretly entered a boat in a retired cove, and
were rowed out to a small vessel which was anchored at a short distance
from the shore. The sails were spread, and the exiled family, in
friendlessness, poverty, and dejection, were landed upon the shores of
France. Little did they then dream that their renown was soon to fill
the world; and that each one of those children was to rise to grandeur,
and experience reverses which will never cease to excite the sympathies
of mankind.




The Allies.--The National Assembly.--Commission of Napoleon.--Marriage
of Joseph.--Madame Bonaparte.--Letter from Napoleon.--Louis Bonaparte.
--Louis Napoleon.--Anecdote.--Marriage of Napoleon.--Carnot.--Joseph
an Ambassador.--Reconquest of Corsica.--Reception in Corsica.--Return
to the Continent.--Joseph at Parma.--The Duke and Duchess.--Anecdote.
--Eliza Bonaparte.--"Napoleon Dynasty."--Pauline Bonaparte.--Undeserved
Reproach.--The Slandered defended.--Joseph at Rome.--The Allies.--The
Pope.--General Provera.--Letter from Napoleon.--Republicans in Rome.
--Policy of Joseph.--Intrigues of the Allies.--The revolutionary
Spirit.--Anecdote.--Joseph in Rome.--The Revolutionists.--Conflict
with the dragoons.--Prudence of Joseph.--Duphot's contemplated
Marriage.--Invasion of the Palace.--Account of the Insurrection.--Death
of Duphot.--Peril of Joseph.--Note to Talleyrand.--Imbecility of the
Papal Government.--The Ministers of Tuscany and Spain.--Joseph leaves
Rome.--Letter of Talleyrand.

It was the year 1793. On the 21st of January the unfortunate and guilty
Louis XVI. had been led to the guillotine. The Royalists had surrendered
Toulon to the British fleet. A Republican army was sent to regain the
important port. Joseph Bonaparte was commissioned on the staff of the
major-general in command, and was slightly wounded in the attack upon
Cape Brun. All France was in a state of terrible excitement. Allied
Europe was on the march to crush the revolution. The armies of Austria,
gathered in Italy, were threatening to cross the Alps. The nobles in
France, and all who were in favor of aristocratic domination, were
watching for an opportunity to join the Allies, overwhelm the
revolutionists, and replace the Bourbon family on the throne.

The National Assembly, which had assumed the supreme command upon the
dethronement of the king, was now giving place to another assembly
gathered in Paris, called the National Convention. Napoleon was
commissioned to obtain artillery and supplies for the troops composing
the Army of Italy, who, few in numbers, quite undisciplined and feeble
in the materials of war, were guarding the defiles of the Alps, to
protect France from the threatened Austrian invasion in that quarter. He
was soon after named general of brigade in the artillery, and was sent
to aid the besieging army at Toulon. Madame Bonaparte and the younger
children were at Marseilles, where Joseph and Napoleon, the natural
guardians of the family, could more frequently visit them. On the last
day of November of this year the British fleet was driven from the
harbor of Toulon, and the city recaptured, as was universally admitted,
by the genius of Napoleon.

In the year 1794 Joseph married Julie Clary, daughter of one of the
wealthiest capitalists of Marseilles. Her sister Eugenie, to whom
Napoleon was at that time much attached, afterward married Bernadotte,
subsequently King of Sweden. Of Julie Clary the Duchess of Abrantes

"Madame Joseph Bonaparte is an angel of goodness. Pronounce her name,
and all the indigent, all the unfortunate in Paris, Naples, and Madrid,
will repeat it with blessings. Never did she hesitate a moment to set
about what she conceived to be her duty. Accordingly she is adored by
all about her, and especially by her own household. Her unalterable
kindness, her active charity, gain her the love of every body."

The brothers kept up a very constant correspondence. These letters have
been published unaltered. They attest the exalted and affectionate
character of both the young men. Napoleon writes to Joseph on the 25th
of June, 1795:

"In whatever circumstances fortune may place you, you well know, my dear
friend, that you can never have a better friend, one to whom you will
be more dear, and who desires more sincerely your happiness. Life is
but a transient dream, which is soon dissipated. If you go away, to be
absent any length of time, send me your portrait. We have lived so much
together, so closely united, that our hearts are blended. I feel, in
tracing these lines, emotions which I have seldom experienced; I feel
that it will be a long time before we shall meet again, and I can not
continue my letter."

Again Napoleon writes on the 12th of August: "As for me, but little
attached to life, I contemplate it without much anxiety, finding myself
constantly in the mood of mind in which one finds himself on the eve of
battle, convinced that when death comes in the midst to terminate all
things, it is folly to indulge in solicitude."

In these letters we see gradually developed the supremacy of the mind of
Napoleon, and that soon, almost instinctively, he is recognized as the
head of the family. On the 6th of September he writes from Paris:

"I am very well pleased with Louis.[B] He responds to my hopes, and to
the expectations which I had formed for him. He is a fine fellow; ardor,
vivacity, health, talent, exactness in business, kindness, he unites
every thing. You know, my friend, that I live for the benefits which I
can confer upon my family. If my hopes are favored by that good-fortune
which has never abandoned my enterprises, I shall be able to render you
happy, and to fulfill your desires. I feel keenly the absence of Louis.
He was of great service to me. Never was a man more active, more
skillful, more winning. He could do at Paris whatever he wished."

[Footnote B: Napoleon's younger brother, father of Napoleon III.]

None of the members of the Bonaparte family were ever ashamed to remind
themselves of the days of their comparative poverty and obscurity. "One
day," writes Louis Napoleon, now Napoleon III., "Joseph related that his
brother Louis, for whom he had felt, from his infancy, all the cares and
tenderness of a father, was about to leave Marseilles to go to school in
Paris. Joseph accompanied him to the diligence. Just before the
diligence started he perceived that it was quite cold, and that Louis
had no overcoat. Not having then the means to purchase him one, and not
wishing to expose his brother to the severity of the weather, he took
off his own cloak and wrapped it around Louis. This action, which they
mutually recalled when they were kings, had always remained engraved in
the hearts of them both, as a tender souvenir of their constant

[Footnote C: Oeuvres de Napoleon III., tome deuxieme, p. 451.]


On the 6th of March, 1796, Napoleon was married to Josephine
Beauharnais. "Thus vanished," writes Joseph Bonaparte, "the hope which
my wife and I had cherished, for several years, of seeing her younger
sister Eugenie united in marriage with my brother Napoleon. Time and
separation disposed of the event otherwise." A few days after Napoleon's
marriage he took command of the Army of Italy, and hastened across the
Alps to the scene of conflict. After the victory of Mondovi, Napoleon,
cherishing the hope of detaching the Italians from the Austrians, sent
Joseph to Paris to urge upon the Directory the importance of making
peace with the Court of Turin. General Junot accompanied Joseph, to
present to the Directory the flags captured from the enemy. The
astonishing victories which Napoleon had gained excited boundless
enthusiasm in Paris. Carnot, one of the Directors, gave a brilliant
entertainment in honor of the two ambassadors, Joseph and Junot. During
the dinner he opened his waistcoat and showed the portrait of Napoleon,
which was suspended near his heart. Turning to Joseph, he said,

"Say to your brother that I wear his miniature there, because I foresee
that he will be the saviour of France. To accomplish this, it is
necessary that he should know that there is no one in the Directory who
is not his admirer and his friend."

The measures which Napoleon had suggested were most cordially approved
by all the members of the Government. One of the most important members
of the Cabinet proposed that Joseph Bonaparte should immediately, upon
the ratification of peace, be appointed ambassador of the French
Republic to the Court of Turin. Joseph, with characteristic modesty,
replied, that though he was desirous of entering upon a diplomatic
career, he did not feel qualified to assume at once so important a post.
He was however prevailed upon to enter upon the office.

From this mission, so successfully accomplished, Joseph returned to his
brother, and joined him at his head-quarters in Milan. Napoleon pressed
forward in his triumphant career, drove the Austrians out of Italy, and
soon effected peace with Naples and with Rome.

Having accomplished these results, Napoleon immediately fitted out an
expedition for the reconquest of Corsica, his native island, which the
British fleet still held. The expedition was placed under the command of
General Gentili. The troops sailed from Leghorn, and disembarked at
Bastia. Joseph accompanied them. Immediately upon landing, the
Corsicans generally rose and joined their deliverers, and the English
retired in haste from the island. Joseph gives the following account of
his return to his parental home:

"I was received by the great majority of the population at the distance
of a league from Ajaccio. I took up my residence in the mansion of
Ornano, where I resided for several weeks, until our parental homestead,
which had been devastated, was sufficiently repaired to be occupied. I
could not detect the slightest trace of any unfriendly feelings toward
our family. All the inhabitants, without any exception, hastened to
greet me. In my turn, I reorganized the government without consulting
any other voice than the public good. A commissioner from the Directory
soon arrived, and he sanctioned, without any exception, all the measures
which I had adopted.

"Having thus fulfilled, according to my best judgment, the mission which
fraternal kindness had intrusted to me, and leaving our native island
tranquil and happy in finding itself again restored to the laws of
France, I prepared to return to the Continent, having made a sojourn in
Corsica of three months."

On the 27th of March, 1797, Joseph was appointed ambassador to the Court
of Parma. He presented to the duke credentials from the Directory of the
French Republic, containing the following sentiments:

"The desire which we have to maintain and to cherish the friendship and
the kind relations happily established between the French Republic and
the Duchy of Parma, has induced us to appoint Citizen Bonaparte to
reside at the Court of your Royal Highness in quality of ambassador.
The knowledge which we have of his principles and his sentiments is to
us a sure guarantee that the choice which we have made of his person to
fulfill that honorable mission will be agreeable to you, and we are
well persuaded that he will do every thing in his power to justify the
confidence we have placed in him. It is in that persuasion that we pray
your Royal Highness to repose entire faith in every thing which he may
say in our behalf, and particularly whenever he may renew the assurance
of the friendship with which we cherish your Royal Highness."

The Duke of Parma had married an Austrian duchess, sister of Maria
Antoinette. She was an energetic woman, and in conjunction with the
ecclesiastics, who crowded the palace, had great control over her
husband. But the spirit of the French Revolution already pervaded many
minds in Parma. Not a few were restive under the old feudal domination
of the duke and the arrogance of the Church. One day Joseph was walking
through the gardens of the ducal palace with several of the dignitaries
of the Court. He spoke with admiration of the architectural grandeur and
symmetry of the regal mansion.

"That is true," one replied, "but turn your eyes to the neighboring
convent; how far does it surpass in magnificence the palace of the
sovereign! Unhappy is that country where things are so."

After the peace of Leoben Napoleon returned to Milan and established
himself, for several months, at the chateau of Montebello. Joseph soon
joined his brother there. In the mean time their eldest sister, Eliza,
had been married to M. Bacciochi, a young officer of great distinction.
He was afterward created a prince by Napoleon. He was a man of elegant
manners, and had attained no little distinction in literary and artistic

"We have often been amused," say the authors of the "Napoleon Dynasty,"
"to see British writers, some of whom doubtless never passed beyond the
Channel, speak depreciatingly of the manners and refinement of these
new-made princes and nobles of Napoleon's Empire. Those who are familiar
with the elegant manners of the refined Italians read such slurs with a
smile. Whatever may be the crimes of the Italians, they have never been
accused, by those who know them, of coarseness of manner, or lack of
refinement of mind and taste. Eliza is said to have possessed more of
her brother's genius than any other one of the sisters. Chateaubriand,
La Harpe, Fontanes, and many other of the most illustrious men of France
sought her society, and have expressed their admiration of her talents."

At Montebello the second sister, Pauline, was married to General
Leclerc. Pauline was pronounced by Canova to be the most peerless model
of grace and beauty in all Europe. The same envenomed pen of slander
which has dared to calumniate even the immaculate Josephine has also
been busy in traducing the character of Pauline. We here again quote
from the "Napoleon Dynasty," by the Berkeley men:

"No satisfactory evidence has ever been adduced, in any quarter, that
Pauline was not a virtuous woman. Those who were mainly instrumental in
originating and circulating these slanders at the time about her, were
the very persons who had endeavored to load the name of Josephine with
obloquy. Those who saw her could not withhold their admiration. But the
blood of Madame Mere was in her veins, and the Bonapartes, especially
the women of the family, have always been too proud and haughty to
degrade themselves. Even had they lacked what is technically called
moral character, their virtue has been intrenched behind their ancestry,
and the achievements of their own family; nor was there at any time an
instant when any one of the Bonapartes could have overstepped, by a
hair's breadth, the bounds of decency without being exposed. None of
them pursued the noiseless tenor of their way along the vale of
obscurity. They were walking in the clear sunshine, on the topmost
summits of the earth, and millions of enemies were watching every step
they took.

"The highest genius of historians, the bitterest satire of dramatists,
the meanest and most malignant pens of the journalists have assailed
them for more than half a century. We have written these words because
a Republican is the only one likely to speak well even of the good
things of the Bonaparte family. It was, and is, and will be, the dynasty
of the people standing there from 1804 a fearful antagonism against the
feudal age, and its souvenirs of oppression and crime."

On the 7th of May, 1797, Joseph was promoted to the post of minister
from the French Republic to the Court at Rome. He received instructions
from his Government to make every effort to maintain friendly relations
with that spiritual power, which exerted so vast an influence over the
masses of Europe. Pope Pius VI. gave him a very cordial reception, and
seemed well disposed to employ all his means of persuasion and authority
to induce the Vendeans in France to accept the French Republic. The
Vendeans, enthusiastic Catholics, and devoted to the Bourbons, were
still, with amazing energy, perpetuating civil war in France. The
Allies, ready to make use of any instrumentality whatever to crush
republicanism, were doing every thing in their power to encourage the
Vendeans in their rebellion. The Austrian ambassador at the Papal Court
was unwearied in his endeavors to circumvent the peaceful mission of

Though the Pope himself and his Secretary of State were inclined to
amicable relations with the French Government, his Cabinet, the Sacred
College, composed exclusively of ecclesiastics, was intent upon the
restoration of the Bourbons, by which restoration alone the Catholic
religion could be reinstated with exclusive power in France.

By the intrigues of Austria, General Provera, an _Austrian officer_, was
placed in command of all the Papal forces. Joseph immediately
communicated this fact to the Directory in Paris, and also to his
brother. This Austrian officer had been fighting against the French in
Italy, and had three times been taken prisoner by the French troops.

Napoleon, who had lost all confidence in the French Directory, and who,
by virtue of his victories, had assumed the control of Italian
diplomacy, immediately wrote as follows to Joseph:

                         "Milan, Dec. 14, 1797.

"I shared your indignation, citizen ambassador, when you informed me of
the arrival of General Provera. You may declare positively to the Court
of Rome that if it receive into its service any officer known to have
been in the service of the Emperor of Austria, all good understanding
between France and Rome will cease from that hour, and war will be
already declared.

"You will let it be known, by a special note to the Pope, which you
will address to him in person, that although peace may be made with his
majesty the Emperor, the French Republic will not consent that the Pope
should accept among his troops any officer or agent belonging to the
Emperor of any denomination, except the usual diplomatic agents. You
will require the departure of M. Provera from the Roman territory within
twenty-four hours, in default whereof you will declare that you quit

       *       *       *       *       *

The spirit of the French Revolution at this time pervaded to a greater
or less degree all the kingdoms of Europe. In Rome there was a very
active party of Republicans anxious for a change of government. Napoleon
did not wish to encourage this party in an insurrection. By so doing, he
would exasperate still more the monarchs of Europe, who were already
combined in deadly hostility against republican France; neither did he
think the Republican party in Rome sufficiently strong to maintain their
cause, or the people sufficiently enlightened for self-government. Thus
he was not at all disposed to favor any insurrectionary movements in
Rome; neither was he disposed to render any aid whatever to the Papal
Government in opposing those who were struggling for greater political
liberty. He only demanded that France should be left by the other
governments in Europe in entire liberty to choose her own institutions.
And he did not wish that France should interfere, in any way whatever,
with the internal affairs of other nations.

While Joseph was officiating as ambassador at Rome, endeavoring to
promote friendly relations between the Papal See and the new French
Republic, he was much embarrassed by the operations of two opposite and
hostile parties of intriguants at that court. The Austrians, and all the
other European cabinets, were endeavoring to influence the Pope to give
his powerful moral support against the French Revolution. On the other
hand there was a party of active revolutionists, both native and
foreign, in Rome, struggling to rouse the populace to an insurrection
against the Government, to overthrow the Papal power entirely, as France
had overthrown the Bourbon power, and to establish a republic. These
men hoped for the countenance and support of France. But Joseph
Bonaparte could lend them no countenance. He was received as a friendly
ambassador at that court, and could not without ignominy take part with
conspirators to overthrow the Government. He was also bound to watch
with the utmost care, and thwart, if possible, the efforts of the
Austrians, and other advocates of the old regime.

On the 27th of December three members of the revolutionary party called
upon Joseph and informed him that during the night a revolution was to
break out, and they wished to communicate the fact to him, that he might
not be taken by surprise. Joseph reproved them, stating that he did not
think it right for him, an ambassador at the Court of Rome, to listen to
such a communication; and moreover he assured them that the movement was
ill-timed, and that it could not prove successful.

They replied that they came to him for advice, for they hoped that
republican France would protect them in their revolution as soon as it
was accomplished. Joseph informed them that, as an impartial spectator,
he should give an account to his Government of whatever scenes might
occur, but that he could give them no encouragement whatever; that
France was anxious to promote a general peace on the Continent, and
would look with regret upon any occurrences which might retard that
peace. He also repeated his assurance that the revolutionary party in
Rome had by no means sufficient strength to attain their end, and he
entreated them to desist from their purpose.

The committee were evidently impressed by his representations. They
departed declaring that every thing should remain quiet for the present,
and the night passed away in tranquillity. On the evening of the next
day one of the Government party called, and confidentially informed
Joseph that the _blunderheads_ were ridiculously contemplating a
movement which would only involve them in ruin. The Papal Government, by
means of spies, was not only informed of all the movements contemplated,
but through these spies, as pretended revolutionists, the Government was
actually aiding in getting up the insurrection, which it would promptly
crush with a bloody hand.

At 4 o'clock the next morning Joseph was aroused from sleep by a
messenger who informed him that about a hundred of the revolutionists
had assembled at the villa Medici, where they were surrounded by the
troops of the Pope. Joseph, who had given the revolutionists good advice
in vain, turned upon his pillow and fell asleep again. In the morning he
learned that there had been a slight conflict, that two of the Pope's
dragoons had been killed, and that the insurgents had been put to
flight; several of them having been arrested. These insurgents had
assumed the French national cockade, implying that they were acting,
in some degree of co-operation, with revolutionary France.

Joseph immediately called upon the Secretary of State, and informed him
that far from complaining of the arrest of persons who had assumed the
French cockade, he came to make the definite request that he would
arrest all such persons who were not in the service of the French
legation. He also informed the secretary that six individuals had taken
refuge within his jurisdiction. At Rome the residences of the foreign
ambassadors enjoyed the privilege of sanctuary in common with most of
the churches. Joseph informed the secretary, that if those who had taken
refuge in his palace were of the insurgents, they should be given up.
As he returned to his residence he found General Duphot, a very
distinguished French officer, who the next day was to be married to
Joseph's wife's sister, and several other French gentlemen, eagerly
conversing upon the folly of the past night. Just as they were sitting
down to dinner, the porter informed him that some twenty persons were
endeavoring to enter the palace, and that they were distributing French
cockades to the passers-by, and were shouting "Live the Republic." One
of these revolutionists, a French artist, burst like a maniac into the
presence of the ambassador, exclaiming "We are free, and have come to
demand the support of France."

Joseph sternly reproved him for his senseless conduct, and ordered him
to retire immediately from the protection of the Embassy, and to take
his comrades with him, or severe measures would be resorted to. One of
the officers said to the artist scornfully, "Where would your pretended
liberty be, should the governor of the city open fire upon you?"

The artist retired in confusion. But the tumult around the palace
increased. Joseph's friends saw, in the midst of the mob, well-known
spies of the Government urging them on, shouting _Vive la Republique_,
and scattering money with a liberal hand. The insurgents were availing
themselves of the palace of the French ambassador as their place of
rendezvous, and where, if need be, they hoped to find a sanctuary.
Joseph took the insignia of his office, and calling upon the officers of
his household to follow him, descended into the court, intending to
address the mob, as he spoke their language. In leaving the cabinet,
they heard a prolonged discharge of fire-arms. It was from the troops of
the Government; a picket of cavalry, in violation of the established
usages of national courtesy, had invaded the jurisdiction of the French
ambassador, which, protected by his flag, was regarded as the soil of
France, and, without consulting the ambassador, were discharging volleys
of musketry through the three vast arches of the palace. Many dropped
dead; others fell wounded and bleeding. The terrified crowd precipitated
itself into the courts and on the stairs, pursued by the avenging
bullets of the Government. Joseph and his friends, as they boldly forced
their way through the flying multitude, encountered the dying and the
dead, and not a few Government spies, who they knew were paid to excite
the insurrection and then to denounce the movement to the authorities.

Just as they were stepping out of the vestibule they met a company of
fusileers who had followed the cavalry. At the sight of the French
ambassador they stopped. Joseph demanded the commander. He, conscious of
the lawlessness of his proceedings, had concealed himself in the ranks,
and could not be distinguished. He then demanded of the troops by whose
order they entered upon the jurisdiction of France, and commanded them
to retire. A scene of confusion ensued, some advancing, others retiring.
Joseph then facing them, said, in a very decisive tone, "that the first
one who should attempt to pass the middle of the court would encounter

He drew his sword, and Generals Duphot and Sherlock and two other
officers of his escort, armed with swords or pistols and poniards,
ranged themselves at his side to resist their advance. The musketeers
retired just beyond pistol-shot, and then deliberately fired a general
discharge in the direction of Joseph and his friends. None of the party
immediately surrounding the ambassador were struck, but several were
killed in their rear.

Joseph, with General Duphot, boldly advanced as the soldiers were
reloading their muskets, and ordered them to retire from the
jurisdiction of France, saying that the ambassador would charge himself
with the punishment of the insurgents, and that he would immediately
send one of his own officers to the Vatican or to the Governor of Rome,
and that the affair would thus be settled. The soldiers seemed to pay no
regard to this, and continued loading their muskets. General Duphot, one
of the most brave and impetuous of men, leaped forward into the midst of
the bayonets of the soldiers, prevented one from loading and struck up
the gun of another, who was just upon the point of firing. Joseph and
General Sherlock, as by instinct, followed him.

Some of the soldiers seized General Duphot, dragged him rudely beyond
the sacred precincts of the ambassador's palace and the flag of France,
and then a soldier discharged a musket into his bosom. The heroic
general fell, and immediately painfully rose, leaning upon his
sabre. Joseph, who witnessed it all, in the midst of this scene of
indescribable confusion called out to his friend, who the next day was
to be his brother-in-law, to return. General Duphot attempted it, when
a second shot prostrated him upon the pavement. More than fifty shots
were then discharged into his lifeless body.

The soldiers now directed their fire upon Joseph and General Sherlock.
Fortunately there was a door through which they escaped into the garden
of the palace, where they were for a moment sheltered from the bullets
of the assassins. Another company of Government troops had now arrived,
and was firing from the other side of the street. Two French officers,
from whom Joseph had been separated, now joined him and General Sherlock
in the garden. There was nothing to prevent the soldiers from entering
the palace, where Joseph's wife and her sister, who the next day was to
have become the wife of General Duphot, were trembling in terror. Joseph
and his friends regained the palace by the side of the garden. The court
was now filled with the soldiers, and with the insurgents who had so
foolishly and ignominiously caused this horrible scene. Twenty of the
insurgents lay dead upon the pavement.

"I entered the palace," Joseph writes in his dispatch to Talleyrand;
"the walks were covered with blood, with the dying, dragging themselves
along, and with the wounded, loudly groaning. We closed the three gates
fronting upon the street. The lamentations of the betrothed of Duphot,
that young hero who, constantly in the advance-guard of the armies of
the Pyrenees and of Italy, had always been victorious, butchered by
cowardly brigands; the absence of her mother and of her brother, whom
curiosity had drawn from the palace to see the monuments of Rome; the
fusillade which continued in the streets, and against the gates of the
palace; the outer apartments of the vast palace of Corsini, which I
inhabited, thronged with people of whose intentions we were ignorant:
these circumstances and many others rendered the scene inconceivably

Joseph immediately summoned the servants of the household around him.
Three had been wounded. The French officers, impelled by an instinct
of national pride, heroically emerged from the palace, with the aid
of these domestics, to rescue the body of their unfortunate general.
Taking a circuitous route, notwithstanding the fusillade which was
still continued, they succeeded in reaching the spot of his cowardly
assassination. There they found the remains of this truly noble young
man, despoiled, pierced with bullets, clotted with blood, and covered
with stones which had been thrown upon him.

It was six o'clock in the evening. Two hours had elapsed since the
assassination of Duphot; and yet not a member of the Roman Government
had appeared at the palace to bring protection or to restore order.
Joseph was, properly, very indignant, and resolved at once to call for
his passports and leave the city. He wrote a brief note to the Secretary
of State, and sent it by a faithful domestic, who succeeded in the
darkness in passing through the crowd of soldiers. As the firing was
still continued, Joseph and his friends anxiously watched the messenger
from the attic windows of the palace till he was lost from sight.

An hour passed, and some one was heard knocking at the gate with
repeated blows. They supposed that it was certainly the governor or
some Roman officer of commanding authority. It proved to be Chevalier
Angiolini, minister from Tuscany, the envoy of a prince who was in
friendly alliance with the French Republic. As he passed through the
soldiery they stopped his carriage, and sarcastically asked him "if
he were in search of dangers and bullet-wounds." He courageously and
reproachfully replied, "There can be no such dangers in Rome within the
jurisdiction of the ambassador of France." This was a severe reproach
against the officers of a nation who were indebted to the moderation
of the French Republic for their continued political existence. The
minister of Spain soon also presented himself, braving all the dangers
of the street, which were truly very great. They were both astonished
that no public officer had arrived, and expressed much indignation in
view of the violation of the rights of the Embassy.

Ten o'clock arrived, and still no public officer had made his
appearance. Joseph wrote a second letter to the cardinal. An answer now
came, which was soon followed by an officer and about forty men, who
said that they had been sent to protect the ambassador's communications
with the Secretary of State. But they had no authority or power to
rescue the palace from the insurgents, who were crowded into one part
of it, and from the Government troops, who occupied another part.
No attention had been paid to Joseph's reiterated demands for the
liberation of the palace from the dominion of the insurgents and the

Joseph then wrote to the secretary, demanding immediately his passport.
It was sent to him two hours after midnight. At six o'clock in the
morning, fourteen hours after the assassination of General Duphot, the
investment of the palace by the troops and the massacre of the people
who had crowded into it, not a single Roman officer had made his
appearance charged by the Government to investigate the state of

Joseph, after having secured the safety of the few French remaining
at Rome, left for Tuscany, and in a dispatch to the French Government
minutely detailed the events which had occurred. In the conclusion of
his dispatch he wrote:

"This Government is not inconsistent with itself. Crafty and rash in
perpetrating crime, cowardly and fawning when it has been committed, it
is to-day upon its knees before the minister Azara, that he may go to
Florence and induce me to return to Rome. So writes to me that generous
friend of France, worthy of dwelling in a land where his virtues and
his noble loyalty may be better appreciated."

In reply to this dispatch the French minister, Talleyrand, wrote to
Joseph, "I have received, citizen, the heart-rending letter which you
have written me upon the frightful events which transpired at Rome on
the 28th of December. Notwithstanding the care which you have taken to
conceal every thing personal to yourself during that horrible day, you
have not been able to conceal from me that you have manifested, in the
highest degree, courage, coolness, and that intelligence which nothing
can escape; and that you have sustained with magnanimity the honor of
the French name. The Directory charges me to express to you, in the
strongest and most impressive terms, its extreme satisfaction with your
whole conduct. You will readily believe, I trust, that I am happy to be
the organ of these sentiments."




Elected to the Council of Five Hundred.--Remarks of Napoleon.
--Napoleon's Patriotism.--The Directory.--State of France.--Anarchy.
--Joseph sends to Napoleon.--Return of Napoleon.--Remarks of Moreau.
--18th Brumaire.--Character of Joseph.--Plans and Measures of Napoleon.
--Joseph an Ambassador.--Peace of Luneville.--Hostility of England.
--Religious Reaction.--The Concordat.--The Re-establishment of
Christianity.--Peace of Amiens.--Anecdote of Lord Cornwallis.--Hostility
of the English Government.--Treaty of Amiens Concluded.--Bernardin de
St. Pierre.--Talleyrand.--Madame de Stael.

Joseph, after a short tarry at Florence, returned to Paris, where he
again met his brother. Napoleon was much disappointed with the result
of the embassy to Rome, for he had ardently hoped to cultivate the
most friendly relations with that power. Joseph was favored with a
long interview with the Directory, by whom he was received with great
cordiality. In testimony of their satisfaction, they offered him
the embassy to Berlin. He, however, declined the appointment, as he
preferred to enter the Council of Five Hundred, to which office he had
been nominated by the Electoral College of one of the departments. The
Government of France then consisted of an Executive of five Directors, a
Senate, called the Council of Ancients, and a House of Representatives,
called the Council of Five Hundred.

Preparations were now making for the expedition to Egypt. The command
was offered to Napoleon. For some time he hesitated before accepting it.
One day he said to his brother Joseph,

"The Directory see me here with uneasiness, notwithstanding all my
efforts to throw myself into the shade. Neither the Directory nor I can
do any thing to oppose that tendency to a more centralized government,
which is so manifestly inevitable. Our dreams of a republic were the
illusions of youth. Since the ninth Thermidor,[D] the Republican
instinct has grown weaker every day. The efforts of the Bourbons, of
foreigners, sustained by the remembrance of the year 1793, had re-united
against the Republican system an imposing majority. But for the
thirteenth Vendemiaire[E] and the eighteenth Fructidor,[F] this majority
would have triumphed a long time ago. The feebleness, the dissensions
of the Directory, have done the rest. It is upon me that all eyes are
fixed to-day. To-morrow they will be fixed upon some one else. While
waiting for that other one to appear, if he is to appear, my interest
tells me that no violence should be done to fortune. We must leave to
fortune an open field.

[Footnote D: 9th Thermidor, 28th of July, 1794. This was the date of the
overthrow of Robespierre, and of the termination of the Reign of Terror.
The enormous atrocities perpetrated under the name of the Republic had
excited general distrust of republican institutions.]

[Footnote E: 13th Vendemiaire, 5th of October, 1795, when Napoleon
quelled the insurgent sections.]

[Footnote F: 18th Fructidor, 4th of September, 1797. On this day the
majority of the French Directory overthrew the minority, who were in
favor of monarchical institutions. Sixty-three Deputies were banished
for conspiring to introduce monarchy. Both councils renewed their oath
of hatred against royalty.]

"Many persons hope still in the Republic. Perhaps they have reason. I
leave for the East, with all means for success. If my country has need
of me--if the number of those who think with Talleyrand, Sieyes, and
Roederer should increase, should war be resumed, and prove unfriendly
to the arms of France, I shall return more sure of the opinion of
the nation. If, on the contrary, the war should be favorable to the
Republic, if a military statesman like myself should rise and gather
around him the wishes of the people, very well, I shall render, perhaps,
still greater services to the world in the East than he can do. I shall
probably overthrow English domination, and shall arrive more surely at
a maritime peace, than by the demonstrations which the Directory makes
upon the shores of the Channel.

"The system of France must become that of Europe in order to be durable.
We see thus very evidently what is required. I wish what the nation
wishes. Truly I do not know what it wishes to-day, but we shall know
better hereafter. Till then let us study its wishes and its necessities.
I do not wish to usurp any thing. I shall, at all events, find renown in
the East; and if that renown can be made serviceable to my country, I
will return with it. I will then endeavor to secure the stability of the
happiness of France in securing, if it is possible, the prosperity of
Europe, and extending our free principles into neighboring states, who
may be made friends if they can profit from our misfortunes."

"Such," says Joseph, "were the habitual thoughts of General Bonaparte.
His happiness was not to depend merely upon the possession of power. He
wished to merit the gratitude of his country and of posterity by his
deeds, and to conform his life to duty, sure that it was by such renown
alone that his name could pass down to future ages."

Joseph was now a member of the Council of Five Hundred. His brother
Lucien, though he was still very young, had also been elected a member
of the same body. The brilliant achievements of the young conqueror in
the East roused the enthusiasm of France. The conquest of Malta, the
landing at Alexandria, the battle of the Pyramids, and the entrance
into Cairo, had been reported through France, rousing in every hill
and valley shouts of exultation. Napoleon was rapidly gaining that
renown which would enable him to control and to guide his countrymen.

The Directory still nominally governed France, though the affairs of
the nation, under their inefficiency and misrule, were passing rapidly
to ruin. The Directors contemplated with alarm the rising celebrity
which Napoleon was acquiring in the East. They made a formidable attack
upon him, through a committee, in the Council of Five Hundred. Joseph
defended his absent brother with so much eloquence and power, as to
confound his accusers, and he obtained a unanimous verdict in his favor.

The state of things in France was now very deplorable. The Allies with
vigor had renewed the war. The Austrian armies had again overrun Italy,
and were threatening to scale the Alps, and to rush down upon the plains
of France. The British fleet, the most powerful military arm the world
has ever known, had swept the commerce of France from all seas, had
captured many of her colonies, and was bombarding, with shot and shell,
every city of the Republic within reach of its broadsides. The five
Directors were quarrelling among themselves, some favoring monarchy,
others republicanism. The two councils, that of the Ancients and that of
the Five Hundred, were at antagonism. Many formidable conspiracies were
formed, some for the support of the Allies and the restoration of the
Bourbons, others for the re-introduction of the Jacobinical Reign of

France was in a state of general anarchy. There was no man of sufficient
celebrity to gain the confidence of the people, so that he could assume
the office of leader, and bring order out of chaos. The once mighty
monarchy of France was in the condition of a mob, without a head,
careering this way and that way, in tumultuous and inextricable
confusion. Joseph sent a special messenger, a Greek by the name of
Bourbaki, to Jean d'Acre, to communicate to Napoleon the state of

Informed of these facts, at this momentous crisis Napoleon, having
attained renown which caused every eye in France to be fixed upon him,
landed at Frejus, and was borne along, with the acclamations of the
multitude, to Paris. Immediately upon the young general's arrival,
General Moreau hastened to his humble residence in the Rue de la
Victoire, and earnestly said to him,

"Disgusted with the government of the lawyers, who have ruined the
Republic, I come to offer you my aid to save the country."

A number of the most distinguished men of France crowded the small
parlors of General Bonaparte. As he was speaking, with that genius which
ever commanded attention and assent, of the political condition and
wants of France, Moreau interrupted him, saying,

"I only desire to unite my efforts with yours to save France. I am
convinced that you only have the power. The generals and the officers
who have served under me are now in Paris, and are ready to co-operate
with you." The little saloon was crowded. General Macdonald was present.
Generals Jourdan and Augereau had conversed with Salicetti, and reported
that Bernadotte and a majority of the Council of Five Hundred were in
favor of the movement.

Joseph co-operated diligently with Napoleon in the measures now set on
foot to rescue France from destruction. Joseph dined with Sieyes. At
the table Sieyes said to his guests,

"I wish to unite with General Bonaparte, for of all the military men he
is the most of a statesman."

On the 18th Brumaire[G] the Directory was overthrown, and, without one
drop of blood being shed, a new government was organized, and Napoleon
was made consul. The world is divided, and perhaps may forever remain
divided, in its judgment of this event. Some call Napoleon a usurper.
France then called him, and still calls him, the saviour of his country.

[Footnote G: _18th Brumaire_, Nov. 9th, 1799.]

In the midst of these tumultuary scenes, when it was uncertain whether
Napoleon would gain his ends or fall upon the scaffold, General Augereau
came, in great alarm, to St. Cloud, and informed Napoleon that his
enemies in the two councils were proposing to vote him an outlaw.

"Very well," said Napoleon calmly, "you and I, General Augereau, have
long been acquainted with each other. Say to your friends the cork is
drawn, we must now drink the wine."

Joseph Bonaparte, who a little before these events had withdrawn from
the Council of Five Hundred, was with his brother constantly through
these momentous scenes. Immediately after the establishment of the new
government he was appointed a member of the legislative body, and soon
after of the Council of State. Joseph had become a very wealthy man,
having acquired a large fortune by his marriage. He owned a very
beautiful estate at Mortfontaine, but a few leagues from Paris. Both
Joseph and his wife were extremely fond of the quiet, domestic pleasures
of rural life. Neither of them had any taste for the excitement and the
splendors of state. But France, in her condition of peril, assailed by
the allied despotism of Europe without, and agitated by conspiracies
within, demanded the energies of every patriotic arm. Joseph was thus
constrained to sacrifice his inclinations to his sense of duty. He
rendered his brother invaluable assistance by the energy and the
conciliatory manners with which he endeavored to carry out the plans of
the First Consul. Lucien Bonaparte, eight years younger than Joseph,
accepted the post of Minister of the Interior.

Before the overthrow of the Directory mob law had reigned triumphant in
Paris. Napoleon, as first consul, immediately took up his residence in
the palace of the Tuileries. It was proposed to him that he should close
the gates of the garden of the Tuileries, that it might no longer be a
place of public resort. Joseph strenuously opposed the measure, and it
was renounced. The great object Napoleon aimed at was to ascertain the
wishes of the people, that he might be the executor of their will. His
only power consisted in having cordially with him the masses of the
population. He was untiring in his endeavors to ascertain public
sentiment, and endeavored to adopt those measures which should, from
their manifest wisdom and justice, secure public approbation. In this
service Joseph was invaluable to his brother. He gave brilliant
entertainments at his chateau at Mortfontaine; and being a man of
remarkably amiable spirit and polished manners, he secured the
confidence of all parties, and exerted a very powerful influence in
healing the wounds of past strife. At these entertainments Joseph made
it his constant object to study the wishes and the opinions of the
different classes of society.

The Directory had involved the public in serious difficulties with the
United States. Napoleon immediately appointed Joseph, with two
associates, to adjust all the differences between the two countries. As
both parties were disposed to friendly relations, all difficulties were
speedily terminated, and a treaty was signed on the 30th of September,
1800, at Joseph's mansion at Mortfontaine.

England and Austria, with great vigor, still pressed the war upon
France, notwithstanding the earnest appeals of Napoleon to the King of
England and the Emperor of Austria in behalf of peace. This refusal to
sheathe the sword rendered the campaign of Marengo a necessity. Napoleon
crossed the Alps, and upon the plains of Marengo almost demolished the
armies of Austria. The haughty Emperor was compelled to sue for that
peace which he had so scornfully rejected. The commissioners of the two
powers met at Luneville. Napoleon, highly gratified at the skill which
Joseph had displayed in adjusting the difficulties in the United States,
appointed him as the ambassador from France to secure a treaty with
Austria. The two brothers were in daily, and sometimes in hourly
conference in reference to the questions of vast national importance
which this treaty involved. But Joseph was again entirely successful. On
the 9th of February, 1801, the peace of Luneville was concluded, to the
great satisfaction of the Emperor, and to the great gratification of
France. Napoleon says, in the conclusion of a letter which he wrote to
Joseph upon this subject, "The nation is satisfied with the treaty, and
I am exceedingly pleased with it."

France was now at peace with all the Continent. England alone implacably
continued the war. But England was inaccessible to any blows which
France could strike without making efforts more gigantic than nation
ever attempted before. Napoleon resolved to make these efforts to attain
peace. He prepared almost to bridge the Channel with his fleet and
gun-boats, that he might pour an army of invasion upon the shores of the
belligerent isle, and thus compel the British to sheathe the sword.
While these immense preparations were going on, the First Consul devoted
his energies to the reconstruction of society in France.

Revolutionary fury had swept all the institutions of the past into
chaotic ruin. The good and the bad had been alike demolished.
Christianity had been entirely overthrown, her churches destroyed, and
her priesthood either slaughtered upon the guillotine, or driven from
the realm. France presented the revolting aspect of a mighty nation
without morality, without religion, and without a God. The masses of the
people, particularly in the rural districts of France, had become
disgusted with the reign of vice and misery. They longed to enjoy again
the quietude of the Sabbath morning, the tones of the Sabbath bell,
the gathering of the congregations in the churches, and all those
ministrations of religion which cheer the joyous hours of the bridal,
and which convey solace to the chamber of death. The overwhelming
majority of the people of France were Roman Catholics. Among the
millions who peopled the extensive realm there were but a few thousands
who were Protestants. Napoleon had not the power, even had he wished it,
of establishing Protestantism as the national religion.

He therefore, in accordance with his policy of adopting those measures
which were in accordance with the wishes of the people, resolved to
recognize the Catholic religion as the religion of France, while at the
same time he enforced perfect liberty of conscience for all other
religious sects. He also determined that all the high dignitaries of the
Church should be appointed by the French Government, and not by the
Pope. He deemed it not befitting the dignity of France, or in accordance
with her interests, that a foreign potentate, by having the appointment
of all the places of ecclesiastical power, should wield so immense an
influence over the French people.

But to re-establish the Catholic religion, and to invest it with the
supremacy which it had gained over the imaginations of men, it was
necessary to bring the system under the paternal jurisdiction of the
Pope, who throughout all Europe was the recognized father and head of
the Church.

But the Pope was jealous of his power. He would be slow to consent that
any officers of the Church should be appointed by any voice which did
not emanate from the Vatican. It was also an established decree of the
Church that heresy was a crime, meriting the severest punishment, both
civil and ecclesiastical. The Pope, therefore, could not consent that
anywhere within his spiritual domain freedom of conscience should be
tolerated. Under these circumstances, nothing could be more difficult
than the accomplishment of the plan which Napoleon had proposed for the
promotion of the peace and prosperity of France.

The eyes of the First Consul were immediately turned to his brother
Joseph, as the most fitting man in France to conduct negotiations of
somuch delicacy and importance. He consequently was appointed, in
conjunction with M. Cretet, Minister of the Interior, and the abbe
Bernier, subsequently Bishop of Orleans, as commissioner on the part
of France to a conference with the Holy See. The Pope sent, as his
representatives, the cardinals Consalvi and Spina, and the father
Caselli. Here again Joseph was entirely successful, and accomplished
hismission by securing all those results which the First Consul so
earnestly had desired.

The celebrated Concordat[H] was signed July 15th, 1801, at the
residence of Joseph in Paris, in the Rue Faubourg St. Honore. It was two
o'clock in the morning when the signatures of the several commissioners
were affixed to this important document.

[Footnote H: "I hold it for certain that in 1802 the Concordat was, on
the part of Napoleon, an act of superior intelligence, much more than of
a despotic spirit, and for the Christian religion in France an event as
salutary as it was necessary. After the anarchy and the revolutionary
orgies, the solemn recognition of Christianity by the State could alone
give satisfaction to public sentiment, and assure to the Christian
influence the dignity and the stability which it was needful that it
should recover."--Meditations sur l'etat Actuel de la Religion
Chretienne, par M. Guizot, p. 5.]

"At the same hour," writes Joseph, "I became the father of a third
infant, whose birth was saluted by the congratulations of the
plenipotentiaries of the two great powers, and whose prosperity was
augured by the envoys of the vicar of Christ. Their prayers have not
been granted. A widow at thirty years of age, separated from her father,
proscribed, as has been all the rest of her family, there only remains
to her the consolation of reflecting that she has not merited her

[Footnote I: This daughter subsequently married her cousin, the brother
of the Emperor Napoleon III., the second son of Louis Bonaparte. He died
at an early age, in a campaign for the liberation of Italy.]

Thus did Napoleon re-establish the Christian religion throughout the
whole territory of France. In this measure he was strenuously opposed by
many of his leading officers, and by the corrupt revolutionary circles
of France, yet throughout all the rural districts the restoration of
religion was received with boundless enthusiasm.

"The sound of the village bells," writes Alison, "again calling the
faithful to the house of God, was hailed by millions as the dove with
the olive-branch, which first pronounced peace to the green, undeluged
earth. The thoughtful and religious everywhere justly considered the
voluntary return of a great nation to the creed of its fathers, from the
experienced impossibility of living without its precepts, as the most
signal triumph which has occurred since it ascended the imperial throne
under the banners of Constantine."

Nearly all the powers upon the Continent of Europe were now at peace
with France. England alone still refused to sheathe the sword. But the
_people_ of England began to remonstrate so determinedly against this
endless war, which was openly waged to force upon France a detested
dynasty, that the English Government was compelled, though with much
reluctance, to listen to proposals for peace.

The latter part of the year 1801, the plenipotentiaries of France and
England met at Amiens, an intermediate point between London and Paris.
England appointed, as her ambassador, Lord Cornwallis, a nobleman of
exalted character, and whose lofty spirit of honor was superior to every
temptation. "The First Consul," writes Thiers, "on this occasion made
choice of his brother Joseph, for whom he had a very particular
affection, and who, by the amenity of his manners, and mildness of his
character, was singularly well adapted for a peace-maker, an office
which had been constantly reserved for him."

Napoleon, who had nothing to gain by war, was exceedingly anxious for
peace with all the world, that he might reconstruct French society from
the chaos into which revolutionary anarchy had plunged it, and that he
might develop the boundless resources of France. Lord Cornwallis was
received in Paris, with the utmost cordiality by Napoleon. Joseph
Bonaparte gave, in his honor, a magnificent entertainment, to which all
the distinguished Englishmen in France were invited, and also such
Frenchmen of note as he supposed Lord Cornwallis would be glad to meet.

La Fayette was not invited. Cornwallis had commanded an army in
America, where he had met La Fayette on fields of blood, and where he
subsequently, with his whole army, had been taken prisoner. Joseph
thought that painful associations might be excited in the bosom of his
English guest by meeting his successful antagonist. He therefore, from a
sense of delicacy, avoided bringing them together. But Cornwallis was a
man of generous nature. As he looked around upon the numerous guests
assembled at the table, he said to Joseph,

"I know that the Marquis de la Fayette is one of your friends. It would
have given me much pleasure to have met him here. I do not, however,
complain of your diplomatic caution. I suppose that you did not wish to
introduce to me at your table the general of Georgetown. I thank you for
your kind intention, which I fully appreciate. But I hope that when we
know each other better, we shall banish all reserve, and not act as
diplomatists, but as men who sincerely desire to fulfill the wishes of
their governments, and to arrive promptly at a solid peace. Moreover,
the Marquis de la Fayette is one of those men whom we can not help
loving. During his captivity I presented myself before the Emperor (of
Germany) to implore his liberation, which I did not have the happiness
of obtaining."

Cornwallis left Paris for Amiens. Joseph immediately after proceeded to
the same place. As he alighted from his carriage in the court-yard of
the hotel which had been prepared for him, one of the first persons whom
he met was Lord Cornwallis. The English lord, disregarding the
formalities of etiquette, advanced, and presenting his hand to Joseph,

"I hope that it is thus that you will deal with me, and that all our
etiquette will not retard for a single hour the conclusion of peace.
Such forms are not necessary where frankness and honest intentions rule.
My Government would not have chosen me as an ambassador, if it had not
been intended to restore peace to the world. The First Consul, in
choosing his brother, has also proved his good intentions. The rest
remains for us."


Louis Napoleon gives the following rather amusing account of this

"When Joseph, plenipotentiary of the French Republic, journeyed with his
colleagues toward Amiens, to conclude peace with England, in 1802, they
were much occupied, he said, during the route, as to the ceremonial
which should be observed with the English diplomatists. In the interests
of their mission they desired not to fail in any proprieties. Still,
being representatives of a republican state, they did not wish to show
too much attention, _prevenance_, to the grand English lords with whom
they were to treat.

"The French ambassadors were therefore much embarrassed in deciding to
whom it belonged to make the first visit. Quite inexperienced, they were
not aware that foreign diplomatists always conceal the inflexibility of
their policy under the suppleness of forms. Thus they were promptly
extricated from their embarrassment; for, to their great astonishment,
they found, upon their arrival at Amiens, Lord Cornwallis waiting for
them at the door of his hotel, and who, without any ceremony, himself
opened for them the door of their carriage, giving them a cordial grasp
of the hand."[J]

[Footnote J: Oeuvres de Napoleon III. tome ii. p. 456.]

Lord Cornwallis, however, found himself incessantly embarrassed by
instructions he was receiving from the ministry at London. They were
very reluctantly consenting to peace, being forced to it by the pressure
of public opinion. They were, therefore, hoping that obstacles would
arise which would enable them, with some plausibility, to renew the war.
Napoleon continually wrote to his brother urging him to do every thing
in his power to secure the signing of the treaty. In a letter on the
10th of March, he writes,

"The differences at Amiens are not worth making such a noise about. A
letter from Amiens caused the alarm in London by asserting that I did
not wish for peace. Under these circumstances delay will do real
mischief, and may be of great consequence to our squadrons and our
expeditions. Have the kindness, therefore, to send special couriers to
inform me of what you are doing, and of what you hear; for it is clear
to me that, if the terms of peace are not already signed, there is a
change of plans in London."

The treaty was signed on the 25th of March, 1802. Joseph immediately
prepared to return to Paris. Lord Cornwallis, in taking leave of Joseph,

"I must go as soon as possible to London, in order to allay the storm
which will there be gathering against me."

"When I arrived in Paris," writes Joseph, "the First Consul was at the
opera; he caused me to enter into his box, and presented me to the
public in announcing the conclusion of the peace. One can easily imagine
the emotions which agitated me, and also him, for he was as tender a
friend, and as kind a brother, as he was prodigious as a man and great
as a sovereign."

Bernardin de St. Pierre, in his preface to "Paul and Virginia," renders
the following homage to the character of Joseph at this time:

"About a year and a half ago I was invited by one of the subscribers to
the fine edition of Paul and Virginia to come and see him at his
country-house. He was a young father of a family, whose physiognomy
announced the qualities of his mind. He united in himself every thing
which distinguishes as a son, a brother, a husband, a father, and a
friend to humanity. He took me in private, and said, 'My fortune, which
I owe to the nation, affords me the means of being useful. Add to my
happiness by giving me an opportunity of contributing to your own.' This
philosopher, so worthy of a throne, if any throne were worthy of him,
was Prince Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte."

While the treaty of Amiens was under discussion, Talleyrand wrote to
Joseph: "Your lot will indeed be a happy one if you are able to secure
for your brother that peace which alone his enemies fear. I embrace you,
and I love you. I think that this affair will kill me unless it is
closed as we desire."

At the conclusion of the treaty, Talleyrand again wrote: "MY DEAR
JOSEPH,--Citizen Dupuis has just arrived. He has been received by the
First Consul as the bearer of such good, grand, glorious news as you
have just sent by him should be received. Your brother is perfectly
satisfied (_parfaitement content_").

Madame de Stael wrote to Joseph: "Peace with England is the joy of the
world. It adds to my joy that it is you who have promoted it, and that
every year you have some new occasion to make the whole nation love and
applaud you. You have terminated the most important negotiation in the
history of France. That glory will be without any alloy."




Rupture of the Peace of Amiens.--Conspiracy to assassinate Napoleon.
--Arrest of the Duke d'Enghien.--Joseph's Interview with Napoleon.
--Conflicting Views.--Madame de Stael.--Execution of the Duke
d'Enghien.--Statement of Joseph Bonaparte.--Statement of Count Real.
--Expulsion of the English.--Conquest of Naples.--Debasement of the
Neapolitans under the Old Regime.--Debasement of Naples.--Administration
of King Joseph.--Embarrassments.--Philanthropic Labors.--The
Lazzaroni.--Vigorous Measures.--Letters from Napoleon and others.--The
British Fleet.--Brigandage.--Success of the new Measures.--Ancient
Corruptions.--Prison Reform.--Financial Reform.--Encouragement to
Education.--Opposition to Reform.--The Fine Arts.--Monasteries.--Debate
in the Council.--Reform of Monastic Institutions.--Ecclesiastical
Reforms.--New Public Works.--Report of Joseph to the Emperor.--Letter
from Napoleon.--Letter from Meneval.--Letter from Joseph to his Wife.

The peace of Amiens was of short duration. In May, 1803--but fourteen
months after the signing of the treaty--England again renewed
hostilities without even a declaration of war. This was the signal
for new scenes of blood and woe. Napoleon now resolved to assail
his implacable foe by carrying his armies into the heart of England.
Enormous preparations were made upon the French coast to transport a
resistless force across the Channel. Joseph Bonaparte was placed in
command of a regiment of the line, which had recently returned, with
great renown, from the fields of Italy.

In the midst of these preparations, which excited fearful apprehensions
in England, the British Government succeeded in organizing another
coalition with Austria and Russia, to fall upon France in the rear. The
armies of these gigantic Northern powers commenced their march toward
the Rhine. Napoleon broke up the camp of Boulogne and advanced to meet
them. The immortal campaigns of Ulm and Austerlitz were the result.
Incredible as it may seem, England represented this as an unprovoked
invasion of Germany by Napoleon. This incessant assault of the Allies
upon France was a great grief to the Emperor. In the midst of all the
distractions which preceded this triumphant march, he wrote to his
Minister of Finance:

"I am distressed beyond measure at the necessities of my situation,
which, by compelling me to live in camps, and engage in distant
expeditions, withdraw my attention from what would otherwise be the
chief object of my anxiety, and the first wish of my heart--a good and
solid organization of all which concerns the interests of banks,
manufactures, and commerce."

While Napoleon was absent upon this campaign, Joseph was left in Paris,
to attend to the administration of home affairs. This he did, much to
the satisfaction of Napoleon, and with great honor to himself. Napoleon
was now Emperor of France, and the Senate and the people had declared
Joseph and his children heirs of the throne, on failure of Napoleon's

A gigantic conspiracy was formed in England by Count d'Artois,
subsequently Charles X., and other French emigrants, for the
assassination of Napoleon. The plan was for a hundred resolute men,
led by the desperate George Cadoudal, to waylay Napoleon when passing,
as was his wont, with merely a small guard of ten outriders, from the
Tuileries to Malmaison. The conspirators flattered themselves that
this would be considered war, not assassination. The Bourbons were
then to raise their banner in France, and the emigrants, lingering
upon the frontiers, were to rush into the empire with the Allied armies,
and re-establish the throne of the old regime. The Princes of Conde
grandfather, son, and grandson, were then in the service and pay of
Great Britain, fighting against their native land, and, by the laws of
France traitors, exposed to the penalty of death. The grandson, the Duke
d'Enghien, was on the French frontier, in the duchy of Baden, waiting
for the signal to enter France arms in hand.

It was supposed that he was actively engaged in the conspiracy for the
assassination, as he was known frequently to enter France by night and
in disguise. But it afterward appeared that these journeys were to visit
a young lady to whom the duke was much attached.

Napoleon, supposing that the duke was involved in the conspiracy, and
indignant in view of these repeated plots, in which the Bourbons seemed
to regard him but as a wild beast whom they could shoot down at their
pleasure, resolved to teach them that he was not thus to be assailed
with impunity. A detachment of soldiers was sent across the border, who
arrested the duke in his bed, brought him to Vincennes, where he was
tried by court-martial, condemned as a traitor waging war against his
native country, and, by a series of accidents, was shot before Napoleon
had time to extend that pardon which he intended to grant. The friends
of Napoleon do not severely censure him for this deed. His enemies call
it wanton murder. Joseph thus speaks of this event:

[Illustration: JOSEPH AT MALMAISON.]

"The catastrophe of the Duke d'Enghien requires of me some details
too honorable to the memory of Napoleon for me to pass them by in
silence. Upon the arrival of the duke at Vincennes, I was in my home at
Mortfontaine. I was sent for to Malmaison. Scarcely had I arrived at the
gate when Josephine came to meet me, very much agitated, to announce the
event of the day. Napoleon had consulted Cambaceres and Berthier, who
were in favor of the prisoner; but she greatly feared the influence of
Talleyrand, who had already made the tour of the park with Napoleon.

"'Your brother,' said she, 'has called for you several times. Hasten to
interrupt this long interview; that lame man makes me tremble.'

"When I arrived at the door of the saloon, the First Consul took
leave of M. de Talleyrand, and called me. He expressed his astonishment
at the great diversity of opinion of the two last persons whom he
had consulted, and demanded mine. I recalled to him his political
principles, which were to govern all the factions by taking part with
none. I recalled to him the circumstance of his entry into the artillery
in consequence of the encouragement which the Prince of Conde had given
me to commence a military career. I still remembered the quatrain of
the verses composed by the abbe Simon:

     "'Conde! quel nom, l'univers le venere;
     A ce pays il est cher a jamais;
     Mars l'honore pendant la guerre,
     Et Minerve pendant la paix.'[K]

 [Footnote K:
     "Conde! what a name! the universe reveres it;
     To this country it is ever dear;
     Mars honors it during war,
     And Minerva during peace."]

"Little did we then think that we should ever be deliberating upon the
fate of his grandson. Tears moistened the eyes of Napoleon. With a
nervous gesture, which always with him accompanied a generous thought,
he said, 'His pardon is in my heart, since it is in my power to pardon
him. But that is not enough for me. I wish that the grandson of Conde
should serve in our armies. I feel myself sufficiently strong for that.'

"With these impressions I returned to Mortfontaine. The family were at
the dinner-table. I took a seat by the side of Madame de Stael, who had
at her left M. Mathieu de Montmorency. Madame de Stael, with the
assurance which I gave her of the intention of the First Consul to
pardon a descendant of the great Conde, exclaimed in characteristic

"'Ah! that is right; if it were not so, we should not see here M.
Mathieu de Montmorency.'

"But another nobleman present, who had not emigrated, said to me, on the
contrary: 'Will it then be permitted to the Bourbons to conspire with
impunity? The First Consul is deceived if he think that the nobles who
have not emigrated, and particularly the historic nobility, take any
deep interest in the Bourbons.' Several others present expressed the
same views.

"The next day, upon my return to Malmaison, I found Napoleon very
indignant against Count Real; whose motives he accused, reproaching him
with having employed in his government certain men too much compromised
in the great excesses of the Revolution. _The Duke d'Enghien had been
condemned and executed even before the announcement of his trial had
been communicated to Napoleon._

"Subsequently he was convinced of the innocence of Real, and of the
strange fatality which had caused him for a moment to appear culpable in
his eyes. In the mean time, resuming self-control, he said to me,
'Another opportunity has been lost. It would have been admirable to have
had, as aid-de-camp, the grandson of the great Conde. But of that there
can be no more question. The blow is irremediable. Yes; I was
sufficiently strong to allow a descendant of the great Conde to serve in
our armies. But we must seek consolation. Undoubtedly, if I had been
assassinated by the agents of the family, he would have been the first
to have shown himself in France, arms in his hands. I must take the
responsibility of the deed. To cast it upon others, even with truth,
would have too much the appearance of cowardice, for me to be willing to
do it.'

"Napoleon," continues Joseph, "has never appeared with greater eclat
than under these sad and calamitous circumstances. I only learned,
several years afterward, in the United States, from Count Real himself,
the details of that which passed at the time of the death of the Duke
d'Enghien. It was at New York, in the year 1825, at Washington Hall,
where we met, by an arrangement with M. Le Ray de Chaumont, the
proprietor of some lands, a portion of which he had sold to me and to M.
Real, that he informed me how a simple emotion of impatience on his part
had very involuntarily the effect of preventing the kindly feeling
which the First Consul cherished in favor of the Duke d'Enghien.

"M. Real, one of the four counsellors of state charged with the police
of France, had charge of the arrondissement of Paris and of Vincennes. A
dispatch was sent to him in the night, informing him of the condemnation
of the prince. The police clerk, attending in the chamber which opened
into his apartment, had already awoke him twice for reasons of but
little importance, which had quite annoyed M. Real. The third dispatch
was therefore placed upon his chimney, and did not meet his eye until a
late hour in the morning.

"Opening it, he hastened to Malmaison, where he was preceded by an
officer of the gendarmerie, who brought information of the condemnation
and execution of the prince. The commission had judged, from the silence
of the Government, that he was not to be pardoned. I need not dwell upon
the regret, the impatience, the indignation of Napoleon."

The crown of Lombardy was, about this time, offered to Joseph, which
he declined, as he did not wish to separate himself from France. The
kingdom of Naples was now influenced by England to make an attack
upon Napoleon. The King of Naples supposed that France could be
easily vanquished, with England, Russia, Austria, and Naples making a
simultaneous attack upon her. But the great victory of Austerlitz, which
compelled Austria and Russia to withdraw from the coalition, struck the
perfidious King of Naples with dismay. France had done him no wrong, and
the only apology the Neapolitan Court had for commencing hostilities
was, that if the French were permitted to dethrone the Bourbons and to
choose their own rulers, the Neapolitan might claim the same privilege.

A few days after the battle of Austerlitz Joseph received orders from
his brother to hasten to the Italian Peninsula, and take command of
the Army of Italy, and march upon Naples. The King of Naples had, in
addition to his own troops, fourteen thousand Russians and several
thousand English auxiliaries. Joseph placed himself at the head of forty
thousand French troops, and in February, 1806, entered the kingdom of
Naples. The Neapolitans could make no effectual resistance. Joseph soon
arrived before Capua, a fortified town about fifteen miles north of the
metropolis of the kingdom. Eight thousand of the Neapolitan troops took
refuge in the citadel, and made some show of resistance. They soon,
however, were compelled to surrender.

The Neapolitan Court was in a state of consternation. The English
precipitately embarked in their ships and fled to Sicily. The Russians
escaped to Corfu. The Court, having emptied the public coffers, and even
the vaults of the bank, took refuge in Palermo, on the island of Sicily.
The prince royal, with a few troops of the Neapolitan army, who adhered
to the old monarchy, retreated two or three hundred miles south, to the
mountains of Calabria. On the 15th of February, Joseph, at the head of
his troops, marched triumphantly into Naples. He not only encountered no
resistance, but the population, regarding him as a liberator, received
him with acclamations of joy.

On the 30th of March, 1806, Napoleon issued a decree, declaring Joseph
king of Naples. The _decret_ was as follows:

"Napoleon, by the grace of God and the constitutions, Emperor of the
French and King of Italy, to all those to whom these presents come,

"The interests of our people, the honor of our crown, and the
tranquillity of the Continent of Europe requiring that we should assure,
in a stable and definite manner, the lot of the people of Naples and of
Sicily, who have fallen into our power by right of conquest, and who
constitute a part of the grand the empire, we declare that we recognize,
as King of Naples and of Sicily, our well-beloved brother, Joseph
Napoleon, Grand Elector of France. This crown will be hereditary, by
order of primogeniture, in his descendants masculine, legitimate, and
natural," etc.

The former Government of Naples was detested by the whole people. The
warmest advocates of the Allies have never yet ventured to utter a word
in its defense. Even the grandees of the realm were heartily glad to be
rid of their dissolute, contemptible, and tyrannical queen, who regarded
the inhabitants of the kingdom but as her slaves, and the wealth
of the kingdom but as her personal dowry, to be squandered for the
gratification of herself and her favorites. With great energy Joseph
immediately commenced a reform in all the administrative departments.
He carefully sought out Neapolitan citizens of integrity, intelligence,
and influence, to occupy the important public stations. Accompanied by
a guard of chosen men, he made a tour of the country; thus informing
himself, by personal observation, of the character of the inhabitants,
and of the wants and capabilities of the kingdom. It was indeed a gloomy
prospect of indolence and poverty which presented itself to his eye,
though the climate was enchanting, with its genial temperature, its
brilliant skies, and its fertile soil. The landscape combined all the
elements of sublimity and of beauty, with towering mountains and lovely
meadows, streams and lakes watering the interior, and harbors inviting
the commerce of the world. But the condition of the populace was
wretched in the extreme. The Government, despotic and corrupt, seized
all the earnings of the people, and consigned nearly the whole
population to penury and rags. King Ferdinand and his dissolute queen,
Louisa, made an effort to rouse the people to resist the French. Their
efforts were, however, entirely in vain. Joseph issued the following
proclamation to the Neapolitans, which they read with great

"People of the kingdom of Naples; the Emperor of the French, King of
Italy, wishing to save you from the calamities of war, had signed, with
your Court, a treaty of neutrality. He believed that in that way he
could secure your tranquillity, in the midst of the vast conflagration
with which the third coalition has menaced Europe. But the Court of
Naples has zealously allied itself with our enemies, and has opened
its states to the Russians and to the English.

"The Emperor of the French, whose justice equals his power, wishes to
give a signal example, commanded by the honor of his crown, by the
interests of his people, and by the necessity of re-establishing in
Europe the respect which is due to public faith.

"The army which I command is on the march to punish this perfidy. But
you, the people, have nothing to fear. It is not against you that our
arms are directed. The altars, the ministers of your religion, your
laws, your property, will be respected. The French soldiers will be
your brothers. If, contrary to the benevolent intentions of his majesty,
the Court which excites you will sacrifice you, the French army is so
powerful that all the forces promised to your princes, even if they were
on your territory, could not defend it. People! have no solicitude.
This war will be for you the epoch of a solid peace, and of durable

Ferdinand, upon retiring to the island of Sicily, had swept the
continental coast of every vessel and even boat. Joseph thus found it
quite impossible to transport his troops across the strait of Messina to
pursue the fugitive king. He, however, made a very thorough survey of
the continental kingdom, and having planned many measures of internal
improvement of vast magnitude, which were subsequently executed, he
returned to Naples. He was here received with congratulations by all
classes of his subjects.

The clergy, led by Cardinal Ruffo, and even the nobility, vied with each
other in their expressions of satisfaction in a change of dynasty. The
great majority of the most intelligent people in the kingdom were weary
of the corrupt Court which, swaying the sceptre of feudal despotism,
had consigned Naples to indolence, dilapidation, and penury. Joseph
immediately selected the most distinguished Neapolitans as members of
his council. He made every effort to introduce into his kingdom all the
benefits which the French Revolution had brought to France, while he
carefully sought to avoid the evils which accompanied that great popular

Though Joseph soon found himself firmly seated on the throne, war still
lingered along the coasts, and in the more remote parts of his kingdom.
The fortress of Gaeta, almost impregnable, was still held by a garrison
of Ferdinand's troops. Marauding bands of Neapolitans, lured by love of
plunder, infested and pillaged the unprotected districts. The English
fleet was hovering along the coast, watching for opportunities of
assault. It landed an army at the Gulf of St. Euphemia, and discomfited
a small division of Joseph's troops. Thus the kingdom was in a general
state of disorder wherever the influence of Joseph was not sensibly

But the wise and energetic measures he adopted removed one after another
of these evils. He found but little difficulty in persuading all those
who co-operated with him in the government, both French and Neapolitans,
that the interests of each individual class in the community were
dependent upon the elevation and improvement of the whole country; and
it is a remarkable fact that the principal noblemen in Naples were
among the first to appreciate and adopt the great ideas of reform which
Joseph introduced. Influenced by his arguments, they, of their own
accord, relinquished their feudal privileges, and adopted those
principles of equal rights upon which the empire of Napoleon was
founded, and which gave it its almost omnipotent hold upon popular
affections. Even the ecclesiastics, men of commanding character and
intelligence, who had been introduced into the Council of State, voted
for the suppression of monastic orders, and for the use of their funds
to place the credit of the kingdom upon a solid basis.

Reform was thus extended, wisely and efficiently, through all the
departments of Government. And though the masses of the people, being
illiterate peasants, incapable of any intelligent administration of
public affairs, had but little voice in the Government, every thing was
done for their welfare that enlightened patriotism could suggest. All
writers, friends and foes, agree alike in their testimony to the wise
measures adopted by Joseph. He founded colleges for the instruction of
young men, and many other institutions of a high character for male and
female education. Splendid roads were constructed from one extremity
of the kingdom to the other; manufactories of various kinds were
established and encouraged; the arts were rewarded; agriculture received
a new impulse; the army was efficiently organized and brought under
salutary discipline; a topographical bureau was created, the whole
kingdom carefully surveyed, and a fine map constructed. The mouldering
ramparts of the city were rebuilt, and new fortresses reared.

Naples had for ages been filled with a miserable idle population, called
lazzaroni. They infested the streets and the squares, and were devoured
by vermin, and half-covered with rags. With no incitement to industry,
indeed with hardly the possibility of obtaining any work, they had
fallen into the most abject state of vice and despair. These men, in
large numbers, were collected, comfortably clothed, well fed, well paid,
and were employed in constructing a new and splendid avenue to the
metropolis. Made happy by industry, and inspired by its sure reward,
they became contented and useful subjects.

The Ministry of the Interior was confided to Count Miot. It was his duty
to devote all his energies to promote the interests of agriculture,
commerce, manufactures, the arts, the sciences, public instruction, and
all liberal institutions. The country had been filled with brigands,
rioting in violence, robbery, and murder. To repress their excesses,
Joseph established a military commission with each army corps, whose
duty it was to judge and execute, without appeal, the brigands taken
with arms in their hands.

The English fleet commanded the Mediterranean. The Neapolitan troops,
under the command of Ferdinand, had fled to Calabria, and, under the
protection of the English fleet had crossed the straits of Messina to
the island of Sicily. The British squadron then swept the coasts of
Calabria, applying the torch to all the public property which could not
be carried away. While these scenes were transpiring, Napoleon wrote to
Joseph almost daily, giving him very minute directions. He wrote to him
on the 12th of January, 1806: "Speak seriously to M---- and to L----,
and say that you will have no robberies. M---- robbed much in the
Venetian country. I have recalled S---- to Paris for that reason. He is
a bad man. Maintain severe discipline."

Again he wrote on the 19th: "It is my intention that the Bourbons should
cease to reign at Naples. I wish to place upon that throne a prince of
my family; you first, if that is agreeable to you; another, if that
is not agreeable to you. The country ought to furnish food, clothing,
horses, and every thing that is necessary for your army; so that it
shall cost me nothing."

Again, on the 27th, Napoleon wrote from Paris: "I have only to
congratulate myself with all that you did while you remained in Paris.
Receive my thanks, and, as a testimony of my satisfaction, my portrait
upon a snuff-box, which I will forward by the first officer I send to
you. Tolerate no robbers. I have just received a letter from the Queen
of Naples. I shall not reply. After the violation of the treaty, I can
no longer trust her promises."

Again, on the 3d of February, 1806, he writes: "Believe in my
friendship. Do not listen to those who wish to keep you out of
fire, _loin du feu_. It is necessary that you should establish
your reputation, if there should be opportunity. Place yourself
conspicuously. As to real danger, it is everywhere in war."

The Prince-royal of Naples wrote a letter to Joseph, with the hope of
regaining his crown. He stated that the King and Queen had abdicated
in favor of their son. Joseph replied that he could not listen to the
appeal; that he could only execute the orders which he received, and
that the application was too late.

The city of Gaeta was one of the strongest positions in Europe. The
troops of Ferdinand maintained a siege there for many months. They
were very efficiently aided by the British fleet, which brought them
continual re-enforcements and supplies. Its capture was considered one
of the most brilliant achievements in modern warfare. There was now
not a spot upon the Continent of Europe where a flag floated in avowed
hostility to France. Ferdinand of Naples, with a small army, had fled
to the island of Sicily, where, for a short time, he was protected by
the British fleet.

In the mean time King Joseph was devoting himself untiringly and with
great wisdom to the development of the new institutions of reform,
and of equal rights for all, which everywhere accompanied the French
banners. Marshal Massena was sent to the provinces of Calabria to put a
stop to brigandage. The brigands were merciless. Severe reprisals became
necessary. The British fleet, under Sir Sidney Smith, hovered along the
shores of the gulfs of Salerno and of Naples, striving to rouse and
encourage resistance to the new Government.

There was a renowned bandit, named Michael Pozza, who, from his energy
and atrocities, had acquired the sobriquet of _Fra Diavolo_, or brother
of the devil. His bands, widely scattered, were at times concentrated,
and waged fierce battle. Gradually French discipline gained upon them.
Large numbers of the Neapolitans, hating the old regime, and glad to be
rid of it, enlisted in defense of the new institutions. The robbers were
at length cut to pieces. Fra Diavolo escaped to the mountains, where he
was taken and shot. In this warfare with the brigands, the Neapolitan
troops, emboldened by the presence and protection of the French army,
displayed very commendable courage.

While engaged in these warlike operations, through his able generals,
Joseph was much occupied with the employment, more congenial to him, of
conducting the interior administration. It was his first endeavor to
eradicate every vestige of the old despotism of feudalism--a system
perhaps necessary in its day, but which time had outgrown. The whole
political edifice was laid upon the foundation of the _absolute
equality of rights of all the citizens_--a principle until then unknown
in Naples. There had been no gradations in society. There were a few
families of extreme opulence, enjoying rank and exclusive privileges,
and then came the almost beggared masses, with no incentives to
exertion. The enervating climate induced indolence. Life could be
maintained with but little clothing, and but little food. The cities
and villages swarmed with half-clad multitudes, vegetating in a joyless

Joseph gave his earnest attention to rousing the multitude from this
apathy. He thought that one of the most important means to awaken a love
of industry was to make these poor people, as far as possible, landed
proprietors. The man who owns land, though the portion may be small, is
almost resistlessly impelled to cultivate it. His ambition being thus
roused, his intellectual and social condition becomes ameliorated, and
he is prepared to take part, as a citizen, in the administration of
affairs. A new division of territory was created into provinces and
districts, in which the prominent men, who were imbued with the spirit
of reform, were appointed to the administration of local interests.
Still many of the old nobility struggled hard to maintain their feudal
power. But resolutely Joseph proceeded in laying the foundations of a
national representation, derived from popular election, which should be
the organ of the whole nation, to make known to the King the wishes and
necessities of the people.

This was an immense stride in the direction of a popular government It
endangered the feudal privilege, which upheld the throne and the castle,
in other lands. Hence it was that the throne and the castle combined to
overthrow institutions so republican in their tendencies.

The whole system of administration had been awfully corrupt. Justice was
almost unknown. All the tribunals were concentrated in the city of
Naples. There were tens of thousands of prisoners, very many for
political offenses, awaiting trial. In the provinces of Calabria Joseph
appointed judicial commissions to attend to these cases. In three months
about five thousand prisoners had a hearing. Many of them had been
detained over twenty years. Not a few were incarcerated through
malicious accusations. Those guilty of some slight offense were
imprisoned with assassins, all alike exposed to the damp of dungeons
and infected air.

A system of very effective prison reform was immediately established
by Joseph. The prisoners were placed in apartments large and
well-ventilated. They were separated in accordance with the nature
of the offenses of which they were accused. Distinct prisons were
appropriated to females. Hospitals were established for the sick of both
sexes, with every necessary arrangement for the restoration of health.

A thorough reform was introduced into the finances. Under the old
regime, all had been confusion and oppression. The only object of the
Government seemed to be to get all it could. In the country the people
often were compelled to pay their lords not only money, but also very
onerous personal services. This was all remedied by the adoption of an
impartial system of taxation. And it was found that the new imposts,
honestly collected, were far less oppressive to the people, and more in

The overthrow of the feudal system placed at the disposal of the State
a vast amount of land which had been uncultivated. This was divided
among a large number of people, who paid for it an annual sum into the
treasury. Thus the welfare of these individuals was greatly promoted,
and the resources of the State increased.

And now Joseph turned his attention to public instruction. The last
Government had been opposed to education. It had entered into open
warfare against the sciences, prohibiting the introduction of the most
important foreign publications. Joseph immediately established schools
for primary instruction all over the realm. Normal schools were
organized for the education of teachers. In the smallest hamlets
teachers were provided to instruct the children in the elements of the
Christian religion, and school-mistresses, who, in addition to the same
lessons, were to teach the young girls the duties proper to their sex.

This impulse to education spread rapidly through all the provinces. The
free schools established in Naples were soon so crowded that it became
necessary to add to their number. The university at Naples, frowned
upon by the former Government, had fallen into deep decline. Nineteen
chairs of professors were vacant. Others were occupied, but their duties
quite neglected. The university was reorganized in accordance with the
enlightenment of modern times. New professorships were endowed in the
place of those which had become useless. Especial efforts were made to
secure learned men for those chairs from the kingdom of Naples. But
education was at so low an ebb that it was necessary to obtain several
professors from abroad. Everywhere a thirst for knowledge seemed to
manifest itself.

These reforms were exceedingly popular with the great majority of the
Neapolitans. But there were not wanting those who opposed them. There
were those of the privileged class who had been enriched by the
ignorance and debasement of the people. These men began gradually to
develop their opposition. Joseph had endeavored to employ Neapolitans
as much as possible in the Government. He employed Frenchmen in the
military and civil service only where he could find no Neapolitans equal
to the post. Some of the Neapolitans, jealous of French influence, while
also secretly clinging to ancient abuses, began cautiously the attempt
to retard these reforms. Joseph listened patiently to their objections
in cabinet council, and then said:

"I have carefully followed a discussion which relates so intimately
to the public welfare. I had hoped to hear reasons. I have heard only
passions. I look in vain for any indications of love of country in the
objections to the proposed laws. I must say that I see only the spirit
of party."

He then examined, one by one, the objections which had been brought
forward, and added, "Do you think, gentlemen, that I am willing to
sustain these exclusive privileges? We have not destroyed these Gothic
institutions, the remnants of barbarism, in order to reconstruct them
under other forms. And can any of you cherish the thought that this
resistance, which ought to surprise me, can induce me to retrograde
toward institutions condemned by the spirit of the age? No; too long
have the people groaned under the weight of intolerable abuses. They
shall be delivered from them. If obstacles arise, be assured that I
shall know how to remove them."

The fine arts were also languishing, with every thing else, under the
execrable regime of the Bourbons of Naples. But the taste for the fine
arts survived their decay. The new Government instituted schools of art
under the direction of the most skillful masters. Painting, drawing,
sculpture, engraving, all received a new impulse.

There were difficulties to be encountered in this attempt to regenerate
an utterly depraved state more than can now be easily imagined. He who
should attempt to erect a modern mansion upon the ruins of the Castle of
Heidelberg would find more difficulty in removing the old foundations
than in rearing the new structure. Thus Joseph found ancient abuses,
hallowed by time, and oppressive institutions interwoven with the very
life of the people, which it was necessary utterly to abolish or greatly
to modify. The monastic institution was one of these. The land was
filled with gloomy monasteries, crowded with idle, useless, and often
dissolute monks. There had been in past ages seasons of persecution, in
which the refuge of these sanctuaries was needed, but the spirit of the
age no longer required them. They had rendered signal service in times
of barbarism, but it was no longer needful for religion to hide in the
obscurity of the cloister.

"Altars," said Joseph, "are now erected in the interior of families. The
regular clergy respond to the wants of the people. The love of the arts
and of the sciences, widely diffused, and the colonial, commercial, and
military spirit constrain all the Governments of Europe to direct to
important objects the genius, activity, and pecuniary resources of
their nations. The support of considerable land and sea forces involves
the necessity of great reforms in other departments of the general
economy of the State. The first duty of peoples and princes is to
place themselves in a condition of defense against the aggressions of
their enemies. Still we do not forget that we ought to reconcile
these principles with the respect with which we should cherish those
celebrated places which, in barbaric ages, preserved the sacred fire
of reason, and which became the depot of human knowledge."

The debates upon this subject in the Council of State were long and
animated. The peasantry, ignorant and superstitious, clung to their old
prejudices, and could not easily throw aside the shackles of ages. Many
of these religious communities were wealthy, the recipients of immense
sums bequeathed to them by the dying. There was no _legal_ right, no
right but that of revolution and the absolute necessities of the State,
for wresting this property from them. But it was manifest to every
intelligent mind that the Neapolitan kingdom could never emerge from the
stagnation of semi-barbarism without the entire overthrow of many, and
the radical reform of the remainder of these institutions.

At length a law, very carefully matured, was enacted, suppressing a
large number of these religious orders, and introducing essential
changes into those which were permitted to survive. The possessions of
those which were abolished, generally consisting of large tracts of
land, reverted to the State, and were sold at auction in small farms.
The money thus raised helped replenish the bankrupt treasury. The poor
monks, expelled from their cells, with no habits of industry, and no
means of obtaining a support, received a life pension, amounting to a
little more than one hundred dollars a year.

The three abbeys of Mount Cassin, Cava, and Monte Vergine contained very
considerable libraries, and were the depots of important records and
manuscripts. These were intrusted to the keeping of a select number of
the most intelligent monks. It was their duty to arrange and catalogue
the books and manuscripts, and to search out those works which could
throw light upon the sciences, the arts, and the past history of the
realm. They retained the buildings, the necessary furniture, and
received a small additional stipend.

There were some passes through the mountains which were perilous in the
winter season. Upon these bleak eminences houses of refuge were erected,
to shelter travellers and to help them on their way. In each of these
twenty-five monks were placed. Their labors were arduous, as often all
the necessaries of life had to be brought upon their backs from the
plains below. They received a frugal but comfortable support.

The salaries of the hard-working clergy were increased. The vases and
ornaments from the suppressed convents were distributed among those
poorer parishes which were in a state of destitution. The furniture of
the convents was transferred to the civil and military hospitals. The
pictures, bas-reliefs, statuary, and other objects of art were collected
for the national museum which the King wished to establish. The
mendicant friars, who had sufficient education, were intrusted with the
instruction of the children.

The number of priests under the old regime had increased to a degree
entirely disproportioned to the wants of the community. They were
consequently wretchedly poor. A fixed salary was assigned to the
rectors, that they might live respectably, and the ordinations in each
diocese were so regulated that there should be but one priest for about
one thousand souls.

It is not to be supposed that such changes could be effected without
much friction. Not only bigotry opposed them, but there was a
deep-seated, though unintelligent religious sentiment, which
remonstrated against them. The advocates of the old regime availed
themselves, in every possible way, of this sentiment, while the British
fleet, continually hovering around the coasts, and occasionally landing
men at unguarded points, contributed much toward keeping the spirit of
insurrection alive, and preventing the tranquillity of the country.

New public works were commenced in the capital, to employ the idle and
starving multitudes there. The country roads, so long infested with
robbers, were in a wretched condition. The entire stagnation of all
internal commerce had left them unused and almost impassable. The old
roads were repaired, and new ones vigorously opened. The inhabitants of
the provinces, and even the soldiers who could be conveniently spared,
were employed in these enterprises. The soldiers, receiving slight
additional pay, cheerfully contributed their labors. French officers of
engineers, of established ability, superintended these national works.

King Joseph was but the agent of his brother Napoleon. Though himself a
man of superior ability, and imbued with an ardent spirit of humanity,
in these great enterprises he was carrying out the designs with which
the imperial mind of his brother was inspired. Thus the kingdom of
Naples, in a few months, under the reign of Joseph, made more progress
than had been accomplished in scores of years under the dominion of the
Neapolitan Bourbons.

On the 8th of May, 1806, Joseph wrote to Napoleon: "My previous letters
have announced to your Majesty that perfect order is restored in the
Calabrias. I am not less pleased with the inhabitants of Apulia. They
are more enlightened, less passionate, but equally zealous with the
Calabrians to withdraw their country from the debasement into which it
is plunged. I am particularly satisfied with the priests, the nobles,
and the landed proprietors.

"I now fully recognize the justice of the principles which I have so
often heard from the lips of your Majesty. And I confess that experience
has proved to me how true it is that it is necessary to see to every
thing one's self; that not a moment of time must ever be lost; that we
can not rely upon the activity of any person, and that every thing is
possible, with a determined will on the part of the chief. I say to
myself, ten times a day, the Emperor was right.

"I have established in each province a president, or prefect, who is
entirely independent of the military commandant. I have decreed the
formation in each province of a legion whose organization I will soon
send to your Majesty. It is not paid. It is commanded by those men who
are the most opulent, the most respectable, and the most attached to
the present order of things. In each province I form a company of
gendarmerie, composed of Frenchmen and Neapolitans. It is with some
pride that I see that all the measures which your Majesty has prescribed
to me I have adopted in advance.

"Whatever I may say, your Majesty can form no conception of the state of
oppression, barbarism, and debasement which existed in this realm. And I
can assure your Majesty that the Neapolitan officers returning to their
homes become well pleased in witnessing the spirit which animates their
fellow-citizens. I derive much advantage from the knowledge I have of
the language, the manners, and customs of the country. The inhabitants
of the mountains and of the villages resemble closely those of Corsica.
And I do not think that I can be mistaken when I assure your Majesty
that the people regard themselves as happy in being governed by a man
who is so nearly related to your Majesty, and who bears a name which
your Majesty rendered illustrious before he became an emperor, and which
has for them the advantage of being Italian."

On the 22d of June, 1806, Napoleon wrote to Joseph, "MY BROTHER--the
Court of Rome is entirely surrendered to folly. It refuses to recognize
you, and I know not what sort of a treaty it wishes to make with me. It
thinks that I can not unite profound respect for the spiritual authority
of the Pope, and at the same time repel his temporal pretensions. It
forgets that Saint Louis, whose piety is well known, was almost always
at war with the Pope, and that Charles V., who was a very Christian
prince, held Rome besieged for a long time, and seized it, with every
Roman state."

On the 28th of February, 1806, M. de Meneval, the Emperor's secretary,
had written to Joseph, "The Emperor works prodigiously. He holds three
or four councils every day, from eight o'clock in the morning, when he
rises, until two or three o'clock in the morning, when he goes to bed."

Napoleon well knew the fickle, unreliable, debased character of the
Italian populace. He was sure that Joseph, in the kindness of his heart,
was too confiding and unsuspicious. He wrote reiteratedly upon this
subject: "Put it in your calculations," said he, "that sooner or later
you will have an insurrection. It is an event which always happens in
a conquered country. You can never sustain yourself by _opinion_ in
such a city as Naples. Be sure that you will have a riot or an
insurrection. I earnestly desire to aid you by my experience in such
matters. Shoot pitilessly the lazzaroni who plunge the dagger. I am
greatly surprised that you do not shoot the spies of the King of Naples.
Your administration is too feeble. I can not conceive why you do not
execute the laws. Every spy should be shot. Every lazzaroni who plies
the dagger should be shot. You attach too much importance to a populace
whom two or three battalions and a few pieces of artillery will bring to
reason. They will never be submissive until they rise in insurrection,
and you make a severe example. The villages which revolt should be
surrendered to pillage. It is not only the right of war, but policy
requires it. Your government, my brother, is not sufficiently vigorous.
You fear too much to indispose people. You are too amiable, and have
too much confidence in the Neapolitans. This system of mildness will
not avail you. Be sure of that. I truly desire that the mob of Naples
should revolt. Until you make an example, you will not be master. With
every conquered people a revolt is a necessity. I should regard a revolt
in Naples as the father of a family regards the small-pox for his
children. Provided it does not weaken the invalid too much, it is a
salutary crisis."

Such were the precautions which Napoleon was continually sending to
Joseph. His amiable brother did not sufficiently heed them. He fancied
that the most ignorant, fanatical, and debased of men could be held in
control by kind words and kind deeds alone. But he awoke fearfully to
the delusion when a savage insurrection broke out among the peasants and
the brigands of the Calabrias, and swept the provinces with flame and
blood. Then scenes of woe ensued which can never be described. It became
necessary to resort to the severest acts of punishment. Much, if not all
of this, might have been saved had the firm government which Napoleon
recommended been established at the beginning. It is cruelty, not
kindness, to leave the mob to feel that they can inaugurate their reign
of terror with impunity.

The following extracts from a letter which Joseph wrote his wife, dated
Naples, March 22d, 1806, throw interesting light upon the characters of
both the King and the Emperor.

"I repeat it, the Emperor ought not to remain alone in Paris. Providence
has made me expressly to serve as his safeguard. Loving repose, and yet
able to support activity; despising grandeurs, and yet able to bear
their burden with success, whatever may have been the slight
differences between him and me, I can truly say that he is the man of
all the world whom I love the best. I do not know if a climate and
shores very much resembling those which I inhabited with him, have given
back to me all my first love for the friend of my childhood; but I can
truly say that I often find myself weeping over the affections of twenty
years' standing as over those of but a few months.

"If you can not come to me immediately, send Zenaide[L]. I would give
all the empires of the world for one caress of my tall Zenaide, or for
one kiss of my little Lolotte. As for you, you know very well that I
love you as their mother, and as I love my wife. If I can unite a
dispersed family and live in the bosom of my own, I shall be content;
and I will surrender myself to fulfill all the missions which the
Emperor may assign to me, provided they can be temporary, and that I may
cherish the hope of dying in a country in which I have always wished to

[Footnote L: Zenaide and Lolotte (Charlotte), the two daughters of




Jena and Auerstadt.--Death of Fox.--England's New Alliance.--Napoleon's
Address to Europe.--Views of the Emperor.--Message to the Senate.
--Fearful Outrages in Calabria.--Advice of Napoleon.--The English
Fleet.--Testimony of Napoleon at Saint Helena.--The Napoleon Brothers
and Sisters.--The Royal Academy of History and Antiquities.--Relations
between Napoleon and Joseph.--Letter from Joseph.--Frank Admissions and
Advice of Joseph.--Tacit Reproaches and Response.--Animadversions of
the Emperor.--Domestic Affections of Joseph.--Letter to Julie.--Reforms.
--Tour through the Provinces.--Daily Correspondence with Napoleon.
--Testimony of Joseph to the Character of Napoleon.

The close of the year 1806 was rendered memorable by the victories of
Jena and Auerstadt, and the occupation of Prussia by the armies of
Napoleon. The war was wantonly provoked by Prussia. Napoleon wrote to
Joseph from St. Cloud, on the 13th of September:

"Prussia makes me a thousand protestations. That does not prevent me
from taking my precautions. In a few days she will disarm, or she will
be crushed. Austria protests her wish to remain neutral. Russia knows
not what she wishes. Her remote position renders her powerless. Thus, in
a few words, you have the present aspect of affairs."

A few days after he wrote again to Joseph from St. Cloud: "MY
BROTHER,--I have just received the tidings that Mr. Fox is dead. Under
present circumstances, he is a man who dies regretted by two nations.
The horizon is somewhat clouded in Europe. It is possible that I may
soon come to blows with the King of Prussia. If matters are not soon
arranged, the Prussians will be so beaten in the first encounters, that
every thing will be finished in a few days."

Napoleon cautioned his brother against making the contents of his
letters known to others, saying, "I repeat to you, that if this letter
is read by others than yourself, you injure your own affairs. I am
accustomed to think three or four months in advance of what I do, and I
make arrangements for the worst."

England, Russia, and Prussia entered into a new alliance to crush the
Empire in France. The armies of Prussia, two hundred thousand strong,
commenced their march by entering Saxony, one of the allies of Napoleon.
Alexander of Russia was hastening to join Prussia, with two hundred
thousand men in his train. England was giving the most energetic
co-operation with her invincible fleet and her almost inexhaustible
gold. Upon the eve of this terrible conflict, Napoleon, in the following
terms, addressed Europe, to which address no reply was returned but that
of shot and shell:

"Why should hostilities arise between France and Russia? Perfectly
independent of each other, they are impotent to inflict evil, but
all-powerful to communicate benefits. If the Emperor of France exercises
a great influence in Italy, the Czar exerts a still greater influence
over Turkey and Persia. If the Cabinet of Russia pretends to have a
right to affix limits to the power of France, without doubt it is
equally disposed to allow the Emperor of the French to prescribe the
bounds beyond which Russia is not to pass.

"Russia has partitioned Poland. Can she then complain that France
possesses Belgium and the left banks of the Rhine? Russia has seized
upon the Crimea, the Caucasus, and the northern provinces of Persia. Can
she deny that the right of self-preservation gives France a title to
demand an equivalent in Europe. Let every power begin by restoring the
conquests which it has made during the last fifty years. Let them
re-establish Poland, restore Venice to its Senate, Trinidad to Spain,
Ceylon to Holland, the Crimea to the Porte, the Caucasus and Georgia to
Persia, the kingdom of Mysore to the sons of Tippoo Saib, and the
Mahratta States to their lawful owners, and then the other powers may
have some title to insist that France shall retire within her ancient

It was important to prevent the union of these mighty hosts, now
combined to overthrow the new system in France. As Napoleon left Paris,
to strike the Prussian army before it could be strengthened by the
arrival of the Russians, he wrote to Joseph:

"Give yourself no uneasiness. The present struggle will be speedily
terminated. Prussia and her allies, be they who they may, will be
crushed. And this time I will settle finally with Europe. I will put
it out of the power of my enemies to stir for ten years."

In his parting message to the Senate, he said, "In so just a war, which
we have not provoked by any act, by any pretense, the true cause of
which it would be impossible to assign, and where we only take arms to
defend ourselves, we depend entirely upon the support of the laws, and
upon that of the people, whom circumstances call upon to give fresh
proof of their devotion and courage."

The Prussian army was overwhelmed at Jena and Auerstadt, and then
Napoleon, pressing on to the north, met the Russians at Friedland, and
annihilated their forces also. The atrocities perpetrated by the Italian
bandits were so terrible, that the exasperated soldiers often retaliated
with fearful severity. Joseph, by nature a very humane man, endeavored
in every way in his power to mitigate this ferocity. The revolt in
Calabria was attended with almost every conceivable act of perfidy
and cruelty. The wounded French were butchered in the hospitals; the
dwellings of Neapolitans friendly to the new government were burnt, and
their families outraged; treachery of the vilest kind was perpetrated by
those acting under the mask of friendship. The crisis, which Napoleon
had been continually anticipating and warning his brother against, had
come. The case demanded rigorous measures. It was necessary to the very
existence of the Government that it should prove, by avenging crime,
that it was determined to protect the innocent. Still the amiable Joseph
was disposed to leniency. Napoleon wrote him:

"The fate of your reign depends upon your conduct when you return to
Calabria. There must be no forgiveness. Shoot at least six hundred
rebels. They have murdered more soldiers than that. Burn the houses of
thirty of the principal persons in the villages, and distribute their
property among the soldiers. Take away all arms from the inhabitants,
and give up to pillage five or six of the large villages. When Placenza
rebelled, I ordered Junot to burn two villages and shoot the chiefs,
among whom were six priests. It will be some time before they rebel

Where there is this energy to punish crime, the good repose in safety.
This apparent inhumanity may be, with a ruler who has millions to
protect, the highest degree of humanity. When a lawless mob is rioting
through the streets of a city, robbing, burning, murdering, it is not
well for the Government affectionately to address them with soothing
words. It is far more humane to mow down the insurgents with grape and

The English fleet still menaced and assailed the kingdom of Naples at
every available point. It held possession of the island of Capin, near
the mouth of the gulf of Naples. There was a Neapolitan, by the name
of Vecchioni, who had professed the warmest attachment to the new
government, and whom Joseph had appointed as one of his counsellors of
state. This man entered into a conspiracy with the English, to betray
to them the King to whom he had perfidiously sworn allegiance. His
treason was clearly proved. But he was an old man. His life had hitherto
been pure. The tender heart of Joseph could not bear to inflict upon him
merited punishment. He said compassionately, "The poor old man has
suffered enough already. Let him go." To govern an ignorant, fanatical,
and turbulent nation swarming with brigands, requires a character of
stern mould. But for the energies communicated to Joseph by Napoleon,
Joseph could not long have retained his throne. The Emperor at Saint
Helena, speaking of his brother, said:

"Joseph rendered me no assistance, but he is a very good man. His wife,
Queen Julia, is the most amiable creature that ever existed. Joseph and
I were always attached to each other, and kept on good terms. He loves
me sincerely, and I doubt not that he would do every thing in the world
to serve me; but his qualities are only suited to private life. He is of
a gentle and kind disposition, possesses talent and information, and is
altogether a most amiable man. In the discharge of the high duties which
I confided to him, he did the best he could. His intentions were good,
and therefore the principal fault rested not so much with him as with
me, who raised him above his proper sphere. When placed in important
circumstances, he found himself unequal to the task imposed upon him."

On another occasion, the Emperor at Saint Helena, speaking of the
different members of his family, said, "In their mistaken notions of
independence, the members of my family sometimes seemed to consider
their power as detached, forgetting that they were merely parts of a
great whole, whose views and interests they should have aided, instead
of opposing. But, after all, they were very young and inexperienced, and
were surrounded by snares, flatterers, and intriguers with secret and
evil designs.

"And yet, if we judge from analogy, what family, in similar
circumstances, would have acted better? Every one is not qualified to be
a statesman. That requires a combination of powers that does not often
fall to the lot of one. In this respect, all my brothers are singularly
situated. They possessed at once too much and too little talent. They
felt themselves too strong to resign themselves blindly to a guiding
counsellor, and yet too weak to be left entirely to themselves. But,
take them all in all, I have certainly good reason to be proud of my

"Joseph would have been an ornament to society in any country; and
Lucien would have been an honor to any political assembly. Jerome, as he
advanced in life, would have developed every qualification requisite in
a sovereign. Louis would have been distinguished in every rank and
condition in life. My sister Eliza was endowed with masculine powers of
mind; she must have proved herself a philosopher in her adverse fortune.
Caroline possessed great talents and capacity. Pauline, perhaps the most
beautiful woman of her age, has been, and will continue to be to the end
of her life, the most amiable creature in the world. As to my mother,
she deserves all kind of veneration.

"How seldom is so numerous a family entitled to so much praise? Add to
this that, setting aside the jarring of political opinions, we sincerely
loved each other. For my part, I never ceased to cherish fraternal
affection for them all; and I am convinced that, in their hearts, they
felt the same sentiments toward me, and that, in case of need, they
would have given me proof of it."

The soil of Italy presented widely, upon its surface, impressive
monuments of the past. The grand memories inspired by these creations of
olden time tended to arouse the sluggish spirit of the degenerate
moderns. To promote these ennobling studies, and to increase the taste
for the fine arts, Joseph established "The Royal Academy of History and
Antiquities." The number of members was fixed at forty. The King
appointed the first twenty members, and they nominated, for his
appointment, the rest. A museum was formed for the collection of antique
works of art found in the excavations. An annual fund, of about ten
thousand dollars, was appropriated to the expenses of the institution.
Two grand sessions were to be held each year, at which time prizes were
awarded by the Academy to the amount of about two thousand dollars for
the most important literary works which had been produced. The first
sessions were held in the hall of the palace. The King wished thus to
manifest his interest in the objects of the Academy, to co-operate
in their labors, and to avail himself of the advantages of their
researches. The clergy, and the medical and legal professions, were
alike represented in this learned body.

It is an interesting fact, illustrative of the state of learning at the
time, that of the twenty academicians first appointed by the King,
eleven were ecclesiastics. Two only were nobles. This class, rioting in
sensual indulgence, disdained any intellectual labor. Notwithstanding
all these expenses, such system and economy were introduced into the
finances, that they were rapidly becoming extricated from the chaos in
which they had long been plunged.

In the midst of these incessant and diversified labors, letters were
almost daily passing between Joseph and his brother the Emperor. On
the first day of the year 1807, Napoleon was, with his heroic and
indomitable army, far away amidst the frozen wilds of Poland. Joseph
sent a special deputation to his brother, with earnest wishes for "a
happy new year." Napoleon thus replied, under the date of Warsaw,
January 28, 1807:

"MY BROTHER,--I have not received the letter of your Majesty and his
wishes for my happiness without lively emotion. Your destinies and my
successes have placed a vast country between us. You touch, on the
south, the Mediterranean. I touch the Baltic. But, by the harmony of
our measures, we are seeking the same object. Watch over your coasts;
shut out the English and their commerce. Their exclusion will secure
tranquillity in your states. Your realm is rich and populous. By the
aid of God it may become powerful and happy. Receive my most sincere
wishes for the prosperity of your reign, and rely at all times upon my
fraternal affection. The deputation which your Majesty has sent to me
has honorably fulfilled its mission. I have requested it to bear to your
Majesty the assurance of my sincere attachment. Whereupon, my brother, I
pray that God may ever have you in his holy and worthy keeping."

Some reference was made in one of Joseph's letters to the sufferings
which the army in Naples endured. Napoleon replied, "The members of
my staff, colonels, officers, have not undressed for two months, and
some for four. (I myself have been fifteen days without taking off my
boots), in the midst of snow and mud, without bread, without wine,
without brandy, eating potatoes and meat; making long marches and
counter-marches, without any kind of rest; fighting with the bayonet,
and very often under grapeshot: the wounded being borne on sledges in
the open air one hundred and fifty miles.

"It is then ill-timed pleasantry to compare us with the Army of Naples,
which is making war in the beautiful country of Naples, where they have
bread, oil, cloth, bedclothes, society, and even that of the ladies.
After having destroyed the Prussian monarchy, we are now contending
against the rest of the Prussians, against the Russians, the Cossacks,
the Calmucks, and against those tribes of the north which formerly
overwhelmed the Roman empire. In the midst of these great fatigues,
every body has been more or less sick. As for me, I was never better,
and am gaining flesh.

"The Army of Naples has no occasion to complain. Let them inquire of
General Berthier. He will tell them that their Emperor has for fifteen
days eaten nothing but potatoes and meat, whilst bivouacking in the
midst of the snows of Poland. Judge from that what must be the condition
of the officers. They have nothing but meat."

On the 26th of March, 1807, Joseph wrote, in a letter to his brother
Napoleon, urging the promotion of Colonel Destrees, who, by his probity,
had won the affections of the people.

"Here, sire, an honest man is worth more to me than a man of ability.
When I find both qualities united in the same person, I esteem him of
more value than a regiment. It is for this reason that I value so highly
Reynier, Partouneaux, Donzelot, Lamarque, Jourdan, Saligny, and Mathieu;
it is this which leads me to prize so highly Roederer and Dumas."

Again he wrote to his brother on the 29th of March: "Sire, as I see more
of men and become better acquainted with them, I recognize more and more
the truth of what I have heard from your Majesty during the whole of my
life. The experience of government has confirmed the truth of that which
your Majesty has so often said to me. I hope your Majesty will not
regard this as flattery. But it is true; and I never cease to repeat,
and particularly to myself, that you have been born with a superiority
of reason truly astonishing, and now I recognize fully that men are
what you have always told me that they were. How many abuses, which I
confess still astonish me, have I encountered, in the journey which I
have just made. A prince confiding and amiable is a great scourge from
heaven. I am instructed, sire, and I hope ere long to be a better ruler
by not giving the majority of men the credit for that spirit of justice
and humanity which I hope your Majesty recognizes in me. I have
assembled the notables of this province. How docile these people are!
but they are very badly governed. I have dismissed the prefect, the
sub-prefect, the general, the commandant, a set of rascals who were here
the instruments and the agents of an honest prince. This province, the
most tranquil in the realm, had become, in the opinion of notables, the
most disaffected and the most ready to desire the arrival of the enemy.
I journeyed from village to village, and speedily repaired the evil.
These people have so much vivacity of spirit and ardor of soul, that
both good and evil operate easily upon them. Their inconstancy is not
so much the result of their character as of their topographical and
military position.

"I am aware, sire, that I have not, as your Majesty has, the art of
employing all kinds of men. I need honest men, in whom I can repose
some confidence. Sire, I am in that mood of mind, which your Majesty
recognizes in me, in which I love to say whatever I think right.
Your Majesty ought to make peace at whatever price. Your Majesty is
victorious, triumphant everywhere. You ought to recoil before the blood
of your people. It is for the prince to hold back the hero. No extent of
country, be it more or less, should restrain you. All the concessions
you may make will be glorious, because they will be useful to your
peoples, whose purest blood now flows; and victorious and invincible as
you are, by the admission of all, no condition can be supposed to be
prescribed to you by an enemy whom you have vanquished.

"Sire, it is the love which I bear for a brother who has become a father
to me, and the love which I owe to France and to the people whom you
have given me, which dictates these words of truth. As for me, sire, I
shall be happy to do whatever may be in my power to secure that end."

This strain of remark must have been not a little annoying to the
Emperor. While Joseph did not deny that the Emperor was waging war
solely in self-defense, he assumed that he was now so powerful that he
could make peace at any time upon his own terms. But dynastic Europe was
allying itself, coalition after coalition, in an interminable series,
with the avowed object of driving Napoleon from the throne, reinstating
the Bourbons, re-establishing the old feudal despotisms, and of then
overthrowing the regenerated kingdoms of Italy and of Naples, and all
the other popular governments established under the protection of
Napoleon. Against these foes the Emperor was contending, not for France
alone, but for the rights of humanity throughout Europe and the world.
As Napoleon left Paris for the campaigns of Jena and Auerstadt, he said
to the Senate,

"In so just a war, which we have not provoked by any act, by any
pretense, the true cause to which it would be impossible to assign, and
where we only take up arms to defend ourselves, we depend entirely upon
the support of the laws and of the people."

No man could deny the truth of this statement. Napoleon was driven to
all the rigors of a winter's campaign in the wilds of Poland. To have
received, by the side of his bleak bivouac, whilst thus struggling to
defend the rights of humanity throughout Europe, a letter from his
amiable brother, written in such a strain of implied reproach, must have
been extremely annoying. One would look for an outburst of indignation
in response. We turn to the Emperor's reply. It was as follows.

"MY BROTHER,--I have received your letter of the 29th of March, and I
thank you for all that you have said. Peace is a marriage which depends
upon a union of wills. If it be necessary still to wage war, I am in a
condition to do so. You will see, by my message to the Senate, that I
am about to raise additional troops."

Joseph had expressed the opinion that the Neapolitans truly loved him.
Napoleon, in his reply, said,

"I am not of the opinion that the Neapolitans love you. It is all
resolved to this. If there were not a French soldier in Naples, could
you raise there thirty thousand men to defend you against the English
and the partisans of the Queen? As the contrary is evident to me, I can
not think as you do. Your people will love you undoubtedly, but it will
be after eight or ten years, when they will truly know you, and you
will know them. To love, with the people, means to esteem; and they
esteem their prince when he is feared by the bad, and when the good have
such confidence in him that he can, under all circumstances, rely upon
their fidelity and their aid."

In a letter to Joseph, written a few days before this, the Emperor made
the following striking remarks: "Since you wish me to speak freely of
what is done at Naples, I will say to you that I was not just pleased
with the preamble to the suppression of the convents. In referring to
religion, the language should be in the spirit of religion, and not in
that of philosophy. Why do you speak of the services rendered to the
arts and the sciences by the religious orders? It is not that which has
rendered them commendable; it is the administration of the consolations
of religion. The preamble is entirely philosophical, and I think that
it should not be so. It ought to have been said that the great number
of the monks rendered their support difficult; that the dignity of
the State required that they should be maintained in a condition of
respectability: hence the necessity for reform, that a portion of the
clergy must be retained for the administration of the sacraments, that
others must be dismissed. I give this as a general principle."

Joseph was well aware how difficult it is for truth to reach the steps
of the throne. In his tour through the provinces, he often, on foot,
penetrated the crowd which surrounded him, and conversed with any
one whose intelligence attracted his attention. He listened to every
well-founded complaint, and avowed himself deeply moved in view of the
oppression which the people had suffered even from his own agents. But
for this personal observation, he would have remained in ignorance of
these wrongs which he promptly and vigorously repressed. Joseph was a
man of the purest morals, and, as a husband and father, was a model of
excellence. While engaged in these labors at Naples, his wife, Julie,
who was in delicate health, remained in Paris, occupying the palace of
the Luxembourg. They exchanged _daily_ letters. The following extract
from one of Joseph's letters, written on the 26th of April, 1807, will
give the reader some insight to the nature of this correspondence, and
to the heart of Joseph.


"MY DEAR JULIE,--I have received no letter from you to-day. I pray
you not to fail to write to me. I can not but feel anxious when I
receive no letter, since your correspondence is otherwise regular.
I wrote you yesterday of the rumors which malevolence had set in
circulation, but that facts will gradually destroy them. I can give
you the positive assurance that you need have no solicitude upon that

"I have come to pass Sunday here. It is somewhat remarkable that _fete_
days are the seasons which I choose for a little recreation. This shows
with what constancy I am employed on other days in the labors of the
Cabinet. Moreover, the response to every accusation is the result which
has already been attained here. Notes upon the Bank of Naples, which
were twenty-five per cent. below par when I came here, are now at par. I
have, with my own resources, conducted the war and the siege of Gaeta,
which has cost six millions of francs ($1,200,000); I have found the
means to support and pay ninety thousand men, for I have, besides sixty
thousand land soldiers, thirty thousand men as marines, invalids,
pensioners of the ancient army, coast guards, shore gunners; and I have
fifteen hundred leagues of coast, all beset, blockaded, and often
attacked by the enemy.

"With all this, I have not so much increased the taxes as to excite
the discontent of the landed proprietors and the people. There is so
little dissatisfaction that I can travel almost anywhere alone without
imprudence; that Naples is as tranquil as Paris; that I can borrow here
whatever one has to lend; that I have not a single class of society
discontented; and it is generally admitted that if I do not do better it
is not my fault; that I set the example of moderation, of economy; that
I indulge in no luxuries; that I make no expenses for myself; that I
have neither mistresses, minions, nor favorites; that no person leads
me, and, indeed, that every thing is so well ordered here that the
officers and other Frenchmen whom I am compelled to send away complain,
when they are absent, that they can not remain in Naples.

"Read this, my good Julie, to mamma and to Caroline, since they are
anxious, and say to them that if they knew me better, they would feel
less solicitude. Say to them that one does not change at my age; remind
mamma that at every period of my life, an obscure citizen, cultivator,
magistrate, I have always sacrificed with pleasure my time to my
duties. It surely is not I, who prize grandeurs so little, who can fall
asleep in their bosom. I see in them only duties, never privileges.

"I work for the kingdom of Naples with the same good faith and the same
self-renunciation with which, at the death of my father, I labored for
his young family, whom I never ceased to bear in my heart, and all
sacrifices were for me enjoyments. I say this with pride, because it is
the truth. I live only to be just; and justice requires that I should
render this people as happy as the scourge of war will render possible.
I venture to say, notwithstanding their situation, that the people of
Naples are perhaps more happy than any other people.

"Be tranquil, then, my love, and be assured that these sentiments are as
unchanging in my soul as the immortal attachment which I bear for you
and for my children; if there be any sacrifice which they cost me, it is
being separated from you. Ambition certainly would not have led me away
two steps if I could have remained tranquil. But honor and the sentiment
of my duty induce me, three times a year, to make the tour of my realm
to solace the unhappy.

"Under these circumstances, I thank Heaven for having given me health
and ability to bear the burden of affairs, and moderation which does not
permit me to be dazzled by grandeur, and energy which does not allow me
to slumber at my post; and a good conscience and a good wife to
pronounce judgment upon what I ought to do. I embrace you all tenderly."

It was clear that the statesmanship of Napoleon was the controlling
influence in Joseph's administration, for in reading the details of his
interior policy, we find that the institutions of regenerated France
were taken as the models. To invest with honor the profession of a
soldier, no one who had been condemned for crime was permitted to enter
the army. Degrading punishments were abolished; distinctions and rewards
were accorded to eminent merit. Promotion depended no longer upon the
accident of birth, but upon services rendered, so that every office of
honor or emolument was alike within the reach of all. Joseph, in his
tour through the provinces, received very touching proofs of the
affections of the people. It was indeed manifest to all that a new era
of prosperity had dawned upon Naples. Still no devotion to the interests
of the people can save a ruler from enemies. Two assassins attempted
the life of the King. They were arrested, tried, condemned, and

[Footnote M: "The entrance of Joseph to Cosenza, the capital of hither
Calabria, on the 11th of April, was as a national fete. Guards of honor,
chosen from among the most distinguished families, all the clergy, all
the population were at the gates to receive him. He was accompanied
into the city with shouts of joy, the streets being ornamented with
triumphal arches. One would have thought that he was a sovereign
returning after a long absence to the midst of a people by whom he
was idolized."--_Memoires et Correspondence Politique et Militaire,
du Roi Joseph_, p. 127.]

On the 14th of May, 1807, Joseph set out on a tour through the provinces
of the Abruzzes, a mountainous region traversed by the Apennines. He
found the government admirably administered under the authority of the
French General, Guvion Saint Cyr. The people were everywhere prosperous
and happy. The region, abounding in precipitous crags and gloomy
defiles, with communications often rendered impracticable by the rains
and the melting snows cutting gullies through the soil of sand and clay,
had become quite isolated.

The inhabitants spontaneously arose to celebrate the arrival of the King
by constructing durable roads. Joseph promptly lent the enterprise his
royal support. He appointed a committee of able men, selected from each
of the capitals of the three provinces, with three road engineers, to
secure the judicious expenditure of the money and the labor; and offered
rewards to those communes which should push the improvements with the
greatest vigor. A system of irrigation and drainage was also adopted
which contributed immensely to the prosperity of the region, checking
emigration by opening wide fields to agricultural industry.

During all this time Joseph kept up almost a daily correspondence with
his brother. The letters of Napoleon were written hurriedly, in the
midst of overwhelming cares, intended to be entirely private, with no
idea that their unstudied expressions, in which each varying emotion of
his soul, of hope, of disappointment, of irritation, found utterance,
would be exposed to the malignant comments of his foes. The friends of
Napoleon appeal triumphantly to this unmutilated correspondence, running
through the period of many long and eventful years, to prove that
Napoleon was animated by a high ambition to promote the interests of
humanity; that he was one of the most philanthropic as well as one of
the greatest of men. Joseph himself, whose upright character no
intelligent man has yet questioned, says, in his autobiography, written
at Point Breeze, New Jersey, when sixty-two years of age:

"Having attained a somewhat advanced age, and enjoying good health,
disabused of many of the illusions which enable me to bear the storms of
life, and replacing those illusions by that tranquillity of soul which
results from a good conscience, and from the security which is afforded
by a country admirably constituted, I regard myself as having reached
the port. Before disembarking upon the shores of eternity, I wish to
render an account to myself of the long voyage, and to search out the
causes which have borne so high, in the ranks of society, my family, and
which have terminated in depriving us of that which appertains to the
humblest individual--a country which was dear to us, and which we have
served with good faith and devotion.

"It is neither an apology nor a satire which I write. I render an
account to myself of events, and I wish to place upon paper the
recollections which they have left behind. There are some transactions
which I now condemn, after having formerly approved of them; there are
others of which I to-day approve, after having formerly condemned
them. Such is the feebleness of our nature, dependent always upon the
circumstances which surround us, and which frequently govern us--a
thought which ought to lead every true and reflective man to charity.

"I venture to affirm that it is the love of truth which leads me to
undertake this writing. _It is a sentiment of justice which I owe to the
man who was my friend, and whom human feebleness has disfigured in a
manner so unworthy. Napoleon was, above all, a friend of the people, and
he was a just and good man, even more than he was a great warrior and
administrator. It is my duty, as his elder brother, and one who has not
always shared in his political opinions, to speak of that which I know,
and to express convictions which I profoundly cherish._ I am now in a
better situation to appreciate what were the causes foreign to his
nature, which forced him to assume a factitious character--a character
which made him feared by the instruments which he had to employ, in
order to sustain against Europe the war which the oligarchy had declared
against the principles of the revolution, and which the British Cabinet
waged against that France whose supremacy it could prevent only by
exciting against her Continental wars and civil dissensions, and those
despotic principles of government which no longer belonged to the nation
or the age in which we lived."




Letter to Julie.--Victories of the Emperor.--Joseph and Napoleon meet at
Venice.--Joseph returns to Naples.--Lucien Bonaparte.--Letter from Eliza
Bonaparte.--Letter from Joseph to Napoleon.--Interchange of Letters.
--Attempt to assassinate Salicetti.--Napoleon complains of Roederer.
--Queen Julie and her Children repair to Naples.--Treachery of Spain.
--Plan of Napoleon.--Testimony in Favor of Joseph.--Joseph's Journey to
Bayonne.--Forebodings of Joseph.--The Brigands.--Queen Julie leaving
Naples.--Summary of Joseph's Benefactions to Naples.--Hostility of the
British Government.--Condition of Europe.--Measures of the Bourbons of
Spain.--Character of the Royal Family of Spain.--The Spanish Princes.

Toward the close of the year 1807 brigandage was entirely suppressed,
all traces of insurrection had disappeared, and tranquillity and
prosperity reigned throughout the kingdom of Naples. In July Joseph
wrote from Capo di Monte to Queen Julie, who was then at Mortfontaine,
as follows:

"MY DEAR JULIE,--I have received your letter of the 15th from
Mortfontaine. The sentiment which you have experienced in returning to
that beautiful place, where we have been so happy for so long a time,
and at so little expense, needs not the explanation of any supernatural
causes. You perceive that there you have been happier than you are now,
than you will be for a long time. The happiness which you have there
enjoyed is sure as the past; that which is destined for you here is as
uncertain as the future. Life at Mortfontaine is that of innocence and
peace; it is that of the patriarchs. The life at Naples is that of
kings. It is a voyage over a sea, often calm, but sometimes stormy. The
life at Mortfontaine was a promenade as placid as its waters. It flowed
noiselessly like the light skiff which a slight effort of the oars of
Zenaide[N] sufficed to push forward around the isle of Molton.[O]

[Footnote N: Daughter of the king.]

[Footnote O: An island in the lake of Mortfontaine.]

"But after all these regrets of a good heart, gentle and reasonable,
there come the results of the reflections of a strong mind and an
elevated soul which owes itself entirely to the will of Providence,
manifested by the spontaneous coming, and not desired by us, of
grandeurs which point us to other duties. I console myself, in this new
career, by seeing it traversed by my wife and my children. The most
unpleasant part of the voyage is over, that which I have taken without
them. Now peace will reunite us. And if you do not find here your own
country, our reunion will give us the illusion of it. As we shall be the
same to each other, I believe that, come what may, you will find
Mortfontaine, where you see me happy in the love of my family, and in
the happiness which I shall be able to confer, and in that still
greater happiness of which I shall dream. Adieu, my dear Julie. I
embrace you tenderly."

The victories of the Emperor, the peace of Tilsit, the Russian alliance,
had greatly diminished the influence of the British Cabinet upon the
Continent, and, in the same proportion, had increased that of France.
Still the Cabinet of St. James was unrelenting in opposition to
Napoleon. The British cruisers ran along the coast of Italy, landing
here and there Sicilian or Calabrian brigands, who were under the pay of
Ferdinand and Caroline. It was also proved that assassins were in the
employ of Ferdinand and his queen.

Toward the end of November Napoleon visited Venice, and, by appointment,
met his brother Joseph there. It has generally been affirmed that there
was a _secret_ article in the treaty of Tilsit authorizing Napoleon to
dethrone the Bourbons of Spain, who had treacherously endeavored to
strike him in the back when, in the campaigns of Jena, Auerstadt, and
Austerlitz, he was contending against England, France, and Russia. But
that secret article, if there were such, has been kept so secret, that
no sufficient evidence has yet been adduced that it existed. Joseph,
however, wrote, when an exile in America:

"At the time of my interview with the Emperor at Venice, he spoke to me
of troubles in the royal family of Spain as probably leading to events
which he dreaded. 'I have enough work marked out,' he said. 'The
troubles in Spain will only aid the English to impair the resources,
which I find in this alliance, to continue the war against them.'"

On the 16th of December Joseph returned to Naples, and the next day
presided at the council of ministers. He did not make any communication
of importance. "It is only known," writes the Count of Melito, "that he
sent one of his aides on a mission to the Emperor Alexander. It was
hence concluded that arrangements of some nature had been entered into
at Venice in harmony with the views of the Emperor of Russia." Joseph,
however, writes, in reference to this mission, "General Marie took
letters to Russia and congratulations, and brought me back letters,
affectionate even, from the Emperor Alexander, and his compliments; that
was all."

Lucien Bonaparte, a very independent and impulsive young man, was not
disposed to submit to the dictation of his elder brother Napoleon. He
had entered into a second marriage, which displeased Napoleon, as it
very seriously interfered with his plans of forming a dynasty. Joseph
was sent to meet the refractory brother at Modena, and to endeavor to
promote reconciliation. The following letter from Eliza, written to her
brother Lucien upon this subject will be read with interest. It was
dated Marlia, June 20th, 1807:

"MY DEAR LUCIEN,--I have received your letter. Permit, to my friendship,
a few reflections upon the present state of things. I hope that you will
not be annoyed by my observations.

"Propositions were made to you, a year ago, which you should have found
seasonable, and which you should immediately have accepted, for the
happiness of your family and of your wife. You now refuse them. Do you
not see, my dear friend, that the only means of placing obstacles in the
way of adoption is, that his Majesty should have a family of which he
can dispose? In remaining near Napoleon, or in receiving from him a
throne, you will be useful to him. He will marry your daughters; and so
long as he can find, in the members of his family, the instruments for
executing his projects and his policy, he will not choose strangers. We
must not treat with the master of the world as with an equal. Nature
made us the children of the same father, and his prodigies have rendered
us his subjects. Although sovereigns, we hold every thing from him. It
is a noble pride to acknowledge this; and it seems to me that our only
glory should be to prove by our manner of governing that we are worthy
of him and of our family.

"Reflect then anew upon the propositions which are made to you. Mamma
and we all should be so happy to be re-united, and to make only one
political family. Dear Lucien, do that for us, who love you, for the
people whom my brother has given for you to govern, and to whom you will
bring happiness.

"Adieu. I embrace you. Do not feel unkindly to me for this; and believe
that my tenderness will always be the same for you. Embrace your wife
and your amiable family. Chevalier Angelino, who has come to see me, has
often spoken to me of you and of your wife. My little one is charming. I
have weaned her. I shall be very happy if she is soon able to play with
all the family. Adieu.

               "Your sister and friend,    ELIZA."

The letters of the Emperor were sometimes severe in reproof of the
policy of his brother. It is evident that Joseph was, at times, quite
wounded by these reproaches. At the conclusion of a long letter, written
on the 19th of October, 1807, Joseph says:

"I am far from complaining of any one. The people and the enemy are what
they must be. But it would be pleasant to me, could your Majesty truly
know my position, and render some justice to the efforts and to the
privations of every kind which I impose upon myself to do the best I
can. Although the present state of affairs may not be good, still I hope
for better times. No person desires it more than I do. When I have a
thousand ducats I give them; and I can assure your Majesty that I have
never in my life, which has been composed of so many different shades,
found less opportunity to gratify my private inclinations. I have no
expenses but for the public wants. I occupy myself day and night in the
administration. I think the administration as good as possible; but it
has no more the power than have I to correct the times, and to create
that which does not exist and can not exist, except where there is
interior tranquillity and external peace."

On the 13th of August, 1806, Joseph wrote to his brother, "I remain here
till your Majesty's birthday, on which I wish you joy. I hope that you
may receive with some little pleasure this expression of my affection.
The glorious Emperor will never replace to me the Napoleon whom I so
much loved, and whom I hope to find again, as I knew him twenty years
ago, if we are to meet in the Elysian Fields."

Napoleon replied from Rambouillet, on the 23d of August,

"MY BROTHER,--I have received your letter of the 13th of August. I am
sorry that you think that you will find your brother again only in the
Elysian Fields. It is natural that at forty he should not feel toward
you as he did at twelve. But his feelings toward you are more true and
strong. His friendship has the features of his mind."

In December Napoleon had a personal interview with Lucien, and he gives
the following account of it, in a letter to Joseph, dated Mantua, 17th
December, 1807:

"MY BROTHER,--I have seen Lucien at Mantua. I talked with him several
hours. He undoubtedly will inform you of the disposition in which he
left. His thoughts and his language are so different from mine that I
found it difficult to get an idea of what he wished. I think that he
told me that he wished to send his eldest daughter to Paris, to be near
her grandmother. If he continue in that disposition, I desire to be
immediately informed of it. And it is necessary that that young person
should be in Paris in the course of January, either accompanied by
Lucien, or intrusted by him to the charge of a governess, who will
convey her to Madame.[P] Lucien seems to be agitated by contrary
sentiments, and not to have sufficient strength to come to a decision.

[Footnote P: Madame Letitia, Napoleon's mother.]

"I have exhausted all the means in my power to recall Lucien, who is
still in his early youth, to the employment of his talents for me and
for the country. If he wish to send his daughter, she should leave
without delay, and he should send a declaration by which he places her
entirely at my disposal, for there is not a moment to be lost; events
hurry onward, and I must accomplish my destiny. If he has changed his
opinion, let me immediately be informed of it, for then I must make
other arrangements.

"Say to Lucien that his grief and the parting sentiments which he
manifested moved me; that I regret the more that he will not be
reasonable, and contribute to his own repose and to mine. I await with
impatience a reply clear and decisive, particularly in that which
relates to Charlotte."

On the 31st of January, 1808, a fiend-like attempt was made to blow up
the palace of Salicetti, Joseph's minister of police. About one o'clock
in the morning, just as the minister was entering his chamber, there was
a terrific explosion. An infernal machine had been placed in the cellar.
The whole palace was shattered and rent, while large portions were
thrown into utter ruin. Salicetti, severely wounded, heard the shrieks
of his daughter, the Duchess of Lavello, and rushed to her aid. He found
her buried five or six feet deep in the debris which had been thrown
upon her. It was more than a quarter of an hour before her agonized
father, aided by the domestics, could succeed in extricating her.
Though alive, she was sadly maimed. Two of the inmates of the palace
were killed, and others were severely injured.

Napoleon, when informed of the event, wrote to Joseph, under date of
February 11th, 1808: "The terrible misfortune which has happened to
Salicetti seems to me to have been the result of over-indulgence. When
were traitors ever before allowed to live free in a capital--wretches
who had plotted against the State? Their lives ought not to be spared;
but if that is done, at least you ought to send them sixty leagues from
the capital or shut them up in a fortress. Any other conduct is

Napoleon, having gained a glorious peace upon the plains of Poland,
which disarmed the nations of the north, now turned his special
attention to the south--to Portugal, Spain, Italy, Rome, and Naples. The
possession of the kingdom of Naples, instead of being a source of profit
to the Emperor, occasioned him continued and heavy expense. Joseph was
ever calling for money to meet the innumerable demands involved in
carrying on war with the English, and in urging forward those reforms
which were essential to the regeneration of a realm which former
misgovernment had plunged to a very low abyss of poverty and ruin.
The Emperor, bearing the burden of the exhaustive wars ever waged
against him, while continually aiding Joseph, still often and severely
reproached him with the manner in which his finances were conducted. On
the 11th of February, 1808, he wrote:

"MY BROTHER,--The administration of the realm of Naples is very bad.
Roederer makes brilliant projects, ruins the country, and pays no money
into your treasury. This is the opinion of all the French who come from
Naples. Roederer is upright, and has good intentions, but he has no

Again, on the 26th of February, he wrote: "Roederer is of the race of
men who always ruin those to whom they are attached. Is it want of tact,
is it misfortune? No matter which; there is not one of your friends who
does not detest Roederer. He is at Naples as at Paris, without credit
with any party; a man of no sagacity, of no tact, whom, however, I
esteem for many good qualities, but whom, as a statesman, I can make
nothing of."

Joseph, however, earnestly defended his financial agent as an able and
an honest man, who made enemies only of those who wished to plunder the
treasury. This led Joseph, whose constant effort it was to promote the
happiness of his people, to whose interests he was entirely devoted, to
order a minute statement to be drawn up of the condition of the realm
in all respects. This remarkable document was written by Count Melito,
the Minister of the Interior. It gave an accurate narrative of all the
ameliorations which had been introduced by Joseph, and will ever remain
a monument of his goodness and tireless energies as a sovereign. As none
of the statements could be doubted, the document at the time produced a
profound impression throughout Europe.

Queen Julie now came to Naples with her children to join her husband.
She was received with great enthusiasm. There has seldom been found,
in the history of the world, a worse woman than Caroline, the wife of
Ferdinand, the former King of Naples. And history records the name
perhaps of no better woman than Julie, the wife of Joseph. The King met
the Queen on the 4th of April at Saint Lucie, and conducted her, greeted
by the acclamations of their rejoicing subjects, into their beautiful

The treachery of the Court of Spain, which, like an assassin, endeavored
to strike the Empire of France stealthily, with a poisoned dagger, in
the back, was known throughout Europe. These proud dynasties regarded
Napoleon, because he was an _elected_, not a _legitimate_ sovereign,
as an outlaw, with whom no treaties were binding, and whom they could
betray, entrap, and shoot at pleasure.

When Napoleon was far away, in his winter campaign, bivouacking upon the
cold summit of the Landgrafenberg, the evening before the battle of Jena
he received information that the Bourbons of Spain, then professing
friendship, and bound to him by a treaty of alliance, were secretly
entering into a contract with England to assail him in the rear.
Napoleon had neither done nor meditated aught to injure Spain. His crime
was that he had accepted the crown from the people, and was ruling in
behalf of their interests, and not in the interests of the nobles alone.

"A convention," says Alison, "was secretly concluded at Madrid between
the Spanish Government and the Russian ambassador, to which the Court
of Lisbon was also a party, by which it was agreed that, as soon as
the favorable opportunity was arrived, by the French armies being far
advanced on their road to Berlin, the Spanish Government should commence
hostilities in the Pyrenees, and invite the English to co-operate."

Napoleon, by his camp-fire, upon the eve of a terrible battle, read the
account of this perfidy. As he folded the dispatches, he said calmly,
but firmly, "The Bourbons of Spain shall be replaced by princes of my
own family."

"The Spanish Bourbons," says Napier, "could never have been sincere
friends to France while Bonaparte held the sceptre; and the moment that
the fear of his power ceased to operate, it was quite certain that their
apparent friendship would change to active hostility."

"When I made peace on the Niemen," said Napoleon, "I stipulated that if
England did not accept the mediation of Alexander, Russia should unite
her arms with ours, and compel that power to peace. I should be indeed
weak if, having obtained that single advantage from those whom I have
vanquished, I should permit the Spaniards to embroil me afresh on my
weak side. Should I permit Spain to form an alliance with England, it
would give that hostile power greater advantages than it has lost by the
rupture with Russia. I wish, above all things, to avoid war with Spain.
Such a contest would be a species of sacrilege. If I can not arrange
with either the father or the son, I will make a clean sweep of them

Rumor was busy throughout Europe in discussing the plans of Napoleon.
The report soon became general that the crown of Spain was to be offered
to Joseph. His kindness of heart, his nobleness of character, and the
immense benefits which he had conferred upon the Neapolitan realm, had
secured for him almost universal respect and affection. The Neapolitans
were greatly alarmed from fears that he would be transferred to Spain.

"The King," writes his very able biographer, A. du Casse, "was
universally beloved, because he began to be appreciated at his true
value. His good qualities, the love with which he cherished his
subjects, had won all hearts. His departure was dreaded. Joseph,
however, did not slacken the reins of government. The Councils of State
and the ministers, presided over by him, continued their labors to
ameliorate the administration of the realm, to embellish Naples, to
encourage discoveries, to unite the learned in a literary corps. The
King wished that, even after his departure, the impulse which he had
given should continue uninterrupted."

It was at Naples, under the encouragement of Joseph, that the art of
lithography was discovered. On the 23d of May, 1808, the King, by the
request of Napoleon, left Naples for France. He left his family behind
him, and hastened through Turin and Lyons to meet his brother at
Bayonne. His departure caused great anxiety and sadness throughout the
kingdom of Naples. Who would wear the crown about to be vacated? Would
the Two Sicilies be annexed to the kingdom of Italy under Eugene? Would
Louis, Lucien, or one of Napoleon's marshals succeed Joseph?

On the journey Joseph met the Bishop of Grenoble, formerly the abbe
Simon, his ancient professor of mathematics and philosophy in the
College of Autun. Joseph had ever cherished the memory of his teacher
with great affection, and, upon meeting, threw his arms around him in a
tender embrace. As the bishop complimented him upon his high destiny,
and congratulated him upon the probability of his immediate elevation to
the throne of Spain, Joseph replied sadly,[Q]

[Footnote Q: We are indebted, for the report of this conversation, to M.
Simon, of Nantes, a nephew of the bishop.]

"May your felicitations, Monsieur the Bishop, prove of happy augury to
your former pupil. May your prayers avert the calamities which I
foresee. As for me, ambition does not blind me. The joys of the crown of
Spain do not dazzle my eyes. I leave a country in which I think that I
have done some good, where I flatter myself to have been beloved, and
that I leave behind me some regrets. Will it be the same in the new
realm which awaits me?

"The Neapolitans have, so to speak, never known nationality. By turns
conquered by the Normans, the Spaniards, the French, it was little
matter to them who their masters were, provided that these masters left
them their blue skies, their azure sea, their spot in the sunshine, and
a few pence for their macaroni.

"Arriving among them, I found every thing to do. I stimulated their
natural apathy, gave nerve to the administration, introduced some order
everywhere. They were pleased with my good intentions, with my efforts.
They loved me with the same fervor with which they hated the King of
Sicily and his odious ministers. In Spain, on the contrary, I shall
labor in vain; I can not so completely lay aside my title of a foreigner
that I can escape the hatred of a people proud and sensitive upon the
point of honor; of a people who have known no other wars but wars of
independence, and who abhor, above all things, the French name.

"The Peninsula contains at this moment, under arms, nearly one hundred
thousand national soldiers, who will excite, at the same time, against
my government, the monks, the clergy, the friends (and they are still
numerous) of legitimacy, the ancient and faithful servants of old
Charles IV., the gold and the intrigues of England. Every thing will
prove an obstacle to my plans of amelioration. They will be
misrepresented, calumniated, disowned.

"In view of the insurrection of which the Prince of Asturias has
recently given an example against his own father, in the midst of
license and anarchy, the natural consequence of long demoralization and
the disorders of a dissolute court, of a dynasty used up, will not all
wise and well-moderated liberty be regarded as the equal of tyranny?
Monsieur the Bishop, I see a horizon charged with very black clouds.
They contain in their bosom a future which terrifies me. The star of my
brother, will it always shine luminous and brilliant in the skies? I do
not know; but sad presentiments oppress me in spite of myself. They
besiege me; they govern me. I greatly fear that, in giving me a crown
more illustrious than that which I lay aside, the Emperor will place
upon my brow a burden heavier than it can bear. Pity me, then, my dear
teacher, pity me; do not felicitate me."

The brigands in the kingdom of Naples, and the eternal and natural
enemies of repose which are to be found in all countries, availing
themselves of the absence of King Joseph, and encouraged by the presence
of the British fleet and the gold of the British Cabinet, redoubled
their efforts in local insurrections, and committed cowardly
assassinations. The bandits would land here and there, and perpetrate
the most atrocious crimes, burning, plundering, murdering.

Joseph was anxious, before leaving Naples, to establish _institutions
of liberty_ which might be permanent. On the 21st of July, the Council
of State received from the King a constitution, which he had drawn up
with the aid of his ministers. It contained the clear announcement of
the principles which had animated him during his reign, and was founded
upon the constitutions in France and in the kingdom of Italy. Though the
constitution was not perfect--for the world is ever making progress--it
was greatly in advance of any thing which had been known in the kingdom
of Sicily before, and conferred immense advantages upon the realm. There
was but one legislative body. It consisted of five sections, equal
in number: the clergy, the nobility, the landed proprietors, the
philosophers, and the merchants. The Council of State chose five of the
most distinguished persons, of the various classes, to convey to Joseph
their thanks for the constitution he had conferred upon the realm.


On the 6th of July, Queen Julie, with her children, left Naples to join
her husband in Spain. A numerous cortege escorted her from the city with
every testimonial of regret. On the 8th Joseph abdicated the crown,
which was subsequently transferred to the brow of Napoleon's cavalry
leader, Murat, who had married Caroline Bonaparte.

"Here terminates," writes M. du Casse, "our task relative to the short
reign of Joseph in Naples. That prince had rendered to that beautiful
country services which, long after his departure, conferred blessings
upon the realm, which had been surrendered until then to the sad regime
of a feudalism crushing to the people. His successor found the ground
clear, war extinct almost everywhere, the conquest assured, tranquillity
established, abuses reformed, civil administration organized, the
monks suppressed, the finances restored, credit consolidated, public
instruction and legislation founded upon liberal bases, and wisely
adapted to the manners of the inhabitants.

"The army was formed under the shade of the flag of France; the marine
commenced to be regenerated. The sciences and the arts, encouraged,
were beginning to diffuse themselves; brigandage was breathing its last
sigh. There remained for Murat only to reap the fruits of the wise and
paternal conduct of the older brother of the Emperor. He inherited a
country of rich and fertile soil, with a delightful climate, inhabited
by a population blessing the guardian hand which had delivered them from
the ignorance into which the ancient Government seemed to have plunged
them by design. The task of the new sovereign seemed to be only to
complete the work of the philosophic King."

It was the implacable hostility of the British Government, ever ready to
avail itself of the treachery of Spain, which in the view of Napoleon
rendered it necessary for him, as an act of self-preservation, to place
the government of the Spanish Peninsula in friendly hands. On the 18th
of April, 1808, Napoleon had written to Joseph,

"England begins to suffer. Peace with that power alone will enable me to
sheathe the sword and restore tranquillity to Europe."

Before we accompany Joseph to Spain, let us briefly review the condition
of Europe at this time. By the peace of Tilsit, the Emperor Alexander
had recognized all the changes which the sword of Napoleon had effected
upon the Continent of Europe. The Czar was on terms of personal
friendship with Napoleon, and it was understood that he had given his
consent to Napoleon's design to dethrone the Bourbons of Spain. The
infamous British expedition to Copenhagen, with the bombardment of the
city and the destruction of the Danish fleet, had created general
indignation throughout the European world. England had but one single
ally left, the half-mad King of Sweden. The ships of England, excluded
from every port upon the Continent, wandered idly over the seas.

Austria, humiliated by the treaty of Presburg, was sullen and silent,
watching for an opportunity to regain its former ascendency and military
prestige. In Prussia the House of Brandenburg had been terribly
punished. Though it still reigned, it was with diminished territory,
with its military strength nearly destroyed, and with all its strong
places held by French troops. The Cabinet at Berlin could not venture in
any way to oppose the will of Napoleon. All the kings and princes of the
Confederation of the Rhine were united to France by the closest

Jerome, Napoleon's youngest brother, was king of Westphalia. Louis
reigned in Holland. French influence was supreme in Switzerland. The
Emperor Napoleon was king of Italy, and Joseph, reigning at Naples,
was about to be transferred to Spain. Turkey was allied with France,
seeking from the Emperor protection from the encroachments of Russia.
Consequently England was at war with the Porte.

Spain occupied a peculiar position. The King, Charles IV., a near
relative of Louis XVI., had united with allied Europe in the war against
the French Republic. Terribly punished by the French armies, Spain had
made peace at the treaty of Basle in July, 1795. Soon after, the two
powers entered into an alliance, offensive and defensive, engaging to
assist each other with both land and sea forces.

This brought down upon Spain the vengeance of the British Government,
which, with its invincible fleet, swept all seas. Spanish commerce at
once became the prey of English privateers. Cadiz was bombarded, and the
Spanish naval fleet encountered very severe loss. The peace of Amiens,
to which the British Government had been very reluctantly compelled to
assent by the pressure of English public opinion, gave peace to Spain.
But when the Court of Saint James, by the rupture of the peace of
Amiens, renewed its assault upon France, the Spanish Court, anxious to
avoid a war with England, proposed to Napoleon that, instead of aiding
him directly by fleet and army, according to the terms of the alliance,
Spain should pay France an annual subsidy of six million francs. The
proposition was accepted.

The English minister, ascertaining this, _without any declaration of
war_, seized every thing belonging to Spain which could be found afloat.
As Spain, supposing that her assumed neutrality would be respected, had
her fleet and merchandise everywhere exposed, her loss was very severe.

When the Bourbons of Spain saw that the British Government had succeeded
in forming a new alliance against Napoleon, which would compel the
French Emperor to take his armies hundreds of leagues north to struggle
against the united armies of Prussia and Russia, it was thought that
Napoleon must inevitably fall. Spain decided again to make common cause
with the Allies, as we have before mentioned. A vehement proclamation
was issued, calling the Spaniards to arms. The utter crushing of Prussia
on the fields of Jena and Auerstadt literally frightened Spain out
of her wits. She sent an ambassador extraordinary to _congratulate
Napoleon upon his victory, and to assure him of the continued
friendship of the Spanish Government_. Napoleon concealed his just
resentment. The time to rectify the wrong had not yet come.

Queen Caroline, the wife of Charles IV. of Spain, was one of the most
infamous of women; still she could not be worse than her husband.
There was a very handsome young fellow in the body-guard, named Godoy.
Caroline fell in love with him, made him her intimate friend, lavished
upon him titles and wealth and posts of responsibility. He was called
the Prince of Peace, in consequence of the agency he had in effecting
the treaty of Basle. He was in all respects a very weak and worthless
creature, but he had become in reality the sovereign of Spain, governing
with unlimited power. This man, in his anxiety to disarm the anger of
Napoleon, sent an ambassador to the Emperor to renew his pledges of
friendship, and to give assurance of his entire submission in all things
to Napoleon's will. A secret treaty was accordingly made on the 27th of
October, 1807, which enabled Napoleon, among other concessions, to
station large bodies of French troops within the Spanish territory.

The King's eldest son, Ferdinand, the heir to the throne, was then
twenty-five years of age, and bore the title of the Prince of Asturias.
His mother had truly characterized him as having "a mule's head and a
tiger's heart." He hated Godoy, and was accused of attempting to poison
his father and mother, that he might get the crown. His arrest and
threatened execution by his father roused the masses of Madrid to a fury
of insurrection. Much as they detested Ferdinand, they hated still more
implacably the King and Queen, and the Queen's infamous paramour,
Godoy. A raging insurrection swept the streets of Madrid. The King
was terror-stricken, and implored help from Napoleon. He wrote:

"SIRE, MY BROTHER,--I have discovered with horror that my eldest son,
the heir presumptive to the throne, has not only formed the design to
dethrone me, but even to attempt the life of myself and his mother. Such
an atrocious attempt merits the most exemplary punishment. I pray your
Majesty to aid me by your light and council."

Ferdinand also appealed to the Emperor. He wrote, "The world more and
more daily admires the greatness and goodness of Napoleon. Rest assured
that the Emperor shall ever find in Ferdinand the most faithful and
devoted son. Ferdinand implores, therefore, his powerful protection, and
prays that he will grant him the honor of an alliance with some august
princess of his family."

Thus Napoleon suddenly and unexpectedly found the King of Spain, Godoy,
and the Ferdinands, all kneeling at his feet. Speaking upon this subject
at Saint Helena, he said:

"The fact is, that had it not been for their broils and quarrels among
themselves, I should never have thought of dispossessing them. When I
saw those imbeciles quarrelling and trying to dethrone each other, I
thought I might as well take advantage of it, and dispossess an inimical
family. Had I known at first that the transaction would have given me so
much trouble, or that even it would have cost the lives of two hundred
men, I would never have attempted it. But being once embarked, it was
necessary to go forward."





Abdication of Charles IV.--Ferdinand claims the Crown.--Measures of
Murat.--Ferdinand visits Bayonne.--The Royal Family follow.--Remarks
of Napoleon.--Proclamation of Charles IV.--Joseph Proclaimed King of
Spain.--Remarks of Napoleon.--Opinions of the Junta.--Motives of
Joseph.--Address of the Duke of Infantado.--Addresses from other
Bodies.--Letter from Ferdinand.--A Constitution adopted.--Joseph
leaves Bayonne.--Efforts of the Monks.--Insurrections.--Disappointment
of Joseph.--The Friends of Joseph overawed and silenced.--Encouragement
from the Emperor.--Capitulation of Junot.--Napoleon aroused.--Peril of
Joseph's Government.--Speech to the Legislative Corps.--The marvellous
Energy of Napoleon.--Napoleon visits Spain.--Spanish Boasting.--The
triumphant March of the Emperor.--Napoleon enters Madrid.--Proclamation
of Napoleon.

After a series of the wildest, most tumultuous, and frantic scenes of
which even Spanish history gives any account, Charles IV. abdicated in
favor of his son Ferdinand. On the 20th of March, 1808, the new King,
Ferdinand VII., was saluted by the acclamations of the people and the
soldiers, and received the homage of the Court. One of his first acts
was to arrest the hated Manuel Godoy. Murat was then in command of the
French troops in Spain, and was about entering Madrid. Junot, with a
French army, had taken possession of Portugal. Spain was nominally in
alliance with France. England was consequently waging war against Spain.
The French troops were in Spain to protect the kingdom from the English.

The young King Ferdinand immediately dispatched the Duke of Pargue to
convey assurances of friendship to Murat, and to sound his intentions.
At the same time he sent three of the grandees of Spain to announce his
accession to the throne to Napoleon, and to give him renewed pledges of
his friendship and devotion. On the 23d of April Murat took military
possession of Madrid. The next day Ferdinand made his triumphal entrance
into the metropolis. He was received with boundless exultation, so
greatly were the people rejoiced to be delivered from the detestable
Godoy. Thus far Napoleon did not recognize the accession of Ferdinand.
He however sent the Duke of Rovigo to Madrid to ascertain the
circumstances of the abdication. In the mean time the old King, who had
retired with the Queen to Aranjuez, wrote a letter to the Emperor, in
which he said that he had been forced to abdicate in favor of his son
by the clamors of the people and the insurrection of the soldiers,
threatening him with instant death if he refused.

"I protest and declare," he said, "that my decree of the 19th of March,
in which I abdicated the crown in favor of my son, is an act to which I
have been forced to prevent the greatest misfortunes and the effusion of
the blood of my well-beloved subjects. It ought consequently to be
regarded as of no value."

The Queen also wrote to Murat, entreating him, in the most supplicating
terms, to rescue her paramour Godoy from prison, and stating that they
had abdicated only to save their lives. While Charles IV. and Caroline
were making these secret protestations to Napoleon and Murat, the
abdicated King, to lull the suspicions of Ferdinand, was reiterating the
public declaration that the abdication was free and unconstrained, and
that never in his life had he performed an act more agreeable to his

Murat took the old King and Queen under his protection, provided them
with a suitable guard, and demanded the liberation of Godoy. Ferdinand,
convinced that he could not maintain the throne without the support of
Napoleon, sent his younger brother, Don Carlos, to intercede with the
Emperor in his favor. While these scenes were transpiring, Savary, Duke
of Rovigo, arrived at Madrid. He assured Ferdinand that it was the
Emperor's desire to unite France and Spain in the closest alliance.
He proposed that Ferdinand should visit Napoleon, that in a personal
interview they might the better mutually understand each other. The
counsellors of Ferdinand urged the adoption of this measure, as one
which would secure the confidence of the Emperor, and which might
induce him to give a princess of his family to Ferdinand. Such was the
condition of affairs in April, 1808. The great object of Napoleon was
to secure a government in Spain whose treachery he need not fear, and
upon whose friendly co-operation he could rely. Charles IV., the weakest
of weak men, enslaved by long habit, was the obsequious tool of his
stronger-minded wife. The Queen, Caroline, sought, at whatever price, to
save her lover Godoy. Ferdinand wished to crush Godoy, his implacable

Ferdinand decided to visit the Emperor, and on the 10th of April left
Madrid for that purpose. When he reached his frontiers he wrote a very
suppliant letter to Napoleon, entreating the recognition of his right to
the throne, and pledging his friendship. Napoleon replied that he was
ready to recognize the Prince of Asturias as King of Spain if it should
appear that Charles IV. had not been compelled to abdicate through fear
of his life. By this extraordinary concurrence of circumstances Napoleon
became the judge between the father and the son, both of whom had
appealed to his decision.

Ferdinand, with his suite, crossing the frontiers, hastened to Bayonne,
and entered the city on the morning of the 20th of April. He was
received by the Emperor with distinguished marks of attention and
kindness, but not with regal honors. The Prince of Peace, whose
liberation Murat had secured, came hurrying on to Bayonne, to plead
his cause before the Emperor; and he was followed, in a few hours, by
Charles IV. and the Queen. Thus the whole family was assembled at
Bayonne. The result of several stormy interviews, in which the King,
the Queen, and their son exhausted upon each other the language of
vituperation, and in which the enraged old King was with difficulty
restrained from a violent personal attack upon his son, the parties all
agreed to cede to Napoleon the crown of Spain. Ferdinand first renounced
his rights in favor of his father, and Charles IV. transferred the
sceptre to Napoleon. The imperial palace of Campiegne, its parks and
forests, were placed at the disposition of Charles IV. for himself, his
Queen, and Godoy, during his life, with an annual pension of thirty
million reals. He was also given the _proprietorship_ of the chateau
of Chambord, with its parks, forests, and farms, to dispose of as he
pleased. Upon the death of the King, the Queen was to receive a pension
of two million reals. The two princes, Ferdinand and Don Carlos, were
assigned to the castle of Valencay, its park, forests, and farms, with
an income amounting to about half a million dollars.

It is said that Napoleon obtained at Bayonne such developments of the
character of Ferdinand that he saw that it was utterly in vain to
attempt to make a respectable king of him; one upon whom he could repose
the slightest reliance; and he could no longer think of sacrificing the
daughter of Lucien to so worthless a creature. Speaking upon this
subject at Saint Helena, Napoleon said to Las Casas:

"Ferdinand offered, on his own account, to govern entirely at my
devotion, as much so as the Prince of Peace had done in the name of
Charles IV. And I must admit that if I had fallen into their views I
should have acted much more prudently than I have actually done. When
I had them all assembled at Bayonne, I found myself in command of much
more than I could have ventured to hope for. The same occurred there, as
in many other events of my life, which have been ascribed to my policy,
but in fact were owing to my good-fortune.

"Here I found the Gordian knot before me. I cut it. I proposed to
Charles IV. and the Queen that they should cede to me their rights to
the throne. They at once agreed to it, I had almost said voluntarily; so
deeply were their hearts ulcerated toward their son, and so desirous had
they and their favorite now become of security and repose. The Prince of
Asturias did not make any extraordinary resistance. Neither violence nor
menaces were employed against him. And if fear decided him, which I well
believe was the case, it concerns him alone."

On the 8th of May Charles IV. issued a proclamation to the Spanish
nation, informing them that he had ceded the crown to Napoleon, and
enjoining it upon them to transfer their homage to him. "We have," said
he, "ceded all our rights over Spain to our ally and friend the Emperor
of the French, by a treaty signed and ratified, stipulating the
integrity and independence of Spain and the preservation of our holy
religion, not only as dominant, but as alone tolerated in Spain."

As the throne was thus transferred without any action of the people
whatever, Napoleon felt the necessity of obtaining something like a
national sanction of the deed, and an expression of the national will
in respect to the sovereign who should be placed over them. Murat, at
Madrid, announced to the council-general of Castile, to the junta or
council of the Government, and to the municipality, that the Emperor
desired to know their opinion in reference to the choice of a sovereign
from the princes of his own family. All these three bodies united in the
expression of the wish that the choice should fall upon Prince Joseph,
King of Naples. A deputation of distinguished men was sent to convey
this wish to the Emperor. Fortified by these documents, Napoleon, on the
6th of June, proclaimed that the crown of Spain was transferred to his
brother Joseph.

Joseph was at that time on the road to Bayonne, not yet knowing the
decision of his brother, and in heart very reluctant to assume the
crown of Spain. Napoleon rode out from Bayonne to meet Joseph, whom he
sincerely loved, and who was so ready to sacrifice his inclinations and
his happiness to aid the Emperor in his gigantic plans. The Emperor made
the following statement to Joseph as they rode back together to Bayonne:

"The passions of the princes of the House of Spain have precipitated a
crisis which has arrived too soon. They could no more agree together at
Bayonne than they could in Spain. Charles IV. preferred to retire to
France upon certain conditions, rather than go back to Spain without the
Prince of Peace. The Queen also preferred to see a stranger ascend the
throne rather than Ferdinand. Neither Ferdinand nor any other Spaniard
wished for Charles IV. if the reign of Godoy were to be recommenced;
they preferred a stranger to him. I am fully satisfied," said the
Emperor, "that it would require greater efforts to sustain Charles and
the Prince of Peace than to change the dynasty. Ferdinand has shown
himself so moderate in ability, and so unreliable in character, that it
would be inconsistent for me to commit myself for him in sustaining a
son who has dethroned his father. This dynasty is no longer suitable
for Spain. With it no regeneration is possible. The most prominent
personages of the monarchy, in rank, in intelligence, and in character,
assembled at Bayonne in a national junta, are, in general, convinced of
this truth. Since destiny has so ordered it, and since it is in my power
now to do that which I had no wish to undertake, I have designed to
regenerate Spain by placing over it my brother, the King of Naples,
who is agreeable to the junta, and who will be also so to the nation.
Ferdinand has, for a long time, sought one of my nieces in marriage. But
since the interview at Bayonne, knowing more intimately the character of
the prince, I can not think it proper to accede to his demands.

"The Spanish princes have already left for France. They have ceded their
rights to the crown. I wish to transfer the crown to my brother, the
King of Naples. It is important that he should not hesitate. The
Spaniards, as also foreign sovereigns, will think that I wish to place
that crown upon my head, as I have done with that of Lombardy when
Joseph refused to accept it. The tranquillity of Spain, of Europe, the
reconciliation of all the members of the family[R] depend upon the
decision which Joseph now makes. I will not cherish the thought that the
regret to leave a beautiful country, where there are no longer any
dangers to be encountered, can induce Joseph to refuse a throne, where
there are great obstacles to be overcome, and much good to be

[Footnote R: Napoleon then contemplated making Lucien King of Naples.]

When they reached Bayonne, Joseph found all the members of the Junta
assembled in the chateau of Marrac. He responded vaguely to the address
of congratulation the Junta made to him, wishing first to converse with
each individual member of that body. The Spanish princes left for
Valencay, and Charles IV. had no partisans whatever. The Duke of
Infantado and M. Cevallos had been considered the warmest advocates of
Ferdinand. They both called upon Joseph, and held a long interview with
him. The duke offered him his services, saying that he had possessions
in the kingdom of Naples, and that his agents there had informed him of
the wonders which Joseph had wrought. "If Joseph," said he, "can be in
Spain what he has been in Naples, there is no doubt that the entire
nation will rally around him." M. Cevallos expressed the same views.
Joseph then saw every member of the Junta individually, nearly one
hundred in number. They all, without exception, described the
wretchedness into which Spain had fallen, and the apparent facility with
which it could be regenerated. Upon one point they all agreed: that it
would be impossible to live in peace under either the father or the son;
that Joseph alone, sacrificing the throne of Naples that he might ascend
that of Spain, would meet the wishes of all parties, and bring back
prosperity to the distracted realm.

These assurances, which were given to Joseph by all the members of the
Spanish Junta assembled at Bayonne, that his acceptance of the throne
would calm all troubles, assure the independence of the monarchy, the
integrity of its territory, its liberty, and its happiness, roused his
generous enthusiasm. "He yielded," writes his biographer, "sacrificing
his dearest interests to the hope of doing good to a greater number
of people, and decided to accept the crown which was offered him. He
considered it his duty to occupy the most dangerous post. Virtue, not
ambition, led Joseph to Spain."

The Emperor wished to introduce into Spain the same advanced principles
of popular liberty which Joseph, by the Constitution, had conferred upon
Naples. With that object he convoked at Bayonne, on the 15th of June, a
Spanish assembly, called the _Constitutional Junta_. This Congress was
to consist of one hundred and fifty persons of the most distinguished
orders in the state, though but about one hundred were actually
convened. A large number had already assembled when Joseph reached
Bayonne. They hastened to welcome him. Many of them, however, afterward
proved his most inveterate enemies. The Duke of Infantado, addressing
him in the name of the grandees of Spain, said,

"Sire, the Spaniards expect, from the reign of your Majesty, all their
happiness. They ardently desire your presence in Spain to fix ideas, to
conciliate all interests, and to establish that order so necessary for
the regeneration of the country. Sire, the grandees of Spain have always
been distinguished by their fidelity to their sovereigns. Your Majesty
will experience this, as also our personal affection. Receive, sire,
these testimonies of our loyalty with that kindliness so well known by
your people of Naples, the renown of which has reached even to us."

The deputation of the Royal Council of Castile said to the new King:
"Sire, your Majesty is a branch of a family destined by Heaven to reign.
May Heaven grant that our prayers may be heard, and that your Majesty
may become the most happy King in the universe, as we desire for him in
the name of the supreme tribunal of which we are the deputies."

Even the Inquisitor, Don Raymond Estenhard, organ of the councils of
the Inquisition, declared in their name "that they were full of fidelity
and of affection; that they offered their prayers for Joseph, who was
charged to govern the country, that he might find happiness in his own
heart by contributing to the happiness of his subjects, and that he
might elevate them to that degree of prosperity which might be expected
from him, particularly when aided by the genius and power of his august
brother, Napoleon the Great."

The Duke of Pargue, at the head of a deputation representing the army,
gave the same assurances of homage and support. Even Ferdinand wrote
Joseph a letter of congratulation, dated Valencay, June 22. It was as

"SIRE,--Permit me, in the name of my brother and of my uncle,[S] as well
as in my own, to testify to your Majesty the part which we have taken
in his induction to the throne of Spain. The object of all our desires
having ever been the happiness of the generous nation which he is
called to govern, that happiness is now complete, in view of the
accession to the throne of Spain of a prince whose virtues have rendered
him so dear to the Neapolitans. We hope your Majesty will accept our
prayers for his happiness, to which is united that of our country, and
that he will grant to us his friendship, to which we are entitled, for
the friendship which we feel for your Majesty. I pray your Catholic
Majesty to receive the oath which I owe him as King of Spain, and also
the oath of the Spaniards who are now with me. From your Catholic
Majesty's affectionate brother."

[Footnote S: Don Carlos and Don Antonio.]

The Constitutional Junta of Spain commenced its session at Bayonne on
the 15th of June. Ninety-one members were present. A constitution was
presented very much resembling that which had been conferred upon
Naples. It was discussed and voted upon with perfect freedom. Finally,
on the 7th of July, it was accepted as amended by the signature of all
the members; "considering," as the act said, "that we are convinced
that under the regime which the Constitution establishes, and under the
government of a prince as just as the one whom we have the happiness
to possess, Spain and all its possessions will be as happy as we can
desire it to be."

The Constitution being accepted, Joseph appointed his ministry and
constituted his court; placing all the important offices in the hands
of distinguished Spaniards. On the 9th of July Joseph left Bayonne and
entered Spain, accompanied by the members of the Junta, many grandees
of Spain, his ministers, and the officers of his household.

Many have reproached Joseph for having accepted the crown. But it should
be remembered that when he arrived at Bayonne, the treaty of abdication
by the Spanish princes had already been signed. An assemblage of Spanish
notables met him there, and entreated him to accept the crown, to rescue
Spain from ruin. There seemed to be no dissent from the opinion that his
presence would be the signal of peace and harmony, that it would calm
agitation, and unite all parties. In a word, they declared that it
was the only way to rescue the country from anarchy, and from those
calamities which menaced its entire ruin. The intelligence of the nation
exulted in the change, as promising a new era of equality and

On the 20th of July Joseph arrived in Madrid. There were about eighty
thousand French troops in Spain. Much to Joseph's surprise and
disappointment, he found, all over the kingdom, in the provinces,
insurrection rising against him. These scattered bands soon amounted,
it was estimated, to one hundred and fifty thousand men. The fanatic
monks, alarmed in view of the changes which had been effected in Naples,
were very active in rousing the peasantry to resistance. The British
Government, which was then at war with Spain because it was the ally
of Napoleon, instantly espoused the cause of the insurgents, and
contributed all its energies of fleet and army and money to drive Joseph
out of Spain.

The new sovereign had entered Madrid without being greeted with any
signal demonstrations of enthusiasm. In accordance with the established
etiquette of the realm, he was received at the foot of the grand stairs
of the palace by the nobility of the country, and was proclaimed king in
the public squares and principal streets of Madrid with the accustomed
ceremonies upon the advent of a new sovereign. Intensely occupied with
the cares of his new government, Joseph did not, for some time, fully
comprehend the perils which menaced him. Step by step he was led on, as
he quelled here and there a popular insurrection, until he found himself
involved in a stern war with the great mass of the Spanish peasantry,
with all the priesthood fanning the flames of opposition, and the
British Government energetically co-operating with purse and sword. It
would require volumes to describe, with any degree of minuteness, the
tremendous struggle. Napier has performed that task in his immortal work
upon the Peninsular War.

Joseph soon awoke to a full realization of the peril of his position. On
the 13th of July he wrote to the Emperor from Burgos at three o'clock in
the morning, "It seems to me that no person has been willing to tell
the exact truth to your Majesty. I ought not to conceal it. The task
undertaken is very great. To accomplish it with honor will require
immense resources. Fear does not make me see double.

"In leaving Naples, I have indeed yielded my life to the most hazardous
events. My life is of but little consequence. I surrender it to you. But
in order not to live with the shame attached to failure, great resources
are requisite in men and money. I am not alarmed, in view of my
position. But it is unique in history. I have not here a single

Again, on the 19th, he wrote, "It is evident that we have not the soil,
since all the provinces are in insurrection or occupied by considerable
armies of the enemy."

On the 28th of July he wrote, "I have no need to inform your Majesty
that one hundred thousand men are necessary to conquer Spain. I repeat
it, that we have not a partisan, and the entire nation is exasperated,
and decided to sustain with arms the part which it has embraced.

"All my Spanish officers except five or six have abandoned me. The
disposition of the nation is unanimous against that which has been done
at Bayonne."

On the 6th of August he wrote, "Your Majesty recommends me to be happy.
Never have I been so tranquil and so well, and so indefatigable; and if
I have occasion to envy in your Majesty a superior genius which has
always enabled him to command victory, I have that in common with all
the world. But I have no need to envy any person for composure and
tranquillity of soul. And I must avow that I find that adversity enables
me to experience a sentiment which is not without a certain charm; it
is to be above adversity."

The Emperor endeavored to cheer his despondent brother with hopeful
words. On the 19th of July he wrote him, "I see with pain that you are
troubled. It is the only misfortune which I fear. You have a great many
partisans in Spain, but they are intimidated. They are all the honest
people. I do not the less admit that your task is great and glorious.
You ought not to consider it extraordinary that you have to conquer your
kingdom. Philip V. and Henry IV. were obliged to conquer theirs. Be
happy. Do not permit yourself to be easily affected, and do not doubt
for an instant that every thing will end sooner and more happily than
you think."

Again, on the 1st of August, Napoleon wrote, "Whatever reverses fortune
may have in store for you, do not be uneasy; in a short time you will
have more than one hundred thousand men. All is in motion, but it must
have time. You will reign. You will have conquered your subjects, in
order to become their father. The best of kings have passed through this
school. Above all, health to you and happiness, that is to say, strength
of mind."

On the 3d of August the Emperor again wrote, "You can not think, my
friend, how much pain the idea gives me, that you are struggling with
events as much above what you are accustomed to, as they are beneath
your natural character.... Tell me that you are well, in good spirits,
and are becoming accustomed to the soldier's trade. You have a fine
opportunity to study it."

General Junot, with a small French force, at that time held possession
of Portugal. The Cabinet of Saint James offered to the Spanish Junta at
Seville to send an army of about thirty thousand men to co-operate with
the Spaniards in their struggle against the French. For some unknown
reason the offer was declined, and the troops were sent to Portugal.
These British troops, acting in vigorous co-operation with the
Portuguese, greatly outnumbered the French, and, after a severe battle
at Torres Vedras, Junot capitulated at the Convention of Cintra, and his
army re-embarked, and was transported to France. This event added
greatly to the embarrassment of Joseph. Junot had afforded him much
moral and even material support. Now Junot was driven from the
Peninsula, and a British army of over thirty thousand men, under the
ablest officers, and flushed with victory, was on the frontiers of
Spain, ready in every way to co-operate with the Spaniards.

This roused Napoleon. He was the last man to recoil before difficulties.
He had the honor of his arms to avenge, and his policy to justify by
success. Never before, in the history of the world, was there such a
display of energy, sagacity, and power. He well knew that all dynastic
Europe was hostile to those principles of popular liberty which were
represented by his name, and that, notwithstanding the obligations of
treaties, they were ever ready to spring to arms against him whenever
they should see an opportunity to strike him a fatal blow.

Napoleon at once ordered eighty thousand veteran troops of the grand
army from the north to assemble at Bayonne. He hastened to Erfurt to
hold an interview with Alexander to strengthen their alliance, and to
prevent, if possible, a new coalition from being formed against him
while absent with his troops in Spain. The Spanish insurgents, as they
were called--for they had no established government--were everywhere
triumphant. The French army was driven out of Madrid, and, in a state
of great destitution, was standing on the defensive. Joseph and all his
generals were thoroughly disheartened, and were only anxious to devise
some honorable way by which they could abandon the enterprise. The
priests, with a crucifix in one hand and a dagger in the other, had
traversed the realms of Spain and Portugal, rousing the religious
fanaticism of the unenlightened masses almost to frenzy. Charles IV.,
his Queen, and Ferdinand had all been intensely devoted to the interests
of the Church. The French were represented as infidels, and as the foes
of the Church. The whole nation was roused against them. Even the women
took an active part in the conflict, perilling their own lives upon the
field, and inspiring the men with the courage of desperation. The
English, victorious in Portugal, were now welcomed into Spain. They
lavished their gold in paying the Spanish armies. Their fleet was busy
in transporting supplies. To all Europe the position of Joseph seemed
utterly hopeless.

On the 25th of October, Napoleon, on the eve of leaving Paris for Spain,
said, at the opening of the Legislative Corps:

"A part of my troops are marching against the armies which England has
formed or disembarked in Spain. It is an especial favor of Providence,
which has constantly protected our arms, that passion has so blinded the
counsels of the English, that they have renounced the protection of the
seas, and at length present their armies on the Continent.

"I leave in a few days, to place myself at the head of my army, and,
with the aid of God, to crown in Madrid the King of Spain, and to plant
my eagles upon the forts of Lisbon.

"The Emperor of Russia and I have met at Erfurt. Our first thought has
been of peace. We have even resolved to make many sacrifices that, if
possible, the hundred millions of men whom we represent may enjoy the
benefits of maritime commerce. We are in perfect harmony, and
unchangeably united for peace as for war."

In the mean time Joseph, struggling heroically against adversity, and
exceedingly embarrassed by the false position in which he found himself
placed, received many consoling messages of confidence and affection
from prominent men in the Spanish nation. We present the following
extract from a letter addressed to him on the 2d of September, 1808, by
M. M. Azanza and Urquijo, as a specimen of many others which might be

"We do not doubt that your Majesty contemplates, with deepest grief, the
disasters with which Spain is menaced, by the obstinacy of those people
who will not know the true interests of the realm. But at least no one
is ignorant that your Majesty has done and is doing every thing which is
humanly possible to avoid such calamities for his subjects. The day will
come when they will recognize the benevolent intentions and paternal
kindness of your Majesty; and they will respond to it by testimonies of
gratitude and of fidelity which will fill with contentment the noble
heart of your Majesty."

The almost supernatural power of the Emperor was never more
conspicuously displayed than in the brief, triumphant, overwhelming
campaign which ensued. He wrote to Joseph from Erfurt, "I leave
to-morrow for Paris, and within a month shall be at Bayonne. Send me the
exact position of the army, that I may form a definite organization by
making as little displacement as possible. In the present state of
affairs, we may conclude that the presumption of the enemy will lead
him to remain in the positions which he now occupies. The nearer he
remains to us the better it will be. The war can be terminated in a
single blow by a skillfully-combined manoeuvre, and for that it is
necessary that I should be there."

The single blow Napoleon contemplated would unquestionably have
annihilated his foes, but for an inopportune movement of Marshal
Lefebre. As it was, it required three or four blows, which were
delivered with stunning and bewildering power and rapidity. On the 29th
of October Napoleon took his carriage for Bayonne. Madrid was distant
from Paris about seven hundred miles. The rains of approaching winter
had deluged the roads. He soon abandoned his carriage, and mounted his
horse. Apparently insensible to exposure or fatigue, he pressed forward
by night and by day, until, at two o'clock in the morning of the 3d of
November, he reached Bayonne. He found that his orders had not been
obeyed, and that the troops, instead of being concentrated, had been
dispersed. Instantly, at the very hour of his arrival, new life was
infused into every thing. He seemed by instinct to comprehend the
posture of affairs, and to know just what was to be done. Orders were
issued with amazing rapidity; couriers flew in all directions. Barracks
were erected; the troops were reviewed; unexecuted contracts were thrown
up; agents were sent in every direction to purchase all the cloths in
the south of France; hundreds of hands were busy in cutting and making
garments; and at the close of a day of such work as few mortals have
ever accomplished, Napoleon leaped into his saddle and galloped sixty
miles over the mountains to Tolosa, on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees.
Here he indulged in an hour or two of rest, and then galloped on thirty
miles farther to Vittoria. He encamped with the Imperial Guard outside
of the city.

The Spaniards have always been accused of a tendency to vainglorious
boasting. The trivial successes which they had attained, in alliance
with the English, quite intoxicated them. "We have conquered," they
said, "the armies of the great Napoleon. We will soon trample all his
hosts in the dust. With an army of five hundred thousand indignant
Spaniards we will march upon Paris, and sack the city. The powers of
Russia, Austria, and Prussia have fallen before Napoleon; but Spanish
peasants, headed by the priests and the monks, will roll back the tide
of victory." Such was the insane boasting.

Napoleon was, at the same time, the boldest and the most cautious of
generals. He ever made provision for every possible reverse. Stationing
two strong forces to guard his flanks, he took fifty thousand of the
_elite_ of his army, and plunged upon the centre of the Spanish troops.
Such an onset none but veterans could withstand. There was scarcely the
semblance of a battle. The Spaniards fled, throwing down their arms,
and leaping like goats amidst the crags of the mountains. Pressing
resistlessly forward, Napoleon reached Burgos on the night of the 11th.
Here the Spaniards attempted another stand upon some strongly intrenched
heights. A brief conflict scattered them in the wildest confusion,
defeated, disbanded, leaving cannon, muskets, flags, and munitions of

Onward he swept, without a check, without delay, crushing, overwhelming,
scattering his foes, over the intrenched heights of Espinosa, through
the smouldering streets of the town, across the bridge of Trueba, choked
with terrified fugitives, through the pass of Somosierra, in one of the
most astounding achievements which war has ever witnessed, till he led
his victorious troops, with no foe within his reach, into the streets of
Madrid. He commenced the campaign at Vittoria on the 9th of November,
and on the 4th of December his army was encamped in the squares of the
Spanish metropolis. Europe gazed upon this meteoric phenomenon with
astonishment and alarm.

The Spanish populace had been roused mainly by the priests. In their
frenzy, burning and assassinating, they overawed all who were in favor
of regenerating Spain by a change of dynasty. It is the undisputed
testimony that the proprietors, the merchants, the inhabitants generally
who were rich, or in easy circumstances, and even the magistrates and
military chiefs, were quite disposed to listen to the propositions of
the Emperor. But overawed by the populace, who threatened to carry
things to the last extremity, they dared not manifest their sentiments.

As the French army took possession of the city, order was immediately
restored. The theatres were re-opened, the shops displayed their wares,
the tides of business and pleasure flowed unobstructed along the
streets. Numerous deputations, embracing the most wealthy and
respectable inhabitants of Madrid, waited upon the Emperor with their
congratulations, and renewed their protestations of fidelity to Joseph.
The Emperor then issued a proclamation to the Spanish nation, in which
he said,

"I have declared, in a proclamation of the 2d of June, that I wished to
be the regenerator of Spain. To the rights which the princes of the
ancient dynasties have ceded to me, you have wished that I should add
the rights of conquest. That, however, shall not change my inclination
to serve you. I wish to encourage every thing that is noble in your
exertions. All that is opposed to your prosperity and your grandeur I
wish to destroy. The shackles which have enslaved the people I have
broken. I have given you a liberal constitution, and, in the place of an
absolute monarchy, a monarchy mild and limited. It depends upon
yourselves whether that constitution shall still be your law."




Retreat of Sir John Moore and Sir David Baird.--The Spanish Deputation.
--Anecdote of Napoleon.--Atrocities of the English.--Testimony of
Alison.--Napoleon at Astorga.--A new Coalition.--Anxiety of the
Emperor.--New Year's Wishes.--Napoleon's Response.--Magnanimity of
Napoleon.--Reforms introduced.--Escape of Sir John Moore.--Efforts of
the British Government.--Testimony of Alison.--Fury of the Populace.
--The Siege of Saragossa.--Savagery of Armies.--Discouragement of the
Spaniards.--Victory of General St. Cyr.--French Victories.--Desolations
of War.--Testimony of Alison.--Joseph's mistaken Views.--The Hostility
of the Allies to Napoleon personally.--Joseph's Want of Appreciation.
--Character of Joseph.--Remarks of the Duke of Wellington.--Siege of
Oporto.--Awful Slaughter.--Oporto Taken by Storm.--Continued Scenes
of Carnage.--Napoleon's Remarks to O'Meara.--Joseph at Malaga.
--Embarrassments of Joseph's Position.

In less than five weeks from the time when Napoleon first placed his
foot upon the soil of Spain he was master of more than half the kingdom.
Sir John Moore, with an army of about 30,000 Englishmen, was marching
rapidly from Portugal, to form a junction with another English army
of about 10,000 men under Sir David Baird, who were advancing from
Corunna. It was supposed in England that the co-operation of these
highly-disciplined troops with the masses of the Spaniards who had
already fought so valiantly, would speedily secure the overthrow of the

But when Sir John Moore and Sir David Baird learned that Napoleon
himself was in Spain, that he had scattered the Spanish armies before
him as the tornado drives the withered leaves of the forest, that he was
already in possession of Madrid, and would soon be ready to direct all
his energies against them, they were both greatly alarmed, and, turning
about, fled precipitately back to their ships. A deputation of about
twelve hundred of the notables of Spain called upon Napoleon, to confer
with him respecting the affairs of the kingdom. He informed them very
fully of the benefits he wished to confer upon Spain by rescuing the
people from the dominion of the old feudal lords, and bringing them into
harmony with the more enlightened views of modern times. He closed his
remarks to them by saying,

"The present generation will differ in opinion respecting me. Too many
passions have been called into exercise. But your posterity will be
grateful to me as their regenerator. They will place in the number of
memorable days those in which I have appeared among you. From those days
will be dated the prosperity of Spain. These are my sentiments. Go
consult your fellow-citizens. Choose your part, but do it frankly, and
exhibit only true colors."

General Moore was retreating toward Corunna. An English fleet had
repaired to that port to receive the troops on board. On the 22d of
December Napoleon left Madrid, with 40,000 men, to pursue the flying
foe. The Spaniards, instead of rallying to the support of the English,
whom they never loved, dispersed in all directions, leaving them to
their fate. "The Spanish insurgents," says Napier, "were conscious that
they were fighting the battles of England. To restore Spain to
Ferdinand, England expended one hundred millions sterling ($500,000,000)
on her own operations. She subsidized Spain and Portugal besides, and
with her supply of clothing, arms, and ammunition, maintained the armies
of both, even to the guerrillas."[T]

[Footnote T: Napier, vol. iii. p. 78, vol iv. p. 438.]

By forced marches the Imperial troops rushed along, threading the
defiles of the mountains of Gaudarrama in mid-winter, through drifts and
storms of snow. Napoleon climbed the mountains on foot, sharing all the
toil and peril of his troops. Such a leader any army would follow with
enthusiasm. In one of the wildest passes of the mountains he passed a
night in a miserable hut. Savary, who was with him, writes:

"The single mule which carried his baggage was brought to this wretched
house. He was provided with a good fire, a tolerable supper, and a bed.
On those occasions the Emperor was not selfish. He was quite unmindful
of the next day's wants when he alone was concerned. He shared his
supper and his fire with all who had been able to keep up with him, and
even compelled those to eat whose reserve kept them back."

General Moore was straining every nerve to escape. The weather was
frightful, and the miry roads almost impassable. The advance-guard of
Napoleon was soon within a day's march of the foe. General Moore, as he
fled, blew up the bridges behind him, and recklessly plundered the
wretched inhabitants. His troops became exceedingly exasperated against
the Spaniards for their cowardly desertion, and reproached them with

"We ungrateful!" the Spaniards replied; "you came here to serve your own
interests, and now you are running away without defending us."

So bitter was the hostility which thus arose between the English and the
Spaniards, and the brutality of the drunken English soldiers was so
insupportable, that the Spaniards often welcomed the French troops, who
were under far better discipline, as their deliverers. Sir Archibald
Alison, in his account of these scenes, says:

"The native and uneradicable vice of northern climates, drunkenness,
here appeared in frightful colors. The great wine-vaults of Bembibre
proved more fatal than the sword of the enemy. And when the gallant
rear-guard, which preserved its ranks unbroken, closed up the array,
they had to force their way through a motley crowd of English and
Spanish soldiers, stragglers and marauders, who reeled out of the houses
in disgusting crowds, or lay stretched upon the roadside, an easy prey
to the enemy's cavalry, which thundered in close pursuit.

"The condition of the army became daily more deplorable; the frost had
been succeeded by the thaw; rain and sleet fell in torrents; the roads
were almost broken up; the horses foundered at every step; the few
artillery-wagons which had kept up fell, one by one, to the rear; and
being immediately blown up to prevent their falling into the hands of
the enemy, gave melancholy tokens, by the sound of their explosions, of
the work of destruction which was going on."

On the 2d of January Napoleon's advance-guard had reached Astorga.
Notwithstanding the condition of the roads, and all the efforts of the
retreating foe, an army of forty thousand men had marched two hundred
miles in ten days. It was a cold and stormy winter morning when
Napoleon left Astorga, in continuance of the pursuit. He had proceeded
but a few miles on horseback, when he was overtaken by a courier from
France, bearing important dispatches. The Emperor alighted by the
roadside, and, standing by a fire which his attendants kindled, read the
documents. His officers gathered anxiously around him, watching the
expression of his countenance as he read.

The dispatches informed Napoleon that Austria had entered into a new
alliance with England to attack him on the north, and that the
probability was, that Turkey, exasperated by Napoleon's alliance with
Russia, would also be drawn into the coalition. It was also stated that,
though Alexander personally was strong in his friendship for Napoleon,
the Russian nobles, hostile to the principle of equal rights, inscribed
upon the French banners, were raising an opposition of such daily
increasing strength, that it was feared the Czar also might be compelled
to join in the new crusade against France.

To conduct the war in Spain, Napoleon had withdrawn one hundred
thousand of his best troops from the Rhine. His frontiers were thus
greatly exposed. For a moment it was said that Napoleon was staggered
by the blow. The vision of another European war, France struggling
single-handed against all the combined powers of the Continent, appalled
him. Slowly, sadly he rode back to Astorga, deeply pondering the awful
question. There was clearly but one of two courses before him. He must
either ignobly abandon the conflict in favor of equality of rights, and
allow the chains of the old feudal despotism to be again riveted upon
France, and all the new governments in sympathy with France, or he must
struggle manfully to the end. All around him were impressed with the
utter absorption of his mind in these thoughts. As he rode back with
his retinue, not a word was spoken. Napoleon seldom asked advice.

Soon his decision was formed, and all dejection and hesitation
disappeared. It was necessary for him immediately to direct all his
energies toward the Rhine. He consequently relinquished the personal
pursuit of the English; and commissioning Marshal Soult to press them
with all vigor, he prepared to return to France. Rapidly retracing
his steps to Valladolid, he spent five days in giving the most minute
directions for the movements of the army, and for the administration
of affairs in Spain. In those few days he performed an amount of labor
which seems incredible. He had armies in France, Spain, Italy, and
Germany, and he guided all their movements, even to the minute details.

On the first day of the year Joseph had written to Napoleon, and, in the
expression of those kindly sympathies which the advent of a new year
awakens, had said, "I pray your Majesty to accept my wishes that, in the
course of this year, Europe, pacified by your efforts, may render
justice to your intentions."

Napoleon replied, "I thank you for what you say relative to the new
year. I do not hope that Europe can this year be pacified. So little
do I hope it, that I have just issued a decree for levying one hundred
thousand men. The rancor of England, the events of Constantinople,
every thing, in short, indicates that the hour of rest and quiet is
not arrived."

The Emperor, having finished his dispatches at Valladolid, mounted his
horse, and set out for Paris. Mr. J. T. Headley thus describes this
marvellous ride:

"In the first five hours he rode the astonishing distance of
eighty-five miles, or seventeen miles the hour. This wild gallop was
long remembered by the inhabitants of the towns through which the
smoking cavalcade of the Emperor passed. Relays of horses had been
provided on the road; and no sooner did he arrive at one post, than he
flung himself on a fresh horse, and, sinking his spurs in his flanks,
dashed away in headlong speed. Few who saw that short figure, surmounted
with a plain chapeau, sweep by on that day, ever forgot it. His pale
face was calm as marble, but his lips were compressed, and his brow knit
like iron; while his flashing eye, as he leaned forward, still jerking
impatiently at the bridle as if to accelerate his speed, seemed to
devour the distance. No one spoke, but the whole suite strained forward
in the breathless race. The gallant chasseurs had never had so long and
so wild a ride before."

Napoleon had acted a very noble part toward his brother. The masses
of the Spanish people were very ignorant and fanatical. The priests,
wielding over them supernatural terrors, controlled them at will. There
were certain reforms which were essential to the regeneration of Spain.
But these reforms would exasperate the priests, and, through them, the
people. Napoleon, anxious to save his brother from the odium of these
necessary measures, took the responsibility of them upon himself. He
issued a series of decrees when he entered Madrid as a conqueror, and
by virtue of the acknowledged rights of conquest, in which, after
proclaiming pardon for all political offenses, he introduced the
following reforms.

The execrable institution of the Inquisition was abolished. The number
of convents, which had been thronged with indolent monks, was reduced
one-half. One-half of the property of these abolished convents was
appropriated to the payment of the salary of the laboring clergy.
The other half was set apart to the payment of the public debt. The
custom-houses between the several provinces of the kingdom, which had
been a great source of national embarrassment, were removed, and
imposts were collected only on the frontiers. All feudal privileges
were annulled.

These measures, of course, exasperated the priests and the nobles.
Unfortunately the people were too ignorant to appreciate their full
value. As Joseph returned to Madrid, under the protection of the arms
of his imperial brother, though the bells rang merrily, and pealing
cannon uttered their voices of welcome, and though the most respectable
portion of the middle class received him with satisfaction, there was no
enthusiasm among the populace, and the clergy and the nobility received
him with suspicion and dislike. The Emperor, upon his departure, had
confided to Joseph the command of the army in Spain. But the great
generals of Napoleon, ever ready to bow to the will of the Emperor,
whose superiority they all recognized, yielded a reluctant obedience to
Joseph, whom they did not consider their superior in the art of war.

Sir John Moore continued his precipitate flight, vigorously pursued by
Marshal Soult. "There was never," says Napier, "so complete an example
of a disastrous retreat. Abandoning their wagons, blowing up their
ammunition, and strewing their path with the debris of an utterly routed
army, they finally, with torn, bleeding, and greatly-diminished columns,
escaped to their ships."

The new coalition in Germany against Napoleon rendering it necessary
for him to withdraw a large part of his troops from Spain, greatly
encouraged the foes of the new regime. The British Government, animated
by its success in inducing Austria again to co-operate in an attack upon
France, and sanguine in the hope of drawing Russia and Turkey into the
coalition, which would surely bring the armies of Prussia into the same
line of battle, redoubled its efforts in Spain and Portugal. Emissaries
were sent everywhere to rouse the populace. Gold was lavished, and arms
and ammunition were transmitted by the British fleet to important

A central junta was assembled at Seville. It issued a proclamation,
calling upon the people everywhere to rise in guerrilla bands. The
whole male population was summoned to the field. Death was the penalty
denounced upon all those who, by word or deed, favored the French.
Twenty thousand troops in Portugal were taken under British pay, and
placed under British officers, so that, while nominally it was a
Portuguese army, it was in reality but a British force of mercenaries.
Numerous transports conveyed a large body of troops from England under
Sir Arthur Wellesley, which was landed in Lisbon.

Where the French army had control, there seemed to be a disposition,
especially among the most intelligent and opulent portion of the
people, to accept the new regime of Joseph. The bitterest foe of Joseph
will not deny that the reforms which he was endeavoring to introduce
were admirable, and absolutely essential to the regeneration of Spain.
The British Government wished to restore the old regime under Ferdinand;
for that Government was in sympathy with the British rule of
aristocratic privilege. The French Government wished to maintain the new
regime under Joseph, because that Government would bring Spain into
sympathy with France, in her defensive struggle against the combined
despotisms of Europe. Popular opinion in Spain seemed now to be upon one
side, and again upon the other, according to the presence of the
different armies.

"At Madrid," says Alison, "Joseph reigned with the apparent consent of
the nation. Registers having been open for the inscription of those who
were favorable to his government, no less than twenty-eight thousand
heads of families in a few days enrolled themselves. And deputations
from the Municipal Council, the Council of the Indies, and all the
incorporations, waited upon him at Valladolid, to entreat that he would
return to the capital and reassume the royal functions, to which he at
length complied."

At Saragossa, on the other hand, Joseph was opposed with persistence
and bravery, which has rendered the siege of Saragossa one of the most
memorable events in the annals of war. A very determined leader,
Parafox, with about thirty thousand men, threw himself into that city. A
proclamation was issued, declaring that no mercy would be shown to those
who manifested any sympathy for the reign of Joseph. Suspicion was
sufficient to doom one to mob violence and a cruel death.

"Terror," says Alison, "was summoned to the aid of loyalty. And the
fearful engines of popular power, the scaffold and the gallows, were
erected on the public square, where some unhappy wretches, suspected
of a leaning to the enemy, were indignantly executed.

"The passions of the people were roused to the very highest pitch by the
dread of treason, or any accommodation with the enemy. And popular
vehemence, overwhelming all restraints of law or order, sacrificed
almost every night persons to the blind suspicions of the multitude, who
were found hanging in the morning on the gallows erected in the Corso
and market-place."

The priests summoned the peasants from all the region around, so that
soon there were fifty thousand armed men within the walls, inspired by
as determined a spirit of resistance as ever possessed the human heart.
The siege was commenced about the middle of December with thirty-five
thousand men, according to the statement of Napier. It is generally
understood in warfare that one man, acting upon the defensive within a
fortress, is equal to at least five men making the assault from the
outside. But in the memorable siege of Saragossa, the besieged had a
third more men than the besiegers. Alison thinks Napier incorrect, and
makes the besieging force forty-three thousand. This gives the besieged
a superiority of seven thousand men. It surely speaks volumes for the
courage and skill of the French army, that under such circumstances the
siege could have been conducted to a successful issue, especially when
the determination and bravery of the people of Saragossa are represented
as almost without a parallel.

The scenes of woe which ensued within the walls of Saragossa no pen can
describe, no imagination can conceive. In addition to the garrison of
fifty thousand men, the city was crowded with women and children, the
aged and the infirm. For fifty days the storm of war raged, with
scarcely a moment's intermission. Thirty-three thousand cannon shots and
sixteen thousand bombs were thrown into the thronged streets. Fifty-four
thousand human beings perished in the city during these fifty days--more
than a thousand a day. Many perished of famine and of pestilence. When
the French marched into the town, there were six thousand dead still
unburied. There were sixteen thousand helplessly sick, and many of them
dying. Only twelve thousand of the garrison remained, pale, emaciate,
skeleton men, who, as captives of war, were conveyed to France. When we
reflect that all this heroism and bravery were displayed, and all these
unspeakable woes endured, to re-introduce the reign of as despicable a
monarch as ever sat upon a throne, and to rivet the chains of despotism
upon an ignorant, debased, and enslaved people, one can not but mourn
over the sad lot of humanity.

The rank and file of armies is never composed of men of affectionate,
humane, and angelic natures. It is the tiger in the man which makes the
reckless soldier. Familiarity with crime, outrage, misery, renders the
soul callous. There is no rigor of army discipline which can prevent
atrocities that should cause even fiends to blush. The story of the
sweep of armies never can be truly told.

As all the physical strength of the region for leagues around Saragossa
had been gathered in that city, its fall secured the submission of the
surrounding country. Lannes was called to join the grand army in
Germany. Junot, who was left in command of the troops at Saragossa,
prepared for an expedition against Valencia. City after city passed,
with scarcely any resistance, into the hands of the French. The campaign
in Germany rendered it necessary for Napoleon to withdraw all his best
troops, leaving Joseph to maintain his position in Spain, with a motley
group of Italians, Swiss, and Germans, who were by no means inspired
either with the political intelligence or the martial enthusiasm of the

The Spanish peasants, depressed by failure, and inspired, not by
intelligent conviction, but by momentary religious fanaticism, threw
down their arms and returned to their homes. There was but little
integrity or sense of honor to be found in Spain, long demoralized by a
wretched government; and the immense supplies which England furnished
were embezzled or misapplied. The Spaniards are not cowards. The feeble
resistance they often made proved that they took but little interest in
the issues of the war. Ferdinand had done nothing to win their regard.
But he was a Spanish prince, in the regular line of descent from their
ancient kings. Joseph Bonaparte was a stranger, a foreigner, about to be
imposed upon them by the aid of foreign arms. It was easy, under these
circumstances, to rouse a transient impulse for Ferdinand, but not an
abiding devotion.

General Duhesme was in Barcelona with a few thousand troops, cut off
from communication with his friends by the English fleet, and a large
army of Spanish peasants which was collected to secure his capture.
General St. Cyr, with about sixteen thousand infantry and cavalry,
marched to his relief. In a narrow defile, amidst rocks and forests, he
encountered a Spanish force forty thousand strong, drawn up in a most
favorable position to arrest his progress. St. Cyr formed his troops in
one solid mass, and charging headlong, without firing a shot, in half an
hour dispersed the foe, killing five hundred, wounding two thousand,
and capturing all their artillery and ammunition. The next day St. Cyr
entered Barcelona. The Spaniards were so utterly dispersed that not ten
thousand men could be re-assembled two days after the battle.

But the English fleet was upon the coast, with encouragement and
abundant supplies. After a little while, another Spanish army, twenty
thousand strong, was rendezvoused at Molinas del Rey. St. Cyr again fell
upon these troops. They fled so precipitately that but few were hurt.
Their supplies, which the British had furnished them, were left upon
the field. St. Cyr gathered up fifty pieces of cannon, three million
cartridges, sixty thousand pounds of powder, and a magazine containing
thirty thousand stand of English arms. Lord Collingwood, who commanded
the British fleet, declared that all the elements of resistance in the
province were dissolved. These events took place just before the fall of

In the middle of February of this year, 1809, St. Cyr had twenty-three
thousand men concentrated at Villa Franca. Forty thousand Spaniards were
collected to attack him. Almost contemptuously, he took eleven thousand
of his troops, surprised the Spaniards, and scattered them in the
wildest flight. He pursued the fugitives, and wherever they made a stand
dispersed them with but little effort or loss upon his own side. There
was no longer any regular resistance in Catalonia, though guerrilla
bands still prowled about the country.

Thus the wretched, desolating warfare raged, month after month. Nothing
of importance toward securing the abiding triumph of either party was
gained. Whenever the French army withdrew from any section of country,
British officers entered, to re-organize, with the aid of the Spanish
priests, the peasants to renewed opposition, and British gold was
lavished in paying the soldiers. Junot was taken sick, and Suchet, whom
Napoleon characterized at Saint Helena as the first of his generals, was
placed in command. We have not space to describe the numerous battles
which were fought, and the patience of our readers would be exhausted by
the dreary narration. The siege of Gerona by St. Cyr occupied seven

Joseph was still in Madrid. As we have said, the more intelligent and
opulent classes rallied around him. Sir Archibald Alison, ever the
advocate of aristocratic privilege, while admitting the fact of
Joseph's apparent popularity in Madrid, in the following strain of
remark endeavors to explain that fact:

"Addresses had been forwarded to Joseph Bonaparte at Valladolid from
all the incorporations and influential bodies at Madrid, inviting him
to return to the capital and resume the reins of government. Registers
had been opened in different parts of the city for those citizens to
inscribe their names who were favorable to his cause. In a few days
thirty thousand signatures, chiefly of the more opulent classes,
had been inscribed on the lists. In obedience to these flattering
invitations, the intrusive King had entered the capital with great pomp,
amidst the discharge of a hundred pieces of cannon, and numerous, if not
heartfelt, demonstrations of public satisfaction; a memorable example of
the effect of the acquisition of wealth, and the enjoyments of luxury,
in enervating the minds of their possessors, and of the difference
between the patriotic energy of those classes who, having little to
lose, yield to ardent sentiments without reflection, and those in whom
the suggestions of interest and the habits of indulgence have stifled
the generous emotions of nature."

The great defect in Joseph's character as an executive officer, under
the circumstances in which he was placed, was his apparent inability
fully to comprehend the grandeur of Napoleon's conceptions. Instead of
looking upon Spain as an essential part of the majestic whole, and
which, by its money and its armies, must aid in sustaining the new
principle of equal rights for all, he forgot the general cause, and
sought only to promote the interests of his own kingdom. Napoleon,
having secured the reign of the new regime of equality in France, in
antagonism to the old regime of privilege, immediately found all Europe
banded against him. France could not stand alone against such
antagonism. Hence it became essential that alliances should be formed
for mutual protection. The genius of Napoleon was of necessity the
controlling element in these alliances.

In that view, he had enlarged and strengthened the boundaries of France.
He had created the kingdoms of Italy and Naples. He had, impelled by
the instinct of self-preservation, bought out the treacherous Bourbons
of Spain, and was endeavoring to lift up the Spaniards from ages of
depressing despotism, that Spain, under an enlightened ruler, rejoicing
in the intelligence and prosperity which existed under all the new
governments, might contribute its support to the system of equal rights
throughout Europe.

England, Russia, Prussia, Austria, and the aristocratic party throughout
all Europe, were in deadly hostility to the principle of abolishing
privileged classes, and instituting equal rights for all. They were ever
ready to squander blood and treasure, to violate treaties, to form open
or secret coalitions, in resisting these new ideas. Regarding Napoleon
as the great champion of popular rights, and conscious that there was no
one of his marshals who, upon Napoleon's downfall, could take his place,
all their energies were directed against him personally.

Thus we have the singular spectacle, never before witnessed in the
history of the world, never again to be witnessed, of the combined
monarchs of more than a hundred millions of men waging warfare against
one single man. And therefore Napoleon called upon all the regenerated
nations in sympathy with his views to rally around him. He regarded them
as wings of the great army of which France was the centre. In combating
the coalition, he was fighting battles for them all. They stood or fell
together. In the terrific struggle which deluged all Europe in blood,
Napoleon was the commander-in-chief of the whole army of reform. He was
such by the power of circumstances. He was such by innate ability. He
was such by universal recognition.

When therefore Napoleon regarded the sovereigns appointed over the
nations whom his genius had rescued from despotism but as the generals
of his armies, who were to co-operate at his bidding in defense of the
general system of dynastic oppression, it was not arrogance, it was
wisdom and necessity that inspired his conduct. Louis in Holland, Jerome
in Westphalia, Eugene in Italy, Murat in Naples, Joseph in Spain, all
were bound, under the leadership of Napoleon, to contribute their
portion to the general defense.

Very strangely, Joseph seemed never to be able fully to comprehend this
idea. He was a man of great intelligence, of high culture, and a more
kindly, generous heart never throbbed in a human bosom; and yet,
notwithstanding all Napoleon's arguments, it seemed impossible for him
to comprehend why he should not be as independent as the King of Spain,
as Napoleon was in the sovereignty of France. Fully recognizing the
immeasurable superiority of his brother to any other man, and loving him
with a devotion which has seldom if ever been exceeded, he was still
disposed to regard himself as placed in Spain only to promote the
happiness of the Spanish people, without regard to the interests of the
general cause. Instead of being ready to contribute of men and money
from Spain to maintain the conflict against coalesced Europe, he was
continually writing to his brother to send him money to carry on his own
Government, and to excuse him from making any exactions from the people.
He was exceedingly reluctant to deal with severity, or to quell the
outrages of brigands with the necessary punishment. His letters to the
Emperor are often filled with complaints. He deplores the sad destiny
which has made him a king. He longs to return, with his wife and
children, to the quiet retreat of Mortfontaine.

Napoleon dealt tenderly with his brother. He fully understood his
virtues; he fully comprehended his defects. Occasionally an expression
of impatience escaped his pen, though frequently he made no allusion, in
his reply, to Joseph's repinings.

The Duke of Wellington is reported to have said that "a man of refined
Christian sensibilities has no right to enter into the profession of a
soldier." A successful warrior must often perform deeds at which
humanity shudders. Joseph was, by the confession of all, one of the most
calm and brave of men upon the field of battle. Still, he was too modest
a man, and had too little confidence in himself to perform those
hazardous and heroic deeds of arms which war often requires. Napoleon,
conscious that his brother was not by nature a warrior, and also wishing
to save him from the unpopularity of military acts in crushing sedition,
left him as much as possible to the administration of civil affairs in
Madrid. His statesmanship and amiability of character could here have
full scope.

To his war-scarred veterans, Junot, Soult, Jourdan, Suchet, the Emperor
mainly intrusted the military expeditions. Still, to save Joseph from a
sense of humiliation, the Emperor acted as far as possible through his
brother, in giving commands to the army. But the marshals, obedient as
children to the commands of Napoleon, whose superior genius not one of
them ever thought of calling in question, often manifested reluctance in
executing operations directed by Joseph. At times they could not
conceal from him that they considered their knowledge of the art of war
superior to his. Joseph was king of Spain, and was often humiliated by
the impression forced upon him that he was something like a tool in the
hands of others.

During the year 1809 Joseph remained most of the time in Madrid. There
were innumerable conflicts during the year, from petty skirmishes to
pretty severe battles, none of which are worthy of record in this brief

The latter part of April the Duke of Wellington landed in Portugal, with
English re-enforcements of thirty thousand men. With these, aided by
such forces as he could raise in Portugal and rally around him in Spain,
he was to advance against the French. Napoleon had been compelled to
withdraw all of the Imperial Guard, and all of his choicest troops, to
meet the war on the plains of Germany. Marshal Soult was on the march
for Oporto. With about twenty thousand troops he laid siege to the city.
The feebleness of the defense of the Portuguese may be inferred from the
fact that the city was protected by two hundred pieces of cannon, and by
a force of regular troops and armed peasants amounting to about seventy
thousand men. Soult, having made all his preparations for the assault,
and confident that the city could not resist his attack, wrote a very
earnest letter to the magistrates, urging that by capitulation they
should save the city from the horrors of being carried by storm. No
reply was returned to the summons except a continued fire.

The attack was made. The Portuguese peasants had tortured, mangled,
killed all the French prisoners that had fallen into their hands. Both
parties were in a state of extreme exasperation. The battle was short.
When the French troops burst through the barriers, a general panic
seized the Portuguese troops, and they rushed in wild confusion through
the streets toward the Douro. The French cavalry pursued the terrified
fugitives, and, with keen sabres, hewed them down till their arms were
weary with the slaughter.

A bridge crossed the river. Crowded with the frenzied multitude, it sank
under their weight, and the stream was black with the bodies of drowning
men. Those in the rear, by thousands, pressed those before them into the
yawning gulf. Boats pushed out from the banks to rescue them, but the
light artillery of the French was already upon the water's edge,
discharging volleys of grape upon the helpless, compact mass. Before the
city surrendered, four thousand of these unhappy victims of war, torn
with shot, and suffocated by the waves, were swept down the stream.
Though the marshal exerted himself to the utmost to preserve discipline,
no mortal man could restrain the passions of an army in such an hour.
The wretched city experienced all the horrors of a town taken by storm.
The number of the slain, according to the report of Marshal Soult, was
more than eighteen thousand, not including those who were engulfed in
the Douro. Multitudes of the wounded fled to the woods, where they
perished miserably of exposure and starvation. But two hundred and fifty
prisoners were taken. The French took two hundred thousand pounds of
powder, a vast amount of stores, and tents for the accommodation of
fifty thousand men. They captured also in the port thirty English
vessels loaded with wine. The loss of the French in capturing Oporto,
according to the report of the general-in-chief, was but eighty killed,
and three hundred and fifty wounded.

It is heart-sickening to proceed with the recital of these horrors.
Similar scenes took place in Tarancon, where General Victor destroyed
the remains of the regular Spanish army with terrible slaughter. A band
of about twelve thousand men were cut to pieces by General Sebastiani.
Again the Spaniards met with a fearful repulse upon the plains of
Estremadura. The Spanish general, Cuesta, with twenty thousand infantry
and four thousand horse, was attacked by General Victor with fifteen
thousand foot and three thousand horse. As usual, the French cut to
pieces their despised foes, capturing all their artillery, inflicting
upon them a loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners, of ten thousand men,
while the French lost but about one thousand.

While these scenes were transpiring, Joseph, at Madrid, not only
occupied himself with the general direction of the war, so far as the
instructions which he perpetually received from Paris enabled him to
do, but labored incessantly, as he had done in Naples, in promoting all
needful reforms, and in forming and executing plans for the happiness
of his subjects. He caused a constitution, which had been formed at
Bayonne, to be published and widely circulated, that the Spaniards
might be convinced that it was his desire to reign over them as a father
rather than as a sovereign.

Napoleon, speaking of his brother Joseph to Dr. O'Meara at Saint Helena,

"Joseph is a very excellent man. His virtues and his talents are
appropriate to private life. Nature destined him for that. He is too
amiable to be a great man. He has no ambition. He resembles me in
person, but he is much better than I. He is extremely well educated."

"I have always observed," O'Meara remarks, "that he spoke of his brother
Joseph with the most ardent affection."

The fickleness of the multitude was very conspicuous during all these
stormy scenes. Joseph made a short visit to the southern provinces.
Everywhere he was received with the greatest enthusiasm, the people
crowding around him, and greeting him with shouts of "_Vive le Roi._"
Deputations from the cities and villages hastened to meet him with
protestations of homage and fidelity. Joseph responded, in those
convincing accents which the honesty of his heart inspired, that he
wished to forget all the past, to maintain the salutary institutions of
religion, and to confer upon Spain that constitutional liberty which
would secure its prosperity. Joseph and the friends who accompanied him
were so much impressed with the apparent cordiality of their greeting
that they were sanguine in the hope that the nation would rally around
the new dynasty. On the 4th of March the King entered Malaga. The
enthusiasm of his reception could scarcely have been exceeded. The
streets through which he passed were strewn with flowers, and the
windows filled with the smiling faces of ladies. He remained there for
eight days, receiving every token of regard which affection and
confidence could confer.


But in other parts of the country where Joseph was not present it seemed
as if the whole population, without a dissenting voice, was rising
against him. His embarrassments became extreme. He not only had no wish
to impose himself upon a reluctant people, but no earthly consideration
could induce him to do so. It was his sincere and earnest desire to lift
up Spain from its degradation, and make it great and prosperous. The
emissaries of Great Britain were everywhere busy recruiting the Spanish
armies, lavishing gold in payment, supplying the troops abundantly
with clothing and all the munitions of war, and giving them English
officers. Guerrilla bands were organized, with the privilege of
plundering and destroying all who were in favor of the new regime. The
friends of the new regime dared not openly avow their attachment to the
government of Joseph, unless protected by French troops. It was thus
extremely difficult to ascertain the real wishes of the nation.

The Duke of Wellington was upon the frontiers, with an army of seventy
thousand English and Portuguese. If Joseph remained in Spain, it was
clear that he had a long and bloody struggle before him. If he threw
down the crown and abandoned the enterprise, it was surrendering Spain
to England, to be forced inevitably into the coalition against France.
Thus the existence of the new regime in France seemed to depend upon the
result of the struggle in Spain. Joseph could not abandon the enterprise
without being apparently false to his brother, to his own country, and
to the principle of equal rights for all throughout Europe.




Wellington in Spain.--Battle of Talavera.--Retreat of Wellington.
--Complaints of the English.--Remarks of Alison.--Battle of the 3d
of November.--Triumph of Joseph.--Failure of Wellington.--Persistent
Hostility of the British Government.--The Conflict renewed.--Causes
of the Strife.--Conscientiousness of the Antagonists.--Painful Position
of Joseph.--Birth of the King of Rome.--Dispatch from Napoleon.--The
Emperor's Address.--Grandeur of Napoleon.--The Constitution of 1812.
--Letter from Joseph to Napoleon.--Spanish Antipathy to the Duke of
Wellington.--Embarrassments of the British Government.--The Campaign
to Moscow.--Miseries of the Conflict.--Destitution of the Army.--Ciudad
Rodrigo.--Badajoz.--Famine in Spain.--Desperate Condition of Joseph.

In July of 1809 Joseph was in Madrid, with an army of about forty
thousand men. The rest of the French army was widely dispersed. The
Duke of Wellington thought this a favorable opportunity to make a rapid
march and seize the Spanish capital. Collecting a force of eighty-five
thousand troops, he pressed rapidly forward to Talavera, within two
days' march of Madrid. Joseph, being informed of the approach of
this formidable allied army, and that they were expecting still very
considerable re-enforcements, resolved to advance and attack them before
those new troops should arrive. By great exertions he collected about
forty-five thousand veterans, and on the 27th of July found himself
facing his vastly-outnumbering foes, very formidably posted among the
groves and hills of Talavera. For two days the battle raged. It was
fearfully destructive. The allied army lost between six and seven
thousand men, the French between eight and nine thousand. The tall grass
took fire, and, sweeping along like a prairie conflagration, fearfully
burned many of the wounded. The Spaniards and Portuguese were easily
dispersed. They seemed to care but little for the conflict, regarding
themselves as the paid soldiers of England, fighting the battles of
England. But the British troops fought with the determination and
bravery which has ever characterized the men of that race.

At the close of the second day's fight the French troops drew off in
good order, and encamped about three miles in the rear. Though unable
to disperse the army of Wellington, Joseph had accomplished his purpose
in so crippling the enemy as to arrest his farther advance, and thus to
save Madrid. Joseph waited in his encampment for the arrival of Soult,
Ney, and Mortier, who were hastening to his aid. Wellington, finding
that he could place but very little reliance upon his Portuguese and
Spanish allies, decided to retreat, abandoning his wounded to the
protection of some Spanish troops whom he left as a rear-guard, who in
turn abandoned the sufferers entirely and returned to Portugal.

The British complained bitterly of the lukewarmness and even treachery
of their Spanish allies. Alison gives utterance to these complaints in

"From the moment the English troops entered Spain, they had experienced
the wide difference between the promises and the performance of the
Spanish authorities. We have the authority of Wellington for the
assertion that if the Junta of Truxillo had kept their contract for
furnishing two hundred and forty thousand rations, the Allies would, on
the night of the 27th of July, have slept in Madrid. But for the month
which followed the battle of Talavera their distresses in this respect
had indeed been excessive, and had reached a height which was altogether
insupportable. Notwithstanding the most energetic remonstrances from
Wellington, he had got hardly any supplies from the Spanish generals or
authorities from the time of his entering Spain. Cuesta had refused to
lend him ninety mules to draw his artillery, though at the time he had
several hundred in his army doing nothing. The troops of all arms were
literally starving. During the month which followed the junction of the
two armies, on the 22d of July, they had not received ten days' bread.
On many days they got only a little meat without salt, on others nothing
at all. The cavalry and artillery horses had not received, in the same
time, three deliveries of forage, and in consequence a thousand had
died, and seven hundred were on the sick list.

"These privations were the more exasperating that, during the greater
part of the time, the Spanish troops received their rations regularly,
both for men and horses. The composition of the Spanish troops, and
their conduct at Talavera and upon other occasions, was not such as to
inspire the least confidence in their capability of resisting the attack
of the French armies. The men, badly disciplined and without uniform,
dispersed the moment they experienced any reverse, and permitted the
whole weight of the contest to fall on the English soldiers, who had
no similar means of escape. These causes had gradually produced an
estrangement, and at length a positive animosity between the privates
and officers of the two armies. An angry correspondence took place
between their respective generals, which widened the breach."

A few skirmishes ensued between the contending parties until the 3d of
November, when Joseph, with thirty thousand men, encountered fifty-five
thousand Spaniards. The odds in favor of the Spaniards was so great that
they rushed vigorously upon the French. A battle of four hours ensued.
The Spanish army was broken to pieces, dispersed, trampled under foot.
Twenty thousand prisoners, fifty-five pieces of cannon, and the whole
ammunition of the army were captured by the French.

"Wearied with collecting prisoners," says Alison, "the French at length
merely took the arms from the fugitives, desiring them to go home,
telling them that war was a trade which they were not fit for."

From this conflict Joseph returned in triumph to his capital. It seemed
for a time that no more resistance could be offered, and that his
government was firmly established. Wellington was driven back into
Portugal, and loudly proclaimed that he could place no reliance upon the
promises or the arms of the Spaniards or the Portuguese.

Napoleon had returned from the triumphant campaign of Wagram. Again he
had shattered the coalition in the north, and was upon the pinnacle of
his greatness. The total failure of Wellington's campaign had greatly
disappointed the British people. The Common Council of London petitioned
Parliament for an inquiry into the circumstances connected with this

"Admitting the valor of Lord Wellington," they said in their address,
"the petitioners can see no reason why any recompense should be bestowed
on him for his military conduct. After a useless display of British
valor, and a frightful carnage, that army, like the preceding one, was
compelled to seek safety in a precipitous flight before an enemy who we
were told had been conquered, abandoning many thousands of our wounded
countrymen into the hands of the French. That calamity, like the others,
has passed without any inquiry, and, as if their long-experienced
impunity had put the servants of the Crown above the reach of justice,
ministers have actually gone the length of advising your majesty to
confer honorable distinctions on a general who has thus exhibited, with
equal rashness and ostentation, nothing but a useless valor."

Still, after an angry debate, in which there was very strong opposition
presented against carrying on the war in Spain, it was finally decided
to prosecute hostilities against Napoleon in the Peninsula with renewed
vigor. The advocates of the measure urged that there was no other point
in Europe where they could gain a foothold to attack Napoleon, and that
by protracting the war there, and drawing down the French armies, they
might afford an opportunity for the Northern powers again to rise in a
coalition against the new regime. These views were very strenuously
urged in the House of Lords by Lord Wellesley, Lord Castlereagh, and
Lord Liverpool. The vote stood sixty-five for the war, thirty-three
against it. It was resolved to concentrate the whole force of England
for a new campaign in the Peninsula. One hundred millions of dollars
were voted to the navy, one hundred and five millions to the army, and
twenty-five millions for the ordnance. The British navy engaged in the
enterprise consisted of a thousand and nineteen vessels of war. In
addition to these forces, the English were to raise all the troops they
could from Spain and Portugal, offering them the most liberal pay, and
encouraging them to all those acts of guerrilla warfare for which they
were remarkably adapted, and which might prove most annoying to the
French communications.

Napoleon, to meet the emergency, had in the Peninsula an army of two
hundred and eighty thousand men ready for service. Slowly the months of
the year 1810 rolled away over that wretched land. There were battles on
the plains and among the hills, sieges, bombardments, conflicts hand to
hand in the blood-stained streets, outrages innumerable, pestilence,
famine, conflagration, misery, death. The causes of the conflict were
clearly defined and distinctly understood by the leading men on each
side. Never was there a more momentous question to be decided by the
fate of armies. England was fighting to perpetuate in England and on
the Continent the old regime of _aristocratic privilege_. France
was fighting to defend and maintain in France and among the other
regenerated nations of Europe, the new regime of _equal rights for all
men_. The intelligent community everywhere distinctly comprehended the
nature of the conflict, and chose their sides. The unintelligent masses,
often blinded by ignorance, deluded by fanaticism, or controlled by
power, were bewildered, and swayed to and fro, as controlled by

The year 1811 opened sadly upon this war-deluged land. It would only
lacerate the heart of the reader to give an honest recital of the
miseries which were endured. No one can read with pleasure the account
of these scenes of blood, misery, and death. Equal bravery and equal
determination were displayed by the French and by the English, and, alas
for man, there was probably much conscientiousness on both sides. There
were religious men in each army, men who went from their knees in prayer
into the battle. There were men who honestly believed that the interests
of humanity required that the government of the nations should be in the
hands of the rich and the noble. There were others who as truly believed
that the old feudal system was a curse to the nations, and that a new
era of reform was demanded, at whatever expense of treasure and blood.
And thus these children of a common father, during the twelve long
months of another year, contended with each other in the death-struggle
upon more battle-fields than history can record.

Joseph, in view of this slaughter and this misery, was at times
extremely wretched. He knew not what to do. Nothing can exceed the
sadness of some of his letters to his brother. To abandon the conflict
seemed like cowardice, and might prove the destruction of the popular
cause all over Europe. To persevere was to perpetuate blood and misery.
Seldom has any man been placed in a position of greater difficulty, but
the integrity, the conscientiousness, and the humanity of the man were
manifest in every word he uttered, in every deed he performed.

"My first duties," said Joseph, "are for Spain. I love France as my
family, Spain as my religion. I am attached to the one by the affections
of my heart, and to the other by my conscience."

Napoleon, wearied with these incessant wars, which were draining the
treasure and the blood of France, thought that if he could connect
himself by marriage with one of the ancient dynasties, he could thus
bring himself into the acknowledged family of kings, and secure such an
alliance as would prevent these incessant coalitions of all dynastic
Europe against France. In March, 1810, the Emperor, having committed the
greatest mistake of his life in the divorce of Josephine--a sin against
God's law, though with him, at the time, a sin of ignorance and of good
intentions--a mistake which he afterward bitterly deplored as the
ultimate cause of his ruin--married Maria Louisa, the daughter of the
Emperor of Austria. This union seemed to unite Austria with France in a
permanent alliance, and for a time gave promise of securing the great
blessing which Napoleon hoped to attain by it. On the 20th of March,
1811, Napoleon wrote to Joseph:

"MONSIEUR MON FRERE,--I hasten to announce to your Majesty that the
Empress, my dear wife, has just been safely delivered of a prince, who
at his birth received the title of the King of Rome. Your Majesty's
constant affection towards me convinces me that you will share in the
satisfaction which I feel at an event of such importance to my family
and to the welfare of my subjects.

"This conviction is very agreeable to me. Your Majesty is aware of my
attachment, and can not doubt the pleasure with which I seize this
opportunity of repeating the assurance of the sincere esteem and tender
friendship with which I am," etc.

On the same day, a few hours later, he wrote again to his brother giving
a minute account of the accouchement, which was very severe. He closed
this letter by saying:

"The babe is perfectly well. The Empress is as comfortable as could be
expected. This evening, at eight o'clock, the infant will be privately
baptized. As I do not intend the public christening to take place for
the next six weeks, I shall intrust General Defrance, my equerry, who
will be the bearer of this letter, with another in which I shall ask you
to stand godfather to your nephew."

In May, Joseph, accompanied by a small retinue, visited Paris, to have a
personal conference with his brother upon the affairs of Spain. He was
much dissatisfied that the French marshals there were so independent
of him in the conduct of their military operations. The result of the
conversations which he held with his brother was, that he returned to
Spain apparently satisfied. He entered Madrid on the 15th of July, in
the midst of an immense concourse of people. The principal inhabitants
of the city, in a long train of carriages, came out to meet him, a
triumphal arch was constructed across the road, and joy seemed to beam
from every countenance. He immediately consecrated himself with new
ardor to the administration of the internal affairs of his realm.

There was very strong opposition manifested by the people of England
against the Spanish war. There were many indications that the British
Government might be forced, by the voice of the people, to relinquish
the conflict. Animated by these hopes, Joseph announced his intention
of calling a Spanish congress, in which the people should be fully
represented, to confer upon the national interests. Wellington was
thoroughly disheartened. His dispatches were full of bitter complaints
against the incapacity of the British Government. Napoleon, in his
address to the legislative body on the 18th of June, 1811, in the
following terms alluded to the war in Spain:

"Since 1809 the greater part of the strong places in Spain have been
taken, after memorable sieges, and the insurgents have been beaten in
a great number of pitched battles. England has felt that the war is
approaching a termination, and that intrigues and gold are no longer
sufficient to nourish it. She has found herself, therefore, obliged to
alter the nature of her assistance, and from an auxiliary she has become
a principal. All her troops of the line have been sent to the Peninsula.

"English blood has, at length, flowed in torrents in several actions
glorious to the French arms. This conflict with Carthage, which seemed
as if it would be decided on fields of battle on the ocean or beyond the
seas, will henceforth be decided on the plains of Spain. When England
shall be exhausted, when she shall at last have felt the evils which for
twenty years she has with so much cruelty poured upon the Continent,
when half her families shall be in mourning, then shall a peal of
thunder put an end to the affairs of the Peninsula, the destinies of her
armies, and avenge Europe and Asia by finishing this second Punic

[Footnote U: Moniteur, Jan. 11, 1811.]

At the close of the year 1811 Napoleon stood upon the highest pinnacle
of his power. Coalition after coalition had been shattered by his
armies, and now he had not an avowed foe upon the Continent. The Emperor
of Russia was allied to him by the ties of friendship; the Emperor of
Austria by the ties of relationship. Other hostile nations had been too
thoroughly vanquished to attempt to arise against him, or, by political
regeneration, had been brought into sympathy with the new regime in

The English, aided by their resistless fleet, still held important
positions in Portugal. They however had no foothold in Spain excepting
at Cadiz, situated upon the island of Leon, upon the extreme southern
point of the Peninsula. The usual population of the city of Cadiz was
one hundred and fifty thousand. But this number had been increased by a
hundred thousand strangers, who had thrown themselves into the place.
About fifty thousand troops under Marmont were besieging the city. The
garrison defending Cadiz consisted of about twenty thousand men, five
thousand of whom were English soldiers. The British fleet was also in
its harbor, with encouragement and supplies. Here and there predatory
bands occasionally appeared, but this was nearly all the serious
opposition which was then presented to the reign of Joseph. The French
lines encompassing the city were thirty miles in length, extending from
sea to sea.

To the great chagrin of England, the Spanish leaders in Cadiz convened a
Congress, which formed a constitution, called the Constitution of 1812,
far more radically democratic than even Napoleon could advocate for
Spain. Wellington was exceedingly vexed, and complained bitterly of this
conduct on the part of the men whose battle he assumed to be fighting.
"The British Government were well aware," says Alison, "while democratic
frenzy was thus reigning triumphant at Cadiz, from the dispatches of
their ambassador there, the Honorable H. Wellesley, as well as from
Wellington's information of the dangerous nature of the spirit which had
been thus evolved, that they had a task of no ordinary difficulty to
encounter in any attempt to moderate its transports."[V]

[Footnote V: Alison, vol. iii. p. 407.]

Joseph grew more and more disheartened. All his plans for the
pacification of the country were baffled. On the 23d of March, 1812, he
wrote to his brother from Madrid as follows:

"SIRE,--When a year ago I sought the advice of your Majesty before
coming back to Spain, you urged me to return. It is therefore that I am
here. You had the kindness to say to me that I should always have the
privilege of leaving the country if the hopes we had conceived should
not be realized. In that case your Majesty assured me of an asylum in
the south of the Empire, between which and Mortfontaine I could divide
my residence.

"Events have disappointed my hopes. I have done no good, and I have no
longer any hopes of doing any. I entreat, then, your Majesty to permit
me to resign to his hands the crown of Spain, which he condescended to
transmit to me four years ago. In accepting the crown of this country, I
never had any other object in view than the happiness of this vast
monarchy. It has not been in my power to accomplish it. I pray your
Majesty to receive me as one of his subjects, and to believe that he
will never have a more faithful servant than the friend whom nature has
given him."

The resignation was not then accepted, and circumstances soon became
such that Joseph felt that he could not with honor withdraw from the
post he occupied.

The Spaniards looked with great distrust upon the Duke of Wellington,
who was the embodiment of the principles of aristocracy, the more to be
feared in consequence of his inflexible will. The English deemed the
re-enthronement of Ferdinand VII. and his despotic sway essential to the
success of their cause. The uncrowned King and his brother Don Carlos
were living very sumptuously and contentedly, chasing foxes and hares at
Valencay, and cutting down the park to build bonfires in celebration of
Napoleon's victories.

The British Government, alarmed in view of the democratic spirit
unexpectedly developed by a portion of the Spanish allies, sent a secret
agent, Baron Rolli, a man of great sagacity, address, and intrepidity,
to persuade Ferdinand to violate his pledge of honor, to escape from
Valencay, and place himself at the head of the Spaniards who were in
opposition to Joseph. It was hoped that this would awaken new enthusiasm
on the part of the Church and the advocates of the old regime, and that
it would check the spirit of ultra democracy which was threatening to
sweep every thing before it.

The nearest approach to an honorable deed to which Ferdinand ever came,
was in the very questionable act of revealing the plot to the French
Government. Rolli was arrested and sent to Vincennes. The democratic
leaders in Cadiz were so incensed against what Alison calls "the orderly
spirit of aristocratic rule in England," that, burying their animosity
against the French invasion, they almost welcomed those foreign armies,
who bore everywhere upon their banners "Equal Rights for all Men." They
opened secret negotiations with Joseph, offering to surrender Cadiz to
the French troops, and to secure the entire submission of the whole
peninsula to the government of Joseph if he would accept the radical
Constitution of 1812 in place of the more moderate Republicanism of the
Constitution of Bayonne. The hostility of the Spanish generals and
soldiers to Wellington and the English troops was bitter and

[Footnote W: Napier, v. 406, 407.]

But more bloody scenes soon ensued. Napoleon, deeming the war in Spain
virtually ended, had been induced to withdraw large numbers of his
troops, and to embark in his fatal campaign to Moscow. Thus Russia
became allied to England, and a new opportunity, under more favorable
auspices, was afforded to renew the war in Spain. England concentrated
her mightiest energies upon the Peninsula against the remnants of the
French army which Napoleon had left there. The Emperor, with all his
chosen troops, composing an army of over five hundred thousand men, was
on the march thousands of miles toward the north. On the 9th of May,
1812, the Emperor left Paris, to place himself at the head of his troops
in Dresden. The war in Spain was now urged by the British Government
with renovated fury. The mind is wearied and the heart is sickened, in
reading the recital of sieges, and battles, and outrages which make a
humane man to exclaim, in anguish of spirit, "O Lord, how long! how
long!" Equal ferocity was upon both sides. French, English, Spanish, and
Portuguese soldiers, maddened by passion and inflamed with intoxicating
drinks, perpetrated deeds which fiends could scarcely exceed. Tortosa,
Tarragona, Mauresa, Saguntum, Valencia, Badajoz, Ciudad Rodrigo, and a
score of other places, testified to the bravery, often the tiger-like
ferocity, of the contending parties, and to the misery which man can
inflict upon his brother-man.

Physical bravery is the cheapest and most vulgar of all earthly virtues.
The vilest rabble gathered from the gutters of any city can, by a few
months of military discipline and experience in the horrors of war,
become so reckless of danger that bullets, shells, and grapeshot are as
little regarded as snowflakes. Robber bands and piratic hordes will
often fight with ferocity and desperation which can not be surpassed. It
is the cause alone which can ennoble the heroism of the battle-field. In
these terrific conflicts, especially when the French and the British
troops were brought into contact, there often were exhibited all the
energy and desperation of which human nature is capable.

As the Emperor set out on the Russian campaign, he invested Joseph with
the command of the armies in Spain. These troops were widely dispersed,
to protect different points in the kingdom. But few could be promptly
rallied upon any one field of battle. The Emperor, burdened with the
expense of his immense army, and far away amidst the wilds of Russia,
could give but little attention to the affairs of Spain, and could send
neither money nor supplies to his brother, who was so uneasily settled
upon an impoverished throne. As days of darkness gathered around the
Emperor, a sense of honor prevented Joseph from abandoning his post. His
troops were everywhere in a state of great destitution and suffering.
His humane heart would not allow him to wrest supplies from the people,
who were often in a still greater state of poverty and want.


Marshal Massena had entered Portugal with an army of seventy-five
thousand men. Reduced by sickness and destitution, he was compelled
to withdraw with but thirty-five thousand men. Thus the English army,
no longer held in check, occupied Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz.[X]

[Footnote X: Encyclopaedia Americana, article Joseph Bonaparte.]

Three thousand men were left in garrison at Ciudad Rodrigo. Forty
thousand men under Wellington besieged it. After opening two practicable
breaches, Wellington summoned a surrender. The French general, Barrie,

"His Majesty, the Emperor, has intrusted me with the command of Ciudad
Rodrigo. I and my garrison are resolved to bury ourselves beneath the

The place was taken by assault, the British troops rushing into the
breaches with courage which could not have been surpassed. The French,
after losing half their number, were overpowered. The victorious British
soldiers, forgetting that the inhabitants of the city were their allies,
pillaged the houses and the shops, and committed every conceivable
outrage upon the inhabitants. Sir Archibald Alison thus describes the

"The churches were ransacked, the wine and spirit cellars pillaged, and
brutal intoxication spread in every direction. Soon flames were seen
bursting in several quarters. Some houses were burned to the ground,
others already ignited. By degrees, however, the drunken men dropped
down from excess of liquor, or fell asleep; and before morning a degree
of order was restored."

Advancing from Ciudad Rodrigo, Wellington, at the head of a force then
numbering sixty thousand men, laid siege to Badajoz, crossing the
Guadiarra above and below the city. The garrison in the city consisted
of but forty-five hundred combatants. The trenches were opened upon the
night between the 17th and 18th of March. There was no more desperate
fighting during all the wars of Napoleon than was witnessed within and
around the walls of Badajoz. The British lost five thousand officers and
men ere the city was captured. Again had the Spaniards bitter cause to
mourn over the victory of those who called themselves their allies. As
the British troops rushed into the streets of this Spanish city which
they had professedly come to rescue from the government of Joseph
Bonaparte, Alison says:

"Disorders and excesses of every sort prevailed, and the British
soldiery showed, by their conduct after the storm, that they inherited
their full share of the sins as well as the virtues of the children of
Adam. The disgraceful national vice of intemperance, in particular,
broke forth in its most frightful colors. All the wine shops and vaults
were broken open and plundered. Pillage was universal. Every house
was ransacked for valuables, spirits, or wine; and crowds of drunken
soldiers for two days and nights thronged the streets, while the
breaking open of doors and windows, the report of casual muskets, and
the screams of despoiled citizens resounded on all sides."

The throne of Joseph was now enveloped in gloom. To add to his trouble
and anguish of spirit, a dreadful famine afflicted Spain. But the
British fleet, in undisputed command of the seas, could convey ample
supplies to the army of Wellington, and British gold was lavished in
keeping alive the flames of insurrection. Troops were landed at various
points, and resistance to the French was encouraged by every means in
the power of the British Government. At Madrid every morning there were
found in the streets many dead bodies of those who had perished during
the night. The French in the capital, animated by the benevolent spirit
of Joseph, imposed upon themselves the severest sacrifices to succor the
perishing. The situation of Joseph had become deplorable. The best
troops were withdrawn for the Russian campaign. Those which remained
were starving, and without means of transport. A new government, under
the protection of the English, was organized at Cadiz, and guerrilla
bands were springing up in all directions.

Joseph had but about twenty thousand troops in the vicinity of Cadiz,
with which force he could be but little more than a spectator of events
as they should occur. Wellington had a highly-disciplined army of sixty
thousand men, independent of the guerrilla bands whom he could summon to
his aid.




Increasing Gloom.--Defeat of Marmont.--Retreat of Joseph.--Spanish
Exiles.--Return to Madrid.--Difference between the French and
English.--Withdrawal of the French Troops from Spain.--Outrages of
the English.--Wellington intrusted with the supreme Command.--Battle
of Vittoria.--Victory of the British.--Retreat of the French.--San
Sebastian.--Excesses of the British Troops.--Destruction of St.
Sebastian.--Joseph abandons Spain.--Napoleon's last Struggle.--Joseph's
Devotion to his Brother.--The Surrender of Paris.--Great Perplexities.
--The Empress decides to leave Paris.--Disappointment of Napoleon.
--Panic in Paris.--Grief of the Empress.--Departure of the Empress.--The
Allied Armies.--Joseph joins the Empress.--Retirement of Joseph.

Joseph was much embarrassed. Should he leave his scattered forces
in the south of Spain, there was danger that they would be attacked
and destroyed piecemeal by Wellington. Should he withdraw them, and
concentrate his forces in the north, the whole south of Spain would be
instantly overrun by the English, and Joseph would lose one-half of his
kingdom. His total force in Spain, garrisoning the forts and composing
his detached bands in the south, the centre, the north, and the west,
amounted to a little over two hundred and thirty thousand men.

In the early part of May of this year, 1812, the English, having taken
the defenses which were erected for the fortification of the Tagus,
became dominant in that region. Disaster followed disaster. The King's
couriers were captured, so that his orders did not reach the marshals.
It is hard to be amiable in seasons of adversity, and the marshals
reproached each other. Supplies and communications were cut off, and
women and children were dying of famine. The deadly warfare of guerrilla
bands increased rapidly. The most atrocious acts of vengeance and
atrocity were multiplied, and Joseph had no power to prevent them. As
Marmont was in danger of being cut off by Wellington, Joseph, leaving a
small garrison behind him, took all the troops that could be spared, and
marched rapidly to the relief of the marshal. Leaving the Escurial on
the 23d of July, he reached Peneranda on the 25th, where he learned that
Marmont had attacked Wellington on the 23d at Arapiles, and, after a
desperate conflict, had been repulsed. Marmont was severely censured for
not awaiting the arrival of Joseph, whom he knew to be at hand. He was
accused, perhaps without reason, of precipitating the conflict from fear
that Joseph might take the command and gain the renown. Marmont reported
his total loss in the battle to have been about six thousand men and
nine guns, which were left because their carriages were knocked to
pieces. Wellington reported his own loss at five thousand two hundred
and twenty.

Marmont retreated to Valladolid, to meet re-enforcements which would
join him there. Joseph returned to Madrid, entering the city on the 2d
of August. As the English approached, Joseph, with two thousand horse,
met their advance-guard, and, with the courage of despair, drove them
back in the wildest confusion. He then, at the head of but twelve
thousand troops, commenced his retreat toward Valence. Twenty thousand
Spaniards, men and women, dreading the vengeance of their enemies,
followed, in his retreat, the King whom they had much cause to love. It
was a mournful spectacle. Nobles of the highest rank, and the most
intelligent and opulent of the city, toiled along in their weary march,
the women and the children often unable to restrain their tears and
sobs. The partisans of the English, who crowded into the city, received
Wellington and his troops with every demonstration of joy. The friends
of the new regime who remained behind, crushed in all their hopes,
closed the shutters of their houses, retired to the remote apartments,
and buried their griefs in silence.

Into whatever city the English or the French entered, they were alike
received with unbounded enthusiasm. In every large city there is a
throng ready to shout hosanna to the conqueror, whoever he may be. When
Wellington and his squadrons entered a Spanish city, the friends of the
old regime gathered around them. And so it was with the French and their
friends when they were the victors. Thus at Valence, where Joseph
arrived on the 31st of August, he was received with all the honors which
could be conferred upon the most beloved sovereign. An immense crowd
thronged the streets, and lavished upon him every demonstration of
gratitude. The devout King, much moved by this exhibition of popular
affection in these dark hours of defeat and humiliation, repaired at
once to the cathedral, and in a solemn _Te Deum_ gave expression to his
gratitude to God.

Joseph's first care was for the unhappy fugitives who, dreading the
vengeance of the foe, had abandoned home and all, to accompany him in
his flight. He had neither money, food, nor shelter to give them. He
therefore sent this sorrow-stricken band, counting over twenty thousand,
under an escort across the Pyrenees into France, where they would be
protected and provided for.

At Valence Joseph concentrated his scattered forces, and early in
November commenced his march back to Madrid. It is very difficult to
ascertain the precise number of the forces on each side. Wellington's
army was estimated at ninety-two thousand men. Joseph had collected
superior numbers, and marched eagerly to attack him. Wellington rapidly
retreated toward Ciudad Rodrigo, and on the 3d of December Joseph
entered Madrid again in triumph.

Conciliation, kindness, deference to the wishes of others are not
characteristic virtues of the English. They had long assumed, and with
no little semblance of reason, that in wealth, power, arts, and arms
they were the leading nation upon the globe. This assumption has made
them unpopular as a people. They are so honest and plain-spoken that
they never attempt to disguise their contempt for other nations. The
victorious soldiers of Wellington particularly despised the Spaniards.
This contempt neither officers nor soldiers attempted to conceal.

It is just the reverse with the French. The characteristic politeness of
the nation leads them to compliment others, and to pay them especial
deference. They conceal the sense of superiority which they may perhaps
cherish. It is frequently said, as characteristic of the two nations,
that the stranger in London gets the impression that every Englishman he
meets has taken a special dislike to him personally; in Paris, on the
other hand, he receives the impression that every Frenchman with whom he
is brought into contact has a special fancy for him, perceiving in him
virtues and excellences which he never supposed that he possessed.

The Duke of Wellington himself was a haughty, overbearing man. No
soldier loved him, but all bowed submissive to his inflexible will. The
deportment of the British troops in the Spanish capital was such as to
alienate those who at first welcomed them, and they soon became
universally disliked. The Spaniards are proud, proverbially proud; and
they could not endure this contemptuous assumption of superiority. So
great became the dissatisfaction that many of the Spanish generals
proposed to unite their troops with those of King Joseph if he would
grant them independent commands.

Exultantly the English on the Peninsula heard the tidings of the
terrible disasters Napoleon was encountering in Russia. They could
scarcely exaggerate them. It was manifest that for a long time, at
least, Joseph could receive no assistance from France; on the contrary,
many regiments of infantry and cavalry, and a number of companies of
artillery, received orders immediately to leave Spain, and to hasten to
the aid of the Emperor. Joseph, thus hopelessly crippled, was directed
by the Emperor to concentrate his enfeebled forces upon the line of the
Douro. Leaving a garrison of ten thousand men in Madrid, Joseph, with
the remainder of his troops, retired toward the north.

In Wellington's retreat from Madrid, his troops committed all imaginable
outrages. In his dispatch to his officers commanding his divisions and
brigades, he said:

"From the moment the troops commenced their retreat from the
neighborhood of Madrid on the one hand, and Burgos on the other, the
officers lost all command over the men. Irregularities and outrages of
all descriptions were committed with impunity, and losses have been
sustained which ought never to have occurred. The discipline of every
army, after a long and active campaign, becomes in some degree relaxed;
but I am concerned to observe that the army under my command has fallen
off in this respect, in the late campaign, _to a greater degree than any
army with which I have ever been, or of which I have ever read_."[Y]

[Footnote Y: Wellington to Officers commanding Divisions and Brigades,
ix. 574, 575.]

Thus terminated the year 1812. The disappointment of the British
Government, in view of the discomfiture and retreat of Wellington, was
very great, and the indignation of that portion of the English people
who were opposed to this interminable warfare against the new regime in
France knew no bounds. That the English army had, through a long line of
disastrous retreat, according to the testimony of its commander,
inflicted outrages upon the Spanish people, its allies, _greater than
that commander had ever read of in history_, keenly wounded the national

As fresh tidings arose of the disasters which had befallen Napoleon in
the north, the British Government renewed their zeal to assail him from
the south. Large re-enforcements were sent out during the winter with
such abundant supplies as to enable Wellington to commence the spring
campaign with every assurance of success. The Cortes in Cadiz, with
ever-varying policy, much to the disgust of many of the Spanish
generals, invested the British duke with the supreme command. The
opposition, however, was so great that the duke's brother, Mr. Henry
Wellesley, who was then British ambassador at Cadiz, advised him not to
accept the office. But the energetic duke was confident that, by
combining the whole military strength of the Peninsula with the army and
fleet of England, he could drive the feeble remnants of the French from
the kingdom. He therefore undertook the command.

The Cortes was led to this decisive measure from the fact that there was
a strong and increasing party of their own number in favor of rallying
to the support of Joseph. Their only choice lay between Joseph or
Ferdinand, or the experiment of a democratic republic. Wellington's
visit to Cadiz, says Alison, "brought forcibly under his notice the
miserable state of the Government at that place, ruled by a furious
democratic faction, intimidated by an ungovernable press, and
alternately the prey of aristocratic intrigue and democratic fury. He
did not fail to report to the Government this deplorable state of

In the beginning of May Wellington was prepared to take the field with
an allied army of two hundred thousand men. The navy of England actively
co-operated with this immense force, conveying supplies and protecting
the extreme flanks of the line, which stretched across the kingdom.
The storm of war burst forth again in all its fury. Manfully Joseph
contended to the last. In the vicinity of Valladolid he had concentrated
fifty thousand men, and hoped to be able there to give battle. But
Wellington came upon him with an army one hundred thousand strong, which
was reported to be one hundred and ninety thousand.

The French on the 14th of June retreated to Vittoria. The garrison in
Madrid and the civil authorities now abandoned the capital and took
refuge with the army. Here a short but terrible battle ensued. The
English had eighty thousand combatants on the field; the French,
according to their statement, had but half as many. Alison states their
force at sixty-five thousand. It was an awful battle. Both parties
fought desperately. The loss of the French was six thousand nine hundred
and sixty; that of the English five thousand one hundred and eighty.[Z]
The French army was impoverished after weary months of warfare, in a
land stricken by famine, and wasted by the sweep of armies and the
plundering of banditti. It was with very great difficulty that Joseph
could support his destitute troops. Yet Alison, in that strain of
exaggeration which sullies his often eloquent pages, writes:

[Footnote Z: King Joseph, writing to Clarke, under date of July 6, 1813,
says: "Our army at Vittoria was but thirty-five thousand. That fact can
not be contested. The enemy had certainly seventy thousand combatants. I
can not be deceived when I say that his force was double of ours."]

"Independent of private booty, no less than five millions and a half of
dollars in the military chest of the army were taken; and of private
wealth the amount was so prodigious that for miles together the
combatants may almost be said to have marched upon gold and silver,
without stooping to pick it up."

In the hour of victory Wellington seemed to have no control over his
soldiers, whom his pen describes as drunken and brutal. Reeling in
intoxication, they wandered at will. Wellington states that three weeks
after the battle above twelve thousand of his soldiers had abandoned
their colors. "I am convinced," he says in a dispatch to Lord Bathurst,
"that we have out of our ranks doubled our loss in the battle, and have
lost more men in the pursuit than the enemy have."

The retreat of the French was conducted with the firmness and admirable
discipline characteristic of French soldiers. As the troops slowly
and sullenly retired toward the French frontier, pressed by superior
numbers, they turned occasionally upon their pursuers, and the
advance-guard of the foe encountered several very bloody repulses.

We have not space to allude to these various conflicts, which only
checked for a moment the onrolling tide of the victorious allied army.
Wellington's troops took the town of San Sebastian by storm. This was a
beautiful Spanish city, through which the French retreated, and where
they made a short and desperate stand. We will leave it to Mr. Alison
to describe the conduct of Lord Wellington's troops.

"And now commenced," writes Alison, "a scene which has affixed as
lasting a stain on the character of the English and Portuguese troops,
as the heroic valor they displayed in the assault has given them
enduring and exalted fame. The long endurance of the assault had
wrought the soldiers up to perfect madness. The soldiers wreaked their
vengeance with fearful violence on the unhappy inhabitants. Some of the
houses adjoining the breaches had taken fire from the effects of the
explosion. The flames, fanned by an awful tempest which burst on the
town, soon spread with frightful rapidity. The wretched inhabitants,
driven from house to house as the conflagration devoured their
dwellings, were soon huddled together in one quarter, where they fell a
prey to the unbridled passions of the soldiery.

"Attempts were at first made by the British officers to extinguish
the flames, but they proved vain among the general confusion which
prevailed. The soldiers broke into the burning houses, pillaged them of
the most valuable articles they contained, and rolling numerous casks of
spirits into the streets, with frantic shouts, emptied them of their
contents, till vast numbers of them sank down like savages, motionless,
some lifeless, from the excess.

"Carpets, tapestry, beds, silks and satins, wearing apparel, jewelry,
watches, and every thing valuable, were scattered about upon the bloody
pavements, while fresh bundles of them were thrown from the windows
above to avoid the flames, and caught with demoniac yells by the drunken
crowds beneath. Amidst these scenes of disgraceful violence and
unutterable woe, nine-tenths of the once happy, smiling town of St.
Sebastian were reduced to ashes. And what has affixed a yet darker blot
on the character of the victors, deeds of violence and cruelty were
perpetrated hitherto rare in the British army, and which causes the
historian to blush, not merely for his country, but for his species."

The account which is given by Spanish historians of these transactions
is even far more dreadful than the above; so revolting that we can not
pain our readers by transcribing it upon these pages. A document issued
by the Constitutional Junta, after describing crimes as awful as even
fiends could commit, adds:

"Other crimes more horrible still, which our pen refuses to record, were
committed in that awful night, and the disorders continued for some days
after without any efficient steps being taken to arrest them. Of above
six hundred houses, of which St. Sebastian consisted on the morning of
the assault, there remained at the end of three days only

[Footnote AA: Manifeste par la Junte Constitutionale, et les habitans de
St. Sebastien.]

The Duke of Wellington, in his dispatch to the Spanish Minister of War,
said, in reference to these excesses, that it was impossible for him to
restrain the passions of his soldiers, that he and his officers did
their utmost to stop the fire and to avoid the disorders, but that all
their efforts were ineffectual.

Joseph, in his retreat, threw three thousand men into the citadel of St.
Sebastian. They held back the British army sixty days. Their skill and
valor extorted the commendation of their foes. The siege cost the allied
army three thousand eight hundred men, and delayed for three months the
invasion of the southern provinces of France.

Joseph slowly retreated, fighting his way, step by step, across the
Pyrenees into France, pursued by the victors. On the 12th of April,
Joseph, having crossed the mountains, and being thus driven from his
kingdom, had no longer any legitimate power. The command of the French
army devolved upon Soult. Utterly weary of the cares and harassments of
royalty, for which Joseph never had any inclination, he joined his wife
and children at his estate at Mortfontaine. England had wrested the
crown of Spain from Joseph Bonaparte, one of the best men whom a crown
has ever adorned, and soon, with the aid of allied Europe, placed that
crown upon the brow of Ferdinand VII., one of the worst men who has ever
disgraced a throne. The result was that Spain was consigned to another
half-century of shame, debasement, and misery.

Joseph had scarcely re-united himself with his wife and children in
their much-loved home at Mortfontaine, when the allied armies, numbering
more than a million and a half of bayonets, came crowding upon France
from the north, from the east, and from the south; while the fleet of
England, mistress of all the seas, lent its majestic co-operation on the
west. Then ensued the sublimest conflict of which history gives us any
account. Never before, in all Napoleon's world-renowned campaigns, had
he displayed such vigor as in the masterly blows with which he struck
one after another of his thronging assailants, and drove them, staggered
and bleeding, before him.

France was exhausted. All Europe had combined to crush the Republican
Empire, and restore the despotism of the old regime. Through an almost
uninterrupted series of victories, Napoleon lost his crown. When in any
one direction he was driving his foes headlong before him, from all
other points they were rushing on, till France and Paris were well-nigh
whelmed in the mighty inundation. In these hours of disaster, Joseph
offered life, property, all to the service of his brother. They held a
few hurried interviews in Paris, and then separated, each to fulfill his
appointed task in the terrible drama.

The Emperor confided to Joseph the defense of Paris, and the protection
of his son and of the Empress. On the 16th of March, 1814, the Emperor
wrote to his brother from Reims:

"In accordance with the verbal instructions which I gave you, and with
the spirit of all my letters, you must not allow, happen what may, the
Empress and the King of Rome to fall into the hands of the enemy. The
manoeuvres I am about to make may possibly prevent your hearing from
me for several days. If the enemy should march on Paris with so strong a
force as to render resistance impossible, send off toward the Loire the
Regent, my son, the great dignitaries, the ministers, the senators, the
President of the Conseil d'Etat, the chief officers of the crown, and
Baron de la Bouillerie, with the money which is in my treasury. Never
lose sight of my son, and remember that I would rather know that he was
in the Seine, than that he was in the hands of the enemies of France.
The fate of Astyanax, prisoner to the Greeks, has always seemed to me
the most lamentable in history."

Faithfully, energetically, wisely, Joseph fulfilled the mission
intrusted to him. In every possible way he endeavored to aid the Emperor
in his heroic efforts; recruiting troops, arming them, and hurrying them
off to the points where they were most needed. It was not till the
allied forces were upon the heights of Montmartre, and where further
resistance would but have exposed the capital to the horrors of a
bombardment, that he consented to a surrender. All the arms in the city
had been given out to the new levies, as they had been sent to the seat
of war, and none remained to place in the hands of the populace, even
were it judged best to summon them to the defense of the metropolis. A
grand council was called on the 29th of March. The ministers, the grand
dignitaries, the presidents of the sections, of the Council of State,
and the President of the Senate were present.

The majority of the council were in favor of defending the city to the
last possible moment. There were at hand the two corps of the dukes of
Ragusa and Trevise, consisting of about seventeen thousand combatants, a
few thousand of the National Guard, poorly armed, a few batteries served
by the students of the schools and by the Invalides, and a few hundred
recruits not yet organized. It was urged that the Empress, like another
Maria Theresa, should remain with her son in the city, to assure the
populace by her presence, and embolden the defense. She was to show
herself to the people at the Hotel de Ville, with her son in her arms.
Should the Empress leave the city, it would so discourage the people
that all attempts at defense would be hopeless. Should she remain, the
danger was very great that both she and her son might be captured; and
unless she should immediately escape, all egress might be cut off, as
the Allies were rapidly surrounding the city.

Toward the close of the discussion, the Emperor's letter to Joseph of
the 16th of March was presented and read. In this it will be remembered
that he said:

"You must not allow, happen what may, the Empress and the King of Rome
to fall into the hands of the enemy. Never lose sight of my son, and
remember that I would rather know that he was in the Seine, than that
he was in the hands of the enemies of France. The fate of Astyanax,
prisoner to the Greeks, has always seemed to me the most lamentable in

This settled the question. The situation of affairs was so desperate
that for the Empress to remain in Paris would be extremely perilous. It
was therefore decided that she, with the Government, should retire to
Chartres, and thence to the Loire. But Joseph stated that it was
important to ascertain the real force of the hostile army, which was
driving before them the two marshals, Marmont and Mortier. He therefore
offered to remain in the city, making all possible arrangements for its
defense, till that fact should be ascertained. Should it be found that
resistance was quite impossible, he would rejoin the Government upon the

It is very evident that Joseph and the assembled Senate, and that
Napoleon himself, hoped that Maria Louisa, from her own inward impulse,
would soar to the heights of a heroine. Napoleon could not ask her to
come thus to his defense. At St. Helena the Emperor allowed the regret
to escape his lips that Maria Louisa was not able to rise to the
sublimity of the occasion. The Empress, however, was but an ordinary
woman, incapable of a grand action, and it is to be remembered that she
must have been embarrassed by the thought that, in striving to arouse
France for the defense of her husband, she was arraying the empire
against her own father. Maria Louisa, as regent, presided over this
private council. The session was prolonged until after midnight. Joseph
and the arch-chancellor accompanied the Empress to her home. It is
evident, even then, that Joseph hoped that the Empress would assume the
responsibility of a heroic act. M. Meneval, the secretary of the
Empress, who was present at this interview, says:

"After the exchange of a few words upon the disastrous consequences of
abandoning Paris, Joseph and the arch-chancellor ventured to say that
the Empress alone could decide what course it was her duty to pursue.
The Empress replied 'that they were her appointed advisers, and that she
could not undertake any course unless she was advised to do it by them,
over their own seal and signature.' Both declined to assume this

The departure of the Empress was fixed at eight o'clock the next
morning. Joseph had already passed the barriers, to proceed to the
advance posts of the army to reconnoitre the foe. The day had not
yet dawned, when the saloons of the palace were filled with those who
were to accompany the Empress in her flight. Anxiety sat upon every
countenance, and the solemnity of the occasion caused every voice to be
hushed, so that impressive silence reigned. Early as was the hour, the
alarming rumor that the Empress was to abandon Paris had reached the
ears of the National Guard. Suddenly the officers of the guard who
were stationed at the palace, with several others who had joined them,
precipitately entered, and, by their earnest request, were conducted to
the Empress. They entreated her not to leave Paris, promising to defend
her to the last possible extremity.


The Empress was moved to tears by their devotion, but alleged the order
of the Emperor. Nevertheless, conscious of the discouraging effect of
her departure, she delayed hour after hour, hoping without venturing to
avow it that some chance might arise which would enable her to remain.
M. Clarke, the Minister of War, alarmed at the danger that soon all
egress would be impossible, sent an officer to the Empress to represent
to her the necessity of an immediate departure. Thus urged by some
to go, by others to remain, the Empress was agitated by the most
distracting embarrassment. She returned to her chamber, threw her hat
upon her bed, seated herself in a chair, buried her face in her hands,
and burst into an uncontrollable flood of tears. "O my God," she was
heard to exclaim, "let them decide this question among themselves, and
put an end to this my agony."

About ten o'clock the Minister of War sent again to her a message
stating that she had not one moment to lose, and that unless she left
immediately she was in danger of falling into the hands of the Cossacks.
As Joseph was now absent, and she could receive no further counsel from
him, she hastened her departure. It was indeed true that the delay of a
few hours would have rendered her escape impossible, for that very day
the banners of the Allies presented themselves before the walls of the

Joseph had returned rapidly to the city, to make as determined a defense
as possible. The National Guard hastened to the posts assigned them.
Volunteers, many of them armed with shot-guns, advanced to operate as
skirmishers against the foe. The students of the Polytechnic School
served the artillery confided to their "young and brilliant" valor. The
thunders of the cannonade were soon heard, rousing the populace to a
frenzy of courage. They rushed through the streets demanding arms, but
there were none to be given them. The arsenals were all empty.

The allied troops came pouring on like the raging tides of the sea.
Their numbers in advance and in the rear far exceeded a million of
bayonets. It was all dynastic Europe arrayed against one man. Distinctly
the allied kings had declared to the world that they were not fighting
against France, but against Napoleon.

The next day, the 30th, Joseph received a note from General Marmont,
written in pencil, from the midst of the conflict, stating that it would
be impossible to prolong the resistance beyond a few hours, and that
measures must immediately be adopted to save Paris from the horrors of
being carried by storm. Joseph instantly convoked a council, and the
opinion was unanimous that a capitulation was inevitable. Accordingly
Joseph at once sent General Stroltz, his aide-de-camp, to Marshals
Marmont and Mortier, authorizing them to enter into a conference with
the enemy, while they were to continue their resistance as persistently
as possible.

All hope of defending Paris was now abandoned. In accordance with the
instructions of the Emperor, it was the duty of Joseph to join himself
to the Empress and her son. At four o'clock he crossed the Seine. A few
moments after the bridges were seized by the enemy. Napoleon had retired
to Fontainebleau. Passing through Versailles, where he ordered the
cavalry in that city to follow him, Joseph proceeded to Chartres, where
he joined the Empress and her son, and with them advanced to Blois. He
hoped to join his brother at Fontainebleau, there to confer with him
upon the measures to be adopted in these hours of disaster. With this
intention he set out from Blois, but squadrons of hostile cavalry were
sweeping in all directions, and his communication beyond Orleans was cut
off. He was therefore compelled to return to Blois. There he was in the
greatest peril, for the Cossacks were in his immediate vicinity. He
could neither reach the Emperor nor communicate with him. Neither could
he ascertain the result of the negotiation entered into at Paris with
the foe.

Almost immediately the news came of the Emperor's abdication. The
Cossacks escorted Maria Louisa and the King of Rome to Rambouillet,
where they were placed under the care of her father, the Emperor of
Austria. The Emperor was sent to Elba. Joseph, who was still wealthy,
purchased the estate of Prangins, on the border of the lake of Geneva.
Here he had a brief respite from the terrible storms of life, with his
wife and children, in that retirement which he loved so well.




Attempt to assassinate Napoleon.--Landing of Napoleon in France.
--Attempt to Escape.--Vigilance of the Allies.--Generosity of
Joseph.--Joseph escapes from France.--Selects Point Breeze.--Calumnies
of the Allies.--Noble Character of Joseph Bonaparte.--Death of the
Emperor.--Letter of General Bertrand.--Marriage of Princess Charlotte.
--The Crown of Mexico.--Visit of La Fayette.--General Lamarque.--Letter
from General Lamarque.--Letter to Francis Leiber.--Letter to La
Fayette.--Letter to Maria Louisa.--Letter to Prince Metternich.--Letter
to the Emperor of Austria.--Appeal to the Chamber of Deputies.--Letter
to General Lamarque.--Letter to General Bernard.--Letter to La
Fayette.--Letter to the Duke of Reichstadt.

While Joseph was enjoying his peaceful residence upon the shores of
Europe's most beautiful lake, Madame de Stael hastened to inform him
of a plot which had been revealed to her for the assassination of the
Emperor at Elba. The evidence was conclusive. Joseph was at breakfast
with the celebrated tragedian Talma. Both Talma and Madame de Stael
were anxious to hasten to Elba to inform the Emperor of his danger.
But Joseph sent a personal friend, and two of the assassins were

[Footnote AB: "I thanked them for their generous offer, but preferred to
charge with that difficult commission M. Boisneau, whose patriotism and
personal attachment to Napoleon I had known at the siege of Toulon. You
know with what success he fulfilled his commission."--Memoires du Roi
Joseph, tome dixieme, p. 342.]

At Prangins, in 1815, Joseph learned that Napoleon had landed in France,
had advanced as far as Lyons, and was desirous of seeing him in Paris
as soon as possible. Joseph's wife, Julie, was then in Paris, having
been drawn there by the sickness and death of the mother, Madame Clary.
He immediately left his chateau, after having buried all his valuable
papers in a box in the forest, setting out secretly at ten o'clock at
night, accompanied by the two princesses, his daughters. A few hours
after his departure, an armed band, sent by the influence of the Allies,
arrived at the chateau to arrest him. Joseph upon his arrival in France,
immediately, with characteristic devotion, placed himself entirely at
the disposition of the brother he loved so well.

As Joseph traversed France, he was everywhere met with great enthusiasm,
the people shouting, "Napoleon the Emperor of our choice;" "The nation
desires him alone;" "No aristocracy;" "Away with the old regime."

Before the departure of the Emperor for Waterloo, many distinguished
persons, among others Benjamin Constant, who assisted in drawing up the
celebrated Additional Act, were introduced to him by Joseph. One day he
conducted to the Tuileries the son of Madame de Stael, who bore a letter
from his mother to the Emperor, in which, speaking of the _Additional
Act_, she said, "It is every thing which France can now need; nothing
but what it needs, nothing more than it needs."

In speaking of the "_Acte Additionel_" Mr. Alison says, "It excited
unbounded opposition in both the parties which now divided the nation,
and left the Emperor in reality no support but in the soldiers of the
army." A few paragraphs later, when stating that the "_Acte_" was
submitted to the people to be adopted or rejected by popular suffrage,
he says truthfully, though in manifest contradiction to his former

"The '_Acte Additionel_' was approved by an immense majority of the
electors; the numbers being fifteen hundred thousand to five hundred."

After the disaster at Waterloo, Joseph was the constant companion of his
brother during those few days of anguish in which he remained in Paris.
On the 29th of June he left the metropolis to join his brother, who had
preceded him, at Rochefort, where the two intended to embark for America
in two different ships, the _Saale_ and the _Medusa_. After several days
of necessary delay, at four o'clock in the afternoon of July 8th
Napoleon was rowed out to the _Saale_, which was anchored at a distance
from the quay. But the Bourbons and the Allies were now in power in
France, and British guard-ships were doubled along the French coast. No
vessel was allowed to leave.

Joseph, who had received letters from his wife informing him of all that
had transpired in Paris, proposed that the Emperor should return to
land, place himself at the head of the Army of the Loire, summon the
population of France to rise _en masse_, and again appeal to the
fortunes of war. But the Emperor could not be persuaded to resort to a
measure which would enkindle the flames of civil war in France, and
which might also expose the kingdom to dismemberment, since the Allies
already held a considerable portion of its territory.

Joseph then urged his brother to embark in a small American vessel which
chanced to be in the port, while Joseph, personating Napoleon, whom he
strongly resembled, should surrender himself as the Emperor. It was
thought that the British cruisers, thus deceived, would allow the
American vessel to sail without a very rigid search. But the Emperor
declined the offer to escape at the hazard of his brother's captivity.
Neither would his pride of character allow him to seek flight in the
garb of disguise. He therefore urged Joseph to leave him to his destiny,
and to provide immediately for his own safety.

During the whole of Napoleon's career there were always multitudes ready
to lay down their lives at any time for his protection. The captain of
the _Medusa_, a sixty-gun frigate, offered to grapple the English
frigate _Bellerophon_, of seventy-four guns, and to maintain the unequal
and desperate conflict until the _Saale_ could escape with the Emperor.
But as this would be sacrificing many lives to his personal safety,
Napoleon declined the magnanimous offer.

Leaving matters in this state of uncertainty, Joseph retired from
Rochefort to the country-seat of a friend, at the distance of a few
leagues. He left his secretary behind, to keep him informed of all that
transpired. Two days after he received a letter announcing that the
Emperor had taken the fatal resolution to surrender himself to the
British Government. Joseph could no longer be of any assistance to his
brother, and he decided to leave France as soon as possible. Under the
assumed name of M. Bouchard, he embarked at Royan on the 29th of July,
with four of his suite, on board the bark _Commerce_, bound for the
United States. The vessel was visited several times by the British
cruisers without his being recognized. On the 28th of August, 1815,
Joseph landed at New York. Captain Misservey, of the bark, was not aware
of the illustrious rank of his passenger, but supposed him to be General
Carnot. The Mayor of New York, under the same impression, called upon
him as General Carnot, to congratulate him upon his safe passage.

There were at the time two English frigates cruising before the harbor
of New York, to search all vessels coming from Europe. One of these
frigates bore down upon the _Commerce_, but the wind, and the skill of
the American pilot, saved the ship from a visit. If the English had
succeeded in seizing the person of Joseph, they would have taken him
back to England, and thence to Russia, where the Allies had decided to
hold him in captivity.

It was not known in America until Joseph's arrival that Napoleon had
confided himself to the English. The illustrious exile, much broken
in health by care and sorrow, assumed the title of the Count of
Survilliers, the name of an estate which he held in France, and sought
the retreat of a quiet, private life, as a refuge from the storms by
which he had so long been tossed.

After having travelled through many of the States of the Union, and
having visited most of the principal cities, he purchased in New Jersey,
upon the banks of the Delaware, a very beautiful property, called _Point
Breeze_. Here he lived the sad life of an exile, reflecting upon the
ruin and dispersion of his family, and exposed to every species of
contumely from the European press, then controlled by the triumphant
dynasties of the old feudal oppression. It was for the interest of all
these regal courts to convince the world that the Bonapartes were the
enemies, not the friends of humanity; that they were struggling, not for
the rights of mankind, but to impose upon the world hitherto unheard-of
despotism; and that in principles and practice they were the most
godless and dissolute of men. In this they succeeded for a time, and
there are thousands who still adhere to the senseless calumny. Terrible
indeed is the condition of a family when it is for the vital interests
of all the crowns of Europe to consecrate their influence, and lavish
their money to blacken the character of all its members.

But the noble character of Joseph Bonaparte could not be concealed. His
record had been written in ineffaceable lines. His illustrious name,
purity of morals, large fortune, simple and cordial manners, and his
wide-reaching liberality, endeared him greatly to his neighbors and
multiplied his friends. His wife was in such extremely delicate health
that it was not deemed safe for her to undertake a voyage across the
ocean. But his two daughters, the Princess Zenaide and Charlotte, and
subsequently his son-in-law, Charles Bonaparte, elder brother of the
present Emperor, Napoleon III., shared with him his exile.

The entire overthrow of the popular governments which had been
established by the aid of Napoleon, and the relentless spirit manifested
by the conquerors, filled all lands with exiles. Many of the most
distinguished men of Europe sought a refuge with Joseph, where they were
received with the most generous hospitality. When the tidings reached
Point Breeze of the destitution in which Napoleon was living in the
dilapidated hut at St. Helena, Joseph immediately placed his whole
fortune at the disposal of his brother. It was, however, too late, and
the Emperor profited but little from this generous offer. A few years
passed wearily away, when in May, 1821, Napoleon, through destitution,
insults, and anguish, sank sadly into his grave. General Bertrand, who
had so magnanimously accompanied the captive in his imprisonment at
Saint Helena, and had shared in all his sufferings, communicated the
tidings of the death of the Emperor to Joseph in the following touching
letter. General Bertrand had returned from Saint Helena, and his letter
was dated London, September 10, 1821:

"PRINCE,--I write to you for the first time since the awful misfortune
which has been added to the sorrows of your family. Your Highness is
acquainted with the events of the first years of this cruel exile. Many
persons who have visited Saint Helena have informed you of what was
still more interesting to you, the manner of living and the unkind
treatment which aggravated the influence of a deadly climate.

"In the last year of his life, the Emperor, who for four years had taken
no exercise, altered extremely in appearance. He became pale and
feeble. From that time his health deteriorated rapidly and visibly. He
had always been in the habit of taking baths. He now took them more
frequently, and staid longer in them. They appeared to relieve him for
the time. Latterly Dr. Antommarchi forbade him their use, as he thought
that they only increased his weakness.

"In the month of August he took walking exercise, but with difficulty;
he was forced to stop every minute. In the first years he used to walk
while dictating. He walked about his room, and thus did without the
exercise which he feared to take out-of-doors, lest he should expose
himself to insult. But latterly his strength would not admit even of
this. He remained sitting nearly all day, and discontinued almost all
occupation. His health declined sensibly every month.

"Once in September, and again in the beginning of October he rode out,
as his physicians desired him to take exercise; but he was so weak that
he was obliged to return in his carriage. He ceased to digest; shivering
fits came on, which extended even to the extremities. Hot towels applied
to the feet gave him some relief. He suffered from these cold fits to
the last hour of his life. As he could no longer either walk or ride, he
took several drives in an open carriage at a foot pace, but without
gaining strength.

"He never took off his dressing-gown. His stomach rejected food, and at
the end of the year he was forced to give up meat. He lived upon jellies
and soups. For some time he ate scarcely any thing, and drank only a
little pure wine, hoping thus to support nature without fatiguing the
digestion; but the vomiting continued, and he returned to soups and
jellies. The remedies and tonics which were tried produced little
effect. His body grew weaker every day, but his mind retained its
strength. He liked reading and conversation. He did not dictate much,
although he did so from time to time up to the last days of his life. He
felt that his end was approaching, and frequently recited the passage
from 'Zaire,' which closes with this line:

     "'A revoir Paris je ne dois plus pretendre.'

"Nevertheless the hope of leaving this dreadful country often presented
itself to his imagination. Some newspaper articles and false reports
excited our expectations. We sometimes fancied that we were on the eve
of starting for America. We read travels, we made plans, we arrived at
our house, we wandered over that immense country, where alone we might
hope to enjoy liberty. Vain hopes! vain projects! which only made us
doubly feel our misfortunes.

"They could not have been borne with more serenity and courage--I might
almost add gayety. He often said to us in the evening, 'Where shall we
go? to the Theatre Francais or to the Opera?' And then he would read a
tragedy by Corneille, Voltaire, or Racine; an opera of Quinault's, or
one of Moliere's comedies. His strong mind and powerful character were
perhaps even more remarkable than on that larger theatre where he
eclipsed all that is brightest in ancient and in modern history. He
often seemed to forget what he had been. I was never tired of admiring
his philosophy and courage, the good sense and fortitude which raised
him above misfortune.

"At times, however, sad regrets and recollections of what he had done,
contrasted with what he might have done, presented themselves. He talked
of the past with perfect frankness, persuaded that, on the whole, he
had done what he was required to do, and not sharing the strange and
contradictory opinions which we hear expressed every day on events which
are not understood by the speakers. If the conversation took a
melancholy turn, he soon changed it. He loved to talk of Corsica, of his
old uncle Lucien, of his youth, of you, and of all the rest of the

"Toward the middle of March fever came on. From that time he scarcely
left his bed except for about half an hour in the day. He seldom had the
strength to shave. He now for the first time became extremely thin. The
fits of vomiting became more frequent. He then questioned the physicians
upon the conformation of the stomach, and about a fortnight before his
death he had pretty nearly guessed that he was dying of cancer. He was
read to almost every day, and dictated a few days before his decease.
He often talked naturally as to the probable mode of his death, but
when he became aware that it was approaching he left off speaking on
the subject. He thought much about you and your children.

"To his last moments he was kind and affectionate to us all. He did not
appear to suffer so much as might have been expected from the cause of
his death. When we questioned him he said that he suffered a little, but
that he could bear it. His memory declined during the last five or six
days. His deep sighs, and his exclamations from time to time, made us
think that he was in great pain. He looked at us with the penetrating
glance which you know so well. We tried to dissimulate, but he was so
used to reading our faces that no doubt he frequently discovered our
anxiety. He felt too clearly the gradual decline of his faculties not to
be aware of his state.

"For the last two hours he neither spoke nor moved. The only sound was
his difficult breathing, which gradually but regularly decreased. His
pulse ceased. And so died, surrounded by only a few servants, the man
who had dictated laws to the world, and whose life should have been
preserved for the sake of the happiness and glory of our sorrowing

"Forgive, prince, a hurried letter, which tells you so little when you
wish to know so much; but I should never end if I attempted to tell
all. I must not omit to say that the Emperor was most anxious that his
correspondence with the different sovereigns of Europe should be
printed. He repeated this to us several times.[AC] In his will the
Emperor expressed his wish that his remains should be buried in France;
however, in the last days of his life, he ordered me, if there was any
difficulty about it, to lay him by the side of the fountain whose waters
he had so long drunk."

[Footnote AC: The Emperor was very desirous that his correspondence with
the allied sovereigns should be published. He wrote to Joseph from Saint
Helena to secure their publication in the United States if possible. "It
will be the best response," he said, "to all the calumnies which have
been uttered against me." During Joseph's sojourn in England, he learned
from Dr. O'Meara that the autograph originals of these letters addressed
by Napoleon to the sovereigns had been offered for sale in London in the
year 1822; that they had been in the hands of Mr. Murray, a well-known
publisher; that the letters relating to Russia had been purchased by
a diplomatic agent of that power for ten thousand pounds sterling.
There was no longer any hope of obtaining them, since they were in
the hands of those interested in having them destroyed.--_Memoires et
Correspondence, Politique et Militaire du Roi Joseph, tome dixieme_, n.

Joseph loved his brother tenderly, and he never could speak without
emotion of the indignities and cruelties Napoleon suffered from that
ungenerous Government to whose mercy he had so fatally confided himself.
Anxious to do every thing which he thought might gratify the departed
spirit of his brother, he implored permission of Austria to visit
Napoleon's son, the Duke of Reichstadt, that he might sympathize with
him in these hours of affliction. The Court of Austria refused his

In 1824, Joseph's youngest daughter, the Princess Charlotte, left Point
Breeze to join her mother in Europe, where she was to be married to
Charles Napoleon Louis Bonaparte, the son of Louis and Hortense, and
the elder brother of the present Emperor of the French. The tastes of
Joseph inclined him to the country, and to its peaceful pursuits. He
had, however, a city residence in Philadelphia, where he usually passed
the winters. While thus residing on the banks of the Delaware, sadly
retracing the memorable events of the past and recording its scenes, he
received a proposition which surprised and gratified him. A deputation
of Mexicans waited upon him at Point Breeze, and urged him to accept the
crown of Mexico. The former King of Naples and of Spain in the following
terms responded to the invitation:

"I have worn two crowns. I would not take a single step to obtain a
third. Nothing could be more flattering to me than to see the men who,
when I was at Madrid, were unwilling to recognize my authority, come
to-day to seek me, in exile, to place the crown upon my head. But I do
not think that the throne which you wish to erect anew can promote your
happiness. Every day I spend upon the hospitable soil of the United
States demonstrates to me more fully the excellence of republican
institutions for America. Guard them, then, as a precious gift of
Providence; cease your intestine quarrels; imitate the United States and
seek from the midst of your fellow-citizens a man more capable than I am
to act the grand part of Washington."[AD]

[Footnote AD: Quelque Mot sur Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte, par Napoleon

When La Fayette in 1824 made his triumphal tour through the United
States, he visited Point Breeze to pay his respects to the brother of
the Emperor. Upon that occasion the marquis expressed deep regret in
view of the course he had pursued at the time of the abdication of

"The dynasty of the Bourbons," said he, "can not maintain itself. It too
manifestly wounds the national sentiment. We are all persuaded in France
that the son of the Emperor alone can represent the interests of the
Revolution. Place two million francs at the disposal of our committee,
and I promise you that in two years Napoleon II.[AE] will be upon the
throne of France."[AF]

[Footnote AE: The Duke of Reichstadt, son of the Emperor, then thirteen
years of age, living at Vienna, in the Court of the Emperor of Austria,
his grandfather. He died of consumption in July, 1832.]

[Footnote AF: Oeuvres de Napoleon III., tome deuxieme, p. 439.]

Joseph, however, did not think it best to embark at that time in any new
enterprise for the restoration of popular rights to France. The Bourbon
throne seemed to be for a time firmly established. Joseph was getting to
be advanced in years. The storms of his life had been so severe that he
longed only for repose.

The following extracts from the correspondence of Joseph, while he
was an exile in America, throw interesting light upon his political
principles and upon his social character. General Lamarque was one
of the veteran generals of the Empire. After the restoration of the
Bourbons, he was highly distinguished for his eloquence in the Tribune
as the antagonist of aristocratic privilege. Napoleon, when on his
death-bed at Saint Helena, in view of his earnest support of popular
rights, both on the battle-field and in the Chamber of Deputies,
recommended him for a marshal of France. Those friends of the Empire who
had been prosecuted for the part they took in the _Hundred Days_, had
found in him a zealous friend. His devotion to the interests of Poland
had secured for him the homage of that chivalrous people. The liberal
party in France, with great unanimity, regarded him as their leader.
Upon the occasion of his funeral, in June, 1832, the Liberals in Paris
made a desperate endeavor to overthrow the government of Louis Philippe.
The insurgents numbered over one hundred thousand. The attempt was
bloodily repulsed by the royalist troops. On the 27th of March, 1824,
General Lamarque wrote a letter from Paris to Joseph, from which we make
the following extracts:

"MONSIEUR LE COMTE,--The memory of your kindnesses lives as vividly
in my heart as on the day in which I received them, and I ever seek
occasions to prove this to you. Already I have refuted, in many articles
of the journals, the atrocious calumnies which have been published
against you, and I ever avow myself to the world as your admirer and
grateful friend. Be assured that your reputation is honorable and
glorious. Truth has already dispelled many clouds; soon it will shine
forth in all its brilliance.

"You do well to consecrate a portion of your time to writing your
memoirs. It seems to me that the part most interesting will be your
reign in Naples. You were there truly the philosopher upon the throne,
which Plato desired for the interests of humanity. I recall your
journeys in which you urged upon the nobles love for the people; upon
the priests tolerance; upon the military, order and moderation. Not
being able to establish political liberty, you wished to confer upon
your subjects all the benefits of municipal regime, which you regarded
as the foundation of all institutions.

"Under your reign--too short for a nation which has so deeply
regretted you--feudalism was destroyed, brigandage disappeared, the
system of imposts was changed, order was established in the finances,
administration created, the nobles and the people reconciled, new routes
opened in all directions, the capital embellished, the army and marine
reorganized, the English driven out of the whole realm, and Gaeta,
Scylla, Reggio, Manthea, and Amanthea taken.

"Your memoirs will be a lesson for kings. But that they may be received
with the religious respect due to a great misfortune, it seems to me
that you ought to efface yourself from the scene of the world, that
your writings should be like a voice coming from the depths of the tomb,
and that you should only ask of your contemporaries not to calumniate
and hate the memory of a man who, having attained the height of all
dignities, has descended from it with serenity, with resignation, and
almost with pleasure. As to Spain, were I in your place, I should say
but one word; that word would be regret in not having been able to
accomplish for Spain the good which was accomplished for Naples.

"Like you, I have been proscribed. Like you, I have wandered in foreign
lands, breathing always wishes for my country. I know how irritable
and sensitive one thus is, and how keenly one feels the attacks of his
enemies. But upon my return I perceived that in exile we exaggerate the
importance of such attacks. Let not the calumnies which reach you, after
having traversed the seas, disturb for a moment your domestic happiness,
and the calm of your situation. They are the last gusts of the tempest,
the last noise of the expiring waves."

In a letter to Francis Leiber, dated July 1, 1829, Joseph writes:

"Walter Scott wrote for the English Government, and from information
furnished him by the Government which succeeded that of the Emperor
Napoleon. Napoleon found France in delirium. He wished to rescue it
from the anarchy of 1793, and from a counter-revolution. That he well
understood the national will, his miraculous return from the isle of
Elba will prove sufficiently to posterity. The English Cabinet always
prevented the surrender of his dictatorship by perpetuating the war.
Napoleon was thus under the necessity of assuming the forms of the other
governments of Continental Europe, to reconcile them with France. All
that which Napoleon did, his nobility (which was not feudal), his family
relations, his Legion of Honor, his new realms, etc., he was under the
necessity of doing. The English ever forced him to these acts, that he
might put himself in apparent harmony with all those governments which
he had conquered, and which he wished to withdraw from the seduction of
England. Napoleon often said to me, 'Ten years more are necessary in
order to give entire liberty. I can not do what I wish, but only what
I can. These English compel me to live day by day.'"

As the tidings reached the ears of Joseph of the great Revolution of
1830 in France, in which the throne of Charles X. was demolished, he
wrote to La Fayette under date of Sept. 7, 1830:

"MY DEAR GENERAL,--General Lallemand, who will hand you this letter,
will recall me to your memory. He will tell you with what enthusiasm the
population of this country, American and French, have received the news
of the glorious events of which Paris has been the theatre. If I had
not seen at the head of affairs a name[AG] with which mine can never
be in accord, I should be with you immediately with General Lallemand.
You will recall our interview in this hospitable and free land. My
sentiments are as invariable as yours and those of my family. _Every
thing for the French people._

[Footnote AG: Louis Philippe, Duke of Orleans.]

"Doubtless I can not forget that my nephew, Napoleon II.,[AH] was
proclaimed by the Chamber which, in 1815, was dissolved by the bayonets
of foreigners. Faithful to the motto of my family, _Every thing by
France and for France_, I wish to discharge my duties to her. You know
my opinions, long ago proclaimed. Individuals and families can have only
_duties_ to fulfill in their relation to nations. The nations have
_rights_ to exercise. If the French nation should call to the head of
affairs the most obscure family, I think that we ought to submit to its
will entirely. The nation alone has the right to destroy its work.

[Footnote AH: Napoleon's son, the Duke of Reichstadt.]

"I ask for the abolition of that tyrannic law which has shut out from
France a family which had opened the kingdom to all those Frenchmen whom
the Revolution had expelled. I protest against any election made by
private corporations, or by bodies not having obtained from the nation
the powers which the nation alone has the right to confer.

"Adieu, my dear general. My letter proves to you the justice I render to
the sentiments you expressed to me during the triumphal journey you made
among this people, where I have seen, for fifteen years, that liberty is
not a chimera, that it is a blessing which a nation, moderate and wise,
can enjoy when it wishes."

To Maria Louisa, daughter of the Emperor of Austria, and mother of the
Duke of Reichstadt, Joseph wrote the next day, September 10, as

"MADAME MY SISTER,--The events which transpired in Paris at the close of
July, and of which we have received intelligence, through the English
journals, to the 1st of August, remove the principal difficulties in
the way of the return of Napoleon II. to the throne of his father. If
the Emperor, his grandfather,[AI] lends him the least support, if he
will permit that, under my guidance, he may show himself to the French
people, his presence alone will re-establish him upon the throne. The
Duke of Orleans can rally around him partisans, only in consequence of
the absence of the son of your Majesty. It is his re-establishment in
France which alone can reunite all parties, stifle the germs of a new
revolution, and thus secure the tranquillity of Europe.

[Footnote AI: The Emperor of Austria.]

"If I were in a position to unfold to your august father the reasons
which render this step indispensable on his part at this moment, he
could have no doubt of its imperious necessity. His ministry would
perceive that the happiness of his grandson, that of France, the
tranquillity of Italy, and perhaps of the rest of Europe, depend upon
the re-establishment of the throne of Napoleon II. He is the only one
chosen by the voice of the nation. He alone can prevent a new revolution
the results of which no mortal can foresee. I hope that the many
misfortunes which we have encountered have not effaced from the heart
of your Majesty the affection she has manifested for me under diverse
circumstances. I can only offer to her myself for her son. For a long
time I have been disabused of the illusions of human grandeur; but I
am more than ever the slave of that which I deem to be my duty."

On the 18th of September, 1830, Joseph wrote a letter to the Emperor
of Austria, which he inclosed in a letter of the same date to Prince
Metternich. In his letter to Metternich, Joseph wrote:

"I do not doubt, sir, that you desire the welfare of the grandson
of the Emperor whom you have so long served, the welfare of Austria,
the tranquillity of Europe, and even of France, if these are
all reconcilable. I am convinced that they are to-day perfectly
reconcilable, and that Napoleon II. restored to the wishes of the
French people can alone secure all these results. I offer myself to
serve him as a guide. The happiness of my country, the peace of the
world, will be the noble ends of my ambition.

"Napoleon II. arriving in France under the national colors, conducted
by a man whose sentiments and patriotic affections are well known, can
alone prevent the usurpation of the Duke of Orleans, who, being neither
called to the throne by the rights of succession nor by the national
will, clearly and legitimately expressed, can maintain himself in power
only by caressing all parties, and finally becoming subordinate to the
one which offers him the best chances of success, whatever may be the
means to be employed for that end."

Joseph's letter to the Emperor of Austria contained the following
expressions: "The particular esteem with which the virtues of your
Majesty inspire me, embolden me to recall myself to his recollection
under circumstances in which the general welfare appears to me to be
in accord with the sentiments of his heart, that he may restore to the
wishes of the French people a prince who alone can confer upon them
internal peace, and assure the tranquillity of Europe. This peace and
tranquillity would be disturbed by the efforts which must be made to
sustain in France a government of usurpation like that of the Duke of
Orleans, or even a republic, if the absence of the son of Napoleon, the
grandson of your Majesty, should constrain the nation, thus abandoned
by the prince of its choice, to surrender itself to another form of
government. Sire, if you will entrust to me the son of my brother,
that son whom he enjoined, upon his death-bed, to follow my advice in
returning to France, I guarantee the success of the enterprise. Alone,
with a tri-color scarf, will Napoleon II. be proclaimed.

"Will it be necessary for me to speak of myself to your Majesty to
give him confidence in my character? Must I recall to his remembrance
that, after the treaty of Luneville, he communicated to me, through an
autograph letter to Count Cobentzl, that the opinion he had formed of
my moderation was such that he would with pleasure see me placed upon
the throne of Lombardy? I refused that throne. I preferred to remain
in France. Since then, at Naples, in Spain, has that character been

"To-day, as then, I am guided by the single sentiment of duty. My
ambition limits itself to doing what I ought for France, for the
memory of my brother, and to die upon my native soil a witness of
the happiness of the grandson of your Majesty, which is inseparable
from that of France and from the tranquillity of Europe. I can only
contribute to that to-day by my wishes. May your Majesty second them by
his powerful influence, and thus consolidate the peace of the world and
the eternal glory of his name."

On the same day, September 18, Joseph wrote an earnest appeal to the
French Chamber of Deputies.[AJ] The following extracts will show its
character. "It is impossible that a house, reigning through the
principle of divine right, should maintain itself upon a throne from
which it has been expelled by the nation. The divorce between the House
of Bourbon and the French people has been pronounced, and nothing can
destroy the souvenirs of the past. In vain the Duke of Orleans abjures
his house in the moment of its misfortunes. A Bourbon himself, returning
to France, sword in hand, with the Bourbons, in the train of foreign
armies, what matter is it that his father voted for the death of the
King, his cousin, that he might take his place? What matter is it that
the brother of Louis XVI. named him lieutenant-general of the realm,
and regent of his grandson? Is he the less a Bourbon? Has he the less
pretension of being entitled to the throne by the right of birth? Is it
through the choice of the people, or the right of birth, that he claims
to sit upon the throne of his ancestors?

[Footnote AJ: Oeuvres de Napoleon III. tome deuxieme, p. 441.]

"The family of Napoleon has been elected by three million five hundred
thousand votes. If the nation deem it for its interest to make another
choice, it has the power and the right to do so; but the nation alone.
Napoleon II. was proclaimed king by the Chamber of Deputies in 1815,
which recognized in him a right conferred by the nation. That he may be
the legitimate sovereign, in the true acceptation of the word, that is
to say, legally and voluntarily chosen by the people, there is no need
of a new election so long as the nation has not adopted any other form
of government. Still the nation is supreme to confirm or reject the
titles it has given according to its pleasure. Till then, gentlemen, you
are bound to recognize Napoleon II. And until Austria shall restore him
to the wishes of France, I offer myself to share your perils, your
efforts, your labors, and, upon his arrival, to transmit to him the
will, the examples, the last dispositions of his father, dying a victim
of the enemies of France upon the rock of Saint Helena. These words the
Emperor addressed to me through General Bertrand:

"'Say to my son that he should remember, first of all, that he is a
Frenchman. Let him give the nation as much liberty as I have given it
equality. Foreign wars did not permit me to do that which I should have
done at the general peace. I was perpetually in dictatorship. But I ever
had, as the motive in all my actions, the love and the grandeur of the
great nation. Let him take my device, _Every thing for the French
people_. It is to that people we are indebted for all that we have been.

"'The liberty of the press is the triumph of truth. It is that which
should diffuse general intelligence. Let it speak, and let the will of
the great mass of the people be accomplished.'"

Again, on the 26th of September, Joseph wrote to General Lamarque: "The
Duke of Orleans, by his birth, by his connection with the reigning
branches of the family of Bourbon, which he in vain attempts to ignore,
will soon be suspected by the patriots of France, and by the liberals
of Italy and of Spain. The act which places him upon the throne, not
emanating from the nation, can not constitute him king of the French.
A few capitalists in Paris are not France. He can not therefore have
the cordial assent of the liberals of any country. He can not have the
support of those who believe in the legitimacy of the elder branch of
his house. He can not have the assent of those who have not lost the
memory of the votes which the nation gave to Napoleon, and to Napoleon
II., whom the Chamber of Deputies proclaimed in 1815.

"The Duke of Orleans, was he not a pupil of Dumourier? Did he not, like
Dumourier, desert the cause of the nation? Did he not, in London, in
the presence of all the emigrant French nobility, ask pardon and make
the _amende honorable_ for having, for one instant, borne the national
colors? Did he not go to Cadiz, sent by the English, to fight the French
troops who did not then wear the white cockade of the Bourbons? Did he
not enter France in the train of the Allies, sword in hand, with his
cousins? Was he not rescued with them, and did he not owe to the
disaster at Waterloo his return to France?

"The thirty-two individuals who called him first to the
lieutenant-generalship of the realm would have called some one else if
they had not been greatly influenced by his rights of birth. Was there
no other man in France more worthy to take temporarily the helm of
state? General La Fayette, who was at the head of the provisory
government, would he not have given to the nation, and to the friends
of liberty and of order in the two worlds, stronger guaranties than a
prince of the House of Bourbon? The enthronement of the Duke of Orleans
can be approved only by the enemies of France. His illegitimacy, both in
view of the sovereignty of the people and of the partisans of divine
right, is so evident that he can only govern by being submissive to the
will of the factions, whom he will be compelled to obey, now one, and
now another. The time for representative governments has arrived.
Liberty, equality, public order can not exist where those governing are
of a different species from those who are governed."

In a letter to General Bernard, on the 29th of September, Joseph uttered
the following prophetic sentiment: "You were deceived by your informants
when you said that the name of Napoleon was not pronounced by the
combatants. It was pronounced by them. It was pronounced by the Army of
Algiers. It is to-day pronounced by the people in the departments and
will soon be by entire France. The artifices of intrigue and deception
are temporary. The national will, sooner or later, must triumph."

La Fayette had been mainly instrumental in placing the Duke of Orleans
upon the throne of France. He wrote to Joseph Bonaparte explaining his
reasons for this. In allusion to the fact that he was compelled to
yield to the pressure of circumstances, he said, "You know that in home
affairs, as in foreign affairs, no one can do just what he wishes to
have done. Your incomparable brother, with his power, his character,
his genius, experienced this himself." He also expressed his strong
disapproval of the dictatorship of Napoleon, and of the aristocracy
which he introduced. Joseph replied from Point Breeze, under date of
January 15, 1831:

"MY DEAR GENERAL,--I have received your letter of the 26th of November.
I am satisfied that under the circumstances you did that which you
conscientiously thought it your duty to do. You have thought, as have I,
and as did the Emperor Napoleon, that a republic could not, at present,
be established in France. You have recoiled before the confusion which
it would introduce in the interior. You could undoubtedly have found a
remedy for that in the family which the nation had called to such high
destinies. But the hatred of foreigners against that family which France
had chosen, inclined you to a prince between whom and legitimacy there
was but a single child.[AK]

[Footnote AK: Charles X. abdicated in favor of his grandson, the Duke of
Bordeaux, a child seven or eight years old. Should that child die, the
Duke of Orleans would be the _legitimate_ Bourbon candidate for the

"My reply is short. Let France preserve peace and liberty with that
family. Let such become the _national will legitimately expressed_, and
the conduct of the sixty-two Deputies, who have called the second branch
of the House of Bourbon to power, will no longer be discussed by any
one. Will this be done? Time alone can tell us.

"The portion of your letter in which you speak of the Napoleonic system
as impressed with despotism and aristocracy merits, on my part, a more
detailed response. While I render justice to your good intentions, I can
not but deplore the situation in which you found yourself when released
from the prisons of Austria. That imprisonment did not permit you to
judge the influence exerted upon the national opinion and character
by the wretched Reign of Terror. You had only seen the liberal system
of America, and you have condemned the all-powerful man who did not
transfer that system to France. I remember that one day my brother, in
coming from an interview with you, my dear general, said to me these

"'I have just had a very interesting conversation with the Marquis de la
Fayette upon the subject of the disorderly persons whom the police have
sent from Paris. I have said to him that this was done that they might
not disturb the tranquillity of good men like himself, whose residence
in France appeared to them one of my crimes.[AL] The Marquis de la
Fayette does not know the character of these people in whom he interests
himself. He was in the prisons of despotism when these people made all
France to tremble. But France remembers this too well. We are not here
in America.'

[Footnote AL: The Jacobins wished all whom they termed aristocrats
guillotined or expelled from France.]

"Napoleon never doubted your good intentions. But he thought that you
judged too favorably of your contemporaries. He was forced into war by
the English, and into the dictatorship by the war. These few words are
the history of the Empire. Napoleon incessantly said to me, 'When will
peace arrive? Then only can I satisfy all, and show myself as I am.'

"The aristocracy of which you accuse him was only the mode of placing
himself in harmony with Europe. But the old feudal aristocracy was never
in his favor. The proof of this is that he was its victim, and that he
expiated, at Saint Helena, the crime of having wished to employ all
the institutions in favor of the people; and the European aristocracy
contrived to turn against him even those very masses for whose benefit
he was laboring. The French nation renders him justice; and the European
masses will not be slow to say that Napoleon had ever in view the
suffrage of posterity, whose verdict is always in favor of him who has
only in view the happiness of his country."

On the 15th of February, 1832, Joseph wrote from Point Breeze to the
Duke of Reichstadt as follows:

"MY DEAR NEPHEW,--The bearer of this letter will be the interpreter of
my sentiments. He has passed several weeks in my retreat. They have
been occupied with the souvenirs of your father, and of your future
lot. I was born eighteen months before your father. We were brought up
together. Nothing has ever diminished the warm affection which united
us. At his death he entrusted to me the care of communicating to you his
last wishes. But before my distance from you enabled me to fulfill that
duty, his testament had been published in all the leading journals of

"When, in 1830, the house imposed upon France by foreigners was again
expelled by the nation, I hastened to address to the Chamber of
Deputies, and to his Imperial Majesty, your grandfather, the inclosed
letters. But my distance from France still thwarted my wishes, and the
younger branch of that same house was again imposed upon France by a
factious minority. Innumerable calumnies, intended to alienate the
nation from you, were scattered abroad with profusion. A chamber,
controlled by the Government usurping the rights of the nation,
proscribed us anew. But the voice of the people called you. Of that
I have conclusive evidence.

"Let his Imperial Majesty consent to entrust you to my care; let him
send me a passport that I may come to him and to you, I will quit my
retreat to respond to his confidence, to yours, to the sentiment which
commands me to spare no efforts to restore to the love of the French the
son of the man whom I have loved the most of any one upon earth. My
opinions are well known in France. They are in harmony with those of the
nation. If you enter France with me and a tri-color scarf, you will be
received there as the son of Napoleon.

"When you were born in Paris, the 20th of March, 1811, your father had
become, through the love of the French people as well as through the
obstinacy of the English oligarchy making war upon him, the most
powerful prince in Europe. The English oligarchy foresaw the prosperity
which France, governed in accordance with the liberal doctrines of the
age, would attain if she had peace. That oligarchy feared the contagion
of the example upon other states. Therefore it did not cease to employ
the immense resources which the monopoly of the commerce of the world
placed at its disposal to excite against Napoleon enemies at home and
abroad, and to stifle, at its birth, the union of the peoples and the
kings for the reform of the anti-social privileges of the oligarchy. It
therefore provoked incessant war, and thus rendered France every day
more powerful, through the victories she obtained under the direction of
your father, whom it accused of the calamities inseparable from a war
kindled by itself, and with the sole object of maintaining its unjust

"It was at the close of a strife incessantly renewed, excited by the
Government of a nation sufficiently rich to pay the soldiers of the
others, and sheltered by its insular position against all attempts
against itself, that, after the triumphs of twenty years, your father
succumbed beneath the united efforts of the Allies of England, who
perceived too late their fatal errors.

"Napoleon was the friend both of the peoples and of the kings. He wished
to reconcile them to each other. He wished to save other states from the
misfortunes which a bloody revolution had inflicted upon France. These
were the reforms which he desired, voluntary ameliorations, commended
by the increasing civilization of the world, and the widely-extended
interests of all classes, and not violent commotions, which always pass
beyond the end desired. His greatest vengeance against England did not
exceed that which the advocates of the bill of reform seek for to-day.

"I think that now you are placed in a position to continue the work with
which a divine genius inspired your father. France will accept you with
enthusiasm. Factions will subside. The power with which your father was
invested is no longer needful for the accomplishment of his designs. It
was war which elevated upon the thrones of Europe the princes of his
family. But it was not that he might give them thrones that he engaged
in war. They were military positions occupied during the general
struggle which the oligarchies had decided never to close but by the
abasement of France. It was necessary to allow the conquered countries
to be invaded by the republican system for which they were not prepared,
or to cause them to be governed by men of whose devotion to France and
to himself he was fully assured. And where could he find better
guaranties than in his brothers, whom nature, as well as the favors
which they had received from the nation, had destined to share his
adverse as well as his good-fortune, both inseparable from that of

"To-day time has borne its fruits. Nations are more enlightened
respecting their interests. They know well that the most happy nation
is that in which the greatest number of men enjoy the most prosperity;
which obeys a supreme magistrate whom it loves, and who himself has not
the baleful power to abuse the life, the property, the liberty of the
people, whom he represents only that he may protect the rights which
they have entrusted to him. Such were the opinions, and especially the
instinct, of your father. _Every thing for the people!_ And at the
general pacification which he desired with all his heart, _Every thing
by the people, and for the people_. He did not live long enough.

"May I live long enough to see you return to our country, restored to
herself, the worthy heir of his heart, all French, of his generous
intentions. As for his immense genius, it is no longer necessary for
France or for Europe. You are destined, by your birth, to unite peoples
and kings, and to reconcile the old and the new civilization; to prevent
new upheavings, to moderate all political passions, and thus to bring
forward that prosperity of individuals and of nations which can only
arise from justice, from the free development of all rights, from the
equilibrium of all duties.

"Your father was accustomed to say to me, 'When will the time arise when
justice alone shall reign? When shall I finish my dictatorship? We do
not yet see that time. The English oligarchy will not have it so. My son
perhaps will see it. May that presage be soon accomplished.'

"This is also the fondest wish of my heart. Receive it with the
tenderness of the old friend of your glorious father, at Point Breeze,
State of New Jersey, in the United States of America, where I live as
happy as one can be far from his country, in the most prosperous land
upon the earth, under the name which I have adopted, of the Count of

The elder brother of the present Emperor, Napoleon III., who had married
the youngest daughter of Joseph Bonaparte, died in Italy in March, 1831.
With his younger brother, Louis Napoleon, he had joined the Italians in
their endeavor to throw off the yoke of Austria. The young prince, who
had developed a very noble character, fell a victim to the fatigues of
the campaign. _By the vote of the French people_, the Duke of Reichstadt
was the first heir to the throne of the Empire. In case of his death,
the crown passed to Joseph Bonaparte. As Joseph had no children, his
decease would transfer the sceptre to his brother, Louis Bonaparte, and
from Louis it would pass to Louis Napoleon, his only surviving son.

When, in 1832, Joseph heard of the dangerous sickness of the Duke of
Reichstadt, whose death, as we have mentioned, would constitute Joseph
first heir to the throne, he with some hesitancy decided to leave his
peaceful retreat at Point Breeze and repair to England. He hoped to
obtain permission to visit his dying nephew in Vienna, and then to
reunite himself in Italy with his wife, and with his revered mother, who
was still living. Upon his landing in Liverpool he received the sad
tidings that the Duke of Reichstadt had breathed his last on the 22d of
July. He was twenty-one years of age, tall, graceful, affectionate, and
of marvellous beauty. His mother and other friends wept at the side of
his couch. Devoutly he partook of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper,
and, with a smile lingering upon his cheek, fell asleep. We trust

     "Asleep in Jesus, blessed sleep,
     From which none ever wake to weep."





Joseph in England.--Letter from La Fayette.--Letter from Joseph to La
Fayette.--Letter from Victor Hugo.--Letter from the Duchess of Abrantes.
--Restoration of Napoleon's Statue to the Column of Austerlitz.--The
Law of Proscription.--Letter from Madame Letitia.--Letter from Joseph
to Louis.--Meeting of the Brothers in London.--Testimony of Louis
Napoleon.--The Attempt at Strasbourg.--Letter from Louis Napoleon to
his Uncle Joseph.--Failing Health of Joseph.--The Remains of the Emperor
brought back to France.--Letter of Thanks from Joseph.--Sickness and
Death.--Character of Joseph.

Joseph, finding himself in England in 1832, and his nephew, the Duke
of Reichstadt, no longer living, took up his residence in London. He
earnestly desired to join his wife and mother in Italy. But the jealousy
of the Allies would not allow him, until he was absolutely sinking in
death, to place his foot upon the Continent. His universally recognized
virtues secured for him, from all classes of society, a cordial

While Joseph resided in England, the celebrated Spanish chief, Mina, who
had been one of the most formidable of the leaders of the guerrillas,
made several visits to the ex-King, expressing the deepest regret that
he had not sustained him. He stated to Joseph that his intercepted
letters had so revealed his true character, that others of the leaders
who had operated against him were now in his favor.

La Fayette wrote Joseph a letter of sympathy in view of his double
affliction in the loss of his son-in-law, Napoleon Louis, and his
nephew, the Duke of Reichstadt. The letter, from which we make the
following extract, was dated La Grange, October 13, 1832:

"MY DEAR COUNT,--I am deeply affected by those testimonials of
confidence and friendship which you kindly give me. And I merit them
by all those affections which attach me to you. It is with profound
sympathy that I share in your grief from the two cruel bereavements.
I should immediately have written to you in London, had I not been
informed that you were on the route to Italy. I have, however, since
learned that your entrance into Rome has been interdicted to your filial
piety by a base and barbarous policy."

La Fayette also expresses his deep regret that the Orleans Government
persisted in the decree which banished the Bonaparte family from France.
Joseph, in a reply dated London, Nov. 10, 1832, writes:

"MY DEAR GENERAL,--I have received your kind letter, and I thank you
with all my heart. It is true that I love, as much as you do, the
institutions of the United States. But I am near to France, and I do not
wish to see it vanish from my eyes like a new Ithaca. I prefer France
to the United States as the residence for my declining years, and I rely
upon your powerful co-operation to secure that for me. It only remains
for me to hope to see my country as happy as that which I have just
left--a country which I love above all others except my native soil. A
day will come undoubtedly, in which France will have no occasion to envy
even happy America. As soon as it shall be clearly understood that all
ought to devote themselves to the happiness of all, the most difficult
thing will be accomplished. May we live long enough to witness that, and
may I have the happiness of renewing my long friendship in our common
country, in sometimes speaking to you of the admiration and gratitude
with which you are regarded in the New World."

The following letter from Victor Hugo reflects such light upon the
reputation of Joseph Bonaparte, as to merit insertion here. It was dated
Paris, Feb. 27, 1833:

"SIRE,--I avail myself of the first opportunity to reply to you.
Monsieur Presle, who leaves for London, kindly offers to place this
letter in the hands of your Majesty. Permit me, sire, to treat you ever
royally, _vous traiter_ _toujours royalement_. The kings whom Napoleon
made, in my opinion nothing can unmake. There is no human power which
can efface the august sign which that grand man has placed upon your
brow. I have been profoundly moved by the sympathy which your Majesty
has testified for me upon the occasion of my prosecution for '_Le Roi
S'amuse._' You love liberty, sire. Liberty also loves you. Permit me to
send you, with this letter, a copy of the discourse which I pronounced
before the Tribunal of Commerce. I am very desirous that you should see
it in a form different from the reports in the journals, which are
always inexact.

"I should be very happy, sire, to go to London to clasp that royal hand
which has so often clasped the hand of my father. M. Presle will inform
your Majesty of the obstacles which at the present moment prevent me
from realizing a wish so dear. I have very many things to say to you. It
is impossible that the future should be wanting to your family, great as
has been the loss of the past year. You bear the grandest of historic
names. In truth, we are moving rather toward a republic than toward a
monarchy. But, to a sage like you, the exterior form of government is
of but little importance. You have proved, sire, that you know how to be
worthily the citizen of a republic. Adieu, sire; the day in which I
shall be permitted to press your hand in mine will be one of the most
glorious of my life. While waiting for this your letters render me proud
and happy."

The celebrated Duchess of Abrantes, wife of Marshal Junot, sent her
_Memoirs_ to King Joseph by the hands of M. Presle. The following
extracts from the letter of the duchess to M. Presle shows the
enthusiastic attachment which Joseph won from his friends. The letter
is dated Paris, 1833.

"Will you be so good, sir, as to have the kindness to take charge of
the book which I send with this, and also of the letter which I address
to his Majesty, King Joseph? I earnestly desire that both should be
transmitted to him as promptly as possible. I very much wish, sir, I
could have the pleasure of seeing you. My attachment for King Joseph is
so profound and so true, of such long-standing, so established upon
bases which can never crumble, that I would give days of my life to talk
a moment with persons loving him as I do, and speaking to me as I speak
of him and think of him. As for me, to see him for one moment would be
now the fulfillment of the most ardent of my wishes.

"With these feelings, you will perceive, sir, how happy I shall be to
have him soon receive this letter, which I entrust to you. It contains
my wishes for the new year. And I can truly say that there is not
another heart in France more sincerely devoted to his happiness--his
true happiness and his glory. Ah! sir, I assure him that in France there
is one being who is warmly attached, sincerely devoted to him, as are
all hers. My children have been cradled in the name of Napoleon, and
that without concealment. The misfortune of their father has been an
additional tie to attach them to the memory of the Emperor, and to
all those who bear his revered name. The bust of the Emperor is in my
alcove, by the side of the font in which I place my lustral water. There
I every morning and evening repeat my prayers. Why should I not say
this? I do it because my love for my country constrains me to fall upon
my knees before that name which constituted its glory and its happiness
for fifteen years."

On the 28th of July, 1833, the Louis Philippe Government, in reluctant
concession to the almost universal voice of the French people, restored
the statue of Napoleon to the Column of Austerlitz, in the Place
Vendome. It is scarcely too much to say that as that statue rose to
its proud eminence, the whole French nation raised a shout of joy. A
Parisian journal, _The Tribune_, intending perhaps to reflect upon the
Government, expressed surprise in not seeing a single member of the
Bonaparte family shaking the dust of exile from his feet, and coming, in
the broad light of July, claiming a "just reparation." Joseph wrote to
the editor from London a letter containing the following sentiments:

"I have read in your journal of July 29th the article in which you give
an account of the solemnity which took place on the 28th at the foot of
the Column of Austerlitz, upon the inauguration of the statue of the
Emperor Napoleon. You attribute the absence of his brothers to very
strange sentiments. Are you ignorant, then, that an iniquitous law,
dictated by the enemies of France to the elder branch of the Bourbons,
excluded these brothers, out of hatred to the name of Napoleon? Would
you wish that, in defiance of a law which the National Majesty has not
yet repealed, we should bear the brands of discord into our country at
the moment when it re-erects the statue of our brother? _Every thing for
the nation_, was the motto of our brother. It shall be ours also.

"Instead of speaking, as a hostile journal would have done, in casting
the blame upon patriots proscribed, who wander over the world the
victims of the enemies of their country, would it not have exhibited
more of courage and of justice on your part, sir, to recall to the
electors of France that Napoleon has a mother who languishes upon a
foreign soil, without it being possible for her children to speak to
her a last adieu? She shares with three generations of her kindred,
including sixty French, the rigors of an exile of twenty years. They are
guilty of no other crime than that of being the relatives of a man whose
statue is re-erected by national decree.

"The name of Napoleon will never be the banner of civil discord. Twice
he withdrew from France, that he might not be the pretext for the
infliction of calamities upon his country. Such are the doctrines which
Napoleon has bequeathed to his family. It is because the French people
know well that his pretended despotism was but a dictatorship, rendered
necessary by the wars which his enemies waged against him, that his
memory remains popular. Is it just, is it honorable that his family
should still be condemned to endure the anguish of exile, and to hear
even his ancient enemies reproach the French with the injustice of their

This law of proscription, dictated by the Allies on the 12th of January,
1816, and re-affirmed by the Government of Louis Philippe, was as

"The ascendants and descendants of Napoleon Bonaparte, his uncles and
his aunts, his nephews and his nieces, his brothers, their wives and
their descendants, his sisters and their husbands, are excluded from the
realm forever."

The penalty for violating this decree of banishment was _death_. Madame
Letitia had been informed in Rome that the Louis Philippe Government
contemplated abolishing the decree of exile, so far as _she alone_ was
concerned. In response she wrote, April, 1834, to a distinguished
gentleman in Paris, M. Sapey, as follows:

"MONSIEUR,--Those who recognize the absurdity of maintaining the law
of exile against my family, and who wish nevertheless to propose an
exception, do not know either my principles or my character. I was left
a widow at thirty-three years of age, and my eight children were my only
consolation. Corsica was menaced with separation from France. The loss
of my property and the abandonment of my fireside did not terrify me.
I followed my children to the Continent. In 1814 I followed Napoleon
to the island of Elba. In 1816, notwithstanding my age, I should have
followed him to Saint Helena had it not been prohibited. I resigned
myself to live a prisoner of state at Rome; yes, a prisoner of state.
I know not whether that was through an amplification of the law which
exiled me with my family from France, or by a protocol of the allied

"I then saw persecution reach such a pitch as to compel the members
of my family, who had devoted themselves to live with me at Rome, to
abandon the city. I then decided to withdraw from the world, and to seek
no other happiness than that of the future life; since I saw myself
separated from those for whom I clung to life, and in whom reposed all
my souvenirs and all my happiness, if there were any more happiness
remaining for me in this world. How could I hope to find any equivalent
in France, which was not already poisoned by the injustice of men in
power who could not pardon my family the glory which it has acquired?

"Leave me, then, in my honorable sufferings, that I may bear to the tomb
the integrity of my character. I will never separate my lot from that
of my children. It is the only consolation which remains to me. Receive,
nevertheless, monsieur, my thanks for the kind interest which you have
taken in my affairs."

On the 15th of January, 1835, Joseph wrote to his brother Louis, the
father of Napoleon III., as follows:

"MY DEAR BROTHER,--I have received your letter of the 27th of December.
I am afflicted by the depression of spirits in which it was written. It
is true that for many years fortune has been constantly severe with us.
But it is something to be able to say to one's self that fortune is
blind. And an irreproachable conscience and a good heart offer many
consolations. They accompany us wherever we go, and prevent us from
being too severe in our turn against fortune and her favorites of the

"It is indeed true that there are but few gleams of happiness to be met
in this life. The least unfortunate have still their storms. There are
but few privileged men. How many there are whom we must admit to be more
unhappy than we are. And we do not sufficiently take into account the
sufferings of dishonored men, whose conscience will at times awake and
react upon those who have done it violence. Those who have borne arms
against their country, against their benefactor, who have sold their
services to foreigners, think you they can be happy? The consciousness
of not having merited the abandonment of which you speak, is not that
a happy sentiment? It is necessary then for us to perceive what we
are in this life, and not what we could wish to be. Being men, we are
destined to live, that is to say, to suffer. But we can preserve our
own self-respect, and the esteem of the friends who appreciate us. So
long as that continues, one is not absolutely unhappy. In that point
of view, no person ought to be more satisfied than yourself, my dear
Louis. All other evils over which we have no control are hard to endure,
undoubtedly. But their necessity, in spite of ourselves, should lead us
to bear them. We ought to submit to that which we can not prevent.

"Still, I can say nothing upon this subject which you do not know
as well as I do. But I am not writing a dissertation. I recount my
sensations and my sentiments as they flow from my pen. The consciousness
of not meriting the evil which one suffers greatly mitigates that evil.
Adieu, my dear Louis. I love you as ever. We have not known any
revolutions in our affections."

Soon after Joseph had established himself in London, he called his
brothers Lucien and Jerome, and his nephew, Prince Louis Napoleon, to
join him there. The acts of the Government of Louis Philippe and the
intense opposition they encountered engrossed his meditations. Fully
satisfied that the Government could not maintain itself in the course
it was pursuing, Joseph deemed it important for the triumph of what
he called the popular cause, to effect a cordial union between the
Republican and Imperial parties. The Government thwarted this union by
sending spies into the clubs, who, joining those associations, assumed
to be earnest democrats, and strove in every way to promote discord,
while they extolled in most extravagant terms the brutal deeds of Marat,
St. Just, and Robespierre. Joseph could not act in harmony with such
men, and the projected alliance was abandoned.[AM]

[Footnote AM: Oeuvres de Napoleon III., tome deuxieme, p. 449.]

In a brief sketch which Louis Napoleon, while a prisoner at Ham, wrote
of his uncle Joseph just after his death, he says: "In general, Prince
Louis Napoleon was in accord with his uncle upon all fundamental
questions; but he differed from him upon one essential point, which
offered a very strange contrast. The old man, whose days were nearly
finished, did not wish to precipitate any thing. He was resigned to
await the developments of time. But the young man, impatient, wished to
act, and to precipitate events.

"The insurrection at Strasbourg, in the month of October, 1836, thus
took place without the authorization and without the participation of
Joseph. He was also much displeased with it, since the journals deceived
him respecting the aim and intentions of his nephew. In 1837 Joseph
revisited America. Upon his return to Europe in 1839 he found his
nephew in England. Then, enlightened respecting the object, the means,
and the plans of Prince Louis Napoleon, he restored to him all his
tenderness. The publication of _Les Idees Napoleoniennes_ merited his
entire approbation. And upon that occasion he declared openly that, in
his quality of friend and depositary of the most intimate thoughts of
the Emperor, he could say positively that that book contained the exact
and faithful record of the political intentions of his brother."

It will be remembered that Louis Napoleon, after the attempt at
Strasbourg, was sent in a French frigate to Brazil, and thence to New
York, where he remained but a few weeks, when he returned to Europe to
his dying mother. At New York, under date of April 22, 1837, he wrote
the following letter to his uncle Joseph at London. The letter very
clearly reveals the relation then existing between them.

"MY DEAR UNCLE,--Upon my arrival in the United States, I hoped to have
found a letter from you. I confess to you that I have been deeply pained
to learn that you were displeased with me. I have even been astonished
by it, knowing your judgment and your heart. Yes, my uncle, you must
have been strangely led into error in respect to me, to repel as enemies
men who have devoted themselves to the cause of the Empire.

"If, successful at Strasbourg, and it was very near a success, I had
marched upon Paris, drawing after me the populations fascinated by the
souvenirs of the Empire, and, arriving in the capital a pretender, I had
seized upon the legal power, then indeed there would have been nobleness
and grandeur of soul in disavowing my conduct, and in breaking with me.

"But how is it? I attempt one of those bold enterprises which could
alone re-establish that which twenty years of peace have caused to be
forgotten. I throw myself into the attempt, ready to sacrifice my life,
persuaded that my death even would be useful to our cause. I escape,
against my wishes, the bayonets and the scaffold; and, having escaped,
I find on the part of my family only contumely and disdain.

"If the sentiments of respect and esteem with which I regard you were
not so sincere, I should not so deeply feel your conduct in respect to
me; for I venture to say that public opinion can never admit that there
is any alienation between us. No person can comprehend that you disavow
your nephew because he has exposed himself in your cause. No one can
comprehend that men who have perilled their lives and their fortune to
replace the eagle upon our banners can be regarded by you as enemies,
any more than they could comprehend that Louis XVIII. would repel the
Prince of Conde or the Duc d'Enghien because they had been unfortunate
in their enterprises.

"I know you too well, my dear uncle, to doubt the goodness of your
heart, and not to hope that you will return to sentiments more just in
respect to me, and in respect to those who have compromised themselves
for your cause. As for myself, whatever may be your procedure in
reference to me, my line of conduct will be ever the same. The sympathy
of which so many persons have given me proofs; my conscience, which does
in nothing reproach me; in fine, the conviction that if the Emperor
beholds me from his elevation in the skies, he would approve my conduct,
are so many compensations for all the mortifications and injustice which
I have experienced. My enterprise has failed; that is true. But it has
announced to France that the family of the Emperor is not yet dead;
that it still numbers many devoted friends; in fine, that their
pretensions are not limited to the demand of a few pence from the
Government, but to the re-establishment, in favor of the people, of
those rights of which foreigners and the Bourbons have deprived them.
This is what I have done. Is it for you to condemn me?

"I send you with this a recital of my removement from the prison of
Strasbourg, that you may be fully informed of all my proceedings, and
that you may know that I have done nothing unworthy of the name which I
bear. I beg you to present my respects to my uncle Lucien. I rely upon
his judgment and affection to be my advocate with you. I entreat you, my
dear uncle, not to be displeased with the laconic manner in which I
represent these facts, such as they are. Never doubt my unalterable
attachment to you.

               "Your tender and respectful nephew,
                         "NAPOLEON LOUIS."[AN]

[Footnote AN: For a short time after the death of his elder brother,
Louis Napoleon, in accordance with the understood wish of the Emperor,
adopted the signature of Napoleon Louis. Soon, however, he again resumed
his original name.]

In 1840 the health of Joseph began to be seriously impaired. In London
he had an attack of paralysis, which induced him to go to the warm baths
of Wildbad, in Wurtemberg. He was somewhat benefited by the waters, and
cherished the hope that he might join members of his family in Italy.
But the Continental sovereigns so feared the potency of the name
of Bonaparte upon the masses of the people that his request was
peremptorily refused. Thus repulsed, he returned to the cold climate
of England.

In 1841, the King of Sardinia, who was strongly leaning toward popular
principles, allowed Joseph to take up his residence in Genoa. He was
conveyed to that city in an English ship. He had been there but a few
weeks, when the Duke of Tuscany, commiserating his dying condition,
kindly consented that he should join his wife, his children, and his
brothers in Florence.

In 1842 Joseph bequeathed to the principal cities of Corsica several
hundred valuable paintings, which he had received as a legacy from his
uncle, Cardinal Fesch.

In 1843, the Government of Louis Philippe, with marvellous
inconsistency, voted to demand the remains of the Emperor Napoleon from
the British Government, and to rear to his honor, beneath the dome of
the Invalides, the monument of a nation's gratitude, while at the same
time that Government persisted in banishing from France all the members
of the Napoleon family.

A very earnest petition was sent at this time to the Government,
numerously signed by Frenchmen, praying that the decree of banishment
against the Bonaparte family might be annulled. But the Louis Philippe
Government declared in council that the resolution of the Government to
prolong the exile of the family of Napoleon was positive and unchanging.
Joseph wrote a letter of thanks in behalf of the Bonaparte family to the
signers of the petition, in which he said:

"The elder branch of the Bourbons, brought back to France by foreign
bayonets, we have ever frankly treated as enemies. They did not conceive
the hope of degrading us in our own eyes. It has been reserved for the
younger branch to call artifice to its aid--to glorify the dead
Napoleon, and to traduce, to proscribe his mother, his sisters, his
nephews, fifty or sixty French people, charged with the crime of bearing
his name.

"Were Napoleon living to-day, he would think as we do. He would
recognize in France no other sovereign than the French people, who alone
have the right to establish such a form of Government as to them may
seem best for their interests. The too long dictatorship of Napoleon was
prolonged by the persistence of the enemies of the Revolution, who
endeavored to destroy in him the principle of national sovereignty from
which he emanated.

"At a general peace, universal suffrage, liberty of the press, and all
the guaranties for the perpetual prosperity of a great nation, which
were in the plans of Napoleon, would have been unveiled before entire
France, and would have made him the greatest man in history. His whole
thoughts were made known to me. It is my duty loudly to proclaim them.
He sacrificed himself twice, that he might save France from civil war.
The heirs of his name would renounce forever the happiness of breathing
the air of their native country, did they think that their presence
would inflict upon it the least injury. Such are the principles, the
opinions, the sentiments of all the members of the family of Napoleon,
of which I am here the interpreter. _Every thing for and by the

In the few remaining years of his life, nursed by the tender care of his
wife Julie, who was to him an angel of consolation, Joseph remained in
Florence, his mind entirely engrossed with the misfortunes of his
family. He had become fully reconciled to his nephew, and keenly
sympathized with him in his captivity at Ham. The glaring inconsistency
of the Government of Louis Philippe in persisting to banish from France
the relatives of a man whom all France almost adored, simply because
they were that great man's relatives, often roused his indignation.

The thought that he was an exile from his native land--from France,
which he had served so faithfully, and loved so well--embittered his
last hours. Supported by the devotion of Julie, and by the presence of
his brothers, Louis and Jerome, to both of whom he was tenderly
attached, he awaited without regret the approach of death.

On the 23d of July, 1844, Joseph breathed his last at Florence, at the
age of sixty-six years. He left his fortune, which was not very large,
to his eight grandchildren. He also requested that his remains should be
deposited in Florence until the hour should come when they could be
removed to the soil of his beloved France. Queen Julie survived him but
a few months. Her remains were deposited by the side of those of her
husband, and of her second daughter, the Princess Charlotte, who died in

Joseph was eminently calculated to embellish society and to adorn the
arts of peace. His literary attainments were very extensive, and in the
Tribune he was eminent, both as an orator and a ready debater. Familiar
with all the choicest passages of the classic writers of France and
Italy, and thoroughly read in all the branches of political economy,
with great affability of manners and spotless purity of character, he
would have been a man of distinction in any country and in any age. To
say that he was not equal to his brother Napoleon is no reproach, for
Napoleon has never probably, in all respects, had his equal. But Joseph
filled with distinguished honor all the varied positions of his eventful
life. As a legislator, an ambassador, a general, a monarch, and a
private citizen, he was alike eminent.

From the commencement of his career until his last breath, he was
devoted to those principles of popular rights to which the French
Revolution gave birth, and which his more illustrious brother so long
and so gloriously upheld against the combined dynasties of Europe. This
sublime struggle of the people throughout Europe, under the banners of
Napoleon, against the old regime of aristocratic oppression, profoundly
moved the soul of Joseph. The honors he received, the flattery at times
lavished upon him, did not corrupt his heart. "Under the purple," says
Napoleon III., "as under the cloak of exile, Joseph ever remained the
same; the determined opponent of all oppression, of all privilege, of
every abuse, and the earnest advocate of equal rights and of popular

In his last days, Joseph, whose conversational powers were remarkable,
loved to recall the scenes of his memorable career. With the most
touching simplicity, and with a charm of quiet eloquence which moved all
hearts, he held in breathless interest those who were grouped around
him. With pleasure he alluded to the comparatively humble origin of his
family, which had counted among the members so many kings. He was fond
of relating anecdotes of the brother of whom he was so proud, and whom
he so tenderly loved. One of these characteristic anecdotes was as

"Joseph," said the Emperor to me one day, "T----[AO] has infinite
ability, has he not? Well, do you know why he has never accomplished any
thing great? It is because grand thoughts come only from the heart, and
T---- has no heart."

[Footnote AO: Talleyrand.]

Though Joseph was a man of extraordinary gentleness of character and
sweetness of disposition, the cruel treatment of his brother at Saint
Helena he could never allude to without intense emotion. In speaking of
the destitution of the Emperor in the hovel on that distant rock, his
eyes would fill with tears, and his voice would tremble under the
vehemence of his feelings.

The course pursued by the Government of Louis Philippe, the whole
internal and external policy of that unhappy monarch, arresting the
progress of popular rights at home and degrading France abroad, and
especially its gross inconsistency in lavishing honors upon the memory
of Napoleon, and yet persisting in banishing his descendants, roused
his indignation.

We can not conclude this brief sketch more appropriately than in the
words of Louis Napoleon, written when he was a captive at Ham, and
when his uncle Joseph had just died in exile at Florence.

"If there existed to-day among us a man who, as a deputy, a diplomatist,
a king, a citizen, or a soldier, was invariably distinguished for his
patriotism and his brilliant qualities; if that man had rendered himself
illustrious by his oratorical triumphs, and by the advantageous treaties
he had concluded for the interests of France; if that man had refused
a crown because the conditions which it imposed upon him wounded his
conscience; if that man had conquered a realm, gained battles, and had
exhibited upon two thrones the light of French ideas; if, in fine, in
good as in bad fortune, he had always remained faithful to his oaths,
to his country, to his friends; that man, we may say, would occupy the
highest position in public esteem, statues would be raised to him, and
civic crowns would adorn his whitened locks.

"Well! this man lately existed, with all these glories, with all these
honorable antecedents. Nevertheless upon his brow we see only the
imprint of misfortune. His country has requited his noble services by an
exile of twenty-nine years. We deplore this, without being astonished
at it. There are but two parties in France; the vanquished and the
vanquishers at Waterloo. The vanquishers are in power, and all that
is national is crushed beneath the weight of defeat."

These words were written in the year 1844. The Empire is now restored.
The decree of exile against the Bonaparte family is annulled. The heir
of the Emperor sits upon the throne, recognized by all the nations in
the Old World and the New. The time has come when the character of
Joseph Bonaparte can be, and will be justly appreciated.

                         THE END.


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can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.