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Title: World's Best Histories — Volume 7: France
Author: Witt, Madame de (Henriette Elizabeth), Guizot, François
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "World's Best Histories — Volume 7: France" ***

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[Illustration: JOSEPHINE]

World's Best Histories: FRANCE






CHAPTER  VII. The Consulate (1799-1804)

CHAPTER VIII. Glory and Success (1804-1805)

CHAPTER   IX. Glory and Conquest (1805-1808)

CHAPTER    X. The Home Government (1804-1808)

CHAPTER   XI. Glory and Illusions. Spain and Austria

CHAPTER  XII. The Divorce (1809-1810)

CHAPTER XIII. Glory and Madness. The Russian Campaign (1811-1812)



THE CONSULATE (1799-1804).

For more than ten years, amid unheard of shocks and sufferings, France had
been seeking for a free and regular government, that might assure to her
the new rights which had only been gained through tribulation. She had
overthrown the Monarchy and attempted a Republic; she had accepted and
rejected three constitutions, all the while struggling single-handed with
Europe, leagued against her. She had undergone the violence of the Reign
of Terror, the contradictory passions of the Assemblies, and the
incoherent feebleness of the Directory. For the first time since the death
of King Louis XIV., her history finds once more a centre, and henceforth
revolves round a single man. For fifteen years, victorious or vanquished,
at the summit of glory, or in the depths of abasement, France and Europe,
overmastered by an indomitable will and unbridled passion for power, were
compelled to squander their blood and their treasure upon that page of
universal history which General Bonaparte claims for his own, and which he
has succeeded in covering with glory and crime.

On the day following the 18th Brumaire, in the uncertainty of parties, in
face of a constitution audaciously violated, and a government mainly
provisional, the nation was more excited than apprehensive or disquieted.
It had caught a glimpse of that natural power and that free ascendancy of
genius to which men willingly abandon themselves, with a confidence which
the most bitter deceptions have never been able to extinguish. Ardent and
sincere republicans, less and less numerous, felt themselves conquered
beforehand, by a sure instinct that was not misled by the protest of their
adversaries. They bent before a new power, to which their old hatreds did
not attach, which they believed to be in some sort created by their own
hands, and of which they had not yet measured the audacity. The mass of
the population, the true France, hailed with joy the hope of order and of
a regular and strong administration. They were not prejudiced in favor of
the philosophic constitution so long propounded by Sieyès. In the eyes of
the nation, the government was already concentrated in the hands of
General Bonaparte; it was in him that all were trusting, for repose at
home and glory and peace abroad.

In fact, he was governing already, disregarding the prolonged discussions
of the two legislative commissions, and the profound developments of the
projects of Sieyès, expounded by M. Boulay. Before the Constitution of the
year VIII, received the sanction of his dominant will, he had repealed the
Law of Hostages, recalled the proscribed priests from the Isle of Oléron,
and from Sinnamari most of those transported on 18th Fructidor. He had
reformed the ministry, and distributed according to his pleasure the chief
commands in the army. As Moreau had been of service to Bonaparte in his
_coup d'état_, he was placed at the head of the army of the Rhine joined
to the army of Helvetia, taken from Massena on the morrow of his most
brilliant victories. Distrust and ill-will struggled with his admiration
of Bonaparte in the mind of the conqueror of Zurich; he was sent to the
army of Italy, always devoted to Bonaparte. Berthier remained at Paris in
the capacity of minister of war. Fouché was placed at the police, and
Talleyrand undertook foreign affairs. By a bent of theoretical fancy,
which was not borne out by experience in government, the illustrious
mathematician Laplace was called to the ministry of the interior. Gaudin
became minister of finances; he replaced immediately the forced loans with
an increase of direct taxes, and introduced into the collection of the
public revenues some important improvements, which paved the way for our
great financial organization.

At the same time, without provocation and without necessity, as if simply
in compliance with the mournful traditions of past violence, a list of
proscriptions, published on the 23rd Brumaire, exiled to Guiana or the Île
de Ré nine persons--a mixture of honest republicans opposed to the new
state of things, and of wretches still charged with the crimes of the
Reign of Terror. Only the name of General Jourdan excited universal
reprobation, and it was immediately struck out. The measure itself was
soon mitigated, and the decree was never executed.

Through the revolutionary storms and the murderous epochs which had
successively seen all the great actors in the political struggles
disappear from the scene, the Abbé Sieyès emerged as a veteran associated
with the first free impulses of the nation. In 1789, his pamphlet, "What
is the Third Estate?" had arrested the attention of all serious minds. He
had several times, and in decisive circumstances, played an important part
in the Constituent Assembly. Since his vote of the 20th January, and until
the 9th Thermidor, he remained in voluntary obscurity; mingling since then
in all great theoretical discussions, he had exercised a preponderating
influence in recent events. From revolution to revolution, popular or
military, he came out in the part of legislator, his spirit escaping from
the influence of pure democracy. He had formerly proposed the banishment
_en masse_ of all the nobility, and he still nursed in the depths of his
soul a horror for all traditional superiority. He had said, "Whoever is
not of my species is not my fellow-creature; the nobles are not of my
species; they are wolves, and I fire upon them." He had, however, been
brought, by his reflections and the course of events, to construct
eccentric theories, of a factitious aristocracy, the wielders of power to
the exclusion of the nation, recruited from a limited circle--a disfigured
survival of the Italian republics of the middle ages, without the free and
salutary action of representative government.

"Confidence ought to proceed from below, and power to act from above,"
declared the appointed legislator of the 18th Brumaire. He himself
compared his political system to a pyramid, resting on the entire mass of
the nation, terminating at the top in a single man, whom he called the
Great Elector. He had not the courage to pronounce the word king.

Five millions of electors, constituted into primary assemblies, were to
prepare a _municipal_ list of 500,000 elected who in their turn were
entrusted with the formation of a _departmental_ list of 50,000 names. To
these twice sifted delegates was confided the care of electing 5000 as a
_national_ list, alone capable of becoming the agents of executive power
in the whole of France. The municipal and departmental administrations
were to be chosen by authority from their respective lists. The
_Conservative Senate_, composed of eighty members, self-elective, had the
right of appointing the members of the Corps Législatif, the Tribuneship,
and the Court of Cassation. It was besides destined to the honor of
choosing the Great Elector. The senators, richly endowed, might exercise
no other function. The Corps Législatif was dumb, and limited to voting
the laws prepared by the Council of State, and discussed by the Tribunate.
The Great Elector, without actively interfering in the government,
furnished with a civil list of six millions, and magnificently housed by
the state, appointed the two councils of peace and war, upon whom depended
the ministers and all the administrative _personnel_ of prefects and sub-
prefects entrusted with the government of the departments. In case the
magistrate, so highly placed in his sumptuous indolence, should seem to
menace the safety of the State, the Senate was authorized to _absorb_ him
by admitting him into its ranks. The same action might be exercised with
respect to any of the civil or military functionaries.

So many complicated wheels calculated to hinder rather than to sustain
each other, so much pomp in words and so little efficacy in action, could
never suit the intentions or the character of General Bonaparte. He
claimed at once the position of Great Elector, which Sieyès had perhaps
secretly thought to reserve for himself.

"What!" said he, "would you want to make me a pig in a dunghill?" Then
demolishing the edifice laboriously constructed by the legislator, "Your
Great Elector is a slothful king," said he to Sieyès; "the time for that
sort of thing is past. What! appoint people to act, and not act himself!
It won't do. If I were this Great Elector I should certainly do everything
which you would desire me not to do. I should say to the two consuls of
peace and war: 'If you don't choose such and such a man, or take such and
such a measure, I shall send you about your business.' And I would compel
them to proceed according to my will. And these two consuls? How do you
think they could agree? Unity of action is indispensable in government. Do
you think that serious men would be able to lend themselves to such

Sieyès was not fond of discussion, for which indeed he was not suited;
with the prudent sagacity which always characterized his conduct, he
recognized the inferiority of his will and his influence in comparison
with General Bonaparte. Three consuls were substituted for the Great
Elector and his two chosen subordinates equal in appearance, but already
classed according to the origin of their power. As first consul, Bonaparte
was not to be subjected to any election; he held himself as appointed by
the people. "What colleagues will they give me?" said he bluntly to
Roederer and Talleyrand who served him constantly as his agents of
communication. "Whom do you wish?" He named Cambacérès, then minister of
justice, clever and clear-sighted, of an independent spirit joined to a
docile character; and Lebrun, the former secretary of the Chancellor
Maupeou, minister for foreign affairs under the Convention, and respected
by moderate republicans. Some had spoken of M. Daunou, honestly courageous
in the worst days of the Revolution; the clever author of the Constitution
of the year III., and whom Bonaparte had taken a malicious pleasure in
entrusting with the drawing up of the new Constitution. A certain number
of voices in the two legislative commissions had supported his name. The
resolution of M. Daunou was known; Bonaparte did not complete the counting
of the votes. "We shall do better," said he, "to keep to those whom M.
Sieyès has named." Cambacérès and Lebrun were appointed consuls. Sieyès
received from the nation a rich grant and the estate of Crosne. In concert
with Roger-Ducos and the new consuls, he formed the list of the Senate,
who immediately completed its numbers, as well as the lists of the 300
members of the Corps Législatif, and the 100 members of the Tribunate.
Moderation presided over the composition of the lists; Bonaparte attached
no importance to them, and took no part in their preparation. He had
formed with care the Council of State, many capable men finding a place in
it. It was the instrument which the First Consul destined for the
execution of his ideas. Once only, on the 19th Brumaire, he came for a
moment into contact with the assemblies. Henceforth he left them in the
shade; all power rested in his hands. Under the name of Republic, the
accent of an absolute master resounded already in the proclamation
everywhere circulated on the day following the formation of the new


"To render the Republic dear to citizens, respected by foreigners,
formidable to our enemies, are the obligations which we have contracted in
accepting the chief magistracy.

"It will be dear to citizens if the laws and the acts of authority bear
the impress of the spirit of order, justice and moderation.

"The Republic will be imposing to foreigners if it knows how to respect in
their independence the title of its own independence, if its engagements,
prepared with wisdom and entered upon with sincerity, are faithfully kept.

"Lastly, it will be formidable to its enemies, if the army and navy are
made strong, and if each of its defenders finds a home in the regiment to
which he belongs, and in that home a heritage of virtue and glory; if the
officer, trained by long study, obtains by regular promotion the
recompense due to his talents and work.

"Upon these principles depend the stability of government, the success of
commerce and agriculture, the greatness and prosperity of nations.

"We have pointed out the rule, Frenchmen, by which we ought to be judged,
we have stated our duties. It will be for you to tell us whether we have
fulfilled them."

"What would you have?" said the First Consul to La Fayette. "Sieyès has
put nothing but shadows everywhere; the shadow of legislative power, the
shadow of judicial power, the shadow of government; some part of the
substance was necessary. Faith! I have put it there." The very preamble of
the Constitution affirmed the radical change brought about in the
direction of affairs. "The powers instituted to-day will be strong and
lasting, such as they ought to be in order to guarantee the rights of
citizens and the interests of the State. Citizens, the Revolution is fixed
upon the same principles which began it. It is finished!"

It was not the apotheosis, but the end of the Revolution that the authors
of the Constitution of the year VIII. arrogantly announced. In the first
impulse of a great spirit brought face to face with a difficult task,
Bonaparte conceived the thought of terminating the war like the
Revolution, and of re-establishing, at least for some time, the peace he
needed in order to govern France. Disdainful of the ordinary forms of
diplomacy, he wrote directly to George III., as he had formerly written to
the Archduke Charles (18th December, 1799).

"Called by the will of the French nation to be first magistrate, I deem it
expedient on entering upon my charge to communicate directly with your

"Must the war which for eight years has ravaged the four quarters of the
globe, be eternal? Is there no other means of arriving at a mutual

"How can the most enlightened nations of Europe, powerful and strong
beyond what their security and independence require, sacrifice the
interest of commerce, the prosperity of their people, and the happiness of
families, to ideas of vainglory?

"These sentiments cannot be foreign to the heart of your Majesty, who
governs a free nation with the sole aim of rendering it happy.

"Your Majesty will see in these overtures only my sincere desire to
contribute effectively, for the second time, to a general pacification by
a prompt procedure, full of confidence and divested of those forms which,
necessary perhaps, in order to disguise the dependence of feeble States,
only reveal between strong States a mutual desire to deceive each other.

"France and England, by the abuse of their power, may for a long time yet
retard its termination; but I dare to say that every civilized nation is
interested in the close of a war which embraces the whole world."

At the same time, and in nearly the same terms, Bonaparte wrote to the
Emperor Francis. He had treated formerly with this sovereign, and would
not perhaps have found him inflexible; but Pitt did not believe the
Revolution finished, and had no confidence in a man who had just seized
with a victorious hand the direction of the destinies of France. A
frigidly polite letter, addressed by Lord Granville to Talleyrand, the
minister of foreign affairs, repelled the advances of the First Consul.
The English then prepared a new armament intended to second the attempts
which the royalists were at that time renewing in the west. In enumerating
the causes of European mistrust with regard to France, Lord Granville
added, "The best guarantee, the most natural guarantee, for the reality
and the permanence of the pacific intentions of the French government,
would be the restoration of that royal dynasty which has maintained for so
many ages the internal prosperity of France, and which has made it
regarded with respect and consideration abroad. Such an event would clear
away all the obstacles which hinder negotiations for peace, it would
ensure to France the tranquil possession of her ancient territory, and it
would give to all the nations of Europe that security which they are
compelled to seek at present by other means."

During the violent debate raised in Parliament by the pacific propositions
of the First Consul, Pitt based all his arguments upon the instability and
insecurity of a treaty of peace with the French Revolution, whatever might
be the name of its chief rulers. "When was it discovered that the dangers
of Jacobinism cease to exist?" he cried. "When was it discovered that the
Jacobinism of Robespierre, of Barère, of the five directors, of the
triumvirate, has all of a sudden disappeared because it is concentrated in
a single man, raised and nurtured in its bosom, covered with glory under
its auspices, and who has been at once the offspring and the champion of
all its atrocities?... It is because I love peace sincerely that I cannot
content myself with a vain word; it is because I love peace sincerely that
I cannot sacrifice it by seizing the shadow when the reality is not within
my reach. _Cur igitur pacem nolo? Quia infida est, quia periculosa, quia
esse non potest!_"

More moderate in form, Austria had in reality replied like England. War
was inevitable, and in the internal disorder in which the Directory had
left affairs, in the financial embarrassment and in the deplorable state
of the armies, the First Consul felt the weight of a government that had
been so long disorganized and weak, pressing heavily on his shoulders. His
first care was to achieve the pacification of the west, always agitated by
royalist passions. For a moment the chiefs of the party thought it
possible to engage General Bonaparte in the service of the monarchical
restoration: they were speedily undeceived. But the First Consul knew how
to make use in Vendée of the influence of the former curé of St. Laud, the
Abbé Bernier; he made an appeal to the priests, who returned from all
parts to their provinces, "The ministers of a God of Peace," said the
proclamation of the 28th December, 1799, "will be the first promoters of
reconciliation and concord; let them speak to all hearts the language
which they learn in the temple of their Master! Let them enter temples
which will be reopened to them, and offer for their fellow-citizens the
sacrifice which shall expiate the crime of war and the blood which has
been made to flow!" Always in intimate unison with the religious sentiment
of the populace who fought under their orders, the Vendean chiefs
responded to this appeal, laying down their arms. In Brittany and in
Normandy, Georges Cadoudal and Frotté continued hostilities; severe
instructions were sent, first to General Hédouville, and then to General
Brune. "The Consuls think that the generals ought to shoot on the spot the
principal rebels taken with arms in hand. However cunning the Chouans may
be, they are not so much so as Arabs of the desert. The First Consul
believes that a salutary example would be given by burning two or three
large communes, chosen from among those who have behaved themselves most
badly." Six weeks later the insurrection was everywhere subdued; Frotté,
and his young aide-de-camp Toustain, had been shot; Bourmont had accepted
the offers of the First Consul, and enrolled himself in his service;
Georges Cadoudal resisted all the advances of him whom he was soon to
pursue with his hatred even to attempting a crime. "What a mistake I have
made in not stifling him in my arms!" repeated the hardy chief of the
Chouans on quitting General Bonaparte. He retired into England. The civil
war was terminated; the troops which had occupied the provinces of the
west could now rejoin the armies which were preparing on the frontiers.
Carnot, who had just re-entered France, replaced at the ministry of war
General Berthier, called upon active service. It was the grand association
connected with his name, rather than the hope of an active and effective
co-operation, which decided the First Consul to entrust this post to
Carnot; possibly he wished to remove it from the little group of obstinate
liberals justly disquieted at the dangers with which they saw freedom
menaced. Already the journals had been suppressed, with the exception of
thirteen; the laws were voted without dispute; and, "in a veritable
whirlwind of urgency," the government claimed to regulate the duration of
the discussions of the Tribunate. Benjamin Constant, still young, and
known for a short time previously as a publicist, raised his voice
eloquently against the wrong done to freedom of discussion. "Without
doubt," said he "harmony is desirable amongst the authorities of the
Republic; but the independence of the Tribunate is no less necessary to
that harmony than the constitutional authority of the government; without
the independence of the Tribunate, there will be no longer either harmony
or constitution, there will be no longer anything but servitude and
silence, a silence that all Europe will understand."

The past violence of the assemblies, and their frequent inconsistencies,
had wearied feeble minds, and blinded short-sighted spirits. The speech of
Benjamin Constant secured for his friend Madame de Staël a forced
retirement from Paris. The law was voted by a large majority, and the
adulations of flatterers were heaped up around the feet of the First
Consul. He himself took a wiser view of his position, which he still
considered precarious. On taking up his residence at the Tuileries, in
great state, on February 19, 1800, he said to his secretary, "Well,
Bourienne, we have reached the Tuileries; the thing is now to stop here."

Already, and by the sole effort of a sovereign will, which appeared to
improve by exercise, the power formerly distributed among obscure hands
was concentrated at Paris, under the direction of a central administration
suddenly organized; exactions borne with difficulty resulted in abundant
resources from the conquered or annexed countries, at Genoa, in Holland,
at Hamburg. The young King of Prussia, sensible and prudent, had refused
to transform his neutrality into alliance; but he had used his influence
over the smaller states of the empire, to induce them to maintain the same
attitude. The Emperor Paul I., tossed to and fro by the impetuous
movements of his ardent and unhealthy spirit, was piqued by the defeats of
Suwarrow, and offended by the insufficiency of the help of Austria; he was
discontented with the English government, and ill-humoredly kept himself
apart from the coalition. The resumption of hostilities was imminent, and
the grand projects of the First Consul began to unroll themselves. Active
preparations had been till then confined to the army of the Rhine under
Moreau. The army of Liguria, placed under the command of Masséna, with
Genoa as a centre of operations, had received neither reinforcements nor
munitions; its duty was to protect the passage of the Appenines against
Mélas, whilst Moreau attacked upon the Rhine the army of Suabia, commanded
by Marshal Kray. The occupation of Switzerland by the French army impeded
the movements of the allies, by compelling them to withdraw their two
armies from each other; the First Consul meditated a movement which should
give him all the advantages of this separation. Moreau in Germany, Masséna
in Italy, were ordered at any cost to keep the enemy in check. Bonaparte
silently formed a third army, the corps of which he cleverly dispersed,
distracting the attention of Europe by the camp of the army of reserve at
Dijon. Already he was preparing the grand campaign which should raise his
glory to its pinnacle, and establish his power upon victory. In his idea
everything was to be sacrificed to the personal glory of his successes. He
conceived a project of attack by crossing the Rhine. Moreau, modest and
disinterested, accepted the general plan of the war, and subordinated his
operations to those of the First Consul; in his military capacity
independent and resolute, he persisted in passing the Rhine at his
pleasure. Bonaparte was enraged. "Moreau would not seek to understand me,"
cried he. He yielded, however, to the observations of General Dessoles,
and always clever in subjugating those of whom he had need, he wrote to
Moreau to restore him liberty of action. "Dessoles will tell you that no
one is more interested than myself in your personal glory and your good
fortune. The English embark in force; what do they want? I am to-day a
sort of manikin, who has lost his liberty and his good fortune. Greatness
is fine but in prospective and in imagination. I envy you your luck; you
go with the heroes to do fine deeds. I would willingly barter my consular
purple against one of your brigadier's epaulettes" (16th March, 1800).

The army of Italy had been suffering for a long time with heroic courage;
the well-known chief who took the command was more than any other suited
to obtain from it the last efforts of devotion; it was the first to
undergo the attack of the allied forces. The troops of Masséna were still
scattered when he was assailed by Mélas. The fear of prematurely
exhausting the insufficient resources of Genoa had prevented him from
following the wise councils of Bonaparte, by massing his troops round that
town. After a series of furious combats upon the upper Bormida, the French
line found itself cut in two by the Austrians; General Suchet was obliged
to fall back upon Nice, Masséna re-entered Genoa. A new effort forced back
General Mélas beyond the Appenines. The attempt to rejoin the corps of
General Suchet having failed, Masséna saw himself constrained to shut
himself up in Genoa, in the midst of a population divided in opinion, but
whose confidence he had already known how to win. Resolved to occupy by
resistance and by sorties all the forces of the allies, the general made
preparations for sustaining the siege to the last extremity. All the
provisions of the place were brought into the military magazines; the most
severe order reigned in the distribution, but already scarcity was felt.
The forces of Masséna, exhausted by frequent fights, diminished every day;
bread failed; and the heroic obstinacy of the general alone compelled the
Austrians to keep a considerable corps d'armée before a famished town (5th
May, 1800). Mélas had in vain attempted to force the lines of Var, behind
which General Suchet, too feeble to defend Nice, had cleverly entrenched

Moreau delayed to commence the campaign; his material was insufficient;
Alsace and Switzerland, exhausted of resources, could not furnish the
means of transport required by his movement. The First Consul urged him.
"Obtain a success as soon as possible, that you may be able by a diversion
in some degree to expedite the operations in Italy," he wrote to him on
April 24; "every day's delay is extremely disastrous to us." On April 26,
Moreau passed the Rhine at Strasburg, at Brisach, and at Basle, thus
deceiving General Kray, who defended the defiles of the Black Forest,
whilst the different divisions of the French army reascended and repassed
the Rhine, in order to cross it afresh without difficulty at Schaffhausen.
The Austrians had not yet collected their forces, dispersed by the
unlooked-for movement they found themselves obliged to execute; the French
corps were themselves dispersed when the battle commenced, on May 3, at
Engen. After a furious struggle at several points, General Moreau achieved
a splendid victory; two days later the same fortune crowned the battle of
Moesskirch; the loss on both sides was great. The action was not well
combined; Marshal Kray at first fell back behind the Danube; by the advice
of his council of war he decided to defend the magazines at Biberach. He
repassed the river, and offered battle to the corps of Gouvion St. Cyr,
then hampered with Moreau, bearing his direction with difficulty. The
positions occupied by the Austrians were everywhere attacked at once;
their troops, already demoralized by several defeats, retired in disorder.
Kray fell back on Ulm, where an entrenched camp was ready for him. General
Moreau was compelled to weaken his army by detaching a corps of 1800 men,
necessary for the operations of the First Consul. He attempted without
success a movement intended to turn the flank of General Kray, and
resolved to blockade him in his positions, and wait for the result of the
manoeuvres of Bonaparte. On the 27th May he wrote to Bonaparte, "We await
with impatience the announcement of your success. M. de Kray and I are
groping about here--he to keep his army round Ulm, I to make him quit the
post. It would have been dangerous, especially for you, if I had carried
the war to the left bank of the Danube. Our present position has forced
the Prince of Reuss to remove himself to the passes of the Tyrol, to the
sources of the Lech and the Iller; thus he is no longer dangerous for you.
If M. de Kray comes towards me, I shall still retreat as far as Meiningen;
there I shall join General Lecourbe, and we shall fight. If M. de Kray
marches upon Augsburg, I shall do the same; he will quit his support at
Ulm, and then we shall see what will have to be done to cover your
movements. We should find more advantages in carrying on the war upon the
left bank of the Danube, and making Wurtemberg and Franconia contribute to
it; but that would not suit you, as the enemy would be able to send
detachments down into Italy whilst leaving us to ravage the provinces of
the Empire.

"Give me, I pray you, some news of yourself, and command me in every
possible service I can render you."

All was thus prepared in Germany and Italy for the success of that
campaign of the First Consul of which the enemy were still ignorant.
Always deceived by the fictitious concentrations carried on at Dijon, the
Austrians saw without disquietude the departure of Bonaparte, who left
Paris, as it was said, for a few days, in order to pass in review the army
of reserve. The French public shared the same illusion; the preparations
eagerly pushed forward by the First Consul, remained secret. He set out at
the last moment, leaving with regret, and not without uneasiness, his
government scarcely established, and new institutions not yet in working
order. "Keep firmly together," said he to Cambacérès and Lebrun; "if an
emergency occurs, don't be alarmed at it. I will return like a
thunderbolt, to crush those who are audacious enough to raise a hand
against the government." He had in advance, by the powerful conceptions of
his genius arranged the whole plan of operations, and divined the
movements of his enemies. Bending over his maps, and designating with his
finger the positions of the different corps, he muttered in a low voice,
"This poor M. de Mélas will pass by Turin, he will fall back upon
Alessandria. I shall pass the Po, and come up with him again on the road
of Placenza, in the plains of the Scrivia; and I shall beat him there, and
then there." The Tribunate expressed their desire that the First Consul
might return soon, "conqueror and pacificator." An article of the
Constitution forbade him to take the command of the armies; Berthier
received the title of general-in-chief. The First Consul passed in review
the army of conscripts and invalids assembled at Dijon. On May 13, he
combined the active forces at Geneva; the troops coming from Germany under
the command of General Moncey had not yet arrived; they were to pass by
the St. Gothard. General Marescot had been ordered to reconnoitre the
Alps; the pass of the St. Bernard, more difficult than that of the Simplon
or Mont Cenis, was much shorter, and the passage from it could be much
more easily defended. "Difficult it may be," replied the First Consul to
the report of Marescot, "but is it possible?" "I think so," said the
general, "with extraordinary efforts." "Ah, well! let us set out," said

From Geneva to Villeneuve the journey was easy, and vessels carried
provisions to that point. The First Consul had carefully arranged places
for revictualling all along the road. At Montigny half the mules,
requisitioned at great cost in the neighborhood, were loaded with victuals
and munitions of war; the other half were attached to the gun carriages
relieved of the cannon, which were to be again put in working order at San
Remi, on the other side of the pass. The cannon themselves were enveloped
in the hollowed trunks of trees; they could then be dragged over the ice
and snow. The number of mules proving insufficient, and the peasants
refusing to undertake this rough work, the soldiers yoked themselves to
the cannon, and dragged them across the mountain without wishing to accept
the rewards promised by the First Consul. He rode on a mule at the head of
the rear-guard, wrapped in a gray greatcoat, chatting familiarly with his
guide, and sustaining the courage of his soldiers by his unalterable
coolness. After a few hours' rest at the hospice of St. Bernard commenced
the descent, more difficult still than the ascent. From the 15th to the
20th of May the divisions followed each other. Lannes and Berthier, who
commanded the vanguard, had already advanced to Aosta, when they found
themselves stopped by the little fort of Bard, built upon a precipitous
rock, and with artillery commanding the defile. It was now night; a layer
of straw and refuse was spread over the frozen foot-path; the wheels of
the gun-carriages were encased in tow; at the break of day the passage had
been safely cleared. The French army, descending like a torrent into the
valley, seized upon Ivry, and repulsed the Austrians at the Chiusella on
May 26th. All the divisions of Bonaparte's army assembled by degrees; the
corps of Moncey debouched by the St. Gothard, 4000 men under the orders of
General Thureau crossed by Mont Cenis. General Mélas still refused to
believe in the danger which menaced him, and already an imposing army was
advancing against his scattered and divided forces. Already Lannes had
beaten General Ott at Montebello, after a hotly disputed engagement. "I
heard the bones crackle like a hailstorm on the roofs," said the

Bonaparte threw himself upon Milan, neglecting Genoa, which he might have
delivered without risk; thereby condemning Masséna and his army to the
sufferings of a prolonged siege, terminated by a sad defeat. He had
conceived vaster projects, and the design of annihilating the Austrian
army by a single blow. Everything had to give way to the consideration of
personal success and his egotistical thirst for glory. The Lombard
populace received the First Consul with transport, happy to see themselves
delivered from the Austrian yoke, and beguiled in advance with the hope of
liberty. General Mélas was at Alessandria, summoning to his aid the forces
that were attacking Suchet on the Var, and the troops of General Ott,
detained by the siege of Genoa. He was assured of the impossibility of any
succor being sent by Marshal Kray. It was necessary to conquer or die. In
the prison in which the Austrian army detained him, Masséna had divined
the situation of the enemy. He was still hoping for the assistance that
had been promised him; already General Ott had sent him a flag of truce.
"Give me only provisions for two days, or one day," said he to the
Genoese, "and I will save you from the Austrian yoke, and spare my army
the sorrow of surrender."

All resources were exhausted; the horrors of famine had worn out the
courage of the inhabitants; even the soldiers were yielding to
discouragement. "Before he will surrender," said they, "the general will
make us eat his boots." For a long time the garrison had lived on
unwholesome bread made with starch, upon linseed and cocoa, which scarcely
sufficed to keep the soldiers alive; the population, reduced to live on
soup made of herbs gathered on the ramparts, died by hundreds; the
prisoners cantoned in the port in old dismasted vessels, uttered cries
that reached the ears of their old generals. The latter had refused to
send in provisions for the prisoners, in spite of the promise of Masséna
to reserve it for them. The last food was used up; on the 3rd of June the
general consented to receive the flag of truce. He asked for, and
obtained, the honors of war; the army was authorized to depart from Genoa
with arms and baggage, flags displayed, and free to direct its course
towards the corps of General Suchet. "Without that I should issue arms in
hand, and it should be seen what eight thousand famished men could do."
War and famine had reduced to this number the soldiers in condition to
carry arms. After their cure, the sick, who filled the hospitals, were to
be sent to the quarters of General Suchet. Masséna defended the interests
of the Genoese, and asked in their favor for a free government. The
Austrian generals refused to make any engagement. "In less than a
fortnight I shall be back again in Genoa," declared the French general.
"You will find there the men whom you have taught how to defend it,"
replied St. Julien, one of the plenipotentiaries. General Soult remained
in the place, seriously wounded. Masséna brought his exhausted troops to
the Var. In the depths of their souls, generals and soldiers cherished a
bitter resentment for the manner in which they had been abandoned. When
the Austrian troops, beaten by Suchet, had retired towards Alessandria,
Masséna did not allow him to pursue them; he contented himself with
guarding the gates of France.

Bonaparte had just quitted Stradella, which he had occupied after leaving
Milan. He had been obliged to disperse his forces, in order to cut off all
the passages open to the enemy. When he entered, on June 13th, the plain
that extends between the Scrivia and the Bormida, near the little village
of Marengo, he was badly instructed as regards the movements of the enemy,
as well as the resources of the country. On the morning of the 14th,
General Mélas, constrained by necessity, evacuated Alessandria, and,
passing the Bormida upon three bridges, attacked General Victor before
Marengo. Lannes was at the same time surrounded on every side, and obliged
to retreat in spite of prodigies of courage. Marengo had been destroyed by
the artillery of the enemy, when Bonaparte arrived upon the field of
battle with his guard and his staff officers, at once drawing upon himself
the brunt of the fight. Meanwhile the retreat continued; the army seemed
about to be cut in two; the Austrian general, old and fatigued, believing
himself assured of victory, re-entered Alessandria. It was now three
o'clock, and Bonaparte still hoped and kept on fighting. He despatched an
aide-de-camp to Desaix, returned from Egypt two days before, and whom he
had detached in the direction of Novi; upon his return depended the
fortune of the day. Desaix had divined this, and forestalled the message
of Bonaparte; before he could be expected he was beside the general, who
questioned him as to the aspect of affairs. "Well," said Desaix, after
having rapidly examined the situation of the different corps, "it is a
lost battle; but it is not late; we have time to gain another." His
regiments were forming whilst he spoke, stopping the march of the
Austrians. "My friends," said the First Consul to the reanimated soldiers,
"remember that it is my custom to sleep upon the field of battle."

At the same moment Desaix advanced at the heads of his troops. "Go and
tell the First Consul that I am about to charge," said he to his aide-de-
camp, Savary; "I need to be supported by cavalry." He was crossing an
undulation in the ground when a ball struck him in the breast; from
daybreak he had been oppressed by gloomy presentiments. "I have been too
long making war in Africa," said he; "the bullets of Europe know me no
longer." On falling he said to General Boudet, "Conceal my death; it might
unsettle the troops." The soldiers had perceived it and rushed forward to
avenge him. Kellermann arrived at the same instant, urged forward by one
of those sudden inspirations which mark great generals; hurling his
dragoons upon the Austrian cavalry, which he broke through, he attacked
the column of grenadiers which arduously sustained the assault of the
division of Desaix. Their ranks fell into disorder; one entire corps threw
down its arms. General Zach, entrusted with the command in the absence of
Mélas, was forced to give up his sword. When the old general hurried up in
agitation, the battle was lost. The Austrian troops, repulsed and routed,
and crowded against the banks of the Bormida, blocked up all the bridges,
or cast themselves into the river, everywhere pursued by the victorious
French. The cannon, which stuck fast in the Bormida, fell into the hands
of the conquerors. The staff was decimated.

The First Consul regretted the loss of Desaix, the only one among the
companions of his youth who had seemed able to inspire in him any
particular regard. He was, however, triumphant, and this great day made
him in fact the master of Italy. He had the wisdom to perceive it. The
needs of government recalled him to France; the conditions he proposed to
Mélas, although hard, were such as could be accepted. The Austrian army
was authorized to retire with the honors of war; but it was to surrender
to the French troops all its positions in Liguria, Piedmont, Lombardy, and
the Legations, whilst evacuating the Italian territory as far as the
Mincio. To the protests of Mélas, Bonaparte replied by a formal refusal to
listen. "Sir," said he, "my conditions are irrevocable. I did not begin to
made war yesterday. Your position is as well known to me as to yourself.
You are in Alessandria, encumbered with the dead, the wounded, and the
sick, and destitute of provisions; you have lost the _élite_ of your army;
you are surrounded on all sides. I could exact everything, but I only
demand of you that which the situation of affairs imperatively requires.
Return to Alessandria; you will have no other conditions."

Mélas signed, pledging his word until he should receive a reply from
Vienna. On the same evening, before quitting the field of battle, the
First Consul wrote for the second time to the Emperor Francis Joseph. He
was moved to the very depths of his impassable and haughty soul by the
spectacle of the carnage and fury of the battle. In subsequent calmer
moments he perhaps regretted his letter. "It is upon the battlefield of
Marengo," said he, "in the midst of agonies, and surrounded by 15,000
corpses, that I conjure your Majesty to listen to the cry of humanity, and
not permit the children of two brave and powerful nations to massacre each
other for interests which are foreign to them. It is for me to press this
upon your Majesty, since I am the nearest to the theatre of war. Your
heart cannot be so keenly alive to it as mine. The arms of your Majesty
have achieved sufficient glory. You govern a large number of States. What
then can those in the cabinet of your Majesty allege in favor of the
continuation of hostilities? Is it the interests of religion and of the
Church? Why do they not counsel your Majesty to make war on the English,
the Muscovites, and the Prussians? They are further from the Church than
we. Is it the form of the French Government, which is not hereditary but
simply elective? But the government of the Empire is also elective; and
besides, your Majesty is thoroughly convinced of the powerlessness of the
entire world to change the desire which the French people have received
from nature to govern themselves as they please. Is it the destruction of
revolutionary principles? If your Majesty will take account of the effects
of war you will see that it tends to revolutionize Europe, by increasing
everywhere the public debt and the discontent of the people. In compelling
the French people to make war, you compel them only to think of war, only
to live in war; and the French legions are numerous and brave. If your
Majesty wishes for peace it is done; let us give repose and tranquillity
to the present generation. If future generations are foolish enough to
fight--well, they will learn after a few years of war to become wise and
live in peace. I might take captive the entire army of your Majesty. I am
satisfied by a suspension of hostilities, having hopes that it may be the
first step towards the repose of the world; an object for which I can
plead all the more forcibly because, nurtured and schooled by war, I might
be suspected of being more accustomed to the evils it drags after it. If
your Majesty refuses these proposals, the hostilities will recommence; and
let me be permitted to tell you frankly, in the eyes of the world you
alone will be responsible for the war."

Peace was still to be delayed, but the Convention of Alessandria was
concluded at once; and the success of General Moreau sustained in Germany
the victorious arguments of the First Consul. The former passed the Danube
near Hochstedt; after a very brilliant action, which lasted eighteen hours
(June 19), he took 5000 prisoners, and captured twenty pieces of cannon
and considerable magazines. Kray, menaced with the probability of having
his line of retreat cut off, had abandoned his position at Ulm, forcing
his march so precipitately that General Moreau had not been informed of
it. Meanwhile he attacked the Grisons and the Tyrol, repulsed the Prince
of Reuss, and established himself upon the Isar. On the 15th of July a
suspension of arms was signed at Parsdorf, near Munich. Like the soldiers
of the army of Italy, the soldiers of the army of the Rhine were about to
take some repose.

Masséna had re-entered Genoa on the 24th of June, justifying to the letter
his glorious bravado; his ill-humor was dissipated, and he remained
entrusted with the chief command of the army of Italy. The First Consul
had received at Milan the eager homage of the Lombards, but the Cisalpine
Republic was not reconstituted; a Grand Council governed it under the
Presidency of Pétiet, the French minister. At Turin, General Jourdan
directed the provisional government; at Genoa, General Dejean filled the
same functions; everywhere the paraded power of France was substituted for
the semblance of liberty; the Roman States were still in the hands of the
Neapolitans. The new Pope, Barnabus Chiaramonti, formerly Bishop of Imola,
who had shown himself well disposed towards the French, had just arrived
unexpectedly at Ancona, whence he negotiated his re-entry into the eternal
city. The First Consul assured him of his good intentions as regards the
Catholic Church, and the Holy See. The far-seeing _finesse_ of the Court
of Rome did not permit it to be deceived. The Secretary of the Sacred
College, Monsignor Consalvi, had said during the conclave, "It is from
France that we have received persecutions for ten years past; well, it is
from France that will perhaps come in the future our succors and our
consolations. A very extraordinary young man, and even more difficult to
be judged, rules there to-day. There is no doubt he will soon have
reconquered Italy. Remember that he protected the priests in 1797, and
that he has recently rendered funeral honors to Pius VI. Let us not
neglect the resources which offer themselves to us on this side." On the
day after the battle of Marengo preliminary negotiations already
commenced. The First Consul was officially present at the grand _Te Deum_
chanted in the cathedral of Milan. "Our atheists at Paris may say of it
what they will," wrote Bonaparte to Cambacérès.

During the night of the 2nd and 3rd July, 1800, Bonaparte re-entered
Paris, overwhelmed on the way by evidences of public joy, which were most
brilliantly manifested at Lyons. He had forbidden all preparations for his
return: "My intention is to have neither arches of triumph nor any species
of ceremony," he wrote to his brother Lucien, who had replaced Laplace at
the ministry of the interior. "I have too good an opinion of myself to
hold such baubles in much estimation. I know no other triumph than the
public satisfaction."

The day would come when public satisfaction, of a truth much mitigated by
long sufferings, would no longer suffice for the triumph of the absolute
master who dragged exhausted France across fields of battle; the
remembrance of his return to Paris after the victory of Marengo was to
recur to his sorrowful mind when he dictated at St. Helena the memoirs
explanatory of his life: "It was a great day," said he.

Already the adulations and mean worship of courtiers were encompassing
him; already, also, was revealed the provisional character of that power
which depended so completely upon the life of a single man. Sinister
reports were circulated during the campaign in Italy; the names of Carnot,
Moreau, and La Fayette had been put forward. The triumphant arrival of the
First Consul promptly baffled the intrigues in which the principals
interested had never taken part; nevertheless, he nursed against Carnot an
unjust feeling, which soon betrayed itself in his dismissal. Lucien
Bonaparte had forestalled, or badly comprehended, the wishes of his
brother; he had got Fontanes to write a pamphlet entitled "Caesar,
Cromwell, and Bonaparte," which revealed projects and hopes in favor of
the First Consul for which the public was not prepared. "Happy for the
Republic," it was said, "if Bonaparte were immortal? But where are his
successors? Who is the successor of Pericles? Frenchmen, you slumber over
an abyss, and your sleep is madly tranquil."

It was too soon to allow these premature pretensions to be thus made
public. The _finesse_ of La Fayette enabled him to penetrate the secret
hope of the First Consul, who was already occupied, and for most serious
reasons, with the re-establishment of religion in France. He was able to
say to him, with an irony that was a little scornful, "Come, general,
confess that this has no other aim than to get the little phial broken on
your head." Public opinion was not yet calling for the re-establishment of
the monarchy; it did not connect the idea of hereditary power with a
victorious general, still young, and who had scarcely seized the reins of
the government of the interior. The pamphlet, and the insinuations it
contained, had no success; Fouché was openly reprimanded for allowing the
publication. Lucien Bonaparte was sent as ambassador to Madrid, bearing,
he has declared, the manuscript of the pamphlet, with four corrections in
the handwriting of the First Consul. The latter began to surround himself
with a court. Madame Bonaparte had already her ladies and chevaliers of

St. Julien had just arrived at Paris with the ratification of the treaty
of Alessandria, and for the purpose of sounding the First Consul as to his
intentions on the subject of a definitive peace. Major-general of the
imperial armies, and little versed in diplomatic usages, he, in all
simplicity, avowed his ignorance to Talleyrand. The latter profited by
this to prevail upon the Austrian ambassador to sign the preliminary
articles. "So be it," said St. Julien, "but they will have no authority
until after their ratification by my sovereign." The major-general was not
authorized to treat; and the conventions he had accepted being vague as to
the most important point, the settlement of the frontiers of Italy, were
disavowed at Vienna. Thugut proposed the opening of a congress, in which
England was disposed to take part. General Duroc, aide-de-camp of the
First Consul, who had accompanied St. Julien on his return to Vienna, was
not admitted to negotiate, and found himself compelled to return to Paris.

Bonaparte's temper was quick; his irritation against England was old and
inveterate. For more than two years that power had hindered the success of
his favorite enterprises; and he struggled against her in her commercial
interests, as well as in her military efforts, with a perseverance worthy
of Pitt. He had already won over the United States to the doctrine of the
greater part of European States as to the rights of neutrals, and
concluded with their diplomatists the treaty of Morfontaine; he then
worked to raise up against England a formidable coalition, at the head of
which the Emperor Paul I. had just placed himself. Strongly influenced in
favor of France by the offer the First Consul had made to cede to him
Malta, then besieged by the English, the Czar also received with
satisfaction the 6000 Russian prisoners whom Bonaparte sent to him without
ransom, after having vainly solicited exchanges with England and Russia.
The maritime powers of the north of Europe had to complain of vexatious
interference with merchant vessels on the part of England. The law of the
seas, said they, authorized them to carry on commerce between one power
and another, goods contraband of war alone excepted; as the flag covered
the merchandise, English vessels could not legitimately stop and visit
ships of neutral countries, in order to seize French or Spanish
commodities. The theory of England was different, serving her own
commercial and military interests. In 1800 the Emperor Paul embraced the
cause of the maritime powers, and formed against England the League of
Neutrals, whilst he entered into amicable relations, and a sort of
alliance, with the First Consul. At the same time Bonaparte negotiated
with the King of Spain, offering him Tuscany, with the title of King of
Etruria, for his son-in-law the Duke of Parmo, on condition that France
should receive back Louisiana, formerly ceded to Spain by Louis XV. for an
indemnity claim. Charles IV. also engaged himself to use his influence to
have the ports of Portugal closed against England. Before admitting
England to the congress, the First Consul demanded that the continental
armistice should be extended to naval forces, as the suspension of
maritime hostilities would permit him to revictual Malta and Egypt; he
accepted on these terms the common negotiations.

England rejected, and could not but reject, these proposals. She already
held the conquest of Malta as certain; and since Bonaparte himself had
quitted Egypt, the English soldiers and marines no longer doubted the
ultimate success of their efforts against us, everywhere united with those
of the Porte. Egypt was henceforth a point so important for England that
she had resolved never to yield to the passionate caprices which had led
General Bonaparte to establish the French dominion there. In the month of
August, 1800, she could not accept an armistice which would of necessity
have prolonged the war in the East. In the month of November, 1799,
letters of General Kléber, sincere and discouraged, had fallen into the
hands of the English Government. Entrusted since the departure of General
Bonaparte with the chief command, Kléber displayed to the Directory the
sad state of his army and his finances. Five months had passed, and
nothing new had taken place; no succor had arrived from France. Kléber had
lent his ear to the proposals of the vizier and Sir Sidney Smith.
Bonaparte himself had foreseen the circumstances under which the
evacuation of Egypt would become necessary; he had left upon this subject
peremptory and haughty instructions. Kléber forestalled the term marked
out by the general who had let his mantle fall upon his shoulders, and he
concluded the treaty of El Arish, a monument of his sorrow and desolation.
The signature of Desaix, who negotiated it, was mournfully wrung from him,
after he had required from the general-in-chief a formal order to put his
name to it. Negotiated between military men, it was not countersigned with
the signature of the plenipotentiary, who himself had not better authority
to negotiate. The Government of Great Britain, informed of the distress of
General Kléber, sent to Admiral Keith a formal injunction forbidding him
to treat with the French army, unless they surrendered as prisoners of
war. Sir Sidney Smith immediately made known to Kléber the orders he had
received; the honorable conditions which the French general had previously
accepted were already in process of execution; several places had been
given up to the Turks; the vizier had advanced. Kléber, however, did not
hesitate. He published to the army the letter of the English commodore,
with these words: "Soldiers! such insolence as this is only answered by
victories: prepare to give battle."

It is a noble spectacle, that of resolute men reduced to extremities
without fleeing from danger. On March 20 the French army went out from
Cairo; diminished by death and sickness it numbered no more than 12,000
men, who formed themselves into squares, according to the old tactics of
the troops of Egypt, in front of the ancient ruins of Heliopolis. Kléber
estimated at 70,000 or 80,000 men the Turkish army which was to assail
him. "My friends," said he in passing along the ranks, "you possess in
Egypt only the ground which you have beneath your feet! If you retreat a
step, you are lost!" Having thus spoken, he gave the order to carry the
entrenched village of El Matarieh. The little redoubts were already in our
possession when the Janissaries made their first rush upon the Friant
division. The squares remained immovable, keeping up a continuous fire,
enveloped in smoke, and scarcely distinguishing the mass of the enemies
who were falling at their feet. When the clouds began to disperse, a
rampart of corpses surrounded all the French corps; in the distance were
seen the enemy in flight. Kléber order a pursuit, which was continued
during three days. When the general-in-chief at length reached the camp of
the vizier at Salahieh he only found a few detachments of the enemy. The
chiefs had disappeared in the desert, with their best troops. The French
soldiers pillaged the tents: they were loaded with rich spoils when they
retook the road to Cairo.

The capital of Egypt, never in complete submission, and disturbed by
frequent insurrections, had revolted at the announcement of the evacuation
and the departure of the French army; crimes had been committed, and the
Christians had been massacred in several quarters. Kléber laid siege to
it; the resistance was long and furious, and it was as conquerors that the
French re-entered the city which formerly cost them such slight efforts.
All the rebel cities of Lower Egypt were again brought back into obedience
to France. The war indemnities and the prizes taken from the enemy
restored the finances. Kléber labored for the completion of the forts
scattered over the hills; he enrolled Copts, Syrians, and some blacks from
Darfour; he treated with Murad Bey, who had driven from Upper Egypt the
Turkish corps of Dervish Pacha; Ibrahim Bey and Nassif Pacha, who had
sustained the revolt of Cairo, obtained an authorization to retire. Egypt
appeared to be once more submissive; but the illusions which the
Mohammedans had conceived were promptly dissipated: they recognized their
traditional enemies, and the old fanaticism was reawakened. An assassin
had already arrived in Cairo from Palestine, and shut up in the great
mosque he had confided to the sheiks his project of killing General
Kléber. They sought to dissuade him from it, but without informing the
French. On the 14th of June, as the general was walking in his garden with
the architect of the army, Suleiman presented himself before him,
pretending to ask alms, and struck him several times with his dagger. The
architect was wounded in striving to defend Kléber. When the soldiers came
hurrying up the general had already breathed his last. The assassin made
no attempt to flee; he expired under torture. At Cairo, and on the
battlefield of Marengo, Kléber and Desaix succumbed on the same day, and
almost at the same hour, both young, and serving to their last day the
designs of the chief to whom they were very unequally attached. The First
Consul wished to unite them in the same patriotic honors; he had never had
much liking for Kléber, but he did not the less keenly feel the greatness
of his loss. General Menou, who took by seniority the command of the army
of Egypt was incapable, and of a chimerical spirit. Bonaparte comprehended
the danger which threatened that one of his conquests to which he attached
the most importance; he increased the reinforcements of men and munitions,
but he was in want of generals, and the war was recommencing in Europe.
The English had just succeeded at last in taking Malta.

The armistice had been prolonged for eighty-five days, and the Emperor of
Austria had paid for this moment of peace by the surrender of the cities
of Ulm, Philipsburg, and Ingoldstadt; the preliminaries, which Cobentzel
had drawn out to great length, had brought about no result. Austria
refused to negotiate without England, to whom she was allied by a treaty
of subsidies. In contempt of the convention of Alessandria, the French
troops occupied Tuscany; Masséna no longer commanded the army of Italy.
Quarrels had arisen with the Italian administrations, who said they were
victims of heavy exactions. Masséna was accused; in the depth of his soul
he was discontented, and was always little favorable to the First Consul.
Brune had replaced him. At the expiration of the armistice, and in spite
of the new attempts at negotiations, the troops entered on the campaign.
General Bonaparte still remained at Paris, ready to proceed at need to the
threatened points. All eyes were fixed on Germany; by a common instinct
great military events upon this theatre were look forward to.

The Archduke John was young and daring; he conceived the hope of cutting
off the army of General Moreau, and imprudently crossing the Inn, the
difficult passage of which the French dreaded, he advanced immediately
towards the Isar, intending to reascend the river in our rear. But already
the difficulties of the enterprise became apparent; the young general
resolved to give battle immediately. An advantage gained on the 1st of
December, over the left wing of the French army, emboldened him to the
point of pushing forward across the forest of Hohenlinden, in the vain
hope of encountering no resistance. General Moreau waited for him in the
plain between Hohenlinden and Harthofen; Generals Richepanse and Decaen
had been directed to take the Austrians in the rear. Moreau had exactly
calculated the time necessary for this operation. The battle commenced at
the exit from the forest; as fast as they debouched upon the plain the
Austrian corps encountered the attack of our troops. Across the snow,
which fell in great flakes, the general-in-chief discerned a little
confusion in the ranks of the enemy. "The moment has come to charge," he
cried; "Richepanse has taken them in the rear." General Ney rushed forward
at the head of his division; he rejoined his companions at the centre of
the defile mingled with the confused crowd of the enemy, which they drove
before them. The centre of the Austrian army was completely hemmed in; the
left wing had been thrown back upon the Inn by Decaen. The French
divisions who were engaged on the right, repulsed for a moment, had in
their turn forced the Austrians to redescend into the valley. The plain of
Hohenlinden remained in the hands of the French army. The enemy lost 8000
men killed or wounded, 12,000 prisoners, and eighty-seven pieces of
cannon. General Lecourbe passed the Inn close behind the Archduke John,
the division of Decaen crossed the Salza and seconded the movement of
Lecourbe; General Moreau crossed the Traun, and advanced towards the Ens.
The Archduke Charles, drawn from his disgrace by the danger of his
country, resumed the command of the Austrian troops. It was too late to
snatch back victory; he accepted the sorrowful duty of arresting the
conqueror's progress by negotiations. Moreau had arrived at Steyer, a few
leagues from Vienna; the ardor of his lieutenants urged him to march
forward. "It would, without doubt, be a fine thing to enter Vienna," he
replied; "but it is a much finer thing to dictate peace." The armistice
was signed on the 25th of December, 1800, delivering to the French all the
valley of the Danube, with the Tyrol, various fortresses, and immense
magazines. The army of Augereau, which had had adventure enough on the
Rednitz, was included in the armistice; the generals commanding in Italy
and in the Grisons, Macdonald and Brune, were to be engaged to accept a
suspension of arms. The modest prudence and consummate cleverness of
General Moreau had assured to our arms advantages which at length promised
peace. Bonaparte perceived this, not without secret heartburning; but for
a time he felt himself compelled to dissemble. "I cannot tell you all the
interest I have taken in your admirable and wise manoeuvres," he wrote to
Moreau; "in this campaign you have surpassed yourself."

The orders of the First Consul caused the war in Italy to be ardently
pushed forward. "Wherever a couple of men can plant their feet, an army
can find the means of passing," said General Bonaparte; and Macdonald had
led his 15,000 men across the passes of the Splügen, among rocks and
glaciers, obliged to open a path by the oxen, who trod down the snow in
order to permit the soldiers to advance; he left behind him numerous
victims of cold and fatigue. The army of the Grisons had arrived at Trent,
the efforts of General Wukassovich having failed to arrest its progress.
Brune had conducted his operations more gently; when he marched towards
the Mincio, in order to cross it at two points, the imprudence of the
attack and the division of the forces led to a great shedding of blood; it
was only on the 31st December that the passage of the Adige was at last
effected. The corps of General Moncey rejoined the forces of Macdonald at
Trent; the Count of Laudon, close pressed, could only save his troops by a
subterfuge, by forestalling the armistice, which did not yet extend to the
armies of Italy. He had rejoined the Count of Bellegarde, when all
military operations were suspended by a convention signed at Treviso.

Cobentzel and Joseph Bonaparte had remained at Lunéville during the
resumption of hostilities, negotiating mutual concessions, of which the
cannon every day altered the conditions. The success of his armies, and
the attitude of the powers of the north, enlarged the pretensions of the
First Consul; the Austrian plenipotentiary defended with persevering
courage the frontier of the Adda, and the re-establishment of the Italian
princes in their States, when the instructions of Bonaparte to his brother
were all of a sudden altered. Order was given to retard the conclusion of
peace; at the same time, as if for the purpose of calling upon Austria to
bow to imperious necessity, the First Consul sent to the Corps Législatif
a message, which was a bold evidence of the newest phase of his diplomacy.

"Legislators, the Republic triumphs, and its enemies once more implore its

"The news of the victory of Hohenlinden has resounded throughout Europe;
that day will be reckoned in history as one of the grandest examples of
French valor. But it has been thought little of by our defenders, who only
think themselves victors when the country has no more enemies. The army of
the Rhine has passed the Inn; every day has been a battle, and every
battle a triumph. The Gallo-Batavian army has conquered at Bamberg; the
army of the Grisons, through snow and ice, has crossed the Splügen, in
order to turn the formidable lines of the Mincio and the Adige. The army
of Italy has carried by main force the passage of the Mincio, and has
blockaded Mantua. Lastly, Moreau is no more than five days' march from
Vienna, master of an immense tract of country, and of all the magazines of
the enemy.

"It is at this juncture that the Archduke Charles has asked, and the
general-in-chief of the army of the Rhine has accorded, the armistice of
which the conditions are about to be placed before you.

"Cobentzel, plenipotentiary of the Emperor at Lunéville, has declared
himself ready to open negotiations for a separate peace. Thus Austria is
freed from the influence of the English Government.

"The Government, faithful to its principles and to the prayer of humanity,
confides to you, and proclaims to France and entire Europe, the intentions
which animate it.

"The left bank of the Rhine shall be the limit of the French Republic; she
claims nothing on the right bank. The interests of Europe will not permit
the emperor to pass the Adige. The independence of the Helvetic and
Batavian Republics shall be assured and recognized. Our victories add
nothing to the claims of the French people. Austria ought not to expect
from its defeats that which it would not have obtained by victories. Such
are the unchangeable intentions of the Government. It will be the
happiness of France to restore calm to Germany and Italy; its glory to
enfranchise the continent from the covetous and malevolent influence of

"If our good faith is still deceived, we are at Prague, at Vienna, at

So many rigorous conditions, thus arrogantly announced, were, and could
not fail to be, the object of discussions and stubborn resistance. But
even these did not satisfy the will of the First Consul, and his
resolution to snatch the last concessions from the conquered. The Emperor
Paul, in his capacity of Grand Master of the Order, demanded from England
the cession of the island of Malta. Upon the refusal of the British
Government, he placed an embargo on all English vessels found in his
ports, at the same time announcing the despatch of a plenipotentiary to
Paris. In accord with Prussia, he admitted the principle of the granting
of indemnities to the deposed Italian princes by the secularization of the
ecclesiastical territories in Germany. Cobentzel was constantly opposed to
this arrangement; he equally refused to deliver Mantua to France as a
condition of the armistice in Italy. Abandoned by the neutral powers,
isolated in Germany, and separated from England, who alone remained openly
hostile to France, the Austrian envoy saw himself constrained to accept
conditions harder than those the rigor of which he had formerly deplored.
On the 9th February, 1801, the treaty of Lunéville was at last signed. A
single concession had been accorded to Cobentzel; France had consented to
surrender the places which she held on the right bank of the Rhine. She
insisted, however, that the fortifications should be demolished.
"Dismantle them yourselves," said the Austrian plenipotentiary,
sorrowfully, "and we will engage that they shall remain in the condition
in which they are surrendered." This was the last hope, and the last
effort of diplomacy. Upon the very morning of the signature, and with
reference to the obstinate persistence of Cobentzel, Joseph Bonaparte
declared, in language which was not his own, "that if the termination of
the war was favorable to France, the house of Austria ought to expect to
find the valley of the Adige on the crest of the Julian Alps; and that
there was no power in Europe which did not see with pleasure the Austrians
expelled from Italy."

The bases of the treaty of Lunéville were identical with those of the
treaty of Campo Formio. Austria lost in Germany the bishopric of Salzburg,
assured as an indemnity to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and in Italy the
territories of this prince were granted to the Duke of Parma. The articles
made no mention of Piedmont or Parma, or of the Pontifical States. The
First Consul did not wish to commit himself on this point or encounter the
sluggish proceedings of a congress. The Emperor of Austria had treated for
the Empire as for himself. The Diet assembled at Ratisbon simply ratified
the conditions of the treaty. Henceforth England found itself isolated in
Europe, as France had been in 1793. The duel continued between Bonaparte
and Pitt.

So much _éclat_ abroad, so much glory and success terminating in an almost
general peace, did not absorb all the thoughts of the First Consul, and
had not yet succeeded in founding his power on a lasting basis. He felt it
bitterly, and the irritation which he experienced habitually manifested
itself against the remnants of the Jacobin party, the declared enemies of
the order of things which he wished to establish, capable, he thought, of
any crimes, and whose works he had had the opportunity of judging. This
exclusive preoccupation sometimes turned away his attention from more
pressing perils and bolder enemies. A conspiracy to which the police had
lent themselves, and which had failed without any of the accomplices
daring to put their hands on their arms, roused public attention, in the
month of October, 1800, to the dangers which pursued the First Consul.
Since then there had been seized, at the house of a mechanician named
Chevalier, an explosive machine which had given rise to certain
suspicions; but no attempt had been made, and the conspirators, who
plotted in the dark, were as yet only known to Fouché, the minister of
police, clever and foreseeing, constantly hostile to the old enemies of
the Republic, and more disquieted than the First Consul at the royalist
manoeuvres. It was to the Chouans and men of that class that the police
attributed the brigandage which infested the roads in the departments of
the west, the centre, and the south; it was the descents of their former
chiefs upon the Norman coasts which preoccupied Fouché. At one period the
royalists had thought General Bonaparte capable of playing the _rôle_ of
Monk, and accepting that modest ambition. On the 20th of February, 1800,
Louis XVIII. wrote to him with his own hand, "Whatever may be their
apparent conduct, men like yourself, monsieur, never inspire uneasiness.
You have accepted an eminent place, and I am thankful for it. Better than
any one you know how much force and power are needed to make the happiness
of a great nation. Save France from its own madness, and you will have
accomplished the first desire of my heart; restore to it its king, and
future generations will bless your memory. You will always be too much a
necessity of the State for me ever to discharge by the highest
appointments the debt of my forefathers and my own."

This letter remained unanswered. Louis XVIII. thought he ought to write
again. "For a long time, general," said he yon ought to know that you have
won my esteem. If you have any doubt as to my being susceptible of
gratitude, appoint your place, and decide as to the position of your
friends. As to my principles, I am French; merciful by character, I should
be still more so by reason.

"No, the conqueror of Lodi, of Castiglione, of Arcola, the conqueror of
Italy and Egypt, cannot prefer a vain notoriety to glory. But you are
losing precious time. We can assure the peace of France; I say _we_,
because I need Bonaparte for that, and he cannot do it without me.

"General, Europe observes you, glory waits for you, and I am impatient to
restore peace to my people."

Sad illusions of exiles, who in a remote country know not how to judge
either men or circumstances! Louis XVIII. and his friends were blind as to
the state of men's minds in France, which they believed ripe for a
monarchical restoration; they comprehended neither the character nor the
still veiled designs of the man who had conquered, by the audacity of his
genius, military glory and the civil authority. In the depth of his soul,
and in spite of his firm design to mount the throne by means of absolute
power, Bonaparte was, and remained, revolutionary--hostile to the remains
of the past by conviction as well as by personal ambition. He wrote to
Louis XVIII. on the 7th September, 1800. "I have received, monsieur, your
letter; I thank you for the fair words you have spoken. You ought not to
desire your return to France; it would be necessary for you to march over
500,000 corpses. Sacrifice your interests for the repose and happiness of
France; history will take account of you for it.

"I am not insensible to the misfortune of your family. I shall contribute
with pleasure to the comfort and tranquillity of your retreat."

Five hundred thousand corpses of French soldiers were yet to strew the
soil of Europe to serve the ambition of Bonaparte, without hindering that
return of the House of Bourbon which he declared to be so disastrous. In
1800 the First Consul deigned to promise his benevolence to the
descendants of Henry IV., and felt no fear as to royalist intrigues in
France. Since the troubles had ceased in the west, only Georges Cadoudal
had continued sometimes to attract his attention. A letter in the month of
July had ordered Bernadotte to pursue him: "Have this miserable Georges
arrested, and shot within twenty-four hours," he wrote. Georges had
returned to England.

He was back again in France on the 24th December, 1800, when the coach of
the First Consul was stopped in the Rue St. Nicaise by a small cart which
barred the way; the coachman urged forward the horses, and passed it. At
the same instant an explosion was heard; the dead and the wounded fell
round the carriage of Bonaparte, shaken by the violence of the shock, all
the windows being broken. Bonaparte stopped his carriage, and comprehended
at once the cause of the accident. "Drive to the opera!" said he. Madame
Bonaparte was waiting for him there. When the public was reassured by his
presence, he returned to the Tuileries. A barrel of powder, loaded with
grape-shot, had been placed upon the road; the victims were numerous, and
the assassins escaped.

The general fright was of use to the anger and emotion of the First
Consul. The enemies of Fouché denounced a police everywhere favorable to
the old Jacobins. The suspicions of Bonaparte were all directed against
these known and furious enemies of his person and his policy. He was
enraged in his irritation, and disdained, according to his custom, the
legal forms and the justice of the tribunals. "We must make the number of
the convicted equal to the number of their victims," he said, "and
transport all their adherents. I will not have all quarters of Paris
successively undermined. There are always Septembrisers, miscreants
covered with crimes, in square battalion against every successive
government. It is necessary to make an end of them." Fouché, silent but
imperturbable, for a long time on the traces of the conspiracy, persisted
in seeing in the infernal machine the work of the agents of Chouannerie.
The Council of State proposed to institute a military commission and
authorize the First Consul to remove the men who appeared dangerous.
Bonaparte was irritated by this slowness of justice. "The action of a
special tribunal will be slow," said he; "it will not get hold of the
truly guilty. It is not a question of judicial metaphysics. There are in
France 10,000 miscreants who have persecuted all honest men, and who are
steeped in blood. They are not all culpable in the same degree, far from
it. Strike the chiefs boldly and the soldiers will disperse. There is no
middle course here; it is necessary to pardon all, like Augustus, or else
there must be a prompt and terrible vengeance proportionate to the crime.
It is necessary to shoot fifteen or twenty of these miscreants, and
transport 200 of them. I am so convinced of the necessity of purging
France from these sanguinary dregs that I am ready to constitute myself
sole tribunal--to bring forward the guilty, examine them, judge them, and
have their condemnation carried into effect. It is not myself that I seek
to avenge here. I am as ready to die as First Consul for the preservation
of the Republic and the Constitution as to fall upon the field of battle;
but it is necessary to reassure France, who will approve my policy."

The members of the council listened, struck with consternation at such
absolutist and revolutionary violence, but already too much dismayed to
defend the cause of the most elementary justice. Admiral Truguet alone
suggested doubts as to the true authors of the crime. "It is desired,"
said he, "to defeat the miscreants who trouble the Republic, so be it; but
the miscreants are of more than one kind. The returned emigrants menace
those who have acquired national property, the Chouans infest the
highways, the priests inflame the passions of the people, the public
spirit is corrupted by pamphlets." The First Consul blushed violently at
this allusion; the reminder of the unfortunate attempt of Lucien Bonaparte
increased his anger. Advancing towards the admiral, "Of what pamphlets do
you speak?" cried he. "You know as well as I do," without giving way,
answered the brave sailor.

The First Consul paced the hall; the councillors of State watched him,
vaguely recognizing in the outbursts of the anger of the master the
powerful instinct of government, which discerned the permanent hostility
of the revolutionaries without being able to divest itself of their
principles or of their modes of action. "Do people take us for children?"
he cried. "Do they expect to draw us aside with these declamations against
the emigrants, the Chouans, and the priests? Because there are still a few
partial attempts in Vendée, must we be called upon to declare the country
in danger? If the Chouans commit crimes, I will have them shot. But must I
commence proscribing for a quality? Must I strike these because they are
priests, those because they are old nobles? Must I send away into exile
10,000 old men, who only ask to be allowed to live peaceably in obedience
to the established laws? Do you not know, gentlemen, members of the
council, that excepting two or three you all pass for royalists? You,
Citizen Defermon, don't they take you for a partisan of the Bourbons? Must
I send Citizen Portalis to Sinnamari, and Citizen Devaisne to Madagascar,
and then must I make for myself a Babeuf council? No, no, Citizen Truguet,
you won't get me to make any change; there are none to fear except the
Septembrisers. They would not spare even you yourself, and it would be in
vain for you to tell them that you defended them at the Council of State.
They would cut your throat, just the same as mine or the throats of your

He went out without giving time for any one to answer him. Cambacérès,
moderate and prudent, equally clever in giving counsel and at yielding
when counsels were useless, deemed the anger of the First Consul too
passionate to admit of contradiction. The Council of State, several times
consulted, was brought over with repugnance to the idea of an
extraordinary measure. The First Consul wished a law; it was decided to
involve the great bodies of the State in the arbitrary act which he was
about to commit. "The consuls do not know what may happen," said he. "So
long as I am alive I am not afraid of any one daring to ask me an account
of my actions; but I may be killed, and then I cannot answer for my two
colleagues. You are not very firmly placed in your stirrups," he added,
turning to Cambacérès, with a smile. "Better to have a law now as well as
for the future." The Council of State hesitated from a repugnance to form
a proscription list, assuring him that it would be rejected by the
Tribunate and the Legislative Body. "You are always afraid of the
Tribunate," said Bonaparte, "because it rejected one or two of your laws;
but there are only a few Jacobins in the Legislative Body, ten or twelve
at most. The others know well that but for me they would all have been
massacred. The law will be passed."

At last, Talleyrand, who had previously remained silent, said that since
there was a Senate, some use should be made of it. The proscription list
was sent to the Senate. It had been written by Fouché, who knew the real
criminals; and the statement of reasons were drawn up by the two sections
of the Council of State who were at first unanimously opposed to the
measure: the Senate voted, the First Consul having signed the act. "All
these men have not taken the dagger in their hands," said the preamble,
"but they are all universally known to be capable of sharpening it and
taking it." Two days afterwards 133 Jacobins sailed from Nantes for
Guiana--formerly members of the Convention and the Commune, proved or
supposed to have had a part in the massacres of September, all certainly
loaded with crime, and worthy of the punishment which they underwent,
strangers to the attempt to assassinate the First Consul, and condemned
without regard to moral or legal justice. At the same time, and as if to
clear off all old accounts with the conspirators, the four men accused in
October, Aréna, formerly a representative, and recently employed by the
Committee of Public Safety, and the artists Ceracchi and Topino-Lebrun,
were at last tried, and condemned to perish on the scaffold. Chauveau-
Lagarde defended them, as he had formerly defended Charlotte Corday and
the men of Nantes denounced by Carrier. His efforts were not crowned with
success; whether acknowledged or only suspected, the Jacobin conspiracy
was everywhere repressed with the same rigor.

Nevertheless, Fouché had at last recovered the temporarily lost traces of
the real criminals. Two assistants of Georges Cadoudal, Limoëlan and St.
Réjant, who had formerly taken part in the civil wars, entered into
partnership with a man of the lower orders named Carbon, who bought them
the cart, the horse, and powder. He was found concealed in Paris; Limoëlan
had fled abroad. St. Réjant, who had let off the infernal machine, had not
yet recovered from the injuries caused by it; and Carbon having betrayed
his place of concealment, and all the details of the plot, they were both
executed. Fouché's penetration on this occasion gained him still greater
confidence with the First Consul. "He was right," repeated Bonaparte: "his
opinion was better than that of the others. The returned emigrants, the
royalist plotters, and people of that sort, ought to be closely watched. I
am pleased, however, to be rid of the Jacobin staff."

Neither the banishment of the old revolutionists, nor the condemnation of
those who had contrived the infernal machine, had disturbed the repose of
public opinion, then in close alliance with the steady and firm power
which ruled France. The abstract principles of justice were no longer
thought of by men in general: the desire for permanent freedom had given
place to the longing for rest and quiet, and all were pleased with the
energy which the government had shown against disturbers of the peace; and
the oppressive laws being modified, prosperity was reappearing. The state
of the finances became more satisfactory: a part of the public funds had
been paid, and that which still remained had just been registered in the
"Great Ledger;" the fundholders accepted without too much difficulty the
delay in paying the first dividend. The national property not yet sold was
set apart for the liquidation, excepting what was assigned for public
instruction and the support of the Invalides. Everywhere roads were being
made or repaired, canals dug, and three bridges were built over the Seine.
In spite of the formation of extraordinary tribunals, the great Code of
Civil Law was being slowly made--destined to rule France and extend her
useful action. An agent, almost unknown at Rome and only recently arrived
in Paris, was already discussing with Abbé Bernier those great questions
of order and organization which were afterwards to introduce the
concordat. Peace, even when partial and precarious, was everywhere bearing
its fruits; at home, France displayed that wonderful recuperative power so
frequently and painfully put to the proof by the severe shocks of our
modern history; abroad, her importance in Europe was daily increasing, and
caused more disquiet to all her enemies. The government of England,
however, was soon to pass from Pitt's hands: the whole English nation
called loudly to stop a war of which they had financially borne the
burden, even though their armies had generally had little share in it.

In the south of Europe the First Consul, while negotiating with the Pope,
and occupying Piedmont without diplomacy, had no longer any enemy to
subdue worthy of his power. Murat had invaded the kingdom of Naples,
causing so great terror that the queen herself was on the point of
accepting an armistice by which the ports of the Two Sicilies were closed
to the English. The treaty of definitive peace was signed at Florence on
the 18th of March, 1801, the conditions being the same as those of the
armistice, with the important addition that the territory of Elba, a
dependency of the kingdom of Naples, was to be ceded. By a secret article,
the sovereign of the Two Sicilies was obliged to receive and maintain a
body of fifteen thousand men, which the First Consul intended to transport
to Egypt, important armaments being prepared in our ports in order to be
sent to the same place, their real destination being yet concealed. A
Franco-Spanish expedition, nominally commanded by Prince de la Paix but
really directed by General Gouvion St. Cyr, was to attempt in April the
conquest of Portugal. In spite of repeated promises, the government of
that small State remained obstinately faithful to England.

England was suffering from a scarcity of food which threatened to become a
famine, constantly made worse by the hindrances put in the way of her
commerce. The difficulties of the home government increased those of the
diplomatic and military isolation which she underwent in Europe. At the
moment of the conclusion of the Treaty of Union, Pitt had entered upon
engagements with the Irish Catholics which he felt himself bound to
fulfil. The conscientious but shortsighted and narrow-minded George III.
opposed every act of toleration with respect to his Catholic subjects: he
refused to give his assent, and Pitt by resigning his post sacrificed, at
a perilous crisis for his country, foreign policy to the duties and
obligations of parliamentary tactics. The reason of King George, already
tottering, was unable to undergo so much agitation; he remained faithful
to his convictions, but was for a short time out of his mind. When he
regained his faculties, Pitt, who was moved to the heart by the trouble
which he had caused to his aged king, and disturbed by the evils which
threatened England under the regency of the Prince of Wales, undertook
never to raise the question of the emancipation of the Catholics during
the life of George III. He had no seat, however, in the new cabinet, which
was obviously incapable, and unequal to the difficult task which it had
undertaken, and in their earlier proceedings still influenced by Pitt's
action, and following the line of policy which he had traced. Scarcely had
Addington become prime minister, when an attempt which had long been
projected against Denmark was put in execution. Nelson had charge of it
under the superior command of Sir Hyde Parker, who was above him in the
order of seniority. "This is no time to feel nervous," said Nelson to his
superior as they were setting sail. "Dark nights and mountains of ice
matter little; we must take courage to meet the enemy."

Having passed the Sound, the English squadron blockaded the fleet which
covered Copenhagen. The Danes made an heroic defence, and the old Admiral
Parker, somewhat alarmed, gave the signal for the action to cease. "I'll
be d----d first!" cried Nelson in a passion: "I have the right of seeing
badly"--putting his telescope to the eye which he had lost at Aboukir. "I
don't see the signal. Nail mine to the mast. Let them press closer on the
enemy. That's my reply to such signalling." It was Nelson, moreover, who,
when the battle was gained, arranged with the Prince Royal of Denmark the
terms of the armistice which separated his country from the number of the
neutral states.

Almost at the same moment the coalition of maritime powers underwent a
more fatal check. For several months the strange workings of the mind of
the Emperor Paul I. had become more obvious. Everybody trembled before
him, and even the empress, as well as her sons, had been threatened with
banishment to Siberia. A caricature was published representing the Czar
holding in one hand a paper on which was written the word "order;" in the
other, the word "counter-order;" on his forehead was read the word
"disorder." A conspiracy was formed, including the principal nobles and
the most intimate members of his household. "They are conspiring against
me, Pahlen," said the emperor to the Governor of St. Petersburg. "Let your
Majesty's mind be easy," replied the Russian, coolly; "I am up to them."
He really was so, and on the night of the 23rd March, 1801, he entered the
Michael palace with the conspirators. The next in importance to him,
General Benningsen, had afterwards the honor of fighting bravely against
the Emperor Napoleon when subduing Poland; he was already distinguished,
and had been decorated with all the orders of the empire. On making his
way to the bedroom of the Czar, who was asleep, the two Hungarians who
formed the only guard ran away after striking one or two blows; the
palace-guard were already on an understanding with the conspirators. The
unfortunate Czar, pursued by the assassins, took refuge behind a screen.
Benningsen observing him held out a paper: "There is your act of
abdication," said he; "sign it and I answer for your life." The emperor
resisted; the conspirators crowded into the room; the lamp fell and was
extinguished, and in that moment of darkness a scarf was tightened round
the neck of Paul I., and he was struck on the head with the pummel of a
sword. When a light was brought in he was dead.

Count Pahlen had not entered the room, being engaged in guarding the doors
with a troop of soldiers: he went to call on the new emperor. Alexander
was not ignorant of the plot formed to force from his father an abdication
which had become necessary; but he had not considered, and did not
anticipate, the fatal consequences of that enterprise. Pahlen's silence
was the only reply to his questions about the Czar: the young man burst
into tears, hiding his face in his hands and heaping reproaches upon the
Governor of St. Petersburg, who still remained motionless before him. But
by this time the empress, out of her mind from sorrow, and suddenly seized
with an ill-regulated ambition, sent to announce to her son that she was
resolved to take possession of the power. Count Pahlen at once threw off
his apathy. "Enough of childish tears," said he to the young emperor;
"now, come and reign!" He then presented him to the troops, by whom he was
well received.

A few days afterwards the Emperor Alexander was crowned. "Before him
marched his grandfather's murderers," wrote Madame de Bonneuil, "beside
him those of his father, and behind him his own." Count Pahlen's ambition
was to govern the young monarch, but he was not to reap the fruits of his
crime. The empress-mother insisted upon the banishment of the murderers of
Paul I. In the retirement of his country estate, where he lived a long
time, the count on the 23rd of March made himself drunk from daybreak, in
order to pass in oblivion the dreaded anniversary which awoke in his mind
a remorse which was only slumbering. "That's the regular mode of
deposition in Russia," said Talleyrand, cynically, on hearing of the
emperor's assassination. The First Consul's anger overcame his judgment.
"The wretches!" he exclaimed; "they failed here on the 3rd Nivôse, but
they have not failed in St. Petersburg." And bent on showing his spite
towards his enemies, he had the following note inserted in the _Moniteur_:
"Paul I. died on the night of the 23rd March, and the English squadron
passed the Sound on the 31st. History will inform us the relation that
possibly exists between these two events."

History has done justice to those false insinuations, unworthy even of him
who pronounced them. Admiral Nelson felt no joy at the death of the
Emperor Paul, which finally broke the league of the neutrals, and deprived
him of the easy triumph which he made sure of gaining over the Russian
fleet. It was of service, however, to England, and contributed to assist
the wish for peace which was beginning to be awakened in the mind of the
First Consul. Scarcely was the Emperor of Russia dead, when Piedmont, long
protected by his favor, was reduced to the condition of a French
department: but it was in vain that Bonaparte pretended to reckon on the
alliance of the young Czar, in vain that Duroc was despatched to St.
Petersburg with a mission of confidence; he was not deceived as to the
Emperor Alexander's leaning to ally himself with England. In fact, M.
Otto, who had been sent to London to arrange the exchange of prisoners,
had already several weeks previously been authorized to meet favorably the
advances made by Lord Hawkesbury, then the foreign minister. On both sides
they tried to gain time. The great question which then separated France
and England, the possession of Egypt, remained undecided, and both sides
determined that it should be settled. On the 7th of March, 1801, the
English squadron of the Mediterranean, which was long stationed at Mahon,
and had recently been directed towards Malta, suddenly disembarked a body
of 18,000 soldiers under the orders of Sir Ralph Abercromby. Thus, with a
Turkish contingent and the regiments of sepoys brought from India, there
were 60,000 men united against the army of occupation, which was reduced
to 15,000 or 18,000 soldiers, commanded by dissatisfied officers, and
generals who could not act together. Unfortunate in his relations to his
colleagues, and showing little tact in his application of European methods
of organization to the native population, General Menou was unable to take
the necessary precautions against the English invasion of Egypt; and in
spite of his bravery, General Friant, who was in charge of 15,000 men
defending Alexandria, could make only a feeble resistance to the landing
of the English. Assisted by General Lanusse, he again joined battle, 13th
March, on the road to Ramanièh; while General Menou--"Abdallah Menou," as
his soldiers called him after he became a Mussulman--was on march with all
his troops to assist Alexandria. After committing the fault of allowing
the English army to land, it was necessary to make haste to fight it
before it should have received the expected reinforcements. The battle of
Canopa was fought on the 21st March under disadvantageous circumstances;
and General Lanusse being killed in the action, General Reynier's
disposition prevented his supplying his chief's incapacity. The battle,
though remaining indecisive, left the English masters of the coast, and
constantly revictualled by the fleet.

For more than two months, the French army hoped and waited for the
assistance which had been promised them. Admiral Ganteaume, provided with
the best vessels of our navy, a body of picked soldiers, and supplies and
resources of every kind, had in fact set sail on the 23rd January, leaving
Brest in the midst of a frightful tempest in the hopes of escaping the
English cruisers. After being beaten about and somewhat damaged by the
sea, the French vessels made for the Straits of Gibraltar, without any
accident except a short engagement between the frigate "Bravoure" and an
English one. The admiral hesitated; in spite of his personal courage, he
felt loaded with too great a responsibility. Bringing back his squadron
almost within view of Toulon, he thought he saw Mahon's English fleet
making straight for him, and as the struggle threatened to be unequal he
returned into the harbor of Toulon. Leaving it on the 19th of March, after
his vessels were repaired and urgent orders were received from the First
Consul, he again delayed, on account of an accident which had happened to
one of his ships, and it was only on the 22nd that he finally put to sea.
On the 26th he was delayed by the collision of two vessels at Cape
Carbonara in Sardinia, and becoming discouraged and uneasy, the admiral
again entered Toulon on the 5th of April, at the moment when the English
fleet were passing Rosetta. The town was badly defended and fell into the
hands of the enemies, who thus became masters of the mouth of the Nile;
and sending some gun-boats up as far as Fouèh, they soon took it. Generals
Lagrange and Morand held Ramanièh; and Menou delaying to lend the
assistance which he promised, Lagrange fell back upon Cairo, and
communication with Alexandria was interrupted. General Billiard, who
commanded in the capital of Egypt, made a sally to repulse the vizier's
troops; but in spite of several skirmishes he could not reach the main
body of the army, and returning to the town, he offered to capitulate. The
English were anxious to finish, being afraid of one of those strokes of
good fortune to which the French arms had so often owed their success. The
most honorable conditions were granted to the army, the troops evacuating
Egypt being carried back to France at the expense of England, and in their
vessels (27th June, 1801). Almost at the same moment (24th June), Admiral
Ganteaume, with his squadron reduced by sickness, at last anchored before
Derne, several marches from Alexandria; but as the people on the coast
opposed his landing, and the undertaking was hazardous and the land route
difficult, he again put to sea, thinking himself fortunate in finding in
the Straits at Candia an English ship, which he captured and brought
triumphantly to Toulon. General Menou, now alone, and shut up in
Alexandria, obstinately and heroically resisted in vain. When at last he
surrendered, he had been long forgotten in his isolation. Thus though
Bonaparte's thoughts often went back to that famous and chimerical
conquest of his youth, Egypt was definitively lost to France.

The negotiations with England had undergone the fluctuations inseparable
from the vicissitudes of a distant war, the events of which remained still
doubtful in Europe several weeks after their occurrence. The successes
gained by Admiral Linois against the English before Algesiras and Cadiz,
and the danger of Portugal threatened by the Spanish army, had their
influence no doubt upon the English cabinet, but it was still haughty and
exacting. The First Consul himself drew up a minute for the minister of
foreign affairs, giving an abstract of the concessions which he was
disposed to accept. "The French Government wishes to overlook nothing
which may lead to a general peace, that being for the interests both of
humanity and of the allies. It is for the King of England to consider if
it is also for the interests of his policy, his commerce, and his nation:
and if so, a distant island more or less can be no sufficient reason for
prolonging the unhappiness of the world.

"The question consists of three points: the Mediterranean--the Indies--

"Egypt will be restored to the Porte.

"The Republic of the Seven Islands will be recognized.

"All the ports of the Adriatic and Mediterranean occupied by French troops
will be restored to the King of Naples and to the Pope.

"Mahon will be restored to Spain.

"Malta will be restored to the Order; and if the King of England should
consider it conformable to his interests as a preponderating naval power
to destroy the fortifications, that clause will be admitted.

"In India, England will keep Ceylon, and so become unassailable mistress
of those immense and wealthy countries.

"The other establishments will be restored to the allies, including the
Cape of Good Hope.

"In America, all will be restored to the former possessors. The King of
England is already so powerful in that part of the world that to wish for
more is, being absolute master of India, to wish to be so of America also.

"Portugal will be preserved in all its integrity.

"Such are the conditions which the French Government is ready to sign.

"The advantages which the British Government thus derive are immense: to
claim greater ones is not to wish a peace which is just and reciprocally

"Martinico not having been conquered by the English arms, but placed by
the inhabitants in the hands of the English till France should have a
government, cannot be considered an English possession. France will never
give it up.

"All that now remains is for the British Government to make known the
course they wish to adopt; and if these conditions do not satisfy them, it
will be at least proved before the eyes of the world that the First Consul
has left nothing undone, and has shown himself disposed to make any
sacrifice, in order that peace may be restored and humanity spared the
tears and bloodshed which must inevitably result from a new campaign."

The concessions were in fact great, the First Consul abandoning points
which had long been disputed,--Egypt, Malta, and Ceylon; and he showed
extreme annoyance when Lord Hawkesbury refused to admit the principle of
complete restitution in America. Several threatening articles were
inserted in the _Moniteur_, and Bonaparte urgently hurried the preparation
of a fleet of gun-boats at Boulogne, which were supposed to be intended
for the invasion of England. It had long been an idea of the First
Consul's thus to intimidate the English Government, but it was only the
people on the coast who were really alarmed. Nelson wrote immediately to
the Admiralty, that "even on leaving the French harbors the landing is
impossible were it only for the difficulties caused by the tides: and as
to the notion of rowing over, it is impracticable humanly speaking." An
attempt to land a large army on the English coast was soon to become a
fixed idea in Bonaparte's mind; but then he used his armaments to disquiet
the British Government. Twice Nelson attempted to destroy our fleet, and
twice he failed completely: in the second attack, which was begun at
night, and vigorously carried on to boarding, Admiral Latouche-Tréville
compelled the English ships to withdraw, after inflicting severe losses
upon them. Nevertheless, England still insisted on obtaining possession of
the island of Trinidad, which belonged to Spain. The First Consul refused
for a long time, but the Prince de la Paix had betrayed the hopes of his
imperious ally. Bonaparte had guaranteed the throne of "Etruria" to the
young Duke of Parma, and recently received in Paris the new sovereign, and
his wife, the daughter of the King of Spain, and showed the nation that
the prince was a simple lad, to be easily bent to his purposes. In return
for so many favors, the Spanish troops had with difficulty conquered a few
provinces, and King Charles IV., already reconciled to his son-in-law, the
King of Portugal, concluded the treaty of Badajoz, which closed the
harbors to the English, and granted an indemnity of twenty millions to
France. The First Consul was extremely indignant, having counted on the
threat of a war in Portugal to exercise a preponderating influence in the
negotiations in London. At first he insisted that the treaty must be
broken. "At the very time," said he, "when the First Consul places a
prince of the house of Spain on a throne which is the fruit of the
victories of the French nation, the French Republic is treated as the
Republic of San Marino might with impunity be treated. Let the Prince de
la Paix know that if he has been bought by England, and has drawn the king
and queen into measures contrary to the honor and interest of the
Republic, the last hour of the Spanish monarchy has struck."

The Prince de la Paix made ample excuses, but refused to break the treaty
of Badajoz. The real intention of the First Consul was to have peace: he
had three vessels granted him by Portugal, and abandoned the island of
Trinidad to the demands of the English Government. At one time England
also claimed Tobago, but the very terms of the treaty were displeasing to
Bonaparte's pride, and he assumed the insulting tone which he had been
accustomed to use with foreign diplomatists. "The following is what I am
directed to tell you," wrote Talleyrand: "excepting Trinidad, the First
Consul will not yield, not only Tobago, but even a single rock, if there
is one, with only a village of a hundred people; and the ground of the
First Consul's conduct is, that in the treaty he has yielded to England to
the last limit of honor, and that further there would be for the French
nation dishonor. He will grant nothing more, even if the English fleets
were anchored before Chaillot."

Lord Hawkesbury withdrew his demands as to Tobago, and the First Consul
modified his threats, both nations being eagerly desirous of peace. The
preliminaries were at last signed in London, on the 1st October, 1801; and
when, two days afterwards, the ratifications were brought from Paris by
Colonel Lauriston, the welcome news caused an irresistible outburst of joy
amongst the populace. The horses of the French envoy's carriage were
unharnessed, that he might be drawn in triumph to Lord Hawkesbury's house;
and everywhere in the streets there were shouts of "Long live Bonaparte!"
At the banquets the First Consul's health was drunk, and cheered as loudly
as the speeches in favor of the friendship of the two nations. The same
excessive delight was shown in Paris, which was soon crowded with the
foreigners whom war had long kept away; and Fox was received by the First
Consul with such flattering attentions as made a deep impression on his
mind. Party feeling had so influenced the mind of the illustrious orator
as to partially efface his patriotic sentiments. A few days after the
preliminaries were signed, he wrote to his friend Lord Grey, "I confess to
you that I go farther than you in my hatred of the English Government: the
triumph gained by France excites in me a joy I can scarcely conceal."

The public joy and hopes, both in France and England, were founded on
motives superior to those which inspired Fox's satisfaction, but they were
not more permanent, or better founded. On the day after signing the
preliminaries of London, and as if to increase the renown of his
successes, the First Consul took pleasure in concluding successively
treaties with Portugal, the Sublime Porte, the Deys of Algiers and Tunis,
Bavaria, and finally Russia. One clause of the last treaty stipulated that
both sovereigns should prevent criminal conduct on the part of emigrants
from either country. The House of Bourbon and the Poles were thus equally
deprived of important protection. The situation of the King of Sardinia
was to be regulated in every way according to actual circumstances. Each
of the conventions, and especially the treaty of peace with England
contained reticences and obscurities, which were fertile in pretexts for
war and in unfriendly interpretations. The First Consul wished to secure
an interval of rest and leisure, to consolidate his conquests at home and
abroad. He had not renounced the glorious and ill-defined project of the
imperial government which he affected to exercise over Europe. "If England
made a new coalition," he wrote to M. Otto, "the only result would be a
renewal of the history of the greatness of Rome."

It was to the honor of the First Consul, in the midst of this brilliant
political and military renown, and in spite of his impulsive and
ungovernable disposition, that he understood that the restoration of
peace, the joy of victory, and the hope of a regular government, were
unable to satisfy all the wants or regulate all the movements of the human
soul. Personally without experience of religious prejudices or feelings,
free from any connection with philosophical coteries, Bonaparte did not
limit himself to a sense of the support which religion could lend in
France to the new order which he wished to establish: he understood the
higher wants of minds and consciences, and the supreme law which assigns
to Heaven the regulation of human life. The doctrines of Christianity, as
well as the divisions of the Christian Church, were indifferent to him; he
did not understand their importance, and would have thought little of
them; but he knew that, in spite of the efforts of the eighteenth century
philosophy--in spite of the ravages caused by the French Revolution, the
attachment and respect of many for the Catholic religion had still great
power. He knew also that Catholicism could not be re-established in
France, under his auspices, without the assistance and good will of the
Court of Rome. No impression was made on his mind by the attempts made to
persuade him to found in France an independent church freed from all
connection with the Papacy, or by the arguments used in favor of
Protestantism. His traditional respect, as well as the religious sentiment
of the mass of the French nation, were in favor of Catholicism. His good
sense, as well as his profound instinct of the means of action in
government, had long urged him towards religious toleration. During his
last campaign in Italy, a circular to the curés of Milan had revived the
hopes of the Roman Court; and after Pope Pius VII. returned to his
capital, on its evacuation by the Neapolitan troops, M. Spina, at first
envoy at Turin, had followed the First Consul to Paris. He treated with
Abbé Bernier who had skilfully negotiated to bring about the pacification
of Vendée--a man of great ambition, determined to serve the government
which could raise him to the episcopal purple. The _pourparlers_ were
prolonged; the situation was difficult; the new powers founded in France
by the Revolution and by victory raised pretensions which were contrary to
the Roman tradition. They were, moreover, embarrassed by the unequal
position of the ecclesiastics who were performing in France their sacred
functions, some having submitted to the republican demands rather than
leave their country and their flocks, others believing it was their duty
to sacrifice everything to their former oaths. Proscribed and outlawed,
they had for a long time preached, said mass, and given the sacraments in
spite of an unrelenting persecution. A large number had decided to take to
flight, but having now returned, the faithful were divided between them
and the priests who had remained in France. Almost alone in Paris, and
among those men whose opinion he was accustomed to consult, the First
Consul persevered in his idea of again joining the French Church to the
general Catholic body. His patience, however, was exhausted by the delay
of the Holy College, and he resolved to have recourse to means which were
more efficacious, and more in accordance with his character. On the 13th
May, 1801, he wrote to M. Cacault, French minister at Rome, that he had
determined to accept no longer the irresolution and dilatory procedure of
the Court of Rome; if in five days the scheme sent from Paris, and long
discussed by the Sacred College, was not accepted, Cacault must leave Rome
to join, in Florence, General Murat, the commander-in-chief of the army of

The emotion at the Vatican was great. Shortly before, when giving Cacault
his final instructions, the First Consul said, "Forget not to treat the
Pope as if he had 200,000 men at his orders." The French minister had
faithfully observed this injunction, which agreed with his personal
opinions: he knew the obstacles which still separated the new master of
France from the Roman Court. The scheme of ecclesiastical organization
proposed by Bonaparte was simple: sixty bishops named by the civil power
and confirmed by the Pope, the clergy salaried by the State, the
ecclesiastical jurisdiction transferred to the Council of State, and the
official management of religious bodies to the temporal authority. Pius
VII. agreed to accept this new condition of the Church exclusively
restored to her spiritual functions. The situation in the Church of the
priests who had taken the oath to the civil constitution of 1789, their
reconciliation to the papacy, the tacit admission of the appropriation by
the State of the ecclesiastical property, the nomination of new bishops
and consequent resignation or deprivation of those already holding the
titles,--such were the various questions which occupied Pope Pius VII. and
his skilful minister Cardinal Consalvi. Cacault tried to persuade them
that the cardinal himself must go to Paris. "Most Holy Father," said the
French minister, "it is necessary that Consalvi himself carry your reply
to Paris. What alarms me most is the character of the First Consul; that
man is never open to persuasion. Believe me, something stronger than cold
reason advises me in this matter: a mere animal instinct some would call
it, but it never deceives. What inconvenience if somehow or other you
appear yourself? You are blamed. What did they say? They wish for a
'Concordat' of religion; we anticipate them and bring it, there it is!"

Pope Pius VII. had long felt for General Bonaparte an attraction caused by
a mixed feeling of alarm and confidence. Alarm reigned in the mind of his
minister, who made up his mind to set out for Paris as if he were going to
martyrdom. "Since a victim is necessary," said he, "I devote myself, and
go to see the First Consul: let the will of God be done!" He rode in
Cacault's carriage from Rome to Florence, whence the French minister wrote
to Talleyrand,--

"Citizen Minister, here I am, arrived in Florence. The cardinal secretary
of state set out with me from Rome, and we have travelled together in the
same carriage. We were looked upon everywhere with great astonishment. The
cardinal was much afraid people should think I had withdrawn on account of
a rupture, and kept saying to everybody, 'This is the French minister.'
This country, crushed under the recent evils of war, shudders at the least
thought of military disturbance. The Roman Government has still greater
fear of its own dissatisfied subjects, especially those who have been
allured to authority and pillage by the sort of revolution just gone
through.... The cardinal set out this morning for Paris, and will arrive
shortly before my despatch, as he goes extremely quickly. The wretched man
feels that if he fails he will be irretrievably lost, and that all will be
lost for Rome. He is eager to know his lot. I tried at Rome to bring the
Pope to sign the Concordat only; and if he had granted me that point, I
should not have left Rome; but that idea was unsuccessful.

"You understand that the cardinal is not sent to Paris to sign that which
the Pope has refused to sign at Rome; but being the prime minister of his
Holiness, and his favorite, it is with the Pope's mind that you will be in
communication. I hope the result will be an agreement as to the
modifications. It is a matter of phrases and words, which can be turned in
so many meanings that at last the good meaning is got hold of."

The First Consul had resolved to make from the very first an impression on
the mind of the pontifical envoy by the display of his power. Scarcely had
the cardinal stepped out of his carriage when he received a visit from
Abbé Bernier, whom he at once employed to ask an audience for him. The
same day, at the Tuileries, before the crowd of courtiers who were
thronging to one of the grand receptions, Cardinal Consalvi was presented
to the First Consul. "My astonishment," says he in his correspondence,
"was like that felt in the theatre by the sudden scene-shifting, when a
cottage, prison, or wood is unexpectedly changed to the dazzling spectacle
of the most magnificent court. You can easily imagine that a person
arriving at Paris on the night preceding, without being told beforehand,
without knowing anything of the habits, customs, and dispositions of those
before whom he appeared, and who was in a measure considered responsible
for the bad success of the negotiations so far as they had been carried,
must, at the sight of such grandeur, as imposing as it was unexpected,
have felt not only profound emotion, but even a too evident
embarrassment." As the cardinal approached the three consuls, alone in the
midst of a magnificent drawing-room filled with a brilliant throng,
Bonaparte left him no time to speak. "I know the object of your journey to
France," said he. "I wish the conferences to be immediately opened. I
leave you five days' time; and I tell you beforehand that if at the
expiration of the fifth day the negotiations are not finished, you must
return to Rome; whilst as for me, I have decided what to do in that case."

Consalvi came to Paris ardently wishing to bring to a successful
completion the difficult negotiations which had been entrusted to him. His
Italian cunning was not deceived as to the motive of the display of
magnificence, and the rough reception of himself which signalized his
first audience. He was conscientious and resolute without narrowness of
mind, and he understood the immense importance to religion and politics of
the restoration of agreement between France and the Court of Rome. He
appeared neither astonished nor disturbed with reference to the First
Consul. When they came to the discussion of the questions which had
brought him to Paris, the Pope's envoy showed himself easily influenced on
most of the points. Bonaparte himself summarized the whole of the
Concordat in a few words: "Fifty emigrant bishops, paid by England, manage
all the French clergy, and their influence must be destroyed. The
authority of the Pope is necessary for that. He deprives them of their
charge, or obliges them to resign. As it is said that the Catholic
religion is that of the majority of the French, the exercise of it should
be organized. The First Consul nominates the fifty bishops; the Pope
institutes them; they name the curés, and the State pays their salaries.
They take the oath: the priests who refuse to submit are removed, and
those who preach against the government are referred to their superiors.
After all, enlightened men will not rise against Catholicism; they are

A rather keen opposition, however, was raised among the courtiers and in
the army against the Concordat, which assisted in hampering the progress
of the negotiations. Most of the military men were still imbued with the
spirit of the Revolution, and suspicious of the influence of the priests.
The constitutional clergy, who had no serious objection to the Concordat,
the only means of securing them a regular ecclesiastical standing, feared
lest they should be sacrificed in favor of the priests who had refused to
take the oath. Several of them were married, and had thus increased the
difficulties of their position by new ties. So many personal interests and
different motives kept the First Consul's advisers in a state of hostility
to the claims of the Holy See. Even the preamble of the Concordat gave
room to long discussions. On the refusal to apply the title "State
religion" to the Catholic religion, Cardinal Consalvi agreed to the simple
statement of the fact that the Catholic Apostolic and Roman religion was
the religion of the great majority of the French people. On the other
hand, the Pope admitted the great advantage that religion should derive
from the re-establishment of Catholic worship in France, and from the
personal profession of it made by the consuls of the republic. He at the
same time agreed to ask the old titular bishops to resign. The resignation
of the constitutional bishops had been already secured. The First Consul
wrote to Pius VII.: "Most holy Father, Cardinal Consalvi has showed me
your Holiness' letter, and I recognize the evangelical sentiments which
distinguish it. The cardinal will inform your Holiness of my intention to
do all that may contribute to your happiness. It will depend only on you
to find again in the French Government the support which it has always
granted to your predecessors, when they have classed with their principal
duties the preaching of maxims which help to confirm peace, morality, and
obedience to the civil power.

"It only depends on me that the tears of Europe cease to flow, that the
revolutions and wars be followed by general peace and order.

"On all occasions, I beg your Holiness to reckon upon the assistance of
your devoted son."

Cardinal Consalvi had made several concessions; the French negotiators had
more than once extended as they chose the exact sense of his concessions;
but he refused absolutely to entrust the regulation of the public worship
to the civil authority. In view of the cardinal's conscientious obstinacy,
the First Consul at last agreed to important modifications of this point.
When the day for signing arrived, Joseph Bonaparte, who had always a share
in diplomatic negotiations, being one of the appointed signatories, the
cardinal went to his house with the Abbé Bernier, both bringing a copy of
the act. At the moment when the papal envoy was taking the pen, he cast
his eyes over the text of the convention, and saw that the article
referring to the exercise of worship had been restored to the form which
he had objected to. Reading further, and finding other changes and
additions, the cardinal protested against it. Joseph Bonaparte declared
that he knew nothing of it. "The First Consul wished it to be so," said
Bernier with some confusion, "declaring that anything may be changed so
long as it is not signed. Besides, the draft agreed upon did not please
him; and he insists upon the articles being so modified."

The time was short, the First Consul having announced his intention of
announcing publicly the signature of the Concordat at a great banquet the
same evening. The outbursts of his anger even reached the cardinal's ears.
He had torn the Concordat, and threatened to declare the rupture of the
negotiations if Consalvi did not consent to give way. "I underwent the
agonies of death," said the cardinal. But he was convinced of his duty,
and went to the Tuileries as unbending in his resolution as the First
Consul in his imperious will. Bonaparte came to him as he entered the
drawing-room, and called loudly, "Well, cardinal, you wish then to break!
I have no need of Rome! Let it be so! I have no need of the Pope! If Henry
VIII., who had not the twentieth part of my power, was able to change the
religion of his country, I am much more able to do so! By that change of
religion I shall change the religion through nearly the whole of Europe,
wherever the influence of my power extends. Rome will be sensible of the
losses she brings on herself. She will lament them, but there will be no
remedy. You wished to break.... Very well! let it be so, since you wished
it. When do you set out?" "After dinner, general," replied the cardinal
with calmness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


GLORY AND SUCCESS (1804-1805).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Your devoted son,


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cisalpine Republic no longer existed, and the Emperor of the French,
King of Italy, boasted of the moderation he had evinced in keeping the two
crowns apart. At one time he intended raising his brother Joseph to the
new throne, but the latter was afraid of compromising his right to succeed
to the imperial crown. Louis Bonaparte refused to govern in the name of
the child which he had by Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of the Empress
Josephine by her first marriage, whom he had married with regret.
Compelled to unite, on his own head, the two crowns of France and Italy,
Napoleon entrusted the care of the government to his son-in-law, Eugène de
Beauharnais. His protestations of respect for the independence of the
allied peoples did not prevent his annexing to the kingdom of Italy the
territory of Genoa, whilst forming the domains of Lucca and Piombino into
a principality in favor of his eldest sister, Elisa Baciocchi. The storm
was already threatening the feeble government of Naples: the queen,
obsequious in her alarm, had sent to Milan an ambassador to congratulate
the emperor and king. "Tell your queen," exclaimed Napoleon, "that her
intrigues are known to me, and that her children will curse her memory,
for I shall not leave in her kingdom enough of land to build her tomb

So much brilliance and severity in the display of his sovereign power
proved of service to the irreconcilable enemies who were stirring up
Europe against the already uncontrollable ambition of the new emperor.
Pitt had already returned to power (19th May, 1804), though with less
support in Parliament, and very infirm in health. He felt himself
sustained by the breath of public opinion, and by the firm confidence of
the mass of the nation. In this great duel, of which he was not to see the
end, it was the consolation, as well as the honor of the illustrious
minister, that he had constantly defended the principles of true liberty,
as well as European independence, against the encroachments and contagion
of the revolutionary powers, and those of anarchy or absolutism.

It was in the name of the same principles that the young Emperor of Russia
then proposed to Europe a mediation which was soon to end in a coalition.
Generously chimerical in his inexperience, Alexander dreamt of a general
rearrangement of Europe, which was to secure forever the peace of every
nation. Poland itself was to be reconstituted, Italy and Germany to
recover their independence, and a new code of the rights of nations on sea
and land was to regulate the relations of civilized states. Nowosiltzoff
was entrusted to discuss this scheme with Pitt.

It was by the prudence and skilful tact of the English minister that the
scaffolding of ambitious hopes was overthrown, and the Emperor Alexander
brought to the practical consideration of a durable alliance. England and
Russia engaged to carry out the formation of a great European league and
the legitimate re-establishment of the states. Hanover and Northern
Germany were to be evacuated, the independence of Holland and Switzerland
guaranteed, the King of Piedmont reestablished, the kingdom of Naples
consolidated, Italy delivered. In order to bring Prussia into that
alliance, Pitt proposed to grant him the Rhenish provinces. He refused
formally to evacuate Malta, and pleaded the English prejudices against the
Russian overtures with reference to the Turkish territory. The Emperor
Alexander still hoped to obtain important concessions from Napoleon.
Trusting in his sincere disinterestedness, the young monarch had got
Prussia to ask passports for his envoy; Napoleon was in Italy, and said he
could not receive Nowosiltzoff before July. "I expect nothing from this
mediation," he wrote to the King of Prussia: "Alexander is too fickle and
feeble; Russia is too far, too foreign to colonial and maritime interests;
the Woronzovs too much influenced by English money, for one to have
reasonable hopes of an advantageous general peace. Whenever propositions
are passed at St. Petersburg to reach Paris, there is no wish to come to
an understanding: in London they wish to gain time, dazzle the eyes of all
the peoples, and perhaps form a coalition which should bring disgrace upon
England. My brother, I wish for peace, but I do not wish to agree to my
people being disinherited of the commerce of the world. I have no
ambition: I have twice evacuated the third part of Europe without being
compelled to do so. I owe Russia no more as to Italian affairs than she
owes me with reference to Turkish and Persian affairs. Russia has not the
right to take that tone with anybody, and with me still less than with
anybody whatever."

The Emperor Napoleon had already given his reply to Europe. The annexation
of the territory of Genoa, and the threat to the Neapolitan government
sufficiently proved his intentions. The treaty provisionally signed on the
11th April between England and the Emperor Alexander was confirmed; and on
the 9th August, Austria, which already had a secret engagement with
Russia, adhered to the Anglo-Russian alliance. Sweden joining soon after,
the third coalition was now complete. Prussia remained as a common object
for the negotiations and advances of all. Napoleon gave her hopes of
obtaining Hanover.

He had just set out for Boulogne, always the centre of his adventurous
plans. Already in the previous year he believed that he had reached the
accomplishment of the project so carefully matured and prepared with that
mixture of foresight and boldness which so often secured the unexpected
success of his attempts. His enormous preparations were at last completed,
the Dutch squadron alone being waited for; and the emperor deceived the
impatience of his troops and his own agitation by reviews and military
ceremonies. On the 2nd July, he wrote to Admiral Latouche-Tréville, whom
he had put in command of his Toulon squadron: "By the same messenger let
me know on what day you will weigh anchor. Let me know also what the enemy
is doing, and where Nelson is located. Reflect upon the great enterprise
which you are about to execute, and before I sign your definite orders let
me understand the manner in which you think they would be most
advantageously carried into effect. I have appointed you Grand Officer of
the Empire, Inspector of the Coasts of the Mediterranean; but I desire
much that the operation you are about to undertake may enable me to
elevate you to such a degree of consideration and honor, that you may have
nothing more to desire. The squadron of Rochefort (commanded by Admiral
Villeneuve), composed of five vessels, of which one is a three-decker, and
of four frigates, is ready to weigh anchor; it has before it only five of
the enemy's ships. The squadron of Brest (commanded by Admiral Ganteaume)
is of twenty-one ships; these ships have just weighed anchor in order to
harass the enemy and compel him to keep there a large number of vessels.
The enemy have also six ships before the Texel, and there blockade the
Dutch squadron, consisting of eight vessels, four frigates, and a convoy
of thirty ships in which the corps of General Marmont is embarked. Between
Étaples, Boulogne, Wimereux and Ambleteuse (two new ports which I have
constructed) we have 1800 gun-boats of various kinds, and 120,000 men, and
10,000 horses; only let us be masters of the strait for six hours, and we
shall be the masters of the world.

"The enemy have before Boulogne, before Ostend, and at the Downs, two
ships of seventy-four guns, two of sixty-four guns, and two or three of
fifty guns. Until now Admiral Cornwallis has had only fifteen vessels, but
all the reserves from Plymouth and Portsmouth have come to reinforce him
before Brest.

"The enemy keep also at Cork, in Ireland, four or five ships of war; I do
not speak of frigates or small vessels, of which they have a large number.
If you deceive Nelson, he will go to Sicily or to Egypt or to Ferrol. It
would then appear to me best to make a considerable roundabout, and arrive
before Rochefort; thus making your squadron one of sixteen ships and
eleven frigates; and then, without dropping anchor or losing a single
instant, arrive before Boulogne. Our squadron at Brest, twenty-three
vessels strong, will have on board an army, and will be constantly under
sail set, so that Cornwallis will be obliged to press close to the shore
of Brittany in order to try and prevent the escape of our fleet. For the
rest, in order to fix my ideas upon this operation, which has its risks,
but of which the success offers results so enormous, I wait for the scheme
you have mentioned to me, and which you will send me by return of the
courier. You must embark as many provisions as possible, so that under any
circumstances you may have nothing to hinder you."

It is the weakness as well as the honor of human enterprises to depend
upon the life and force of a man. Before Admiral Latouche-Tréville had
been able to profit by the occurrence of the mistral to get out of Toulon
and deceive Nelson, he himself succumbed to the illness that had preyed
upon him since the expedition of San Domingo (20th August, 1804), and the
projected expedition against the coast of England was indefinitely
postponed. "The flotilla has been looked upon as temporary," wrote the
Emperor to Decrès, the Minister of Marine; "it will be necessary
henceforth to look upon it as a fixed establishment, and from this moment
to give the greatest attention to all that is unchangeable, managing it by
other regulations than the squadron."

It was at the same time the plan of the emperor to try to turn away the
thoughts of the English from his schemes of invasion; in the midst of his
arrangements for the coronation, and of the diplomatic negotiations, and
whilst writing a private letter to the King of England, pompously
proposing peace, he had formed other designs and prepared new plans in
order at last to carry out his great enterprise.

It was no longer on the coasts of France or of Spain, but far away in the
regions of the Antilles that the French squadrons of Toulon, Brest, and
Rochefort were to effect their junction and concentrate their forces. The
hope of Napoleon was to see the English, deceived by their disappearance,
dash off in pursuit of them and rush to the succor of the Indies. The
emperor had for a moment thought of directing the blows of his united navy
against this distant and new formed empire. Returning to the project of
the descent on England, he had made Admiral Villeneuve set out directly
after the 30th of March. He was to join at Cadiz the Spanish Admiral
Gravina and at Martinique, Admiral Missiessy, who had left Rochefort on
the 11th of January. Admiral Ganteaume, taking advantage of the first
moment when the English should be obliged by contrary winds to withdraw
from Brest, was in his turn to set sail for Martinique. The fleet, which
would then be fifty or sixty strong, assured of triumphing over all the
English forces if they should dare to face it, would return into the
channel to cover the departure of the flotilla. "The English do not know
what calamity awaits them," wrote Napoleon on the 4th of August to the
Admiral Decrès. "If we are masters of the passage for twelve hours,
England's day is done."

Racine has said by the mouth of Mithridates,--

               "Mais, pour être approuvés,
  De semblables projets veulent être achevés."

Villeneuve quoted it to the Minister of Marine when the plans formed by
the emperor were confided to him. This mournful forecast haunted, no
doubt, more than once the thoughts of the admiral when he found himself at
sea, discontented and uneasy. "We have bad masts, bad sails, bad rigging,
bad officers, and bad sailors," said he. Arrived, on the 14th of May, at
Martinique, he found Missiessy no longer there, but his orders obliged him
to await the arrival of Ganteaume. A continuous calm prevented the latter
from leaving Brest, where he was blockaded by the English. At the two ends
of the world, discouragement weighed upon the admirals consigned to
inaction by unforeseen obstacles met with in the execution of a plan which
took no account of accidents of wind or sea. In vain wrote Napoleon to
Ganteaume, "You hold in your hands the destinies of the world." The
unfortunate commander of the Brest squadron communicated his despair to
the Minister of Marine: "I believe, my friend, that you share all my
experience. Every day that passes is a day of torment for me; and I
tremble lest at the end I should be obliged to commit some gross folly.
The length of the days and the beauty of the season cause me to despair of
the expedition." In the middle of May, Admiral Magon was despatched to
Martinique to give Villeneuve orders to return with his squadron, to raise
the blockade of Ferrol, to touch at Rochefort, and join Admiral Missiessy,
and then to present themselves before Brest in order to force the blockade
with the aid of Ganteaume. The united fleets were then to set sail towards
the channel.

Upon land, and until the day when success and presumption disturbed the
clearness of his judgment, and the penetrating light of his genius,
Napoleon was accustomed to judge soberly of the obstacles he calculated on
overcoming, and of his power to do so. Without maritime experience, and
struggling against the recognized superiority of the English navy, he
constantly committed the error of counting on the mistakes of the enemy
and of looking on the chiefs of his squadrons as equal in talent to
Nelson. No sooner had the latter learnt the direction of Villeneuve than
he dashed off in pursuit, caring little as to the number of vessels he
might have to confront. Napoleon had miscalculated the length of the
voyage. "Nelson will have been first to Surinam, thence to Trinidad, and
from that to Barbadoes," wrote he on the 28th of June to Admiral Decrès;
"he will lose two days at Cape Verd; he will lose much time in collecting
his ships, on account of the vessels and frigates to which he will give
chase on his way. When he learns that Villeneuve is not in the Windward
Islands he will go to Jamaica, and during the days lost in provisioning
and waiting, great blows will be struck. This is my calculation. Nelson is
in America and Collingwood in the East Indies. Nelson will not venture
before Martinique; he will stay at Barbadoes in order to plan a junction
with Cochrane."

Nelson had already quitted Barbadoes and was pursuing his adversary from
anchorage to anchorage. Troubled by this formidable proximity, and pressed
by the formal orders which enjoined him to transfer his efforts to the
seas of Europe, Villeneuve crowded all sail to reach Ferrol. Nelson soon
followed him, directing his course towards the Mediterranean, but careful
to warn the Admirality, who sent Admiral Calder with fifteen vessels to
the neighborhood of Cape Finisterre. It was in these waters that
Villeneuve encountered Nelson on July 22nd, 1805. The weather was foggy,
and the sea rough; the engagement ended without any important result, two
Spanish vessels being captured by the English. Villeneuve set sail
speedily towards Ferrol, without entering the Channel, the order having
arrived to take his course to Brest immediately; but he lingered at
Corunna, persuaded that Nelson had joined Admiral Calder, and that both
would combine with Lord Cornwallis for his destruction. In again taking to
sea, he let it be thought that he was setting out for Brest; General
Lauriston, aide-de-camp to the emperor, and who had accompanied Villeneuve
in his expedition, wrote so immediately to the emperor. But the
discouragement of Villeneuve, more profound than ever, showed itself in a
letter to his friend, Admiral Decrès. "They make me the arbiter of the
highest interests," wrote he; "my despair doubles in proportion as more
confidence is placed in me, because I cannot pretend to any success,
whatever plan I adopt. It is perfectly plain to me that the fleets of
France and Spain cannot be effective in large squadrons. Divisions of
three or four, or five at the most, are all that we are capable of
conducting. Let Ganteaume get out, and he will judge the point. Public
opinion will be settled. I am about to set out, but I know not what I
shall do. Eight vessels are in view of the coast at a few leagues'
distance. They will follow us, but I shall not be able to join them, and
they will go to unite with the other squadrons before Brest or Cadiz,
according as I make my way to one or other of those ports. I am far from
being in a position, in leaving this place with twenty-nine vessels, to be
able to fight against a similar number; I do not fear to tell you that I
should be hard put to it to encounter twenty."

For three weeks past the emperor had been at Boulogne, consumed with
impatience, exercising the troops every day, repeating the manoeuvres of
embarkation, his attention fixed upon the sea, and ready to deliver his
flotilla and his army to the mercy of the waves as soon as his squadrons
should at last appear in the Channel. The days sped by; in vain ships
after ships were hurried off to Admiral Villeneuve, bearing the most
urgent orders. "If you run up here in three days, if only for twenty-four
hours, your mission would be accomplished. The English are not so numerous
as you think; they are everywhere detained by the wind. Never will a
squadron have run a few risks with so great an end, and never will our
soldiers have had the chance on land or sea to shed their blood for a
grander or nobler result. For the great object of aiding a descent upon
that power which for six centuries has oppressed France, we ought all to
die without regret."

The Minister of Marine, clever and experienced in naval affairs, endowed
with a cold and prudent spirit, had never approved the projects of
Napoleon, and had constantly sought to turn him from them. The conviction
which was firmly rooted in the mind of Decrès as to the impossibility of
success, in connection with the sorrowful discouragement which impelled
Villeneuve towards Cadiz instead of towards Brest, increased the
uneasiness as well as the anger of the emperor. Located in barracks by the
seashore, whilst Napoleon resided at the Château du Pont de Briques,
Decrès wrote to his terrible master: "I throw myself at the feet of your
Majesty, to beseech of you not to associate the Spanish vessels with the
operations of the squadrons. Far from having gained anything in this
respect, your Majesty hears that this association would add to the vessels
of Cadiz and Carthagena. In this state of things, in which your Majesty
counts as nothing my arguments and experience, I know of no situation that
would be more painful than mine. I desire your Majesty to take seriously
into consideration that I have no other interest than that of your banner
and the honor of your arms; and if your fleet is at Cadiz, I beseech you
to consider this event as an act of destiny which reserves it for other
operations. I implore you not to cause it to come from Cadiz into the
channel, because the attempt at this moment would only be attended by
misfortunes. I reproach myself with not being able to persuade your
Majesty. I doubt if a single man could succeed in doing so. Deign to form
a council upon maritime affairs--an admiralty, of those who may suit your
Majesty, but as for me, I perceive that in place of growing stronger, I
grow weaker every day. And it cannot but be true that a Minister of
Marine, overruled by your Majesty in naval affairs, becomes useless for
the glory of your arms, if, indeed, not positively hurtful."

A single word from the emperor was the reply to the despairing letter of
his minister:--"Raise yourself to the height of the circumstances and of
the situation in which France and England now find themselves; never again
write me a letter like that which you have written to me; it is not to the
purpose. As for me, I have only need of one thing, and that is to

In the depth of his soul; and in his secret thoughts, Napoleon saw himself
conquered by a concurrence of circumstances which he had not been willing
to foresee. His anger continued violent against the instrument who had
failed him in his imprudent designs; he asked Decrès, however, what should
be his plans in case Admiral Villeneuve were found at Cadiz, which he
still refused to believe. On August 13th he wrote to Talleyrand: "The more
I reflect upon the state of Europe, the more I see how urgent it is to
take a decisive part. I have in reality nothing to expect from the
explanations of Austria. She will answer by fine phrases and gain time, in
order that I may not be able to act this winter. Her treaty of subsidies
and her act of coalition will be signed this winter under the pretext of
an armed neutrality, and in April I shall find 100,000 Russians in Poland,
provided by England with equipment of horses, artillery, etc., 15,000 to
20,000 English at Malta, and 15,000 Russians at Corfu. I shall find myself
then in a critical situation. My decision is taken. My fleet left Ferrol
on the 29th Thermidor with thirty-four vessels. It had no enemy in sight.
If it followed its instructions, joined itself to the squadron at Brest
and entered the Channel, there is yet time, and I am master of England.
If, on the contrary, my admirals hesitate, manoeuvre badly, and do not
accomplish their purpose, I have no other resource than to wait for the
winter to cross with the flotilla. The plan is a hazardous one. It would
be more so if, pressed by circumstances, political events placed me under
the obligation of passing over in the month of April. In this state of
things I rush to the point where I am most needed; I raise my camps, and
replace my war battalions with my third battalion, always an army
sufficiently formidable for Boulogne; and on the 1st Vendémiaire I find
myself with 200,000 men in Germany, and 25,000 men in the kingdom of
Naples. I march upon Vienna, and I do not lay down my arms till I have
taken Naples and Venice, and have so augmented the States of the Elector
of Bavaria that I shall have nothing to fear from Austria. She will in
this manner be certainly pacified for the winter. I return to Paris, but
to be off again immediately."

It was always one of the sources of power of the Emperor Napoleon, and
perhaps the rarest among them, that the marvellous fecundity of his mind,
and the inexhaustible variety of the projects and conceptions which he was
constantly turning over, reciprocally sustained and complemented each
other. This characteristic of his genius has been ignored; and little
honor has been done to his foresight when he has been depicted as taken in
some degree unawares by the failure of his maritime plans, and constrained
to improvise by a supreme effort the direction of his campaign in Germany.
In the last days of August, whilst he was still uncertain as to the
movements of his squadrons, all the orders were already given for the
concentration of his armies. Bernadotte was to proceed to Göttingen with
the army of Hanover; Prince Eugène was collecting his forces on the Adige;
Gouvion St. Cyr was ready to march upon Naples; and Marmont to advance
from the Texel upon Mayence. General Duroc had set out for Berlin,
commissioned to propose an alliance. "My intention is not to leave Austria
and Russia to combine with England," said Napoleon. "My conduct in that
event would be that of the great Frederic in his first war." He wrote to
Marshal Berthier on August 25th: "The decisive moment has arrived; you
know how important a day is in this affair. Austria restrains herself no
longer; she believes, without doubt, that we are all drowned in the

Doubt was no longer possible; time was flying, and no news arrived of the
squadron. Villeneuve had evidently retired to Cadiz. The violence and
injustice of the emperor's utterances vexed Decrès beyond expression.
"Villeneuve is a wretch, who ought to be ignominiously discharged," cried
he; "he has neither contrivance, nor courage, nor public interest; he
would sacrifice everything provided that he could save his skin." He broke
out thus before Monge, for whom he had retained a true friendship,
notwithstanding the known opinions of the savant, who had remained
republican. Troubled by the anger of Napoleon, Monge went to apprise Daru,
then principal Secretary of War, who presented himself before the emperor.
Badly informed as to the intentions of the master and the causes of his
discontent, he waited silently. The emperor, coming up to him, exclaimed,
"Do you know where Villeneuve is? He is at Cadiz." And, unfolding before
Daru all the projects he had been cherishing for six months, and
attributing their failure to the cowardice and incapacity of the men he
had employed, he launched out into invectives and recriminations. All of a
sudden, and as if he had relieved his soul by the outburst of his passion,
"Sit down there," said he to Daru, "and write!" A powerful effort, and the
natural play of a fruitful imagination, had recalled him to the
combinations which were to make his enemies tremble, and to assure him of
the triumph over Austria of which he had been baulked as regards England.
The plan of his campaign was fixed; all his thoughts turned towards a
dreadful execution of his will.

The secret had been carefully guarded, and already, on all sides, the
French armies were threatening the enemy, when, on the 1st Vendémiaire,
the emperor opened the session of the Senate. "The wishes of the eternal
enemies of the Continent are fulfilled," said he. "War has broken out in
the centre of Germany; Austria and Russia are leagued with England; and
our generation is dragged once more into all the calamities of war. A few
days ago I still hoped that peace might not be broken; menaces and
outrages found me impassive; but the Austrian army has passed the Inn,
Munich is invaded, the Elector of Bavaria is driven from his capital, all
my hopes have vanished. Senators, when, at your desire, at the call of the
entire French people, I placed upon my head the imperial crown, I received
from you, and from all citizens, the promise to maintain it pure and
without blemish. All the promises I have made to you I have kept; the
French people in their turn have made no engagement with me which they
have not even surpassed. Frenchmen, your emperor will do his duty; my
soldiers will do theirs; you will do yours."

General Mack had entered Ulm, and the emperor was still at Saint-Cloud.
The movements of our troops were quietly going forward, when Napoleon
conceived the idea of surrounding the enemy in Suabia by cutting off his
communications with Austria. A note in his own handwriting, written on the
22nd of September, indicates beforehand the positions of all the corps of
the army. On the 27th he arrived at Strasburg, prolonging his residence
there in order to deceive the Austrian general, who kept his attention
constantly fixed upon the Black Forest. On the 30th, at Strasburg, the
emperor addressed to his troops a simple and firm proclamation, animated
by that martial spirit which always inspired the army when he addressed
it. "Soldiers, the war of the third coalition has commenced. The Austrian
army has passed the Inn, broken the treaties, attacked our ally, and sent
him from his capital. You yourselves have been compelled to hasten, by
forced marches, to the defence of our frontiers. But already you have
passed the Rhine. We will not stay our progress until we have assured the
independence of the Germanic state, succored our allies, and confounded
the pride of the unjust aggressors. We will have no more peace without a
guarantee. Our generosity shall not again deceive our policy. Soldiers,
your emperor is in the midst of you; you are only the vanguard of the
great people. If it is necessary, they will rise as one man, to confound
and dissolve this new league woven by the hatred and the gold of England.
But, soldiers, we have forced marches to make, fatigues and privations of
every kind to endure. Whatever obstacles maybe opposed to us we shall be
victorious, and we will take no rest till we have planted our eagles upon
the territory of our enemies."

Napoleon had said, "I reckon on making more use of the legs of my soldiers
than even of their bayonets." The fatal circle was narrowing round General
Mack by the rapid movements of the French troops, without his appearing to
comprehend their aim, or divine the danger which threatened him. On the
8th of October he still wrote, that never had an army been posted in a
manner more fitted to assure its superiority. On the same day, advancing
upon Günzburg, Marshals Lannes and Murat encountered at Wutingen an
Austrian corps, which was tardily marching to the succor of General
Kienmayer, already dislodged from the bridges of the Danube and the Lech.
The engagement was short and brilliant; the fugitives bore at length to
Ulm the conviction of the overwhelming forces which menaced the Austrian
army. The Emperor Napoleon had arrived at Donauwerth. The first bulletin
from the Grand Army was dated October 7th, explaining all the military
operations: "This grand and vast movement has carried us in a few days to
Bavaria; has enabled us to avoid the Black Mountains, the line of parallel
rivers which fall into the Danube, and the inconvenience of a system of
operations which would have always had the defiles of the Tyrol on the
flank; and lastly, has placed us several marches in the rear of the enemy,
who has no time to lose, to avoid his entire destruction."

Napoleon was particularly watchful with respect to the Tyrol, for he had
settled in his own mind that General Mack would seek an outlet on this
side, to escape from the blockade with which he was menaced. The little
German princes, terrified or won over, had submitted to the yoke of
Napoleon, and accepted his alliance; the French troops had violated
neutral territories with impunity; the Russian armies were at last making
forced marches, and had just entered into Germany. At one moment Mack
appeared to discover the feeble point in the enemy's line; the left bank
of the Danube at Albech, was occupied by the divisions of Dupont and
Baraguey d'Hilliers, insufficient for resisting a violent attack. Murat,
who commanded the three divisions posted near Ulm, ordered Ney to recall
all the troops posted on the left bank. The marshal was indignant and
furious, but obeyed; but General Dupont had not accomplished his movement
when he was assailed by a corps of 25,000 Austrians, commanded by the
Archduke Ferdinand. The heroic resistance of the French troops enabled
them to fall back upon Albech with 1500 prisoners. The enemy contented
themselves with occupying the little town of Elchingen, and burning the

Napoleon had quitted Augsburg, and Marshal Soult had just effected the
capitulation of Meiningen. The emperor ordered Ney to retake the positions
of Elchingen. The piles of the bridge had not been burnt, and under the
fire of the Austrians the platform was replaced, and the troops rushed
forward to the attack on the village. The convent which crowned the height
was taken at the bayonet's point. Always pushing the enemy before him, Ney
seized upon the heights of Michelsberg; the fire of his cannons commanded
the grand square in Ulm. The emperor in person had just arrived at the

The Archduke Ferdinand had succeeded in escaping during the night. In
spite of a frightful tempest he gained Biberach, and rejoined Wernek in
Bohemia. Murat pursued him, while Marshal Soult occupied Biberach.

Henceforth Mack found himself without resources. "The general-in-chief was
in the city," said the sixth bulletin of the grand army. "It is the
destiny of generals opposed to the emperor to be taken in town. It will be
remembered that after the splendid manoeuvres of the Brenta, the old
Field-Marshal Wurmser was made prisoner at Mantua; Melas was taken in
Alexandria; so is Mack in Ulm."

The emperor caused the Prince of Lichtenstein, major-general of the
Austrian army, to be summoned. "I desire" said he "that the place
capitulate; if I take it by assault, I shall he compelled to do what I did
at Jaffa, where the garrison was put to the sword. It is the sad law of
war. I desire that the necessity for such a frightful act should he spared
to me, as well as to the brave Austrian nation. The place is not tenable."

Mack consented to surrender if he was not succored before the 25th of
October. The rain fell in torrents. For eight days the emperor had not
taken off his boots. The Austrian prisoners were astonished to see him,
"soaked, covered with mud, as much fatigued as the lowest drummer in his
army, and even more so." An aide-de-camp repeated to Napoleon the remarks
of the enemy's officers. Napoleon replied quickly, "Your master has been
desirous of making me remember that I am a soldier," said he. "I hope he
will be convinced that the throne and the imperial purple have not made me
forget my first business."

Wernek had laid down his arms at Nordlingen; the archduke was fleeing into
Bohemia before the cavalry of Murat: the corps of Jellachich in the Tyrol,
and that of Kienmayer beyond the Inn, could send no succors to General
Mack. Urged to escape the horror of the situation, he forestalled the day
fixed for the capitulation: on the 20th of October, 1805, the garrison at
Ulm, which still counted 24,000 or 25,000 men, defiled slowly before the
conqueror. The troops were prisoners of war, the cannons and flags had
been abandoned; seven lieutenant-generals, eight generals, and the
general-in-chief, Mack, kept at the emperor's side, were present with
death in their souls at the ceremonial which proved their defeat. "In
fifteen days we have finished a campaign," said the proclamation of
Napoleon to his soldiers. "That which we proposed is completed. We have
driven the troops of the House of Austria from Bavaria, and re-established
our ally in the sovereignty of his States. That army which, with as much
ostentation as imprudence, came forward to place itself on our frontiers,
is annihilated. But what matters it to England? Her purpose is answered;
we are not at Boulogne, and the subsidy which she grants to Austria will
be neither larger nor smaller."

England resented the defeat of her ally more keenly than Napoleon
acknowledged in the bitterness of his hate. The rumor of the capitulation
of Ulm had reached London. On November 2nd, Lord Malmesbury was seated at
table beside Pitt, and spoke to him of the rumors he had heard. "Don't
believe a word of it; it is simply a lie," said Pitt, roughly, raising his
voice so as to make himself heard by those around him. "But the next day,
Sunday, the 3rd," continues Lord Malmesbury in his journal, "he entered my
house with Lord Mulgrave, about one o'clock, and they brought with them a
Dutch journal which contained at full length the capitulation of Ulm.
Neither of them knew that language, and all the officials were away. I
translated the article as well as I could, and I saw very clearly the
effect that it produced upon Pitt, in spite of the efforts he made to hide
it. This was the last time that I saw him. This visit left upon me a
profound impression, his manners and countenance were so altered; I
conceived from it, in spite of myself, the sad presentiment of the
misfortune which threatened us."

Pitt was again, for one day only, to taste for an instant of patriotic
joy, bitterly mingled with regret. In spite of the bravery to which
Napoleon did not always render justice, the French sailors, inexperienced
and badly commanded, had alone failed in the great projects confided to
them, and thwarted the hopes of the emperor. Before setting out for
Strasburg he had ordered the fleet at Brest to make several cruises, and
the fleet at Cadiz to take the soldiers it had on board to the support of
the movement of Gouvion St. Cyr in the Bay of Naples. "It might seize an
English vessel and a Russian frigate which are to be found there: it could
remain in the waters near Naples all the time necessary to do the greatest
possible harm to the enemy and intercept the convoy which he is projecting
to send to Malta. After this expedition it will return to Toulon, where it
will effect for me a powerful diversion. I estimate then that it is
necessary to do two things, first to send a special message to Admiral
Villeneuve, ordering him to effect this manoeuvre; second, as his
excessive pusillanimity will hinder him from undertaking it, you will send
Admiral Rosily to replace him. He will be the bearer of letters enjoining
upon Admiral Villeneuve to return to France, to render an account of his

The minister of Marine was a friend of Villeneuve, and in announcing to
him the departure of Admiral Rosily, he did not make him acquainted with
his own disgrace. Leaving the consequences to chance, he had given up the
endeavor to influence the imperious will of Napoleon with regard to the
squadrons, and he dared not give instructions to Villeneuve. Villeneuve
divined what his friend hid from him. "The sailors of Paris and the
departments will be very unworthy and very foolish if they cast a stone at
me," wrote he to Decrès. "They will have themselves prepared the
condemnation which will strike them later on. Let them come on board the
squadrons, and they will see against what elements they are exposed to
fight. For the rest, if the French marine, as is maintained, has only
failed in daring, the emperor will shortly be satisfied, and may count
upon the most brilliant successes."

In the middle of October, without having united with the Spanish squadron
of Carthagena, nor the vessels which he had formerly imprudently detached
under the orders of Captain Allemand, Villeneuve left Cadiz in company
with Admiral Gravina and some Spanish vessels. The latter were large and
heavy, difficult to manoeuvre, and fitted with very second-rate crews. The
squadron of battle, commanded by Admiral Villeneuve and the Spanish Vice-
Admiral Alava, numbered twenty-one vessels. The squadron of reserve,
composed of twelve vessels, had been placed under the orders of Admiral

The forces of Nelson numerically equalled those of Villeneuve, but they
were infinitely superior to his in the quality of the vessels and their
crews. The illustrious English admiral was ill; for several weeks he had
sought repose in England. When he offered to resume the command of the
fleet, he was impressed with the idea that he should not again see his
country. He called upon the workman entrusted with making a coffin, which
Captain Hollowell had ordered to be made from a fragment of the keel of
the French vessel L'Orient [Footnote: L'Orient, commanded by Admiral
Brueys, foundered at Aboukir.] "Engrave the history of this coffin on the
plate," said he; "I shall probably have need of it before long."  When at
length he appeared on board, the sailors cheered him as the assurance of
victory. The English admiral had carefully concealed the number of his
vessels, fearing Villeneuve might hesitate in view of his forces. On the
21st the Franco-Spanish fleet was entirely at sea, sailing in order of
battle. The English had formed in two lines; Admiral Collingwood, upon the
_Royal Sovereign_, commanded the first; Nelson, on board the _Victory_,
directed the second. He had given orders to bear down upon the French
lines in order to cut them.  "The part of the enemy's fleet that you leave
out of the fight," said he, "will come with difficulty to the assistance
of the part attacked, and you will have conquered before it arrives."  The
same signal was hoisted all over the fleet, "England expects that every
man will do his duty." Villeneuve had not less nobly announced his
intentions to his officers. "You need not wait for signals from the
admiral," were his orders; "in the confusion of a naval battle it is often
impossible to see what is going forward, or to give orders, or above all
to get them understood. Each one ought to listen only to the voice of
honor, and throw himself into the place of greatest danger. Every captain
is at his post if he is under fire." It was the misfortune of Admiral
Villeneuve in the battle of Trafalgar, that he did not adhere to his
original instructions. Gravina asked for authority to manoeuvre in an
independent manner. Villeneuve objected, and ordered him to place himself
in line. Already at midday Admiral Collingwood, separated from his column
by the superior swiftness of the _Royal Sovereign_, engaged so hotly in
battle with the _Santa Anna_, the flag-ship of the Spaniard Alava, that he
soon found himself in the midst of the enemy. "See how that brave
Collingwood hurls himself into action," said Nelson to his flag-officer;
whilst on his own deck, in the midst of the bullets that rained around
him, Collingwood cried, "Nelson would give all the world to be here." The
greater number of the Spanish captains offered a feeble resistance, and
Collingwood had already cut the line of battle. Gravina, upon the _Prince-
des-Asturies_, was surrounded by English vessels. The _Fougueux_, the
_Pluton_, the _Algésiras_, commanded by Rear-Admiral Magon, heroically
resisted overwhelming attacks. The _Redoutable_, the _Santissima-
Trinidad_, and the French flag-ship the _Bucentaure_, crowded in upon each
other, waited for the assault of the second column, which Nelson brought
against them. Like Collingwood, he had got in advance of his squadron. The
officers had begged of him to leave the vanguard to the _Téméraire_. "I am
quite willing," said Nelson, "that the _Téméraire_ should get in front if
it can;" and spreading all sail on board the _Victory_, he advanced first
against the enemy.

Already his topmast had been struck, and fifty men placed _hors de
combat_. The English admiral had given orders to separate the _Redoutable_
from the _Bucentaure_; but Captain Lucas, who commanded the former vessel,
profited by a slight breath of wind, and his bowsprit touched the stern of
the _Bucentaure_. Nelson then engaged the _Redoutable_, dashing against it
with a shock so violent that both vessels were thrown out of the line; the
_Bucentaure_ and the _Santissima-Trinidad_ were also surrounded by the
English. The struggle continued between Nelson and his courageous
adversary; the flames were breaking out every moment upon the French
vessel. "Hardy, this is too hot to last long," said Nelson to his flag-
captain. Presently a ball from the topmast of the Redoutable struck the
illustrious sailor in the loins. He fell, still supporting himself by one
hand. "Hardy, they have done for me now," said he. "No! not yet," cried
the captain, who sought to raise him up. "Yes," replied Nelson, "the spine
is hit;" and drawing his handkerchief from his pocket, he himself covered
his face and his decorations, in order to hide his fall from his crew.
"Take care!" said he, as they carried him down; "the cable of the helm is
cut." Between decks was crowded with the wounded and the dying. "Attend to
those whom you can save," said he to the surgeon; "as for me, there is
nothing to be done." Meanwhile he listened anxiously, noticing the
discharges of artillery, seeking to divine the issue of the combat. The
_Redoutable_ had been attacked by the _Téméraire_ and the Neptune at the
moment when the French sailors were preparing to board the _Victory_.
Captain Lucas was compelled to haul down his flag; of the 660 men of his
crew, 522 were _hors de combat_. The _Bucentaure_, caught by its bowsprit
in the gallery of the _Santissima-Trinidad_, was overwhelmed by the enemy,
and, held in its position by the Spanish vessel, completely dismasted.
Already the flag-officer and two lieutenants had been wounded by the side
of Admiral Villeneuve, who courted death in vain. The _Bucentaure_ was cut
down close like a pontoon. The admiral wished to pass on to another
vessel. Not a single boat was left him. When he at last pulled down his
flag he could not reply with a single cannon-shot to the English vessels
that were bent on his destruction.

Nelson still breathed. "Where is Hardy?" he repeated; "if he does not come
to me, it is because he is dead." The captain presently came down, too
much moved to utter a word. "How is it now with us?" said the dying man.
"All goes well," said Hardy; "ten vessels have already lowered their flag.
I see that the French are signalling to the vanguard to tack about. If
they come against the _Victory_ we will call for aid, and give them a
beating." "I hope none of our ships have surrendered," said Nelson. "There
is no danger," replied Hardy, who returned to his post. When he
reappeared, Nelson's eyes were closed. The captain stooped over him. "We
have fifteen prizes," said he. "I counted upon twenty," murmured the dying
man. Then rousing himself, "Anchor, Hardy, anchor; give the signal! Kiss
me ... I am satisfied. Thank God, I have done my duty." He expired,--just
forty-seven years of age.

The French Admiral Magon was still defending the _Algesiras_, attacked by
the _Tonnant_; he wanted to board her, but his deck was swept by the grape
shot of fresh assailants. Himself threatened with being boarded, the
admiral repulsed the English, axe in hand, at the head of his sailors. He
was covered with wounds. Bretonnière, become flag officer by the death of
his seniors, implored Magon to have his wounds dressed; as he yielded to
the request, a cannon-shot penetrating between decks struck him in the
chest, and he was dead. The _Algésiras_ at last hauled down her flag, at
the moment when the _Achille_, for some time already the prey of flames
which the crew had no time to extinguish, blew up with a terrific
explosion. Thus ended the battle. Admiral Gravina rallied round him eleven
vessels; a few had at an early period withdrawn from the combat. Admiral
Dumanoir, who had not succeeded in engaging his vanguard, had already
retired. The English carried off seventeen vessels, for the most part too
shattered to be of service. The unfortunate French admiral was received by
the conquerors with the honor due to his bravery. A few months later, when
released by the enemy, Villeneuve in despair was to die by his own hand in
an inn at Rennes, writing in the last moment these heartrending words:
"What a blessing that I have no child to receive my horrible inheritance,
and live under the weight of my name!"

The last orders of Nelson in dying, recommended the fleet to be anchored;
Collingwood judged otherwise, and waited till daylight. Already Admiral
Gravina had taken his vessels into the port of Cadiz, when a furious
tempest broke forth, irresistible by the ships so dreadfully damaged in
the conflict. The English had so much to do in looking after their own
safety that they could not attend to their prizes, and the officer having
charge of the _Bucentaure_ resigned it to the French commanders: the
unfortunate vessel perished on the coast, opposite Cape Diamant.

Indomitable in defeat as in battle, the officers and sailors of the
_Algesiras_ forced their guardians to surrender the vessel. They at last
escaped death, after two nights of anguish and struggle. At their side the
_Indomptable_, all hung with lanterns, its deck crowded with a despairing
crew, was forced from its anchors by the hurricane, and shattered against
the rocks. The English lost all their prizes but four; they were compelled
to sink the _Swiftsure_, captured by Admiral Ganteaume and which they were
intent on recapturing from us.

Nelson had made the request in dying, "Do not cast my poor body into the
sea." The most extraordinary honors awaited in England the remains of this
great seaman: the broken mast of his flag-ship, and one of the French
bullets whicn struck him, still attract attention in a room at Windsor.
The whole nation put on mourning; the politicians forgot the embarrassment
which he had more than once caused them, and which had drawn from one of
them the expression, "He is an heroic cockney." The splendor of his
military genius, his devotion to his country, the noble simplicity of his
character, inspired all minds with respect. The hero of the struggle
against France, he fell at the height of his glory. He had taken part in
nearly all the maritime victories which had signalized the war: the names
of Aboukir, Copenhagen, and Trafalgar render his memory glorious.

The emperor bore the blow of his defeat without showing despondency or
anger. "All this makes no change in my cruising projects," wrote he on the
18th November, to Admiral Decrès; "I am even annoyed that all is not
ready. They must set out without delay. Cause all the troops that are on
board the squadron to come to me by land. They will wait my orders at the
first town in France."

Napoleon was then at Znaïm in Moravia, and the date of his letter told the
story of his astonishing successes. Abandoned by the King of Prussia, with
whom the Austrians and the Russians had turned to account the violation of
his territory, Napoleon prepared to dispute Hanover with new enemies,
without modifying his general plan, and without renouncing his march upon
Vienna. The Russian army of Kutuzof alone barred his way; but already it
was commencing a clever movement of retreat, never fighting without
necessity, firm and resolute, however, when attacked. The Russians passed
the Danube at Krems, destroying the bridges behind them. They committed
great ravages during their march, and had gained the ill-will of the
Austrian corps who went with them, and who fell back upon Vienna. With
great imprudence General Mortier had been detached on the left bank of the
Danube, where he was attacked by the larger portion of the Russian army at
the very moment when he found himself separated from the division of
Dupont. In spite of the heroic resistance of the French soldiers the
danger was imminent. Mortier was urged to take to a boat, and not deliver
to the enemy a marshal of France. "Who would leave such brave men?"
replies Mortier; "we will be saved or perish together." A road lay open
across the ground occupied by the Russians, to the village of Dernstein;
the soldiers of General Dupont entered it at the same time from another
direction. They hastened by forced marches to the succor of the marshal.
Napoleon's anger fell heavily on Murat, whom he accused, not without
reason, of vainglorious levity. Already the brilliant general of cavalry
had presented himself at the gates of Vienna. The Emperor Francis had not
wished to expose his capital to the horrors of a siege; when he saw the
proposals for an armistice rejected which he had addressed to Napoleon
(November 8th) he prepared to quit Vienna. Less menacing than at Ulm, the
conqueror no longer invited the Emperor of Austria to meditate upon the
fall of empires: he reminded him that the present war was for Russia only
a fancy war; "for your Majesty and myself it is a war that absorbs all our
means, all our sentiments, all our faculties." Fifteen days later Napoleon
entered the palace of Schoenbrunn. Thanks to a ruse, more daring than
fair, Murat had succeeded in carrying the bridges of Vienna at the moment
when the workmen were preparing to blow them up; he was on the march for
Moravia, pursuing the Russians, with the co-operation of Mortier and

By his superior ability Napoleon struck his enemies at once with terror
and astonishment, paralyzing their forces by their anxiety at the
unforeseen blows he dealt them. The Archduke Charles had long remained
immovable on the Adige; when he at last commenced his retreat he marched
to the assistance of the threatened empire, and was pursued by Masséna.
The marshal attacked the archduke in his camp of Caldiero after having
seized Verona by night, and had fought him on the shores of the
Tagliamento; he was now approaching Marmont, who occupied the Styrian
Alps. The Archduke Charles rallying the remains of the army of his
brother, the Archduke John, was engaged with him in Hungary, in order to
rejoin the Russian army in Moravia. Before the two masses of the enemy
could reach Brünn, and in spite of the clever manoeuvre of Kutuzoff, who
succeeded before Hollabrunn in concealing from Murat and Lannes the great
bulk of his army, the French were, on the 19th of November, in possession
of the capital of Moravia. Napoleon entered it next day.

The Emperor Alexander joined the Emperor of Austria at Olmütz. Proud of
his diplomatic successes at Berlin, and convinced that his visit to the
King of Prussia had alone decided him to attach himself to the coalition,
he nursed a military ambition, assiduously encouraged by his young
favorites. The Emperor Francis sent Stadion and Giulay to Brünn,
commissioned to treat for conditions of peace. Napoleon referred them to
Talleyrand, whom he had sent to Vienna. "They know the state of the
question by what I have said to them in a few words," wrote he; "but you
have to treat it smoothly and at full length. My intention is absolutely
to have the State of Venice, and to reunite it to the kingdom of Italy. I
have good cause to think that the court of Vienna has taken its resolution
on that point."

Napoleon was wishing for peace--immediate, glorious, and fruitful. He had
vainly sought to separate the Austrians from the Russians; he could not
doubt the hostile intentions of Prussia. The very explanations that
Haugwitz had just given him as to the motives for the entry of a Prussian
army into Hanover foreshadowed plenty of approaching hostilities: a
brilliant victory, forestalling the union of the German and Russian
forces, became necessary. For a few days the soldiers rested, recruiting
their forces after their long and perilous marches. The impatience of the
Emperor Alexander had already carried the general quarters of the allies
to Wischau. It was there that General Savary presented himself, intrusted
with aimless negotiations, which gave him opportunity to examine the
condition of the Austro-Russian army. Prince Dolgorouki, sent from Brünn
with the reply of the Emperor Alexander, was received at the advanced
posts. The young favorite was thoughtless and proud. "What do they want of
me?" said Napoleon. "Why does the Emperor Alexander make war on me? Is he
jealous of the growth of France? Well, let him extend his frontiers at the
expense of his neighbors on the side of Turkey, and all quarrels will be
at an end." Dolgorouki protested the disinterestedness of his master. "The
emperor wishes," said he "for the independence of Europe, the evacuation
of Holland and Switzerland, an indemnity for the King of Sardinia, and
barriers round France for the protection of its neighbors." Napoleon broke
out in a passion: "I will never yield anything in Italy, even if the
Russians should camp upon the heights of Montmartre." He sent back the
negotiator, who had perceived the movements of troops falling back around
Brünn. Ignorant of the great principle which directed the campaigns of
Napoleon--"divide in order to subsist, concentrate in order to fight"--he
thought he divined the preparations for retreat. The ardor of the Russian
army grew more intense. It advanced towards the position long studied by
Napoleon, and which he destined for his field of battle. In accordance
with the plan of the Austrian general, Weirother, who was in great favor
with the Emperor Alexander, the allies had resolved to turn the right of
the French army, in order to cut off the road to Vienna by isolating
numerous corps dispersed in Austria and Styria. Already the two emperors
and their staff-officers occupied the castle and village of Austerlitz. On
December 1st, 1805, the allies established themselves upon the plateau of
Platzen; Napoleon had by design left it free. Divining, with the sure
instinct of superior genius, the manoeuvres of his enemy, he had cleverly
drawn them into the snare. His proclamation to the troops announced all
the plan of the battle.

"Soldiers," said he, "the Russian army presents itself before you to
avenge the Austrian army of Ulm. These are the same battalions which you
have beaten at Hollabrunn, and that you have constantly pursued to this

"The positions that we occupy are formidable, and whilst they march to
turn my right they will present me their flank.

"Soldiers, I will myself direct your battalions. I will keep myself away
from the firing if, with your accustomed bravery, you carry disorder and
confusion into the enemy's ranks. But if the victory were for a moment
uncertain you would see your emperor expose himself to the brunt of the
attack; for this victory will finish the campaign, and we shall be able to
resume our winter quarters, where we shall be joined by new armies which
are forming in France. Then the peace I shall make will be worthy of my
people, of you, and of me."

It was late, and the emperor had just dismissed Haugwitz, whom he had sent
back to Vienna. "I shall see you again if I am not carried off to-morrow
by a cannon-ball. It will be time then to understand each other." Napoleon
went out to visit the soldiers at the bivouac. A great ardor animated the
troops; it was remembered that the 2nd December was the anniversary of the
coronation of the emperor. The soldiers gathered up the straw upon which
they were stretched, making it into bundles, which they lit at the end of
poles; a sudden illumination lit up the camp. "Be assured," said an old
grenadier, advancing towards the chief who had so many times led his
comrades to victory, "I promise thee that we will bring thee to-morrow the
flags and the cannon of the Russian army to signalize the anniversary of
the 2nd December."

The fires were extinguished, and the enemies thought they saw in it the
indication of a nocturnal retreat. Gathered around a map, the allied
generals listened to Weirother, who developed his plan of battle "with a
boasting air, which displayed in him a clear persuasion of his own merit
and of our incapacity," says General Langeron, a French emigrant officer
in the Russian army. Old Kutuzof slept. "If Bonaparte had been able to
attack us, he would have done it to-day," was the assurance of Weirother.
"You do not then think him strong?" "If he has 40,000 men, it is all." "He
has extinguished his fires; a good deal of noise comes from his camp." "He
is either retreating or else he is changing his position; if he takes that
of Turas, he will spare us a good deal of trouble, and the dispositions of
the troops will remain the same." The day was scarcely begun (2nd
December, 1805) when the allied army was on the march. The noise of the
preparations in the camps had reassured Napoleon as to the direction the
enemy would take. On the previous evening, whilst listening to the learned
lecture of Weirother, Prince Bagration, formerly the heroic defender of
the positions of Hollabrunn, had uttered under his long moustache, "The
battle is lost!" In seeing his enemies advance towards the right, as he
had himself announced to his soldiers, Napoleon could not withhold the
signs of his joy. He held the victory in his own hands. He waited
patiently until his enemies had deployed their line. The sun had just
risen, shining through the midst of a fog, which it dispersed with its
brilliant rays. The plateau of Pratzen was in part abandoned; the emperor
gave the signal, and the whole French army moved forward, forming an
enormous and compact mass, eager to hurl itself on the enemy. "See how the
French climb the height without staying to respond to our fire!" said
Prince Czartoriski, who watched the battle near the two emperors. He was
still speaking when already the allied columns, thrown out one after
another on the slope, found themselves arrested in their movement and
separated from the two wings of the army. Old Kutuzof, badly wounded,
strove in vain to send aid to the disordered centre. "See, see, a mortal
wound!" he cried, extending his arms towards Pratzen.

During this time the right, commanded by Marshal Davout, disputed with the
Russians the line of Goldbach, extricating with the division of Friant
General Legrand for a moment outflanked. Murat and Lannes attacked on the
left eighty-two Russian and Austrian squadrons, under the orders of Prince
John of Lichtenstein. The infantry advanced in quick time against the
Uhlans sent against them, soon dispersed by the light cavalry of
Kellermann. The Russian batteries drowned the sound of all the drums of
the first regiment of the division of Cafarelli. General Valhubert had his
thigh fractured, and his soldiers wished to carry him away. "Remain at
your posts," said he calmly. "I know well how to die alone. We must not
for one man lose six." The Russian guard at last turned towards Pratzen. A
French battalion, which had let itself be drawn in pursuit, was in danger.
Napoleon, stationed at the centre with the infantry of the guard, and the
corps of Bernadotte, perceived the disorder. "Take there the Mamelukes and
the chasseurs of the guard," said he to Rapp. When the latter returned to
the emperor he was wounded, but the Russians, were repulsed, and Prince
Repnin prisoner. A Russian division, isolated at Sokolnitz, had just
surrendered; two columns had been thrown back beyond the marshes. The
bridge broke under the weight of the artillery. The cold was intense; and
the soldiers thought to save themselves by springing upon the ice, but
already the French cannon-balls were breaking it under their feet. With
cries of despair they were engulfed in the waters of the lake. Generals
Doctoroff and Keinmayer effected their painful retreat, under the fire of
our batteries, by a narrow embankment, separating the two lakes of Melnitz
and Falnitz. Only the corps of Prince Bagration still kept in order of
battle, Marshal Lannes having restrained his troops which were rushing
forward in pursuit.

The day had come to a close; the two emperors had abandoned the terrible
battle-field. Behind them resounded the French shouts of victory; around
them, before them, they heard the imprecations of the fugitives, the
groans of the wounded, unable any longer to keep on their way, the
complaints of the peasants ravaged by the furious soldiery. They arrived
thus at the imperial castle of Halitsch, where they found themselves next
day pressed by Marshal Davout. Austerlitz became the headquarters of the

Before even having reached a place of safety the Emperor Francis, gloomy
and calm, had in his own mind taken his decision. Prince John of
Lichtenstein was sent to ask from Napoleon an armistice and an interview.
The conqueror was still traversing the field of battle, attentive in
procuring for his soldiers the care that their bravery merited. "The
interview, when the emperor will, the day after to-morrow, at our advanced
posts," said he to the Austrian envoy; "until then, no armistice." Whilst
Napoleon was speaking to his army and to Europe, Marshal Lannes and the
cavalry were already pursuing the vanquished enemy.

"Soldiers, I am satisfied with you," said he in his proclamation of the
3rd December, 1805. "You have upon the day of Austerlitz justified all
that I expected from your intrepidity. An army of 100,000 men, commanded
by the Emperors of Russia and Austria, has been in less than four hours
either cut up or dispersed, and what escaped from your steel is drowned in
the lakes. Forty flags, the standards of the Imperial Guard of Russia, a
hundred and twenty pieces of cannon, twenty generals, and more than thirty
thousand prisoners are the results of this ever-memorable day. In three
months this third coalition has been vanquished and dissolved. Soldiers,
when all that is necessary in order to assure the happiness and prosperity
of France shall be accomplished, I will lead you back into France; there
you will be the object of my most tender solicitude. My people will see
you again with joy, and it will suffice for you to say, 'I was at the
battle of Austerlitz,' to receive the reply, 'There is a hero!'"

The army rested, intoxicated with pride and joy. The losses, considerable
in themselves, were small in comparison with the disasters inflicted on
the coalition; the arrogance of the Russians had undergone a most painful
check; the youthful illusions of their Czar cruelly dissipated. The
Emperor of Austria informed him of his pacific intentions, and Alexander
hastened to release his allies from their engagements; he was in a hurry
to retire and disengage himself from a war which could procure for him no
other advantage than a vain hope of glory.

Napoleon repeated his former sentiments to the Emperor Francis when he met
him next day at the mill of Paleny, between Nasiedlowitz and Urschitz. "Do
not confound your cause with that of the Emperor Alexander. Russia can to-
day only make a fancy war (_une guerre de fantaisie_). Conquered, she
retires into her deserts, and you pay all the costs of the war." Then,
gracefully returning to the courtesies of society, the all-powerful
conqueror made excuses for the poor place in which he was compelled to
receive his illustrious host.

"These are the palaces," said he, "which your Majesty has compelled me to
inhabit for three months past." "Your visit has succeeded sufficiently
well for you to have no right to bear me any grudge," replied the Emperor
Francis. The two monarchs embraced, and the armistice was concluded. The
Russians were to retire by stages, and the seat of negotiations was fixed
at Brünn. A formal order from Napoleon was necessary in order to stop the
march of Marshal Davout in pursuit of the Russian army. General Savary was
entrusted with this order; he brought to the Czar the conditions of the
armistice. "I am satisfied, since my ally is," replied Alexander, and he
allowed to escape from him the expression of an admiration which was long
to exercise over him a profound influence. "Your master has shown himself
very great," said he to Savary.

Napoleon left Talleyrand at Brünn exchanging arguments with Stadion and
Giulay; he himself repaired to Vienna, where Haugwitz awaited him.
Imperfectly instructed as to the alliance concluded on the 3rd of November
at Potsdam between the King of Prussia and the allies, he knew enough of
it to break forth in violent reproaches against the perfidy of the
Prussian Government. And as Haugwitz made excuses and protests, the
Emperor proposed to him all of a sudden that union with France which had
been so often discussed. Hanover was to be the price of it. Prussia was
uneasy, frightened, divided in her councils, but she accepted; the
Marquisate of Anspach, the Principality of Neufchâtel, and the Duchy of
Clèves were ceded to France, and the treaty was signed at Schönbrunn on
the 15th December, 1805. Prussia recognized all the conquests of Napoleon;
the two sovereigns reciprocally guaranteed each other's possessions.

Talleyrand had just quitted Brünn, which had become unhealthy through the
overcrowding of the hospitals; the negotiations were being carried on at
Presburg. In spite of the wise and prudent counsels of his minister,
Napoleon was resolved on exacting from Austria still more than he had
declared before Ulm. The defection of Prussia had thoroughly disheartened
the plenipotentiaries of the Emperor Francis. The French armies
concentrated afresh around Vienna. Napoleon was doubly imperious,
threatening to recommence the war; the negotiators at length yielded to
necessity. On the 26th of December, 1805, peace was signed at Presburg
between France and Austria. The Emperor Francis abandoned to the conqueror
Venice, Istria, Frioul, and Dalmatia, which were to become part of the
kingdom of Italy; the Tyrol and Vorarlberg, of which Napoleon made a
present to Bavaria; the outlying territories of Suabia, handed over to
Wurtemberg; the Brisgau, Ortenau, and the city of Constance, which were
added to the territories of the Elector of Baden. Napoleon ceded to the
Emperor the Principality of Wurtzburg for one of the archdukes; the
secularization of the Teutonic Order was agreed upon to the profit of
Austria; the latter power was to pay a war indemnity of forty millions.

The small German princes, who beheld their possessions increased and their
titles made more glorious by the powerful hand of the conqueror, were in
their turn to pay the price of the terrible alliance which weighed upon
them. The new Kings of Wurtemberg and Bavaria found themselves obliged to
give their daughters to Jerome Bonaparte and to Eugène de Beauharnais; the
marriage that the former had contracted in America, and the betrothal of
the Princess of Bavaria to the son of the Elector of Baden, weighed
nothing in the balance in comparison with the iron will of Napoleon.
Intimidated and restless, the Elector of Baden himself broke off the
marriage of his son, accepting for him the hand of Stéphani de
Beauharnais, niece of the Empress Josephine. Before taking the road to
France, the Emperor was present at the marriage of the vice-King of Italy
with the princess whose portrait he had seen a few days before upon a
porcelain cup. Everything had yielded to his power,--sovereigns, families,
and hearts. Russia and England alone remained openly enemies. "Rest
awhile, my children," said the Archduke Charles in disbanding his army;
"rest awhile, until we begin again."

I have been desirous of conducting General Bonaparte, now become the
Emperor Napoleon, up to the popular summit of his glory. He had already
tainted it by many acts of violence, and by an exclusive devotion to
personal ends, in defiance of justice and liberty. Henceforward and under
the disastrous inspirations of a mad ambition, victory itself was to
become a fatal seduction which by inevitable degrees draws us on to ruin.
Great and terrible lesson of Divine justice on the morality of nations!
Starting from the violation of the peace of Amiens, and in spite of the
glory of the sun of Austerlitz, the history of the glory of the conqueror
includes in germ the history of his fall, and of the ever-increasing
misfortunes of France.



Guizot has said at the commencement of his essay on Washington: "There is
a spectacle as fine as that of a virtuous man struggling with adversity,
and not less salutary to contemplate; it is the spectacle of a virtuous
man at the head of a good cause and assuring his triumph."

There is a spectacle, sorrowful and sad, also salutary to contemplate in
its austere teachings: it is that of a man of genius bearing along in his
train an enthusiastic nation, and squandering all the living forces of his
genius and his country in the service of a senseless ambition, as fatal to
the sovereign as the people, both foolishly dragged along by a vision of
glory towards injustices and crimes not at first foreseen. Such is the
spectacle offered to us by the history of the Emperor Napoleon, and of
France, after the battle of Austerlitz and the Peace of Presburg.

For the moment a stupor seemed to oppress the whole of Europe. Prussia,
humiliated and indignant, had, however, just ratified the treaty of
Schönbrunn; Austria was panting and conquered; England had lost her great
minister: William Pitt died 23rd January, 1806, struck to the heart in his
patriotic passion, by the new victory of the conqueror whom he dreaded for
the liberty of the world. "Roll up this map of Europe," said he when the
news was brought to him as he lay dying in his little house at Putney, "in
ten years time there will be no further need for it." Already his rival
had succeeded him in office, and Fox did not yet foresee that he would
presently be inevitably brought to adopt the policy of resistance to the
long increasing power of Napoleon. He was then making cordial advances
towards him. The Emperor Alexander had not disarmed, but the appeals to
him from the Court of Naples found him immovable. Already the Bourbons
were trembling on the thrones they still occupied.

Napoleon announced it in his thirty-seventh bulletin, dated from Vienna.
"General Saint Cyr marches by long stages towards Naples, to punish the
treason of the queen, and hurl from the throne this criminal woman who has
violated everything that is held sacred among men." Intercession was
attempted for her with the Emperor. He replied, "Ought hostilities to
recommence, and the nation to sustain a war of thirty years, a perfidy so
atrocious cannot he pardoned."

In this struggle between violence and treason the issue could not remain
long doubtful. In the name of Joseph Bonaparte, Masséna commanded the army
which came to take possession of the kingdom of Naples. For the second
time, King Ferdinand and Queen Charlotte took refuge in Sicily. "It is the
interest of France to make sure of the kingdom of Naples by a useful and
easy conquest," the _Moniteur_ had formerly declared, in publishing the
treaty of neutrality agreed to by the House of Bourbon. The work was
accomplished; on the 30th of March, Joseph Bonaparte was proclaimed King
of the Two Sicilies. The city of Gaëta alone was to prolong its

Two months later, with the appearance of the national consent, Napoleon
elevated his brother Louis to the throne which he had instituted for him
in Holland. The prince had been ordered to protect this country,
threatened by the Anglo-Swedish army. After the battle of Austerlitz he
presented himself before the Emperor. "Why have you quitted Holland?"
demanded the latter brusquely, "we saw you there with pleasure, and you
should have remained there." "Sounds of a monarchical transformation
circulate in Holland," replied Louis Bonaparte, "they are not agreeable to
this free and worthy nation, nor are they any more pleasant to me."

Napoleon broke out into a passion. "He gave me to understand," says Prince
Louis in his _Mémoires_, "that if I had not been more consulted over this
affair, it was for a subject only to obey." At the same time the Emperor
wrote to Talleyrand, "I have seen this evening Admiral Verhuell. In two
words hear what this question amounts to. Holland is without executive
power. It requires that power, and I will give it Prince Louis. In place
of the Grand Pensionary Schimmelpenninck, there shall be a king. The
argument is that without that I shall not be able to give peace a firm
settlement. Prince Louis must make his entry into Amsterdam within twenty
days." The accession to the throne of the new monarch was celebrated on
the 5th June, 1806.

Napoleon disposed at his will of crowns and appanages, elevating or
dethroning kings, magnificently dowering the companions of his military
life and the servants of his policy. He had at the same time conceived the
idea of forming beyond his States a barrier which should separate them
from the great German powers, always secretly hostile. The dukes and the
electors whom he had made kings, the princes whose domains he had
aggrandized, were to unite in a confederation for the protection of the
new State of Germany. The seat of government was established at Frankfort.
The town of Ratisbon, formerly honored by the assemblies of the Diet, had
been ceded to Bavaria. The Diet was officially informed that Prussia
received a decisive authorization to form in its turn a confederation of
the North. Most of the German States having been forcibly taken from him,
Francis II voluntarily resigned the vain title he still bore; he ceased to
be Emperor of Germany, and became Emperor of Austria.

Meanwhile the overtures of Fox towards France had until now remained
without result. England refused to treat without Russia, whom the Emperor
would not admit to a common negotiation. "Regrets are useless," wrote Fox
to Talleyrand on the 10th April, 1806; "but if the great man whom you
serve, could see with the same eye with which I behold it, the true glory
which would accrue to him from a moderate and just peace, what good
fortune would not result from it for France and for all Europe?"

In the depth of his soul and in his secret thoughts Napoleon now desired
peace. Amongst the English prisoners detained in France after the rupture
of the treaty of Amiens, a few had been exchanged since the advent of Fox
to the ministry; one of them, Lord Yarmouth (afterwards Lord Hertford),
elegant and dissipated, had been commissioned by his government to talk
over familiarly with Talleyrand the chances of peace that existed between
the two nations. Napoleon had conceded Hanover to Prussia as the price of
peace; he was ready to retrocede it to England, free to indemnify Prussia
at the expense of Germany. The negotiation was carried on secretly, the
negotiators meeting as men of the world rather than diplomats. Oubril, an
envoy from the Emperor Alexander, had just arrived in Paris, charged with
reassuring France on the subject of a circumstance which had recently
taken place in Dalmatia. The Russian admiral, Sinavin, animated with
unseasonable zeal, with the aid of the Montenegrins had seized the mouths
of the Cattaro. The Austrian officers, appointed to hand over the
territory to the French, had not opposed any resistance to the Russians.
The two Emperors of Austria and Russia hastened to disavow their agents;
on 20th July Oubril signed with France a separate peace.

This was failing in loyalty towards England, who had refused to treat
without its ally. The Emperor of Russia perceived it; he had thought the
cabinet of London more inclined to conclude peace at any cost. The health
of Fox was giving way, and his successors were likely to be less favorable
to the demands of Napoleon. Alexander declared that he would not ratify
the treaty negotiated by Oubril. This news arrived at Paris on the 3rd of
September, 1806. On the 13th of the same month Fox expired in London,
amiable and beloved to the last day of his life; ardently devoted to his
friends, to freedom, to all noble and generous causes; a great orator and
a great debater; feeble in his political conduct even in opposition,
incapable of governing and of sustaining the great struggle which for so
long agitated Europe. At his death the party of resistance resumed power
in England. In Germany the secret of the negotiations with regard to
Hanover had transpired; the disregard of sworn faith which Prussia had
more than once practised during the war fell back upon herself with
crushing weight. Napoleon thought nothing of his engagements; he had
detached King Frederick William from his natural allies, and showed
himself disposed to snatch from him the price of his compliance. The
nation and the king had with great difficulty accepted the treaty
negotiated by Haugwitz; indignation broke forth on every side. It had
already betrayed itself for a few weeks past by numerous and violent
pamphlets against the Emperor of the French and against the armies of
occupation. Napoleon responded to them by a despotic and cruel act which
was to bear bitter fruits. On the 5th August he wrote to Marshal

"My cousin,--I imagine that you have had the booksellers of Augsburg and
Nuremberg arrested. My intention is that they should be indicted before a
military tribunal, and shot within twenty-four hours. It is no ordinary
crime to spread libels in places where the French army is stationed, in
order to excite the inhabitants against it. It is a crime of high treason.
The sentence shall set forth that wherever there is an army, the duty of
the commander being to watch over its safety, such and such individuals
convicted of having attempted to stir up the inhabitants of Suabia against
the French army are condemned to death. You will place the criminals in
the midst of a division, and you will appoint seven colonels to try them.
You will have the sentence published throughout Germany." Only one
bookseller of Nuremberg, named Palm, was arrested, and suffered the
terrible sentence. Berthier never forgot the cruel necessity to which he
had been subjected in ordering this odious procedure. "He makes us condemn
under the penalty of being condemned ourselves," said General Hullin, in
reporting the murder of the Duc d'Enghien.

The growing irritation of Germany only awaited an excuse for bursting
forth. A despatch of the Marquis of Lucchesini, then minister of Prussia
at Paris, gave the protracted irritation of the court of Berlin its
opportunity. According to the information received from this diplomatist,
the French government was putting pressure upon the German Princes of the
North, to prevent them from entering the Confederation projected by
Prussia. A letter from King Frederick William and a diplomatic note
demanded peremptorily the evacuation of Germany by the French troops, and
liberty of action for the German Princes. At the same time the armaments
of Prussia, for a long time prepared in secret, became public. Already the
Emperor Napoleon had quitted Paris, without Laforest, his minister at
Berlin, having been authorized to reply to the demands of the Prussians.
"We have been deceived three times," said Napoleon. "We must have facts;
let Prussia disarm, and France will re-cross the Rhine, and not before."
It was to the Senate and to the soldiers alone that Napoleon now addressed
the explanation of his aggressive movements against Prussia.

"Soldiers, the order for your re-entry into France was issued; you had
already approached it by several marches. Triumphant fêtes awaited you,
and the preparations to receive you had already commenced in the capital.

"But whilst we abandon ourselves to this too confident security, new plots
are hatched under the mask of friendship and alliance. War cries have made
themselves heard from Berlin. For two months we have been provoked more
and more every day.

"The same faction, the same spirit of giddiness which, under favor of our
internal dissensions, conducted the Prussians fourteen years ago into the
midst of the plains of Champagne, rules in their councils; if it is no
longer Paris that they wish to burn and overthrow to its foundations, it
is to-day their flag that they wish to plant in the capitals of our
allies; it is Saxony that they wish to compel by a shameful transaction to
renounce its independence by ranging it in the number of their provinces;
it is, in fine, your laurels that they wish to snatch from your foreheads.
They wish us to evacuate Germany at the sight of their arms. Fools! What?
Shall we then have braved the seasons, the seas, the deserts, conquered
Europe several times allied against us, carried our glory from the east to
the west, in order to return to-day into our country like fugitives who
have abandoned their allies; to hear it said that the French eagle fled in
fear at the mere sight of the Prussian armies?"

It was, in fact, a fourth continental coalition which was beginning to be
formed against France. Prussia alone was then on the scene: long prudent
and circumspect in its conduct, it had been drawn in this time, in spite
of its weakness, by irresistible anger and indignation. Napoleon did not
dread the war. "I have nearly 150,000 men in Germany," wrote he to King
Joseph; "with them I can subdue Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg." The reply
that he at last deigned to address to the King of Prussia from the camp of
Gera breathed the most haughty confidence. A few engagements had already
taken place. "Monsieur my brother," wrote Napoleon to Frederick William,
"I only received on the 7th the letter of your Majesty of the 25th
September. I am vexed that you have been induced to sign this sort of
thing. You appoint a meeting with me on the 8th. Like a good knight, I
keep faith with you, I am in the middle of Saxony; believe me I have such
forces with me that all your forces cannot long prevent my victory. But
why spill so much blood? To what end? Sire, I have been your friend for
six years past. I do not wish to profit by that species of giddiness which
animates your council, and has caused you to commit political errors, at
which Europe is still astonished, and military errors of such an enormity
that Europe will soon ring with them. If in your note you had asked
possible things from me, I would have granted them to you; you have asked
for my dishonor: you ought to have been certain of my reply. War is then
made between us, the alliance broken forever; but why make our subjects
kill each other? Sire, your Majesty will be conquered; you will have
compromised the peace of your days and the existence of your subjects
without the shadow of a pretext. I have nothing to gain against your
Majesty. I want nothing, and I have wanted nothing from you. The present
war is an impolitic war."

Napoleon had well estimated the forces of the enemy he was preparing to
crush; he had concentrated under his hand a power superior to all the
resources of the Prussians, whose soldiers were courageous and well
disciplined, but for a long time little exercised in war. Napoleon's
precautions were taken at every point of his vast territory; he had called
new troops under his banners; everywhere he held in check his enemies,
either secret or avowed. At one moment he thought of tendering his hand to
Austria; he wrote to his ambassador at Vienna, M. de la Rochefoucauld: "My
position and my forces are such that I have no cause to fear any one; but
at length all these efforts are burdensome to my people. Of the three
powers, Russia, Prussia, and Austria, I must have one for an ally. In any
case one cannot rely on Prussia: there remains only Austria. The navy of
France formerly flourished through the benefit resulting from an alliance
with Austria. This power also feels the need of remaining quiet, a
sentiment that I partake with all my heart. The house of Austria having
often caused hints to be thrown out to me, the present moment, if it knows
how to profit by it, is the most favorable."

Austria remained immovable, the uneasy spectator of the events that were
preparing. The Russians had not quitted their positions on the Vistula;
already the Prussians had invaded Saxony, compelling that little power to
furnish them with an army of 20,000 men. The old Duke of Brunswick
collected at the same time the contingent of the Elector of Hesse-Cassel,
who had sought in vain to maintain his neutrality. The French army
occupied Franconia; it was across these mountainous defiles that Napoleon
had resolved to march against the enemy divided into two corps, under the
orders of the Duke of Brunswick and the Prince of Hohenlohe. Already
Marshals Davout and Bernadotte were established upon the left bank of the
Saale. The troops of the Prince of Hohenlohe occupied the road from Weimar
to Jena. Marshal Lannes had taken possession of the heights which
commanded this last town. On the morning of the 14th October, the combat
was opened against the corps of the Prince of Hohenlohe; superior in
number to the troops employed by the Emperor Napoleon, but surprised by an
attack of which they had not foreseen the vigor, the Prussian soldiers
were soon thrown into a panic terror. The two wings of the French army,
commanded by Soult and Augereau, already enveloped the enemy when Napoleon
sent forward the guard and the reserves. The centre of the Prussian army
fell back before this enormous mass; the retreat changed into a rout. At
the same moment Marshal Biechel arrived by forced marches to the aid of
the Prince of Hohenlohe; he brought 20,000 men, but in vain did he
struggle to rally and curb the fugitives; he was drawn along and repulsed
by the conquered as well as by the conquerors. French and Germans entered
at the same time into Weimar; already the crowd of prisoners hindered the
march of the victorious army.

At the same hour on the same day, with forces less considerable, Marshal
Davout struggled alone, near Auerstadt, against the enemy's corps,
commanded by the Duke of Brunswick and by King Frederick William. Marshal
Bernadotte had quitted him, obeying literally the orders of the Emperor,
who had enjoined him to occupy Hamburg, little careful, perhaps, of the
danger to which he exposed his companion-in-arms. Davout cut the road of
the Prussians in the defile of Koesen. The Duke of Brunswick, marching
himself at the head of his troops, rushed upon him, violently attacking
our immovable squares under a murderous fire. The old general fell,
mortally wounded; the effort of Prince William and the king remained
equally fruitless. Profiting by the trouble caused by his resistance,
Davout threw his troops forward, and seized the heights of Eckartsberg;
there, protected by his artillery, he could still defend his positions.
The King of Prussia gave orders to retire on Weimar; he counted on joining
the corps of the Prince of Hohenlohe, in order to renew the attack with
all his forces. He had already travelled over half the distance without
being harassed by Marshal Davout, whose troops were exhausted; but
Bernadotte barred his passage; the confused waves of fugitives from Jena
precipitated themselves into the ranks of their friends and compatriots.
Behind them appeared the French soldiers, ardent in pursuit. The king
turned off hastily, by way of Sommerda; the darkness was increasing, and
the disorder increased with the darkness. In a single day the entire
Prussian army was destroyed. "They can do nothing but gather up the
_débris_," said Napoleon.

He took care to crush everywhere these sad remains of a generous and
patriotic effort. Whilst his lieutenants were pursuing the wandering
detachments of the Prussian army, the emperor imposed upon the nation he
had just conquered a contribution of a hundred and fifty-nine millions. He
sent the elector of Hesse to Metz, announcing in a letter to Marshal
Mortier his intention that the house of Hesse should cease to reign, and
would be effaced from the number of the powers. The Saxon prisoners, on
the contrary, were sent back free to their sovereign. Everywhere the
English merchandise found in the ports and warehouses was confiscated for
the profit of the army. The Prussian commerce was ruined like the state.

Napoleon advanced upon Berlin; the King of Prussia sought to reach
Magdeburg, constantly accompanied by the queen, whose warlike and
patriotic ardor excited the rage and the insults of the emperor. "The
Queen of Prussia has been many times in view of our posts," says the 8th
bulletin of the grand army; "she is in continual fear and alarms. Last
night she passed her regiment in review; she continually excited the king
and the generals; she craves for blood. Blood the most precious has
flowed; the most distinguished generals are those upon whom the first
blows have fallen." Gross insinuations aggravated these rude allusions.
"All the Prussians assign the misfortunes of Prussia to the journey of the
Emperor Alexander. The change which has since then taken place in the
spirit of the queen, who, from being a timid and modest woman, occupied
with her home affairs, has become turbulent and warlike, is quite a sudden
revolution. She desired all at once to have a regiment, to go to the
Council, and she has led the monarchy so well that in a few days she has
conducted it to the edge of a precipice."

A few battles finally opened everywhere the roads to the conqueror;
Magdeburg was besieged, Erfurt had surrendered, Marshal Davout occupied
Wittemberg, and Lannes occupied Dessau; Bernadotte had thrown himself
against Halle, still defended by Prince Eugène of Wurtemberg. The
resistance was severe; when the emperor came to visit the battle-field, he
recognized among the corpses still scattered upon the ground the uniforms
of the 32nd half-brigade. "Still the 32nd!" cried he. "I have had so many
of them killed in Egypt, in Italy, everywhere, that there ought to be no
more of them." It was with the same accent of indifferent and cold
reflection that he was to say much later, in contemplating his sleeping
son, "How long it takes to make a man! I have, however, seen fourteen of
them cut off by a cannon-shot!"

Napoleon was at Potsdam, in the palace of the great Frederick, the
military genius of this prince had for a long time excited his admiration.
"At Potsdam has been found the sword of the great Frederick, the sash of a
general, which he carried in the Seven Years' War, and his cordon of the
Black Eagle," says the 19th bulletin.

The emperor seized upon these trophies with eagerness, and said, "I prefer
these to twenty millions." Then, thinking a moment to whom he should
confide this precious trust, "I will send it," said he, "to my old
soldiers of the Hanoverian War; I will make a present of it to the
governor of the Invalides; it shall remain at the Hotel."

On the 27th, for the first time in his life, Napoleon entered in triumph
into an enemy's capital. For two days Berlin had been occupied by Marshal
Davout. A gloomy sadness rested on all faces, but order was everywhere
respected. The Prussian nation had valiantly defended itself, and there
was no shame mingled with its sorrow. The dying Duke of Brunswick
recommended his subjects to the emperor. The latter, in a passion,
recalled bitterly to the old general the wild manifesto published in his
name at the commencement of the French Revolution. "If I had the city of
Brunswick demolished, and if I did not leave of it one stone on another,
what would your prince say? Does not the law of retaliation permit me to
do to Brunswick what he wanted to do to my capital? It is the Duke of
Brunswick whom France and Prussia can accuse of being the sole cause of
this war. Tell the general that he will be treated with all the respect
due to a Prussian officer, but that in a Prussian general I cannot
recognize a sovereign."

The same harshness characterized the reception by the emperor of the great
Prussian nobles. "Do not come into my presence," said he to the Prince of
Hatzfeld, who brought before him the civil magistrates of Berlin. "I have
no need of your services; retire to your own estates." A letter from the
prince to the King of Prussia, giving an account of the entry of the
emperor, was intercepted. Napoleon saw treason in this communication, and
a decree was immediately sent to Marshal Davout. "The Prince of Hatzfeld,
who presented himself at the head of the deputation from Berlin, as
entrusted with the civil government of this capital, and who,
notwithstanding this office, and the duties which are attached to it, has
made use of the knowledge which his position afforded him as to the
situation of the French army, to convey intelligence respecting it to the
enemy, will be tried before a military commission, in order to be judged
as a traitor and a spy.

"Marshal Davout is charged with the execution of this order.

"The military commission will be composed of seven colonels of the corps
of Marshal Davout, by whom he will be tried."

In vain all the most faithful servants of the emperor wasted their
entreaties in order to obtain mercy for the Prince of Hatzfeld; only the
wife of the accused, far advanced in pregnancy, and overwhelmed with
terror, succeeded in arresting the anger of the conqueror. "This is most
certainly the writing of your husband," said he to the poor woman, who
could scarcely support herself. And as she dared not deny it: "Throw this
letter into the fire," added Napoleon, "and I shall no longer have any
power to procure his death." It was Marshal Duroc who had taken upon
himself the introduction of the Princess of Hatzfeld to the palace.

The prince of Hohenlohe, hard pushed by Murat and Marshal Lannes, had
capitulated before Prenzlow, on the 28th of October; General Blucher, who
had seized by force the free city of Lubeck, in the hope of finding there
a place of support, was constrained, on November 7th, to follow his
example. On the 8th, Magdeburg surrendered to Marshal Ney. Lannes occupied
Stettin, and Davout occupied Custrin. "Sire," wrote Lannes to Napoleon, "I
read your proclamation to the soldiers; they all began to cry 'Long live
the Emperor of the West!' I beseech your Majesty to let me know if, for
the future, you wish me to address my despatches to the Emperor of the
West, and I ask it in the name of my _corps d'armée_."

Napoleon did not reply; this dream of supreme glory, which he had had an
idea of realizing in the footsteps of Charlemagne, doubtless appeared to
him still beyond his reach. More than one sign, however, betrayed the
undying hope, that he was never to realize. It is only by reason and the
general good that genius is effectively sustained in extraordinary
enterprises. From day to day, and from victory to victory, these great
supports of the human mind became less and less visible in the conduct of
the Emperor Napoleon.

Hanover and the Hanseatic towns were occupied by the French army; Prussia
asked for a suspension of hostilities, in order to treat for peace. But
the emperor had conceived a new project. In the ceaseless activity of his
thoughts he reasonably enough looked on England as the implacable and
invincible enemy who directed and excited against him the animosity of
Europe. It was against England that he henceforth directed his efforts. "I
am about to reconquer the colonies over the globe," he wrote to the King
of Holland. It was in the same spirit that he made his declaration to the
Senate: "We have unalterably determined not to evacuate Berlin or Warsaw,
or the provinces which have fallen into our hands by force of arms, until
a general peace be concluded, the Spanish, Dutch, and French colonies
restored, the foundations of the Ottoman power confirmed, and the absolute
independence of this vast empire, the first interest of our people,
irrevocably secured."

These brilliant pledges of victory, which Napoleon kept in his hand as
hostages for the purpose of enforcing submission on England, did not,
however, appear to him sufficient; he resolved to strike at the wealth of
his enemy a mortal blow, which should exhaust its resources at the
fountain-head. On the 21st of November, 1806, he sent from Berlin to
Talleyrand a decree, putting England in the Index Expurgatorius of Europe
--at least, of that part of Europe which was in submission to his rule. The
continental blockade was established and regulated in the following

"The British Isles are declared in a state of blockade.

"All commerce, and all correspondence, with the British Isles are
forbidden. Consequently, letters or packets addressed to England, or to an
Englishman, or written in the English language, will not pass through the
post, and will be seized.

"Every individual English subject, whatever may be his state or condition,
who shall be found in the countries occupied by our troops, or in the
countries of our allies, shall be made prisoner of war.

"Every warehouse, all merchandise, all property of whatsoever nature it
may be, belonging to an English subject, shall be deemed lawful prizes.

"Commerce in English merchandise is forbidden; any ships coming directly
from England or from the English colonies, or having been there since the
publication of the present decree, shall not be admitted into any port."

The Emperor Napoleon was right in recognizing, in his declaration to the
Senate, that it was lamentable, after so many years of civilization, to
recur to the principles, the barbarism, of the first ages of nations; and
the pretexts which he adduced for this necessity were as insufficient as
the consequences that flowed from his policy were odious. More than once
the English had replied by violent and rude proceedings to the proceedings
of the same nature in which Napoleon had for a long time been indulging on
all seas. They had claimed to interdict the commerce of neutrals by
imprudent and unjust "Orders in Council;" a still more inexcusable
iniquity fettered at one stroke the commerce of Europe in all its
branches, carrying annoyance into all families, and arbitrarily modifying
the conditions of all existence. From henceforth, in the poorest
household, no one could forget for a single day the power and the
vengeance of the Emperor Napoleon, as well as the death grapple between
him and England. It is a terrible undertaking for the most powerful of men
to change on all sides the habits of life, and lay his hands upon the
daily interests, of every one. The continental blockade was in Napoleon's
hands a redoubtable weapon against his enemy; the firmness of England and
the general distress, were yet cruelly to turn that weapon against his own

He was not yet satisfied, and Napoleon resolved on making an end of all
his adversaries. Russia alone, silent and immovable, remained the ally of
England, and its last support. Its armies occupied Poland, always
quivering under the hands of its oppressors, ready to rise up against them
at the first appeal. It was upon the Vistula that the emperor had resolved
to go and seek the Russians, intoxicating the Poles beforehand with the
hope of the reconstitution of their country, and assured of finding
amongst them inexhaustible stores of provisions, ammunition, and soldiers.
"A Pole is not a man," he was accustomed to say, "he is a sabre." He
counted on all these sabres being ready to leap from their scabbards at
his voice, for the service of Poland. To the disquietude of the court of
Vienna on the subject of the insurrections which might be produced in
Galicia, Napoleon answered in advance by the promise of Silesia. "The
insurrection in Poland is a consequence of my war with Russia and
Prussia," wrote he to General Andréossy, recently sent to Vienna. "I have
never recognized the partition of Poland; but, a faithful observer of
treaties, in favoring an insurrection in Russian and Prussian Poland, I
will not mix myself up with Austrian Poland. Does Austria wish to keep
Galicia? Would she cede a part of it? I am willing to give her all the
facilities she can desire. Does she wish to treat openly or secretly?
After these manifestations I ought to say that I fear no one."

At the same time that he entered Poland, Napoleon excited the hostile
sentiment of the Porte against Russia. General Sebastiani was charged to
say to Sultan Selim: "Prussia, who was leagued with Russia, has
disappeared; I have destroyed its armies, and I am master of its fortified
towns. My armies are on the Vistula, and Warsaw is in my power. Prussian
and Russian Poland are rising, and forming armies to reconquer their
independence; it is the moment for reconquering yours. I have given orders
to my ambassador to enter into all necessary engagements with you. If you
have been prudent up to this time, a longer forbearance towards Russia
would be weakness, and cause the loss of your empire."

The King of Prussia had refused to accept the harsh conditions of the
armistice; he had resolved to struggle to the end, and to join the remains
of his forces to the army of the Emperor Alexander. "Your Majesty has had
me informed that you are throwing yourself into the arms of the Russians,"
wrote Napoleon to King Frederick William. "The future will make it
apparent whether you have chosen the best and most effective part. You
have taken the dice-box and thrown the dice, and the dice will decide the
question." Already the French armies had entered Poland, but they were not
there alone; two Russian corps, under the orders of General Benningsen and
General Buxhouden, had crossed the Niemen, and advanced towards the
Vistula, and soon afterwards they entered Warsaw. Marshals Davout and
Lannes sent reports, apparently contradictory, but in reality identical,
as to popular feeling in Poland. Davout had found at Posen an extreme
enthusiasm; he could scarcely furnish with arms those who pressed forward
to ask for them; the same sentiment animated the population of Warsaw,
when he made his entry in pursuit of the Russians, who fell back before
him. Meanwhile he wrote to the emperor, on December 1st: "Levies of men
are very easily made, but there is a want of persons who can direct their
instruction and organization. There is also a want of guns. The feeling of
Warsaw is excellent, but the upper class are making use of their influence
to calm the ardor which is prevalent in the middle classes. The
uncertainty of the future terrifies them, and they leave it to be
sufficiently understood that they will only openly declare themselves
when, with the declaration of their independence, they can also receive
tacit guarantees for its maintenance." Lannes regretted the campaign in
Poland; he recommended that they should establish themselves on the Oder,
and pointed out the inconveniences and dangers of the enterprise they were
about to attempt in a sterile and desert country. "They are always the
same--frivolous, divided, anarchical; we shall uselessly waste our blood
for their sakes, without founding anything durable."

Murat dreamed of seating himself on the throne of a restored Poland, and
he was angry at the mistrust of the great nobles. Napoleon read in his
correspondence a thought that the brilliant chief of the vanguard dared
not express; he had said to Davout, at the beginning of the campaign,
"When I shall see 40,000 Poles in the field I will declare their
independence, not before." In their turn the Poles, long crushed down by
harsh servitude, asked for guarantees from the conqueror, who had only
delivered them in order to subjugate them afresh. "Those who show so much
circumspection, and ask so many guarantees, are selfish persons, who are
not warmed by the love of country," wrote the emperor to Murat, already
Grand Duke of Berg for several months past. "I am experienced in the study
of men. My greatness is not founded on the aid of a few thousand Poles. It
is for them to profit, with enthusiasm, by present circumstances; it is
not for me to take the first step. Let them display a firm resolution to
render themselves independent--let them engage to uphold the king who will
be given to them, and then I shall see what I shall next have to do. Let
it be well understood that I do not come to beg a throne for any of my
relations; I have no lack of thrones to give to my family."

In that conversation with the world which he kept up by bulletins from the
grand army, Napoleon spoke of the Poles in other language; but he no
longer laid bare the secret of his thoughts. "The army has entered into
Warsaw," wrote he from Posen on December 1st. "It is difficult to paint
the enthusiasm of the Poles. Our entry into this great city was a triumph,
and the feelings that the Poles of all classes display since our arrival
cannot be expressed. The love of country and the national sentiment is not
only preserved in its entirety in the hearts of the people, but it has
even gained new vigor from misfortune. Their first passion, their chief
desire, is to become once more a nation. The richest leave their castles
in order to come and demand, with loud cries, the re-establishment of the
nation, and to offer their children, their fortunes, their influence. This
spectacle is truly touching. Already they have everywhere resumed their
ancient costume and their ancient customs.

"Shall the throne of Poland be re-established, and shall this great nation
reassert its existence and its independence? From the depths of the tomb
shall it be born again to life? God alone, who holds in His hands the
results of all events, is the arbiter of this grand political problem."

Under the hand of God, which in the depths of his soul he often
recognized, the Emperor Napoleon believed himself to be the arbiter of the
grand problem of the independence of Poland. He remained personally
indifferent to it, resolved on pursuing his own interest, either in aid
of, or in contempt of, the interests and aspirations of the Poles.

In spite of the generous cordiality of the population, who lavished their
resources upon those from whom they hoped for deliverance, Napoleon and
his troops perceived that they had entered a desert. "Our soldiers find
that the solitudes of Poland contrast with the smiling fields of their own
country; but they add immediately, 'They are a fine people, these Poles!'"
Before establishing himself for the winter in this savage country, under a
frozen sky, and on a cold and damp soil, it was necessary to push back the
enemy. Napoleon only went to Warsaw, and advanced towards the Russians
entrenched behind the Narew and the Ukra. Already his lieutenants, Davout,
Augereau, Ney, had taken up positions for attack. Furious battles at
Czarnovo, at Pultusk, at Golymin, at Soldau, obliged the Russians to fall
back upon the Pregel, without disaster to their _corps d'armée_, although
they had been constantly beaten. The rigor of the season had prevented
those grand concentrations of forces and those brilliant strokes in which
Napoleon ordinarily delighted; the troops advanced with difficulty through
impenetrable forests, soaked by the rain: the men fell in great numbers
without a battle. In the month of January, 1807, the emperor at last took
up his winter-quarters, carefully fortifying his positions, and laying
siege to the towns which still resisted him in Silesia. Breslau, Glogau,
Brieg successively succumbed. The old Marshal Lefebvre was charged with
the siege of Dantzig.

Meanwhile the Russians, henceforth concentrated under the orders of
General Benningsen, and less affected than the French by the inclemencies
to which they were accustomed, had not suspended their military
operations. Soon Marshal Ney, in one of those armed reconnoitering
expeditions which he often risked without orders, was able to assure
himself that the enemy was approaching us by a prolonged movement, which
was to bring him to the shore of the Baltic. Already a few battles had
taken place. The weather became cold; ice succeeded to the mud. Napoleon
quitted Warsaw on January 30th, resolved to march against the enemy.
"Since when have the conquered had the right of choosing the finest
country for their winter-quarters?" said the proclamation to the army.
Twice a great battle appeared imminent; twice a movement of the Russians
in retreat enabled them to escape from the overwhelming forces which
Napoleon had been able to collect; a few skirmishes, however, signalized
the first days of February. On the seventh day's march General Benningsen
entered Eylau.

The French entered in pursuit, and dislodged them. The Russians made their
bivouac outside the city whilst the battle was preparing for the morrow.
The weather was cold; one half of the country upon which the armies were
camped was only a sheet of ice covering some small lakes. The snow lay
thick upon the ground, and continued to fall in great flakes. The two
armies were composed of nearly equal forces; several French corps,
detached or delayed, were about to fail in the great effort which this
rough winter campaign required. The troops were fatigued and hungry. "I
have wherewith to nourish the army for a year," wrote Napoleon to Fouché,
annoyed at the reports current in France as to the sufferings of the
soldiers, "it is absurd to think one can want corn and wine, bread and
meat, in Poland." The provisions remained, nevertheless, insufficient. "I
can assure you," said the Duc de Fezensac in his military souvenirs, "that
with all these orders so freely given in January, our _corps d'armée_ was
dying of hunger in March."

Long before the dawn of a slowly breaking and cloudy day Napoleon was
already in the streets, establishing his guard in the cemetery of Eylau,
and ordering his line of battle. The formidable artillery of the Russians
covered their two lines; presently the shells fired the town of Eylau and
the village of Rothenen, which protected a division of Marshal Soult's.
The two armies remained immovable in a rain of cannon-balls. The Russians
were the first to move forward, in order to attack the mill of Eylau;
"they were impatient at suffering so much," says the 58th bulletin of the
grand army. Nearly at the same moment the corps of Marshal Davout arrived;
the emperor had him supported by Marshal Augereau. The snow fell in thick
masses, obscuring the view of the soldiers; the troops of Augereau turned
swiftly to the left, decimated by the Russian artillery. The marshal
himself, already ill before the battle, was struck by a ball. The officers
were nearly all wounded. The emperor called Murat: "Wilt thou let us be
annihilated by these people?" The cavalry shot immediately in advance;
only the imperial guard remained massed round Napoleon.

In a moment Murat had routed the Russian centre, but already the
battalions were reforming. Marshal Soult defended with difficulty the
positions of Eylau; Davout maintained a furious struggle against the left
wing of the Russians: the Prussians, preceding by one hour Marshal Ney,
who had been pursuing them for several days, made their appearance on the
battle-field. The dead and dying formed round the emperor a ghastly
rampart; gloomy and calm he contemplated the attack of the Prussians and
Russians united, in great numbers, and pressing upon Marshal Davout. The
latter glanced along the ranks of his troops: "The cowards will go to die
in Siberia," said he, "the brave will die here like men of honor." The
effort of the enemy died out against the heroic resistance of the French
divisions, who maintained their positions.

The night was falling; the carnage was horrible. In spite of the serious
advantage of the French troops, General Benningsen was preparing to
attempt a new assault, when he learnt the approach of Marshal Ney, who was
debouching towards Althof. The bad weather and the distance retarded the
effect of the combinations of the emperor. He had caused much blood to be
spilt; victory, however, remained with him; the Russians and Prussians
were decidedly beating a retreat. The French remained masters of this most
sanguinary battlefield, destitute of provisions, without shelter, in the
wet and cold. Marshal Ney, who had taken no part in the action, to which,
however, he assured success, surveyed the plain, covered with corpses and
inundated with blood. "He turned away from the hideous spectacle," says M.
de Fezensac, "crying, 'What a massacre, and without result!'" The Russians
had retired behind the Pregel to cover Königsberg. Napoleon re-entered his
cantonments. He established his headquarters at the little town of
Osterode, directing from this advanced post the works of defence on the
Vistula and Passarge, at the same time as the preparations for the siege
of Dantzig. On arriving there he wrote to King Joseph: "Staff-officers,
colonels, officers, have not undressed for two months, and a few of them
not for four; I have myself been fifteen days without taking off my boots.
We are in the midst of snow and mud, without wine, without brandy, without
bread, eating potatoes and meat, making long marches and countermarches,
without anything to sweeten existence, and fighting at bayonet-point and
under showers of grape-shot, the wounded very often obliged to be removed
on a sledge for fifty leagues in the open air. After having destroyed the
Prussian monarchy, we are making war against the remnants of Prussia,
against the Russians, the Calmucs, the Cossacks, and the peoples of the
north who formerly invaded the Roman Empire; we are making war in all its
energy and all its horror." Such vigorous language was not permitted to
all. "The gloomy pictures that have been drawn of our situation," wrote
Napoleon to Fouché on April 13th, "have for authors a few gossips of
Paris, who are simply blockheads. Never has the position of France been
grander or finer. As to Eylau, I have said and resaid that the bulletin
exaggerated the loss; and, for a great battle, what are 2000 men slain?
There were none of the battles of Louis XIV. or Louis XV. which did not
cost more. When I lead back my army to France and across the Rhine, it
will be seen that there are not many wanting at the roll-call."

It was against Russia and against the vigor of its resistance that
Napoleon now concentrated all his efforts. Tardy hostilities had at length
commenced between the Porte and Russia. For a moment the Sultan had
appeared to hesitate before the demands of the English, united to those of
the Russians: Admiral Duckworth forced the Dardanelles at the head of a
squadron, and destroyed the Turkish division anchored at Cape Nagara. In
spite of the terror which reigned in Constantinople, the energetic
influence of General Sebastiani carried the day. The overtures of the
English Legation were repulsed; the capital was armed all of a sudden,
under the direction of French officers. When Admiral Duckworth appeared
before the place, he found it in good condition of defence; thus the
English squadron could not leave the Straits of the Dardanelles without
sustaining serious damage. For the British navy the evil was small; the
moral effect could not but have some influence.

The Emperor Napoleon sought to profit by this circumstance to enter afresh
into negotiations with Austria. On the day after the battle of Eylau he
sent General Bertrand to the King of Prussia, offering to surrender him
his States as far as the Elbe. The messenger was charged with the
significant insinuation: "You will give just a hint that as to Poland,
since the emperor has become acquainted with it, he attaches to it no
value." The sacrifice of a fourth of the Prussian monarchy seemed too
bitter for King Frederick William; he replied to the envoy with evasive
answers. Napoleon became disdainful as regards the Prussians. It was with
Austria that he determined henceforth to treat concerning the affairs of
Prussia. "See now my plan, and what you must say to M. de Vincent," wrote
he on March 9, 1807, to Talleyrand: "To restore to the King of Prussia his
throne and his estates, and to maintain the integrity of the Porte. As to
Poland, that will be found included in the first part of the sentence. If
these bases of peace suit Austria, we shall be able to understand each
other. As for the remark of M. de Vincent, that Prussia is too thoroughly
humiliated to hope for recovery, that is reasonable. The end of all this
will be an arrangement between France and Austria, or between France and
Russia; for there will be no repose for the people, who need it so much,
except by this union."

Austria responded to these propositions of alliance by offer of mediation;
at the same time, and without ostentation, as a precautionary measure, she
was getting ready for war, and was secretly preparing her armaments. The
small places in the north of Prussia had fallen, one after another;
Dantzig alone was still waiting for the army which was to besiege it. The
Prussians had profited by this delay to put the place into a good state of
defence. On all sides Napoleon collected fresh forces, as if resolved upon
terrifying his secret enemies and crushing his declared ones. The
conscription for 1808 was enforced in France by an anticipation of nearly
two years; the Italian regiments and the auxiliary German corps were
concentrated on the Vistula; the emperor even went so far as to demand
from Spain the contingent which the Prince de la Paix had offered him on
the day after the battle of Jena. Formerly the Spanish minister had nursed
other ideas, and had counted on serving the Prussians; he, however,
hastened to despatch 10,000 men to the all-powerful conqueror. An army of
reserve had just been created on the Elbe; by the middle of March the town
of Dantzig was completely invested.

I do not care to recount the incidents of a siege which lasted more than
two months, and which was conducted in a masterly manner by Chasseloup and
Lariboisière. Marshal Lefebvre grew weary of the long and able
preparations of his colleagues, and wished to begin the actual assault.
Authorization for this step was asked of the emperor. "You only know how
to grumble, to abuse your allies, and change your opinion at the will of
the first comer," wrote Napoleon to the old warrior. "You treat the allies
without any consideration; they are not accustomed to be under fire, but
that will come. Do you think that we were as brave in '92 as we are to-
day, after fifteen years of warfare? The chests of your grenadiers that
you wish to push everywhere will not overturn walls; you must let your
engineers work, and whilst waiting learn to have patience. The loss of a
few days, which I should not just now know how to employ, does not require
you to get several thousand men killed whose lives it is possible to
economize. You will have the glory of taking Dantzig; when that is
accomplished, you will be satisfied with me."

Meanwhile, the Russians and Prussians had resolved upon an attempt to
raise the siege of Dantzig: a considerable body came to attack the French
camp before the fort of Weichelsmunde. They were repulsed, after a furious
combat, by the aid of the reinforcements which had arrived to succor
Marshal Lefebvre; and the attempts of the English corvettes to re-victual
the town were equally unsuccessful. A previous attack of the Swedes upon
Stralsund had brought about no definite result, and their general, Essen,
had been constrained to conclude an armistice. Dantzig capitulated at
last, on the 26th of May, without having undergone the assault which the
French soldiers loudly demanded. As early as the 22nd, Napoleon had
written to Marshal Lefebvre: "I authorize Marshal Kalbreuth to go out
under the ordinary regulations, wishing to give this general an especial
proof of esteem; however, the capitulation of Mayence cannot be taken as a
basis, as the siege was less advanced than that of Dantzig now is. I
allowed, at the time, an honorable capitulation for General Wurmser, shut
up in Mantua; I wish to accord one more advantageous to General Kalbreuth,
taking a middle position between that of Mayence and that of Mantua."

All the French _corps d'armée_ occupied entrenched camps, prudently
defended against the attacks of enemies; they were suffering from the
rigors of the winter, and the large stores of wine found in Dantzig were
an important resource for the soldiers. The attempts at mediation by
Austria had failed; the campaign of 1809 was being prepared; everywhere
the grass was springing up in the fields, affording necessary sustenance
for the horses; the wild swans were reappearing in flocks upon the shores
of the Passarge. The Emperor Napoleon had fixed upon the 10th of June for
the resumption of hostilities.

The Russians forestalled it: Alexander had sent his guard to General
Benningsen. "Brothers, uphold honor!" said the young emperor to his
soldiers as they began the march. "We will do everything that is
possible," cried the troops: "adieu, master!" Already Benningsen was
advancing against the corps of Ney, who occupied the advanced posts, but
the clever and prudent arrangements of Napoleon had prepared the retreat
of his lieutenants; without disorder and without weakness, always
victoriously fighting, Marshal Ney fell back upon Deppen; two other
attacks upon the bridges of Lanutten and Spanden were likewise repulsed.
The concentration of the French _corps d'armée_ began to be effected near
Saafeldt, when General Benningsen changed all of a sudden his plan of
campaign: passing from the offensive to the defensive, he decided to
repass the Alle, in order to protect the entrenched camp of Heilsberg, and
by the same movement the town of Königsberg, the last refuge of the
resources of Prussia. The retreat of the Russians commenced on the evening
of the 7th of June.

Napoleon followed them with almost the whole of his army; the detachments
of the vanguard and rearguard had more than once been engaged in partial
combats when, on the evening of the 10th of June, the French army
debouched before the entrenched camp of Heilsberg strongly supported by
the banks of the Alle. Napoleon followed the left bank, seeking to
forestall the enemy at the confluence of the Alle and the Pregel, in the
hope of seizing Königsberg before the place could be succored. Murat and
Davout were already threatening the city.

It was the supreme feature in the genius of Napoleon, that an indomitable
perseverance in wisely calculated projects did not exclude the
thunderbolts of a marvellous promptitude in resolution and combinations.
Uncertainty and want of foresight reigned, on the contrary, in the
military councils of the Russians. General Benningsen, formerly in the
attitude of attack, now compelled to engage in a defensive march, and
projecting the defence of Königsberg, thought it all of a sudden necessary
to protect himself against an attack in flank. He crossed the Alle under
the eyes of the French, and meeting them on the left bank of the river, he
advanced towards the corps of Marshal Lannes, whom the emperor had sent
against Domnau; a strong Russian detachment drove from Friedland the
regiment of French hussars, who had established themselves there. The
whole Russian army attacked Marshal Lannes, who had just collected a few
reinforcements. It was to judge badly of the able prudence of the Emperor
Napoleon, to hope to encounter a single corps of his grand army: Lannes
held out till mid-day upon the field of battle with heroic skill; he sent
meanwhile express after express to the emperor, who arrived at a gallop,
his face radiant with the anticipation of the joys of victory. "It is the
14th of June," said he, "the anniversary of Marengo; it is a lucky day for

Napoleon and his staff had preceded the march of the troops; Lannes and
his soldiers recovered their forces in the presence of the invincible
chief who had so many times led them to victory. "Give me only a
reinforcement, sire," cried Oudinot, whose coat was pierced with bullets,
"and although my grenadiers can do no more, we will cast all the Russians
into the water."

This was the aim of the emperor as well as of his soldiers; and the
positions which General Benningsen had taken, concentred in a bend of the
river, rendered the enterprise practicable. The day was advanced, and a
few of the generals had been wishing to put off the battle till the
morrow. "No!" said Napoleon; "one does not surprise the enemy twice in
such a blunder." Then sweeping with his telescope the masses of the enemy
grouped before him, he quickly seized the arm of Marshal Ney. "You see the
Russians and Friedland," said he; "the bridges are there--there only.
March right on before you; enter into Friedland; take the bridges,
whatever it may cost, and do not disquiet yourself about what shall take
place on your right, or your left, or in your rear. That concerns us--the
army and me."

When Marshal Ney had set out, marching to danger as to a festival, the
emperor turned towards Marshal Mortier and said, "That man is a lion."

Upon the field of battle, where he had just arrived in face of the enemy,
who appeared hesitating and troubled, Napoleon dictated his orders, which
he caused to be delivered to all his lieutenants. The troops continued to
arrive; all the corps formed again at the posts which had been assigned to
them. The emperor checked the impatience of his generals. "The action," he
told them, "will commence when the battery posted in the village of
Posthenen shall commence to fire." It was half-past five when the cannon
at last sounded.

Ney advanced towards Friedland under a terrible fire from the Russians;
extricated by the cavalry of Latour-Marbourg, and protected by the
artillery of General Victor, suddenly thrown in advance, the French
columns had reached a stream defended by the imperial Russian guard. The
resistance of these picked troops for a moment threw disorder into our
lines, who fell back; when General Dupont, arriving with his division,
broke the Russian guard. The French in pursuit of their enemies penetrated
into Friedland. The city was in flames; the fugitives fled towards the
bridges; a very small number had succeeded in reaching them when this only
means of safety was snatched from them; the bridges were cut and set on
fire when Marshal Ney took possession of the burning remains of Friedland.
At the same moment the corps of General Gortschakoff, pressed by Marshals
Lannes and Mortier, fighting valiantly in a position without egress,
sought in vain to reconquer the city, and afterwards redescended the
length of the river in the hope of finding fordable passages. Many
soldiers were drowned, others succeeded in regaining the right shore.
Almost the entire column of General Lambert succeeded in escaping. Night
at length followed the long twilight; it was ten o'clock in the evening
when the combat ceased. The victory was complete; the remains of the
Russian army retired upon the Pregel without Napoleon being able again to
encounter them. They soon afterwards gained the Niemen. Meanwhile Marshal
Soult had occupied Königsberg, evacuated by Generals Lestocq and Kaminsky.
The King of Prussia possessed nothing more than the little town of Memel.

The Emperor Alexander had rejoined his troops, vanquished and decimated in
spite of their courage; the King Frederick William placed himself close to
his ally, at Tilsit. Peace had become necessary for the Russians; for the
Prussians it had long been so. Napoleon resolved on negotiating for
himself. In response to the request for an armistice, he proposed an
interview, with the Emperor Alexander. It was in the middle of the Niemen,
upon a raft constructed for this purpose, that the two emperors met.

Alexander was young, amiable, winning, drawn along at times by chivalrous
or mystical sentiments and enthusiasms, at other times under the dominion
of Oriental tastes and passions. No one could be more capable of being
influenced by the charm of a superior genius and an extraordinary destiny,
and the personal ascendancy of a man who knew at once how to please and
how to vex.

Napoleon wished to captivate his vanquished enemy, whom he desired to make
his ally; he succeeded in doing so with ease. Master of the destinies of
the world--in his own idea more so than he even was in reality--he had
resolved upon offering to Alexander compensations which might satisfy him,
whilst distracting his attention from the conquests and encroachments
which Napoleon reserved for himself. On the eve of Austerlitz, Napoleon
had said to Prince Dolgorouki: "Ah well! let Russia extend herself at the
expense of her neighbors!" It was the same thought that he was about to
present to the young monarch, humiliated and conquered, wishing to display
it before his eyes in order to blind him more completely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I resisted her kindly suggestion, and the conversation came back to
Chateaubriand and his article, which was much admired, and caused some
anxiety. There was reason to admire it, for the passage was truly
eloquent; and also cause for anxiety, for the _Mercure_ was suppressed
precisely because of that passage. Thus the Emperor Napoleon, conqueror of
Europe, and absolute master of France, thought that he could not suffer it
to be said that his future historian would perhaps be born under his
reign, and felt himself obliged to take the honor of Nero under his
protection. It was scarcely worth while to be such a great man to have
such fears to show, or such clients to protect."

If the emperor pursued with anger the spirit of opposition in the salons,
which he endeavored ceaselessly to rally around him, and if, above all, he
feared their glorious representatives, Madame de Staël and Chateaubriand,
he watched still more harshly the newspapers and the journalists. His
revolutionary origin, and the early habits of his mind had rendered him
hostile to that liberty of the press which flourished under the
Constituent Assembly, withered away under the Legislative Assembly, and
expired during the Terror in a sea of blood. When Daunou wished to insert
the liberty of the press in the constitution of the year VIII., he
encountered great opposition on the part of former Jacobins. They and
their friends had secured the right of saying always what they chose, and
knew the means of preserving what they had acquired at the price of many
massacres; the liberty their adversaries demanded appeared to them
dangerous and unjust. Such has always been in the main the revolutionary
idea, and the Emperor Napoleon had not forgotten this theory and this
arbitrary practice. However, he also knew what might be the influence of
the periodical press, and he endeavored to submit to the discipline of his
will the small number of newspapers which existed under his reign. "Stir
yourself up a little more to sustain public opinion," he wrote to Fouché,
on the 28th April, 1805. "Print several articles, cleverly written, to
deny the march of the Russians, the interview of the Emperor of Russia
with the Emperor of Austria, and those ridiculous reports, phantoms born
of the English fog and spleen. Say to the editors, that if they continue
in their present tone I will pay them off; tell them that I do not judge
them hardly for the bad things they have said, but for the little good
they have said. When they represent France vacillating on the point of
being attacked, I judge that they are neither Frenchmen nor worthy to
write under my reign. It is all very well to say that they only give their
bulletins; they have been told what these bulletins are; and since they
must give false news, why not give them in favor of the public credit and

The _Journal des Débats_, in the first rank of the periodical press, under
the intelligent direction of the Bertins, had already been favored with a
special inspector, whose duty was to superintend its editing, and to whom
the proprietors of the paper were forced to pay 12,000 francs a year.
Fouché had menaced the other papers with this measure of discipline, by
ordering them to "put into quarantine all news disagreeable or
disadvantageous to France." This patriotic prudence did not long suffice
for the master. "Let Fiévée know that I am very dissatisfied with the
manner in which he edits his paper," he wrote, on the 6th March, 1808. "It
is ridiculous that, contrary to the rules of good sense, he still
continues to believe all that the German papers say to frighten us about
the Russians. It is ridiculous to say that they put 500,000 men in the
field, when, for the coalition itself, Russia only furnished 100,000 men,
while Austria furnished 300,000. It is my intention that he should only
speak of the Russians to humiliate them, to enfeeble their forces, to
prove how their trashy reputation in military matters, and the praises of
their armies, are without foundation." And the same day to Talleyrand: "It
is my intention that the political articles in the _Moniteur_ should be
guided by the foreign relations. And after seeing how they are done for a
month, I shall prohibit the other papers talking politics, otherwise than
by copying the articles of the _Moniteur_."

We have known the dangers and the formidable effects of an unlimited
liberty of the press. Never was it more licentious than when just
recovered from a system arbitrarily oppressive. The fire which appears to
be extinct smoulders under the ashes, to shortly break out with new fury.
The thirty-three years of constitutional régime which France had enjoyed,
powerfully contributed to the moderation of men's acts, and even their
words, at the time of the revolution of 1848. The outburst of invectives
and anger which saluted the fall of the Emperor Napoleon, had been slowly
accumulated during the long silence imposed under his reign.

Arbitrary and despotic will succeeds in creating silence, but not in
breaking it at a given time, and in a specified direction. In vain did
Napoleon institute prizes every ten years; in vain did he demand from the
several classes of the Institute reports on the progress of human thought
since 1789. Literary genius remained deaf to his voice, and the real
talent of several poets of a secondary order, Delille, Esmenard,
Millevoye, Chênédollé, was not sufficient to triumph over the intellectual
apathy which seemed to envelope the people he governed. "When I entered
the world, in 1807," said Guizot, "chaos had reigned for a long time; the
excitement of 1789 had entirely disappeared; and society, being completely
occupied in settling itself, thought no more of the character of its
amusements; the spectacles of force had replaced for it the aspirations
towards liberty. In the midst of the general reaction, the faithful heirs
of the literary salons of the eighteenth century remained the only
strangers in them. The mistakes and disasters of the Revolution had not
made the survivors of that brilliant generation abjure their ideas and
desires; they remained sincerely liberal, but without pressing demands,
and with the reserve of those who have succeeded little and suffered much
in their endeavors after reform and government. They held fast to the
liberty of speech, but did not aspire to power; they detested, and sharply
criticised, despotism, but without doing anything to repress or overturn
it. It was an opposition made by enlightened and independent spectators,
who had no chance and no desire to interfere as actors."

Thus it was that the lassitude of the superior classes, decimated and
ruined by the French revolution and the Terror, inspired by the splendid
and triumphant military despotism, contributed together to keep the public
mind in a weak and supine state, which the sound of the cannon alone
interrupted. I am wrong; the great men, naturalists or mathematicians, who
had sprung up, either young or already ripe, in the era of the French
revolution--Laplace, La Grange, Cuvier--upheld, in the order of their
studies, that scientific superiority of France which has not always kept
pace with literary genius, but which has never ceased to adorn our
country. The personal tastes of the emperor served and encouraged the
learned men, even when their opinions had remained more independent than
suited him. He sometimes reproached Monge, his companion during the
campaign of Egypt, that he had remained in his heart attached to the
Republic. "Well, but!" said the great geometrician, gayly, "your Majesty
turned so short!"

Napoleon had certainly _turned short_, and he expected France to follow
him in the rapid evolution of his thought. Jealous of his right to march
in the van and show the way to all, he indicated to dramatic authors the
draft of their theatrical pieces, and to painters the subject of their
paintings. "Why," he wrote to Fouché, "should you not engage M. Raynouard
to make a tragedy on the transition from the first to the second race?
Instead of being a tyrant, his successor would be the saviour of the
nation. It is in pieces of that kind that the theatre is new, for under
the old régime they would not have been permitted." On the other hand, and
by an unconscious return to that fear of the house of Bourbon which he
always instinctively felt, Napoleon opposed the representation of a
tragedy of Henry IV. "That period is not so remote but that it may awake
the passions. The scene should be more ancient."

The passions sometimes awake easily, at points where no threatening or
danger appeared. Immediately after the consecration and the Concordat,
what could be more natural or simple than a wish to draw up a catechism
for the use of all the schools? The organic articles had declared that
there would be only one liturgy and one catechism for all the churches of
France. At first the court of Rome made no difficulty. The Abbé Emery,
Superior of St. Sulpice, gave an excellent piece of advice to Portalis,
the Minister of Religion. "If I were in the emperor's place," said he, "I
should take purely and simply the catechism of Bossuet, and thus avoid an
immense responsibility." Napoleon had a liking for Bossuet's genius and
doctrine, and the idea pleased him. The new catechism intended to form the
minds and hearts of coming generations was placed under the patronage of
Bossuet, "that celebrated prelate, whose science, talents, and genius have
served the Church and honored the nation," said Portalis in his report.
"The justice which all the bishops of Christendom had rendered to the
memory of this great man, is to us a sufficient guarantee of his accuracy
and authority. The work of the compilers of the new catechism is in
reality but a second copy of Bossuet's work."

The great bishop would certainly have felt some difficulty in recognizing
certain pages of the work so prudently presented under his aegis. Strictly
faithful to the spirit of the Gospel as to the supreme equality of all men
in the presence of God, whatever might occasionally have been his
consideration for the wishes of Louis XIV., Bossuet, when expounding the
fourth commandment, the respect and submission due by children to their
parents, was satisfied with adding,--"What else is commanded to us by the
fourth commandment? To respect all superiors, pastors, kings, magistrates,
and others."

The submission of the subjects of Louis XIV. was known to him, and
therefore that exposition was enough in his time. Portalis was of opinion
that immediately after the French Revolution the principles of respect and
obedience ought to be more exactly defined. "The point is," he wrote to
Napoleon, on the 13th February, 1806, "to attach the conscience of the
people to your Majesty's august person, by whose government and victories
the safety and happiness of France are secured. To recommend subjects
generally to submit to their sovereign would not, in the present
hypothesis, direct that submission towards its proper end. I therefore
thought it necessary to make a clear explanation, and apply the precept in
a precise manner to your Majesty. That will prevent any ambiguity, by
fixing men's hearts and minds upon him who alone can and really ought to
fix their minds and hearts."

Napoleon readily coincided with the pious officiousness of his Minister of
Religion, and undertook to draw up himself the question and answer in the
new catechism. "Is submission to the government of France a dogma of the
Church? Yes; Scripture teaches us that he who resists the powers resists
the order of God; yes, the Church imposes upon us more special duties
towards the government of France, the protector of religion and the
Church; she commands us to love it, cherish it, and he ready for all
sacrifices in its service." The theologians, whom Portalis said he always
distrusted, pointed out that, the Church being universal, her dogmas could
not inculcate respect for a particular government. It was therefore drawn
up afresh, and was so extended that the commentary on the fourth
commandment became longer than the exposition of the principle itself. I
wish to give here the actual text as a curious document of the spirit of
the time.

LESSON VII--_Continuation of the Fourth Commandment_.

_Question._ What are the duties of Christians with reference to the
princes by whom they are governed; and what are our special duties towards
Napoleon I., our emperor?

_Answer._ Christians owe to the princes by whom they are governed, and we
owe specially to Napoleon I., our emperor, love, respect, obedience,
fidelity, military service, the tribute ordered for the preservation and
defence of the empire and his throne; we also owe him fervent prayers for
his health and for the temporal prosperity of the State.

_Q._ Why are we bound to perform all those duties towards our emperor?

_A._ First, because God, who creates empires, and distributes them
according to His will, by loading our emperor with gifts, both in peace
and in war, has established him as our sovereign. Secondly, because our
Lord Jesus Christ, as well by His teaching as His example, has taught us
Himself what we owe to our sovereign: at His birth His parents were
obeying an edict of Caesar Augustus; He paid the prescribed tribute-money;
and just as He has ordered us to render to God the things that are God's,
He has also ordered us to render unto Caesar the things that are

_Q._ Are there no special motives which strengthen our attachment to
Napoleon I., our emperor?

_A._ Yes; for it is he whom God has stirred up, during difficult
circumstances, to restore the public worship and holy religion of our
fathers and be its protector. He has brought back and preserved public
order by his profound and active wisdom; he defends the State by his
powerful arm; he became the Lord's anointed by the consecration which he
has received from the sovereign pontiff, head of the Church universal.

_Q._ What ought we to think of those who fail in their duty towards our

_A._ According to the apostle Paul they resist the order established by
God Himself, and render themselves worthy of eternal damnation.

_Q._ Are those duties which we owe towards our emperor equally binding
upon us with regard to his legitimate successors in the order established
by the constitution of the Empire?

_A._ Yes, certainly: for we read in the Holy Scripture that God, Lord of
heaven and earth, by a disposition of His supreme will, and by His
providence, gives empires not only to one person individually, but also to
his family.

_Q._ What are our obligations towards our magistrates?

_A._ We ought to honor them, respect them, and obey them, because they are
the depositaries of our emperor's authority.

The catechism was revised and corrected by a theological commission, by
Portalis, by the emperor, and by the cardinal legate himself, in spite of
a formal prohibition which he had received from Rome. "It does not belong
to the secular power to choose or prescribe to the bishops the catechism
which it may prefer," wrote Cardinal Consalvi on the 18th August, 1805.
"His Imperial Majesty has surely no intention of arrogating a faculty
which God trusts exclusively to the Church and Vicar of Jesus Christ."

Caprara had kept the Secretary of State's despatch sealed, and when at
last the text of the catechism appeared, in 1806, it had received his
approbation. By an article in the _Journal de l'Empire_ of the 5th May,
1806, the court of Rome learnt that a catechism was soon to be published,
uniform and obligatory for all the dioceses of France, with the official
approbation of the cardinal legate. A despatch of Cardinal Consalvi,
expressing to Caprara the astonishment and displeasure of the sovereign
pontiff, remained secret and without effect. The influence of the court of
Rome upon their envoy failed before the seductive power, mixed with fear,
which Napoleon had exercised upon Cardinal Caprara since his arrival. The
French bishops were not less troubled than the Pope. "Has the emperor the
right to meddle in those matters?" wrote Aviau, Bishop of Bordeaux, to one
of his friends; "who has given him the mission? To him the things of
earth, to us the things of heaven. Soon, if we let him, he will lay hands
on the censer, and perhaps afterwards wish to ascend the altar."

One modification only was granted, on the demands of the bishops supported
by Cardinal Fesch. In contempt of Bossuet and his teaching, the standing
doctrine of Catholicism, "Out of the Church there is no safety," had been
omitted in the new catechism. That phrase being restored, the catechism,
invested with the approbation of the legate, was published in the
beginning of August, 1808. Placed in the alternative of contradicting or
recalling Caprara, the court of Rome prudently remained silent.
Differences of opinion were now accumulating between the Pope and the
emperor--between the spiritual authority, which still preserved some
pretensions to independence, and the arbitrary will of the conqueror,
resolved to govern the world, Rome included. We at last reach the moment
when the excess of arrogance was about to provoke the effect of contrary
wills. We shall now see the Pope captive, the Spanish people in
insurrection, the climate and deserts of Russia leagued together against
the tyrannical master of Europe. England had never accepted the yoke; and
she had everywhere seconded resistance. For the future, it was not alone
by sea, nor by the assistance of subsidies, that she entered the lists;
Sir Arthur Wellesley was now in his turn to join in the struggle.

A last act of the absolute will of the Emperor Napoleon signalized that
period of the interior government of France which preceded the war in
Spain and the campaigns in Germany and Russia. It was the suppression pure
and simple, by a "senatus-consulte," of the "Tribunate" formerly
instituted with so much pomp, and which had gradually fallen into
insignificance, owing to the successive changes it had undergone, and to
the secrecy imposed on its deliberations. The absolute power could support
neither contradiction nor even the appearance of discussion, however
moderate it might be. The lively remembrance, however, of an eloquent and
daring opposition was still associated with the name of the Tribunate.
Some honored names had survived the great silence. "The abolition of the
Tribunate will be less a change than an improvement in our institutions,"
said M. Boulay de la Meurthe in his report, "because, since the
constitution of the empire the Tribunate only appears useless, out of
place, not in harmony with the times." The Legislative Body formed a place
of refuge to the members of the Tribunate who were in exercise: they took
their places as a right among its ranks, where they were no more heard of,
annihilated by the servitude that reigned around them. Their admission
into the Legislative Body had, however, been graced by an appearance of
liberality: the right of discussion was restored to that assembly.

M. de Fontanes took care beforehand to indicate what spirit was to preside
at their discussions. "These precincts, which have wondered at their
silence, and whose silence is now at an end, will not hear the noisy
tempests of popular harangues. May the tribune be without storms, and may
the only applause be at the triumphs of reason. Above all, may truth
appear there with courage, but with wisdom, and may she shine there with
all her light! A great prince must love her brightness. She alone is
worthy of him, why should he be afraid of her? The more he is looked at,
the more he rises; the more he is judged, the more is he admired." By the
mouth of Carrion-Nisas, the Tribunate thanked the emperor for having
discharged it from its functions. "We believe," said they, "that we have
not so much arrived at the end of our career, as attained the object of
all our efforts, and the recompense of our devotion." Being now certain of
the docility of the great bodies of State, and no longer uneasy about that
of the magistracy, all the obnoxious members having been weeded out by his
orders, the Emperor Napoleon could turn his thoughts abroad. The question
was how to place King Joseph on the throne of Spain.



Napoleon did not keep his promise to the Bourbons of Spain. He had not
come to Madrid in order to heal their divisions, and strengthen the
tottering power. One after another, he had drawn all the members of the
royal family to Bayonne, and there, on French soil, had easily consummated
their ruin. It was also on French soil that he made preparations to raise
his brother to the throne. King Joseph was late in arriving, entering
Bayonne only on the 8th June; and already the imperious will and clever
management of the emperor had brought into that town a certain number of
great lords, favorable to the new power from interest or fear. Already
Joseph was proclaimed King of Spain and the Indies; and scarcely had he
had time to put foot to the ground when he was surrounded by Spanish
deputations, which had been carefully prepared by Napoleon's orders. The
king regretted much having to leave Naples. Without foreseeing the
difficulties that awaited him, he loved the gentle, easy life of Italy,
and had not yet forgot the annoyance of taking possession, or the
obstacles to be met by a new regime. The emperor took care to dazzle him
at the outset. The Junta formed at Bayonne prepared a constitution.
Napoleon had collected much information as to the lamentable state of the
administration in Spain. "These papers are necessary to me for the
measures which I have to order," he had written to Murat, who was still in
Madrid, ill and sad; "they are also necessary to me to show some day to
posterity in what state I have found the Spanish monarchy." Useless
precaution of a great mind, who thought to dispose of the future and of
the judgment of posterity, as, till then, he had dazzled or overthrown all
the witnesses of his marvellous career!

Eight days after the arrival of King Joseph at Bayonne, the new
constitution was adopted by the improvised Junta. "It is all that we can
offer you, sire," said imprudently the Duke de l'Infantado, formerly the
most eager accomplice of the Prince of Asturias in his intrigues against
his father; "we are waiting till the nation speaks, and authorizes us to
give freer course to our sentiments." They stopped the duke from saying
any more; the Spanish nation had not been consulted.

The Spanish constitution was prepared generally on the model of the French
constitution. The first article paid homage to the strong religious
feeling of Spain: "The religion of the State is the Catholic religion; no
other is permitted." Several of the ministers chosen by the King Joseph
had been members of the government of Charles IV. After taking the oath to
their new monarch, the Junta first of all went to the Emperor Napoleon at
Marac, to offer their thanks and congratulations.

At the same moment, and whilst summoning to Bayonne the reinforcement of
troops which he intended to accompany and support King Joseph on his entry
into his new kingdom, Napoleon wrote to the Emperor Alexander:--

"My brother, I send your Majesty the constitution which the Spanish Junta
have just decided upon. The disorders of that country had reached such a
degree as can scarcely be conceived. Obliged to take part in its affairs,
I have by the irresistible tendency of events been brought to a system
which, while securing the happiness of Spain, secures the tranquillity of
my states. I have cause to be satisfied with all the persons of rank,
fortune, and education. The monks alone, who occupy half the territory,
anticipating in the new order of things the destruction of abuses, and the
numerous agents of the Inquisition, who now see the end of their
existence, are now agitating the country. I am very sensible that this
event opens a very large field for discussion. People are not likely to
appreciate the circumstance and events, but will maintain that all had
been provoked and premeditated. Nevertheless, if I had only considered the
interest of France, I should have adopted a simpler means, viz., extending
my frontiers on this side, and diminishing Spain. A province like
Catalonia or Navarre, would have affected her power more than the change
which has just taken place, which is really of use only to Spain."

Whilst the Emperor Napoleon thus announced in Europe the interpretation
which it suited him to put upon the events of Spain, and whilst the new
king, leaving Bayonne on the 9th July, was planting his foot upon his new
territory, the whole of Spain, from north to south, from east to west, was
in a blaze.

After the departure of the Bourbon princes for Bayonne, the popular
agitation and uneasiness in Madrid became extreme, and gradually extended
to the more remote provinces, and into the depths of the old Spanish race,
honorable and proud, still preserving in their fields their ancestral
qualities. "Trust neither your honor nor your person to a Spanish Don,"
was said to M. Guizot by a man who learned to form severe judgment upon
them during several revolutions; "trust all that is dearest to you to a
Spanish peasant." In spite of the emperor's assertions, all the great
lords were not favorable to the King Joseph. In the country, the peasants
had risen in a body, and the burgesses did the same in the towns.

Carthagena was the first town to give the example of revolt. On the 22nd
May, at the news of the abdication of the two kings, published in the
journals of Madrid on the 20th, the people shouted in the streets, "Long
live Ferdinand VII.!" and Admiral Salcedo, who was preparing to convey the
Spanish fleet to Toulon, was arrested. The arms shut up in the arsenals
were distributed among the populace. A Junta was immediately formed.
Murcia and Valencia followed the example of Carthagena. The people, roused
by the preaching of a monk, Canon Calvo, killed the Baron Albulat, a "lord
of the province," who was in vain defended by another monk, called Rico.
The French who lived in Valencia had taken refuge in the citadel, but
being persuaded to come out, they were quickly massacred to the last man.
This first ebullition of popular fury was followed by the horror of all
respectable people. In spite of himself, Count Cerbellon was put at the
head of the insurrection. Everybody took arms, and waited for the arrival
and vengeance of the French soldiers.

All the provinces rose in insurrection one after another. The most
apathetic waited for St. Ferdinand's Day; and on the 30th May, at
daybreak, before the saint's flag was displayed in the streets, in
Estremadura, at Granada, and Malaga, the shouts of the populace proclaimed
King Ferdinand VII. Blood was shed everywhere, with an atrocious display
of cruelty. The magistrates, or gentlemen, who attempted to stop a
dangerous rising were massacred. The Asturias had shuddered at the first
report of the abdication; the Junta of Oviedo proclaimed a renewal of
peace with England, and sent delegates to London. The clergy succeeded in
protecting the lives of two Spanish colonels who had opposed the
insurrection of their troops. In Galicia the honorable efforts of Captain-
General Filangieri cost him his life; after accepting, with regret, the
presidency of the Junta, when he attempted to maintain order amongst the
insurgents he was killed in the street. Valladolid obliged the Captain-
General, Don Gregorio de la Cuesta, to take a part in the rising of the
populace. At the first sign of resistance shown by the old soldier, they
erected a gibbet under his windows. Burgos, occupied by Marshal Bessières,
remained quiet, but Barcelona attempted an insurrection. The Catalans were
armed to the teeth, and, on General Duhesme threatening to set fire to the
town, the more violent of them escaped to places which were less
threatened. Saragossa had placed at the head of its heroic population Don
Joseph Palafox de Melzi, an amiable young man, well known in his own
country. He summoned the Cortes of the province, and ordered a general
rising of the population of Aragon. On the confines of Navarre, almost
under the eyes of the French army, Santander and Logrono formed an
insurrection. The Castilles, with their vast open plains, and their
proximity to the French Government, showed only a silent agitation,
without yet attempting an insurrection. Murat was ill--frequently
delirious; but General Savary watched over Madrid: the capital awaited its
new master.

Nowhere was the insurrection more spontaneous or more general than in
Andalusia. Seville had conceived the hope of becoming the centre of the
national movement, and grouping round it the patriotic efforts of the
whole of Spain. The provisional government assumed a pompous name--
"Supreme Junta of Spain and the Indies"--and sent messengers to stir up
the towns of Badajoz, Cordova, and Jaen. At Cadiz they surrounded the
hotel of the Captain-General Solano, Marquis of Socorro. All the troops
throughout the south of Spain were under his orders. With difficulty he
was persuaded to give a forced assent to the disorderly wishes of the
populace, but persisted in opposing the bombardment of the French fleet,
commanded by Admiral Rosily, which had been in the harbor for three
months. He in vain pleaded the danger to the Spanish vessels mixed with
the French. The crowd became mad, dragged the Marquis on to the ramparts,
and massacred him.

Without any preliminary understanding, in a country everywhere intersected
by rivers and mountains, and even under the fire of the French cannon,
Spain thus rose spontaneously against an arrogant usurpation, preceded by
base perfidy. In this first burst of her patriotic anger, she bore the
courage, ardor, and passion which were to make certain her triumph; she at
the same time displayed a savage cruelty and violence, of which our
unhappy soldiers were too often the victims. The emperor was still at
Bayonne, occupied in arranging the affairs of Spain from without Spain: he
was informed slowly and imperfectly of the insurrection convulsing the
whole country. Accustomed to give orders to his lieutenants from a
distance and arbitrarily, he ordered all the movements of his troops from
Bayonne, affecting to attach but small importance to the revolt, sending
to Paris and Valençay false news of the success of his arms, and doing his
best to conceal from King Joseph the extent and importance of the
resistance which was being prepared against him. In many places the
couriers were arrested or killed. The emperor ordered General Savary to
set out again for Madrid.

Nevertheless, all the forces of the French army were on their march to
crush the insurrection. General Verdier and General Frère quickly took
satisfaction for the insurrection of Logrono and Segovia. General Lasalle,
before Valladolid, defeated Don Gregorio de la Cuesta, who had been forced
to leave the town, afraid of having his throat cut there. "You have only
had what you deserve," said the old Spanish general, as he retreated upon
Leon; "we are only a handful of undisciplined peasants, yet you imagine
you can conquer those who have conquered all Europe." General Lefebvre-
Desnouettes met more resistance at Tudela, where the insurgents had broken
down the bridge over the Ebro. On the 15th June he was before Saragossa,
where Don Joseph Palafox had shut himself up; the whole population covered
the roofs of the houses, where there was a constant hail-storm of musket
balls. The French general at once concluded it was a question of regular
siege, and sent to Barcelona for reinforcements and artillery. Marshal
Moncey had not succeeded in taking Valencia. General Duhesme was shut up
in Barcelona by the insurrection, which daily gained ground in Catalonia.
Yet he was compelled to send away General Chabran, that he might join
Marshal Moncey; and the insurgents took advantage of this division of our
forces to throw themselves on General Schwartz's column, which had been
ordered to search the convent of Montserrat. The tocsin was heard
everywhere in the mountain villages; the bridges over the streams were
broken down, and every little town had to be carried with the bayonet. By
a sudden sally, General Duhesme dislodged the enemy from their post on the
River Llobregat, took possession of their cannons, and brought them back
to Barcelona. "Let the whole town of Barcelona be disarmed," wrote the
emperor on 10th June to Marshal Berthier, "so that not a single musket is
left, and let the castle of Montjouy be supplied with provisions taken
from the inhabitants. They must be treated in thorough military fashion.
War justifies anything. On the slightest occasion, you should take
hostages and send them into the fortress."

General Dupont had been entrusted with the most difficult as well as most
important undertaking. With from 12,000 to 13,000 men under his orders, he
advanced into Andalusia, with the object of reducing that great province
to submission, and protecting the French fleet in Cadiz. The emperor had
ordered General Junot to support Dupont's advance by sending him
Kellermann's division, but Portugal was imitating the example of Spain,
and had all risen in insurrection. On his first entrance into Andalusia,
Dupont recognized the importance of the movement, and immediately asked
for a reinforcement. "I shall then have nothing to do but a military
promenade," he wrote to General Savary.

On the 7th June, after a pretty keen fight, the French troops took the
bridge of Alcolea, on the Guadalquivir, and arrived the same evening
before Cordova. After the gates were burst open with cannon-shot, the
barricades and houses had to be carried with the bayonet; and the
soldiers, losing their temper, cruelly abused the victory they gained. The
hatred against the invaders increased; and in the van of our army, on this
side of the Sierra Morena, on the road from Cordova to Andujar, the men
who had not kept up in marching, the sick and wounded who were obliged to
stay in the villages, were put to death with refinements of barbarity.
General Dupont still waited for the divisions of Vedel and Frère, which he
had sent to Madrid for; and at Cadiz, in the French fleet, they were
counting the days, and soon the hours.

The leader in the insurrection, Thomas de Morla, at first seemed faithful
to the alliance of the Spanish and French navy, recalling the memories of
the battle of Trafalgar, the glorious ruins of which composed the French
squadron in the Cadiz roads. Gradually, however, he took care to separate
the two fleets, persuading Admiral Rosily to take his position within the
roads, and placing the Spanish vessels at the entrance, in order, he said,
to defend Cadiz against the English, who had been trying in vain to land
5,000 men. The admiral soon found himself cantoned in the midst of the
lagoons which form and protect the Cadiz roads; while a contrary wind
prevented the attack which, from desperation, he wished to make upon the
Spanish, their gun-boats and sloops were already gathering round him, and
on the 9th June the firing began, but it was weak and unavailing on the
part of our ships, in spite of the heroic resolution of the crews. The
fighting lasted two days, and on the Junta of Seville demanding a
surrender pure and simple, Admiral Rosily, who knew that General Dupont
had entered Cordova, asked for a delay, hoping to receive help. On the
14th June, after four days had elapsed, the French fleet, being deprived
of every resource, and with certain ruin before them, surrendered at
discretion. The officers were distributed in the fortresses, and the
vessels disarmed. The mob, crowding round the harbor, shouted fiercely and
cheered as the French prisoners passed before them and the English, who
had just succeeded in effecting their landing.

General Dupont had not been reinforced. He did not know whether his
couriers had arrived, many having been already intercepted by the robbers
of the Sierra Morena; he knew of the rising of the St. Roque troops, and
of the treachery of the Swiss regiments recently engaged in the
insurrection; and finding himself threatened on the right by the insurgent
army of Andalusia, and on the left by the army of Granada, he resolved to
fall back upon the Guadalquivir, and on the 18th June took up his position
in the small town of Andujar, to wait for the divisions which he had sent
for. That of Vedel was already on its march.

Marshal Moncey had failed before Valencia, and could not commence the
investment for want of siege guns; he had brought back his division in
good condition, and effected his junction with General Frère at San
Clemente. Marshal Bessières advanced at the same time against Don Gregorio
de la Cuesta, and against General Blake, a descendant of English Catholic
refugees. Their forces were considerable, and composed of old soldiers;
they had, however, asked for time to prepare their troops and had been
forced by the Junta of the Corogne to march to battle. On the evening of
the 13th July, the Spaniards, badly informed as to the march of the
French, were formed in two lines on the plateau of Medino de Rio-Seco, not
far from Valladolid. Attacked one after the other by Marshal Bessières,
the two lines were completely beaten and put to flight, not without some
resistance at certain points. The slaughter was terrible. General Mouton,
at the head of two regiments with fixed bayonets, entered the town of
Medina, which was sacked. Marshal Bessières again took the road towards
Leon, sweeping before him the disbanded remains of the Spanish army. King
Joseph had just entered Madrid.

He took possession of his capital in the midst of the melancholy silence
of the inhabitants, more irritated than cowed by the news of the victory
of Rio-Seco, which reached them a few hours before the entry of their new
monarch. Since his entrance into Spain the eyes of Joseph had been opened.
"Up to this time no one has told the whole truth," he wrote to the Emperor
Napoleon on the 12th July. "The fact is that not a single Spaniard is on
my side, except the small number who were present at the Junta, and travel
with me. The others, on arriving here, hid themselves, terrified by the
unanimous opinion of their countrymen." And some days later: "Fear does
not make me see double; since I have been in Spain I say to myself every
day that my life is of small account, and that I give it up to you. I am
not alarmed at my position, but it is unique in history; I have not a
single partisan here." Every day he repeated the same demand; "I still
want 50,000 men of old troops, and 50,000,000 of money; in a month I must
have a 100,000 men, and a 100,000,000." The French army in Spain numbered
already 110,000 men, young, it is true, and for the most part without
experience, but Europe almost entirely was occupied by our troops;
Napoleon was irritated at the sensible remarks of Savary, still more
gloomy than those of King Joseph. "The emperor finds that you are wrong to
say that nothing has been done for six weeks," wrote Marshal Berthier.
"All sensible men in Spain have changed their opinion, and are very sorry
to see the insurrection. Affairs are in the most prosperous position since
the battle of Rio-Seco." On the 19th July, when making his preparations to
quit Bayonne to visit the towns of the south, Napoleon wrote to King

"My brother, I received your letter of the 18th, at three o'clock in the
morning. I see, with sorrow, that you trouble yourself. It is the only
misfortune I fear. Troops are entering on all sides, and constantly. You
have a great many partisans in Spain, but they are intimidated; they are
all the respectable people. However, I acknowledge none the less that your
task is great and glorious.

"The victory of Marshal Bessières, who has wholly beaten Cuesta and the
army of Galicia, has greatly improved the position of affairs. It is worth
more than a reinforcement of 30,000 men. The divisions of Gobert and Vedel
having joined General Dupont, offensive measures must be vigorously pushed
on that side. It is the only point menaced, and there must soon be a
success there; with 25,000 men, comprising infantry, cavalry, and
artillery, there are more than necessary to obtain a great result. At the
worst, with 21,000 men present on the field of battle, he can boldly take
the offensive; he will not be beaten, and will have more than four-and-
twenty chances in his favor.

"You ought not to find it so extraordinary to conquer your kingdom. Philip
V. and Henry IV. were obliged to conquer theirs. Keep your spirits up, and
never doubt for an instant that everything will finish better and more
quickly than you now imagine.

"Everything goes on very well at Saragossa."

The attack upon Saragossa, on the 1st July, was unsuccessful. General
Verdier, who commanded the siege, had seized the convent of St. Joseph,
without being able to penetrate into the town, all the streets being well
fortified. He had asked for troops and a train of artillery. General
Dupont was threatened, in a badly chosen position, by the insurgents of
Grenada, commanded by General Reding, formerly colonel of one of the Swiss
regiments; General Castaños brought up the troops of Andalusia. The orders
of the emperor were precise; General Dupont was not to repass the Sierra
Morena, he was not to retreat on Andalusia.

In the hitherto restricted sphere of his operations, General Dupont had
shown himself constantly bold and successful under chiefs more skilful and
more experienced than himself; but left to his own resources, he knew not
how to profit by his advantages, nor choose his quarters advantageously.
The food of the troops was bad and insufficient, and the sick were
numerous; isolated in the midst of a country passionately hostile, without
means of information as to the enemy's movements, without news of Madrid
or the government, the French remained stationary, sad and depressed.
General Vedel occupied Baylen, General Gobert La Carolina; thus they
commanded the defiles of the mountain.

On the 14th July, General Castaños appeared before Andujar, while the
corps of Reding threatened Baylen; the imprudent movement of our troops
had uncovered this last position. General Dupont was informed of this.

He resolved to march himself upon Baylen, but he was encumbered with an
immense train of baggage, and by numerous sick, whom he would not abandon
to the cruelties of the enemy; the movement was deferred till the next
day, the 18th July. At the approach of night the army began its march. The
heat was still suffocating. A great number of soldiers, suffering from
dysentery, had been unable to find a place in the wagons, and dragged
themselves behind the train, scarcely able to bear the weight of their
arms. The anxiety of General Dupont was entirely for his rearguard; he
feared that General Castaños, informed of his movements by the hundreds of
voluntary spies who served the Spanish cause, would throw himself on his
rear. The vanguard was feeble, composed of young and undisciplined
soldiers; when it deployed at three in the morning, on the rocky banks of
the Rumblar, the Spanish posts occupied the passage. Before the combat,
the soldiers rushed towards the bed of the torrent. It was dried up. "The
Spaniards have taken away the river!" cried the French, even then disposed
to treat painful thoughts with gayety. The Spanish battalions barred the
route of Baylen, which General Reding had occupied the previous day.

Worn out by the heat, by thirst, by the march, our soldiers charged the
enemy, and drove them back as far as the plain of Baylen. There lay
extended before us the Spanish army, in front of the little town, in an
amphitheatre of hills, covered with olive-trees. The Spanish artillery was
formidable: the field-pieces brought up by the French were soon
dismounted. The centre of the Spanish army remained solid, and even the
charges of cavalry could not break it. When at last the front ranks opened
under the shock of the horses, or the steel of the bayonets, the lines
reformed at the end of the plain, always pitilessly barring the road. The
cannonade did not slacken for a single instant.

The soldiers began to show signs of discouragement, and the officers
proposed to the general to abandon the sick and the baggage, and to form
into a compact mass, in order to open a passage by force in the direction
of La Carolina, occupied by General Vedel. Dupont expected his lieutenant
every moment. He refused to abandon his train, and vainly renewed the
attack on all the length of the Spanish lines. Up to this time the Swiss
regiments in the service of France, mixed with our soldiers, and marching
in our ranks, had remained faithful; the bad fortune of our arms, the view
of their comrades fighting among the Spaniards under a chief of their
race, triumphed at last over their good resolutions--they deserted in a
body. At the same moment the sound of cannon was heard in the distance,
but it was not in the direction of La Carolina, it was at the bridge of
Rumblar: General Castaños arrived to crush us.

This was too much, and the unfortunate General Dupont was to show on this
day that he was not one of those whose courage defies fortune. "Find
General Reding," said he to one of his officers, "and ask from him a
suspension of arms." The battle was already ceasing of its own accord, on
account of the extreme fatigue of the troops. The Spanish general gave the
order to cease firing, but said, however, to the officer who had been
sent, "The truce must be ratified by General Castaños." General de la
Peña, who commanded the vanguard, accepted the same conditions. "The
French army must surrender at discretion," he said haughtily, "for the
present let us rest ourselves." The aide-de-camp of General Dupont went
forward to General Castaños, in order to obtain his assent to the truce. A
melancholy sadness weighed upon both officers and men; the general-in-
chief, formerly brilliant, bold, even emphatically eloquent, hid his
despair inside his tent; scarcely would he listen to the voice of those
who surrounded him. Broken down by his misfortune, he had lost all energy
and all presence of mind.

The same fault of irresolution and despair seems to have taken hold on
General Vedel. He had resolved to return to Baylen, of which he too late
understood the importance. But the troops were worn out, he was forced to
allow them a day of rest. Since three o'clock in the morning of the 19th,
the continual echo of the cannon announced to the least vigilant the
coming engagement. The division began its march at five o'clock, at eleven
it had only advanced half-way; the men left their ranks at every moment to
seek a drop of water in the rocks. The cannon was heard more faintly; at
noon it was heard no more. It was five o'clock when, in the midst of
silence, the corps which had been so impatiently expected debouched above
Baylen. The Spaniards guarded all the passages; an officer appeared
announcing the truce. General Vedel refused to believe it. He sent off an
aide-de-camp to ascertain the truth from General Reding. "If you do not
return in half-an-hour," said he, "I shall commence firing." At the given
moment, having no news from their emissary, the French sounded the charge,
and already a battalion of Spanish infantry had been surrounded, while the
cuirassiers advanced at full gallop; at the same instant the officers of
the enemy, accompanied by an aide-de-camp of General Dupont, came up to
Vedel. The orders of the general-in-chief were precise, they must cease
firing. The negotiations had commenced. General Castaños marched on

The enthusiasm and triumph of the Spaniards did not give him time to
arrive there. The general of engineers, Marescot, had been charged with
the sad duty of treating with the Spaniards. General de la Peña, still
posted at the bridge of Rumblar, threatened to crush the unfortunate army
caught between his corps and that of General Reding. "I must have an
answer in two hours," said he, repeating at the same time his only
condition, "the French army must surrender at discretion."

General Dupont appealed to his lieutenants, general officers, and
colonels; all declared that the soldiers would not fight. The general-in-
chief surveyed the ranks some moments; his courage failed him entirely.
"Our honor is saved," repeated the members of the council of war, "we have
done yesterday all that men could do." One resource remained to them, to
die to the last man in endeavoring to rejoin General Vedel. They had the
misfortune not to try this last and glorious chance. The capitulation was
resolved on. Don Castaños entertained the French officers while hatred
shone in the eyes of all his staff. Polite, and full of attention to the
vanquished, the Spanish general remained wholly inflexible. All the
divisions of the army of Andalusia, engaged or not in the battle of
Baylen, were to be comprised in the capitulation.

The conditions were about to be signed, the French troops were authorized
to retreat on Madrid; the Barbou division alone commanded by General
Dupont, was to be disarmed. At the same instant a letter from General
Savary to General Dupont was brought by the mountaineers, into whose hands
it had fallen. The aide-de-camp of the emperor announced a general
concentration of the troops of the south at Madrid, and General Dupont was
ordered to take the road to La Mancha. The Spaniards could not allow their
victory to serve the designs of the emperor. General Castaños immediately
declared to the French negotiators that the conditions were changed, and
communicated to them the letter of General Savary. Overwhelmed by this new
blow, General Marescot and his companions saw themselves forced to give up
the Barbou division prisoners of war; the two other corps were to be
transported to France under the Spanish flag; the officers retained their
baggage, but the knapsacks of the soldiers were to be submitted to
examination. "All Spaniards believe the sacred vessels of Cordova are in
the bags of your soldiers," said General Castaños.

While the wretched negotiators accepted a capitulation which delivered
them to their enemies, Vedel had proposed to General Dupont to attempt a
new attack; he sent at the same time one of his aides-de-camp to plead the
cause of his division. At one time Dupont authorized Vedel to save, at any
price, his troops, and those of General Dufour's, by taking in forced
marches the road to Madrid. Already Vedel had obeyed, and hastened across
the defiles of the Sierra Morena, but the news of his departure was not
long in coming to the camp of the Spaniards. They accused the French of
breaking the truce, and threatened to immediately massacre the Barbou
division, which found itself at that time completely surrounded. The
Spanish negotiators broke out into fury, overwhelming with insults the
unhappy officers charged to treat with them. Heroism had disappeared from
their souls. They hastened to the tent of the general-in-chief, still
plunged in melancholy dejection. He gave way at last, and to his eternal
dishonor, and that of the men who tore from him this cowardly concession,
he sent to General Vedel the order to retrace his steps, and to submit
with his soldiers to the lot the capitulation reserved for him.

Like General Dupont, Vedel consulted his lieutenants. At first all refused
a submission which would lead to their destruction. A new messenger came,
throwing on them all the responsibility of the inevitable massacre of
their comrades. They gave way, and with despair in their souls they slowly
retraced their steps; as the sole solace to their sufferings they still
retained their arms, while they saw their unhappy comrades defile before
the Spanish army laying down their muskets at the feet of the victors.
During three days the troops had not received any food; the Spaniards had
counted on hunger as well as defeat to lead the French to capitulate. At
last they got some food, and soon the columns began their march. The ports
of embarkation had been fixed upon.

They advanced slowly, for from all the towns, villages, and scattered
houses, flocked multitudes in fury, who insulted the frightful misfortune
of our soldiers. General Castaños, moderate in his triumph, had said to
the French negotiators, "De la Cuesta, Blake, and myself, were not of the
same opinion as the insurgents. We yielded to the national movement; but
this movement is becoming so unanimous that it has a chance of success.
Let Napoleon not insist upon an impossible conquest, let him not force us
to throw ourselves into the arms of the English. Let him give us back our
king, and the two nations will be forever reconciled."

It was in fact the same thought, clothed in offensive language that Thomas
de Morla, the chief of the insurrection at Cadiz, flung at General Dumont
when he complained of the bad treatment undergone by his soldiers. "Your
excellency forces me to express truths which must be bitter to you. What
right have you to insist on the execution of a treaty concluded in favor
of an army which entered Spain under the mask of alliance and friendship,
which has imprisoned our king and his family, sacked his palaces,
assassinated and robbed his subjects, ravaged his country, usurped his
crown? How it would rouse the populace to know that a single one of your
soldiers was the possessor of 2180 livres!"

The pillage of Cordova had been exaggerated by the public imagination, and
served the chiefs of the insurrection to justify their want of faith. The
entire army of Andalusia was detained under various pretexts. The Junta of
Seville refused to ratify the capitulation. The divisions of Dufour and
Vedel saw their army taken away, and 20,000 men of those French troops,
who up to the present time had been accustomed to victory, remained during
long years prisoners of war, subjected to the worst treatment, slowly
decimated by sickness and sorrow. Spain first gave to the world the
spectacle of a successful resistance to the oppression the Emperor
Napoleon had made to weigh upon all nations.

We understand by sad experience the astonishment and anger which seized
upon our armies everywhere when they heard of the capitulation of Baylen.
This name has remained fixed as an indelible stain on the memory of the
men who concluded it in a moment of despair, after numerous faults, of
which the most unpardonable cannot be imputed to them. Perhaps in his
secret thought, Napoleon began to foresee the difficulties of the
enterprise he had undertaken against Spain; perhaps he comprehended his
error, but his indignation was excessive, and broke out in his words as
well as letters. There was also a shade of discouragement when he wrote to
King Joseph, on the 3rd August, "My brother, the knowledge I have that you
are struggling, my friend, with events foreign to your habits as well as
to your natural character, pains me. Dupont has dishonored our flag. What
stupidity! What baseness! Those men will be taken by the English. Events
of such a nature require my presence at Paris. Germany, Poland, Italy, all
join together. My sorrow is really great when I think that I cannot be at
this moment with you, and in the midst of my soldiers. I have given orders
to Ney to go there. He is a man of honor, zeal, and thorough courage. If
you get accustomed to Ney, he might command the army. You will have
100,000 men, and Spain will be conquered in the autumn. A suspension of
arms, made by Savary, might perhaps lead to commanding and directing the
insurgents; we shall hear what they say. I think that, so far as your
personal likings go, you care little for reigning over the Spaniards."

At the moment when Napoleon was writing these lines, King Joseph retreated
before the enemy, and abandoned his capital. Deprived of the succor that
General Dupont was to have brought, the defenders of Madrid did not
consider the concentration of troops sufficiently considerable to protect
the Castiles against the ever-rising flood of the national insurrection.
"The emperor could hold his own here," said Savary, "but what is possible
to him is not so to the others." It was resolved to make a stand on the
line of the Ebro; King Joseph quitted Madrid, abandoned by the intimate
servants of his household, as well as by a certain number of his
ministers. 2000 domestics of the palace had fled for fear of being forced
to follow the royal retreat. Burgos not appearing to be a retreat
sufficiently sure, the monarch and his little court soon established
themselves at Vittoria. After a second assault, as sanguinary and without
result as the first, General Verdier, recalled to the Ebro, found himself
obliged to abandon the siege of Saragossa. Already the position of the
French in Spain became defensive, and the fears of King Joseph increased.
"I can only repeat, once for all, that nearly all the grand army is
marching, and that between this and autumn Spain will be inundated with
troops," wrote the emperor, on the 9th of August. "You must try to
preserve the line of the Douro to maintain a communication with Portugal.
The English are not much, they never have more than a quarter of the
troops they announce. Lord Wellesley has not 4000 men. Besides, they are
intended, I believe, for Portugal."

It was in truth on Portugal that the efforts of England were directed at
this moment, as she discerned clearly that there lay the true road to
Spain. In Galicia, as well as Andalusia, the Spanish insurgents had
refused the active intervention of the English. Sir Arthur Wellesley, who
at first appeared before Corunna, contented himself by furnishing the
suspicious Spaniards with ammunition and money, and on the 1st August he
appeared at the mouth of the Mondego, in Portugal. His fleet carried
10,000 English troops. A reinforcement of 4000 men was shortly expected.

For two months General Junot had been isolated in Portugal, separated from
Spain by the insurrection of the frontier provinces, menaced by a similar
rising of the Portuguese nation, already chafing under the foreign yoke,
and sure of soon seeing England hasten to the succor of her faithful ally.
He understood his danger, and, assembling around him his troops, recalled
General Kellermann from Elvas and General Loison from Almeida. The
insurrection already commenced around them, when Sir Arthur Wellesley set
foot on the Portuguese soil. The French did not hold more than four or
five towns. The entire people was in insurrection. But General Junot still
occupied Lisbon; his forces were unfortunately diminished by the garrisons
left in the forts, and by a corps of observation that had been detached
under the orders of General Delaborde. After a courageous resistance, this
vanguard of the French army had been already beaten when the English
advanced on Vimeiro. Junot marched against them with an army of twelve or
thirteen thousand men. The English numbered about 18,000. The arrival of
Sir John Moore with his brigade was announced.

An unfortunate respect for the rights of seniority had placed Sir Arthur
Wellesley under the orders of Sir Henry Burrard, and the latter under the
command of Sir Hew Dalrymple, who had already left Gibraltar to place
himself at the head of the army. The instructions of Wellesley obliged him
to wait at Vimeiro for the arrival of Sir John Moore. General Junot wished
to anticipate the reinforcements, and attacked the English on the 31st
August, in the morning.

Sir Arthur Wellesley occupied the heights of Vimeiro; behind him were
precipices, and all retreat was impossible. The access to the rocks was
difficult; a strong artillery protected all the positions. When the French
advanced to the assault of this natural fortress, they could not at first
reach the English lines. General Kellermann alone succeeded in scaling the
steep slopes which led to the enemy, and was received by a deadly fire,
which forced him to retire. Our cavalry superior to that of the English,
was useless in this difficult attack; its only duty was constantly to
protect the corps of infantry, repulsed one after another. The English
army had not moved. At noon, General Junot ordered the retreat. Sir Arthur
Wellesley, always on watch on the heights, was already on the move to
follow and crush those who had been unable to make him lose an inch of
ground; but Sir Henry Burrard had arrived, and the command passed into his
hands. He was opposed to all thought of pursuit. Junot took the road to
Torres Vedras. Sir Arthur Wellesley listened with mingled respect and
impatience to the arguments of his chief, and, turning towards his staff,
"After this, gentlemen," said he, "we have only to go and shoot the red

General Junot had comprehended better than his adversary the danger which
threatened him; he felt the impossibility of maintaining himself in a
country suddenly become hostile, in face of an English army already
superior to his own, and soon to be reinforced by excellent troops.
General Kellermann was charged to treat, at first for an armistice, then
for the convention bearing the name of Cintra, which provided honorably
for the evacuation of Portugal by the French generals. The conditions
accorded were so favorable that public opinion in England accused the
negotiators of it as a crime, of which the obloquy weighed some time on
Sir Arthur Wellesley. He had not, however, been too favorable to it. "Ten
days after the battle of the 21st," he wrote to Lord Castlereagh, "we are
less advanced than we might and ought to have been on the evening of the
battle." The Emperor Napoleon had, for his part, manifested some
discontent at the convention, which brought back to France all his troops
free from engagement, and possessing their arms. "I was going to send
Junot before a council of war," said he; "but, happily, the English have
been before me in sending their generals, and have thus spared me the
mortification of punishing an old friend." The confidence of Napoleon
remained, however, shaken with respect to his officer. "Everything which
was not a triumph he looked upon as a defeat," said the Duchess of
Abrantes in her memoirs.

It often happened to Napoleon to judge unjustly of men and things, because
he appreciated them exclusively from a personal and selfish point of view.
Thus, he accused of treason the Marquis de la Romana and his brave
companions. After the battle of Friedland, the Spanish battalions wrung in
1807 from the shameful terror of the Prince de la Paix, were sent by
Napoleon to regions which would appear the most fatal to the temperament
and habits of southern people. They had been confided to the King of
Denmark, and charged to protect from the English his little kingdom,
hitherto so cruelly oppressed by them. The health of the troops was,
however, excellent when the news came to them of the general rising which
had taken place in Spain, and the unforeseen success of the national
resistance. They immediately conceived the thought of returning to their
country, to join their efforts to those of their countrymen. An English
squadron, under the orders of Admiral Keith, appeared suddenly on the
coasts of Jutland, at the entrance to Niborg, in the island of Funen.
Immediately the Marquis de la Romana, with difficulty warned by secret
advices, seized the fishing-boats, which were numerous on the coast; then,
making himself master of the citadel and port of Niborg, and crossing two
arms of the sea, he assembled around him all those of his companions-in-
arms who were within reach. He arrived at the English fleet, and sailed
towards Gothenburg, from which place he put to sea for Spain. Several
regiments far in the interior of the land could not be warned in time, and
remained prisoners of war. One of them, having by chance heard of the
enterprise of their comrades, succeeded in rejoining them at the exact
moment of their embarkation, after a march long even for Spaniards. In the
middle of September, they at last landed in Galicia amidst the joyous
acclamations of the people.

At Vittoria the unhappy King of Spain continually received one after
another news which damped his courage and convinced his reason of the
futility of all attempts to support his throne. On the 9th of August he
wrote to the Emperor Napoleon: "I do not think it possible to treat with
the insurgent chiefs; all their heads are turned; no one has sufficient
direction of affairs or influence enough upon the masses to lead them in a
determinate manner. On the supposition that France will gratuitously spend
her blood and treasure to place and maintain me on the throne of Spain, I
cannot hide from your Majesty that I cannot endure the thought of any
other than your Majesty commanding the French armies in Spain. If I become
the conqueror of this country by the horrors of a war in which every
individual Spaniard takes part, I shall be long an object of terror and
execration. I am too old to have time for repairing so many evils, and I
shall have sown too much hatred during the war to be able to gather in my
last years the fruit of the good that I may be able to do during peace.
Your Majesty sees, then, that even by this hypothesis--that of the
conquest and establishment of the monarchy--that I should not desire to
reign in Spain.... This nation is more concentrated in its sentiments than
any other people of Europe; it has something of the character of the
peoples of Africa, which is peculiar to itself. Your Majesty cannot form
an idea, because certainly no one has ever told you, in what degree the
name of your Majesty is execrated. This, then, is what I desire: to keep
the command of the army sufficiently long to beat the enemy, return to
Madrid with the army, because it left with me, and from this capital put
forth a decree to the effect that I renounce reigning over a people I
should be obliged to reduce by force of arms; and I return to Naples with
wishes for the happiness of Spain, and the desire to effect the welfare of
the Two Sicilies. In resigning to your Majesty the rights I hold from you,
you will make of them whatever use your wisdom will indicate. I beg, then,
your Majesty to suspend all operations relative to the kingdom of Naples.
The means will not be wanting to your Majesty for compensating the prince
you wished to place on the throne of Naples; for the rest, exact justice
and affection plead in my favor in your Majesty's heart." And two days
later he wrote: "It would take 200,000 Frenchmen to conquer Spain, and a
hundred thousand scaffolds to maintain the prince who should be condemned
to reign over them. No, sire, you do not know this people; each house will
be a fortress, and every man of the same mind as the majority. I repeat
but one thing, which will suffice as an example; not a Spaniard will be on
my side if we are conquerors; we cannot find a guide or a spy. Four hours
before the battle of Rio-Seco, Marshal Bessières did not know where the
enemy was. Every one who speaks or writes differently either lies or is

On the 15th of July the kingdom of Naples had been solemnly conferred on
"Prince Joachim Murat, Grand Duke of Cleves and Berg." The haughty
obstinacy of Napoleon, his habit of conquering, and the growing want of
the prestige of victory, did not permit him to admit for a single instant
the modest pretensions of King Joseph. He was already preparing to pass
into Spain, counting upon success as soon as his presence should inspire
his generals with foresight and boldness. Other cares had till this time
detained him from this expedition, which became more necessary every day.
Already, for a long time, Napoleon had nourished suspicions of the loyalty
of Austria. On several occasions he had, not without reason, accused her
of making armaments and hostile preparations. The occupation of Rome and
the events of Spain had, on the other side, increased the distrust and
irritation of Vienna. The Archduke Charles, usually favorably inclined
towards France, exclaimed, "Well, if we must, we will die with arms in our
hands; but they shall not dispose of the crown of Austria as easily as
they have disposed of the crown of Spain!"

Napoleon had scarcely arrived at Paris, returning from a long journey in
France, when a great fête had assembled around him all the diplomatic body
(15th August, 1808). His anger broke out against Austria, as it had
previously broken out against England in his celebrated interview with
Lord Whitworth. The frequent menaces of Champagny had not intimidated
Metternich, at that time Austrian ambassador in Paris. The emperor
advanced suddenly towards him: "Austria wishes, then, to make war against
us? She wishes to frighten me?..." And without listening to the pacific
protestations of the prince, "Why, then, these immense preparations? They
are defensive, you say. But who attacks you, to make you think so much of
defence? Is not all peaceful around you? Since the peace of Presburg, has
there been the slightest disagreement between you and me? Have not all our
relations together been extremely amicable? And yet you have suddenly
raised a cry of alarm; you have put in motion all your population; your
princes have overrun your provinces; your proclamations have summoned the
people to the defence of the country; your proclamations and measures are
those which you used when I was at Leoben.

"You are well aware that I ask nothing from you, and make no claim upon
you, and that I even regard the preservation of your power in the present
state of affairs as useful to the European system, and to the interests of
France. I have encamped my troops to keep them fit for marching. They do
not camp in France, because that costs too much; they camp abroad, where
it is less expensive. My camps have been distributed; none of them
threatens you. In the excess of my security I dismantled all the places of
Silesia. I am ready to remove my camps, if that is necessary to your

"In the meantime what will happen? You have raised 400,000 men; I am about
to raise 200,000. Germany, who was beginning to breathe after so many
ruinous wars, is about to see again all her wounds reopened. I shall
reconstruct the places of Silesia, instead of evacuating that province and
the Prussian States, as I wished to do. Europe will be all up in arms.
Soon the very women must become soldiers.

"Those are the evils you have produced, and, as I believe, without
intending it. In such a state of things, when the strain everywhere is so
great, war will soon become desirable, in order to hasten the end. A sharp
pain, if short, is better than prolonged suffering.

"But if you are as disposed for peace as you allege, it is necessary that
you speak out, that you countermand the measures which have excited so
dangerous a fermentation, and that all Europe be convinced that you wish
for peace. It is necessary that all should proclaim your good intentions,
justified by your acts as well as your language."

Definitively, and as a proof of Austria's submission, Napoleon asked for a
recognition of King Joseph. On this special demand--which no doubt was
made less harsh in form by the report of Champagny, which has been
preserved--Austria did not give way, nor did she refuse: she delayed,
still constantly and unobtrusively engaged in warlike preparations, which
were actively pushed forward by the Archduke Charles and Stadion, the
prime minister.

Napoleon wished to intimidate Austria, his bold foresight assuring him of
her hostility. He required several months for his Spanish expedition.
Finding it necessary to send new troops into the Peninsula, he was obliged
to quit the countries which were occupied, and at last put an end to the
long suspense imposed upon Prussia, and aggravated by intolerable war-
contributions. Prince William, appointed by his brother to the painful
mission, had in vain tried to obtain favorable conditions. Napoleon
feeling the necessity of recalling his forces, fixed at 140,000,000 the
sum still left of what had been demanded from Prussia; but before signing
the treaty the conqueror exacted more than one sacrifice. The French
continued to occupy Stettin, Custrin, Glogau on the Oder, and Magdeburg on
the Elbe: a secret article forbade Prussia to raise an army for ten years
of more than 42,000 men. No militia was allowed; and in case war should
break out in Germany, King Frederick William undertook to supply the
Emperor Napoleon with an auxiliary force of 16,000 men.

To those painful conditions Napoleon added another, which was entirely
personal and political. "I have asked for Stein's dismissal from the
cabinet," wrote the emperor to Marshal Soult on the 10th September;
"without that the King of Prussia will not recover his states. I have
sequestrated his property in Westphalia."

Baron Stein resigned, but continued working ardently in reviving and
fostering the national spirit in Germany against the Emperor Napoleon, as
he had been preparing for more than a year. He began an able and prudent
scheme of reform, which was continued by his colleagues after his fall.
The convention of the 8th September, 1808, being signed between France and
Prussia, King Frederick William took possession of his diminished states,
and the Emperor Alexander was freed from the importunities of the
unfortunate sufferers, who blamed him for their lot. Napoleon feeling the
need of drawing closer the alliance with Russia, an interview was agreed
upon between the two emperors, and Erfurt was chosen for the scene of the
illustrious interview.

The Emperor Alexander had looked with secret satisfaction upon the events
in Spain. Constantly influenced by the hopes by which Napoleon had dazzled
him at Tilsit, and haunted by that passion for obtaining Constantinople
which had so long been common to all the Russian sovereigns, he had
accepted without any difficulty the spoliation of the Spanish Bourbons, in
order to justify beforehand the spoliations in which he was interested.
The national rising of the Spanish people served his design: the all-
powerful conqueror had met with a serious resistance, undergone checks,
and had need of the moral support of his allies; their material assistance
might be needed. Alexander reckoned upon gaining at Erfurt the cession of
that 'cat's tongue which was the key of the Bosphorus,' and which he
coveted so eagerly. He set out from St. Petersburg on the 7th of
September, somewhat against the will of his mother and the "Russian
party," and with but few attendants.

The Emperor Napoleon, on the contrary, had assembled at Erfurt all the
resources of French elegance, joined to the brilliance which is
inseparable from a powerful and victorious court. All the small princes of
Germany were present, and the great sovereigns sent their most able
representatives. The celebrated actors of the Théâtre Français, with Talma
at their head, were appointed to amuse the two emperors in the intervals
of business. The representation of _Cinna_ was the first of a series of
master-pieces of the French stage. The emperor forbade comedies, saying
that the Germans did not understand Molière.

A fortnight was thus spent in the midst of the most magnificent fêtes
combined with serious negotiations. Napoleon decided to at once abandon
the Danubian provinces to his ally, though resolved never to grant
Constantinople. After long conferences between Champagny and Romanzoff, as
to the suitable form to give to this division of other people's property
which was to render the Franco-Russian alliance indissoluble, the
convention was signed on the 12th October. Both emperors agreed to address
to England a formal demand for immediate peace, the base of the
negotiations to be the _uti possidetis_, that is to say, the
acknowledgment of conquests and occupations which were already
accomplished. France was only to agree to a peace which should secure
Finland, Wallachia, and Moldavia to Russia; and Russia only to one which
should secure to France all her possessions, including the crown of Spain
for King Joseph.

Supposing the negotiations or acts of the two powers for the execution of
the treaty should bring on war with Austria, France and Russia made
promises of mutual support: their hostilities were to be in common. At the
urgent request of Alexander, the Emperor Napoleon granted a reduction of
20,000,000 on the war-contribution of Prussia. At the same time, and by
the clever mediation of Talleyrand, he threw out a hint to the young Czar
that he wished to be united to him by family alliance. "The emperor had
resolved to have recourse to a divorce," said the prince, "and his
thoughts turned naturally towards the sisters of his ally and his dearest
friend." Alexander blushed, being by no means all-powerful in the bosom of
his family, and the empress-mother having a strong dislike to Napoleon.
Complimentary and friendly attentions, therefore, could not remove reserve
on this delicate point. The two emperors separated on the 14th October,
after hunting together on the plain of Jena, and supping and chatting
familiarly with Goethe and Wieland, at Weimar. Germany showed every
attention to her conqueror, while silently preparing to take revenge.

The Emperor Napoleon on returning to Paris finished his preparations for
the Spanish campaign. He had told King Joseph, when in Erfurt, that he
should march as soon as the Corps Législatif was opened. On the 1st
October he had put in the mouth of Champagny suitable arguments to prepare
the way for a new levy of soldiers. In his report to the emperor, the
Foreign Minister thus publicly denounced the ingratitude of the Spanish

"Your Majesty hoped to prevent the return of the troubles in Spain, by
means of persuasion and by measures of a wise and humane policy.
Intervening as a mediator in the midst of the divided Spanish, your
Majesty indicated to them the safety of a wise and prudent constittution,
suitable for providing every want, and in which liberal ideas are
reconciled with those ancient institutions which Spain wished to preserve.

"Your Majesty's expectation was deceived. Private interests, the intrigues
of the foreigner, and his corrupting gold, have prevailed over the
influence which you had a right to exercise. The Spanish people having
shaken off the yoke of authority, aspired to govern. The intrigues of the
agents of the Inquisition, the influence of the monks, who are so numerous
in Spain, and who dreaded reform, have at this critical moment occasioned
the insurrection of several Spanish provinces, in which the voice of wise
men has been disavowed or smothered, and several of them made the victims
of their courageous opposition to the disorderly populace. We have seen a
frightful anarchy spreading over the greater part of Spain. Will your
Majesty allow England to be able to say that Spain is one of her
provinces, and that her flag, driven from the Baltic, the northern seas,
the Levant, and even the Persian coasts, rules over the gates of France?
Never, sire.

"To avoid so great disgrace and misfortune, there are two millions of
brave men ready, if need be, to cross the Pyrenees; and the English will
be driven out of the Peninsula."

In expectation of the supreme effort thus boldly proclaimed, the Senate
ordered a levy of 160,000 men, anticipating by sixteen months the regular
call. The recruits were intended to replace in Germany the trained
soldiers of the Grande Armée, who had already started to go to Spain, and
were everywhere fêted in the towns they passed through. Skilled in all the
plans by which great success is procured, the emperor, on the 3rd of
September, had written to Cretet, Minister of the Interior: "Give order,
so that the town of Metz may fête the troops as they pass through; and as
the town is not rich enough, I shall give three francs a man, but all must
be done in the name of the town. The municipal body will make a speech to
them, treat them, give the officers dinners, get triumphal arches raised
at the gates through which they pass, and put inscriptions on them. Give
the same order for the town of Nancy, which is the place where the central
column will pass. As for the column of the right, it will be fêted at
Rheims. I wish you to see that the prefects of departments on their route
pay special attention to the troops, and in every way keep up the
enthusiasm which animates them and their love of glory. Speeches, verses,
shows gratis, dinners,--that is what I expect from the citizens for the
soldiers returning victorious." On the 17th, with the list of towns which
had responded to his call as well as those from which he expected the same
display: "Get songs written in Paris, and send them to the different
towns. These songs will tell of the glory gained by the army and that it
is still to gain, of the liberty of the seas which will result from its
victories. These songs will be sung at the dinners which will be given.
Get three kinds of songs made, so that the soldier may not hear the same
sung twice."

It was not without secret emotion and an inquietude which showed itself by
numerous heroical declamations, that the Emperor Napoleon himself passed
into Spain with his old troops, which had gained for him the sovereign
rule in Europe. For the first time in his military career, he felt himself
face to face with the spontaneous resistance of a people. "Soldiers," said
he to the regiments which were to march before him on the Spanish soil,
"after triumphing on the banks of the Danube and Vistula, you have crossed
Germany by forced marches; and now I make you cross France without
allowing you a moment's rest. Soldiers, I have need of you. The hateful
presence of the leopard contaminates the continents of Spain and Portugal;
let him fly in terror at the sight of us. Let us carry our eagles in
triumph as far as the columns of Hercules; there also we have outrages to
avenge. Soldiers, you have surpassed the renown of modern armies, but have
you equalled the glories of the armies of Rome, which in one campaign
triumphed on the Rhine and the Euphrates, in Illyria and on the Tagus? A
long peace and lasting prosperity will be the fruit of your labors. A true
Frenchman neither can nor ought to rest till the seas are open and freed.
Soldiers, all that you have done, all that you will yet do for the
happiness of the French people, for my glory, will remain eternally in my

According to the custom of constitutional monarchies, the English cabinet
replied to the personal letter addressed to King George III. by the two
emperors. Without formally rejecting the overtures of peace, Canning urged
that all the allies of England ought to have been admitted to the
negotiation; and he included in the list of allies the Kings of Naples,
Portugal, Sweden, and even the Spanish insurgents, although no formal
treaty had yet been concluded with them. Soon after, to put an end to the
pretence of negotiation, an official declaration of the British Government
announced to the world that England could not treat with two courts, one
of which dethroned legitimate kings and kept them prisoners, while the
other assisted from interested motives. Resolved "to attack by every means
a usurpation to which there was nothing comparable in the history of the
world, Great Britain will never abandon the generous Spanish nation, nor
any of the people who, though at present hesitating, may soon shake off
the yoke which oppresses them." For the future all pretences disappeared,
and the struggle began afresh between the Emperor Napoleon and England.
The latter had long been looking for a ground of attack against the
conqueror; now at last it was supplied by the Spanish soil and people.

It is extremely painful to have to prove the injustice of a course which
is naturally dear to us. That is bitterly felt at every step during the
long years of the war of Spain, in presence of the generous efforts of a
people who, with arms in their hands, vindicated their national liberty
and independence. The first outbursts of the Spanish insurrection showed
this with a brilliancy that soon partially disappeared. The efforts of the
English their courage and feats of arms, were soon to eclipse to some
extent the obstinate animosity of the Spanish. The long series of checks
which began on Napoleon's arrival was sufficient to prove with what a
decisive weight the alliance which they were soon to conclude with Great
Britain weighed in the balance of their destinies.

Setting out from Paris on the 29th October, the emperor, on arriving at
Bayonne, showed great anger at the delay in the preparations, the bad
state of the roads and the shortness of supplies. "You will see how
disgracefully I am served," he wrote to General Dejean, in charge of the
war administration. "I have only 7000 cloaks instead of 50,000; 15,000
pairs of shoes instead of 129,000. I am in want of everything; my army is
naked, and yet we are entering on a campaign. Yet I have spent a great
deal of money, which is so much thrown into the sea."

Napoleon's displeasure was not diminished when he reached Vittoria. He had
beforehand forbidden the attempt upon Madrid which King Joseph proposed to
him, mistrusting his brother's military skill. "The military art is an art
the principles of which must never be violated," he wrote, in some
observations of great sense and force. "To change one's line of operation
is an operation of genius; to lose it, is an operation so serious that it
constitutes a crime in the general who is guilty of it. If, before taking
Madrid, organizing the army there, with military stores for eight or ten
days, and providing sufficient supplies, one had just been defeated, what
would become of that army? where could they rally? where transport their
wounded? whence draw their war supplies, having nothing but provisions for
a short time? We need say no more; those who have the courage to advise
such a measure would be the first to lose their head so soon as the result
proved the madness of their procedure. With an army entirely composed of
men like those of the guard and commanded by the most able general--
Alexander or Caesar, if they could act with such folly--one could answer
for nothing; much more therefore in the circumstances in which the army of
Spain is placed. In war everything depends on opinion--opinion as to the
enemy, opinion as to one's own soldiers. When a battle is lost, the
difference between the conquered and the conqueror is but trifling; yet
opinion makes it immeasurable, because two or three squadrons are then
sufficient to produce a great effect. Nothing has been done to give
confidence to the French; there is not a soldier but sees that timidity
pervades everything, and therefore forms from that his opinion of the
enemy. He has no other data for knowing what is opposed to him except what
is told him, and the bearing which he is expected to assume."

By a chance which prudent minds might have anticipated, but which
astonished and confounded the inexperience of the insurgent leaders, the
national rising, which lately was universal, irresistible, and triumphant,
lost all its power and energy immediately after the victory of Baylen. The
hesitation and inaction of King Joseph, his government, and his army, had
met with an unexpected counterpart in their adversaries.

It is often a difficult undertaking, even when desired and concerted
beforehand, to stir up an entire nation and animate them for war; and when
their rising is spontaneous, brought on by the same patriotic and
revolutionary idea, it is a still more difficult undertaking to organize
their efforts and direct aright their impassioned impulses. After the
first shock, which had agitated Spain from one extremity to the other,
after the formation of provincial or municipal Juntas, after the success
of some of the insurgent generals, the trial of government suddenly
presented itself to the leaders of the national movement. It was necessary
to command all those proud and independent men, intoxicated with a new
liberty and an ancient self-respect; it was necessary at any cost to get
from them obedience, for Napoleon was at hand--he, the master of so many
armies waiting for his bidding, and who at his will had made princes and
kings bend down. The Spanish alone had resisted him successfully; how were
they to keep up and continue the resistance?

With considerable difficulty, a central Junta was formed at Aranjuez,
composed of delegates from the local Juntas, too numerous to be a council
of government, and too restricted to possess, or even claim, the rights of
a representative assembly. The new Junta wished to exercise absolute
authority. The Council of Castile had proposed that the Cortes be
assembled, but most of the generals were opposed to a measure which
necessarily tended to diminish their power. The Cortes were not assembled,
and the Junta called all the Spaniards to arms.

Though the patriotic ardor in Spain was undoubtedly great, and the
patriotic uneasiness profound, the results of the general rising were
insufficient, and came greatly short of the hopes of the insurrectional
government. About 100,000 men were mustered when the military organization
was decided upon by the Junta. Three main armies--that of the left, under
the orders of General Blake; that of the centre, under General Castanos;
that of the right, under Palafox--were to combine their operations in
order to surround the French army. A fourth army, called the reserve, was
to be afterwards formed; and the troops scattered over Catalonia were
ordered to defend that province against General Duhesme. In spite of the
repugnance inspired by foreign assistance to Spanish pride, the Junta had
accepted the assistance of an English army, which had already collected at
Lisbon, under the orders of Sir John Moore. He had marched across
Portugal, and his lieutenant, Sir David Baird, was bringing him
reinforcements from England, which afterwards joined him at Corunna. These
forces and resources were sufficient to harass the French army, and make
an easy occupation of Spain impossible; but not sufficient to keep up a
regular war against the first troops in the world. The Spanish, as well as
the English, soon found the truth of this.

Before Napoleon arrived at Vittoria, several battles had already taken
place, generally favorable to the French army, though it was badly led,
and had its forces scattered, instead of concentrated, as the emperor
wished them to be, for his ready use. He bitterly blamed Marshals Lefebvre
and Victor, and already the presence of the general who had been
everywhere victorious was being promptly felt in the management of the
army and the vigor of the operations. Marshal Soult had been sent to
attack Burgos, then protected by 12,000 men of the Estremadura army; and
on the 10th November, on the charge of Mouton's division alone, the
Spanish wavered and took to flight, delivering up Burgos and its castle to
the French army. The cavalry eagerly pursued the retreating enemy, who
quickly formed again, and were as quickly scattered: many of the prisoners
were killed. Napoleon at once set out for Burgos. "I start at one in the
morning," he wrote to Joseph, "in order to reach Burgos incognito before
daybreak, and shall make my arrangements for the day, because to win is
nothing if no advantage is taken of the success. I think you ought to go
to-morrow to Briviesca. The less ceremony I wish made on my own account,
the more I wish made on yours. As for me, it does not suit well with the
business of war; besides, I have no wish for it. On arriving, I shall give
the necessary orders for disarming, and for burning the standard used for
Ferdinand's proclamation. Use every endeavor that it may be felt to be no
idle form."

Burgos already felt all the weight of the conqueror's anger. The town was
pitilessly sacked. "A sad sight," say the memoirs of Count Miot de Melito,
who accompanied King Joseph as he entered the town; "the houses nearly all
deserted and pillaged; the furniture, smashed in pieces, scattered in the
mud of the streets; one quarter, on the other side of the Arlanzen, on
fire; the soldiers madly forcing in doors and windows, breaking everything
that came in their way, using little and destroying much; the churches
stripped; the streets crowded with the dead and dying--in a word, all the
horrors of an assault, although the town had offered no defence!" The
emperor ordered all the wool to be seized which was found in the town: it
belonged to the great Spanish nobles, and he had resolved to confiscate
their property everywhere. "The Duke of Infantado and Spanish great
lords," he wrote a few days afterwards to Cretet, the Minister of the
Interior (on the 19th November), "are sole proprietors of half the kingdom
of Naples, and in this kingdom they are worth not less than 200,000,000.
They have, besides, possessions in Belgium, Piedmont, and Italy, which I
intend to sequestrate. That is only the first rough draft of my plans". A
decree of proscription had already been published, and a capital
condemnation pronounced (12th November) against ten of the principal
Spanish nobles. At that price, pardon was promised to all who made haste
to make submission.

Marshal Soult, the conqueror of Burgos, had already been despatched by the
emperor in the direction of Reinosa, in order to complete the destruction
of General Blake's army, already partially defeated, on the 11th and 12th
by General Victor, near the small town of Espinosa, at the spot where the
road from the Biscayan mountains crosses the road of the plain. Soult was
late in arriving; but, after a vigorous resistance, the overthrow of
Blake's army was so complete that there was no fear that the army of the
left could soon rally. Napoleon ordered Lannes and Ney to crush the armies
of the right and the centre, commanded by Palafox and Castanos. Ney
failing to keep his appointment at Tudela on the 23rd November, owing to a
mistake on the march, Lannes made the attack alone, taking by surprise the
Spanish generals, who were undecided as to their course of action,
disagreeing as to the place for meeting the enemy, and yet urged on to the
engagement by the popular cries, already accusing them of treason. The
battle was a serious one; and for a short time Lannes, reduced to his own
troops, found himself in a difficult position. He was, moreover, ill from
a fall from his horse, but succeeded in winning the battle, and drove
before him, one after another, all the divisions of the enemy's army. With
the cruel and heedless fickleness of revolutionary governments, the Junta
of Aranjuez hurriedly cashiered Generals Blake and Castanos. The Marquis
of Romana's soldiers having distinguished themselves at Espinosa, he was
appointed general of the united armies. Already, in spite of the
consternation which reigned in the national party in Spain, small bodies
of troops collected in various parts. Napoleon soon understood that the
masterly-strokes of his usual tactics were not sufficient to conquer men
who were as prompt in again taking up arms as in throwing them down on the
roads in order to run away. He hurried in pursuit everywhere, and
multiplied his modes of attack. Junot, scarcely returned to France,
received orders to go into Spain. Napoleon resolved to march upon Madrid.

The resources left at the disposition of the Junta for the defence of the
capital were obviously insufficient. A body of 10,000 to 12,000 men, under
the command of Benito San Juan, occupied the height Somo-Sierra, and on
the 30th November Napoleon in person appeared before the small Spanish
army. The passage being quickly forced by a charge of General Montbrun,
the French cavalry rode to the gates of Madrid, causing indignation and
alarm. The Junta had already left Aranjuez to meet in Badajoz, and the
capital, entrusted to a small detachment of troops of the line under the
Marquis of Castellar, at one time supported, at another hindered by the
populace, corregidor of Madrid, the Marquis of Perales, was massacred by a
handful of madmen, on the charge of having mixed sand with the powder of
their cartridges. Thomas de Morla, the tribune of Cadiz, commanded the
defence. Barricades were raised at every point, and ramparts improvised,
Madrid never having been surrounded with fortifications.

On the morning of the 2nd December the emperor arrived at the gates of the
capital, and at once had a summons sent to those in command of the place.
His messenger had great difficulty in obtaining admission to the town; and
the Spanish general appointed to convey the refusal of surrender was
accompanied and watched by a band of insurgents, who dictated to him his
reply. A second summons producing no result, the firing at the walls and
the town began; and in a few hours the palace Buen Retiro and all the
northern and eastern gates were in the power of the French. At several
points the resistance was most obstinate. The emperor again summoning the
Junta of Defence to spare the capital the horrors of a general assault,
Thomas de Morla soon presented himself before him, in the name of the
insurrectional government.

The emperor's features clearly expressed his anger at the sight of the
governor of Andalusia, who had recently retained the troops taken
prisoners, in defiance of the capitulation of Baylen. Napoleon had more
than once violated treaties: he attached always an extreme importance to
military conventions. On this occasion, his natural sense of wrong and
offended vanity alone had the mastery in his soul. Thomas de Morla,
generally arrogant and bold, seemed troubled and confused. "The people,"
said he, "are ungovernable in their patriotic passion; the Junta ask for
one day to bring them back to reason."

"It is in vain for you to use the name of the people," exclaimed Napoleon.
"If you cannot succeed in calming them, it is because you yourselves have
excited them, and have led them astray by your falsehoods. Bring together
the curés, the heads of convents, the principal proprietors, and let the
town surrender between this and six o'clock in the morning, or else it
will have ceased to exist. I have no desire to withdraw my troops, nor
ought I. You massacred the unhappy French prisoners who fell into your
hands. A short time ago you allowed to be dragged in the streets and put
to death two servants of the Russian ambassador because they were
Frenchmen. The want of skill and the cowardice of a general placed in your
hands some troops which had capitulated on the battle-field, and the
capitulation was violated. What kind of letter, M. Morla, did you write to
that general? It became you well to speak of pillaging, you who entered
Roussillon and carried off all the women, to divide them among your
soldiers like booty. What right had you, on other grounds, to use such
language? You were prevented by the capitulation. Consider the conduct of
the English, who certainly do not boast of being rigid observers of the
rights of nations. They have complained of the convention of Portugal, but
they executed it. To violate military treaties is to renounce all
civilization; it is to place one's self on a level with the Bedouins of
the desert. How dare you ask a capitulation, you who violated that of
Baylen? I had a fleet at Cadiz, the ally of Spain, and you turned against
it the mortars of the town under your command. Go back to Madrid. I give
you till six o'clock in the morning. Return then, if you have nothing to
say of the people except that they have submitted: otherwise, you and your
troops will all be put to the sword."

The situation left to the insurgents no alternative but that of
submission. During the night, the Marquis of Castellar went out with his
troops by the gates which the French had not yet seized. At six in the
morning, on the 4th December, Madrid surrendered. All the citizens were
disarmed. Napoleon took possession of a small country-house at Chamartin,
and King Joseph held his court at the Pardo, some distance from Madrid;
the rebel town being thus held unworthy to be honored by the presence of
its masters. Several great lords were arrested: the Marquis of St. Simon
was even condemned to death, as a French emigrant in the Spanish service;
but the sentence was badly received by the soldiers, and left unexecuted.
A series of decrees abolished the feudal rights, the Inquisition, and the
custom duties in passing from one province to another. The number of
convents was reduced by a third. The conquests of liberty and civilization
thus imposed on the Spanish by their oppressors naturally became hateful
to them. Thus one of the results of Napoleon's Spanish campaign was to
prepare a reaction in favor of the Inquisition.

While the emperor took possession of Madrid, and endeavored to reduce the
undisciplined spirit of the capital, General Gouvion St. Cyr had been
appointed to bring Catalonia to submission. A man of skill and prudence,
though obstinately attached to his own opinions, St. Cyr was never a
favorite with Napoleon, though he knew his merit. He had entrusted him
with the duty of reducing an isolated province, where his command ran no
risk of being interfered with by contradictory wishes or orders. The
general delayed some time at the siege of Rosas, which he was anxious not
to leave in his rear, and when he at last advanced towards Barcelona,
General Duhesme and his garrison were short of provisions. On his approach
the blockade was raised, and, on the 15th December, General Vives offered
battle to St. Cyr at Cardeden, before Barcelona. The French having left
their artillery behind, so as to advance more quickly, the order was given
to open a road through the enemy's ranks with the bayonet. The soldiers
obeyed, keeping their heads down as they advanced under the fire of the
Spanish; the latter were unable to resist the impetuosity of such an
attack, and the columns of our troops passed through the enemy's lines,
which were soon broken and scattered. The Spanish artillery fell entirely
into our hands, and next day the French entered Barcelona. On the 21st the
entrenched camp on the Llobregat was taken, and complete dispersion of the
Spanish troops in Catalonia soon followed, only a few places still holding
out, which General Gouvion St. Cyr prepared to besiege.

The English, however, henceforward united to the cause of the Spanish
insurrection by a solemn declaration, published on the 15th December, and
everywhere the objects of Napoleon's most persistent hatred, had not yet
undergone the shock of his arms. Having only imperfect information as to
Sir John Moore's operations, the emperor had reckoned with certainty upon
the retreat which that general began at the moment of the attack upon
Madrid, when he found that it was absolutely impossible to concentrate his
forces in time for resistance. Moore was not hopeful as to the results of
the campaign, and had little satisfaction in his Spanish auxiliaries, who
always distrusted foreigners, even when allies; when urged by the Junta,
however, and after receiving instructions from England, he advanced
towards Valladolid, relinquishing his line of retreat upon Portugal, and
directing his march to Corunna. From some intercepted despatches he
believed he might surprise Marshal Soult in the kingdom of Leon, with
inferior forces to his own; and, at the same time, ask Sir David Baird to
join him with his troops, and sent to ask the Marquis Romana for
reinforcements. On the 21st December, the English army, more than 25,000
men strong, had reached Sahagun, near to Marshal Soult's position.

The emperor was not deceived by the first report, that the English had
changed their line of march. He at once penetrated Sir John Moore's
object, and resolved to at once fall upon his rear, and crush him by a
superiority of forces. In a letter to Paris he says, "The English have at
last showed signs of life. They seem now to have abandoned Portugal, and
taken another line of operations. They are marching upon Valladolid, and
for three days our troops have made operations to manoeuvre them, and
advance on their rear. If the English don't make for the sea, and beat us
in speed, they will find it hard to escape us, and will pay dear for their
daring attempt upon the continent."

On the 22nd, the emperor, uniting the divisions of his army with that
rapidity which all his lieutenants had learned from him, set out himself
on march with 40,000 men, in the hope of intercepting the advance of the
English to the coast. The weather had become wet and cold, and when the
French army reached the foot of Guadarrama the snow was falling in thick
masses. The chasseurs of the guard, dismounting, led their horses by hand,
and opened a road to their comrades through the snow. Napoleon himself was
on foot. The snow-storm being followed by rain, their progress was slow.
On receiving a message from Soult that he was at Carrion, and that he
believed the English were one day's journey distant, Napoleon said, "If
they stay one day longer in that position they are lost, for I shall
presently be on their flank."

Sir John Moore was a prudent and skilful soldier, and on receiving
information sufficient to indicate the emperor's intention, he at once
began his retreat towards Corunna. When Marshal Ney, entering Medina from
Rio-Seco, was preparing to march upon Benaventa, the English had already
reached that post, and, after crossing the Ezla, blew up the bridges. When
the French advance-guard, commanded by General Lefebvre-Desnouettes,
arrived before the town the last wagons of the English army were
disappearing in the distance. The cavalry officer too eagerly made his
squadrons ford the river, and Lord Paget, who protected the retreat,
repulsed the attack of the French, and took their general prisoner. The
first detachments of Napoleon's army entered Astorga a short time after
the English had evacuated the place, the Marquis de la Romana, withdrawing
as well as his allies, having followed by the same way. The roads were
much cut up by the wheels and footsteps, besides being encumbered by the
dead bodies of many horses, which the English had killed when too tired to
go on. There were also traces left everywhere by the English army of a
troublesome want of discipline; soldiers left drunk because they could not
keep up in the rapid march which their leader had ordered, houses
pillaged, and the Spanish peasants, oppressed both by their defenders and
their enemies, became every day more distrustful and gloomy. Sir John
Moore complained that he could obtain neither food nor information from
the frightened and discontented population.

On the 2nd January, the Emperor Napoleon changed his plans. Feeling that
the danger of a war with Austria became daily more imminent, and finding
that the English would reach the sea in spite of any efforts of his to
intercept them, and that the brilliant stroke which he intended was daily
becoming more impossible of execution, he entrusted the pursuit of the
enemy to Marshal Soult, who was then nearer him than Ney, and marched with
the imperial guard towards Valladolid. Before arriving there he wrote from
Benaventa to King Joseph, on the 6th January, 1809,--

"My brother, I thank you for what you say regarding the New Year. I have
no hope of Europe being at peace in 1809. On the contrary, I yesterday
signed a decree for a levy of 100,000 men. The hatred of England, the
events at Constantinople, everything forewarns that the hour of rest and
tranquillity has not yet sounded. As to you, your kingdom appears to me to
be almost at peace. The kingdoms of Leon, the Asturias, and New Castile,
only want rest. I hope Galicia will soon be pacified, and that the English
will leave the country. Saragossa must soon fall; and General St. Cyr,
with 30,000 men, will soon attain his object in Catalonia."

The English were in fact preparing to leave Spain; and though the
determination was quite recent, it was with a sense of depression, which,
in the case of the general, was increased by the sad plight of his array
and its want of discipline. Their disorder was at its worst when at last
they reached the small town of Lugo (6th January, 1809), exhausted by the
bad weather, want of food, and excess of brandy and other strong liquors.

Sir John Moore had resolved to offer battle to the French, and the hope of
fighting had restored courage and obedience to the soldiers. He waited
three days for Marshal Soult, but the French general's forces were
diminished by the rapidity of the pursuit, and he did not accept the offer
of fighting. Moore resumed his march towards Corunna, reckoning to find,
on his arrival at the coast, the transport vessels which were necessary
for his army. When at last, on the 11th January, he came in sight of the
sea, not a single sail appeared over its vast extent. The contest becoming
inevitable, Sir John ordered the bridges over the Mero to be blown up, and
took up his position on the heights which command Corunna.

Marshal Soult had been delayed, by the necessity of repairing the bridges
and rallying a division of his army which had fallen behind; and when at
last, on the morning of the 16th, he attacked the English positions, the
long-expected transports were crowding into the harbor, and a way of
escape was open to the English army. A keenly-contested struggle took
place, however, around the small village, Elvina, occupied by the troops
of Sir David Baird, who was severely wounded. Sir John went to the
assistance of his lieutenant, and when leading his men within range to the
front, had his arm and collarbone shattered by a ball. He was carried back
to the town by his soldiers, in a dying condition. The English still
retaining their positions at nightfall, their embarkment was now certain,
and General Hope, who had taken the command, pushed forward the
preparations for departure.

Sir John Moore had just expired. "You know well," said he to his friend
Colonel Anderson, "that this is how I always wished to die." After a short
pause, he added, "I hope the English people will be satisfied; I hope that
my country will do me justice." Without losing time in procuring a coffin,
his soldiers dug a grave with their swords, and committed to earth the
body of their general, still wrapped in his military cloak. The English
army, which he had saved by his prudence and resolution, then hurriedly
embarked, "and left him alone in his glory," as the poet has finely put
it. Several weeks afterwards, when Marshal Ney took possession of Corunna,
he had a stone placed on the tomb of his heroic enemy.

From Valladolid, where he was still staying, the Emperor Napoleon directed
the movements of his armies; fortifying the defences of Italy, and
commanding the movements of the troops intended for Germany, he at the
same time wrote to all the princes of the Rheinish Confederation,
reminding them peremptorily of their engagements, and referring to the
lengthened war preparations of Austria as equivalent to a declaration of
war. "Russia, as well as myself, is indignant at the extravagant conduct
of Austria," he wrote to the King of Wurtemberg, on the 15th January; "we
cannot conceive what madness has taken possession of the court of Vienna.
When your Majesty reads this letter I shall be in Paris. One part of my
army of Spain is now returning, to form an army of reserve; but,
independently of that, without touching a single man of my army of Spain,
I can send into Germany 150,000 men, and be there myself to advance with
them upon the Inn at the end of February, without counting the troops of
the Confederation. I suppose that your Majesty's troops are ready to march
on the slightest movement; you are sensible of the great importance, if
war is absolutely necessary, of carrying it on in our enemy's territory,
rather than leaving it to settle on that of the Confederation. I beg of
your Majesty to let me know in Paris your opinion on all those points. Can
the waters of the Danube have acquired the property of the river Lethe?"

At the same time, to instruct King Joseph in the government of Spain, at
the moment when that prince was about to visit his capital again, he thus
wrote to him, at Prado:--"General Belliard's movement is excellent; a
score of worthless fellows ought to be hanged. To-morrow I am to have
seven hanged here, known to have had a share in all the excesses, and a
nuisance to the respectable people, who have secretly denounced them, and
who now regain courage on finding themselves rid of them. You must do the
same at Madrid. Five-sixths of the town are good, but honest folks should
be encouraged, and they cannot be so except by keeping in check the riff-
raff. Unless a hundred or so of rioters and ruffians are got rid of,
nothing is done. Of that hundred, get twelve or fourteen shot or hanged,
and send the rest into France to the galleys. I think it necessary,
especially at the first start, that your government should show a little
vigor against the riff-raff. They only like and respect those whom they
fear, and their fear alone may procure you the love and esteem of the rest
of the nation.

"The state of Europe compels me to go to spend three weeks in Paris, and
if nothing prevent I shall return here about the end of February. I
believe I wrote you to make your entry into Madrid on the 14th. Denon
wishes to take some paintings. I should prefer you to take all that are in
the confiscated houses and suppressed convents, and make me a present of
about fifty of its master-pieces, for the Paris museum. At the proper time
and place I shall give you others. Send for Denon, and give him a hint of
this. You understand that they must be really good; and it is said you are
immensely rich in that kind."

King Joseph retook possession of his capital with a great display of
magnificence, the brilliant success of the French arms having rallied
round him the timid, and the discontented keeping silence. Before setting
out for Paris, where he arrived on the 24th, the emperor said, "The attack
upon Valentia must not be thought of until Saragossa is taken, which must
be during the month of February:" and Marshal Lannes, who had charge of
the siege operations for a month, justified the hopes of his master. On
the 21st February, 1809, Saragossa at last surrendered, having been the
object of several French attacks since June, 1808.

After the battle of Tudela the whole of the army in Aragon had fallen back
upon Saragossa. Joseph Palafox had shut himself up in it with his two
brothers, and the country population having followed in great numbers,
100,000 human beings were crowded together behind the ramparts of the
town, in its old convents, within the dull walls of its embattled houses--
almost everywhere without outside windows, and already threatening the
enemy with their gloomy aspect. Throughout the province, at the call of
the defenders of Saragossa the insurgent peasants intercepted the convoys
of provisions intended for the French army, and the besiegers no less than
the besieged suffered from want of food.

Napoleon had undervalued the resistance of the inhabitants of Saragossa.
Always ordering the movements of his troops himself, and from a distance,
he had sent Marshal Moncey with insufficient forces; and soon after, Junot
was entrusted with the attack. The sallies of the Spanish were easily
repulsed, but each assault cost a large number of men. The Aragonian
riflemen, posted on the ramparts or the roofs of the houses, brought down,
without exposing themselves, the bravest of our grenadiers. Everywhere the
women brought the artillery-men food and ammunition; and one of them,
finding a piece abandoned, applied the match to it herself, and continued
firing it for several days. The whole of the population fought on the
walls until they should have to fight in the streets and houses.

From redoubt to redoubt, from convent to convent, General Junot had slowly
advanced, till the middle of January, 1809. When at last Marshal Lannes
appeared before Saragossa, he had called to his assistance large
reinforcements; and the troops posted in the suburbs, and who had not yet
shared in the action, dispersed the hostile crowd there. The attack
commenced with a vigor which quite equalled the energy of the resistance;
and on the 27th January, after a general assault, which was deadly and
long-continued, the entire circuit of the walls was carried by the French
troops. It is a maxim of war that every town deprived of the protection of
its walls capitulates, or surrenders at discretion; but in Saragossa the
real struggle--the struggle of the populace--was only beginning. On the
28th, Lannes wrote to the emperor: "Never, sire, have I seen such keen
determination as in putting our enemies here on their defence. I have seen
women come to be killed at a breach. Every house has to be taken by storm;
and without great precaution we should lose many soldiers, there being in
the town 30,000 or 40,000 men, besides the inhabitants. We now hold Santa-
Engracia as far as the Capucine convent, and have captured fifteen guns.
In spite of all the orders I have given to prevent soldiers from rushing
forward, their ardor getting the better of them has given us 200 wounded
more than we ought to have."

And a few days afterwards: "The siege of Saragossa resembles in nothing
any war we have hitherto had. It is a business requiring great prudence
and great energy. We are obliged to take every house by mining or assault.
These wretches defend themselves with a keen determination which is
inconceivable. In a word, sire, it is a horrible war. At this moment three
or four parts of the town are on fire, and it is crushed with shells, yet
our enemies are not intimidated. We are laboring might and main to get to
the faubourg; and once we are masters of it, I hope the town will not long
hold out."

During the first siege of Saragossa, Marshal Lefebvre, on getting
possession of one of the principal convents, sent to Joseph Palafox the
short despatch: "Head-quarters, Santa-Engracia. Capitulation." And the
defender of the place replied: "Head-quarters, Saragossa. War to the
knife." It was war to the knife, to the musket, to the mine, which was
pursued from house to house, from story to story. To go along the streets,
the French soldiers were obliged to slip past close to the walls, the
enemy being so keen and eager that a shako or coat held up on the point of
a sword to deceive them was instantly riddled with balls. More than one
detachment after taking a building were suddenly blown up, by being
secretly undermined. Our soldiers in their turn replied by some important
underground works, which were ably organized by Lacoste, colonel of the
engineers. From the 29th January to the 18th February the same struggle
was pursued, with the same keen determination. A day was chosen for the
assault of the faubourg, which General Gazan had long invested. The troops
were impatient to make this last effort, being both irritated and
depressed. They both suffered and saw others suffer. The misery in the
town, however, was greater than the besiegers could suspect. A terrible
epidemic was decimating those who were left of the defenders of Saragossa.
Joseph Palafox himself was dying.

After the breach was opened in the ramparts of the faubourg, a frightful
explosion announced the destruction of the immense University buildings,
laying open to our soldiers the Coso, or Holy Street, which passed through
the whole town. The ground was everywhere mined, and the very heart of
Saragossa was at its last extremity, when the Junta of Defence at last
yielded to the necessity which was bearing them down, and a messenger
presented himself before Marshal Lannes in the name of Don Joseph Palafox.
We have seen the painful illusions created by the isolation of a besieged
town: the defenders of Saragossa believed that the Spanish had been
victorious everywhere, and it was only on the word of honor of Marshal
Lannes that they accepted the sad truth. The 12,000 men of the garrison
who had resisted all the horrors of the siege, surrendered as prisoners of
war. Of 100,000 inhabitants who had crowded Saragossa, 54,000 had
perished. There were heaps of dead bodies round the old church, Our Lady
del Pilar, object of the passionate devotion of the whole population. In
their real heart, and at the first moment of victory, the French soldiers
felt for the defenders of Saragossa an admiration mixed with anger and
alarm. Rage alone animated the heart of their most illustrious leader.
Napoleon had sometimes honored the resistance of his enemies, as at
Mantua; now, on his attaining the height of power and glory, he no longer
admitted that the Spanish should defend their independence against a
usurpation stained with perfidy. "My Brother," he wrote to King Joseph on
the 11th March, "I have read an article in the _Madrid Gazette_, giving an
account of the taking of Saragossa, in which they eulogize those who
defended that town--no doubt to encourage those of Valencia and Seville.
That is certainly a strange policy. I am sure there is not a Frenchman who
has not the greatest scorn for those who defended Saragossa. Those who
allow such vagaries are more dangerous for us than the insurgents. In a
proclamation, mention is already made of Saguntum: that, in my opinion, is
most imprudent."

Many things at this juncture chafed the mind of the imperious master of
the world. He had left Spain immediately after a series of successes,
without deceiving himself as to their importance and decisive value with
reference to the permanent establishment of the French monarchy in Madrid.
He foresaw the difficulties and perpetually recurring embarrassments of a
command being divided, when the nominal authority of King Joseph was
unable to govern lieutenants who were powerful, distinguished, and
jealous. To obviate this inconvenience, and maintain that unity of action
which he considered an indispensable element of success, he had kept to
himself the supreme direction of the military operations, and attempted to
govern the war in Spain from a distance, at the moment when he was
organizing and recruiting his armies to support in Germany a determined
struggle against all the forces of the Austrian empire. Italy, Holland,
the Rhenish Confederation, all the states which he had founded or subdued,
claimed his support or vigilance. Russia remained quiet because she was
powerless and disarmed, but a serious check would have speedily thrown her
with ardor on the side of his enemies. Russia, compelled by recent
treaties and pressing interests, concealed under friendly phrases a secret
indifference, and the beginning of her enmity: being, moreover, occupied
by her own conquests, by the uncompleted subjugation of Finland, and a
renewal of her struggle with Turkey. England, irritated and humiliated by
the check undergone by her attempts at intervention in Spain, was
energetically preparing new and more successful efforts. In presence of so
many enemies, concealed or declared--compelled to regulate so many
affairs, the government, oppression, and conquest of so many races--
Napoleon, on returning to Paris after his Spanish campaign, had found
men's dispositions changed, and precursory signs of an open discontent
which he was not accustomed to meet or to suffer.

Even in Spain the rumor of this modification of the national thought had
already reached Napoleon's ears: he had read it in the letters of his most
intimate correspondents, and imagined it even in the eyes of his soldiers.
The rage of the despot burst forth one day in Valladolid: when passing
along the ranks of the troops he was leaving behind, on hearing some of
them muttering he is said to have snatched from the hand of a grenadier a
musket, which seemed awkwardly held, exclaiming, "You wretch! you deserve
to be shot, and I have a good mind to have it done! You are all longing to
go back to Paris, to resume your habits and pleasures:--well, I shall keep
you under arms till you are eighty."

On reaching France, and especially Paris, Napoleon thought the atmosphere
felt charged with resistance and disobedience. There was more freedom of
speech, and men's thoughts were more daring than their words. Those whom
he distrusted now came nearer, and others had taken the liberty to
criticise his intentions and his acts. Even in the Legislative Body, the
arrangements of the code of criminal justice, recently submitted to the
vote, had undergone a rather lively discussion. Fouché had the courage to
raise the question of the succession to the throne, when speaking to the
Empress Josephine herself about the necessity of a divorce. The most
daring had ventured to anticipate the possibility of a fatal accident in
the chances of war, some affirming that Murat aimed at the crown. The
Arch-chancellor Cambacérès, who always showed prudence and ability in his
relations with his former colleague, now his master, attempted in vain to
calm the increasing irritation of his mind. His anger burst forth against
Talleyrand during a sitting of the Ministerial Council. For several months
previously a coldness and distrust had reigned between the emperor and
this confidant of several of the gravest acts of his life--who was always
self-possessed even when he seemed devoted, too clever ever to give
himself up entirely, and invariably impassible in manner and feature.
Napoleon poured forth his displeasure in a long speech, reminding
Talleyrand of advice he had formerly given him, being carried away both by
his passion and the desire to compromise and humiliate a man whose
intrigues he was afraid of. At the conclusion of this noisy scene, still
more humiliating for the emperor than for the minister, Talleyrand quietly
withdrew, limping through the galleries, among the officers and courtiers,
astonished at the noise which had reached even them, and looking at him
with curiosity or spite. It was the starting-point of that secret
animosity to which Talleyrand was afterwards to give cold and biting
expression, when, in 1813, after a similar scene, he said, "You have a
great man there, but badly brought up!" Napoleon's anger did not last
long, although his distrust remained fixed. Talleyrand's pride underwent
numerous eclipses. Commencing, however, from that day, the separation
between them became irreparable; and when the emperor's decadence began,
Talleyrand was already gained over to other hopes, and ready to serve
another cause.

It was during the first moments of a growing discontent, already
unmistakable in Paris and the large towns, that Napoleon found himself
compelled to ask from France new efforts and cruel sacrifices. To make the
old contingents equal to the new, he has already, they said, raised 80,000
men by the past conscriptions; the same expedient if soon applied to more
remote years will bring to his standards grown-up men able to undergo long
fatigue. The contingent of 1810 was at the same time raised to 110,000
men. In order to furnish officers to this enormous mass of conscripts, the
emperor wrote on the 8th March, to General Clarke, minister of war: "I
have formed sixteen cohorts of 10,000 conscripts of my guard. Present to
me sixteen lists of four pupils in the St. Cyr Military College, to be
appointed as sub-lieutenants in those cohorts; that will supply employment
to sixty-four scholars. These youths will be under the orders of the
officers of my guard, and will assist them in forming the conscripts, and
fulfilling the duties of adjutant. They can also be of use in marching
with detachments to the regiments where they will have their definitive
appointment. Thus, with the 104 scholars necessary for the fifth
battalions, the school must supply 168 pupils this year. Present to me 168
young people to replace those at St. Cyr.

"Let me know what can be supplied by La Flèche School, and the lycées. I
have forty lycées; if each of them can furnish ten pupils of eighteen
years old, that makes 400 quartermasters. I shall have to send 200 to the
different regiments, and 200 to the army of the Rhine. Find also whether
the Polytechnic School cannot supply fifty officers; and whether the
Compiègne School cannot supply fifty youths of over seventeen, to be
incorporated with the companies of artillery workmen."

As if to supply the troublesome gaps thus made in the schools by the
unexpected removal of so many boys, Napoleon had written beforehand to
Fouché from Benaventa (31st December, 1809):

"I am informed that some families of the emigrants are removing their
children to avoid conscription, and keeping them in troublesome and
culpable idleness. It is clear that the old and rich families who are not
for our system are against it. I wish you to get a list drawn up of ten of
those principal families in each department, and fifty for Paris, showing
the age, fortune, and quality of each member. My intention is to pass a
decree to send to the Military School of St. Cyr the young men belonging
to those families whose ages are between sixteen and eighteen. If any
objection is made, the only answer to make is, that it is my good
pleasure. The future generation should not suffer from the hatred and
petty spite of the present generation. If you have to ask the prefects for
information, do so in similar terms."

With her will or against it, by the impulse of enthusiasm still left or
under the law of good pleasure, France followed her insatiable master upon
the ever open battle-fields. Napoleon was not deceived as to his arbitrary
measures. "I wish to call out 30,000 men by the conscription of 1810," he
wrote on the 21st March to General Lacuée, director-general of the reviews
and conscription; "I am obliged to delay the publication of the 'Senatus-
consulte,' which can only be done when all the documents are published.
Let the good departments be preferred in choosing. The levy for France
generally will only be one fourth of this year's conscription. The
prefects might manage it without letting the public know, since there is
no occasion for their assembling or drawing lots."

Financial difficulties also began to be felt. For a long time, by war
contributions and exactions of every kind imposed upon the conquered
countries, Napoleon had formed a military treasury, which he alone
managed, and without any check. This resource allowed him to do without
increasing taxes or imposing additional burdens. The funds, however,
became exhausted, and war alone could renew them. "Reply to Sieur Otto,"
he wrote on the 1st April, 1809, to Champagny, "that I will have nothing
said about subsidies. It is not at all the principle of France. It was
well enough under the ancient government, because they had few troops, but
at the present day the power of France, and the energy impressed upon my
peoples, will produce as many soldiers as I wish, and my money is employed
in equipping them and putting them on the field."

Negotiations were still being carried on. The fifth coalition was secretly
formed, and diplomatic plots were everywhere joining their threads.
Napoleon strove to engage Russia in a common declaration against Austria;
England enrolled against France the new government just established at
Constantinople by revolution. On both sides the preparations for war
became more patent and hurried. Metternich complained at Paris of the
hostile attitude of France, and announced the reciprocity imposed upon his
master. On the 1st April, Napoleon wrote, "Get articles put in all the
journals upon all that is provoking or offensive for the French nation in
everything done at Vienna. You can go as far back as the first arming.
There must be an article of this tendency every day in the _Journal de
l'Empire_, or the _Publiciste_, or the _Gazette de France_. The aim of
these articles is to prove that they wish us to make war."

In France the decided, if not expressed, wish of the Emperor Napoleon, and
in Austria the patriotic indignation and warlike excitement of the court
and army, must necessarily have brought on a rupture; and the most
trifling pretext was enough to cause the explosion. The arrest of a French
courier by the Austrians at Braunau, the violation of the imperial
territory by the troops of Marshal Davout then posted at Wurzburg,
provoked hostilities several days sooner than Napoleon expected; and
Metternich had already asked for his passports when, on the 10th April,
the Archduke Charles crossed the Inn with his army. The Tyrol at the same
time rose in insurrection under the orders of a mountain innkeeper, Andrew
Hofer; and the Bavarian garrisons were everywhere attacked by hunters and
peasants. Like the Spanish, the Tyrolese claimed the independence of their

The troops of the Emperor Napoleon already covered Germany; Davout being
at Ratisbon, Lannes at Augsburg, and Masséna at Ulm. Marshal Lefebvre
commanded the Bavarians, Augereau was appointed to lead the Wurtembergers,
the men of Baden and Hesse; the Saxons were placed under the orders of
Bernadotte. On the evening of the 9th April, the Archduke Charles wrote to
the King of Bavaria that his orders were to advance, and treat as enemies
all the forces which opposed him; that he fondly trusted that no German
would resist the liberating army on its march to deliver Germany. The
Emperor Napoleon had already offered to the Kings of Saxony and Bavaria
one of his palaces in France as an asylum, should they find themselves
compelled to temporarily abandon their capitals. The King of Bavaria set
out for Augsburg.

The unexpected movement of his enemies modified Napoleon's plan of attack.
A delay in the arrival of the despatches sent to Major-General Berthier
caused some difficulty in the first operations of the French army. When
the emperor arrived at Donauwerth, on the morning of the 17th, his army
was spread over an extent of twenty-five leagues, and was in danger of
being cut in two by the Archduke Charles. It was Napoleon's care and study
on beginning the campaign to avoid this danger, which soon afterwards he
subjected his adversary to. The Austrians, after passing the Isar at two
places, and driving back the Bavarians who had been appointed to defend
the passage, advanced towards the Danube.

Already, before touching Donauwerth, Napoleon's orders had begun the
concentration of his forces. Masséna was at Augsburg, and received the
order to march upon Neustadt, and similarly Davout left Ratisbon to
advance to the same place. The Archduke Charles was also striving to reach
it, hoping to gain upon the French by speed, and pass between the
divisions posted at Ratisbon and Augsburg. This manoeuvre was baffled by
Napoleon's prompt decision. "Never was there need for more rapidity and
activity of movement than now," he wrote on the 18th to Masséna.
"Activity, activity, speed! Let me have your assistance."

The emperor's lieutenants did not fail him in this brilliant and
scientific movement, everywhere executed with an ability and precision
worthy of the great general who had conceived it. The Archduke Charles was
a consummate tactician, but often his prudence degenerated into
hesitation--a dangerous fault in presence of the most overpowering
military genius whom the world had yet beheld. Napoleon himself said of
Marshal Turenne that he was the only general whom experience had made more
daring. A long military experience had not exercised that happy effect on
the archduke; he still felt his way, and neglecting to take advantage of
the concentration of his forces, dispersed the different parts of his
army. The chastisement was not slow in following the fault. On the 19th,
Marshal Davout, ascending the Danube from Ratisbon to Abensberg, met and
defeated the Austrian troops at Fangen, thus being able to effect his
junction with the Bavarians. On the 20th, the emperor attacked the enemy's
lines at several points, and forced his way through them towards Rohr
after several active engagements, thus securing the point of Abensberg,
and separating the Archduke Charles from General Hiller and the Archduke
Louis. On the 21st, this last part of the enemy's army precipitated itself
in a body upon the important position of Landshut, where all the Austrian
war material was collected, with a large number of wounded; but at the
same moment the emperor himself came up, eagerly followed by Lannes and
Bessières, commanding their regiments. Masséna also made haste to join
them. The bridges on the Isar were all attacked at once, and bravely
defended by the Austrians: when carried they were already in flames. The
Archduke Charles, however, attacking Ratisbon, which Davout was obliged to
leave protected only by one regiment, easily took possession of that
important place, commanding both banks of the Danube. He was thus, on the
22nd, before Eckmühl opposite Davout. Informed of this movement, which he
had partly guessed from the noise of the cannon on the 21st, the emperor
directed the main body of his army towards Eckmühl. His troops had already
been fighting for three days, and Napoleon asked a fresh effort from them.
"It is four o'clock," he wrote to Davout, "I have resolved to march, and
shall be upon Eckmühl about midday, and ready to attack the enemy
vigorously at three o'clock. I shall have with me 40,000 men. I shall be
at Ergoltsbach before midday. If the cannon are heard I shall know I am to
attack. If I don't hear it, and you are ready for the attack, fire a salvo
of ten guns at twelve, another at one, and another at two. I am determined
to exterminate the army of the Archduke Charles to-day, or at the latest

The day was not finished, and the cuirassiers were still fighting by
moonlight to carry and defend the Ratisbon highway, yet the victory was
decisive. The Archduke Charles was beaten, and falling back upon Ratisbon,
he, during the night, took the wise step of evacuating the town and
withdrawing into Bohemia, where General Bellegarde and his troops awaited
him. Henceforth the Austrian army formed two distinct bodies. On the 23rd,
Napoleon marched upon Ratisbon, which bravely defended itself. Slightly
wounded in the foot by a ball, the emperor remained the whole day on
horseback, Marshal Lannes directing the assault. At one moment the
soldiers hesitating because the Austrians shot down one after another of
those who carried the ladders, Lannes seized one, and shouted, "I shall
show you that your marshal has not ceased to be a grenadier." His aides-
de-camp went before him, and they themselves led the troops to the
escalade. At last the gates were opened, and Napoleon entered Ratisbon.

He spent three days there, preparing his movement of attack against
Vienna, which was slightly and badly defended, fortifying his positions,
and taking precautions against an unexpected return of the Archduke
Charles. At the same time, by his proclamations to the army, as well as by
his letters to the princes of the Rhenish Confederation, he spread
throughout all Europe his inebriation with success, and the declaration of
his projects.


"You have justified my expectations; you have made up for numbers by
bravery. You have gloriously proved the difference which exists between
the soldiers of Cæsar and the armed hordes of Xerxes.

"In a few days we have triumphed in the three pitched battles of Thann,
Abensberg, and Eckmühl, and in the engagements of Peising, Landshut, and
Ratisbon. A hundred cannon, forty flags, 50,000 prisoners, three sets of
bridge-apparatus, all the enemy's artillery, with 600 harnessed wagons,
3000 harnessed carriages with baggage, all the regimental chests,--that is
the result of your rapid marches and your courage.

"The enemy, intoxicated by a perjured cabinet, seemed to have retained no
recollection of you; his awakening has been speedy, you have appeared to
him more terrible than ever. Recently he crossed the Inn, and invaded the
territory of our allies. Recently he was in full hopes of carrying the war
into the bosom of our country; to-day defeated, terrified, he flies in
disorder. My advance-guard has already passed the Inn. Within a month we
shall be at Vienna."

It was at Ratisbon that the emperor at last received the news of the army
of Italy which he was impatiently demanding. When attacked, on the 10th
April, by the Archduke John, as the generals separated by Napoleon had
been in Germany by the Archduke Charles, Prince Eugène, who was in command
for the first time, had not been able, as Napoleon was, to retrieve, by a
sudden stroke and powerful effort, an engagement badly begun. Being unable
to hold head against the Austrian forces, he resolved to retire, in order
to rejoin the main body of his army. This retrograde movement he performed
with regret; hesitating, and feeling annoyed by the grumbling of the
soldiers, because they wished to march to the enemy, and by the hesitation
of the generals who dared not offer him advice, he halted on the 15th
before the town of Sacile, and on the 16th made an unexpected attack on
the Archduke John, who on the previous evening had surprised and beaten
the French rearguard at Pordenone, though, as it now appeared, not any
better guarded himself. Confused at the first moment by an unlooked-for
attack, the Austrians defended themselves with great bravery. Their
superior forces threatened to cut off our communications, and the prince,
afraid of being isolated, ordered retreat when the issue of the battle was
still uncertain. He had just left the battle-field--which the soldiers
would scarcely leave, furious at not having gained the day--when the
Viceroy of Italy, modest and brave, but evidently not equal to the task
which the emperor had imposed upon him, wrote thus to the latter:--"My
father, I have need of your indulgence. Fearing your blame if I withdrew,
I accepted battle, and I have lost it." He accompanied this sad news with
no message nor any details, and the want of information annoyed Napoleon
still more than the check undergone by his troops. "Whatever evil may have
taken place," he wrote, "if I had full knowledge of the state of things I
should decide what to do; but I think it an absurd and frightful thing
that a battle taking place on the 16th, it is now the 26th, without my
knowing anything about it. That upsets my plans for the campaign, and I
cannot understand what can have suggested to you that singular procedure.
I hope to be soon at Salzburg, and make short work in the Tyrol; but for
God's sake! let me know what is going on, and what is the situation of my
affairs in Italy." And on the 30th April: "War is a serious game, in which
one can compromise his reputation and his country. A man of sense must
soon feel and know if he is made for that profession or not. I know that
in Italy you affect some contempt for Masséna; if I had sent him, that
which has happened would not have taken place. Masséna has military
qualities before which one must humble himself. His faults must be forgot,
for all men have their faults. In giving you the command of the army I
made a mistake, and ought to have sent you Masséna, and given you the
command of the cavalry under his orders. The Prince Royal of Bavaria
commands a division under the Duke of Dantzic. Kings of France, emperors,
even when reigning, have often commanded a regiment or division under the
orders of an old marshal. I think that if matters become pressing you
ought to write to the King of Naples to come to the army: he will leave
the government to the queen. You will hand over the command to him, and
serve under his orders. The case simply is, that you have less experience
of war than a man who has served since he was sixteen. I am not displeased
at the mistakes you have made, but because you don't write to me, and put
me in a position to give you advice, and even direct operations from this

Fortunately for Prince Eugène, as well as the army of Italy, General
Macdonald had just arrived at head-quarters, then moved beyond the Pena.
Able, honorable, and brave as he had shown himself in the wars of the
revolution, Macdonald underwent the weight of imperial disgrace on account
of his intimacy with General Moreau. The young officers of the empire used
to turn to ridicule his grave disposition and simple habits; but the
soldiers loved him, and had confidence in him, and Prince Eugène had the
good sense to let himself be guided by his advice. The retreat being
continued to the Adige, the army rested there, waiting for the enemy, who
were slow in coming in. When at last the Archduke John appeared, he durst
not attack the line of the river, and waited for news from Germany. Prince
Eugène was still ignorant of the emperor's success. On the 1st of May,
Macdonald, who was taking observations, believed he saw a retreating
movement of the enemy towards the Frioul. "Victory in Germany!" he
shouted, running towards the viceroy; "now is the moment to march
forward!" True enough, the Archduke John, being informed of Napoleon's
movement upon Vienna, made haste to return to Germany, in the hope of
joining his brother, the Archduke Charles. Prince Eugène immediately
started in pursuit, passed the Piave hurriedly, and driving the archduke
through the Carnatic and Julian Alps, marched himself, with a part of his
army, towards the victorious emperor. On the 14th May, after dividing his
forces, he sent General Macdonald with one part to meet General Marmont,
who was advancing towards Trieste. The army of Italy was soon after
reunited at Wagram.

The first reverses of Prince Eugène were not the only thing to disturb the
emperor's joy at Ratisbon. In Tyrol a rising of the peasants, prepared and
encouraged by Austrian agents, had suddenly engaged the whole population,
men, women, and children, in a determined struggle against the French
conquest and the Bavarian domination. A proclamation of the Emperor
Francis was spread through the mountains, and General Chasteler was sent
from Vienna to put himself at the head of the insurrection. The Bavarian
garrisons were few, and the French detachments which came to their
assistance being composed of recruits, the patriotic passion of the
mountaineers easily triumphed over an enemy of inferior numbers. From Linz
to Brunecken all the posts were carried by the Tyrolese; Halle, Innspruck,
and Trente quickly fell into the power of the insurgents. A French column
arriving beneath Innspruck when General Chasteler and Hofer had just taken
possession of the place, was surrounded, and compelled to capitulate.
General Baraguey d'Hilliers, who occupied Trente, had to fall back upon
Roveredo, and then upon Rivoli. The Italian as well as the German Tyrolese
had reconquered their independence; from one end of the mountains to the
other re-echoed the name of the Emperor Francis and that of the Archduke
John, whom the peasants were impatiently awaiting since the news of his
first successes in Italy. The insurrection had been entirely patriotic,
religious, and popular: the first leader, Andrew Hofer, was a grave and
pious man, who rejoiced and triumphed with simplicity, asking God's pardon
in the churches for the crime and violence which he had been unable to
prevent, and which were only acts of reprisal for the Bavarian oppression.
The modest glory of the honest innkeeper reached the Emperor Napoleon with
the news of the loss of the Tyrol.

The whole of Germany seemed moved by the same breath of independence in
the subject or conquered countries. In Swabia, Saxony, Hesse, a silent
emotion thrilled all hearts; at certain points bands of insurgents
collected together. In Prussia, the instinct of patriotic vengeance was
still more powerful; the commandant of Berlin gave to the garrison as
watchword "Charles and Ratisbon;" one of the officers at the head of the
cavalry here, Major Schill, formerly known as leader of the partisans in
1806 and 1807, had just resumed his old task, drawing with him the body
which he commanded; and several companies of infantry deserted to join
him. The protestations of the Prussian ministers were not enough to
convince Napoleon of the ignorance of government with regard to these
hostile manifestations. The Archduke Ferdinand at the head of an army of
35,000 men, had just entered Poland, taking by surprise Prince Poniatowski
and the Polish army, still badly organized. After a keenly-contested
battle in the environs of Raszyn, near Warsaw, Prince Poniatowski was
obliged to surrender his capital, and fall back upon the right bank of the

Napoleon alone had conquered, and his lieutenants acting for him in more
distant parts, by being surprised or incapable, had only caused him
embarrassment. This was a natural and inevitable consequence of a too
extensive power, and a territory too vast to be at all points usefully
occupied and skilfully defended. All these events confirmed the emperor in
the resolution which he had already taken to march upon Vienna. Neglecting
the Archduke Charles's army, the Marshals Lannes and Bessières crossed
Bavaria, Napoleon himself setting out for Landshut in order to take the
management of his forces. Thus the whole army advanced towards the Inn.
Masséna took possession of Passau, and by the 1st May all the troops had
crossed the river. Masséna was ordered to make himself master of Linz, and
secure the bridge over the Danube at Monthausen. There the archdukes and
General Hiller might effect their junction, and there, therefore, must the
road to Vienna be opened or closed.

Masséna never hesitated before a difficulty, and never drew back before
the most fatal necessities. The Austrians were superior to him in number,
and occupied excellent positions. Linz was carried and passed through in a
few hours. When Napoleon arrived before the small town of Ebersberg which
defended the bridge, the place, the castle and even the bridge were in our
power, at the cost of a horrible carnage which caused some emotion to the
emperor himself. He refused to occupy Ebersberg, everywhere swimming in
blood and strewed with dead bodies. There was still a rallying-point left
to the archdukes at the bridge of Krems, but they did not think they could
defend it. The Archduke Louis and General Hiller passed to the right bank
of the Danube, and the road to Vienna lay open.

Generally slow in his operations, the Archduke Charles was too far from
the capital to assist it. The place had made no preparations for defence,
but the population was animated by great patriotic zeal, and the sight of
the French troops before the gates at once caused a rising. The new town,
which was open and without ramparts, was quickly in our power.
Preparations were made to defend the walls of the old town, behind which
the Archduke Maximilian was entrenched, with from 15,000 to 18,000 regular

Napoleon took up his abode at Schönbrunn, in the palace abandoned by the
Emperor Francis; and after appointing as governor of Vienna, General
Andréossy, recently his ambassador in Austria, waited calmly for the
result of the bombardment. The archduke had imprudently exposed the town
to an irresistible attack: on the morning of the 12th May he left Vienna
with the greater part of his troops, leaving to General O'Reilly the sad
duty of concluding the capitulation. The French took possession of the
place on the 13th. The population were still excited when Napoleon issued
a proclamation denouncing the princes of the house of Lorraine for having
deserted, "not as soldiers of honor yielding to the circumstances and
reverses of war, but as perjurers pursued by their remorse. On running
away from Vienna their farewells to its inhabitants were fire and
bloodshed; like Medea, they have cut the throats of their children with
their own hands. Soldiers! the people of Vienna, to use the expression of
the deputation from its faubourgs, are forsaken, abandoned, and widowed;
they will be the object of your regards. I take the good citizens under my
special protection. As to turbulent and bad men, I shall make examples of
them in the ends of justice. Soldiers! Let us treat kindly the poor
peasants, and this good population who have so many claims upon our
esteem. Let us not be made haughty by our success; but let us see in it a
proof of that divine justice which punishes the ungrateful and the

That boundless vanity which always pervaded Napoleon's soul, in spite of
his protestations of thankfulness towards divine justice, did not prevent
him from clearly seeing beforehand the difficulties which surrounded him,
and the obstacles still to be overcome, even after reaching Vienna, and
gaining the victory in every battle. Success had again attended on all his
combinations, and the extreme extension of his forces. Prince Eugène after
recovering the advantage over Archduke John, was now coming nearer the
emperor as he pursued the enemy. Marshal Lefebvre at the head of the
Bavarians and French divisions, had commenced offensive operations against
General Chasteler and Jellachich, come to the assistance of Tyrol, and
after beating their forces and those of the mountaineers combined at
Worgel, on the 13th May, advanced to Innspruck and took possession of it.
The peasants had retired to the mountains, and the Austrian forces fell
back upon Hungary. Prince Poniatowski defended victoriously the right bank
of the Vistula, and threatened Cracow, while Galicia was rising in favor
of Polish independence. The Archduke Charles's army, however, still
existed--large, powerful and eager to avenge its defeats. The Archduke
Louis had brought him the remainder of the troops, and the Archduke John
was advancing to the assistance of his brothers. In order to prevent this
junction, and conquer his enemy before he had been reinforced by the army
of Italy, Napoleon decided upon crossing the Danube in the very suburbs of
the capital, by making use of the numerous islets there. At the island of
Lobau, which was the point chosen for the passage, the bed of the Danube
was broad and deep; and the island not being in the middle of the stream,
the branch separating it from the bank was comparatively narrow. The
emperor gave orders to construct bridges.

The attempt was a bold one at any time; it was rash, at the moment when
the waters of the Danube, swollen by the melting of the snow, threatened
to sweep away the bridges, prepared with difficulty, on which depended the
success of the operation. On the 20th May, Marshal Masséna's troops
crossed the river entirely, and took up position in the villages of
Aspern, and Essling; a ditch full of water joined the two villages, and
its banks were immediately covered with troops. The archduke's advance-
guard had alone appeared, till at three o'clock in the afternoon of the
21st May, the Austrian army, 70,000 to 80,000 men strong, at last poured
on the plain of Marchfeld. The large bridge thrown from the right bank to
the island of Lobau had been broken for the second time during the night,
and therefore only 35,000 or 40,000 Frenchmen were there to meet the
enemy. The emperor, however, was there, the bridge was about to be
repaired, and the generals were opposed to every thought of retreat.
Marshal Lannes had gone forward to occupy Essling, while General Molitor
had fortified himself in Aspern. The struggle began with the passionate
ardor of men playing the great game in which their glory or their
country's liberty is at stake. The position at Aspern, covering the bridge
to the island of Lobau, was several times taken and retaken, till at last
Molitor barricaded the houses of the village, and drove back the Austrian
attack with the bayonet. No assault, however fierce, was able to dislodge
Masséna from the burying-ground, nor Lannes from the village of Essling.
At one time the Prince of Hohenzollern's division was very nearly cutting
off our communication between the two villages, at sight of which Lannes,
turning towards Marshal Bessières, ordered him, in a voice of thunder, and
without regard for his rank or age, to put himself at the head of the
cuirassiers for a "thorough" charge. Deeply hurt by this order, and the
tone in which it was given, Bessières deferred demanding an explanation,
and made a dash upon the Austrian lines. He had to meet in succession the
artillery, the infantry, and the cavalry; General Espagne, who was in
charge of the heavy horse, was killed by his side; then General Lasalle
made a charge in his turn, bringing to the marshal assistance of which he
stood in great need, and Prince Hohenzollern's division was stopped. In
the evening, when bivouacking, the emperor was obliged to interpose to
prevent Lannes and Bessières from using against each other the swords
which they had so gallantly used during the fighting against the enemy.

The archduke having ordered retreat after nightfall, both armies camped in
their positions. Large forces had already crossed the Danube, including
the whole corps of General Lannes. The guard also arrived, which had not
yet shared in any engagement during the campaign. Seventy or seventy-five
thousand men having reached the left bank, they only waited for Marshal
Davout's corps, which had received orders to hasten its march, when the
large bridge broke for the third time. Part of the artillery and most of
the ammunition-wagons were still on the right bank. When communication was
again affected, the fighting was everywhere carried on with fresh fury.

Another attack was made on the villages of Aspern and Essling, which had
already been reduced to ruins. One after another, Masséna recovered the
positions which Molitor was forced on the previous evening to abandon; he
also carried the church occupied by the Austrian general, Vacquant. Lannes
had received orders, while protecting Essling, to march into the plain,
and by a circular movement pierce the enemy's line and cut them in two.
This operation was about to be accomplished, and the marshal sent an aide-
de-camp to the emperor to ask him to have his rear protected by the guard
on his leaving Essling unprotected, when frightful news was brought to
Napoleon. The trunks of trees, stones, and rubbish of every kind, brought
down by the rapid current of the river, had again broken the cables which
held together the boats composing the great bridge, and both parts were
carried down the stream, taking with them a squadron of cuirassiers, who
were then defiling over. The passage of the troops being stopped, and the
ammunition running short, Napoleon ordered Lannes to fall back on the line
of the villages and abandon the pursuit of the Austrians, who were just
before that hardly pressed everywhere. Whilst the marshal, bitterly
disappointed, was effecting this backward movement, the archduke ordered
all his artillery to be directed upon him: General St. Hilaire was killed
at the head of his division, and whole files of General Oudinot's
regiments were shot down--unfortunate lads, so recently enrolled that
their officers durst not deploy them before the enemy. It was now midday;
Major-General Berthier had just written to Marshal Davout, retained on the
opposite bank of the Danube: "The interruption of the bridge has prevented
provision-supplies: at ten o'clock we were short of ammunition, and the
enemy, perceiving it, marched back upon us. Two hundred guns, to which we
cannot reply, have done us much harm. In these circumstances, it is
extremely important to repair the bridges and send ammunition and food.
Write to the Prince of Ponte Corvo (Bernadotte) not to open a campaign in
Bohemia, and to General Lauriston to be ready to join us. See that Daru
sends us ambulance-stores and provisions of every kind. As soon as the
bridge is ready, or during the night, come and have a consultation with
the emperor."

At the same moment the Austrians began a movement similar to that which
Lannes so recently was on the point of effecting. The Archduke Charles
combined his best troops, to overpower our centre and finally break our
lines. Marshal Lannes was immediately on the spot, bringing up in close
succession the already decimated divisions--the cuirassiers, the old
guard; and these were soon supported by the charges of the light cavalry.
The conflict was now frightful. The French artillery, placed on the bank
of the ditch connecting Aspern and Essling, fired slowly, with the
precaution and prudence due to their shortness of ammunition, while the
Austrian cannons thundered unceasingly. Lannes galloped in front of his
regiments, which were immovable before the enemy, whose advance had been
stopped; and when encouraging his soldiers by gesture and voice, one of
his aides-de-camp conjured him to dismount. When in the act of obeying, a
cannon-ball struck him, shattering both his knees. Marshal Bessières
assisted his terrified officers in wrapping round him a cuirassier's cloak
and getting him carried to an ambulance; but, recollecting his irritation
of the evening before, he turned away his head as he grasped the hand of
his dying friend, lest the sight of him should cause any sorrow or

Ominous news were now coming from all parts to Napoleon, who had not
quitted the angle formed by the line between Aspern and Essling. Marshal
Masséna still kept in the midst of the smoking ruins which marked the spot
where stood so recently the pretty village of Aspern. The Austrians were
advancing in dense masses against the village of Essling. Marshal
Bessières defended that post, indispensable to the safety of the army. The
emperor sent for the fusileers of the guard and placed them under General
Mouton's orders. "I give them to you," said he; "make another effort to
save the army; but let us put an end to this! After these, I have only the
grenadiers and chasseurs of the old guard; they must be reserved for a
disaster." General Mouton advanced, and his first effort was rewarded by
freeing General Baudet, who was hemmed in in a barn, which he defended
like a fortress. Five times did the enemy return to the charge, and now
they prepared for a new attack, when General Rapp, shouting, "The emperor
says we must put an end to this!" combined his forces with Mouton's, and
both rushed forward, followed by their soldiers, with their bayonets in
front and their heads held low. The Austrians at last recoiled, and
Essling remained in our hands. The battery which had been raised on the
island of Lobau had fired with effect upon the masses of the enemy when,
for a short time, they were near the river. The bridge was free, the only
way left us to effect our retreat, when night at last permitted us to
withdraw without disgrace or danger. The long summer's day was at its

Having for a long time understood the necessity of this backward movement,
the emperor longed only for its execution, and wished to inspect himself
the resources of defence afforded by the island of Lobau. He would not
hear of leaving the battlefield without being certain of the position of
Aspern, and sent to ask Masséna if he could undertake to hold the village,
as he had constantly done for the two previous days. The old soldier was
sitting on a heap of ruins, in the midst of the smoking remains of the
place, and, rising at the first words of the aide-de-camp, he stretched
out his arm towards the Danube, as if to hasten the messenger's return:
"Go and tell the emperor that I shall keep here two hours, six, twenty-
four, if need be--so long as the safety of the army requires it."

The Archduke Charles, however, was himself tired of a struggle that led to
no decision--cruel and bloody beyond all that he had seen in his long
military career. He had brought together all his forces, and placed all
his artillery in a line, in order to crush once more with his cannon-shot
the invincible battalions which separated him from the river and still
forbade his passage. General Mouton brought to this threatened point the
fusileers of the guard who had just freed Essling; our dismounted guns
replied at rare intervals to the continued fire of the enemy; the bodies
of infantry, slightly protected by the inequalities of the ground, were
massed behind useless cannon, and supported by the cavalry, which covered
at one part the road from Essling to Aspern, and at another the
unprotected space between Essling and the Danube. Parallel to them were
arranged the guard in order. All these glorious remnants of a two days'
unexampled struggle, motionless under the cannon-balls, looked in silence
upon their officers moving about in front of the lines between the cannon
of the enemy and the men whom they commanded. "Only one word escaped our
lips," said General Mouton, afterwards Count Lobau, when telling the story
of that day; "we had only one thing to say, 'close up the ranks!' whenever
the soldiers fell under the fire of the archduke's 200 guns."

On crossing to the entrance of the bridge on the river's bank, where there
were confused heaps of wounded men, transport carts, empty artillery-
wagons, and dismounted guns, Napoleon went to see Marshal Lannes, who had
just undergone amputation, and showed more emotion than he usually showed
at the tragical end of his lieutenants. The dying farewell of the
illustrious officer to his chief, still unsated with glory and conquest,
has been told in various ways. The emperor himself reported the words as
he wished them to be known, full of kindness and sadness on the part of
Lannes. Some of those who stood by reported that the instinct of the dying
soldier awoke with the bluntness frequently characterizing it, and that
Lannes cursed the cruel ambition which strewed Napoleon's brilliant route
with the corpses of his friends. He only survived that scene two days, and
was praised as he deserved by Napoleon. On again mounting his horse, the
emperor inspected the island of Lobau in detail, and satisfied himself
that the position could be easily defended by a large body of troops well
equipped and well commanded. He resolved to leave Masséna there--the
natural leader in all cases of supreme resistance--while he made
preparations at Vienna and on the right bank of the Danube for
definitively crossing the river and bringing the campaign to a close. His
project thus conceived, and combinations decided on in his mind, the
emperor repassed the small arm of the river, and, stopping at the head of
the bridge, called his generals around him. It was nightfall; the battle
had finished; on both sides they were still occupied in removing the
wounded; the dead everywhere strewed the plain, the border of the ditch,
and the ruins of the villages. Napoleon held a council of war on the
field, on that bank of the Danube defended during two days with so much

The emperor was not accustomed to consult his generals, his thought was
spontaneous as his will was imperious. On the evening of the 22nd of May,
he listened patiently to the ideas, the objections, even the complaints of
the generals who surrounded him. Nearly all were discouraged, and
conceived the necessity of a complete and long retreat; they weighed,
however, all the inconveniences of this, and felt beforehand all the
humiliation; their perplexity was extreme. Napoleon at last spoke; his
plan was decided. By abandoning the island of Lobau, and repassing the
great arm of the Danube with the entire army, it would be necessary to
leave behind 10,000 wounded, the whole of the artillery, to be covered
with disgrace, and consequently to bring about at once a rising in
Germany, which was ready to fall eagerly upon an enemy she believed
vanquished. It was not the retreat on Vienna, which would be thus
prepared; it was the retreat upon Strasburg. What they must do was to
occupy the island of Lobau with 40,000 men, under the orders of Masséna;
to appoint Davout to protect Vienna and the right bank of the Danube
against the attacks of the Archduke Charles, and prevent him from
effecting his junction with the Archduke John; while all the personal
efforts of Napoleon would be directed to repairing the great bridge,
preparing provisions and transports, concentrating his troops until the
day when, rejoined by Prince Eugène, and sure of traversing the Danube
victoriously, he would again unite the entire army to crush his enemies by
a decisive blow, thus terminating the campaign gloriously on a field of
battle already chosen in the conqueror's mind.

As he spoke, developing his plan with that powerful and spontaneous
eloquence which he drew from the abundance and clearness of his thoughts,
his generals listened, and felt their trouble disappear, and the heroic
ardor of the combat take possession of their hearts. Masséna rose, carried
away by his admiration, forgetful of his habitual ill-humor and the
discontent he so constantly manifested. He took several steps towards the
emperor. "Sire, you are a great man," cried he, "and worthy to command men
like myself. Leave me here, and I promise you to fling into the Danube all
the Austrian forces who may try to dislodge me." Marshal Davout undertook,
in the same way, to defend Vienna. Tranquillity had reappeared on every
face. Within the limits of that plain covered with dead, by the side of
the wagons ceaselessly defiling with wounded and dying, a great work
remained to be done, a great enterprise to be achieved, whatever obstacles
might present themselves. Hope had reappeared, together with the end to be
pursued. Napoleon crossed the island and embarked with Berthier and Savary
in a small boat, which brought him back safely to the right bank of the
river. Masséna returned to Aspern, momentarily invested with the chief
command. The retreat commenced.

The cannonade was still heard in the plain, but faint, and separated by
long intervals; the artillerymen, worn out, stood to their guns with great
difficulty. The Austrians were overcome with fatigue; already several
corps had passed into the island under cover of the darkness, when the
Archduke Charles at length perceived that we were escaping from him. He at
once began to follow, but slowly, without spirit or eagerness. The troops
defiled in order over the little bridge which Marshal Masséna protected in
person. He remained almost alone upon the bank, his entire army having
effected its retreat; and after collecting the arms and horses abandoned
by the soldiers, he at last resolved to follow his men and destroy the
bridge behind him, intrepid to the last moment in his retrograde movement,
as the captain of a shipwrecked vessel is the last to quit the remains of
his ship. Day was now dawning; the balls from the enemy's batteries
recommenced to rain around him, when the marshal at length gained the
centre of the island, beyond their range.

More than 40,000 French or Austrians, dead or wounded, had fallen in the
struggle of these two terrible days. In spite of the emphatic bulletins of
the Emperor Napoleon, Europe looked upon the battle of Essling as a
striking check to our arms. The warlike excitement of Germany increased;
the Tyroleans were again rising, and General Deroy found himself forced to
evacuate Innspruck; a corps of German refuges, under the orders of the
Duke of Brunswick-Oels, took the road to Dresden, the court immediately
taking refuge in Leipzic; a second detachment threatened King Jerome in
Westphalia. He was afraid for his crown, and the emperor wrote to him on
the 9th June: "The English are not to be feared; all their forces are in
Spain and Portugal. They will do nothing--they can do nothing, in Germany;
besides, time enough when they do. As to Schill, he is of little moment,
and has already put himself out of the question by retreating towards
Stralsund. General Gratien and the Danes will probably give an account of
him. The Duke of Brunswick has not 8000 men; the former Elector of Cassel
has not 600. Before making a movement it is well to see clearly.
Experience will show you the difference there is between the reports
spread by the enemy and the reality. Never, during sixteen years that I
have commanded, have I countermanded a regiment, because I always wait for
an affair to be ripe, and have thorough knowledge before commencing
operations. There is no need for anxiety; you have nothing to fear, all
this is nothing but rumor."

At Paris, where the most confident had become anxious, Napoleon severely
reprimanded the timid. He wrote, on the 19th May, to General Clarke, the
minister of war: "Sir, you have alarmed Paris too much about the affairs
of Prussia, even if it were true that she had attacked us. Prussia is of
very small importance, and I shall never want for means to enforce her
submission--all the more so when these reports are contradicted. You have
not used sufficient prudence on this occasion; it produces a bad effect
for any power to imagine that I am without resource. The minister of
police has taken his text from this to make a lot of foolish talk, which
is very much out of place."

Austria had in fact sent to Prussia an ambassador with instructions to
engage King Frederick William to break his chains, and take at last his
part in the resistance; but that monarch had refused. "Not yet," said he;
"it is too soon I am not ready; when I come, I will not come alone. Only
strike one other blow." The efforts of Major Schill had not been
supported, and that courageous partisan had failed under the walls of
Stralsund. The secret diplomacy of Austria appeared to have met with more
favor at St. Petersburg; the declaration of war by Russia against Austria
remained absolutely without result; the Russian troops which were in
Poland seemed more disposed to suppress the insurrection of Galicia than
to second the efforts of Prince Poniatowski.

It was one of the great characteristics of the genius of the Emperor
Napoleon to place no importance upon reports or appearances, although he
was not ignorant of their action on the public. In his public
proclamations he made an effort to disguise the check he had received at
Essling; but in practice, in his military operations he comprehended all
the gravity of it, without allowing himself to be troubled an instant by
bad fortune; he even derived original and powerful combinations from the
embarrassments of his situation. Prince Eugène had already joined him near
Vienna (26th May, 1809), driving back the Archduke John upon Hungary, and
overthrowing the corps of the Jellachich Ban, which had in vain tried to
stop his progress at Mount Saint-Michel, near Leoben. The army of Italy
was not to rest long, the emperor having immediately sent his adopted son
to follow the traces of the archduke. "To do the utmost harm to the
archduke; to drive him back to the Danube; to intercept his communications
with Chastelar and Giulay, who apparently intend to join him; to reduce
the fortress of Graetz by isolating it, and to maintain your
communications on the left with the duke of Auerstaedt, to construct the
bridges on the Raab--these should be your aims," wrote the emperor to
Prince Eugène, on the 13th June, and on the 15th: "It is probable that
Raab has not sufficient fortifications for the enemy to dare to place a
considerable garrison there of his best troops. If he only puts in bad
ones the town will surrender on being invested, which will give us the
advantage of taking his men, and of having a good post. If the archduke
flies before you, you will pursue him, so that he may not be able to pass
the Danube at Komorn, where there is, I think, no bridge, but he may be
obliged to take refuge at Bude: do not go farther from me. The line behind
the Raab is, I think, suitable for you, because my bridges over the Danube
will be completed, and I can recall you in four days, taking at least two
from the enemy, which will permit you to be present at the battle, while
the enemy will be unable to be there. Your aim, then, is to hinder him
from passing to Komorn, and then to oblige him to throw himself upon Bude,
which will take him away from Vienna."

On the 14th June, even before Napoleon had written these last lines,
Prince Eugène, after an obstinate combat, had taken from the Archduke
John, and his brother the Archduke Palatine, the important line of the
Raab. Generals Broussier and Marmont had effected their junction in the
environs of Graetz, repulsing the attacks of the Giulay Ban; General
Macdonald, whom the Viceroy of Italy had left behind at Papa, for the
purpose of facilitating this concentration of forces, arrived on the field
of battle when the day was gained; the archdukes were driven behind the
Danube, and the troops furnished by the Hungarian nobility, were
dispersed. "I compliment you on the battle of Raab," wrote the emperor to
Prince Eugène; "it is the grand-daughter of Marengo and Friedland."
General Lauriston immediately laid siege to the place, which capitulated
on the 23rd June. Marshal Davout had bombarded Presburg without effect for
several days, in the hope of succeeding in destroying the bridge; the
garrison defended itself heroically. Every means had been adopted to
rapidly concentrate the whole of the French forces upon Vienna, and to
frustrate everywhere the progress of the enemy. Large reinforcements had
arrived from France. The emperor himself directed the preparations on the
Danube, displaying in this work all the resources of his most inventive
genius, and that faculty of usefully employing the talent of others which
constitutes one of the most necessary elements of government. At the
commencement of July all was at length ready--men, provisions, ammunition,
and bridges. "With God's help," wrote Napoleon to King Jerome, on the 4th
July, "in spite of his redoubts and his entrenched camps, I hope to crush
the army of the Archduke Charles."

During the forty days which had elapsed since the battle of Essling, the
Archduke Charles had limited his efforts to fortifying his positions on
the left bank of the Danube, without attempting any offensive operations
against Napoleon, and had in vain waited for the reinforcements that his
brothers, and the generals dispersed over the Austrian territory, were to
bring him. The skilful generals of Napoleon had everywhere intercepted
their communications. However, 130,000 or 140,000 of the enemy prepared to
dispute with us the passage of the Danube. One hundred and fifty thousand
French were assembled around Vienna; Massena had not quitted the island of
Lobau; Napoleon established himself there with his staff on the 1st July.

Skilful and learned in the theory of war, the Archduke Charles felt his
inferiority in face of the unexpected genius of the Emperor Napoleon. He
had carefully fortified Aspern, Essling, Ensdorf, but he had not foreseen
that the place of disembarkation, and the point of attack, would be
changed. The heights which ranged from Neusiedel to Wagram, well occupied
by excellent troops, were not furnished with redoubts; it was, however,
these same heights the conqueror was about to attack.

The bridges which united the right bank to the island of Lobau were at
present out of danger from all inundations and accidents. New and
ingenious inventions had utilized all the resources drawn from the
magazines of Vienna and the vast forests of Austria. A stockade protected
the roadway, and flying bridges of an extraordinary size and solidity
could be thrown in several hours over the small arm of the stream which
separated the island of Lobau from the left bank. Two days previously the
archduke had quitted the heights to approach the banks of the Danube,
waiting uselessly for the attack of the enemy; on the 3rd July he drew
back his forces towards the hills. The columns of the French continued to
defile over the great bridge, and massed themselves little by little on
the island. The cannon-balls of the enemy began to rain on the shores of
Lobau, but the space was too vast to permit the Austrian batteries to
sweep the interior. During the night of the 4th the first bridges were
thrown over the small arm of the Danube between the island and the
mainland; flat-bottomed boats brought over soldiers without interruption,
and these moored the boats and fixed the plankings. The enemy's fire had
become incessant and deadly. The engineers continued their work without
appearing to perceive the danger which threatened them, any more than the
thunder which rolled over their heads, the lightning which flashed through
the darkness, or the rain, which did not cease to fall in torrents. The
batteries of the island of Lobau were at length unmasked, everywhere
furnished with guns of the largest calibre, and the fire was directed
towards the little town of Enzensdorf; after that the Archduke Charles
could not deceive himself as to the menaced point. The troops of the
Austrian General Nordmann, which had occupied the plain, had fallen back
under the fire of the guns. The day rose brilliant and pure, the last
clouds massed by the storm were dispersed by the rays of the sun. The long
files of our troops advanced without precipitation and without disorder;
at the first break of day, the emperor himself had crossed the river.

The Archduke Charles contemplated this scene from the heights of Wagram.
His advanced posts had already been forced to give up to their enemies the
ground they had occupied the day before. The Austrian general had not yet
counted on the irresistible impetuosity of the torrent of men, horses, and
artillery, which the island of Lobau continued to vomit on the shores of
the Danube. "It is true that they have conquered the river." said the
Archduke Charles to his brother the Emperor Francis, standing by his side.
"I allow them to pass, that I may drive them presently into its waves."
"All right," said the emperor, dryly; "but do not let too many pass."
Seventy thousand French already deployed in the plain. As they defiled
past, the soldiers cried, "Long live the emperor !"

The town of Enzensdorf was merely a mass of ruins when Marshal Masséna
commanded the attack upon it, and the little corps of Austrians defending
it were soon put to the sword; while on the right, General Oudinot had
taken possession of the chateau of Sachsengang. The entire army advanced,
without obstacle, against the heights of Wagram; Essling and Aspern were
occupied by our troops. The dispositions of the troops of the Archduke
Charles were not made; he was obliged to order detached bodies to retreat,
abandoning positions which were badly defended; the great battle was
deferred till the morrow. A rash attack against the plateau of Wagram was
repulsed, and for a moment several corps were in disorder; the retreat
sounded, and the troops bivouacked at their posts. The last instructions
had been given. Marshal Davout alone still remained with the emperor. The
Archduke Charles did not sleep--the supreme effort of the Austrian
monarchy was to be tried at the break of day.

The extent of the field of battle, and the distance between the positions,
presented serious difficulties for both armies. The genius of organization
possessed by the Emperor Napoleon had in some measure obviated this by the
care he had taken of his centre; the Archduke Charles felt it from the
commencement of the combat. Obliged to send his orders great distances, he
saw them badly obeyed; the left wing of his army attacked us first,
whereas the right wing had been intended to take the offensive. Contrary
to his custom, the Emperor Napoleon had ordered his troops to wait for the

It was four o'clock in the morning when the fire commenced. Marshal
Bernadotte, who had remained in advance on the field of battle after his
attack of the previous night against the plateau of Wagram, found himself
menaced by the Austrians, and fell back on Marshal Masséna, still ill from
a fall from his horse, and commanding his corps from an open carriage. The
two marshals had brought back their troops against the little village of
Aderklaa; but the archduke occupied it; the French were repulsed, and
pushed by the enemy beyond Essling, which had again fallen into the hands
of the Austrians.

Meantime, Marshal Davout, on the extreme right, had vigorously resisted
the first attack of the columns of Rosenberg, and obliged the Austrians to
repass the rivulet of Russbach, and fall back upon Neusiedel. The marshal
threw all his forces immediately against them. It was to him that was
confided the honor of taking the plateau of Wagram.

The emperor had joined Marshal Masséna, talking a few minutes with him
under a storm of balls which fell round the carriage: Napoleon walked his
horse across the plain, impatiently waiting the great movement that he had
ordered on the centre. At the head advanced a division of the army of
Italy, commanded by Macdonald, little known to the young soldiers because
of his long disgrace; he marched proudly, attired in his old uniform of
the armies of the republic. Napoleon saw him unmoved under the fire,
attentive to the least incidents of the battle: "Ah, the fine fellow! the
fine fellow!" he repeated in a low voice.

The artillery of the guard arrived at a gallop, supporting by its hundred
guns the impetuous attack of the centre: the Austrians recoiled from this
enormous mass, the irresistible impulse of which nothing could stay.
Macdonald had already reached Sussenbrunn, where the archduke and his
generals had concentrated their last effort; and the French columns were
stopped by their desperate resistance. For a moment they seemed destined
to retreat in their turn; but Davout had succeeded in his attack against
the heights of Neusiedel. The plateau of Wagram was in our hands; General
Oudinot had effected his junction, after taking the position of
Baumersdorf; and the Prince of Hohenzollern retreated before them. In vain
the Archduke Charles had hoped to see his brother, the Archduke John,
arrive in time to restore their chance; the struggle lasted for more than
ten hours--all the positions had fallen into our power; the retreat of the
Austrian army commenced, regular and well ordered, without precipitation
or rout. Disorder, on the contrary, showed itself in the ranks of the
conquerors, when, at the last moments of the struggle, some soldiers of
the vanguard of the Archduke John appeared in the environs of
Leopoldsdorf. The young troops, already disbanded in the joy of the
victory--the servants of the army, the sutlers, the carriers of the
wounded, were seized with a panic terror, and fell back with loud cries on
the main body of the army, announcing that the enemy were returning to
crush us. It was too late; the Archduke John had slowly executed the
orders tardily received. His arrival could not change the issue of the
battle; he fell back upon Hungary. The Archduke Charles had taken the road
to Bohemia before the Emperor Napoleon was well informed of his march. The
pursuit was, therefore, divided between Bohemia and Moravia. The forces of
the enemy were dispersed during their retreat. The archduke had with him
about 60,000 men, when General Marmont, with a corps of only 10,000,
rejoined him at Znaïm, on the road to Prague.

It was there that Napoleon arrived on the 11th; Masséna was in advance,
and a battle took place on the banks of the Taya, and after a sharp combat
the bridge was forced. But already Prince John of Lichtenstein had come to
ask a suspension of hostilities, announcing openly the intention of the
Austrian government to begin negotiations for peace. The deliberations
were carried on at the head-quarters, while the army ranged itself in the
plain of Znaïm. The emperor recapitulated rapidly in his mind the dangers
and chances of a prolonged war. The opinion of several of his generals was
to follow up Austria, and crush the coalition finally. Napoleon felt the
enormous burden weighing on his shoulders: he saw a difficult and
lingering war in Spain, Prussia agitated, Russia cold and secretly ill-
disposed, the difficulties of Rome, England for the future taking her part
in the continental struggle: he cried, "Enough blood has been shed; let us
make peace!" It was necessary to repeat his words several times to the
hostile parties at Znaïm, to induce them to cease fighting. The officers
whose duty it was to carry the intelligence to the field of battle were
wounded before they were able to stop the combat.

The armistice was signed in the night of the 11th July, and Napoleon
immediately returned to Schoenbrunn. Negotiations had commenced, but their
success was by no means sure. The Austrian armies had been brilliantly
vanquished, but they were neither dispersed nor destroyed, and the efforts
their resistance had cost sufficiently proved the military qualities of
the chief and his soldiers. The Emperor Napoleon, encamped in the centre
of the Austrian monarchy--of which he occupied the capital; he could not,
and durst not in any way, relax his warlike watchfulness. New bodies of
men were summoned from France. The Tyrol not being comprised in the
armistice, the Bavarians and Prince Eugène were ordered to reduce its two
portions, German and Italian. The posts were everywhere fortified, and
works of defence pursued with vigor. The greater part of the army occupied
vast barracks in the suburbs of Vienna. Napoleon distributed rewards to
the officers and soldiers; he even showed his displeasure to Marshal
Bernadotte, who had presumed to address a personal order of the day to the
corps of the army under his direction at Wagram.

"His Majesty commands his army in person," he sent word to the Prince of
Pontecorvo by Major-General Berthier; "it belongs to him alone to
distribute the degree of glory with each merits." Napoleon added, in a
letter to the minister of war, "I am glad also that you are aware that the
Prince of Pontecorvo has not always conducted himself well in this
campaign. The truth is, that this column of bronze has been constantly in
disorder." By thus wounding his vanity, unexpected political difficulties
afterwards arose, by leaving in the heart of Bernadotte implacable
resentment against the emperor.

I wished to pursue without interruption the history of the campaign of
Germany during these three months, so fertile in obstinate combats, in
works as vast as they were novel, in pitched battles, more sanguinary and
important from the number of troops engaged than any which had preceded
them. Germany was not, however, the only theatre of the struggle; and the
attention of Europe, always attracted to the places where Napoleon
commanded in person and carried out his own plans, was occasionally
diverted towards the Spanish and Portuguese peninsula. There several of
the most skilful generals of the emperor fought against populations
eagerly struggling for their independence; there gradually rose to
greatness the name of Sir Arthur Wellesley, and that reputation for
stability and heroic perseverance which at a later date constituted his
power and splendor.

Fighting was carried on in Spain, not without glory or success; the
insurgents having more than once had the honor of annoying the all-
powerful conqueror in the midst of his triumphs. There was no fighting at
Rome, and oppression reigned there without material resistance; yet for
more than a year a struggle continued between the Emperor Napoleon and the
Pope, Pius VII., without all the advantages remaining on the side of
force, or the conqueror feeling certain that he held the prey he had
confided to the care of General Miollis. On the 6th July, 1809, the same
day as the battle of Wagram, the Pope was suddenly taken away from Rome,
and conducted as a prisoner out of that palace and that town which he had
never previously quitted, except to visit Paris for the purpose of
consecrating the very man who was to-day stripping him of his throne.
Since the month of February, 1808, the thoughts and hearts of many had
still found time to seek the aged pontiff at the Quirinal, and they now
followed him with sympathy into exile and captivity.

After the occupation of Rome by General Miollis, when the foreign
cardinals had received orders to return to their respective countries, and
the Pope had recalled his legate from Paris, the Emperor Napoleon, on
stepping into his carriage to visit Bayonne, had ordered Champagny to
transmit to Cardinal Caprara the following note:---

"The _sine quâ non_ of the emperor is, that all Italy, Rome, Naples, and
Milan make a league offensive and defensive, so as to remove disorder and
war from the peninsula. If the holy father consents to this proposition,
all is terminated; if he refuses, by that he declares war against the
emperor. The first result of war is conquest, and the first result of
conquest is change of government. This will not occasion any loss to the
spiritual rights of the Pope; he will be Bishop of Rome, as have been all
his predecessors in the eight first centuries, and under Charlemagne. It
will, however, be a subject of regret, which the emperor will be the first
to feel, to see foolish vanity, obstinacy and ignorance destroy the work
of genius, policy and enlightenment.

"The recall of your Eminence is notified contrary to custom, against the
formalities in usage, and on the eve of the Passion week--three
circumstances which sufficiently explain the charitable and entirely
evangelical spirit of the holy father. No matter, his Majesty recognizes
your Eminence no more as legate. From this moment the Gallican Church
resumes all the integrity of its doctrine. More learned, more truly
religious, than the Church of Rome, she has no want of the latter. I send
to your eminence the passports you have demanded. We are thus at war, and
his Majesty has given orders in consequence. His Holiness will be
satisfied--he will have the happiness of declaring war in the holy week.
The thunders of the Vatican will be all the more formidable. His Majesty
fears them less than those of the castle of St. Angelo. He who curses
kings, is cursed by God."

At the same time, and by order of Napoleon, a decree was prepared
enumerating all the grievances of which he accused the court of Rome, and
enacting that "the provinces of Urbino, Ancona, Macerata, and Camerino,
should be irrevocably and forever united to the kingdom of Italy, to form
three new departments." The Code Napoleon was to be proclaimed there.

The violent and arbitrary measures employed by the emperor towards the
Pope naturally bore their fruits. In removing from Pius VII. the cardinals
who were not natives of the Roman states, he had deprived the pontiff of
the most enlightened and moderate counsels which could reach his ears, and
had delivered him, in his weakness and just indignation, to all the
influences against which Cardinal Consalvi had constantly struggled. From
this time every despotic act of Napoleon, every rude word of the soldiers
charged to execute his orders, increased the irritation of the Pope, and
urged him to advance on a course of blind resistance. A prohibition to
swear allegiance to the new government was addressed to the bishops and
all the priests of the territories taken away from the pontifical states;
this prohibition was founded upon principles of dogma and religion.
Henceforth the personal will of the Pope, his dignity as a sovereign, and
his conscience as a priest, were all engaged in the struggle against the
Emperor Napoleon. "Those who have succeeded in alarming the conscience of
the holy father are still the strongest," Lefebvre, the chargé-d'affaires
of France, who had not yet quitted Rome, wrote to Champagny. "The tenor of
the reply to the ultimatum that I have been instructed to remit to him has
been changed twice this morning--so much did they still hesitate upon the
decision to take. The theologians themselves were divided even in the
Sacred College, and I doubt not that the refusal of his Holiness to agree
with the emperor will throw into consternation a number of his warmest

The rupture was from this time official, and the relations of the Pope
with the French authorities who occupied the pontifical city became every
day more bitter. Pius VII. had chosen for his secretary of state, Cardinal
Pacca, witty, amiable, devoted to the holy father, but strongly attached
to the most narrow ideas as to the government of the Roman Church in the
world; in other respects, prudent in his conduct towards General Miollis,
and often excited to action by the Pope, who complained of his timidity.
"They pretend in Rome that we are asleep," said Pius VII. to his minister;
"we must prove that we are awake, and address a vigorous note to the
French general." The protest was posted everywhere in Rome, on the morning
of the 24th August, 1808; eight days later, and under the pretext that the
secretary of state interfered with the recruiting for the civic guard,
Cardinal Pacca received the order to quit Rome in twenty-four hours. "Your
Eminence will find at the gate of St. John an escort of dragoons, whose
duty is to accompany you to Benevento, your native town." In the meantime
a French officer was appointed to watch over the cardinal. The latter was
still talking with his jailer, when Pius VII. suddenly entered the cabinet
of his minister.

"I was then witness of a phenomenon which I had often heard spoken of,"
relates Cardinal Pacca in his memoirs. "In an access of violent anger, the
hair of the holy father bristled up, and his sight was confused. Although
I was dressed as a cardinal, he did not know me. 'Who is there?' he
demanded, in a loud voice. 'I am the cardinal,' I replied, kissing his
hand. 'Where is the officer?' demanded the holy father; and I pointed him
out near me, in a respectful attitude. Then the Pope, turning towards him,
'Go and tell your general that I am weary of suffering so many insults and
outrages from a man who dares still to call himself a Catholic. I command
my minister not to obey the injunctions of an illegitimate authority. Let
your general know, that if force is employed to tear him from me it shall
only be after having broken all the doors; and I declare him beforehand
responsible for the consequences of such an enormous crime.' And making a
sign to the cardinal to follow him, 'Let us go,' said the Pope. The
officer had gone out to carry to the general the message of the holy
father. The secretary of state was installed in an apartment which opened
into the Pope's bedroom. The gates of the Quirinal remained closed to all
the French officers, and General Miollis did not claim his prisoner."

Months had meanwhile passed away. The emperor had quitted Spain to make
preparations for the campaign of Germany. Without ever ceasing to load the
Pope with unfriendly words and treatment, Napoleon had been engaged in
affairs more important than his troubles with the pontifical court. Public
order was maintained in Rome, thanks to the Italian prudence of the
secretary of state, and the strict discipline which General Miollis knew
how to maintain among his troops, and even among the auxiliaries he had
recruited from the revolutionary middle-class. The time arrived, however,
when this situation, more violent in fact than in form, was suddenly to
assume its real character. Napoleon was at Schoenbrunn, already victor in
the five days' battle which had rendered him master of Vienna, and more
certain than he was immediately after Essling of the promptitude and
extent of his success. It was then that he drew up, and sent by Champagny,
two decrees relating to the taking possession, pure and simple, of the
States of the Pope. He explained the reasons of this to his minister in a
long letter, which was to serve as a basis for Champagny's report, and
which, by its singular mixture of thoughts and principles, showed the
historical heredity connecting the power of Napoleon with that of
Charlemagne, united to the sovereign power which disposed in the name of
conquest of territories and states, were confused in the imagination of
the emperor, and made him look upon the independent attitude of the Pope
as an act of criminal opposition.

"When Charlemagne made the popes temporal sovereigns, he wished them to
remain vassals of the empire; now, far from thinking themselves vassals of
the empire, they are not even willing to form a part of it. The aim of
Charlemagne in his generosity towards the popes was the welfare of
Christianity; and now they claim to ally themselves with Protestants and
the enemies of Christianity. The least impropriety that results from these
arrangements is to see the head of the Catholic religion negotiating with
Protestants; whilst according to the laws of the Church he ought to shun
them, and excommunicate them. (There is a prayer to this effect recited at

"The interest of religion, and the interest of the peoples of France,
Germany and Italy, require that an end should be made of this ridiculous
temporal power--the feeble remnant of the exaggerated pretensions of the
Gregories, who claimed to reign over kings, to give away crowns, and to
have the direction of the affairs of earth as well as of heaven. In the
absence of councils, let the popes have the direction of the affairs of
the Church so far as they do not infringe on the liberties of the Gallican
Church--that is all right; but they ought not to mix themselves up with
armies or state policy. If they are the successors of Jesus Christ, they
ought not to exercise any other dominion than that which He Himself
exercised, and His 'kingdom is not of this world.'

"If your Majesty does not do that which you alone can do, you will leave
in Europe the seeds of dissension and discord. Posterity, whilst praising
you for having re-established religion and re-erected her altars, will
blame you for having left the empire (which is in fact the major portion
of Christendom) exposed to the influence of this fantastic medley,
inimical to religion and the tranquillity of the empire. This obstacle can
only be surmounted by separating the temporal from the spiritual
authority, and by declaring that the states of the Pope form a portion of
the French Empire."

It is too often an error of men, even of the first rank, to believe in the
universal power and duration of their wishes and decisions. The Emperor
Napoleon though he had solved forever this question of the temporal power
of the popes-a question which we have so many times heard discussed by the
most eloquent voices; we have seen armies upholding on fields of battle
contradictory principles on this subject, and diplomacy painfully
accomplishing imperfect settlements.

He displayed towards Pope Pius VII. the most arrogant contempt of the
rights and independence of others, and a passionate self-will as regards
all resistance. Under shelter of ancient authority, of which he
retrospectively took possession, he boldly invoked the highest reasons and
the most venerated names, in order to justify an arbitrary resolution, and
the grasping selfishness which swayed his mind. It was the practice of the
French Revolution to prop up its violent and despotic proceedings by the
loftiest principles; the Emperor Napoleon had not forgotten this

In all the manifestly criminal acts of his powerful career--in the fatal
resolves of his mistaken and culpable caprices, whether it was a question
of the assassination of the Due d'Enghien or the brutal removal of the
Pope from Rome--Napoleon always chose his part in the complete isolation
of his soul, and by the spontaneous act of a personal decision; he made
sure of the execution of his will with minute precautions: he did not the
less subsequently seek to throw back the responsibility of the acts
themselves upon the instruments too ready to obey him. When Europe
suddenly learnt that the Pope had been removed from the states henceforth
united to the French Empire, Napoleon wrote to Fouché, "I am vexed that
the Pope has been arrested; it is a great folly. It was necessary to
arrest Cardinal Pacca, and leave the Pope in tranquillity at Rome;" and to
Cambacérès, the 28th July: "It is without my orders, and against my will,
that the Pope has been made to leave Rome."

Measures had, however, been taken with that provident exactitude which
characterized the personal orders of the Emperor Napoleon. Immediately he
had resolved upon the confiscation of the Roman States he had divined the
consequence and importance of this act; the new government was organized,
Murat had been charged with the command of the troops, and to hold himself
ready for any event. "Since your Majesty has made me aware of your
intentions as to Rome, I shall not withdraw from Naples," wrote Murat to
the emperor. "Word has been sent me that the Pope wished to send forth an
excommunication, but that the majority of the Consistory were opposed to
it. All your orders will be fulfilled, and I hope without trouble."

This was hoping for much from the patience of the holy father, and
maintaining great illusions as to the decision long since taken by the
Court of Rome. The project of the spoliation of the pontifical states had
not been kept so secret that the Pope and his minister had not been
apprised of it; and several times Pius VII. had let it be understood that
he was prepared for resistance. "We see plainly that the French wish to
force us to speak Latin," he had said quite recently; "ah, well! we will
do it."

General Miollis, supported and directed by the King of Naples, did not
take much account of the Latin of the court of Rome when it was a question
of obeying the orders of the Emperor Napoleon. The military preparations
completed (the 10th June, 1809), the tricolor flag was mounted upon the
castle of St. Angelo in place of the pontifical arms, and the imperial
decrees were everywhere read before the population of Rome and the
assembled troops. The report of these things soon reached the Quirinal. "I
rushed suddenly into the apartment of the holy father," writes Cardinal
Pacca, "and on meeting we both pronounced the words of the Redeemer,
_Consummatum est!_ I was in a condition difficult to describe, but the
sight of the holy father, who maintained an unalterable tranquillity, much
edified me, and reanimated my courage. A few minutes afterwards my nephew
brought me a copy of the imperial decree. Observing the Pope attentively
at the first words, I saw emotion on his countenance, and the signs of
indignation only too natural. Little by little he recovered himself, and
he heard the reading with much tranquillity and resignation." Cardinal
Pacca was even obliged to urge the pope to promulgate the bull of
excommunication, which had been prepared already since 1806. Pius VII.
still hesitated. "Raise your eyes towards heaven, Thrice Holy Father,"
said the secretary of state, "and then give me your order, and be sure
that that which proceeds from your mouth will be the will of God." "Ah,
well! let the bull go forth," cried the Pope; "but let those who shall
execute your orders take great care, for if they are discovered they will
be shot, and for that I should be inconsolable."

The bull of excommunication against the Emperor Napoleon was everywhere
placarded in Rome, without the agents of Cardinal Pacca undergoing the
vengeance dreaded by the Pope. Anger and fear were wrestling in a higher
sphere. The instructions of the emperor had been precise: "I have confided
to you the care of maintaining tranquillity in my Roman states," he wrote
to General Miollis. "You are to have arrested, even in the house of the
Pope himself, those who plot against public tranquillity, and against the
safety of my soldiers. A priest abuses his character, and merits less
indulgence than another man, when he preaches war and disobedience to
temporal power, and when he sacrifices spiritual things for the interest
of this world, which the Scripture declares not to be his." And to the
King of Naples, in two different letters, of the 17th and 19th of June:
"If the Pope wishes to form a reunion of caballers like Cardinal Pacca, it
will be necessary to permit nothing of the kind, and to act at Rome as I
should act towards the cardinal archbishop of Paris.... I have given you
to understand that my intention was that the affairs of Rome should be
quickly settled, and that no species of opposition should take place. No
asylum ought to be respected, if my decrees are not submitted to; and
under no pretext whatever ought any resistance to be allowed. If the Pope,
in opposition to the spirit of his office and of the Gospel, preaches
revolt, and wishes to make use of the immunity of his house for the
printing of circulars, he ought to be arrested. The time for this sort of
thing is past. Philippe le Bel caused Boniface to be arrested; and Charles
V. kept Clement VII. in prison for a long time, for far less cause. The
priest who to the temporal powers preaches discord and war, instead of
peace, abuses his character."

The orders were precise, and admitted of no hesitation. The confiscation
of the papal states had been responded to by the papal bull; open war had
broken out between Pius VII., and the Emperor Napoleon. The latter was
desirous of insuring the execution of his will by sending to Rome General
Radet, less honorably scrupulous than General Miollis; an instrument
docile and daring, as regards the details of the general scheme. Radet has
himself given an account of the removal of the Pope in a report to the
minister of war, dated July 13th, 1809. In 1814, he had forgotten the
existence of this letter, and vainly sought to minimize the importance of
the part which he played on the 6th of July. History must preserve for
General Radet his place in her annals. The man to carry out the projects
of Napoleon had been well chosen.

Already for several months the Pope had been carefully guarding himself in
the Quirinal; the precautions had been redoubled since the decrees, and
the publication of the bull. Pius VII. and his counsellors foresaw the
removal. General Radet took all possible measures to turn aside suspicion.
"On the 5th, at the break of day," he himself wrote, "I made the necessary
arrangements, which I succeeded in screening from the eyes of the Romans
by double patrols and measures of police. I kept the troops in the
barracks all day, in order to lull the public and the inhabitants of the
Quirinal into a feeling of security. From that spot the Pope governed with
his finger more than we did with our bayonets. At nine o'clock, I caused
the military chiefs to come to me, one after another, and gave them my
orders. At ten o'clock, we were collected in the place of the Holy
Apostles, and at the barracks of La Pilota, which was the centre of my
operations. At eleven o'clock I myself placed my patrols, my guards, my
posts, and my detachments for carrying out the operations, whilst the
governor-general caused the bridges of the Tiber and the castle of St.
Angelo to be occupied by a Neapolitan battalion."

General Radet had received a written order from General Miollis, for the
arrest of Cardinal Pacca. The order to arrest the Pope was not written
down. Nobody had dared to put his signature to it; verbal instructions
only were given.

Three detachments of soldiers, furnished with scaling-ladders, ropes and
grappling-irons, surrounded the Quirinal. At half-past ten, the sentinel
who kept guard on the tower of the Quirinal disappeared. The signal was
immediately given. With varying success the small battalions introduced
themselves into the palace. The Swiss guard was disarmed; it had for a
long time previously received orders to make no resistance. The chief
anxiety of the Pope had always been that he might be up and about when
they should come to arrest him. He had gone to bed late, and was roused up
by the noise in the middle of his first sleep. Cardinal Pacca, however,
found him completely dressed, when the former rushed precipitately into
his chamber. The gate was already yielding to the efforts of the
assailants. Pius VII. seated himself under a canopy; making a sign to the
secretary of state, and to Cardinal Desping, to place themselves near him.
"Open the gate," said he.

General Radet had never seen the Pope; he recognized him by the attitude
of his guides; and immediately sending back the soldiers, he caused the
officers to enter with drawn swords; a few gendarmes, with muskets in
their hands, also glided into the chamber. The priest was waiting in
silence; the soldier was hesitating. At length the latter, hat in hand,
spoke: "I have a sorrowful mission to accomplish," said General Radet; "I
am compelled by my oaths to fulfil it." Pius VII. stood up. "Who are you,"
said he, "and what is it you require of me, that you come at such an hour
to trouble my repose and invade my dwelling-place?" "Most Holy Father,"
replied the General, "I come in the name of my government to reiterate to
your Holiness the proposal to officially renounce your temporal power. If
your holiness consents to it, I do not doubt but that affairs may be
arranged, and that the emperor will treat your holiness with the greatest
respect." The Pope was resting one hand upon the table placed before him.
"If you have believed yourself bound to execute such orders of the emperor
by reason of your oath of fidelity and obedience, think to what an extent
we feel compelled to sustain the rights of the holy see, to which we are
bound by so many oaths? We can neither yield nor abandon that which
belongs to it. The temporal power belongs to the Church, and we are only
the administrator. The emperor may tear us in pieces, but he will not
obtain from us what he demands. After all that we have done for him, ought
we to expect such treatment?"

"I know that the emperor is under many obligations to your holiness!"
replied Radet, more and more troubled. "Yes, more than you are aware of;
but, finally, what are your orders?"--"Most Holy Father, I regret the
commission with which I am charged, but I must inform you that I am
ordered to take you away with me." The pontiff bent slightly towards the
speaker, and said in tones of sweet compassion, "Ah! my son, your mission
is one that will not draw down upon you the divine blessing." Then,
turning again towards the cardinals, and appearing to speak to himself,
"This, then, is the recognition which is accorded to me of all that which
I have done for the emperor! This, then, is the reward for my great
condescension towards him and towards the Church of France! But perhaps in
this respect I have been culpable towards God. He wishes to punish me; I
submit with humility."

General Radet had sent for the final orders of General Miollis. The
brigadier of gendarmerie charged with this commission re-entered the
chamber of the Pope. "The order of his excellency," said he, "is, that it
is necessary for the holy father and Cardinal Pacca to set out at once
with General Radet: the other persons in his suite will follow after." The
Pope rose up; he walked with difficulty. Moved in spite of himself, Radet
offered his arm to support him, proposing to retire, in order to leave the
holy father free to give his orders and dispose of any valuable objects
that he might have a fancy for. "When one has no hold upon life, one has
no hold upon the things of this world," replied Pius VII., taking from a
table at the side of his bed his breviary and his crucifix. "I am ready,"
said he.

The carriage was already at the palace gate, the postillions ready to
start. The Pope stood still, giving his benediction to the city of Rome,
and to the French troops ranged in order of battle on the place. It was
four o'clock in the morning; the streets were deserted. The Pope got into
the carriage beside Cardinal Pacca; the doors were locked by a gendarme.
General Radet and a marshal of the household got on to the box-seat; the
horses set off at a quick trot along the road to Florence.

General Radet offered a purse of Gold to the Pope, which the latter
refused. "Have you any money?" asked the holy father of his companion. "I
have not been permitted to enter my apartment," said the cardinal; "and I
did not think of bringing my purse." The Pope had a papetto, value twenty
sous. "This is all that remains tome of my principality," said he,
smiling. "We are travelling in apostolic fashion," responded Pacca. "We
have done well in publishing the bull of the 10th of June," replied Pius
VII.; "now it would be too late."

For nineteen hours the coach rattled along; the stores were getting low.
Everywhere, and in spite of a few accidents, the passage of the Pope
forestalled the news of his capture. The suite of the holy father joined
him on the morrow; the Pope was suffering, he was in a fever. The populace
began to be stirred up with the rumors which were circulating: they
crowded round the carriages. "I disembarrassed myself of them," writes
Radet, "by calling out to them to place themselves on their knees on the
right and left of the road, in order that the holy father might give him
his benediction; then all of a sudden I ordered the postillions to dash
forward. By this means the people were still on their kness whilst we were
already far away, at a gallop. This plan succeeded everywhere."

Arrived on the 8th of July at the chartreuse of Florence, Pius VII.
expected to rest there a few days: but the Princess Baciocchi had not
received instructions from the emperor: she hurried the departure. "I see
well that they want to cause my death by their bad treatment," said the
exhausted old man; "and if there is but a little more of it I feel that
the end will not be far off." Cardinal Pacca was no longer with him. At
Genoa the Prince Borghese, who was commanding there, was seized with the
same panic as the Princess Baciocchi. After a few moments of repose at
Alexandria, Pius VII. was carried, by way of Mondovi and Rivoli, towards
Grenoble. In the last stages, in the little Italian villages, the bells
pealed forth, and the crowd who besought the benediction of the prisoner
everywhere retarded the advance. It was the same in all the districts of
Savoy and Dauphiny. When the Pope made his entry into Grenoble, on the
21st of July, the ardor of the population had not diminished, but the
bells rang no longer; the clergy had been forbidden to present themselves
before the pontiff. The prefect was absent, Fouché having been designedly
detained at Paris. The orders of the emperor had at length arrived from
Schoenbrunn. "I received at the same time the two letters of General
Miollis and that of the Grand Duchess," he wrote, on the 18th of July, to
Fouché. "I am vexed that the Pope has been arrested; it is a great folly.
It was needful to arrest Cardinal Pacca, and to leave the Pope quietly at
Rome. But there is no remedy for it now; what is done is done. I know not
what the Prince Borghese will have done, but my intention is that the Pope
should not enter France. If he is still in the Rivière of Genoa, the best
place at which he could be placed would be Savona. There is a house there
large enough, where he would be suitably lodged until we know what course
he decides upon. If his madness terminates, I have no objection to his
being taken back to Rome. If he has entered France, have him taken back
towards Savona and San Remo. Cause his correspondence to be examined. As
to Cardinal Pacca, have him shut up at Fenestrella; and let him understand
that if a single Frenchman is assassinated through his instigation, he
will be the first to pay for it with his head."

Fifteen days later (August 6th, 1809), in the midst of his prudent and
foreseeing preparations for the possible resumption of hostilities,
enlightened by reflection, or by the report of the popular emotion in the
provinces traversed by Pius VII., Napoleon modified his orders as to the
residence of the Pope. "Monsieur Fouché, I should have preferred that only
Cardinal Pacca had been arrested at Rome, and that the Pope had been left
there. I should have preferred, since the Pope has not been left at Genoa,
that he had been taken to Savona; but since he is at Grenoble, I should be
vexed that you should make him set out to be re-conducted to Savona; it
would be better to guard him at Grenoble, since he is there; the former
course would have the appearance of making sport of the old man. I have
not authorized Cardinal Fesch to send any one to his holiness; I have only
had the minister of religion informed that I should desire Cardinal Maury
and the other prelates to write to the Pope, to know what he wishes, and
to make him understand that if he renounces the Concordat I shall regard
it on my side as null and void. As to Cardinal Pacca, I suppose that you
have sent him to Fenestrella, and that you have forbidden his
communication with any one. I make a great difference between the Pope and
him, principally on account of his rank and his moral virtues. The Pope is
a good man, but ignorant and fanatical. Cardinal Pacca is a man of
education and a scoundrel, an enemy of France, and deserving of no regard.
Immediately I know where the Pope is located I shall see about taking
definitive measures; of course if you have already caused him to set out
for Savona, it is not necessary to bring him back."

The Pope was at Savona, where he was long to remain. Already the
difficulties of religious administration were commencing, and the
emperor's mind was engrossed with the institution of bishops to the vacant
sees. He had ordered all the prelates to chant a public _Te Deum_ with
reference to the victory of Wagram. The bishops of Dalmatia alone had
frankly and spiritedly replied to the statement of reasons which preceded
the circular. In France the silence was still profound. The emperor had
beforehand forbidden the journals to give any news from Rome. "It is a bad
plan to let articles be written," he wrote to Fouché; "there is to be no
speaking, either for or against, and it is not to be a matter for
discussion in the journals. Well-informed men know perfectly that I have
not attacked Rome. The mistaken bigots you cannot alter. Act on this
principle." The _Moniteur_ held its tongue. All the journals followed its
example. No one talked of the bull of excommunication. The circuits of the
missionary priests were forbidden, as well as the ecclesiastical
conferences of St. Sulpice. "The missionaries are for whoever pays them,"
declared the emperor, "for the English, if they are willing to employ
them. I do not wish to have any missions whatever; get me ready a draft of
a decree on that subject; I wish to complete it. I only know bishops,
priests, and curates. I am satisfied with keeping up religion in my own
country; I do not care about propagating it abroad." All the cardinals
still remaining at Rome were expelled. In the depths of his soul, and in
spite of the chimerical impulses of his irritated thoughts, Napoleon was
already feeling the embarrassments which he had himself sown along his
path. The Pope a prisoner at Savona, indomitable in his conscientious
resistance, might become more dangerous than the Pope at Rome, powerless
and unarmed. The struggle was not terminated; a breath of revolt had
passed over Europe. Henceforth Napoleon was at war with that Catholic
religion, the splendor of whose altars he had deemed it a point of honor
to restore; he struggled at the same time violently against that national
independence of the peoples which he had everywhere in his words invoked
in opposition to the arbitrary jealousy of the monarchs. The Spanish
sovereigns had succumbed to his yoke; the Spanish people, henceforth
sustained by the might of England, courageously defended its liberties. At
the moment when the supreme effort of the victory of Wagram was about to
snatch humiliating concessions from the Emperor Francis, the captive Pope
and the Spanish insurgents were presenting to Europe a salutary and
striking contrast, the teachings of which she was beginning to comprehend.

Not the least significant of the lessons on the frailty of the human
colossi raised by conquerors is the impossibility of tracing their history
on the same canvas. For a long time Napoleon alone had filled the scene,
and his brilliant track was easily kept in view. In proportion as he
accumulated on his shoulders a burden too heavy, and as he extended his
empire without consolidating it, the insufficiency of human will and human
power made itself more painfully felt. Napoleon was no longer everywhere
present, acting and controlling, in order to repair the faults he had
committed, or to dazzle the spectators with new successes. In vain the
prodigious activity of his spirit sought to make up for the radical defect
of his universal dominion. The Emperor Napoleon was conquered by the very
nature of things, before the fruits of his unmeasured ambition had had
time to ripen, and before all Europe, indignant and wearied out, was at
length roused up against him.

There was already, in 1809, a confused but profound instinctive feeling
throughout the world that the moment for resistance and for supreme
efforts had arrived. The Archduke Charles had proved it in Austria by the
fury of his courage; the English cabinet were bearing witness to it by the
great preparations they were displaying on their coast and in their
arsenals, as well as by the ready aid lent by them to the insurgents of
the Peninsula. The Emperor Napoleon on quitting Spain, in the month of
January, had left behind him the certain germs of growing disorder.
Obliged of necessity to commit the chief command to King Joseph, he had
been desirous of remedying the weakness and military incapacity of the
monarch whom he had himself put on the throne by conferring upon the
marshals charged with continuing the war an almost absolute authority over
their _corps d'armée_. Each of them was to correspond directly with the
minister of war, supremely directed by Napoleon himself. Deprived thus of
all serious control over the direction of the war, King Joseph saw himself
equally thwarted in civil and financial affairs. Spanish interests were
naturally found to conflict with French interests. King Joseph defended
the former; an army of imperial functionaries were charged with the
protection of the second. In this mission they proceeded at times even to
insult. King Joseph threatened to place in a carriage M. de Fréville,
administrator for the treasury of confiscated goods, and to send him
directly to France. The complaints of the unfortunate monarch to his
brother were frequent and well founded. "Your Majesty has not entire
confidence in me," he wrote on the 17th of February to Napoleon, "and
meanwhile, without that, the position is not tenable. I shall not again
repeat what I have already written ten times as to the situation of the
finances; I give all my faculties to business from eight o'clock in the
morning to eleven o'clock in the evening; I go out once a week; I have not
a sou to give to any one; I am in the fourth year of my reign, and I still
see my guard with the first frock-coat which I gave it, three years ago; I
am the goal of all complaints; I have all pretensions to overcome; my
power does not extend beyond Madrid, and at Madrid itself I am daily
thwarted. Your Majesty has ordered the sequestration of the goods of ten
families, it has been extended to more than double. All the habitable
houses are sealed up; 6000 domestics of the sequestrated families are in
the streets. All demand charity; the boldest of them take to robbery and
assassination. My officers--all those who sacrificed with me the kingdom
of Naples--are still lodged by billets. Without capital, without income,
without money, what can I do? All this picture, bad as it is, is not
exaggerated, and, bad as it is, it will not exhaust my courage; I shall
arrive at the end of all that. Heaven has given me everything needful to
overcome the hindrances from circumstances or from my enemies; but that
which Heaven has denied me is an organization capable of supporting the
insults and contradictions of those who ought to serve me, and, above all,
of contending with the dissatisfaction of a man whom I have loved too well
to be ever willing to dislike him. Thus, sire, if my whole life has not
given you the fullest confidence in me; if you judge it necessary to
surround me with petty souls, who cause me myself to redden with shame; if
I am to be insulted even in my capital; if I have not the right to appoint
the governors and commandants who are always under my eyes,--I have not
two choices to make. I am only King of Spain by the force of your arms. I
might become so by the love of the Spaniards; but for that it would be
necessary to govern in my own manner. I have often heard you say, 'Every
animal has its instinct, and each one ought to follow it.' I will be such
a king as the brother and friend of your Majesty ought to be, or I will
return to Mortefontaine, where I shall ask for nothing but the happiness
of living without humiliation, and of dying with a tranquil conscience."

Joseph Bonaparte had presumed too much on his forces and the remains of
his independence. Constantly hard and severe with regard to his brothers,
the emperor replied with scorn to King Joseph: "It is not ill-temper and
small passions that you need, but views cool and conformable to your
position. You talk to me of the constitution. Let me know if the
constitution forbids the King of Spain to be at the head of 300,000
Frenchmen? if the constitution prohibits the garrison from being French,
and the governor of Madrid a Frenchman? if the constitution says that in
Saragossa the houses are to be blown up one after another? You will not
succeed in Spain, except by vigor and energy. This parade of goodness and
clemency ends in nothing. You will be applauded so long as my armies are
victorious; you will be abandoned if they are vanquished. You ought to
have become acquainted with the Spanish nation in the time you have been
in Spain, and after the events that you have seen. Accustom yourself to
think your royal authority as a very small matter."

The emperor had correctly judged the precarious condition of the French
power in Spain; he had reckoned, and he still reckoned, on the success of
his arms. The military counsellor whom he had left near his brother
possessed neither his esteem nor his confidence. Marshal Jourdan was a
cold and prudent spirit, always imbued with the military habits of the
French Revolution, and had never courted the favor of Napoleon; King
Joseph was attached to him, and had brought him with him to Naples. The
lieutenants of the emperor showed him no deference; it was, however, by
his agency that the orders of the minister of war passed to the staff-
officers at Madrid. Already, and by the express instructions of the
emperor, Marshal Soult was on march for Portugal. His rapid triumphs did
not appear doubtful; and the operations of Marshal Victor in the south of
Spain were to be dependent on the succors that were to reach him when
Lisbon was conquered. The difficulties everywhere opposed to Marshal Soult
by the passionate insurrection of the Portuguese population, however,
retarded his march. He only arrived on the banks of the Minho on the 15th
of February; the peasants had taken away the boats. An attempted passage
near the mouth of the river having failed, the _corps d'armée_ was
compelled to reascend its course, after a series of partial combats
against the forces of the Marquis of Romana, who had given his support to
the Portuguese insurrection. When he had at length succeeded in crossing
the Minho at Orense, Soult seized successively the towns of Chaves and
Braga, which were scarcely defended. The chiefs of the insurgents had been
constrained by their soldiers to this useless show of resistance, General
Frère having been massacred by the militia whom he ordered to evacuate
Braga. At Oporto the disorder was extreme; the population fought under the
orders of the bishop. The attack had been cleverly arranged. At the moment
when the bewildered crowd was pressing tumultuously over the bridge of
boats across the Douro, the cables broke; men, women, and children were
engulfed in the waves. In spite of the efforts of the general, the city
was sacked. The long wars, the rude life of the camps, the daily habit of
subsisting by pillage, had little by little relaxed the bonds of
discipline. Marshal Soult established himself at Oporto, incapable of
advancing even to Lisbon with his forces reduced by garrisoning towns, in
presence of the English troops, who had not ceased to occupy the capital.
He could not, or he would not make known at Madrid the position in which
he found himself. Behind him the insurrection had closed every passage. He
found himself isolated in Portugal, and conceived the thought of
submitting the environs of Oporto to a regular and pacific government, re-
establishing order all round, and constantly attentive to gain the favor
of important persons. Perhaps the marshal raised his hopes even to the
foundation of an independent and personal power, more durable than
imperial conquests. It was with his consent that the draft of a popular
pronunciamento was circulated in the provinces of Minho and Oporto,
praying "his Excellency the Duke of Dalmatia to take the reins of
government, to represent the sovereign, and to invest himself with all the
attributes of supreme authority, until the emperor might designate a
prince of his house or of his choice to reign over Portugal."

The sentiments of the army were divided, and an opposition was preparing
to the schemes of the marshal, when the latter learned that an enemy more
redoubtable than the Portuguese insurrection was threatening him in this
province, where he had dreamed of founding a kingdom. Sir Arthur Wellesley
had arrived at Lisbon on the 22nd of April, with reinforcements which
swelled the English _corps d'armée_ to 25,000 men; fifteen or twenty
thousand Portuguese soldiers marched under his orders; a crowd of
insurgents impeded rather than aided his operations. He advanced
immediately against Marshal Soult, now for five weeks immovable at Oporto.
On the 2nd of May he was at Coimbra. Well informed of the plots which were
preparing at Oporto, to which a French officer named Argentan had been
engaged to lend a hand, he resolved upon attacking as speedily as possible
the positions of the marshal. When the latter was informed of the projects
of the English general, retreat was already cut off in the valley of the
Tamega by a strong assemblage of the insurgents, and in the valley of the
Douro by the English general Beresford. Only one route remained still open
to Marshal Soult--by Braga and the provinces of the north. Retreat was
resolved upon, the powder saturated, the field artillery horsed; the
departure was ordered for twelve at noon, and a part of the army was
already defiling on the road to Amarante.

In the night between the 11th and 12th two English battalions had crossed
the Douro at Avinto, three leagues above Oporto, collecting all the
vessels which were to be found on the river, and descending the course of
the stream under cover of the darkness. The army of Sir Arthur Wellesley
had meanwhile occupied the suburbs of the left bank, concealing his
movements behind the heights of La Sarca. Marshal Soult was ignorant of
that operation. At daybreak a small body of picked men, boldly crossing
the river within sight of our soldiers, took possession of an enclosure
called the Seminary. Entrenching themselves there, and constantly
receiving new reinforcements, the English made a desperate defence against
the attempts of General Delaborde. The main body of the enemy's army
beginning to fill all the streets of Oporto, the marshal at once sounded
retreat, and the wounded and sick were left to the care of the English.
When, on the evening of the 12th, the army reached the town of Baltar,
Soult learned that the roads by Braga had been intercepted, as well as by
the valley of the Douro. General Loison, unable to force the passage of
the Tamega, had evacuated Amarante. The roads from the north would bring
the army back to the suburbs of Oporto. The marshal, not wishing to risk a
fresh encounter with the enemy, at once made up his mind to sacrifice
without hesitation his baggage, ammunition, artillery, and even the
greater part of the treasure of the army, to enter the mountain passes,
and join at Guimaraens the divisions which had preceded him. When at last
the army reached Orense, after seven days' marching, varied by small
skirmishes, the soldiers were exhausted and depressed. Portugal was for
the second time lost to us. Marshal Soult immediately marched towards
Galicia, which had for two months been the theatre of Ney's operations,
and freed Lugo, while that marshal was making a brilliant expedition in
the Asturias along with General Kellermann. The two chiefs made an
arrangement as to the measures to be taken against the insurgents who had
assembled at St. Jago under the orders of the Marquis Romana; after which
Soult was to march upon Old Castile as far as Zamora, to be near the
English, who were said to be threatening the south of Portugal. Ney
proposed to attack Vigo, where General Noriena had fortified himself,
supported by the crews of several English vessels. From the very first,
since the junction of the two armies, both officers and soldiers had
exchanged keen and bitter recrimination. A better feeling, however, had
reappeared, and the mutual good-will of the chiefs for each other silenced
the ill-disposed. After their separation, Ney freed St. Jago; but after
advancing to the suburbs of Vigo, and seeing its strong position, he
waited for the result of Soult's movement against Romana.

Several days having elapsed, he learned that, after driving Romana back to
Orense without fighting, and staying several days at Montforte, the
marshal had taken the road to Zamora, without replying to the letters of
his companion-in-arms. From information received from Lugo, Ney was
persuaded that Soult's project had long been premeditated, and that he had
of deliberate purpose broken the bargain stipulated between them. His
anger burst forth with a violence proportioned to the frankness he had
shown when treating with Soult, and this anger was shared by the officers
and soldiers of his army. He at once determined to evacuate Galicia, which
was threatened both by the English and the Spanish insurgents. Leaving a
strong garrison at Ferrol, Ney slowly advanced towards Lugo, where he
collected the sick and wounded left by Soult, and then returned to
Astorga, in the beginning of July. He wrote to King Joseph: "If I had
wished to resolve to leave Galicia without artillery, I could have
remained there longer, at the risk of being hemmed in; but, avoiding such
a mode of departure, I have retreated, bringing with me my sick and
wounded, as well as those of Marshal Soult, left in my charge. I inform
your Majesty that I have decided not to serve again in company with
Marshal Soult."

King Joseph now had a most troublesome complication, and a position that
daily became more serious. At one time, in April, he was in hopes of
seeing his affairs right themselves again, in spite of the absence of all
news of Soult's operations in Portugal. Marshal Victor, urged by the King
of Spain and by his staff to obey the emperor's instructions and invade
Andalusia, had crossed the Tagus in three columns, and, reforming again on
the Guadiana, had, after passing that river, joined near Medellin Don
Gregorio de la Cuesta, who retreated for several days before him. A severe
battle having dispersed those large forces of the Spanish insurgents, on
the 28th March, the marshal took up his position on the banks of the
Guadiana, at the very time when General Sebastiani, at the head of two
divisions, was defeating the army of Estremadura at Ciudad Real, and
driving it back to the entrance of the Sierra Morena. There they awaited
the movement ordered in the instructions given to Soult, the pivot of the
whole campaign, projected by Napoleon before his departure for Paris. It
was in Germany, just after the battle of Essling, that the emperor learned
of the check caused to all his combinations by Soult's immobility at
Oporto. Obstinate in directing himself the operations of armies at a
distance, without the power of taking into account the state of public
opinion, and without any knowledge of all that had occurred between the
departure of the couriers and the arrival of peremptory orders no longer
suitable to the situation, the emperor conceived the idea of concentrating
three armies under one man. Making all personal considerations bend to the
order of seniority, he entrusted the command to Marshal Soult, thus
investing him with supreme authority over Marshals Mortier and Ney. The
order reached Madrid at the moment when the leaders of the armies were
most keenly antagonistic. "You will send a staff-officer to Spain,"
Napoleon had written to the minister of war, "with the orders that the
forces of the Duke of Elchingen, the Duke of Trevisa, and the Duke of
Dalmatia will form only one army, under the command of the Duke of
Dalmatia. These forces must only move together, to march against the
English, pursue them incessantly, defeat them, and throw them into the
sea. Putting all considerations aside, I give the command to the Duke of
Dalmatia, as being senior in rank. These forces ought to form from 50,000
to 60,000 men, and if the junction is promptly effected, the English will
be destroyed, and the affairs of Spain arranged finally. But they must
keep together, and not march in small parties. That principle applies to
every country, but especially to a country where there can be no
communication. I cannot appoint a place for the armies to meet, because I
do not know what events have taken place. Forward this order to the king,
to the Duke of Dalmatia, and to the two other marshals, by four different

Whilst thus writing, constantly and justly apprehensive of the danger
caused by the English army, Napoleon was still ignorant of the evacuation
of Portugal. "Let your instructions to them be, to attack the enemy
wherever they meet him," he said three days previously to General Clarke,
"to renew their communications with the Duke of Dalmatia, and support him
on the Minho. The English alone are to be feared; alone, if the army is
not directed differently, they will in a few months lead it to a

The order sent by the emperor necessarily assisted in bringing about the
catastrophe of which he was afraid. Marshal Soult, being deceived as to
the plan of the English, and meditating an attack upon Portugal by Ciudad
Rodrigo, wished to concentrate large forces for this purpose. He sent for
Marshal Mortier, who was posted at Villacastín, where he covered Madrid,
and demanded reinforcements from Aragon and Catalonia. The latter troops
were refused him, and Generals Suchet and St. Cyr had great difficulty in
keeping those two provinces in respect. Marshal Jourdan had foreseen the
attack of the English on the Tagus, and was anxious about the position of
Marshal Victor, isolated in Andalusia. Like the other leaders, the marshal
acted independently, without attending to the orders from Madrid: he found
himself compelled to fall back upon Talavera.

He was not to hold that post long. In spite of the extreme difficulty
experienced by Sir Arthur Wellesley in maintaining a good understanding
with his Spanish allies, he had marched to attack Marshal Victor, to whom
King Joseph was sending reinforcements as quickly as he could. About
22,000 English soldiers were now on the field, reduced to such scarcity of
provisions and money as to cause pillage and disorder, in spite of their
commander's anger. Don Cuesta, with about 40,000 men under his orders, had
been appointed, much against his will, to occupy the mountain passes. A
Spanish army of 30,000 men, collected by General Venegas, was expected to
join the two principal armies. On leaving Madrid, with the forces at his
disposal, King Joseph had impressed upon Soult the necessity of attacking
the enemy's rear, so that the Anglo-Spanish army might be crushed between
superior forces. The marshal announced his departure.

Victor had had time to fall back upon Vargas, behind the Guadarama. Sir
Arthur Wellesley crossed the Alberche, a tributary of the Tagus, and as
soon as he found himself in presence of the enemy, wished to offer battle,
urging Cuesta to join him in attacking Victor before the arrival of the
enemy's reinforcements. The Spanish general declared that his honor was at
stake in holding his positions, and absolutely refused to fight. The
English alone, had not men enough at their disposal to contend with the
French troops. Scarcely had the latter commenced their retreat when the
Spanish, suddenly seized with the ardor of battle, rushed in pursuit,
complaining that the "rascals withdrew so fast," wrote Cuesta to
Wellesley, "that one cannot follow them in their flight." "If you run like
that, you will get beaten," replied the English general, scornfully,
annoyed at seeing himself perpetually thwarted in his able plans.

In fact when the Spaniards, a few days afterwards, at last engaged with
the French, Marshal Victor's advance-guard were sufficient to drive Cuesta
back as far as the English battalions, which had been prudently told off
to support him. The fighting was gallant on the part of our troops, and
helped to excite their ardor. King Joseph was urged to join battle: he
feared an attack on Madrid, which he had been compelled to leave
undefended, and reckoned upon the rapid movements of Soult, who had
received orders to advance with all haste from Salamanca to Placentia. He
had no experience of war, and neglected to take into account the chances
of delay and the loss of troops during the march. Marshal Victor was
daring, full of contempt for the Spanish troops, and ignorant of the
qualities of the English army, which had not for a long time been seen on
the continent. The French army advanced upon Talavera, which was strongly
held by Sir Arthur. Hampered by the obstinacy and want of discipline of
his Spanish allies, the English general had relinquished all attempts at
daring, entrenching himself on the defensive. Marshal Soult had not
arrived, being unable, he wrote, to effect his operation on the enemy's
rear before the beginning of August. On the 27th of July, however, on
occupying the ground before the English positions at Talavera, Victor gave
orders to attack a height which was badly defended, and was driven back
with heavy loss. Marshal Jourdan insisted on a delay of a few days, to
allow Soult time to arrive; but the anxiety of King Joseph, and Victor's
impatience, gained the day, and on the 28th, at daybreak, they attacked
the mamelon, already threatened on the 27th.

Our troops gained the top under the English fire, but Sir Arthur had
doubled the ranks of those in defence, and a terrible charge under General
Hill compelled the French again to abandon the position.

The check was serious, and the soldiers began to be discouraged. By common
consent, and without orders given by the leaders, the fight ceased. The
English and French crowded on the two banks of a small brook which
separated the two armies, and all quenched their thirst, without suspicion
of treason or perfidy, and without a single shot being fired on either
side. The French generals again discussed the question of resuming
hostilities. "If this mamelon is not taken," exclaimed Victor,
impetuously, "we should not take any part in a campaign." King Joseph,
deficient in authority both of position and character, gave way. Sir
Arthur Wellesley, seated on the grass at the top of a hill, surveyed the
enemy's lines, and the defences, which he had just strengthened by a
division, and a battery of artillery obtained with great difficulty from
Cuesta. Till then the English had borne the brunt of the fighting; on
General Donkin coming to tell Sir Arthur that the Spanish were betraying
him, the general-in-chief quietly said, "Go back to your division." The
attack was again begun, and this time directed against the whole line of
the English positions, while Village's brigade turned the mamelon to
assail them in flank.

At this moment a charge of the enemy's cavalry poured upon our columns. A
German regiment followed Seymour's dragoons, but were stopped by a
watercourse, and pulled up: the English horsemen alone, boldly crossing
the obstacle, made a furious attack on the French ranks, which opened to
let them pass. In their daring impetuosity the dragoons went as far as our
rear-guard, where they were stopped by new forces, and finally brought
back with great loss to the foot of the mamelon. They stopped the flank
movement however; and the centre of the English army, shaken for a moment,
formed again round Colonel Donellan after a brilliant charge, and our
soldiers were again driven back towards their position. The losses were
great on both sides. The English did not attempt to pursue their
advantages, and when the fight had ceased were satisfied with encamping on
the heights of Talavera. Next day the French army withdrew beyond the
Alberche without being disturbed by the enemy, and waited finally for
Marshal Soult's arrival.

He appeared on the 2nd of August at Placentia, too late for his glory as
well as for the success of the French arms, though in time to modify
Wellesley's plans. The latter had commenced to advance towards him,
thinking he should meet forces inferior to his own; but Mortier had
already followed Soult, Ney's troops were advancing by Salamanca, and King
Joseph was preparing to put under him all his regiments, except those
accompanying General Sebastiani in his march towards Madrid. Sir Arthur
Wellesley understood the dangers of his position: his troops were tired,
and badly fed; and not wishing to risk again the lot of arms, he hurriedly
re-crossed the Tagus, taking care to blow the bridges up, and fell back
upon Truxillo, by the rugged mountain passes. The want of a proper
understanding, and the mutual distrust which during the whole campaign had
reigned between the English and Spanish, had borne their fruits.
Wellesley's soldiers, deprived of the resources to which they had been
accustomed, and which they had a right to expect from their allies, died
in great numbers in their encampments on the bank of the Guadiana: their
wounded had been abandoned at Talavera, when Cuesta evacuated that
position. Sir Arthur gave vent to his bitter complaints in writing to
Frère, the English _chargé d'affaires_ at the insurgents' head-quarters:
"I wish the members of the Junta, before blaming me for not doing more,
and charging me beforehand with the probable results of the faults and
imprudence of others, would be good enough to come here, or send somebody
to supply the wants of our army dying of hunger, and actually after
fighting two days, and defeating in the service of Spain an enemy of twice
their number, without bread to eat. It is a positive fact that for the
last seven days the English army has not received a third of its
provisions, that at this moment there are 4000 wounded soldiers dying for
want of the care and necessaries which any other country in the world
would have supplied, even to its enemies, and that I can derive assistance
of no kind from the country. I cannot even get leave to bury the dead
bodies in the neighborhood. We are told that the Spanish troops sometimes
behave well: I confess that I have never seen them behave otherwise than

The emperor's anger was extreme on learning the check our troops had
received at Talavera. He wrote to Marshal Jourdan, indignantly
recapitulating all the blunders made during the campaign, without at all
considering the difficulties everywhere caused by orders sent from a
distance, in ignorance of the actual facts of the situation. "When at last
they decided to give battle," Napoleon summed up, "it was done without
energy, since my arms were disgraced. Battle should not be given, unless
seventy chances in one's favor can be counted upon beforehand: even then,
one should not offer battle unless there are no more chances to be hoped
for, since the lot of battle is from its nature always doubtful: but once
the resolution is taken, one must conquer or perish, and the French eagles
must not withdraw till all have equally put forth every effort. There must
have been a combination of all these faults before an army like my army of
Spain could have been beaten by 30,000 English: but so long as they will
attack good troops, like the English ones, in good positions, without
reconnoitring these positions, without being certain of carrying them,
they will lead my men to death, and for nothing at all."

The Spanish armies were, after the battle scattered everywhere, according
to their custom, to appear again in a short time like swarms of wasps to
harass our soldiers. Sir Arthur Wellesley entrenched himself at Badajoz,
ready to fall back upon Portugal. No definitive result had crowned the
bloody campaign just completed, but it had an influence upon the
negotiations then being carried on in Spain. An attempt, long prepared by
the English, and to which they attached a great importance, now occupied
the Emperor Napoleon's mind still more than the affairs of Spain.

For several weeks it was believed that the great maritime expedition
organized on the coasts of England was for the purpose of carrying
overwhelming reinforcements to Spain. A first attempt, of less importance,
was directed against our fleets collected at the island of Aix, near
Rochefort. Admiral Willaumez, in charge of an expedition to the Antilles,
had to rally the squadrons of Lorient and Rochefort, and being unavoidably
delayed at the latter place, it was there that Admiral Gambier came to
attack our vessels. Vice-Admiral Allemand carefully fortified the isle of
Aix against an attack, the nature of which he had foreseen, though not the
extent. During the night of the 11th and 12th April, conducted by several
divisions, composed of frigates and brigs, thirty large fire-ships were
suddenly launched against our vessels, exploding in all directions,
breaking the wooden bars by the weight of their burning masses, adhering
to the sides of the ships and compelling even those which they did not set
on fire to go aside to avoid dangers which were more to be dreaded. Thanks
to the skill and bravery of our sailors, none of the vessels perished by
fire; but four of them ran aground at the mouth of the Charente, and were
attacked by the English. The _Calcutta_ surrendered after several hours'
fighting--her commander, Captain Lafon, having to pay with his life for
the weak resistance he is said to have made. The English blew up the
_Aquilon_ and _Varsovie_, and Captain Roncière himself set fire to the
_Tonnerre_, after landing all his crew. Napoleon's continued efforts to
form a rival navy in France constituted a standing menace to England.
After the cruel expedition of the isle of Aix, the principal effort was to
be directed against Antwerp, always an object of English jealousy and
dissatisfaction, as a commercial port, or as a place of war. The works
which the emperor had been carrying on there increased their anxiety, and
on the 29th July forty vessels of the line and thirty frigates appeared in
sight of the island of Walcheren. From 700 to 800 transport-ships brought
an army to be landed, under the orders of Lord Chatham, Pitt's elder
brother, and containing about 40,000 men, with much artillery. The emperor
was at once informed, and M. Decrès, minister of the marine, proposed to
station at Flushing the fleet of Admiral Missiessy. The latter refused,
saying that he would not let himself be taken, and did not wish to see his
crews decimated by the Walcheren fever. That was the auxiliary upon which
Napoleon reckoned against the English expedition; and rightly, too.

Walcheren was slightly and badly fortified; the emperor considering
Flushing to be quite impregnable. "You say that the bombardment of
Flushing makes you apprehensive of its surrender," he wrote on the 22nd
August. "You are wrong to have any such fear. Flushing is impregnable so
long as there is bread in it, and they have enough for six months.
Flushing is impregnable, because there is a moat full of water, which must
be crossed; and finally, because by cutting the dykes they can inundate
the whole island. Write and tell everywhere that Flushing cannot be taken,
unless by the cowardice of the commandants; and also that I am certain of
it, and that the English will go off without having it. The bombs are
nothing--absolutely nothing; they will destroy a few houses, but that has
no effect upon the surrender of a place."

General Monnet, who commanded at Flushing, was an old officer of the
revolution wars, brave and daring and he did his best in opposing the
landing of the English, with a part of his forces, and in gallantly
defending the place; but the inundation did not succeed, on account of the
elevation of the ground and the wind being contrary. Therefore when
Napoleon wrote to Fouché, Flushing had already capitulated, under the
efforts of the most formidable siege artillery. The Dutch commandant
surrendered the forts Denhaak and Terwecre at the same time as Middelburg.
The feeling of the Dutch nation, formerly favorable to republican France,
had been modified since the imperial decrees ruined all the transit trade,
the source of Holland's wealth. King Louis alone hastened to the
assistance of the French army, advancing with his little army between
Santvliet and Antwerp. Four Dutch regiments were fighting in Germany, and
a small corps had been sent into Spain. Thus, while extending his
enterprises in remote parts, the unbounded ambition of Napoleon left
unprotected the very centre of his empire.

General Rousseau, however, succeeded in protecting the island of Cadsand,
and Admiral Strachan and Lord Chatham recalled to the eastern Scheldt the
forces which had been intended for the attack on that island. The English
forces began to land upon the islands of North and South Beveland, in
order to attack Fort Batz at the junction of the two Scheldts, and thus
outflank the French fleet lying in the western Scheldt. Fortunately,
Admiral Missiessy had the advantage over the English commanders in speed,
and sailing up into the higher Scheldt, formed by the two branches of the
river, he arranged his vessels under forts Lillo and Liefkenshoek which by
their cross-fires protected the river from bank to bank. Antwerp was thus
safe from attack by sea; at Paris there was great anxiety as to attacks by

A few provisional demi-brigades, the gendarmes, and picked national
guards, about 30,000 men altogether--such were the forces at the disposal
of the war minister. He durst not--nobody durst, change the destination of
the troops already marching to Germany. The minister of marine and Fouché
at once proposed a general levy of the national guard, under the orders of
Bernadotte--one being daring and dissatisfied, the other fostering
discontent of every kind openly or secretly, and still remembering the
revolutionary procedure. The Council, presided over by the Arch-chancellor
Cambacérès, refused to authorize the calling out of the national guards
without the emperor's express order; but Fouché, without waiting for
orders, wrote on his own authority to all the prefects, and stirred up
everywhere a patriotic zeal. At first Napoleon approved of the ardor of
his minister of police, and severely rated the arch-chancellor and
minister of war for their prudence. "I cannot conceive what you are about
in Paris," he wrote to General Clarke on the 10th August; "you must be
waiting for the English to come and take you in your beds. When 25,000
English are attacking our dockyards and threatening our provinces, is the
ministry doing nothing? What trouble is there in raising 60,000 of the
national guard? What trouble is there in sending the Prince of Pontecorvo
to take the command there, where there is nobody? What trouble is there in
putting my strongholds, Antwerp, Ostend, and Lille, in a state of siege?
It is inconceivable. There is none but Fouché who appears to me to have
done what he could, and to have felt the inconvenience of remaining in a
dangerous and dishonorable position:--dangerous, because the English,
seeing that France is not in movement, and that no impulse is given to
public opinion, will have nothing to fear, and will not hurry to leave our
territory; dishonorable, because it shows fear of opinion, and allows
25,000 English to burn our dockyards without defending them. The slur thus
cast upon France is a perpetual disgrace. Circumstances vary from moment
to moment. It is impossible for me to give orders to arrive within a
fortnight. The ministers have the same power as I, since they can hold a
council and pass decisions. Make use of the Prince of Pontecorvo--make use
of General Moncey. I send you besides Marshal Bessières, to remain in
Paris in reserve. I have ordered a levy of 30,000 men of the national
guard. If the English make progress, make a second levy of 30,000 in the
same or other departments. It is evident that the enemy, feeling the
difficulty of taking Flushing, intend marching straight to Antwerp, to
make a sudden attempt upon the squadron."

Flushing had succumbed, but the operations of the English were delayed by
their indecisive generalship. Hope's division easily took possession of
Fort Batz, but the main body of the army remained behind. The
fortifications of Antwerp were daily increased and strengthened. The
engineers, under Decaux, who checked the warlike ardor of King Louis,
rendered the forts impregnable to sudden assault, inundated the country
all round, and erected the old dams on the Scheldt; and troops also began
to arrive, rapidly concentrating upon the threatened spot. According to
the emperor's order the Prince of Pontecorvo had set out for Antwerp, and
took the command there. While the army was being formed round the town,
the English with great difficulty got their fleet into the Scheldt as far
as Fort Batz. Their forces being already considerably reduced by the
fever, and the preparations made at Antwerp to receive them causing Lord
Chatham some uneasiness, he held a council of war on the 26th, and sent
their decision to London, where it was approved by the ministry. It was
too late now to attack Antwerp, the opportunity having been lost; and the
huge army, collected with so much display, fell back upon the island of
Walcheren, and a large number of the vessels sailed for the Downs. Every
day 800 casks of fresh water were brought from the Downs to the garrison
still occupying Flushing, Middelburg, and the forts. The English were
completely checked; and there were already signs that they might evacuate
the island of Walcheren altogether.

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

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

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

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

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

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


THE DIVORCE (1809-1810).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emotion overcame all the members of the Council; the moderates and the
waverers were drawn along by the ardor of the prelates personally attached
to the Pope, or nobly resolved upon sustaining their convictions even to
the end. The old Archbishop of Bordeaux, the Bishops of Ghent and of
Troyes, claimed at once the liberty of the pontiff, and his canonical
right to use the ecclesiastical thunderbolts. "Judge the Pope, if you
dare, and condemn the Church if you can," cried Mgr. d'Aviau. The prelates
pledged to the imperial power wished to adjourn the discussion; when they
came to the vote on the draft of the address, now without color or life,
Cardinal Maury proposed that it should only be signed by the president and
the secretaries. This overture suited all the timid characters; the
address was voted by sitting and standing. The emperor did not show
himself satisfied. "The bishops are much, mistaken if they think to have
the last word with me," said he. The Bishop of Chambery alone found favor
in his eyes. "One is never to be blamed for asking for the freedom of his
chief," said Napoleon. He had an order sent to the Council to answer his
message on the subject of canonical institution within eight days, without
losing time in useless discussions. A few of the more moderate bishops
happened to be going out of the Tuileries from the imperial mass; the
emperor approached them. "I have desired to act by you as princes of the
Church," said he; "It is for you to say if you will henceforth be only
beadles, The Pope refuses to execute the Concordat; ah, well! I no longer
wish for the Concordat." "Sire," said Osmond, "your Majesty will not tear
with your own hands the finest page in your history." "The bishops have
acted like cowards!" cried Napoleon, with violence. "No, sire," again
replied the prelate, who had so lately accepted the Archbishopric of
Florence without waiting for canonical institution, "they are not cowards,
for they have taken the side of the most feeble." The emperor turned his
back on him.

"The only and exclusive object of the council of 1811," the Abbé de Pradt
has said in his "Histoire des quatre Concordats," "was to regulate the
order of Canonical Institution, and to provide that it should not
henceforth be hindered by any other cause than the objections urged
against the appointments by the Pope. In this lay the whole dispute
between the holy see and the princes. It was not only his own affairs that
Napoleon was attending to in this settlement, it was also those of other
sovereigns, whom he spared by his example the embarrassments which awaited
them." The Council felt the extreme importance of the question. After a
lively discussion, and in spite of the persistency of the prelates
favorable to the court, the commission appointed for this purpose would
not pronounce upon the message of his Majesty before sending a deputation
to the holy Father, who might set forth to him the deplorable state of the
churches in the empire of France and in the kingdom of Italy, and who
might confer with him on the means of remedying these evils. "The emperor
requires a decree of the Council before consenting to the sending of the
deputation," repeated Cardinal Fesch and his friends. "That would be a
sure method to make everything fail," cried the Bishop of Tournay, "for it
would be exactly like saying to the Pope: Your purse or your life; give us
the bulls and we shall be satisfied with you." Cardinal Fesch was
constrained to carry to Napoleon the vote of the commission.

The emperor did not think highly either of the skill or the character of
his uncle, and was not particular how he treated him. "He will not reject
you," said the cardinal to a lady with a petition, "I have been turned out
of doors, yes I, twice in a single day." He essayed vainly to explain to
Napoleon the canonical reasons which had determined the commission.

"Still more theology," replied the emperor; "hold your tongue; you are an
ignoramus. In six months I should get to know more than you. Ah! the
commission votes thus! I shall not get the worst of it. I shall dissolve
the Council and all will be finished. It is of small consequence what the
Council wishes or doesn't wish, I shall declare myself competent,
following the advice of the philosophers and lawyers. The prefects will
appoint the curés, the chapters, and the bishops. If the metropolitan does
not choose to institute them, I will shut up the seminaries, and religion
will have no more ministers." The violence of the insult and the grandeur
of the situation elevated the soul of Cardinal Fesch. "If you wish to make
martyrs, commence in your own family, sire," said he. "I am ready to give
my life to seal my faith. Be perfectly assured that unless the Pope shall
have approved this measure, I, the metropolitan, will never institute any
of my suffragans. I go even further: if one of them should bethink
himself, in my default, of instituting a bishop in my province, I would
excommunicate him immediately."

It was then that Napoleon recognized the advantages of the abortive
attempt at Savona. "You are all noodles," said he to his ecclesiastical
counsellors, "you do not understand your position. It will then be for me
to extricate you from the affair; I am about to arrange everything." He
dictated upon the spot the draft of a decree based upon the concessions at
first accepted by the Pope. "The deputation of bishops to the holy Father
has removed all difficulties," said he; "the Pope has condescended to
enter into the difficulties of the Church; the sole difference is to be
found in the length of the delay; the emperor wished for three months, the
Pope asked for six. This difference not being of a nature to break up the
arrangement already concluded, it became henceforth the duty of the
Council to enact it. The deputation to the holy Father should convey to
him the thanks of the prelates and the faithful."

At first the commission of the Council almost entirely fell into the trap.
Could it be doubted that the authorization given by the Pope appeared to
cut the question whilst reserving the rights of the holy see. The
Archbishop of Bordeaux alone protested in the first place; he soon rallied
to his side Broglie, Boulogne, and the Bishop of Tournay. In spite of the
most ardent efforts of the bishops favorable to the court the majority of
the commission ended by rejecting the decree. "You will answer for all the
future evils of the Church," said the Archbishop of Tours to the Bishop of
Ghent, "and I cite you before the tribunal of God." "I await you there
yourself," replied Broglie.

The emperor appeared to acquiesce without anger in the decision of the
commission. "What is it in the decree that most displeases the bishops?"
he asked of Cardinal Fesch. "It is the demand for it to be converted into
a law of the state," replied the Archbishop of Lyons. "If that hinders
them, they have only to take it out," replied Napoleon; "I can just as
well make it a law of the state when I please." Cardinal Fesch gave a
report of his mission; he promptly broke up the sitting (July 10th). On
the following morning the Council was dissolved. In the night the bishop
of Ghent, Troyes, and Tournay were arrested in their beds, taken to
Vincennes, and kept in secrecy. The Duc de Rovigo was opposed to the
arrest of the Archbishop of Bordeaux. "We must not touch M. d'Aviau," said
he; "he is a saint, and we shall have everybody against us."

The Marshal Gouvion St. Cyr had but recently given a peremptory reason
against select companies. "There are not many brave men in the world,"
said he; "when you collect them all in the same corps, there is not enough
leaven elsewhere to make the dough rise." Deprived of the most resolute of
its members, the Council found itself in the hands of Napoleon like dough,
soft and unresisting. The grand reasons, the elevated and powerful
arguments which the captive prelates had made so important, lost all
influence over the mass of their colleagues. "One is afraid of Vincennes
and one has no desire to loose one's revenues," replied Cardinal Fesch to
the entreaties of the persons who solicited the fathers of the Council to
use their efforts in favor of the prisoners. By fear or persuasion the
bishops, when personally urged and worked upon, bent one after another
under the imperial will. The news from Savona were that the Pope's health
was improved and that he was inclined to go back to the original
concessions. The Council, dissolved on the 11th of July, quietly assembled
again on the 5th August. The signature of about eighty bishops was
considered certain. The public discussion was not renewed; the Archbishop
of Bordeaux alone protested against sanctioning all the imperial claims by
a decree, thirteen or fourteen prelates joining their mute protest to
Aviau's declaration; and the votes were decided by sitting and rising.
Subject to a power which they durst not discuss, the Fathers of the
Council disliked to proclaim openly their personal subservience. The
decree drawn up by the Emperor Napoleon came back to his hands confirmed
by the approbation of the Council "Our wine was not considered good in the
wood," said Cardinal Maury cynically, "you will find it better in
bottles." A deputation of bishops set out for Savona.

A few months afterwards, under the pressure of the same arbitrary and
sovereign will, Pius VII., now alone at Fontainebleau as he had been in
his prison at Savona, had in his turn to yield in a certain measure to
Napoleon's demands. As it had recently been at Savona, he was destined to
see his concessions deformed and exaggerated in order to serve as a basis
for a convention which he never ratified. On the day after the Council he
showed no displeasure to the bishops who had come as delegates, but
promised the investiture of the twenty-seven prelates who were nominated,
and even gave to the deliberations of the Council a sort of sanction in a
brief which he reserved to himself the right of drawing up. The form of it
did not please the emperor, who sent it back to the Council of State for
examination. The bishops who still remained in Paris waiting for the
decisions of the holy Father were sent to their dioceses. "I don't wish to
have a meeting of saints always here," said the emperor to Rovigo. In
summoning the Council he had made the blunder of reckoning upon the easy
docility of an assembly. "To ask men questions is to acknowledge their
right to be deceived," said the Parisians on the day after the refractory
bishops were arrested; "why does he summon a Council to imprison
afterwards those who are not of his opinion?" The triumph obtained by
Napoleon over the terrified prelates did not add to his glory, though it
assisted in lessening for the moment his ecclesiastical difficulties. All
the dioceses were now provided with bishops, and order was restored to the
chapters. That was all the emperor then wished, his outrages upon the
independence of consciences and on personal liberty weighing nothing in
his balance. He was accustomed to set little value on rights which
prevented the accomplishment of his designs. He had brought the bishops to
submission, imposed upon the captive Pope a partial acceptance of his
will, loftily vindicated the heritage of Charlemagne, and proclaimed his
moral and religious supremacy: and now, leaving Pius VII. still at Savona
and the refractory prelates at Vincennes, there was nothing more to keep
him in Paris. The Russian campaign was already preparing.



It is painful to love one's country and see it advancing to defeat; it is
sad to see a great mind, whose good sense recently equalled his power,
dragged to ruin by his own faults and dragging after him a wearied nation.
In 1812, France began to judge the Emperor Napoleon: and long previously
Europe had denounced him as an insatiable conqueror who laid her waste
incessantly. She was about to learn once more that neither distance, nor
the rigors of climate, nor threatening armies, afforded sufficient
protection against the emperor's schemes. Whilst his armies were
struggling hard in Spain and Portugal against the insurgent population
assisted by England, and whilst still holding in Germany the pledges of
his conquests, Napoleon made preparations to attack the Emperor Alexander,
who was still officially honored with the name of "ally," and to whom he
thus wrote on the 6th April, 1811, when his armaments were already
everywhere being prepared: "Has your Majesty ever had reason to repent of
the confidence which you have shown me?"

Several reasons urged Napoleon to begin hostilities against the Emperor
Alexander--reasons which, though bad and insufficient, weighed in his
eyes, and, under the influence of his personal passions, with a decisive
weight in the balance. He wished to pursue, everywhere and by every means,
his struggle against England and her influence in Europe. Alexander had
refused to increase the rigors of the continental blockade. To this
infraction of the spirit of the treaties uniting the emperors, Alexander
had added, during the Austrian war, an attitude of indifference and
reserve which inspired confidence in the Emperor Francis and his advisers.
He had shown no eagerness for the family alliance which Napoleon twice
offered, while, at the same time, the latter was not deceived as to the
annoyance caused at St. Petersburg by the negotiations for the hand of the
grand-duchess being suddenly broken off. In short, Napoleon was convinced
that the Emperor Alexander was preparing for war, eager to recover his
liberty, and be freed from the conditions of the treaty of Tilsit. He, at
the same time, believed that the renewal of hostilities would be
signalized by important advantages for whichever of the two belligerents
could first enter on the campaign. His main efforts, therefore, in 1811,
were to hasten his warlike preparations, while using diplomatic artifices
to make his adversary sleep, and, at the same time, proving to Europe that
the rupture of the treaties was on the part of Alexander, and that the
Russians were the first to arm. On sending him Count Lauriston, who was
appointed to replace Caulaincourt, Napoleon wrote the Czar: "The man I
send you has no consummate skill in business, but he is true and upright,
as are the sentiments I bear towards you. Nevertheless I daily receive
from Russia news which are not pacific. Yesterday I learned from Stockholm
that the Russian divisions in Finland had left to go towards the frontiers
of the Grand Duchy. A few days ago I had instructions from Bucharest that
five divisions had left the Moldavian and Wallachian provinces for Poland,
and that only four divisions of your Majesty's troops remain on the
Danube. What is now taking place is a new proof that repetition is a
powerful figure of rhetoric. Your Majesty has so often been told that I
have a grudge against you, that your confidence has been shaken. The
Russians quit a frontier where they are necessary, to go to a point where
your Majesty has only friends. Nevertheless I had to think also of my
affairs, and consider my own position. The recoil of my preparations will
lead your Majesty to increase yours; and what you do, re-echoing here,
will make me raise new levies, and all that for mere phantoms! It is a
repetition of what I did in 1807 in Prussia, and in 1809 in Austria. As
for me, I shall remain your Majesty's friend even when that fatality which
rules Europe will one day compel our two nations to take sword in hand. I
shall regulate my conduct by your Majesty's; I shall never make the
attack: my troops will advance only when your Majesty has torn up the
treaty of Tilsit. I shall be the first to disarm, and restore everything
to the condition in which things were a year ago, if your Majesty will go
back to the same confidence."

The emperor spoke the truth, and his treatment of Russia was nothing new.
It had long been a clumsy artifice of his insatiable greed for war and
conquest to charge his enemies with taking the sword in hand on account of
their fears or expectations, the fear and expectations being usually
caused by his attitude and the projects with which he was credited.
Military reasons assisted at this time in encouraging him to dissimulate
and talk of peace. He had conceived the idea of occupying successively the
vast territories by which he was separated from Russia, and gaining first
the Oder and then the Vistula before the Russians were in motion to cross
the Niemen. The first links of this combination were already begun to be
forged; crowds of runaway conscripts were everywhere being dragged from
the woods and rocks where they hid themselves; and, by sending columns of
militia to scour the provinces, garrison the villages, and freely pillage
the houses of the young deserters, there were 50,000 or 60,000 men thus
compelled to give themselves up, whose hiding-places had not been
discovered. The emperor sent them in troops to the islands of Elba,
Corsica, Ré, Belle-Isle, and Walcheren, appointing the sea to keep his
deserters. Scarcely had they acquired the most rudimentary notions of
military discipline, when they were despatched in a body to Marshal
Davout, who was still stationed on the Elbe, with instructions to drill
and form them. They often arrived still clad in their peasant's dress,
their bodies ill, and their minds revolting against the existence thus
forced upon them far from their home and country. About one sixth of these
wretches escaped during the march, braving all the dangers and suffering
of flight across an unknown country rather than be soldiers. Recruits from
all the conquered nations filled up the gaps in the regiments of the ever-
increasing army. War supplies as well as soldiers were also constantly
accumulating in Germany. Napoleon resolved to collect at Dantzig the
resources necessary to support an army of 400,000 men for a year. The
marvellous fertility of his mind was entirely occupied in facilitating and
rendering certain the movements of that enormous mass of men and horses
during a long campaign and across vast spaces. The transport arrangements
were in charge of skilled lieutenants, who had been with him in all his
battles; and General Eblé was at the head of the engineer division for
bridge-construction. "With the means at our disposal, we shall eat up all
obstacles," said Napoleon, confidently.

Alliances would have been difficult and few in Napoleon's case, if he had
insisted on having genuine sympathy and hearty assistance; but he did not
ask so much from Prussia, nor even from the Emperor Francis, whose
daughter he had just married. Fear was enough for the accomplishment of
his wishes, and in that he reckoned rightly. King Frederick William asked
for Napoleon's alliance, because he dreaded seeing himself suddenly hemmed
in by the attack against Russia. After leaving him for a long time
unanswered, and at last bringing his preparations as far forward as he had
beforehand determined, the emperor accepted the offers of the King of
Prussia and his minister Hardenberg. In their anxiety to close the
bargain, the Prussian diplomatist had gone so far as to say that their
sovereign could place 100,000 men at the service of France. By skilful
system of rotation in their military service, the King of Prussia had been
able to exercise all his subjects who were of age to bear arms without
appearing to exceed the narrow limits allowed to his army by Napoleon.
Thus, under the weight of unjust restriction, were sown the seeds of that
military organization which afterwards proved several times so fatal to
us. In 1812, Napoleon let the King of Prussia know that he had observed
the state of his military resources. By the treaty of alliance, concluded
in February, 1812, the Prussian contingent in the war then preparing
amounted only to 20,000 soldiers. Large supplies of provisions were to be
received in part payment of the war contributions which Prussia still owed
France; and on this condition the emperor guaranteed the security of the
territory of his new ally--recently his mangled victim. Some hopes were
also allowed him of several ulterior advantages; but Napoleon refused to
restore Glogau, in spite of the entreaties of King Frederick William.

Austria would have wished to avoid the necessity of joining in the war and
allying herself to Napoleon; but the situation of the daughter of the
Emperor Francis upon the throne of France, and the eagerness which the
Austrian court had shown for the union, prevented any refusal. In his
negotiations Metternich insisted that the treaty should be kept secret:
"There are only two of us in Austria who wish for a French alliance," said
he; "the emperor is the first, and I am the second; but Russia must not
know of our feeling towards you." Some regiments were being secretly
prepared in Galicia.

In a famous conversation which Napoleon had, on 15th August, 1811, with
Prince Kourakin, the Russian ambassador at Paris, he said, "Is it on
Austria that you reckon? You made war upon her in 1809, and deprived her
of a province during peace. Is it Sweden, from whom you took Finland? Is
it Prussia, whose spoils you accepted at Tilsit after being her ally?" The
same reproaches could with more justice have been applied to France--or
rather, to her ruler. He was soon to understand that truth, and weigh the
value of the alliances which he had imposed. On the eve of the Russian
campaign he was, and seemed, more formidable than the Czar; and fear made
the weak cling to his side, while they still concealed their secret hatred
and long-cherished rancor.

Russia, nevertheless, was also negotiating, relying upon her rival's
natural and declared enemies. The treaties were not new when they were
published, on the 20th July, 1812, between the Czar and the Spanish
insurgents, the 1st August with England, and on the 5th April with Sweden.

The powers hostile to France were astonished to hear of the advances made
by the new Prince Royal of Sweden. From recollection of the republican
enthusiasm of his youth, as well as personal antipathy, Bernadotte had
never liked General Bonaparte when they were comrades and rivals for
military fame. The fortune of Napoleon had dug a gulf between them. Raised
to the throne by a curious freak of destiny, Bernadotte had brought to his
new country no attachment for Napoleon, nor the enthusiastic recollections
of France with which he was generally credited. He had asked the emperor
to grant him Norway; but Napoleon did not wish to rob Denmark, and a
contemptuous silence was the reply to the court of Sweden. Bernadotte
pursued in another direction the same views of ambition and
aggrandizement; and in allying himself to Russia he asked for Norway,
urging the importance of the personal and national assistance which he
could contribute to the coalition. England was not a stranger to this
arrangement. Two months afterwards, disregarding his engagements with
Russia, and alarmed at the huge display of Napoleon's power, the Prince
Royal of Sweden proceeded to make fresh overtures to France. Norway was to
remain as the price of his alliance, together with a subsidy of
20,000,000. Napoleon was extremely angry. Bernadotte had never possessed
his good graces; and he, not unnaturally, felt indignant at the manoeuvres
of a Frenchman who had so soon forgot his country. "The wretch!" exclaimed
he; "he is true neither to his reputation, to Sweden, or his native land,
but is preparing bitter remorse for himself. When Russia wants the Sound,
her soldiers have only to cross the ice from Aland to Stockholm. The
present opportunity of humbling Russia is unique, and he will never have
such another. Never again will a man like me be seen marching against the
North with 600,000 men! He is not worth thinking about; let nobody mention
him again to me; I forbid sending any communication to him, formal or
informal." Thus repulsed, Bernadotte remained faithful to his engagements
with Russia, and was soon after to make others, which were still more
disastrous to his native country.

Soon after the official publication of the treaty uniting Sweden to the
enemies of France, the Emperor Alexander concluded a war which had long
occupied the greater part of his forces. The hostilities so long waged
between Russia and Turkey had not contributed to the glory of Alexander's
generals. "Your soldiers are very brave," said Napoleon once to the Czar's
ambassador, "but your generals are not worthy of them. It is impossible
not to see that they have managed their movements very badly, and acted
against all the rules." The fear inspired by the Emperor Napoleon had been
of still greater use to the Turks than the bad generalship of the
Russians, Alexander being eager to conclude the peace, in order to
concentrate his forces against an enemy more formidable than the Sultan.
Admiral Tchitchakoff, at the head of the army of the Danube, was empowered
to finish the war or negotiate peace. The Czar renounced part of his
former claims, contenting himself with Bessarabia, and proposing the Pruth
as the boundary for both empires, on condition that Turkey became an
active ally. The influence of the English diplomatists turned the balance,
and Mahmoud, yielding to the desire for peace, the Treaty of Bucharest was
signed on the 28th May, 1812.

Napoleon was afraid of this peace, and had tried to prevent it.
Perpetually trying to gain time, he succeeded in throwing off the scent
Nesselrode, who had been sent with instructions to put the question of
peace or war simply. Lauriston was directed to dwell constantly upon the
emperor's friendly feeling towards the Czar. Napoleon was at the trouble
of conversing for a long time with a Russian of position who was visiting
Paris. Czernicheff was sent to gather information as to the importance of
our armament, and had learned much, when the emperor sent for him to come
to the Elysée, to unfold his intentions with regard to Poland. He had
formerly said to Prince Kourakin, "I shall give you nothing in Poland--
nothing! nothing!" Now he declared his resolution never to restore to
Poland its national independence. "I had no wish to engage in the
convention which was proposed to me," said he, "because that engagement
was not compatible with my dignity; but I am well resolved on that point.
I have no other reason for arming except the notoriously unkind
disposition of the Russian court towards me. She is deceived as to my
intentions; she serves England, whose commerce extends to all parts of her
territory. I only ask her to come closer; by ourselves we two shall crush
all our enemies." Napoleon gave Czernicheff a letter for the Emperor
Alexander, which made him a sort of accredited agent at the Russian court.
"My brother, after the arrival of the courier sent by Count Lauriston on
the 6th instant, I laid down my views of the troublesome events of the
last fifteen months in a conversation with Colonel Czernicheff. It only
depends on your Majesty to finish it all."

At the same time a despatch of the Duke of Bassano (Maret), who had
succeeded the Duke of Cadore (Champagny) as minister of foreign affairs,
informed Lauriston of the importance of the mission. "The emperor is
anxious," said he, "that the troops should gradually advance upon the
Vistula, rest there, settle there, strengthen their position, fortify
their bridges; in short, make use of every advantage, and be certain of
taking the initiative in military movements. The emperor has shown great
kindness to Colonel Czernicheff, but I must tell you that officer has used
his time in Paris intriguing and disseminating corruption. The emperor
knew it without interfering. The preparations of his Majesty are really
enormous, and the more they are known it will only be the better for him.
The Emperor Alexander will, no doubt, show you the letter sent him by his
Majesty; it is very simple.... The emperor has no wish for an interview,
or even a negotiation which should take place out of Paris. He has no
confidence in a negotiation of any sort, unless the 450,000 men whom his
Majesty has put in movement, and their enormous mass of war apparatus,
should have caused the cabinet of St. Petersburg to reflect seriously,
and, by loyally restoring the system established at Tilsit, place Russia
again in the state of inferiority in which she then was. Your single aim
must be to gain time. The head of the army of Italy is already at Munich,
and the general movement is being everywhere declared. Maintain on all
occasions that, should war take place, it is Russia who wished for it."

It was no longer from Paris that the emperor dictated his diplomatic
orders and directed the movements of his armies. Since March he had lived
at St. Cloud, to avoid an opposition Which vexed him to the bottom of his
heart, and which he had in vain attempted to disarm. The Parisians, long
enthusiastic in favor of his glory, were showing discontent, aversion, and
complaint. After the long drought of the summer of 1811, bread was dear;
and the financial measures which had been tried to reduce the prices in
the capital were extremely onerous for the Treasury without acting
successfully upon trade. Corn was scarce, and the threat of an arbitrary
tariff kept back the supply of provisions. The strain upon all the
commercial relations caused by the continental blockade reacted
unfavorably on the necessary resources during a dearth. The Food Council
appointed by the emperor tried in vain to supply by artificial means the
beneficent action of commercial freedom and confidence.

Other causes contributed to the agitation and ill-temper of the Parisians;
and the discontent, as well as the suffering caused by the dearness of
corn, was not confined to the capital. Too clear-sighted, in spite of the
mad impulses of his ambition, not to feel what risks he was running, and
making France run, Napoleon wished to provide some protection. Though long
inexhaustible in men and devotion, the country was becoming tired, and
about to be deprived of its means of defence at the very moment when a new
European conflagration was bursting forth. The emperor had therefore
ordered the formation of a certain number of cohorts of the national
guard, under the name of "First Ban" (Body of Defence). Thus 120,000 men,
borrowed from the "sedentary contingents" of 1809 to 1812, had been formed
into regiments, on the assurance that they should not have to leave their
departments. Their families, however, were deprived of them, and the
present hardships combining with their fear of the future, there was great
dissatisfaction in the country. The number of deserters having increased,
the columns of militia recommenced their hateful work: and in the
conquered countries, Holland and the territory of the Hanse towns, the
conscription was violently resisted. Insurrections took place, followed by
executions. Several of the regiments raised in the ancient free towns had
mutinied, and kept themselves for several days in the isle of Heligoland.
These troops were incorporated with Marshal Davout's army, and put under
the most rigid guard. In Italy itself, and even in the army of Prince
Eugène, the discontent and fatigue were unmistakable. The hard service of
Napoleon had become a slavery. His severity towards the Pope also assisted
in alienating the Italians, and throughout the Roman States he was hated
by the population.

His pacific protestations, however, deceived nobody. The Czar had no wish
for war; he dreaded it, and his people had also long dreaded it; but now
he felt it to be inevitable, and the patriotic passion of defending their
soil took possession of the Russian nation. Lauriston was besieged with
attentions, but he lived alone, having no intercourse with the Russian
upper classes, who were now urging the emperor forward. "Everything will
be against us in this war," said Napoleon boldly to some of those about
him who knew Russia well, especially Caulaincourt and Ségur. "On their
side, love of country and independence; all private and public interests,
even to the secret wishes of our allies! On our side, against so many
obstacles, glory alone, even without the hope of plunder, since the
frightful poverty of those regions renders it impossible."

The events proved, in a startling manner, the justice of what the military
diplomatists anticipated. From the history of the secret negotiations we
learn that advices and promises were largely bestowed by Austria and
Prussia upon the Emperor Alexander. The leaders of our armies, which had
for several months occupied Germany and Poland, could not pretend not to
see the increasing hatred which was silently brooding under the disguises
of popular submission and princely attentions. General Rapp, who commanded
at Dantzig, felt it his duty to inform Marshal Davout of the precarious
state in which our rule in Europe then stood. "If the French army has a
single check," wrote the general, "there will quickly be from the Rhine to
the Niemen only one single insurrection." Davout, in transmitting this
information to Napoleon, made only one remark: "I recollect, sire, true
enough, that in 1809, without the miracles wrought by you at Ratisbon our
situation in Germany would have been very difficult."

It was upon those miracles of his genius, and upon a destiny which he
justly considered superhuman, that the Emperor Napoleon always reckoned.
The information brought vexed him without persuading him, and made him
somewhat distrust those who ventured to give it him. The brilliant renown
of Marshal Davout, the justice and consistency of his administration in
Poland, and the admirable order which reigned in his army, had made
Napoleon somewhat displeased and gloomy. The rivals and enemies of Davout
skilfully utilized the occasion. "One would think that the Prince of
Eckmühl commanded the army," they said constantly in the emperor's
presence. Some even accused him of aiming at the throne of Poland.
Napoleon had dispensed with Masséna's services; and now he showed a
coolness towards Davout, as if he were jealous of his glory and power, and
at the moment of engaging in the supreme struggle wished to be surrounded
with servants only!

Marshal Davout, nevertheless, went on his way, executing the emperor's
instructions with consummate skill and prudence. There were now 450,000
men marching against Russia; an army of reserve of 150,000 men was about
to be formed in Germany from the recruits sent from all parts of France;
120,000 men of the national guard were to protect the French soil, in
combination with 150,000 soldiers, sick or new, who were still in the
military depots. According to the "cadres," which were often deceptive,
there were 300,000 men engaged in Spain. On leaving Italy to march to
Germany, Prince Eugène had left about 50,000 soldiers in the strongholds.
Thus for one man's quarrel, and in his name, there were under arms more
than 1,200,000 soldiers. The Russian army did not exceed 300,000 men: on
their side they had the weather, extent of country, and climate. "Don't
come into collision with the Emperor Napoleon," said Knesebek, the
Prussian envoy to the Czar; "draw the French into the interior of Russia.
Let fatigue and hunger do the rest." The Emperor Alexander had just learnt
that Davout had appeared at Elbing: having crossed the Vistula, he was on
his way to the Niemen. The feeling of the people as well as the ardor of
the court called the Czar to head-quarters, but he still hesitated, having
a repugnance to give the sign of general conflagration; and at last, on
the 21st, set out for Wilna after telling Lauriston that there was still
time for negotiations. The population of St. Petersburg were all present
at his departure, earnest and full of interest, and the churches were
crowded with people praying at the altars. "I go with you. God will be
against the aggressor." Such was the Czar's proclamation on reaching his

Europe was no more deceived than Russia and France herself; in spite of
Napoleon's precautions, nobody was ignorant as to the real aggressor. The
emperor remained at St. Cloud till 9th May, 1812, waiting till an act of
the Czar's should give him the liberty of his movements. Before leaving
France, and as a last indication of his pacific intentions, he despatched
Narbonne to Wilna, with instructions to propose to the Czar an interview
and armed negotiation, on the Niemen. "My aide-de-camp, Count Narbonne,
who is the bearer of this letter to your Majesty, has at the same time
important communications for Count Romanzoff," wrote Napoleon on the 25th
April; "they will prove to your Majesty my desire to avoid war, and my
constancy to the sentiments of Tilsit and Erfurt. In any case your Majesty
will allow me to assure you, that if fate renders this war inevitable
between us, it will make no change in the sentiments with which your
Majesty has inspired me, and which are safe from all vicissitude or

It was at Dresden, whither he had gone on leaving France, that Napoleon
received the refusal to negotiate, brought by Narbonne from the Czar.
England had replied by a similar refusal to the pacific manifesto which
the emperor, as usual, had addressed to her before recommencing new
hostilities in Europe. The orders for the positions of the troops were
already given. Davout was to concentrate between Marienwerder, Marienburg,
and Elbing; the Prussians had been appointed to the advance-guard, and
still remained on their right, advancing to the banks of the Niemen.
Marshal Oudinot occupied the suburbs of Dantzig, forming Davout's right;
while Ney's body, at Thorn, supported his left. Prince Eugène, with the
Bavarians, advanced to Plock, on the Vistula; the Poles, Saxons, and
Westphalians were united at Warsaw, under the orders of King Jerome; and
the guard, who held Posen, were commanded by Mortier and Lefebvre. General
St. Cyr was appointed to lead the Bavarians in the field, and General
Régnier was responsible for the Saxons. The Austrians were to invade
Volhynia. Already wherever the troops passed there was raised a chorus of
complaints from the pillaged and ill-treated populations, and from the
King of Prussia, who had seen Spandau and Pillau occupied by the French
troops, on pretext of depositing the war-material there. King Frederick
William had set out for Dresden, to present his claims personally to the

In the sight of the crowned crowd which at Dresden thronged around
Napoleon, there was something at once brilliant and sad. Amongst the
sovereigns who claimed the honor of presenting their homages, there were
very few who did not cherish against him some secret grievance or bitter
rancor. All dreaded some new misfortunes, and were endeavoring to charm
them away by servile flatteries. The Empress Marie Louise accompanied her
husband, showing her delight and want of tact in displaying her splendor
so near her native country, before the eyes of her father and mother-in-
law, who had just met her in Dresden. All purely military display had been
forbidden at the magnificent court around Napoleon. Murat and King Jerome
themselves had been ordered to their head-quarters, yet the couriers
followed each other night and day, frequently disturbing the brilliant
_fêtes_ by the fear of the first cannon-shot ready to go off. At Paris,
Prince Kourakin, discontented and uneasy, had asked for his passports,
thus anticipating the official rupture. At St. Petersburg, Lauriston
received the order to join the Emperor Alexander at Wilna, and again lay
before him the proposals of peace. It was necessary to let the grass grow
--to let the sun dry the roads--to give Napoleon's emissaries the
opportunity of acting on the minds of the Poles, and stirring up amongst
them a national movement in favor of France, a mission to which Abbé
Pradt, afterwards Bishop of Malines, had been appointed. Talleyrand, of
whom the emperor at first thought, did not then enjoy his good graces.
"Set out, my lord," said Napoleon to the bishop, "set out at once; spare
no expense; rouse their enthusiasm; set Poland a-going without embroiling
me with Austria, and you will have well understood and fulfilled your
mission." The prelate's vanity was fired, surrounded as he was by the
apparatus of his new grandeur. He set out to stir up Poland in the name of

The work was more difficult then than it had been in 1807, when Napoleon
had personally remarked the distrust of the great lords and the apathetic
indifference of the peasantry. The formation of the grand-duchy of Warsaw
did not please the Poles, who had already seen their hopes vanish. They
were poor, and a large number of their best soldiers were serving under
Napoleon. The continental blockade had ruined the trade of the Jews, who
had always been numerous and influential in Poland. The Abbé Pradt had to
use his efforts in the midst of an excited people, who wished for the
future something different from promises. His mission was to produce but
trifling results, because the penetration of the Poles guessed Napoleon's
thoughts, and his resolution to wage no decisive battle in their favor. He
set no great value on the political spirit of the race, their patriotic
passions meeting with scarcely any response in him. He wished to drag the
living force of Poland in his train, in order to support him in his
struggle; but it was in vain that he gave to the new aggression which he
was about to attempt the name of a second Polish war--the public voice was
no more deceived than history. The campaign of Russia was about to begin.

On leaving Dresden, Napoleon at last urged forward the advance of his
armies. In spite of the precautions he had taken, the transports moved
slowly and with difficulty, the staff officers dragging after them much
useless baggage, and on reaching Thorn he ordered some important
reductions. When pushing on towards Marienburg and Dantzig he was attended
by Davout and Murat. Cold in his manner to Davout, who was perpetually
quarrelling with Marshal Berthier, he was uncivil to Murat, who was tired
and ill. "Are you not satisfied with being king?" he asked, dryly. "I
scarcely am king, sire," retorted Murat. "I did not make you kings, you
and your brothers, to reign as you liked, but as I liked," returned the
emperor; "to follow my policy, and remain French on foreign thrones."
Napoleon had given orders for the last supply of provisions for the
strongholds, and completed the organization of inland navigation by
streams and rivers. On the 17th June he arrived at Intersburg, having
resolved to cross the Niemen at Kowno, in order to direct his march upon
the Dwina and Dnieper by the road leading to Moscow, passing first by
Wilna, the capital of Lithuania. It was, in fact, upon those two rivers,
the real frontiers of the Russian empire, that the Emperor Alexander had
concentrated his forces. The army of the Dwina was commanded by General
Barclay de Tolly; the army of the Dnieper marched under the orders of
Prince Bagration. The emperor went straight towards the enemy, hoping to
open the campaign by one of those brilliant strokes by which he had been
accustomed to terrify Europe. He reckoned upon passing the Niemen on the
22nd or 23rd, and on the 16th wrote from Koenigsberg, authorizing
Lauriston to ask his passports. The despatch was dated the 12th, from
Thorn, the ambassador having been told of the artifice. Napoleon soon
learned that Lauriston had not been allowed to leave Wilna. It mattered
little now; having reached the banks of the Niemen, his proclamation was
everywhere read to the troops:--

"Soldiers! The second Polish war is begun. The first finished at Friedland
and Tilsit! At Tilsit Russia swore an eternal alliance with France, and
war with England. To-day she is violating her oaths. She will give no
explanation of her strange conduct unless the French eagles recross the
Rhine, thus leaving our allies to her discretion. Russia is drawn on by
fate; her destiny must be accomplished. Why does she think we are
degenerated? Are we no longer the soldiers of Austerlitz? She places us
between dishonor and war. Our choice cannot be doubtful! Let us march
forward; let us pass the Niemen; let us carry war into her territory. The
second Polish war will be glorious to French arms; but the peace which we
shall conclude will bring with it its guarantee; it will bring to a close
the fatal influence which for fifty years Russia has exercised upon the
affairs of Europe."

The river was there, rolling at Napoleon's feet, like a natural and
majestic barrier, fulfilling its function of holding him back from ruin;
the enormous mass of his army surrounded him; on the opposite bank reigned
silence and solitude. Several sappers who had crossed in a small boat,
having landed, a Cossack came up to them, in charge of a patrol, who
followed him at a short distance. "Who are you? and what do you want
here?" he asked. "We are Frenchmen, and we are come to make war upon you,"
replied one of the sappers. The Cossack turned his horse round, and
disappeared in the forest, unhurt by the bullets which they fired after
him. They were there to throw a bridge across.

On the morning of the 25th, Napoleon himself crossed the river on
horseback, galloping as if he wished to find the enemy, still absent and
invisible. The light cavalry had already taken possession of Kowno. The
emperor wishing bridges to be thrown over the Vilia, ordered a squadron of
Polish lancers to cross the river, in order to sound the depth, and a
large number of the unfortunate men perished in the attempt. When they
felt themselves carried away by the current, they turned round to shout
"Long live the emperor!" Meanwhile the army was still defiling across the
Niemen, and it was only on the 30th June that it had entirely reached the
left bank.

After a violent discussion among the Czar's advisers, Alexander decided to
evacuate Wilna, the minister of police being appointed for the last time
to carry a conciliatory message to Napoleon. A detachment of cavalry
disputed for a moment with the French the gates of the capital of
Lithuania, the passage being forced by Murat. On the 28th June, about mid-
day, Napoleon made his entry into Wilna, annoyed at not meeting the enemy,
whom he would have liked to fight, overcome, and crush on the first day.
The Lithuanians received him eagerly, as in expectation of freedom. The
same day the Diet assembled at Warsaw proclaimed the re-establishment of
the kingdom of Poland, and several members of the Senate hastened to
Wilna, to announce officially to Napoleon the resurrection of their
country. "The Poles have never been subjected by either peace or war,"
said they, "but by treason! They are therefore free _de jure_ before God
as well as before men, and to-day they can be so _de facto;_ and their
right becomes a duty. We demand the independence of our Lithuanian
brothers, and their union to the centre of all the Polish family. It is
from Napoleon the Great that we ask this word, 'The Kingdom of Poland
exists!' It will then exist if all the Poles devote themselves ardently to
the orders of the chief of the fourth French race, before whom the ages
are but a moment, and space an infinitesimal point."

Napoleon did not believe in the restoration of Poland, and was resolved
not to create beforehand an insurmountable obstacle to peace by forming
engagements with the Poles. He received the deputies of the Diet coldly,
and did not yield to their desire of seeing Lithuania at once joined to
Poland. A special government had just been organized, which seemed to be
entrusted to the great Lithuanian lords, but was practically administered
by young "auditors" of the Council of State. Distrust had already secretly
begun, and mutual recriminations; the Lithuanians dreaded the vengeance of
Russia, not being certain of having permanently got rid of her government;
robbery was scandalously common; the weather was bad, and many soldiers
were ill. Everywhere throughout the province, corn, cattle, and forage
were requisitioned for the army, and a dearth threatened Lithuania as soon
as the French entered upon their soil. Half of the carriages, a third of
the horse, and a fourth of those in charge of the transports, had already
perished on the roads from the Elbe to Wilna. Napoleon had ordered a levy
of four regiments of infantry in Lithuania, and five regiments of cavalry;
but the money and military outfits were both wanting. It was necessary to
organize some columns of militia, to pursue those who pillaged, and
protect the peaceful inhabitants. Our soldiers were ordered to look after
the burial of the dead. From the reports of chiefs of divisions the
emperor was fully informed of some of the wretched consequences. The Duke
of Trevisa wrote:--"From the Niemen to the Vilia I saw nothing but houses
in ruins, wagons and carriages abandoned; we found them scattered on the
roads and in the fields; some upset, others open, with their contents
strewed here and there, and pillaged, as if they had been taken by the
enemy. I thought I was following a routed army. Ten thousand horses were
killed by the cold stormy rains and the green rye, which is their only
food, and new to them. They lie on the roads and encumber them; their
bodies exhale a poisonous smell--a new plague, which some compare to
famine, though the latter is much more terrible. Several soldiers of the
young guard have already died of hunger."

The necessity for a speedy victory was being already felt. The Russian
army had been cut in two by the rapid march of the French, Prince
Bagration being isolated on the Dnieper, where Marshal Davout was already
hemming him in, and soon after gained an important victory, at Mohilew,
23rd July, 1812. The Czar, with General Barclay de Tolly, had fixed
himself in the intrenched camp at Drissa before the Dwina; and it was upon
this principal division that Napoleon directed his march when he left
Wilna, on the evening of the 16th July. Murat commanded the advanced
guard, followed first by Ney, and then by Oudinot; Prince Eugène, who
advanced towards the right, was to join Marshal Davout. The forces of King
Jerome and Prince Poniatowski remained in the rear. Desertion and fatigue
were already decimating the soldiers. The King of Westphalia, placed under
Marshal Davout's orders, had with difficulty accepted that secondary
position. Difficulties having arisen, the prince returned towards Germany,
and thus lessened the marshal's success at Mohilew.

Before leaving Wilna the emperor had dismissed, without satisfying him,
Balachoff, the bearer of the Czar's last offers. Napoleon repeated his
former complaints, going back bitterly to the happy future which was
unrolled before Russia when her emperor walked in harmony with France.
"What an admirable reign he might have had, if he had liked!" repeated
Napoleon; "all that was necessary was to keep on good terms with me. I
gave him Finland, and promised him Moldavia and Wallachia, which he was
about to obtain, when all at once he allowed himself to be surrounded by
my enemies, and turned against me the arms he ought to have reserved for
the Turks; and now his gain will be having neither Wallachia nor Moldavia.
And now, what is your object in coming here? What are the Emperor
Alexander's intentions? He is only general on parade: whom will he put
against me? Kutusof, whom he does not like, because he is too Russian?
Benningsen, who is old and only recalls to him frightful memories?
Barclay, who can manoeuvre, who is brave, who knows war, but who is a
superannuated general? Bagration is the best soldier; he has no
imagination; but he has experience, quickness of vision, and decision; he
cannot prevent my throwing you beyond the Dnieper and Dwina. These are the
results of your rupture with me. When I think of the reign which your
master might have had!" Napoleon summed up by a demand to occupy
Lithuania, Russia to undertake to resume permanently her alliance against
England. Balachoff set out again, assuring Napoleon that if the sentiment
of religious patriotism had disappeared throughout Europe, it still
remained in Spain and Russia. The bitterness of the discussion envenomed
several wounds already deep enough. When Balachoff rejoined the Czar in
order to give account of his mission, Alexander was no longer at Drissa.
Waiting in an entrenched camp tired and humiliated the Russians. The plan
of campaign was the work of Pfuhl, a German general, high in the emperor's
favor; but the feeling of the whole army was expressed so emphatically
against the tactics at first adopted, that the Czar agreed to quit head-
quarters, and fall back with his staff upon Moscow. There, they assured
him, the mere fact of his presence was enough to animate the national
enthusiasm of the old Russians, and stir up the whole country against the
invader. General Barclay, henceforward free in his movements, began on the
10th July to march up the Dwina as far as Vitebsk, hoping to be joined by
Bagration opposite Smolensk. Our road to Moscow was thus intercepted; and
Count Wittgenstein, with 25,000 or 30,000 men, was to cover St. Petersburg
between Polotsk and Riga. Marshal Macdonald, at the head of the left wing
of the French army, threatened the coasts of the Baltic.

Napoleon guessed this movement of the Russian general, and determined to
push forward, prevent the junction of the two armies of the enemy, attack
them by suddenly crossing the Dwina, and thus render impossible the
continuous retreat of the Russians, who were now drawing him in their
pursuit into the interior of the empire, without giving him an opportunity
of striking the blow which was to be their destruction. He therefore left
Gloubokoé on the 23rd July, advancing upon Vitebsk; and two brilliant
engagements of the advance-guard, by Murat and Ney, on the 25th and 26th,
redoubled the ardor of our troops. On reaching Vitebsk after another
engagement, the Russian army was seen, drawn up in order of battle, beyond
a small tributary of the Dwina. Napoleon urged forward the march of all
his forces. The Russian forces seemed to count about 90,000 or 100,000
men. The French army was reduced by illness, by the desertion of some
Poles and Germans, and by the death of young recruits who could not endure
the heat, fatigue, and bad food. The body accompanying the emperor,
however, still amounted to 125,000 men, excellent troops. Napoleon felt
certain of success.

Barclay de Tolly was of the same opinion. At first he had resolved to give
battle, in order to keep the roads open for Prince Bagration, with whom he
had made an appointment to meet at Babinowiczi; but the news of the check
received by the Russian army at Mohilew convinced him that their junction
must now be delayed, and that his colleague felt himself compelled to look
forward to a long movement before succeeding in passing the Dnieper. A
battle was no longer necessary, and, on the night of the 27th, Barclay
raised his camp, to advance upon Poreczie, behind the Kasplia. Thus the
St. Petersburg and Moscow roads were covered by the Russian army, and the
two main divisions might look forward to a junction in the neighborhood of

Napoleon was excessively annoyed on learning of the enemy's retreat, and
in spite of the overpowering heat ordered immediate pursuit. Count Pahlen,
however, at the head of the Russian cavalry, protected their main body,
while at the same time retiring before us. After a day's work as fatiguing
for the troops as a long engagement, Napoleon returned to Vitebsk, where
he encamped several days, in order to rest his soldiers, and rebuild the
store-houses, everywhere overthrown by the Russians, who also destroyed
the crops and every kind of forage. Up to this point, in spite of his able
combinations, the plan of campaign decided upon by Napoleon at Wilna was a
complete failure; and by the persistent retreat of the Russians, the
circle of his operations had to be constantly increased. The immense space
spread out before us, solitary and vacant; and for the future it was
impossible to prevent the junction of the enemy's forces. On our side
Marshal Davout had just joined the great army; and the emperor took
advantage of this combination of the greater part of our forces to inspect
his troops. In every regiment, except the old guard, the leaders were
struck with consternation at the results ascertained by the roll-call.

It is a good thing to know the cost of enterprises begun in folly and
pursued through excessive difficulties, whatever may have been the
superior genius, the consummate foresight and experience, of the general.
Ney counted 36,000 men as they crossed the Niemen, but only 22,000 were in
line at Vitebsk. The King of Naples had lost 7000 men out of 28,000. The
young guard had seen 10,000 men disappear out of 28,000. Prince Eugène
reckoned 45,000 on the banks of the Dwina, and entered Kowno with 40,000.
Even Davout, the most skilful in drilling and managing his soldiers, saw
his 72,000 men diminished by 20,000. In King Jerome's division, 22,000
were wanting, the number formerly being nearly 100,000 men. The emperor
still had at his disposition 255,000 soldiers; but Macdonald on the
Baltic, and Oudinot at Polotsk, ought still to have 60,000, and General
Reynier remained on the Dnieper with a body of 20,000 soldiers. Napoleon
already spoke of calling Marshal Victor, with his 30,000 men of reserve,
cantoned between the Niemen and the Rhine. Thirty thousand Austrians
advanced towards Minsk under the orders of Prince Schwartzenberg. The
emperor sent orders to Paris to despatch all his guard still left in the
depots. He rejected the idea of an establishment on the Dnieper and Dwina
being a sufficient result of the campaign. Better than all his lieutenants
he at last foresaw the dangers and difficulties of the work which he had
undertaken, which he still wished, but which he was anxious to finish in a
brilliant manner. Europe was waiting for the news of a victory. Napoleon
had reached the centre of the Russian empire, but without a battle. The
prestige of his glory and his power demanded a decisive blow; and the
emperor prepared for it at Vitebsk.

Marshal Macdonald, however, had taken possession of Courland, after one
battle before Mittau. The Russians everywhere retreated before him,
evacuating even the stronghold of Dunaburg. The marshal laid siege to
Riga, but his forces were insufficient to guard this vast territory, and
he in vain asked for reinforcements. Everywhere the men succumbed under
the extent of the task imposed upon them. Marshal Oudinot, who formerly
supported Macdonald at Polotsk, had crossed the Dwina, and was advancing,
by the emperor's orders, against Count Wittgenstein. After a brilliant
engagement at Jakoubowo on the 20th July, he found it prudent to retreat
upon the Drissa. On the 1st August there was another successful battle,
but the troops were tired, and had lost many men; the enemy were
threatening. Oudinot returned to Polotsk, requiring rest and more
soldiers, like Macdonald. The marshal did not succeed in demolishing the
entrenched camp at Drissa, as he had been instructed to do.

On the south-east, in the upper part of the course of the Bug, General
Reynier found himself at last obliged to retreat, in order to protect the
grand duchy of Warsaw, and invade Volhynia. This expedition was at first
intended for the Austrians, but the will of the Emperor Francis, as well
as that of Napoleon, called them to head-quarters; and Reynier's forces
were to replace them in the posts which they held.

Nevertheless, the Russian General Tormazoff threatened the grand duchy,
after taking possession of Kobrin, which was badly defended by the Saxons.
The Diet of Warsaw took alarm. A large number of wealthy Poles collected
their most valuable property, and crossed to the left bank of the Vistula.
They asked assistance from the Abbé Pradt, who was as disturbed as the
Poles. He wrote to Wilna, where Bassano was installed as the emperor's
representative, and at the same time addressed himself to General Reynier.
The latter having called Prince Swartzenberg to his assistance, they both
advanced upon the Bug, thus protecting the grand duchy, without being able
to rejoin the grand army or support the general movement. Admiral
Tchitchakoff had just signed the peace with the Turks, and was expected to
come to Tormazoff's assistance.

Following Marshal Davout's advice, after mature consideration the emperor
resolved at Vitebsk to advance with his main body from the banks of the
Dwina upon those of the Dnieper, cross the latter at Rassasna, and ascend
quickly to Smolensk. He reckoned upon finding the town without defence,
and then by a sudden movement taking the Russian in flank, and so at last
inflicting upon his enemies a great military disaster. The movements of
the French army were to be concealed from the enemy behind the forests
abounding everywhere. It was important to conceal our march from the
Russians, who were about to form their junction at Smolensk.

The Emperor Napoleon was not alone in his enthusiastic ardor for battle.
Prince Bagration was, like him, fervently wishing for the moment of
conflict. The soldiers of high rank who were of Russian birth and manners,
were greatly vexed and prejudiced against Barclay de Tolly, and his
prudent tactics, every day accusing him of cowardice, and suspecting his
patriotism. Born of a Scottish family which had long been settled in
Russia, Barclay was ardently devoted to his adopted country, and could
scarcely endure their unjust reproaches. The passion of the Russian
generals at last gained the day, and the council of war resolved to take
the offensive against the French cantonments. The projected march of our
armies was unknown to the enemy when, on the 9th August, their vanguard
made an attack upon General Sebastiani, who was badly defended. He at once
called General Montbrun, and they both charged the Russian squadrons forty
times in the course of the day, and then fell back upon Marshal Ney's
forces. The Russians observed the solidity of our lines, saw the large
force under Prince Eugène, and believed there were indications of a march
towards St. Petersburg. Barclay took advantage of the uneasiness which he
saw around him, and fell back upon Smolensk. The Emperor Napoleon now
commenced the march.

On the morning of the 14th August, the whole army had crossed the Dnieper.
With 175,000 men under the flags, an immense artillery, wagons and
innumerable troops, the vast solitude of the ancient Borysthenes was
suddenly transformed into a camp. The march continued towards Smolensk:
before Krasnoe, after a rather keen fight, General Névéroffskoi was driven
back to the town of Korytnia. Nearly all the corps had rejoined the
emperor when, on the 16th August, the advance guard debouched before
Smolensk. At a single glance of the eye, the generals were convinced that
the town was in a state of defence. A useless attempt was made to take the
citadel by storm; Ney, who had imprudently advanced, fell into an ambush,
and was only with difficulty rescued by his light cavalry. The Russians
were already seen occupying the heights on the right bank of the Dnieper,
in the suburbs, and above the new town. Barclay had taken up his position
there, and a large force occupied the old town on the left bank, both
parts of the town being connected by a bridge. Prince Bagration had
advanced beyond Smolensk, to protect the banks of the Dnieper, and prevent
Napoleon, on crossing the river, from attacking the town and its defenders
from behind.

Though the taking of Smolensk formed no part of his original plan,
Napoleon was obliged to make the attack. The possession of that ancient
and venerable town had great importance in the eyes of Russians.
Nevertheless the emperor had the river sounded some distance off, hoping
to find a ford which would allow of a surprise. It was impossible to throw
over bridges, on account of the nearness of Prince Bagration, whose troops
lay on the banks of the Kolodnia, a tributary of the Dnieper; and, so far
as these observations were taken, the river was not fordable. Napoleon
waited for a day, hoping that Barclay would leave the heights of the new
town to offer him battle; and, on the Russian making no movement, the
assault was ordered.

The fighting was continued a whole day on the 17th. The suburbs of the old
town were in our hands, but the old enclosure, with its irregular brick
towers, still resisted our attack. The Russians no longer made sallies,
but defended themselves heroically behind the walls. Most of the emperor's
lieutenants had been opposed to the siege, and Murat, it is said, wished
to be killed. He went to a part which was incessantly battered by the guns
from the ramparts, and said to his aides-de-camp, "Leave me alone here."
Napoleon gave orders to cease the assault. Marshal Davout sent a party to
reconnoitre, General Haxo braving a storm of fire to discover the weak
point of the enclosure: and the attack was to begin again next morning at
daybreak. "I must have Smolensk," said the emperor.

The Russians had already seen Napoleon's obstinacy, and felt that they
could no longer repulse the efforts of our arms. The bombshells had
already set fire to several parts, and during the night the whole of the
town was in flames, kindled by the Russians. Their battalions were
withdrawn, and the old town gradually evacuated. Barclay de Tolly prepared
to follow their example. At sunrise Davout entered without difficulty into
Smolensk in flames. The women and children, collected in the ancient
Byzantine cathedral, seemed the mere remnant of a wretched population.
Many men had fled; and the bridge, which joined both banks, being cut, the
Russian army had started before us on the road to Moscow, without any
possibility of our at once pursuing them. Napoleon passed on horseback
through the smoking and blood-stained streets. Surgeon Larrey, faithful to
the sentiments of humanity which always distinguished him, had the Russian
wounded collected as well as the French.

The emperor looked gloomy and discontented. Though victorious, the army
was depressed: the first town taken by assault, burnt before them by the
determined hatred of its defenders, seemed to the soldiers a sinister
omen. They were all tired of a war which imposed upon them unheard-of
efforts without any glory coming to console them with its accustomed
intoxication. "The war is not a national one," said Count Daru recently at
Vitebsk; "the importation of a few English goods into Russia, or even the
rising of the Polish nation, is not a sufficient reason for so remote an
enterprise. Neither your troops nor your generals understand the necessity
of it. Let us stop while at least there is still time."

The same advice was repeated at Smolensk, on that bank of the river gained
by such bravery, and difficult to leave without danger, in order to plunge
into an unknown and hostile country, far from the reinforcements which
were still being prepared in Germany. Before attacking Smolensk, Napoleon
said to Prince Eugène, "We are going to give battle, and then we shall see
Moscow." "Always Moscow! Moscow will be our ruin," muttered the Viceroy of
Italy as he left the emperor. Nearly all the military leaders felt the
same fears.

Marshal Ney rushed with his troops in pursuit of Barclay, and overtook two
Russian columns on the plain of Valoutina behind a small muddy stream,
over which they had to throw a bridge. Here a keenly contested fight cost
us the life of General Gudin, when obstinately carrying the passage at the
point of the bayonet. Our columns were embarrassed in their attack by the
marshy ground. The Russians kept their positions till night; and when at
last obliged to quit the plateau more than 13,000 to 14,000 of both sides
lay dead on the field of battle. The enemy's columns resumed their
retreat, and continued to intercept our route to Moscow.

Thus, without a single check to diminish the prestige of our arms--after
constantly defeating the Russians in the partial engagements which had
taken place--after occupying, without fighting or taking by assault, every
place in our way, we found ourselves, after two months' campaigning, with
an army less by a half, in the very heart of Russia, unable to reach the
enemy, who were retreating without running away--further than when at
Wilna from that peace, desired by all, which Napoleon wished to impose
under glorious circumstances immediately after a victory. The pacific
messages of the Emperor Alexander had long accompanied our invasion of his
states. Now they ceased, and the sudden summer of the north was soon about
to disappear. "That would make a fine station for a cantonment," said
Count Lobau, the heroic General Mouton, as he looked at the position and
old walls of Smolensk. The emperor made no reply.

He was hesitating or reflecting, because he waited. On our right, General
Reynier and Prince Schwartzenberg, with the Saxons and Austrians, had
dislodged the Russians from the important position of Gorodeczna at
several leagues from Kobrin; thus opening, with considerable difficulty,
the intercepted road to the grand duchy. On the left, Marshal Oudinot,
hurt at the emperor severely blaming him because when victorious he took
the position of the conquered, had advanced against Count Wittgenstein,
although the Russians would not accept battle. The marshal again fell back
on the Drissa and Polota; a strong detachment, however, covered the latter
river, and on the Russians presenting themselves for the attack they were
repulsed. Oudinot was wounded, and the command devolved upon General
Gouvion St. Cyr, who was also slightly wounded. On the 18th August, having
resolved to give battle, he directed his troops from a small Polish
carriage, which was overturned in the thick of the conflict, and the
general was trodden under foot. In spite of the exhaustion of the
soldiers, and their leader's pain and ill-health, the feigned retreat
which had deceived the Russians, as well as the battle itself, were
crowned with brilliant success. After the battle of Polotsk, Wittgenstein
was compelled to withdraw, and Gouvion St. Cyr received at last his
marshal's baton. His instructions were to guard the Dwina, while Macdonald
was kept before Riga, unable to take it or raise the siege. The two corps
were now deprived of communication, as soon as the main body was still
further removed from its wings, now isolated on the right and left. The
emperor was resolved to leave Smolensk, and at every cost pursue the
battle which was running from him. Davout and Murat, always at the head of
the army, and perpetually at strife in their military operations, agreed,
however, in affirming that the Russians certainly showed a real intention
of fighting. Napoleon went himself towards Dorogobouje.

A last effort was attempted by those about him to make him stop at
Smolensk. General Rapp, just arrived from Germany, could not conceal his
emotion and astonishment. "The army has only marched a hundred leagues
since the Niemen," said he. "I saw it before crossing, and already
everything is changed. The officers, arriving by posting from the interior
of France, are frightened at the sight which meets their eyes. They had no
conception that a victorious march without battles could leave behind it
more ruins than a defeat." "You have left Europe, as it were, have you
not?" said Murat and Berthier. "Should Europe rise against your Majesty,
you will only have your soldiers for subjects, and your camp for empire;
nay, the third of that even being foreign, will become hostile." Napoleon
granted the truth of the facts. "I am well aware that the state of the
army is frightful. From Wilna half of them could not keep up, or were left
behind; and today there are two thirds. There is therefore no more time to
lose. Peace must be had at any cost, and it is in Moscow. Besides, this
army cannot now halt; its composition and disorganization are now such
that it is kept up by movement alone. One can advance at its head, but
cannot stop or retreat. It is an army of attack, not of defence; an army
of operation, not of position. I shall strike a great blow, and all will

When leaving Smolensk, on the 24th August, with his guard, the emperor had
not yet come to a final decision as to his advance, but all his measures
were taken with that result in view, and his skilful lieutenants were not
deceived. Marshal Victor was already on his way to Wilna, and Napoleon
sent him orders to march at once towards Smolensk. Two divisions of the
army of reserve, left in Germany under the orders of Marshal Augereau,
were summoned to Lithuania. When the emperor learned, on arriving at
Dorogobouje, that the enemy was again escaping from him, he concluded that
General Barclay was ready to fight him, and was seeking for a favorable
position. "We are told that he awaits us at Wiazma," wrote Napoleon to the
Duke of Bassano on 26th August; "we shall be there in a few days. We shall
then be half-way between Smolensk and Moscow, and forty leagues, I
believe, from Moscow. If the enemy is beaten there, nothing can protect
that great capital, and I shall be there on the 5th September."

The day was in fact come, and the battle which Napoleon had so long
desired was at last to be offered, given, and gained--with no other result
except more deeply involving us in a desperate enterprise and consummating
our ruin. The Russians having evacuated Wiazma, it was only at Ghjat that
the emperor at last felt certain of encountering the enemy. The command of
the Muscovite armies had changed hands: the cry raised since the beginning
of the campaign against Barclay's prudent tactics, at last overbore the
Czar's confidence in that able general, and old Kutusof had been placed at
the head of the troops. Keenly patriotic, and long engaged in the struggle
against the man who had conquered him at Austerlitz, the new general-in-
chief appealed to all the national and religious passions by which his
soldiers were animated. "It is in the faith," said he, "that I wish to
fight and conquer; it is in the faith that I wish to conquer or die, and
that my eyes shall see victory. Soldiers, think of your wives and children
who claim your protection; think of your emperor who is looking upon you;
and before to-morrow's sun has disappeared, you shall have written your
piety and fidelity upon the fields of your country with the blood of the
aggressor and his legions." The priests, clothed in their most sumptuous
robes, were already carrying the holy images at the head of the regiments,
while the soldiers knelt down to receive absolution. The French army was

The emperor having been ill for several days, his assistants found him
depressed and undecided at the very moment when he was at last attaining
the object of his desires. There was still a constant quarrel between
Murat and Davout. The marshal blamed the King of Naples for imposing too
much work upon the cavalry, and forbade the infantry of the advanced guard
to manoeuvre without his express orders. The complaints of his lieutenants
reached Napoleon, but he made no more efforts to reconcile them. Having a
fixed ill-will against Davout, he compelled him to place under Murat's
orders one of his divisions which had been refused to the King of Naples.
The emperor had shown more ill-temper than usual; and on one occasion he
said to Berthier himself, the most devoted of his old friends "And you,
too, are you one of those who wish to stop? As you are only an old woman,
you may go back to Paris. I can do very well without you." For several
days the Prince of Neuchâtel refused to appear at the emperor's table.

The imperial staff had now left Wiazma. When occupying that small town,
Napoleon had himself run after and horsewhipped some soldiers who were
pillaging and destroying a shop. He pursued his journey under the blue sky
and an exhausting heat, listening to the simple talk of a young Cossack,
who had been taken prisoner that very morning amongst the Russian soldiers
who had lagged behind. Lelorgne d'Ideville, the excellent interpreter who
attended the emperor, put questions to the soldier. "Nobody wishes to keep
Barclay," said the young Cossack; "they say that there is another general.
They would all have been beaten long ago but for the Cossacks. No matter,
there is going to be a great battle. If it takes place within three days,
the French will gain it; but, if it is delayed longer, God only knows what
will happen. It seems the French have a general called Bonaparte, who has
always conquered all his enemies. Perhaps he will not be so fortunate this
time; they are waiting for large reinforcements in order to make a stand."
The emperor having made a sign, Lelorgne leant over towards the young
Cossack's saddle and said, "That is General Bonaparte beside you--the
Emperor Napoleon." The soldier opened his eyes and looked at the face of
the great conqueror whose name had, like some tale of wonder, reached even
his savage tribe: he said nothing, when Napoleon gave orders that he
should be restored to liberty.

The weather becoming bad, the rain fell in torrents, and rendering the
march of the army difficult, many soldiers left the ranks to pillage,
their provisions being short; and the emperor bitterly reproached his
lieutenants with a state of things which they could not prevent. "The army
is in that way threatened with destruction," wrote Napoleon, "even from
Ghjat. The number of prisoners made by the enemy amounts every day to
several hundred. Let the Duke of Elchingen know that he is daily losing
more men than if we were fighting, and that it is therefore necessary that
the foraging expeditions should be better managed, and the men should not
go so far away."

Order was not restored in the army when, on the 5th September, it
debouched upon the plain of Borodino. Following the table-lands extending
between the Baltic and Black Sea, we descended the slopes by which the
Moskwa on the left, and the Protwa on the right, flow towards the Oka, a
tributary of the Volga. The rain ceasing, Napoleon was encouraged by the
appearance of the sky to hope for fine weather. At one time he thought of
returning towards Smolensk; but when the sun reappeared he cried, "The lot
is cast; let us set out." He at last found himself face to face with the

General Kutusof had taken advantage of the natural position. Entrenched on
the left behind the river Kolocza, he had raised a series of earthen
redoubts, furnished with a formidable artillery, to defend the small
heights at the foot of which were extended the Russian battalions. The
course of the river changing its direction at the point where the village
of Borodino was placed, the heights were there protected only by hollows.
It was this position which Napoleon first gave orders to attack, in order
to carry a detached redoubt placed on a mamelon. Our troops had scarcely
arrived, and night was approaching, but after a very severe engagement the
advanced work of Schwardino remained in our power. The whole of the 6th of
September was spent in reconnoitring. Several of the corps had not yet
joined the main body. Marshal Davout proposed to cross the thick curtain
of forest extending on the left of the Russian army, and by taking the old
Moscow road, turn the enemy's positions and seize their troops between two
fires. Napoleon refused, thinking this movement too dangerous. He himself
seemed disturbed and ill at ease; with his head in hand, and deeply
plunged in thought, he all at once tore himself from his meditations to
make sure of the execution of some orders. "Are you confident of victory?"
he asked General Rapp, abruptly. "Certainly," replied he, "but with much
bloodshed." "Ah! that is true," said the emperor. "But I have 80,000 men;
if I lose 20,000, I shall enter Moscow with 60,000; the soldiers who have
fallen behind will join us, and then the marching battalion. We shall be
stronger than before the battle." In enumerating his forces, Napoleon did
not reckon his cavalry or the guard. He was still ill, being under an
attack of fever, but it was with a voice of the greatest firmness that he
again harangued his troops. "Soldiers!" said he, "this is the battle which
you have so much wished for. The victory now depends upon yourselves. It
is necessary for you; it will give us abundance, good quarters in winter,
and a ready return to our own country. Behave as you did at Austerlitz,
Friedland, Vitebsk, and Smolensk, and so that the most remote posterity
may quote your conduct this day. Let them say of you, 'He was at that
great battle under the walls of Moscow!'"

On the 7th, before daybreak, Napoleon was already on the battlefield, near
the redoubt which had been gained on the evening of the 5th. The troops
had received orders to look their very best. Stretching his hand towards
the sky the emperor exclaimed, "See! it is an Austerlitz scene!" The
bright rays, however, were in the soldiers' faces, and the Russians had
more advantage from their brilliancy than we. At seven o'clock the combat
broke out on the left: Prince Eugène carried the village of Borodino, but
his troops, being too eager, crossed the bridge instead of breaking it
down, and were crushed under the fire of the enemy's artillery, placed on
the heights of Gorki. The attack became general--so passionate and
violent, that on both sides they scarcely took time to manoeuvre. For the
first time in his long career as head of an army, the emperor remained in
the rear, looking on the struggle without taking part in it, yet opposing
the eager demands of his generals for reinforcements. "If there is a
second battle to-morrow, what troops shall I give it with?" he replied to
Berthier, who entreated him to send assistance to Murat and Ney, on their
carrying the enemy's redoubts. Generals fell on every side, dead or
severely wounded. They hurriedly bound up the wounds of Marshal Davout,
who was seriously hurt; and Rapp, wounded for the twenty-second time in
his life, was carried before the emperor. "Always Rapp!" said Napoleon;
"and what is going on over there?" "Sire, they want the guard, in order to
put an end to it," replied the general's aide-de-camp. "No," retorted the
emperor, "I won't have them destroyed. It is not when 800 leagues from
home that one risks his last resource."

During this long day this was Napoleon's constant reply to all the leaders
of divisions who believed they held in their hands the foretaste of
victory, or who saw officers and soldiers slaughtered around them.
Napoleon was waiting for a propitious moment, to decide himself the
success of the day. "It is too soon," he repeated several times; "the hour
for me to join in the fight personally is not yet come; I must see the
whole chess-board more clearly." The reserve artillery, however, had been
authorized to advance, and crowned the heights which had just been taken
from the Russians. The enemy's cavalry came to dash against that
unsurmountable obstacle; their infantry fell in dense files, without
withdrawing or breaking. For two hours the Russian regiments remained
exposed to this terrible fire. Marshal Ney at last turned what were left
of this heroic corps, commanded by Prince Bagration. The struggle
gradually ceased in the plain; the heights remained partially in the hands
of the Russians; Prince Eugène used his utmost endeavors to take the great
redoubt; and Prince Poniatowski was unable to force the old Moscow road.
In vain did Murat and Ney demand loudly for the advance of the guard,
still remaining motionless. For a moment the arguments of General Belliard
seemed to take effect, and the order to march was given to the young
guard. Count Lobau was already putting them in motion under the pretext of
rectifying their lines, but Kutuzoff, till then motionless and inactive,
had anticipated Napoleon in his final determination, and throwing forward
his cavalry of reserve, the forces again formed in the plain, and a charge
of the enemy, came pouring upon the divisions which held it. The emperor
stopped the guard, forbidding an operation which, though recently likely
to be successful, was now dangerous from the delay. The gap made in the
centre of the Russian army by the untiring efforts of Murat and Ney was
now closed up; the Russians again occupied their outer works; their ardor
and courage never slackened under the fire of our artillery. The great
redoubt, however, having been carried, and the Moscow road being
abandoned, the generals who still miraculously survived after having a
hundred times exposed their lives, asked to try a supreme effort to throw
back the enemy and drive him into the Moskwa. Napoleon left his post, and
came to inspect himself the point of attack. Marshal Bessières was not
disposed to risk the guard; and Napoleon once more resisted all urgent
demands. He instructed Marshal Mortier to occupy the field of battle with
the young guard; and night being come, the battle at last ceased. "I do
not ask you to advance, or commence any engagement," repeated Napoleon
twice; and calling back the Marshal as he was going off, "You thoroughly
understand? Keep the battle-field, without advancing or retreating,
whatever may happen." The Russians had not yet evacuated all their
positions, and the conquered and conquerors, both equally heroic, were
extended in confusion on the plain. Several Russian detachments threw up a
rampart of dead bodies. When on the morrow General Kutuzoff effected his
brave retreat, he left no soldiers lagging behind, and the wounded who
died on the march were religiously buried. The Emperor Alexander's army
left 60,000 dead or dying on the plain of Borodino--or the battle-field of
the Moskwa, as Napoleon himself named that terrible day. Prince Bagration
was killed.

The battle of the Moskwa caused in our ranks 30,000 dead and wounded. Ten
generals had succumbed, including Montbrun and Caulaincourt, brother of
the Duke of Vicenza. Thirty-nine general officers were wounded: and ten
colonels killed, and twenty-seven wounded. Three days were scarcely
sufficient to attend to the dead and wounded. The abbey of Kolotskoi and
the neighboring villages were converted into provisional hospitals, under
the direction of General Junot, commandant of the Westphalians. The
emperor had advanced towards Mojaisk, and Murat followed with his
decimated regiments. Napoleon refused Davout the command of the advanced
guard. The town was attacked on the 9th: some attempts had been made to
set it on fire, but the walls and houses were still standing when the
emperor fixed his abode there for several days. It was there that he
reviewed the state of his losses on the 7th. He had gone over the
battlefield, showing more emotion and compunction than usual at the sight
of the frightful carnage which had signalized the battle. Only 800
prisoners remained in our hands. The soldiers well knew that the number of
captives was an indisputable sign of the importance of a victory. They
beheld with terror the heaps of their enemies' corpses. "They all prefer
death to being taken!" said they. "Eight days of Moscow," exclaimed the
emperor, "and the enemy will not be seen again." He still remained ill and
moody, however; and on the previous evening wrote to Marshal Victor, "The
enemy when attacked in the heart no longer attends to his extremities;
tell the Duke of Belluna to direct everything, battalions, squadrons,
artillery, and isolated men, upon Smolensk, so that he may come from there
to Moscow."

It was indeed upon Holy Moscow, the traditional capital of old Russia,
that the hopes of Napoleon were now concentrated, hoping there to conclude
a peace, and finish a war which he himself felt to be above human
strength. Several weeks previously the Czar had left Moscow and returned
to St. Petersburg, whence he watched at a distance, and without military
skill, the defence of his empire. He upheld the courage of his subjects,
however, and had personally obtained from them great sacrifices. The lords
assembled round him, in the cradle and tomb of nobility, as they called
Moscow, had voted the levy of every tenth serf, armed, equipped, and
supplied with three months' provisions. The merchants offered the emperor
half their wealth. On the approach of the French, and while waiting for
the defence of the old capital, the orders of Rostopchin, the governor,
forbade the evacuation of the town. Women, children, old men, on carts and
carriages, loaded with goods, money, and furniture, slowly removed from
the town, where their husbands, sons and brothers still remained. "The
less fear the less danger," said the governor. Kutuzoff's proclamations at
first represented the battle of Borodino as a disputed combat, which left
the Russian army standing, and capable of defending Moscow; but when their
battalions appeared before the gates of the capital the sad truth struck
the eyes of all. Whatever it might cost the invader, the national army was
beaten, and Moscow could not repulse an attack. There was an immediate and
constantly-increasing rush to leave the place. Popular rumor described the
French as fierce monsters, worthy of that emperor whom Alexander himself
had portrayed as a "Moloch, with treason in his heart and loyalty on his
lips, come to efface Russia from the surface of the world."

In his real heart Kutuzoff had decided what to do. Skilful and cunning,
without presence of mind or great courage on the field of battle, he could
direct the operations of a campaign, and choose the proper mode of leading
his country's enemies to their downfall. Nevertheless, he held a council
of war, being determined to make the other generals share the weight of a
terrible responsibility. Must they defend Moscow by a second battle in
open field, wait for the enemy behind the walls, and dispute with him,
foot by foot, the possession of the town? Must they abandon the capital,
and, as it was recommended by Barclay de Tolly, always bravely true to his
original purpose, retreat to Vladimir, and thus cover the road to St.
Petersburg? All these proposals were proposed, and keenly discussed.
Several spoke in favor of immediate and unflinching resistance, who would
have bitterly regretted the adoption of their advice. At last the old
general rose: he had listened to all their speeches without speaking, and
only shook his head, to signify, as it were, his strong conviction that
whether his head were good or bad, it had to make the final decision of
the question.

He gave his orders, which showed great skill and prudence. The army was to
pass through Moscow without halting, without assisting in any preparation
for resistance, or joining in any skirmish even when on the rearguard;
then falling back upon Riazan, it was, after several days, to occupy the
road to Kalouga, and thus intercept the way to the French, while
preserving communication with the provinces in the south of the empire,
which are the richest and most fertile. The troops at once began to
defile. Behind them long convoys hurried to escape the French. Five sixths
of the population had quitted the town when the columns of those wounded
in the battle of Borodino appeared at their doors, and they were obliged
to crowd their hospitals and churches with 15,000. By abandoning their
capital the Russians entrusted these wretches to the pity of their

The governor of Moscow, Count Rostopchin, had not yet left the town. On
the previous evening he trusted to the assurances of Kutuzoff, that the
capital would be keenly defended. "There will be fighting in the streets,"
said he, in his proclamations. "The courts are already closed, but that
does not matter; there is no need of courts to do justice to ruffians. I
shall soon give you the signal; take care to provide yourselves with
hatchets, and especially three-pronged forks, for a Frenchman does not
weigh more than a sheaf of corn. I shall have mass said for the wounded,
and holy water to hasten their cure. I shall then join General Kutuzoff,
and we shall soon set about sending those guests to the devil, forcing
them to give up the ghost, and reducing them to powder."

Kutuzoff, nevertheless, withdrew, not less resolute, but more skilful than
Count Rostopchin. It was then that the latter conceived an idea, the
responsibility of which, as well as the honor, rests entirely upon him.
Nobody was consulted; and it is not known whether the Emperor Alexander,
with some anticipation of gloomy fate crossing his mind, may not have
beforehand granted the dread authority to the governor of his capital. For
several days inflammable substances had been collected in the garden of
his palace. At the moment of leaving the town, Rostopchin ordered the
prisons to be opened, and the hideous crowd of condemned prisoners jostled
and mixed with the half-frantic citizens who were fleeing before the
French. The governor retained two prisoners--one a Frenchman, lately come
to Moscow to earn a living; the other, a Russian, and both accused of
having acted as agents of the enemy. "Go," said Rostopchin to the
Frenchman, "you have been ungrateful but you have the right to prefer your
country; you are now again free, go back to your own people. As for you,"
he added, turning to the Russian, "let even your own father be your
judge." An old merchant came near, tottering under the weight of his
grief. "You may speak to him and bless him," said the governor. "Me bless
a traitor!" exclaimed the old man; and, raising his hands to heaven, he
cursed his son, who was immediately beheaded. The mob showed their keen
vindictiveness in their treatment of his body.

Count Rostopchin at last left Moscow, letting all precede him, like the
captain who hesitates to abandon the sinking ship. He had given all his
instructions. All the baggage all the wealth, he took with him, were the
fire engines of that great city, which was nearly entirely built of wood.
"Of what use are those in the country?" asked Colonel Wolzogen, with
astonishment. "I have my reasons," replied the governor; then, leaving the
last friends who still accompanied him, he turned round, and pointing with
his finger to Moscow, and then touching the sleeve of his coat, he said,
"I take away nothing except what is on my back." He went towards his
country house at Voronovo.

Meantime, however, the French advanced guard were approaching Moscow.
Several slight skirmishes had taken place during the march, and Kutuzoff
succeeded in protecting his retreat. When Murat appeared at the head of
the first columns, General Miloradovitch, who commanded the Russian
rearguard, made a verbal agreement with the King of Naples to suspend
hostilities for several hours, for the protection of the troops, and the
safety of the citizens. Murat agreed to it, limiting himself to the
pursuit of the Russians when they should have completed their evacuation
of Moscow.

The soldiers, as well as the generals and Napoleon himself, were delighted
at the distant sight of that town, illuminated by the rays of the setting
sun, which brought into full relief the Oriental brilliance of its palaces
and churches. "Moscow! Moscow!" they repeated from one end of the ranks to
the other. The emperor added to the enthusiastic expression of his troops
another thought: "Not a moment too soon!" he muttered.

The great conqueror was deceived, and divine justice punished more
completely than he anticipated his guilty ambition and insatiable pride.
The dense ranks of the French soldiers presented themselves before the
gates of the capital, without any one coming to open them. Several ragged
wretches, with gloomy looks appeared on the turrets of the Kremlin and
fired a few shots; but while passing along the streets of Moscow, among
palaces mixed with cottages--before golden-domed churches, adorned with
paintings of a thousand colors--our soldiers wondered, and felt uneasy at
the solitude which reigned around them. "What is become of them?" they
asked. It was not thus that the French army had entered Berlin or Vienna.
"Let the head men of the town be brought to me!" ordered the emperor. The
population of Moscow had no longer any head men. Those who hid themselves
in terror in the houses, or wept in the churches, felt themselves at the
mercy of the ruffians whom the governor, by quitting Moscow, had let loose
upon them. The door of the Kremlin had to be burst open with cannon-balls
before the old palace of the Czars could be rid of the wretches who had
shut themselves up in it. Napoleon took possession of it, without at first
fixing his abode there, curious to admire its barbarous magnificence, not
yet subjected to the influence of French elegance like the houses of the
rich merchants already occupied by his generals. The whole army gazed with
delight upon this strange and long-anticipated sight. On the 15th
September, 1812, the Emperor Napoleon and his soldiers passed through the
streets of Moscow, deserted, but still standing. They examined the
concentric quarters, like a series of ramparts round the Kremlin; the old
or Chinese town, the centre of Oriental commerce; the white town, with its
broad streets and gilt palaces, the quarter of the great nobles and rich
merchants; and all round the privileged districts: the "land town,"
composed of villages and gardens, interspersed with magnificent houses.

All the military posts were chosen, On the north-west, south-west, and
south-east, between the roads to Riazan and Vladimir, the forces of Prince
Eugène, Davout, Poniatowski, and Ney had taken their quarters. The guard
occupied the Kremlin. Soldiers and generals enjoyed the luxury which had
been preceded by the cruel privation of the months immediately preceding.
"We have provisions for six months," said the soldiers.

On the morning of the 16th fire broke out in a spirit-warehouse, and some
hours afterwards in a magnificent bazaar which was filled with valuable
goods. The officers blamed for it the stupidity of a drunken soldier. They
at once battled with the fire, but the wind was contrary, and the wealth
heaped up in the warehouses became a prey to the flames and pillage, which
it was impossible to prevent. The fire soon spread even to the
neighborhood of the Kremlin, and the sparks, carried by the equinoctial
breeze, fell from all parts on the gilded roofs. The courts of the palace
being crowded with artillery wagons, and the cellars heaped up with
ammunition which the Russians had neglected to take with them, a horrible
catastrophe seemed imminent. The generals had great difficulty in
persuading Napoleon to leave the Kremlin. The imperial guard, acting as
firemen, inundated incessantly the roofs and walls. The fire-engines of
the city were searched for in vain. Soon there was a rumor spread that
incendiaries had been arrested in several quarters.

The emperor ordered these wretches to be brought before him. They were
proud of the terrible mission with which they had been entrusted, taking a
delight in the fatal disorder produced under their hands, pillaging and
murdering in the houses which they delivered up to the flames. They all
made a bold declaration of the orders they had received, and underwent
unflinchingly the extremest punishment. The poor population, who had
remained concealed in the lowest haunts of the capital, now fled in
terror, the women carrying with them their children, the men dragging
behind them the most valuable of their household goods, or the shameful
results of pillaging the shops. The flames extended from street to street,
house to house, church to church: thrice the wind seemed to fall, and
thrice it changed its direction, driving the fire into quarters previously
untouched. The Kremlin remained always surrounded by fire. The imperial
guard had not quitted the palace. The army carried their cantonments
outside the town. When scarcely fallen into the hands of the conquerors,
Moscow succumbed before a more powerful enemy, enrolled for the defence of
the country. Palaces and huts were both become uninhabitable, and the
hospitals, filled with wounded Russians, had perished in the flames. The
emperor quitted Moscow, and took up his quarters at Petrowskoi. For three
days the conflagration remained alone in possession of the capital.

The wind falling, was succeeded by rain. The fire everywhere brooded under
the dead ashes, ready to burst out afresh at the contact of air; but the
spectacle had lost its avenging beauty. The roofs left standing were
relieved against the columns of smoke. The Kremlin still rose majestic,
and almost untouched, as if protecting the city against its various
enemies. The soldiers soon began to steal from their cantonments into the
streets; and in the cellars of the houses, under heaps of rubbish,
protected by walls blackened with the flames, they found provisions
collected by households for the winter; valuable clothes; plate which had
been carefully concealed in hiding-places which no longer existed; objects
of art, of which the finders did not know the value; strong drink, which
they madly used to intoxicate themselves. After the fire, in spite of the
efforts of the officers, Moscow was delivered up to pillage.

So much disorder and mad prodigality shocked all the Emperor Napoleon's
instincts of order and government. Returning hastily to Moscow, he
repressed by his mere presence the outrages of the soldiers. Regular
search was everywhere organized for the collection of provisions buried
under the ruins, and bringing them into stores. The resources collected in
a few days were sufficient to supply the troops for a long time. Forage
alone was wanting, and companies were formed for the purpose of scouring
the country round Moscow. The prices offered to the peasantry for their
stock was expected to encourage them to supply the markets of the capital.
Napoleon even considered the interests of the wretches who wandered,
defenceless and houseless, in the streets of Moscow, or timidly glided
into the town at the opening of the gates to look for those they had been
compelled to abandon, and the remainder of their property concealed under
ruined walls. Huts were erected to shelter them.

The desire for peace daily took stronger possession of Napoleon's mind,
and he had already authorized several indirect overtures. On the 20th
September he thus wrote the Czar:

"My brother, having learned that the brother of your Imperial Majesty's
minister was at Moscow, I sent for him, and had some conversation with
him. I requested him to wait upon your Majesty, and acquaint you with my
sentiments. The handsome and superb city of Moscow no longer exists.
Rostopchin has had it burnt. Four hundred incendiaries were taken in the
act; and having all declared that they had lighted the fire by order of
that governor and the director of police, they were shot. The fire at last
seems to have ceased. Three fourths of the houses are burnt, and one
fourth remain. Such conduct is atrocious, and serves no purpose. Was the
intention to deprive us of some resources? But those resources were in the
cellars, which the fire could not reach. Besides, why destroy one of the
finest towns of the world, and the work of ages, to accomplish so paltry
an object? It is the procedure followed since Smolensk, and it has reduced
600,000 families to beggary. The fire-engines of Moscow were broken or
carried off, and some arms from the arsenal given to ruffians, who could
not be driven from the Kremlin without using cannon. Humanity, the
interests of your Majesty and this great city, demanded that it should
have been entrusted to my keeping, since it was deserted by the Russian
army. They ought to have left administrations, magistrates, and civil
guards. That is what was done at Vienna twice, at Berlin, and Madrid; and
what we have ourselves done at Milan, when Souwarof entered. Incendiarism
causes pillage, the soldier abandoning himself to it to rescue what is
left from the flames. If I thought such things were done by your Majesty's
orders, I should not write you this letter; but I consider it impossible
that, with your principles, heart, and sense of justice, you have
authorized such excesses, unworthy of a great sovereign and a great
nation. While carrying away the fire-engines from Moscow, they left 150
field cannon, 60,000 new muskets, 1,600,000 infantry cartridges, more than
200 tons of powder, 150 tons of saltpetre, and also of sulphur, etc.

"I made war upon your Majesty without animosity. A letter from you before
or after the last battle would have stopped my march, and I should have
been ready to forego the advantage of entering Moscow. If your Majesty
still retains aught of your former sentiments, you will take this letter
in good part. In any case, you must feel indebted to me for giving an
account of what is taking place in Moscow."

When thus writing to the Emperor Alexander, Napoleon well knew that the
material disasters of the burning of Moscow were exceeded by the moral
results, and that the ruins of the capital were a proclamation to the
French army, to Russia, and to the whole of Europe, of the implacable
resolution of the old Muscovites. Rostopchin himself had written on the
iron door of his splendid country-house at Voronovo: "For eight years I
have been improving this estate, and have lived here happy in the bosom of
my family. The inhabitants of this estate, to the number of 1720, leave it
at your approach, and I set fire to my house that it may not be polluted
by your presence. Frenchmen, I have left you my two houses in Moscow, with
contents worth half a million of roubles. Here you will find nothing but

The hatred which he had excited against the invader was afterwards to fall
back upon himself. Count Rostopchin driven from Russia by the execration
of all those whom he had ruined, was compelled to take refuge in France,
where he died in peace, honored by his former enemies. He had nevertheless
rendered to Russia one of those terrible services excused by a state still
half barbarous, and that violent patriotism by which the soul is possessed
in presence of foreign invasion. He revived in the Russian people the
unconquerable ardor of resistance. Moscow on fire was an appeal to the
eyes and hearts of all.

Napoleon understood this well. Besides, other difficulties were becoming
extreme. Time was