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Title: Memoirs of the life, exile, and conversations of the Emperor Napoleon. (Vol. IV)
Author: Cases, Emmanuel-Auguste-Dieudonné Las
Language: English
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This is the fourth of four volumes, which can be found at Project


  _Rob^t. Cooper Scul^t._


                            THE LIFE, EXILE,
                                 OF THE
                           EMPEROR NAPOLEON.


                        THE COUNT DE LAS CASES.

                             A NEW EDITION.

                             WITH PORTRAITS


                                VOL. IV.

                      PUBLISHED FOR HENRY COLBURN,
                          AND ALL BOOKSELLERS.






  London: Published for HENRY COLBURN, December, 1835.



                         THE EMPEROR NAPOLEON.

                      OF THE EMPEROR’S EARLY LIFE.

Oct. 18, 1816.—I did not see the Emperor until five o’clock, when he
sent for me to attend him in the drawing-room. He continued indisposed;
but he had been engaged all the morning in dictating to the Grand
Marshal. He summoned all the persons of his suite in succession. He was
low-spirited and heavy; but at the same time there was a certain
restlessness about him. He sought to amuse himself in various ways. He
first tried chess, then dominos, and then chess again; but he was at
length compelled to return to his chamber, finding it impossible to sit
up. The state of the weather, joined to the vexations to which we are
exposed, concur in producing torments almost beyond endurance. The
weather has an effect on the nerves, and the persecutions that are
heaped upon us are still worse to bear. Every word uttered by the
Governor increases our misery. To-day he had signified his intention of
removing four of our establishment, which has been the cause of general
lamentation among the household: the individuals singled out for removal
regret their separation from their companions; while those who are to
remain are tormented by the fear of speedily sharing the same fate. We
compared Sir Hudson Lowe to Scylla, devouring the four companions of

The Governor has informed me that he also intends removing my servant,
who is an inhabitant of the island, and with whom I am very well
satisfied. He is doubtless afraid that the man will become too much
attached to me. He proposes to send me a servant of his own choosing, a
favour for which I feel very grateful, though I have no intention of
availing myself of the kind offer.

At dinner the Emperor ate but little. During the dessert, however, his
spirits revived a little, and we began to converse on the events of his
early life. This is a subject on which he delights to dwell, and which
always affords him a source of new and lively interest. He repeated many
of the particulars which I have already related at different times. He
said that he loved to go back to that happy age when all is gaiety and
enjoyment;—that happy period of hope and rising ambition, when the world
first opens before us, and the mind fondly cherishes every romantic
dream. He spoke of his regiment, and the pleasures he had enjoyed when
he first mingled in society. On mentioning the different balls and fêtes
which he had attended in his youthful days, he described one as having
been particularly splendid. “But,” said he, “at that time my notions of
splendour were very different from what they now are.”

Alluding to the date of certain circumstances, he observed that it would
be difficult for him to divide his life year by year. We observed that
if he would only date the events of four or five years, we could easily
take all the rest upon ourselves. He reverted to his military _début_ at
Toulon, the circumstances that first called him into notice, the sudden
ascendency which he acquired by his first successes, and the ambition
with which they inspired him: “And yet,” said he, “I was far from
entertaining a high opinion of myself. It was not till after the battle
of Lodi that I conceived those lofty notions of ambition which were
confirmed in Egypt, after the victory of the Pyramids and the possession
of Cairo. Then,” said he, “I willingly resigned myself to every
brilliant dream.”

The Emperor had become very cheerful and talkative, and he did not
retire until midnight. We looked upon this as a sort of resuscitation.

                       MADAME DE GENLIS’ NOVELS.

19th.—Our four proscripts, namely, the Pole, Santini, Archambault, and
Rousseau, left us about the middle of the day. In an hour they sailed
for the Cape with a brisk wind.

About three o’clock the Emperor sent for me. He was in the drawing-room,
and he desired to have Madame de Genlis’ novels brought to him. He read
a few pages aloud; but he soon laid down the books, observing that they
told him nothing. It was not so with me: the few pages that I had just
heard touched many tender strings. They presented a picture of the
elegant society of Paris, detailed the names of streets and monuments,
described familiar conversations, and retraced well-known portraits: all
this produced a forcible impression on me. The realities exist, I myself
exist, and yet we are separated, by distance, time, and, doubtless, by
eternity! I could at this moment look with indifference on pleasure and
gaiety; but the recollection of persons and places, which had thus been
revived, filled me with feelings of deep melancholy and regret.

The Grand Marshal now arrived, and the Emperor dictated to him till

In the evening the Emperor asked for the Arabian Nights; but he was
unable to read, and soon laid aside the book.


20th.—I spent the day in estimating the value of the books sent to us
from London, and for which an enormous sum is claimed from the Emperor.
Our valuation did not amount to even half that sum.

The Emperor did not appear in the drawing-room until a moment before
dinner; he had not, he said, seen any body the whole day; he had sought
for diversion, and found it in continued application. After dinner he
again took up the Arabian Nights.

The Grand Marshal and his family have this day left Hut’s Gate, their
first residence, which was situated about one league from Longwood. They
have at last taken possession of their new house, by which means we are
now nearly under the same roof. This was quite an event for them and for


21st.—I went after breakfast to see Madame Bertrand. She was so confined
at Hut’s Gate that she will have no cause to regret being shut up within
our enclosure, and we shall be very great gainers by it. For my part it
seemed to me as if I had found part of my family.

Our limits become every day more circumscribed. The number of sentries
is augmented, every thing reminds us incessantly of our horrible prison.

The Emperor said to me, whilst he was dressing, “that he was determined
to apply, once more, regularly to his occupations, which had been
interrupted by the late ill-treatment from our horrible Governor.” I
urged him to do so with all my might, as well for his own sake as for
ours, and for France and History.

The weather was too bad to allow the Emperor to take the air. He went
into his library, and looked over the History of the Crusades by
Michaud, and the Memoirs of Joinville. He then went to the drawing-room,
and conversed for some time longer; particularly respecting the servant
whom they wish to take from me, the one they intend to give me, &c.

The Governor will only give for the Emperor’s plate a sum more than one
fifth less than the plate is valued at in Paris, and yet he will neither
allow any competition for the sale of it in the Island, nor of its being
taken to London!...

The unfortunate people that have been shipped for the Cape will be fed
like common sailors. I have heard, on this occasion, that the same thing
took place on board the Northumberland, and that the Emperor’s servants
had not had any indulgence more than the common sailors, except by
paying for it.

After dinner the Emperor read, in Joinville, an account of the
expedition of St. Louis in Egypt. He analysed it, pointing out its
defects, and comparing the movements and the plan of that Expedition
with the plan adopted by himself; concluding that “if he had acted in
the same manner as St. Louis had done, he should undoubtedly have shared
the same fate.”

The Emperor retired early and sent for me. The conversation again fell
upon his excursions in Egypt, and in Syria. Matilda, a novel, by Madam
Cottin, the scene of which is laid in those countries, being
incidentally mentioned, led the Emperor to take a review of our female
authors. He spoke of Madame Roland and her Memoirs, of Madame de Genlis,
of Madame Cottin, whose Claire d’Albe he had just been reading, and of
Madame de Staël. He spoke at length about the latter, and repeated in
part what has already been said. Speaking of her exile, he said: “Her
house had become quite an arsenal against me; people went there to be
dubbed knights. She endeavoured to raise enemies against me and fought
against me herself. She was at once Armida and Clorinda.” Then, summing
up his arguments as he was wont to do, he said: “After all, it cannot be
denied that Madame de Staël is a very distinguished woman, endowed with
great talents and possessing a considerable share of wit. She will go
down to posterity. It was more than once hinted to me, in order to
soften me in her favour, that she was an adversary to be feared, and
might become a useful ally; and certainly if, instead of reviling me as
she did, she had spoken in my praise, it might no doubt have proved
advantageous to me; for her position and her abilities gave her an
absolute sway over the saloons, and their influence in Paris is well
known.” He then added, “Notwithstanding all that she has said against
me, and all that she will yet say, I am certainly far from thinking or
saying that she has a bad heart: the fact is, that she and I have waged
a little war against each other, and that is all.” Then taking a review
of the numerous writers who have declaimed against him, he said: “I am
destined to be their food, but I have little fear of becoming their
victim; they will bite against granite; my history is made up of facts,
and words alone cannot destroy them. In order to fight against me
successfully, somebody should appear in the lists armed with the weight
and authority of facts on his side. If such a man as the great
Frederick, or any other man of his cast, were to take to writing against
me, it would be a different thing; it would then, perhaps, be time for
me to begin to be moved; but as for all other writers, whatever be their
talent, their efforts will be vain. My fame will survive: and when they
wish to be admired, they will sound my praise.”


22nd—23d. The weather has been very bad. The Emperor, suffering greatly
from the tooth-ache, and having a swelled cheek, has not been able to go
out for the last two days. I have spent the greatest part of them with
him, in his apartment, or in the drawing-room, which he has converted
into a promenade, by opening the doors of communication from one to the

Amongst the various subjects of our conversation, he once told me
certain things which he had heard, and at which I much rejoiced. Nothing
can give a more striking proof of the horrors of our situation than the
importance which I attached to them. But every thing is in proportion to
the situation in which we are placed.

At another time, the Emperor expressed his regret at being so lazy with
respect to the English language. I told him that he now knew as much of
it as he wanted. He could read all books; it was now only necessary to
reduce the whole to a regular system—but, were the rule and compass fit
things for him?

After going through several subjects of conversation, the Emperor spoke
of Baron Larrey, on whom he passed the highest encomium, saying that
Larrey had left the impression on his mind of a truly honest man; that
to science he united, in the highest degree, the virtue of active
philanthropy: he looked upon all the wounded as belonging to his family;
every consideration gave way before the care which he bestowed upon the
hospitals. “In our first campaigns under the Republic, which have been
so much calumniated,” said the Emperor, “a most fortunate revolution
took place in the surgical department, which has since spread to all the
armies of Europe; and to Larrey it is, in great measure, that mankind is
indebted for it. The surgeon now shares the dangers of the soldier: it
is in the midst of the fire that he devotes his attentions to him.
Larrey possesses all my esteem and my gratitude,” &c.

This favourable impression seems clearly to have occupied Napoleon’s
mind in his last moments; for he has left Larrey a mark of his
remembrance, with this honourable testimony “_The most virtuous man that
I have known_.” On reading these words, I concluded that some peculiar
circumstance must have produced this most magnificent expression of
esteem, and the following is the result of my inquiries.

After the battles of Lützen, Wurtzen, and Bautzen, the victorious
Napoleon sent for the surgeon (Larrey), to ascertain, as usual, the
number of the wounded, and the state in which they were. They happened
to be, on this occasion, considerably more numerous than at other times
and in other engagements. The Emperor was surprised at this
circumstance, and endeavoured to explain the cause of it. M. Larrey
thought that, independently of local causes, it might be found in the
great number of soldiers who had fought on that day for the first time,
and who were, on that account, more awkward in their movements, and less
expert in avoiding danger. The Emperor, whose mind was extremely
pre-occupied by this affair, was not satisfied with this explanation,
and made inquiries elsewhere. As there were, at that moment, several
persons who were heartily tired of war; who would have wished for peace
on any conditions; and who would not have been sorry to see the Emperor
compelled to make it, whether from the effect of calculation or
conviction; the Emperor was told, in answer to his inquiries, that the
immense number of wounded ought not to be a matter of surprise; that the
greatest proportion of them were wounded in the hand, and they had
inflicted the wound on themselves, in order to be disabled from
fighting. The Emperor was thunderstruck at this information; he repeated
his inquiries, and found them attended with the same result; he was in a
state of despair. “If it be thus,” he exclaimed, “notwithstanding our
success, our situation is hopeless: France will be delivered up
defenceless to the barbarians.” And turning over in his mind by what
means he should put a stop to this contagion, he ordered all the wounded
of a certain description to be put on one side; and named a commission,
composed of surgeons, with Larrey at their head, to examine their
wounds, resolved to punish most severely those who should be found to
have been so cowardly as to mutilate themselves. M. Larrey, still
unwilling to believe in this voluntary self-mutilation, which, in his
opinion, was a stain on the honour of the army and of the nation,
appeared before the Emperor to state his opinion once more to him. But
Napoleon, incensed at his obstinacy, which some persons had taken care
to magnify in his eyes, said to him, with severity, “Sir, you will make
your observations to me officially;—go and fulfil your duty.”

Baron Larrey immediately applied to the business, but in a solemn
manner; he followed up the most trifling details, and therefore
proceeded slowly, whilst various motives rendered many persons impatient
to see the issue; and it was known that the Emperor himself was not less
impatient. Some persons did not fail to point out to M. Larrey the
delicate situation in which he was placed; but he turned a deaf ear to
all observations, and remained unmoved. At last, after some days, he
went to the Emperor, insisting upon being allowed to deliver his report
himself. “Well Sir,” said the Emperor, “Do you still persist in your
opinion?”—“More than that, Sire, I am come to prove to your Majesty that
I was right; these brave young men were basely calumniated: I have spent
a considerable time in the strictest investigation, and I have not found
one single man guilty; there is a deposition in writing on the
individual case of every one of those wounded men: bales of them follow
me; your Majesty may order them to be examined.” The Emperor looked at
him with a gloomy expression, and, taking his report with a kind of
emotion, he said, “Very well, Sir, I will look into it;” and he paced
the room with rapid strides, with an air of agitation and indecision; at
last, coming up to Larrey with an open countenance, he shook him
cordially by the hand, and said, with emotion: “Farewell, M. Larrey, a
sovereign is truly fortunate to have to do with such men as you are; you
will receive my orders.” M. Larrey received the same evening from
Napoleon his picture set in diamonds, 6000 francs in gold, and a pension
on the State of 3000 francs, independent, it was said, of every other
reward to which he might be entitled by his rank, his seniority, and his
future services. Such traits are invaluable for history; as they
exhibit, on the one hand, an honest man who does not hesitate to defend
truth against a sovereign prepossessed and incensed; and because they
display, on the other, the noble mind of the sovereign in the happiness
and the gratitude which he expressed on being undeceived.


24th.—The Emperor has not been out, he has not sent for any of us, and
he has not appeared at dinner. This made us fear that he was ill. After
ten o’clock he sent for me, as I was not yet in bed. He told me he had
not left his sofa the whole day; he had been reading for nearly eighteen
hours. He had only taken a little soup. He had had the tooth-ache. I
told him we had feared that it was something more serious, for our grief
at not seeing him was always increased by apprehension.

In a short time, he began to touch upon our pecuniary resources. He had,
as he humorously expressed it, held his Council in the morning; the
plate had been weighed, and the quantity that was to be sold had been
computed; the produce of it, he added, would enable us to go on for some
time longer. I again renewed the offer of the four thousand Louis which
I had in the English funds, and he deigned to accept them. “Mine is a
singular situation,” said he; “I have no doubt that if a communication
were allowed with me, and my relatives, or even many strangers, could
suspect that I am in want, I should soon be amply provided with every
thing that I require; but ought I to be a burthen to my friends, and
expose them to the undue advantage which the English ministers might
take of their good-will? I have applied to those ministers for a few
books, and they have sent them to me with all the inattention and
neglect of a careless agent. They claim from me fifteen hundred or two
thousand pounds sterling, that is, about 50,000 francs, for what I might
certainly have procured for less than 12,000. Would it not be the same
with every thing else? If I accept what you offer, it must be strictly
applied to our immediate wants; for, after all, we must live, and we
really cannot live upon what they give us. The small addition of one
hundred Louis per month would just be sufficient, and that is the sum
which you must ask for, and appropriate as carefully as possible.”

The calash then came up to us; it was driven four-in-hand by Archambaud.
This could not be otherwise, since the departure of Archambaud’s
brother. The Emperor refused at first to get into the carriage; he did
not think it prudent, in the midst of the stumps of trees with which we
were surrounded; he remembered his famous fall at Saint-Cloud, and
wished one of the English servants to ride as postilion, but Archambaud
protested that he should feel less secure in that manner than in driving
alone. Since the departure of his brother, he said, he had been
constantly practising amongst the trees, in order to be sure that he
could answer for himself. The Emperor then got in the calash, and we
took two turns. On our return he went to see the residence of the Grand
Marshal, with which he was not yet acquainted.

The evening was terminated by reading some passages of Longepierre’s
tragedy of Medea, which the Emperor interrupted, to compare it with that
of Euripides on the same subject, which he ordered to be brought to him.
He mentioned, on the subject, that he had formerly ordered one of the
Greek tragedies to be represented at his theatre in the palace, in all
its integrity, choosing the best possible translation, and imitating as
closely as possible the manners, dresses, forms, and scenery of the
original. He could not recollect what circumstance or what obstacle had
prevented the execution of the plan.

Having retired to his apartment, and not finding himself disposed to
sleep, he took some turns in his room, and threw himself on his sofa. He
opened a kind of political almanack which happened to be at hand; and
fell upon a list of our Marshals, which he passed in review, adding, at
the same time, quotations and anecdotes already known or related. When
he came to Marshal Jourdan, he dwelt for some time on the subject, and
concluded by saying: “This is one who has been assuredly very ill
treated by me; it was, therefore, natural to conclude that he would be
highly incensed against me; but I have heard with pleasure that he has
behaved with great moderation since my fall. He has set an example of
that elevation of mind which serves to distinguish men, and does honour
to their character. However, he was a true patriot, and that explains
many things.”


The usual summary cannot henceforth be long; strictly speaking three
sentences would suffice to trace it:

Incessant annoyance.

Absolute seclusion.

Infallible destruction.

The remainder of Napoleon’s existence will only be a cruel and prolonged

It has already been seen that the arrival of a new Governor became for
us the signal of the commencement of a life of misery. A few days had
sufficed to unfold his disposition; and, soon afterwards, the annoyances
and insults of which he made himself the instrument, or which he himself
created, were carried to the highest pitch. He rendered us an object of
terror to the inhabitants—he subjected us to the most cruel vexations—he
forbade us to write, without a previous communication with him, even to
those persons with whom he did not prevent us from conversing without
restraint—he invited _General Bonaparte_ to dine at his table, to shew
him to a lady of rank who was for a short time on the island—he arrested
one of our servants.

He now produces a despatch, in pursuance of which he endeavours to
oblige the Emperor to go into “the meanest details of his wants,” as
Napoleon expressed it, and to discuss them with him; he importunes the
Emperor to give money which he does not possess; and, by dint of
reductions in the common necessaries of life, obliges him to break up
and sell his plate, determining at the same time, by his authority as
Governor, the rate at which it is to be sold, and the person who is to
purchase it. He ridiculously restricts us to one bottle of wine per
head, including the Emperor. “He cheapens our existence,” said the
Emperor; “he grudges me the air I breathe, and what he sends to us for
our subsistence is sometimes, nay frequently, so bad that we are obliged
to apply for provisions to the neighbouring camp!!” &c.

He lays a snare for Napoleon, and exults in the hope of being able to
impart to him, personally and pompously, a communication which he calls
a ministerial order, but which is so outrageous that he refuses to leave
a copy of it; he prescribes to the Emperor the most absurd regulations;
he capriciously, and with bitter irony, contracts the space of his usual
limits; chalks out the trace of his footsteps; and even goes so far as
to attempt to regulate the nature of his conversations and the tenour of
his expressions; he surrounds us with trenches, palisadoes, and
redoubts; he obliges each of us individually, in order to be allowed to
remain with the Emperor, to sign a declaration that we submit to all
these restrictions; he makes use of us as instruments to degrade the
Emperor, by obliging us to call him _Bonaparte_, under pain of being
immediately removed from his person and instantly sent out of the
island, &c.

The Emperor, provoked by such disgraceful usage and such gratuitous
insults, opens his mind without reserve to Sir Hudson Lowe; his words
know no restraint; he frees himself for ever from his odious presence,
and declares that he never will see him again. “The most unworthy
proceeding of the English ministers,” said the Emperor to him, “is not
to have sent me here, but to have delivered me into your hands. I
complained of the admiral your predecessor; but he at least had a
heart!... You are a disgrace to your nation, and your name will for ever
be a stain upon its character!... This Governor,” the Emperor would
frequently say to us, “has nothing of an Englishman in his composition;
he is nothing but a worthless _sbire_ of Sicily. I at first complained
that a gaoler had been sent to me; but I now affirm that they have sent
me an executioner,” &c.

I have recorded these expressions, and I might mention many more,
however harsh they may be. 1st, Because I heard them uttered. 2dly,
Because Napoleon used them in speaking to Sir Hudson Lowe in person, or
caused them to be repeated to him. 3dly and lastly, Because they were
deserved, on account of the arbitrary, oppressive, and brutal manner, in
which the Governor, to the great scandal of the English themselves who
were on the spot, and who then manifested their disgust at his conduct,
abused the power with which he was invested in the name of a Nation so
eminently distinguished all over the globe, of a Prince so universally
respected in Europe, and of a Cabinet in which there were still some
honourable characters, men personally known by their moderation and
their elegant manners.

The vexations by which Napoleon was assailed were incessant; they
pursued him at every moment of his existence. Not a day passed without
the infliction of a fresh wound; and one of the torments recorded in
fabulous history may be said to have been thus realized.

Ah! if, during that period of affliction for so many generous hearts,
the Genius of Europe, the Genius of Truth, and the Genius of History,
have ever turned even involuntarily towards St. Helena, and the great
Napoleon; if they have sought for him in that island which they thought
it would be right to attempt, at least, to turn into a kind of Elysium
for him; what must have been their indignation to see him, in the bright
glory of so many immortal actions, chained like Prometheus to a rock,
and, like him, under the claws of a vulture, which delights in tearing
him to pieces!!! O infamy! O eternal disgrace!...

During this period the Emperor’s health has been constantly and
considerably declining; his body, which was thought so robust, which had
endured so many toils, and withstood so much fatigue, supported by
victory and glory, was now bending under the weight of infirmities
prematurely brought on by the injustice of men. Almost every day he is
attacked by some new indisposition; fever, swelled face, symptoms of
scurvy, constant colds; his features are altered, his gait becomes
heavy, his legs swelled, &c.... Our hearts were torn in seeing him thus
hastening towards infallible destruction; all our cares are in vain.

He had long since given up riding on horseback, and by degrees, also, he
almost entirely relinquished his rides in the calash. Even walking
became a rare occurrence, and he was thus nearly reduced to a strict
seclusion in his apartments. He no longer applied to any regular or
continued occupation; he seldom dictated to us, and only upon subjects
that were merely the fancy of the moment. He spent the greatest part of
the day alone in his room, busied in turning over a few books, or rather
doing nothing. Let those who have formed a due estimate of the power of
his faculties appreciate the strength of mind required to enable him to
bear, with equanimity, the intolerable burden of a life so wearisome and
monotonous; for, in our presence, he always exhibited the same serenity
of countenance and equality of temper. His mind appeared equally
unembarrassed; his conversation offered the same lively turns of
expression, and he was sometimes even inclined to mirth and humour; but,
in the privacy of intimate intercourse, it was easy to perceive that he
no longer thought of the future, meditated on the past, or cared about
the present. He merely yielded a passive obedience to the physical laws
of Nature, and, thoroughly disgusted with life, he perhaps secretly
sighed for the moment which was to put an end to it.

Such was the state of affairs when I was forcibly removed from Longwood;
for that period approaches—it is not far distant.

I have not noted down in the course of my Journal every minute
circumstance of our quarrels with the Governor, or the numerous official
communications that were exchanged between us. I have also omitted to
mention all the shameful privations to which we were exposed, in respect
to the necessaries and comforts of life. My object has been to show
Napoleon’s character in its true light, and not to write the history of
Longwood, and the catalogue of its miseries. Those who have any
curiosity on that score may seek for details in the work of Mr. O’Meara.
It would have argued meanness in me, who was one of the victims, had I
dwelt upon them; but for the Doctor, who was only a witness, who was a
stranger to us, and in some degree one of the adverse party, he can
only, situated as he is, have been actuated in so doing by the impulse
of a powerful feeling, and of generous indignation, which does honour to
his heart.

I have just heard (1824) that the late governor of St. Helena has
brought an action against Mr. O’Meara for defamation and calumny. I have
the highest respect for the Judges who preside over the principal courts
of justice in England, because I know how they are composed; but how can
one, in these days, be certain of the result of such an action? In the
unfortunate political effervescence of our times, truth appears, as it
were, in two lights at the same time; the true light is, for every
individual, that which exists in his own heart; for, after all, it is
impossible to impose upon one’s self, and that reflection will, no
doubt, be a motive of consolation to Mr. O’Meara, whatever the result
may be. And I must here declare that all the facts which I have seen
stated in Mr. O’Meara’s work, on the above-mentioned points, and which
fell under my knowledge while I was at St. Helena, are strictly true;
and thence I naturally conclude, by analogy, that the remainder, which I
have not seen, is also true. I, therefore, do not hesitate to say that I
consider it as such in my heart and conscience.

Whilst writing this, I have received from Sir Hudson Lowe some extracts
of confidential letters which, he informs me, he received at the time
from Mr. O’Meara, in which, he observes to me, O’Meara spoke of me in a
very improper manner, and made secret reports to him respecting me. What
can have been the intention of Sir Hudson Lowe in acting thus with me?
Considering the terms on which we are together, he cannot have been
prompted by a very tender interest. Did he wish to prove to me that Mr.
O’Meara acted as a spy for him upon us? Did he hope so far to prepossess
me against him as to influence the nature and the force of my testimony
in favour of his adversary? And, after all, are these letters in their
original state? have they not been altered after the fashion of St.
Helena? But, even supposing their meaning to be true and explicit, in
what respect can they offend me? What claim had I then on Mr. O’Meara’s
indulgence? what right had I to expect it? It is true that, at a later
period, after his return to Europe, seeing him persecuted and punished
on account of the humanity of his conduct towards Napoleon, I wrote to
him to express my heartfelt gratitude, and to offer him an asylum in my
family, should injustice compel him to leave his own country; that he
was welcome to share with me. But at St. Helena I hardly knew him, and I
do not believe that I spoke to him ten times during my residence at
Longwood. I considered him as being opposed to me by nation, by
opinions, and by interest: such was the nature of my connexion with Mr.
O’Meara. He was, therefore, entirely at liberty with respect to me: he
might _then_ write whatever he thought proper, and it cannot now vary
the opinion which I have since formed of him. Sir Hudson Lowe intends
now to insinuate that Mr. O’Meara was a double and a triple spy at the
same moment, viz. for the Government, for Napoleon, and for him, Sir
Hudson Lowe; but does that disprove the truth and destroy the
authenticity of the facts mentioned in his book? On the contrary. And
from which of the three parties could he expect to be rewarded for
revealing these facts to the public? Napoleon is no more; he can expect
nothing from him: and his publication has rendered the two others his
bitter enemies, who have deprived him of his situation, and threaten to
disturb his repose; for his real crime, in their eyes, is the warm zeal,
which he has displayed, of a friend to the laws and to decorum; who,
indignant at the mean and indecorous vexations to which Napoleon had
been exposed, drags the true authors of them to light, in order to
exculpate his country. I have, therefore, considered this tardy
communication of the confidential letters which Sir Hudson Lowe has just
transmitted to me, at the moment of his action against O’Meara, as a
kind of interested accusation, which every one will qualify as he thinks
proper. I have never even acknowledged the receipt of these letters; and
still less have I ever thought of complaining of their contents.


Friday, Oct. 25.—I attended the Emperor at his toilette. The weather was
tolerably fine, and he went out, and walked as far as the wood. He was
very feeble; for it was now ten days since he had stirred out. He felt a
weakness in his knees; and remarked, that he should soon be obliged to
lean on me for support.

Passing to other topics, he made many observations on the Russian war.
Among other things he said: “That war should have been the most popular
of any in modern times. It was a war of good sense and true interests; a
war for the repose and security of all; it was purely pacific and
preservative; entirely European and continental. Its success would have
established a balance of power and would have introduced new
combinations, by which the dangers of the present time would have been
succeeded by future tranquillity. In this case, ambition had no share in
my views. In raising Poland, which was the key-stone of the whole arch,
I would have permitted a King of Prussia, an Archduke of Austria, or any
other to occupy the throne. I had no wish to obtain any new acquisition;
and I reserved for myself only the glory of doing good, and the
blessings of posterity. Yet this undertaking failed, and proved my ruin,
though I never acted more disinterestedly, and never better merited
success. As if popular opinion had been seized with contagion, in a
moment, a general outcry, a general sentiment, arose against me. I was
proclaimed the destroyer of kings—I, who had created them! I was
denounced as the subverter of the rights of nations—I, who was about to
risk all to secure them! And people and kings, those irreconcileable
enemies, leagued together and conspired against me! All the acts of my
past life were now forgotten. I said, truly, that popular favour would
return to me with victory; but victory escaped me, and I was ruined.
Such is mankind, and such is my history; but both people and kings will
have cause to regret me; and my memory will be sufficiently avenged for
the injustice committed upon me: that is certain.”

If certain passages in the above conversation of Napoleon should require
illustration or proof, these will be found in the following letter. The
document is highly valuable on account of its date and contents; for the
motives and views of the Russian expedition are here developed by
Napoleon at the moment when he was about to embark in the enterprise.
The vulgar were certainly far from comprehending or rendering justice to
his intentions; I say the vulgar, for it is just to remark that, among
statesmen and men of foresight and extended views, the Russian war was
very popular. They disapproved of the moment at which it was undertaken;
but they fully appreciated all the grand designs of the Emperor.

                  FULFIL IN POLAND. (APRIL 18, 1812.)

“SIR,—The high opinion which the Emperor entertains of your fidelity and
talent induces him to advance you so far in his confidence, as to
intrust you with a mission of the utmost political interest. This
mission will require _activity, prudence, and discretion_.

“You are to proceed to Dresden. The ostensible object of your journey
will be to present to the King of Saxony a letter, which the Emperor
will deliver to you to-morrow after his levee. His Imperial and Royal
Majesty has already acquainted you with his intentions; he will
communicate to you verbally his final instructions respecting the
overtures which you are to make to the King of Saxony.

“It is the Emperor’s intention that the King of Saxony should be treated
with all the consideration to which he is entitled, from the particular
esteem which his Majesty entertains for him personally. You will explain
yourself both to the King and his Ministers, with unreserved candour;
and you will give credit to the hints you may receive from the Count de
St. Pilsac.

“With respect to Saxony, there will be _no sacrifice without

“Saxony attaches but little importance to the sovereignty of the Duchy
of Warsaw, as it now exists: it is a precarious and troublesome
possession. The sovereignty of that fragment of Poland places Saxony in
a false position with regard to Prussia, Austria, and Russia. You will
develop these ideas, and treat this question in the way in which it was
discussed in your presence, in his Majesty’s closet, on the 17th. You
will find the cabinet of Dresden not much inclined to oppose you; its
diplomacy has presented to us the same observations, on several previous
occasions. The matter in question is not the dismemberment of the
dominions of the King of Saxony.

“After a short stay at Dresden, you will announce your departure for
Warsaw; _where you will await new orders from the Emperor_.

“His Imperial Majesty begs that the King of Saxony will accredit you to
his Polish Ministers.

“At Warsaw, you will concert your measures with Prince ...., the
Emperor’s chamberlain, and with General ..... These two persons, who are
descended from the most illustrious Polish families, have promised to
exercise the influence they possess among their fellow citizens, to
induce them to exert every effort for securing the happiness and
independence of their country. You must communicate to the government of
the Grand Duchy an impulse calculated to prepare the great changes which
the Emperor proposes to make in favour of the Polish nation.

“It is necessary that the Poles should second the designs of the
Emperor, and co-operate in their own regeneration. _They must consider
France only as an auxiliary power._

“The Emperor is aware of the difficulties he will have to encounter, in
his endeavours to bring about the re-establishment of Poland. That great
political work will oppose the _apparent and immediate interests of his

“The re-establishment of Poland, by the arms of the French Empire, is a
hazardous and even a perilous enterprise, in which France will have to
contend against her friends as well as her enemies. We will enter into a
few details on this point.

“The object which the Emperor has in view is the organization of Poland,
_with the whole or a portion of her old territory_; and he wishes, if
possible, to effect this object without engaging in war. In furtherance
of this design, his Majesty has granted very extensive powers to his
ambassador at St. Petersburg: he has sent to Vienna a negotiator,
authorized to treat with the principal powers, and to offer great
sacrifices in territory, on the part of the French Empire, _by way of
indemnity for the cessions to be made for the re-establishment of the
kingdom of Poland_.

“Europe consists of three great divisions: in the west, the French
Empire; in the centre, the German States; and in the east, the Russian
Empire. England can have no more influence on the continent than the
Powers think fit to allow her.

“A strong organization of the centre will be necessary as a
precautionary measure, lest Russia or France should one day, in order to
extend their power, attempt to gain the supremacy in Europe. The French
Empire is now in the enjoyment of the full energy of her existence: if
she does not, at this moment, complete the political constitution of
Europe, to-morrow she may lose the advantages of her situation, and fail
in her enterprises.

“The conversion of Prussia into a military state, the reign and
conquests of Frederick the Great, the opinions of the age, and those of
the French revolution, have annihilated the Germanic Confederation. The
Confederation of the Rhine is only part of a provisional system. The
Princes who have been gainers would probably wish for the consolidation
of that system; but those who have been losers, the people, who have
suffered from the calamities of war, and the states which dread the too
great increase of the French power, will seize every opportunity of
opposing the maintenance of the Rhinish Confederation. Even the Princes
who have been aggrandized by the new system will seek to withdraw
themselves from it, as soon as time shall establish them in the
possessions they have obtained. France will, in the end, find herself
deprived of a protectorate, which, certainly, she will have purchased by
too many sacrifices.

“The Emperor is of opinion that, ultimately, at a period which cannot be
far distant, it will be proper to restore the states of Europe to their
complete independence.

“The House of Austria, which possesses three extensive kingdoms, must be
the soul of this independence, on account of the topographical situation
of its States; but it must not be the ruling power. In case of a rupture
between the two Empires of France and Russia, if the Confederation of
the intermediate Powers were actuated by one and the same impulse, the
ruin of one of the contending parties would necessarily ensue. The
French Empire would be more exposed to danger than the Russian Empire.

“The centre of Europe must be composed of states unequal in power, and
each possessing its own peculiar system of policy. These states, from
their situation and political relations, will seek support in the
protection of the preponderating powers; and they will be interested in
the maintenance of peace, because they must always be the victims of
war. With these views, after raising up new states and aggrandizing old
ones, in order to fortify our system of alliance for the future, the
establishment of Poland is an object of the utmost interest to the
Emperor and to Europe. If the Kingdom of Poland be not restored, Europe
will be without a frontier on that point; and Austria and Germany will
be face to face with the most powerful Empire in the world.

“The Emperor foresees that Poland, like Prussia, will ultimately become
the ally of Russia; but, if Poland should owe her restoration to France,
the period of the union of the above-mentioned states will be
sufficiently remote to afford time for the consolidation of the
established order of things. Europe being thus organized, there will no
longer be any cause of rivalry between France and Russia: these two
Empires will have the same commercial interests, and will act in
conformity with the same principles.

“Before the coolness with Prussia, the Emperor’s first intention was to
form a solid alliance with the King of Prussia, and to place the crown
of Poland on his head. There were then few obstacles to be surmounted:
for Prussia was already in possession of one-third of Poland; Russia
would have been left in possession of what she might have insisted on
retaining; and indemnities would have been granted to Austria. But the
progress of events occasioned the Emperor to alter his intentions.

“At the time of the negotiations of Tilsit, it was found necessary to
create states precisely in those countries which most dreaded the power
of France. The moment was favourable for the re-establishment of Poland,
though it would have been the work of violence and force. The war must
have been prolonged; the French army was suffering from cold and want;
and Russia had armies on foot. The Emperor was touched by the generous
sentiments which the Emperor Alexander manifested towards him. He
experienced obstacles on the part of Austria; and he suffered his policy
to be overruled by the desire of signing a peace, which he hoped to have
rendered lasting, if, through the influence of Russia and Austria,
England could have been prevailed on to consent to a general

“Prussia, after her reverses, manifested such a spirit of hatred towards
France that it was deemed necessary to diminish her power. With this
view, the Grand Duchy of Warsaw was created. It was placed under the
dominion of the King of Saxony, a prince whose whole life had been
devoted to the happiness of his subjects. Endeavours were made to
conciliate the Poles, by the establishment of institutions agreeable to
their tastes, and conformable with their manners and national character.
But all was badly managed.

“Saxony, separated from her new possessions by Prussia, could not, with
Poland, constitute a body sufficiently organized to become strong and
powerful. The opening of a military road through the Prussian territory,
to communicate between Saxony and Poland, greatly humbled the Prussians;
and the Poles complained of disappointed hopes.

“The Emperor stipulated for the occupation of the fortresses of Prussia,
in order to ensure the certainty that that power would not seek to
re-kindle the torch of war. The campaign of 1809 proved the prudence of
his policy. He adopted the firm resolution of labouring unremittingly to
complete the system of organization in Europe, which was calculated to
put a period to disastrous wars.

“The Emperor conceived that he must appear formidable, from the number
of troops which he has marched towards the Vistula, and from the
occupation of the fortresses of Prussia; measures which were necessary
for ensuring the fidelity of his allies, and obtaining, by means of
negotiations, what, perhaps, he can after all secure only by war.

“The dangers of the present circumstances are immense. The removal of
armies to the distance of five hundred leagues from their native
territory, cannot be unattended by risk; and Poland must rely as much on
her own exertions as on the support of the Emperor. I once more repeat
that, if war should ensue, the Poles must consider France only as an
auxiliary, operating in aid of their own resources. Let them call to
mind the time when, by their patriotism and courage, they resisted the
numerous armies which assailed their independence.

“The people of the Grand Duchy wish for the re-establishment of Poland;
it is for them to prepare the means by which the usurped provinces may
be enabled to declare their wishes. The government of the Grand Duchy
must, as soon as circumstances permit, combine, under the banner of
independence, the dismembered fragments of their unfortunate country.
Should it happen that any natives of Poland, under the dominion of
Russia or Austria, shall refuse to return to the mother country, no
attempt must be made to compel them to do so. Poland must derive her
strength from her public spirit and patriotism, as well as from the
institutions which will constitute the new social state.

“The object of your mission, therefore, is to enlighten, encourage, and
direct the Polish patriots in their operations. You will render an
account of your negotiations to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who
will acquaint the Emperor with your progress; and you will send me
abstracts of your reports.

“The misfortunes and weakness of the Polish republic were occasioned by
an aristocracy, which knew neither law nor restraint. At that period, as
at present, the nobility were powerful; the citizens oppressed; and the
great mass of the people nothing. But, even amidst these disorders, a
love of liberty and independence prevailed in Poland, and long supported
her feeble existence. These sentiments must have been strengthened by
time and oppression. Patriotism is a feeling natural to the Poles; it
exists even among members of the great families. The Emperor will
fulfil, unconditionally, the promise he made, in Art. 25, of the treaty
of the 9th of July, 1807, to govern the Grand Duchy by laws calculated
to ensure the liberty and privileges of the people, and consistent with
the tranquillity of the neighbouring states. Poland shall enjoy _liberty
and independence_. As to the choice of her sovereign, that point will be
decided by the treaty which his Majesty will sign with the other Powers.
His Majesty lays no claim to the throne of Poland, either for himself or
any of his family. In the great work of the restoration of Poland, he
has only in view the happiness of the Poles and the tranquillity of
Europe. His Majesty authorizes you to make this declaration; and to make
it formally, whenever you conceive it may be useful for the interests of
France and Poland.

“His Majesty has ordered me to transmit to you this note, and these
instructions, in order that you may make them the subjects of
conversation with the foreign ministers, who may be at Warsaw or

“The Emperor has ordered notes to be forwarded to the Ministers of War
and Foreign Affairs, of the Grand Duchy. Should pecuniary resources be
wanted, his Majesty will assist the Polish treasury by assignments on
the extraordinary domains, which he still possesses in Poland and

                           OF THE TUILERIES.

26th.—I was informed that the Emperor was very unwell, and that he
desired I would attend him. I found him in his chamber, with a
handkerchief bound round his head; he was seated in an arm-chair, beside
a great fire, which he had ordered to be kindled. “What,” said he, “is
the severest disorder, the most acute pain, to which human nature is
subject?” I replied, “That the pain of the present moment always
appeared to be the most severe.”—“Then it is the tooth-ache,” said he.
He had a violent secretion of saliva, and his right cheek was much
swelled and inflamed. I was alone in attendance on him, and I
alternately warmed a flannel and a napkin, which he kept constantly
applied to the part affected, and he said he felt greatly relieved by
it. He was also affected by a severe nervous cough, and occasional
yawning and shivering, which denoted approaching fever.

“What a miserable thing is man!” said he, “the smallest fibre in his
body, assailed by disease, is sufficient to derange his whole system! On
the other hand, in spite of all the maladies to which he is subject, it
is sometimes necessary to employ the executioner to put an end to him.
What a curious machine is this earthly clothing! And, perhaps, I may be
confined in it for thirty years longer!”

He attributed his tooth-ache to his late drive, as he had felt
singularly affected by being out in the open air. “Nature is always the
best counsellor,” said he; “I went out in spite of my inclination, and
only in obedience to reason.”

The Doctor arrived, and he found that his patient manifested symptoms of
fever. The Emperor spent the remainder of the day in his chamber,
occasionally suffering severely from the tooth-ache. At intervals, when
the pain abated, he walked up and down, between his armchair and the
sofa, and conversed on different subjects.

At one time, he alluded to the base conduct of some of the persons who
had been about him, during his power. A family, who were established in
the interior of the palace, who had been loaded with benefits, and who,
it may be added, behaved most disgracefully at the period of the
catastrophe, were one day detected in some offence or other by the
Emperor himself. He merely reproached them with their misconduct,
instead of punishing them for it. “But what was the consequence?” said
he, “this only served to irritate them, without affording a just
example. When things are done by halves, they will always prove
ineffectual. The fault must not be seen; or if seen, it must be
punished,” &c.

He next mentioned a woman, who, together with her husband, held a very
lucrative situation, and who was constantly complaining to him of her
poverty. “She often wrote to me,” said the Emperor, “to ask for money,
as though she had claims upon me; just as Madame Bertrand, or any of you
might do, on your return from St. Helena.”

Alluding to a person who had behaved very ill to him in 1814, he said:
“Probably you will suppose that he fled on my return? No such thing; on
the contrary, I was beset by him. He very coolly acknowledged that he
had felt a transient attachment for the Bourbons, for which, however, he
assured me he had been severely punished. But this, he said, had served
only to revive the natural affection which all so justly entertained for
me. I spurned him from me; and I have good reason to believe, that he is
now at the feet of the Royal family, relating all sorts of horrors about
me. Poor human nature, always and everywhere alike!”

Finally, he mentioned a most infamous intrigue, which was set on foot by
persons on whom he had lavished favours. These persons endeavoured to
prevail on the Empress Josephine to sign a most degrading letter, under
pretence of securing her a tranquil residence in France, but doubtless
with the real purpose of gaining credit to themselves in another
quarter. The letter, which was to have been addressed to the King,
contained a disavowal of all that she had formerly been, and what she
still was, together with a request that the King would provide for her
as he pleased, &c. The Empress wept, and resisted the importunity, asked
for time, and consulted the Emperor Alexander, who told her that such a
letter would utterly disgrace her. He advised her to dismiss the
meddling intriguers by whom she was surrounded; assured her that there
was no intention of removing her from France, or disturbing her quiet in
any way; and promised to be responsible for her himself in case of

In the evening, the Emperor felt better, and he enjoyed a little sleep.
His countenance bore evident marks of the severe pain he had suffered.

                    THE WORST FAULT IN A SOVEREIGN.

27th.—The Emperor passed the whole day beside the fire, sometimes
reclining on his couch, and sometimes sitting in his arm-chair. He still
suffered very much from head-ache and tooth-ache, and the secretion of
saliva had not diminished. He again had recourse to warm flannel and
napkins, by the use of which he had yesterday experienced a little
relief. I warmed them, and applied them in the same manner as before.
The Emperor appeared very sensible to the attentions I shewed him, and
several times laying his hand on my shoulder, he said, “My dear Las
Cases, you relieve me very much!” The pain subsided, and he slept for a
short time; then, raising his eyes, he said to me, “Have I been long
asleep? Are you not very much fatigued?” He called me his _frère
hospitalier, the knight hospitaller of St. Helena_. But the pain soon
returned with violence, and he sent for the Doctor, who found him
feverish. He was seized with the chillness which had attacked him on the
preceding day, and which obliged him to keep close to the fire.

He continued in the same state through the whole of the evening. About
seven o’clock, he proposed going to bed. He would not eat anything; but
he ordered his valet to toast some bread, and he himself made a little
toast and water, in which he put some sugar and orange-flower-water.

In the course of the evening’s conversation, the following remarks fell
from the Emperor. “Immorality,” said he, “is, beyond doubt, the worst of
all faults in a Sovereign; because he introduces it as a fashion among
his subjects, by whom it is practised for the sake of pleasing him. It
strengthens every vice, blights every virtue, and infects all society
like a pestilence: in short, it is the scourge of a nation. Public
morality, on the contrary, added he, is the natural compliment of the
laws: it is a whole code in itself.” He declared that the Revolution, in
spite of all its horrors, had nevertheless been the true cause of the
regeneration of morals in France, “as the noblest vegetation is the
offspring of the filthiest manure.” He did not hesitate to affirm that
his government would mark the memorable epoch of the return to morality.
“We advanced at full sail,” said he; “but, doubtless, the catastrophes
which have ensued will, in a great measure, turn all back; for, amidst
so many vicissitudes and disorders, it is difficult to resist the
various temptations that arise, the allurements of intrigue and
cupidity, and the suggestions of venality. However, the rising impulse
of improvement may be impeded and repressed, but not destroyed. Public
morality belongs especially to the dominion of reason and information,
of which it is the natural result; and reason and information cannot
again retrograde. The scandalous turpitude of former ages, the double
adulteries, and libertinism of the Regency, and the profligacy of the
succeeding reign, cannot again be revived, unless the circumstances
under which they existed should again return; and that is impossible.
Before such a change can take place, the upper classes of society must
again degenerate into a state of absolute idleness, so as to have no
other occupation than licentiousness; the spirit of industry, which now
animates and elevates the minds of people in the middle ranks, must be
destroyed; and finally, the lower classes must be again plunged into
that state of subjection and degradation which once reduced them to the
level of mere beasts of burden. Now, all this is henceforth impossible:
public morals are, therefore, on the rise; and it may be safely
predicted that they will gradually improve all over the world.”

About nine o’clock, after the Emperor had retired to bed, he desired
that all his suite might come to his apartment. The Grand Marshal and
his lady were among the number. The Emperor conversed with us for half
an hour; the curtains being drawn round his bed.


28th.—When I rose in the morning, I felt ill, and wished to bathe my
feet; but no water could be procured for that purpose. I mention this
circumstance to afford an idea, if possible, of our real situation at
Longwood. Water has always been very scarce here; but there is less now
than ever, and we consider ourselves singularly fortunate when we are
able to procure a bath for the Emperor. We are no better provided with
other things necessary in medical treatment. Yesterday, the Doctor was
mentioning, in the Emperor’s presence, drugs, instruments, and remedies
of various kinds; but, as he enumerated each article, he added:
“Unfortunately, there is none to be procured on the Island.”—“Then,”
said the Emperor, “when they sent us hither, they took it for granted
that we should be always well?” Indeed we are in want of the veriest
trifles and necessaries. As a substitute for a warming-pan, the Emperor
has been obliged to have holes bored in one of the large silver dishes,
used for keeping the meat warm at table, which is now filled with coals,
and used for the purpose of warming his bed.—For some time past, he has
very much felt the want of spirits of wine, by means of which, he might
have warmed his drink.

The Emperor has continued unwell the whole of the day: his face is still
very much swelled, but the pain has somewhat abated. On entering his
chamber, I found him sitting by the fire, reading the _Guerres
d’Italie_, by Servan. The work suggested to him the idea of some
additions to our valuable chapters on Italy. He ordered the map to be
brought to him. I was very much surprised to find that the author, in
descending to our own times, and narrating the campaigns of the Emperor
himself, was exceedingly imperfect in his descriptions, and seemed to be
unacquainted with the country about which he wrote. “This,” said the
Emperor, “is because he passed on, without observing; and, perhaps he
would not have been capable of understanding, even had he observed. But
the true spirit of great enterprises and great results consists in the
art of divining even without seeing.”

The Emperor found himself obliged to retire to bed as early as he did
yesterday. He felt chilly, and seemed to be threatened with another
attack of fever; he also felt symptoms of cramp. A little soup was the
only nourishment he had taken since yesterday. He complained that his
bed was badly made, and that every thing seemed to be wrong; the
bed-clothes were not arranged as he wished, and he ordered them to be
spread out differently. He remarked that all who surrounded him had
calculated on his preserving his health, and that they would certainly
be very inexperienced and awkward, should he happen to be attacked with
a serious fit of illness.

He ordered some tea to be made of orange-tree leaves, for which he had
to wait a considerable time. During the delay, he evinced a degree of
patience of which I should certainly have been incapable.

He conversed, when in bed, on the early years of his life which he spent
at Brienne, the Duke of Orleans, and Madame de Montesson, whom he
recollected having seen. He spoke also of the families of Nogent and
Brienne, who were connected with the circumstances of his youth.

“When I was raised to the head of the government,” said Napoleon,
“Madame de Montesson applied to me for permission to take the title of
Duchess of Orleans, which appeared to me an extremely ridiculous
request.” The Emperor had supposed that she was only the mistress of the
Prince; but I assured him that she had really been married to the Duke,
with the consent of Louis XVI., and that, after the death of her
husband, she always signed herself the Duchess Dowager of Orleans. The
Emperor said he had been ignorant of that circumstance. “But, at all
events,” said he, “what had the First Consul to do with the business?
This was always my answer to the persons interested in the case, who
were, however, not much satisfied with me. But was it to be expected
that I should adopt, immediately, all the irregularities and absurdities
of the old school?”


29th.—My son was ill, and I was myself by no means well, being still
troubled with restlessness during the night. The Doctor came to see us.
He informed me that the Emperor was better; but that he was wrong in
refusing to take medicine.

The Emperor did not send for me until five o’clock. He still complained
of a violent pain in his head. He had his feet in water, and he
experienced a little relief from this kind of half bath. He lay down on
the sofa, and took up the Memoirs of Noailles, from which he read aloud
several passages, concerning the Duke de Vendome, the siege of Lille,
and some others relative to the Duke of Berwick; all of which he
accompanied by remarks in his own style,—novel, original, and striking.
I very much regret that I am unable to record them here; but, as I had
not made a fair copy of these latter sheets of my journal, when the
manuscript was seized, I have now only the assistance of memoranda,
frequently referring to circumstances which time has obliterated from my

The Emperor, observing on his drawers some confectionary, or sweetmeats,
which had been accidentally left there, he desired me to bring them to
him; and, seeing that I hesitated, and felt embarrassed, as to how I
should present them, he said, “Take them in your hand; there is no need
of ceremony or form between us now; we must henceforth be messmates.”
Though this is a trifling circumstance, yet, to some, it will develope,
more forcibly than volumes of description, the real turn of mind,
character, and disposition, of the extraordinary individual to whom it
relates: for men of judgment and observation will perceive, and draw
conclusions, when others would not even form an idea. This consideration
has induced me to insert in these volumes many things which I had
originally intended to reject, through the fear that they might be
thought insignificant, or, at all events, useless.

I have already mentioned that, in his moments of good-humoured
familiarity, the Emperor was accustomed to salute me with all sorts of
titles, such as “Good morning, _Monseigneur_. How is _your Excellency_?
What says _your Lordship_ to-day?” &c. One evening, when I was going to
the drawing-room, the usher was about to open the door for me, when, at
the same moment, the door of the Emperor’s apartment also opened: he was
going thither too. I stepped aside to let him pass; and he, no doubt in
a fit of abstraction, stopped me, and seizing me by the ear, said,
playfully: “Well; where is _your Majesty_ going?” But the words had no
sooner been uttered, than he immediately let go my ear, and, assuming a
grave expression of countenance, he began to talk to me on some serious
topic. I had, it is true, learned to close my ears when it was
necessary; but the Emperor was evidently sorry for having suffered the
expression, _your Majesty_, to escape him. He seemed to think that
though other titles might be used in jest, yet the case was very
different with the one he had just employed; both on account of its own
peculiar nature, and the circumstances in which we were placed. Be this
as it may, the reader may form what conjecture he pleases; I merely
relate the fact.

After dinner, the Emperor received all his suite in his chamber. He was
in bed; and he began to talk of the little faith he placed in the virtue
of medicine. He observed that he used to support his opinions on this
subject with such strong arguments that Corvisart and other celebrated
physicians could but feebly oppose him, and that merely for the sake of
maintaining the honour of the profession.


30th.—The Emperor was no better to-day; and his periodical attack of
fever returned at the usual hour. He was troubled with pimples on his
lips and in his mouth, together with a sore throat, so that he felt pain
in speaking, and even in swallowing. When the Doctor came in the
evening, he brought with him a gargle for the Emperor’s throat: but it
was with difficulty we prevailed on him to use it. There is no oil to be
procured, fit for the Emperor’s use—it is execrable; and he is very

In the course of conversation to-day, the Emperor, in alluding to the
extravagance and debts of Josephine, mentioned that he himself, though
the most regular man in the world, with respect to money-matters, once
got into an unpleasant predicament at Saint-Cloud. “I was riding in my
calash,” said he, “along with the Empress, when, amidst an immense crowd
of people, I was accosted, in the Eastern style, as a Sultan might be
addressed on his way to the mosque, by one of my tradesmen, who demanded
a considerable sum of money, the payment of which had been, for a long
time, withheld from him. The man’s demand was just,” remarked Napoleon,
“and yet I was not to blame. I had paid the money at the proper time:
the intermediate agent was solely in fault.”

At another time, when alluding to the unpopularity of which, he said, he
had latterly been the object, I expressed my surprise that he had not
endeavoured to counteract the libels that were published against him,
and to recover popular favour. To this he replied, with an air of
inspiration: “I had higher objects in view than to concern myself about
flattering and courting a low multitude; a few insignificant coteries
and sects. I should have returned victorious from Moscow, and then not
only these people, but all France, and all the world, would have admired
and blessed me. I might then have withdrawn myself mysteriously from the
world, and popular credulity would have revived the fable of Romulus; it
would have been said that I had been carried up to heaven, to take my
place among the gods.”

About seven o’clock, the Emperor, finding himself very weak, retired to
bed. When our dinner was ended, he received us all in his chamber, as he
did yesterday; his bed-curtains being drawn. After a little desultory
conversation, he took a fancy to have Robinson Crusoe read to him. Each
of the gentlemen read a portion by turns, I alone being exempt, on
account of my bad eyes. After an hour or two spent in this way, the
Emperor took leave of us all, except the youngest of the party (General
Gourgaud), whom he detained for the purpose of reading and conversing
with him a little longer.

                          FRANCE BY NAPOLEON.

31st.—Fair weather had now returned: the day was delightful. The Emperor
had kept his chamber for six days: and, tired of the monotony of the
scene, he determined to disobey the Doctor’s orders. He went out; but he
felt himself so extremely weak that he was scarcely able to walk. He
ordered the calash, and we took a drive. He was silent and low-spirited,
and suffered considerable pain, particularly from the eruption on his

Shortly after his return, he desired me to attend him in his chamber. He
felt very weak and drowsy. I prevailed on him to eat a little; and he
also took a glass of wine, which, he said, somewhat revived him, and he
found himself better. He then entered into conversation.

“As soon as I set foot in Italy,” said he, “I wrought a change in the
manners, sentiments, and language, of our Revolution. I did not shoot
the emigrants; I protected the priests, and abolished those institutions
and festivals which were calculated to disgrace us. In so doing, I was
not guided by caprice, but by reason and equity—those two bases of
superior policy. For example,” continued he, addressing himself to an
individual present, “if the anniversary of the King’s death had always
been celebrated, you would never have had an opportunity for rallying.”

The Emperor remarked that he himself was the first who applied to France
the name of the _Great Nation_. “And certainly,” said he, “she justified
the distinction in the eyes of the prostrate world.” Then, after a short
pause, he added: “And she will yet deserve and retain that proud title,
if her national character should again rise to a level with her physical
advantages and her moral resources.”

On another occasion, speaking of a person to whom he was much attached,
he said, “His character resembles that of the _cow_; gentle and placid
in all things, except where his children are concerned. If any one
meddles with them, his horns are immediately thrust forward, and he may
be roused to a pitch of fury.”

Speaking of another, who had passed his thirtieth year, and whom he
happened to say was too young, he observed, “And yet, at that age, I had
made all my conquests, and I ruled the world. I had laid the
revolutionary storm, amalgamated hostile parties, rallied a nation,
established a government and an empire; in short, I wanted only the
title of Emperor. I have, it must be confessed,” added he, “been the
spoiled child of fortune. From my first entrance into life, I was
accustomed to exercise command; and circumstances and the force of my
own character were such that, as soon as I became possessed of power, I
acknowledged no master, and obeyed no laws, except those of my own


Friday, November 1st.—To-day, the weather being very fine, the Emperor
went out about two o’clock. After walking a little in the garden, he
felt fatigued, and called at Madame Bertrand’s to rest himself. He sat
there, upwards of an hour, in an arm-chair, without saying a word, and
apparently suffering much from pain and weakness. He then returned
languidly to his chamber, where he threw himself on his sofa, and fell
into a slumber, as he did on the preceding day. I was very much
distressed to observe the state of extreme debility to which he was
reduced. He endeavoured to overcome his drowsiness; but he could neither
converse nor read. I withdrew, in order that he might take a little

An English frigate arrived from the Cape, on her way to Europe. This
circumstance has afforded us an opportunity of writing to our friends. I
have, however, denied myself the happiness of doing so; for the repeated
complaints of the Governor, together with the consequences with which I
was threatened, amount to an absolute prohibition of all correspondence
with Europe. Perhaps a more favourable moment may arrive. At all events,
I must be patient.

Doctor O’Meara called to see my son, who continued in a very precarious
state. He was again bled yesterday, and fainted three or four times in
the course of the day.

The Doctor took the opportunity of speaking to me on the subject of the
Emperor’s health, and he assured me that he was by no means free from
alarm as to the consequences of his confinement. He said that he was
continually urging the necessity of exercise; and he begged that I would
endeavour to prevail on the Emperor to go out more frequently. It was
obvious that an alarming change had taken place in him. The Doctor did
not hesitate to affirm that such complete confinement, after a life of
activity, would be attended with the worst consequences; since any
serious disorder, produced by the nature of the climate, or any accident
to which he might be exposed, would infallibly prove fatal to him. These
words, and the tone of anxiety in which they were uttered, deeply
affected me. From that moment, I observed the sincere interest which the
Doctor felt for Napoleon, and of which he has since afforded so many

The Emperor sent for me about six o’clock. He was taking a bath; and he
appeared to be worse than when I had last seen him: this he attributed
to going out yesterday. He, however, experienced some benefit from the
bath; and he took up Lord Macartney’s Embassy to China, which he
continued reading for some time, making various observations as he

When he laid aside the book, he began to converse; and the situation of
the French prisoners in England was one of the subjects that happened to
come under discussion. I will here put together some remarks on this
subject that fell from the Emperor on the present and other occasions.

The sudden rupture of the treaty of Amiens, on such false pretences, and
with so much bad faith on the part of the English Ministry, greatly
irritated the First Consul, who conceived that he had been trifled with.
The seizure of several French merchant ships, even before war had been
declared, roused his indignation to the utmost. “To my urgent
remonstrances,” said the Emperor, “they coolly replied that it was a
practice they had always observed; and here they spoke truth. But the
time was gone by when France could tamely submit to such injustice and
humiliation. I had become the defender of her rights and glory, and I
was resolved to let our enemies know with whom they had to deal.
Unfortunately, owing to the reciprocal situation of the two countries, I
could only avenge one act of violence by another still greater. It was a
painful thing to be compelled to make reprisals on innocent men; but I
had no alternative.

“On reading the ironical and insolent reply that was returned to my
complaints, I, that very night, issued an order for arresting, in every
part of France, and in every territory occupied by the French, all
Englishmen, of every rank whatever, and detaining them as prisoners, by
way of reprisal for the unjust seizure of our ships. Most of these
English were men of rank and fortune, who were travelling for their
pleasure; but the more extraordinary the measure, the greater the
injustice, the better it suited my purpose. A general outcry was raised.
The English appealed to me; but I referred them to their own government,
on whose conduct alone their fate depended. Several of these individuals
proposed raising a subscription to pay for the ships that had been
seized, in the hope of thereby obtaining permission to return home. I,
however, informed them that I did not want money; but merely to obtain
justice and redress for an injury. Could it have been believed that the
English Government, as crafty and tenacious with respect to its maritime
rights as the Court of Rome is in its religious pretensions, suffered a
numerous and distinguished class of Englishmen to be unjustly detained
for ten years, rather than authentically renounce for the future an
odious system of maritime plunder.

“When I was first raised to the head of the consular government, I had
had a misunderstanding with the English Cabinet, on the subject of
prisoners of war; but I now carried my point. The Directory had been
weak enough to agree to an arrangement extremely injurious to France,
and entirely to the advantage of England.

“The English maintained their prisoners in France, and we had to
maintain ours in England. We had but few English prisoners; and the
French prisoners in England were exceedingly numerous: provisions were
to be had almost for nothing in France; and they were exorbitantly dear
in England. Thus the English had very trifling expenses to defray; while
we, on the other hand, had to send enormous sums into a foreign country;
and that at a time when we could but ill afford it. This arrangement,
moreover, required an exchange of agents between the respective
countries; and the English Commissioner proved to be neither more nor
less than a spy on the French Government; he was the go-between and
contriver of the plots that were hatched in the interior of France by
the emigrants abroad. No sooner was I made acquainted with this state of
things, than I erased the abuse by a stroke of the pen. The English
Government was informed that, thenceforward, each country must maintain
the prisoners it should make, unless an exchange were agreed upon. A
terrible outcry was raised, and a threat was held out that the French
prisoners should be suffered to die of starvation. I doubted not that
the English Ministers were sufficiently obstinate and inhuman to wish to
put this threat into execution; but I knew that any cruelty exercised
towards the prisoners would be repugnant to the feelings of the nation.
The English Government yielded the point. The situation of our
unfortunate prisoners was, indeed, neither better nor worse than it had
previously been; but, in other respects, we gained great advantages, and
got rid of an arrangement which placed us under a sort of yoke and

“During the whole of the war, I incessantly made proposals for an
exchange of prisoners: but to this, the English Government, under some
pretence or other, constantly refused to accede, on the supposition that
it would be advantageous to me. I have nothing to say against this. In
war, policy must take place of feeling; but why exercise unnecessary
cruelty? And this is what the English Ministers unquestionably did, when
they found the number of prisoners increasing. Then commenced, for our
unfortunate countrymen, the odious system of confinement in hulks; a
species of torture, which the ancients would have added to the horrors
of the infernal regions, had their imaginations been capable of
conceiving it. I readily admit that there might be exaggeration on the
part of the accusers; but was the truth spoken by those who defended
themselves? We know what kind of thing a report to Parliament is. We can
form a correct idea of it, when we read the calumnies and falsehoods
that are uttered in Parliament, with such cool effrontery, by the base
men who have blushed not to become our executioners. Confinement on
board hulks is a thing that needs no explanation: the fact speaks for
itself. When it is considered that men, unaccustomed to live on
shipboard, were crowded together in little unwholesome cabins, too small
to afford them room to move; that, by way of indulgence, they were
permitted, twice during the twenty-four hours, to breathe pestilential
exhalations at ebb tide; and that this misery was prolonged for the
space of ten or twelve years;—the blood curdles at such an odious
picture of inhumanity! On this point, I blame myself for not having made
reprisals. It would have been well had I thrown into similar
confinement, not the poor sailors and soldiers, whose complaints would
never have been attended to, but all the English nobility and persons of
fortune who were then in France. I should have permitted them to
maintain free correspondence with their friends and families, and their
complaints would soon have assailed the ears of the English Ministers,
and checked their odious measures. Certain parties in Paris, who were
ever the best allies of the enemy, would, of course, have called me a
tiger and a cannibal; but no matter, I should have discharged my duty to
the French people, who had made me their protector and defender. In this
instance, my decision of character failed me.”

The Emperor asked me whether the French prisoners had been confined in
hulks at the time when I was in England. I could not positively inform
him; but I replied that I did not think they were, because I knew there
were prisons for them in various parts of the country, where many of the
English visited them, and purchased the productions of their industry. I
added that they were, in all probability, but ill provided for, and
exposed to many hardships; for a story used to be told of a government
agent having visited one of the prisons on horseback, and no sooner had
he alighted from his horse, and turned his back, than the poor animal
was seized, cut to pieces, and devoured by the prisoners. I did not, of
course, vouch for the fact; but the story was related by the English
themselves, and the ignorant and prejudiced class did not regard it as a
proof of the extreme misery to which the prisoners must have been
reduced, but merely as an example of their terrible voracity. The
Emperor laughed, and said he considered the anecdote to be a mere
fabrication; observing that, if the fact were to be relied on, it was
calculated to make human nature shudder; for, that nothing but hunger,
urged to madness, could drive men to such a dreadful extremity. I was
the more inclined to believe that the plan of confinement on board the
hulks had not been introduced when I was in England, because I
recollected that a great deal had been said about establishing the
French prisoners in some small islands between England and Ireland. It
was proposed to convey them thither, and to leave them to themselves, in
a state of complete seclusion; and a few light vessels were to be kept
constantly cruising about to guard them. To this plan it was, however,
objected that, in case of a descent on the part of the enemy, his grand
object would be to land on these islands, distribute arms among the
prisoners, and thus recruit an army immediately. Perhaps, added I, this
idea might have led to the use of hulks; for the prisoners were rapidly
increasing in numbers, and it was not thought safe to keep them on shore
among the people, as the latter betrayed a strong disposition to
fraternize with the French. “Well,” said Napoleon, “I can very readily
conceive that there might be good grounds for rejecting the plan you
have just mentioned. Safety and self-preservation before all things. But
the confinement in the hulks is a stain on the English character for
humanity, an irritating sting, that will never be removed from the
hearts of the French prisoners.”

“On the subject of prisoners of war,” continued Napoleon, “the English
Ministers invariably acted with their habitual bad faith, and with the
Machiavelism that distinguishes the school of the present day. Being
absolutely determined to avoid an exchange, which they did not wish to
incur the blame of having refused, they invented and multiplied
pretences beyond calculation. In the first place, that I should presume
to regard as prisoners, persons merely detained, was affirmed to be an
atrocious violation of the laws of civilized nations, and a principle
which the English Government would never avow, on any consideration
whatever. It happened that some of the individuals detained, who were at
large on parole, escaped, and were received triumphantly in England. On
the other hand, some Frenchmen effected their escape to France. I
expressed my disapprobation of their conduct, and proposed that the
individuals of either country, who had thus broken their parole, should
be mutually sent back again. But I received for answer that persons
detained were not to be accounted prisoners; that they had merely
availed themselves of the lawful privilege of escaping oppression; that
they had done right; and had been received accordingly. After this, I
thought myself justified in inducing the French to escape; and the
English Ministers filled their journals with the most insolent abuse,
declaring me to be a man who scrupled not to violate moral principle,
faith, and law.

“When, at length, they determined to treat for an exchange of prisoners,
or, perhaps, I ought rather to say, when they took it into their heads
to trifle with me on this point, they sent a Commissioner to France. All
the great difficulties were waved; and, with a fine parade of sentiment,
conditions were proposed for the sake of humanity, &c. They consented to
include persons detained in the list of prisoners, and to admit, under
that head, the Hanoverian troops, who were my prisoners, but who were at
large on parole. This latter point had been a standing obstacle;
because, it was insinuated the Hanoverians were not English. Thus far
matters had proceeded smoothly, and there was every probability of their
being brought to a conclusion. But I knew whom I had to deal with: and I
guessed the intentions that were really entertained. There were
infinitely more French prisoners in England than English prisoners in
France; and I was well aware that, the English being once safely landed
at home, some pretence would be found for breaking off the exchange, and
the rest of my poor Frenchmen might have remained on board the hulks to
all eternity. I declared that I would accede to no partial exchange;
that I would be satisfied only with a full and complete one; and, to
facilitate matters, I made the following proposal. I admitted that there
were fewer English prisoners in France than French prisoners in England;
but, I observed, that there were among my prisoners, Spaniards,
Portuguese, and other allies of the English, who had been taken under
their banners and fighting in the same cause. With this addition, I
could on my part produce a far more considerable number of prisoners
than there were in England. I therefore offered to surrender up all, in
return for all. This proposition, at first, occasioned some
embarrassment; it was discussed and rejected. However, as soon as they
had devised a scheme, by which they thought they could secure the object
they had in view, they acceded to my proposition. But I kept a watchful
eye on them: I knew that, if we began by merely exchanging Frenchmen for
Englishmen, as soon as the latter should be secured, pretences would be
found for breaking off the business, and the old evasions would be
resumed; for the English prisoners in France did not amount to one-third
of the French in England. To obviate any misunderstanding on either
side, I therefore proposed that we should exchange by convoys of only
three thousand at a time; that three thousand Frenchmen should be
returned to me, and that I would send back one thousand English, and two
thousand Hanoverians, Spaniards, Portuguese, and others. Thus, if any
misunderstanding arose and put a stop to the exchange, we should still
stand in the same relative proportions as before, and without having
practised any deception upon each other: but if, on the contrary, the
affair should proceed uninterruptedly to a conclusion, I promised to
surrender up, gratuitously, all the prisoners that might ultimately
remain in my hands. My conjectures respecting the real designs of the
English Government proved to be correct: these conditions, which were
really so reasonable, and the principle of which had already been
adopted, were rejected, and the whole business was broken off. Whether
the English Ministers really sympathized in the situation of their
countrymen, or whether they were convinced of my firm determination not
to be duped, I know not; but it would appear that they were at length
inclined to come to a conclusion, when I subsequently introduced the
subject by an indirect channel. However, our disasters in Russia at once
revived their hopes, and defeated my intentions.”

The Emperor next remarked upon the treatment of prisoners of war in
France, which, he said, was as generous and liberal as it possibly could
be; and he thought that, on this subject, no nation could justly
reproach us. “We have,” said he, “in our favour the testimony and the
sentiments of the prisoners themselves; for, with the exception of those
who were ardently attached to their local laws, or, in other words, to
notions of liberty (and these were exclusively the English and
Spaniards), all the rest, namely the Austrians, Prussians, and Russians,
were willing to remain with us: they left us with regret, and returned
to us with pleasure. This disposition on the part of the Spaniards and
English has oftener than once influenced the obstinacy of their efforts
or their resistance.”

The Emperor also made the following observation:—“It was my intention to
have introduced into Europe a change with respect to the treatment of
prisoners. I intended to enrol them in regiments, and to make them
labour, under military discipline, at public works and buildings. They
should have received whatever money they earned, and would thus have
been secured against the misery of absolute idleness and the disorders
arising out of it. They should have been well fed and clothed, and have
wanted for nothing, without being a burden to the state. All parties
would have been benefited by this plan. But my idea did not meet the
approval of the Council of State, which, in this instance, was swayed by
the mistaken philanthropy that leads to so many errors in the world. It
was said that it would be unjust and cruel to compel men to labour. It
was feared lest our enemies should make reprisals; and it was affirmed
that a prisoner was sufficiently unfortunate in the loss of his liberty,
without being placed under restraint as to the employment of his time.
But here was the abuse of which I complained, and which I wished to
correct. A prisoner, said I, must and should expect to be placed under
lawful constraint; and that which I would impose on him is for his own
advantage, as well as that of others. I do not require that he should be
subject to greater misery or fatigue, but to less danger, than he is
exposed to in his present condition. You are afraid lest the enemy
should make reprisals, and treat French prisoners in the same manner.
Heaven grant it should be so! I wish for nothing better! I should then
behold my sailors and soldiers occupied in wholesome labour, in the
fields or the public roads, instead of seeing them buried alive on board
those odious hulks. They would return home healthy, industrious and
inured to labour; and in every country they would leave behind them some
compensation for the fatal ravages of war. By way of concession, the
Council of State agreed to the organization of a few corps of prisoners
as voluntary labourers, or something of the sort; but this was by no
means the fulfilment of the scheme I had in view.”


2d.—The Emperor did not leave his chamber to-day. When I waited on him,
I found him very unwell from the effects of cold; and the secretion of
saliva still continued.

I remained with him the greater part of the day. He sometimes
endeavoured to converse, and sometimes tried to sleep. He was very
restless, and often drew near the fire. He was evidently feverish.

In the course of the day, the conversation turned upon Antwerp; its
arsenal, its fortifications, its importance, and the great military and
political views he entertained with respect to that favourably situated

He remarked that he had done much for Antwerp, but that this was little
in comparison with what he had proposed to do. He intended to have
rendered it a fatal point of attack to the enemy by sea, and by land to
have made it a certain resource, and a point of national security in
case of great disasters. He would have rendered Antwerp capable of
receiving a whole army in its defeat, and holding out against a close
siege for the space of a year, during which time, he said, a nation
would be enabled to rally in a mass for its deliverance, and to resume
the offensive. Five or six places of this kind were, he added, to
constitute the new system of defence, which he intended to have
established. The works, which had been completed in so short a time at
Antwerp, the numerous dock-yards, magazines, and canals, were already
the subject of admiration; but all this the Emperor declared to be
nothing. Antwerp was as yet, he said, merely a commercial town; the
military town was to be constructed on the opposite bank of the river.
For this purpose, ground had been purchased at a low rate, and it was to
have been sold again at a high profit for the purpose of building; so
that by this speculation, the expenses attending the enterprise would
have been considerably diminished. The winter docks would have been
capable of admitting three-deckers with all their guns on board; and
covered dry docks were to have been constructed for laying up vessels in
time of peace.

The Emperor remarked that the scheme he had formed would have rendered
Antwerp a stupendous and colossal bulwark; and that it would have been a
whole province in itself. Adverting to this superb establishment, he
observed, that it had been one of the causes of his exile to St. Helena;
that the demand for the cession of Antwerp was one of the circumstances
which led him to reject the conditions of peace proposed at Chatillon.
If the Allies had agreed to leave him in possession of Antwerp, he would
in all probability have concluded peace; and he questioned whether he
had not done wrong in refusing to sign the proposed ultimatum. “At that
period,” said he, “I had doubtless many resources and chances; but yet,
how much may be said in favour of the resolution I adopted! I did
right,” added he, “in refusing to sign the ultimatum, and I fully
explained my reasons for that refusal; therefore, even here, on this
rock, amidst all my misery, I have nothing to repent of. I am aware,
that few will understand me; but, in spite of the fatal turn of events,
even the common mass of mankind must now be convinced that duty and
honour left me no other alternative. If the Allies had thus far
succeeded in degrading me, would they have stopped there? Were their
offers of peace and reconciliation sincere? I knew them too well to put
faith in their professions. Would they not have availed themselves of
the immense advantages afforded them by the treaty, to finish by
intrigue what they had commenced by force of arms? Then where would have
been the safety, independence, and future welfare of France? Where would
have been my honour, my vows? Would not the Allies have ruined me in the
estimation of the people as effectually as they ruined me on the field
of battle? They would have found public opinion too ready to receive the
impression which it would have been their aim to give to it! How would
France have reproached me for suffering foreigners to parcel out the
territory that had been intrusted to my care! How many faults would have
been attributed to me by the unjust and the unfortunate! Could the
French people, full of the recollections of their glory, have patiently
endured the burdens that would inevitably have been imposed on them?
Hence would have arisen fresh commotions, anarchy, and desolation! I
preferred risking the last chances of battle, determining to abdicate in
case of necessity.”[1]

Footnote 1:

  These remarks of Napoleon are confirmed by the following:—

  _Letter from M. de Caulaincourt, to the Editor of the Constitutionel._
        (_Inserted in that Journal on the 21st of January 1820._)

  “SIR,—A work by M. Koch, entitled “_Campagne de 1814_,” contains
  several fragments of letters written by me to the Emperor and to the
  Prince of Neufchâtel, during the sitting of the Congress at Chatillon.

  “I think it incumbent on me to declare that this correspondence has
  been obtained and published without my knowledge. The high sources
  whence the author affirms he has derived his materials confers a
  degree of historical importance on his work; and therefore in so far
  as I am concerned, I cannot allow myself to sanction, by my silence,
  the errors it contains. Most of the details relative to the
  negotiations which took place subsequently to the 31st of March, are

  “With regard to the Congress of Chatillon, if events have justified
  the desire I entertained for the establishment of peace, it would be
  wrong to withhold from France and history the motives of national
  interest and honour which prevented the Emperor from subscribing to
  the conditions which foreigners wished to impose on us.

  “I therefore fulfil the first of duties, that of acting justly and
  candidly, in developing these motives, by the following extract from
  the Emperor’s orders to me.

                                           “_Paris, January 19, 1814._

  “.... The point on which the Emperor most urgently insists is the
  necessity of France retaining her natural limits: this is my _sine qua
  non_. All the powers of Europe, even England, acknowledged these
  limits at Frankfort. France, if reduced to her old limits, would not
  now possess two thirds of the relative power which she had twenty
  years ago. The territory she has acquired in the direction of the
  Rhine does not balance what Russia, Prussia, and Austria have acquired
  merely by the dismemberment of Poland; all these states have increased
  in magnitude. To restore France to her old limits would be to humble
  and degrade her. France without the departments of the Rhine, without
  Belgium, Ostend, and Antwerp, would be nothing. The plan of limiting
  France to her old frontiers is inseparable from the restoration of the
  Bourbons; for they alone can offer a guarantee for the maintenance of
  such a system. England knows this; with any other government, peace on
  such a basis would be impossible, and could not endure. Neither the
  Emperor nor the Republic (should revolution again restore it), would
  ever subscribe to such a condition. As far as regards his Majesty, his
  determination is irrecoverably fixed: he will not leave France less
  than he found her. Should the Allies wish to alter the bases that have
  been proposed and accepted,—namely, that France should preserve her
  natural limits, the Emperor finds only three courses open to him: to
  fight and conquer; to fight and perish gloriously; or, finally, if the
  nation should not support him, to abdicate. The Emperor attaches but
  little importance to sovereignty; he will never purchase it by

  “I hope. Sir, that your impartiality will induce you to grant this
  letter a place in your Journal, and I take this opportunity of
  presenting to you assurances of my respect,” &c.


                                                     Duke of Vicenza.”

I acknowledged the justice of the Emperor’s observations. He had lost
the throne, it is true, but voluntarily; and, because he chose rather to
renounce it than compromise our welfare and his own honour. History will
appreciate this sublime sacrifice. Power and life are transitory; but
glory endures and is immortal.

“But, after all,” said the Emperor, “the historian will, perhaps, find
it difficult to do me justice; the world is so overwhelmed with libels
and falsehoods, my actions have been so misrepresented, my character so
darkened and misunderstood.” To this, some one present replied that
doubt could exist only during his life; that injustice would be confined
solely to his contemporaries; that, as he had himself already remarked,
the clouds would disperse in proportion as his memory advanced in
posterity; that his character would rise daily and become the noblest
subject for the pen of history; and that, though the first catastrophe
might have proved fatal to his memory, owing to the outcry that was then
raised against him, yet the prodigies of his return, the acts of his
brief government, and his exile to St. Helena, now left him crowned with
glory in the eyes of nations and posterity. “That is very true,” replied
the Emperor, with an air of satisfaction, “and my fate may be said to be
the very opposite of others. A fall usually has the effect of lowering a
man’s character, but, on the contrary, my fall has elevated me
prodigiously. Every succeeding day divests me of some portion of my
_tyrant’s skin_.”

After a few moment’s silence, the conversation was resumed, on the
subject of Antwerp and the English expedition. “The English Government
and its General” said the Emperor, “seemed to vie with each other in
want of skill. If Lord Chatham, to whom our soldiers gave the nickname
of _Milord J’attends_, had resolved to make an energetic movement, he
might, doubtless, have destroyed our valuable establishment by a _coup
de main_, but, the first moment being lost, and our fleet having got in,
the place was secure. There was a great deal of exaggeration respecting
the efforts and measures taken for the safety of Antwerp. The zeal of
the citizens was excited only for secret and criminal designs.”

On mentioning some facts, of which I had been a witness, I happened to
observe that it was generally marshals who reviewed armies; but that
here the rule had been reversed, and armies reviewed their marshals,
three of whom had succeeded each other in a very short time. “Political
circumstances,” said the Emperor, “called for this change. I sent
Bessieres to Antwerp, because the crisis demanded a firm and
confidential man; but, as soon as the critical period was expired, I
sent another to succeed Bessieres, because I wished to have the latter
near me.”

The maritime works of Antwerp, notwithstanding their immense extent, are
but a small portion of those which were executed by Napoleon. Having
been attached, as a member of the Council of State, to the department of
the marine, I possess, _ex officio_, an account of these works, a list
of which I will here insert, in geographical order, proceeding from
South to North.

1. Fort Boyard, constructed for the purpose of enlarging and defending
the anchorage of the Isle of Aix, whence, by dint of perseverance and
intrepidity, a passage had been discovered out of sight of the enemy,
between Oleron and the main-land, by which even ships of the line could
reach the anchoring grounds of the Gironde and its outlets.

2. The extensive and superb works of Cherbourg. The dike, which was
commenced under Louis XVI., and which had suffered considerable injury
during the Revolution, was repaired; the central part being elevated
nine feet above the highest level of the sea, and along an extent of 100
toises, for the purpose of mounting a battery of twenty guns of the
largest calibre. This work was executed in less than two years, from
1802 to 1804, and with such success that, though it has been neglected
since 1813, it has suffered no decay, and still retains all its original

A large elliptical tower of granite was built in the centre, and within
the dike, which it supports, and by which, it is, in its turn, covered.
The massive foundations of this tower, which, being constructed in the
open sea, of course presented enormous difficulties, were completed at
the end of 1812, and raised to the height of six feet above the level of
the highest tides. The solidity which it has preserved since that
period, though in a state of neglect, and exposed to the violent action
of the waves, is a manifest proof of the strength of the defensive works
that were projected on this artificial rock, when the time should arrive
for the full completion of the plan. This plan consisted in raising, at
the height of one story, a barrack, capable of containing the garrison,
a powder magazine, reservoir, &c.; this was to be surmounted by an
arched platform, bomb-proof, and capable of receiving a casemated
battery of nineteen thirty-six pounders, and above this was to be a
second platform, capable of receiving mounted guns, if necessary; the
whole crowning the central battery, already existing on the dike itself.
Thus the enemy’s attack would have been resisted by four ranges of
batteries one above another.

In less than eight years, a military port was excavated in the solid
rock. It was capable of containing forty-five ships of the line, a
proportionate number of frigates, three slips for building, &c. This
asylum, so necessary for ships of the line, owing to the natural
situation of the roads of Cherbourg, which are too much exposed to the
violence of the waves, was dug thirty feet beneath the level of the sea,
at the lowest ebb tide, in order to afford, at all times, a secure
station for the largest ships. When it was opened in 1813, the moles and
dikes were fully completed along its whole extent. At that time, the
Empress Maria Louisa and all her Court witnessed the magnificent and
sublime spectacle of the sudden irruption of the sea, which was
admitted, simply by the spontaneous rupture of the immense dam that had
hitherto repelled its efforts. The largest vessels immediately entered
the enclosure, which has since afforded a convenient station for
shipping, together with the requisite accommodations for building,
repairing, and fitting out: in short, it possesses every advantage that
might be expected in so important a creation of art, and is justly
considered to be one of the noblest monuments of Napoleon’s reign.
According to the Emperor’s plan, this stupendous work was intended only
as a first or outward port; he had determined on constructing, in a
lateral direction, at a little distance within it, a second or inner
port, which was to be commenced immediately, and which would have been
speedily completed, owing to the precautions that were previously
adopted. It was to be large enough to receive twenty-five ships of the
line, and behind these two ports, and extending along their whole
length, in a semicircular form, there were to be built thirty covered
docks, where the same number of ships of the line might be kept in
constant readiness to put to sea. Such were the immense works executed
or planned at Cherbourg alone.

3. The numerous works occasioned by the flotilla for the invasion of
England.—It was necessary to provide anchorages, to render the
preparations simultaneous, and to execute every offensive and defensive
operation. All this required, at various points, the construction of
forts of stone and wood, quays, basins, jetties, dams, sluices, &c.

Boulogne was chosen as the central point of assemblage; and Vimereux,
Ambleteuse, and Etaples, were the secondary points. Boulogne itself was
rendered capable of receiving 2,000 ships of different kinds. Besides
its natural port, an artificial basin was formed, by means of a dam,
closed in the middle by a sluice, twenty-four feet wide. This basin was
capable of containing 8 or 900 ships afloat, and in a constant state of
readiness; and the sluice, from the preceding retention, had the
advantage of producing currents of water, which increased the depth of
the real port, and cleared its entrance of sand-banks, by which it was
liable to be obstructed. Vimereux, Etaples, and Ambleteuse, were
simultaneously rendered capable of receiving a proportionate number of
ships: all these undertakings were completed in the space of two years.

4. Important local repairs and improvements in all the ports of the
coast.—Havre was rendered accessible to frigates, by destroying, by
means of a strong sluice, the banks of gravel that obstructed its
entrance. Improvements were made at St. Valery, Dieppe, Calais,
Gravelines, and Dunkirk; the port of the latter was cleared, and the
marsh that covered the town was drained. A second flotilla was to be
assembled at Ostend, to which a free entrance had been effected by
clearing its channel.

5. The works of Flushing.—This town having momentarily fallen into the
hands of the English, they destroyed all its military establishments
when they evacuated it. The Emperor ordered the re-construction of the
works on a much more extensive scale than before. Fully appreciating the
important geographical situation of the place, he ordered the basin to
be re-dug and enlarged, as well as its entrance. The channel was also to
be deepened, so that the basin might be rendered capable of admitting
even eighty-gun ships, and affording a winter station for a squadron of
twenty ships, always ready to put to sea in one or two tides. This
advantage was to be procured by means of a very ingenious plan,
suggested by the naval Commandant of the place, and which consisted
simply in confining the water at high tide, in the ditches of the town.
The basin was a most important acquisition, as it afforded the means of
making naval preparations, free from all the inconveniences of the
Scheldt. Our ships would have been enabled to sail directly to the coast
of England; and the English would thus have been compelled to keep
cruisers constantly on the watch; whereas, hitherto, as soon as they
knew that our ships were disarmed in Flushing, or had returned to
Antwerp, on the approach of winter, they quietly went into port, having
nothing to apprehend until the return of spring. But it was necessary to
render the fortifications of Flushing equal to the protection of a whole
squadron: consequently, defensive works were multiplied on various
points; magazines and other establishments were re-constructed; and
orders were issued for rendering them bomb-proof, and surmounting them
with batteries. Flushing would have been thickly planted with cannon on
all points, and would, in short, have been rendered impregnable.

6. Works commenced at Terneuse.—The importance of the western mouth of
the Scheldt, for enabling our fleet to sail in and out, and the
inconveniences attending the return of our ships to Antwerp, every year
during the winter season, suggested to the Emperor the idea of forming a
still greater arsenal than Flushing near the mouth of the river.
Terneuse, on the left bank of the Scheldt, three leagues from the mouth
of the river, was the point fixed on, and the works were immediately
commenced. They were, however, suspended, on account of the great length
of time, as well as the enormous expense, that would have been requisite
for their completion.

7. The immense works at Antwerp.—This town, which is nearly twenty
leagues distant from the sea, from which it is separated by a winding
and very difficult channel, seemed to be destitute of every desirable
advantage for the formation of a maritime arsenal; and it had hitherto
presented only petty commercial establishments. A fleet built at Antwerp
would, with difficulty, have been able to descend the river, and would
have been but ill defended against the inclemencies of the weather, or
the attempts of the enemy. It would have been useless during one third
of the year; for the approach of winter forced the ships to come higher
up, to avoid the current and ice of the river; there being no wet docks.
But these numerous difficulties seemed as nothing in the eyes of
Napoleon. In his impatience to make the English feel the dangers of the
Scheldt, which they had themselves so frequently acknowledged to be
formidable, he speedily concerted his plans, and, in less than eight
years, Antwerp assumed the aspect of an important maritime arsenal, and
a considerable fleet was already riding in the Scheldt. Every thing was
done thoroughly and completely. Magazines, quays, dock-yards, &c. were
newly constructed. A provisional asylum was found for the shipping
against the ice of the river, at Rupel, while two great wet docks were
dug in the town of Antwerp, capable of receiving vessels of all sizes
with all their guns on board. Twenty slips for building were raised all
in a line, as if by enchantment, and twenty vessels, lying in these
slips at once, presented to the traveller, arriving by the Tête de
Flandres, the imposing and singular spectacle of twenty vessels of the
line ranged as a squadron. Most of these works, however, Napoleon
regarded merely as a temporary provision borrowed from commerce. He
intended to establish a complete and much larger arsenal facing Antwerp,
on the bank of the river, opposite to the Tête de Flandres. He at first
conceived the bold design of throwing a bridge across the Scheldt; but
he at length determined in favour of flying-bridges, of a very ingenious
construction. The Emperor, as I have already observed, had formed the
grandest ideas respecting the improvements at Antwerp, and the details
of his plan extended as far as the sea. He used to say that he intended
to make Antwerp a province, a little kingdom, in itself. To this object
he devoted himself with that degree of interest which he might be
expected to evince in the execution of one of his most favourite
projects. He made several journeys to Antwerp, for the purpose of
personally inspecting the works in their most trivial details.

On one of these occasions, he happened to fall in with a Captain or
Lieutenant-Colonel of Engineers, who was modestly assisting in the
fortifications of the place, and with whom he entered into the
discussion of certain points connected with the business in which he was
engaged. Shortly afterwards, the officer unexpectedly received a letter,
informing him that he was appointed Aide-de-camp to the Emperor, and
directing him to repair to the Tuileries to enter upon his duties. The
poor officer was filled with astonishment: he thought that he was
dreaming, or, that the letter had been misdirected. He was so extremely
diffident, and possessed so little knowledge of the world, that this
announcement of his promotion threw him into great perplexity. He
recollected having once seen me at Antwerp, and he begged I would render
him my assistance. Accordingly, on his arrival in Paris, he came and
assured me of his total ignorance of Court manners, and the
embarrassment he felt in presenting himself to the Emperor. However, I
soon succeeded in encouraging him; and, before he reached the gate of
the palace, he had mustered a tolerable degree of confidence. This
officer was General Bernard, whose great talents were brought into
notice by this circumstance, and who, at the time of our disasters,
proceeded to America, where he was placed at the head of the military
works of the United States.

Napoleon loved to take people thus by surprise. Whenever he discovered
talent, he never failed to raise it to its proper sphere, without
suffering himself to be swayed by any secondary considerations. This was
one of his striking characteristics.

8. The works in Holland.—No sooner had Holland fallen into the hands of
Napoleon, than his creative ardour was immediately directed to all the
different branches of her political economy. He repaired and enlarged
the arsenals of the Meuse, Rotterdam, and Helvoetsluys. Hitherto ships
of the line could not get up to Amsterdam, and could not get out from it
without vast expense and labour; it being necessary to drag them on
_camels_, unladen and without guns, to the opening of the Zuyderzee.
This operation did not suit the rapidity necessary in the great
enterprises of the period; and the Emperor determined to remove the
northern arsenal to a situation in which it would be exempt from these
disadvantages. He accordingly gave orders for the establishment or
improvement of the Nievendip, where, in a short time, twenty-five ships
of the line were provided with a safe winter station, and laid up beside
magnificent quays. This important point was defended by the military
establishments of the Helder, which formed the key of Holland.
Napoleon’s plan was to make the Nievendip the Antwerp of the Zuyderzee.

9. Works of the Weser, the Ems, and the Elbe.—When Napoleon joined
Bremen, Hamburg, and Lubeck, to the Empire, his plans and works extended
with his dominion. He took measures for rendering the Elbe accessible to
ships of the line, and projected a maritime arsenal at Delfzyl at the
mouth of the Ems. But the object which particularly engrossed the
attention of Napoleon was the cutting of a line of canals which, with
the help of the Ems, the Weser, and the Elbe, would have effected a
junction between Holland and the Baltic. We should thus have been
enabled to communicate safely, and by a simple system of inland
navigation, from Bordeaux and the Mediterranean, with the Powers of the
North. We should easily have obtained from them all kinds of naval
productions for our ports, and we should have been able to send out
against them, when we chose, our flotillas from the Channel, Holland,

All these important works were planned, and most of them executed, with
amazing rapidity. The creative genius of Napoleon conceived them, and
Decrès, the minister, indefatigably prosecuted the designs that were
suggested. The plans were drawn, and the works executed by Prosny,
Sganzin, Cachin, and others. The names attached to such monuments are

If, to what has here been described, be added other simultaneous
prodigies in every other branch of the public service, and in every
other part of the territory; and if it be considered that all were
executed amidst perpetual war, and without more, perhaps even with less
burdens, than now, after a long peace, weigh on the countries that
composed the vast French Empire, it is impossible to repress
astonishment and admiration. All these miracles were effected by
steadiness of determination, talent armed with power, and finances
wisely and economically applied! Certainly, if, in addition to what has
already been mentioned, the mass of fortifications, the multitude of
public roads, bridges, canals, and edifices of various kinds, be taken
into account, it must be acknowledged that no sovereign in the world
ever did so much in so short a time, and by imposing so few burdens on
his people.

Italy, of which Napoleon was king, also enjoyed her share of his
magnificent improvements. He cut fine roads across the Alps and the
Apennines; established a maritime arsenal at Genoa; fortified Corfu, so
as to make that island the key of Greece; repaired and enlarged the port
of Venice; and, while the works were proceeding, it was rendered capable
of admitting French ships of the line, by means of the _camels_ used in
Holland. To obviate the risk of the ship being attacked by the enemy,
during this hazardous conveyance, a plan was proposed by which they were
to be enabled to carry their own guns; and it was, I believe,
successfully adopted. Napoleon, moreover, intended to establish a naval
arsenal at Ragusa, another at Pola, in Istria, and a third at Ancona. He
conceived the happy and bold idea of forming a junction between the
gulfs of Venice and Genoa, by the help of the Po, and a canal extending
from Alessandria to Savona, through the Apennines. This plan would have
been attended with the most important results; for, independently of its
immense commercial and military advantages, it would have established a
direct and safe communication between Venice and Toulon; and the latter
port would thus have received all the naval productions of the Adriatic
free from any chance of their being attacked by the enemy. Finally,
Napoleon cleared Rome of the rubbish with which it was encumbered,
restored many ancient vestiges of the Romans, and formed the design of
draining the Pontine marshes, &c.

I here subjoin the preamble of the Report on the state of the Empire,
presented to the Legislative Body, in the sitting of the 25th of
February, 1813, by Count Montalivet, Minister of the Interior. This
superb Report, which is founded in all its points on authentic
documents, is calculated to afford a just idea of the wonders of
Napoleon’s government. I think I may properly close the present subject,
by inserting an official statement of the expenses in public works,
during the memorable reign of the Emperor.

“GENTLEMEN,—His Majesty has directed me to make you acquainted with the
situations of the Interior of the Empire, during the years 1811 and

“You will have the satisfaction to observe that, notwithstanding the
great armies which a state of war, both maritime and continental, has
rendered indispensably necessary, the population has continued to
increase; that French industry has made new progress; that the soil was
never better cultivated, nor our manufactures more flourishing; and that
at no period of our history has wealth been more equally diffused among
all classes of society.

“The farmer now enjoys benefits to which he was formerly a stranger. He
is enabled to purchase such land as suits him at the highest price; his
food and clothing are better, and more abundant than before; and his
dwelling is more substantial and convenient.

“Improvements in agriculture, manufactures, and the useful arts, are no
longer rejected merely because they are new. Experiments are made in
every branch of labour, and the methods that prove to be most
advantageous are substituted for old ones. Artificial meadows are
multiplied; the system of fallows is abandoned; the succession of crops
is better understood, and improved plans of cultivation augment the
produce of the soil. Cattle are multiplied, and the different breeds
improved. The very labourer finds means to purchase, at a high price,
Spanish rams and stallions of the finest breed. They are now
sufficiently enlightened to know their real interests, and they do not
scruple to make these valuable purchases. Thus the demands of our
manufacturers, our agriculturists, and our armies, are every day better

“This high degree of prosperity is to be attributed to the liberal laws
by which this great Empire is ruled, to the suppression of feudalism,
tithes, mortmains, and monastic orders; measures which have created or
set at liberty numerous private estates, which are now the free
patrimony of a multitude of families, formerly mere paupers. It is also
to be ascribed to the more equal division of wealth, to the clearness
and simplification of the laws relative to landed property and
mortgages, and to the promptitude observed in the decision of law-suits,
which are now daily decreasing in number. To these same causes, and to
the influence of vaccination, must be attributed the increase of the
population. It may even be said that the conscription, which annually
enrols under our banner the flower of the French youth, has had some
share in contributing to this increase, by multiplying the number of
marriages; because marriage fixes for ever the fate of the young
Frenchman, who has once served in obedience to the law.”

_Official statement of the expenditure in public works, from Napoleon’s
  accession to the imperial throne; presented, together with the
  vouchers, to the Legislative Body, by the Minister of the Interior._


   Imperial palaces and buildings, belonging to the        62,000,000

   Fortifications                                         144,000,000

   Sea Ports                                              117,000,000

   Roads, highways, &c.                                   277,000,000

   Bridges in Paris and the departments                    31,000,000

   Canals, navigation and draining                        123,000,000

   Works in Paris                                         102,000,000

   Public buildings of the departments and great          149,000,000


                                                Total   1,005,000,000



3rd.—The Emperor still continued to seclude himself like a hermit.
Towards evening he sent for me:—he informed me that he was somewhat
relieved of his tooth-ache, though he was not better in other respects.
He said that he felt extremely weak and depressed in spirits, and that,
during the whole day, his mind had been possessed with gloomy ideas. He
was taking the bath, and, after a few moments’ silence, he said, as if
making an effort to rouse himself, “Come, _my Dinarzade_, if you are not
too drowsy, tell me one of your stories. It is long since you have told
me any thing about your friends of the Faubourg St. Germain.”—“Sire,” I
replied, “I have related so much on that subject that I fancy I have
exhausted my whole stock of tales, whether true or false. Only the
scandalous stories now remain untold, and in these your Majesty knows
that you yourself were never spared. However, a droll anecdote just now
occurs to me. One day, M. de T—— on leaving home to attend to his
ministerial duties, informed his wife that he should bring back M. Denon
with him to dinner. He wished the distinguished traveller to be treated
with the utmost attention; and he told Madame de T—— that the best thing
she could do would be to look over his work, so that she might be
enabled to pay some handsome compliments to the author; at the same time
informing her in what particular part of the library the book was to be
found. Madame de T—— set about her task—she found the book exceedingly
interesting, and was delighted at the thought of speedily being
introduced to the hero. No sooner were the company seated at table, than
she informed M. Denon, whom she had taken care to place beside her, that
she had been reading his work, and that she had been very much pleased
with it. M. Denon bowed, and the lady proceeded to remark on the
singular countries he had visited, and the hardships he had endured, at
the same time taking pains to assure him how deeply she sympathized in
his troubles. M. Denon bowed again; and all went on very smoothly until
Madame de T—— still addressing herself to M. Denon, declared how very
much delighted she had been when his faithful _Friday_ came to share his
solitude. “Have you him still,” she asked. On hearing this, M. Denon
started, and, turning to the person who sat on his other hand, he said:
Is it possible that she can take me for Robinson Crusoe? The fact is, or
I should more properly say, as the story goes, poor Madame de T—— had
been reading the Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, instead of Denon’s
Travels in Egypt.” The Emperor laughed heartily, and afterwards several
times related the anecdote himself.

The conversation turned on the inventive malignity of Parisian society,
and the fine story that was got up about the cabinet-maker, who
awkwardly discovered to B—— the concealed drawer of a bureau, which
happened to contain many secrets connected with his own family: the
violent anger of B—— against _Ventre de Biche_, the sympathy expressed
for him by Madame de V——, and the singular consolation she afforded
him,—all were described. The Emperor was much amused by these details,
most of which were new to him, and he expressed his belief that the
story was not entirely an invention. He once more repeated his censure
of the saloons of Paris, which, he said, might truly be styled the
infernal regions. He observed that they kept up a constant system of
slander and calumny, and that, therefore, they might with justice have
engaged the constant attention of all the tribunals of correctional
police in the capital.

The Emperor had now become animated, and he conversed for a considerable
time. He happened to mention an officer whom, he said, he had not
treated very well; and I ventured to observe that I believed he had,
notwithstanding, been Aide-de-camp to a distinguished General. “What
signifies that?” resumed the Emperor. “Don’t you know,” continued he,
smiling, “that a general frequently has two aides-de-camp: one for the
field and one for the household?”

He said a great deal respecting the national inaptitude of the French to
close a revolution, or to adhere to any fixed order of things; and he
alluded to the celebrated affair of Mallet, which he jokingly said might
be called a miniature or a caricature of his own return from the Isle of
Elba. “Mallet’s absurd plot,” said he, “might have been truly regarded
as a hoax. A prisoner of state, an obscure individual, effected his own
liberation, and, in his turn, imprisoned the Prefect and even the
Minister of Police, those keepers of dungeons and detectors of plots,
who suffered themselves to be caught in the snare like so many sheep. A
Prefect of Paris, the born sponsor of his department, and moreover a
very devoted subject, readily lent himself to every plan for assembling
a government that had no existence. Ministers, appointed by the
conspirators, were engaged in making their round of visits, when those
who nominated them were again safely lodged in prison. Finally, the
inhabitants of the capital learned in the morning the sort of political
debauch that had taken place during the night, without having been in
the least disturbed by it. Such an extravagant attempt,” said the
Emperor, “could never have produced any result. Even had it succeeded,
it must have fallen, of itself, in the space of a few hours; and the
victorious conspirators would have thought only of hiding themselves
amidst their success. I was, therefore, far less incensed at the attempt
of the criminal than at the facility with which those who appeared most
attached to me had been prevailed on to become his accomplices. On my
arrival, each candidly related to me the details that concerned himself,
and which served to criminate all! they frankly avowed that they had
been caught, and had, for a moment, placed full faith in my overthrow.
They did not deny that, in the delirium of the moment, they had entered
into the designs of the conspirators; and they rejoiced with me at their
happy escape. Not one of them mentioned the slightest resistance, or the
least effort made to defend and perpetuate the existing government. This
seemed never to have entered their heads: so accustomed were they to
changes and revolutions, that all were perfectly resigned to the
establishment of a new order of things. All therefore changed
countenance, and manifested the utmost embarrassment; when, in a
resolute tone of voice, I said, ‘Well, Gentlemen, it appears you thought
my reign at an end; to that I have nothing to say. But where were your
oaths to the King of Rome? What became of your principles and doctrines?
You make me tremble for the future.’ I found it necessary to make an
example, were it only for the sake of putting weak men on their guard
for the future; and judgment fell upon poor Frochot, the Prefect of
Police, who, I am sure, was attached to me. Yet, at the mere request of
one of these mountebank conspirators, instead of making the resistance
which his duty required; instead of manifesting a firm determination to
perish at his post rather than yield; he very contentedly issued orders
for preparing a place for the sitting of the new Government!—Indeed,”
said the Emperor, “the readiness with which the French people
accommodate themselves to change is calculated to prolong vicissitudes,
which no other nation but themselves could endure. Thus, individuals of
every party seem to be convinced that all is not yet settled; and Europe
shares this opinion, which is founded not less on our natural
inconstancy and volatility than on the mass of events that have occurred
during the last thirty years.”


4th.—To-day, the Emperor would not receive any one during the whole of
the morning. He sent for me at the hour he had appointed for taking the
bath, during which, and for some time afterwards, he conversed on the
knowledge of the ancients, the historians by whom it has been
transmitted to modern times, the connecting links formed by different
writers, &c. His reflections on this subject all led to the conclusion
that the world is yet in its infancy, and human nature still more so. We
then took a view of the structure of the globe, the irregularities of
its surface, the unequal division of sea and land, the amount of its
population, the scale by which that population was dispersed, the
different political societies into which it was formed, &c. I calculated
that Europe contained 170,000,000 inhabitants. The Emperor remarked that
he himself had governed 80,000,000; and, I added that, after the
alliance with Prussia and Austria, he had been at the head of more than
100,000,000. The Emperor then suddenly changed the conversation. He
asked for my Atlas, and while he looked over it, he several times
remarked that it was a truly invaluable work for youth.

Afterwards, when speaking of the wonders of his life and the
vicissitudes of his fortune, the Emperor remarked that he ought to have
died at Moscow; because, at that time, his military glory had
experienced no reverse; and his political career was unexampled in the
history of the world. He then drew one of those rapid and animating
pictures, which he sketches off with so much facility, and which
frequently rise to a degree of sublimity. Observing that the countenance
of one of the persons, who happened to be present, was not exactly
expressive of approbation, he said, “This is not your opinion? You do
not think I ought to have closed my career at Moscow?”—“No, Sire,” was
the reply; “for, in that case, history would have been deprived of the
return from Elba, of the most generous and most heroic act that ever man
performed; of the grandest and most sublime event that the world ever
witnessed.”—“Well,” returned the Emperor, “there may be some truth in
that; but, what say you to Waterloo? Ought I not to have perished
there?”—“Sire,” said the person whom he addressed, “if I have obtained
pardon for Moscow, I do not see why I should not ask it for Waterloo
also. The future is beyond the will and the power of man; it is in the
hands of God alone.”

At another time, the Emperor spoke of the different members of his
family, the little assistance he had received from them, the many
embarrassments they had occasioned him, &c. He particularly alluded to
the mistaken notion they had conceived, that, being once placed at the
head of a people, they should become identified with them, so as to
prefer their interests to those of the common country. This idea, he
said, might have originated in honourable feeling; but it was most
erroneous and mischievous in its application. In their mistaken notions
of independence, the members of his family sometimes seemed to consider
their power as detached, forgetting that they were merely parts of a
great whole, whose views and interests they should have aided instead of
opposed. “But, after all,” continued he, “they were very young and
inexperienced, and were surrounded by snares, flatterers, and
intriguers, with secret and evil designs.” Then, passing suddenly from
their faults to their good qualities, he added, “And yet, if we judge
from analogy, what family, in similar circumstances, would have acted
better? Every one is not qualified to be a statesman: that requires a
combination of powers which does not often fall to the lot of one. In
this respect, all my brothers were singularly situated; they possessed
at once too much and too little talent. They felt themselves too strong
to resign themselves blindly to a guiding counsellor, and yet too weak
to be left entirely to themselves. But, take them all in all, I have
certainly good reason to be proud of my family.

“Joseph would have been an ornament to society in any country; and
Lucien would have been an honour to any political assembly. Jerome, as
he advanced in life, would have developed every qualification requisite
in a sovereign. Louis would have been distinguished in any rank or
condition of life. My sister Eliza was endowed with masculine powers of
mind: she must have proved herself a philosopher in her adverse fortune.
Caroline possesses great talents and capacity. Pauline, perhaps the most
beautiful woman of her age, has been, and will continue to the end of
her life, the most amiable creature in the world. As to my mother, she
deserves all kind of veneration. How seldom is so numerous a family
entitled to so much praise! Add to this, that, setting aside the jarring
of political opinions, we sincerely loved each other. For my part, I
never ceased to cherish fraternal affection for them all; and I am
convinced that in their hearts they felt the same sentiments towards me,
and that, in case of need, they would have given me every proof of it.”

After dinner, the Emperor received all his suite, and we remained with
him for upwards of an hour. He was in bed; but he conversed with
facility, and was evidently better. We took leave of him with the hope
of soon seeing him recovered. We remarked that he had not dined with us
for the space of twelve days; and that without him our lives, our hours,
our moments were deranged and devoid of interest.


5th.—The Emperor continued confined to his room. He sent for me, as he
had done for several days past, at the hour appointed for taking his
bath. He was somewhat relieved from the soreness in his mouth; but his
teeth were still very tender. He resumed the conversation of the
preceding day, on the structure of the globe, &c., for the Emperor now
evinced an absolute passion for geography. He took my map of the world,
and remarked on the irregular distribution of land and sea. He paused
for a time on the vast table-land of Asia; and from the immense Pacific
Ocean he passed to the more contracted space of the Atlantic. He started
many questions relative to the variable and the trade winds, the
monsoons of the Indian Ocean, the calm of the Pacific, the hurricanes of
the West Indies, &c.; and he found at the respective places, on the map,
the physical and speculative solutions which science furnishes on these
subjects. This pleased him exceedingly, and he continued his perusal of
the map, making remarks as he went over it: “Tables,” said he, “are of
the highest use in assisting the mind to draw comparisons: they awaken
and excite ideas. You have fallen on an excellent plan, in thus making
your tables of history and geography embrace all the remarkable
circumstances and phenomena connected with these sciences. I am every
day better and better pleased with your book.”[2]

Footnote 2:

  I had but one copy of it at St. Helena, and this was constantly in his
  bed-room. If I happened to fetch it for reference, or to make
  corrections, it was asked for again almost immediately. At the moment
  of my departure, Count Bertrand begged me to leave it him, for the
  instruction of his children. He has since told me that he could never
  use it. The Emperor took entire possession of it, and when in his last
  moments, he pointed out the books which were to be selected from his
  private library for his Son, the Atlas was among them. If I could not
  refrain from mentioning such a signal mark of approbation, I hope I
  shall be forgiven.

The Emperor wished to refer to some of the oldest books of travels; and
the works of the monk Rubruquis, and the Italian Marco Polo were brought
to him. He glanced over them, and remarked that they contained no
information, and possessed no other merit than their old age.

On leaving the bath, he went to his bed-chamber, to see the grand bed
that had been sent to him from London, and which had just been put up.
It was surmounted by a sort of canopy, supported on four large posts, so
high that it was found necessary to cut them at the foot, before it
could be put up in the Emperor’s little bed-chamber, which it almost
filled. Besides, it had, from some cause or other, a very disagreeable
smell, and was altogether so bulky and unsteady that it suggested the
idea of a tottering castle. The Emperor said it was an absolute
rat-trap; but, that he would take care not to be caught in it. He
ordered it to be removed immediately; remarking, that he did not wish to
be troubled with such lumber. It was accordingly taken down, and the old
camp-bed was substituted in its place. The confusion and inconvenience
occasioned by these changes put the Emperor very much out of humour.

In the course of the day, I had a long conversation with an English
seaman, an enthusiastic admirer of the Emperor, who related to me
several anecdotes, which pleased me the more as they were entirely new
to me. But though not generally known, they are not the less true; for
some of the facts the narrator had obtained from unquestionable
authority, and to others he had himself been a witness. When I
afterwards mentioned some of these particulars to the Emperor, he
immediately recollected them and acknowledged their correctness.
However, my informant assured me that, to his great astonishment, these
anecdotes had been but little circulated in England; and that there, as
well as in France, whatever reflected honour on Napoleon, or showed his
character in an advantageous light, was lost by that fatality to which I
have so often alluded: for calumny and falsehood constantly overwhelmed
all that was good beneath the mass of evil that was invented. The
following are some of the anecdotes, to which I have just now alluded.

“We were treated,” said my narrator, “in the best manner possible. At
Verdun, the depôt of the English prisoners of war, we enjoyed the same
privileges as the inhabitants. Verdun is a very pleasant town, and we
found provisions and wine exceedingly cheap. We were allowed to walk
several miles beyond the town, without the trouble of asking permission;
and we could, if we pleased, obtain leave to absent ourselves for
several days at a time. In short, we were so well protected against all
sorts of vexations, that the General, under whose command we were
placed, having been guilty of some irregularities in his treatment of
us, was ordered to Paris, by the special command of Napoleon, and from
fear of the punishment that awaited him, he committed suicide. It once
happened that we received orders to confine ourselves to our lodgings,
and we were informed that we should not be allowed to quit them for
several days; the reason assigned for this measure was that the Emperor
intended to pass through Verdun, and that it was not thought safe to
allow him to be surrounded by so many of the enemy’s prisoners. Besides
the disappointment of our curiosity (for we very much wished to see
Napoleon), this order hurt us exceedingly. Do they distrust brave
English seamen? we thought. Is it possible that they confound us with
assassins? Be this as it might, we were doomed to be close prisoners;
when, on the day of Napoleon’s arrival, we were, to our surprise,
informed that we were again at liberty, and that the Emperor very much
disapproved of the order that had been given for our confinement. We
eagerly thronged to see the Emperor, and he passed us unattended by any
escort, with an air of perfect security, and even with an expression of
kindness, which quite delighted us. Our acclamations were not less
sincere than those of the French themselves.

“Napoleon and Maria Louisa, returning from their journey in Holland,
arrived at Givet on the Meuse, where several hundred English prisoners
were at that time collected. A sudden storm arose; there was a heavy
fall of rain, the river overflowed its banks, and the pontoon bridge was
broken and rendered impassable. However, the Emperor, anxious to
continue his journey, and not being in the habit of thinking any thing
impossible, resolved to cross the river at all hazards. All the boatmen
in the neighbourhood were collected together; but not one would attempt
to cross. ‘However,’ said Napoleon, ‘I am determined to be on the other
side of the river before noon.’ He immediately ordered some of the
principal English prisoners to be brought to him: ‘Are there many of you
here?’ said he, ‘and are there any sailors among you?’ ‘There are 500 of
us, and we are all seamen,’ was the reply. ‘Well, I want to know whether
you think it possible to cross the river, and whether you will undertake
to convey me to the opposite bank.’ It was acknowledged to be a
hazardous attempt, but some of our veterans undertook to accomplish it.
Napoleon got into the boat with a degree of confidence that surprised
us, and he reached the opposite bank in safety. He heartily thanked
those who had rendered him this service, and ordered that they should be
supplied with new clothes. To this he added a pecuniary present, and
granted them their liberty.

“A young English sailor, seized with an ardent longing to return to his
country, escaped from a depôt, and succeeded in making his way to the
coast, in the neighbourhood of Boulogne, where he concealed himself in
the woods. His eager desire to return home suggested to him the idea of
making a little boat, to enable him to reach some of the English
cruisers, which he spent the greater part of the day in watching, from
the tops of the trees on the shore. He was seized just at the moment
when he was about to put to sea with his little boat, and to make a
desperate attempt to secure his liberty. He was imprisoned on suspicion
of being a spy or a robber. This circumstance reached the ears of
Napoleon, who was then at Boulogne, and he felt a curiosity to see the
boat, of which he heard so much. When it was shown to him, he could not
bring himself to believe that any rational being would have ventured to
put to sea in it. He ordered the sailor to be brought to him, and the
young man declared that he had really intended to escape, with the aid
of his boat, and the only favour he asked was permission to execute his
project. ‘You appear very eager to return to England,’ said the Emperor;
‘Perhaps you have left a sweetheart behind you?’ ‘No,’ replied the young
man, ‘but I have a mother, at home, who is old and infirm, and I am
anxious to return to her.’—‘Well, you shall return,’ said Napoleon; and
he immediately ordered that the young man should be provided with new
clothes, and sent on board the first English cruiser that might appear
in sight. He also directed that he should be furnished with a sum of
money, as a present to his mother, remarking that she must be a good
mother, to have so good a son.”[3]

Footnote 3:

  Since my return to Europe, some Letters from St. Helena have been
  published, in which the above anecdotes are related, almost word for
  word. This and other circumstances induced me to make some inquiry
  respecting the publication; and I am enabled to affirm that, though
  anonymous, its contents are derived from the most authentic sources,
  and are entitled to full credit.

Among the many acts of kindness which the Emperor exercised towards the
English, who were detained in France, there is one which happened to
come within my own knowledge, and of which a Mr. Manning was the object.
This gentleman, whom I knew very well in Paris, and who had been induced
to travel for the sake of scientific investigation, thought he might
obtain his liberty by addressing a petition to Napoleon, praying for
permission to visit the interior of Asia. His friends laughed at his
simplicity; but he turned the laugh against us when, at the expiration
of a few weeks, he triumphantly informed us of the success of his
application. I find it mentioned in Dr. O’Meara’s work, that this same
Mr. Manning, after a peregrination of several years, touched at St.
Helena, on his return to Europe, and urgently requested leave to see
Napoleon, in order to express his gratitude by laying a few presents at
his feet, and answering any inquiries he might make respecting the Grand
Lama, whom he had had an opportunity of visiting through the Emperor’s
particular favour.


6th.—The Emperor continued in a state of convalescence, and he received
some visitors about the middle of the day. I waited upon him,
accompanied by Madame de Montholon. He conversed a great deal about the
society of Paris, and related several anecdotes of the Tuileries.

In the evening, the Emperor resumed his geographical observations. He
dwelt particularly on Asia; on the situation of Russia, and the facility
with which the latter power might make an attempt on India, or even on
China, and the alarm which she might, therefore, justly excite in the
English. He calculated the number of troops that Russia might employ,
their probable point of departure, the route they would be likely to
pursue, and the wealth they would obtain in such an enterprise. On all
these subjects he made the most curious and valuable remarks. I very
much regret my inability to record them here, for my notes, in this
instance, afford me only slight hints, and I cannot trust to the
accuracy of my memory for filling up the details.

The Emperor next adverted to what he called the admirable situation of
Russia against the rest of Europe, to the immense mass she possessed for
invasion. He represented that power seated beneath the pole, and backed
by eternal bulwarks of ice, which, in case of need, would render her
inaccessible. Russia, he said, could only be attacked during one third
or fourth of the year; while, on the contrary, she had the whole year,
the whole twelve months, to act against us; her assailants would
encounter the rigours and privations of a frigid climate and a barren
soil, while her troops, pouring down upon us, would enjoy the fertility
and charms of our southern region.

To these physical circumstances, continued the Emperor, may be added the
advantage of an immense population, brave, hardy, devoted and passive,
including those numerous uncivilized hordes, to whom privation and
wandering are the natural state of existence. “Who can avoid
shuddering,” said he, “at the thought of such a vast mass, unassailable
either on the flanks or in the rear, descending upon us with impunity;
if triumphant, overwhelming every thing in its course; or, if defeated,
retiring amidst the cold and desolation, that may be called its reserves
in case of defeat; and possessing every facility of issuing forth again
at a future opportunity. Is not this the head of the Hydra, the Antæus
of fable, which can only be subdued by grappling it bodily, and stifling
it in one’s arms. But where is the Hercules to be found? France alone
could think of such an achievement, and it must be confessed we made but
an awkward attempt at it.”

The Emperor was of opinion that, in the new political combination of
Europe, the fate of that portion of the world depended entirely on the
capacity and disposition of a single man. “Should there arise,” said he,
“an Emperor of Russia, valiant, impetuous, and intelligent; in a word, a
Czar with a beard on his chin, (this he pronounced very emphaticallly)
Europe is his own. He may commence his operations on the German
territory, one hundred leagues from the two capitals, Berlin and Vienna,
whose sovereigns are his only obstacles. He secures the alliance of the
one by force, and with his aid subdues the other, at a single stroke. He
then finds himself in the heart of Germany, amidst the Princes of the
second rank, most of whom are either his relations or dependents.
Meanwhile, he may, should he think it necessary, throw a few firebrands
across the Alps, on the soil of Italy, ripe for explosion, and he may
then march triumphantly to Paris to proclaim himself the new Liberator.
I know if I were in such a situation, I would undertake to reach Calais
in a given time, and by regular marching stations, thereto become the
master and arbiter of Europe....” Then, after a few moments’ silence, he
added, “Perhaps, my dear Las Cases, you may be tempted to say, as the
minister of Pyrrhus said to his master, ‘_And after all, to what
purpose?_’ My answer is, to establish a new state of society, and to
avert great misfortunes. This is a blessing which Europe expects and
solicits. The old system is ended, and the new one is not consolidated,
and will not be so until after long and furious convulsions.”

The Emperor was again silent, and after measuring, with his compasses,
the distances on the map, he observed that Constantinople was, from its
situation, calculated to be the centre and seat of universal dominion.

He then alluded to the English settlements in India, and asked me
whether I knew any thing of their history. I told him what little I knew
on this subject.

Queen Elizabeth created an East India Company by virtue of her royal

A century later, the Parliament created another. However, as these two
companies were found to injure each other by their competitions, they
were united under one charter.

In 1716, the Company obtained from the sovereigns of India the famous
firman or Indian charter, authorizing them to export or import free of
all duty.

In 1741, the Company first commenced military interference in the
affairs of India, in opposition to the French Company, who took the
adverse side. Since then, the two nations have constantly waged war in
that distant land, whenever a contest arose between them in Europe.
France had a short interval of success in the war of 1740, was crushed
in 1755, maintained an equality in 1779, and at length totally
disappeared during the war of the Revolution.

The English East India Company now rules the whole peninsula, including
a population of more than 60,000,000, of which 20,000,000 are its
subjects, 20,000,000 its tributaries or allies, and the rest are
involved in its system and obliged to go along with it.[4]

Footnote 4:

  This was written in 1816, before those events took place in India, by
  which the subjection of the whole peninsula seems to have been

Such is the famous East India Company, which at once acts the part of
merchant and sovereign; whose wealth is derived both from commercial
profits and territorial revenues. Hence it results that the merchant is
frequently actuated by the ambition of the sovereign, while the
sovereign plans, directs, and executes with the cupidity of the
merchant. In these peculiar circumstances, in this two-fold character,
we may trace the cause of the progress, measures, conflicts,
contradictions, disorders, and clamours, that compose the history of
this celebrated Company.

The English East India Company has long reigned absolute and
independent. It was and still continues to be represented by a Court of
Directors, chosen from among the proprietors. These Directors delegate
and direct in India, by despatches, a regency or council, consisting of
a Governor and some assessors, who represent and exercise the sovereign

In 1767, the Crown for the first time put forward claims on the
territory and revenues of India; but the Company purchased its
relinquishment of them by a subsidy equivalent to ten or twelve millions
of francs.

About the year 1773, the East India Company, finding its affairs
extremely deranged, made application to Parliament, which took advantage
of its embarrassment to secure its dependence. The Company’s possessions
were subjected to new political, judicial, and financial regulations,
which, however, produced no very satisfactory result. The Indian
peninsula was thrown into the utmost disorder; and the establishment of
a Supreme Court of Justice, operating as a rival to the Sovereign
Council, and appointed for the purpose of introducing English laws in
the country, particularly excited the dissatisfaction and alarm of the
natives. The fury of parties, and their reciprocal accusations and
complaints, have transmitted to us a picture of the odious measures, the
boundless rapacity and atrocious tyranny of this stormy period, which is
the least honourable in the history of the East India Company.

In 1783, with the view of providing a radical remedy for these evils,
Mr. Fox, who was then Prime Minister, brought forward his famous Bill,
the failure of which occasioned his resignation. Mr. Pitt, who had been
the opponent of this Bill, in the following year introduced another,
which laid the foundation of his celebrity, and which still continues to
regulate the affairs of the East India Company. Fox’s Bill would, in
fact, have been a judicial seizure; it would have placed all the
Company’s property in the hands of a managing committee, who were to
liquidate its debts, and dispose of all employments. The members of this
Committee, appointed by the King or by Parliament, were to be
irremoveable, and were to sit until they should have established the
affairs of the Company on a better footing. A general outcry was raised
against these propositions, which, it was said, would place important
interests, vast patronage, and enormous influence, in the hands of a few
individuals. It was said that the Bill was calculated to introduce a
fourth power in the state, and to set up a rival to the Crown itself.
Mr. Fox was even accused of a wish to establish himself permanently in
office, by creating a sort of concealed sovereignty, superior to that of
the King; for, Fox being at this time Minister, and having Parliament
under his control, he would have appointed and ruled the proposed
Committee. Through the influence of this Committee, he would have
composed and governed Parliament, and with the aid of Parliament, he
would have established and perpetuated the Committee; in short, there
was no end to the power which he would thus have exercised. A violent
clamour arose, and the King made the business a personal matter. He
appealed to his own friends, to those individuals in the House of Peers
who were sincerely attached to him, and regarded the measures proposed
as an attack on his very existence. The Bill failed, and Fox quitted the

Pitt was more adroit, and assumed the appearance of greater moderation.
In his Bill, he merely contented himself with placing the Company under
a sort of guardianship; submitting all its operations to a Committee
appointed to revise and counter-sign them. He left to the Company the
power of nomination to all employments; but reserved to the Crown the
appointment of the Governor General, and the veto on all other
nominations. This Committee, which was appointed by the King, formed a
new branch in the administration. Complaints were now raised against the
vast increase of influence which this measure would give to the royal
authority, and which, it was affirmed, would infallibly break the
constitutional equilibrium. Fox had been reproached with having wished
to keep this influence wholly apart from the King; and Pitt was accused
of having placed it entirely in his hands. All that the one had desired
to do for the people, it was said the other had done for the monarch.
Indeed, these two distinct characters, these two opposite evils,
constituted the whole difference between the two Bills, which produced a
decisive battle between the Whigs and Tories. Mr. Pitt gained the
victory, and the Tories triumphed.

The faults of Fox’s Bill still remain hypothetical, since they were
never put to the test; but the evils that were predicted from Pitt’s
measures have been formally fulfilled. The equilibrium of power has been
broken, the true English constitution has ceased to exist, the royal
authority, daily augmented, has encroached in every direction, and is
now marching, unimpeded, on the high road, to arbitrary and absolute

The Ministers command in Parliament a majority, which they have
themselves created, which perpetuates their power and legalizes their
arbitrary measures. Thus, English liberty is daily more and more
fettered by the very forms which were intended for its defence; and the
future, instead of affording a prospect of remedy, appears to threaten
greater misfortunes! How could Fox’s plan have produced more fatal
results? For it may truly be said that all the great encroachments that
have been made on the English constitution have been occasioned by the
interests of India. Surely the weight which Fox wished to secure to the
popular side could not have been more disastrous to the cause of liberty
than that with which Pitt surcharged the royal prerogative!

Consequently, it is now often boldly asserted that Fox was in the right,
that he was wiser, and could not have been so mischievous as his rival.

The names of Pitt and Fox having been thus introduced, the Emperor dwelt
long on the characters, systems, and measures of those two celebrated
statesmen; and concluded with the following remarks, which had already
fallen from him on several previous occasions: “Pitt,” said he, “was the
master of European policy; he held in his hand the moral fate of
nations; but he made an ill use of his power. He kindled the fire of
discord throughout the universe; and his name, like that of Erostratus,
will be inscribed in history, amidst flames, lamentations, and tears!...
The first sparks of our Revolution, then the resistance that was opposed
to the national will, and, finally, the horrid crimes that ensued, all
were his work. Twenty-five years of universal conflagration; the
numerous coalitions that added fuel to the flame; the revolution and
devastation of Europe; the bloodshed of nations; the frightful debt of
England, by which all these horrors were maintained; the pestilential
system of loans, by which the people of Europe are oppressed; the
general discontent that now prevails;—all must be attributed to Pitt.
Posterity will brand him as a scourge; and the man so lauded in his own
time will hereafter be regarded as the genius of evil. Not that I
consider him to have been really wicked, or doubt his having entertained
the conviction that he was acting right. But St. Bartholomew had also
its conscientious advocates; the Pope and Cardinals celebrated it by a
_Te Deum_; and we have no reason to doubt their having done so in
perfect sincerity. Such is the weakness of human reason and judgment!
But that for which posterity will, above all, execrate the memory of
Pitt, is the hateful school that he has left behind him, its insolent
Machiavelism, its profound immorality, its cold egotism, and its utter
disregard of justice and human happiness.

“Whether it be the effect of admiration and gratitude, or the result of
mere instinct and sympathy, Pitt is, and will continue to be, the idol
of the European aristocracy. There was, indeed, a touch of the Sylla in
his character. His system has kept the popular cause in check, and
brought about the triumph of the patricians. As to Fox, one must not
look for his model among the ancients. He is himself a model, and his
principles will sooner or later rule the world.”

The Emperor said a great deal about Fox, and expressed the great
attachment he entertained for him. He had had his bust put up at
Malmaison, before he knew him personally. He concluded with a remark,
which he used often to make, at different times, and in various ways:
“Certainly,” said he, “the death of Fox was one of the fatalities of my
career. Had his life been prolonged, affairs would have taken a totally
different turn; the cause of the people would have triumphed, and we
should have established a new order of things in Europe.”

Returning to the subject of the East India Company, the Emperor observed
that the question respecting the comparative advantage of the monopoly
of a company, or free trade for all, was an important subject of
consideration. “A Company,” said he, “places great advantages in the
hands of a few individuals, who may attend very well to their own
interests, while they neglect those of the mass. Thus every company soon
degenerates into an oligarchy: it is always the friend of power, to
which it is ready to lend every assistance. In this point of view,
companies were exclusively suited to old times and old systems. Free
trade, on the contrary, is favourable to the interests of all classes;
it excites the imagination and rouses the activity of a people; it is
identical with equality, and naturally leads to independence. In this
respect, it is most in unison with our modern system. After the treaty
of Amiens, by which France regained her Indian possessions, I had this
grand question thoroughly discussed before me, and at great length; I
heard both statesmen and commercial men; and my final opinion was in
favour of free trade, and against companies.”

The Emperor then discussed several points of political economy which are
treated by Smith in his _Wealth of Nations_. He admitted that they were
true in principle; but proved them to be false in application.
Unfortunately, the scantiness of my notes here prevents me from entering
into particulars.

“Formerly,” said he, “only one kind of property was known, that which
consisted in landed possessions; afterwards, a second kind arose, that
of industry or manufactures, which is now in opposition to the first;
then arose a third, that which is derived from the burdens levied on the
people, and which, distributed by the neutral and impartial hands of
government, might obviate the evils of monopoly on the part of the two
others, intervene between them, and prevent them from coming into actual
conflict.” This great contest of modern times, he called the war of the
_fields_ against the _factories_, of the _castles_ against the

“It is,” said he, “because men will not acknowledge this great
revolution in property, because they persist in closing their eyes on
these truths, that so many acts of folly are now committed, and that
nations are exposed to so many disorders. The world has sustained a
great shock, and it now seeks to return to a settled state. There,” said
he, “is in two words, the Key to the universal agitation that at present
prevails: the ship’s cargo has been shifted, her ballast has been
removed from the stem to the stern; hence are produced those violent
oscillations which may occasion her wreck in the first storm, if the
crew persist in working the vessel according to the usual method, and
without obtaining a new balance.”

This day has been rich in materials for my Journal. Besides the subjects
to which I have already alluded, several others were introduced. When
speaking of India and the English East India Company, the name of M. de
Suffren was mentioned.

The Emperor had had no opportunity of forming a correct idea of the
character of this officer: he had heard of his having rendered important
services to his country and for that reason alone, he (Napoleon) had
been very liberal to his family. The Emperor questioned me respecting
Suffren. I had not known him personally, and therefore I could only
report what I had heard of him from other persons in the navy. It was
admitted that, since the time of Louis XIV., M. de Suffren was the only
officer who bore a resemblance to the distinguished men of the brilliant
period of our navy.

Suffren possessed genius, invention, ardour, ambition, and inflexible
steadiness; he was one of those men whom Nature has fitted for any
thing. I have heard very shrewd and sensible persons say that his death,
in the year 1789, might have been looked upon as a national calamity;
that, had he been admitted to the King’s Council in the critical moment,
he might have brought matters to a very different result. Suffren, who
was harsh, capricious, egotistical, and a very unpleasant companion, was
loved by nobody, though he was valued and admired by all.

He was a man with whom no one could live on good terms. He was impatient
of control, fond of condemning every thing, and, while he incessantly
declaimed against the utility of tactics, he proved himself to be a
perfect tactician. In short, he evinced all the irritability and
restlessness of genius and ambition deprived of elbow-room.

On obtaining the command of the Indian squadron, he went to take leave
of the King, and one of the officers of the palace could with difficulty
open a passage for him through the crowd. “I thank you,” said he to the
Usher, grunting and snorting in his usual way; “but when I come out,
Sir, you shall see that I know how to clear the way for myself.” And he
spoke truly.

On his arrival in India, he opened a new theatre for the arms of France,
and performed prodigies, which perhaps have not been duly appreciated in
Europe. He set on foot measures and plans of command hitherto unknown;
taking every thing upon himself, hazarding all, inventing all, and
foreseeing all. He broke and created his officers as he thought proper;
fitted out and manned ships that had long since been condemned; and
found a wintering station on the spot, when, according to the old
routine, the ships would have been obliged to sail to the Isle of
France, a distance of twelve or fifteen hundred leagues. Finally, he
broke through all rules, approached the coast, took on board troops who
had been fighting the old enemy, and, after they had assisted him in
opposing the English squadron, he conveyed them back to their camp, to
resume the contest by land. Thus the French flag assumed a superiority
that disconcerted the enemy. “Oh,” exclaimed the Emperor, “why did not
Suffren live till my time, or why did not I light on a man of his stamp?
I would have made him our Nelson. I was constantly seeking for a man
qualified to raise the character of the French navy; but I could never
find one. There is in the navy a peculiarity, a technicality, that
impeded all my conceptions. If I proposed a new idea, immediately
Ganthaume, and the whole Marine Department, were up in arms against
me.—‘Sire, that cannot be.‘—Why not?—‘Sire, the winds do not admit of
it:’ then objections were started respecting calms and currents, and I
was obliged to stop short. How is it possible to maintain a discussion
with those whose language we do not comprehend? How often, in the
Council of State, have I reproached naval officers with taking an undue
advantage of this circumstance! To hear them talk, one might have been
led to suppose that it was necessary to be born in the navy to know any
thing about it. Yet I often told them that, had it been in my power to
have performed a voyage to India with them, I should, on my return, have
been as familiar with their profession as with the field of battle. But
they could not credit this. They always repeated that no man could be a
good sailor unless he were brought up to it from his cradle; and they at
length prevailed on me to adopt a plan, about which I long hesitated,
namely, the enrolment of several thousands of children from six to eight
years of age.

“My resistance was vain; I was compelled to yield to the unanimous
voice, while I assured those who urged me to this measure that I left
all the responsibility with them. What was the result? It excited
clamour and discontent on the part of the public, who turned the whole
affair into ridicule, styling it the massacre of the innocents, &c.
Subsequently, De Winter, Verhuel, all the great naval commanders of the
north, and others, assured me that from eighteen to twenty (the age for
the conscription), was early enough to begin to learn the duties of a
sailor. The Danes and Swedes employ their soldiers in the navy. With the
Russians, the fleet is but a portion of the army; which affords the
invaluable advantage of keeping up a standing army, and for a twofold

“I had myself,” added he, “planned something of the kind, when I created
my marines; but what obstacles had I to encounter; what prejudices had I
to subdue; what perseverance was I obliged to exert, before I could
succeed in clothing the sailors in uniform, forming them into regiments,
and drilling them by military exercise! I was told that I should ruin
all. And yet, can there be a greater advantage than for one country to
possess both an army and a navy? The men, thus disciplined, were not
worse sailors than the rest; while, at the same time, they were the best
soldiers. They were, in case of need, prepared to serve as sailors,
soldiers, artillerymen, pontooners, &c. If, instead of being thus
opposed by obstacles, I had found in the navy a man capable of entering
into my views, and promoting my ideas, what importance might we not have
obtained! But, during my reign, I never found a naval officer who could
depart from the old routine, and strike out a new course. I was much
attached to the navy; I admired the courage and patriotism of our
seamen; but I never found between them and me an intermediate agent, who
could have brought them into operation in the way I wished.”


7th.—Speaking of his imperial system, Napoleon observed that it had been
the means of creating the most compact government, establishing the most
rapid circulation in all its parts, and calling forth the most nervous
efforts that had ever been witnessed. “And nothing short of this,” said
he, “would have enabled us to triumph over such numerous difficulties,
and to achieve so many wonders. The organization of the Prefectures,
their operations, and the results they produced, were admirable. One and
the same impulse was simultaneously communicated to more than 40,000,000
of men; and, by the help of those centres of local activity, the
movement was not less rapid and energetic at the extremities than in the
heart itself.

“Foreigners who visited France, and who were capable of observing and
discerning, were filled with astonishment. To this uniformity of action
prevailing over an immense extent of territory, must be attributed those
prodigious efforts and immense results, which were acknowledged to have
been hitherto inconceivable.

“The Prefects, with their local authority and resources, were themselves
_Emperors on a small scale_. As their whole power proceeded from the
main spring, of which they were only the communicating channels; as
their influence was not personal, but was derived from their temporary
functions; as they had no connexion with the district over which their
jurisdiction extended; they afforded all the advantages of the great
absolute agents of the old system, without any of their disadvantages.
It was necessary to create this power,” continued the Emperor, “for the
force of circumstances had placed me in the situation of a dictator. It
was requisite that all the filaments issuing from me should be in
harmony with the first cause, or my system would have failed in its
result. The network which I spread over the French territory required a
violent tension and prodigious power of elasticity, in order to cause
the terrible blows that were constantly levelled at us to rebound to a
distance. Thus most of the springs of my machinery were merely
institutions connected with dictatorship, and measures for warlike
defence. When the moment should have arrived for slackening the reins,
all my connecting filaments would have relaxed sympathetically, and we
should then have proceeded to our peace establishment and local
institutions. If we yet possessed none of these, it was because
circumstances did not admit of them. Our immediate fall would have been
the infallible consequence, had we been provided with them at the
outset. It must not be supposed that the nation was all at once prepared
to make a proper use of her liberty. Both with respect to education and
character, the bulk of the people were imbued with too many of the
prejudices of past times. We were daily improving, but we had yet much
to acquire. At the time of the revolutionary explosion, the patriots,
generally speaking, were such by nature and by instinct: with them
patriotism was an innate sentiment, a passion, a phrensy. Hence the
effervescence, the extravagance, the fury, which marked that period. But
it is vain to attempt to naturalize and mature the modern system by
blows or by leaps. It must be implanted with education, and must take
root with reason and conviction; and this will infallibly take place in
the course of time, because modern principles are founded on natural
truths. But,” added he, “the men of our time were eager for the
possession of power, which they exercised with a domineering spirit, to
say no worse, while, on the other hand, they were ready to become the
slaves of those who were above them!... We have always wavered between
these two extremes. In the course of my journeys, I was often obliged to
say to the high officers who were about my person:—Pray let the Prefect
speak for himself. If I went to some subdivision of a department, I then
found it necessary to say to the Prefect:—Let the sub-prefect or the
mayor make his reply. So eager were all to eclipse each other, and so
little did they perceive the advantage that might arise from direct
communication with me! If I sent my great officers or ministers to
preside at the electoral colleges, I always advised them not to get
nominated as candidates for the Senate, as their seats were secured to
them by other means, and I wished that they should resign the honour of
the nomination to the principal individuals of the provinces: but they
never conformed with my wishes.”

This reminded me of a misunderstanding that once took place, between the
Emperor and the Minister Decrès, on the subject here alluded to. The
Emperor having expressed displeasure at the nomination of the
minister:—“Sire,” replied the latter, “your influence is more powerful
than your will. I in vain resisted, and assured them that you wished
these nominations to be made among themselves. They insisted on shewing
deference to your choice, and if you send me back, I shall only be
nominated over again.”

“I granted,” said Napoleon, “enormous salaries to Prefects and others;
but, with regard to my liberality on this head, it is necessary to
distinguish between what was systematic and what was incidental. The
latter forced me to grant lucrative appointments; the former would
ultimately have enabled me to obtain gratuitous services. At the first
outset, when the object was to conciliate individuals, and to
re-establish some kind of society and morality, liberal salaries,
absolute fortunes, were indispensable; but, the result being obtained,
and in the course of time the natural order of things being restored, my
intention, on the contrary, would have been to render almost all high
public duties gratuitous. I would have discarded those needy individuals
who cannot be their own masters, and whose urgent wants engender
political immorality. I would have wrought such a change in opinion that
public posts should have been sought after for the mere honour of
filling them. The functions of magistrate or justice of the peace would
have been discharged by men of fortune, who, being guided solely by
duty, philanthropy, and honourable ambition, would have afforded the
surest pledge of independence. It is this that constitutes the dignity
and majesty of a nation, that exalts her character, and establishes
public morals. Such a change had become indispensable in France, and the
dislike of getting into place might have been considered the forerunner
of our return to political morality. I have been informed that the mania
of place-hunting has crossed the sea, and that the contagion has been
communicated to our neighbours. The English of former days were as much
superior to this kind of meanness as the people of the United States now
are. The love of place is the greatest check to public morals. A man who
solicits a public post feels his independence sold beforehand. In
England, the greatest families, the whole peerage, disdain not to hunt
after places. Their excuse is that the enormous burdens of taxation
deprive them of the means of living without additions to their income.
Pitiful pretence! It is because their principles are more decayed than
their fortunes. When people of a certain rank stoop to solicit public
posts for the sake of emolument, there is an end to all independence and
dignity of national character. In France, the shocks and commotions of
our Revolution might have afforded an apology for such conduct. All had
been unsettled, and all felt the necessity of re-establishing
themselves. To promote this object, with the least possible offence to
delicacy of feeling, I was induced to attach considerable emolument and
high honour to all public posts. But, in the course of time, I intended
to work a change by the mere force of opinion. And this was by no means
impossible. Every thing must yield to the influence of power, when it is
directed to objects truly just, honourable, and great.

“I was preparing a happy reign for my son. For his sake I was rearing in
the new school, the numerous class of auditors of the Council of State.
Their education being completed, they would, on attaining the proper
age, have filled all the public posts in the Empire; thus confirmed in
modern principles, and improved by the example of their precursors. They
would all have been twelve or fifteen years older than my son, who would
by this means have been placed between two generations and all their
advantages: maturity, experience and prudence above him; youth,
promptitude, and activity below him.”

Here I could not refrain from expressing my astonishment that the
Emperor should never have thrown out a hint of the grand and important
objects which he had in contemplation. “What would have been the use of
promulgating my intentions,” said he; “I should have been styled a
quack, accused of insinuation and subtilty, and have fallen into
discredit. Situated as I was, deprived of hereditary authority, and of
the illusion called legitimacy, I was compelled to avoid entering the
lists with my opponents; I was obliged to be bold, imperious, and
decisive. You have told me that in your Faubourg they used to say, _Why
is he not legitimate?_ If I had been so, I certainly could not have done
more than I did; but my conduct might have appeared more amiable.”


8th—To-day the Emperor dictated to one of his suite, by which we were
very much gratified, for it was a proof that he felt himself better.

I attended him after dinner. The exertion of dictating seemed to have
roused his spirits. He was in a very talkative mood; and we conversed
together, walking backward and forward in his chamber. The troubles of
La Vendée, and the men who had been distinguished in them, formed the
principal topics of discourse.

Charette was the only individual to whom the Emperor attached particular
importance. “I have read a history of La Vendée,” said he, “and if the
details and portraits were correct, Charette was the only great
character, the true hero, of that remarkable episode of our Revolution,
which, if it presented great misfortunes, at least did not sacrifice our
glory. In the wars of La Vendée, Frenchmen destroyed each other; but
they did not degrade themselves: they received aid from foreigners; but
they did not stoop to the disgrace of marching under their banners, and
receiving daily pay for merely executing their commands. Yes,” continued
he, “Charette impressed me with the idea of a great character. I
observed that he on several occasions acted with uncommon energy and
intrepidity. He betrayed genius.” I mentioned that I had known Charette
very well in my youth; had been in the marines together at Brest, and
for a long time we shared the same chamber, and messed at the same
table. The brilliant career and exploits of Charette very much
astonished all who had formerly been acquainted with him. We looked upon
him as a common-place sort of man, destitute of information,
ill-tempered, and extremely indolent; and we all, with one accord,
pronounced him to belong to the class of insignificant beings. It is
true that, when he began to rise into celebrity, we recollected a
circumstance which certainly indicated decision of character. When
Charette was first called into service, during the American war, and
while yet a mere youth, he sailed from Brest in a cutter during the
winter. The cutter lost her mast; and to a vessel of that class such an
accident was equivalent to certain destruction. The weather was very
stormy. Death seemed inevitable; and the sailors, throwing themselves on
their knees, lost all presence of mind, and refused to make any effort
to save themselves. Charette, notwithstanding his extreme youth, killed
one of the men, in order to compel the rest to make the necessary
exertions. This dreadful example had the desired effect, and the vessel
was saved. “You see,” said the Emperor, “true decision of character
always develops itself in critical circumstances. Here was the spark
that distinguished the hero of La Vendée. Men’s dispositions are often
misunderstood. There are sleepers whose waking is terrible. Kleber was
an habitual slumberer; but, at the needful moment, he never failed to
awake, a lion.”

I added that I had often heard Charette relate that, at a particular
moment of extreme danger, the whole crew of the cutter, by a spontaneous
impulse, made a vow to go in their shirts and barefooted, to carry a
taper to our Lady of Recouvrance, at Brest, if she would vouchsafe to
ensure their safety. “And you may believe it or not as you please,”
added Charette with great simplicity: “but the fact is, they had no
sooner uttered their prayer than the wind suddenly abated, and from that
moment we were inspired with the hope of preservation.” On their return
to land, the sailors, headed by their officers, devoutly fulfilled their
vow. This was not the only miraculous circumstance connected with the
little cutter. It was in the month of December, and the night was long
and dark. The vessel had got among reefs, and, without mast or any
nautical aid, she floated at random, and the crew had resigned
themselves to the will of fate, when they unexpectedly heard the ringing
of a bell. They sounded, and, finding but little depth of water, they
cast anchor. What was their surprise and joy, when they found
themselves, at day-break, at the mouth of the river of Landernau! The
bell they had heard was that of the neighbouring parish church. The
cutter had miraculously escaped the numerous rocks that are scattered
about the entrance of Brest: she had been carried through the narrow
inlet to the port, had passed three or four hundred ships that were
lying in the roads, and had at length found a shelter precisely at the
mouth of a river, in a calm and retired spot. “This,” said the Emperor,
“shews the difference between the blindfold efforts of man, and the
certain course of nature. That at which you express so much surprise
must necessarily have happened. It is very probable that, with the full
power of exerting the utmost skill, the confusion and errors of the
moment would have occasioned the wreck of the vessel; whereas, in spite
of so many adverse chances, nature saved her. She was borne onward by
the tide; the force of the current carried her precisely through the
middle of each channel, so that she could not possibly have been lost.”

Again alluding to the war of La Vendée, the Emperor mentioned that he
had been withdrawn from the army of the Alps, for the purpose of being
transferred to that of La Vendée; but that he preferred resigning his
commission to entering a service where he conceived he should only be
concurring in mischief, without the probability of obtaining any
personal benefit. He said that one of the first acts of his Consulate
had been to quell the troubles in La Vendée. He did much for that
unfortunate department, the inhabitants of which were very grateful to
him; and when he passed through it, even the priests appeared to be
sincerely favourable to him. “Thus,” continued the Emperor, “the late
insurrections did not present the same character as the first. Their
prominent feature was not blind fanaticism, but merely passive obedience
to a ruling aristocracy. Be this as it may, Lamarque, whom I sent to La
Vendée at the height of the crisis, performed wonders, and even
surpassed my hopes.” What might not have been his influence in the great
contest; for the most distinguished chiefs of La Vendée, those who are
doubtless at this moment enjoying the favours of the Court,
acknowledged, through Lamarque, Napoleon as Emperor, even after
Waterloo, even after his abdication! Was it that Lamarque was ignorant
of the real state of things, or was it merely a whim on the part of the
conqueror? At all events, Lamarque is in exile: he is one of the
thirty-eight; “because it is easier to proscribe than to conquer.”

The Emperor dined with us to-day, for the first time since his illness,
that is to say, for the space of sixteen days. Our dinner was therefore
a sort of festival: but we could not help remarking, with regret, the
change in the Emperor’s countenance, which presented obvious traces of
the ill effects of his long confinement.

After dinner we resumed our readings, which had been so long suspended.
The Emperor read the Agamemnon of Æschylus, which he very much admired
for its great force and simplicity. We were particularly struck with the
graduation of terror which characterizes the productions of this father
of tragedy. It was observed that this was the first spark to which the
light of the modern drama may be traced.

Agamemnon being ended, the Emperor asked for the Œdipus of Sophocles,
which also interested us exceedingly: and the Emperor expressed his
regret at not having had it performed at St. Cloud. Talma had always
opposed the idea; but the Emperor was sorry that he had relinquished it.
“Not,” said he, “that I wished to correct our drama by antique models.
Heaven forbid! But I merely wished to have an opportunity of judging how
far ancient composition would have harmonized with modern notions.” He
said he was convinced that such a performance would have afforded
pleasure; and he made several remarks on the impression that was likely
to be produced on modern taste by the Greek Coryphæus chorusses, &c.

He next turned to Voltaire’s Œdipus, on which he bestowed high
commendation. This piece, he said, contained the finest scene in the
French Drama. As to its faults, the absurd passion of Philoctetes, for
example, they must not, he said, be attributed to the poet, but to the
manners of the age, and the great actresses of the day, to whose laws a
dramatic writer is obliged to submit. This commendation of Voltaire
rather surprised us: it was something novel and singular in the mouth of
the Emperor.

At eleven o’clock, after the Emperor had retired to bed, he sent for me,
and resumed his conversation on the ancient and modern drama; on which
he made many curious remarks. In the first place, he expressed his
surprise that the Romans should have had no tragedies; but then again he
observed that tragedy, in dramatic representation, would have been ill
calculated to rouse the feelings of the Romans, since they performed
real tragedy in their circuses. “The combats of the gladiators,” said
he, “the sight of men consigned to the fury of wild beasts, were far
more terrible than all our dramatic horrors put together. These, in
fact, were the only tragedies suited to the iron nerves of the Romans.”

However, it was observed that the Romans possessed some dramatic essays,
produced by Seneca. By the by, it is a curious fact, that in Seneca’s
Medea, the chorus distinctly predicts the discovery of America, which
took place fourteen hundred years after that drama was written. In the
passage here alluded to, it is said, “A new Tiphys, a son of the earth,
will, in ages to come, discover remote regions towards the west, and
Thule will no longer be the extremity of the universe.”[5]

Footnote 5:

                        ... venient annis
            Sæcula seris, quibus Oceanus
            Vincula rerum laxet, et ingens
            Pateat tellus, Tiphysque novos
            Detegat orbes, nec sit terris ultima Thule.
                           _End of the Chorus of the 2d Act of
                                   Seneca’s Medea._



9th.—To-day the Emperor felt himself infinitely better. He was
surrounded by all his suite, and he began to talk of the prodigies of
his early career, which, he said, must have produced a great impression
in the world. “So great an impression,” said an individual present,
“that some were induced to regard them as supernatural.” On this
subject, the following anecdote was related: At the time of the
explosion of the infernal machine, a person, who had just heard the
news, called at a house in a certain quarter of the capital, and,
hastily entering the drawing-room, in which a party was assembled, he
informed the company that Napoleon was no more; and after giving an
account of the event that had just taken place, he concluded by saying:
“He is fairly blown up.” “He blown up!” exclaimed an old Austrian
officer, who had eagerly listened to all that was said, and who had been
a witness to many of the dangers which the young General of the army of
Italy had so miraculously escaped; “he blown up! Ah! you know nothing
about him. I venture to say that he is, at this very moment, as well as
any of us. I know him and all his tricks of old!”

The name of Madame R—-- de St. J—-- d’A—-- having been mentioned, and
some one having remarked to the Emperor how much attachment she had
evinced for him during his stay at the Isle of Elba. “How! she?”
exclaimed the Emperor, with mingled surprise and satisfaction.—“Yes,
Sire.”—“Poor lady!” said he, in a tone of deep regret; “and yet how ill
I treated her! Well! this at least repays me for the ingratitude of
those renegades, on whom I lavished so many favours....” Then, after a
few moments’ silence, he said, significantly, “It is very certain that
one can never know people’s characters and sentiments until after great

At dinner, the Emperor was very good humoured and cheerful. He
congratulated himself on having got through his late illness, without
having recourse to medicine, without paying tribute to the Doctor. At
this, he said, the latter had been very much vexed. He would have been
content with ever so little, with the slightest acknowledgment; he only
asked for compliance with the form, like a priest in confession. The
Emperor laughed, and added, that, out of mere complaisance, he had made
trial of a gargle, but that its strong acidity had disagreed with him.
This led him to observe that mild medicines were best suited to his
constitution. “Gentle remedies, whether physical or moral,” said he,
“are the only ones that take effect on me.”

In the course of conversation, the Emperor spoke of the Empresses
Josephine and Maria Louisa, of whom he related some very interesting
details, and concluded with his usual observation, that the one was the
model of the graces, with all their fascinations; and the other the
emblem of innocence, with all its charms.

The Emperor mentioned that Malmaison had cost about three or four
hundred thousand francs: that is to say, all that he was at that time
possessed of. He then calculated the amount of the sums which the
Empress Josephine must have received from him: and added that, with a
little order and regularity, she might, probably, have left behind her
fifty or sixty million francs. “Her extravagance,” said the Emperor,
“vexed me beyond measure. Calculator as I am, I would, of course, rather
have given away a million of francs than have seen a hundred thousand
squandered away.” He informed us that, having one day unexpectedly
broken in upon Josephine’s morning circle, he found a celebrated
milliner, whom he had expressly forbidden to go near the Empress, as she
was ruining her by extravagant demands. “My unlooked for entrance
occasioned great dismay in the academic sitting. I gave some orders
unperceived, and on the lady’s departure, she was seized and carried to
Bicètre. A great outcry was raised among the higher circles in Paris; it
was said that my conduct was disgraceful. It soon became the fashion to
visit the milliner in her confinement, and there was daily a file of
carriages at the gate of the prison. The police informed me of these
facts. All the better, said I; but I hope she is not treated with
severity; not confined in a dungeon?—‘No, Sire, she has a suite of
apartments, and a drawing room.’ Oh, well! let her be. If this measure
is pronounced to be tyrannical, so much the better; it will be a
diapason stroke for a great many others. Very little will serve to shew
that I can do more.” He also mentioned a celebrated man-milliner, who,
he remarked, was the most insolent fellow he had ever met with in the
whole course of his life. “I was one day,” said the Emperor, “speaking
to him respecting a _trousseau_ that he had furnished, when he had the
presumption to call my conduct in question. He did what no man in
France, except himself, would have ventured to do; he began, with great
volubility, to prove to me that I did not grant a sufficient allowance
to the Empress Josephine; and that it was impossible she could pay for
her clothes out of such a sum. I soon put an end to his impertinent
eloquence; I cut him short with a look, and left him transfixed.”

When the Emperor had retired to his chamber, he sent for me, and after
he had gone to bed, he continued to converse very cheerfully, on various
subjects. He said he found himself much better, and that he felt a
pleasure in chatting. However, he was very much troubled with cough, and
this had forced him to rise from table earlier than he otherwise would
have done. “I unthinkingly took too much snuff,” said he, “my attention
having been absorbed in the conversation of the moment. In such a case
you should always take away my snuff-box: that is the way to serve those
one loves.”


10th.—For some days past, the Emperor has been reading works on war,
fortifications, artillery, &c. He has examined Vauban, an account of
Campaigns during the Revolution, Gassendi’s Dictionary, and Guibert’s
Tactics; with all of which he is much pleased. These subjects have led
him to speak of several Generals who have already been frequently
noticed in the course of this Journal. “They could only carry on war on
high roads,” said he, “and within range of cannon, when their field of
battle should have extended over a whole country.”

During dinner, he spoke of the Campaign of Dumouriez in Champagne, which
he had just been reading. He thought little of the Duke of Brunswick,
who with a plan of offensive operations, had advanced only eighteen
leagues in forty days. But, on the other hand, he very much blamed
Dumouriez, whose position, he said, was far too hazardous. “For me, this
is saying a great deal,” added he; “for I consider myself to have been
the most venturous man in war that perhaps ever lived. Yet I should
certainly have been afraid to keep the position that Dumouriez retained;
so numerous were the dangers it presented. I could only explain his
manœuvre, on the supposition that he could not venture to retire; he
would probably have encountered greater risks in retreating than in
staying where he was. Wellington was placed in the same situation at

“The French are the bravest troops in the world. They will fight in
whatever position they may be attacked; but they cannot retreat before a
victorious enemy. If they experience the least check, they lose all
presence of mind and discipline; they slip through your fingers, as it
were. Dumouriez, I suppose, calculated on this; or perhaps he might have
been influenced by some secret negotiation of which we are ignorant.”

The newspapers, which we perused to-day, mentioned the marriage of
Prince Leopold of Saxe Coburg to the Princess Charlotte of Wales.

“Prince Leopold,” said the Emperor, “once had a chance of becoming my
aid-de-camp. He solicited the appointment, and I don’t know what
prevented his obtaining it. However, it was lucky for him that his
application proved unsuccessful: had it been otherwise, his present
marriage would never have taken place. Who can pretend to say what is
fortunate or unfortunate in the events of human life!...”

Princess Charlotte of Wales next became the subject of conversation.
Some one observed that she was exceedingly popular in England, and that
she had given many unequivocal proofs of energy of character. The
English were of opinion that she would be another Elizabeth, and she
herself seemed to cherish that idea. The person who made these remarks
said that he happened to be in London in 1814, at the time when the
young Princess, indignant at the ill treatment of her mother, slipped
away from the Prince Regent’s, and stepping into the first hackney coach
she met with in the street, drove to the residence of her mother, to
whom she was fondly attached. On this occasion the natural severity of
the English relaxed into indulgence; and all were inclined to pardon the
breach of decorum, in consideration of the amiable sentiment that had
occasioned it. The young Princess would not leave her mother, until the
Duke of York, or another of her uncles, and, as it was said, the Lord
Chancellor, prevailed on her to go back to her father’s, by assuring her
that to persist in the course she had adopted would endanger her
mother’s happiness, perhaps, even her life.

Princess Charlotte had already given a proof of decision of character,
in refusing to marry the Prince of Orange. Her reason for rejecting this
alliance was that it would have obliged her occasionally to reside out
of England; and this truly national sentiment contributed to render her
the more dear to the English people.

The English who are at St. Helena assure us that her union with the
Prince of Saxe Coburg was perfectly in unison with her own wishes, and
that she publicly declared she looked forward to happiness, because in
her choice she had been guided purely by sentiment. She was said to be
much attached to Prince Leopold.—“I readily believe it,” said the
Emperor: “I recollect him very well; and when he appeared at the
Tuileries, I thought him one of the handsomest young men I ever saw.”
Within these few days, the English who are here have related an incident
which they regard as a proof of high spirit and dignity of feeling on
the part of their future Queen. Previously to her marriage, one of the
Ministers waited upon her for the purpose of settling some domestic
details; and, having submitted to her some propositions which she did
not conceive to be sufficiently liberal,—“My Lord,” said she, “I am
heiress to the throne of Great Britain; and my mind has risen to a level
with the exalted station I am destined to fill. Therefore, I must be
provided for accordingly. Do not imagine that, in marrying Prince
Leopold, I ever can or will sink to the rank of _Mistress Coburg_.
Entertain no such idea, I beg of you.”

The young Princess is the idol of the English people, who look forward
to her reign as affording the prospect of future happiness.

The Emperor, again alluding to Prince Leopold, and the chance he had of
becoming his aide-de-camp, said:—“A crowd of German Princes solicited
the same favour. When I established the Confederation of the Rhine, the
Sovereigns who were included in it took it for granted that I intended
to revive in my person the etiquette and forms of the Holy Roman Empire;
and all, even Kings themselves, were eager to join my retinue. One
wished to be appointed my cup-bearer, another my grand butler, &c. At
this period, the Princes of Germany literally invaded the Tuileries;
they crowded the saloons, and modestly mingled with the officers of my
household. It was the same with the Italians, Spaniards, and Portuguese;
in short, all the most exalted personages in Europe were assembled at
the Tuileries. The fact is,” added the Emperor, “that, during my reign,
Paris was the queen of nations and the French the first nation in the


11th.—The Emperor did not leave his chamber to-day. I spent nearly the
whole of the day with him; for I only left him to go to dinner.

The conversations of the day were diffuse and interesting, for the
Emperor was exceedingly chatty. He discussed numerous subjects,
perfectly heterogeneous in their nature, though they were naturally
introduced one by another. His conversation abounded with ideas and
facts totally new to me. But the number and importance of the Emperor’s
remarks rendered it impossible for me to seize them all. My eagerness to
note down the past observation sometimes occasioned the present one to
escape me; but, for this very reason, I can, with the greater
confidence, vouch for the accuracy of what I have preserved.

Speaking of the elements of society, the Emperor said: “Democracy may be
furious; but it has some heart, it may be moved. As to aristocracy, it
is always cold and unforgiving.”

At another time, after some preliminary observations, he said;—“All
human institutions present two opposite points of view; all have their
advantages and disadvantages: for example, both republican and
monarchical government may be defended and opposed. Doubtless, it is
easy to prove in theory that both are equally good, and very good; but
this is not quite so easy in application.” He remarked that the extreme
boundary of the government of many was anarchy; and that the extreme
boundary of the government of a single one was despotism; that a just
medium between both was unquestionably the best, were it in the power of
wisdom steadily to pursue such a course. He added, these truths had been
repeated until they had become absolutely commonplace, without producing
any good result; that on this subject many volumes had been written, and
many would still be written without effect.

The Emperor at another moment said: “Despotism is not absolute; but
merely relative. A man cannot with impunity absorb all power within
himself. If a Sultan strikes off the heads of his subjects, according to
the whim of the moment, he runs the risk of losing his own by the same
sort of caprice. Excess will always incline either to one side or the
other. What the sea gains by encroachment in one direction, it loses
elsewhere. When I was in Egypt, a conqueror, an absolute ruler and
master, dictating laws to the people by mere orders of the day, I could
not have presumed to search the houses, and it would have been out of my
power to prevent the inhabitants from speaking freely in their
coffee-houses, where liberty and independence prevailed even in a
greater degree than in Paris. The people yielded like slaves in all
other places; but they resolved to enjoy full liberty in their
coffee-houses, which were absolutely the citadels of freedom, the
bazaars of public opinion. Here they loudly declaimed, and passed
judgment, on the measures of the day: it would have been impossible to
close their mouths. If I happened to enter these places, all bowed
before me, it is true; but this was a mark of esteem to me personally.
No such homage was shewn to any lieutenants.

“Be this as it may,” said he, alluding to another topic, “France, when
subject to the opposing influences of many, was on the point of falling
beneath the blows of combined Europe: but she placed the helm in the
hands of one, and immediately the First Consul laid down the law to
Europe. Such is the power of unity and concentration; these are facts
which must be convincing to the meanest understandings.

“It was curious to observe that the old cabinets of Europe were unable
to conceive the importance of this change, and that they continued to
treat with unity and concentration, in the same manner as they had done
with the multitude and dispersion. It is not less remarkable that the
Emperor Paul, who was looked upon as a madman, was the first to
appreciate this difference; while the English Ministers, reputed to be
so skilful and experienced, were the very last. ‘_I set aside the
abstractions of your Revolution_,’ Paul wrote to me, ‘_I confine myself
to a fact; that is sufficient for me: in my eyes you are a government,
and I address myself to you, because we can understand each other, and I
can treat with you_.’

“With regard to the English Ministry, I was ever obliged to conquer and
force to peace, and absolutely to detach England from the rest of
Europe, before I could make them to listen to me; and even when they
opened negotiations with me, they drawled on in the ruts of the old
routine. They tried to divert my attention by delays, protocols, forms,
ceremonies, precedents, and I know not what. But I felt myself so
powerful that I could afford to laugh at all this!

“A new state of things required a new line of conduct; but the English
Ministers seemed to have no idea of the age, or of the men and things
belonging to it. My manner quite disconcerted them. I commenced in
diplomacy, as I had already commenced in arms. These are my
propositions, said I, to the English Ministry:—we are masters of Holland
and Switzerland; but I am ready to resign both, in return for the
restitutions that you make to us or our allies. We are also masters of
Italy, of which I will surrender one portion and retain the other, for
the purpose of guaranteeing the existence of all. These are my bases;
build upon them as much as you please; I care not for that; but the
object and result must remain as I have specified. I will not yield a
hair’s breadth of my determination. My object is not to purchase
concessions from you; but to enter into reasonable, honourable, and
lasting engagements. This is the circle I have traced out. It appears to
me that you have formed no notion of our respective situations or
resources. I fear not your refusal, your efforts, or any difficulties
you may throw in my way. I have a strong arm, and I only want a weight
to lift.

“This unusual language,” continued the Emperor, “produced the desired
effect. In the negotiations at Amiens, they had intended merely to
divert us; but they now began to treat seriously. Not knowing at what
point I was vulnerable, they offered to make me King of France. This was
a good idea! King, by the grace of foreigners, when I was already
Sovereign by the will of the people!...

“Such was the ascendency I had acquired that, even while the
negotiations were pending, I caused the Italians to assign to me the
Presidency of their Republic; and this circumstance, which, in the
ordinary course of European diplomacy, would naturally have created so
many obstacles, occasioned no interruption of the proceedings. Matters
were brought to a conclusion; and I gained my point by plain dealing,
better than if I had fallen into all the usual diplomatic subtleties.
Many libellous pamphlets, and manifestoes of no better character,
accused me of perfidy, and of breach of faith in my negotiations; but I
never merited these charges, which, on the contrary, might always have
been justly applied to the other cabinets of Europe.

“At Amiens, I sincerely thought that the fate of France and Europe, and
my own destiny, were permanently fixed; I hoped that war was at an end.
However, the English Cabinet again kindled the flame. England is alone
responsible for all the miseries by which Europe has since been
afflicted. For my part, I intended to have devoted myself wholly to the
internal interests of France; and I am confident that I should have
wrought miracles. I should have lost nothing in the scale of glory; and
I should have gained much in the scale of happiness. I should then have
achieved the moral conquest of Europe, which I was afterwards on the
point of accomplishing by force of arms. Of how much glory was I thus

“My enemies always spoke of my love of war; but was I not constantly
engaged in self-defence? After every victory I gained, did I not
immediately make proposals for peace?

“The truth is that I never was master of my own actions. I never was
entirely myself. I might have conceived many plans; but I never had it
in my power to execute any. I held the helm with a vigorous hand; but
the fury of the waves was greater than any force that I could exert in
resisting them; and I prudently yielded, rather than incur the risk of
sinking through stubborn opposition. I never was truly my own master;
but was always controlled by circumstances. Thus, at the commencement of
my rise, during the Consulate, my sincere friends and warm partisans
frequently asked me, with the best intentions, and as a guide for their
own conduct, _what point I was driving at?_ and I always answered that I
did not know. They were surprised, probably dissatisfied, and yet I
spoke the truth. Subsequently, during the Empire, when there was less
familiarity, many faces seemed to put the same question to me; and I
might still have given the same reply. In fact, I was not master of my
actions, because I was not fool enough to attempt to twist events into
conformity with my system. On the contrary, I moulded my system
according to the unforeseen succession of events. This often appeared
like unsteadiness and inconsistency, and of these faults I was sometimes
unjustly accused.”

After alluding to some other subjects, the Emperor said, “One of my
great plans was the re-uniting, the concentration, of those same
geographical nations which have been separated and parcelled out by
revolution and policy. There are in Europe, dispersed, it is true,
upwards of thirty millions of French, fifteen millions of Spaniards,
fifteen millions of Italians, and thirty millions of Germans; and it was
my intention to incorporate these people each into one nation. It would
have been a noble thing to have advanced into posterity with such a
train, and attended by the blessings of future ages. I felt myself
worthy of this glory!

“After this summary simplification, it would have been possible to
indulge the chimera of the _beau ideal_ of civilization. In this state
of things, there would have been some chance of establishing, in every
country, a unity of codes, principles, opinions, sentiments, views, and
interests. Then, perhaps, by the help of the universal diffusion of
knowledge, one might have thought of attempting, in the great European
family, the application of the American Congress, or the Amphictyons of
Greece; and then what a perspective of power, greatness, happiness, and
prosperity! What a grand, what a magnificent, spectacle!

“The concentration of the thirty or forty millions of Frenchmen was
completed and perfected; and that of the fifteen millions of Spaniards
was nearly accomplished; for nothing is more common than to convert
accident into principle. Because I did not subdue the Spaniards, it will
henceforth be argued that they were invincible. But the fact is that
they were actually conquered, and at the very moment when they escaped
me, the Cortes of Cadiz were secretly in treaty with me. They were not
delivered either by their own resistance or the efforts of the English,
but by the reverses which I sustained at distant points; and, above all,
by the error I committed in removing with all my whole forces to the
distance of a thousand leagues from them, and in having perished there;
for nobody can deny that if, as soon as I entered that country, Austria
had not declared war against me, but had left me four months longer
quietly in Spain,[6] the business would have been finished there; the
Spanish Government would have been consolidated; the public mind would
have been tranquillized; the different parties would have rallied. Three
or four years would have restored the Spaniards to profound peace and
brilliant prosperity: they would have become a compact nation, and I
should have well deserved their gratitude; for I should have saved them
from the tyranny by which they are now oppressed, and the terrible
agitations that await them.

Footnote 6:

  On this very subject, Napoleon thus expressed himself: “The presence
  of the General is indispensable; he is the head, he is the whole of an
  army. It was not the Roman army that subdued Gaul, but Cæsar; it was
  not the Carthaginian army that made the Republic tremble at the gates
  of Rome, but Hannibal; it was not the Macedonian army that was on the
  Indus, but Alexander; it was not the French army that carried the war
  to the Weser and the Inn, but Turenne; it was not the Prussian army
  that for seven years defended Prussia against the greatest powers of
  Europe, but Frederick the Great.” (_Memoires de Napoleon, tom. 2. p.

“With regard to the fifteen millions of Italians, their concentration
was already far advanced: it only wanted maturity. The people were daily
becoming more firmly established in the unity of principles and
legislation; and also in the unity of thought and feeling, that certain
and infallible cement of human concentration. The union of Piedmont with
France, and the junction of Parma, Tuscany and Rome, were, in my mind,
but temporary measures, intended merely to guarantee and promote the
national education of the Italians.[7] You may judge of the correctness
of my views, and of the influence of common laws. The portions of Italy
that had been united to France, though that union might have been
regarded as the insult of conquest on our part, were, in spite of their
Italian patriotism, the very parts that continued by far the most
attached to us. Now that they are restored to themselves, they conceive
that they have been invaded and disinherited; and so they certainly have

Footnote 7:

  So important a determination, as that of the future abandonment of
  Italy, thus pronounced for the first time, and in a manner so
  indifferent, without the development of any object, or the support of
  any proof, would be, I confess, entitled to no higher consideration,
  than the assertions that are so frequently hazarded and excused in the
  warmth of conversation. But time and intimacy have taught me that
  every declaration made by Napoleon, under such circumstances, carried
  along with it its full, whole, and literal meaning. I have always
  found this to be the case whenever I have had the means of
  verification. I make this observation, lest the reader should also be
  led to doubt, too hastily, without obtaining, or, at least, without
  seeking for proof.

  I now find, for example, in vol. i. of Napoleon’s Memoirs, dictated to
  Count Montholon, so complete and satisfactory a confirmation of the
  remark which I collected from the Emperor’s conversation at St.
  Helena, that I cannot refrain from transcribing it.

  The passage is as follows:—

  “It was Napoleon’s desire to create anew the Italian Nation, and to
  re-unite the Venetians, Milanese, Piedmontese, Genoese, Tuscans,
  Parmesans, Modenese, Romans, Neapolitans, Sicilians, and Sardinians,
  in one independent nation, bounded by the Alps and the Adriatic, the
  Ionian, and the Mediterranean seas: such was the immortal trophy he
  was raising to his glory! This great and powerful kingdom would have
  been, by land, a check to the House of Austria; whilst, by sea, its
  fleets, combined with those of Toulon, would have ruled the
  Mediterranean, and protected the old course of trade to India, by the
  Red Sea and Suez. Rome, the capital of this state, was the eternal
  city; covered by the three barriers of the Alps, the Po, and the
  Apennines; nearer than any other to the three great Islands. But
  Napoleon had many obstacles to surmount. He said, at the Consultum of
  Lyons, _It will take me twenty years to re-establish the Italian

  “There were three impediments to this grand design; first, the
  possessions of Foreign Powers in Italy; secondly, the influence of
  locality; and, thirdly, the residence of the Popes at Rome.

  “Scarcely ten years had elapsed, from the date of the _Consultum_ of
  Lyons, before the first obstacle was entirely removed. Foreign Powers
  no longer possessed any portion of Italy; which was entirely under the
  immediate influence of the Emperor. The destruction of the Republic of
  Venice, the deposition of the King of Sardinia and of the Grand Duke
  of Tuscany, the annexation of Saint Peter’s patrimony to the Empire,
  had set aside the second obstacle. As founders, who have to transform
  several guns of small calibre into one forty-eight pounder, first
  throw them all into the furnace to reduce them to a state of fusion,
  so the small States had been united to Austria and France, that they
  might be reduced to an elementary state, freed from their old
  recollections and pretensions, and thus prepared for re-casting. The
  Venetians having been annexed to the Austrian Monarchy, had for
  several years experienced the bitterness of subjection to the Germans.
  When these people should have been restored to an Italian Government,
  they would have cared little whether their city was to be the capital
  of Italy, or whether their government was to be more or less
  aristocratic. A similar change would have taken place in Piedmont,
  Genoa, and Rome, which had all been disorganized by the change of the
  French Empire.

  “There were now no Venetians, Piedmontese, or Tuscans: the inhabitants
  of the whole Peninsula were only Italians. All was prepared for
  forming the great Italian Nation. The Grand Duchy of Berg was vacant
  for the dynasty which, for the time, occupied the throne of Naples.
  The Emperor impatiently awaited the birth of a second son, to crown
  him King of Italy; and to proclaim the independence of the beautiful
  Peninsula, under the Regency of Prince Eugene.”

“All the South of Europe, therefore, would soon have been rendered
compact in point of locality, views, opinions, sentiments, and
interests. In this state of things, what would have been the weight of
all the nations of the north? What human efforts could have broken
through so strong a barrier?

“The concentration of the Germans must have been effected more
gradually; and therefore I had done no more than simplify their
monstrous complication. Not that they were unprepared for
concentralization; on the contrary, they were too well prepared for it,
and they might have blindly risen in re-action against us, before they
had comprehended our designs. How happens it that no German Prince has
yet formed a just notion of the spirit of his nation, and turned it to
good account? Certainly, if heaven had made me a Prince of Germany,
amidst the many critical events of our times, I should, infallibly, have
governed the thirty millions of Germans united; and, from what I know of
them, I think I may venture to affirm that, if they had once elected and
proclaimed me, they would not have forsaken me, and I should never have
been at St. Helena.”

Then, after some melancholy details and comparisons, he thus resumed:
“At all events, this concentration will be brought about, sooner or
later, by the very force of events. The impulse is given; and I think
that, since my fall and the destruction of my system, no grand
equilibrium can possibly be established in Europe, except by the
concentration and confederation of the principal nations. The sovereign
who, in the first great conflict, shall sincerely embrace the cause of
the people, will find himself at the head of all Europe, and may attempt
whatever he pleases.

“It will perhaps be asked why I did not suffer these ideas to transpire?
why I did not submit them to public discussion; since they would,
doubtless, have become popular, and popularity would have been an
immense re-inforcement to me? My answer is, that malevolence is ever
more active than good intention; that, at the present day, the power of
wit overrules good sense, and obscures at pleasure the most luminous
points; and that, to have submitted these important subjects to public
discussion would have been to consign them to the mercy of party-spirit,
passion, intrigue, and gossiping, while the infallible result would have
been discredit and opposition. I conceived, therefore, that secrecy was
the most advisable course. I surrounded myself with that halo of mystery
which pleases and interests the multitude; gives birth to speculations,
which occupy the public mind; and, finally, affords opportunities for
those sudden and brilliant disclosures, which exercise such important
influence. It was this very principle that accelerated my unfortunate
march to Moscow. Had I been more deliberate, I might have averted every
evil; but I could not delay and afford time for comment. With my career
already traced out, with my ideas formed for the future, it was
necessary that my movement and my success should seem, as it were,
supernatural.” The Emperor here adverted to the Russian expedition,
repeating many of the observations which I have already recorded
elsewhere. I now note down only what I conceive to be new.

“I will name another occasion,” said he, “on which accident was taken
for principle. I failed in my expedition against the Russians; and they,
therefore, consider themselves invincible. But can any thing be more
erroneous? Ask men of sense and reflection among them! Ask Alexander
himself, and let him recollect the opinions he entertained at the time!
Was I defeated by the efforts of the Russians? No! my failure must be
attributed to pure accident, to absolute fatality. First a capital was
burnt to the ground, in spite of its inhabitants and through foreign
intrigues, and in defiance of its inhabitants; then winter set in with
such unusual suddenness and severity that it was regarded as a kind of
phenomenon. To these disasters must be added a mass of false reports,
silly intrigues, treachery, stupidity, and, in short, many things that
will perhaps one day come to light, and which will excuse or justify the
two great errors I committed in diplomacy and war; namely, to have
undertaken such an enterprise, leaving on my flanks, which soon became
my rear, two cabinets of which I was not master, and two allied armies,
which, on the least check would become my enemies. But to come to a
conclusion, and to annul with a word every charge that can be brought
against me, I may say that this famous war, this bold enterprise, was
perfectly involuntary on my part. I did not wish to fight; neither did
Alexander;—but being once in presence, circumstances urged us on, and
fate accomplished the rest.”

After a few moments’ silence, and as if waking from a reverie, the
Emperor added:—“A Frenchman had in his hands the fate of the world! If
he had possessed judgment and spirit equal to the exalted situation in
which he was placed, if he had been a good Swede as he pretended to be,
he might have restored the glory and power of his adoptive country, have
retaken Finland, and arrived at St. Petersburgh before I reached Moscow.
But he was swayed by personal considerations, silly vanity, and all
sorts of mean passions. His head was turned, when he saw that he, an old
Jacobin, was courted and flattered by legitimates; when he found himself
holding political and friendly conferences face to face with an Emperor
of all the Russias, who took great pains to cajole him. It is affirmed
that hints were even thrown out to him of the possibility of his
obtaining the hand of one of the sisters of the Russian Emperor, by
divorcing his wife; and, in a letter addressed to him by a French
Prince, the writer remarked, with complacency, that Bearn was the cradle
of both their houses! _The house of Bernadotte_ forsooth!

“In his intoxication, he sacrificed both his new and his mother country,
his own glory, his true power, the cause of the people, and the welfare
of Europe! For this he will pay dearly! No sooner had he accomplished
all that was expected of him than he began to feel what awaited him. It
is said that he has repented of his conduct; but he has not yet expiated
it. He is now the only upstart sovereign in Europe. The Scandal cannot
remain unpunished; it would be too dangerous an example.”


12th.—The Emperor, adverting to his return from the Island of Elba and
his second fall at Waterloo, made some remarkable observations on both
these subjects. “It is very certain,” said he, “that, during the events
of 1815, I relinquished the anticipation of ultimate success: I lost my
first confidence. Perhaps I found that I was wearing beyond the time of
life at which fortune usually proves favourable; or, perhaps, in my own
eyes, in my own imagination, the spell that had hung over my miraculous
career was broken;—but, at all events, I felt that something was
wanting. Kind Fortune no longer followed my footsteps, and took pleasure
in lavishing her smiles upon me; she was now succeeded by rigid Fate,
who took ample revenge for the few favours which I obtained, as it were,
by force. It is a remarkable fact that every advantage I obtained at
this period was immediately succeeded by a reverse.

“I marched through France, and arrived in the capital amidst the
enthusiasm and universal acclamations of the people; but no sooner had I
reached Paris than, by a sort of magic, and without any adequate motive,
all around suddenly shrank from me and grew cold.

“I had adduced plausible reasons for obtaining a sincere reconciliation
with Austria, whither I had despatched agents, more or less avowed.[8]
But Murat was there with his fatal enterprise. It was concluded, at
Vienna that he was acting under my orders; and, measuring me by their
own scale, they regarded my whole conduct as a complication of artifice,
and determined to overreach me by counter-intrigue.

Footnote 8:

  Among others, Baron Stassard, in whose well known fidelity Napoleon
  reposed such confidence, that he sent him to the Congress of Vienna,
  to negotiate for the maintenance of the peace of Paris. But the Baron
  was unfortunately prevented from proceeding farther than Lintz; the
  most furious and inveterate in the Allied Cabinets having adopted the
  precaution of securing the absolute prohibition of all communication
  with Napoleon. It was, however, indirectly intimated to Baron
  Stassard, that if, before the commencement of hostilities, the Emperor
  chose to abdicate in favour of his son, Austria would accede to that
  condition, provided Napoleon would surrender himself into the hands of
  his father-in-law, who would again guarantee to him the sovereignty of
  the Isle of Elba, or any analogous sovereignty.

“The opening of my campaign was well managed and proved most successful.
I should have surprised the enemy in detail; had not a deserter from
among our generals given him timely notice of my plans.

“I gained the brilliant victory of Ligni; but my lieutenant robbed me of
its fruits. Finally, I triumphed even at Waterloo, and was immediately
hurled into the abyss. Yet I must confess that all these strokes of fate
distressed me more than they surprised me. I felt the presentiment of an
unfortunate result. Not that this in any way influenced my
determinations and measures; but the foreboding certainly haunted my

That such was really Napoleon’s state of feeling at the period here
alluded to is evident from the following anecdote, which is so very
remarkable that I cannot forbear presenting it to the reader. When on
the banks of the Sambre, the Emperor early one morning approached a
bivouac fire, accompanied only by his aide-de-camp on duty (General
C—--); some potatoes were boiling on the fire, and the Emperor asked for
one, and began to eat it. Then, with a meditative and somewhat
melancholy expression, he uttered the following broken sentences:—“After
all, it is good, it is endurable.... Man may live in any place, and in
any way.... The moment perhaps is not far distant.... Themistocles!...”
The aide-de-camp above mentioned, who himself related this circumstance
to me, since my return to Europe, observed that, had the Emperor been
successful, these words would have passed away without leaving any
impression on him; but that, after the catastrophe, and particularly
after reading the celebrated letter to the Prince Regent, he had been
struck with the recollection of the bivouac of the Sambre; and
Napoleon’s manner, tone, and expression, had since so haunted his mind,
that he could never banish the circumstance from his memory.

It is a mistake to suppose that Napoleon was on all occasions inspired
by that internal confidence which his acts and decisions seemed to
denote. When he quitted the Tuileries, in January 1814, to enter upon
his immortal but unfortunate campaign in the environs of Paris, his mind
was depressed by gloomy apprehensions:—and a circumstance that bears
evidence of his penetration and foresight is that, at the period in
question, he felt convinced of what the majority of those about him were
far from suspecting;—namely, that if he fell, it would be by the
Bourbons. This idea he communicated to a few of his particular friends,
who vainly endeavoured to rouse his confidence by representing that the
Bourbons were forgotten, that they were wholly unknown to the present
generation:—“There is the real danger,” was his invariable reply. Thus,
immediately after his eloquent and impressive harangue to the officers
of the national guard, in which among other things he said:—“You elected
me, I am your work, and it is for you to defend me;” and which he
concluded by presenting to them the Empress and the King of Rome,
saying, “I go to oppose the enemy, and I consign to your care all that I
hold most dear:”—immediately after delivering this address, when on the
point of quitting the Tuileries, he foresaw at that decisive moment the
treachery and perfidy that awaited him, and he resolved to secure the
person of him who proved to be the main-spring of the plot, by which his
overthrow was effected. He was prevented from executing his intention
only by representations, and it may even be said, offers of personal
responsibility, on the part of some of his Ministers, who assured him
that the individual suspected had more reason than any one else to dread
the return of the Bourbons. Napoleon yielded; at the same time
emphatically expressing fears that he might have cause to regret his

The following circumstance, which is but little known, is important,
since it proves how much, in the height of the crisis. Napoleon’s
thoughts were directed towards the Bourbons. After the check sustained
at Brienne, the evacuation of Troyes, the forced retreat on the Seine,
and the degrading conditions which were transmitted from Chatillon, but
which were so generously rejected, the Emperor, who was closeted with
one of his friends, overpowered at sight of the miseries that were
impending on France, suddenly rose from his chair, exclaiming with
warmth:—“Perhaps I still possess the means of saving France.... What if
I were myself to recal the Bourbons! The Allies would then be compelled
to arrest their course, under pain of being overwhelmed with disgrace
and detected in their duplicity; under pain of being forced to
acknowledge that their designs were directed against our territory
rather than against my person. I should sacrifice all to the country. I
should become the mediator between the French people and the Bourbons. I
should oblige the latter to accede to the national laws, and to swear
fidelity to the existing compact: my glory and name would be a guarantee
to the French people. As for me, I have reigned long enough. My career
is filled with acts of glory; and this last will not be esteemed the
least. I shall rise the higher by descending thus far....” Then, after a
pause of some moments, he added:—“But can a repulsed dynasty ever
forgive?... Can it ever forget?... Can the Bourbons be trusted?... May
not Fox be right in his famous maxim respecting restorations?...”

Overcome by grief and anxiety, he threw himself on his couch, and was
shortly after roused to be made acquainted with the march of the flank
of Blucher’s corps, on which he had for some time been secretly keeping
watch. He rose to put into action that new spring of resources, energy,
and glory, which will for ever consecrate the names of Champ-Aubert,
Montmirail, Chateau-Thierry, Vaux-Champ, Nangis, Montereau, Craon, &c.
These marvellous successes dismayed Alexander and the English, and
suggested to them the expediency of treating: they might indeed have
entirely changed the face of affairs, had not Napoleon’s designs been
thwarted by accidents beyond the reach of human calculation. For
example, the important orders which did not reach the Viceroy, the
defection of Murat, the indolence and negligence of certain Chiefs, and
finally, even the successful movements of the French, which, by
separating the Emperor of Austria from the other Allied Sovereigns, left
the latter entirely free to plan the abdication of Fontainebleau, an
event which will ever be celebrated in the history of our destiny and
our moral character.

Philosophic thinkers, painters of the human heart, turn your eyes to
Fontainebleau, and contemplate the fall of the greatest of monarchs!
Observe how the retinue by which the unfortunate hero was
surrounded,—those whom he had loaded with favours, honours, and
riches,—at the first frown of fortune, forsook, betrayed, and even
sought to insult him!... Mark how the first among them in rank, in
favour, in confidence—he whom the great Prince had vainly sought to
inspire with exalted sentiment, by treating him as his companion and his
friend,—mark how this man degraded himself to the level of the Mameluke,
whose native manners rendered him perhaps more excusable, and who
thought it perfectly natural to forsake his fallen master.

At Fontainebleau, the crisis being accomplished, and while Napoleon was
earnestly engaged, this favourite companion presented himself before him
to solicit permission to proceed to Paris, only, as he said, for a short
time, and for the purpose of settling some business, after which, he
declared that he should return to the Emperor, never again to leave him.
But Napoleon could read the secrets of the human mind, and that person
had scarcely withdrawn, when the Emperor, breaking from the subject on
which he was engaged, said to him with whom he had been
conversing:—“There he goes to seal his own degradation; and, in spite of
all his protestations, he will never come back again,“ He spoke truly;
the deserter hastened to greet the first rays of the rising sun; and no
sooner had it shone upon him than he renounced his benefactor, his
friend, and master!... In speaking of the Emperor, he was even known to
use the expression _that man_! And yet Napoleon so readily forgave human
weakness, and was so superior to every feeling of rancour and
resentment, that, on his return from Elba, he expressed regret at not
seeing the individual who had acted so treacherous a part, adding, with
a smile:—“The rogue is afraid of me, I suppose; but he has no reason to
be so. The only punishment I should have inflicted on him would have
been to require him to appear before me in his new costume. They tell me
he looks even uglier than usual.“

And how many instances of private turpitude might not be mentioned! I
myself can attest that an important personage, who had been most
remarkable for his base conduct on returning from Fontainebleau,
appeared one of the most forward at the Tuileries, on the 20th of March.
He appeared very much disconcerted at the accidental or intended
solitude in which he was left by all the rest. A witness of his late
misconduct, burying the recollection of past troubles in the present
joy, hastened to him and relieved him from his embarrassment. Such
generosity cost little at that moment.

I refer to the Manuscript of 1814, for a picture of these mortifying
events.[9] The reader may there learn—But no, he will learn nothing
new—In all circumstances, at all times, and in all countries, men, and
particularly courtiers, are ever the same; and it must be recollected
that, by this time, Napoleon’s camp had become a Court.—Let not these
men say that their conduct was dictated by regard for the welfare and
interest of their country. The thought of securing the undisturbed
enjoyment of the wealth and honours they had acquired superseded in
their minds every patriotic consideration. But history will be just. I
say history, for the bulk of the present generation cannot even claim
this sad honour. Where was our indignation? Where was our reprobation
authentically and solemnly pronounced?... And let it be understood that
this is a point wholly unconnected with political considerations. The
question is not what cause these men supported: but merely, what moral
principle they professed. But it must not be supposed that discontented
misanthropy would lead me to draw a picture discouraging to all hearts,
and to conclude with the proscription of all mankind. By no means:—I am
well aware that the moment of great trials is that of great extremes;
and that, amidst the basest passions, the most brilliant heroism and
noble virtue shine conspicuous. Therefore, honoured be those veteran
bands, whose bitter tears attested their sincere sorrow! Honoured be
those innumerable subaltern officers to whom a word would have been the
signal for shedding every drop of their blood! Honoured be the generous
peasantry, who presented to our troops their last morsel of bread; and,
disregarding their own privations, parted with all, to aid the brave
defenders of their country! Honoured be those generous sentiments that
were expressed by the citizens of every class, sex, and age! If, on the
one side, the heart is roused to indignation, it finds a delicious
source of gratification on the other.

Footnote 9:

  Baron Fain, first cabinet secretary to Napoleon, has published a
  volume entitled, _The Manuscript of 1814_. This work presents an
  animated and interesting detail of the important but imperfectly known
  events of the period, and in particular of the short but immortal
  campaign of 1814. It is an episode of miracles, in which Napoleon
  throughout appears supernatural in the resources of genius, the energy
  of mind, the celerity of motion, the steadiness of views, and the
  sublimity of courage, which he there evinced. Nothing can be compared
  with the prodigies he performed, except indeed the indefatigable
  ardour of a handful of brave men, who, as if strangers to the wants of
  nature, when deprived of food and rest, seemed to multiply before the
  enemy’s legions, were incessantly engaged, and always victorious.

  Baron Fain has presented us with a record of national glory, and he is
  justly entitled to the gratitude of his countrymen. In his picture of
  war, confusion and trouble, the characteristic traits of the mind and
  heart of Napoleon frequently shine forth with lustre. To me, who have
  especially devoted my attention to these latter objects, it is
  peculiarly gratifying, while at the same time, it must be curious to
  all readers to trace the correspondence between details recorded by
  two men, total strangers to each other, and alluding to periods and
  circumstances wholly distinct.

At St. Helena, the Emperor dictated an account of the events of
Fontainebleau, and his removal to the Island of Elba; but my memory does
not enable me to quote any of the facts thus detailed. I took no notes
of them, because, with a view of abridging my own labour, I laid down
the rule of passing over those subjects that were dictated to others,
being assured that they would be faithfully recorded. I shall,
therefore, merely subjoin a few particulars which are collected from
Napoleon’s conversations, or other authentic sources.

When the disasters of 1814 were apparent, when the danger was imminent,
particularly after the entrance of the Allies into Paris, many of the
French Generals began to waver. Those in whom selfishness prevailed over
patriotism; those who would rather retire from the fatigues of war, than
obey the dictates of duty, honour and glory; urged on the catastrophe,
instead of seeking to avert it. The most distinguished Chiefs ventured
to advise the abdication, and declared it to be indispensable. Some even
went so far as to hint to the Emperor that they could not answer for the
consequences of the dissatisfaction and indignation which the soldiers
manifested towards him; while, on the contrary, as Napoleon himself
said, “such was the attachment of the troops, and the devotedness of the
officers, that, if I had made known the machinations that were plotting,
I certainly should have endangered those who were guilty of such
misrepresentation. A single word from me would have sacrificed them.”
Napoleon reviewed the troops: their acclamations were enthusiastic and
general. It appeared as though adversity served only to render the
Emperor the more dear to them, for their attachment was never so
decidedly expressed. “It was impossible that it could be otherwise,”
said Napoleon, “such was the identity of these brave men with me, and
such our mutual sympathy, I never entertained a doubt of their

In this extremity, Napoleon profoundly reflected on what course it was
advisable for him to pursue. He yet possessed forty or fifty thousand
troops, the best and most devoted in the world; he might, without risk,
have overawed or dismissed the faithless Generals. In this state of
things, three different measures, by turns, presented themselves to his

The first was to return to Paris; for he imagined that no General on
earth would be bold enough to give him battle with that immense capital
in his rear. “At my command,” said the Emperor, “the whole population
would have risen. I should suddenly have found my forces recruited, by
the addition of one or two hundred thousand men. But the Allies, on
retiring, might have burnt the capital; and this disaster would have
been accounted my work. It is true, the burning of Paris might have
proved in reality the salvation of France, as the burning of Moscow was
the salvation of Russia; but such sacrifices can only be made by the
parties interested.”

The second idea which suggested itself to the Emperor’s mind was to
proceed to Italy, to form a junction with the Viceroy. “But this,” said
Napoleon, “would have been a desperate course, without the chance of
obtaining an adequate result. It would have removed the theatre of
conflict to too remote a point. Public enthusiasm would have had time to
subside; and we should no longer have been fighting in France, on whose
sacred soil alone we could hope to work the prodigies that had become

Neither of these two measures would have been practicable. Only the
third course, therefore, remained, and this was, to continue on the
defensive, to dispute every foot of ground, and to maintain the war
until new chances should arise. The stupor, which the presence of the
invaders had produced, would soon be dispelled; the miseries they
created would soon render them the objects of execration: the national
enthusiasm would revive; and the Allies would find their graves in the
land which they had presumed to violate. But this must necessarily have
been the work of time; in a word, success was doubtful, or, at least,
remote; while the sufferings of the people were certain, immediate, and
incalculable. The noble mind of Napoleon was moved; and he resolved to

Meanwhile, he despatched to the Emperor Alexander a deputation of
Marshals, among whom was the Duke of Ragusa, one of those to whom he was
most fondly attached. The Deputation was instructed to propose the
abdication of Napoleon, in favour of his son. The Emperor thus hoped to
save France, to secure her independence and the duration of her existing
institutions. The Emperor Alexander, who had several days before
publicly declared that he would not treat either with Napoleon or any of
the members of his family, nevertheless discussed the subject
contradictorily with that party of the Senate who proposed the
abdication. The Marshals spoke vehemently, and in the name of the whole
army. Alexander’s determination was shaken, and the party favourable to
the Regency seemed likely to prevail, when intelligence arrived of the
defection of the Duke of Ragusa; and this circumstance confirmed
Alexander in his previous resolution. The event came upon him like a ray
of light: the army, then, is not unanimous, thought he! From that
moment, setting aside all reserve, he declared himself to be inflexible.
In this state of things, Napoleon was surrounded, urged, and harassed to
sign his positive and unconditional abdication. He yielded, after a
great internal struggle, and dictated the act of abdication, in the
following terms:—

“The Allied Powers having proclaimed that the Emperor Napoleon is the
only obstacle to the re-establishment of the peace of Europe, the
Emperor, faithful to his oath, renounces for himself and his heirs, the
thrones of France and Italy, and declares that there is no sacrifice,
even that of life, which he is not ready to make for the interests of

This declaration, which the Allies were far from expecting in so
absolute a form, smoothed every difficulty, and the Marshals returned
with what is called the treaty of Fontainebleau, which I shall presently

I find in Baron Fain’s _Manuscript of 1814_, a complete explanation of
certain remarks made by the Emperor, which I noted down at the time,
without exactly comprehending their meaning. In a former part of this
Journal, the Emperor, alluding to the treaty of Fontainebleau, says, “I
will have nothing to do with that treaty; I disclaim it. Far from being
proud of it, I blush for it. It was discussed for me, and against my
will,” &c. And, on another occasion, he says, “When the history of the
events of Fontainebleau comes to be known, it will afford ample room for
surprise.” The Manuscript of 1814 proves that Napoleon had, indeed,
nothing to do with the treaty of Fontainebleau. The utmost exertions
were employed to prevail on him to sign the treaty; and he was, at
length, only influenced by the public considerations that were adduced
in support of it. He thought it both degrading and useless to sign the
treaty. Having survived his greatness, he wished thenceforth to live as
a private individual; and he was mortified to reflect that the vast
sacrifice which had been made, for the peace of the world, should be
mingled with pecuniary arrangements. “Of what use is a treaty,” said he,
“since they will not settle the interests of France with me? If only my
personal interests are concerned, there is no need of a treaty. I am
conquered; I yield to the fate of arms. All I ask is that I may not be
accounted a prisoner of war: and for that a mere cartel is sufficient!”

Every endeavour to turn his thoughts to his personal situation, his
existence, and future wants, proved unavailing. To all such suggestions,
he energetically replied, “What matters it? A horse and a crown a day
are all that I want.”

I, for my own part, can bear witness that the Emperor infinitely
regretted having ratified the treaty of Fontainebleau; and this was not
the only decision of the period which weighed heavily on his mind. He
also very much regretted having yielded, when in his position at St.
Dizier and Doulevant, to the various representations and suggestions by
which he was assailed, and which brought him back against his
inclination upon Paris. “Here I wanted firmness,” said he; “I should
have followed up my intention of advancing to the Rhine, collecting
reinforcements from all the garrisons on my way, and exciting the
peasantry to rise. By this means, I should soon have possessed an
immense army. Murat would immediately have rejoined me; and he and the
Viceroy would have made me master of Vienna, if the Allies had presumed
to deprive me of Paris. But no: the enemy would have shrunk from the
dangers with which he would have been surrounded. The Allied Sovereigns
would have regarded it as a favour to have been permitted to retire; and
then the volcano of foreigners against us would have been completely
extinguished. Peace would have been concluded and sincerely maintained;
for all were exhausted; all had wounds to heal!... Abroad, war could no
longer have been thought of; and at home, such a result must have had
the effect of destroying all illusion, frustrating every evil design,
and permanently blending the opinions, views, and interests of all
parties. I should once more have seated myself triumphantly on the
throne, surrounded by my invincible bands. The heroic and faithful
portion of the people would have harmonized those who had wavered; and
the men who had shewn themselves so eager for repose might have enjoyed
it. A new generation of chiefs would have remoulded our character. Every
effort would have been directed to the internal welfare of the country;
and France would have been happy!”

When speaking of the confusion created in Paris, by the approach of the
Allies; the dejection, to use no stronger term, that was evinced by the
upper classes; the good spirit and enthusiasm manifested by the great
body of the people, who were ready to fight, if they could have procured
arms,—I observed that the departure of the Empress had produced a fatal
effect on the public mind. I mentioned, as a singular circumstance, that
the young King of Rome, contrary to custom, obstinately refused to quit
the palace: he wept bitterly, and it was found necessary to carry him
away by force. I also added that it was universally reported that the
Empress wished to remain, and that the Council was inclined to second
her wishes, until precise orders were received from the Emperor,
directing her to quit Paris, in case of urgent danger on the part of the
enemy. “Yes,” said the Emperor, “and those orders were very necessary.
The Empress was young and totally inexperienced. Had she been capable of
personal decision, my directions would have been quite the contrary.
Paris then would have been her proper post. But I foresaw the intrigues
of which she would be the object; and I wished to prevent at Paris what
subsequently occurred at Orleans. There the men who were planning the
Regency, in the expectation of ruling under the Empress, prevented her
from joining me. What fatal consequences were thus produced! Would to
Heaven that I had also despatched timely orders, directing her to quit

It is certain that at Fontainebleau Napoleon was, almost at one and the
same moment, the victim of every kind of mental distress with which man
can possibly be assailed. Subdued by defection and not by force of arms,
he felt all that could rouse the indignation of a lofty mind, or break
an affectionate heart. His friends forsook him; his servants betrayed
him; one surrendered his army; another his treasure. The men whom he had
reared, maintained and loaded with favours, were those who wrought his
overthrow. The members of the senate, who, only the day before, had
supplied him profusely with conscripts to oppose the enemy, scrupled not
to become the instruments of that very enemy. Under the impulse of
foreign bayonets, they imputed to him as a crime that which was their
own work; and basely broke the idol which they had themselves created,
and so servilely worshipped. What a depth of disgrace and
degradation!... Finally (and this stroke Napoleon felt more severely
than all the rest), his wife and child were carried away from him; and,
in defiance of treaties and laws, in opposition to all moral principle,
he was never allowed to see them more!...

It appears that Napoleon, oppressed by this weight of affliction,
surrounded by this odious turpitude, in his utter contempt of human
nature, and all things connected with this world, formed the resolution
of putting an end to his life. A letter has been preserved, written in
his own hand to the Empress, in which he says that the moment has
arrived when she must prepare her mind for every thing; that all is
possible, _even the death of the Emperor_. This was, doubtless, an
allusion to the mysterious event of the night of the 12th of April,
which was wrapt in profound secrecy. The Manuscript of 1814, however,
contains some particulars relative to this occurrence, which, if they be
correct, will not leave the furious enemies of Napoleon even the
satisfaction of repeating the stupid and vulgar remark, _that he had not
courage to die_; ... for, according to the Manuscript, it appears, on
the contrary, that _he could not die_! This is not the least
extraordinary event in Napoleon’s career. His remark, _Heaven has
ordained that I shall live!_ and the calm and noble resignation, which
from that moment succeeded, appear truly sublime.

Napoleon’s celebrated farewell address to his troops, and his last
embrace of those eagles which he had immortalized, are well known. A
Prussian diplomatist, who was present, has assured me that the scene
produced an impression on him which time can never obliterate. He added
that the English Commissioner, who stood near him, and who had
previously been an inveterate enemy of Napoleon’s, was so deeply moved
that he shed tears.

Such were the sentiments of respect and veneration naturally inspired by
Napoleon that, in spite of the danger and inconvenience occasioned by
his presence in France, no one presumed to hasten his departure; and he
was allowed full time to make all the arrangements that he wished.

The treaty of abdication is dated the 11th of April, and Napoleon did
not quit Fontainebleau until the 20th, nine days after. Throughout the
first part of his journey, he was the object of universal respect, and
often of the warmest and most affectionate interest.[10]

Footnote 10:

  The Emperor departed from Fontainebleau on the 20th of April, 1814,
  escorted by a party of horse grenadiers. Count Bertrand was with him
  in the carriage.

  On the evening of the 20th, he reached Briare.

  On the 21st, he arrived at Nevers.

  On the 22nd, at Rouanne.

  On the 23rd, at Lyons.

  On the 24th, at Montelimart.

  On the 25th, at Orgon.

  On the 26th, he slept near Luc.

  On the 27th, at Frejus.

  On the 28th, at eight in the evening, he embarked on board the English
  Frigate, _The Undaunted_, commanded by Captain Usher.

Hitherto, foreigners seemed to have formed no idea of the spirit that
prevailed in France, or of the real feelings of the people with regard
to the Emperor. However, it was deemed prudent to arrange matters so
that Napoleon should reach Lyons in the night; or, I rather believe, it
was intended to prevent his entering that city at all. I received the
following particulars from an English gentleman, one of those who had
been long detained in France, and who happened, at the period in
question, to be residing at Lyons. My informant and the Austrian General
went out in disguise, and mingled with the crowd that had assembled to
see the dethroned monarch pass by. They expected to be much amused with
the imprecations of which, they concluded, he would be the object. But,
as soon as the Emperor appeared, deep silence prevailed among the
multitude; and an old woman, to all appearance above the common class,
habited in deep mourning, and with a countenance full of enthusiasm,
rushed forward to the door of the Emperor’s carriage. “Sire,” said she,
with an air of solemnity, “may the blessing of Heaven attend you!
Endeavour to make yourself happy. They tear you from us; but our hearts
are with you wheresoever you go.” The Austrian General, quite
disconcerted, said to his companion, “Let us begone; I have no patience
with this old mad woman. The people have not common sense.”

A little beyond Lyons, the General-in-chief of the army of the East
appeared on the road; and Napoleon, alighting from his carriage, walked
with him for a considerable way. When the General had taken his leave,
one of the allied Commissioners ventured to express his surprise that
the Emperor should have treated him with such an appearance of
friendship and confidence. “Why should I not?” inquired Napoleon.—“Your
Majesty is, perhaps, not aware of his conduct?“—“What has he
done?“—“Sire, he entered into an understanding with us several weeks
ago.” “It was even so,” said the Emperor, “he to whom I had entrusted
the defence of France on this point, sacrificed and betrayed the
country.” After many complaints of the perfidy of men in whom he had
reposed confidence, he concluded by saying: “The Marshal was no longer
the soldier. His early courage and virtues had raised him above the
multitude; but honours, dignities, and fortune, again reduced him to the
common level. The conqueror of Castiglione might have left behind him a
name dear to his country. But France will execrate the memory of the
traitor of Lyons, and all who acted as he did, unless, indeed, their
future services shall make amends for their past wrongs.”

This circumstance dictated the famous proclamation which the Emperor
issued on his return. “Frenchmen,” said he, “the defection of the Duke
of Castiglione left Lyons defenceless and at the mercy of the enemy. The
army, the command of which I had entrusted to that Chief, was, from the
number of its battalions, and the courage and patriotism of its troops,
capable of defeating the corps of the Austrian army opposed to it, and
advancing on the rear of the left flank of the enemy’s force that
threatened Paris. The victories of Champ-Aubert, Montmirail,
Chateau-Thierry, Vaux-Champ, Mormans, Montereau, Craon, Rheims,
Arcis-sur-Aube, and St. Dizier; the rising of the brave peasantry of
Lorraine, Champagne, Alsace, the Franche-Comte, and Burgundy; the
position which I had taken up in the rear of the enemy, intercepting his
magazines, parks of reserve, convoys, and equipages—all had thrown the
invading forces into a desperate situation. The French people never had
the prospect of becoming more powerful. The enemy’s picked corps would
have been irretrievably lost, and would have found their graves in those
plains which they so mercilessly ravaged, when the treason of the Duke
of Ragusa delivered up the capital, and disorganized the army. The
unlooked-for conduct of these two generals, who at once betrayed their
country, their Prince, and their benefactor, changed the fate of the
war. Such was the disastrous situation of the enemy, after the affair
which took place before Paris, that he was absolutely destitute of
ammunition, by being separated from his parks of reserve,” &c.[11]

Footnote 11:

  A friend of mine, travelling in Germany, assures me that he received
  from the commander of the Russian parks, several years after the
  event, a confirmation of the accuracy of the assertion contained in
  the above proclamation.

Napoleon was less favourably received in proportion as he approached
Provence; for there the machinations of his enemies had anticipated his
arrival. He had escaped the ambush of Maubreuil, but he could not avoid
that of Orgon; and this part of his dictated narrative is not the least

On his arrival at the place of embarkation, he found two vessels in
readiness to receive him; the one French and the other English. Napoleon
went on board the English frigate, observing that, he would never allow
it to be said that a Frenchman had conveyed him away.

Such is a brief account of the great event, the details of which,
dictated by Napoleon himself, will, as I have already mentioned,
hereafter be presented to the public. France was, at the time, inundated
with pamphlets on the subject, so full of falsehood and absurdity that
every honest and sensible man now blushes for having given credit to
them, or having had even the courage to read them.

The following is the treaty of Fontainebleau, to which I have already
alluded. It was carefully suppressed at the time it was drawn up, was
never published in the Moniteur, and remained long unknown. It is to be
found only in official collections, and even there the copies differ one
from another. I presume, therefore, that its insertion here will not be
deemed superfluous. It is intimately connected with the subject of which
I have just been treating, and many of its articles are still the topics
of daily conversation; and it must of course be satisfactory to be
enabled to discuss with a full knowledge of facts.

                        TREATY OF FONTAINEBLEAU.

“Article I. His Majesty the Emperor Napoleon renounces for himself, his
successors and descendants, as well as for all the members of his
family, all right of sovereignty and dominion over the French Empire,
and the kingdom of Italy, as well as over every other country.

“II. Their Majesties the Emperor Napoleon and Empress Maria Louisa,
shall retain their titles and rank, to be enjoyed during their lives.

“The mother, brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces of the Emperor, shall
also retain, wherever they may reside, the titles of Princes of the
Emperor’s family.

“III. The Isle of Elba, adopted by his Majesty the Emperor Napoleon as
his place of residence, shall form, during his life, a separate
principality, which shall be possessed by him in full sovereignty and

“There shall be besides granted, in full property to the Emperor
Napoleon, an annual revenue of 2,000,000 francs in rent charge in the
great book of France, of which 1,000,000 shall be in reversion to the

“IV. All the Powers promise to employ their good offices in causing to
be respected by the Barbary Powers the flag and territory of the Isle of
Elba; for which purpose, the relations with the Barbary Powers shall be
assimilated to those of France.

“V. The Duchies of Parma, Placentia, and Guastalla, shall be granted in
full property and sovereignty to her Majesty the Empress Maria Louisa.
They shall pass to the Prince her son, and to his descendants in the
right line. The Prince shall, henceforth, take the title of Prince of
Parma, Placentia, and Guastalla.

“VI. There shall be reserved in the territories renounced by this
treaty, to his Majesty the Emperor Napoleon, for himself and his family,
domains, rent charges, in the great book of France, producing an annual
revenue, clear of all deductions and charges, of 2,500,000 francs. These
domains, or rents, shall belong, in full property, to be disposed of as
they think fit, to the Princes and Princesses of the Emperor’s family,
and shall be divided amongst them in such manner that the revenues of
each shall be in the following proportion, viz:

     To Madame Mère                                        300,000
     To King Joseph and his Queen                          500,000
     To King Louis                                         200,000
     To the Queen Hortense and her children                400,000
     To King Jerome and his Queen                          500,000
     To the Princess Eliza                                 300,000
     To the Princess Paulina                               300,000

“The Princes and Princesses of the family of the Emperor Napoleon shall
moreover retain all the property, moveable and immoveable, of every kind
whatever, which they may possess by private right; together with the
rents which they hold also, as private individuals, in the great book of
France, or the Monte-Napoleone of Milan.

“VII. The annual pension of the Empress Josephine shall be reduced to
1,000,000 in domains, or inscriptions in the great book of France. She
shall continue to enjoy, in full property, all her private fortune,
moveable and immoveable, with power to dispose of it conformably to the
French Laws.

“VIII. There shall be granted to Prince Eugene, Viceroy of Italy, a
suitable establishment out of France.

“IX. The property which the Emperor Napoleon possesses in France, either
as extraordinary domain, or private domain, will remain attached to the

“Of the funds vested by the Emperor in the great book of France, in the
French bank, in the _Actions des Forêts_, or in any other manner, and
which his Majesty resigns to the Crown, there shall be reserved a
capital, not exceeding 2,000,000 of francs, to be expended in
gratuities, in favour of the individuals whose names shall be contained
in a list signed by the Emperor Napoleon, and which shall be transmitted
to the French Government.

“X.—All the crown diamonds shall remain in France.

“XI.—His Majesty the Emperor Napoleon shall return to the Treasury, and
to the other public funds, all the sums and effects that may have been
taken therefrom by his orders, with the exception of what has been
appropriated from the civil list.

“XII.—The debts of the household of his Majesty the Emperor Napoleon,
such as they may be at the time of the signature of the present treaty,
shall be immediately discharged out of the arrears due by the public
treasury to the civil list, according to a list which shall be signed by
a Commissioner appointed for that purpose.

“XIII.—The obligations of the Monte-Napoleone, of Milan, towards all
creditors, whether Frenchmen or foreigners, shall be punctually
fulfilled, without any change being made in this respect.

“XIV.—There shall be granted all the necessary passports for the free
passage of his Majesty the Emperor Napoleon, the Empress, the Princes
and Princesses, and all the persons of their suites, who wish to
accompany them, or fix their abode in foreign countries, as well as for
the passage of all the equipages, horses, and effects, belonging to

“The Allied Powers will, in consequence, furnish officers and men for

“XV.—The French Imperial Guard shall furnish a detachment of from 1200
to 1500 men, of all arms, to serve as an escort to the Emperor to St.
Tropez, the place of his embarkation.

“XVI.—A brig and the necessary transport vessels shall be fitted out to
convey to the place of his destination his Majesty the Emperor Napoleon
and his household. The brig shall belong, in full property, to his
Majesty the Emperor.

“XVII.—The Emperor shall be allowed to take with him, and retain, as his
guard, 400 men, volunteers and officers, as well as sub-officers and

“XVIII.—Every Frenchman who may follow the Emperor Napoleon, or his
family, shall be held to have forfeited his rights as a Frenchman,
should he not return to France within three years; at least, if he be
not included in the exceptions which the French Government reserves to
itself to grant, after the expiration of that period.

“XIX.—The Polish troops of all arms, in the service of France, shall be
at liberty to return home, and shall retain their arms and baggage, as a
testimony of their honourable services. The officers, sub-officers, and
soldiers, shall retain the decorations which have been granted to them,
and the pensions annexed to these decorations.

“XX.—The Allied Powers guarantee the execution of the articles of the
present treaty, and promise to obtain its adoption and guarantee by

“XXI.—The present act shall be ratified, and the ratifications exchanged
at Paris within ten days, or sooner, if possible.

“Done at Paris, April 11, 1814.

     (_Signed_)    CAULAINCOURT, Duke of Vicenza;
                   Marshal MACDONALD, Duke of Tarento;
                   Marshal NEY, Duke of Elchingen;[12]
                   Prince METTERNICH.”

Footnote 12:

  It is worthy of remark that Marshal Ney does not here take the title
  of Prince of the Moskowa, from delicacy to the Emperor Alexander.

The same articles were signed separately and under the same date, by
Count Nesselrode on behalf of Russia, and Baron Hardenberg, on behalf of

                            OF LOUIS XVIII.

“The undersigned, Minister and Secretary of State for the department of
Foreign Affairs, having submitted to the King the inquiry which their
excellencies the plenipotentiaries of the Allied Powers have been
ordered by their sovereigns to make, relative to the treaty of the 11th
of April, to which the Provisional Government has acceded; his Majesty
has been pleased to authorize him in his name, to declare that the
clauses of the treaty, in so far as France is concerned, shall be
faithfully executed. The undersigned has consequently the honour to
communicate this declaration to their excellencies.

                             (_Signed_)      “The Prince of BENEVENTO.

“_Paris, May 31, 1814._”

The great European triumvirate dew up the treaty of Fontainebleau,
England acceded to it, a declaration made in the name of the King of
France promised its fulfilment in so far as he was concerned; and yet,
in spite of all these guarantees, it may be said that scarcely any of
the articles were observed. Certainly, it would be difficult to
conceive a more flagrant violation of good faith or a more absolute
compromise of the august signatures, which, it was to be expected,
each party would have been individually interested in preserving
unsullied and sacred. On these manifest violations was grounded the
moral justification of Napoleon’s enterprise in 1815. This opinion was
pretty generally adopted: it was advocated by the most distinguished
members of the English Parliament, those indefatigable supporters of
great principles, and by eminent statesmen of all countries. I may add
to these high authorities an individual opinion, which though somewhat
comically expressed, was not perhaps the less just. An Austrian
gentleman of rank, who was in Paris in 1815, and who was a furious
enemy of Napoleon’s, called on me just at the time when the Emperor’s
advance to the capital began to produce a great sensation. The
Austrian had already determined to set off, and he said to me, with
all possible gravity and sincerity: “Certainly, he hitherto occupied
the throne of France as an usurper: that’s unquestionable! But,” added
he, quibbling with himself diplomatically, “if he should now conquer
France, after all the monarchs of Europe have acknowledged him as a
sovereign, and have entitled him to go to war by not observing the
conditions they entered into, the case would be very different. And,
upon my word! ... for my own part at least ... I think in that case
... there might be some ground for maintaining that he has become
legitimate. At least, I think I should myself be inclined to consider
him so.”


(_Paris, April 15, 1814._)

“... I shall, therefore, on the present occasion, confine myself to an
explanation of what has passed with respect to the future destination
and settlement of Napoleon and his family.

“Your Lordship has been already informed, by Lord Cathcart, of the Act
of Abdication which was signed by Buonaparte, on the 4th instant, and
of the assurance which was given him by the Emperor of Russia, and the
Provisional Government, of a pecuniary provision of six millions of
francs, with a safe asylum in the Island of Elba. The act in question
was deposited in the hands of M. de Caulaincourt, and Marshals Ney and
Macdonald, to be given up upon the due execution of engagements on the
part of the Allies, with respect to the proposed arrangement. These
persons were also authorized to agree to an armistice, and to settle
such a line of demarcation as might be satisfactory to the Allies,
and, in the mean time, prevent an unnecessary effusion of blood.

“On my arrival, I found this arrangement on the point of execution. A
convention had been discussed, and would have, in fact, been signed in
the course of the day by the Russian Minister, had not the approach of
the Allied Ministers been announced. The motives for accelerating the
immediate conclusion of this act, were the inconvenience, if not the
danger of Napoleon’s remaining at Fontainebleau, surrounded by troops,
who still, in a considerable degree, remained faithful to him; the
apprehension of intrigues in the army and in the capital; and the
importance attached, by a considerable portion of the officers, to
some arrangement favourable to their chief, in satisfaction of their
personal honour, before they left him.

“On the night of my arrival, the four Ministers had a conference with
the Prince de Benevento, on the subject of the proposed convention, to
which I stated my objections, desiring, at the same time, to be
understood as not urging them then, at the hazard of the internal
tranquillity of France, nor in impeachment of what was due, in good
faith, to the assurance given, under the exigency of the moment, by

“The Prince de Benevento admitted the weight of many of the objections
stated, but declared that he did consider it, on the part of the
Provisional Government, as an object of the first importance, to avoid
any thing that might assume the character of a civil war, even for the
shortest time:—that he also found some such measure necessary, to make
the army pass over in a temper to be made use of. Upon these
declarations, and the Count de Nesselrode’s, that the Emperor, his
master, had found it necessary, in the absence of the Allies, to act
for the best, in their name as well as his own; I withdrew any further
opposition to the principle of the measure, suggesting only some
alterations in the details. I desired, however, to decline, on the
part of my Government, being more than an acceding party to the
treaty, and declared that the Act of Accession on the part of Great
Britain should not go beyond the territorial arrangements proposed in
the Treaty. My objections to our unnecessarily mixing in its forms,
especially in the recognition of Napoleon’s title under present
circumstances, were considered as perfectly reasonable: and I now
enclose the protocol and note, which will explain the extent to which
I have taken it upon me to give assurances on the part of my Court.

“At my suggestion, the recognition of the imperial titles in the
family were limited to their respective lives, for which there was a
precedent in the case of the King of Poland, when he became Elector of

“To the arrangement in favour of the Empress, I not only felt no
objection, but considered it due to the distinguished sacrifice of
domestic feelings which the Emperor of Austria was making to the cause
of Europe. _I should have wished to substitute another position in
lieu of Elba, for the seat of Napoleon’s retirement_; but none, having
the quality of security on which he insisted, seemed disposable, to
which equal objections did not occur; and I did not feel that I could
encourage the alternative which M. de Caulaincourt assured me
Buonaparte repeatedly mentioned, namely, an asylum in England.

“On the same night, the Allied Ministers had a conference with M. de
Caulaincourt, and the Marshals, at which I assisted. The treaty was
gone through, and agreed to with alterations: it has been since signed
and ratified, and Buonaparte will commence his movement towards the
south to-morrow, or the day following.

                                        (_Signed_)      “CASTLEREAGH.”

I thought it advisable to transcribe this letter; it throws a complete
light on the treaty of the 11th of April, of the particulars of which
I was ignorant, even when at St. Helena; and it presents two points to
which I particularly wish to call attention. It explains the
observation which fell from the Emperor, when I observed to him that
on an important occasion he seemed to have forgotten the
acknowledgement of his title by the English at Fontainebleau: when he
merely replied that it was done on purpose. Now, I learn from the
letter above quoted, that Lord Castlereagh studiously avoided the
recognition; but this is no impeachment of the scrupulous correctness
of Napoleon’s assertions.

The second point, which impartiality induces me to advert to is that
Lord Castlereagh, in his letter, speaks of the alternative offered by
Napoleon, to retire to England, in default of the cession of the Isle
of Elba. A few pages further on (Nov. 16), it will be found that
Napoleon, on the contrary, reproaches Lord Castlereagh with having
caused it to be insinuated to him that the adoption of England, as a
place of residence, would be the preferable course. These two
statements are certainly quite contradictory; but regard for
impartiality, as I before observed, has induced me to insert them. The
reader is, therefore, free to decide as he may think fit; for, as I
have often heard the Emperor say, one man’s word is as good as
another’s. For my own part, my choice is soon determined: I adopt the
words of Napoleon, in spite of the assertions of Lord Castlereagh. I
still bear in mind the erroneous declarations of Lord Whitworth, which
have been mentioned in the course of this Journal; the scandalous
assertions respecting Napoleon, made by Lord Castlereagh in Parliament
or in public assemblies; the garbled documents, on the authority of
which Murat’s deposition was decreed; and the numerous denials so
confidently expressed by Lord Bathurst in the House of Lords, the
falsehood of which was manifest to every individual at St. Helena, and
occasioned embarrassment even to Sir Hudson Lowe. I shall, therefore,
adhere to the opinion I have formed, until I find good reason to alter


13th.—This morning, when I was in the Emperor’s apartment, being
unemployed, I took a fancy to examine the large watch of Frederick the
Great, which hangs beside the chimney piece. This led the Emperor to
say, “I have been the possessor of glorious and valuable relics. I had
the sword of Frederick the Great; and the Spaniards presented to me,
at the Tuileries, the sword of Francis I. This was a high compliment,
and it must have cost them some sacrifice. The Turks and Persians have
also sent me arms, which were said to have belonged to Gengiskan,
Tamerlan, Nadir Shah, and I know not whom; but I attached importance
not to the fact, but to the intention.”

I expressed my astonishment that he had not endeavoured to keep
Frederick’s sword. “Why, I had my own,” said he, smiling, and gently
pinching my ear. He was right; I certainly made a very stupid

Afterwards, alluding to his second marriage, he said, that he had
intended to make choice of a Frenchwoman, and it would have been well
if he had done so. “Such a union would have been eminently national,”
he observed. “France was sufficiently great, and her Monarch
sufficiently powerful, to set aside every consideration of foreign
policy. Besides, among Sovereigns, the ties of blood are always made
to yield to political interests: hence what scandalous violations of
moral feeling are frequently exhibited to the world. Another objection
that may be urged against marriages of this kind is the admission of a
foreign Princess into state secrets, which she may be tempted to
betray; and, if a sovereign places trust in his connexions abroad, he
may find that he has set his foot on an abyss covered with flowers. In
short, it is absurd to suppose that such alliances can guarantee or
ensure any advantage.”

The announcement of the Emperor’s second marriage was a source of joy
to those prudent citizens who looked forward to the future.—A few days
after he had formed his determination, Napoleon said to one of his
Ministers (the Duke Decrès), in a moment of good humoured familiarity,
“Well; it appears that people are very much pleased with my intended
marriage.”—“Yes, Sire.”—“I suppose they expect that the lion will
slumber.”—“To say the truth, Sire, we are somewhat inclined to form
that expectation.”—“Well,” resumed Napoleon, after a few moments’
silence, “it is a mistake: and it is not the fault of the lion either.
Slumber would be as sweet to him as to any other. But do not you see
that while I am, to all appearance, _incessantly attacking_, I am,
nevertheless, always engaged in _self-defence_?”

The correctness of this assertion might have been doubted, while the
terrible conflict lasted; but the joy and indiscretion of the
triumphant party have sufficiently confirmed its truth. Some boasted
of having formed the determination of prosecuting the war until they
had accomplished the destruction of their enemy: others[13] have
unblushingly proclaimed that the plot for Napoleon’s overthrow was
hatched under the mask of alliance and friendship!

Footnote 13:

  _Austrian Observer_, 1817 or 1818.

During this and the two succeeding days, my attention was wholly
occupied by a contest which concerned me personally, and which has had
so much influence on my subsequent destiny, that I cannot pass it over
in silence. Ever since my residence at Longwood, I have had, as a
servant, a free mulatto, with whom I was very well satisfied; but Sir
Hudson Lowe suddenly took it into his head to remove him.

Prompted by the determination of tormenting us, by every means his
imagination could suggest, or (as many are inclined to believe,)
following up a perfidiously laid plan, he sent the English officer on
duty to inform me that he had conceived some doubts as to the
propriety of my being attended by a native of the Island; and that he
intended to remove my servant and send me one of his own choosing. My
answer was brief and positive; “The Governor,” said I, “has it in his
power to send away my servant, if he pleases; but he may spare himself
the trouble of sending me one of his choosing. I am daily learning
better and better how to dispense with the comforts of life. I can, if
necessary, wait on myself; this additional privation will be but
slightly felt, amidst the sufferings to which we are subjected.”

This circumstance occasioned the interchange of a vast number of
messages and notes. Sir Hudson Lowe wrote three or four times every
day to the officer on duty directing him to make various
communications to me. He observed that he did not understand my
scruples, and could not conceive why I should object to any servant he
might send me.—One of his selecting was as good as any other—The offer
of making the choice himself was merely a mark of attention, &c.

I was distressed to see the poor officer thus mercilessly sent to and
fro; and I was also heartily tired of the business myself. I therefore
begged that he would spare himself further trouble, by assuring the
Governor that to all his communications my reply must invariably be
the same; namely, that he might send away my servant if he pleased;
but that he must not think of obliging me to receive one of his
choosing; that he might place me in garrison by force, but never with
my own consent. While this correspondence was going forward, my
servant was sent for, interrogated, withdrawn from my service, then
sent back again, and at length finally withdrawn.

I rendered an account of the whole affair to the Emperor, who highly
applauded my determination of not admitting a spy among us. “But,”
said he, in the most engaging manner, “as this sacrifice has been made
for the interest of all, it is not proper that you alone should be the
sufferer. Send to Gentilini, my _valet de pied_, and let him wait on
you: he will be very happy to earn a few Napoleons in addition to his
wages: besides, tell him it is by my desire.” Gentilini, at first,
cheerfully undertook the duty; but, in the evening, the poor fellow
came to inform me that some one had told him, it was not proper for
one of the Emperor’s servants to attend on a private person!... The
Emperor had the goodness to send for Gentilini, and to repeat the
orders with his own mouth.

Thus the Governor daily persecutes us in every imaginable way. I do
not mention all the circumstances of this kind that are continually
occurring, not because habit has taught me to accommodate myself to
them, but, because the vexations that arise from mere ill-nature are
but trifles in comparison with the greater miseries which we have to

If I attempt to portray the horrors of my own situation alone, let it
be considered that I am exiled, and probably for ever, to a desert
rock, two thousand leagues from home, confined in a small prison,
beneath a sky, in a climate, and on a soil, totally different from
those of my native country. I am hastening to a premature grave, the
only probable conclusion of my misery. Bereft of my wife, children,
and friends, who, though they still live, may be said to be no longer
in the same world with me; shut out from all communication with
mankind, I deplore the recollection of family affections, and the
charms of friendship and society.... Certainly, there is no man,
whatever be his country or his opinions, but must commiserate my
lot.... But, in a moment, I can reverse the picture, and my situation
will appear an enviable one!...

Where is the heart that does not beat at the recollection of the
achievements of Alexander and Cæsar? Who can approach the relics of
Charlemagne without emotion? How happy should we be could we recal the
words, the accents, of Henry IV.! Thus, when oppressed by mental
dejection, when I feel the necessity of rousing my drooping spirits,
while my heart is overflowing with these sensations, and my mind
filled with these ideas, I exclaim: I possess all this, and more than
this! Here, I am not surrounded by mere illusions and historical
recollections; I am in actual contact with the living man who has
accomplished so many prodigies. Every day, every moment, I may
contemplate the features of him who, with a glance, ordered battles,
and decided the fate of empires. I may gaze on the brow that is
adorned with the laurels of Rivoli, Marengo, Austerlitz, Wagram, Jena,
and Friedland. I may presume to touch the hand that has wielded so
many sceptres, and distributed so many crowns; which seized the
enemy’s colours at Arcole and Lodi; and which, on a solemn occasion,
surrendered into the hands of an afflicted wife the only proofs of her
husband’s guilt. I hear the voice of him who, when addressing his
troops, in sight of the Egyptian pyramids, said, “My lads, from the
summits of those monuments, forty centuries look down upon us!” who,
halting and uncovering before a column of wounded Austrian soldiers,
exclaimed, “Honour and respect to the unfortunate brave.” I converse,
almost familiarly, with the Monarch who ruled Europe; whose pastime
was the embellishment of our cities, and the prosperity of our
provinces; who raised us to so high a rank in the estimation of
nations; and who wafted our glory to the skies!... I see him, I hear
him speak, I attend on him, and, perhaps, even help to console him!...
Can I then lay claim to pity? On the contrary, will not thousands envy
my lot? Who can boast of possessing so many sources of happiness, in
circumstances similar to ours?


14th.—The Emperor sent for me about six o’clock. He informed me that
he had just been dictating a chapter on maritime rights. He spoke to
me of some other works he had in view. I ventured to remind him of the
fourteen paragraphs which he had already planned, and to which I
alluded on a former occasion. He seemed pleased that I had mentioned
the circumstance, and assured me that he would, some day, carry his
design into execution.

He read and corrected the valuable notes which he had dictated to the
Grand Marshal on ancient and modern warfare, the different plans of
composing and regulating armies, &c. He afterwards entered into
conversation, and, among other things, said, “No series of great
actions is the mere work of chance and fortune; it is always the
result of reflection and genius. Great men rarely fail in the most
perilous undertakings. Look at Alexander, Cæsar, Hannibal, the great
Gustavus, and others; they always succeeded. Were they great men
merely because they were fortunate? No; but because, being great men,
they possessed the art of commanding fortune. When we come to inquire
into the causes of their success, we are astonished to find that they
did every thing to obtain it.

“Alexander, when scarcely beyond the age of boyhood, with a mere
handful of brave troops, conquered a quarter of the globe. But was
this achievement the result of a mere accidental irruption, a sort of
unexpected deluge? No; all was profoundly calculated, boldly executed,
and prudently managed. Alexander proved himself at once a
distinguished warrior, politician, and legislator. Unfortunately, on
attaining the zenith of glory and success, his head was turned, and
his heart corrupted. He commenced his career with the mind of Trajan;
but he closed it with the heart of Nero, and the manners of
Heliogabalus.” The Emperor here described the campaigns of Alexander
in such a manner as enabled me to view the subject in a totally new

Alluding to Cæsar, the Emperor remarked that he, the reverse of
Alexander, had commenced his career at an advanced period of life;
that his youth had been passed in indolence and vice; but that he had
ultimately evinced the most active and elevated mind. He thought him
one of the most amiable characters in history. “Cæsar,” observed he,
“overcame the Gauls, and the laws of his country. But his great
warlike achievements must not be attributed merely to chance and
fortune.” Here he analyzed the victories of Cæsar, as he had done
those of Alexander.

“Hannibal,” continued the Emperor, “is perhaps the most surprising
character of any, from the intrepidity, confidence, and grandeur,
evinced in all his enterprises. At the age of twenty-six, he conceived
what is scarcely conceivable, and executed what must have been looked
upon as impossible. Renouncing all communication with his country, he
marched through hostile or unknown nations, which he was obliged to
attack and subdue. He crossed the Pyrenees and the Alps, which were
presumed to be impassable, and descended upon Italy, sacrificing the
half of his army for the mere acquisition of his field of battle, the
mere right of fighting. He occupied and governed Italy for the space
of sixteen years, being several times within a hair’s breadth of
possessing himself of Rome, and only relinquished his prey when his
enemies, profiting by the lesson he had set them, went to attack the
Carthaginian territory. Can it be supposed that Hannibal’s glorious
career and achievements were the mere result of chance, and fortune’s
favours? Certainly, Hannibal must have been endowed with great vigour
of mind, and he must also have possessed a vast consciousness of his
own skill in the art of war, when, being interrogated by his youthful
conqueror, he hesitated not to place himself, though subdued, next in
rank to Alexander and Pyrrhus, whom he esteemed as the first of

“All the great Captains of antiquity,” continued Napoleon, “and those
who in modern times have successfully trodden in their steps,
performed vast achievements, only by conforming with the rules and
principles of the art; that is to say, by correct combinations, and by
justly comparing the relation between means and consequences, efforts
and obstacles. They succeeded only by the strict observance of these
rules, whatever may have been the boldness of their enterprises, or
the extent of the advantages gained. They invariably practised war as
a science. Thus they have become our great models, and it is only by
closely imitating them that we can hope to approach them.

“My greatest successes have been ascribed merely to good fortune; and
my reverses will no doubt be imputed to my faults. But if I should
write an account of my campaigns, it will be seen that, in both cases,
my reason and faculties were exercised in conformity with principles.”

It is to be hoped that the Emperor will execute the idea of writing
his campaigns. How invaluable would be Napoleon’s Commentaries!

The Emperor analyzed the characters of Gustavus-Adolphus and Condé:
with the latter, he said, science seemed to be instinctive, nature
having created him with maturity of intellect. Turenne, on the
contrary, had perfected his talent by dint of pains and study. I
remarked that Turenne had formed no pupils, while Condé had left many
distinguished ones behind him. “That was the mere caprice of chance,”
replied the Emperor; “the contrary ought to have happened. But it is
not always in the master’s power to form good pupils; nature must lend
her aid: the seed must be sown in a fertile soil.” He made many
remarks on Eugène, Marlborough, Vendome, &c. Frederick the Great, he
said, was in all respects a super-excellent tactician, and possessed
the art of rendering his troops absolute machines. “How often,” said
he, “men’s characters prove to be totally different from what their
early actions indicate! Do they themselves know what they really are?
Frederick,” continued he, “at the commencement of his career, fled
from his own victory; and, certainly the whole of his subsequent
history proves him to have been the most intrepid, most tenacious, and
coolest of men.”

After dinner, the Emperor, who was pleased with the subject of the
dictations and conversation in which he had been engaged during the
morning, discoursed on the same topics for nearly an hour; discussing
in the most masterly and ingenious way a variety of points connected
with the art of war.

Alluding to the great difference between ancient and modern warfare,
he observed: “The invention of fire-arms has wrought a total change.
This great discovery operates entirely to the advantage of assailants,
though many moderns have maintained the contrary opinion. The
corporeal strength of the ancients,” added he, “was in harmony with
their offensive and defensive weapons; ours, on the other hand, are
entirely beyond our sphere.”

Should the Emperor leave behind him his thoughts on these points, they
will be truly invaluable. In course of the evening, he pronounced his
opinion on several military subjects; sometimes embracing the highest
questions, and sometimes descending into the minutest details.

He remarked that war frequently depended on accident, and that, though
a commander ought to be guided by general principles, yet he should
never lose sight of any thing that may enable him to profit by
accidental circumstances. The vulgar call good-fortune that which, on
the contrary, is produced by the calculations of genius.

In the present mode of military operations, he thought it advisable
that greater consistency should be given to the third rank of
infantry, or, that it should be suppressed; and he explained his
reasons for this.

He was of opinion that infantry charged by cavalry should fire from a
distance, instead of firing closely, according to the present
practice. He proved the advantage of this method.

He observed that infantry and cavalry left to themselves, without
artillery, could procure no decisive result; but that, with the aid of
artillery, all things else being equal, cavalry might destroy
infantry. He clearly explained these facts, and many others besides.

He added that artillery really decided the fate of armies and nations;
that men now fought with blows of cannon balls, as they fought with
blows of fists; for in battle, as in a siege, the art consisted in
making numerous discharges converge on one and the same point; that,
amidst the conflict, he who had sufficient address to direct a mass of
artillery suddenly and unexpectedly on any particular point of the
enemy’s force was sure of the victory. This, he said, had been his
grand secret and his grand plan of tactics.

The Emperor conceived that it would be impossible to form a perfect
army, without a revolution in the manners and education of the
soldier, and perhaps even the officer. This could not be accomplished
with our ovens, magazines, commissaries, and carriages. There could be
no perfect army, until, in imitation of the Romans, the soldier should
receive his supply of corn, grind it in his hand-mill, and bake his
bread himself. We could not hope to possess an army, until we should
abolish all our monstrous train of civil attendants.

“I contemplated all these changes,” said he, “but they never could
have been put in practice, except during profound peace. An army in a
state of war would infallibly have rebelled against such innovations.”

I will here insert some notes which I have collected at various times,
relative to the new plans projected by the Emperor, not only in the
army, but on many other points essential to social organization.

The Emperor often observed that he intended, on the establishment of
peace, to induce the Powers of Europe to make an immense reduction in
their standing armies. He wished that each sovereign should limit
himself to his guard, as the skeleton of the army, to be raised in
case of necessity. He intended, should he have found himself compelled
to keep up a numerous army in time of peace, to employ the troops in
public works, and to have disciplined and provisioned them on a
peculiar plan.

He said he had found that, in his plans of campaigns and expeditions,
the greatest difficulty arose from the modern method of provisioning
troops; by which it was necessary first to find corn, then to get it
ground, and next to have the flour made into bread. The Roman custom,
which he highly approved, and which he had intended to introduce
wholly or in part, would have obviated all these inconveniences. “By
the adoption of the ancient plan,” said he, “an army might have
marched to the end of the world. But, it would require time to bring
about such a transition. It could not have been accomplished by a mere
order of the day. I had long entertained the idea of such a change;
but however great might have been my power, I should never have
attempted to introduce it by force. There is no subordination with
empty stomachs. Such an object could only have been effected in time
of peace, and by insensible degrees: I should have accomplished it by
creating new military manners.”

The Emperor constantly insisted on subjecting the whole nation to the
laws of the conscription. “I am inexorable on the subject of
exemption,” said he, one day in the Council of State;—“it would be
criminal. How could I reconcile it to my conscience to expose the life
of one man for the advantage of another? I do not even think I would
exempt my own son.” On another occasion, he said, “The conscription is
the everlasting root of a nation, its moral purification, the real
foundation of its habits. By means of the conscription,” he added,
“the nation was classed according to its real interests for defence
abroad, and tranquillity at home. Organized, built up in this way, the
French people might have defied the world, and might with justice have
renewed the saying of the proud Gauls:—_If the sky should fall, we
will prop it up with our lances._”

According to Napoleon’s plans, the conscription, so far from impeding
education, would have been the means of promoting it. He intended to
have established, in each regiment, a school for the commencement or
continuation of instruction of every kind, either in science, the
liberal arts, or mere mechanics. “And nothing would have been so
easy,” he remarked. “The principle once adopted, we should have seen
each regiment supplied with all that was necessary, out of its own
ranks. And what advantages would have accrued to the mass of society
by the dispersion of these young men, with their acquired knowledge,
even had it been merely elementary, and the habits necessarily
produced by it!”

The Emperor one day, in the course of conversation, observed that, if
he had had leisure there were few institutions in which he would not
have made improvements. He dwelt on the evils arising from lawsuits,
which, he said, were an absolute leprosy, a social cancer. “My code,”
said he, “had singularly diminished lawsuits, by placing numerous
causes within the comprehension of every individual. But there still
remained much for the legislator to accomplish. Not that he could hope
to prevent men from quarrelling: this they have done in all ages; but
he might have prevented a third party in society from living upon the
quarrels of the other two and even stirring up disputes to promote
their own interest. It was, therefore, my intention to establish the
rule that lawyers should never receive fees except when they gained
causes. Thus, what litigations would have been prevented! On the first
examination of a cause, a lawyer would have rejected it, had it been
at all doubtful. There would have been no fear that a man, living by
his labour, would have undertaken to conduct a lawsuit, from mere
motives of vanity; and if he had, he would himself have been the only
sufferer in case of failure. But my idea was opposed by a multitude of
objections, and as I had no time to lose, I postponed the further
consideration of the subject. Yet I am still convinced,” added he,
“that the scheme might, with certain modifications, have been turned
to the best account.”

When speaking of the clergy, the Emperor remarked that he intended to
have rendered curates a very important and useful class of men. “The
more enlightened they are,” said he, “the less will they be inclined
to abuse their ministry.” Therefore, in addition to their theological
studies, he wished them to acquire a knowledge of agriculture and the
elements of medicine and law. “Thus,” said he, “dogmatism and
controversy, the battle-horse and the arms of fools and fanatics,
would gradually have become more and more rare in the pulpit, whence
would have been promulgated the doctrines of pure morality, always
pleasing, eloquent, and persuasive. As men usually love to discourse
on what they know, the clergy would have instructed the peasantry in
their agricultural labours, counselled them against chicanery, and
given advice to the sick. Such pastors would have been real blessings
to their flocks; and, as they would have been allowed a liberal
stipend, they would have enjoyed high consideration: they would have
respected themselves, and would have been respected by all. They would
have possessed the power of feudal lords, and they might, without
danger, have exercised all their influence. A curate would have been a
natural justice of peace, a true moral chief, to whom the direction of
the population might have been safely intrusted, because he would
himself have been dependent on the Government for his appointment and
salary. If to all this be added the study and privation necessary for
the calling, and supposing the individuals to be possessed of good
qualities of heart and mind, it must be confessed that pastors, thus
constituted, would have produced a revolution in society highly
advantageous to the cause of morality.”

I recollect having heard the Emperor, in the Council of State, declaim
against the perquisites of ministers of the Gospel, and point out the
indecorum of their trafficking, as he said, with sacred, and yet
indispensable, objects. He therefore proposed putting an end to this
practice. “By rendering the acts of religion gratuitous,” he observed,
“we shall make their dignity, beneficence, and charity more
conspicuous; and confer a great benefit on the poor. Nothing would be
easier than to substitute legal imposts for these perquisites. Every
one is born, many marry, and all die; and yet births, marriages, and
deaths, are three great subjects of religious jobbing, which, in my
opinion, are particularly objectionable, and which I would wish to
abolish. Since these are matters which concern all equally, why not
place them under a special impost, or include them among the subjects
of general taxation?” This proposal had no result.

I also recollect having heard the Emperor suggest that all public
functionaries, and men employed under Government, even officers in the
army, should themselves form a fund for their future pensions, by a
slight deduction from their annual salaries. “Thus,” said he, “the
future support of these individuals would no longer be an object of
solicitation or a favour; it would be a right. The deductions made
from their salaries would be thrown into a sinking fund, liable to
this application. It would be a certain property, which they might
regard as their own, and upon which they might draw, without
opposition, on retiring from the public service.” It was urged, in
objection, that there were incomes, those of military officers in
particular, that would not admit of deduction.—“Well,” replied the
Emperor, “I will make up the deficiency, I will add whatever is
necessary for the deduction.”—“But,” it was asked, “what end will that
answer? If we have to pay the same amount, where will be the economy?
where will be the advantage?”—“The advantage,” replied the Emperor,
“will be in the difference between certainty and uncertainty; between
the settled course of the treasury, which would no longer have
occasion to concern itself about these accidents, and the tranquillity
of citizens, who would thus possess their guarantee.”

The Emperor warmly defended this idea, and adverted to it oftener than
once; it however produced no result. I have already remarked that I
have often known him to enter upon extempore discussions in this way,
and even to comment on others after they were printed.

The following brief quotation will afford an idea of the labours and
activity of the Emperor’s reign:—“It has been calculated that
Napoleon’s Government, in the space of fourteen years and five months,
presents, 61,139 deliberations of the Council of State, on different

Footnote 14:

  Montvéran’s _Historie critique et raisonnée_



  London: Published for Henry Colburn, April, 1836.

I have often heard Napoleon repeat that he wished for the
establishment of an European Institute and European prizes, to
superintend and stimulate the learned societies of every country.

He would have wished to fix throughout Europe, uniformity of coins,
weights, and measures, and also uniformity of legislation. “Why,” said
he, “might not my Code Napoleon have served as the groundwork for a
European Code, and my Imperial University have been the basis of a
European University? Thus the whole population of Europe would have
become one and the same family; and every man, while he travelled
abroad, would still have found himself at home.”

Various other subjects, of the above nature, were canvassed at
different times; but I refrain from noticing them, as my memory does
not enable me to enter into details.


15th.—About three o’clock, the Emperor, with whom I breakfasted this
morning, sent for me. He wished to take the air, and he endeavoured to
walk as far as the wood; but the air was too keen for him. He then
called at the Grand Marshal’s, and he sat for a considerable time in
an arm-chair, apparently quite exhausted. We remarked the colour of
his countenance, how much he had fallen away, and his evident
debility; and we were much distressed at the change observable in him.

As we passed through the wood, the Emperor cast his eyes on the
fortifications which were surrounding us; and he could not forbear
smiling at these useless and absurd works. He remarked that the ground
in our neighbourhood had been entirely disfigured by the removal of
the kind of turf with which it was covered, and which had been carried
away for the purpose of raising banks. In fact, for the last two
months, the Governor has been incessantly digging ditches,
constructing parapets, erecting palisades, &c. He has quite blockaded
us in Longwood, and the stable at this moment presents every
appearance of a redoubt. We are at a loss to guess where will be the
advantage equivalent to the expense and labour bestowed on these
works, which by turns excite the ill-humour and ridicule of the
soldiers and Chinese, who are employed upon them, and who now call
Longwood and its stable, by the names of _Fort Hudson_ and _Fort
Lowe_. We are assured that Sir Hudson Lowe often starts from his sleep
to devise new measures of security. “Surely,” said the Emperor, “this
seems something like madness. Why cannot the man sleep quietly, and
let us alone? Has he not sense enough to perceive that the security of
our local situation here is sufficient to remove all his panic
terrors?”—“Sire,” said an individual present, “he cannot forget Capri,
which, with 2000 men, thirty pieces of cannon, and perched among the
clouds, was taken by 1200 Frenchmen, commanded by the brave Lamarque,
who could only reach Sir Hudson Lowe by the help of a triple
escalade.”—“Well,” said the Emperor, “this only proves that our
Governor is a better jailor than general.”

For some time past, I have felt seriously alarmed respecting the
health of my son. The pains of which he formerly complained have been
succeeded by violent palpitations, attended by fainting fits; and he
is frequently obliged to rise during the night, to relieve himself by
walking about, or assuming some particular position. Dr. O’Meara
thought he perceived symptoms of aneurism, and considered him to be in
a dangerous state. I requested the chief medical officer. Dr. Baxter,
to hold a consultation with Dr. O’Meara. The result greatly relieved
my anxiety; for his state was declared to have nothing in it very

During the conversations of the day, the Emperor alluded to Madame de
Staël, of whom, however, he said nothing new, except mentioning some
letters which had been examined by the police, and which related to
Madame Recamier and a Prussian Prince.

“This correspondence,” said the Emperor, “presented unequivocal proofs
of the influence of Madame Recamier’s charms, and the high regard
which the Prince entertained for her. The letters contained nothing
less than offers or promises of marriage on his part.”

The following is an explanation of this affair. The beautiful Madame
Recamier, whose pure reputation stood unassailed during those stormy
times in which few escaped censure, was residing with Madame de Staël,
to whom she had heroically devoted herself, when one of the Prussian
Princes, who had been made prisoner at Eylau, and who was proceeding
to Italy by Napoleon’s permission, alighted at the castle of Coppet,
with the intention of resting only for a few hours. Here, however, he
was detained during the whole of the summer by the charms of Madame
Recamier, who was voluntarily sharing the exile of her friend. This
lady, and the young Prince, both considered themselves as the victims
of Napoleon, and their common hatred of him, whom they looked upon as
their oppressor, probably engendered the interest which they mutually
conceived for each other. Inspired with an ardent passion, the Prince,
in spite of the difficulties which his exalted rank naturally
suggested, conceived the idea of marrying Madame Recamier. He
communicated his design to Madame de Staël, whose poetic imagination
prompted her to favour a scheme that was calculated to diffuse a sort
of romantic interest over Coppet. The Prince was recalled to Berlin,
but absence produced no change in his sentiments. He still ardently
prosecuted his suit; but Madame Recamier constantly declined this
unexpected elevation, either from natural generosity of feeling, or
from her Catholic prejudice against divorce.

To this circumstance we are indebted for the picture of Corinne, which
is accounted one of the most original creations of Gerard’s pencil.
The Prince ordered the picture as a compliment to Madame Recamier.

Having reverted to Madame de Staël, I will take this opportunity of
observing that since the publication of the preceding parts of my
Journal, I have been visited by some of the most intimate friends of
that celebrated woman. These individuals have assured me that Madame
de Staël has been often represented to have employed expressions in
reference to Napoleon, of which she was wholly incapable,—for example,
the phrase _Robespierre on horseback_, which they said they could take
upon themselves conscientiously to disavow. I have moreover been
informed that Madame de Staël was often more favourable to Napoleon in
her private conversation than in her writings, which, it must be
confessed, are, in all that relates to the Emperor, embittered by a
spirit of malignity and resentment. One of her friends assured me that
he had been very much gratified on finding it mentioned in my Journal
that Napoleon at St. Helena had compared Madame de Staël at once to
Armida and Clorinda I was informed that Madame de Staël, on her part,
at the time of her enthusiasm for the young General of the army of
Italy, had compared him at once to Scipio and Tancred; because, as she
said, he combined the simple virtues of the one with the brilliant
achievements of the other.

After dinner, the Emperor ordered his favourite Racine to be brought
out, and he read to us some of the finest passages in Iphigenia,
Mithridates, and Bajazet. “Though Racine has produced master-pieces in
themselves,” said he, “yet he has diffused over them a perpetual air
of insipidity. Love is eternally introduced, with its tone of languor
and its tiresome accompaniments. But these faults must not be
attributed entirely to Racine, but to the manners of the age in which
he wrote. Love was then, and at even a later period, the whole
business of life with every one. This is always the case when society
is in a state of idleness. As for us,” said he, “our thoughts have
been cruelly turned to other subjects, by the great events of the

The Emperor likewise condemned, by the way, the whole of the
celebrated plan of campaign of Mithridates. He remarked that it might
be fine as a narrative; but that it was absurd as a conception.


16th.—I found the Emperor amusing himself by looking over an English
publication, a kind of political almanack. Alluding to the members of
the English Ministry who were mentioned in the work, he said to me:
“Do you know any of them? What was the general opinion of them, when
you were in England?”—“Sire,” I replied, “it is so long since I left
England that nearly all who are now distinguished in the ministry were
then only commencing their career. At that time none of them had come
forward on the scene.”

The Emperor, having mentioned Lord Liverpool, said: “He appears to me
to be the most worthy man among them. I have heard a great deal of
good of him. He seems to have some feeling of propriety and decorum. I
have no objection to a man being my enemy: every one has his own
business and his own duties to perform; but I have certainly a right
to be indignant at unworthy conduct and measures.” I mentioned to the
Emperor that, when I was in England, Lord Liverpool’s father, Mr.
Jenkinson, who successively became Lord Hawkesbury, and Lord
Liverpool, had made his political fortune. He was said to have been a
very good kind of man, and a private friend of George III.; he was
distinguished for assiduity, and particularly directed his attention
to diplomatic documents.

The Emperor next mentioned Lord Sidmouth. “I am told,” said he, “that
he too is a worthy man enough: but he possesses no great share of
understanding. He is one of those honest blockheads who, with the
utmost sincerity, concur in all sorts of mischief.”

“Sire,” said I, “in my time, Lord Sidmouth, under the name of Mr.
Addington, was a member of the House of Commons, and was a man
generally esteemed. He was said to be the creature of Mr. Pitt, who
was understood to have appointed Addington as his successor, in order
to ensure to himself the means of returning to the ministry whenever
he should think fit. The public were certainly greatly astonished to
see Pitt succeeded by Mr. Addington; as the post was considered to be
very far beyond his talents. One of the English opposition papers,
alluding to Mr. Addington, quoted the remark made by a philosopher
(Locke, I believe), who says that the mind of a child is a blank sheet
of paper, on which nature has yet written nothing: and the Journal in
question humorously observed that when nature wrote upon the blank
sheet of the Doctor (the nickname then given to Mr. Addington), it
must needs be confessed, she left plenty of margin.”

“Well,” resumed the Emperor, “what do you know of that sad fellow,
into whose keeping we have been delivered up—that Lord Bathurst?”
“Absolutely nothing, Sire,” I replied, “either of his origin, his
person, or his character.”—“For my part,” said he, with some degree of
warmth, “I have no opportunity of knowing him, except by his conduct
towards me; and in judging from that, I hold him to be the _vilest_
the _basest_ the most _cowardly of men_. The brutality of his orders,
the coarseness of his language, the choice of his agent, all authorize
me to make this declaration. An executioner, such as he has sent
hither, is not easily found. Such a selection could not be made at
random. He must have been sought for, tried, judged, and instructed.
Certainly, this, in my opinion, is sufficient to justify the moral
condemnation of the man who could stoop to so base a course. By the
arm which he moves it is easy to guess what must be his heart!”

I must confess that, yielding to feelings of delicacy, I had at first
almost prevailed on myself to suppress or to soften down the
expressions above quoted: but on the other hand, certain scruples
deterred me from doing so. The shade of him who was so deeply injured
is, thought I, at this moment hovering above me, and seems to
say:—“Since you make me speak, at least preserve my words.” Justice
asserts her rights. Men, in the enjoyment of honours and powers must
feel it incumbent on them to answer charges that are brought against
them. Let the accused justify himself:—if he can, so much the better.

Speaking of Lord Castlereagh, the Emperor said:—“This man governs all
the rest, and rules even the Prince himself, by dint of impudence and
intrigue. Supported by a majority of his own creating, he is always
ready to contend, with the utmost effrontery, against reason, law,
justice, and truth. No falsehood staggers him: he stops at nothing,
well knowing that he can always command votes to applaud and legalize
whatever he does. He has completely sacrificed his country, and is
daily degrading her by acting in opposition to her policy, doctrines,
and interests: in short, he has entirely delivered her up to the
Continent. The situation of England is becoming worse and worse.
Heaven knows how she will extricate herself!”

“Lord Castlereagh,” continued he, “is, I am informed, looked upon,
even in England, as a man politically immoral. He commenced his career
by an act of political apostacy, which, though common enough in his
country, nevertheless, always leaves an indelible stain. He entered
upon public life as an advocate of the people, and he has finally
become the engine of power and despotism. If all that is said of him
be correct, he must be execrated by his countrymen, the Irish, whom he
has betrayed, and by the English, who may justly regard him as the
destroyer of their domestic liberties, and foreign interests.

“He has had the impudence to bring forward in parliament, as authentic
facts, statements which he knew to be false, and which probably he
himself fabricated: and yet, on the authority of these documents,
Murat’s dethronement was decided. Lord Castlereagh makes it his
business to belie himself daily in parliament and in public meetings,
by putting into my mouth language calculated to prejudice me in the
eyes of the English, though he is well aware that he is making false
assertions. This conduct is the more base; since he himself withholds
from me the power of refuting him.

“Lord Castlereagh is the disciple of Pitt, of whom he probably thinks
himself the equal, though he is merely the ape of that distinguished
statesmen. He has incessantly pursued the plans and plots of his
master against France; but even here pertinacity and obstinacy were
perhaps his only good qualities. But Pitt had grand views: with him
his country’s interest took place of every consideration. He possessed
talent and ingenuity; and from England, he moved the lever by which he
ruled and influenced the continental sovereigns at will. Castlereagh,
on the contrary, substituting intrigue for ingenuity, and subsidies
for genius, is regardless of his country’s interest, and has
incessantly employed the credit and influence of the continental
sovereigns merely to confirm and perpetuate his own power at home.
However, such is the course of things in this world, that Pitt with
all his talent, constantly failed, while the incapable Castlereagh has
been completely successful. Oh, blindness of fortune!

“Castlereagh has proved himself entirely the man of the continent.
When master of Europe, he satisfied all the monarchs of the continent,
and only forgot his own country. His conduct has been so prejudicial
to the national interests, so incompatible with the doctrines of his
country, and altogether presents so much the appearance of
inconsistency, that it is difficult to conceive how so wise a people
as the English can allow themselves to be governed by such a fool!

“He adopts legitimacy as the basis of his creed, and wishes to
establish it as a political dogma, while that principle would sap the
very foundation of the throne of his own sovereign. Besides, he
acknowledges Bernadotte in opposition to the legitimate Gustavus IV.,
who sacrificed himself for England; and he acknowledges the usurper
Ferdinand VII., to the detriment of his venerable father, Charles IV.

“He and the Allies establish, as another fundamental basis, the
restoration of the old order of things, the redress of what they term
past injuries, injustice, and depredation; finally, the return of
political morality. Yet Castlereagh scrupled not to sacrifice the
republic of Venice and Genoa, by abandoning the former to Austria, and
annexing the latter to Piedmont. He enriched Russia by the possession
of Poland. He robbed the King of Saxony, for the advantage of Prussia,
who can no longer afford any aid to England. He separated Norway from
Denmark, while, had the latter power been left more independent of
Russia, she might have surrendered to England the key of the Baltic;
and Norway was transferred to Sweden, which, by the loss of Finland
and the Islands of the Baltic, has fallen entirely under the
subjection of Russia. Finally, by a violation of the first principles
of general policy, he neglected, in his all-powerful situation, to
restore the independence of Poland, thereby exposing Constantinople,
endangering the whole of Europe, and preparing a thousand troubles in

“I need say nothing of the monstrous inconsistency of a Minister, the
representative of a nation pre-eminently free, restoring Italy to the
yoke of slavery, keeping Spain in a state of bondage, and exerting
every effort to forge fetters for the whole continent. Does he think
that liberty is only proper for the English, and that the rest of
Europe is not fit to enjoy it?[15] But even supposing him to entertain
this opinion, how does he explain his conduct with regard to his own
countrymen, whom he is daily depriving of some of their rights? For
example: the suspension of the _Habeas Corpus_ Act, right or wrong;
the enforcement of the Alien Bill, by which (will it be credited?) the
wife of an Englishman, should she happen to be a foreigner, may be
driven from England, at the will and pleasure of the Minister; the
endless dispersion of spies and informers, those exciting agents and
infernal instigators, by whose aid criminals may always be created,
and victims multiplied. In short, Castlereagh has established at home
the system of cold violence, the iron yoke, which he exercises over
foreign dependencies.[16] No; Lord Castlereagh is not calculated to be
the Minister of a free people, or to command the respect of foreign
nations. He is the vizier of the continental Sovereigns, at their
instigation training his countrymen to slavery: he is the connecting
link, the conductor, by which English gold is dispersed over the
continent, and the despotic doctrines of other countries imported into

Footnote 15:

  Lord Castlereagh actually had the assurance to make this
  declaration, and nearly in the words above quoted, during a debate
  in Parliament, relative to the Constitution of Baden or Bavaria.

Footnote 16:

  I have been informed that, since my departure, the Emperor, reading
  the complaints of the Ionian Islands, and indignantly enumerating
  the acts of the Allies, who, while they talked loudly about
  morality, justice, and the independence of nations, vied with each
  other in appropriating to themselves the wrecks of the Great Empire,
  and scrupled not to parcel out millions of people,—said, “These
  insolent and hypocritical men presumed, in the face of the world, to
  declare that I was selfish, faithless and tyrannical!”

  On learning the fate of unfortunate Parga, he exclaimed, “Parga!
  Parga! Certainly, this act is enough to brand a man and mark his
  forehead for ever!”

“He proves himself to be the partisan, the obsequious associate of the
Holy Alliance,—that mysterious alliance, of which I cannot guess
either the meaning or the object, which can afford neither utility nor
advantage. Can it be directed against the Turks? It would then be for
the English to oppose it. Can it really have for its object the
maintenance of a general peace? That is a chimera, by which it is
impossible diplomatic cabinets can be duped. With them, alliances can
only be formed for the purpose of opposition or counterpoise. They
cannot all be allied together. I cannot therefore comprehend this Holy
Alliance, except by regarding it as a league of sovereigns against
subjects; but, in that case, what has Castlereagh to do with it? If it
be so, will he not, ought he not, one day, to pay dearly for his

“I once had Lord Castlereagh in my power,” said the Emperor. “He was
intriguing at Chatillon, when, during one of our momentary successes,
my troops passed beyond the seat of Congress, which was, by this
means, surrounded. The Prime Minister of England maintained no public
character, and was without the law of nations.

“He was aware of his embarrassing situation, and manifested the utmost
uneasiness at thus finding himself in my power. I intimated to him
that he might set his mind at rest, as he was at perfect liberty. I
did this on my own account, and not on his, for certainly I had no
reason to expect any good from him. However, some time afterwards, he
evinced his gratitude in a very peculiar way. When he saw me make
choice of the Isle of Elba, he caused England to be proposed as my
asylum, and employed all his eloquence and subtlety to induce me to
make choice of that country as my place of residence. Now, however, I
may justly entertain suspicion of the offers of Castlereagh, and
doubtless, he already meditated the horrible treatment which he is at
this moment exercising towards me!

“It was a misfortune for England that her Prime Minister treated
personally with the continental Sovereigns: it was a violation of the
spirit of the British constitution. The English at first felt their
pride flattered, at seeing their representative dictate laws to
Europe; but they have now abundant cause to repent, since the result
has proved that, on the contrary, he only stipulated for
embarrassment, degradation and loss.

“It is an undoubted fact, that Castlereagh might have obtained all;
while, on the contrary, from blindness, incapacity, or perfidy, he
sacrificed every thing. When seated at the banquet of Monarchs, he
blushed to dictate peace like a merchant, and determined to treat
liberally like a lord. Thus he gained something in point of vanity;
and, it may be presumed, he lost nothing in point of interest: his
country alone suffered, and will long continue to suffer.

“And the continental Sovereigns are also likely to repent of having
permitted their Prime Ministers to come into personal contact with
each other. The result seems to have been that these Premiers have
created among themselves a sort of secondary sovereignty, which they
mutually guarantee to each other; and, there is good reason to suppose
that it is accompanied by subsidies furnished with the knowledge of
their respective Sovereigns. This business may be very easily managed;
nothing can be more simple, and, at the same time, more ingenious. In
fixing the secret service money, it is very easy to mention that such
a one on the continent has been very useful, that he may still
continue to be so, and, therefore, that it is proper to make an
acknowledgment for his services. This individual, in his turn, may
represent to his Government that some man or other abroad has rendered
important services and even compromised his own interests, and that
consequently he should not be forgotten. It was probably some such
arrangements as these that occasioned an illustrious personage at
Vienna to exclaim, in a moment of vexation, _Such a one costs me the
eyes in my head!_ Doubtless, these disgraceful schemes and
transactions will one day come to light. We shall then see what
enormous fortunes have thus been squandered and swallowed up. They
will perhaps hereafter be recorded in new letters of Barillon; but
nothing will be unfolded, no characters will be disgraced, because
contemporaries will have anticipated all.”

After this long and energetic sally, in which, I may say, I for the
first time heard Napoleon express himself privately, with such warmth
and bitterness against these individuals of whom he had personally
cause to complain he was silent for a few moments. Then resuming, he
said, “And Lord Castlereagh is artful enough to support himself
entirely on Lord Wellington (whose name the Emperor, at the moment,
found among the members of the English Ministry). Wellington has
become his creature! Can it be possible that the modern Marlborough
has joined the train of a Castlereagh, and yoked his victories to the
turpitude of a political mountebank? It is inconceivable! Can
Wellington endure such a thought? Has not his mind risen to a level
with his success?...”

I had remarked that, in general, the Emperor disliked to speak of Lord
Wellington. He seemed carefully to avoid pronouncing his opinion on
him; feeling, no doubt, the impropriety of publicly depreciating the
General who had triumphed over him. On the present occasion, however,
he yielded, without reserve, to the full expression of his feelings.
The consciousness of the indignities that are heaped upon him seemed,
at this moment, to rise forcibly in his mind. Though usually so calm
and unresenting towards those who had done him the greatest injuries,
he now evinced a degree of warmth which I had never before witnessed
in him. His gestures, his features, his tone of voice, were all
expressive of the utmost indignation. I listened to him with

“I have been told,” said he, “that it is through Wellington that I am
here; and I believe it.[17] It is conduct well worthy of him, who, in
defiance of a solemn capitulation, suffered Ney to perish;—Ney, with
whom he had so often been engaged on the field of battle! For my own
part, it is very certain that I gave him a terrible quarter of an
hour. This usually constitutes a claim on noble minds; his was
incapable of feeling it. My fall, and the lot that might have been
reserved for me, afforded him the opportunity of reaping higher glory
than he has gained by all his victories. But he did not understand
this. Well, at any rate, he ought to be heartily grateful to old
Blucher: had it not been for him, I know not where _his Grace_ might
have been to-day; but I know that I, at least, should not have been at
St. Helena. Wellington’s troops were admirable, but his plans were
despicable; or, I should rather say, that he formed none at all. He
had placed himself in a situation in which it was impossible he could
form any; and, by a curious chance, this very circumstance saved him.
If he could have commenced a retreat, he must infallibly have been
lost. He certainly remained master of the field of battle; but was his
success the result of his skill? He has reaped the fruit of a
brilliant victory; but did his genius prepare it for him? His glory is
wholly negative. His faults were enormous. He, the European
Generalissimo, to whose hands so many interests were intrusted, and
having before him an enemy so prompt and daring as myself, left his
forces dispersed, and slumbered in a capital until he was surprised.
And yet such is the power of fatality! In the course of three days, I
three times saw the destiny of France and of Europe escape my grasp.

Footnote 17:

  This idea again occurs in the last lines written by Napoleon before
  his death.

“In the first place, but for the treason of a General, who deserted
from our ranks, and betrayed my designs, I should have dispersed and
destroyed all the enemy’s detached parties before they could have
combined themselves into corps.

“Next, had it not been for the unusual hesitations of Ney at
Quatre-Bras, I should have annihilated the whole English army.

“Finally, on my right, the extraordinary manœuvres of Grouchy,
instead of securing victory, completed my ruin, and hurled France into
the abyss.

“No,” continued he, “Wellington possesses only a special kind of
talent: Berthier also had his! In this he perhaps excels. But he has
no ingenuity; fortune has done more for him than he has done for her.
How different from Marlborough, of whom he seems to consider himself
as the rival and equal. Marlborough, gained battles, ruled cabinets
and guided statesmen; as for Wellington, he has only shewn himself
capable of following the views and plans of Castlereagh. Madame de
Staël said of him that, when out of the field of battle, he had not
two ideas. The saloons of Paris, so distinguished for delicacy and
correctness of taste, at once decided that Madame de Staël was in the
right: and the French Plenipotentiary at Vienna confirmed that
opinion. His victories, their result, and their influence, will rise
in history; but his name will fall, even during his lifetime.”

Alluding to ministries in general, but particularly to collective
ministries, the intrigues, the great and petty passions that agitate
the men who compose them, the Emperor said, “After all, they are only
so many plagues. No one escapes the contagion. A man may be honest
when he enters a ministry; but it seldom happens that he retires from
one without having forfeited his purity of character. I may perhaps
except only two: mine, and that of the United States—mine, because my
Ministers were merely my men of business, and I alone stood
responsible; and that of the United States, because there Ministers
are men of public credit, always upright, always vigilant, and always
rigid.” He concluded with the following remarkable words:—

“I believe that no Sovereign was ever surrounded by more faithful
servants than I was towards the close of my reign. And if I did not
obtain due credit for the selection I had made, it was because the
French are too apt to murmur incessantly.” He then took a review of
his principal Ministers, counting them on his fingers.

“My two great dignitaries,” said he, “Cambacérès and Lebrun, were
distinguished men, and perfectly well disposed. Bassano and
Caulaincourt, two men remarkable for sincerity and rectitude. Molé,
whose name reflects honour on the French Magistracy, is probably
destined to act a part in future ministries. Montalivet was an honest
man; the ministry of Decrès was pure and rigorous; Gaudin was
distinguished for steady and well directed labour; Mollien possessed
vast perspicuity and promptitude; and all my Councillors of State were
prudent and assiduous! All these names will remain inseparably
connected with mine. What country, what age, ever presented a better
composed, or more moral Ministry? Happy the nation that possesses such
instruments, and knows how to turn them to good account!... Though I
was not given to praise, and though my approbation was in general
purely negative, yet I fully appreciated the value of those who served
me, and who have everlasting claims on my gratitude. Their number is
immense, and the most modest are not the least meritorious. I shall
not attempt to name them, because many would have to complain of
having been omitted, and such omission might appear like ingratitude
on my part!”


17th.—The Emperor was unwell, and saw nobody during the whole of the
day. In the evening he sent for me. I expressed myself very much
concerned for the state of his health; but he assured me that he was
more indisposed in mind than in body. He began to converse on a
variety of subjects, and this seemed to rouse his spirits.

He once more took a review of the Generals of the army of Italy,
describing their characters, and quoting many anecdotes respecting
them. He spoke of the selfishness of one, of the false pretensions of
another, the folly of a third; the depredations committed by some, the
good qualities of others, and the important services rendered by all.
He dwelt particularly on one, to whom he had been much attached, and
whose defection, he said, had proved a severe wound to his heart. The
Emperor remarked that, from what he knew of that individual, he was
sure he must occasionally suffer deeply from remorse. “Never,”
observed he, “was defection more fatal, or more decidedly avowed. It
was recorded in the Moniteur, and by his own hand. It was the
immediate cause of our disasters, the grave of our power, the cloud of
our glory. And yet,” added he, in a tone of affection, “I am convinced
that his sentiments are better than his reputation; his heart is
superior to his conduct. Of this, he himself appears to be conscious.
The newspapers inform us that when, soliciting in vain for the pardon
of Lavalette, he exclaimed, with warmth, in reply to the obstacles
urged by the Monarch, _Sire, have I not given you more than life_? We
were, it is true,” said the Emperor, “betrayed by others, and in a
manner still more vile; but no other act of apostacy was so solemnly
recorded by official documents.”

The Emperor then observed that, at an early period of life, he had
acted the part of a father to the General above alluded to, who could
not enter the royal corps of artillery, and had been obliged to join a
provincial regiment. “He was,” said the Emperor, “the nephew of one of
my comrades at the school of Brienne, and in the regiment of La Fère,
who, when he emigrated from France, recommended his young relation to
my care. This circumstance imposed upon me the obligation of acting
the part of his uncle and his father, which I literally did. I took a
real interest in his welfare, and felt a pleasure in advancing his
fortune. His father was a knight of St. Louis, the proprietor of some
iron-works in Burgundy, and a man of considerable fortune.”

Napoleon mentioned that, in 1794, as he was returning from the army of
Nice to Paris, he visited the father’s _chateau_, where he was
magnificently treated, as he was already beginning to enjoy a certain
degree of reputation. The father, according to the son’s account, was
an absolute miser. However, he determined to give a handsome reception
to the guest who had been so kind to his son. His entertainment was
distinguished by all the ostentation which misers are fond of
displaying. He exhibited complete prodigality. It was in July or
August, and he ordered immense fires to be kindled in all the
apartments. “This,” said the Emperor, “would have been an incident for

Speaking of the manners of Paris, and its immense population, the
Emperor adverted to the many evils which he said must inevitably exist
in all great capitals, where depravity of every kind is continually
stimulated by want, passion, wit, and the facilities afforded by
bustle and confusion. He often repeated, that all capitals were so
many Babylons. He adduced several proofs of odious libertinism with
respect to Paris; and he mentioned that, after he became Emperor, he
had perused the most scandalous book that was ever conceived by the
most depraved imagination. It was a novel, which, even in the time of
the Convention, had proved so offensive to public morals as to
occasion the imprisonment of its author, who had continued in
confinement ever since, and whom the Emperor believed to be still
living. I have forgotten the name of the writer, and it was the first
time I had ever heard the production mentioned.

The Emperor said that he had endeavoured, as far as circumstances
permitted, to suppress many sources of immorality; but in some
instances, he had not had courage to descend into details. For
example, he prohibited masked gaming, and even had it in view to
prohibit all gaming houses; but when I wished to have the subject
thoroughly discussed in my presence, it proved to be a very difficult
question. I mentioned that the police had even prohibited us from
playing privately in one of the principal houses of the Faubourg St.
Germain. The Emperor observed that he had had no idea of this act of
tyranny; and yet, as I assured him, it was exercised by Fouché in his
name. “That may be,” said he, “but I knew nothing of it; and so it was
with all the details of the police, high, middling, and low.”

He then questioned me respecting the kind of gaming to which I had
just alluded; and observing that, in my replies, I always used the
plural _we_, he interrupted me, saying,—“Were you yourself one of the
party? Were you a gamester?”—“Alas! Sire, I unfortunately was. Only at
long intervals, it is true. But st¡ll, when the fit seized me, it
urged me to excess.”—“I am very glad I knew nothing of it at the
time,“ said the Emperor, “otherwise you would have been ruined in my
esteem. This circumstance shews how little we knew of each other, and
it also proves that you could not have made yourself many enemies; for
there were charitable souls about me who would have taken care to
inform me of your failing. My prejudice against gaming was well known.
A gamester was sure to forfeit my confidence. I had not leisure to
enquire whether I was right or wrong; but, whenever I heard that a man
was addicted to gaming, I placed no more reliance on him.”

This allusion to the Faubourg St. Germain led us to mention many of
the principal names in the capital. The Emperor made some remarks on
the different members of the family of La Rochefoucault. He mentioned
the lady of honour to the Empress Josephine; her husband, who was
ambassador to Vienna and Holland; her brother, the member of the
Legislative Body; their father, M. de Liancourt, whom he highly
respected; and finally, the daughter whom he had given in marriage to
Prince Aldobrandini, brother to Prince Borghese. He repeated that he
had once entertained the idea of making her the wife of Ferdinand VII.
He also mentioned another, M. de la Rochefoucault, who died in prison
at the commencement of his reign, and he asked me what relation he was
to the others. I could not inform him. I knew nothing either of the
person or the circumstance mentioned by the Emperor.

“He was,” said Napoleon, “the author of a conspiracy against my
person, which I never mentioned to you: it just now occurs to my

“This M. de la Rochefoucault formed in Paris, in behalf of the King,
who was then at Mittau, a conspiracy, the first stroke of which was to
be the death of the head of the Government. M. de la Rochefoucault
ended his days in prison, after a long confinement. Some one having
procured a knowledge of this affair, a confidential agent of the
police pretended to enter into the conspiracy, and to become one of
its most active members. He received his credentials at a _chateau_ in
Lorraine, from an old gentleman, who had held a distinguished rank in
the army of Condé, and who had been enabled to return to France by the
amnesty of the First Consul. This gentleman, who, to do him justice,
was a very worthy man, was appointed to accredit the members of the
conspiracy, and to afford them the necessary facilities for gaining
access to Louis XVIII. at Mittau. He had evinced great repugnance on
entering into the conspiracy. He said it was now too late to think of
such enterprises, as France was beginning to enjoy repose. He solemnly
declared his disapproval of any violence being offered to the First
Consul, whom he now looked upon as something sacred. After having
several interviews with Louis XVIII. at Mittau, the police agent
returned with a knowledge of the whole affair. M. de la Rochefoucault
and his party were arrested. If they had but known who disclosed their

                         ANECDOTES OF NAPOLEON.

18th,—19th.—The conversation turned on Poland, roused as she had been
at the voice of Napoleon. We spoke of the individuals who seemed to
have been destined to ascend the throne of that country: each made his
own conjectures on this subject. The Emperor remained silent for some
time, and at length interrupted us, saying: “Poniatowski was the real
King of Poland. He possessed every quality requisite for that high
station.” He said no more.

At another moment, the Emperor smiled at the pains that had been taken
to obliterate his emblems and devices on the public monuments which he
had erected, “They may,” said he, “be withdrawn from the public eye;
but they cannot be erased from the page of history, or from the
recollection of connoisseurs and artists. I acted differently,” added
he; “I respected all the vestiges of royalty that existed when I came
into power. I even restored the _fleurs-de-lis_, and other royal
emblems, when chronological correctness required it.”

An individual present remarked that Prince Lucien had manifested
precisely the same sentiments. The Palais Royal was assigned as his
place of residence on the Emperor’s return in 1815, and, observing, as
he ascended the staircase, the groupes of _fleurs-de-lis_ on the
tapestry that overhung the walls, he said to the officer who attended
him: “This will all be taken down, I presume?”—“Why, Monseigneur?”
“Because these are the devices of the enemy.” “Well! Monseigneur, why
should they not remain as our trophies?”—“You are right,” replied the
Prince, “this is exactly my way of viewing the matter.”

To-day, I have been able to collect but little from the Emperor’s
conversation.... I shall, therefore, fill up this void, and that of
the succeeding day, by inserting some anecdotes which I find in
scattered memoranda on the cover of my ordinary Journal: for here I
noted down such particulars as I found I had forgotten to insert in
their proper place, together with any old reminiscences that happened
to occur to me, or delicate points which, in our state of captivity,
required to be treated with prudence and circumspection. These notes
also contain many facts, which have been subsequently collected from
unquestionable sources.

Many of these articles have no relation to each other; but, they are
all connected with the object of the present work, whether they serve
to prove the false colours in which Napoleon has been painted, or
whether, on the contrary, they develop the real traits of his
character. May the perusal of this Journal induce those who have been
about the Emperor to record on their parts all they know, or have
heard respecting him!

Formerly, a great deal was said about the excessive severity and
violence exercised by the Emperor towards the individuals about his
person. Now, however, it is acknowledged that every one who served him
adored him, precisely for his kindness of heart and manners. Since my
return to Europe, a gentleman of high rank, whose name alone would be
sufficient to command credit, and whose high functions kept him
constantly about the person of the Emperor, in foreign expeditions as
well as in the interior of the palace, has assured me that he never in
his life knew Napoleon to strike a servant, except on one occasion.
This was when one of his grooms, at the retreat of Saint Jean d’Acre,
refused to give up his horse for the transport of the invalids, while
he, the General-in-Chief, had surrendered his, and had obliged all his
staff to do so likewise. But, after all, added my informant, it was
easy to perceive that this act was prompted by policy rather than by
natural severity of temper: the scene took place in the presence of
dispirited troops, to whom it was necessary to give proofs of the
lively interest that was felt for them.

It used to be a common remark that Napoleon was not less morose to the
individuals of his Court than to those in his service; and that he
never had any thing complimentary or agreeable to say to any one.
Among the multitude of facts that might be adduced in contradiction to
this assertion, I will mention the following, to which I was myself a
witness. On his return from the disastrous campaign of Leipsic, the
Emperor received the officers of his household at an unusual hour. He
presented himself to us with an air of melancholy. Stepping up to the
individual who was next me (M. de Beauveau, I think,) whose son, yet a
youth, had served in the campaign, in the guard of honour, or some
other corps. Napoleon said to him: “Your son’s conduct has been
admirable. He has conferred honour on his name. He has been wounded;
but what of that? He may proudly boast of having thus early shed his
blood for his country.”

At the same period, at one of his levees, after giving some orders to
General Gerard, whose reputation was then beginning to attract
attention, the Emperor concluded with some words evidently kindly
meant, though somewhat obscure. After advancing a few paces to
continue his circuit, he turned back to General Gerard, apparently
having read in his countenance that he had not precisely understood
him, and he said very distinctly: “I observed that, if I had many men
like you, I should consider all my losses repaired, and should think
myself master of my fortune.”

About the same period, I had an opportunity of witnessing a proof of
the ascendency which the Emperor could exercise over the human mind,
and the sort of veneration with which he was regarded. A General,
whose name I do not know, and who had been severely wounded in the
leg, attended the Emperor’s levee. Napoleon had been informed that
amputation was pronounced to be absolutely indispensable, but that the
unfortunate officer obstinately refused to submit to it. “Why do you
object to an operation that will preserve your life?” said Napoleon:
“It cannot be want of courage, since you have so often braved danger
on the field of battle! Is it contempt of life? But does not your
heart tell you that, even with the remaining limb, you may be useful
to your country, and render her signal services?” The officer was
silent; the expression of his countenance was calm and placid, but
still negative. The Emperor seemed sorry for him, and passed on to
speak to some other persons, when the officer, who had apparently
formed a sudden resolution, turned to the Emperor, saying, “Sire, if
your Majesty orders me to submit to the operation, I will immediately
do so,”—“My dear Sir,” replied the Emperor, “I have no power to do
that. I wished to move you by persuasion; but Heaven forbid that I
should command you!” I think I have heard it said that, on leaving the
palace, the wounded officer submitted to the operation.

The Emperor, on his return from the Isle of Elba, arrived at the
Tuileries very late in the evening. His levee, on the following day,
was, as may be supposed, exceedingly numerous. When the door was
thrown open, and he presented himself before us, it would be difficult
for me to explain what were my ideas and sensations. The Emperor
appeared the same as usual; just as though he had never left the
palace, and had held a levee but yesterday; his countenance, attitude,
dress, manners, all were unaltered. I was powerfully affected, and I
believe my sensations were shared by all present. The force of
sentiment prevailed over respect; and all rushed forward to meet him.
The Emperor himself was visibly moved; and he embraced several of the
most distinguished persons. He then commenced his circuit as usual.
His voice was mild, his countenance placid, and his manner affable: he
spoke with kindness to every one. “How!” said he, addressing a certain
individual, “What! the Major-General of the white army two paces from
me!” Several of those present seemed to be labouring under a little
embarrassment, owing to the extraordinary events that had just taken
place; as for Napoleon, he appeared as though nothing had happened. He
did not forget that he had released them all from their allegiance at

The following anecdotes prove his correctness of judgment and coolness
of temper. They also shew that, when at the summit of his power, his
moderation and equity were never shaken, even in matters most directly
personal, and on subjects on which he might have been presumed to be
most delicate and susceptible.

When Moreau was arrested, on the charge of being concerned in the
affair of Georges and Pichegru, one of the First Consul’s
Aides-de-camp, who was, perhaps, also the Aide-de-camp of Moreau, or
had served under his command, visited him in prison, and evinced great
interest for him. “This is all very natural,” said Napoleon, on being
informed of the circumstance, “I certainly cannot blame such conduct;
but I must appoint another Aide-de-camp. The post is one perfectly
confidential: there can be no division in an affair so personal as
this.” Napoleon gave the command of a regiment to this Aide-de-camp
(Col. Laucée), who, some time afterwards, perished at the head of it,
in one of the actions which preceded the capitulation of Ulm.

About the same period, the Prefect of Liege, equally remarkable for
his administrative talents and excellent character, was suddenly
summoned to Paris; and he hastened thither, pleased with the
anticipation of the proofs of satisfaction which he trusted he should
receive, because he deserved them. He was, however, invited by the
Grand Judge to visit him before he should present himself to the First
Consul; and he found himself unexpectedly interrogated, _ex officio_,
on the subject of a letter that was presented to him. At first he
could not deny the signature, so accurately had his own been imitated;
but he positively disavowed the sentiments it contained. It consisted
of a justification of Moreau, and was filled with imprecations against
the Consul. The whole was an infamous plot, contrived by a high public
functionary, an enemy of the Prefect’s, for the purpose of ruining
him. The Prefect, having proved that he knew nothing of the letter
attributed to him, appeared at the First Consul’s grand audience.
Napoleon treated him with particular attention, and when he took his
leave, he said to him, “Return and resume your functions, which you
know so well how to fulfil. You carry with you my utmost esteem. Let
this public testimony of your good conduct console you for the painful
feelings that calumny and falsehood may have occasioned you.”

The following will shew that Napoleon was not inclined hastily to
condemn a certain degree of independence, even though it might be
somewhat unreasonable:—

M. de Montalivet, who was Minister of the Interior during the Empire,
has informed me that, being one day left alone with the Emperor, after
a Council of Ministers, he thus addressed him:—“Sire, it is not
without considerable embarrassment that I presume to mention to your
Majesty a circumstance which is certainly extremely ridiculous; but a
Prefect, a young Auditor, obstinately persists in withholding from me
the title which custom has assigned to all your Ministers. Some
persons, holding inferior situations in my department, observing that
he never used the customary title of Monseigneur in speaking of me,
and thinking it an instance of affectation, very absurdly required
him, in my name, to observe the formality; and he peremptorily
refused. I am quite ashamed that this affair should have arisen; but
as it is, the thing has been carried to such a point that I cannot
give it up.” At first, the Emperor could scarcely credit such
obstinacy and folly on the part of the Prefect. After a short pause,
he said to M. de Montalivet, smiling, “But, after all, there is no
such obligation specified in the Code. The young man is perhaps good
fruit, though not yet ripe. However, this refractory conduct must be
checked. Desire his father to come to me; surely the young man will
not disobey his orders.” What a delicate, moral sentiment was thus

On the evening of the 20th of March, the Emperor had no sooner entered
his apartments in the Tuileries, than the Captain of Dragoons, G. D—--
appeared before him. He was the bearer of the capitulation of
Vincennes, which had just been obtained by dint of extraordinary
courage and address. Napoleon at first smiled at the details that were
communicated to him; but, being struck with the vehement manner and
language of the narrator, and suddenly calling to mind the fate of
Governor Puyvert at Vincennes, he hastily exclaimed, “But, Sir, you
say nothing of the Governor; what has become of him?”—“Sire,” resumed
the officer, in a calmer tone, “he has been furnished with a passport,
and has been escorted out of Paris.” Napoleon then advanced, and
seizing the officer’s hand, with an expression that sufficiently
betrayed the anxiety with which he had just been agitated, “I am
satisfied,” said he; “you have done well, very well!”

I find, in one of my notes, that the Emperor once remarked that the
finest military letter he had ever read was one written during the
consulate, by a soldier of the south, named Leon. From this high
praise, it must of course be presumed that the letter was a very
extraordinary one. I myself know nothing of it; but I merely mention
the circumstance, in the hope that some one may be induced to lay the
document before the public, in case it should not be already upon

Napoleon, during his military career, fought sixty battles; Cæsar
fought but fifty.

It was asked one day, in Napoleon’s presence, how it happens that
misfortunes, which are yet uncertain, often distress us more than
afflictions which we are already suffering. “Because,” observed the
Emperor, “in the imagination, as in calculation, the power of what is
unknown is _immeasurable_.”

After having given any one an important mission, or traced out the
plan of any great enterprise, the Emperor used frequently to say,
“Come, Sir, be speedy: use despatch; and do not forget that the world
was created in six days.”

On an occasion of this kind, he concluded by observing to the
individual whom he was addressing, “Ask me for whatever you please,
except _time_: that’s the only thing that is beyond my power.”

On another occasion, Napoleon commissioned a person to execute some
important business, which he expected would be finished in the course
of the same day. It was not, however, completed until late on the
following day. At this, the Emperor manifested some degree of
dissatisfaction; and the person, to excuse himself, said that he had
worked all day. “But had you not all night too?” replied Napoleon.

The Emperor directed particular attention to the improvement and
embellishment of the markets of the capital. He used to say, “The
market-place is the Louvre of the common people.”

Equality of rights, that is to say, the power of aspiring and
obtaining, enjoyed by all individuals, was one of the points to which
Napoleon attached particular importance. This regard for equality was
one of his peculiar traits, and seemed to belong innately to his
character. “I have not reigned all my life,” he would say: “before I
became a Sovereign, I recollect having been a subject; and I can never
forget how powerfully the sentiment of equality influences the mind
and animates the heart.”

When he was once giving a project to be drawn up by one of his
Councillors of State, he said, “Let me charge you to respect liberty;
and above all, equality. With regard to liberty, it might be possible
to restrain it, in a case of extremity; circumstances might demand and
justify such a step: but Heaven forbid that we should ever infringe
upon equality! It is the passion of the age; and I wish to continue to
be the man of the age!”

In Napoleon’s eyes, merit was single, by itself, and he recompensed it
uniformly. Thus the same titles, and the same decorations, were
awarded equally to the ecclesiastic, the soldier, the artist, the
philosopher, and the man of letters. It may truly be said that in no
other country or period was merit more highly honoured, or talent more
magnificently rewarded. On these points, the Emperor’s views were
unlimited. I have already mentioned that he one day said, “If
Corneille had lived in my time, I would have made him a prince.”

The Emperor said one day at St. Helena, “Nature seems to have made me
for great reverses; they have found me with a mind of marble. The
thunderbolt cannot make an impression upon, but merely glides over,

At another time, when some vexation arose at St. Helena, one of those
about Napoleon exclaimed, “Ah, Sire, this must indeed increase your
hatred of the English.” Upon which the Emperor, shrugging up his
shoulders, said, in a mingled tone of pleasantry and contempt,
“Prejudiced man! Say rather that at most it may increase my hatred of
this or that particular Englishman.... But, since we are on this
subject, let me tell you that a man, he who has the true feelings of a
man, never cherishes hatred. His anger or ill-humour never goes beyond
the irritation of the moment,—the electric shock. He who is formed to
discharge high duties, and to exercise authority, never considers
persons; his views are directed to things, their weight, and

On a certain occasion, he remarked that he doubted not but his
character would gain in proportion as it descended to posterity; and
that future historians would conceive themselves bound to avenge the
injustice of contemporaries. Excess is always succeeded by reaction.
Besides, he was of opinion that, when viewed from a distance, his
character would appear in a more favourable light, by being relieved
from many useless encumbrances. He would hereafter be judged by
general views, and not by petty details. Every thing would be in
harmony, and all local irregularities would disappear. Above all, he
would not be compared with himself; but with what might exist at a
future period. He added that now, as hereafter, he could proudly
submit every act of his private life to the most rigid scrutiny,
confident that the severest judges would pronounce him to be free from

The Emperor one day told me that he had conceived the idea of
composing his _Diplomatic History_, or a complete account of his
negotiations, from Campo Formio to his abdication. If he should have
fulfilled his design, what an historical treasure will thus be
presented to the world!

Speaking of military eloquence, the Emperor said, “When, in the heat
of the battle, passing along the line, I used to exclaim, ‘Soldiers,
unfurl your banners, the moment is come,’ our Frenchmen absolutely
leapt for joy. I saw them multiply a hundred-fold. I then thought
nothing impossible.”

Many of Napoleon’s military harangues are well known. The following
has been communicated to me by one who heard it on the spot. When
reviewing the 2d regiment of horse chasseurs at Lobenstein, two days
before the battle of Jena, Napoleon, addressing the Colonel, said:
“How many men are there here?”—“Five hundred,” replied the Colonel;
“but there are many raw troops among them.”—“What signifies that,”
said the Emperor, in a tone which denoted surprise at the observation,
“are they not all Frenchmen?”—Then, turning to the regiment, “My
lads,” said he, “you must not fear death. When soldiers defy death,
they drive him into the enemy’s ranks.” He here made a motion with his
arm expressive of the action to which he alluded. At these words a
sudden movement among the troops, accompanied by a murmur of
enthusiasm, seemed the precursor of the memorable victory which
forty-eight hours afterwards overthrew the column of Rosbach.

At the battle of Lützen, the army was chiefly composed of conscripts,
who had never been in any engagement. It is said that, in the heat of
the action, Napoleon rode along the rear of the 3d rank of infantry,
supporting and encouraging the young troops. “This is nothing, my
lads,” said he, “stand firm. France has her eye on you. Show that you
can die for your country.”

Napoleon entertained a high regard for the Germans. “I levied many
millions of imposts on them, it is true,” said he, “that was
necessary; but I should never have insulted them or treated them with
contempt. I esteemed the Germans. They may hate me; that is natural
enough. I was forced for ten years to fight upon the dead bodies of
their countrymen. They could not know my real designs or give me
credit for my ultimate intentions, which were calculated to render
Germany a great nation.”

The Emperor, alluding to one of his decisions, remarked:—“I could do
nothing in that case, I suffered myself to be moved, and I yielded.
There I was wrong: a statesman’s heart should be in his head.”

Napoleon observed that the physical faculties of men were strengthened
by their dangers or their wants: “Thus,” said he, “the Bedouin of the
desert has the piercing sight of the lynx; and the savage of the
forest has the keen scent of beasts of prey.”

One day mention was made of a person who, though distinguished for his
ideas and his acts, nevertheless betrayed gross faults in his manners
and mode of expressing himself. The Emperor explained this discordance
by saying: “You see the fault is in his first education; his swaddling
clothes were neither fine nor clean.”

When speaking of the danger which he had incurred among the Five
Hundred, on the 18th Brumaire, he attributed it militarily to local
circumstances. He had been obliged to enter the Orangery at one of the
extremities, and to pass along the whole length of it. “The misfortune
was,” said he, “that, instead of facing my opponents, I was compelled
to present my flank to them.”

When we were alluding to an individual who seemed to think that he
could overawe us by speaking almost in a tone and language of menace,
the Emperor said: “This is a very absurd idea. Nobody is afraid now. A
child would not be afraid. Even little Emmanuel (pointing to my son)
would exchange pistol shots with any one who might require him to do
so.” These words of the Emperor’s will probably influence my son
throughout the rest of his life.

Napoleon, on his return from the Russian campaign, was so struck by
the courage and strength of mind displayed by Ney that he created him
Prince of the Moskowa, and he was often heard to say: “I have two
hundred millions in my coffers, and I would give them all for Ney.”

Remarking on the certainty of the ultimate triumph of modern
principles, the Emperor said: “They cannot but triumph. Mark the train
of events: even oppression now-a-days turns to the disadvantage of the

On a certain occasion, it was observed to the Emperor that he was not
fond of putting forward his own merits; “That is,” replied he,
“because with me morality and generosity are not in my mouth, but in
my nerves. My iron hand was not at the extremity of my arm, it was
immediately connected with my head. I did not receive it from nature;
calculation alone has enabled me to employ it.”

Speaking of the ill humour and discontent frequently evinced by the
inhabitants of Paris, the Emperor asked what he was expected to do
after all he had accomplished. “Sire,” said some one present, “it was
wished that your Majesty should stop your horse.” “Stop my horse!”
resumed Napoleon, “that was easily said. My arm was strong enough, it
is true, to stop, with a single check, all the horses of the
continent. But I could not bridle the English fleets: and there lay
all the mischief. Had not the people sense enough to see this?”

One day, when the Emperor was reproaching a person for not correcting
the vices which he knew he possessed, “Sir,” said he, “when a man
knows his moral infirmity, he may cure his mind, just as he would cure
his arm or his leg.”

The Emperor, speaking of the nobility which he had created, regretted
that he had been so ill understood. It was, he said, one of his
grandest and happiest ideas. He had in view three objects of the
highest importance, and all three would have been accomplished: 1st,
to reconcile France with Europe, and to restore harmony, by seeming to
adopt European customs: 2nd, by the same means to bring about a
complete reconciliation and union between old and new France; and 3d,
to banish feudal nobility, the only kind that is offensive,
oppressive, and unnatural. “By my plan,” said the Emperor, “I should
soon have succeeded in substituting positive and meritorious qualities
for antiquated and odious prejudices. My national titles would have
exactly restored that equality which feudal nobility proscribed. They
were conferred as the reward of merit of every kind. For genealogical
parchments I substituted noble actions, and for private interests, the
interests of the country. Family pride would no longer have been
founded on obscure and imaginary circumstances, but would have rested
on the noblest pages of our history. Finally, I would have banished
the odious pretension of blood; an absurd idea, a theory that has no
real existence; for we all know very well that there is but one race
of men, and that one is not born with boots on his legs, and another
with a packsaddle on his back.

“All the nobility in Europe, those who really govern it, were pleased
with my plan. They unanimously applauded an institution the novelty of
which enhanced its pre-eminence; and yet this very novelty would have
sapped its foundation and infallibly destroyed it. Why did that
opinion, to which I had secured a triumph, precisely serve the purpose
of its enemies? But I have suffered this misfortune oftener than


20th.—“It must be admitted, my dear Las Cases,” said the Emperor to me
to-day, “that it is most difficult to obtain absolute certainties for
the purposes of history. Fortunately it is, in general, more a matter
of mere curiosity than of real importance. There are so many kinds of
truths! The truth which Fouché, or other intriguers of his stamp will
tell, for instance; even that which many very honest people may tell,
will, in some cases, differ essentially from the truth which I may
relate. The historic truth, so much in request, to which every body
eagerly appeals, is too often but a term. At the time of the events,
during the heat of conflicting passions, it cannot exist; and if, at a
later period, all parties are agreed respecting it, it is because
those persons who were interested in the events, those who might be
able to contradict what is asserted, are no more. What then is,
generally speaking, the truth of history? A concerted fable, as it has
been very ingeniously remarked. There are, in these matters, two
essential points, very distinct from each other: the positive facts,
and the moral intentions. With respect to the positive facts, it would
seem that they ought to be incontrovertible; yet you will not find two
accounts agreeing together in relating the same fact: some have
remained contested points to this day, and will ever remain so. With
regard to moral intentions, how shall we judge of them, even admitting
the candour of those who relate events? And what will be the case if
the narrators are not sincere, or if they should be actuated by
interest or passion? I have given an order, but who was able to read
my thoughts, my real intentions? Yet every one will take up that
order, and measure it according to his own scale, or adapt it to his
own plans or system. See the different colourings that will be given
to it by the intriguer, whose plans it disturbs or favours: see how he
will distort it. The man who assumes importance, to whom the ministers
or the sovereign may have hinted something in confidence on the
subject, will do the same thing; as will the numerous idlers of the
palace, who, having nothing better to do than to listen at doors, and
invent when they can not hear. And each person will be so certain of
what he tells! and the inferior classes of people, who have received
their information from these privileged mouths, will be so certain, in
their turn, of its correctness! and then memoirs are digested,
memorandums are written, witticisms and anecdotes are circulated; and
of such materials is history composed!

“I have seen the plan of my own battle, the intention of my own
orders, disputed with me, and opinion decide against me! Is not that
the creature giving the lie to its creator? Nevertheless, my opponent,
who contradicts me, will have his adherents. This it is which has
prevented me from writing my own private memoirs, from disclosing my
individual feelings, which would, naturally, have exhibited the shades
of my private character. I could not condescend to write confessions,
after the manner of Jean Jaques Rousseau, which every body might have
attacked; and, therefore, I have thought proper to confine the
subjects of my dictations here to public acts. I am aware that even
these relations may be contested: for where is the man in this world,
whatever be his right, and the strength and power of that right, who
may not be attacked and contradicted by an adverse party? But, in the
opinion of those men who are wise and impartial, of those who reflect
and are reasonable, my voice, after all, will be as good as another’s;
and I have little fear for the final decision. So much light has been
diffused in our days that I rely upon the splendour which will remain
after passions shall have subsided and clouds passed away. But, in the
mean time, how many errors will arise! People will often give me
credit for a great deal of depth and sagacity on occasions which were,
perhaps, most simple in themselves; I shall be suspected of plans
which I never formed.[18] It will be inquired whether I did or did not
aspire, in reality, to universal dominion. The question will be
argued, at length, whether my absolute sway and my arbitrary acts were
the result of my character or of my calculations; whether they were
determined by my own inclination or by the influence of circumstances;
whether I was led into the wars in which I was constantly engaged, by
my own inclination, or against my will; whether my insatiable
ambition, which has been so much deprecated, was kindled by the thirst
for dominion and glory, or by my love of order and my concern for the
general welfare; for that ambition will deserve to be considered under
all those different aspects. People will canvass the motives which
guided me in the catastrophe of the Duke d’Enghien,[19] and so on with
respect to many other events. Sometimes they will distort what was
perfectly straight, and refine upon what was quite natural. It was not
for me to treat of all those subjects here: it would have appeared as
if I were pleading my cause—and that I disdain to do. If the rectitude
and the sagacity of historians can enable them to form, from what I
have dictated on general matters, a correct opinion and just notions
respecting those things which I have not mentioned, so much the
better. But, along with the faint ray thus afforded, how many false
lights will appear to them—from the fables and falsehoods of the great
intriguers (who all had their views, their plots, their private
negotiations, which, being mixed up with the main objects, tend to
render the whole an inextricable chaos), to the disclosures, _the
portfolios_, and even the assertions of my ministers, who, with the
best intentions, will have to state not so much what really existed as
what they believe to have existed; for which of them ever possessed
the entire general conception of my mind? Their share of it was, most
frequently, one of the elements of a great whole, which they did not
know. They will, therefore, only have seen that side of the prism
which concerned them; and, even then, how will they have seen it? Did
it reach them entire? Was it not already broken? And yet probably
every one of them, judging from what he has seen, will give the
fantastical result of his own combinations as my true system; and here
again we have the admitted fable, which will be called history. Nor
can it be otherwise. It is true that, as there are many, they will be
far from agreeing together. However, in their positive assertions they
would have the advantage over me: for I should very frequently have
found it most difficult to affirm confidently what had been my whole
and entire thoughts on any given subject. It is well known that I did
not strive to subject circumstances to my ideas; but that I in general
suffered myself on the contrary to be led by them; and who can
calculate beforehand the chances of accidental circumstances or
unexpected events? I have, therefore, often found it necessary to
alter essentially my plan of proceeding, and have acted through life
upon general principles, rather than according to fixed plans. The
mass of the general interests of mankind, what I considered to be the
advantage of the greater number, such were the anchors on which I
relied, but around which I most frequently floated at the caprice of
chance,” &c.

Footnote 18:

  A man of great understanding and information, who had enjoyed much
  of the Emperor’s confidence, and had had a great deal to do with the
  Emperor directly, said to me, after the first abdication, with the
  appearance of intimate conviction, that Napoleon’s plan had been to
  abandon Paris, after he should have completed his conquests, and to
  make Rome the capital of the Empire. I had, at that time, so little
  knowledge of the Emperor that this intelligence staggered me; but
  now I cannot help inquiring where my informant could have got this

Footnote 19:

  It is well known to how many different versions, to how many various
  conjectures, this sad event gave rise.

After these memorable expressions, the present is the best opportunity
of returning to an historical point which in an early part of this
work I promised to treat of, and which ought to have found a place
long before this; I allude to the conspiracy of Georges and Pichegru,
and the trial of the Duke d’Enghien. I shall presently state the true
reasons of this transposition, and of the long delay that has

“War,” said the Emperor, “had some time since re-commenced with
England, when suddenly our coasts, our high roads, and the capital,
were inundated with agents from the Bourbons. A great number of them
were arrested; but their plans could not yet be discovered. They were
of all ranks and descriptions. All the passions were roused, the
agitation of the public became extreme; a storm was gathering; the
crisis assumed the most alarming aspect; the agents of the police had
exhausted all their means, without being able to obtain any
information. My own sagacity saved me,” observed Napoleon. “Having
risen on one occasion in the night, to work, as I used frequently to
do, _chance, which governs the world_, directed my eyes to one of the
last reports of the police, containing the names of those persons who
had already been arrested in consequence of this affair, to which no
clue had yet been obtained. Amongst those names I observed that of a
surgeon in the army; I immediately concluded that such a man must be
an intriguer rather than a devoted fanatic, and I ordered every
measure likely to extort a prompt confession to be instantly resorted
to against him. The affair was immediately placed in the hands of a
military commission; in the morning he was sentenced, and threatened
with immediate execution if he did not speak. Half an hour afterwards
he had disclosed every thing, even to the most minute details. The
nature and the extent of the plot, which had been got up in London,
was then known, and the intrigues of Moreau, and the presence of
Pichegru in Paris, &c. were discovered soon after.”

I omit all the details of that affair; they may be seen in the Letters
written from the Cape in refutation of those of Dr. Warden, and in the
work of Mr. O’Meara. The particulars which I should relate would be
precisely the same as those contained in the work last mentioned; they
are derived from the same source. With respect to the accusation
relative to the death of Pichegru, who was said to have been strangled
by order of the First Consul, Napoleon said that it was too absurd,
and that it would be degrading to attempt to repel it:—“What
advantage,” he observed, “could accrue to me from his death? A man of
my stamp does not act without some powerful motive. Have I ever been
known to shed blood through caprice? Notwithstanding all the efforts
that have been made to blacken my reputation and misrepresent my
character, those who know me know that crime is foreign to my nature.
There is not a private act that has occurred during the whole course
of my administration, of which I might not speak openly before a
tribunal, not only without any disadvantage, but even with some credit
to myself. The fact is that Pichegru found himself placed in a
hopeless situation; his high mind could not bear to contemplate the
infamy of a public execution; he despaired of my clemency, or
disdained to appeal to it, and put an end to his existence.

“Had I been disposed to crime,” continued the Emperor, “it is not
against Pichegru, who could do no harm, that I should have levelled
the blow, but at Moreau, who had at that moment placed me in a most
perilous situation. If the latter had unfortunately also killed
himself while in prison, my justification would have been rendered
much more difficult, on account of the great advantage it would have
been to me to get rid of him. You gentlemen who were abroad, and the
ultra-royalists who were in France, have never known the true state of
public opinion in France. Pichegru, having been once unmasked, and
exposed as a traitor to the nation, no longer excited sympathy in any
breast; and this feeling went so far that the circumstance of his
being connected with Moreau was sufficient to effect the ruin of the
latter, who saw himself abandoned by many of his adherents; for, in
the struggle of parties, the majority of the people cared more about
the commonwealth than about individuals. I judged so correctly in this
business that, when Real came to propose to me to arrest Moreau, I
rejected the proposal without hesitation. Moreau is a man of too much
importance, said I to him; he is too directly opposed to me, I have
too great an interest in getting rid of him, to expose myself thus to
the conjectures of public opinion. But, replied Real, if Moreau
conspires with Pichegru?—The case is then different; prove that to me,
shew me that Pichegru is in Paris, and I will instantly sign the order
for the apprehension of Moreau. Real had received indirect information
of Pichegru’s arrival; but had not yet been able to trace his steps.
Run to his brother’s, said I; if he has left his residence, it will be
a strong indication that Pichegru is in Paris; if he is still in his
lodgings, arrest him: his surprise will soon inform you of the truth.
This brother had been a monk, and lived in a fourth floor in Paris. As
soon as he found himself arrested, he asked, before any question was
put to him, what fault he had committed, and whether it was imputed to
him as a crime that he had received, against his will, a visit from
his brother. He had been the first, he said, to represent to him the
peril of his situation, and to advise him to go away again. This was
quite enough. Moreau’s arrest was ordered and carried into effect.
Moreau appeared at first to be under no apprehension; but, when he
found, after he had been conducted to prison, that he was arrested for
having conspired with Pichegru and Georges against the state, he was
quite disconcerted and extremely agitated. As for the greater number
of those who composed that party,” added Napoleon, “the name of
Pichegru seemed to them a triumph; they exclaimed on all sides that
Pichegru was in London, and that in a few days this would be proved;
for they either did not know that he was in Paris, or believed that it
would be easy for him to escape thence.”

The First Consul had long since broken with Moreau, who was entirely
governed by his wife. “This,” said the Emperor, “is always a great
misfortune, because a man in that case is neither himself nor his
wife, he is nothing.” Moreau shewed himself sometimes favourable to
the First Consul, and sometimes against him; sometimes obsequious and
sometimes sarcastic. The First Consul, who had wished to conciliate
the affection of Moreau, found himself under the necessity of giving
him up altogether. “Moreau,” he had said, “will in the end commit
himself most seriously; he will some day break his head against the
columns of the Palace.” And to this he was but too much instigated by
the inconsiderate conduct and the ridiculous pretensions of his wife
and his mother-in-law. The latter went so far as to contend for
precedence with the wife of the First Consul. “The Minister for
Foreign Affairs,” said Napoleon, “had been obliged once, on the
occasion of an entertainment given by the ministers, to use violence
to oblige her to desist.”

After Moreau had been arrested, the First Consul sent him word that it
would be enough for him to confess that he had seen Pichegru, in order
to put a stop to all proceedings against him. Moreau answered by a
letter, in which he assumed a high tone; but afterwards, when Pichegru
himself was arrested, and the affair began to assume a serious aspect,
Moreau wrote to the First Consul a very submissive letter, but it was
too late.

It was perfectly true that Moreau had conferred with Pichegru and
Georges; and had given the following answer to their proposals:—“In
the present state of affairs I could not do any thing for you, I could
not even depend upon my own aides-de-camp; but _get rid_ of the First
Consul, I have a party in the Senate, and shall be immediately
appointed in his stead. You, Pichegru, will be examined upon the
charge which is brought against you, of having betrayed the national
cause; depend upon it, it is necessary that you should be put upon
your trial, but I will be answerable for the result: from that moment
you will be Second Consul; and we will afterwards choose a third
according to our wish, and proceed all together in concert and without
interruption.” Georges, who was present, and whom Moreau had never
known before, very urgently claimed that third place for himself.
“That cannot be,” said Moreau, “you have no knowledge of the state of
public opinion in France; you have always been a white,[20] and you
see that Pichegru will be obliged to wash off the stain of having had
the intention to become one.” “I understand you,” said Georges, highly
incensed. “What farce are we playing here, and whom do you take me
for? You are then working for yourselves alone, and not at all for the
King? If that is the case, and if there must be a blue[21] at the head
of the government, I prefer the one who is there now.” Upon this they
separated in dudgeon, and Moreau requested Pichegru not to bring that
brute, that bull, destitute of sense and of all information, any more.

Footnote 20:

  A Royalist.

Footnote 21:

  A man of the revolutionary party.

“On the trial,” said Napoleon, “the firmness of the accomplices, the
magnanimity by which they dignified their cause, and the line of
absolute denial recommended by his advocate, saved Moreau. On being
questioned whether the charges brought against him of having held
conferences and had interviews were true, he answered, No. But the
victor of Hohenlinden was unaccustomed to falsehood; a sudden blush
suffused every feature of his countenance, and none of the bystanders
were deceived. However, he was acquitted, and most of the accomplices
were condemned to death. I pardoned several of them; all those whose
wives succeeded in penetrating into my presence, or in whose favour
strong intercessions were made, obtained their lives. The Polignacs,
M. de Riviere and others, would indubitably have perished, but for the
intervention of some fortunate circumstances. Others less known, such
as a man named Borel, Ingand de St. Maur, Rochelle, &c. were equally
fortunate. It is true,” added he, “that they did not afterwards shew
themselves very grateful for such a favour, and that, if they were
worthy to have their conduct investigated, it would be found that
their actions have not been of a nature to encourage clemency. One of
them, who had on the occasion above mentioned owed his life chiefly to
the solicitations of Murat, was precisely the same man who set a price
on Murat’s head in Provence, in the year 1815. If he thought that
fidelity should outweigh gratitude, the sacrifice must at least have
been most painful to him. Another is the man who has most contributed
to circulate the imputation, as ridiculous as that concerning Pichegru
was absurd, of the murder of the English Lieutenant Wright,[22] &c.

“In the midst of the affairs of Georges, Pichegru, and Moreau,” said
the Emperor; “that of the Duke d’Enghien happened, and rendered the
whole a strange complication.” And he then related that affair in
detail. This latter circumstance is the reason that induced me at the
time to displace and postpone to this day the whole of the article
which I now give, for I felt a very great repugnance to touch upon a
subject so painful in itself, and so afflicting to several of my
acquaintances, who had been in direct relation with the Prince, or
personally attached to him. Above all, I dreaded to awaken the
legitimate grief of a high personage, who has formerly honoured me
with some marks of kindness, of which I have ever treasured the
recollection. These are my motives; they will be understood and
appreciated. But, however, I am now approaching to the end of my work,
and my duty, as a faithful historian, imperatively commands me to take
up this melancholy subject, lest my absolute silence should be
misinterpreted. Nevertheless, I shall, for reasons before stated, omit
all the details which are already known, and which may have been read
in the works already quoted (Letters from the Cape, and Mr. O’Meara’s
work): my account would be the same, for all of them were heard from
Napoleon’s own mouth; I shall only relate a few particulars which have
not found their way into the books above mentioned, and only such as
appear to me too intimately connected with the characteristic shades
of Napoleon’s disposition, not to impose upon me the obligation of
mentioning them.

Footnote 22:

  See Letters from the Cape.

This event had made, at the time, a deep impression on my mind, as
well as on that of the inhabitants of Paris. I, perhaps, had felt it
still more forcibly on account of the principles of my childhood, the
habits and connexions of my younger days, and the line of my political
opinions; and I was, at that time, far from having got the better of
this feeling. That first impression had still remained in all its
force, and my ideas on this point were such that I certainly should
not have dared to pronounce the name of the Prince in the presence of
the Emperor: it would have seemed to me to convey the idea of a
reproach. I carried the feeling so far that, the first time I heard
him pronounce the name himself, I turned red with embarrassment.
Fortunately, I was walking behind him in a narrow path; otherwise, he
would certainly have observed my confusion. Yet, notwithstanding all
these previous dispositions on my part, the first time the Emperor
developed this affair in all its general bearings, its details, and
circumstances; when I heard him expose his various motives, with that
conciseness, brilliancy, and power of persuasion which form the
characteristics of his logic, I must confess that the affair seemed to
wear a new aspect. When he had ceased to speak, I remained surprised,
absorbed in thought; I silently called to mind my former objections; I
was angry with myself for having little or nothing to answer at this
moment, and I was obliged to confess, internally, that I found myself
stronger in feelings than in arguments or solid objections.

The Emperor often resumed this subject, which gave me an opportunity
of observing in him some very strongly marked characteristic shades. I
have, on those occasions, most distinctly and frequently seen in him
the private man struggling against the public character; and the
natural feelings of his heart contending against those which were
suggested by his pride and the dignity of his station. In the
unreserved moments of familiar intercourse, he shewed himself not
indifferent to the fate of the unfortunate Prince; but, if his
conversation had reference to public concerns, it was altogether quite
a different thing. One day, having spoken to me of the youth and the
untimely end of this ill-fated Prince, he concluded by saying: “And I
have since learnt, my dear Las Cases, that he was favourable to me. I
have been assured that he used to speak of me with some degree of
admiration; such is retributive justice in this world!” These last
words were pronounced with such an expression, every feature of his
face was so much in harmony with that expression, that I have no
doubt, if the individual whom Napoleon pitied had been at that moment
in his power, he would have been freely forgiven, whatever his acts or
intentions might have been. This was no doubt a sentiment expressed in
an unguarded moment, in which I had, as it were, taken him by
surprise; and I do not suppose that many persons have found themselves
similarly placed. This delicate subject was too sensibly connected
with Napoleon’s pride, and the peculiar cast of his mind, to allow him
to be lavish in his expression of such feelings; and he therefore
varied his arguments and his words on the subject, as the circle of
his hearers increased. We have just seen how he expressed himself in
the confidence of a private conversation; his language was even
different, when we were all assembled together: the affair, he would
then say, might have occasioned him some regret, but had not given
rise to any remorse, or even to any scruples. But when strangers were
present, he would declare that the Prince had deserved his fate.

The Emperor used to consider this affair under two very distinct
aspects: with reference to the common law, or the established rules of
justice, and with reference to the law of nature, or acts of violence.
With us he would willingly argue the matter, and generally on the
principles of common law; and he seemed to condescend to do so on
account of the familiarity that existed between us, or of his
superiority over us. He generally concluded these conversations by
observing that he might possibly be reproached with severity, but that
he could not be accused of any violation of justice; because,
notwithstanding all that calumny and falsehood had invented on the
subject, all the forms required by law had been regularly observed and
strictly attended to.

In the presence of strangers, the Emperor adopted a line of argument
founded almost exclusively on the law of nature and state politics. It
was visible that it would have been too painful to him so far to lower
himself with them as to insist much on the principles of common law:
to have done so would have appeared like an attempt to justify
himself. “If I had not had in my favour the laws of the country to
punish the culprit,” he would say to them, “I should still have had
the right of the law of nature, of legitimate self-defence. The Duke
and his party had constantly but one object in view, that of taking
away my life: I was assailed on all sides, and at every instant;
air-guns, infernal machines, plots, ambuscades of every kind, were
resorted to for that purpose. At last I was tired out, and took an
opportunity of striking them with terror in their turn in London; I
succeeded, and from that moment there was an end to all conspiracies.
Who can blame me for having acted so? What! blows threatening my
existence are aimed at me day after day, from a distance of one
hundred and fifty leagues; no power on earth, no tribunal can afford
me redress; and I shall not be allowed to use the right of nature and
return war for war! What man, unbiassed by party feeling, possessing
the smallest share of judgment and justice, can take upon himself to
condemn me? on what side will he not throw blame, odium, and criminal
accusations? Blood for blood; such is the natural, inevitable, and
infallible law of retaliation: woe to him who provokes it! Those who
foment civil dissensions or excite political commotions render
themselves liable to become the victims of them. It would be a proof
of imbecility or madness to imagine and pretend that a whole family
should have the strange privilege to threaten my existence, day after
day, without giving me the right of retaliation: they could not
reasonably pretend to be above the law to destroy others, and claim
the benefit of it for their own preservation: the chances must be
equal. I had never personally offended any of them; a great nation had
chosen me to govern them; almost all Europe had sanctioned their
choice; my blood, after all, was not ditch-water; it was time to place
it on a par with theirs. And what if I had carried retaliation
further? I might have done it: the disposal of their destiny, the
lives of every one of them, from the highest to the lowest, were more
than once offered to me; but I rejected the offer with indignation.
Not that I thought it would be unjust for me to consent to it, in the
situation to which they had reduced me; but I felt so powerful, I
thought myself so secure, that I should have considered it a base and
gratuitous act of cowardice. My great maxim has always been that, in
war as well as in politics, every evil action, even if legal, can only
be excused in case of absolute necessity: whatever goes beyond that is

“It would have been ridiculous in those who violated so openly the law
of nations to appeal to it themselves. The violation of the territory
of Baden, of which so much has been said, is entirely foreign to the
main point of the question. The law of the inviolability of territory
has not been devised for the benefit of the guilty, but merely for the
preservation of the independence of nations and of the dignity of the
sovereign. It was therefore for the Duke of Baden, and for him alone,
to complain, and he did not; he yielded, no doubt, to violence and to
the feeling of his political inferiority: but, even then, what has
that to do with the merits of the plots and outrages which I had to
complain of, and of which I had every right to be revenged?” And he
concluded that the real authors of the dreadful catastrophe, the
persons who alone were responsible for it, were those who had favoured
and excited from abroad the plots formed against the life of the First
Consul. “For,” said he, “either they had implicated the unfortunate
Prince in them, and had thus sealed his doom; or, by neglecting to
give him intimation of what was going forward, they had suffered him
to slumber imprudently on the brink of the precipice, and to be so
near the frontiers at the moment when so great a blow was about to be
struck in the name and on the behalf of his family.”

To us, in the intimacy of private conversation, the Emperor would say
that the blame in France might be ascribed to an excess of zeal in
those who surrounded him, or to dark intrigues or private views; that
he had been precipitately urged on in this affair; that they had as it
were taken his mind unawares; and that his measures had been hastened,
and their results pre-determined. “I was one day alone,” said he, “I
recollect it well; I was taking my coffee, half seated on the table at
which I had just dined; when sudden information is brought to me that
a new conspiracy has been discovered. I am warmly urged to put an end
to these enormities; they represent to me that it is time at last to
give a lesson to those who have been day after day conspiring against
my life; that this end can only be attained by shedding the blood of
one of them; and that the Duke d’Enghien, who might now be convicted
of forming part of this new conspiracy, and taken in the very fact,
should be that one. It was added that he had been seen at Strasburg;
that it was even believed that he had been in Paris; and that the plan
was that he should enter France by the east, at the moment of the
explosion, whilst the Duke of Berry was disembarking in the west. I
should tell you,” observed the Emperor, “that I did not even know
precisely who the Duke d’Enghien was (the Revolution having taken
place when I was yet a very young man, and I having never been at
Court); and that I was quite in the dark as to where he was at that
moment. Having been informed on those points, I exclaimed that, if
such were the case, the Duke ought to be arrested, and orders should
be given to that effect. Every thing had been foreseen and prepared;
the different orders were already drawn up, nothing remained to be
done but to sign them, and the fate of the young Prince was thus
decided. He had been residing for some time past at a distance of
about three leagues from the Rhine, in the states of Baden. Had I been
sooner aware of this fact and of its importance, I should have taken
umbrage at it, and should not have suffered the Prince to remain so
near the frontiers of France; and that circumstance, as it turned out,
would have saved his life. As for the assertions, that were advanced
at the time, that I had been strenuously opposed in this affair, and
that numerous solicitations had been made to me, they are utterly
false, and were only invented to make me appear in a more odious
light. The same thing may be said of the various motives that have
been ascribed to me; these motives may have existed in the bosoms of
those who acted an inferior part on this occasion, and may have guided
them in their private views; but my conduct was influenced only by the
nature of the fact itself and the energy of my disposition.
Undoubtedly, if I had been informed in time of certain circumstances
respecting the opinions of the Prince, and his disposition; if, above
all, I had seen the letter which he wrote to me, and which, God knows
for what reason, was not delivered to me till after his death, I
should certainly have pardoned him.”

It was easy for us to perceive that these expressions of the Emperor’s
were dictated by his heart and by nature, and that they were only
intended for us; for he would have felt himself much humbled had he
supposed that any body could think for a moment that he endeavoured to
shift the blame upon some other person; or that he condescended to
justify himself. And this feeling was carried so far that, when he was
speaking to strangers, or dictating on that subject for the public
eye, he confined himself to saying that, if he had seen the Prince’s
letter, he should perhaps have forgiven him, on account of the great
political advantages that he might have derived from so doing; and in
tracing with his own hand his last thoughts, which he concludes will
be recorded in the present age, and reach posterity, he still
pronounces on this subject, which he is aware will be considered the
most delicate for his memory, that, if he were again placed in the
same situation, he should again act in the same manner!! Such was the
man, such the stamp of his mind, and the turn of his disposition.

Let those who delight in searching the human heart in its inmost
recesses, to deduce consequences and draw conclusions, now exercise
their ingenuity: I have supplied them with valuable materials, I have
laid genuine documents before them. I will add another and a last,
which will not be the least worthy of notice.

Napoleon one day said to me, with reference to the same subject, “If I
occasioned a general consternation by that melancholy event, what a
universal feeling of horror would have been produced by another
spectacle, with which I might have surprised the world!...

“I have frequently been offered the lives of those whose places I
filled on the throne, at the rate of one million a head. They were
seen to be my competitors, and it was supposed that I thirsted after
their blood; but, even if my disposition had been different from what
it was, had I been formed to commit crimes, I should have repelled all
thoughts of the crime thus proposed to me, as seeming altogether
gratuitous. I was then so powerful, so firmly seated; and they seemed
so little to be feared! Revert to the periods of Tilsit and Wagram; to
my marriage with Maria Louisa; to the state and attitude of Europe!
However, at the height of the crisis of Georges and Pichegru, when I
was assailed by murderers, the moment was thought favourable to tempt
me, and the offer was renewed, having for its object the individual,
whom public opinion, in England as well as in France, pointed out as
chief mover of all these horrible conspiracies. I was at Boulogne,
where the bearer of these offers arrived; I took it into my head to
ascertain personally the truth and the nature of the proposal. I
ordered him to be brought before me.—‘Well, Sir!’ said I, when he
appeared.—‘Yes, First Consul, we will give him up to you for one
million.‘—‘Sir, I will give you two millions; but on condition that
you will bring him alive.’—‘Ah! that I could not promise,’ said the
man, hesitating, and much disconcerted by the tone of my voice and the
expression of my looks at that moment.—‘Do you then take me for a mere
assassin? Know Sir, that, though I may think it necessary to inflict a
punishment or to make a great example, I am not disposed to encourage
the perfidy of an ambuscade;’ and I drove him from my presence. Indeed
his mere presence was already too great a contamination.”


From 21st to 24th.—I had remained with the Emperor the preceding day,
as late as one or two o’clock in the morning; on returning to my own
apartment, I found that I had had a visit paid to me, during my
absence, by a person who had become tired of waiting for me.

That _visit_, which my son had received, and which prudence obliged me
to insert in my journal, at the time, under the veil of mystery, may
and shall now be fully explained.

That visit was neither more nor less than the mysterious re-appearance
of the servant whom Sir Hudson Lowe had taken from me, and who,
favoured by the darkness of the night, and his knowledge of the
localities of the island, had surmounted every obstacle, avoided
sentinels, and scaled precipices, to come and see me, in order to tell
me that, having got a situation with a person who was going to set off
for London in a very few days, he came to offer me his services
without reserve. He had waited for me in my own apartment for a
considerable time, and, seeing that I did not return from the
Emperor’s, he had gone away, fearing lest he should be caught; but he
promised to return, either under pretence of visiting his sister, who
was employed in our household; or by having recourse to the same means
to which he had just resorted.

The next day, I immediately communicated my good fortune to the
Emperor, who appeared much pleased at the intelligence, and to attach
some value to the circumstance. I was very warm on the subject; I
strenuously urged that we had already been here above a year, without
having taken one single step towards the prospect of better days; on
the contrary, we were every day more and more restricted, ill used,
and tormented. We were lost in the universe; Europe was ignorant of
our real situation; it behoved us to make it known. Day after day, the
newspapers shewed us the veil of imposture which had been thrown over
us, and the impudent and disgusting falsehoods of which we were the
objects; it was for us, I urged, to publish the truth; it would find
its way to the ears of the Sovereigns, to whom it was perhaps unknown;
it would become known to the people, whose sympathy would be our
consolation, and whose indignation would, at least, revenge us upon
our cruel persecutors, &c.

We immediately began to search amongst our records. The Emperor
portioned them out, pointing out the share which each of us was to
take, in order to transcribe them with greater despatch. The day
however passed without any thing being done on the subject. The next
day (Friday), as soon as I saw the Emperor, I took the liberty of
reminding him of our plans of the preceding day; but he now appeared
to think less of the matter, and ended the conversation by saying,
“_We must see_.” This day passed like the preceding; I was on thorns.
At night, as if to add to my impatience, my man came again, and
renewed the unreserved offer of his services. I told him that I should
take advantage of them, and that he might act without scruple, as I
should not involve him in any criminality or danger. To this he
replied that he did not care about that, and that he would take charge
of any thing I might wish to give him, observing only, that he would
call for it, without fail, the day after the next (Sunday), which
would, in all probability, be the eve of his sailing. The next day
(Saturday) as soon as I saw the Emperor, I hastened to communicate to
him what I had heard from the servant, dwelling upon the circumstance
of our having only twenty-four hours more; but the Emperor, with the
utmost indifference, turned the conversation to some other topic,
totally foreign to my object. I was struck with surprise. I knew the
Emperor’s disposition, and I was perfectly satisfied that the
indifference, the sort of absence of mind, which he manifested at this
moment could not be the effect of chance, still less the result of
caprice; but what then could his motives be? This idea haunted my mind
the whole day, and rendered me melancholy and miserable. At night, the
same sentiment which agitated my breast during the day, prevented me
from sleeping. I painfully recalled to my mind every circumstance
connected with this affair, when suddenly a new light broke in upon
me. What do I require of the Emperor, thought I? that he should stoop
to the execution of trifling details too much beneath him! No doubt,
disgust and secret dissatisfaction have occasioned the silence which
has caused my uneasiness. Ought we to be useless to him? Can we not
serve him without afflicting him? And then several of his former
observations came across my mind. Had I not informed him of the
affair; had he not approved of it; what more could I expect?[23]
Henceforth it was for me to act, and I made up my mind in one instant.
I resolved to proceed in the business, without mentioning another word
to him on the subject: and, in order that it might remain more secret,
I determined to keep it entirely to myself.

Footnote 23:

  Mr. O’Meara’s work informs me, after a lapse of six years, that I
  had guessed precisely the Emperor’s feeling on this occasion.

Some months had now elapsed since I had succeeded in forwarding the
celebrated letter, in answer to Sir Hudson Lowe, concerning the
Commissioners from the Allied Powers, and which was the only document
that had been sent to Europe up to that period. The person who had
kindly taken charge of it had brought me a large piece of satin, on
part of which the letter had been written. Some was still left; and
that was precisely what I wanted. Thus every thing combined to urge me
towards the precipice, down which I was destined to fall.

As soon as daylight appeared, I gave the remainder of the satin to my
son, on whose discretion I could rely; and he spent the whole of the
day in copying upon it my letter to Prince Lucien. Night came, and,
faithful to his word, my young mulatto appeared. He had some knowledge
of the business of a tailor; he sewed with his own hands the satin
into his clothes, and took his leave of me. I promised to give him
some other things if he came to see me again before his departure, and
wished him a pleasant voyage in case I should not see him
again:—afterwards I went to bed with a light heart, and a feeling of
satisfaction, arising from the contemplation of a day well employed,
and marked by a fortunate event. I was far from thinking, at that
moment, that I had just cut with my own hands the thread of my destiny
at Longwood!

Alas! it will soon be seen that twenty-four hours had not elapsed
when, under pretence of my having written that letter, I was removed
from Longwood, and my person and papers were in the power and at the
entire disposal of the Governor, Sir Hudson Lowe. And if I should now
be asked how I could be so unguarded, and not suspect that possibly a
snare might be laid for me, I should say that my servant had appeared
to me honest, that I believed him to be faithful, and that I was still
a stranger to all idea of instigating spies, a new invention, the
honour of which the British Ministers of that period may claim as
their own, and which has since thriven so well on the continent!


25th.—The Emperor sent for me at about four o’clock; he had just
finished work, and appeared much pleased with the result of his
occupations of the day. “I have been busy with Bertrand all day on
fortifications,” said he to me, “and the day has appeared to me very
short.” I have already said that this was a newly acquired taste of
the Emperor’s, quite of the moment; and such pastimes are valuable
here, God knows!

I had followed the Emperor to the kind of grassplot which adjoins the
tent; we thence went to the corner of the walk that leads to the
bottom of the garden. Five oranges were brought on a plate, with a
knife and some sugar. Oranges are very scarce on the island; they are
sent from the Cape. The Emperor is very fond of this fruit. These were
a present from Lady Malcolm, and the Admiral never failed to send him
some, whenever he had any. We were three of us at this moment with the
Emperor; he gave me one of these oranges to put in my pocket for my
son, and proceeded to cut the others in slices, and prepare them; and,
seated on the trunk of a tree, was eating them cheerfully, and
familiarly distributing part of them to us at the same time. By a
fatal instinct, I was precisely at that instant contemplating the
pleasure of this momentary situation! Alas! I was far from thinking
that I was then taking the last present I could receive from his

The Emperor then took some turns in the garden; the wind had become
cold: he went into the house again, and bade me follow him alone into
the drawing-room, and the billiard-room, whilst he paced up and down
the whole extent of the two rooms. He was talking to me again about
the manner in which he had passed his day, and asked me how I had
spent mine; then, the conversation having turned on his marriage, he
was speaking of the festivities which had taken place on that
occasion, and which had ended in the terrible accident that happened
at M. Schwartzenberg’s ball. I was listening, and inwardly proposing
to make an interesting article in my journal on the subject, when the
Emperor suddenly interrupted his conversation, to observe through the
window a great number of English officers, who were advancing towards
us from the gate of our enclosure: it was the Governor, surrounded by
several of his staff. The Grand Marshal, who at this moment came into
the room, observed that the Governor had already been there in the
morning; and that he had been at his house, and remained there some
time; he added that a certain movement of the troops was spoken of.
These circumstances appeared singular; and—mark the effect of a guilty
conscience!—the idea of my letter clandestinely sent, immediately
occurred to my mind, and a secret foreboding instantly warned me that
all these strange proceedings concerned me. Such in fact, was the
case, for a few minutes afterwards, a message was brought to me,
informing me that the English Colonel, the creature of Sir Hudson
Lowe’s, was waiting for me in my own apartment. I made a sign that I
was with the Emperor, who, a few minutes afterwards, said to me, “Go,
Las Cases, and see what that animal wants of you.” And, as I was
going, he added, “_and come back soon_.” These were the last words of
Napoleon to me. Alas, I have never seen him since! but his accent, the
tone of his voice, still sound in my ears. How often since have I
taken delight in allowing my imagination to dwell upon them! and what
mingled sensations of pleasure and regret may be produced by a painful

The Colonel who wished to see me was a man entirely devoted to the
Governor’s wishes, his factotum, and with whom I had frequently to
communicate as interpreter. I had no sooner entered the room than,
with an expression of benevolence and kindness both in his voice and
countenance, he inquired after my health with a tender interest. This
was the kiss of Judas; for, having made a sign to him with my hand to
sit down on the sofa, and having also taken a seat on it myself, he
seized this opportunity to place himself between me and the door: and,
altering at once his tone and expression, he informed me that he
arrested me in the name of the Governor, Sir Hudson Lowe, on the
deposition of my servant, who had charged me with having carried on a
secret correspondence.

My room was already guarded by dragoons, all representations on my
part became useless, I was obliged to yield to violence, and was
carried away strongly escorted. The Emperor has since written, as it
will be seen hereafter, that, on seeing me from his window, hurried
along through the plain, surrounded by armed men, the alacrity of the
numerous staff prancing about me, and the rapid undulation of their
high feathers floating in the air, had put him in mind of the
ferocious joy of the savage inhabitants of the islands of the Pacific
Ocean, dancing round the prisoner whom they are about to devour.

I had been separated from my son, who had been detained prisoner in my
apartment; but he soon joined me also under escort: so that the sudden
interruption and final termination of our communications with Longwood
date from that moment. We were both shut up in a wretched hovel, near
the former habitation of General Bertrand and his family. I was
obliged to sleep on a miserable pallet, and to make room for my poor
son by my side, lest he should have to lie on the floor; I considered
his life to be at this moment in danger, he was threatened with an
aneurism, and had been on the point of expiring in my arms a few days
before. We were kept until eleven o’clock without food; and when, in
order to supply the wants of my son, I went to the door and to each of
the windows to ask the men who guarded them for a morsel of bread,
they answered me only by presenting their bayonets.

                      MY PAPERS ARE EXAMINED, &C.

25th, 26th.—What a terrible night is the first night spent in prison,
within four walls! What ideas, what reflections, arise in the mind! My
last thought at night, and the first on waking in the morning, had
been that I was still only a few minutes’ walk from Longwood, and yet
that perhaps I was already separated from it for ever.

In the course of the morning, the Grand Marshal, accompanied by an
officer, passed within hail of my hovel. I was enabled to ask him from
my dungeon how the Emperor was. The Grand Marshal was going to the
Governor’s at Plantation House. His visit was undoubtedly on my
account, but what could be the object of his mission? What were the
ideas and the wishes of the Emperor on the subject? This occupied all
my thoughts. On passing again, on his return, the Grand Marshal, with
an expression of melancholy, made a sign to me, which gave me the idea
of bidding me adieu, and which went to my heart. In the course of the
morning, General Gourgaud and M. de Montholon also came as far as the
late residence of Madame Bertrand, which was opposite to my prison,
and not far from it. It was consolatory to me to see and to interpret
their signs of friendship and tender interest. They solicited in vain
to be allowed to come into my prison; they were obliged to return
without having succeeded. Shortly afterwards, Madame Bertrand sent me
some oranges, informing me, at the same time, that she had just
received indirectly some news of my wife, and that she was in good
health. These attentions, these demonstrations of kindness, from all
my companions, were to me a proof that the first appearance of
misfortune is sufficient to awaken the feelings of family affection,
and I found some consolation at this moment in being a prisoner.

No time had been lost in my late apartment, after my arrest: a police
officer (a recent importation into the colony, and, I presume, the
first attempt of the kind that had been made on British ground) had
made his first essay on me. He had searched my secretaire, broken open
my drawers, and seized all my papers; and, anxious to shew his
dexterity and the extent of his abilities, he had immediately set
about undoing our beds, and taking my sofa to pieces, and even spoke
of taking up the flooring.

The Governor, having got possession of all my papers, now proceeded to
produce them to me in triumph. He went into the late house of Madame
Bertrand, opposite to me, followed by eight or ten officers, and sent
to ask me whether I would go over and there be present at the
inventory which was to be made of them, or whether I preferred that he
should come to me. I replied that since he left me the option, the
latter plan would be most agreeable to me. Every body being seated, I
rose to protest most positively against the indecorous manner in which
I had been taken away from Longwood, against the illegality of sealing
up my papers in my absence, and against the violation about to be
committed on my private papers, the sacred depositories of my
thoughts, which should exist for me only, and which had remained to
this day a secret to all the world. I protested against the abuse that
might be made of their contents by power; I told Sir Hudson Lowe that,
if he thought that the circumstances of the case required that he
should examine them, he must use his own discretion; that I had no
fear of the consequences; but that I owed to myself and to general
principles to throw the responsibility of the act entirely upon him,
to yield only to violence, and not to authorize it by my consent.

These words, uttered by me in presence of all his officers, irritated
the Governor, who exclaimed, “Count Las Cases, do not render your
situation worse than it is; it is bad enough already!” alluding
probably to the punishment of death, which he often reminded us of our
being liable to, if we assisted in endeavouring to effect the escape
of the great Captive. He concluded, no doubt, that my papers would
produce the most important discoveries: God knows how far his ideas
might go on that subject.

Before Sir Hudson began to read my papers, he called General Bingham,
the second in command in the island, to assist personally in their
perusal; but that officer’s ideas of delicacy differed entirely from
those of the Governor. “Sir Hudson Lowe,” answered he, with a marked
expression of disgust, “I beg you will excuse me, I do not think that
I shall be able to read that kind of French hand-writing.”

I had, in fact, no real objection to the Governor’s examining my
papers; and I therefore told him that, not in his capacity of judge or
magistrate, for he was neither the one nor the other to me, but of my
own accord and out of pure condescension, I thought proper to allow
him to read them. He fell immediately upon my Journal. His joy and his
expectations may be imagined, when he perceived that it would inform
him, day by day, of all that happened among us at Longwood. It was
sufficiently arranged to have a table of contents, or index to the
subjects at the beginning of each month. Sir Hudson Lowe, on meeting
frequently with his name, would immediately refer to the page pointed
out in the index to read the details; and I could not help observing
to him that if he found it often necessary to use forbearance, it was
not my fault, but the fault of his own indiscretion. I assured him
that my Journal was not known to any body; that the Emperor himself,
who was the sole subject of it, had only read the first pages of it;
that its contexture was far from being settled, and that it was
intended to remain, for some time to come, a secret known to myself

After Sir Hudson Lowe had spent two or three hours in looking over my
Journal, I told him that my intention had been to enable him to form a
correct idea of the nature of its contents, and that, having now done
so, I felt bound, for many reasons, to prohibit, as far as it was in
my power, his going any further; that he _could_ of course do as he
pleased, but that I should protest against the violence he would thus
exercise, and the abuse of his authority. I could easily perceive that
this was a great disappointment to him; he even hesitated: however, my
protest produced its effect, and my Journal was not touched again. I
might have extended the protest to all my other papers, but I did not
care much about them; and they were, during several days, most
minutely examined.

I had my last will sealed up: I was obliged to open it as well as
other papers equally sacred. Having got to the bottom of a portfolio
containing some things which I had not ventured to look at since my
absence from Europe, I was obliged to open them. This day was to be a
day of emotion to me: the sight of these objects awoke in my breast
some old recollections which my courage had stifled, since certain
painful separations had taken place. I was affected, and obliged to
hasten out of the room. My son, who remained in it, told me afterwards
that the Governor himself had appeared somewhat affected by this


From 28th to 30th.—This day, 28th, we have been removed from our
wretched hovel to a kind of cottage belonging to Mr. Balcombe, our
former host when at Briars, and situated about a league distant. The
house was small, but very tolerable, and situated opposite to
Longwood, and at a short distance from it: we were only separated from
it by several ridges of precipices and steep summits of mountains. We
were guarded by a detachment of the sixty-sixth regiment; numerous
sentinels watched over us, and forbade the approach to our prison. An
officer was at our disposal, Sir Hudson Lowe obligingly said, and, as
he affirmed, for our convenience. All communications were strictly
intercepted; we were placed in a state of the most absolute seclusion.
On the summit of the hills which surrounded the hollow in which our
house was situated, there was a road on which we saw to-day General
Gourgaud, accompanied by an English officer. We could observe his
efforts to come as near to us as possible, and we received with
feelings of joy and affection the signs and demonstrations of
friendship which our companion addressed to us from that distance, and
returned ours to him in the same manner. The kind and excellent Madame
Bertrand sent us again some oranges: we were not allowed to write to
her to thank her, and were obliged to confine the expression of our
gratitude by sending her some roses which we had gathered in our

The next day Sir Hudson Lowe came to see us in our new residence. He
wished to know what kind of bed I had had, and I took him to the next
room and shewed him a mattress on the floor. The same kind of
attention had been bestowed upon our food. “I mention these things to
you,” said I, “because you have asked me; but, for my part, I do not
care about them.” He then grew very angry with the person to whom he
had intrusted the superintendence of our establishment here, and sent
us our meals from his own table at Plantation House, although a
distance of two leagues, and continued so to do until our wants were
regularly provided for.

It became necessary to devise some occupation in our new prison, to
enable us to bear the weight of time. I divided our hours so as to
fill up our days: I regularly gave lessons in history and mathematics
to my son; we read, and, during our intervals of leisure, we walked
about our enclosure. The place was agreeable enough for St. Helena, it
contained some verdure and a few trees. A great number of common
fowls, which were rearing for the consumption of Longwood, were kept
there, as well as some Guinea fowls, and other large birds, which we
soon rendered tame: prisoners are ingenious and compassionate. In the
evening, we used to light a fire, and then I related to my son some
family stories; I informed him of my family concerns, and mentioned to
him, and made him take down the names of those persons who had shewn
themselves kind to me during the course of my life, or had rendered me
any service. In short, our life was dull and melancholy, but so calm
that it was not devoid of a kind of pleasurable feeling. One idea
alone was exceedingly painful, and haunted us continually: the Emperor
was there almost within sight, and yet we inhabited two distinct
worlds; we were separated only by a short distance, and yet all
communication had ceased! There was something horrible in this
situation; I was no longer with him, and I was not with my family,
which I had left to follow him. What then remained to me? My son
shared in these feelings: urged by this situation, and by the
enthusiasm of youth, the dear boy offered to me, in a moment of
excitement, to take advantage of the darkness of night, to elude the
vigilance of our guards, descend the numerous precipices, and scale
the steep heights which parted us from Longwood, see Napoleon, and
bring me back some news from him, which he engaged to do before
day-light. I calmed this zeal, which, even had it rendered the attempt
practicable, would have produced no other result than a feeling of
personal satisfaction, and might have occasioned the most serious
consequences. The Emperor had conversed with me so often and so fully
that I did not suppose there was any thing he might wish to inform me
of; and if such an attempt by my son had been discovered, what a noise
it would have made, what importance would have been attached to it by
the Governor, what absurd stories he would have invented and produced!

                               LOWE, &C.

From Sunday December 1st, to Friday December 6th.—The days of our
imprisonment were slowly succeeding each other, and the Governor,
although he continued to visit us frequently, did not mention any
thing concerning our situation: he had merely hinted to me that my
residence in the Island and my confinement might be protracted, until
instructions were returned from London.

Eight days had nearly elapsed without producing the least approach
towards any result whatever. This state of inactivity and passiveness
could not agree with the nature of my disposition. The health of my
son was at times most alarming. Deprived of all communication with
Longwood, I was left alone to meditate by myself. I reflected upon the
situation in which I was thus placed, fixed upon a plan, and took a
resolution. I chose it, extreme in its nature, thinking that, if it
was approved by the Emperor, it might be useful, and that it would be
very easy to retrace my steps if he wished it. I therefore wrote to
the Governor the following letter:

“SIR,—In consequence of a snare laid by my servant, I was on the 25th
ultimo torn from Longwood, and all my papers were seized, for having
infringed your restrictions, to which I had previously submitted. Had
you trusted the observance of these restrictions to my word or to my
delicacy, I should have considered them as sacred; but you chose to
guard them by attaching penalties to their violation, and I chose to
run the risk of encountering them. You have applied those penalties at
your own discretion, and I have made no objection to it. All this, as
far it goes, is perfectly regular; but the measure of punishment
should not exceed the measure of the offence. What is now the case?
Two letters have been delivered for transmission without your
knowledge: one of them contains the relation of the events that have
occurred to us, written for Prince Lucien, and which would have passed
through your hands, if you had not informed me that the continuation
of my correspondence and the style of my letters would cause my
removal by you from the person of the Emperor. The other letter was
merely a letter of friendship. However, this circumstance has placed
all my papers at your disposal, you have seen them all, even to the
most secret. I have myself so much facilitated your researches that I
have consented to allow you to peruse solely upon your word, that
which was known only to myself, which is as yet a mass of undigested
ideas, undetermined, and liable at every moment to be corrected, or
modified; in a word, the secret, the chaos of my thoughts. In so doing
I have wished to convince you, and I appeal to your candour, when I
say that I hope I have convinced you that, in the multitude of papers
which you have hastily looked over, there is nothing that could be
considered as tending to interfere with the high and important part of
your functions: no plot, no plan, not even a thought relating to
Napoleon’s escape. You could not find any, because none existed. We
are of opinion that his escape is impossible, and we do not think of
it. Yet I will not deny that I should willingly have attempted to
effect it, had I seen the possibility of success. I should willingly
have sacrificed my life to restore him to liberty. I should have
fallen a martyr to my zeal, and my memory would have lived for ever in
all noble and generous hearts. But I repeat it, nobody considers the
attempt practicable; and nobody thinks of making it. The Emperor
Napoleon’s plans and wishes are still those which he formed when he
repaired _willingly and in good faith_ on board the Bellerophon, that
is, to go and seek a life of tranquillity in America, or even in
England, under the protection of the laws.

“These points settled, I protest with all my might against your
reading henceforward, I might say all my private papers, but I confine
myself to what I call my _Journal_. I owe it to the great respect
which I entertain for the august personage whose name fills its pages,
I owe it to the respect due to myself, to state my solemn objection to
your so doing. I therefore demand either that those papers may be
immediately restored to me, if you think conscientiously that their
contents are foreign to the grand object of your administration; or
if, from what you have read of them, you consider that certain parts
should be laid before the British Ministers, I demand that you will
forward them all to England, and send me with them. You, Sir, are so
often alluded to in those papers that delicacy imperatively commands
you to adopt one of those two alternatives. You cannot possibly
endeavour to avail yourself, more than I have allowed you, of this
opportunity to read in them what concerns you personally, lest you
expose yourself to the conclusions that will be drawn by induction
from this abuse of your authority, lest the circumstance be thought
connected with the trap laid for me, and with the great stir that has
been made about such a trifle. As soon as I shall have arrived in
England with these papers, I shall ask the Ministers in their turn,
and I shall appeal to the whole world, whether any importance can be
attached, in the eye of the law, to a document recording day by day,
with all the negligence warranted by strict privacy, the conversation,
the words, and perhaps even the gestures, of the Emperor Napoleon? I
shall ask them particularly whether I have not a right to demand of
them the most inviolable secrecy concerning every part of a Journal,
which is only the rough draught of my thoughts, which properly
speaking does not exist, which contains only materials yet undigested;
which I might without scruple disavow in almost every particular, as
being as yet far from being settled in my own mind, and in which it
happened to me, every day, to have to correct by the tenor of a new
conversation the errors of a former one, errors that must be
unavoidable and of frequent occurrence both with respect to the man
who speaks without knowing that he is observed, and to the man who
collects without considering himself bound to warrant the authenticity
of his information. As for what concerns you, Sir, in those pages, if
you have frequently had occasion to complain of the opinions I have
pronounced, or the facts I have stated, it is very easy to point out,
between man and man, the errors into which I may have fallen. You
cannot possibly afford me a greater pleasure than by giving me an
opportunity of being just; and whatever be the opinion in which I
persist, after your explanation, you will at least be obliged to
acknowledge my candour and sincerity. Be that as it may, Sir, and
whatever be your intentions with respect to me, I from this moment
withdraw, in as far as my present position will admit, from the state
of voluntary subjection in which I had placed myself towards you. When
I entered into that engagement, you told me that I remained at liberty
to retract it at any time; and I therefore, from the present moment,
desire to be restored to the common class of citizens. I place myself
once more under the operation of your civil laws; I appeal to your
tribunals, not to implore their favour, but their justice and their
judgment. I presume, General, that you have too much respect for the
laws, and too much innate justice in your heart, to make it necessary
for me so far to insult you as to observe, that you would become
responsible for all violations of the law that may be exercised
against me directly or indirectly. I do not suppose that the _letter_
of your instructions, which might induce you to detain me a prisoner
here or at the Cape during several months, could shelter you from the
_spirit_ of those same instructions, appealed to by the power, the
superiority, the majesty of the laws.

“Those instructions, if I have rightly understood them, in ordering
you to detain every person having belonged to the establishment at
Longwood, during a certain time before you restore them to liberty,
have only for their object, no doubt, to derange the communications
that might have been held with that horrible prison, and to let some
time elapse after their cessation. Now the manner in which I have been
torn away has been sufficient to attain that end. It was impossible
for me to bring away any idea of the moment. I was, as it were, struck
with sudden death. Besides, if I am sent to England under accusation,
and submitted to the operation of the laws, they will, if I am found
guilty, sufficiently obviate the inconvenience which it has been
sought to avoid. If I am not guilty, I shall still be exposed to the
provisions of the Alien Act; or, if that is not enough, I here give
beforehand my voluntary assent to all precautions, however arbitrary
they may be, which it may be thought proper to adopt against me on
this occasion.

“Without yet knowing, Sir, what your intentions may be with respect to
the disposal of my person, I have already imposed upon myself the
greatest of all sacrifices. I am still very near to Longwood, and
perhaps I am already separated from it by eternity; horrible thought,
that harrows up my soul, and will continue to haunt my imagination!...
But a few days ago, and you would have brought me to submit to the
greatest sacrifices, by the fear of being removed from the Emperor’s
person; to-day, it is not in your power to restore me to him. A stain
has been affixed upon me, by arresting me almost within his sight, I
can no longer be a source of consolation to him; he would only see in
me a being dishonoured, suggesting painful recollections. And yet his
presence, the attentions which I delighted to pay him, are dearer to
me than my life. But perhaps, some pity will be shewn to me from afar!
Something tells me that I shall return; but by a purified channel,
bringing with me all that is dear to my existence, to assist me in
surrounding with pious and tender cares the immortal monument placed
at the extremity of the universe, and slowly consuming by the
inclemency of the climate and the perfidy and cruelty of mankind. You
have spoken to me, Sir, of your own afflictions; we do not suspect
that you have mentioned all the tribulations with which you are
assailed; but every one knows and feels his own misery only. You do
not suspect, on your side, Sir, that you keep Longwood covered with
the veil of mourning. I have the honour,” &c.

A correspondence being once established with Sir Hudson Lowe, I did
not remain idle. The following day I wrote to him again, to tell him
that, in consequence of my letter of the preceding day, I now
officially and in due form demanded my removal from St. Helena and my
return to Europe. On the following day, I took up the same subject,
and treated it with reference to my situation, as affecting my
domestic concerns.

“In my two preceding letters,” said I to him, “both relating to my
political situation, I thought it improper and unbecoming to introduce
a single word touching my private affairs; but now that I consider
myself as belonging once more to the mass of common citizens, I do not
hesitate, as an accidental inhabitant of your island, to represent to
you all the horrors of my private situation. You are aware of the
dangerous state of my son’s health: it must have been reported to you
by the medical men. Ever since he has seen the dear and sacred tie
which bound us to Longwood dissolved, all his ideas, all his wishes,
all his hopes, are ardently turned towards Europe, and his disease
will be increased by impatience and the power of imagination. Such is
_his_ physical situation, which renders _my_ moral situation still
worse, if possible. I have to contend at one and the same time against
the feelings of my heart and the uneasiness of my mind. I cannot
consider, without a feeling of terror, that I am responsible to myself
for having brought him hither, and for being the cause of his being
detained here. What should I answer to his mother, who would ask me
for her son? What should I reply to the multitude of idlers and
others, who, though indifferent to the circumstances, are ever ready
to judge and condemn? I say nothing of my own health, it is of little
importance amidst such emotions, and such causes of anxiety. And yet,
I find myself in a most deplorable state; for, since I have no longer
before my eyes the cause which kept the faculties of my mind in
action, my body sinks under the dreadful havoc produced by eighteen
months’ struggles, agitations, and afflictions, such as the
imagination can hardly dwell upon. I am no longer near the august
personage for whom I cheerfully endured them, and I am nevertheless
also separated from my family, whose absence has caused me so much
sorrow. Deprived of both objects, my heart is torn between them; it
wanders in an abyss; it can no longer endure this situation. I leave
you, Sir, to weigh these considerations. Do not sacrifice two victims.
I request that you will send us to England, to the source of science
and of every kind of assistance. This is the first demand of any kind,
that I have made either of yourself or your predecessor. But the
deplorable state of my son’s health overpowers my stoicism; will it
not awaken your humanity? Several motives may tend to influence your
decision: they are all contained in my letter of 30th November. I
shall merely add here that an opportunity now offers for you to give a
great and rare example of impartiality, in sending thus to your
Ministers one of your adversaries.“

After having received these two letters, Sir Hudson Lowe called upon
me, and with reference to the first, he immediately denied having laid
any trap for me through the medium of my servant. He however admitted
that appearances warranted my suspicions.

Sir Hudson Lowe, afterwards, went on to discuss verbally some passages
of my letters, dwelling particularly upon certain expressions, which,
he represented to me in a friendly manner, could not but be unpleasant
to him. He found me not only on this, but on several other occasions
of the same nature, perfectly accommodating. My answer to his
observations was generally to take up the pen immediately, and erase
or modify the expressions that displeased him.

I omit a pretty voluminous correspondence upon the same subject; I
shall merely state that, in general, Sir Hudson Lowe avoided giving a
written answer, and that his custom was to come, as it has just been
seen, to converse with me respecting the letters he had just received,
and obtain some erasures, after which he retired, saying that he would
soon give a circumstantial answer: this he did not do at the time, and
has never done since; but, as I have been informed from England, he
now pays periodical papers, or occasional libellers, to abuse my work,
and to revile its author.

As, in the numerous verbal discussions to which my letters gave rise,
Sir Hudson Lowe did not, with the exception of the erasure of a few
expressions, obtain any important concession, or attain any of the
objects which he had in view; he would, on leaving me, represent me as
a man of deep cunning, and, as he affirmed, very much to be feared:
for with him a man was very cunning, very crafty, and very dangerous,
who had sense enough not to yield blindly to all his views, or to fall
into his snares. However, the following is the only trick I ever
played him. The idleness and rigour of captivity sharpen the
invention; besides, it was all fair between us: the incontestable
right of a prisoner is to endeavour to deceive his gaoler.

I said, at the beginning of this work, that the Emperor at the moment
of our departure for St. Helena, had secretly intrusted me with a
necklace of diamonds of very considerable value.

The habit of carrying it about me for such a length of time had
brought me to think no more about it, so that it was only after
several days of seclusion, and quite by chance, that I thought of it.
Closely watched as I was, I could not see any possibility of being
able to restore it to the Emperor, who had no doubt forgotten it as
well as myself. After having thought a great deal on the subject, I
contrived to make use of Sir Hudson Lowe himself for that purpose. I
requested to be allowed to bid my companions farewell, and wrote the
following letter to the Grand Marshal:—

”SIR,—Torn from the midst of you all, left to myself, deprived of all
communication whatever, I have been obliged to found my decisions on
my own judgment and my own feelings. I have addressed them officially
to Sir Hudson Lowe, on the 30th of November. In return for the liberty
which I am allowed, I abstain from saying a single word about it, and
rely upon the delicacy of the high authorities to communicate to you
the whole of my letter, if any part of it should ever be mentioned or
alluded to—I resign myself to my fate.

“It only remains for me to request you will lay at the Emperor’s feet
the assurance of my respect, veneration, and affection: my life is
still entirely devoted to him. I shall never enjoy any happiness but
near his august person.

“In the unfortunate state of penury to which you are all reduced, I
should have most ardently wished to leave behind me some of my wife’s
jewels ... a necklace ... the widow’s mite! But how shall I venture to
offer it?... I have often made the offer of the four thousand louis
which I possess in England at my disposal, that offer I now again
renew; my position, whatever it be, cannot produce any alteration in
my intention. I shall henceforward be proud to be in want! Once more,
Sir, assure the Emperor of my entire devotion to his person, of my
fidelity and unshaken constancy....

“And you, my dear companions of Longwood, let me ever live in your
recollection! I know the privations and afflictions to which you are
exposed; and my heart bleeds for you. With you, I was of little
importance; far from you, you shall know my zeal and my tender
solicitude, if they have humanity enough to allow me to exercise them.
I embrace you all very affectionately, and request you will add for
yourself, Sir, the assurance of my respect and consideration.

“P.S. This letter has been ready for you some time; it was written
when I thought I was going to be removed hence. To-day the Governor,
in giving me permission to send it to you, informs me that I am to
wait here, until answers shall have arrived from England. Thus I shall
be for months at St. Helena, and yet Longwood will cease to exist for
me; a new species of torment which I had not thought of!”

Sir Hudson Lowe, to whom I delivered this letter open, for such was
his condition, read it, approved it, and was kind enough to undertake
to deliver it himself, a circumstance which had the effect of exciting
the Emperor’s attention, and which contributed, in a great measure,
though indirectly, to cause the deposit to be restored to Napoleon.

A register was made of all letters from my London friends, in order to
ascertain in the public offices whether any had arrived by indirect
modes of conveyance. I had commenced a second letter to Prince Lucien;
the Governor laid particular stress upon it. It was in vain I
represented to him that it was full of erasures, and crowded with
pencil notes almost effaced; that it had not been written, and did not
therefore exist in reality; that I might disown it without scruple;
that it was impossible to make any _legal_ or _honest_ use of it: he
persisted in having some parts of the letter copied; God knows for
what purpose!

He was much puzzled by a note of the Lieutenant-Governor’s lady. On
quitting St. Helena for England, she had told us that the law forbade
her taking charge of any letter; but that she would have great
pleasure in being useful to us in any other way. I had sent to her,
for my London friends, some articles which had been used by the
Emperor, or which had come from himself. A small silver inkstand, I
believe, some words in his hand-writing, perhaps some of his hair; I
know not what. These I called precious relics. Mrs. Skelton had
replied that she would treat them with all the respect they deserved,
but that she must confess to me she had not been able to resist the
temptation of taking a small portion of them.

Sir Hudson Lowe could not account for my being either unable or
unwilling to state what those precious objects were. I should be
mortified if they should have brought any disagreeable consequences on
this lady. I had merely kept the note in memory, and in token of
respect for her. Mr. and Mrs. Skelton were a moral and virtuous
couple, whom we had much injured, though undoubtedly against our wish;
but their politeness and attention to us had constantly increased with
the harm we did them. Our arrival in the island had caused their being
dispossessed of Longwood, losing their situation, and being sent back
to Europe, where they must be without a provision.

At last, after a time, the famous clandestine documents came out in
their turn: my letter to Prince Lucien, and the one to my London
acquaintance. Sir Hudson Lowe had caused them to be carefully copied,
but with many chasms, from not having been able to read all, certain
words being found effaced upon the satin, owing to the documents
having been accidentally wetted since I had parted with them. I
carried my complaisance and good nature so far as to restore them; and
then a sort of interrogatory commenced.

The Governor’s attention was much engaged by two points, which he had
it deeply at heart to clear up, if, he said, I had no objection to it.
The first question was relative to these words of my letter to Prince
Lucien: “Those who surround us complain bitterly that their letters
are falsified in the public papers,” &c. It was asked of me who these
persons were. The Aide-de-camp held his pen to take down my answers. I
desired he would write that, seeing no inconvenience in answering, I
would do so, but entirely of my own accord; for that, if the Governor
thought to question by virtue of his authority, I should be silent;
and I then said, “that those words of my letter were vague, general,
and without any application whatever; that they were what had been
said to us by every one, when they sought to console us for the very
improper expressions or descriptions regarding us, which we
occasionally found in the London papers, under the date of St.

The Governor’s second question applied to my private letter. It
contained, amongst others, a request to ask Lord Holland whether he
had received the parcels I had directed to him. Sir Hudson Lowe
inquired what those parcels were, and by whom I had forwarded them,
&c.; and here he visibly redoubled the mildness of his deportment, in
order to obtain a satisfactory answer, confessing that he had no right
to compel me to reply; but it would be, he said, the means of
materially expediting and simplifying my own affair, &c. I replied,
rather in a solemn manner, that this point was my _secret_, which
evidently created an impression upon the physiognomy of Sir Hudson
Lowe; and, my words being taken down as I uttered them, I continued to
dictate, adding that the answer I had just given was only that which
my education and habits prompted me to give, that any other might have
given rise to the Governor’s doubts, and that it was not proper I
should expose the veracity of my words to the smallest suspicion;
that, after this preliminary statement, however, I had no longer any
objection to declare that I never, in all my life, had any
communication with Lord Holland. This unexpected conclusion was a
_coup de théâtre_, quite a comedy-scene; it would be difficult to
describe the surprise of the Governor, the astonishment of the
officers; the pen stopped in the writer’s hand. Sir Hudson Lowe did
not hesitate to reply that he fully believed me, but that he must
confess he could not understand the business at all. I confessed, in
my turn, that I could not help laughing at the perplexity I caused
him, but that I had told him all. The fact is, I had intended, when my
servant should return, to intrust him besides with several authentic
documents upon our situation, for Lord Holland: but I had not been
allowed time for so doing; they had come too soon to take me away. I
had the honour of knowing his Lordship only by the nobleness and
dignity of his public conduct; but to transmit the truth to him, as an
hereditary legislator of his country, and a member of the supreme
court of Great Britain, appeared to me very proper in us both, and
equally becoming and serviceable to the honour of the British

                            A REAL BLESSING.

16th.—More than twenty days had elapsed, and nothing as yet announced
any change in our dreadful situation. My son’s illness continued to
exhibit the most alarming symptoms; my health was visibly declining
through grief and anxiety. Our confinement was so strict that we had
not yet heard a single word from Longwood; I was quite ignorant how my
unfortunate affair had been interpreted there; I had merely learnt
that the Emperor had not left his apartment during the last fifteen or
eighteen days and had almost always taken his meals there alone. What
did I not suffer from these circumstances! The Emperor had evidently
been affected, but in what manner? Shall I own it? this doubt was, to
me, a source of absolute torment; it haunted me at every moment since
I had quitted Longwood: for the Emperor was perfectly ignorant of the
cause of my being carried off; fate had so ordained it. What would he
have thought, on hearing about my clandestine letters? What would have
been his opinions, what motive would he assign to my disguise towards
him; I, who from habit, would not have stirred a step, or hazarded an
expression, without communicating with him? I coupled these faults,
which I even exaggerated, with the affecting kindness of the last
moments I had passed with him. Some minutes before I was torn away
from him, he was more cheerful towards me, seemed even better disposed
than usual; and, some moments later, he had perhaps been led to find
something mysterious in my conduct. The appearance of the right of
reproach and of doubt had perhaps already risen in his mind. This idea
grieved me more than I could express, and visibly affected my health.
Fortunately, the Governor came to restore me to life. He presented
himself towards evening, appearing much taken up with what he had to
tell me, and, after a long preamble, which it was difficult for me to
understand, he concluded by informing me, that he held in his hand a
letter, which my situation gave him the right to withhold from me; but
that he knew how dear to me was the hand that wrote it, how much I
valued the sentiments which it expressed, and that he was, therefore,
going to shew it to me, notwithstanding the many personal motives he
might have for not doing so! It was a letter from the Emperor!

Whatever harm Sir Hudson Lowe may have done to us, whatever his
motives may have been, at this moment, I owe him a real obligation for
the happiness he afforded me; and, when I recollect it, I am tempted
to reproach myself for many details and certain imputations; but I
owed them to truth, and to considerations of the highest importance. I
shewed myself so much affected that he appeared to be moved by it, and
consented to my request of being allowed to take a copy of what was
strictly personal in the letter. My son copied it in a hurry, so much
did we dread lest he should alter his mind; and when he left us, we
re-copied it in many ways and in many places; we even learnt it by
heart, so great was our fear that the night’s reflections might
occasion Sir Hudson Lowe to repent. And, in fact, when he re-appeared
the next morning, he expressed to me his regret on the subject; and I
did not hesitate to offer to return to him the copy I had taken,
assuring him that I should not feel the less grateful. We had ensured
to ourselves the means of being generous without inconvenience.
Whether he suspected that such was the case, or whether from a
continuation of the same kindness, I know not; but he declined my
offer. I shall now lay before the reader that letter, the original of
which was kept by Sir Hudson Lowe, which he gave me his word should
share the same fate as my other papers, and which I nevertheless had
all possible trouble to obtain, when the English Government, after
Napoleon’s death, thought that they could not avoid restoring my
Journal to me. I shall transcribe here those passages of the letter
which Sir Hudson Lowe allowed me to copy at the time, and such as they
were published after my return to Europe; those parts which he kept
back are thrown into the notes, at the bottom of the pages: the two
together will form the whole of the original.

“My dear Count de Las Cases,—My heart is deeply affected by what you
now experience. Torn from me a fortnight ago, you have been ever since
closely confined, without the possibility of my receiving any news
from you, or sending you any; without having had any communication
with any person, either French or English; deprived even of the
attendance of a servant of your own choice.

“Your conduct at St. Helena has been, like the whole of your life,
honourable and irreproachable; I have pleasure in giving you this

“Your letter to one of your friends in London contains nothing
reprehensible; you merely disburden your heart into the bosom of

              [_Half the letter was wanting here._[24]]

Footnote 24:

  “This letter is similar to eight or ten others, which you have
  written to the same person, and which you have sent unsealed. The
  Governor having had the indelicacy to pry into the expressions which
  you confide to friendship, has latterly reproached you with them,
  threatening to send you out of the island, if your letters continued
  to be the bearers of complaints against him. He has thus violated
  the first duty of his situation, the first article of his
  instructions, the first sentiment of honour; he has thus authorized
  you to seek for means to open your heart to your friends, and inform
  them of the guilty conduct of this Governor. But you have been very
  simple; your confidence has been easily beguiled!

  “A pretext was wanting to seize upon your papers; but your letter to
  your friend in London could not authorize a visit from the police to
  you; since it contained no plot, no mystery: since it was only the
  expression of a heart noble and sincere. The illegal and precipitate
  conduct observed on this occasion bears the stamp of a base feeling
  of personal animosity.

  “In countries the least civilized, exiles, prisoners, and even
  criminals, are under the protection of the laws and of the
  magistrates; those persons who are intrusted with the keeping of
  them have superior officers in the administration who watch over
  them. On this rock, the man who makes the most absurd regulations,
  executes them with violence, and transgresses all laws; there is
  nobody to check the outrages of his passions.

  “The Prince Regent can never be informed of the acts carried on
  under his name; they have refused to forward my letters to him; they
  have, in a violent manner, sent back the complaints made by Count
  Montholon; and Count Bertrand has since been informed that no
  letters would be received if they continued to be libellous as they
  had hitherto been.

  “Longwood is surrounded by a mystery which it is sought to render
  impenetrable, in order to conceal a guilty line of conduct which is
  calculated to create a suspicion of the most criminal intentions!!!

  “By reports insidiously circulated, it is endeavoured to deceive the
  officers, the travellers, the inhabitants, of this island, and even
  the agents whom, it is said, Austria and Russia have sent hither. No
  doubt the English Government is deceived, in like manner, by artful
  and false representations.

  “They have seized your papers, amongst which, they know there were
  some belonging to me, without the least formality, in the room next
  to mine, with a ferocious _eclat_ and manifestation of joy. I was
  informed of it a few moments afterwards, and looked from the window,
  when I saw that they were hurrying you away. A numerous staff was
  prancing round the house; me thought I saw the inhabitants of the
  Pacific Ocean dancing round the prisoner whom they are about to

“Your company was necessary to me. You are the only one that can read,
speak, and understand English. How many nights you have watched over
me during my illnesses! However, I advise you, and if necessary, I
order you, to demand of the Governor of this country to send you to
the Continent; he cannot refuse, since he has no power over you, but
by virtue of the act which you have voluntarily signed. It will be a
great source of consolation to me to know that you are on your way to
more favoured climes.

“Once in Europe, whether you proceed to England or return home,
endeavour to forget the evils which you have been made to suffer; and
boast of the fidelity which you have shewn towards me, and of all the
affection I feel for you.

“If you should, some day or other, see my wife and son, embrace them
for me; for the last two years, I have had no news from them, either
directly or indirectly.

            [_Three or four lines were wanting here._[25]]

Footnote 25:

  “There is in this country a German botanist, who has been here for
  the last six months, and who saw them in the gardens of Shoenbruna,
  a few months before his departure. The barbarians have carefully
  prevented him from coming to give me any news respecting them.”

“In the mean time be comforted, and console my friends. My body, it is
true, is exposed to the hatred of my enemies; they omit nothing that
can contribute to satisfy their vengeance; they make me suffer the
protracted tortures of a slow death; but Providence is too just to
allow these sufferings to last much longer. The insalubrity of this
dreadful climate, the want of every thing that tends to support life,
will soon, I feel, put an end to my existence.

            [_Four or five lines were wanting here._[26]]

“As there is every reason to suppose that you will not be allowed to
come and see me before your departure, receive my embrace, and the
assurance of my friendship. May you be happy!



“_Longwood; 11th December, 1816._” */

Footnote 26:

  “The last moments of which will be an opprobrium to the English
  name; and Europe will one day stigmatize with horror that perfidious
  and wicked man; all true Englishmen will disown him as Briton.”

                      STARTED BY SIR HUDSON LOWE.

From Tuesday, Dec. 17th, to Thursday 19th, 1816.—The Emperor’s letter
proved a source of real consolation to me. It was continually present
in my thoughts; it dissipated my alarms, strengthened my resolution,
and in short it rendered me truly happy. I read it carefully over and
over again. I weighed every word it contained. From my own knowledge
of the Emperor, I thought that I could guess how he had been induced
to write it. I could conceive what would be his uneasiness respecting
the cause of my removal, and his surprise on hearing of the
clandestine correspondence. From his constant habit of considering
things in every possible point of view, I felt convinced that his
penetration had enabled him to discover precisely what had taken
place, and that he had determined to write to me in consequence. My
conjectures on all these points proved to be correct: for I afterwards
learned that the Emperor, after some delay, had determined to write to
me, without knowing what might be the nature of the papers which had
caused my arrest.

Need I say how dearly I prized this letter! I who had so frequently
heard the Emperor declare that he would not write to his wife, his
mother, or his brothers, since he could not do so without having his
letters opened and read by his jailers. But the letter to me had been
opened with his own consent and with his own hands; for, after it was
sent to Sir Hudson Lowe by the officer on guard, it was returned with
the observation that it could not be delivered to me until it should
be read and approved by the Governor. The Emperor was reclining on his
sofa at the moment when the letter was brought back to him, with this
new obstacle. He uttered not a word, but raising his hand over his
head, he took the letter, broke the seal, and immediately returned it,
without even looking at the person who had presented it.

Another circumstance which rendered this letter valuable in my eyes
was that it bore the Emperor’s full signature; and I knew how much he
disliked to sign his name at length, in the new circumstances in which
he was placed. This, I believe, was the first time he had signed his
name at full length since he had been at St. Helena, and, from an
inspection of the original, it is easy to perceive that it cost him
some degree of consideration. At first he wrote with his own hand,
merely the date: “_Longwood, December 11, 1816_,” concluding with his
usual cipher. But, conceiving this to be insufficient, he added, lower
down: “_your devoted Napoleon_,” repeating his cipher. The whole bears
evident traces of having been written under feelings of

Footnote 27:

  This letter was written by one of Napoleon’s suite; but the Emperor
  himself, with his own hand, marked the punctuation. I have mentioned
  in a former part of my Journal that, in his writing, the Emperor was
  perfectly careless of orthography; yet it is singular that, in the
  letter here alluded to, he has himself corrected the slightest

But the greatest satisfaction which the Emperor’s letter afforded me
was that it pointed out precisely the course which I had previously
determined on adopting. “I _entreat_ you, and in case of urgency, I
_command_ you, to quit the island,” said the Emperor: and this was
exactly what I had resolved to do, during the first days of my
seclusion, while separated from all my friends, and having no
counsellor but myself. I can no longer, I thought, be of any great
service to the Emperor here; but I may, perhaps, be useful to him
elsewhere. I will go to England, and appeal to the Ministers. They
cannot suspect my conduct to be premeditated; seeing that I have been
snatched, as it were, from sudden death. Whatever I say will evidently
come from my heart. I will paint the truth, and they cannot but be
touched with the miseries I shall unfold to them. They will ameliorate
the condition of the illustrious captive, and I will myself return and
lay at his feet the consolation which my zeal will have procured.

I therefore resumed my prayers and entreaties; and a circumstance
which the more induced me to do so was that my son had just then been
seized with a relapse, and had been for half an hour in a state of
insensibility, without any other assistance than I was capable of
affording him. My distress and anxiety may be easily conceived; and I
was myself very much indisposed. I wrote a letter to the Governor, in
which I said:—“You reduce me to the utmost possible misery. What a
terrible responsibility you are taking upon yourself! You are a
father; and alarms like those which now distress me may, perhaps, one
day remind you of my unavailing entreaties.” It was evident that, by
detaining us, he was hurrying us to our graves. I was unable to
conceive what could induce him thus to involve himself in new
difficulties; it appeared to me most natural that he should prefer
letting us die elsewhere.

Sir Hudson Lowe called that very day. He said that the note he had
received respecting my son’s health was the occasion of his visit. He
had sent for Dr. Baxter, who arrived soon after him.

In the course of a long conversation, I could very well discern that
Sir Hudson Lowe had now some secret object in view with respect to me.
We reciprocally sounded each other on various points; and the Governor
concluded by observing that he could not send me back to England,
because I insisted on carrying my Journal along with me; while, on the
other hand, it was claimed by the Emperor, as it had been written by
his order. The cunning and absurdity of this reasoning were
sufficiently obvious. Then, as if seized by a sudden thought and a
momentary feeling of condescension, he added that, if I wished to
return to Longwood, he would very willingly agree to it. I trembled to
hear this.... However, recollecting the letter and the significant
words of the Emperor, I replied that, though the idea of returning to
Longwood was wholly contrary to my present intention, yet, if the
Emperor expressed a desire to that effect, I should immediately change
my resolution. Sir Hudson Lowe observed that he had good reason to
believe the Emperor did wish for my return. The Governor’s thoughts
were evidently occupied with some new scheme or other respecting me;
but I could not guess what it was. I signified that it would be
necessary for me to write to Longwood, to learn what were the
Emperor’s wishes. To this the Governor did not positively object, but
he expressed himself with the utmost obscurity. At length he departed;
at least I supposed him gone. He had, however, merely withdrawn for a
time, to hold a conference with his confidential officer; after which
he came to inform me that, having considered the business, he thought
it advisable for me to write to the Grand Marshal on the subject of my
return to Longwood, at the same time observing that, according to the
manner in which I might express myself in my letter, the Emperor would
or would not be induced to signify a wish for my return. This was very
certain, and I could not but smile at the observation.

                   CAPE.—CONDUCT OF SIR HUDSON LOWE.

20th, 21st.—Sir Hudson Lowe, harassed by my incessant appeals to him,
and perplexed by the awkward situation in which he had placed himself,
began apparently to repent of having made so much noise about so
trifling a matter. He evidently wished to see me return to the
Emperor, which of course would have relieved him of all embarrassment,
and would have put an end to the whole business. Consequently, with
the view of inducing me the more speedily to adopt this step, the
Governor addressed to me the official decision respecting my removal
to the Cape of Good Hope; and this document he accompanied by a letter
in which he once more mentioned, in very studied language, the
facility he afforded me of returning to Longwood. I have avoided, as
far as possible, inserting the documents connected with this
correspondence, and have abridged several of my own letters through
the fear of fatiguing the reader. However, it is proper that I should
produce all that is necessary for the explanation of this affair, and
I therefore subjoin the official decision, and the letter to which I
have just alluded.


“The Governor having duly considered all the circumstances, relative
to the affair of Count Las Cases, has adopted the following decision:—

“Count Las Cases having committed a direct and premeditated violation
of the regulations established at St. Helena, by virtue of the
authority of the British Government, relative to General Bonaparte, in
corrupting the fidelity of an inhabitant of the island, so far as to
render him, in a criminal and underhand way, the bearer of secret and
clandestine letters for Europe; and having thus broken one of the
indispensable conditions to which he voluntarily acquiesced when he
signed his declaration to obtain leave to reside at St. Helena, the
said Count Las Cases has been separated from the person of General
Bonaparte; and, in conformity with the instructions of the British
Government, he will be transported to the Cape of Good Hope.

“Count Las Cases is permitted to take with him all his property and
papers, excepting, however, such of the latter as may have reference
to General Bonaparte, since the time he has been under the authority
of the British Government, and also such correspondence as may not
have passed through the official channel of the English authorities.

“The Governor will await the orders of the British Government
respecting those papers, the nature of which may be the subject of

                                       (_Signed_)       “HUDSON LOWE.”

“_Plantation House, Dec. 20, 1816._” */ #/

                        THE PRECEDING DOCUMENT.

“SIR,—In communicating to you the enclosed decision, permit me to
mention, what I have already stated verbally, that I shall make no
objection to your remaining on the island, if you prefer to do so,
rather than proceed to the Cape of Good Hope, there to wait until I
receive instructions from the British Government respecting you.

“In case you should prefer remaining at St. Helena, I conceive it
necessary to require from you a declaration, expressing your wish to
that effect, and a promise to submit to the same restrictions under
which you have hitherto been permitted to reside here.

“Thus, Sir, it is entirely at your own option, either to proceed to
the Cape of Good Hope, or to remain here, with your papers under seal,
until I shall receive instructions from Government.

                               “I have the honour to be, &c.

                                      (_Signed_)        “HUDSON LOWE.”

I immediately acknowledged the receipt of these two documents, at the
same time requesting an acknowledgment of the receipt of all my
letters, for as yet I had had no intimation of any one of them having
been received. Wishing to reply to the Governor’s offer of allowing me
to return to Longwood, I instantly addressed a letter on this subject
to the Grand Marshal, which I sent to Sir Hudson Lowe, in order that
he might peruse it, and forward it to its destination.

It will scarcely be credited that Sir Hudson Lowe sent back this
letter. He had drawn a pencil mark across every passage to which he
objected, and had reduced the whole to a few lines, thus assuming the
privilege of dictating to me what I was to write to Count Bertrand.
The returned letter was accompanied by a communication, which the
Governor observed would serve as an answer to all my preceding

                       BY MY FINAL DETERMINATION.

22nd, 23rd.—The Governor came to ascertain the effect of his
declaration and his two letters. He doubted not that they had produced
a great impression, and he calculated on finding my letter to the
Grand Marshal ready written, with the corrections he had suggested;
which communication, he expected would bring about my return to
Longwood. But I coolly informed him that, since he had taken upon
himself to dictate to me, I would not write at all. At this, he
appeared surprised and disconcerted, and, after some reflection, he
went so far as to inquire whether the corrections which he had made
were the only obstacles that deterred me. This unusual condescension
on his part was a sufficient guide for me. I therefore continued firm;
and cut the matter short by observing that, in the evening, he should
receive from me my irrevocable determination and the reasons on which
it was grounded, together with my remarks on the different letters
which he had addressed to me.

My letter was as follows:—

“SIR,—You have sent back to me, with your corrections, the letter
which I wrote to Count Bertrand, respecting your verbal offer of
granting me permission to return to Longwood. But as it almost always
happens here, this offer was sincere only in appearance, and it was
doomed to expire in the details of its execution. I was not much
surprised at this. After your departure, the other day, when I came to
reflect on the offer you had made, I foresaw that the matter would
terminate as it really has done. You had the candour to tell me that
you could not permit me and the individuals at Longwood to combine our
ideas; or, in other words, to ascertain our _real wishes_. You have,
doubtless, very good reasons for this. I say nothing against it; only
I cannot suffer myself to be duped, or to be the means of leading into
error those who take an interest in my fate.

“You are too advantageously situated, Sir, between Longwood and me;
and if I must write to Count Bertrand, not my own sentiments, but what
you may think proper to dictate, I decline holding any communication
with him. I shall regard your offer as never having been made, because
it cannot possibly be accepted; and I must refer irrevocably for my
thoughts, sentiments, and decisions on this subject, to my letter of
the 30th of November.

“You mistake, Sir, if you suppose that I wished for answers to all the
arguments and articles contained in my letters. I am aware of the
importance of your occupations, and the value of your time, and
therefore I merely requested an acknowledgment of the receipt of my
letters for the sake of regularity. I presumed you could have no
reason to refuse this.

“You seem surprised, Sir, at the deplorable state of my own and my
son’s health; and you twice express astonishment that I should not
have complained to you on the subject, when I was at Longwood. I
thought but little about my health, Sir, when I was at Longwood; and
besides, when I felt indisposed, I considered it more advisable to
complain to the Doctor than to the Governor. With regard to my son, I
am surprised you should have heard nothing of his situation,
considering the consultations that have been held on his case, the
fits he has had, and the many times he has been bled. Is it to be
wondered at if our present circumstances increase our infirmities?

“I now come to your order for my removal to the Cape. I find that all
the papers which have any reference to the august individual to whom I
have devoted my existence are to be detained. What other papers, Sir,
can I be possessed of? What is meant by saying that I am free to carry
away all the rest? Is not this making an offer, and yet granting

“You detain my Journal, the sole and real object of all this
misunderstanding; the depository, yet incomplete and incorrect, in
which I daily registered all that I thought, saw, or heard. Can any of
my papers be more valuable to me than this? You cannot pretend to have
been ignorant of its contents, since I suffered you to peruse it for
two hours at your own discretion. Will you not be responsible for
having abused this privilege? Will you not, perhaps, one day, have to
justify yourself for the false notions which you have doubtless
transmitted to the English Ministers respecting this manuscript? You
have called it a _Political Journal_. I had no right, you have
observed, in the situation in which I was placed, to keep any account
of what was said by the Emperor Napoleon, and you particularly object
to my having introduced official documents into my Journal. As if all
that I saw, read, and heard, did not by right, and without
impropriety, belong to my own thoughts, and form a part of my own
property, so long as the record was kept private and secret! Who would
suppose that such principles could have been imbibed amidst the
liberal ideas of England? Do they not rather partake of the odious
police maxims of the continent? And, after all, what are the contents
of this Journal? It describes the sublime language and conduct of the
august individual who is the object of it, the incidents of his life,
and also many things which are probably not very agreeable to you! But
who will have given publicity to these facts? The whole was to have
been re-touched, altered, and corrected. Who has prevented this?
However, Sir, you may rest assured, that the circumstances which have
just taken place shall never induce me to say any thing concerning you
which I do not firmly believe to be true.

“In your decision of the 20th of October, you declare that I shall be
removed from Longwood, and sent to the Cape of Good Hope. From the
form and language of this decision, it might naturally be supposed
that it was hostile to my wishes; while, in reality, you thereby
pronounce a sentence which is now, and has been for many days past,
foreign to the new question that has risen up between us. You remove
from Longwood one who, twenty days ago, withdrew from the subjection
to your authority in which he had voluntarily placed himself; and who,
for the last eighteen days, has been formally demanding his removal
from the island. Who would ever guess these facts from a perusal of
your document? You enclose your decision in a letter, in which you
leave me the choice of submitting to your sentence or returning to
Longwood. But by embracing the happiness which you thus hold out to
me, I should secure to you the triumph and satisfaction of being
master of my most private papers; I should again become your captive,
and should be liable to the same searches and seizures, whenever you
might be pleased to make them.... No, Sir! I can make no choice. I can
only repeat what I have already said before. I resign myself to the
laws. If I am guilty, let me be tried; if I am not guilty, restore me
to liberty. If my papers are unconnected with this affair, return them
to me. If you think it proper to submit them to serious examination,
transmit them to the English Ministers, and let me be sent with them.
Besides, as my own and my son’s health imperatively require every kind
of medical assistance, I earnestly implore you to send us to England.

“Nothing was more simple than this affair, and yet it has been
involved in difficulty. In vain you refer to your instructions; they
never can be made to apply to cases so peculiar as this. Your own
wavering determination proves to me that your instructions are neither
clear nor precise. You wished at first to keep me on the island in
solitary confinement and separated from Longwood; you did not think it
right to send me to the Cape. You now torture the literal meaning of
your instructions, in order to give them a forced interpretation. But
recollect that you will be held responsible to your Government for
having misconstrued them, and to me for having violated the law in my
person. Recollect that most of your measures will ultimately appear to
have been vexatious and arbitrary acts. I know not what rights, what
resources, your laws will afford me; but I slumber in this ignorance;
for I trust they will protect me in some way or other. You expect to
be rid of me when I shall be removed to the Cape, separated from my
papers, which you intend to detain in your possession. But even should
I be kept a prisoner there, the winds shall waft my complaints
hitherward. I will make known the mental wounds and bodily sufferings
which you will thus have been the means of aggravating; for, if I
should be detained at the Cape, it must be through you, either by your
direct orders or secret instructions. Sealed papers cannot be opened
except in the presence of the party interested. Will you have me
brought back from the Cape, for the purpose of breaking the seals that
are affixed to mine? Or will you detain me at the Cape until you
receive orders to send my papers to England? What object is to be
gained by all this? There was, and still is, a simple mode of
arranging every thing! My natural disposition to accommodate made me,
as it were, anticipate every difficulty. I was ready to obviate all. I
would willingly have subjected myself in England to any preliminary
measures, however arbitrary, that might have been equivalent to the
quarantine of the Cape. The state of my own and my son’s health was a
valid reason for so doing.

“The fear of departing from the literal meaning of any particular
point in your instructions has, with you, been more powerful than the
necessity and the right of yielding to their spirit, to the force of
circumstances, and the feelings of humanity. It is not yet too late to
grant what I solicit. I am willing to believe that humanity will
determine you; and if so I shall remain your debtor. The circumstance
of the papers being claimed at Longwood and by me cannot be regarded
as a reasonable obstacle. Besides, it may be asked what you have done
to remove it? Do you wish that I should myself write on the subject?
Three words would suffice to bring us to an understanding.

“At all events, Sir, whatever determination you may come to, whatever
vexation you may reserve for me, nothing can be comparable to what I
suffer in being detained on this horrible island, separated from the
august individual whom I followed hither. The hours and minutes that I
pass in this situation are like years in my unfortunate life, and
dangerously aggravate my son’s precarious state of health. I therefore
again demand, and shall incessantly demand, that you will remove me
from this hated place. I am,” &c.

The Governor was very much vexed by my determination of not returning
to Longwood, though I could not exactly guess the reason why. However,
my resolution was fully confirmed on the following day, when he came
to me, and, after a long and very obscure preamble, respecting his
sincerity and good intentions, he told me that, to facilitate my
communication with Longwood, he would consent to forward my first
letter to Count Bertrand, in the form in which I had myself written
it; and moreover to send along with it a copy of all my
correspondence; a thing which he had hitherto constantly refused to
do. But the more he made concessions, the more firmly I rejected
them:—“’Tis too late,” said I, “the die is cast. I have pronounced
sentence upon myself. I will not write to Longwood, and I demand, for
the hundredth time, that you will remove me hence without further
delay.”—“At least, then,” said the Governor, “will you communicate to
Longwood my offers and your refusal?”—“I have no objection to do
that,” I replied. Sir Hudson Lowe then departed, very much
disconcerted, mentioning, as a last inducement, that he could only
send us away on board a transport, that he did not know when the
vessel might sail, and that there was no medical man on board, which
would be a serious inconvenience, considering the state of my son’s

                               THE TOWN.

24th.—My son was exceedingly ill during the night, and I was myself
very much indisposed. At daybreak I sent to request the immediate
attendance of Doctors Baxter and O’Meara; and, in the extremity of my
despair, I also wrote to Sir Hudson Lowe, assuring him that it was
impossible we could longer endure the treatment we were now suffering.
I reminded him that, in spite of my son’s dangerous condition, it was
now more than seven days since we had seen a medical attendant; and
that, owing to our inconvenient situation, the Doctors, in spite of
their good intentions, found it impossible to visit us. I therefore
urged the necessity of our quitting the cottage without delay: and I
begged that we might be conveyed to the town, even to the common jail,
if he found it necessary. This letter produced an immediate effect. I
received, on the return of the orderly, a note from the Governor,
stating that I should that day be conveyed to his own residence in the
town. In the evening, an officer came to conduct us thither. How
anxiously did we turn our eyes towards Longwood at the moment of
departure! What were our thoughts and sensations as we proceeded along
the road! What a wound was inflicted on my heart when, for the last
time, I turned to look on Longwood, and saw it gradually disappear
from my sight!

                             TREATMENT, &C.

25th to 28th.—We now found ourselves removed to the Governor’s
residence, which is called the Castle. It is a spacious building and
agreeably situated. Our condition was now changed very much for the
better. We were still guarded by sentinels, it is true; but every
thing was under my orders, and there seemed to be an endeavour to
furnish us profusely with every thing. “Do not spare,” the major-domo
often repeated, “the Honourable East India Company pays for all.” But
these tardy attentions produced little effect upon me. I had but one
object in view, namely, a prompt decision, and that I could not
obtain. The Governor came to me every day, but it was merely to utter
a few complimentary phrases, and not a word of my affairs. However, it
was now indispensable to come to the point. The endless difficulties
that had arisen, and my endeavours to avert them, had kept me in a
continual state of agitation; and vexation of mind was combined with
grief of heart.

I was absolutely in a critical state when I arrived in the town. The
Governor was struck with my extreme debility and the change that had
taken place in my appearance. Apparently with the intention of rousing
me, Sir Hudson Lowe mentioned that the Emperor had expressed a very
great wish to see me before my departure. On hearing this, I was
deeply moved. My son afterwards informed me that the Governor appeared
very much embarrassed by the condition to which he saw me reduced.
However, making an effort to collect my strength, I once more begged
that Sir Hudson Lowe would give orders for my removal as speedily as
possible. He at length determined that my departure should take place
two days afterwards. He informed me that he had procured a ship of
war, which would be more suitable for my conveyance, while at the same
time I should enjoy the advantage of having a medical attendant on

                          MARSHAL’S FAREWELL.

29th.—Early this morning, an officer came to request that we would
pack up our things to be conveyed on board the ship, as it was
determined that we should depart very shortly. This we looked upon as
the hour of our deliverance. In a few minutes, all that we possessed
was packed up, and we were in perfect readiness. At length the
wished-for moment of departure was at hand. How our feelings vary
according to the circumstances in which we happen to be placed. But a
short time ago I should have considered it the greatest misfortune
that could befal me to be separated from the Emperor, and removed from
St. Helena. But my late resolutions, the manifest wish of Sir Hudson
Lowe, the positive words of the Emperor: “_I request you, and in case
of need, I command you, to quit this island_;” together with other
important observations which fell from him in the course of previous
conversation, and which I cannot hint at here, though they are
entirely foreign to politics; and finally, the chimeras which my own
imagination had conjured up; all now caused me to dread the thought of
being longer detained. The hour of departure had already been
specified; I nevertheless experienced the most cruel suspense, which
the Governor seemed to justify by keeping away nearly the whole of the
day. Impatience and anxiety had thrown me into a fever; when, about
six o’clock in the evening, the Governor, whom I now despaired of
seeing, made his appearance. After a little preamble, in his usual
way, he informed me that he had brought the Grand Marshal to take
leave of me, and he conducted me into the adjoining apartment, where I
had the happiness of embracing that esteemed companion of my exile.
The Emperor had instructed the Grand Marshal to tell me that “he
should see me desert with pleasure, and see me remain with pleasure.”
These were his words. He added, that he knew my heart and my
sentiments; and that he reposed full and entire confidence in me. As
to the chapters of the Campaign of Italy, which I had requested
permission to keep as a dear and precious memento, he granted them
without hesitation, as well as any thing else that might happen to be
in my possession; for he was pleased to say that, while they were in
my hands he should consider them as being still in his own. Sir Hudson
Lowe was with us during this interview, at which his presence was
indispensable. The Grand Marshal commissioned me to make some
purchases of books, and other things, necessary or useful to the
Emperor, and he particularly requested me to send the Moniteur.
Finally, he took leave of me, telling me significantly to act in all
things as I should judge best.

As I expected, the friendship of the Grand Marshal served only to
increase my distress. He expressed his regret for my departure, and
tried to suggest reasons for inducing me to remain. “His absence,”
said he, in a very graceful manner, addressing himself to the
Governor, “will be regretted by us all. It will be a loss to the
Emperor, and it will even be a loss to you, Sir Hudson Lowe. You will
soon be convinced of this.” The Governor replied by an approving bow;
and both endeavoured to prevail on me to change my resolution. I could
easily guess the Governor’s reasons for this; but I could not so well
divine the cause of the Grand Marshal’s entreaties, particularly after
the message which he had just delivered to me from the Emperor.
Besides, he was aware that, in addition to the numerous powerful
motives which urged me to depart, Sir Hudson Lowe, as I believe I have
already mentioned, offered not the least concession on his part. He
insisted on retaining my papers, and required my implicit submission.
By this means, I should, as it were, have legalized all his measures.
By the precedent thus granted I should have authorized him to seize
and imprison any one of us, whenever he might take a fancy to do so. I
could not, without the Emperor’s express command, submit to such
outrages; and, therefore, I firmly resisted them.


30th.—I received an early visit from Admiral Malcolm. He came to
introduce me to Capt. Wright, who was to convey me to the Cape, on
board the Griffin brig. The Admiral recommended me to Capt. Wright as
his friend, and, in a very pleasing manner, assured me that I should
have every reason to be satisfied with the endeavours that would be
made to render things agreeable to me.

I looked forward to the decisive moment with my usual anxiety; for the
Governor betrayed so much eagerness to induce me to remain, that I was
fearful he would finally start some unforeseen obstacle to my

About eleven o’clock, the Grand Marshal arrived, accompanied by the
Governor and some officers. He renewed his endeavours to prevail on me
to return to Longwood; but without ever expressing the positive desire
of the Emperor. Knowing my sentiments so well as he did, he must have
been aware that a word would have decided me. But this word he did not
pronounce, and he even avoided doing so when I pressed him to it,
always referring to the Emperor’s message, which he had delivered to
me on the preceding day. Thus I had to defend myself against him, from
whom I should have wished to receive support. His expressions of
regard increased my distress, and I was perplexed between the wish of
remaining and the determination of departing. If my heart dictated the
one course, courage demanded the other; and I continued inflexible.

I must not forget to mention that the Grand Marshal, in the course of
conversation, informed me that the Emperor had wished to see me before
my departure. The Governor, however, required that an English officer
should be present during our interview; and the Emperor renounced his
intention, observing that I well knew he would deny himself the
happiness of seeing his own wife and son on such conditions. How was I
gratified by these words!...

I delivered to the Grand Marshal thirteen bills of exchange, on my
banker in London, for the 4000 louis, which I had so frequently
offered to the Emperor, and which the Grand Marshal now informed me he
had consented to accept. This was a real consolation to me.

This business being settled, General Gourgaud, who had accompanied the
Grand Marshal, was also permitted to enter and take leave of me. This
new mark of interest, joined to many others which the General had
shewn me during my imprisonment, failed not to produce an impression
on my heart.

The Grand Marshal and the General remained with me for a considerable
time, and Sir Hudson Lowe had the politeness to say that they might,
if they pleased, stay and breakfast with me. He retired, taking with
him all his people, with the exception of the officer on duty at
Longwood, who had escorted the gentlemen to the castle. This officer
was Captain Poppleton, with whose conduct we had always found reason
to be perfectly satisfied. During our breakfast, over which we sat for
a very long time, we certainly might, in spite of the presence of
Captain Poppleton, have found means to make secret communications with
each other; but we had none to make, and not a syllable of a private
nature passed between us. Had I foreseen this unexpected circumstance,
I might have put into my son’s hands the whole of my correspondence
with Sir Hudson Lowe, and it might, by this means, have been easily
transmitted to Longwood. However, on reflection, I congratulated
myself on not having made any such attempt. I still distrusted Sir
Hudson Lowe, and, from the endeavours he made to prevail on me to
remain, he would certainly have availed himself of such a discovery as
an excuse for changing all the arrangements that had been made, and
issuing fresh orders.

Breakfast being ended, I was the first who had courage to rise and
take farewell. I sent to request that the Governor would come and
execute the final measures. I embraced my friends, and they left me.
General Gourgaud, at parting, several times feelingly alluded to the
little vexations which had occasionally arisen between us. I felt
happy in expressing my conviction that they had been wholly occasioned
by the painful circumstances in which we were placed, and that our
hearts had no share in them. I cherish, with sincere gratitude, the
remembrance of the kind attentions which I received from General
Gourgaud, during the latter period of my residence at St. Helena.[28]

Footnote 28:

  I must here introduce a correction respecting General Gourgaud. It
  was, by mistake, mentioned in the early part of this work that
  General Gourgaud negotiated for permission to proceed to St. Helena.
  He was one of the individuals selected by the Emperor.

Sir Hudson Lowe, on his return, seeing the Grand Marshal and General
Gourgaud going out, said to me significantly, and with an appearance
of embarrassment and vexation, “So you do not intend to return to
Longwood? It may be presumed you have good reasons for refusing to do
so.” A bow was my only reply; and I begged that the Governor would
immediately proceed to seal up the papers, the only thing that now
remained to be done. Some days previously, I had demanded that an
authentic inventory of my papers should be made out: this was done;
and I obtained a copy of it, signed by Sir Hudson Lowe. All that was
now to be done was to affix the seals. The Governor delayed this
formality until the last moment, and he concluded it in a way
perfectly characteristic of his disposition. He told me, in very fair
words, but with an appearance of constraint, that, out of respect for
the Emperor, as well as from personal consideration for me, he would
willingly permit me to affix my seal to the papers, provided I would
consent that he should break it, during my absence, if he thought
necessary. I smiled at this proposal, and declined it; upon which he
walked with hasty strides up and down the room for some time, and
then, as if coming to a sudden determination, he exclaimed, “I will
take the whole upon myself; I will dispense with your seal.” He called
in the Government Secretary, and the seals of the island were affixed
to the papers in my presence. I requested that he would furnish me
with a declaration of his refusal to permit me to seal them with my
arms, or the singular condition he had attached to my doing so. This
was a new subject of hesitation; but the point was at length settled,
by the Governor furnishing me with a declaration, in the following

                             DE LAS CASES.

“In consequence of what was stated in the Governor’s decision relative
to the affair of Count de Las Cases, a great number of the Count’s
papers are now, at the moment of his departure from the island,

“The Governor, whose special duty it is to suffer no papers whatever
coming from Longwood to leave the island, without being previously
examined, has, however, for private reasons, hitherto abstained from
noticing all that were sent by Count Las Cases. The Governor has
determined that the papers belonging to the Count, which have been
detained (and of which Sir Hudson Lowe knows only the general tenour),
shall be put into two separate packets, and deposited in the treasury
of the island, until orders be received from Government respecting

“Count de Las Cases may affix his seal to each of these packets, with
the understanding that the seal may be broken, either in case it
should be necessary to convey the packets from the island, in
conformity with orders from Government; or in case the interest of the
service should require the packets to be opened.

“Thus, the affixing of this seal is merely a moral guarantee, which
the Governor offers to Count Las Cases for his own satisfaction, to
afford him the assurance of the packets not being opened, except for
one of the urgent reasons above specified.

“If, under these circumstances, Count Las Cases should decline
affixing his seals to the packets, or refuse to accede to the
condition on which the affixing of his seal is permitted, the
Governor, who cannot permit any sealed packet, or any papers whatever,
coming from Longwood, to pass from his hands, without examination,
considers as necessary every precaution calculated to assure his
Government that he has adopted proper measures for the security of the
papers that are detained, until he shall receive orders respecting

“Count Las Cases having refused to affix his seal on the conditions
above mentioned, the papers, divided into two distinct packets, have
been deposited in two boxes, sealed with the seals of the Government
and the Island.

                                        (_Signed_)        “H. LOWE.”

“DEC. 31, 1816.”

All business being now settled between us, Sir Hudson Lowe, by a
characteristic turn of behaviour, which he had oftener than once
exhibited since I had been his prisoner, either from motives of
civility or calculation, immediately wrote for me several letters of
introduction to his private friends at the Cape, who, he assured me,
would prove very agreeable to me. I had not the courage to refuse
these letters, such was the sincerity with which they appeared to be
offered. At length, the long looked-for moment of departure arrived.
The Governor accompanied me to the gate of the castle, and ordered all
his officers to attend me to the place of embarkation; this, he said,
was intended as a mark of respect. I eagerly jumped into the boat
which was in readiness to receive me. I crossed the port, and passed
near a vessel which had just arrived from the Cape, on board of which,
to my surprise, I observed the Pole and the three servants, who had
been sent away from us, several months before, and who were now on
their way to Europe. They saluted me by gestures as I passed, and I
need not say how much I was astonished to see them. One of these
individuals was the bearer of the only document which escaped from the
island, namely, the letter on the subject of the allied Commissioners.
I doubted not but the discovery that had been made with respect to my
servant would furnish the Governor with an excuse for searching those
persons, who were far from suspecting such a thing. Fortunately,
however, no search took place, and the faithful Santini had the merit
of being the first to convey to Europe any authentic account of

At length I got fairly on board the brig; she weighed anchor; and I
thought my last wishes accomplished. But these vain illusions were
destined to be cruelly destroyed; and my ultimate experience of the
hearts of certain men proved that all the hopes I had formed were but
vain chimeras.... How could I so far deceive myself as to rely on the
sensibility of those very men, who, in defiance of all law, had
pronounced the sentence and ordered the execution?—Why did I not stay
to administer domestic consolation, rather than dream of rendering
remote services? I might have continued my daily attentions for some
time longer, and have obtained some additional marks of interest: and
when the fatal moment arrived, I should have had my share in the
general grief. I might have contributed to assuage the anguish of
Napoleon’s last moments; and have helped to close his eyes!... But
no!... Perhaps the effect of the climate operating on my feeble state
of health, would soon have hurried me from this world. I should,
probably, not have lived to witness the sad event.... I should have
been spared the grief that now presses upon my heart.... I should not
have had to struggle with the cruel infirmities brought from my place
of exile. My ashes would there have reposed in peace; and thus to have
closed my life might have been looked upon as an additional favour of
my happy star, or the last blessing of Heaven!

This perhaps ought to be the conclusion of my Journal since I am now
removed from St. Helena, and can no longer record the words of the
Emperor. However, the following pages are so intimately connected with
what concerns Napoleon that I am convinced I need offer no apology for

                     OF EIGHTEEN DAYS.—DETAILS, &C.

From Tuesday, Dec. 31st, 1816, to Friday, Jan. 17th, 1817.—When
daylight appeared, St. Helena no longer existed for us, except in our
hearts.—We were rapidly sailing away from that dear and accursed spot,
in the midst of the ocean, and at an immense distance from both the
old and the new world. The officers and the crew treated us with the
most marked kindness; their care, their attention, their deference,
the sympathy they expressed were such that, but for the language which
I heard spoken, I might have fancied myself on board a French vessel.
To the shyness and circumspection of St. Helena had succeeded a
complete freedom from restraint. I then learnt how much I was indebted
to Admiral Malcolm. It was he who had obtained for me the favour of a
brig of war, instead of the wretched transport with which I had been
threatened. As soon as he was apprized of Sir Hudson Lowe’s
determination, he hastened to offer him one of his ships, assuring him
that he could spare one, to save me from the inconveniences and the
privations to which I should otherwise be exposed; and, making a
signal, he ordered into the harbour the Griffin, the commander of
which was one of the officers whom he most liked. It has already been
seen that the Admiral brought him with him to see me.

My son devoted part of our passage to copying some papers which we had
purposely torn, and the fragments of which we had distributed in
various places amongst our baggage, or about our persons. Sir Hudson
Lowe had rendered the precaution necessary, by informing me a short
time before that he should again search my papers before my departure,
in order to see what I might have written during my captivity.

The most important of these papers, the document I valued most, was
what I have called a statement of our grievances at Longwood.

Whilst I was in Sir Hudson Lowe’s power, our conversations led me, at
his own request, to make out a hasty statement enumerating our
grievances. My son’s ill health, and the state of my eyes, prevented
us from taking a fair copy of that statement for ourselves. I had
asked the Governor to let me have some person to copy for me, which
request he did not comply with, and I did not think it delicate to
insist; since it was to lay before him a statement, which must be very
unpleasant to him. On the other hand, as I was speaking without the
knowledge of my companions, and yet frequently in their names, it was
of great importance to me that they should be acquainted with what I
said, in order to set me right if I had made any errors.

At the moment of my departure, I told Sir Hudson Lowe that I had
completed the statement, and shewed him the parcel sealed, the
contents of which, I said, I proposed to have copied at the Cape, or
even on board the brig, and to send him two copies, one for himself
and one for Longwood. Sir Hudson appeared to value the offer very
much, but preferring, however, another arrangement, it was agreed that
I should immediately deposit my manuscript in the hands of a third
person, in order that each party might take a copy of it, and that the
original should afterwards be returned to me. I therefore sought some
person whose honourable disposition inspired me with confidence:
General Bingham, the second in command in the Island, was the first
person I thought of. To him I therefore addressed my manuscript, with
the Governor’s consent, and under the express condition that it should
be shewn at the same time to Sir Hudson Lowe and to Count Bertrand,
who was aware of the arrangement.

I heard no more of this statement until six years afterwards, and then
only through the medium of Dr. O’Meara’s work. The gentlemen of the
Emperor’s suite, on their return from St. Helena, informed me that it
had never been communicated to them, and that the Emperor was wholly
ignorant of its contents. It appears that, after my departure, Sir
Hudson Lowe, by the influence of his authority, and contrary to our
express conditions, had taken the manuscript exclusively into his own
possession, and had made it the subject of false interpretations or
wicked inventions.

Mr. O’Meara, in his account of the occurrences at St. Helena, observes
that Sir H. Lowe, availing himself of the information acquired by the
perusal of the manuscript (the grievances), had recourse to an
artifice well worthy of the system which he set on foot. He directed
Mr. O’Meara to inform Napoleon that, during my confinement, I had
confessed that the restrictions imposed on the French at Longwood were
merely matters of form; and that I, as well as the rest of the French,
had endeavoured to poison the mind of our Master, by means of calumny
and falsehood; adding that this fact was unquestionable, since he had
it stated in my own hand-writing. He even pretended to quote a
sentence of this manuscript, which he requested Mr. O’Meara to repeat
to the Emperor, and by which he wished to make it appear that I had
confessed that the French about the person of the Emperor had made him
view every thing through _a blood-stained veil_. On hearing this, the
Emperor observed: _Certainly, wherever one sees an executioner, one
sees blood_. And he added that he was convinced this was an invention
of Sir Hudson Lowe’s, or a misrepresentation of some passage in my
statement. On this occasion, Mr. O’Meara describes the Emperor to have
said, “Las Cases certainly was greatly irritated against him (Sir H.
Lowe), and contributed materially towards forming the impression
existing upon my mind, because Las Cases is a man of feeling, and
extremely sensible to the ill treatment practised towards me and
himself. But I had no occasion for the assistance of Las Cases towards
giving me that opinion, as the treatment I experienced was fully
sufficient in itself to create it.”

He observed that I had constantly spoken to him of the English nation
in terms of enthusiasm and admiration; though I certainly had
expressed myself candidly and energetically respecting the treatment
which the French had experienced at St. Helena, which I considered to
be entirely contrary to the generosity and liberal sentiments of the
English people.

In Mr. O’Meara’s work, entitled _Napoleon in Exile_, I find it
mentioned, under date of Dec. 4, 1816, that Sir Hudson Lowe said, “I
had much altered my opinion concerning him since the intercourse we
had had together;” and he added that the French who were with General
Bonaparte “only wanted to make an instrument of him, to aggrandize
themselves, without caring by what means they effected it,” &c. Sir H.
Lowe wished that Mr. O’Meara should signify this to the Emperor.

Under date of the 12th of Dec., Sir Hudson Lowe is described as having
said that “Count Las Cases had not followed General Bonaparte out of
affection;” and that “General Bonaparte did not know what Las Cases
had written, or the expressions which had dropped from him.”

Again, under date of Jan. 14, 1817, Mr. O’Meara says: “His Excellency
began to inveigh against Count Las Cases, whom he accused of having
been the cause of much mischief between Bonaparte and himself. He said
the Count had asserted in his Journal that Bonaparte had declared he
abhorred the sight of the British uniform, or of a British officer;
that he held both in abomination, and that I had better take an
opportunity to tell him this, and add that I had heard him (the
Governor) say that he did not believe he had ever said so.”

Finally, on another occasion, the Governor charged Mr. O’Meara to
repeat, at Longwood that he had written to the English Ministers
respecting me in such a way as would for ever prevent my return to
France. What he could have written, Heaven knows! However, the result
proved that either the English Ministers were not much influenced by
his benevolent intentions, or that the French Ministers paid little
regard to the representations that were made to them. It will
hereafter be seen that, on my return to Europe, when I was prevented
from residing in England, and it was left at my own option to proceed
either to Calais or Ostend, I made choice of the latter place, for
reasons totally foreign from the alarm which Sir Hudson Lowe pretended
he had created. But, it would appear that he himself doubted the
efficacy of his denunciation, or he had recourse to two-fold
precautions, for he employed all his art and address to procure my
detention as a prisoner at the Cape of Good Hope. I have been informed
that, when speaking to his man of all-work respecting me, he said—“As
for him, he will trouble us no more. We have given him good
recommendations to the Cape: he will _rot_ in a dungeon there.” This
same man, with the gentle smile and honeyed voice which rarely forsook
him, wished, as Mr. O’Meara declares, that Napoleon should be put in
irons if he proved troublesome: and, on another occasion, he is stated
to have said, “That the Allies lost sight of a grand object in not
strangling young Napoleon!”

But to return to my former subject. How was I to reconcile the
Governor’s politeness, his protestations of kindness and good
intention when he was near me, with his false reports, the invented
language which he attributed to me, and the wicked suggestions which
he transmitted to Longwood, when I was no longer there? Let candid and
honest hearts decide this.


The Cape of Good Hope is five hundred leagues from St. Helena; but,
even with the most favourable winds, the passage must be lengthened to
at least seven hundred, by the circuitous course which it is necessary
to take on account of the trade-winds. A vessel, on leaving St.
Helena, first stands well out to the south-west, in order to get as
speedily as possible out of the Zone of the trade winds. As soon as
the variable winds are attained, the ship steers towards the east, but
descending considerably to the south, several degrees of latitude
below the Cape, in order to guard against the south-easterly winds,
which blow with great violence at this season of the year.

We had a very good voyage, and fell in with the winds just as we
wished. Our passage was short and pleasant, though my son and I
occasionally suffered severely from sea-sickness. On the 6th or 7th we
got out of the trade winds, and fell in with the west wind, which
brought us to our place of destination in nine or ten days. It was not
until we were approaching the famous Cape of Storms that we
encountered a violent adverse wind, blowing from the south-east,
accompanied by a very rough sea. But this circumstance was adverse
only with respect to the instructions of our Captain; to me,
personally, it was extremely fortunate. Sir Hudson Lowe had directed
the Captain to land me beyond the Cape, at Simon’s Bay, which is
situated behind it. Probably he supposed that, by not entering the
town, I should attract the less attention, and that the injustice of
my captivity would be the less flagrant. Be this as it may, we were
threatened with a storm, and the Captain took upon himself the
responsibility of sailing for Cape Town, which was nearer at hand. We
arrived off the coast at two in the morning, precisely at the hour
which the Captain had foretold, without sounding or any other
preliminary measure. Captain Wright is an excellent seaman; he
possesses activity, zeal, regularity, and decision; and will, I doubt
not, one day rise to eminence. I have observed that this nautical
precision is now nearly general among the English. I know not what has
been done in our navy, which was so long celebrated for scientific
superiority; but I can affirm, from experience, that the English have
attained great perfection. Their calculations are so correct, and
their nautical instruments so perfect, that it is difficult to
conceive that science is susceptible of further improvement.

We cast anchor at two o’clock in the afternoon on the 17th, after a
passage of eighteen days. The Captain politely apologized for the
necessity of detaining me on board, until he should go and receive the
Governor’s orders: such were his instructions. He returned, informing
me that I could not land until the 19th, as the residence which was
intended for me could not be prepared before that time. This was
rather a disappointment to me; for, after a sea voyage, one is
naturally eager to set foot on land.

Thus I had to remain two days in the harbour of the Cape, which is
extremely beautiful. The weather was delightful; excessively hot, it
is true, but the air was at the same time pure and refreshing.

In my youth, when I first entered the navy, I had frequently heard
officers who had served in India describe all the different points
which were at this moment before my eyes. I felt a pleasure in
reviving these old recollections; and all the places I mentioned were
immediately pointed out to me by the persons on board the ship.

Cape Town is a tolerably extensive place, and is built in a style of
beauty and regularity. It is situated on flat ground, very little
above the level of the sea, and is almost closely surrounded by huge
precipitous mountains. On my left was the Devil’s Mountain; before me
rose the Table Mountain; and on my right were the Sugarloaf, and the
Lion’s Rump, so called from their exact resemblance to the objects
after which they are named. The fortifications in front and on each
side of the town appeared to me to be in a very bad state, and
particularly ill situated, being commanded by several points, and
especially by the Lion’s Rump, which is itself easily accessible. I
was not at all surprised that the garrison should have yielded to
every attack of forces so little superior to its own. The most
effectual plan until this defect be remedied, would be to land at a
distance from the garrison, to the north, on an open part of the
beach, entirely defenceless, and thence to march and attack the town
by land. I recollected having heard it said that the clouds sometimes
suddenly cover the Table and Devil’s Mountain, even when the rest of
the sky appears perfectly serene. I had myself an opportunity of
observing this curious phenomenon, during the short time I remained in
the harbour. On these occasions, the mountains appear to be covered
with snow, of the most dazzling whiteness, and this is vulgarly called
_spreading the table-cloth_, which expression certainly conveys a very
accurate idea of the spectacle presented. In winter, this peculiar
appearance of the clouds is almost always the precursor of a storm.
The harbour is entirely exposed to the north-west winds, which are
frequent and violent in the bad season of the year. The shipping is
then liable to great danger; the only shelter is under Robbin Island,
at some distance from the entrance of the bay.

I mentioned to the persons on board an anecdote which I had often
heard our naval officers relate. Suffren, on returning from the
campaign of India, at the time of the peace, cast anchor at the Cape,
some days before the English squadron, by which he was closely
followed. The latter, on entering the harbour, had to tack, in order
to gain the anchorage. On observing one of the ships as she entered,
the French Admiral, at the very first glance, foretold that she would
infallibly be lost, and he immediately ordered a signal to be given
for all the boats belonging to his squadron to be in readiness to
render assistance. In a few moments, the English ship ran aground;
boats were sent off from all points: but the French had the glory of
being the first to arrive. It was described as being a singular and
affecting spectacle to see the two squadrons, which had lately been so
desperately intent on mutual destruction, now vieing with each other
in the benevolent task of succouring the distressed. The young English
officers, to whom I related this circumstance, informed me that they
had never before heard of it; so true it is that facts, which
powerfully occupy the attention of contemporaries, are lost to the
succeeding generation, when they are not of a nature to acquire
historical importance.


                       MY RESIDENCE AT THE CAPE.


               An interval of upwards of Seven Months.



From the 19th to the 28th of January.—When the Captain returned from
his visit to the Governor, Lord Charles Somerset, his countenance
sufficiently informed me that he had nothing agreeable to communicate.
He was no longer the same man; his behaviour was cold and embarrassed,
and his reserve was soon imitated by all the other persons on board.
Several naval officers belonging to different ships in the harbour
came to visit their friends on board the Griffin. I could easily
perceive that they felt a certain degree of curiosity to see me,
though they avoided as much as possible entering into conversation
with me. They spoke to each other aside; and, by their looks, seemed
to consider me as an outlaw. From these circumstances, and certain
expressions dropped by the persons about me, I could perceive that, in
spite of the distance, the security of the great captive was the
subject of as much alarm and distrust here as at St. Helena; and I had
every reason to expect that the dark cloud which enveloped Longwood
would be extended over me at the Cape. Accordingly, as soon as I was
put on shore at noon, I was met by the officer appointed to guard me.
Captain Wright, who took me ashore in his boat, for the sake of old
acquaintance, and I hope also from sincere sympathy, declined leaving
me until I should be safely lodged in the abode that was destined for
me. We therefore walked together to what is called the Old Castle or
Fort. After crossing several drawbridges, and passing many sentinels,
we arrived in the inner courtyard or parade, and thence proceeded by
various stair-cases and galleries to the lodging assigned to us. The
doors were locked. It was necessary to search for the keys; and,
meanwhile, we were requested to wait in a room which was occupied by
several officers of the garrison. By chance, an officer of the staff
entered. He seemed to be greatly surprised to find that we were thus
left in free communication with the persons about us; and, assuming a
polite pretence, he conducted us to his own apartment to partake of
some refreshment. After a few hours had elapsed, a messenger was sent
to inform us that our apartments were ready. They consisted of three
rooms, which we were enabled to discover in proportion as the cloud of
dust with which they were filled gradually dispersed; for they had but
that moment been swept. The first room was entirely empty; the middle
one contained a large table, an arm-chair, with broken legs, and four
other wretched chairs; the third contained two bedsteads, two
bolsters, one mattress and three blankets: this was the whole of the
valuable furniture. It was well that we had taken the precaution of
bringing our beds with us from St. Helena. I was at a loss to
comprehend how two days could have been occupied in such preparations.
This circumstance did not afford me a very high notion of the
regularity, precision, or promptitude of the new authority under which
I was now placed.

The officer who had charge of us installed himself in the first room.
A sentinel was immediately stationed on the outside, and I was
informed that I must not communicate with any one. I now found myself
literally a prisoner. I had complained of Balcombe’s Cottage; but here
I was infinitely worse off. This, thought I, is the first effect of
Sir Hudson Lowe’s kind recommendations.

Dinner was served. It was ordered by our officer, and was abundant.
The staff-officer, who had used the precautionary politeness of
conducting us to his apartment in the morning, thinking himself
already on a footing of intimacy, or perhaps, being specially charged
to watch over us, came familiarly to invite me to dinner. He and his
comrade appeared to exert themselves to do the honours of the table in
the most agreeable way. They seemed anxious to shew me every
attention; but I did not feel myself at ease, and, alleging as an
excuse the fatigue I had encountered during the day, I withdrew,
leaving them _tête à tête_ over the bottle; and they sat until late at
night, according to established custom.

On the following day, I received a visit from one of the captains of
our station at St. Helena. Knowing the state of my son’s health, he
brought a medical gentleman along with him. This was a mark of
attention on his part, but the introduction occasioned, for some
moments, a curious misunderstanding. I mistook the Captain’s medical
friend for his son or nephew. The grave Doctor, who was presented to
me, was a boy of eighteen, with the form, the manners, and the voice
of a woman. But Mr. Barry (such was his name) was described to be an
absolute phenomenon. I was informed that he had obtained his diploma
at the age of thirteen, after the most rigid examination; that he had
performed extraordinary cures at the Cape, and had saved the life of
one of the Governor’s daughters, after she had been given up, which
rendered him a sort of favourite in the family. I profited by this
latter circumstance to obtain some information which might serve as a
guide for my conduct with respect to the new Governor, to whom I that
day addressed a letter, explaining my situation, and formally
requesting to be sent to England, and restored to full and complete
liberty. My letter was as follows:—-

“MY LORD,—Having been for several days under your authority, I take
the liberty of addressing myself to your Excellency, in order to
ascertain what are your intentions respecting me. Owing to a
circumstance, of a nature wholly personal to myself, I was removed
from Longwood, at St. Helena, on the 25th of November last, by Sir
Hudson Lowe, the Governor of that island.

“A few days afterwards, in consequence of several conversations with
the Governor, though without his coming to any decision on my case, I
wrote to inform him that, from that moment I should withdraw from my
voluntary subjection to him, and place myself entirely under the
jurisdiction of the laws. I demanded that he would enforce the laws
with respect to me; observing that, if guilty, I ought to be tried,
and if not guilty, I ought to be restored to freedom. I added that the
critical state of my son’s health, and also my own, imperatively
demanded medical remedies of every kind, and I entreated that he would
send us to England. Sir Hudson Lowe then seemed to hesitate. I have
reason to believe that, at first, he entertained some idea of sending
me to Europe. But he next determined to detain me at St. Helena,
separated from Longwood, until the return of answers from England. He
then several times offered to allow me to return to Longwood; and
finally, he sent me to the Cape, under your Excellency’s orders, for
the purpose, as it appears to me, by the literal interpretation of his
instructions, of putting an end to his embarrassments, and perhaps
expecting from another the same results respecting me; but without
himself risking any personal responsibility. Such, my Lord, is the
brief statement of facts which I conceive it necessary to submit to
you, in order that you may form a correct idea of my real situation. I
hope you will consider as perfectly natural, inoffensive and regular,
the request which I have now the honour to address to you, and which
is, that I may be sent to England as speedily as possible, and be
restored to full and complete liberty, as far as my natural rights may
consist with your political duties.

                                    “I have the honour,” &c.

“P. S.—I beg that your Excellency will be pleased to inform me whether
I may be allowed to write to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent and
his Ministers. If that permission be granted, I shall do myself the
honour of addressing to your Excellency two letters, with the request
that you will forward them to England without delay. I shall also be
obliged if you will let me know when there is an opportunity of
communicating with St. Helena, as I have to address some papers to Sir
Hudson Lowe.”

Two days afterwards, I received the Governor’s answer. It was very
brief. Without entering into any particulars, he merely declared that
he considered me as a prisoner _on the report of Sir Hudson Lowe_, and
condemned me to remain at the Cape, until instructions arrived from
England. I could make no resistance; I was compelled to submit. This I
intimated to Lord Charles Somerset, in a second letter, in which I
enclosed two others; the first addressed to Lord Castlereagh,
requesting his Lordship to lay the second before the Prince Regent. My
letter to Lord Charles Somerset was as follows:—

“MY LORD,—I have received the answer which your Excellency addressed
to me, and from which I learn that I am to be detained a prisoner here
until Sir Hudson Lowe shall receive answers from England respecting
me. Doubtless your Excellency has, in your wisdom, accurately weighed
the force of the reasons which induce you to adopt a measure of so
serious a nature, as that of depriving me of my liberty, without any
previous judicial forms, and even without my being made acquainted
with the cause of my detention. All I can do is to submit to
authority, and to rely on those laws which will protect me if I be
entitled to protection.

“I shall not undertake any ulterior argument for my defence, being
persuaded that you, my Lord, in the justice of your heart, when you
determined on adopting so delicate a course, must have attentively
considered the whole of my case. However, I perceive from your answer,
that your decision rests on circumstances stated respecting me by Sir
Hudson Lowe. But have these circumstances been satisfactorily proved
in your Excellency’s eyes? Have you heard both sides of the question;
or do you think yourself screened from all personal responsibility, by
acting on the authority of Sir Hudson Lowe’s instructions, and without
any regard to my remonstrances? How happens it that Sir Hudson Lowe
could not venture, without risk, to detain me at St. Helena, while he
finds it more easy and less inconvenient to do so at the Cape?

“If your Excellency should wish to render yourself acquainted with my
affair, and to ascertain my sentiments, I am ready to submit to your
perusal all my correspondence with the Governor of St. Helena, and to
lay before you my letters to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent and
his Ministers. I make this offer with the wish that it may be
accepted. If to subject myself voluntarily, on my arrival in England,
to any measures, however arbitrary, which might be deemed equivalent
to my political quarantine here, would induce you to alter your
determination, I am ready to accede willingly to that condition: such
is my ardent desire to return to Europe, owing to the state of my
son’s health and my own; and also on account of the melancholy
solitude in which I find myself placed, separated as I am from my
family, which is most dear to me, and from the revered object for
whose sake I made the sad sacrifice of leaving my country.

“Finally, my Lord, if there remain no chance of my liberation, at
least permit my son to depart. Let him not fall a victim to
circumstances to which his age must render him wholly a stranger. I
willingly consent to see him separated from me, in the hope of
securing to him a happier lot than that which seems to be reserved for
me. I will remain here alone, to struggle with my infirmities and
sorrows, to which I shall resign myself with the greater indifference,
when I reflect that my child is released from the sentence of
lingering death which is executing on me, though I have been tried by
no tribunal, and condemned by no judge.

“I have the honour to address to your Excellency a letter to Lord
Castlereagh, enclosing one for his Royal Highness the Prince Regent.
These letters were written before I received the information which you
had the goodness to communicate to me on this subject. I know not to
which of the Ministers I ought to have addressed myself; but I
consider it unnecessary to write the letter over again, as the state
of my eyes renders writing a very painful task, and I find that I have
observed the necessary forms.”


“MY LORD,—As I know not to which of your colleagues I ought to appeal,
I address myself to you, as the person of whom I have acquired the
greatest knowledge through public events. If the details relating to
St. Helena have been communicated to your Lordship, they must,
doubtless, have inspired you with great prejudice against me; and yet,
had they been properly explained, my conduct must have appeared to you
worthy of esteem, and, perhaps, even have excited your interest.

“At Longwood I considered myself within a sacred boundary, of which it
was my duty to defend the approaches. I would willingly have died on
the breach: _I resisted_. But now, when I find myself removed from the
revered circle, and again mingling with the common mass, I assume
another attitude: _I implore_.

“I therefore beg and entreat, my Lord, and I speak in the supposition
that I am addressing the Minister to whom this appeal ought to be
directed, I entreat that you will allow me to proceed to England,
since the alarming state of my son’s health and my own renders skilful
and prompt medical treatment necessary.

“What reason can there be for refusing my request? It cannot be
personal hatred! I am too obscure to attain such an honour. It cannot
be the vague dislike arising from difference of opinion! You are so
much accustomed to difference of this kind in England, and it is
cherished with so little rancour, that it would be ridiculous to
suppose such a circumstance could operate to my prejudice. Can it be
the fear that I should write or speak of the affairs of St. Helena?
But would not your refusal to grant my request, in some measure,
authorize the bitterness which it will be so easy to vent elsewhere?
Besides, if your object were to restrain me from publishing, my
residence in England would surely render this object the more secure
and easy; for there you have not only general laws, but also
particular laws, against such offences. When the individual is near
you, you have, as positive guarantees, his prudence, his judgment,
and, above all, his wish of remaining in the country.

“Thus, my Lord, I see no motive for refusing my request; but I see
many reasons for granting it. You would, by this means, have the
fairest opportunity of arriving at the truth, by procuring
contradictory and opposite statements. In discharging the noble
functions of a juror, can you satisfy your conscience by viewing only
one side of the question? I can shew you the other; and I will do so,
without prejudice or passion. You will find that I am inspired only by

“I must now call your Lordship’s attention to my papers which are
detained at St. Helena. I have several times explained their nature;
but I will once more describe them. They are a collection of
manuscripts, in the form of a Journal, in which, for the space of
eighteen months, I inscribed all that I learned, saw, or heard
respecting him who, in my eyes is, and will ever continue to be, the
greatest of men. This Journal, which was incomplete, incorrect,
unarranged and, from its nature, requiring continual correction, was a
secret, which was revealed only by the circumstances that took place
previously to my departure from St. Helena. Its existence known to
none, except perhaps the august individual who was the object of it;
and even he is, at this moment, ignorant of its contents. It was not
destined to be published during my life; and I took pleasure in
endeavouring to render it a complete and valuable historical monument.
My Lord, I beg that you will order the whole of those papers to be
forwarded to you. This you may do without inconvenience. I solemnly
protest that they contain nothing that can, either directly or
indirectly, be necessary or useful to the local authority of St.
Helena, in furtherance of the great object with which that authority
is intrusted. The inspection of my papers at St. Helena can be
productive of no advantage; but, on the contrary, may occasion serious
inconvenience by aggravating, through the personal allusions contained
in them, the ill-humour and irritation that already prevail in too
great a degree.

“If, on my arrival in England, your Lordship, from your political
situation, should think proper to order the examination of these
papers, which are of so sacred and private a nature, I shall
cheerfully submit to your judgment, because the examination will take
place under my own cognizance, and I shall have the security of those
inviolable and sacred forms, which I am sure your Lordship will direct
to be observed. I trust you will not refuse this second favour, which
I urgently solicit.

“My Lord, I have the honour to forward to you a letter for the Prince
Regent, which I beg you will do me the favour to lay before His Royal
Highness. My profound respect for his august person alone prevents me
from sending it unsealed; and I authorize your Lordship to open it, if
custom admits of your doing so,—I have the honour,” &c.


“ROYAL HIGHNESS,—The sport of the political tempest, wandering without
a home, an unfortunate foreigner presumes confidently to appeal to
your royal heart.

“Twice in the course of my life, I have had the misfortune to leave my
country; on both occasions contrary to my interests, and with the
intention of fulfilling great and noble duties. During my first exile,
my abode in England assuaged the sorrows of my youth, and I trusted
that England would again afford me an asylum in which I might enjoy a
little tranquillity in my old age. However I have reason to apprehend
that I shall be driven thence. Why should I be visited with this
severity? Can it be on account of the place whence I came, the
attentions which I took pleasure in administering there, and the
tender sentiments which I shall ever entertain towards the individual
from whom I am now separated? But, Prince, at Longwood I was
practising a great and singular virtue; I was supporting, with my
worthy companions, the honour of those who surround the thrones of
monarchs. After the example we have presented, it cannot henceforth be
said that love and fidelity are never shewn to unfortunate sovereigns.

“Should such conduct occasion me to be persecuted and banished from
the asylum I seek? Surely he, who was always great, when he wrote for
me on the rock of adversity, these words so gratifying to my heart:
_Whether you return to France, or go elsewhere, always boast of the
fidelity you have shewn to me_:—surely he, I say, has given me a right
and title to the regard of kings. Prince! I throw myself on your royal

“During my daily intercourse and conversations with him who once ruled
the world, and filled the universe with his name, I conceived and
executed the intention of writing down daily all that I saw of him,
and all that I heard him say.

“This Journal, which includes an interval of eighteen months, and
which is unique in its kind, but as yet incomplete, incorrect,
undetermined, and unknown to all, even to the august individual to
whom it related,—has been taken from me, and detained at St. Helena.
Prince, I also place it under your royal protection, and I venture to
entreat that you will receive it into your care, for the sake of
justice, truth and history.

“If your Royal Highness should in your goodness deign to afford me
your august protection, I shall hasten to seek, in England, an asylum
where I may tranquilly recollect and deplore.

            “I am, with the most profound respect,

                                                    “COUNT LAS CASES.”

I received in answer, from Lord Charles Somerset, the permission I had
solicited for my son to proceed to Europe by the first opportunity. I
wished my son to avail himself of this permission. I urged and even
commanded him to do so; but he positively refused. On this subject he
wrote a letter to the Governor, which was so gratifying to my
feelings, and reflected so much honour on his own heart, that I cannot
forbear transcribing it. It was as follows:—

“MY LORD,—My father has just communicated to me the permission you
grant me to return to Europe. He has entreated and commanded me to
accept it.

“I cannot, my Lord, avail myself of your indulgence, and I presume to
disobey my father. Bodily afflictions are nothing; the sufferings of
the heart alone are hard to be endured. I have been deprived of my
mother, and I every moment deplore my separation from her; yet I will
never forsake my father in a foreign country, and in a situation so
different from all that he has been accustomed to. My health is an
object of no importance to me. I shall be happy if I can afford any
consolation to my father, and alleviate, by sharing, the miseries
which have long been accumulating upon him.

“I prefer dying by his side to living at a distance from him. I am too
proud of his distinguished virtues, and too eager to imitate his
example, to part from him for a moment. I am ready to die here, since
it must be so: there will be two victims instead of one.

“I thank you, my Lord, with all my heart, for your kind intentions
respecting me. How grateful should I have been, how should I have
blessed you, had you extended them to my father!

                    “I have the honour to be,” &c.

This letter had, doubtless, been read by the family of Lord Charles
Somerset, and produced those favourable sentiments which it was
naturally calculated to inspire. On the following day, when the young
Doctor called to see us, I wished to draw him aside for the purpose of
requesting that he would exert his professional influence over my son
to induce him to depart. But, instead of listening to me, he hastened
to Emanuel’s chamber, and embracing him, expressed his approval of his
conduct, observing that he should not have respected him had he acted
otherwise. Conducting him to the window, he introduced him to two
ladies, whom he had left in their carriage, and mutual salutation
passed between them. These ladies were the two daughters of Lord
Charles Somerset, who had this morning themselves brought the Doctor
as far as the court yard fronting our prison, probably for the purpose
of satisfying the interest and curiosity which my son’s letter had

Our situation continued to be most deplorable. We were confined in a
sort of dungeon: our windows without curtains, overlooked a court-yard
covered with scorching sand. Though it was now the month of January,
we experienced in this hemisphere the burning heat of summer. We were
almost suffocated.

We were still subject to the same restrictions and the same vexations,
and the same officers presided at breakfast and dinner. This last
circumstance was a particular annoyance to me. I determined to avoid
it, and I therefore kept my bed and had my meals brought to me there:
being determined not to leave my chamber until I should be released
from the torments that surrounded me. I was besides, very unwell from
pains in my stomach; I was occasionally feverish, and in short, my
health was totally deranged. The officer on duty informed me, it is
true, that he had orders to conduct me into the town and even the
environs, whenever I should express a wish to that effect. I thanked
him, and though I could not myself profit by this favour, I accepted
it for my son.

Meanwhile, nobody came near me. Whether it was that the officer,
knowing me to be unwell, thought he was rendering me service, or
whether he was acting in in conformity with orders, I know not: but he
repulsed all who attempted to approach me. This gave rise to a curious
circumstance. Our chamber-door led into a corridor, along which we
were permitted to walk: having one day proceeded to the end of it, I
found, contrary to custom, a little door open, leading to a steep
staircase. Curiosity induced me to ascend, and I found myself on the
platform of the fort, whence I could command a view of Cape Town and
the boundless ocean. Struck with the beauty of the spectacle, I became
so wrapped in the meditations to which it gave rise, that two hours
elapsed ere I thought of returning. By chance I had come out while my
son was taking a walk with our officer. In the interim, the sentinel
had been changed, and when I presented myself at the door leading to
our apartments, the soldier placed his musket across it, and rudely
refused to admit me. The more I insisted on being admitted, the more
angrily he expressed his determination to exclude me. This appeared to
me odd enough, but I thought it still more droll when I found it
necessary to descend the staircase, pass through the court-yards to
the outer guardhouse, and obtain entrance to my prison by main force.
The officer on duty, alarmed at sight of me, ran furiously to the
sentinel who was posted on the outside of our apartments, and a
violent altercation ensued between them. The officer severely
reprimanded the man, and threatened to have him punished. The soldier,
with his eyes starting out of his head, declared that he had
discharged his duty; and I, who remained a tranquil spectator, could
not forbear smiling at this curious dispute, the cause of which no one
could explain but myself. However, peace was soon established at the
expense of the captive. I was again placed under confinement, and
order was restored in the fort.

The only stranger I saw was Doctor Barry, who frequently visited me. I
found his company very agreeable. He constantly recommended me to take
care of my health. He said he could guess the seat of my disorder, and
regretted that it was out of his power to prescribe any remedy for me.
I assured him that the greatest favour he could confer on me would be
to procure a person who could read to me and write from my dictation.
This I had been vainly soliciting since my arrival, for the state of
my eyes precluded all occupation, and my son was strictly enjoined to
abstain from all sedentary employment. I therefore laboured under an
intolerable depression of spirits, in being thus wholly abandoned to
my melancholy thoughts.

The Doctor informed me that the Governor was about to depart, to make
a tour over the colony, and that he would be absent about three
months. This information precluded the hope of any change in my
condition. I determined to make a last attempt, not that I counted on
its success, but only because I wished to leave nothing untried; for
the horrible and truly discourteous way in which I had been treated
astonished me less than it was calculated to do. I was prepared for
it. At St. Helena, we had been repeatedly informed that Lord Charles
Somerset was our personal enemy, and, on my arrival at the Cape, when
I made inquiries respecting his character and the sort of reception I
was likely to experience, I was told that nothing but a dog or a horse
could claim his attention. Subsequently, in the solitude of my prison,
I often thought to myself that, being neither a dog nor a horse, I
might despair of obtaining any notice from the Governor. I shall soon
show how little Lord Charles Somerset deserved these reflections.

Profiting by a passage in his letter, in which he expressed a wish to
render my stay at the Cape as agreeable as possible, I took the
opportunity in my next letter candidly to communicate to him my
thoughts respecting the treatment I experienced. My letter was as

“MY LORD,—I learn that your Excellency is on the eve of leaving Cape
Town, and that you will be absent for a considerable time: this
induces me, with extreme repugnance, to enter upon a disagreeable
subject, and to call your Excellency’s attention to a few domestic
details. I think it my duty to do this, for otherwise, should any
public expression of dissatisfaction hereafter escape me, I might
justly incur the reproach of having addressed no complaint to your

“But before I enter on the subject, my Lord, that you may not regard
as ridiculous the facts which I am about to state: and also to afford
you a just idea of the circumstances in which I am placed, of which I
think it very probable your Excellency is ignorant, permit me to
observe, with all the embarrassment of one who is obliged to introduce
himself, that there is no individual here with whom I may not, and
ought not naturally and without reserve to place myself on a level _in
every respect whatever_. Finally, I neither request, nor solicit any
indulgence nor favour relative to my personal wants, wishing in this
respect to depend entirely on my own resources.

“These two points being fixed and determined, I proceed to that
passage in your letter in which you have the goodness to express your
wish of rendering my stay here as agreeable as possible. On this
subject, I must acquaint your Excellency that I am imprisoned in a
kind of dungeon, in which it will be difficult for me much longer to
support existence.

“My son and I, who are both unwell, are, in this extremely hot
weather, lodged in a very small chamber, where we breathe unwholesome
air, and have scarcely room to move, for our beds nearly fill it. The
scorching rays of the sun, darting on a window without curtains,
compel me to pass the day in bed. There is, it is true, another
adjoining apartment of the same kind; but it is a dining room, where
two of your officers do the honours of the table. If I occasionally
enter this room, I count every moment I spend in it. There is a third
room, which is occupied by the officer who is appointed as our guard,
and through which I must pass, however unpleasant to me, on every
indispensable occasion.

“Whatever may be the hardships and miseries of such a situation, I
have been a sailor, I have been a soldier, and what is more, I am a
man, and I can in silence endure this and even more. I speak here,
only in answer to the obliging paragraph in your letter. There is no
fire in our apartments; so that if we should require warm water, on
account of my son’s health or any transient wants, we must either do
without it, or have recourse to the charity of our neighbours. The
Doctor has in vain prescribed the use of the bath for my son; no water
can be obtained for this purpose. If I feel a wish to procure any
little thing at my own expense, I am informed that your Excellency has
ordered every thing to be provided for me; and thus, from motives of
delicacy I repress my wish, and abstain from gratifying it.

“I spare your Excellency a multitude of details, which are equally
beneath your notice and mine. When the hour of dinner arrives, two
officers, who, I feel pleasure in acknowledging, treat me with great
politeness and respect, preside at the table. But it is a singular
fact, though a very certain one, that even their attentions add to my
discomfort, by obliging me to endeavour to return them in a suitable
way, though it would be far more natural and desirable for me to allow
my thoughts to wander far from the spot in which I am now situated.
Besides, our habits and manners are totally different. I find myself
under the necessity of sitting for several hours at table, when I
should not from choice sit for half an hour. All conversation must be
disagreeable to me, unless it be on the subject which now wholly
occupies my thoughts. Your Excellency has too much judgment not to
perceive that the situation in which I am placed is an absolute
torment to me. My melancholy is, doubtless, as irksome to my table
companions as their gaiety is annoying to me. Perfect solitude is
alone agreeable to me; and, therefore, I have completely withdrawn
from the dinner-table, and I take my meals in bed.

“Where is the necessity for an officer being attached to my person? I
presume to ask your Excellency this question, while at the same time I
repeat, with pleasure, that I cannot sufficiently express my
satisfaction with the one whom you have appointed to attend me. Is it
for the purpose of watching me? Surely the sentinel posted at my door
is sufficient for that purpose. Can it be intended as a mark of
respect, for the sake of transmitting any wish that I may express? But
I have no wish. Can it be to give the sanction of authority to any
visits I may receive? I can receive none, except such as are permitted
by authority. Is it for the purposes of accompanying me in my walks? I
will never consent to stir a step, if I must be a trouble to an
officer. I shall not therefore go abroad.

“Since, my Lord, you are determined that I shall remain your prisoner,
what objection can you have to placing me in a house in the town, and
permitting me to engage, at my own expense, any valet, cook, &c. that
may suit me, with the precautions that you may think proper to adopt.
When thus left to myself, your Excellency might provide as you pleased
for my security. You would hear no more of me. If I felt a wish to go
out in a carriage, or otherwise, I could write to the officer: I know
his obliging disposition, and my wish would be granted. I have
mentioned a house in the town, my Lord, because the state of my son’s
health, which requires constant, and often sudden, medical attendance,
renders a residence in the country objectionable.

“Such are the details to which I feel myself compelled to call your
Excellency’s attention. I hope that they may be less disagreeable and
painful to you than they are to me.

                    “I have the honour to be,” &c.

This letter was, from its nature, calculated to lead to a decisive
result. I received an immediate answer. The Adjutant General came to
inform me, in the name of the Governor—1st. That he had given orders
that a separate chamber should be assigned to my son on the following
day;—2d. That the officers should no longer take their meals with
us;—3d. That a more convenient residence was preparing for us; and,
finally, that if I had any other wish to express, endeavours would be
made to comply with it.

Such was the effect of my letter. It was successful beyond my hopes,
and I congratulated myself on having written it, because it afforded
me the opportunity of discovering traits in the character of Lord
Charles Somerset of which I had previously no idea. But this was not
all.—Early on the following morning, the Governor’s first Aide-de-camp
wrote to acquaint me that he had a communication to make to me on the
part of his Excellency, and he wished me to appoint the hour at which
it would be convenient for me to receive him. On the receipt of my
answer he came, and informed me that the Governor had that morning
left town, to make a tour of three months. His Excellency had
expressed himself very sorry to learn that I had been so exceedingly
unwell, and begged that I would do him the justice to believe that he
was entirely ignorant of the fact. The Aide-de-camp was instructed to
tell me that Lord Charles Somerset had nothing more at heart than to
render my abode at the Cape as agreeable as it could be; and he
offered me the use of his country residence, the servants, and every
thing belonging to it. He begged that I would take possession of it,
repeating that, if I had any other wish, I need only name it, and it
would be complied with. I accepted, without hesitation, the offer of
the change of residence, and the Aide-de-camp went to give the
necessary orders for our immediate removal.

I now discovered how greatly the Governor’s character had been
misrepresented to me. I found that Lord Charles Somerset possessed the
grace and courtesy of manners requisite for his high rank. How much
men differ from one another! At St. Helena, such a letter as I had
written would probably have had the effect of doubly rivetting my
chains; but here it procured for me the offer of a palace. The fact is
in itself sufficient to characterize the two authorities with whom I
have had to treat. Lord Charles Somerset was, indeed, far from
meriting the reports I had heard respecting him. Almost every man has
his detractors; and those who have high functions to discharge seldom
escape the tongue of calumny. Lord Charles, as I had subsequently the
opportunity of ascertaining, is a man distinguished for noble and
generous feeling, moral principle, piety, and perfect benevolence.
None of the vexations by which I had been so greatly harassed
proceeded from him, but from subordinate agents, who executed orders
and influenced decisions. For the persons in authority here, who were
the slaves of vulgar national prejudice, hated us as Frenchmen, and
esteemed themselves happy in subjecting us to all the severity which
it was in their power to inflict.

If I had enjoyed the advantage of personal intercourse with the
Governor, in which, I have reason to believe, there would have been no
difficulty, I doubt not that, in pleading my cause with Lord Charles
Somerset, I should have obtained all I demanded, because my demands
were perfectly just; but my situation withheld me from seeking access
to him, and it seemed to be the wish of those about him to prevent him
from coming near me. He several times announced his intention of
seeing me, it is true, but this intention was never fulfilled.


From Jan. 29th to April 5th.—Early this morning, precisely at the hour
that had been appointed, the Governor’s Aide-de-camp drove up to the
door of our prison in a carriage and four. We set out; and in less
than three quarters of an hour we reached Newlands, the Governor’s
country house, which might be accounted a pleasant residence even in
Europe. I could easily perceive that several years had elapsed since
the place had first received its name, for it was surrounded by lofty
trees and thick groves: many of the fruit-trees were in full bearing.

One of the Governor’s Aides-de-camp placed us in possession, with all
due form and with the most studied politeness. He conducted me over
the grounds, and pointed out to me every thing worthy of notice,
without mentioning a word about limits or restrictions. He took an
opportunity of adroitly hinting to me that the soldiers whom I saw
posted about were merely the Governor’s ordinary guards, and had
received none but their usual orders. He added that I might consider
myself at home, as every thing would be done under my own direction.
He then took his leave.

When left to ourselves in this delightful place, we felt that we had
been suddenly removed from a prison to a Paradise. The elegantly
furnished apartments, the dovecots in the vicinity of the house, the
birds of every kind that inhabited the grounds, the numerous
flower-beds, groves, and delightful walks, and the silence and
solitude that prevailed—all presented a somewhat magical effect, and
reminded us of Zemire and Azor.

We had the use of the whole house, in which all the furniture remained
just as it had been left by the Governor’s family; not an article
having been removed. My son, on opening a colour-box, found an
unfinished drawing, by one of the daughters of Lord Charles Somerset.
It was a portrait of the revered object whose fate we deplore; for
where is his image not to be found? Beside the drawing lay the copy
from which it had been taken. It was a wretched sketch; a sort of
caricature likeness of the Emperor, which had been made on board the
Northumberland. This thing seemed to haunt us wherever we went, and we
always destroyed it with the ardent zeal of missionaries breaking the
images of false gods. In the impulse of the moment my son made his
poetical _debut_, by writing the following lines beneath Miss
Somerset’s unfinished drawing:—--

           Sous vos doigts élégans tout devrait s’embellir;
             C’est aux belles surtout à peindre le courage:
           Du héros des héros, du Mars de l’avenir,
             Comment avez-vous pu défigurer l’image?

I placed beside the drawing a small medal, which afforded a more
faithful representation of Napoleon. We then shut up the box, pleased
with our trick, and enjoying, in anticipation, Miss Somerset’s
surprise when she should one day read, and we hoped without anger, the
censure which we had presumed to pronounce upon her drawing.

The Governor had carried his attention so far as to send from town a
person to act as Steward at Newlands, to receive from me daily orders
for provisions; and I was given to understand that I might be supplied
profusely with whatever I wished for. But I had adopted Spartan
manners, and I desired to be supplied merely with necessaries. As to
the steward, I changed his occupation, and made him my reader; in
which capacity I found him a most valuable acquisition. By chance this
person proved to be a relative of the only inhabitant of St. Helena
with whom I had formed acquaintance. He was the nephew of the worthy
Amphitryon, our good host of the Briars, for whom I entertain a
sincere regard.

The Aide-de-camp visited us regularly, having received special
instructions to see that we wanted for nothing. I begged that he would
present my thanks and acknowledgments to Lord Charles Somerset, for
the delicate way in which he sought to disguise our captivity. “But it
was all one,” I informed him; “since, in spite of ourselves, we must
deplore our absence from St. Helena and Europe.”

Our departure from prison and removal to Newlands produced quite a
revolution in our condition. We received visits from many individuals,
who expressed themselves anxious to see us. General Hall, who acted as
the Governor’s deputy during his absence, came, accompanied by his
wife, a lady of very pleasing person and manners, and who, moreover,
spoke French exceedingly well. Her husband had been eleven years a
prisoner in France. Mrs. Hall had proceeded thither to join him, in
spite of the severe restrictions which then existed between the two
countries; and, if I recollect rightly, she ventured across the
Channel in an open boat. Both General and Mrs. Hall were intimate with
many of my friends in Paris. General Hall, who is a frank and
honourable man, observed that he should feel happy in repaying me,
without regard to difference of opinion, for all the kind treatment he
had generously experienced in France; and he kept his word.

I was also visited by Colonel Ware, whose wife has a sister married to
one of the members of the present English Ministry. Colonel Ware
resided at a short distance from Newlands, and he came, he said, to
offer me his services as a good neighbour; and, indeed, I found him an
extremely agreeable one, from his kind and unremitting attentions to
me. Finally, a lady, of the highest distinction in every respect, who
at that time accidentally happened to be in the colony, had the
charity several times to visit the captive. This was an unlooked-for
happiness; for the act of kindness thus conferred on me was enhanced
by the charms of agreeable conversation, combined with graceful
manners and the most captivating modesty. She was a lovely European
flower, amidst the heath of the Cape.

We were also visited in our solitude by numerous officers of all
ranks, who expressed sincere sympathy and interest for our
misfortunes. Had their kindness at that time come to the knowledge of
the English Ministry, it might have operated to their prejudice. Even
now, though with a great sacrifice to my feelings, I must refrain from
mentioning their names. But they may be assured that none of their
actions or words were lost upon me; for gratitude is a sentiment
innate in my heart.

Curiosity also had its share in attracting visitors to me. Every
stranger who arrived at the colony, and in particular the numerous
passengers who were proceeding to India, failed not to visit Newlands.
I was a ray flung from Longwood, and all were eager to see one who had
recently been near Napoleon, whom I found to be every where the
universal object of interest, and the constant subject of

I had now an opportunity of answering many questions that were
addressed to me respecting the Emperor, the theme on which I always
dwelt most fondly. How many prejudices did I not destroy! How much
astonishment did I not create! It would now be difficult to conceive
how many atrocious and absurd reports respecting the Emperor had
gained credit, owing to the long suspension of intercourse between the
two nations, and their mutual feelings of irritation. Will it be
believed that a military officer of high rank, a man of considerable
intelligence, begged that I would tell him candidly whether Napoleon
was really able to write. He took it for granted that he was a mere
soldier, and nothing else. He seemed indeed, almost to doubt whether
he could read. I laughed, and asked whether he had ever seen his
military proclamations? He replied that he had, but that he supposed
these had been made for him. This officer was much astonished, and
acknowledged that he had nothing further to say on the subject, when I
informed him that, at the age of twenty-seven, Napoleon had been a
Member of the French Institute, undoubtedly the first learned
establishment in Europe.

As soon as we had fixed our residence at Newlands, my first care was
to send to Longwood a few articles of which the Emperor stood in need.
I knew, from experience how many privations he had to endure in that
abode of misery, where it was impossible to procure many things which
long habit had rendered necessary or agreeable. With my heart full of
these recollections, I resolved to transmit to him whatever I could
procure; though I was well aware that the Emperor attached but little
importance to luxuries of any kind. I however ordered some of the best
Constantia and Bordeaux wines, coffee, liqueurs, oil, eau de cologne,
&c. I mentioned that, if they were not of the best quality, I would
decline purchasing them. The Cape is yet but ill supplied with the
luxuries of Europe. Excepting Constantia wine, which is the production
of the place, only small quantities of the articles I had ordered
could be procured. I had taken the precaution to ask General Hall
whether I should be permitted to send the things, and he very politely
replied in the affirmative. With the view of facilitating the
reception of this little package at St. Helena, I had determined not
to have it brought to me at the Cape. I requested the officers of the
Governor’s staff to have the goodness to make the purchases for me,
and only reserved to myself the charge of paying for them. I mentioned
these precautions in a letter to Sir Hudson Lowe, to whom I addressed
the whole. It is stated by Mr. O’Meara that, on the arrival of these
things at St. Helena, Sir Hudson Lowe expressed himself much offended
at what I had done, which, he said, was an insult to the English
Government; and, in answer to me, he afterwards stated that, though I
had acted with much delicacy, yet it was out of his power to permit
the articles to be transmitted to Longwood, because he was charged, in
the name of the English Government, to provide every thing that was
wanting at that establishment.—He forgot that he had often assured us
the sum allowed him was insufficient for the purpose; and that we, on
our part, had frequently complained to him of wanting necessaries.
However, I afterwards understood that the articles had been sent to
Longwood, and I had the inexpressible satisfaction of learning that
the Constantia wine, in particular, had pleased the Emperor. It was
reserved for his own use, and he called it by my name. In his last
moments, when rejecting every thing that was offered, and not knowing
what to have recourse to, he said—“Give me a glass of Las Cases’
wine.” How was I gratified to hear of this!

At the same time, I sent back to Sir Hudson Lowe the note which, at
the sad moment of my departure, had been given to me for the four
thousand louis which I left for the Emperor’s use. It purported that
the sum was to be paid to me at sight. On my hesitating to accept it,
the Governor, Sir Hudson Lowe, ironically said—“Take it, take it. You
will go where the General has funds, and that will enable you to get
payment.” Afterwards, when I came to recollect this circumstance, not
doubting the report that Sir Hudson Lowe would make of it to his
Ministers, I thought it right to send back the note, with the request
that he would transmit to the English Government a correction of the
_erroneous commentaries_, with which I was convinced he had not failed
to accompany his account of the circumstance. “I reserve to myself,”
said I, in my letter to him, “merely the signature, which to me is
more valuable than the sum itself. The note is useless, I added. The
Emperor’s relations would, I am sure, dispute the honour of paying me
back the sum; or, in case of emergency, the first Frenchman I may
happen to meet with will be ready to give me credit for it.”

We had now been two months at Newlands, and, from what I have already
stated, many may be led to believe that we were perfectly happy. But
can there be happiness in a state of captivity, far from one’s native
country? We merely whiled away the hours as agreeably as we could. We
regulated our time, and distributed our occupations. My son pursued
his studies. The piano of the Misses Somerset was one of his favourite
amusements. I read a great deal; for I had books at hand, and my
friends regularly furnished me with the journals and new publications.
In the evenings, my son walked with me in the beautiful groves
surrounding the house; or, as he had bought a horse, he sometimes took
an excursion in the neighbourhood, and then returned to ride backward
and forward in the beautiful alleys of Newlands, where I sat down, and
took pleasure in watching him. I thought I could perceive his health
recruited, and his strength developing itself.

I must confess that, in these delicious summer evenings, the pure sky,
the fresh air, and the beauty of the whole surrounding scene,
occasionally afforded me a few hours’ enjoyment: this was my adieu to
life. The rigidity of feeling occasioned by the treatment we had
experienced at St. Helena, relaxed amidst the charms and perfect
tranquillity of this delightful place, and I was oftener than once
tempted to say, why is not the rest of my family here! Alas! if the
Emperor were but as well situated!... But these moments of oblivion
were brief and of rare occurrence; for, I repeat, there can be no
complete and perfect happiness far from one’s country and the objects
we love. With whatever charms we may be surrounded, we are ever amidst
a desert. This state of feeling, and my impatience to arrive at a
termination of my distress, insensibly affected my health. My constant
sleepless nights afforded no respite to my misery. In vain I devoted
myself to occupation and exercise during the day, and delayed until
late the moment of retiring to rest. No sooner did I lie down than, in
spite of myself, my thoughts instantly turned on the interval that had
gone by. I counted one day less in my exile, and I calculated over and
over again the time that must yet elapse before the order for our
deliverance could arrive from London, the accidents that might retard
it, &c. These thoughts having once taken possession of my mind, I
found it absolutely impossible to close my eyes; and thus I nightly
endured the most cruel torments that can be conceived.

Meanwhile, the period of the Governor’s return was at hand; and I
began to be perplexed at the idea of thus finding myself in the same
house with him; I presumed that it would not be very agreeable to
either party, to have to confound together, under the same roof,
hospitality and seclusion. But my embarrassment was soon at an end.
Whether it was fact or pretence, I know not; but the Colonial
Secretary came to inform me that, in consequence of the expected
arrival of Lord Amherst, who was returning to Europe from his embassy
to China, the Governor found it necessary to assign another residence
to me.

This Colonial Secretary, whom I have not yet mentioned, though he was
the second civil officer in the colony, was a man perfectly eccentric,
both in person and character. He had been several times a Member of
Parliament. He knew every thing, discussed every thing, and usually
confused every thing he meddled with: he was said to be like an
encyclopædia, with the sheets bound up in their wrong places. He first
took it into his head to fix our abode in a residence which he had
built, and which he had persuaded the Government to hire. Fortunately,
he relinquished this design, because various difficulties opposed its
execution. We should, I believe, have been obliged to proceed thither
by sea; and, even had we been safely established in this abode, there
would have been some uncertainty respecting the facility of
communication with us when necessary. At length, it was determined
that we should be lodged with a worthy family who resided about eight
or ten leagues from the Cape, at a place called Tygerberg (Tiger
Hill), which name it received from the Dutch, on account of the
numerous tigers that inhabited the place, at the time when it was
first occupied.

This occupation is not of very remote date; for these lands have not
been exclusively in the possession of the civilized inhabitants until
very recently. Several persons informed me that they had themselves
seen tigers in the beautiful grounds of Newlands. It would appear that
the Dutch, confining themselves to maritime affairs, devoted but
little, or at least tardy, attention to the progress of colonization.
Now, however, the industry and activity of the English are giving a
different turn to affairs. All parts of the Cape, and Cape town in
particular, which the sailors call the _half-way house_ of the two
worlds, will infallibly rise to the highest importance. The soil is
rich and the climate admirable. The productions of the temperate zone
and those of the tropics may be cultivated almost in all parts and at
once. English settlers emigrate to the Cape in great numbers; and the
population is rapidly increasing. Europe invaded Africa by the south,
and the European race will, in course of time, spread over the whole
continent, as it is now spread over America. From Botany Bay,
Europeans will, in course of time, extend to New Holland, and thence
subjugate China. The European race will rule the globe; happy should
it expiate, by the blessings of civilization, the crimes of conquest,
or its impurity of origin!

                              HELENA, &C.

From April 6th to August 19th.—We left Newlands about the middle of
the day, and at night reached Tygerberg. Our new host was a Mr. Baker,
a native of Coblentz, or its neighbourhood, and we looked upon him as
one of our countrymen, from his origin, his opinions, and the sympathy
he shewed us. The family altogether formed the most agreeable society
imaginable. It would have been impossible for us to have been treated
with greater respect and attention. All our wishes were anticipated
and gratified. We now commenced the third period of our captivity at
the Cape. The first was our insupportable imprisonment in the Castle,
which fortunately lasted only ten days: the second was our abode in
the charming retreat of Newlands: the third was our residence at the
desert of Tygerberg, which was to continue for the space of four
months; and even this might not be the termination of our captivity!

At Tygerberg, we found ourselves situated on the confines of the
wandering hordes. The country, here and there, presented detached
habitations, at considerable distances from each other. These were
occupied by cultivators of various nations, who were clearing the new
grounds, in order to turn them to profitable account; and, with
perseverance, regularity, and a little capital, their efforts will, no
doubt, be successful. Though now removed to the very extremity of the
civilized world, we found ourselves treated with even more than
kindness. We observed that the people here were neither ignorant nor
indifferent with respect to the events of Europe, which, on the
contrary, excited an unusual degree of interest. The majority of the
population was Dutch, and was, therefore, connected with our national
system. Thus, to my surprise, I found the name of Napoleon familiar in
this desert. The most victorious game-cock in the neighbourhood was
called Napoleon! The swiftest race horse was Napoleon! The most
invincible bull in the country was Napoleon! I could not refrain from
laughing at this. But every one has his own way of rendering honour
and respect; and Napoleon was the noblest of all names in the
estimation of the inhabitants of Tygerberg.

Notwithstanding our removal from the town, we still continued to
receive many visits, and it was very gratifying to us to calculate the
degree of interest that was felt for us, by the degree of reserve and
embarrassment that we excited.

The interest we excited was not confined to Frenchmen alone. An
American captain came to me, and offered to rescue me from captivity.
He informed me that he had adopted every precaution, and made every
necessary arrangement; and he observed that all depended on my own
will, since Mr. Baker was not my jailer, but merely my host. Yet what
would have been the use of embracing this proposal? I had but one
point, one object, in view, and that was, to repair to London and
appeal to the English Ministers.

We endeavoured to amuse ourselves with our usual occupations. I had
procured a person to read to me, and I kept him well employed. In
spite of the distance, our friends still continued to supply us with
the journals and new publications. At this time, I read the Letters
written during the last reign of the Emperor by Mr. Hobhouse, who, I
believe, was the first that ventured to speak favourably of Napoleon.
I also procured Warden’s work, which, though containing many errors,
was, I am confident, written with the very best intentions; and
finally, I obtained a sight of the famous Manuscript of St. Helena,
which excited so much interest and curiosity throughout Europe.
Opinion was powerfully divided on the subject of this publication; a
thousand conjectures were afloat respecting its authenticity and real
origin. It would certainly be difficult for me to describe the
astonishment and doubt which it excited in my mind. What were my
feelings and thoughts when I found pages of truth, which seemed to
have escaped from my own secret collection, mingled with whole pages
of error and frivolity! I several times stopped, doubting whether I
was not dreaming. I recognised not only the substance of certain
passages, but even phrases and expressions, in the literal form in
which I had myself transcribed them from the mouth of the narrator.
They were contained in the very papers which Sir Hudson Lowe had
detained at St. Helena. I could positively have affirmed that all the
grand ideas and noble conceptions formed by Napoleon,—all the
political speculations,—and, in short, all the most attractive and
interesting contents of the celebrated Manuscript, were in my Journal
collected from the conversation of Napoleon. If only this portion of
the publication had been read to me, I should not, for a moment, have
doubted that the work had been obtained directly from Longwood. Even
the dates would have warranted this conclusion; for six or seven
months had now elapsed since my expulsion from St. Helena. But whence
had been procured the alloy with which the better portion of the work
was mixed up? This was a riddle which I could not attempt to guess.
Can it be, thought I, that the facts contained in this publication
have been surreptitiously derived from my papers, certain parts of
which may have been selected and put together by strange hands? But,
besides that, I could not bring myself to cherish such a disagreeable
suspicion without better proof. What probability was there that the
hostile authority of St. Helena would favour the publication of that,
which was, upon the whole, favourable to the illustrious victim of the
ostracism of kings?

What was the real sentiment which dictated the Manuscript of St.
Helena? This is, in many instances, very equivocal. By what hands was
it produced? This question gives rise to many contradictory
conjectures. Finally, it may be asked, what was the real object of the
publication? It presents various styles, various sentiments, and bears
evidence of various degrees of information. This publication must have
been the patchwork production of various hands; for how could the
individual, who appears to have been so familiar with the secret
designs of the supposed author and his cabinet, have been ignorant of
his opinion on various public acts, when that opinion was accessible
to every body? as, for example, on the subject of Napoleon’s first
marriage; the situation of the French in Egypt; the trial of the Duke
d’Enghien; &c.

Is it probable that the man, who could have procured by his own means
facts of so confidential a nature, should have been reduced to the
necessity of mixing them up with vulgar errors? And, even supposing
any one to have had sufficient shrewdness to guess these great truths,
would not his judgment have suggested to him the propriety of being
correct with respect to the rest? I shall say nothing of the
far-fetched and singular phraseology which disfigures the work, and
which can only be regarded as a proof of bad taste and an unsuccessful
attempt at imitation. Neither shall I comment on the numerous and
extraordinary anachronisms which this Manuscript contains. These and
other circumstances render the publication totally inexplicable.

Meanwhile, time was running on, and I saw no probable termination of
my exile. The interval necessary for obtaining a return of
communication from England had now expired, and still I heard nothing
of my removal. I was seized with profound melancholy, and almost
reduced to despair. I suffered severely from continual and violent
pains in my stomach. My restlessness at night still continued, my
health daily declined, and disease made rapid inroads on my
constitution. I was at this time attacked with pains in the head which
have never since quitted me.

I have in vain had recourse to the faculty. No remedy has afforded me
any immediate relief, and hitherto I have found that the most
effectual method is to abstain entirely from medicine.

After my return to France I experienced a considerable improvement in
my health. By dint of repose and retirement, I found myself daily
gathering strength. But still, whenever I tried to converse for any
length of time, or to bend my thoughts to any particular subject, I
immediately experienced a recurrence of my disorder.

During the increasing indisposition under which I was labouring at
Tygerberg, I wrote to request that the Governor would permit me to
return to the town, for the sake of obtaining medical aid. But this
request was vain: Lord Charles Somerset now turned a deaf ear to my

In the impatience and irritation excited by the prolongation of my
captivity, I several times, during my residence at Tygerberg, resumed,
and perhaps in energetic terms, my appeals to the Governor, requesting
that he would permit me to return to Europe. I have reason to believe
that I succeeded in moving him. Whether from feelings of justice on
his part, or from what other cause I know not, but I am sure he was
not without hesitation and anxiety respecting me. He probably asked
himself whether it was proper in him to become a jailor after the
manner of Sir Hudson Lowe? And whether he had a right, after all, to
deprive me of my liberty? But whenever he thus wavered, his
ill-natured advisers were at hand to confirm him in his resolution of
detaining me. “Is he not well lodged and well fed?” said they. “What
then has he to complain of? and how has he acknowledged the good
treatment he has experienced? By confining himself and refusing to go
abroad, in order to give a greater colouring of probability to what he
is pleased to call his tyrannical imprisonment.—What have been the
expressions of his letters, always so misplaced and so violent?” Every
thing was turned to my prejudice, and one circumstance, in particular,
was taken advantage of for this purpose. On the arrival of Lord
Amherst and Admiral Plampin, Lord Charles Somerset, with the intention
probably of affording the strangers an opportunity of seeing and
questioning me, sent me, in the midst of my desert at Tygerberg, a
formal invitation to a ball, which, as well as I can recollect, was
given in honour of the Prince Regent’s birth-day. The messenger was
directed to wait for my answer. I wrote it on the card of invitation,
and in very decided terms. I was vexed that Lord Charles Somerset
seemed to have so little idea of the melancholy situation in which I
was placed as to imagine me capable of going to a ball. The persons
about the Governor probably insinuated that, if his Excellency had
committed a fault in detaining me, it was now too late to remedy it;
that the thing was done, and his Lordship would be held responsible
for it; that to alter his determination would be an acknowledgment
that he did not know how to act; would be condemning himself, &c. I
presume, therefore, that it was resolved to run the risk of letting
the affair come to a close any way it would.[29]

Footnote 29:

  Chance has thrown in my way a document, which affords a decided
  proof of the manner in which Lord Charles Somerset acted. I have now
  in my possession a duplicate of a letter from Mr. Goulburn, the
  Under Secretary of State, addressed to Madame Las Cases, at Paris,
  and dated February 21st, 1817. The letter states that Mr. Goulburn
  is commissioned, by Lord Bathurst, to inform Madame Las Cases of the
  departure of her husband from St. Helena for the Cape; and that, in
  case he should determine on returning to Europe, he might be
  expected about the month of May. Yet I did not leave the Cape until
  three months later, namely, about the end of August! Thus it would
  appear that Lord Bathurst had no intention of detaining me there;
  and that Lord Charles Somerset, instead of executing the orders of
  the English Minister, merely obeyed the suggestions of Sir Hudson
  Lowe. I certainly have no reason to suppose that Lord Bathurst
  would, in the slightest degree, regret this irregularity, however
  fatal it might be to me. But, if I know any thing of the character
  of Lord Charles, I am sure he must have been sorry for it. Being
  fully persuaded of this, I sincerely forgive him for the treatment I

All these adverse circumstances combined to estrange Lord Charles
Somerset entirely from me, and so far offended him that, in spite of
his natural disposition, he treated me with a degree of inhumanity. I
addressed a letter to him, describing the state of my health, and
urging the indispensable necessity of my removal to the town. But to
this he coolly replied, in a note sent by his Aide-de-camp, that,
though he could not alter his arrangements, he had given orders for my
obtaining medical attendance. But I was situated at a distance of
eight or ten leagues from Cape Town; the Doctor could only visit me
once a week; and as he prescribed remedies which could only be
procured in the town, their application was impracticable. I lost all
patience on reading this answer, which seemed to be an act of cruel
irony rather than a measure of relief; and I indignantly addressed a
letter directly to the Colonial Secretary. I stated that, “as it was
by his direction I had been removed to Mr. Baker’s, I took the liberty
of informing him that, as it was absolutely necessary I should be near
my medical attendant, I presumed he could have no objection to my
removal to the town, to the house of Dr. Leisching, Mr. Baker’s
father-in-law.” He replied that he had consulted with the Governor,
and that his Excellency had declared that his instructions did not
admit of my coming back to Cape Town.

But I determined not to be satisfied with this, and I again wrote to
the Colonial Secretary. I informed him that, “in spite of his letter,
nothing but absolute force should prevent me from quitting Tygerberg.
I was determined to repair to the town, and that the Governor might,
if he pleased, confine me there, and even keep me a closer prisoner
than I was at Tygerberg, as, at least, I should enjoy the advantage of
being within reach of medical advice and remedies; that though perhaps
I had no reason to attach great value to existence, yet I felt it to
be a kind of duty to defend my life.” Fortunately, the permission for
my departure at length arrived from England, just at the very moment
when I was about to execute my determination; otherwise I know not how
the matter would have ended. The Governor communicated this welcome
intelligence to me, accompanied by the offer of a lodging prepared for
me in the town. But I declined accepting it, and proceeded, as I had
originally intended, to the house of Dr. Leisching, where I
experienced all the attention and hospitality of Tygerberg, in a truly
patriarchal family, whose society produced a beneficial effect on my
health and spirits.

Now commenced a new series of vexations. I was doomed to drain the cup
of disappointment to the very dregs. The Governor, when he informed me
of my release, mentioned that two opportunities presented themselves
for my departure, and he wished me to make choice of one. I
immediately replied that the speediest would be the most desirable. I
now confidently expected the receipt of my passports, and the final
commands of the Governor. I was confined to my bed. Two days elapsed;
and in the mean time one of the ships sailed. What was my vexation and
disappointment, particularly when I was afterwards informed that the
Governor had nothing more to communicate to me; and that I was at
liberty to make whatever arrangements I pleased respecting my
departure. I vehemently complained that the first opportunity should
have been allowed to escape; but for this there was no remedy. A large
transport was lying in the harbour, which was destined to convey a
regiment of artillery to England. I begged the Governor would permit
me to take my passage in this vessel, as there were medical officers
on board. His answer was that there was no accommodation for me. In
vain I represented that if there had been two additional
artillery-officers, they would certainly not have been left behind;
that if there were two more sailors to be embarked, they would surely
find room for them; and we wanted no better accommodation. All these
arguments were unavailing. I was informed that the ship was to touch
at St. Helena, and that this circumstance, in itself, would preclude
the possibility of my taking my passage on board her. I was compelled
to yield, and to confine myself to the choice which the Governor had
so generously left me, which was to proceed to Europe by the only ship
that was then in the harbour. This was an extremely small brig, an
absolute cock-boat, destined to perform a voyage of three thousand
leagues. However, I felt no hesitation. I would have leaped into the
sea rather than have delayed another moment. The bargain was soon
struck, and I was now all impatience for the moment of departure.

The Captain of the brig informed me that he had received orders from
the Governor to prohibit me from having any communication on shore, if
he should be obliged to touch at any place in the course of the voyage
and on reaching England, he was not to suffer me to land until he
should previously receive orders from Government. Thus I was
absolutely a prisoner in the hands of this man, though I was bound to
pay him the sum which he had been pleased to demand for my passage.
This circumstance appeared to me so extraordinary that I wished to
obtain a confirmation of it, lest it might be the subject of doubt
when I should have to relate it. Therefore, when, for the last time, I
applied to the Governor for my passports, I called his attention to
this extraordinary fact. I begged that he would certify, in his answer
to me, that I had myself agreed to pay for my passage on board the
brig, which, by his instructions, was now converted into my prison.
But, as it may be supposed, I received my passports and nothing more.


                           PASSAGE TO EUROPE.


                   A space of about a Hundred Days.


         _From Wednesday, August 20, to Friday, November 15._

                          ANCHOR IN THE DOWNS.

Towards evening we proceeded to the beach, accompanied by our two
excellent hosts of Tygerberg and the Cape, whose hospitable cares,
extreme attention, and all the proofs of true affection which they
gave us, have inspired us with deep feelings of gratitude. The weather
was calm, but as we entered the boat, a favourable breeze sprung up,
as by enchantment. We all exclaimed that this was an auspicious omen;
but it was far from proving so: for it will be seen that our passage
turned out to be one of the longest, and, towards the end, most
frightful and terrible. We got on board, the anchor was weighed, and
we at last set sail for that Europe we had so long wished for.

From the moment we got under weigh, I and my son were separated from
Cape Town and the coast of Africa for ever. Not that they were out of
sight even on the next day; but, because we both remained shut up
below, suffering most terribly from sea-sickness, the effects of which
lasted a considerable time, and of which we thought we should die. Our
berth was small, dirty, and inconvenient; our brig was of about two
hundred tons’ at most; and the crew consisted of twelve hands, two of
whom were boys; and indeed, with the exception of the Captain and the
Mate, the only two who could be reckoned able sea-men, and of the
Cook, an infirm old man, all the rest were mere lads. This want of
hands was the more striking to me, and tended the more to increase my
natural disposition to sea-sickness; as, with the exception of the
Griffin, I had never been on board any but seventy-four gun ships,
manned by seven or eight hundred men.

After thirteen days’ sailing, we reached the tropic of Capricorn, and
fell in with the trade-winds. On the Sunday following, the 7th of
September, we passed in sight of St. Helena, but at a distance of
upwards of fifteen leagues; it was hardly possible to perceive it. It
would be necessary to have been on that Island, situated as I had
been, led thither by similar motives, and to have felt the same
affections, and all the other sentiments which my residence there had
inspired me with, in order to conceive all the sensations which I
experienced on finding myself near that spot,—all the thoughts which
occurred to my mind,—the feelings of regret which assailed me. I had
had it in my power to remain there; and I had wilfully chosen to
banish myself from it!... Indeed, the experience I had had of the Cape
began to make me fear that I had founded my determination on chimeras.

We were now sailing smoothly towards the equator, on this tropical
sea, on which we had to go upwards of three thousand leagues. Our
little vessel composed our universe. What a vast field of meditation!
to find one’s self alone, for about a hundred days, on the vast ocean
without any other shelter than the immense expanse of the heavens, on
a floating atom, and separated only by a frail plank from the voracity
of sea monsters, and an unfathomable abyss!

At the expiration of a month, 20th September, we at last got into our
northern hemisphere again, by crossing the Line almost at the same
time as the sun, which was going down towards the south, on our
larboard tack. We were very fortunate in our navigation in the
immediate vicinity north of the equator, where calms or storms are
invariably met with. In those regions, the excessive heat of the
equator, and that produced by the sands of Africa, combine to torment
and harass nature, who expresses her lassitude by continued calms, or
is roused by torrents of rain and terrible thunder-storms.

Twenty-five days afterwards, we passed the second tropic, and reached
the boundaries of the variable winds of our regions.

We had left the Cape in winter, and after having crossed the torrid
zone, we again found winter at the gates of Europe: thus tempests were
stationed at the two extremities of our navigation. We had fortunately
escaped the tempests of departure; but we had still to expect those of
arrival: these we found at their post, and furious they turned out to

At the end of about twenty days of light and variable winds, we
arrived off the Azores. Our voyage had been already extremely long.
There have been instances of the passage from the Cape to England
having been performed in thirty days;—the average perhaps is fifty
days. We had now been eighty days at sea, and our troubles were only
about to begin. When in sight of the Azores, our tribulation, and what
we called our _Passion week_, commenced.

On the 1st of November we experienced our first gale; a moderate one,
it is true, to begin with, as it were, and set us agoing.

On the 2nd November, we had a calm to give us breath. On the 3rd, came
a second gale, still tolerable; but, during the night, which was one
of the darkest imaginable, a third gale sprang up, and this time, it
amounted to an absolute hurricane. The wind suddenly chopped round,
from aft to fore, with a dreadful noise; and blowing furiously, it
took, sideways, the few sails we had set, and in one instant, with the
rapidity of thought, one side of the ship was in the water, and the
sea reached nearly to the foot of the masts. A great number of the
casks belonging to the cargo were upset, and by their weight increased
the heeling of the ship, already so dangerous. Fortunately, the wind
carried away the sails, which were abandoned to it, or we should have
capsized. We all thought ourselves lost, and we must have been
drowned, had not fate ordered it otherwise.

Such a state of things lasted the whole of Friday, the 7th. Suffering
from sea sickness, I had not stirred from my hammock for a long while;
but at about four o’clock, I took advantage of a more calm moment, to
crawl to the outlet of our wretched cabin, to examine the state of our
situation. The spectacle was truly grand, sublime, awful, terrible.
The vast ocean, surmounted by a sky red with fury, covered with
innumerable roaring mountains, and furrowed with deep valleys and
fathomless abysses, formed a sight which filled me with an awful
feeling of terror. Our little boat glided with admirable rapidity
between two moving mountains, the extremities of which often met on
our deck, threatening every moment to unite there together for our
final destruction, whilst behind us huge rolling billows, similar to
the fantastic monsters of fabulous history, pursued us with
unrelenting ardour, raising their hideous heads above our stern, as if
to contemplate and rush upon their prey, which continually escaped
from them, not, however, without their carrying away, here and there,
some pieces of timber from our upper works. This situation was one of
imminent danger: few words were exchanged between us; we looked at
each other in silence; and suffered things to take their course. It is
certain that a false movement at the helm, or the slightest act of
inattention or neglect, would have been sufficient to cause us to be
instantly swallowed up. Had we been caught by one of these terrible
waves astern of us, its weight would have borne down every thing
before it, and that indeed was our greatest peril. We were more than
once threatened with seeing our cabin stove in; the waves dashed over
our heads, with a noise like the report of a cannon. We observed them,
with terror, gaining ground upon us; and we spent a great part of the
dreadful night that followed in securing and fortifying ourselves
against them.

My son, who could neither go to bed nor sleep, frequently went upon
deck to see how things were going on, and then came back to me, as I
lay in my hammock. Not knowing what to do during that long and cruel
night, to divert our minds from the contemplation of our situation,
and beguile time, if possible, I endeavoured for a moment to dictate
something to my son; it was a passage of ancient history. But,
presently, a wave, having stove in some part of the works above, came
and inundated my hammock, and the paper on which my son was writing.
We thought ourselves at our last moment.

However, all that has been read was not destined to form the
complement of our danger, or the extent of our fears. The tempest
still lasted, and seemed even to increase; at last, on Saturday the
8th, towards morning, the man who was at the helm, as being the most
dexterous and the most intrepid of the crew, declared that he would no
longer take charge of it; he began to feel giddy, he said, and he
feared lest some error on his part should prove fatal to all. We were
then obliged to have recourse to our last resource, _mettre à la
cape_, that of letting the ship drive before the wind; a most ticklish
manœuvre in the desperate situation in which we were placed,
because we ran the risk of going down in the attempt to execute it.
But Providence still favoured us; by the greatest good fortune
possible, we succeeded, and a shout of joy and gratitude from the
whole of the crew above, imparted to us below the welcome news. We
considered ourselves most fortunate, although the difference between
the two situations was chiefly this, that whereas before we ran the
risk of foundering, by being taken by the sea aft, we now had the
chance of foundering, by the sea taking us on the beam.

This violent gale had now lasted three days, and our week was going on
towards its completion. I placed great reliance upon the Sunday, which
was about to begin, not only on account of the moon, but also because
Sunday had happened to be peculiarly marked by something favourable to
us ever since our departure. Nor were our hopes disappointed, for, in
the course of the night between Saturday to Sunday, the weather became
tolerably moderate, and, when daylight appeared, we were enabled once
more to pursue our course. It is certain that, from a strange
combination of circumstances, the Sundays had always been marked by
some fortunate events, since our departure from the Cape. It was on a
Sunday that we had passed the southern tropic, and fallen in with the
trade-winds; on a Sunday we had seen St. Helena; on a Sunday we had
passed the Island of Ascension; on a Sunday we had crossed the Line;
on a Sunday we had passed the second tropic; on a Sunday we had
arrived in the latitude off Gibraltar, the first point of Europe;
lastly, it was on a Sunday that we had arrived in the latitude of
Bayonne and Bordeaux, the beginning of our dear France; and it was on
a Sunday again that we were at this moment ending that terrible week
off Brest. We might fairly reckon henceforward, we said, upon some
fine weather; we thought that we had sufficiently paid our tribute; we
hoped that we had exhausted the fury of the wind: the lead brought up
European clay; and we only thought of an agreeable termination to our
voyage. But, vain calculation! our lucky Sunday being over, we had to
encounter a fifth gale.

We were now beginning to enter the Channel without, however, having
yet seen land, by which means our true position was unknown to us.
Prudence required us to stand out to sea, but fortunately it was not
for a long time; and, having resumed our course, we at last came
within sight of the Lizard Point; but we seemed doomed not to have
twenty-four hours of comfort. A thick fog almost immediately came on,
and a sixth gale sprung up under the most inauspicious appearances. It
blew from the south, and therefore threatened to drive us ashore; we
were now in the Channel and without shelter: on one side we had the
Lizard, and on the other the Scilly isles, which are extremely
dangerous; there was a very heavy sea: we did not know precisely where
we were; night was coming on, and a night of fourteen hours! How many
causes of uneasiness! What a state of perplexity both for the mind and
for a calculation of the chances! We were all completely downcast and
disheartened; when a shower of rain, accompanied by thunder, although
it was then in the middle of November and the weather very cold, broke
the spell. The wind suddenly veered to the proper quarter, and this
time it put an end to all our difficulties by bringing us into the
Downs, where we anchored. Happy, and ten times happy, to have escaped
dangers so formidable and so numerous!


                       VOYAGE FROM THE THAMES TO


                     An Interval of Twenty Days.


                  _From November 16 to December 11._


On the preceding evening we had anchored in the Downs, merely for that
night; the next morning, at day-break, we set sail for the Thames,
London being our place of destination. It now appeared as if no
occurrence could henceforth keep me from that city, and I was already
calculating the hour of arrival. All my hopes might at last be
realized; my confidence was returning; but how greatly was I mistaken!

Arrived at Gravesend, where a vessel is stationed for the special
purpose of superintendence over foreigners, I no sooner gave my name
than an agent of government informed me that I could not proceed any
further, and that I must follow him immediately, with my luggage, on
board of the _Alien Ship_. In vain I remonstrated, and represented to
him that, with my passport, I was in strict conformity with the
regulations: that very document it was which condemned me. I have been
since informed that this measure had been ordered against me in every
port of England, long before my arrival.

I was no sooner on board the Alien Ship, than seals were placed upon
my papers, and I was apprized that I must wait for final orders from
Government. I had written to Lord Bathurst the very instant of our
anchoring in the Downs; I now wrote to him again. I was ignorant of
his intentions towards me; but it seemed to me impossible that he
should not eagerly summon me before him; and, above all things, it
could not enter into my mind that he would neglect to avail himself of
so favourable an opportunity for hearing a counter-statement of all
that had taken place at St. Helena. It will be seen, however, that I
was mistaken in my suppositions.

With the exception of being kept in confinement, every mark of
attention was shewn to me on board the Alien Ship. The Captain, who
had had very little to do since the peace, and who never made his
appearance but in the day time, gave me his own bed to sleep in.

Harassed by these fresh vexations, suffering from my habitual
complaints, and wearied of my new prison, I had gone to bed at an
early hour, when I was awaked on a sudden, in the silence of night, by
a shrill voice. “Count, Count,” cried some one who was seeking for me
in every corner, and who in his hurry had not even waited to procure a
light, “_It is the Prince Regent’s pleasure_ that you instantly quit
Great Britain.” In the confusion of my broken sleep I chanced to
reply, “Assuredly this is a very sorry and silly pleasure for his
Royal Highness; but you, Sir, who are you?” He then told me that he
was a government messenger. I requested that he would wait until I
should be ready, and I tried in vain to complete my night’s rest. At
daybreak my son and I were desired to step into a boat, landed with
mystery, thrust into a post-chaise, and conducted by the shortest road
to Dover, where my guide informed me that he had orders to see me on
board of the packet for Calais or Ostend, whichever I preferred, as I
was not allowed to fix my choice upon any other port.

It happened, from some cause or other, that we could not sail
immediately from Dover, and I was told that there might be a delay of
two or three days. We were shut up in an inn, where my keeper, under
the specious pretence of consulting my convenience, practised upon me
the meanest of all contrivances. If complaints are made on the
Continent of disgraceful proceedings on the part of police agents, it
must be admitted that the man we had now to deal with might well rival
those of any other country.

Having happened to say that it was a pity my papers had been sealed
up, as otherwise I might have taken advantage of my stay, in order to
write a few letters, he immediately protested against the hardship of
my being deprived of what he called a most innocent and a most natural
satisfaction; and directly went himself to break the seals, and gave
me up all my papers, recommending me to do all in my power to
alleviate the unpleasantness of my present situation, of which he was
the unwilling instrument. Will it be believed that this was nothing
more than a snare laid for me, in order that he might afterwards have
the pleasure of seizing whatever I might have written, under the
delusion of a feeling of confidence which he thus excited! During the
time we were together, this man had been remarkable for his
officiousness towards us, coupled, it is true, with a thousand
impertinent expressions, which sufficiently evinced all his baseness.
He told me, for instance, that he and his colleagues considered it
their duty to know no other law than the _pleasure_ of the Prince: he
spoke of _his master_, Lord Sidmouth, the Secretary for the Home
Department; of _his master_ who had preceded Lord Sidmouth, and so on;
and as I observed, in joke, that I had thought that he belonged to the
Administration, and not to the Minister, he replied, with the utmost
candour, that I was mistaken; that he belonged to the Minister, as it
was the Minister who paid him his salary, and who might take it away
at his pleasure. He added much other nonsense of the same kind, which
savoured more of the negro slave of Jamaica than of a white of Europe,
and of a citizen of Great Britain; this, however, would have been a
matter of perfect indifference to me, had not his base principles been
put in practice upon me, as the sequel will shew.

At the very moment of our departure, and, when I was on the point of
starting, this man, until then so complaisant and so officious, told
me, in rather an insolent manner, that he had a trifling formality to
fulfil towards me; and, seizing upon all my luggage, he searched most
minutely amongst my linen and clothes, took possession of all my
papers, without the least ceremony, and even refused to give me any
kind of inventory of them. I complained aloud; I called for the
protection of the Magistrates; I demanded that my protest, at least,
should be received; I was answered that, in the situation in which I
was placed, and being a foreigner, the benefit of the laws which I
invoked could not be extended to me; and in this manner I was obliged
to quit England, leaving, however, behind me, the following letter for
Lord Sidmouth:—

“MY LORD,—It is with feelings of the deepest regret that I do myself
the honour of addressing your Lordship, aware that your reply, which
might perhaps gratify the object of my wishes, will reach me too late.

“For the last four days I have been in the power of your messenger:
who, upon his arrival, removed the seals which had been put upon my
papers, saying that he again placed them at my disposal. He has since
seen me write, has even encouraged me to do so, and has waited for the
moment of my departure, to take possession, in your name, of every one
of my papers. This is a snare, my Lord, which my heart forbids me to
attribute to a higher quarter than the individual who has practised
it. That messenger understood no language but English; he called
another person to his aid, who pretended to understand a little
French, and who has thought proper to peruse my papers, one after
another, and even to detain them all. There was enough for a whole
week’s reading, and I did not imagine that any private individual
could have such a right over me.

“Every thing has been taken from me, letters, notes, my son’s
exercises, title-deeds, family secrets, official documents from Sir
Hudson Lowe and Lord Charles Somerset, my daily memoranda, even a
letter to the French Minister of Police, and another to my wife, which
I had prepared during my leisure moments here, in order that I might
forward them on my landing at Ostend. They have been taken without
allowing an inventory or register to be made of them. Such, they said,
was your Lordship’s order. In the first burst of indignation, I have
protested against this violence, and demanded that a Magistrate might
receive my complaint. I shall not record here the reply that has been
given to me. Recovered from the first moment of surprise, and dreading
nothing so much as to see my name mentioned in public discussions;
considering also how impossible it was that your Lordship should have
ordered so great a deviation from the rules of every acknowledged
system of jurisprudence, according to which governments are required,
in cases like the present, to take such measures as will enable them
to guard against the possibility of being accused of having withdrawn
or superadded any document; I contented myself with urging and most
earnestly entreating the messenger, who had my fate in his hands, to
allow of my departure being retarded until I had been able to write to
your Lordship, and until he had himself received a confirmation of his
rigorous orders. But this man, who had already caused a delay of three
days upon slight pretexts, proved quite inflexible on the present
important occasion. In vain I represented to him that I had no
objection to shew all my papers to the confidential persons whom your
Lordship might have appointed to see them; that it was even for your
Lordship’s interest that certain formalities should be observed
towards me; that, in the examination of my papers, my presence would
be useful, if not absolutely necessary, in order to explain many
things that could not be understood without me; whereas, he was
sending me to the Continent, and forwarding my papers to London; that
no doubt there was some mistake, which twenty-four hours’ time would
clear up. I was coolly told, in reply, that I need not be uneasy about
returning from the Continent, if that was thought necessary, as your
Lordship would defray all the expense of the voyage. My Lord, in what
hands have you placed me? On another occasion, in which this man could
surely not have consulted your wishes, I found myself compelled to
silence my guard, in consequence of the gross and injurious
expressions which he used concerning the illustrious personage whom I
respect above all others in this world.

“In short, my Lord, since I have reached your shores, I have been
treated as a malefactor; and yet, where is my crime? A difference of
political opinion, perhaps, and a voluntary imprisonment at Longwood!
But is not the latter act one of the most noble and most generous; one
so highly honourable that the man does not exist who, at the bottom of
his heart, would not be proud of having set the example of it? My
Lord, the mildness of disposition and love of justice, which are said
to distinguish your Lordship, cannot, I am confident of it, have
authorized all that has been done to me. Having been allowed to affix
my seal to the papers that have been taken from me, I have hastened to
do so, not as a precaution against your Lordship, but on the contrary,
to remedy, in your behalf, the want of formality of which your agents
may have been guilty.

“I entreat your Lordship to reconsider my case, and not to form an
opinion upon my papers, without having first received from me the
explanations you may require; and which I shall ever be most ready to
afford. I affirm beforehand that, whatever difference of opinion and
feeling may be found in them, there is not one that will not bear the
test of a judicial investigation or of a friendly discussion. They
contain nothing possessing any degree of interest in state matters,
and no political secrets. I never possessed any documents of that
kind, and if I had, opportunities would not have been wanting to have
put them out of the way long before this.

“It would perhaps be the moment to speak also to your Lordship about
the papers which have been taken from me at St. Helena, as well as
respecting many other subjects to which I shall have to refer, either
with your Lordship or Lord Bathurst; but the short space of time that
I am allowed, and the confusion of ideas produced by circumstances so
sudden and unforeseen, oblige me to defer doing so to some future

“I shall anxiously await the answer which your Lordship may be pleased
to give me; but where I know not; most probably at Brussels, if I am
allowed to remain there.

                          “I have the honour,” &c.

I was put on board a packet, and we sailed for Ostend; and, as I have
now and then taken the liberty to speak of physical sufferings, I
shall be forgiven, if, in order to afford a more correct idea of what
I must have suffered during my long passage, I observe here that,
notwithstanding the hundred days which I had just passed at sea, I
still happened to be sick again on board this packet, although the
weather was not absolutely bad. This was undoubtedly very ridiculous,
but no less true.

The next day I got to Ostend, and landed without any observation
having been made to me by any person. I again thought that this time
my misfortunes were at an end, and that I had recovered my liberty;
but I was again mistaken; persecutions of another kind were, on the
contrary, going to begin: however, I had every reason to be satisfied
with the first moments of my residence.

I had not been long at the inn before an agent of the local
authorities came and told me, without my being able to guess how I had
been already found out, that he had received orders to watch over me,
and that he had immediately come to ask me in what manner I wished him
to fulfil his instructions.

I had not been accustomed to such polite manner for a length of time,
and I made this observation to him; adding, that the step he had taken
was quite sufficient to induce me to resign myself with entire
confidence to whatever he might wish to do with me; and, as his
politeness had led to a prolongation of the conversation between us,
which seemed greatly to excite his curiosity, he soon told me that he
was going to put a question to me which was indiscreet, no doubt, and
perhaps improper; but that he could not resist his desire of being
informed whether it was true that I had left Napoleon because he was
so much soured by misfortune that it was impossible to live with him;
for the English ministerial papers had circulated a thousand reports
respecting me, one more ridiculous than the other. I replied to him
with a smile, “Sir, if I had any thing to say against Napoleon, if I
had the least subject of complaint to adduce against him, be assured
that you would not have to guard me at this moment, and that I should
be far from being ill treated any where.” Upon which he exclaimed in
his turn, striking his forehead, that such was the answer which ought
to have suggested itself to his mind. His attentions towards me after
this explanation became still more marked; and, having learnt from me
that it was my intention to go to Brussels, he imposed no other
condition to the uncontrolled liberty which he left me than that of
not taking my departure without informing him of it, assuring me at
the same time that a determination respecting me could not be delayed
twenty-four hours longer, as a courier had been despatched to the
Governor of the province, whose return would, in all probability, set
me entirely at liberty.

I took advantage of the delay, to which I was thus obliged to submit,
to write to the Ministers of the Police of France and of the
Netherlands, respectively, concerning the situation in which I was
henceforth to be placed.

To the French Minister I wrote in the following manner.

“Sir,—I think it right, on landing on the Continent, to inform your
Excellency of the circumstances in which I am placed; and I trust that
you will approve the motives that induce me to do so.

“A year ago, I was suddenly removed from Longwood, and have been,
since that period, carried from shore to shore like a captive. On
entering the Thames, I received an order to depart instantly to the
Continent, having no other choice allowed to me but to proceed either
to Calais or Ostend.

“A feeling of delicacy and prudence has prompted me to prefer Ostend.

“France is, of all countries, that where my appearance is most likely
to be watched, and I have wished to spare the department over which
you preside, and myself, the inconveniencies attending such a measure.
This double consideration has induced me to adopt the cruel resolution
of self-banishment. I have also been actuated by another motive, viz.
the hope of possessing in this country greater facilities (setting
aside all political views, influenced only by private and personal
feelings of affection), for procuring through the legal channel
allowed by the English regulations, and even under the cover of the
British Ministers, some alleviation and innocent consolations for the
martyrs at Longwood. In France, this pious and sacred care might have
been misinterpreted, and might consequently have given rise to

“I hope that a statement so open and candid will remove all
unfavourable impressions that might have been suggested to your mind
by the circumstances of my case; and, in furtherance of that object, I
now take the liberty of enclosing under cover to you, an unsealed
letter for my wife, in whose favour I request the interposition of
your kindness, in any thing relating to your functions, that may
facilitate the means of her coming to share my voluntary exile.
Receive,” &c.

To the Minister of the Netherlands I wrote, that it is usual to
endeavour to escape from being rendered subject to superintendence;
but that I, on the contrary, came to request to be placed under his. I
repeated to him, as in the preceding letter, what had happened to me
in the Thames, and that I had been thrown on the Continent without any
motive having been adduced, or any cause assigned for this measure.

I informed him that I had just written to the Minister of the Police
of France, to lay before him the motives which induced me to expose
myself to voluntary exile. I represented to him that I was very ill,
and that the state of my son’s health was most alarming; that I had
just made a passage of a hundred days’ duration in a very small
vessel—that I was entirely ignorant as to whether my wife and family
were still in existence—that I was totally in the dark respecting the
state of my domestic concerns; and, taking all these circumstances
into consideration, I entreated him to allow me to reside for a few
days at Brussels, to breathe and look around me, to send for my wife,
and have the benefit of the attendance of a physician; adding that,
perhaps, in the mean time, the British Ministers, whose harsh and
precipitate conduct towards me must necessarily have been founded on
some error, would consent to allow me to be present, agreeably to my
request, at the examination of the papers which they had taken from

In conclusion, I assured him that I entertained no political views or
feelings, that my sentiments were solely sentiments of individual
affection and personal attachment; that such sentiments were natural
and honourable, and that my open avowal of them must afford a perfect
security that they were not calculated to give any cause of

I owe it to justice and to gratitude to state that my letter to the
Minister of the Police of France had at least the effect of obtaining
from him, when occasion offered, all that might be expected from a

Such was not the case with respect to the Minister of the Netherlands;
the only answer I received from him was the arrival of guards to
secure my person. Orders were sent in every direction to find me out
again, for they thought I was lost. As I had been told by the person
intrusted with the superintendence over me, the permission from the
Governor to continue my journey soon arrived, and I had immediately
taken advantage of it; choosing, on account of the weak state of my
health, the easy, but obscure and slow, conveyance of the barges and
canals. This had not been thought of; and they were seeking for me at
a great distance from Ostend, whilst I was still almost at its gates.
My unsuspecting confidence and security had baffled all their
calculations; they had not yet got the exact description of my person,
and were consequently much embarrassed to know me; however, I myself
soon put an end to their perplexity by throwing myself up, as the
saying is, into the wolf’s jaws.

My first step, after my arrival at Brussels, which I reached late in
the evening, after a journey of three days, was to send to inform the
police of my being in that city, and ask what had been the
determination of the Minister relative to my case, in consequence of
the letter which I had addressed to him from Ostend. The generous
answer to my innocent confidence was, to send instantly to surround
the inn where I was, and they waited with impatience the first dawn of
day to signify to me that I must leave the kingdom of the Netherlands
without the least delay. I was very much indisposed, and had some
degree of fever about me; nevertheless, I vainly appealed to their
compassion, and asked to be allowed to stay one day longer.

Very serious obstacles must certainly have existed to my being
permitted to sojourn in Brussels, or a predisposition to treat me with
cruelty, for I was not allowed even one hour. They placed me in a
carriage between a police officer and a gendarme, and turned me on the
high road. These people, who saw my condition, took compassion upon
me, and after a few hours’ journey consented to stop, in order that I
might procure a little rest and some requisite medical attendance; but
under the express condition that I should resume my journey at an
early hour on the following morning, in charge of the guards appointed
to succeed them; a system that was strictly acted upon and repeated in
every town, notwithstanding the repeated observations and the
testimony of all medical men. This cruel treatment compelled me to
complain to the French Ambassador at the court of the Netherlands, who
I thought would warmly resist such a proceeding; for it was an insult
to his public character to treat in this manner, without any just
motive, and in direct violation of the laws, a Frenchman who was
placed under his protection. I therefore informed him of the vexatious
and inhuman conduct which was then exercised towards me.

I told him “that, upon landing at Ostend I had written to the French
Minister of Police, to state to him my motives for remaining out of
France; that I had also written at the same time to the Minister of
the Police of the Netherlands, requesting he would allow me to sojourn
a short time in Brussels, and that, having reached that city at a late
hour, without having been guarded or placed under any superintendence,
I had hastened to inform his Excellency of my arrival; but that I had
been suddenly awaked before day-light on the following morning, and
surrounded by four police officers and two gendarmes, who signified to
me that I must instantly depart, notwithstanding the very precarious
state of my health; that I had in vain demanded a physician to verify
my case; that I had been told that I should be allowed one for form’s
sake, but that I must depart, whatever might be his opinion; that, in
fact, I had been removed to Louvain like a malefactor, and in the last
stage of sickness, under the escort of a gendarme and of a police
officer; that, having arrived in this town during the night, suffering
from increased illness, covered with blisters, and in a state of
fever, I had asked to be allowed to stop the following day; that the
Burgomaster had been inhuman enough to refuse my request, in spite of
two or three very strong medical certificates; that, having demanded
that the physician at least might accompany me in the carriage,
instead of the gendarme, who could follow on horseback, this favour
had also been refused me; that all that could be allowed, they said,
was that the physician should accompany me in another carriage. This
was, no doubt, a piece of irony.”

I added, “that I was quite certain such treatment could not proceed
from him who alone, however, on this occasion, would have a right to
exercise any influence over my fate; that I was too well acquainted
with the sentiments of the nation to which we belonged to suppose for
a moment that his instructions could decree the proscription of a
person towards whom there neither was, nor could be, any law or motive
for such a proceeding; that the ill usage I experienced could
therefore only proceed from the authorities of this country, where
however, in common justice, I ought not to be considered in any other
light than as a traveller; that as such I would demand of them what
was my crime, and what were their rights over my person.” And I
concluded by placing my interests under his care, as his situation
made him their natural protector; and, with a view to call his
attention more particularly to me, I gave him news of Madame Bertrand,
his wife’s sister, which I had received just as I was leaving Dover,
and I offered myself, in case Madame de Latour Dupin wished to say any
thing to her sister, to whom it would afford the greatest pleasure, to
take charge of it, as I proposed to write to Madame Bertrand regularly
once a month, by the channel which the English regulations allowed,
viz., under the very cover of Ministers.

His Excellency made no reply to this letter; his endeavours, no doubt,
proved unavailing; the impulse, the very orders, perhaps, emanated at
this time from the other side of the water.

I continued in this manner, without intermission, transferred from
town to town, from one police officer to another, from gendarme to
gendarme, across the whole kingdom of the Netherlands; and when I
occasionally asked, in the height of my sufferings, what could be the
motive for such harsh treatment, I was simply told, in reply, that
such were the orders that had been given; and, in fact, this was all
that appeared to be known on the subject. Arrived at Aix-la-Chapelle,
on the Prussian territory, I was there exchanged by the Agents of the
Netherlands for a receipt, as might have been done with a bale of
goods; and the Prussians, in their turn, hurried me along with equal
rapidity from place to place, from officer to officer, and from one
gendarme to another; and when I enquired of them also the motive of
all this, they candidly answered that they did not know; but that I
had been thrown into their country, and that they were going to throw
me out of it. If I asked to stop, they politely replied that they
would not keep me upon their territory; and some friends, for it will
hereafter be seen that I found friends every where, whispered in my
ear that I ought to thank God for it, and above all things, to take
immediate advantage of this piece of good fortune, as some exiled
Frenchmen had lately been forced to the shores of the Baltic, and shut
up in fortresses. I then declared that I desired to go to Frankfort,
an expression which appeared to give pleasure to my hosts, the
Prussians, as they said it would no longer concern them. After what I
had just learnt, I was equally rejoiced at this upon my own account.

After having described, but very feebly, all the savage brutality that
had just been exercised upon me, all the vexations and sufferings that
I had endured, it would be unjust and ungrateful in me, and I should
be depriving myself of the most gratifying sensation, were I to omit
mentioning the kind of compensation which I found at every step of my

My story had made a great noise; it had spread in every direction; it
preceded me; the public papers had laid hold of it. It was known whom
I had served, to whom I had wished to devote my care, for whom I
suffered; and all endeavoured to mark their sense of my conduct. All
classes were eager to evince every mark of attention and sympathy
towards me; and open demonstrations, or secret offers, awaited me
every where. It was then that those words of Napoleon’s occurred to my
mind, which I have, by the way, had many subsequent occasions to recal
to my recollection: “My dear friends, when you shall have returned to
Europe, you will find that, from this spot, I still bestow crowns.”
And can there be a nobler, a more precious one, than the esteem, the
affection, the sympathy, of those even who know you not, and have
never seen you! What hand, however powerful, can bestow any thing of
equal value! These feelings manifested themselves at inns, upon the
high-roads, every where. Postboys, gendarmes, all that I met with on
my journey, addressed me with a kind of pride and exultation. One
said, “I belonged to the Imperial Guard;” another, “I was a French
gendarme;” a third, “I have been a soldier under Napoleon.” These
recollections, and the feelings of good-will to which they gave rise,
appeared in all classes and conditions. Twice, in Belgium, offers were
made to rescue me, every thing having been, I was informed, carefully
prepared beforehand; the same offer had already been made to me at the
Cape, by an American Captain; and a similar proposal was made to me at
a later period, on the part of some Englishmen, to whom I was quite
unknown, and who had resolved to come from London in order to carry me
off from Frankfort, where they thought me in a much worse situation
than I really was. But I invariably replied—“What end would it answer?
Why should I injure so noble a cause?”

The very agents of authority felt an anxiety concerning my fate, and a
kind of interest for me. One of them, although appointed to watch me,
offered to take charge of any paper that I would venture to intrust to
his care; I availed myself of his offer, as I did not see any
inconvenience in so doing, even if he had some bad intention, as he
might possibly have, and I addressed, to a person of high rank in
England, a letter of half a dozen lines, describing with warmth the
ill usage which the British Ministers had made me suffer for the last
twelve months, and requesting that he would publish my statement, if
he saw no objection to it. I enclosed, with the same view, that part
of the Emperor’s letter which I had been allowed to copy, adding that
I should have continued to to keep it to myself, had not the
ridiculous and insulting reports, which were inserted in the
newspapers, rendered it imperative upon me to make it public. I,
however, left to his discretion to decide what should be done.

How great was my surprise to see the whole published in the Belgic
papers two days afterwards! I was extremely mortified at it; it was
not at all consistent with my disposition to wish to make so much
noise. I was, above all, especially hurt that the person in England to
whom I addressed my letter, and to whom I was unknown, should receive
it only through the public press: this mode of proceeding was also
totally inconsistent with my manners. I was at a loss to conceive how
the thing could have happened. I have since learnt that my confident,
in the warmth of his zeal, had consulted with two or three persons of
the same way of thinking, and that, the papers having been read in
their little council, they had decided that, instead of losing time in
sending them to England, where, perhaps, no use would be made of them,
it would be better to publish them instantly upon the spot, where
indeed they created a very lively sensation. Notwithstanding the
trouble that I then suffered from them, they proved eventually of the
most signal advantage to me.

In short, there would be no end to it were I to mention the affecting
marks of attention that were shewn to me; the offers of all kinds, in
money, clothes, &c.; even people of the very lowest class were eager
to tender their mite. One of them, forcing his way into my apartment,
from which he was pulled back by the gendarmes, cried out to me that
he had only two coats; that he saw, by my size, that the second would
not fit me; that he was therefore going to sell it, and would throw me
the amount through the window. What sufferings, what torments would
not be effaced by the sensations which such acts must produce!

I was, however, so ill, on arriving at Cologne, that it was found
necessary to allow me to stop twenty-four hours in that town. This
increase of suffering turned out a fortunate circumstance for me. I
was in a gentle sleep when, on a sudden, the _valet de place_ rushed
into my apartment, with demonstrations of that joy which the bearer of
good news is sure to occasion and even to experience, and announced to
me Madame de Las Cases. I had not yet been able to ascertain whether
she was alive, and therefore thought that I had misunderstood the man,
or was dreaming; but a moment afterwards, the door was thrown open—it
was she herself!

                         RESIDENCE IN GERMANY.



                      A Space of Fifteen Months.

_Residence at Frankfort.—My endeavours to alleviate the Situation of
    the Inhabitants of Longwood.—Letters to Maria Louisa and to the
    Allied Sovereigns.—My Letter to Lord Bathurst.—Petition to the
    British Parliament.—Transactions with several Members of the
    Emperor’s Family.—Measures to supply the Wants of Longwood;
    Details, &c.—Journey to Baden.—Residence at Manheim; Motives for
    this choice.—Congress at Aix-la-Chapelle; my Efforts;
    Details.—Letter from Madame Mère, &c.—Note to the Sovereigns.—New
    Official Documents received from Longwood, and addressed to the
    Sovereigns; new Efforts; &c.—State of Public Opinion.—Arrival of
    the brig Musquito.—Fresh Vexation; the Minister of Baden orders me
    to leave Manheim.—I retire to Offenbach._

The band of captives arrived at last at Frankfort, after having, for
fifteen days, undergone persecutions almost unexampled in civilized
countries, and in a state of tranquillity. A Prussian officer, whose
duty, he politely said, was not so much to guard me as to see that I
was well treated, had conducted me thither. He did not allow me to
communicate freely with any person, and was not to leave me until some
authentic and final decision had been adopted with respect to me.

On arriving at Frankfort, I immediately sent to our Ambassador, as I
had done in the Netherlands, the following letter:

SIR,—I have the honour, on arriving in this town, to claim the
protection of your public character, against the rigorous measures
which have been pursued for some time past in regard to me.

I have been arrested, and am carried about from town to town, under
escort, against my will, like a captive. Those who act thus candidly
confess that they only push me on in that manner, because I have been
so brought to them; and they have not any special motive or positive
order on the subject. On my passage through the Netherlands, I
addressed a representation on the subject to our ambassador at the
court of the Hague; but I have been hurried on so precipitately that
it has not been possible for me to receive any answer. I take the
liberty of sending you a copy of the letter which I addressed to him,
in order to put your Excellency in possession of the first details of
my adventure.

It is now, Sir, the hundred and thirtieth day of my travels; I am
harrassed, tired, sick, and infirm; I have been tossed by the fury of
the waves, and must perish at last if I cannot find a port. In the
name of humanity and justice, I implore to be allowed to take breath
for a moment. I have found an erroneous impression existing every
where in my way: and those who thus disposed of my person have all
expressed the greatest surprise, when the discussion of the point has
proved that there did not exist in France any law or act, either
public or private, directed against me; and that nothing had ever
occurred which could give rise to such a proceeding. I request, Sir,
that you will be kind enough to prevent, by your testimony, the
possibility of an error that might influence the decision to be taken
with respect to me; and that you will grant me that protection which I
am naturally entitled to expect from you in your public character.

                                              I have the honour, &c.

P.S. I think it right to inform your Excellency that, in the
perplexity of my situation, I wrote a few days since to His Majesty
the Emperor of Austria, to request an asylum in his dominions, should
my liberty be placed under any restraint. But a distant country, the
language and manners of which are quite new to me, cannot suit me,
except in case of necessity. I should wish to be as near to France as
possible, in order to be able to see my family, and attend to my
domestic concerns, which have been neglected for the last three years;
and Brussels, which, in addition to these advantages, possesses that
of the language which would enable me to superintend the education of
my children, is the place in which I should be happy to reside. I have
requested M. Latour Dupin, at the Hague, to obtain the necessary
permission to enable me to do so, and I earnestly entreat you to
assist him, as far as it lies in your power.

The same thing that had happened in the Netherlands happened also at
Frankfort; I received no answer to my letter. But his Excellency did
not remain idle with respect to me, and I have been assured that he
had immediately required from the senate of this free and sovereign
city my removal within the space of twenty-four hours. Fortunately the
Prussian officer, who was obliged to follow me, and who did not relish
such a continuation of our journey, induced the Minister from his
court to interfere, in order that I might be allowed to remain at

From that instant every thing became calm, and the tide of British
persecution which, rolling from afar, had so long harassed my
existence, was at last stopped. The senate allowed me to reside in
Frankfort, and the Prussian officer took his departure. Politeness now
succeeded to churlishness: Prince Hardenberg, to whom I had written to
complain of my arrest in the Rhenish provinces, replied that he had
been very angry about it himself. An answer came from Vienna, most
graciously granting the asylum which I had demanded. I was now free,
and I acquired also the hope of seeing my liberty respected for the
future; for the Duke de Richelieu, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to
whom our Ambassador at Frankfort applied respecting me, answered, I
was told, “that I should be left unmolested.”

The Duke de Richelieu, feeling his independence, had no doubt only
followed the impulse of his natural generosity, whereas it must be
presumed that these sentiments were restrained in the breast of our
Ambassador at Frankfort by the necessity of giving pledges of his
fidelity, having been formerly Napoleon’s minister at the court of
King Jerome. This line of conduct was very proper on his part, no
doubt; but I had a right to think it unfortunate that it had, on this
occasion, been pursued at my expense.

My first care, as soon as I was at liberty to dispose of my actions,
was entirely directed to the grand motive which had caused my
departure from St. Helena, and brought me back to Europe. Though
repulsed from London, on which I had founded my strongest hopes, I
nevertheless embraced with ardour the means that were still left to

I first wrote to Maria Louisa, as in duty bound, and addressed my
letter to her, unsealed and under cover to Prince Metternich,
principal Minister of Austria. I afterwards wrote to the three Allied
Sovereigns. I transcribe here those letters:

                     HOPE, AND FORWARDED TO EUROPE.

MADAM,—I have no sooner left St. Helena than I think it my duty to
hasten to lay at the feet of your Majesty some intelligence from your
august consort. I have been suddenly torn from his presence, without
any previous notice, and as it were struck with sudden death at his
side, without the possibility of his having forseen such an event. I
am not therefore fortunate enough to be intrusted with any special
message for your Majesty; and it is from his every-day habits and
conversation that I must collect what details I shall presume to
transmit to your Majesty.

Indifferent to public events, the Emperor Napoleon most frequently
indulged in the contemplation of his family recollections and
affections. He was grieved at not having ever received, although he
had officially demanded it of those who guard him, any news from those
who are most dear to him. Your Majesty will find the lively expression
of that regret traced by the hand of your illustrious consort in the
letter which he did me the honour to write me, after I had been
separated from him, a copy of which I shall take the liberty of laying
before your Majesty.[30]

Footnote 30:

  See the Letter from the Emperor Napoleon to Count Las Cases, after
  his removal from Longwood.

The health of the Emperor, at my departure, was very much impaired,
and his situation was most painful in every respect, being exposed to
numerous wants, and deprived of every enjoyment. Fortunately, his mind
triumphed over every thing, and remained calm and serene.

I have seen him obliged, every month, to sell part of his plate, to
supply his daily wants, and he has been reduced to the necessity of
accepting a small sum, which a faithful servant was fortunate enough
to have at his disposal in England, when he left him.

Madam, guided by the sentiments which fill my heart, I take the
liberty, as a devoted servant, to lay at the feet of your Majesty, in
the hope of being agreeable to you, a sacrifice which is dear to me,
being some hair of your august consort, which has been a long time in
my possession. I presume also to send at the same time to your Majesty
a plan of Longwood, drawn by my son for his mother. Your Majesty will
no doubt feel interested in examining this remote desert in its

On arriving in Europe, my first step would be to throw myself at the
feet of your Majesty, if a sacred duty did not oblige me to remain in
England, in order to devote every instant of my life to endeavour to
impart, through the means allowed by the British regulations, some
consolation to the inhabitants of that horrible rock, which retains
for ever the object of my most tender cares. The British Ministers
will not refuse to allow me to undertake this pious occupation. I
shall solicit it with ardour, and fulfil it with loyalty. I am, &c.

                                                   COUNT DE LAS CASES.

P. S. On my arrival in Europe, Madam, I have been ejected by England,
arrested on the Continent, detained by sickness at Frankfort, and have
just obtained an asylum in the dominions of your august father. I take
advantage of the first moment of my liberty, to address to your
Majesty the above letter, that was written for you at the extremity of
Africa, at a distance of three thousand leagues. I entreat your
Majesty to deign to receive it favourably, and that will be some
consolation for my sufferings.


PRINCE,—I hasten to offer to your Highness my sincere thanks for the
favour of an asylum obtained in the dominions of his Majesty the

I take the liberty at the same time to enclose, under cover to you, a
letter for her Majesty Maria Louisa. And here, Prince, I entreat you
to allow me to lay aside the public character with which your highness
is invested, to address you in your private character only. I wish to
ask for advice rather than to accomplish an act. Having been so long
absent from Europe, I might unknowingly and unwillingly transgress the
rules of expediency. I give myself up to the effusion of my heart.

Prince, the result of these different feelings has been to induce me
to confide the letter which I enclose herein, unsealed, to your
discretion and personal judgment. It is again the result of these same
feelings which impels me to represent to you the Emperor Napoleon a
prey on his rock to the persecution of personal enemies, and abandoned
by all the rest of the world. Henceforth I shall live only in the hope
of affording him some sources of consolation. From a daily intercourse
of eighteen months, and, I may say, from some moments of unreserved
confidence, I know those that would be most dear to him. And who can
know Napoleon better than I do? He already feels and converses on the
subjects of the past events of his own history, as if they had
happened three hundred years ago. He remains unchanged only with
respect to family feelings. Whatever political events may have
occurred, he entertains no doubts on the score of domestic sentiments.
How, through what channels, by what means, could I, without
transgressing the rules of expediency, or any regulations and
intentions, obtain direct intelligence concerning his wife and his
son? Prince, I again repeat that this communication is from man to
man: it is one heart questioning another.

During my residence at St. Helena, we have not had any intercourse,
nor been able to have any with the Commissioner from Austria. Your
Highness must have read in a public document,[31] written in answer to
the Governor, that, _if the Austrian and Russian Commissioners had
been sent to see that Napoleon was treated in a proper manner, and
with the respect due to him, this measure was in harmony with the
character of their Sovereigns; but that the Governor, having declared
that they had no right or authority to interfere on the subject, had
by that declaration rendered them inadmissible_. At the same time,
Napoleon publicly said that he would willingly receive them as private
individuals, yet we have not seen them; be it that such was the tenor
of their instructions, or, as I have more reason to suppose, that the
Governor wished to subject them, as private individuals, to
restrictions which would have degraded their character.

Your Highness will see by the copy of a letter, transcribed for her
Majesty Maria Louisa, the severity used towards an Austrian botanist,
and how much the Emperor Napoleon was hurt by that circumstance. I
again repeat to your Highness the expression of the nature of my
sentiments, and the assurance of the high respect with which I am, &c.

                                                 COUNT DE LAS CASES.

P. S. In case my Letter for her Majesty Maria Louisa should not be
delivered to her, I request your Highness will do me the particular
favour to cause the hair which is enclosed in it to be returned to me.

Footnote 31:

  Letter from Count Montholon in answer to Sir Hudson Lowe.


SIRE,—A sentiment, a sacred duty, brings me to the feet of your

The zealous and faithful servant of a royal victim of adversity
presumes to lift up his voice to your throne, surrounded by every
prosperity which fortune can bestow; will you refuse to hear him?

Unexpectedly torn from Napoleon, and, as it were, struck with sudden
death at his side, I have since wandered as in another universe,
pursued every where by the recollection of sufferings which I have
witnessed and can no longer share.

It is at your feet, Sire, that my heart prompts me to seek for an
alleviation of my affliction, for encouragement to my hope.

Your treaty of the 2nd August, 1815, with your illustrious Allies,
stipulates that Napoleon is your prisoner, and abandons to England the
possession of his person, and the care and necessary measures of his

I shall not say any thing against that treaty, Sire; I shall not even
complain of the manner in which the British Ministers execute that
part of the treaty which you have intrusted to their care.

The high interests of politics, the great grievances, however they may
weigh upon my heart, are at this moment far from my thoughts; domestic
cares alone occupy my breast.

I therefore implore your Majesty, as I have implored your high
Allies,[32] to deign to protect the request which I address to the
English Government, to be allowed to devote myself in London to the
care of procuring for the illustrious captive, through the means
allowed by the laws and regulations, some moral enjoyments, and some
physical comforts, which will not be a burden to any body.

Footnote 32:

  Similar letters had been addressed to the Emperor of Austria and to
  the King of Prussia, varied only in some particulars, as the
  individual circumstances of these Princes respectively required.

My request, Sire, is an innocent favour, natural and simple, and
against which no reasonable objection can be raised; indeed, I am not
without strong claims on your Majesty’s attention. You are far from
being a stranger to them.

In abandoning to others the custody and detention of the captive, your
Majesty has certainly not renounced your right of superintendence over
the marks of attention and respect due to his sacred person. In
renouncing all political interposition, your Majesty has not intended
to preclude yourself from contributing to the consolations approved by
your individual sentiments, and to those alleviations which do not
interfere with the principal object, in view.

Every day, Sire, at St. Helena, chains are imposed, and their weight
is aggravated in your name. Can you, Sire, have allowed your name to
reach that spot, only to authorize odious and intolerable acts of

He upon whom these acts are inflicted, Sire, is the same to whom you
long gave the name of _brother_. Your royal heart cannot forget it, it
cannot remain insensible. I therefore appeal, in order to obtain a
small favour, to your sympathy, to your recollections, and even to
your dignity. Your magnanimous mind, Sire, has shewn itself too much
the friend of public morality, it has displayed too much private
delicacy and generosity in its various bearings, to allow me to doubt
for an instant of success.

And what is, Sire, once more, the object for which I require your
protection? Merely to be allowed to be near the place of communication
and conveyance, that is, on the spot the most favourable, and in the
situation the most proper, to be able, according to the prescribed
forms and regulations, to continue from afar those domestic cares
which I am no longer allowed to exercise in the prison itself: that is

Nevertheless, Sire, I implore and expect this favour from your
Majesty. And how happy should I be if your Majesty should deign to add
to it that of confiding to my care that part of the private and moral
interest which your great engagements cannot have compelled you to
renounce. And who better than myself, Sire, could fulfil that duty?
Who could devote himself to it with more ardour? I have banished
myself from my native country, in order to be able to give up to that
purpose the rest of my life without interruption or restraint. Deign,
Sire, to listen to me, and comply with my request, I beseech you. And
on whom are these cares to be bestowed? In whose favour do I solicit
to be allowed to sacrifice myself? Sire, it is in favour of the man
whom you once called your friend.

The reign of your Majesty is sufficiently distinguished by prodigies
and monuments of glory; with these, history is already provided; let
it also record acts of more exalted virtue; do something for
friendship!—Let history say of you: In the midst of the most violent
political contest that ever existed, he set the example of something
still greater than victory—he remembered, he respected, the feelings
of ancient friendship!

How many times, on our rock, have I heard the Emperor Napoleon
conversing on the past events of his life, as if they had occurred
several centuries ago, and, already speaking the language of history,
say: _I never had any war with the Emperor Alexander but a political
one; that war had nothing to do with our individual feelings: I cannot
suppose him to feel any personal animosity against me_. A circumstance
which would be worthy of you, Sire, tended to confirm him in this
opinion. A report reached us on our rock that the Commissioner of your
Majesty at St. Helena had, at the end of his instructions, a
recommendation, written by your Majesty’s own hand, enjoining him most
positively to shew the same marks of respect to the Emperor Napoleon
as are shewn to yourself. We took pleasure in repeating this report to
him; we were aware that he was pleased by it. Such a proceeding was in
harmony with the character of your Majesty, and we believed in it
without, however, having had it in our power to convince ourselves of
its truth; for (during my stay, at least) we never could hold any
communication with the Commissioner of your Majesty. You will
doubtless have heard that Napoleon being required by the Governor of
St. Helena to receive the Commissioner of your Majesty, and that of
your illustrious ally, the Emperor of Austria, ordered the following
answer to be given: _That if those Commissioners were ordered by their
Masters to take care that, in an island in the midst of the ocean,
remote from the rest of the world, he should be treated with the
respect due to him, he recognised in that measure the character of
these two Princes; that the Governor having declared that they had no
right to interfere in any thing that happened on that rock, they from
that moment were without an official character in his eyes_. He,
however, added that he should be happy to see them as private
individuals; but this message remained without effect, either from
their having never been apprized of it, or from their instructions not
allowing them to take advantage of it; or lastly, perhaps (and I do
not think it at all improbable), because the English Governor wished
in that case to subject them to certain conditions which were
inconsistent with their character.

If I have thus presumed, Sire, to raise my humble voice to your
Majesty, my temerity was inspired by the entire, ardent, and
unalterable devotion which I cherish for him who once reigned over me,
who was my master ... and that sentiment will plead in my favour in
the eyes of your Majesty.

                    I am, &c.

                                                   COUNT DE LAS CASES.

With a heart still oppressed by all the ill usage I had experienced,
proceeding from the British Government, I deemed it incumbent upon me,
and a public duty as it were, to complain to Lord Bathurst in the
following letter, which, by the way, was kept secret for upwards of
ten months, and might have remained so for ever, had not Mr. Goulburn,
Under Secretary of State, by certain misplaced and incorrect
assertions which he made in the House of Commons concerning me, as
will hereafter be seen, compelled me in some degree to publish it.
This circumstance, however, is an additional pledge to the reader of
the authenticity and correctness of all the facts which I have stated.


MY LORD,—Were I to bear in silence the arbitrary and tyrannical acts,
the infraction of the laws, the contempt of all forms, the violation
of principles, of which I have been a victim, for upwards of a year
that I have been in the hands of your agents, my silence might be
construed into a tacit acquiescence, which would render me guilty
towards myself, towards you, and towards society at large. Towards
myself, because I have ample cause to seek for redress; towards you,
who are ignorant of my grounds of complaint, and might perhaps hasten
to grant me that redress; and towards society, on whose behalf every
upright man ought sternly to resist the encroachments of power, for
the honour of the laws, and for the protection of those who come after

My Lord, if I have so long delayed stating my grievances to you, the
blame attaches to yourself, to the persecution that has assailed me
upon your shores, and to that to which you have given the impulse in
neighbouring countries. It would appear, in fact, as if a species of
torment had been invented for me; a deportation along the high roads.
I have been carried from town to town like a malefactor, though I was
in a dying state, without any motive having been assigned for such
conduct, and without being allowed to take any rest. How then was it
possible for me to write to you?

If I now address your Lordship personally respecting what concerns me,
it is because all the acts of which I have to complain have
originated, and have been continued, in your department, and under
your name; and if other hands have since oppressed me, I am indebted
to your Lordship for being placed within their reach, and to your
suggestions for the treatment which they have inflicted upon me.

My Lord, I am one of the four to which your orders at Plymouth had
reduced the number of those who eagerly sought the happiness and glory
of following the illustrious victim of the _dreadful hospitality of
the Bellerophon_; I followed my sacred occupation at Longwood to the
best of my power; all the faculties of my heart and soul were engaged
in soothing the bitterest captivity ever known, when the Governor of
St. Helena suddenly tore me away from that island. Perhaps he was
right: I had infringed his regulations. But, after all, I was guilty
of no other crime than that of using the right, which every prisoner
possesses, of endeavouring without any scruple to deceive the
vigilance of his gaoler; for between us nothing had been left to
delicacy, confidence, or honour. I have not complained of the
proceedings enforced against me. I was only grieved at the
uncalled-for insult inflicted upon him from whom I was separated. It
was almost by his side, almost under his eye, that I was arrested; on
which occasion he wrote, what you no doubt will have read, that,
seeing me from his windows hurried off on the plain, in the midst of
waving plumes and horses prancing around me, he had fancied he saw the
savages of the South Sea, who, in their ferocious joy, dance round the
victim whom they are about to devour.

My Lord, it was natural for me to believe that the cause of what has
happened to me, the confiding of secret documents to my servant at his
own request, was but the result of a snare laid for me. The Governor
himself agreed with me that appearances might justify my suspicion;
but he gave me his word of honour that he had nothing to do in the
business, and I believed him. It had originally been intended,
however, that those secret documents should pass through the
Governor’s hands; they would have been addressed to him, if he had not
informed me, a short time before, that if I continued to write in the
same style he would separate me from him to whom I devoted my
existence. So true is this assertion, and so unimportant in themselves
were the documents, that they have never since been mentioned; they
have remained entirely unconnected with the event to which they gave

Footnote 33:

  Unless this should be what a Minister intended to allude to in the
  British Parliament, on the 14th May, 1818. Endeavouring to justify
  the persecutions exercised against Count de Las Cases, he said that
  he had been found out in an attempt to establish a correspondence in
  Europe through the medium of England. But the noble Lord only made
  the assertion orally, and refused to exhibit the official documents
  that would have afforded a proof of it. An opinion may be formed on
  this subject from this latter circumstance.

My Lord, my captivity in St. Helena was only voluntary. According to
your own regulation, it was to cease at my pleasure. As soon,
therefore, as I found myself separated from Longwood, I signified to
Sir Hudson Lowe, that I, from that moment, withdrew from his personal
control, and placed myself again under the protection of the civil and
general laws; that if I had committed any offence, I required to be
sent into the presence of my judges; that if he thought it necessary
to submit to the inspection of Ministers my papers, which I had given
him sufficient time to examine and to understand, I desired they might
be sent to you, my Lord, and that I might be sent with them. And in
order that he should have the less difficulty in taking this
determination, I represented to him the dreadful state of my health,
and the imminent danger of my son, which required our being sent to
where we might procure the first medical advice; and I further added
that I submitted willingly and unreservedly to every restriction,
however illegal, that your Lordship might deem it necessary to impose
upon me when I should have arrived in England. Sir Hudson Lowe did not
think himself at liberty to take this step; and, after he had long
hesitated, and had kept me a close prisoner in the Island for five or
six weeks, he at last sent me off to the Cape of Good Hope, according
to the letter of his instructions; a measure which he might and
certainly ought to have adopted within a few days after my arrest.
This Governor, at the same time, kept back such of my papers as he
thought proper, without allowing me to affix my seal to them, or he
would only allow me to do so under the derisive condition of my
express consent to his breaking the seal in my absence if he thought
proper, which was equivalent to a prohibition of sealing them at all.

By the aid of such subterfuges, Sir Hudson Lowe might likewise assert
that it was in my power to return to Longwood; it is true, that, being
urged by my arguments and by the delicacy of his position with respect
to me, he offered to let me go back thither, because that would have
released him from his embarrassment. But at the same time that he made
the offer, he rendered it impossible for me to accept it: ‘You have
disgraced me and dishonoured me,’ said I to him, ‘in arresting me in
Napoleon’s presence; I could no longer be an object of consolation to
him, but one rather that would bring painful and injurious
recollections to his mind. I could not appear again at Longwood except
at his express desire.’ I asked leave to write; I did even write to
inquire whether there existed such a wish; but Sir Hudson Lowe
insisted upon dictating or controlling the expressions of my letter,
and I was bound to refuse. His advantages were by far too great
already, placed as he was amongst close prisoners, whose actions he
separately directed at his will. Besides, if I even went back, he did
not consent to return me my papers. The very next day he might renew
upon me, or upon my unfortunate companions, the example of such
degrading acts of authority; I had the grief of having opened the door
to such an abuse of power, and my return would give to it the sanction
of precedent for the future: no alternative, was, therefore, left to
me, but to quit the Island with an aching heart.

I think, my Lord, I have stated to you every thing relating to my
affairs at St. Helena; this account is proved and developed in my
correspondence with Sir Hudson Lowe, all the documents of which,
carefully arranged and put in order by myself, were seized in the
Thames by your directions, and are at present in your possession.

My Lord, when I arrived at the Cape of Good Hope, I thought myself
better situated for enjoying the protection of your laws. Away from
the fatal island, where certain irregularities might perhaps find a
colouring in the importance of the motive which had occasioned them, I
found myself at a distance of five hundred leagues, in a quiet colony,
governed by the uncontrolled operation of your excellent laws, so
deservedly extolled. How great was my astonishment! Lord Charles
Somerset found no difficulty in doing at the Cape what Sir Hudson Lowe
had not dared to do at St. Helena—to detain me a prisoner. In vain I
made the same entreaties, and urged the same arguments; in vain I
offered the same concessions that I offered to Sir Hudson Lowe, in
order that I might be sent to your Lordship in Europe; all was
useless: he detained me. And this was an act of his own will and
caprice, for Sir Hudson Lowe was not his superior, and could not
therefore give him any orders. Lord Charles Somerset governed without
controul; he held a discretionary power; he could and ought to have
been a summary judge in my affair, but he constantly refused to listen
to me, rejected all explanation, and, notwithstanding my warm and
urgent representations, contented himself with coolly inquiring of my
natural judges, at a distance of three thousand leagues, whether he
should do right in sending me to them; thereby inflicting upon me,
from that moment, the most dreadful sentence that any tribunal could
ever have pronounced; an exile, and an imprisonment of seven or eight
months’ duration, separated by three thousand leagues from my family,
my private affairs, my country, my connexions, and all my affections.

My Lord, according to the sanctity of your laws, and to the principles
which have been transmitted to you by your forefathers, Lord Charles
Somerset has become guilty towards me of the greatest of crimes; a
crime which in the eyes of many people is equal to that of homicide,
and which, from the torments I have been made to endure, exceeds it in
mine. I denounce it to you, and demand justice at your hands. There is
not an Englishman, valuing his noble privileges, whose voice does not
unite with mine, and who does not form to himself a correct idea of
the torments I have suffered. In vain it will be alleged that the Cape
is but a colony governed by a military power, and still, to a certain
extent, by Dutch laws. My Lord, the justice and protection of the
British laws ought to reign wherever the British name extends. What
would be a crime on the banks of the Thames cannot be a matter of
indifference in a part of Africa over which the British standard

I was not a prisoner of war; I could only be a prisoner amenable to
the tribunals. To have kept me eight months separate from my judges is
a denial of justice that would make an Englishman shudder; to have
punished me without either trial or sentence is an act of tyranny
which is revolting to your legislation. What did I ask of Lord Charles
Somerset? Did I demand my liberty? No; I only requested that I might
be sent a prisoner to you, and undergo a trial, if there was cause for
one. But he sported in this instance with that which reason holds most
sacred, which is most pleasing to the heart, and dearest to man. What
could be his motives? What excuses could he plead? He constantly and
obstinately refused to give any. And here, my Lord, I desire it may be
understood that indignation and grief do not carry me so far as not to
distinguish in Lord Charles Somerset the private attentions with which
he endeavoured to soften my captivity from the infamy of the public
act by which he doomed me to it; although it is true that, towards the
end of my residence, the warmth of my expressions, and no doubt the
importunity of my appeals, exasperated him so far as to induce him to
keep me confined in the country, in spite of my entreaties and of the
deplorable state of my health, out of the daily reach of physicians
and medicines.

At last, my Lord, after a captivity of seven months, it was signified
to me, no doubt in consequence of orders arrived from your Lordship,
that I had only to procure a vessel to carry me to England. In vain I
asked that some opportunity might be selected, which would afford some
of those comforts which the distressing state of my health, and that
of my son, required; every suitable ship was refused me under some
pretence or other; and the choice that was left to me was reduced to
the only vessel on the eve of sailing; and even that was pointed out
to me by the Governor himself. I was compelled to embark in it as a
_prisoner_, and yet _at my own expense_; (this, by the way, appears a
little contradictory;) and in this brig, of the burden of two hundred
and thirty tons, and having a crew of twelve men, we had to endure a
voyage of nearly one hundred days, without a physician, and subject to
all the inconveniences, all the privations, all the evils, attendant
upon so small a vessel.

This, my Lord, is all that concerns my affair at the Cape of Good
Hope, the proof and particulars of which are to be found in my
correspondence with Lord Charles Somerset, which was seized in the
Thames by your orders, and is at present in your possession.

On reaching your shores, my Lord, I thought I had arrived at the end
of my troubles. On my arrival at the Cape, I had the honour of
addressing a letter to the Prince Regent, to implore his royal
protection; I had also written one to your Lordship upon the same
subject, and I had no doubt that the order given for my return was
owing to those letters. Already I felt my sufferings alleviated by the
pleasing prospect of seeing some friends I have in London, and of
resuming the management of my private affairs, which had been either
neglected, or totally ruined, during an absence of upwards of three
years; but what was my surprise! On arriving in the Thames, I was
instantly placed in solitary confinement, and had seals put upon my
papers. A few hours afterwards, one of your messengers came to seize
my person in the middle of the night, signified to me the order for my
being conveyed to the Continent, and conducted me to Dover for the
purpose of sending me thither. A delay of three days having occurred,
his zeal led him to turn this time to account: he restored my papers
to me; procured me every facility for writing; did all he could to
encourage me to write, and watched for the very last moment previous
to my departure, in order to make the most minute search after my
papers, and carry every one of them away, to the very last written
line. This, my Lord, is a kind of snare which I am far from
attributing to any other cause than to the baseness of the person who
laid it.

A similar circumstance had occurred at St. Helena. Sir Hudson Lowe,
after having kept me confined for five weeks, during which he had
allowed me every facility to write, wished at my departure to search
again amongst my papers; but it was sufficient for me to observe to
him how strange it would appear that he had afforded me the facility
of confiding to paper ideas which I should otherwise have kept within
my own breast. Sir Hudson Lowe instantly gave up the thought; it is an
acknowledgment which, in justice to the Governor, I am bound to make.

What appears most strange, my Lord, and what will hardly be credited,
is, that your messenger should have packed up all my papers, in spite
of my remonstrances, and have taken them away from me, without writing
down an inventory of them, or attending to any of the formalities
required by all received notions of jurisprudence throughout the
world. Persuaded that this deviation from first principles proceeded
from the ignorance of the subaltern, and not from the orders of the
Minister, I sought for your own interest, my Lord, to remedy the evil,
by obtaining, and hastening to affix my seal to the papers, in order
that you might rectify in time the errors of your agents. I am anxious
that your Lordship should appreciate the motive of this proceeding; it
was solely intended, as will be made evident to you by the nature of
my papers, to afford you an insight into my character and a proof of
my moderation. I had the honour of writing to Lord Sidmouth to this
effect, on the spur of the moment, and of pointing out to him, at the
same time, how necessary my presence would be at the examination of my
papers, which are very easily understood by the most trifling
explanation from myself, but which might remain quite unintelligible
in my absence. Lord Sidmouth has not honoured me with a reply.

Your agent, however, my Lord, outstepping the bounds of that decency
and generous feeling which particularly characterize the individuals
of your nation, contrived to add more bitterness to his mission than
could well be imagined. After having offended me once, by grossly
insulting the person whom I venerate above all others in this world,
he heaped upon myself every expression of insult which language
affords, for no other reason than that I would not enter into
conversation with him. He had received your orders to guard me; but
could he suppose that you wished to extend your power so far as to
force me to associate with him? This man had an assistant, of whom I
have no reason to complain, although he took a part in inflicting the
treatment I experienced; I could, however, occasionally remark a
certain reserve in him towards me; and he was besides urged on and
excited by the other.

Your messenger, my Lord, in signifying to me, in the middle of the
night, the order for my removal, left me no other choice than Calais
or Ostend. I had hardly recovered from my surprise, when I had to make
an immediate decision. A few hours afterwards, I asked, upon further
reflection, whether I could not be allowed to go to America, or to
some other part of the Continent. The messenger replied in the
negative, and that he had already written to the Government, to
communicate the choice I had made; I again urged the subject, but he
assured me he was persuaded that all my endeavours would be vain.
Could his assertion be true, my Lord? I have difficulty in believing
it; nevertheless it determined my fate.

I have seen, but have not been allowed to hold in my hands, the order
of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, which commands me instantly
to quit England. Was this refusal a mere matter of form? Was it a
precaution taken? Would this royal act involve any responsibility, or
was it feared that I might pride myself upon it? And, in fact, could
it be otherwise, when, without laying any crime to my charge, it
seemed only to punish an act of the most rare devotedness, that of a
servant sacrificing himself with his master when fortune had deserted

My Lord, when your Lordship limited my choice, I selected Ostend in
preference to Calais, from pure motives of delicacy suggested to me by
tender love of my country; it would have been too painful to me that
my countrymen should ever be accused of having persecuted me for a
virtuous action. This conduct on their part might perhaps, however,
have been at least excusable; on yours, my Lord, my removal from
England proceeded from a mere caprice, a severity that nothing can

I am now, however, upon the Continent, where I have been thrown by you
against my will. Allow me, my Lord, to pause here for a moment. I know
every circumstance of my life; and happily there is not a corner in
Europe where I may not tread with an easy heart, an open countenance,
and a firm step. But you, my Lord, who neither have the leisure, nor
the will, nor the means of inquiring into my obscure career, if by
chance I had been brought into danger through the effects of political
dissensions, during the existence of which, all actions that are
proscribed are not therefore crimes, if I had fallen a sacrifice, I
should have been called a victim; but you, my Lord, who would have
delivered me up, what name might not have been given to you? Were you
not exposing yourself to have it said of you, ‘Whilst the English
legislature prides itself upon having abolished the trade of black
slaves in the islands of America, the British Ministers are trading in
white flesh on the continent of Europe!’

My Lord, in consequence of the impulse which your Lordship has given
to my destinies, I have been seized and conducted across the kingdom
of the Netherlands like a malefactor; and, though in a dying state,
have been treated without mercy. I have loudly complained of this
conduct. On this subject, my Lord, shall I venture to repeat to you
some unpleasant truths that were told me? But why not? All your
countrymen have a right to tell the truth fearlessly to a British
Minister, and this is much more incumbent upon a foreigner who has
such just motives of complaint and sorrow. Well then, my Lord, when I
complained of so revolting an abuse of power against me, I was asked
from what part of the world I came, and whence proceeded my
astonishment? Some persons said to me, ‘We have a good King; do not
find fault with him; he is only the instrument that strikes you; the
tyrannical hand that wields it is farther off.’ Others added, ‘The
English nation had settlements in India a long time since for the
benefit of its commerce, and the English Ministers are now
establishing some upon the Continent to favour their despotism. When
their authority is eluded in England, they protract it upon the
Continent. They have placed amongst us their instruments of torture
and their executioners, and you will neither escape from their
inquisition, nor from the punishments it inflicts.’ Then followed a
volley of animadversions and imprecations against England and
Englishmen. No doubt, my Lord, that people who are wise, well
informed, and free from passions, are not mistaken on this subject,
and know with whom alone the blame rests. They can very well
distinguish the excellence of the laws from their violation, and from
the abuse of power; they know that true Englishmen abhor and detest
all species of tyranny, whether at home or abroad; that in their
island they are the most ardent defenders, the most zealous guardians,
of the great and noble truths which upon our Continent are the objects
of our hopes and of our wishes. But the majority of the people do not
consider the question so closely; they find it the shortest way to
attack a whole nation, and to involve it in one general condemnation.

But, my Lord, what is, after all, my crime? I demand what can be the
motive of so cruel a persecution? and the countries in which that
persecution has been continued by the impulse which you have given,
unite with me in demanding it. Every where the authorities, who have
exercised their jurisdiction over my person, have carefully avoided
seeing me. The rights which I possessed would have embarrassed them,
and they could not have assigned any motive for their acts. They are
ignorant of the origin and of the cause of them. From the Cape of Good
Hope to the place where I now am, whenever I have asked what sentence
had been pronounced, what charge had been preferred against me, I have
been answered by the production of an order; and when I have required
a motive to be assigned, I have received no answer at all.

My Lord, I had the honour of addressing to you from the Cape the
following observations, which I now repeat:—What rational objection
can be raised against the wish which I expressed to inhabit your
country, and to reside among you? Was it feared that I should converse
and write upon political subjects? But if I had, what inconvenience
could result therefrom to England? Was it feared that I should publish
unwelcome complaints respecting your administration? But is there a
spot on the Continent where I am forbidden to give vent to those
complaints, and where I should not find every body disposed to listen
to them? Placed on your own territory, and within your reach, was not
that the situation in which you would have had the surest hold upon
me, and the greatest authority over me? If I became guilty, had you
not your general laws? If I became obnoxious, had you not your private
laws; and, moreover, your _Alien Bill_? Lastly, and above all, you
had, as a pledge of my reserve and moderation, my wish to remain near
you. That wish was great, my Lord, and I will tell you why. My
residence in England would have enabled me to fulfil the hopes and the
destiny of my life, by devoting myself for ever to procure
(consistently with your regulations, and through the legal channel
allowed by you) some consolations and comforts for him for whom I
mourn. I suppose, my Lord, that you and your colleagues have a
sufficient degree of elevation of mind to fulfil, on this occasion, a
political duty, and at the same time, to remain strangers to all
motives of personal animosity. Having secured the safe custody of the
captive, you cannot grudge the enjoyment of any indulgence that is not
a burden to you; you will, on the contrary, facilitate the means of
his obtaining them. I implore, therefore, to be allowed to undertake
the sacred duty of bestowing them; my heart feels the want of
fulfilling it: I will do it in good faith. I should have convinced
you, my Lord, had I been able to see you, and I do not despair yet; I
still solicit again....

I had also considered, my Lord, I must confess, that another chance of
my admission existed in the wish which your Lordship must have felt to
take advantage of so favourable an opportunity to learn the truth. I
thought that both your situation and your character would prompt you
to do so. And what conflicting evidence would you not thus have
obtained to direct you in your noble functions as jury! I should have
replied to all your questions with candour and without passion; I
should have convinced you quietly, if you had wished it, of all the
errors in which the multiplicity and importance of your affairs compel
you to remain with respect to us. I have read in three different
papers, the Times, the New Times, and the London Chronicle, your
answer to Lord Holland, on his motion relative to St. Helena; and I
can assure you that almost every line of it is founded on error.

God forbid, my Lord, that I should suspect that you do not believe
yourself what you state! But your information has been erroneous. Your
Lordship has affirmed, for instance, that none of the relations of the
Emperor Napoleon had written to him; whereas I myself delivered to him
three or four letters, sent by you through Sir Hudson Lowe, from
Madame Mère, from the Princess Borghese, and from his brother Lucien.
The fact in itself, my Lord, is unimportant; but the want of accuracy
on this point must excite your doubts upon others, and corroborate, in
some degree, my assertions upon the remainder. Again, that part of
your speech concerning myself is so garbled that, notwithstanding the
unfavourable prejudice which I have a right to entertain against Sir
Hudson Lowe, I am persuaded that he will himself exclaim against the
incorrectness of the statement. Be that as it may, my Lord, in the
heat of opposition, and of conflicting parties, two _true conclusions_
are invariably drawn from the same fact, and my conclusion cannot
possibly be precisely yours. The public are aware of this, and would
therefore have wished to establish theirs upon official documents. But
you have thought proper to refuse to produce these documents; will you
not have thereby fixed public opinion?

My Lord, it is time to sum up, after so long a statement.

1.—I demand justice and redress for the abuse of power, the arbitrary
and tyrannic act, by which Lord Charles Somerset deprived me of my
liberty during so long a period, and in direct violation of the laws
of his country.

2.—I demand justice and redress for the irregular forms with which all
my papers have been seized in the Thames, without an inventory having
been made of them, notwithstanding all my remonstrances.

3.—I demand justice and redress for having been sent to the Continent
as a captive, in open violation of all principles, and, in consequence
of an impulse given, or instructions transmitted, obliged to pass
through the Netherlands and adjacent countries as a malefactor.

4.—I demand the examination and prompt restitution of my papers seized
in the Thames. Most of them had been respected by Sir Hudson Lowe, and
others are absolutely necessary to me in the daily occurrences of my
domestic affairs; they contain all my titles of property and fortune;
without them I am deprived of every thing.

5.—I demand the restitution of my papers of St. Helena, the inventory
of which, duly certified and signed by Sir Hudson Lowe, is amongst the
papers that have been seized in the Thames. My papers of St. Helena
consist almost solely of a manuscript, in which are recorded, day by
day, during eighteen months, but as yet confusedly, and without being
settled, the conversations, the words, and perhaps even the gestures,
of him who so long guided the destinies of Europe.

This manuscript, sacred by its nature and its object, was unknown, and
was intended to remain unknown to all. I allowed Sir Hudson Lowe to
peruse it sufficiently to be convinced of its inoffensive nature in
political matters. On arriving at the Cape, I had the honour to write
to the Prince Regent, through the channel of Ministers, as well as to
Ministers themselves, to place these precious materials under their
special protection; I appealed to them in the name of justice and of
history. They are, according to all laws, my sacred property, the
property of my children, and of posterity.

6.—Lastly, and above all, I demand the restoration of the letter which
the Emperor Napoleon did me the honour to address to me in my prison,
in the Island of St. Helena. A letter entirely foreign to politics,
read by the Governor of St. Helena, read by Ministers themselves, if
they have thought proper to do so, cannot, consistently with any code
of laws, be taken from the person whose property it is, however strong
it may be in the tenor of its confidential expressions. This sacred
and precious object is the reward of my life, a title for my children,
a monument for my family.

My Lord, as I am by nature and reflection a friend to propriety and
moderation, it is to you that I first address the enumeration of my
grievances. It is of you alone that I quietly ask their redress.[34]
But if your Lordship should not think proper to reply, it is then to
your tribunal that I shall feel compelled to appeal; after that to the
tribunal of public opinion; and lastly, and above all, to that dread
tribunal, which, holding the balance with an equal hand between
tyrants and victims, secures in eternity the infallible triumph of all
rights and the final chastisement of all injustice.

                              “I have the honour to be,” &c.

Footnote 34:

  This letter was only made public a year after it had been written;
  the motive which led to its publication has already been seen, and
  will be further explained in the sequel of these pages.

It was about this time that my petition to the British Parliament also
appeared. I had forwarded it from the deserts of Tygerberg to London:
but, whether it did not reach its address, or whether obstacles
occurred to its being brought forward, not a word had been said about
it. My return brought the circumstance to light. A member of the House
of Commons, struck with the sensation which its publication had just
caused, offered to present it himself; and for that purpose a paper
was sent to me from England, to which I affixed my signature. But this
formality was not sufficient; and this circumstance, added perhaps to
other considerations, prevented its being laid before the House. I
transcribe it here. It is so nearly allied to my subject that I trust
I shall be forgiven for so doing. Besides, that document and others
which are found in this volume have been mutilated, disfigured, and
re-translated into French from a foreign text: I am therefore
interested in their being restored in all their integrity. Besides, if
they were not found here they might be considered as apocryphal, and
that is what I wish to avoid.


A simple individual, a helpless stranger, presumes to raise his voice
among you, Representatives of the people of England; but he invokes
you in the name of humanity, of justice,—in the name of your glory.
Can he speak in vain? must he not be heard? Cast out from St. Helena,
forced away from the greatest monument of the vicissitudes of human
life that ever existed, I approach you to paint to you his situation,
his sufferings. Snatched suddenly and unexpectedly from his presence,
deprived of all communication, my words, my ideas, will be all my own:
they will have no other source but my heart. Perhaps the lofty spirit
of him who is the object of them will be irritated by the step which I
am taking at this moment; thinking that here below he ought not, he
cannot, appeal from his sufferings, _but to God alone_. Perhaps he
will demand of me who has committed the cares and the interests of his
life to me? It matters not: my love for him will have caused my
weakness. I feel myself already too far from his heroic influence; my
heart can no longer contain the ills of which it has been the witness.
They open for themselves a passage; they force me to cry out.

You have banished in the deserts of the ocean him whose magnanimous
confidence brought him, _freely and from choice_, to live among you,
under the protection of your laws, which he considered all-powerful.
No doubt you sought in your determination only what you conceived to
be useful; you did not pretend to be just; otherwise it might be
demanded of you, who put him in your power? who gave you the right of
judging him? upon what ground have you condemned him? whom have you
heard in his defence?... But you have made the law.... It exists; I
respect it. I am not entitled to discuss the principle. I will refrain
from all murmur; my protest shall not escape from my heart. You shall
hear now only the vexations with which your decisions have been
attended, and, no doubt, contrary to your intentions. Representatives
of Great Britain, you have said you only wished to secure the person
of the Emperor Napoleon, and to ensure his detention.—This object
attained, you proposed that every thing should be lavished upon him
that could soften and alleviate what you have considered the work, the
obligation of policy:—such have been the spirit, the letter of your
laws, the expression of your debates, the wishes of your nation, the
sentiments of its honour. Well, then! only the severe part of your
intentions has reached the illustrious captive upon his frightful
rock. Happy, however, still, if they never had been transgressed. But
the clouds which hang over his island are less dense, less dark, than
the moral and physical pains which are heaped upon his head.

Under the vain pretence of apprehensions purely imaginary, every day
has seen new restrictions. His proud spirit has every day brooked new
outrages; all exercise has become impossible to him; all visits, all
conversations, have been nearly interdicted. Thus privations of every
kind, vexations of every nature, unite against him with the extreme
insalubrity of a climate, at once humid and burning, with the dull
monotony of a sky without colours or seasons. They contract every
instant, in a frightful manner, the circle of his life! He is
compelled to keep his chamber. They are inflicting on him his death!

Did you then intend all these things? No, undoubtedly; and what
motives could justify them? The fear of an escape? Then let them call
together military and naval men, competent judges, that they may
consult their experience, that they may learn their opinions, and let
them cease to surrender such an object to the discretion of a single
man, who, taking his terrors for his guide, will occupy his time every
day with combating phantoms which his own terrified imagination may
create, without reflecting that he cannot destroy all chances, or
reach them all, but by causing death. At Longwood all escape is held
impossible; no one there thinks of it. Certainly, every one would wish
to accomplish the enterprise at the expense of his life: death would
appear sweet for so glorious a result. But how elude the officers who
are constantly on the watch? escape the soldiers who line the shore?
descend perpendicular rocks? throw one’s self, as it were, into the
vast ocean? clear a first line of boats? a second of ships of war?
when one is overlooked from all the heights, where one may be
surrounded, pursued with signals every instant, and in all directions?
And what mode of embarkation could be hazarded? There is none within
reach of the shore. In what vessel could refuge be sought? There is
not one far or near; all foreign sail, even those of your own nation,
become the prey of your cruisers, if they approach without urgent
motives the accursed isle!

With such precautions and under such circumstances, is not then the
whole island a prison sufficiently secure? Can it be necessary to fill
it incessantly with prisons within prisons? And if so many
difficulties could be overcome, which is impossible, the immensity of
the seas and almost every land remain still a new prison?

Now who would induce men in their sound senses to dream of such
ridiculous attempts? Who at Longwood could entertain thoughts so madly
desperate? Besides, the Emperor Napoleon has still the same views, the
same desires, which he declared when he came with confidence _freely
and in good faith_ among you: ‘A retreat and repose under the
protection of your positive laws, or those of America.’ This is what
he wished, this is what he wishes still, what he always demands.

If then the island of St. Helena, from its nature, is not already a
sufficient prison—if it has not the advantage of combining safety with
indulgence, you have been deceived in your choice and your intentions.
For what purpose send us to die miserably in a foreign climate? For
what purpose all your additional expenses? For what purpose your
numerous garrison and its large staff? For what purpose your naval
establishment? For what purpose the restrictions imposed upon the
commerce of that unfortunate isle? There were many points in your
European dominions where you could have kept us without expense, and
where we should have considered ourselves less unfortunate! If that
island, on the contrary, from its nature, and with the aid of the
precautions above stated, presented in itself every thing that human
wisdom and prudence can conceive necessary, then would not all
aggravating conditions be so many useless vexations, tyrannical and
barbarous acts executed against your intention? For it was not your
intention to torture Napoleon—to make him die by inches; and yet it is
but too true that he is perishing from the incessant wounds of every
day, of every hour, of every minute.

If you chose to behold in him a simple prisoner, and not the object of
the ostracism of kings, a king himself—if you have designed to give
him only a common prison, and not to choose for him a place where the
asperities of his exile might be mitigated—if it was intended to
commit him to a gaoler, and not to an officer of high rank, who, by
his habits of business and of the world, would know how to unite what
he owed to the safety of the captive with the respect and regard which
he commands—if it was intended to pursue hatred and vengeance, and all
the narrow and vulgar passions—if it was intended only, in fine, to
intrust to the climate the death of the illustrious enemy, to charge
nature with an act which no one durst execute himself—if all this was
intended, I stop; I leave nothing more to say; I have already said too

But if, in the spirit of your Bill itself, you meant to accompany your
political act, as you in fact did, with all the intentions of a great,
noble, and honourable nation, I may continue: for you must have meant
all the good that circumstances can permit; interdicted every ill that
necessity did not command. You never meant that the prisoner should be
deprived of all exercise, by the needless imposition of conditions or
forms which would make that recreation a torment.

You have not wished that the nature of his words, the length of his
sentences, should be prescribed to him, you have not wished that his
original circuit should be abridged upon the pretence that he did not
make daily use of its extent; you have not wished that he should be
forced to confine himself to his chamber, that he might not find
himself in the midst of intrenchments and palisades, with which his
garden is ridiculously surrounded.

Now, all these things exist; they are renewed every day, although they
are considered useless, and although a great many of your countrymen
condemn and lament them.—You did not wish that, to the great detriment
of his health and his comforts, he should be condemned to a wretched,
small, inconvenient dwelling: while the government had large and fine
houses both in town and country, which would have been much more
commodious and more appropriate, and would have saved the sending of
the famous palace, or to speak much more correctly, of the immense
quantity of rough planks, now rotting unused upon the shore, because
it has been found that it would require from seven to eight years to
complete the intended edifice. You cannot have meant that, in spite of
the sums which you have devoted to them, the necessaries of life, all
the means of subsistence, furnished daily at Longwood, should be of
the worst kind, while others could have those of the best quality; you
did not mean that Napoleon should be so far outraged as to attempt to
force him to discuss the little details of his own expenditure, that
he should be called upon to produce a surplus when he had none; that,
in default of his so doing, he should be threatened with insufferable
reductions; that he should be forced to desire, in his indignation,
‘To let him be quiet; that he asked for nothing; that when he should
be hungry he would go and seat himself among those brave fellows whose
tents he perceived at a distance, who would not repulse the oldest
soldier in Europe.’—You did not intend that Napoleon should find
himself thereby constrained to sell his plate piece-meal, to supply
the deficiency of every month, and that he should be reduced to the
necessity of accepting what some faithful servants were happy enough
to be able to lay at his feet.

O Englishmen! Is it thus they can treat in your name, him who has
governed Europe, disposed of so many thrones, created so many kings!
Do you not fear the loud complaint of history? Suppose it should
hereafter say, ‘They deceived him to get possession of his person, and
they afterwards grudged him the means of subsistence.’ Will you suffer
your sentiments, your character, your honour, to be thus compromised?
Is this then your Bill, your intentions? And what connexion have such
unbecoming measures with security? You never intended that authority
should make a puerile and barbarous study of incessantly recalling, by
words, regulations, and acts, that which it would have been delicate
never to mention; by repeating to us every day that we deceived
ourselves strangely respecting our position; by rigidly interdicting
all unusual respect; in even punishing, as we have been told, those
whose habits had inadvertently led them to shew such respect; by
restricting the journals furnished us to those which might be the most
disagreeable; by voluntarily procuring us libels; and by removing or
withholding, on the contrary, favourable works; in fine, by imposing
upon us the literal form of the declaration by which we were to
purchase the slavery and the happiness of attending a revered object;
by compelling us to admit into it denominations contrary to our habits
and to our laws, thus taking advantage of our own hands to degrade the
august object whom we surrounded; and yet we were obliged to do it,
because, upon our unanimous refusal, we were threatened with being all
torn from our pleasing employment, instantly thrown on board ship, and
carried to the Cape of Good Hope.—How can these cruel and tyrannical
measures contribute to security?

It will be hardly believed that Napoleon, on inquiring if he might be
allowed to write to the Prince Regent, was answered by authority that
his letter would not be suffered to pass, unless it was open; or that
it would be opened to ascertain its contents: a proceeding which
reason rejects, as equally insulting to the two august persons.

St. Helena had been chosen for us, we were told, in order that we
might be able to enjoy there a certain degree of liberty and some
indulgence.—But we cannot speak to any one; we are forbidden to write
to any one whomsoever; we are restricted in our most petty domestic
affairs. Ditches and intrenchments surround our dwellings; an
authority without control governs us. And St. Helena was chosen in
order to allow us some indulgence! But what prison in England, then,
could have been worse for us? Certainly, there is none there at this
day that would not seem to us a blessing. We should find ourselves in
a Christian land; we should breathe European air. The control of a
superior authority would have sheltered us from personal resentments,
from momentary irritation, or even an error in judgment.

It has been insinuated to the officers of your nation that they are
not to present themselves before him whom they guard; or they have
been forbidden to do so. The English themselves, whatever may be the
rank and the confidence which they enjoy, have been forbidden to
approach us, and to enter into conversation with us, without
formalities which are equivalent to an interdiction, lest we might
represent to them the ill usage heaped upon us—a precaution useless
with respect to security; but which proves the jealous care with which
we are prevented from communicating the truth. Our efforts on this
subject have been made a crime; as if to inform you of the truth,
particularly where it interests your honour, your character, was not
doing you a service.

You certainly never intended to allow such a tyranny over our thoughts
and sentiments, as to insinuate to us, or inform us, that, if we
continued to express ourselves freely in our letters to our relatives,
to our friends, we should be torn from the presence of Napoleon, and
banished from the Island. Yet it is precisely this circumstance which
has brought about my deportation, by causing me to forward,
clandestinely, the very letters which I had in the first instance,
intended for the Governor, and which I would have sent to him, had it
not been for his vexatious intimation—an intimation gratuitously
tyrannical—since these letters were sent open to Ministers,
accompanied, if necessary, by the notes of the local authority, that
they might be detained by the Ministers, if they were improper; or
even delivered up to the laws, if they were criminal: and since, at
all events, they must have in their eyes the merit of being a further
means of coming at the truth.

Certainly, you never intended that those who had obtained the favour
of staying with Napoleon should find themselves within the penalties
of the laws, but excluded from their benefit. This is, however, what
has been positively signified to us. You did not intend that my most
secret, and most sacred, papers should be seized; and, though I had
allowed them to be read cursorily, in order to shew their nature, that
they should be taken from me, and that I should not be allowed to put
my seal upon them. You never intended that a barbarous sport should be
made in my case, of whatever is most holy and most sacred among you;
that, in contempt of my constant claims to be restored to liberty, or
brought to trial; that, in despite of my reiterated offers to submit
myself voluntarily, beforehand, to all the privations, even arbitrary,
which might be imposed upon me in England, I should be kept prisoner
at St. Helena; that I should be sent from that Island to the Cape of
Good Hope, to be brought back in the course of time, from the Cape to
St. Helena; that I should be carried a prisoner over the vast extent
of sea, in a frail vessel, to the great injury of the health of my
son, whose life was in danger, to the peril of my own life, which has
been afflicted with infirmities that must accompany me to the
grave,—if, indeed, they do not plunge me into it before my time.

It was not your intention that, on my arrival at the Cape, the
Governor should detain me there arbitrarily, without examination,
without inquiry, without inquest, and cause me to wither there in the
pangs of sorrow, of delay, and of despair, upon the ridiculous
pretence of sending to a distance of two thousand leagues to inquire
of my natural judges, the ministers to whom I so earnestly solicited
to be delivered up, if it would be right to send me to them; and
executing beforehand upon me, by that single act, a sentence a
thousand times more terrible than could have been that of my judges,
viz. depriving me for several months of my liberty, detaining me the
whole of that time a captive at the extremity of the earth, separated
from my family, from my friends, from my interests, painfully wearing
out in the desert the few days which remain to me. Surely, under the
empire of positive laws, no one could thus tyrannically sport with the
liberty, the life, the happiness of individuals.

O Englishmen! if such acts should remain unpunished, your excellent
laws would be no more than an empty name. You would carry terror to
the extremities of the earth and there would no longer be either
liberty or justice among you.

Such are the grievances which I had to make known to you, and which
are developed, with others, in a letter hereto annexed,[35] which, on
leaving St. Helena, I sent to the Governor, in the hope that it might
produce a reformation.

Footnote 35:

  The Statement of the Grievances of Longwood, addressed to Sir Hudson

Many of these grievances would perhaps have deserved to pass unnoticed
by us; nevertheless, I have done myself the violence of laying them
before you. There are none of them so trivial as not to interest your
honour. And what could be the causes of such measures? Whence can
proceed these gradual attacks, these continued aggravations. How can
they have been justified? We know not.

Not, however, that the ruling power at St. Helena denies the danger to
the health of the captive, the imminent peril of his life, the
probable and speedy issue of such a state of things. ‘It will have
been his own wish,’ they content themselves with coldly observing; ‘It
will be his own fault.’ But do they act discreetly in this? To confess
that Napoleon seeks death, is it not confessing that they have
rendered life intolerable to him? ‘Moreover,’ continue they, ‘why
refuse to take the necessary exercise, because an officer must
accompany him? What is there in this formality so hateful, so painful?
Why does he insist upon making it a matter of such great importance?’
But who can arrogate to himself the right of judging of the feelings
of the illustrious victim? Napoleon debars himself, and he is silent;
what would they have more? Besides, it has been reported, a thousand
times, it is neither the colour of the coat nor the difference of
nation which creates repugnance; but the nature of the thing itself,
and its inevitable effects. If, in such exercise, the benefit of the
body were greatly below the sufferings of the mind, would this
exercise be an advantage?

But it is further insinuated, (for there is not one identical scale
for all minds and all sentiments) ‘Why such particular regard, why
such extraordinary cares and attentions? After all he is a captive, of
distinction perhaps, but what is he more? what are his claims?’

What he is, and what are his claims, I will proceed to state.

Napoleon’s destiny has been the first, the most astonishing in
history. He is the man of renown, of prodigies; the hero of ages. His
name is in every mouth; his actions excite every imagination; his
career remains without a parallel. When Cæsar meditated the seizure of
the sovereign power in his country, Cæsar was already the first man in
it, by his birth and his riches; when Alexander undertook to subjugate
Asia, Alexander was a king, and the son of a king who had paved the
way for his successes: but Napoleon, rushing from the crowd to govern
the world, presents himself alone without any other auxiliary than his
genius. His first steps in his career are so many miracles; he
immediately covers himself with immortal laurels, and reigns from that
instant over every mind: the idol of his soldiers, whose glory he has
raised to the skies—the hope of his country, which, in her pangs
already feels that he will be her liberator; and this expectation is
not disappointed. At her expiring voice, Napoleon, interrupting his
mysterious destinies, hastens from the banks of the Nile; traverses
the seas, at the risk of his liberty and of his reputation; and lands
alone upon the French shore. Every heart leaps at seeing him again.
Acclamations, public rejoicing, and triumph attend him into the
capital. At sight of him the different factions droop, parties blend
themselves into one; he rules, and the revolution is chained.

The mere weight of opinion, the influence of one single man, effected
every thing. He had no occasion to fight; not one drop of blood was
shed. Nor was this the only time that such a prodigy distinguished his

At his voice, the principles of disorganization vanish; wounds are
closed; stains are effaced. Creation seems once more to issue from

All the revolutionary follies disappear; grand and noble truths alone
remain. Napoleon knows no party; no prejudice attaches to his
administration. All opinions, all sects, all talents, form themselves
in a group about him; a new order of things commences.

The nation recovers breath, and blesses him; the people of other
states admire him; kings respect him; every one is happy,—every one
fells himself once more honoured in being a Frenchman.

Shortly, he is raised to the throne; he becomes Emperor. Every one
knows the rest. Every one knows with what lustre, with what power, he
dignified his crown. A sovereign by the choice of the people,
consecrated by the head of religion, sanctioned by the hand of
victory, what chief of a dynasty ever united titles so powerful, so
noble, so pure? Let them be examined.

All the Sovereigns were allied to him by blood or treaties. All
nations acknowledged him. Englishmen, if you alone are an exception,
that exception only belongs to your policy; it was only a matter of
form. Moreover, you are precisely those who have seen in Napoleon the
most sacred, the most indisputable titles. Other powers may perhaps
have yielded to necessity. You, you have done nothing but submit to
principles, to your conviction, to the truth; for such are your
doctrines that Napoleon, four times elected by a great nation, must
necessarily, in spite of your public denials, have found himself a
sovereign in the bottom of your hearts. Look into your consciences!...
Now, Napoleon has lost nothing but his throne; a reverse has snatched
it from him; success would have fixed it with him for ever. He has
seen eleven hundred thousand men march against him. Their generals,
their sovereigns, have every where proclaimed that his person was
their sole object. What a destiny! He fell; but he lost only power:
all his august attributes remain and command the respect of mankind.

A thousand recollections of glory still crown him; misfortune renders
him sacred, and, in this state of things, the man of real feeling does
not hesitate to consider him more venerable upon his rock than at the
head of six hundred thousand men, imposing laws.

Such are his claims.

In vain would narrow minds, or perfidious hearts, attempt to charge
him, as is the custom, with being the offensive cause of all the
evils, of all the troubles, of which we have been the witnesses or the
victims. The time of libels is past, the truth must have its turn.
Already the clouds of falsehood are clearing up before the sun of
futurity. A time will come when the world will render him complete
justice; for passions die with contemporaries; but actions live with
posterity, which has no bounds. Then it will be said that the great
actions, the great benefits, came from him; that the evils were those
of time and fate.

Who does not now begin to see that, notwithstanding his vast power, he
never had the choice of his destiny or of his means? that, constantly
armed for defence, he retarded his destruction only by a constant
succession of new prodigies; that in this terrible conflict he was
placed under the necessity of subduing every thing, in order to
survive and save the great national cause? Who among you, Englishmen,
dreams of denying, above all, this last truth? Has not _war for life_
been often proclaimed among you; and did not your secret allies, in
the bottom of their hearts, feel that which your position permitted
you to declare aloud? Do you not still boast that you would have
carried on the war as long as he maintained himself? Thus every time
that he proposed peace to you, whether his offers were sincere, or
whether they were not, it was of little importance to you: your
decision was fixed. What course then remained for him, and what
reproach could be uttered against him, which you yourselves did not
already deserve? And who at this day would still pretend to bring
forward the vulgar reproach of his ambition? What then has it had so
new, so extraordinary, and above all, so exclusive in his person?

Did it stifle sentiment in him, when he said to the illustrious Fox,
that in future Europe would be so united by laws, manners, and blood,
that there could be no war in it, but civil war?

Was it irresistible, when, describing to us all his useless efforts to
prevent the rupture of the treaty of Amiens, he concluded that
England, notwithstanding all the advantages of to-day, would, however,
have gained more by having adhered to it; that all Europe would have
gained by it; that he alone, perhaps, his name and his glory, would
have lost by it?

Was it an over-greedy and common ambition, when at Chatillon he
preferred the chance of losing a throne to the certainty of possessing
it at the price of the glory and independence of the nation?

Was it incapable of alteration, when he has been heard to say, ‘I
returned from the Isle of Elba quite another man. They did not think
it possible, and they were wrong. I am not a man to do things with a
bad grace, or by halves. I would have been at once the monarch of the
constitution and of peace?’

Was it insatiable, when, after the victory of which he considered
himself certain at Waterloo, his first word to the vanquished was to
have been the offer of the treaty of Paris, and a sincere and solid
union, which, blending the interests of the two nations, would have
insured the empire of the seas to England, and forced the continent to

Was it blind, and without motives, when, after his disaster, passing
in review the political consequences which he had so often foreseen,
and trembling at the probabilities of the future, he exclaimed, ‘There
is no nation, not even the English, who may not one day have to lament
their victory at Waterloo?’

And who can now think of reverting to this charge of ambition? It will
not be the people, all astonished as they are, at the conduct of those
who have overthrown him. Will it be the Sovereigns? They talked of
nothing but justice before the battle, but what use have they made of
the victory? Let them cease, then, to repeat these odious charges.
They might be an excellent pretence; they would be pitiful
justifications. Let them content themselves with having conquered!...

But I grow warm. Whither do the force of truth, the warmth of
sentiment, the impulse of the heart, carry me? I return to my subject.

Representatives of Great Britain, take this state of things into fresh
consideration. Justice, humanity, your honour, your glory, demand it
from you. St. Helena is insupportable; Napoleon’s stay there is
equivalent to certain and premeditated death; you could not wish to
make yourselves responsible for this in the eyes of futurity. Napoleon
was, during twenty years, your terrible enemy; he will remind you of
_Hannibal_ and _of Roman infamy_.... You would not stain with such a
spot the noble pages of your present history. Save your administration
the odious, the horrible, censure of having trafficked with the blood
of a prisoner. History furnishes several examples of it. They all
excite our horror; and what an increase of dignity would be reserved
for Napoleon’s character! For it is easy to predict, when Napoleon
shall be no more, when the crime has been accomplished, he will become
the man of the people; then he will be only the victim, the martyr, of
Kings. The inevitable march of the force of things and of the
sentiments of man so wills it. Save our modern annals from such a
scandal and its dangerous consequences. Save royalty from its own
blindness. Save the most sacred interests of the great Monarchs, in
whose name the victim is under execution. Save royal Majesty in the
first of its attributes, the most holy of its characters, its
_inviolability_. If kings themselves lay their hands upon the
representatives of God on earth, what restraint, what respect, can
they intend to oppose to the attempts of the people? There is no
prosperity here below, secure from time or from fortune. The circle of
vicissitudes envelops all thrones. This cause is the cause of all
kings, present and to come. An anointed of the Lord degraded, debased,
tortured, immolated, cannot, must not, be other than an object of
indignation, of horror for history, of terror for kings!

Recal Napoleon among you; let him come to find repose under the
protection of your laws; that they may enjoy his distinguished homage.
Do not deprive them of their noblest triumph. And who will prevent

Will it be your first decision? But, in recalling it, you would shew
to every eye that you were only then guided by the force of
circumstances, the law of necessity.

Will it be your domestic repose? But the thought of that would be
foolish; the doubt an injury, an outrage, to your institutions, to
your manners, to your whole population.

Will it be the safety of Europe? But truths of circumstance have their
day, and it belongs only to the vulgar to perpetuate them, to bring
them forward long after they cease to exist. Napoleon, in his
omnipotence, might be the terror of Europe; reduced to his single
person, he can no longer be any thing but an object of astonishment
and meditation. And, in truth, what could he effect at this day, even
with power, against the safety of Russia, that of Austria, of Prussia,
or your own?

Finally, can there be any fear of his secret intentions? But Napoleon
now has no wish but for repose. In his own eyes, in his own mouth, his
wonderful career has already all the distance of ages. He no longer
considers himself of this world; his destinies are accomplished. A
soul of such elevated power is of no value but to lead to celebrity,
to glory. And what mortal has accumulated more of these? Does not the
measure seem above the imagination of man? Have not even his reverses
been abundant sources of glory to him? Does there exist any thing to
be compared with the return from the Isle of Elba? And, more lately,
what an apotheosis is his; the regrets of a great nation. A great
number among you have traversed our provinces, penetrated to our
fire-sides; you know our secrets, our sentiments. If the country was
less dear to him than glory, what has he to desire after what he has
left behind? His advanced age, his lost health, his disgust at the
vicissitudes of life, perhaps that which he feels for men, the
satiety, above all, of the great objects pursued here below, leave him
nothing new or desirable but a tranquil asylum, a happy and sweet
repose. He demands them from you, Englishmen, and you owe them to the
heroic magnanimity with which he gave you the preference over all his
other enemies. Learn, dare, will to be just. Recal him, and you will
have secured the only glory which seems to be wanting in your present
condition. The admirers, the real friends, of your liberties and of
your laws expect this of you; they demand it. You have baffled those
who delight in boasting of all the benefits that flow from your noble

‘Where, then,’ say their adversaries, with a triumphant irony, ‘is
that generosity, that elevation of sentiment, that inflexibility of
principle, that public morality, that force of opinion, which you told
us distinguished that free people, in some sort superior to the
sovereignty itself? Where are the so much vaunted fruits of this
classic ground of liberal institutions? All this pompous scaffolding,
these imaginary pictures, have then disappeared before the dangers
which a single man has created; or rather before the hatred and the
vengeance which he has inspired. And what more could that absolute
power which we defend, and you decry so much, have done? It would have
done less, perhaps, but most assuredly it would not have been able to
do more. It would have shewn itself sensible, no doubt, of the noble
and magnanimous confidence of its enemy, or, if it had so decided, on
the ground of utility, it would, at least have shewn more energy,
candour, and elevation in its injustice. It would not have descended
to palliate its wrong in the eyes of the people, by associating its
neighbours gratuitously in it. It would have avoided above all the
leaving itself entangled in this distressing dilemma: Either, when you
concluded your iniquitous treaty of ostracism, the victim was not in
your power, and you had the cowardice to hold out the hand to him that
you might seize him; or, you had him already in your power, and you
sacrificed your glory, the honour of your country, the sanctity, the
majesty, of your laws to foreign solicitations.’

Englishmen, your friends are obliged to turn to you for an answer.
They await it.

As for me, in spite of a fatal experience of two years, such is still
my confidence in your principles, that I still reckon upon your
justice; and I have dared to speak before you, consulting only my own
heart, persuaded that it will be in the midst of you that I shall see
the defence and the talents worthy of this great and noble cause
arise. However you may decide in other respects, my own destinies are
fixed. Wherever the victim dwells I wish to go, to devote at his feet
the few days that still remain to me;[36] and in this tribute of
sentiment I shall think I have done nothing but for myself. When I
followed him at first, I rather obeyed honour, I followed glory:—but
now I bewail, far from him, all the qualities of the heart that attach
man to man. How many of your countrymen have approached him! they
would all tell you the same thing. Let them be consulted. Englishmen!
is this,

Footnote 36:

  All solicitations in this respect with the English Ministry have
  proved vain. This demand, frequently repeated, remains without an
  answer, or has produced only a refusal; as may be particularly seen
  in one of the letters in this collection.

then, the man who has been portrayed to you? Have you pronounced upon
his fate in full possession of the case?

                                                   COUNT DE LAS CASES.

My solicitations were not confined to the letters which I addressed to
the Allied Sovereigns; my efforts were ardently directed towards every
point, and every object I could think of. As soon as I was restored to
liberty, I found myself surrounded by the French exiles at Frankfort,
who shared my sentiments, and manifested the tenderest sympathy for
me. All, not even excepting those who had nothing to spare, save the
widow’s mite, offered me all they possessed, not only to provide for
the personal wants with which they supposed I had to struggle, but
also to promote the sacred object which wholly occupied my mind. At
Frankfort I had also the happiness to meet the Countess de
Survilliers, whose extreme generosity is only one of the many virtues
that adorn her. Finally, some eminent merchants of Frankfort, merely
from hearing of my adventures, and from motives of pure sympathy, made
me the most generous offers; and even diplomatic individuals, of whom
there were many at that time in the town, indirectly conveyed to me
proofs of their attention. These circumstances enabled me to learn
where the different members of the Emperor’s family were to be found,
and to enter immediately into communication with them, so as to adopt
the speediest means of ameliorating the condition of him for whose
sake I had resolved to exert every effort, and even to sacrifice my

On the other hand, I had laid down the rule of writing regularly, on a
certain day every month, to the Grand Marshal, in order to obtain such
information as would enable me to render myself as useful as possible;
and I sent the letter open to the Under Secretary of State for the
Colonies, with whom I had, by this means, commenced a correspondence,
which I conceived to be best calculated to fulfil the object I had in
view. I requested that he would send out regularly to Longwood the
newspapers, pamphlets, new publications, and various articles of daily
use which I specified, or which I begged he would himself select, to
be paid for by me to his order; this he promised to do.

The Emperor’s mother, brothers, sisters, and all his relations, though
I was not particularly acquainted with any of them, except Prince
Lucien, immediately answered me in the warmest and most affecting
manner. Mine were almost the first authentic tidings they had received
from the illustrious victim; and they esteemed themselves happy in
finding a channel, by means of which they could transmit to him
testimonies of their respect, devotedness, and affection. They wished
only to be informed what they had to do. An annual contribution of one
hundred and fifty thousand francs was immediately determined on: this
sum I conceived to be indispensably necessary for the establishment at
Longwood. The amount was divided equally among all, and I already had
in my hands the subscriptions of several of the parties, when I had
the satisfaction of being enabled to return them, with the request
that they might be reserved till a future time, as unforeseen
circumstances would render it unnecessary to make use of the money for
two or three years. The reason was that there had been found a deposit
of several hundred thousand francs belonging to the Emperor, and I
esteemed myself happy in being thus early enabled to present to the
members of his family a proof of the regularity and reserve with which
I acted. But unfortunately I was too precipitate; for the money which
had been promised, and was to have been furnished by me, was, either
through the mistake or embarrassments of the banker, or the negligence
of agents, more than a year in being paid. I was very much vexed and
disappointed by this circumstance, for the thirteen bills which I had
left with the Grand Marshal on my departure from St. Helena, had been
quickly paid away, and fresh drafts had been made on my banker, or on
other individuals in London, who allowed the bills to be protested,
because they had no funds belonging to me, or had received none from
any other individual. This occasioned enormous expense, compromised
Longwood, and afforded a subject of ridicule to the English
ministerial journals.

As soon as I was made acquainted with this unfortunate circumstance, I
wrote to London, to offer my personal security for any drafts that
might come from Longwood, stating that they should be payable to order
at Frankfort. To this object I appropriated, in the most advantageous
way I could, the sum which I received from Madame Mère, and which was
the only one that had not been returned, together with some money
which a few friends had lodged in my hands when my own was exhausted;
for my four thousand louis had been repaid to me in a way so singular
that I cannot refrain from mentioning it. A person who stood in a very
delicate situation, and who held money belonging to the Emperor,
suspecting, though he knew nothing of me, that I might be in some
degree of embarrasment, transmitted to me a hundred thousand francs. I
could lay no claim whatever to the sum: but this the person in
question doubtless conceived to be his most prudent course,
considering the peculiarity of his situation. Thus I found myself
repaid without having made any claim or given any receipt, and I am
not aware that there existed any trace of the debt due by the Emperor
in any account whatever.

Six months had already elapsed; the fine weather was set in; and my
health, which had been so greatly impaired by disappointment and
vexation, required me to make trial of the waters of Baden. But was I
free to depart? The times were so extraordinary, and such a total
disregard seemed to be every where manifested for the privileges and
the destiny of a Frenchman, that many persons about me very much
doubted whether I should be at liberty; and I was myself not without
apprehension, so accustomed was I to see all justice violated in my
person. Be this as it may, I was so desirous to act with perfect
openness, and to evince my gratitude for the kindness of Baron
Wessemberg, that I determined to acquaint him with my intention of
departing, and to ask him whether he considered me under his
inspection. However, the Baron in a moment banished all my scruples
and fears, by replying, with the frankness and courtesy which
characterize him, that, in granting me hospitality, there had been no
idea of making me a prisoner.

I accordingly repaired to Baden, where I had the honour of being
received by the Grand Duke and Duchess, almost secretly it is true,
but with those proofs of interest and attention which I might have
expected from the adopted children of Napoleon.

On taking my leave of the worthy Grand Duke, I requested that he would
permit me to remain in his States, and I determined on fixing my
residence at Manheim. I made choice of this place because, like
Frankfort, it afforded every desirable advantage for the continuance
of my correspondence, while it presented none of the inconveniences of
the latter city, which, from circumstances of a very delicate nature,
I was anxious to avoid.

I seldom went out, and I did not abuse my liberty any more than I had
done in the time of the Prussian Commissioner; but I thought it my
duty to receive every one who came to me. I was perfectly aware that I
should be likely to encounter enemies in the disguise of friends; but
I also knew that there were many persons, of all classes, who
frequently came from a distance for the purpose of seeing me, and who
were guided by sincere sentiment. But could I, for the sake of
avoiding one betrayer, run the risk of wounding many honest hearts,
who, amidst their sorrow and regret, hoped to obtain from me a few
words of satisfaction and consolation? During my stay at Manheim, it
would be difficult to imagine the singular questions that were put to
me, and the hints and insinuations of every kind that were thrown out
to me. One proposed to execute my most secret, hazardous, and remote
commissions; another offered to become my mediator with distinguished
and hostile individuals; and a third assured me that he would go in
disguise to Parma, and deliver all my packets to the Empress Maria
Louisa in person. In short, I know not what plans were suggested to
me. I several times received, from natives of different countries,
proposals for effecting Napoleon’s escape. Some were excited by
enthusiasm, some by speculation, and others were, no doubt, contriving
snares; for the crime of instigation is now boldly and universally
resorted to. Fortunately my guarantee was that I had nothing to
conceal. I possessed no secret, therefore I could only express hopes
and wishes in reply to all I heard; and certainly, in the avowed
situation in which I stood, the reports that might have been made from
my conversation could convey no new information. Accordingly, nothing
of an unpleasant nature occurred. By making choice of Manheim, which
is a retired place, and where I lived as privately as possible, I
obviated most of the inconveniences I had met with at Frankfort, which
was the resort of schemers and intriguers of every kind. I also proved
to those who were interested in observing me that I was a stranger to
all secret designs.

The period fixed for the meeting of the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle
was now approaching; and I formed the highest hopes from this august
assemblage. These hopes were shared by every generous heart; for who
could have imagined that the Sovereigns of Europe would have shewn
themselves insensible to the misery of Napoleon, whom each,
individually, had so long treated as a friend, a brother, or a son;
particularly when they should receive a correct and faithful account
of the situation in which he was placed? I had made every necessary
preparation; being determined that they should be assailed by
entreaties, and surrounded by information. I wrote to Maria Louisa;
and I was charged to present to the Sovereigns a letter from Madame
Mère; all the other relations of the Emperor having undertaken to act
for themselves. I carefully collected for each of the Sovereigns all
the authentic documents existing, and drew up a note on the subject,
enclosed in a letter addressed to _themselves_. I did not even neglect
Lord Castlereagh; to whom I thought it requisite to make the
communication in his quality of representative of the King of England.
I shall insert these documents, hoping that the reader will pardon the
many repetitions that occur in them. They all relate to one and the
same subject; this subject is reduced to its simplest expression; the
circle is limited; and recurrence to the same topic is unavoidable.

                      TO THE EMPRESS MARIA LOUISA.

MADAM,—On my return from the place where your husband is perishing,
what a tale of misery could I not unfold to you! But you are his wife,
the mother of his son; what, then, can I say that will appeal to you
more forcibly than the feelings that must naturally arise in your

I think it my duty to inform your Majesty that I intend, at the
approaching assemblage of the Allied Sovereigns, to lay at their feet
my humble supplications for a mitigation of the misery and cruel
sufferings which are inflicted in their name, and which cannot be
adequately conceived, except by a servant so devoted as I am, or a
relative so near as yourself.

But, Madam, what can be my claims, when compared with the sacred and
all-powerful rights of your Majesty, which are held in veneration all
over the world!

Deign then, Madam, to exercise those rights; and posterity, history,
which consecrate crowns, will encircle your brow with a diadem as
imperishable as your elevation of character, which subdues, and your
gentle virtues, which delight the heart.[37]

                                                  I am, &c.,

                                                      COUNT LAS CASES.

Footnote 37:

  This letter was put into the post at Vienna. I know not whether it
  ever reached its destination; but most probably it did not.


SIRES,—A mother, afflicted beyond all expression, has long cherished
the hope that the meeting of your Imperial and Royal Majesties will
afford some alleviation of her distress.

The prolonged captivity of the Emperor Napoleon gives occasion for
appealing to you. It is impossible but that your magnanimity, your
power, and the recollection of past events, should induce your
Imperial and Royal Majesties to interest yourselves for the
deliverance of a Prince, who has had so great a share in your regard
and even in your friendship.

Would you suffer to perish, in miserable exile, a Sovereign, who,
relying on the magnanimity of his enemy, threw himself into his power?
My son might have demanded an asylum from the Emperor, his
father-in-law; he might have consigned himself to the generosity of
the Emperor Alexander, of whom he was once the friend; he might have
taken refuge with his Prussian Majesty, who, in that case, would, no
doubt, have recollected his old alliance. Should England punish him
for the confidence which he reposed in her?

The Emperor Napoleon is no longer to be feared. He is infirm. And even
if he were in the full enjoyment of health, and had the means which
Providence once placed in his hands, he abhors civil war.

Sires, I am a mother, and my son’s life is dearer to me than my own.
Pardon my grief, which prompts me to take the liberty of addressing
this letter to your Imperial and Royal Majesties.

Do not render unavailing the entreaties of a mother, who thus appeals
against the long series of cruelties that has been exercised towards
her son.

In the name of Him, who is in essence goodness, and of whom your
Imperial and Royal Majesties are the image, I entreat that you will
interest yourselves to put a period to my son’s misery, and to restore
him to liberty. For this I implore God, and I implore you who are his
Lieutenants on earth.

Reasons of state have their limits; and posterity, which gives
immortality, adores, above all things, the generosity of conquerors.

                                         I am, &c.

                                                          MADAME MERE.

This letter remained unanswered. Other steps were taken in favour of
Napoleon, by different members of his family; but they were not made
known in a way sufficiently authentic to authorize my mentioning them

                   OF AIX-LA-CHAPELLE, OCTOBER, 1818.

SIRES,—Royal Majesty has no judges on earth. But since sovereigns
themselves, stripping it of its most sacred attribute, have subjected
it to their tribunal, I come with respectful confidence to appeal to
them in favour of a monarch, whom they long recognised, but who is now
deposed by them, a captive in their name, and presenting to the world
the grandest and most terrible vicissitude that was ever witnessed.
Who shall deem himself secure, if even inviolability be violated?

Faithful to his dignity, superior to misfortune, he looks forward to
death as the only termination of his misery. But I, who have been
unexpectedly torn from the fatal rock where I rendered him every
attention in my power, wish now to devote to him the remainder of a
feeble life, and to endeavour to assuage the misery which I am no
longer permitted to share.

I have taken upon myself the sacred mission in which I am now engaged.
I have been prompted to do so by my tender devotedness to the person
of the Emperor, by my private affection for him who was my Sovereign.

I am here a stranger to every political question. I have no other
impulse, no other guide, than that sacred morality which is alike
respected by kings and subjects. It constitutes my strength, my right,
and my excuse.

Napoleon on his rock is a prey to torments and vexations of every
kind; he is the victim of the ill treatment of men, and the
insalubrity of climate. These facts are now notorious to all, and are
sufficiently proved by authentic documents, transmitted from the place
itself, several of which I now presume to submit to the eyes of your

If the law of war, if the law of nations, have been transgressed for
the peace of the world, as it is said, the law of humanity at least
cannot be extinct.

For the last three years, war has every where been succeeded by peace;
passions are calmed; nations and individuals are reconciled; the
hostility of governments and parties is disarmed; the common law of
nations has resumed its sway; one man alone is excluded from these
benefits. He alone is still without the pale of human law. He is
exiled to a barren rock, exposed to an unhealthy climate, doomed to
the misery of a lingering death, and is the daily victim of hatred and
insult. When will there be an end to this extraordinary persecution?
If he be doomed to live, this extraordinary treatment is too cruel!
And surely it is still more barbarous if he be doomed to die! What is
his crime? By whom has he been tried? By what tribunal? Who are his
judges? Where is their right to pronounce sentence on him? Will it be
said that the only guarantee, the only security, against him, are
imprisonment, chains, and death? Will it be said that his acts, his
promises, and his oaths are not to be trusted? Will his return from
the isle of Elba be mentioned as an instance of his bad faith? But at
Elba he was a Sovereign: engagements had been entered into with him,
and had not been kept! Now, by quitting the continent, he has resigned
all sovereignty, and declared his political career to be at an end.
The case is entirely altered. If the sacrifice of his life can alone
appease hatred, and put a period to alarm, _why not inflict death
openly_? (these are his own words;) _a speedy death, though not more
just, would have been more humane, and less odious; it would be a
favour_. This is what he has himself repeatedly said and written. Who
can deny the justice of the remark?

What sufficient motives can still be maintained in justification of
such intolerable treatment?

Is it wished to punish his past invasions? But the invaded countries
have forgotten their resentment in the triumph of victory, and they
are now silent. Is it wished to make reprisals? But Napoleon was a
conqueror, and did he act thus? What was his conduct at Austerlitz, at
the bivouac of Moravia, at Vienna, at Tilsit, at the conferences of
Dresden? Let him be viewed even in that circumstance in which history
will have most difficulty in defending him. Charles IV. when a captive
in the hands of Napoleon, had his choice of residing either in
Compiegne, Marseilles, or Rome, always maintaining the dignity of a
king. Ferdinand, at Valency, was surrounded by all the attention and
respect he could wish. A prince who disputed the throne with the
Emperor fell into his hands. What use did Napoleon make of his
victory? The immediate release of the prisoner attested his
magnanimity; and history will compare this act with the indignities
that are heaped upon the Emperor.

Is it intended to renew for Napoleon the ostracism of the ancients?
But the ancients, if they banished from among them the talents which
they had reason to fear, did not sacrifice the victim. They did not
transport him to another hemisphere, to a desert rock, and a burning
climate. They did not, at least, render Nature chargeable with a crime
which, in the present case, it would seem, human hands dare not

Finally, is it feared that even the Emperor’s name would have too
powerful an influence in Europe? May not his enemies defeat their own
ends? Persecution always excites interest, always moves the great mass
of the people, who are invariably generous. If it be wished to create
partizans, it is sufficient to make martyrs! Where, then, is the
necessity for these extraordinary and singular measures? Why thus
violate at once the code of nations, the code of sovereigns, and the
code of private men?

Among civilized nations, fury is disarmed before a fallen enemy, who
is respected even among savages, particularly when he trusts to good

Why then persist in opposing the demands of humanity, justice,
religion, morality, policy, and all the laws of civilization? Why not
rather yield to the dictates of generosity, glory and true interest?
The examples of kings doomed to misery and death have always been
condemned by history: they are recollected with horror by subjects,
and with dread by sovereigns.

Since my removal from St. Helena, I do not personally know what
changes may have taken place in the treatment of the Emperor Napoleon;
but before my departure it was intolerable, both as regarded his
personal dignity and his moral and physical existence. Have those
modifications at length been made which his servants so long and so
vainly solicited? But the deadly influence of the climate and all the
horrors of the place of banishment cannot be changed. These
circumstances in themselves suffice to poison all the sources of life.
There is no dungeon in Europe that would not be preferable to
Longwood, and there is no human being, whatever might be his vigour of
body and strength of mind, who could, under such circumstances, long
resist the effects of so terrible a prison.

The victim is already seized with a disease that must infallibly, in a
very short time, hurry him to his grave. The faculty have candidly
pronounced this opinion, and, in the anguish of my heart, I presume to
report it to your Majesties, trusting that your humanity and high
wisdom will suggest a remedy.

Surely I cannot be accused of want of respect and devotedness to
sovereignty. The testimonies which my life presents are my guarantee
for now presuming to address your Majesties; as the consciousness of
your interests, dignity, and glory, is the guarantee of my hopes and

                                                      COUNT LAS CASES.


SIRE,—On the 10th of February last, I presumed to lay at your
Majesty’s feet the wishes and entreaties of a faithful servant in
favour of his master.

I hope your Majesty will forgive my perseverance, which may, perhaps,
have the appearance of importunity. I now venture to lay before you
another note, in favour of him who was your brother, and whom you made
your son. I take the liberty of accompanying this note with some
authentic documents.

Sire, my hope and my apology rest on the many excellent virtues for
which your Majesty is distinguished. Europe acknowledges and proclaims
you to be the most sincere, moral, humane, and religious of men; and
yet it is in your name that the tortures of a lingering death are
inflicted on him, to whom you gave the hand of your beloved daughter;
whom your own choice and religion have made your son.

Ah, Sire! tremble lest his blood-stained coat should be presented to
you!... And when the day of eternal judgment shall arrive, when the
Supreme Judge of men and things, pronouncing his terrible decrees,
shall ask, “What have you done with your son? Why did you separate the
husband from the wife? How durst you disunite those who had been
joined and blessed in my name? I might award victory to whom I
pleased; but none could take advantage of that victory to abuse my
holy laws, without incurring my anger—--”

But, Sire, I say no more: perhaps I have already gone too far. I crave
your Majesty’s forgiveness. These are the sentiments by which I am
powerfully excited;—these are the complaints that are wrung from me by
the murder of my master, which has been perpetrating before my eyes.
Sire, on my knees, I implore your interference, to prevent the crime
of homicide. Be not deaf to my entreaties!

                                      I am &c.[38]

                                                      COUNT LAS CASES.

Footnote 38:

  A similar letter was addressed to the Emperor Alexander, and the
  King of Prussia.


MY LORD,—I have the honour to present to your Lordship a copy of a
note, which I took the liberty of addressing to the Allied Sovereigns.

I am induced to transmit this note to you, my Lord, on account of my
profound respect for the august individual whom you represent, and the
esteem I entertain for your Lordship’s personal talents.

Whatever may be your opinions, my Lord, respecting this note, perhaps
even your objections to it, I am convinced your Lordship has too much
generosity to condemn, wholly and without reserve, a servant, who is
resolved, until the latest moment of his existence, to exert every
effort for the relief and consolation of his Sovereign.

My Lord, how great has been your influence on the destiny of that
Sovereign! How great may it yet be! Why cannot my voice reach your
Lordship’s ear? In the anguish of my tedious solitude, I have
frequently sought to discover the great motives which might have
dictated your harsh and cruel determination. My mind dwells only on
the interest of your country, the rigorous law of necessity, the
conviction of the character and disposition of him at whom you aim the
blow; and finally, the glory and responsibility of your ministerial
situation. Has your Lordship been able to combine together the whole
of the contradictory circumstances? Have you exhausted every source of
information? How I regret that the impaired state of my health and
faculties does not permit me adequately to express my feelings and
thoughts! They would perhaps make an impression on you, my Lord:
perhaps many facts, that I could relate, would excite your
astonishment and serious consideration.

                      I have the honour to be, &c.

                                                    COUNT LAS CASES.

The period of the meeting of the Congress having arrived, I went to
Frankfort, and happened to reach that place on the very day on which
the Emperor Alexander made his entry. This was no doubt a very
favourable opportunity to solicit the favour of being presented to
that Sovereign; and his well known affability, the facility with which
he grants admission into his presence, and perhaps also the peculiar
circumstances relating to me, were so many encouragements to the hope
of easily obtaining an audience, and I was consequently strongly
advised by every body to attempt it. It was the surest way, they said,
to accomplish the object I had in view, and I was much blamed for
refusing to make the trial. But I had maturely weighed within my own
breast the advantages and disadvantages of such a step, and I was far
from sharing the general opinion as to the probability of its result.
To what, had I said to myself, could such a high favour lead me? Could
I expect to touch the heart of this Sovereign by my eloquence? And if
my words had produced some effect upon him as a man, was not the final
decision to proceed from the concurrence of many others? And was I
certain, in an interview of so little duration, and of so much
embarrassment, to speak with as much method and precision as I could
write? Was it right for me to deliver to him, before the proper time
had arrived, authentic documents, which I intended only for the
Sovereigns assembled, as if it were an ordinary petition? And, if the
Emperor Alexander had happened to express himself in my presence,
respecting the Emperor Napoleon, in terms which I could not but have
contradicted, as it was but too probable that he would express
himself, might it not turn out that I had irritated and indisposed,
instead of conciliating, him? This latter consideration had chiefly
led to my determination not to seek for an audience, which presented
so many objections and offered but a single advantage, and that one
personal to me, viz., the signal favour of seeing the first of
monarchs, and of conversing with him of whom Napoleon had said on his
rock; “If I die here, he will be my heir in Europe.”

Besides, the Emperor Alexander knew that I was at Frankfort. I was
told that he had mentioned it in one of his circles, and I was almost
certain that he had been spoken to about me. The circumstance from
which I obtained this information is singular enough to be mentioned
here. My room at the hotel where I had alighted happened to be next to
that of one of his generals, who possessed his intimate confidence,
and who was admitted into his presence at all times. The second or
third evening after my arrival, the master of the hotel came into my
room to inform me that the General was ready to receive me, and that
he would have much pleasure in granting me the interview which I had
asked for. In the first moment of surprise, my immediate answer was to
bid him go and say it was a mistake; but, suddenly reflecting that
this was, perhaps, a fortunate circumstance, brought about by the
intervention of Providence, I ran after the man who was already
delivering his message, and explained myself from the door of the
apartment, that there was probably some error, since I had not the
honour of asking such a favour; upon which the General ran towards me,
as if to detain me, and dismissing his Aide-de-camp, said to me, with
an air of affability and politeness, that, whether it was through
mistake or not, he should be happy to avail himself of this
opportunity to become acquainted, and have some conversation with me.
And we then had a very long conversation together, and, as it will be
easily believed, wholly relating to St. Helena.

I had only come to Frankfort to deposit, in due form, all my documents
in the respective legations, and that done, I returned immediately to
Manheim, in order to escape from the bustle and from the intrigues of
Frankfort. Several persons came thither and offered to serve me at the
Congress, assuring me that their services might be of very great
importance, and proposing to become very zealous agents in my cause.
For this assistance I should of course have been obliged to pay very
largely, and it has been seen that I had scarcely wherewith to supply
the first wants of him for the uncertain interests of whom large sums
were demanded of me. During the sitting of the Congress, and whilst I
was waiting in the hope of a favourable decision from the Sovereigns,
I was destined to receive, even in my solitude at Manheim, fresh
proofs of the perverseness of Sir Hudson Lowe, and of the ill
treatment which he continued to inflict upon his victims. An
unfortunate gunner of an East Indiaman found me out at Manheim, and
about the same time I received a large packet from General Bertrand.
The history of the gunner and of all the vexations to which he was
exposed from the Governor and his confidents, for having been the
bearer of a bust of young Napoleon, from which he hoped to derive some
advantage, by offering it at Longwood, is detailed at some length in
Mr. O’Meara’s work. This bust, which the Governor had at first
intended to throw into the sea, and the existence of which he
afterwards attempted to conceal by taking possession of it, under
pretence of making a present of it to Napoleon himself, was, however,
at last sent to Longwood, in consequence of the expression of public
indignation; and Count Bertrand sent to the gunner, as well for the
value of the bust as to indemnify him for all the vexations and losses
which it had occasioned him, one of the bills which I left with him at
my departure, amounting to 300_l._ Count Bertrand, on sending the bill
to the gunner, requested him to acknowledge the receipt of it; but the
poor fellow, so far from being enabled to acknowledge the receipt of
the bill, had not even heard of Count Bertrand’s Letter, and had been
obliged to pursue his voyage to India, after having delivered the
bust, with the following verbal information given to him by Sir Hudson
Lowe: “That the people of Longwood had destined some gratuity for him,
and that he would hear of it in the course of time.” On his return
from India, the unfortunate gunner was not allowed to go on shore
during the whole time the ship stayed at St. Helena, and he was merely
told once more that what had been mentioned to him concerning his
interests was at the Admiralty in London. When he reached England, he
at last, upon inquiry, got the bill; and it was the first time he had
heard of it; but upwards of eighteen months had elapsed; the persons
on whom it was drawn no longer had the necessary funds, and he was
obliged to leave London with the melancholy persuasion that he had
lost both his bust and his money. This gunner was an inhabitant of
Dalmatia, and was going through Germany on his return home, by way of
Trieste, when he heard, by the greatest chance in the world, at
Frankfort, that he should find at Manheim the drawer of the bill which
he held; he therefore came to me, and his joy was as lively as his
imprecations against Sir Hudson Lowe were abundant, on receiving that
sum which, as he said, was a little fortune to him, and would render
him happy for the remainder of his life.

The large packet which I received from the Grand Marshal consisted of
a long letter from him, written by order of the Emperor, and of sundry
authentic documents which had arrived out of the regular channel. But,
to my great surprise, the very day when I received that letter, I read
its contents in the Netherland newspapers, as extracted and
re-translated from the English papers. Guessing what had been the
intentions at Longwood, I nevertheless sent an official copy of that
letter to Lord Liverpool, as will be seen presently. I insert here all
those documents, because Count Bertrand’s letter, giving a rather
detailed account of the ill treatment which the Emperor experienced
from the moment I had left him, lays before the reader a further
period of eighteen months of the history of Longwood. Some of these
documents, besides, have postscripts in Napoleon’s own hand-writing,
and are too remarkable to be left unnoticed.


MY LORD,—I have this instant received a long letter from Count
Bertrand; and at the same moment, to my great surprise, have seen that
letter printed in the _Vrai Liberal_, of Brussels, re-translated from
the _Morning Chronicle_ of London.

To inform your Lordship how that has happened is beyond my power; but
I can assure you, with great truth, that it is without my
participation, and that I sincerely regret the circumstance. I can
only explain it by supposing that one of your countrymen only
consented to take charge of the packet from Longwood, upon condition
of receiving it open, and being assured that it concerned the honour
of his country; and that, on his arrival in London, he communicated
its contents to the public, and forwarded it to me at the same time.
Things would not have been so, my Lord, if, agreeably to my continued
solicitations, I had obtained permission to reside in England.
Persuaded as I am, and as Count Bertrand seems to suspect, that the
atrocious vexations and the indignities which are daily inflicted upon
Longwood may be unknown to the Administration, it would have been to
you, my Lord, who are at the head of that Administration, and to you
alone, that I should immediately have applied to inform you of such
unheard-of grievances; thus furnishing you with the means, and leaving
to you the merit, of redressing them.

I entreat your Lordship to believe that it would have been only after
I had in vain exhausted every step required by decorum, after I had,
in vain, applied, in the order of their rank, to the different
authorities, that I should have adopted the extreme measure of
addressing myself at last to public opinion, which will only be
appealed to and pronounced in the last instance. I gave a proof of
this disposition, my Lord, when, after eight months of absolute
silence on the part of Lord Bathurst, to the statement which I
addressed to his Lordship of various grievances, of which I had the
honour of asking redress at his hands, and which I should, at least,
have been justified in publishing, I did not however do so, until some
ill-timed observations of one of your Members of the House of Commons
rendered it a matter of positive necessity. I gave a proof of it, my
Lord, at the period of the earnest entreaties which my heart prompted
me to make at Aix-la-Chapelle, when I carefully transmitted to Lord
Castlereagh himself a copy of the solicitations and complaints which I
respectfully laid at the feet of the Allied Sovereigns. Lastly, my
Lord, it is to give, as much as lies in my power, an additional proof
of that disposition, that I hastily cause a copy to be made of the
letter of Count Bertrand, in order that your Lordship may possess
direct and authentic knowledge of that document, and lay it before his
Royal Highness the Prince Regent.

A prey to bodily sufferings, caused by the insalubrious climate of St.
Helena, as well as to the moral sufferings by which my separation was
aggravated; the deplorable state of my health is such that every kind
of application is forbidden to me by the faculty. I cannot, therefore,
add any thing to the letter, of which I have the honour of addressing
you a copy. Besides, what commentary could equal the bare recital of
the facts which it contains?

I have the honour to be, with the highest consideration, my Lord, &c.

P. S.—After having addressed your Lordship on the subject of interests
of so high and sacred an importance, may I be allowed to take
advantage of the opportunity thus naturally afforded to descend to the
consideration of objects that are merely personal to me?

Am I not to expect any redress, or to obtain any answer concerning the
numerous grievances of which I have complained? Am I, above all, to
continue to be deprived of the papers which have now been detained at
St. Helena two years, notwithstanding the many protestations which I
made to Sir Hudson Lowe himself; notwithstanding the letter which I
had the honour of addressing to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent,
on that subject, from the Cape of Good Hope; the letter which I wrote
to one of your colleagues from the same place, and on the same
subject; and, lastly, notwithstanding the letter which I addressed to
Lord Bathurst from Frankfort? Can this obstinate and absolute silence,
to demands so just and so often reiterated, be intended as a formal
denial of justice? I cannot believe it, my Lord. I know the power and
superiority of your laws, and the respect which every Englishman is
bound to shew to them, whatever his rank or situation in life may be;
and I must therefore suppose that the fault lies with me, who, not
knowing how to act, transgress, in all probability, the established
rules and formalities. But, in that case, my Lord, would it not be
proper, just, and considerate, to inform me of those rules, or even to
dispense with them?—My Lord, I demand that favour of your generosity.
Those papers, which I allowed Sir Hudson Lowe to peruse at the time,
are, from their nature, entirely foreign to the object of the custody
of your prisoner; they cannot be of any importance to you in that
point of view; and to me they are dear and invaluable beyond all


MY DEAR LAS CASES,—I received, on the 7th of June, the letter which
you did me the honour to write to me on the 15th of January last; and
I have since then received, on the 13th of this month, your letters of
15th February, 15th March, and 15th April;[39] the contents of which I
have communicated to the Emperor, and which have determined him to
desire me to write to you. I received, four months ago, a box of books
and pamphlets, addressed to me by Mr. Goulburn; and since then, a very
obliging offer to send a picture, which was in the bed-chamber at St.
Cloud, representing the christening of little Napoleon. Mr. Henry
Goulburn had been kind enough to bargain with the owner of the picture
for its purchase, and to get the price reduced to half the original
demand. No answer has been returned to that offer, because it has
seemed to form so strange a contrast with what takes place here, that
it has been looked upon as a measure connected with parliamentary
discussions, something like those relative to the wooden house. I have
been much struck by the polite behaviour observed towards you, and by
all you tell me in your last letter.[40]... Can it be, that the
horrible vexations which we are made to experience are not sanctioned
by the English Government, and that the Emperor is dying here a victim
of the individual hatred of the Governor? Governments and Princes may
be so easily deceived that I write this letter under strong feelings
of doubt on the subject.

Footnote 39:

  See those letters in the sequel of these pages.

Footnote 40:

  Experience seems to have proved too clearly that there existed more
  knowledge of mankind at Longwood than in the Frankfort

Things are much altered since your departure in 1817. And in this
year, 1818, the vexations to which the Emperor has been exposed are
such that they must be considered as an attempt against his life. You
will judge by the detail. You must have read in the papers of March
some observations upon the speech of Lord Bathurst. But things have
grown considerably worse since then; and the hatred of the Governor of
this Island has known no bounds.

When you left us, the Emperor had renounced riding, in order to avoid
the snares laid, and the affronts intended, for him, by causing him to
be insulted by the sentries. He has since been obliged to give up
walking, in order to avoid the same inconveniences. During the months
of March and April, the Emperor went out sometimes to call upon my
wife, and sometimes he would sit upon a certain bench, which you know,
about fifty paces from the house, and where he would stay half an hour
or an hour. But means have been found to prevent him from doing that,
and to oblige him to confine himself strictly to the house. They knew
that this was not very difficult. A soldier of the 66th regiment was
placed as gardener, and a serjeant had been stationed at my house.
Both were very useful, either in rooting out weeds, which might poison
the air, for no garden can exist in such a situation; or in repairing
the house, which is in a ruinous state, and admits water whenever it
rains. That arrangement appears very rational; but the Governor had
invested these two soldiers with a right to stop whomsoever they
thought proper, even at the doors and under the very windows of the
Emperor. From that moment he has not stirred out of the house, and one
hundred days have now elapsed since he has even put his head outside
of a window.

This climate, this absolute want of exercise, added to the badness of
the habitation, have affected his health to such a degree that you
would not recognise him. Since the end of September, 1817, he has had
the first symptoms of a chronic hepatitis, which, as you know, is
mortal in this country. He had to attend on him the worthy O’Meara, in
whom, you know, he has confidence; but, in the month of April, at the
moment when he was most in want of his attention, Sir Hudson Lowe
obliged him to tender his resignation, wishing to force the Emperor to
have Baxter, whom you also know. The Emperor has refused to see any
doctor; from the 10th April to the 10th May, he had none. At last, the
Russian and Austrian Commissioners, indignant at this treatment,
informed the Governor that, if the Emperor were to die under these
circumstances, they themselves should not know what to say, should an
opinion prevail in Europe that he had been murdered. This seems to
have determined the Governor to reinstate the Doctor; but he has
subjected him to every species of ill treatment. He attempted to get
him expelled from the mess of the 66th regiment; and, as these brave
officers refused to share in so arbitrary an act, he himself caused an
order to be given to the Doctor, through the Colonel, to cease to dine
with the officers of the 66th. He has written to London, and it is
probable that O’Meara will be sent away. The Emperor will not,
however, receive any other Doctor; and if the Prince Regent, or Lord
Liverpool, do not take cognizance of the fact, he will die here of his
disease, deprived of even the assistance of his physician. The Emperor
has, however, been very ill for the last two months. He rises at
eleven o’clock in the morning, and lies down again at two o’clock p.
m. A few days ago, he experienced a very violent crisis, produced by
the mercury which Dr. O’Meara administered to him for a liver
complaint. Dr. O’Meara, alarmed at his responsibility, proposed to me
to send for Mr. Baxter and the surgeon of the Conqueror; they are the
two first medical men here. You know the dislike which the Emperor had
to Mr. Baxter, founded upon his having been formerly Staff-surgeon of
the Italian division commanded by Sir Hudson Lowe. That dislike has
much encreased since, in consequence of his having lent himself,

from October, 1817, to March, 1818, to the production of bulletins
filled with falsehoods, and which have deceived his Government and all
Europe. But the Emperor did not see any inconvenience in O’Meara’s
calling in Mr. Stokoe, although he did not much like it; and that
gentleman consequently came to Longwood at three o’clock in the
afternoon of the same day, but would not go into the Emperor’s
apartment, fearing lest he should compromise his responsibility, and
lose a situation obtained after forty years’ service. This appeared to
me so extraordinary that I would not believe it. I therefore spoke to
him, and he expressed his regret at not being able to comply with our
wishes; for he is a very respectable man. His refusal is, however,
easily explained; it proceeded from a hint that had been given to him,
in the same manner as had been done to Cole, the banker, whom you
know. Having some money matters to settle with him, I sent for him;
but, on arriving at my house, he declared that he could not speak to
me but in presence of the officer on duty, because he should be ruined
if he did. Of course I refused. The same thing happened, a few days
since, with a Mr. Fowler, arrived from England, with whom I had an
account of a few hundred pounds to settle, for clothes ordered in
London. It is true that you are not acquainted with the situation in
which we are now placed, and which cannot be compared to what it was
in your time. It was even then sufficiently unpleasant; and, knowing
the Emperor as you do, you ought to have strenuously opposed the idea
of any member of his family coming out hither. The spectacle of the
humiliations, the vexations, and the hatred to which he is exposed,
would be altogether unbearable for him, if his mother or any of his
brothers were to share in it. Even to Count Montholon and myself, who
are now the only two with him, he has often said that he wished us to
quit St. Helena, to free ourselves from such a treatment, and to leave
him alone; and that his agony would be less bitter if he did not see
us share in it. You know that the officers had long since discontinued
to come to my house; but, when we met them on the road, they would
very politely stop and speak to my wife; this has now been forbidden
to them, not in writing, it is true, but by hints; so that it has
often happened that when they have seen us at a distance they have
gone out of the road.

Things have come to such a pass that our dirty linen remains several
days, to be examined by the Captain on duty, and sometimes by the
Staff; a most indecent proceeding, and most dishonourable for them,
but the object of which is to degrade and insult us.

In the month of June 1816, a store-ship brought out a marble bust of
young Napoleon: Sir Hudson Lowe ordered the bust to be thrown into the
sea. This he has since denied; but we have the fact judicially
attested; for the act disgusted Lady Malcolm, who was still at St.
Helena, as well as all the captains of store-ships that were on the

Since that time, in February last, the Cambridge store-ship brought
out two prints of young Napoleon, which had been bought in London: Sir
Hudson Lowe purchased them under pretence of presenting them to the
Father, and when the officers heard, a month afterwards, that it was,
on the contrary, to keep them from him, they could not contain their
indignation that an Englishman should have been guilty of such

The British Government cannot be ignorant of all these proceedings. If
what the Emperor said here to Lord Amherst has been repeated in
London, if Captain Poppleton, whom you know, and who was the officer
on duty during two years, has been questioned, if Colonel Nichols of
the 66th regiment, and Colonel Fehrzen of the 53d regiment have been
questioned, as well as many others, it must be known to what unworthy
treatment we are exposed here.

If there be in Europe some enemies of the Emperor, who would have
approved the conduct of the British Government if they had taken away
Napoleon’s life, openly and publicly, on board of the Bellerophon,
there is not one who will not some day cover with imprecations and
opprobrium and disown those who adopt such cowardly means to attain
that end.

How are we to reconcile all this with what you write to me? perhaps by
the supposition of a correspondence filled with falsehoods, and
artfully managed. However, we on our side have for the last two years
complained openly and loudly; and the criminal conduct pursued here
must be known in London,

You will be surprised to hear me speak of the French, Austrian, and
Russian Commissioners who are here. We never saw them during the time
you were with us, and to this day they have not yet seen the Emperor
nor called upon us. But we have frequently met them on the roads
within our limits, which is a way of seeing each other sufficiently
ridiculous. Though the Emperor does not acknowledge them as
Commissioners, he has never refused to receive them as strangers.

With respect to the Governor, the Emperor has not seen him since the
month of April, 1816: you are aware of the reasons which induced him
not to receive him, after the insults which the Governor had offered

This being the case, if Sir Hudson Lowe seeks to be revenged, such a
proceeding, though inconsistent with a generous mind, can be easily
explained. But how can Government have continued, during two years, to
repose its confidence in a man who has so strangely abused it?

I therefore earnestly request you, in the Emperor’s name, to inform
his family and relations of the situation in which he is placed; and
peremptorily to require that none of them will encrease his sufferings
by coming to share in them.

You tell us that the English Government has subscribed for us to the
Morning Chronicle; but the same thing happens with this paper as with
the Times; it is sent to us after those numbers which it is thought
proper to conceal from us have been previously withdrawn. Thus we have
had some numbers of February and some of March, but all those that it
was their pleasure to withdraw have never been sent to us. Not to have
a regular series of a newspaper is worse than to have none.

How could any book be sent to us, since, as soon as a store-ship comes
out, the Governor immediately purchases all the books they have
brought out, particularly French books, in order to prevent our buying

With respect to the pamphlets, which you announce as sent to us, we
only received one box of them on the 12th March, from which we
conclude that probably the remainder have been kept.

I have read this letter to the Emperor, who has approved of its
contents, but has thought that I had very feebly expressed the
baseness of the conduct observed towards him. He desires me to send
you two notes written by himself, which will give you the whole of his
opinion respecting the officer to whom the superintendence of this
country has been intrusted. The calomel which the Emperor has taken
has not hitherto had any beneficial effect on the liver, and has
produced other ailments.

Accept, my dear Las Cases, the assurance of affectionate feelings
which I entertain towards you.

                                                       COUNT BERTRAND.

P. S. During the few days that have elapsed since this letter was
written, many things have happened which will prove to you that our
situation, far from improving, as you seem to suppose, is daily
growing worse.

You know that Captain Mackey of the 53d regiment, had been succeeded
at Longwood, as officer on duty, by Captain Poppleton of the same
regiment, and that Poppleton, at his departure, had been succeeded by
Captain Blackeney of the 66th, who, like his predecessors, enjoyed a
most excellent reputation in his regiment. This latter officer already
thought, on the first days after his arrival, that the Governor
required of him some acts unworthy of a man of honour; but as the
number of those objectionable acts had greatly increased since that
time, he at last ardently longed for the expiration of his year of
service in that degrading post, in order to have nothing more to do
with it. It is known that he declared confidentially to his friends in
the regiment, that it was impossible for a man of honour to continue
in that post without losing his own esteem. It may be also that Sir
Hudson Lowe was not satisfied with the avowed sentiments of Captain
Blackeney; be that as it may, on the 20th of this month, an officer
who had been sent out to take the command of the militia, and whose
former connexion with Sir Hudson Lowe is known to you, the only one
out of the whole of the Governor’s staff whom the Emperor refused to
see, came to instal himself as officer on duty, and with him, under
various pretences, another officer, so that we had two instead of one.
It appears that some rooms and articles belonging to Government, which
had been given in common between the officer on duty and Doctor
O’Meara, have occasioned some violent contentions between them.

On the 22nd I sent the protest marked A[41] to the Governor, who sent
me a challenge by the officer alluded to. It was beneath my character
and my situation to provoke Sir Hudson Lowe, but on this occasion I
thought proper to address to him the letter marked B.[41]

On the 24th, he sent Dr. O’Meara away from Longwood, by virtue, he
said, of an order from Lord Bathurst, as you will see by the
Governor’s letter to Count Montholon, marked C.[41] to which Count
Montholon answered by the letter marked D.[41]

Footnote 41:

  See these letters in the following pages.

Doctor O’Meara, you know, was attached to the Emperor, instead of his
own physician, by a decision of the Council, and in consequence of a
special demand to that effect, addressed by me to Admiral Keith; he
could not therefore be taken away from the Emperor, but by an order in
Council. If such an order exists, why are we not made acquainted with
it? Certainly neither the Council nor Lord Bathurst would have removed
from the Emperor the physician of his own choice, without having
previously supplied his place by another, in whom the Emperor had
confidence; they would have felt the responsibility attached to such a

But if even there had been an order in Council, it would not justify
the Governor; for that order, given under ordinary circumstances,
could not be carried into execution at the moment when the Emperor was
seriously indisposed. It never can have been intended that his
physician should be taken from him amidst his attendance in the case
of a disease of so serious a nature, and which threatens his
existence; particularly as since the month of April it has been
demanded that if it were intended to take Dr. O’Meara away from him,
another physician should be sent out from Europe in his stead, in whom
the Emperor has confidence. The answer to this demand must arrive
before three months are elapsed.

I conclude, my dear Las Cases: my heart is broken.


            HUDSON LOWE’S LETTER, DATED 18th NOVEMBER, 1817.

This letter, and the letters dated 24th July and 26th October last,
are filled with falsehoods. I have shut myself up in my apartment for
eighteen months, in order to shelter myself from the insults of this
officer. My health is now impaired, and will no longer allow me to
read such disgusting documents; send me no more of them.

Whether that officer considers himself authorized by verbal and secret
instructions from his minister, as he has given us to understand that
he does, or whether he acts of his own accord, which might be inferred
from the care which he takes to act with disguise, I cannot treat him
but as my assassin.

Had they sent out to this country a man of honour, not only I should
have experienced fewer vexations, but they would have saved themselves
many reproaches from Europe and history, which the farrago of writing
of this crafty man will not deceive.


_Longwood_, 23d November, 1817.


1.—I TOLD you yesterday, when you presented this letter to me, that I
would not know its contents, and that you were not to translate it to
me, since it is not conformable to the forms adopted for the last
three years.

2.—This fresh insult only dishonours that coxcomb. The King of England
alone can treat with me on a footing of equality.

3.—This crafty line of conduct has however an object: to prevent you
from disclosing _the criminal plot which has been carried on for the
last two years against my life_.

4.—It is thus that, while they appear to open a channel for
complaints, they in fact close every avenue.

5.—Thus, with the appearance of a wish to provide me with a house, and
after announcing a building for the last three years, I am however
still in this unhealthy barn, and no building is begun.

6.—It is thus that, whilst it appears that I am at liberty to ride on
horseback, indirect means are resorted to to prevent me from doing so
and from taking exercise; the want of which is the primary cause of my

7.—The same means are resorted to, to prevent me from receiving any
visit. It is necessary for them to veil themselves in darkness.

8.—It is thus that, after having attacked my physician, after having
obliged him to tender his resignation, not wishing to be a passive
instrument and deprived of all moral independence, he is nevertheless
kept under arrest at Longwood, in order that it may be believed that I
have the benefit of his attendance, when it is well known that I will
not see him, that I have not seen him for the last fortnight, that I
never will see him as long as he is not set at liberty, and freed from
the oppression under which he is placed, and until he has regained his
moral independence in what concerns the exercise of his functions.

9.—It is thus that a false representation is made by causing bulletins
to be issued by a physician who has never seen me, and does not know
the state in which I am, nor the disease with which I am affected; but
that does very well to deceive the Prince and the people of England
and Europe.

10.—A ferocious joy is manifested at the aggravation of sufferings
which this privation of medical assistance adds to my protracted

11.—Demand that this note be sent to Lord Liverpool, as also your
letter of yesterday, and of 13th and 14th April, in order that the
Prince Regent may know my murderer, and may cause him to be brought to
public punishment.

12.—If he does not, _I bequeath the opprobrium of my death_ to the
reigning House of England.


_Longwood, 27th April, 1818._

                         THE 22d JULY, 1818.

In the name of the Emperor Napoleon, I am enjoined to protest,

1.—Against all violation of our enclosure by servants, workmen or
others, whom you would secretly invest with public authority.

2.—Against the insults offered to Dr. O’Meara to compel him to leave
this place, and against the obstructions, either public or secret,
which you have opposed or may oppose to Napoleon’s being assisted in
his illness by the advice of some medical officer in whom he may have
confidence, who may be accredited in the service of his Britannic
Majesty, or known to practise publicly in the island.

3.—Against all testimonies, reports and writings of the militia
officer Hyster, who is only placed at Longwood to be an instrument of
hatred and vengeance.

                                                       COUNT BERTRAND.

            Document B. TO THE GOVERNOR, SIR HUDSON LOWE.

                                           _Longwood, 23d July, 1818._

SIR,—I have the honour to transmit to you a letter which I have just
received. The old man appears to me to be out of his senses. He can
have no knowledge of my official correspondence but by your orders. I
have not answered him, and shall not do so. He is only a subordinate
agent, and if his principal, a general officer, wishes to demand
satisfaction of me, I am ready to grant it.

                          I have the honour to be,

                                                       COUNT BERTRAND.


                                  _Plantation House, 25th July, 1818._

SIR,—I do myself the honour to state to you, for the information of
Napoleon Bonaparte, that agreeably to the instructions which I have
received from Lord Bathurst, dated 16th May, 1818, I am directed to
remove Mr. O’Meara from his situation near the person of Napoleon
Bonaparte, and that I have accordingly given orders for him to leave
Longwood immediately. Rear Admiral Plampin has received, at the same
time, instructions from the Lords of the Admiralty to remove him from
this island. Lord Bathurst’s instructions further direct that, after
Mr. O’Meara’s departure, I am to order Dr. Baxter to attend upon
Napoleon Bonaparte, as physician, whenever he is requested to do so;
and that I am to inform him that he is to consider the health of
Napoleon Bonaparte as the chief object of his attention. On
communicating this arrangement, I am strictly enjoined to state, at
the same time, that if Napoleon Bonaparte has any reason not to be
satisfied with the medical attendance of Dr. Baxter, or if he prefers
any other physician of this Island, I am quite ready to acquiesce in
his wishes in that respect, and to allow any other medical
practitioner whom he may select to attend upon him, provided he
strictly conform to the rules established and now in force.

Having given Dr. O’Meara the orders for his departure, I have
furnished Mr. Baxter with the necessary instructions, and he will be
ready to repair to Longwood at the first summons. In the meantime,
until I am informed of the wishes of Napoleon Bonaparte on this
subject, I shall order a medical officer to be stationed at Longwood,
to be ready in case of emergency.

                      I have the honour to be, &c.

                                              HUDSON LOWE, Lieut.-Gen.


SIR,—Dr. O’Meara quitted Longwood yesterday, being compelled to leave
his patient in the midst of the course of medicine which he was
prescribing for him; that course has ceased this morning. From this
morning a great crime is in progress!!! Nothing remains to be added to
Count Bertrand’s letters of the 13th, 24th, 26th and 27th April last.
The Emperor will never receive any other physician than Mr. O’Meara,
because he is the physician attached to him, or than the one who may
be sent from Europe to him, in conformity with the letter of the 13th
of August, which has been already mentioned.

I have communicated the letter you addressed to me yesterday. What I
have now the honour of writing to you is the substance of the reply I
have been desired to transmit.

                                             I have, &c.

                                                    COUNT MONTHOLON.


Footnote 42:

  We have thought it right to insert here this letter, because it
  affords additional details respecting the interior of Longwood, and
  adds new features to all that has been said of its real situation.

MY LORD,—The Sieur Cypriani, the Emperor’s steward, died at Longwood,
on the 27th of February last, at four in the afternoon. He was
interred in the Protestant burial-ground of this island, and the
ministers of their church have observed on this occasion the same
rites that they would have performed for one of their own persuasion.
Care has been taken that, in the extract from the register of deaths
which I shall send to you, though this paragraph of my letter might
answer the purpose, it should be stated that he died in the bosom of
the Roman Catholic church. The minister of the church of this country
would willingly have attended the deceased on his death-bed; but the
latter was anxious for a Catholic priest; and, as we have none, he
appeared to have no wish to see a clergyman of any other religion. I
should be glad if you would let us know what is the law of the
Catholic church upon this point, and whether a Catholic on his
death-bed may be attended by a minister of the church of England. We
cannot, however, sufficiently praise the proper feeling and the zeal
which were evinced on the present occasion by the clergy of the
island. Cypriani died of an inflammation in the bowels. He expired on
a Friday, and had attended his duties on the preceding Sunday without
having any presentiment of his approaching end. A child of one of
Count Montholon’s servants had died at Longwood a few days before. A
waiting-woman died some days ago of the same complaint. Such is the
effect of this unhealthy climate, in which few live to old age. Liver
complaints, dysentery, and inflammations in the bowels, carry off many
of the natives, but a still greater number of Europeans. We felt upon
this occasion, as we feel every day, the want of a minister of our own
persuasion. As you are our bishop, we wish you would send us out one,
either a Frenchman or an Italian. You will, in that case, select a man
of education, under forty years of age, and especially of a mild
disposition, and not imbued with antigallican principles.

The steward’s duty has devolved upon Mr. Pierron, of the household,
but he has been very ill; and, though convalescent, is still in a bad
state of health. The cook is in a similar condition. It would be,
therefore, necessary that either you, or Prince Eugene, or the
Empress, should send out a steward and a French or an Italian cook,
taken from amongst those who have been in the Emperor’s service, or
who may still be in the service of his family.

Your Eminence will find annexed: 1.—The papers found in M. Cypriani’s
portfolio; 2.—A brooch which he was in the habit of wearing, and which
I have thought it right to send home for his wife; 3.—An account of
all that is coming to him, amounting to 8,287 francs, or 345_l._ 5_s._
10_d._ sterling; 4.—A bill of exchange in favour of his heirs, for the
settlement of that account. The Emperor, knowing that his son is under
your care, and that his daughter is with Madame, only delays securing
an annuity to both his children, until he shall have been informed of
the fortune left by Cypriani, who appears to have funds in Genoa to a
rather considerable amount.

I will not afflict you by dwelling upon the state of the Emperor’s
health, which is not satisfactory. It has not, however, become worse
since the hot weather. I hope you will keep these details concealed
from Madame. Give no credit to the false reports that may be
circulated in Europe. Consider as the only fact that may be relied on
that for these twenty-two months past the Emperor has only quitted his
apartment occasionally, though very seldom, in order to pay a visit to
my wife. He has hardly seen any one, unless it be two or three
Frenchmen who are here, and the English Ambassador to China.

I beg that your Eminence will present my respects to Madame, and to
the individuals of her family, and accept the homage of the sentiments
with which I have the honour to be, &c.

                                                       COUNT BERTRAND.

                          COUNT BERTRAND.[43]

I am going to devote to you the first moment that I can command. It is
now upwards of a year since I quitted Longwood; and during that time,
what troubles, what cares, what misfortunes of every kind have I not
had to contend with!!! I leave it to the newspapers to give you an
account of my tribulations. I shall avoid in my letters every
expression, every subject, that might afford a pretext for their being
withheld from you. I will promote, by all means in my power, the only
object I have in view, which is that you should receive from me the
proofs of a devotedness that will occupy every instant of the
remainder of my life. I have but too present to my mind the
consolation and happiness that I derived, when in your company, from
European recollections, not to give all my attention to the object of
procuring you that kind of consolation: Oh, my dear companions! who
will henceforth engross my thoughts of every day, and of every moment!
I am, therefore, writing to you on the first instant of freedom that I
enjoy from personal restraint; and regularly every month, on the same
day, I shall at least give you this token of my incessant anxiety for
you. Obstacles, perhaps, over which I shall have no control, may
prevent your receiving my letters; but, as far as regards me, death
alone can make me fail in my promise; and here I appeal to the
feelings of those who, being intrusted with the censorship of my
letters, might fancy that they found in their expressions some motives
for intercepting them. I beseech them to let me know of any
involuntary deviations on my part that might appear reprehensible to
them, in order that I may avoid them for the future. The necessity and
the consolation of domestic sentiments cannot be prohibited by public
morality: and such are the only sentiments which I shall endeavour to
gratify in writing to you.

I have just obtained in Austria the asylum which I demanded, as soon
as I found that my liberty was in danger. I shall repair to Lintz so
soon as the wretched state of my health will allow me to undertake the
journey. The headaches which first attacked me at the Cape are daily
encreasing in violence, and give me much uneasiness. I shall avail
myself of the free intercourse which is henceforth allowed me, in
order to procure some exact information respecting all those that may
be dear to you. To-day I can only give you such information as I have
been able to collect indirectly.

My wife, who, by the greatest good fortune, was refused permission to
go out to St. Helena, at the very moment when I was leaving it, and
who came to meet me upon the road, where I was carried about like a
bale of goods, is now on her return to Paris, whence she will bring
back the rest of my children. She will enable me to afford you some
details in my next letter concerning your family, and those of
Montholon and of Gourgaud.

I have been able to ascertain that H.M. Maria Louisa enjoyed excellent
health in Parma, and that nothing can exceed the health and beauty of
her son, who is at Schœnbrunn. The Countess de Survilliers is
detained here by the very infirm state of her health; she occasionally
receives news from her husband, who is quite well, in America. Both
her daughters are also well. The eldest bears a striking resemblance
to the august head of the family. Princess Borghese, Madame, the
Emperor’s mother, Prince Canino, Cardinal Fesch, and Prince Louis, are
at Rome, and in the enjoyment of excellent health; the remainder of
the family, Princess Eliza, Count de Montfort, and Princess Murat,
reside in various parts of Austria. I hope that in time I shall be
able to send you more direct and positive details. I feel the most
bitter regret that I was not able to land and fix my abode in England.
I am deprived of the means of procuring and sending immediately
whatever I might have thought calculated to afford you some trifling
diversion upon your horrible rock. This is a religious duty imposed
upon me, which I have solicited, and shall continue every day to
solicit, the British Ministers to allow me to fulfil. My constant
endeavours to persuade them upon that point will not allow me to
despair of success. Nevertheless, however far I may be from the spot,
I shall not fail to attain so sacred an object by the assistance of
some intermediate person; only you will receive the results of my
cares and of my efforts in a less complete manner, and at a later

Be careful all of you of your health; live for the consolation, the
affection, the happiness, and the wishes of those who admire and love

I received, upon my arrival at Dover, a letter from you, dated the 22d
July, and one of the 29th from Sir Hudson Lowe. They acquainted me
with what was unknown to me until then, that you had received the few
articles I had sent to Longwood from the Cape; that you had received
the document which was handed to me by you, and which I had returned,
respecting the money which at my departure I had presumed to lay at
the feet of the Emperor, and of which I was so happy as to procure the
acceptance. Sir Hudson Lowe informs me that all the bills relating to
this affair, which I had left in your hands, have been negotiated. I
hope they have been duly honoured. I know not yet myself the state of
my affairs. I have not yet had it in my power to write a single line
to my agent in London, or to receive any news from him.

I regret much that T have not in my power, and at my command, the
narrative of the campaigns of Italy. That distant epoch, already
removed from the politics of the present day, possesses henceforth all
the merit of history. It is anxiously wished for. Science and the
contemporaries of that period claim it. I should deem myself fortunate
if that work were confided to my care; and in case you should procure
that favour for me, I shall instantly take the means of availing
myself of it without delay, by at once inquiring in London, what are
the previous formalities that would be required, both in England and
at St. Helena, in order that I might receive that manuscript. I shall
request that the reply to me may be likewise transmitted to Sir H.
Lowe, in order that you may judge whether there would be no objection
on your part to do what might be required of you.

Write to me dear General, in your turn, by every opportunity; give me
all the commissions that may occur to your mind, whether serious or
trifling, easy or difficult, it matters not. Be persuaded, and
constantly bear in mind, that I live only for you and through you all.
My body alone has left your rock.

                                                   COUNT DE LAS CASES.

Footnote 43:

  It has been thought necessary to introduce here the following
  letters of Count de Las Cases; 1.—Because they are alluded to in the
  preceding letter from Count Bertrand, and help to complete the sense
  and understanding of it; 2.—Because they evince the candour and good
  faith with which this correspondence with Longwood was carried on;
  3.—In short, because they enable the reader to give its due value to
  the extraordinary assertion of Mr. Goulburn, who, whilst he received
  these letters, and acknowledged with courtesy the receipt of them,
  nevertheless ventured to affirm in the House of Commons, on a
  certain occasion, that the author’s expressions were always clothed
  in language admitting of a twofold interpretation. How can a man of
  candour, such as the person to whom the aforesaid letters were
  addressed, who had received, and must have read my letter to Lord
  Bathurst particularly, take upon himself to assert that the author’s
  expressions were always given in language that admitted of a double
  interpretation? Surely, Mr. Goulburn must be very fastidious in
  point of explicit and positive meaning, or else he does not
  understand French. But has he read? Has he misunderstood? Did he
  wish to misunderstand, and, in imitation of Lord Bathurst, may he
  not, like his noble patron, on the occasion of his famous denials to
  Lord Holland in the House of Peers, have founded his arguments not
  upon what really existed, but upon what appeared to his advantage?
  The communication of these letters is made chiefly from the
  necessity of enabling every one to judge of the degree of credit
  which is due to Mr. Goulburn’s assertion. That they were not
  intended to be made public is sufficiently evident from the careless
  and unaffected style in which they are written.

                            COUNT BERTRAND.

                                           _Frankfort, 26 Jan., 1818._

Faithful to my promise, I write to you after the lapse of one month,
and on the same day on which my first letter was dated. I have at
heart to record the identical date, so that you may depend upon its
never being passed over without my addressing you. Some passages,
however, in my letter may perhaps be written subsequently to its date,
owing to the silence of Madame de Las Cases, whose letters I was in
daily expectation of receiving from Paris. It is now about a month
since she left me. She proposed calling upon all your relations, and
upon those of Generals Gourgaud and Montholon. She was to send me the
most circumstantial details respecting them. To my great surprise, I
have not heard from her, and as I do not wish to delay any longer
writing to you, I am under the necessity of postponing till next month
all the particulars, which I am quite certain she will have collected
with as much zeal and as much care as I could have done myself.

I have the satisfaction to know that my first letter has been
forwarded to you: I had enclosed it in one to Mr. Goulburn; his answer
has just reached me. I acknowledge with real pleasure that it is
filled with expressions of kind consideration, and is in all respects
satisfactory; this leads me to hope that what had hitherto taken place
proceeded from mutual misunderstanding.

He assures me of the readiness that will exist at all times to forward
my letters to you, so long as they shall be of the same nature as the
first, and not liable to any greater objections. He adds that,
conformably to my request, the books and pamphlets I may point out
will be sent to you. He offers to procure them, and to superintend
himself their regular transmission, taking care to remit to me from
time to time a note of their cost, in order that I may settle the
amount. He informs me that in case the Emperor shall think proper to
confide to me the _Campaigns in Italy_, Sir Hudson Lowe is forthwith
to receive instructions to transmit it to England, whence it will be
forwarded and delivered to me in the manner that may be desired at
Longwood, after taking such cognizance of it as may be deemed
necessary. Lastly, he apprizes me that my papers which were seized in
the Thames had been instantly sent back to me unopened; and that if I
had not yet received them, which is still the case, accident alone
could have occasioned the delay.

I am therefore in hopes that you will receive some publications with
this very letter. I am unfortunately at a great distance and
unpleasantly situated for selecting them, and for procuring them while
new; but I will immediately write to London to remedy this
inconvenience. I likewise hope that by the same opportunity I may be
able to send you many things of which you stand in need, or that may
prove acceptable to you, and others that may be of essential service
to the Emperor’s health.

Her Majesty Maria Louisa is quite well, and still resides in Parma.
Her son, from a late account given by a person who had seen him at a
juvenile ball, is remarkably handsome, and is the delight of all
Vienna. Such were the expressions used. He dances admirably, and is
passionately fond of that amusement.

All the members of the Emperor’s family have evinced the kindest and
most affectionate interest towards me. They have loaded me with offers
and good wishes. I shall fortunately have it in my power to afford you
regular accounts of them every month.

Prince Jerome has caused me to be assured that his offers of service
would know no other bounds than those of _impossibility_. He has given
an asylum near his person to the worthy and virtuous Planat, who,
after our separation on board the _Bellerophon_, was tossed about by
storms, and on the point of perishing on the coast. Princess Hortense
informs me that she has suffered much persecution; but that if the
torments inflicted upon her have originated in the tender and
respectful devotedness which fills her heart, they are a source of
pride and of happiness to her.

Whenever my health will allow me, I go to pay my respects to Princess
Joseph, who is confined to the most absolute retirement, and chiefly
to her bed, by the bad state of her health. We talk of St. Helena. Our
thoughts traverse the seas; those are happy moments for us. Her
daughters are quite well; her husband, from very late accounts, was
likewise well. He had taken under his care two of the Emperor
Napoleon’s servants, whom the British government had thought proper to
retrench from the establishment of Longwood.

Prince Lucien gives me an account of all those of the family who are
assembled in Rome. Madame, Cardinal Fesch, Princess Borghese, and
Prince Louis are all in the enjoyment of good health, and unite in
wishes and prayers for the health and preservation of their august
relative. As for Prince Lucien, he says he is happy in Rome; he has
just provided advantageously for his three daughters. Yet his mind and
his heart are incessantly directed towards St. Helena. He can no
longer reconcile himself to the idea of seeing his brother languishing
and dying in exile. He desires that I will candidly tell him whether
the Emperor would be as happy to see him as he himself would be to
appear before him; and conformably to his desire I write to the
British Government by the courier who bears this letter, to request
they will allow him to proceed to St. Helena, and to reside there a
couple of years or for life, if his brother does not send him away,
with or without his wife and children: his wife wishing to share in
the honour of his exile: and further, to state that he will engage not
to occasion any augmentation of expense, either for himself or for his
suite, and that he will submit to the same restrictions that are
imposed upon his brother, and to any others that it might be thought
proper to impose upon him personally, either before his departure, or
after his return.

I cannot refrain, my dear General, from again requesting you will
ascertain if the Emperor would intrust to me the _Campaigns in Italy_;
you might next forward to me those of Egypt in their turn. They are
both real treasures for the learned world and for history, quite
foreign to the politics of the present day, and consequently not
liable to any objection. I have written to London to convey the
Countess Bertrand’s thanks for the friendly recollections that were so
kindly expressed towards her, and the amiable attentions that were
shewn to her children. If I had had it in my power to remain in
England, I should have endeavoured to find out upon the spot some
articles that I might have thought acceptable to the ladies. At this
distance I can command nothing beyond my good wishes; they are very
sincere towards them and towards you all, my dear companions. The
fatal rock is ever impressed upon my heart.

I am still far from being well: my headaches are daily increasing; the
physicians are at a loss to give an opinion upon the subject. May God
be pleased to preserve my health, for the service and benefit of those
who are dearest to my heart. I embrace you all affectionately. Take
care of yourselves, and may you enjoy good health; it will be my
reward, and the reward of your friends, who love you as I do.

                                                   COUNT DE LAS CASES.

                            COUNT BERTRAND.

                                          _Frankfort, March 15, 1818._

I experience a certain pleasure, my dear General, in writing my third
letter to you, from the thought that my first must now be very near
reaching you. I hope my second is already on its way to St. Helena,
although I am not fortunate enough to be certain of it. A great many
publications were to be sent on at the same time, and I am going to
transmit a note of some others to be sent with the present letter.

I have just heard from my wife, who is on the point of quitting Paris
to come with my children and reside with me. She informs me that she
had seen the family of General Gourgaud, and had given to them all the
details which she had heard from me concerning himself and your
establishment at Longwood. His mother and his sister are both very
well, and send him the assurance of their most affectionate love and
good wishes. Your family, Grand Marshal, was in one of the provinces,
and for some time past no news had been received from them. With
respect to the family of Count Montholon, Madame de Las Cases has not
been fortunate enough to meet with anybody belonging to it. I hope to
be able in my next letter to speak of your friends, notwithstanding
they are away from the capital.

All the members of the Emperor’s family are quite well. I have heard
of every one of them since my last, and shall hear every month, so as
to be able to transmit regular information to you. They all follow him
with their good wishes, and live only for him. Most of them had been
hitherto entirely deprived of any information respecting him, and the
little that I have been enabled to give has therefore proved most
valuable and dear to them. To satisfy their interest and their
affection, which are both natural, I shall request the British
Government, when they receive news from St. Helena, to allow me to
receive the intelligence of the state of the Emperor’s health; it is a
favour which I shall request in the name of a numerous family, and I
hope it will not be refused to the sentiment which dictates it.

Prince Jerome has done me the honour to inform me that the conditions
attached to the permission of corresponding with his august brother,
and his profound veneration for him whom he acknowledges as his second
father, have alone prevented him from having the happiness of writing
to him, and laying his existence at his feet. If the situation of the
Emperor be not improved next year, he proposes to ask permission of
the British Government to go to St. Helena, with his wife and his son,
supposing that such a voyage could not be opposed by any reasonable
objection. The Queen his wife, to whom nothing is foreign that is
noble and elevated, is inspired with the same sentiments, and
expresses the same wishes.

Cardinal Fesch also writes to me in the name of Madame and in his own,
requesting me to observe that, being the only two whose attention is
not divided by individual ties, arising out of the consideration of a
family, and the fear of exposing it to inconveniences, I must apply to
them in preference for every thing that can contribute to alleviate in
any way the horrible situation of the Emperor.

Countess Survilliers, whom I have the honour of seeing very
frequently, and whose wishes are incessantly turned towards St.
Helena, is in a very indifferent state of health. She suffers very
much, and even occasions some uneasiness. The princesses her daughters
are quite well.

I have just received, at last, my papers which had been seized in the
Thames. They have reached me after four months of useless rambling and
of daily privation to me. Fatality alone can have occasioned the
delay, for they have been returned to me unopened.

I long very much to hear from you, and to receive your commissions.
Unfortunately, the distance is so great, and the communications are so
irregular, that I shall have yet to write for some time. Ask me for
every thing you want; until then I am reduced to guess. You will soon
receive that part of the Moniteur which you have not. I write this day
on the subject.

I have at last received a letter from my agent in London. He informs
me that he has honoured my bills, which I am happy to hear. But he
also informs me that he has received besides from you two other bills,
which he has been under the necessity of refusing, for want of advice
or authority from me. I am sorry for this. Since I have left you, I
had not been able to communicate with him. I have immediately answered
his letter, directing him to remedy the evil as far as it lies in his
power. He does not however give me any particulars respecting those

My health is still as indifferent as ever, not to say much worse. I am
quite disheartened by it, and the more so, as the season is getting
very fine, and this circumstance does not however produce any
beneficial change to me. That is the reason why I remain at Frankfort,
being placed in the centre of a great number of mineral springs, to
which the physicians intend to send me.

Receive for yourself, Grand Marshal, and for my dear companions, the
expression of my wishes and of all my sentiments. The colony of
Longwood occupies and fills every moment of my existence. Take care of
yourselves. Such is the wish of those who love you. I daily hear it
expressed for you all. There are in this place or in the
neighbourhood, several of the exiles; some were particular
acquaintances of yours. They love and venerate you.

                                                 COUNT DE LAS CASES.

                            COUNT BERTRAND.

                                        _Frankfort, 15th April, 1818._

Madame Las Cases has continued her inquiries respecting your family
and that of the gentlemen. I have myself written direct. My letters
have been returned to me by a _valet de chambre_. I have learned that
your family were well and undisturbed. The sister of General Gourgaud
has written me a very agreeable letter, full of tenderness for her
brother. As to my third attempt, though repeated, it produced only
absolute silence, You will find, M. Grand Marshal, my details very
barren. It is not my fault: I write to you every thing I can. You will
do wrong to judge, by my want of matter, of all my cares and incessant

I continue to receive news of all the members of the family of the
Emperor. They are all well in health. His son continues a fine boy.
The Empress, they write me, is very thin. I have lately seen a person
of the household of the Princess Murat. He was specially charged to
describe to me her tender solicitude for her august brother, her
devotion and her wishes. I have received a letter from the Princess
Eliza, full of the same sentiments. They all live only to think of him
who is so dear to them, who loaded them with kindnesses, and now
engrosses all their affections. The Princess Eliza resides at Trieste.
She informs me that she has written five times to St. Helena. The
Cardinal writes to me, on his part, that they have written very often
from Rome. I have received an answer from London to the request which
I made, and of which I informed you in my last, for leave for Prince
Lucien to visit his august brother. The answer has not appeared
sufficiently explicit for me to send it to you before I have a new
explanation.—Prince Jerome, who talked of making a like attempt next
year, has not been able to postpone for so long a time a step, the
success of which would delight his heart. He is going to address
himself to the Prince Regent, for permission for himself; his wife and
son, to undertake the voyage immediately.

The Cardinal has given me a very full account of all the members of
the family settled at Rome. The Princess Hortense enjoys tranquillity
at Augsburg, where she is occasionally visited by her brother. She is
occupied with the education of her second son. She has had the eldest
with her several months, who has developed, during his short visit,
all the qualities which honour, attach, and interest. He has returned
to Rome to his father, who is settled in that city. I hope that my
first letter has reached you before this; and I reckon the days and
hours that will bring me your answer, because then I shall know more
particularly what I can do to be agreeable to each of you. Be assured
that I and mine only live for this; and that death itself could not
interrupt the course of my efforts for that purpose. I shall have
provided a successor. Let me then know all your wishes. Nothing will
be impossible to my zeal, to the affection and devotion of those who
assist me.

I have received a very polite answer from London respecting all the
articles which I desired to be sent to your address. I am assured that
the several pamphlets, which I mentioned, are about to be sent off. I
am told that the _Morning Chronicle_, the _Journal du Commerce_, and
that of Paris, which they say is the best, have been ordered for you.
As for the rest, upon this point, as upon every other, write to me
your wishes. Tell me every thing that may give pleasure to the

As to provisions, wine, coffee, oil, &c. which I mentioned in my
letter, I am answered that a considerable supply, and of the best
quality had been dispatched to you: the list has been sent me. It is
added, Lord Holland had sent a quantity, at the request of the
Princess Borghese: an invoice of that also has been sent me.

My health, unfortunately, is still very deplorable: I see no
amendment. The physicians insist that I shall entirely abstain from
business.—I am going to take the waters somewhere. I shall most
probably inform you, in my next, of my departure from Frankfort. I
have had an opportunity of seeing here several of the exiles, who have
found a temporary refuge in this city or its vicinity. They flatter
themselves daily with their speedy recal. Public opinion demands it,
they are told. It is thought that about the end of the year all the
French will be at liberty to reside in France. I have, however,
myself, been a stranger to the severity exercised towards them. Madame
Las Cases, on her return to Paris, received from old friends a great
deal of advice, and many offers on my account. They pressed forward in
the most obliging manner to offer their services and their influence;
but she has constantly answered that in reality I wanted no
assistance, and it was not my intention moreover to put the kindness
of any one to the test; that I had voluntarily banished myself for a
holy and religious ministry; and in fact I shall no more have a
country, Monsieur Grand Marshal, as long as you shall be where you
are, and there shall remain a single chance that my efforts, my
devotion, and my zeal, may be able to afford you any useful or
agreeable consolation—until then I shall be a wanderer in the world. I
shall carry about every where, if it must be, my atmosphere of sorrow
and zeal. On your part, keep me in your remembrance; give me the
consolation of imagining that our thoughts cross each other, and
sometimes are interchanged. Patience and courage are the virtues of
heroes. Who knows better than I that they belong to you all? Adieu—I
embrace you.

                                                 COUNT DE LAS CASES.

                            COUNT BERTRAND.

                             _Frankfort on the Maine, 15th May, 1818._

I would write to you this day, my dear Bertrand, merely to be punctual
and faithful to the date which I have invariably prescribed to myself,
every month, for giving news of me. No change having taken place in my
situation, I could only repeat, word for word, the matter contained in
my last. I hoped to have been able to send you my letter from another
place; but a severe complaint in my eyes, which has come to aggravate
my other afflictions, has hitherto prevented me from setting out for
some of the warm baths in the south of Germany, to which I shall
repair, however, in a few days.

I have the satisfaction to learn that my preceding letters have been
regularly despatched to you, and that a great many pamphlets have been
sent off. I wish they may amuse you. Unfortunately I provide for you a
little in the dark;—the circumstances of locality will be my excuse; I
do my best; I am in a bad situation for that. Such a case as mine
would require a capital.—I am not permitted to reside in London; and
in Paris I could not accomplish my purpose. The same distance prevents
me from thinking of sending you a great many little things with which
I might employ myself if I were upon the spot. I had thought of
completing for you a little chemical apparatus, but renounced it. I
understand that it would be useless to you.

All the relatives of the Emperor are well, and await with impatience
the regular course of your letters, of which they entertain no doubt,
as you will have received my first, with my invariable resolution to
send you theirs every month punctually.—My wife will rejoin me in a
few days, to part no more, I hope.

Adieu, accept my wishes.

                                                      COUNT LAS CASES.


                             _Frankfort on the Maine, 19th May, 1818._

I have the honour to thank you for the kindness with which you have
been pleased to inform me of the departure of my letters for St.
Helena, as also of that of the pamphlets and journals with which you
have been pleased to accompany them.

I am sorry you should have found it necessary to preserve silence,
upon certain points in my last letter. My discretion will know how to
interpret that silence. I owe it to the personal kindness which you
have hitherto shewn me, not to return to the subject any more. I have
written to the Cardinal Fesch, agreeably to a passage in your letter,
that he may send, by the way he shall think most proper, the sequel of
the Moniteur, reckoning from 1808, addressed to the office of Lord
Bathurst in London; and that his Lordship allows their transmission to
St. Helena.

As to the passage of your letter, Sir, concerning the request which I
had the honour to make to you, for a regular bulletin of the health of
Napoleon, in the name, and on the behalf of the members of his family,
may I be permitted to pray you will observe to my Lord Bathurst that
the whole of the family of the Emperor are not at Rome; that he has
one sister and her family at Frankfort; a brother and his family in
Austria; two other sisters and their families in the vicinity of
Vienna and Trieste; without reckoning others, all of whom would esteem
it the greatest favour, and would consider it a real gratification to
their heart, should the sentiments which induced Lord Bathurst to send
regular accounts to Rome, induce him condescendingly to allow of their
being regularly transmitted to them also. I was not ignorant of the
gratification which had been hitherto procured for the Princess
Borghese; but it did not extend from Rome to all the members of the
family in Germany, where the route was then much more circuitous than
that which I had the honour to request. Whatsoever title and right my
heart might give me, perhaps, to solicit for myself a participation in
this bulletin, I shall learn to renounce entirely and put myself
completely aside; and not doubting but that the favour will be more
highly appreciated by those for whom I solicit it, if it should come
directly from Lord Bathurst, rather than pass through my hands, I
shall solicit therefore anew, and in the name of the Countess of
Survilliers (the Princess Joseph Bonaparte), who resides in this city,
that he will have the goodness to send to her regularly the same
accounts which he has the goodness to address to the Princess Borghese
at Rome. The Countess of Survilliers will undertake to communicate
them to all the family in Germany.

Sir, I have learned, from the public journals, the unexpected return
of General Gourgaud. This sensible diminution of the household of
Napoleon, this new privation of one servant more, penetrates my heart,
and has determined me to pray that you will please to request of Lord
Bathurst to allow me to return to St. Helena, accompanied by my
family. This intention and this desire will never forsake me, as his
Lordship may convince himself by the whole of my correspondence with
Sir Hudson Lowe, from the moment of my quitting the colony. I do not
think it would be necessary to demand the previous consent of the
Emperor Napoleon to this request, because I dare flatter myself that
his answer would not be doubtful. However, if Lord Bathurst should
deem it necessary, I entreat his Lordship to make the application
himself: he will see that in my letter to Longwood I have abstained
from mentioning this circumstance. Considerations of delicacy, which
his Lordship will know how to appreciate, have restrained me. The
deplorable state of my health will be no obstacle. I am ambitious to
go and find a grave at the feet of him whom I venerate, and to whose
cares I shall find it sweet to consecrate my latest breath.

Accept, Sir, the expressions of the perfect consideration, &c.

                                                      COUNT LAS CASES.

I lost not a moment, on the receipt of the documents sent by Count
Bertrand, in despatching a copy of them to each of the Sovereigns at
Aix-la-Chapelle. I took this opportunity to renew my entreaties. I
implored them to succour the illustrious victim. “A few days more,”
said I, “and it will be too late.” The physician whom they had
snatched away from him (an Englishman,) declared publicly in London
that a much longer residence upon that unwholesome rock would cause
his death. I ventured to represent to them that their humanity, the
sentiments of their hearts, might be arrested perhaps by formal
denials, but would not their justice listen to the other side of the
question? I demanded that I might be allowed to furnish them with it,
I solicited the sole favour of being heard in behalf of this sacred
cause; “consenting,” I said, “if I did not prove the truth of the
documents laid at their feet, that my shame and my blood should
expiate my offence in having dared to impose upon them.”—At the same
time I did not lose one opportunity, one instant, one thought, which
might have multiplied the chances of any success. I addressed myself
to every one, who, I learned, had any influence over the hearts of the
Monarchs. I wrote particularly to M. de la Harpe, the tutor of the
Emperor Alexander, so well known, so venerated, who, I had been told,
was at that moment with him at Aix-la-Chapelle.

Neither upon this occasion, nor any other, have I ever had the
slightest answer to any one of my letters; and if any thing has been
sometimes insinuated to me indirectly and with mystery, I was obliged
to suspect it as a snare laid against my person, which was of small
moment; or against my cause, which was every thing to me. Thus the
Congress ended, and not a word escaped from it in favour of Napoleon.
In fine, I sought to stimulate even foreign talents; and in the number
of voices then raised, the pamphlet of a certain German journalist
attracted sufficient attention to serve for a pretext to devise
trammels for the liberty of the press.

However, all the efforts which I had called forth were vain, all my
hopes were blasted, all my pains were thrown away—they left him to
die! In fact, what could the naked Truth avail with sovereigns,
without the protection of any address, or the alliance of any
interests, against the insinuations of wicked men, who watched with
all the ardour of political fanaticism, private resentment, and
prospective apprehensions! They acted so effectually that in the
council of kings, fear, no doubt, prevailed over generosity. They
demonstrated how dangerous universal interest rendered the victim: and
it may be truly said, to the glory of generous sentiments, that public
opinion was pronounced every where with great warmth; not less in
Germany, than in any other country. And perhaps, in the sight of the
high personages who were witnesses of it, this favourable opinion did
a great deal of mischief to him whom it meant to serve; as if it had
been in the destiny of Napoleon that the interest of the Germans
should become as baneful to him in adversity, as their animosity had
been fatal to him in the time of his power.—Amongst the efforts to
maintain the hideous captivity of Napoleon, there has been actually
imputed to the English Ministers a base intrigue, an unworthy
deception. It was said that, to confirm the wavering Sovereigns, they
had forged, for the express purpose, a pretended plot of escape. The
imputation was founded upon the timeliness, the éclat, and publicity,
with which the arrival of the Musquito brig suddenly caused this news
to spread through all Europe; a circumstance, which, after it had once
produced the intended effect, that of counterbalancing the public
favour, gave room to no further mention, to no detail, to no
confirmation whatsoever; an imaginary conjecture, no doubt, and in
which the English Ministers are probably culpable, only in having
afforded ground for suspecting them of it by the numerous antecedent
cases, in which they degraded themselves in acting against Napoleon.

To my chagrin was added the fear of seeing old persecutions revived
against me, in my peaceful solitude. The spring of 1819 was
approaching. The excellent Grand Duke of Baden was just dead. Those
who did not like us became stronger by this event, and it was
signified to me, without the knowledge of the new sovereign perhaps,
that I must quit the States of Baden. The order was given to me only
verbally, and I was even informed that I should receive it in no other
way. The motive for my removal, it was said, was the desire to live in
close friendship with France, and the fear that my stay would be
disagreeable to her; a motive that must excite a smile of pity. I
disdained to say that the French Minister had thought fit to leave me
in repose; the intolerance of opinion had discovered another motive to
the full as ridiculous. The person charged with the order against me
was very willing to grant me some days for preparation, but I was
nearly like the Greek philosopher, who carried his all upon his own
person; and I would have set out at the very instant of the
notification itself, if Madame Las Cases had not been afflicted with
an inflammation of the lungs which placed her in great danger. I
assured him that I should only allow myself time to see her out of
danger; and although the well-meant advice was given me to solicit
Government for permission to remain, I still disdained it; and a few
days afterwards, I set out on my route for Offenbach, where Madame Las
Cases was to join me, when she should be in a state to travel.

If I felt myself so much hurt by this unexpected treatment, it is
because I had already forgotten all the vexations with which I had
been overwhelmed by the English authorities, and for more than a year,
during which I lived upon the German soil, I was not subjected to such
forms; but, on the contrary, I was spoiled by the favour, the
interest, the respect, of which I every where saw myself the object,
even among those of a contrary opinion; and, besides, on leaving
Manheim, I was far from being embarrassed for a new residence. Some
friends, in their kind precautions, had sounded some neighbouring
governments; I was assured of a favourable reception in several. One
of the princes, addressed upon the occasion, answered, with a smile,
“Yes, no doubt; he should be well received and well treated. So far
from repulsing a man of this character, a prince who understands his
own interest should have his courtiers inoculated from him.”

However, in expatiating here so freely upon my successes, I must not
disguise my disappointments. Now and then I had also my little
mortifications. All was not roses: and, without reckoning the
expulsion from Manheim, for example, of which I was speaking, they
found great fault, in another place, with the respect shewn to me,
being, they said, one of those wretches who had arrested the King of
France at Varennes; and who more lately had done, perhaps, still
worse. In another place, a Baron who gave a grand evening party,
informed his guests that he had at length ascertained who this Count
and Councillor of Napoleon’s was whose arrival had made so great a
noise in the city. He was, he informed them, nothing but his cook from
St. Helena; and that, not having means to pay him his wages at
parting, he had, as a compensation, created him a Count and Councillor
of State. If the Baron believed what he said, he was assuredly a good
easy man, and if his object was only to make his guests believe it, he
must have taken them for great simpletons. The pleasant part of the
story remains, for we must tell the whole; and it is that, in fact,
the cook from Longwood had passed through a few days before: and thus
it appears how anecdotes and the biographies of the saloon are
engendered and multiply; and the devil himself cannot afterwards
eradicate them. I could smile at the wickedness or the stupidity.
Their acts and their words were only ridiculous and grotesque; but a
circumstance of an important nature presented itself, which would have
distressed me excessively, if I did not know how much the mass of
error which presses round sovereigns may impair the soundness of their

I was assured that some one at the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle,
finding himself disposed, in the presence of the Emperor Alexander, to
touch upon the frightful situation of Napoleon, and citing the
authentic statements produced by me in his support, that Prince
answered, “We must not believe all that this man is come to tell us in
Europe; he is an intriguer.” How is it that the most enlightened
princes are deceived; even those from whom we should expect better?
Unless it was here, as with Napoleon, who often used peevish
expressions, after his own manner, and not implying harm; and besides,
by good fortune, I have still on my side, time, that true crucible of
characters. Years have since elapsed, and the unanimous opinion, I
dare hope, of all those who have known or followed me, would
sufficiently clear me from such an accusation. “An intriguer!” I, who
have worn out upon a rock all the vanities of this world! I, who in
the clouds of Longwood, have seen all things from so great a height,
that they remain small indeed to my eyes! I, who of all people on
earth, know nothing to desire! I, in fine, who, no longer considering
myself of this world, cannot have, and have not in fact, any other
ambition whatever, any other wish, than that of Diogenes—“that they
would not stand between me and the sun.”


                          MY RETURN TO FRANCE.


                   A Space of more than Two Years.



Offenbach is a handsome little town in the Grand-Duchy of Darmstadt,
situate upon the Maine, two leagues from Frankfort. I settled myself
there, according to my custom, in a sort of little hermitage. It was
upon the bank of the river, within a step of the town.

My head-aches, under their different symptoms, had never quitted me.
At Manheim I suffered very acute pains. A short time after my arrival
at Offenbach, my illness suddenly assumed a character new,
insupportable, and alarming. It was then that a universal
indisposition, an increasing debility, commenced, which, preventing
the employment of the faculties, brought with them a complete disgust
of life; then also commenced that sudden trembling in my limbs and in
my whole frame: those sudden visits of dimness of sight, which I might
call the twinkling of existence. How often in this state, and without
taking any notice of it, have I gone to bed with the thought, I had
almost said the hope, of awaking no more. Madame Las Cases, in the
excess of her anxiety, wished that I should give up every kind of
occupation whatever, of which, in fact, I was absolutely incapable;
she suppressed my letters, and wrote to the relatives of the Emperor,
to apprize them of my real situation, and to prevail upon them to
appoint a successor to me in the cares which I had created for myself.
For a long time past, as a precaution, I myself had entreated them to
join with me a person whose happiness it would have constituted, and
the choice of whom would have been agreeable to the Emperor.[44] He
was then with one of them; but, from one cause or another, this was
not done, and necessity compelled me to break off without any
provision having been made to supply the deficiency. I exhausted in
vain all the aid of medicine; and, if the domestic cares, the tender
solicitude, which surrounded me on every side, could have availed, my
illness would have been only a blessing, from the pleasure of seeing
them lavished upon me. One loves to dwell upon that which was sweet,
and I could not assuredly better describe the great interest felt for
me, and the nature of the recompense which the sentiments I had shewn,
the efforts I had made, had obtained for me, than when I say my little
hermitage has been honoured with the presence of three Queens, and, I
think, on the same day. Two of them, it is true, had been deposed; but
they did not the less command every where at that moment, by the
elevation of their minds, the simplicity of their manners, the _éclat_
of their other qualities, a universal respect, at least, as much as at
the era of their greatest splendour.

Footnote 44:

  Colonel Planat, who had accompanied us as far as Plymouth, and who
  had lately obtained leave to repair to St. Helena himself.

It was at Offenbach that the little colony, which Cardinal Fesch sent
to St. Helena, was addressed to me on its way to that place. It
consisted of a chaplain, a surgeon, a physician, and a valet de
chambre; all chosen by the Cardinal. On my arrival in Europe, I had
written to him, to be assured that to send a priest, capable also of
writing to dictation, and of assisting a little in business, would be
very agreeable to the Emperor; and I had employed his mediation to
interest, for that purpose, the conscience of the Holy Father, who, in
fact, demanded it of the English Ministers, who had hitherto opposed
the measure, or attached to it inadmissible conditions. It was also
from Offenbach, that I despatched to Longwood two charming portraits:
one, the young Napoleon, painted from the life in the same year, and
sent by King Jerome; the other that of the Empress Josephine, by Sain,
a present from the Queen Hortense. It was mounted in a magnificent
tea-caddy, of crystal. This choice of crystal was a delicate
precaution of the Queen’s, who also had the mounting executed in such
a manner as to render it impossible to suspect any concealed writing.
The former of these two portraits reached its destination. The valet
de chambre of the Emperor has since told me, that Napoleon, on
perceiving it, seized it with avidity and kissed it. I, who know how
reserved the Emperor was, can judge from this circumstance the whole
extent of his joy and satisfaction. As to the portrait of the Empress
Josephine, it never arrived at Longwood, although, by a singular
contrariety, it was found, in consequence of some memorandum, to have
paid the custom-house duty on its importation into England.

Towards the end of the summer, Madame Las Cases, by order of the
physicians, carried me to the waters of Schwalbach, where I was an
object of pity to every one. I returned without having derived any
benefit from them; but a circumstance then revived my strength for an
instant, and caused me to quit Germany.

All of a sudden, I learnt from the public papers the return of Madame
Montholon to Europe; she had been, like myself, repulsed from England,
and landed at Ostend. I was not able to resist going to seek authentic
details, of which I had so long been deprived. I hastened to rejoin
her, whether she should be permitted to stay in the country, or should
be forced, after my example, to run up and down the highways, for in
that case I should be useful to her; I had had experience.

Travelling with mystery, for I remembered too well all the ill
treatment I formerly received in the Netherlands, I joined the
Countess of Montholon at Brussels. Not only was she at liberty to
reside there, but she had been received with the most particular
respect; and a journal of the place having announced that she would be
obliged to continue her route, a semi-official article refuted this
news, upon this ground, especially, that the Netherlands was the _land
of hospitality_. I wanted no more; Belgium appeared to me nearly as
France; in the midst of the Belgians, I should think myself among my
countrymen. I wrote, therefore, to Madame Las Cases to acquaint her
with our good fortune, and desiring that she might hasten to come and
join me. Shunning Brussels, for the same reasons which had made me
leave Frankfort, I chose Liege; remembering the kind reception which I
had there experienced, at the time of my unfortunate passage, eighteen
months before; and I settled there, not without apprehension of some
new ill luck. But I was wrong; for I must with truth and gratitude say
that, during nearly two years and a half that I have since traversed
the country in all directions, without any request, any solicitation,
not even a previous announcement, that country, formerly so baneful to
me, has ever since been the land of hospitality; never having
afterwards had occasion to perceive any authority whatever, otherwise
than by the tranquillity, the repose, which I enjoyed under its shade.

Influence and foreign malice had ceased; it was at this time that my
son requested leave, anew, and on his own account, to return to
Longwood. I have the answer of Lord Bathurst, who refused it.
Subsequently, the Princess Pauline, who succeeded in obtaining leave
to repair thither, wrote to me to know if my son wished to accompany
her: but then, alas! it was too late.

Neither the affection nor the care of my friends at Liege, where I
remained the whole winter; nor the rural situation of Chaude-Fontaine,
where I spent the spring; nor the generous hospitality of the worthy
and excellent proprietor of that charming spot Justlanville, who
forced me to accept for the summer, at a few steps from him, the
residence called Johan, at the gates of Spa and of Verviers; nor the
benevolence of all his family, so numerous, so kind, so respected in
the country; were able to ameliorate my condition, or fix my stay. Yet
it would be difficult for me to describe, as they deserve, the extreme
kindness, the touching dispositions, the sympathetic spirit, of the
whole population of these countries, so prosperous, so rich, so
flourishing, under the imperial reign, and which continues so

I spent my second winter at Antwerp, with some sincere friends whom I
tenderly love, and whom my arrival on the expedition to Flushing, ten
years before, had procured for me; and in the spring I reached
Malines, without any particular motive; for I was not able to remain a
long time in the same place. I stood in need of change. I was the
patient who tosses and turns in his bed, seeking in vain the sweets of
sleep. Twice, during the two years in Belgium, Madame Las Cases wished
to take me to the south; and twice, at the very moment of setting out,
imperative circumstances happened to stop us:—disappointments,
however, which were to us so many real favours of fortune. But for the
first of them, we should have found ourselves advanced a day’s journey
within the frontier, at the very moment of a fatal and sanguinary
catastrophe; and, but for the second, we should have arrived at Nice
precisely at the moment of the constitutional explosion in Piedmont;
and no doubt that, in both cases, and naturally enough, we should have
been subjected to at least temporary inconvenience.

Meanwhile the Congress of Laybach was held, and I could not refrain
from attempting new solicitations. I addressed a new letter to each of
the three high Sovereigns. The following is that to the Emperor

“SIRE,—A new and solemn occasion presents itself for preferring to
your Majesty my humble and respectful accents. I seize it anew with

“I am not afraid of rendering myself importunate: my excuse and my
pardon are in the generosity of your soul.

“Sire, to recal, at this moment, to your recollection, and to that of
your high Allies, the august captive, whom you, a long time, called
your brother and your friend; to seek to divert your thoughts and
theirs to that victim whose cruel suffering is always present to me;
this is, I know it, to make the knell of death heard amidst joy and
feasting. But therein, Sire, I trust that, even in the eyes of your
Majesty, I fulfil an honourable and pious duty, the performance of
which must remain always sweet to me, however perilous it may be!

“Sire,—reduced to a state of infirmity and weakness which leaves me
scarcely able to connect a few ideas, I follow the instinct of my
heart in default of the faculties of my head, in merely repeating
literally here to your Majesty the note which I presumed to address to
you at Aix-la-Chapelle; for, the circumstances having remained the
same, no change having since taken place in that respect, what could I
do better than to place under the eyes of your Majesty the same
picture, the same facts, the same reasoning, the same truths.

“Only if, in spite of that which I then thought was certain, the
illustrious victim, contrary to my expectation and that of the
faculty, still breathes; if he has not yet fallen, I shall dare to
observe to your Majesty that this unexpected prolongation of his life,
which has been to him only a continuation of torment, is perhaps, to
your Majesty, a blessing from heaven, which Providence reserves for
your heart and for your memory.... Ah! Sire, there is then time
still!... But the precious opportunity may every moment escape from
_all your power_!... And what would be then the tardy, impotent
regrets which could neither appease your heart, nor restore to your
memory an act magnanimous, generous—a glory of a nature the most
soothing, the most moral, the most commendable in the eyes of
posterity, the best understood, perhaps, with which you could have
embellished your glorious life? I mean oblivion of injuries, disdain
of vengeance, remembrance of old friendship; in fine, the respect due
to royal majesty—to _one of the Lord’s anointed_!!!

“Sire,—since my return to Europe, separated from the society of men, a
prey to hopeless sufferings originating in St. Helena itself,
belonging for the future and unalterably much more to another life
than to this, I ardently raise every day in my retreat my hands to the
Almighty, praying that he will deign to touch the heart of your
Majesty, and to enlighten it upon so essential a part of its interests
and its glory.

                                                  “I am, &c.

                                           “COUNT DE LAS CASES.”[45]

Footnote 45:

  A similar letter was addressed to the other Allied Sovereigns, with
  slight appropriate alterations.

How prophetic were many of these lines! Alas, they were scarcely
before the eyes of the monarchs when he was no more!—He had ceased to
live, to suffer!—On opening the Moniteur, I found there the fatal
announcement. Though it could not surprise me, having been a long time
certain to my understanding, I was not the less struck, overcome as at
an unexpected event that was never to happen.

The next day I received a melancholy letter from London with
circumstantial details, and conjectures for which these details might
furnish matter; and this letter concluded by saying, “It was on the
fifth of May, at six o’clock in the evening, at the very instant when
the gun was firing at sunset, that his great soul quitted the earth.”

How strange the coincidences that sometimes happen!—When about the
person of Napoleon, and under his influence, I had contracted the
habit of keeping a diary, and he frequently expressed his regret that
he had not done the same. “A line to assist the memory,” said he,
“merely two or three indicatory words.” I had continued this practice
ever since; and, as it may easily be imagined, I hastened to turn to
the fifth of May, to see where I was, what I had been doing, and what
had happened to me at that fatal moment. And what should I
find?—_Sudden storm; shelter under a shed; awful clap of thunder._
Taking a ride, towards evening, in the country beyond Malines, the
weather being delightful, there came on suddenly one of those summer
storms, of such violence that I was obliged to seek shelter on
horseback beneath a shed; and while in this situation there was a
thunder-clap so tremendous that it seemed to be close to me. Alas! and
what was passing elsewhere, at such a distance, at the same
moment!—The circumstance may perhaps appear more than strange, but no
doubt there are at Malines, or in its environs, naturalists or
meteorologists who keep an account of the weather: it is for them to
confirm or to contradict my statement.



  London: Published for Henry Colburn, March, 1836.

On the report of the death of Napoleon, it must, however, be said,
that there was but one single cry, one selfsame sentiment in the
streets, in the shops, in the public places; even the saloons shewed
some feeling: the cabinets alone shewed themselves insensible, worse
than insensible! But, after all, it was natural, they breathed, at
length, at their ease....

During his life, in the time of his power, he had been assailed with
pamphlets and libels; on his death, we were suddenly inundated with
productions in his praise—a contrast, nevertheless, that gives a
little relief from so much meanness of the human heart. There were
every where, and from all parts, compositions in prose and in verse,
paintings, portraits, pictures, lithographs, and a thousand little
things more or less ingenious, proving much better than all the pomp
of kings could do the sincerity, the extent, the vivacity of the
sentiments which he left behind him. A clergyman on the banks of the
Rhine, the place of whose residence had received some particular
favour from the Emperor, assembled his parishioners, and made them
pray for their old benefactor. In a large city of Belgium, a great
number of citizens subscribed for a solemn funeral service, and if
they abstained from the performance of it, it was much more from
etiquette than in consequence of any interdict. Then these words of
Napoleon, which I have often heard him repeat, were verified:—“In the
course of time, nothing will be thought so fine, or strike the
attention so much, as the doing of justice to me.... I shall gain
ground every day in the minds of the people. My name will become the
star of their rights; it will be the expression of their regrets.” And
all these circumstances are verified in every country and every where.
Without reckoning things of this kind, of which I am no doubt unaware,
a peer of Great Britain shortly after said in open Parliament, “That
the very persons who detested this great man have acknowledged that
for ten centuries there had not appeared upon earth a more
extraordinary character. All Europe,” added he, “has worn mourning for
the hero; and those who have contributed to that great sacrifice are
devoted to the execrations of the present generation as well as to
those of posterity.”[46]

Footnote 46:

  Speech of Lord Holland. _Pilot_ of the 3rd of August, 1822.

Two German professors, who either had always known his real character,
or had been cured of their national prejudices, have erected upon
their grounds a monument to his memory, with some inscriptions,
indicating that, with him, fell a funereal veil over the rights of the
people, and the ascendant impulse of civilization.

Our writers have defended his memory, our poets have celebrated it,
and our orators, in the legislative tribunal, have proclaimed aloud
the attachment which they had felt for him, or that they are honoured
by the distinctions which they had received from him.

Nothing now remained for me but to return to my country. In crossing
the frontier, at the end of the second emigration, I could not avoid
thinking of the circumstances of my return after the first, and what a
difference of sentiment distinguished them! Then I seemed, at every
step, to advance amidst a hostile population; now I felt as if I was
entering into my family. I soon beheld again all my companions of
Longwood, and, while embracing them, I could not deny myself one
melancholy reflection—we were all met again; but he for whom we had
sought the fatal rock, he alone remained there! I recollected that he
had told us it would be so, and many other things besides. I learned
from all these eye-witnesses the details and the circumstances of the
ill treatment which, since my departure, had been daily increasing;
and I saw that the times which I had known had not even been the most
unhappy moments.



  London: Published for HENRY COLBURN, December, 1835.

I read his last will; I there found my name, three or four times, in
his own hand!—What were my emotions!—Assuredly I did not stand in need
of them for my reward. For a long time I have carried it within my
breast. But the remembrances, however, were dear and precious—how much
more precious than millions! And yet he joined to them large sums from
those of his family who were most nearly connected with him, and were
dearest to him. If they ever pay them, so much the better; that will
concern them hereafter more than me. I should have liked to consider
myself only as a kind of depository. I even wished to anticipate them,
but I found it necessary to stop: my means did not allow me to make
these advances. My happiness would have been great in affording a
retirement to a few civil and military veterans. In our long evenings,
we should have often spoken of his battles or discoursed of his heart.

At last I received (thanks to the zealous interposition of one of the
most distinguished characters of the English peerage!) the papers
which had been detained from me at St. Helena: and which, in spite of
all the power of the laws, I no longer reckoned upon. In the situation
in which I found myself, with the sentiments with which it had
inspired me, I felt myself under the indispensible obligation to
assist, since I had some means to do it, in making better known him
who had been so much misrepresented; and, in spite of my infirmity, I
set about this work. Heaven has blessed my efforts in permitting me to
reach the end, and to finish it, however ill; this I have the
happiness to do at this instant. If I have succeeded in reconciling
hearts, if I have destroyed prejudices, conquered prepossessions, I
have obtained my dearest, my sweetest object; my mission is

_Passy, August 15, 1823._


I have to reproach myself for not having taken an opportunity to
relate the adventures of Santini. At the conclusion of every drama,
whatever may be its nature, one likes to meet again in the
_dénouement_ with all those who have figured in the early part of it.
Santini’s story involves moreover traits of manners, tints of the
times, a reference to public affairs, which induce me to repair my
omission, since I have it in my power to do so.

We had long given up Santini for lost, confined, dead, when all at
once he again made his appearance among us soon after the death of
Napoleon: and the following narrative is from his own lips, and nearly
in his own words.

After making his escape from England, he had traversed Belgium and
some parts of Germany, with the intelligence and address of a clever
Italian. At length, on entering Münich, he imagined that he had
overcome the grand obstacles, and was safe in port. But precisely in
that city he was apprehended, and, in spite of all his applications to
the different authorities, and to several ambassadors, in order to
obtain permission to pass quietly, he was carried back by gendarmes
into Wirtemberg, which he traversed at liberty, but under evident
_surveillance_. On reaching Lombardy, at Como, he went to declare
himself to the police: they had been expecting him there; he was
arrested and conveyed to Milan, where he was told that he could not
remain in the country, at full liberty, without serious inconvenience;
and that, in consequence, he should be conducted to Mantua, where he
would be under less restraint. Now the less restraint that was
promised him proved to be nothing better or worse than a prison, where
he was not allowed to hold communication with any person whatsoever.
Such was the importance attached to his complete seclusion that, Maria
Louisa having passed through that city, and stopped there for
twenty-four or thirty-six hours, poor Santini had for an extraordinary
companion in his room a police officer who did not suffer him to be
for a moment out of his sight, not even during meals or when he slept;
which serves to show the extreme care that was taken to prevent all
communication between Napoleon and Maria Louisa.

At length, in consequence of the disturbance and complaints which he
made in his dungeon, an order arrived to remove him to Vienna; but the
captain of the circle was required to travel in the same carriage with
him, and to conduct him by forced journeys to his new destination.

Santini, contrary to his expectation, found himself again imprisoned,
and again made a great noise; incessantly insisting on being tried,
and either shot, as he said, if he deserved it, or set at liberty if
he had not done any thing wrong. He was at last told that they had
nothing to lay to his charge, but that his entire liberty was attended
with great difficulties; that he could not be suffered to go into
every country, and he should therefore have his choice between England
and Austria. Santini replied that he would never more set foot on land
governed by the executioners of his master. He was then carried to
Brünn, the capital of Moravia, where he was obliged to take an oath to
abstain from seeking any foreign correspondence. On his arrival there,
he found himself, it is true, under a special _surveillance_; but
there, said Santini, ended his persecutions and his troubles; there
began a better condition. His captivity indeed became, he said, a
blessing, and his heart was filled with gratitude. He there found
himself an object of attention and interest: all, from the highest to
the lowest, showed him the greatest kindness. The inhabitants had
twice seen Napoleon; as an enemy it is true, and yet they felt
profound veneration for him. In this manner Santini spent, what he
called, three happy years.

It had been recommended by superior authority that a strict watch
should be kept, at Brünn in particular, to prevent Santini from
sending off any paper for the Emperor Francis. When that monarch was
going to the Congress at Troppau, he stopped at Brünn, and Santini
said that two days before, a police officer had arrived from Vienna to
watch lest he should address any thing to the Emperor. Thus the heart
of Francis was under as vigilant _surveillance_ as that of Maria
Louisa; the emotions of both were suspicious, and of course they were
much feared. All precautions, however, were vain. Santini had
interested the highest personages, and a petition from him, on the
treatment that he had experienced, reached the hands of the Sovereign.
He complained in it of his pecuniary situation, and of the privation
of liberty, and accompanied it with attestations which he had brought
from St. Helena, especially the order for the pension which Napoleon
had assigned to him. The Emperor Francis appeared to be much struck
with this order, which was signed by the Grand Marshal, and headed
“_By express order of the Emperor._” It purported that a pension of a
certain amount was granted to Santini, and that it should be paid him
by the first relatives or the first friends of the Emperor’s to whom
he should present it. “Is it not terrible?” said the Emperor Francis,
looking at it—“he is prisoner at St. Helena, and yet he continues to
give orders as if nothing had happened!” His beneficence, however, got
the better of his surprise, and whether he considered himself as a
relative, or merely followed the impulse of his kind heart, he ordered
a sum of money to be remitted to Santini; and it is a singular
circumstance, which I could not observe without a kind of emotion,
that the first two sums set down on the order for Santini’s pension,
are placed precisely against names not related to the Emperor by
blood—the Princess Stephanie of Baden and the Emperor of Austria, the
one his adopted daughter, the other his father-in-law.



[It has been judged desirable to subjoin a few extracts from the
celebrated Work by Dr. Antommarchi, Napoleon’s Physician, as
furnishing, in their details of the latter moments, death, and
interment of the fallen Ruler, a natural sequel to the account of what
may be called his _penultimate_ days, by the faithful Las Cases.]


                     NAPOLEON’S RELIGIOUS NOTIONS.

At half-past one he sent for Vignali.—“Abbé,” said he, “do you know
what a _chambre-ardente_[47] is?”—“Yes, Sire.”—“Have you ever
officiated in one?”—“Never, Sire.”—“Well, you shall officiate in
mine.”—He then entered into the most minute detail on that subject,
and gave the priest his instructions, at considerable length. His face
was animated and convulsive, and I was following with uneasiness the
contraction of his features, when he observed in mine I know not what
expression which displeased him.—“You are above those weaknesses,”
said he, “but what is to be done? I am neither a philosopher nor a
physician. I believe in God, and am of the religion of my father. It
is not every body who _can_ be an Atheist.” Then turning again to the
priest—“I was born a Catholic, and will fulfil the duties prescribed
by the Catholic religion, and receive the assistance it administers.
You will say mass every day in the chapel, and will expose the holy
sacrament during forty hours. After my death, you will place your
altar at my head in the room in which I shall lie in state; you will
continue to say mass, and perform all the customary ceremonies, and
will not cease to do so until I am under ground.”

Footnote 47:

  A room in which dead bodies lie in state.

The Abbé withdrew, and I remained alone with Napoleon, who censured my
supposed incredulity. “How can you carry it so far?” said he. “Can you
not believe in God, whose existence every thing proclaims, and in whom
the greatest minds have believed?”—“But, Sire, I have never doubted
it. I was following the pulsations of the fever, and your Majesty
thought you perceived in my features an expression which they had
not.”—“You are a physician,” replied he laughing, and then added, in
an under-tone, “Those people have only to do with matter; they never
will believe any thing.”


Napoleon was free from vomiting, and drank a great deal of cold water.
“If fate had decreed that I should recover, I would erect a monument
on the spot where the water flows, and would crown the fountain in
testimony of the relief it has afforded me. If I die, and my body,
proscribed as my person has been, should be denied a little earth, I
desire that my remains may be deposited in the cathedral of Ajaccio in
Corsica; and if it should not be permitted to me to rest where I was
born, let me be buried near the limpid stream of this pure water.”

                    HIS ADVICE TO THOSE AROUND HIM.

Napoleon still preserved his presence of mind, and recommended to his
executors, in case he should lose it, not to allow any other English
physicians to approach him than Doctor Arnott. “I am going to die,”
said he; “and you to return to Europe: I must give you some advice as
to the line of conduct you are to pursue. You have shared my exile;
you will be faithful to my memory, and will not do any thing that may
injure it. I have sanctioned all principles, and infused them into my
laws and acts; I have not omitted a single one. Unfortunately,
however, the circumstances in which I was placed were arduous, and I
was obliged to act with severity, and to postpone the execution of my
plans. Our reverses occurred: I could not unbend the bow; and France
has been deprived of the liberal institutions I intended to give her.
She judges me with indulgence: she feels grateful for my intentions:
she cherishes my name and my victories. Imitate her example; be
faithful to the opinions we have defended, and to the glory we have
acquired; any other course can only lead to shame and confusion.”

                               HIS DEATH.

Icy coldness of the lower extremities, and in a short time, of the
whole body—eye fixed—lips closed and contracted—violent agitation of
the nostrils—most complete adynamia[48]—pulse extremely weak and
intermittant, varying from one hundred and two to one hundred and
eight, one hundred and ten, and one hundred and twelve pulsations per
minute—breathing slow, intermittant, and stertorous—spasmodic
contraction of the epigastric region and of the stomach—deep
sighs—piteous moans—convulsive movements, which ended by a loud and
dismal shriek. I placed a blister on the chest, and one on each thigh;
applied two large sinapisms on the soles of the feet, and fomentations
on the abdomen, with a bottle filled with hot water: I also
endeavoured to refresh the Emperor’s lips and mouth by constantly
moistening them with a mixture of common water, orange-flower water,
and sugar; but the passage was spasmodically closed; nothing was
swallowed; all was in vain. The intermittent breathing and mournful
sound still continued, accompanied by a violent agitation, of the
abdominal muscles: the eyelids remained fixed, the eyes moved and fell
back under the upper lids; the pulse sunk and rallied again.—It was
eleven minutes before six o’clock—Napoleon was about to breathe his
last!—a slight froth covered his lips—he was no more!—Such is the end
of all human glory!

Footnote 48:



It had not been possible, for want of the necessary materials, to
embalm the body, the whiteness of which was really extraordinary. It
was deposited upon one of the small tent-beds, furnished with white
curtains as funeral hangings!!! The cloak of blue cloth which Napoleon
had worn at the battle of Marengo served to cover him. The feet and
hands were exposed to view; at his right side was his sword, and on
his chest a crucifix. At some distance from the body was the silver
vase in which I had been obliged to deposit his heart and stomach.
Behind his head was an altar, at which the priest, habited in his
surplice and stole, recited prayers. All the persons of his suite,
officers and servants, dressed in mourning, were standing on his left.
Doctor Arnott watched over the corpse, which had been placed under his
personal responsibility.

The door of the _chambre ardente_, and the approach to it, had been
for some hours past thronged by an immense crowd. The door was at last
opened; and the crowd entered, and gazed upon the lifeless remains,
without confusion, without tumult, and in a religious silence. The
order of admittance was regulated by Captain Crokat, the orderly
officer of Longwood. The officers and subalterns of the 20th and 66th
regiments were first admitted, and the remainder afterwards. All felt
that emotion which the spectacle of courage and misfortune united
never fails to excite in the hearts of all brave men.

The coffin which was to receive the Emperor having been brought, I was
obliged to place the heart and stomach in it. I had flattered myself
that I should be able to convey them to Europe; but all my entreaties
on that subject were fruitless: I experienced the grief and
mortification of a refusal. I left the first-mentioned of these two
organs in the vase in which it had at first been enclosed, and placed
the second in another vase of the same metal, and of a cylindrical
shape, which had been used to keep Napoleon’s sponge. I filled the
vase containing the heart with alcohol, closed it hermetically,
soldered it, and deposited it with the other at the angles of the
coffin, in which Napoleon was then laid. The body was first placed
upon a kind of mattress and pillow, in a tin-box lined with white
satin. The Emperor’s hat, which could not remain on his head for want
of room, was placed on his feet; eagles, some pieces of all the coins
bearing his effigy, his fork and spoon, his knife, a plate with his
arms, &c. were also put into that box, which was carefully soldered,
and placed in another of mahogany. A third, of lead, received these
two boxes; and the whole was finally enclosed in a fourth of mahogany,
which was closed, and secured with iron screws. The coffin was then
covered with the cloak Napoleon had worn at the battle of Marengo, and
exposed on the same spot where the body had lain. Arnott continued to
watch, and Vignali to pray; whilst the crowd, which increased every
hour, were allowed to circulate round these mournful objects.

                              THE FUNERAL.

The Governor himself soon arrived at Longwood, and was shortly
afterwards followed by the Admiral and all the civil and military
authorities. The weather was beautiful, the roads were crowded with
people, and the hills covered with musicians: never had so mournful
and solemn a spectacle been before exhibited in the island. At
half-past twelve the grenadiers took the coffin, which they could not
lift without difficulty, and, after repeated and persevering efforts,
succeeded in carrying it to and placing it on the hearse, which was
waiting in the great walk in the garden; and it was then covered with
a violet coloured velvet cloth, and the cloak which Napoleon wore at
Marengo. The Emperor’s household was in mourning; and the funeral
procession was arranged, and proceeded in the following order, which
had been regulated by the Governor himself:—

        Abbé Vignali, habited in the sacerdotal ornaments used
            for the celebration of mass, with young Henry
                 Bertrand, carrying a vase of silver
                      containing Holy-water and
                      Doctor Arnott and myself.
       The persons appointed to take care of the hearse, which
             was drawn by four horses, led by grooms, and
                   escorted by twelve grenadiers on
                     each side, without arms.[49]

Footnote 49:

  They were to carry the coffin, when the bad state of the roads
  should prevent the hearse from advancing.

          Young Napoleon Bertrand and Marchand, both on foot
                     on each side of the hearse.
        Counts Bertrand and Montholon on horseback immediately
                          behind the hearse.
                     Part of the Emperor’s suite.
         Countess Bertrand, with her daughter Hortense, in a
              calash drawn by two horses led by servants
                    who walked on the side of the
        The Emperor’s horse, led by his _piqueur_ Archambaud.
              The officers of the marines on foot and on
               The officers of the staff on horseback.
        General Coffin and the Marquis Montchenu on horseback.
              The Admiral and the Governor on horseback.
                    The inhabitants of the Island.

The procession left Longwood in this order, passed before the
guard-house, and the garrison of the island, about two thousand five
hundred strong, which lined the whole of the left side of the road as
far as Hut’s Gate. Bands of music, stationed at intervals, added by
their mournful sounds to the solemn sadness of the ceremony. After the
procession had passed before the troops, they followed, and
accompanied it towards the place of burial. The dragoons marched
first, the 20th regiment of infantry followed; then came the marines,
the 66th regiment, the volunteers of St. Helena; and, lastly, the
regiment of royal artillery, with fifteen pieces of cannon. Lady Lowe
and her daughter were waiting on the road at Hut’s Gate, in a calash
drawn by two horses, and afterwards followed the procession at a
distance, accompanied by some servants in mourning. The fifteen pieces
of cannon were stationed along the road, and the men were near their
pieces ready to fire.

At about a quarter of a mile beyond Hut’s Gate the hearse stopped, and
the troops halted and ranged themselves in order of battle along the
road. The grenadiers then took the coffin on their shoulders, and
carried it thus to the grave, by the new road which had been made for
that purpose on the side of the mountain. Every body then dismounted;
the ladies got out of the calash, and the procession followed the
corpse without observing any order: Counts Bertrand and Montholon,
Marchand, and young Napoleon Bertrand, holding the four corners of the
pall. The coffin was deposited on the edge of the grave, which was
hung with black, and near to it were the machinery and the ropes with
which it was to be lowered: every thing offered a mournful aspect;
every thing contributed to increase the grief and affliction which
filled our hearts. Our emotion was great, but deep, concentrated and
silent. The coffin having been uncovered, Abbé Vignali recited the
usual prayers, and the body was consigned to the grave, the feet
turned towards the east. The artillery then fired three successive
volleys of fifteen guns each. During the march of the funeral
procession, the Admiral’s ship had fired twenty-five minute-guns. An
enormous stone, which was to have been employed in the construction of
the Emperor’s new house, was now used to close his grave. The
religious ceremonies being over, that stone was lifted up by means of
a ring fixed in it, and was lowered down over the body, resting on
both sides on a strong stone wall, so as not to touch the coffin. It
was then fastened; the ring was taken away, the hole it had left
filled up, and the masonry covered with a layer of cement.



  London: Published for HENRY COLBURN, February, 1836.

The Emperor’s grave is about a league from Longwood. Its shape is
quadrangular, but wider at the top than at the bottom; its depth is
about twelve feet. The coffin is placed upon two strong pieces of
wood, and isolated on all sides. We were not allowed to place over it
either a stone, or a modest inscription: the Governor opposed this
pious wish; as if a tombstone, or an inscription, could have told the
world more than they already knew!

                         TESTAMENT OF NAPOLEON.



_This 15th April, 1821, at Longwood, Island of St. Helena. This is my
    Testament, or act of my last will._

1. I die in the Apostolical Roman religion, in the bosom of which I
was born, more than fifty years since.

2. It is my wish that my ashes may repose on the banks of the Seine,
in the midst of the French people, whom I have loved so well.

3. I have always had reason to be pleased with my dearest wife, Maria
Louisa. I retain for her, to my last moment, the most tender
sentiments—I beseech her to watch, in order to preserve, my son from
the snares which yet environ his infancy.

4. I recommend to my son never to forget that he was born a French
prince, and never to allow himself to become an instrument in the
hands of the triumvirs who oppress the nations of Europe: he ought
never to fight against France, or to injure her in any manner; he
ought to adopt my motto: “_Every thing for the French people._”

5. I die prematurely, assassinated by the English oligarchy and its *
* *. The English nation will not be slow in avenging me.

6. The two unfortunate results of the invasions of France, when she
had still so many resources, are to be attributed to the treason of
Marmont, Augereau, Talleyrand, and La Fayette.

I forgive them—May the posterity of France forgive them as I do!

7. I thank my good and most excellent mother, the Cardinal, my
brothers, Joseph, Lucien, Jerome, Pauline, Caroline, Julie, Hortense,
Catarine, Eugene, for the interest they have continued to feel for me.
I pardon Louis for the libel he published in 1820; it is replete with
false assertions and falsified documents.

8. I disavow the “Manuscript of St. Helena,” and other works; under
the title of Maxims, Sayings, &c., which persons have been pleased to
publish for the last six years. Such are not the rules which have
guided my life. I caused the Duc d’Enghien to be arrested and tried,
because that step was essential to the safety, interest, and honour of
the French people, when the Count d’Artois was maintaining, by his own
confession, sixty assassins at Paris. Under similar circumstances, I
should act in the same way.


1. I bequeath to my son the boxes, orders, and other articles; such as
my plate, field-bed, saddles, spurs, chapel-plate, books, linen which
I have been accustomed to wear and use, according to the list annexed
(A). It is my wish that this slight bequest may be dear to him, as
coming from a father of whom the whole world will remind him.

2. I bequeath to Lady Holland the antique Cameo which Pope Pius VI.
gave me at Tolentino.

3. I bequeath to Count Montholon, two millions of francs, as a proof
of my satisfaction for the filial attentions he has paid me during six
years, and as an indemnity for the losses his residence at St. Helena
has occasioned him.

4. I bequeath to Count Bertrand, five hundred thousand francs.

5. I bequeath to Marchand, my first valet-de-chambre, four hundred
thousand francs. The services he has rendered me are those of a
friend; it is my wish that he should marry the widow, sister, or
daughter, of an officer of my old Guard.

6. Item. To St. Denis, one hundred thousand francs.

7. Item. To Novarre (Noverraz,) one hundred thousand francs.

8. Item. To Pieron, one hundred thousand francs.

9. Item. To Archambaud, fifty thousand francs.

10. Item. To Cursot, twenty-five thousand francs.

11. Item. To Chandellier, twenty-five thousand francs.

12. To the Abbé Vignali, one hundred thousand francs. It is my wish
that he should build his house near the Ponte Novo di Rostino.

13. Item. To Count Las Cases, one hundred thousand francs.

14. Item. To Count Lavalette, one hundred thousand francs.

15. Item. To Larrey, surgeon-in-chief, one hundred thousand francs.—He
is the most virtuous man I have known.

16. Item. To General Brayher, one hundred thousand francs.

17. Item. To General Le Fevre Desnouettes, one hundred thousand

18. Item. To General Drouot, one hundred thousand francs.

19. Item. To General Cambrone, one hundred thousand francs.

20. Item. To the children of General Mouton Duvernet, one hundred
thousand francs.

21. Item. To the children of the brave Labedoyère, one hundred
thousand francs.

22. Item. To the children of General Girard, killed at Ligny, one
hundred thousand francs.

23. Item. To the children of General Chartrand, one hundred thousand

24. Item. To the children of the virtuous General Travot, one hundred
thousand francs.

25. Item. To General Lallemand the elder, one hundred thousand francs.

26. Item. To Count Réal, one hundred thousand francs.

27. Item. To Costa de Bastelica, in Corsica, one hundred thousand

28. Item. To General Clausel, one hundred thousand francs.

29. Item. To Baron de Mennevalle, one hundred thousand francs.

30. Item. To Arnault, the author of Marius, one hundred thousand

31. Item. To Colonel Marbot, one hundred thousand francs.—I recommend
him to continue to write in defence of the glory of the French armies,
and to confound their calumniators and apostates.

32. Item. To Baron Bignon, one hundred thousand francs.—I recommend
him to write the history of French diplomacy from 1792 to 1815.

33. Item. To Poggi di Talavo, one hundred thousand francs.

34. Item. To surgeon Emmery, one hundred thousand francs.

35. These sums will be raised from the six millions which I deposited
on leaving Paris in 1815; and from the interest at the rate of 5 per
cent. since July 1815. The account thereof will be settled with the
banker by Counts Montholon and Bertrand, and Marchand.

36. Whatever that deposit may produce beyond the sum of five million
six hundred thousand francs, which have been above disposed of, shall
be distributed as a gratuity amongst the wounded at the battle of
Waterloo, and amongst the officers and soldiers of the battalion of
the Isle of Elba, according to a scale to be determined upon by
Montholon, Bertrand, Drouot, Cambrone, and the surgeon Larrey.

37. These legacies, in case of death, shall be paid to the widows and
children, and in default of such, shall revert to the bulk of my


1. My private domain being my property, of which I am not aware that
any French law has deprived me, an account of it will be required from
the Baron de la Bouillerie, the treasurer thereof: it ought to amount
to more than two hundred millions of francs; namely, 1. The portfolio
containing the savings which I made during fourteen years out of my
civil list, which savings amounted to more than twelve millions per
annum, if my memory be good. 2. The produce of this portfolio. 3. The
furniture of my palaces, such as it was in 1814, including the palaces
of Rome, Florence, and Turin. All this furniture was purchased with
moneys accruing from the civil list. 4. The proceeds of my houses in
the kingdom of Italy, such as money, plate, jewels, furniture,
equipages; the accounts of which will be rendered by Prince Eugène and
the steward of the Crown, Campagnoni.


    (_Second Sheet._)

2. I bequeath my private domain, one half to the surviving officers
and soldiers of the French army who have fought since 1792 to 1815,
for the glory and the independence of the nation; the distribution to
be made in proportion to their appointments upon active service; and
one half to the towns and districts of Alsace, Lorraine,
Franche-Comté, Burgundy, the Isle of France, Champagne Forest,
Dauphiné, which may have suffered by either of the invasions. There
shall be previously set apart from this sum, one million for the town
of Brienne, and one million for that of Méri. I appoint Counts
Montholon and Bertrand, and Marchand, the executors of my will.

This present will, wholly written with my own hand, is signed, and
sealed with my own arms.


(L. S.)

                              LIST (A).
                        _Annexed to my Will._

                                       Longwood, Island of St. Helena,
                                       this 15th April, 1821.


1. The consecrated vessels which have been in use at my Chapel at

2. I direct Abbé Vignali to preserve them, and to deliver them to my
son when he shall reach the age of sixteen years.


1. My arms; that is to say, my sword, that which I wore at Austerlitz,
the sabre of Sobiesky, my dagger, my broad sword, my hanger, my two
pair of Versailles pistols.

2. My gold dressing-case, that which I made use of on the morning of
Ulm and of Austerlitz, of Jena, of Eylau, of Friedland, of the Island
of Lobau, of the Moskwa, of Montmirail. In this point of view it is my
wish that it may be precious in the eyes of my son. (It has been
deposited with Count Bertrand since 1814.)

3. I charge Count Bertrand with the care of preserving these objects,
and of conveying them to my son when he shall attain the age of
sixteen years.


1. Three small mahogany boxes, containing, the first, thirty-three
snuff-boxes or comfit-boxes; the second, twelve boxes with the
Imperial arms, two small eye-glasses, and four boxes found on the
table of Louis XVIII. in the Tuileries, on the 20th of March, 1815;
the third, three snuff-boxes, ornamented with silver medals habitually
used by the Emperor; and sundry articles for the use of the toilet,
according to the lists numbered I. II. III.

2. My field-beds, which I used in all my campaigns.

3. My field-telescope.

4. My dressing-case, one of each of my uniforms, a dozen of shirts,
and a complete set of each of my dresses, and generally of every thing
used in my toilet.

5. My wash-hand stand.

6. A small clock which is in my bed-chamber at Longwood.

7. My two watches, and the chain of the Empress’s hair.

8. I entrust the care of these articles to Marchand, my principal
valet-de-chambre, and direct him to convey them to my son when he
shall attain the age of sixteen years.


1. My cabinet of medals.

2. My plate, and my Sèvres china, which I used at St. Helena. (List B.
and C.)

3. I request Count Montholon to take care of these articles, and to
convey them to my son when he shall attain the age of sixteen years.


1. My three saddles and bridles, my spurs which I used at St. Helena.

2. My fowling-pieces, to the number of five.

3. I charge my _chasseur_, Noverraz, with the care of these articles,
and direct him to convey them to my son when he shall attain the age
of sixteen years.


1. Four hundred volumes, selected from those in my library which I
have been accustomed to use the most.

2. I direct St. Denis to take care of them, and to convey them to my
son when he shall attain the age of sixteen years.



                              LIST (A).

1. None of the articles which have been used by me shall be sold; the
residue shall be divided amongst the executors of my will and my

2. Marchand shall preserve my hair, and cause a bracelet to be made of
it, with a little gold clasp, to be sent to the Empress Maria Louisa,
to my mother, and to each of my brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces,
the Cardinal; and one of larger size for my son.

3. Marchand will send one pair of my gold shoe-buckles to Prince

4. A small pair of gold knee-buckles to Prince Lucien.

5. A gold collar-clasp to Prince Jerome.


                              LIST (A).

   _Inventory of my effects, which Marchand will take care of, and|
                          convey to my son._

1. My silver dressing-case, that which is on my table, furnished with
all its utensils, razors, &c.

2. My alarum-clock: it is the alarum-clock of Frederic II. which I
took at Potsdam (in box No. III.).

3. My two watches, with the chain of the Empress’s hair, and a chain
of my own hair for the other watch: Marchand will get it made at

4. My two seals (one the seal of France, contained in box No. III.).

5. The small gold clock which is now in my bed-chamber.

6. My wash-hand-stand and its water-jug.

7. My night-tables, those I used in France, and my silver-gilt bidet.

8. My two iron bedsteads, my mattresses, and my coverlets, if they can
be preserved.

9. My three silver decanters, which held my eau-de-vie, and which my
_chasseurs_ carried in the field.

10. My French telescope.

11. My spurs, two pair.

12. Three mahogany boxes, Nos. I. II. III., containing my snuff-boxes
and other articles.

13. A silver-gilt perfuming pan.

_Here follow lists of Body Linen and Clothes, too minute to claim
insertion in this place._

                              LIST (B).

_Inventory of the Effects which I left in the possession of Monsieur
the Count de Turenne._

                         {  (It is, by mistake, inserted in List (A.)
                         {  that being the sabre which the Emperor
 One Sabre of Sobiesky.  {  wore at Aboukir, and which is in the
                         {  hands of Count Bertrand.)

One Grand Collar of the Legion of Honour.

One sword of silver-gilt.

One Consular sword.

One sword of steel.

One velvet belt.

One Collar of the Golden Fleece.

One small dressing-case of steel.

One night-lamp of silver.

One handle of an antique sabre.

One hat _à la_ Henry IV. and a toque.[50] The lace of the Emperor.

One small cabinet of medals.

Two Turkey carpets.

Two mantles of crimson velvet, embroidered, with vests, and

  I give to my Son  the sabre of Sobiesky.
        Do.         the collar of the Legion of Honour.
        Do.         the sword silver gilt.
        Do.         the Consular Sword.
        Do.         the steel sword.
        Do.         the collar of the Golden Fleece.
        Do.         the hat _à la_ Henry IV. and the _toque_.
        Do.         the golden dressing-case for the teeth,
                              which is in the hands of the dentist.

To the Empress Maria Louisa, my lace.

To Madame, the silver night-lamp.

To the Cardinal, the small steel dressing-case.

To Prince Eugene, the wax-candle-stick, silver gilt.

To the Princess Pauline, the small cabinet of medals.

To the Queen of Naples, a small Turkey carpet.

To the Queen Hortense, a small Turkey carpet.

To Prince Jerome, the handle of the antique sabre.

To Prince Joseph, an embroidered mantle, vest, and small-clothes.

To Prince Lucien, an embroidered mantle, vest, and small-clothes.


Footnote 50:

  A velvet hat, with a flat crown, and brims turned up.


                                    This 24th April, 1821, Longwood.

_This is my Codicil or act of my last Will._

Upon the funds remitted in gold to the Empress Maria Louisa, my very
dear and well-beloved spouse, at Orleans, in 1814, she remains in my
debt two millions, of which I dispose by the present Codicil, for
the purpose of recompensing my most faithful servants, whom moreover
I recommend to the protection of my dear Maria Louisa.

1. I recommend to the Empress to cause the income of thirty thousand
francs, which Count Bertrand possessed in the Duchy of Parma, and
upon the Mont Napoleon at Milan, to be restored to him, as well as
the arrears due.

2. I make the same recommendation to her with regard to the Duke of
Istria, Duroc’s daughter, and others of my servants who have
continued faithful to me, and who have never ceased to be dear to
me: she knows them.

3. Out of the above-mentioned two millions I bequeath three hundred
thousand francs to Count Bertrand, of which he will lodge one
hundred thousand in the treasurer’s chest, to be employed in
legacies of conscience, according to my dispositions.

4. I bequeath two hundred thousand francs to Count Montholon, of
which he will lodge one hundred thousand in the treasurer’s chest,
for the same purpose as above-mentioned.

5. Item, two hundred thousand francs to Count Las Cases, of which he
will lodge one hundred thousand in the treasurer’s chest, for the
same purpose as above-mentioned.

6. Item, to Marchand one hundred thousand francs, of which he will
place fifty thousand in the treasurer’s chest, for the same purpose
as above-mentioned.

7. To Jean Jerome Levi, the Mayor of Ajaccio at the commencement of
the Revolution, or to his widow, children, or grand-children, one
hundred thousand francs.

8. To Duroc’s daughter, one hundred thousand francs.

9. To the son of Bessières, Duke of Istria, one hundred thousand

10. To General Drouot, one hundred thousand francs.

11. To Count Lavalette, one hundred thousand francs.

12. Item, one hundred thousand francs; that is to say:—

      Twenty-five thousand to Piéron, my maître d’hôtel.
      Twenty-five thousand to Novarre, my _chasseur_.
      Twenty-five thousand to St. Denis, the keeper of my books.
      Twenty-five thousand to Santini, my former door-keeper.

13. Item, one hundred thousand francs; that is to say:—

      Forty thousand to Planat, my orderly officer.
      Twenty thousand to Herbert, lately house-keeper of
        Rambouillet, and who belonged to my chamber in Egypt.
      Twenty thousand to Lavigné, who was lately keeper of one of my
        stables, and who was my _piqueur_ in Egypt.
      Twenty thousand to Jeanet Dervieux, who was overseer of the
        stables, and served me in Egypt.

14. Two hundred thousand francs shall be distributed in alms to the
inhabitants of Brienne-le-Chateau, who have suffered most.

15. The three hundred thousand francs remaining shall be distributed
to the officers and soldiers of the battalion of my guard at the
Island of Elba who may be now alive, or to their widows and
children, in proportion to their appointments, and according to an
estimate which shall be fixed by my testamentary executors: those
who have suffered amputation, or have been severely wounded, shall
receive double; the estimate to be fixed by Larrey and Emmery.

This codicil is written entirely with my own hand, signed, and
sealed with my arms.


                                 This 24th of April, 1821, Longwood.

           _This is my Codicil, or note of my last Will._

Out of the settlement of my civil list of Italy, such as money,
jewels, plate, linen, equipages, of which the Viceroy is the
depositary, and which belonged to me, I dispose of two millions,
which I bequeath to my most faithful servants. I hope that, without
availing himself of any reason to the contrary, my son Eugene
Napoleon will pay them faithfully. He cannot forget the forty
millions which I gave him in Italy, and in the distribution of the
inheritance of his mother.

1. Out of these two millions, I bequeath to Count Bertrand three
hundred thousand francs, of which he will deposit one hundred
thousand in the treasurer’s chest, to be disposed of according to my
dispositions in payment of legacies of conscience.

2. To Count Montholon, two hundred thousand francs, of which he will
deposit one hundred thousand in the chest, for the same purpose as

3. To Count Las Cases, two hundred thousand francs, of which he will
deposit one hundred thousand in the chest, for the same purpose as

4. To Marchand, one hundred thousand francs, of which he will
deposit fifty thousand in the chest, for the same purpose as

5. To Count La Valette, one hundred thousand francs.

6. To General Hogendorf, of Holland, my aide-de-camp, who has
retired to the Brazils, one hundred thousand francs.

7. To my aide-de-camp, Corbineau, fifty thousand francs.

8. To my aide-de-camp, General Caffarelli, fifty thousand francs.

9. To my aide-de-camp, Dejean, fifty thousand francs.

10. To Percy, surgeon-in-chief at Waterloo, fifty thousand francs.

11. Fifty thousand francs, that is to say:—

 Ten thousand to Pieron, my maitre d’hotel.
 Ten thousand to St. Denis, my head _chasseur_.
 Ten thousand to Noverraz.
 Ten thousand to Cursot, my clerk of the kitchen.
 Ten thousand to Archamband, my _piqueur_.

12. To Baron De Mennevalle, fifty thousand francs.

13. To the Duke d’Istria, son of Bessières, fifty thousand francs.

14. To the daughter of Duroc, fifty thousand francs.

15. To the children of Labedoyère, fifty thousand francs.

16. To the children of Mouton Duvernet, fifty thousand francs.

17. To the children of the brave and virtuous General Travot, fifty
thousand francs.

18. To the children of Chartrand, fifty thousand francs.

19. To General Cambrone, fifty thousand francs.

20. To General Lefevre Desnouettes, fifty thousand francs.

21. To be distributed amongst such proscribed persons as wander in
foreign countries, whether they be French, Italian, Belgians, Dutch,
Spanish, or inhabitants of the departments of the Rhine, under the
directions of my executors, and upon their orders, one hundred
thousand francs.

22. To be distributed amongst those who suffered amputation, or were
severely wounded at Lingy or Waterloo, who may be still living,
according to lists drawn up by my executors, to whom shall be added
Cambrone, Larrey, Percy, and Emmery. The guards shall be paid
double; those of the Island of Elba, quadruple; two hundred thousand

This codicil is written entirely with my own hand, signed, and
sealed with my arms.



                              This 24th of April, 1821, at Longwood.

     _This is a third Codicil to my Will of the 15th of April._

1. Amongst the diamonds of the Crown which were delivered up in
1814, there were some to the value of five or six hundred thousand
francs, not belonging to it, but which formed part of my private
property; repossession shall be obtained of them in order to
discharge my legacies.

2. I had in the hands of the banker Torlonia, at Rome, bills of
exchange to the amount of two or three hundred thousand francs, the
product of my revenues of the Island of Elba since 1815. The Sieur
De la Perruse, although no longer my treasurer, and not invested
with any character, possessed himself of this sum. He shall be
compelled to refund it.

3. I bequeath the Duke of Istria three hundred thousand francs, of
which only one hundred thousand francs shall be reversible to his
widow, should the Duke be dead before payment of the legacy. It is
my wish, should there be no inconvenience in it, that the Duke may
marry Duroc’s daughter.

4. I bequeath to the Duchess of Frioul, the daughter of Duroc, two
hundred thousand francs: should she be dead before the payment of
this legacy, none of it shall be given to the mother.

5. I bequeath to General Rigaud, (to him who was proscribed) one
hundred thousand francs.

6. I bequeath to Boisnod, the intendant commissary, one hundred
thousand francs.

7. I bequeath to the children of General Letort, who was killed in
the campaign of 1815, one hundred thousand francs.

8. These eight hundred thousand francs of legacies shall be
considered as inserted at the end of Article thirty-six of my
testament, which will make the legacies I have disposed of by will
amount to the sum of six million four hundred thousand francs,
without including the donations I have made by my second codicil.

This is written with my own hand, signed, and sealed with my arms.

(L. S.)


                    [On the outside is written:]

This is my third codicil to my will, entirely written with my own
hand, signed, and sealed with my arms.

To be opened the same day, and immediately after the opening of my



                                 This 24th of April, 1821. Longwood.

            _This is a fourth Codicil to my Testament._

By the dispositions we have heretofore made, we have not fulfilled
all our obligations, which has decided us to make this fourth

1. We bequeath to the son or grandson of Baron Duthiel,
lieutenant-general of artillery, and formerly lord of St. André, who
commanded the school of Auxonne before the Revolution, the sum of
one hundred thousand francs, as a memento of gratitude for the care
which that brave general took of us when we were lieutenant and
captain under his orders.

2. Item. To the son or grandson of General Dugomier, who commanded
in chief the array of Toulon, the sum of one hundred thousand
francs. We, under his orders, directed that siege, and commanded the
artillery: it is a testimonial of remembrance for the marks of
esteem, affection, and friendship, which that brave and intrepid
general gave us.

3. Item. We bequeath one hundred thousand francs to the son or
grandson of the deputy of the Convention, Gasparin, representative
of the people at the army of Toulon, for having protected and
sanctioned with his authority the plan we had given, which procured
the capture of that city, and which was contrary to that sent by the
Committee of Public Safety. Gasparin, by his protection, sheltered
us from the persecution and ignorance of the general officers who
commanded the army before the arrival of my friend Dugomier.

4. Item. We bequeath one hundred thousand francs to the widow, son,
or grandson, of our aide-de-camp Muiron, killed at our side at
Arcola, covering us with his body.

5. Item. Ten thousand francs to the subaltern officer Cantillon, who
has undergone a trial upon the charge of having endeavoured to
assassinate Lord Wellington, of which he was pronounced innocent.
Cantillon had as much right to assassinate that _oligarchist_ as the
latter had to send me to perish upon the rock of St. Helena.
Wellington, who proposed this outrage, attempted to justify it by
pleading the interest of Great Britain. Cantillon, if he had really
assassinated that lord, would have pleaded the same excuse, and been
justified by the same motive—the interest of France—to get rid of
this General, who, moreover, by violating the capitulation of Paris,
had rendered himself responsible for the blood of the martyrs Ney,
Labedoyere, &c.: and for the crime of having pillaged the museums,
contrary to the text of the treaties.

6. These four hundred thousand francs shall be added to the six
million four hundred thousand of which we have disposed, and will
make our legacies amount to six million eight hundred and ten
thousand francs; these four hundred and ten thousand are to be
considered as forming part of our testament, Article 36, and to
follow in every respect the same course as the other legacies.

7. The nine thousand pounds sterling which we gave to Count and
Countess Montholon, should, if they have been paid, be deducted and
carried to the account of the legacies which we have given him by
our testament. If they have not been paid, our notes of hand shall
be annulled.

8. In consideration of the legacy given by our will to Count
Montholon, the pension of twenty thousand francs granted to his wife
is annulled. Count Montholon is charged with the payment of it to

9. The administration of such an inheritance, until its final
liquidation, requiring expenses of offices, journeys, missions,
consultations, and lawsuits, we expect that our testamentary
executors shall retain 3 per cent. upon all the legacies, as well
upon the six million eight hundred thousand francs, as upon the sums
contained in the codicils, and upon the two hundred millions of
francs of the private domain.

10. The amount of the sums thus retained shall be deposited in the
hands of a treasurer, and disbursed by drafts from our testamentary

11. Should the sums arising from the aforesaid deductions not be
sufficient to defray the expenses, provisions shall be made to that
effect at the expense of the three testamentary executors and the
treasurer, each in proportion to the legacy which we have bequeathed
to them in our will and codicils.

12. Should the sums arising from the before-mentioned subtractions
be more than necessary, the surplus shall be divided amongst our
three testamentary executors and the treasurer, in the proportion of
their respective legacies.

13. We nominate Count Las Cases, and in default of him his son, and
in default of the latter, General Drouot, to be treasurer.

This present codicil is entirely written with our hand, signed, and
sealed with our arms.


                              THE END.


 Abdication, of Napoleon, i. #11#; iv. 114
   —Las Cases’ reflections on that proceeding, i. #55#

 Africa, Napoleon’s remarks on the expedition to, ii. #151#

 Aix-la-Chapelle, the Congress at, Las Cases’ preparations for
    petitioning, iv. 342
   —Letter of Madame Mere to, 343
   —Las Cases’ note to, 344
   —Representations to, 375

 Alexander, the Emperor, Las Cases’ letter to, at Laybach, iv. 384

 —--, the Emperor, his aversion to Eugene Beauharnois, i. #207#

 —-- the Great, Napoleon’s remarks on, iv. 140

 Algerines, their predilection for Napoleon, i. #363#

 Allies, Convention of the, respecting Napoleon, ii. #80#

 Ambassadors, Persian and Turkish at Paris, ii. #110#
   —their conduct in the fashionable world, #112#

 America, Napoleon invited to, ii. #207#

 Amiens, rupture of the treaty of, iv. 39

 Amours of, Napoleon, i. #211#

 Amsterdam, Napoleon’s speech at, iii. #239#

 Ancients, the, Napoleon’s opinion of the armies of, i. #189#

 Anecdotes of a courtier, ii. #316#

 —-- amusing, iii. #59#

 —-- of Napoleon, iii. #238#, #284#, iv. 67

 Antwerp, Napoleon’s designs with regard to, iv. 47

 Antommarchi, Dr., extracts from his work, iv. 393

 Army, the French, conspiracy in, Egypt, i. #133#
   —Privations of, #136#
   —loss sustained by in Egypt, #143#
   —contradictory reports respecting, #146#

 Artillery, remarks of Napoleon on, ii. 354

 Arras, the Bishop of, his stupidity, i. #173#

 Aubry, General, i. #101#

 Augereau, Napoleon’s opinion of, i. #189#

 Austria, the Royal Family of, i. #205#

 —-- the Emperor of, letter of Las Cases to, iv. 347

 Balcombe, Mr., Las Cases’ removal to his cottage, iv. 205

 Balls, masked, fondness of Napoleon for, iii. #91#

 Barras, M., some account of, ii. #256#

 Barry, Mr., medical skill of, iv. 254
   —his intimacy with Las Cases, 263

 Bathurst, Lord, letter of Lord Castlereagh to, on the Treaty of
    Fontainebleau, iv. 133
   —Napoleon’s opinion of him, 154
   —Las Cases’ letter to, 315

 Battle, chance of danger in, ii. #39#

 Bauer, M., his opinion of Napoleon, i. #79#

 Beauharnois, Eugene, conduct of the Emperor Alexander towards i.
   —receiving his father’s sword, ii. #186#

 Beauharnois, Mad. de, her acquaintance with Napoleon, i. #103#

 —-- Stephanie, particulars respecting, ii. #196#
   —conduct of the Emperor Alexander to, #197#

 Becker, General, letter from the minister at war to, i. #17#

 Bellerophon, Embarkation of the Emperor on, board the, i. #26#
   —arrives at Torbay, #32#
   —Departure of the Emperor from the, #51#
   —Berthier, General, his conduct in Egypt, i. #134#
   —attachment of Napoleon to, #215#
   —Madame V—-- and, iii. #16#

 Bernadotte, elevated to the throne of Sweden, iii. #107#
   —letter of Napoleon to, #110#
   —the Emperor’s reflections on, iv. 109

 Bertrand, Madame, her affliction on hearing of her husband’s
    departure for St. Helena, i. #40#

 Bertrand, Count, his letter to Las Cases, iv. 354
   —his protest of the 22nd of July, 1818, 361
   —letter of to Cardinal Fesch, 363
   —correspondence of Las Cases with, 364, 367, 369, 371, 373

 Bessieres, General, some account of, i. #340#
   —his death, #341#

 Bizanet, General, his gallant conduct at Bergen-op-zoom, ii.

 Blacas, M., libels on Napoleon found in his apartment, i.

 Bonaparte, Napoleon, his return to the Elysée, after the battle of
    Waterloo, i. #10#
   —particulars relative to his abdication, #11#; iv. 114
   —the Provisional Government presented to, i. #13#
   —his departure from Malmaison, #15#
   —document authorizing General Becker to watch and guard him,
   —resolutions entered into by the commission of government
      respecting his departure from France, _ib._
   —his itinerary during his journey from Paris, #19#
   —his reception at Rochefort, #20#
   —plan to save him, _ib._
   —feeling of the South of France towards, #23#
   —discussions on his purposed escape, #24#
   —his letter to the Prince Regent, _ib._
   —suspected escape of, #25#
   —embarks on board the Bellerophon, #26#
   —visits Admiral Hotham on board the Superb, #27#
   —anecdote of, _ib._
   —etiquette of the English to, #25#
   —summary of his situation at Rochelle, dictated by himself,
   —arrives at Torbay, #32#
   —reports respecting his destination, #33#
   —curiosity excited on his reaching Plymouth, #36#
   —protests against his removal to St. Helena, #37#
   —communication made to him by Lord Keith, #37#
   —remarkable words of, #40#
   —proposes to write his memoirs, #42#, #109#
   —curious document of, when first consul, _ib._
   —his departure from Plymouth, #43#
   —his protest, _ib._
   —persons allowed to accompany, #46#
   —instructions of ministers to Admiral Cockburn respecting,
   —His effects examined by Admiral Cockburn, #50#
   —quits the Bellerophon, #51#
   —conduct of the crew of the Northumberland to, #52#
   —description of his cabin, #53#
   —Las Cases’ reflections on his abdication, #55#
   —his mode of living on board the Northumberland, #57#
   —his occupations, #59#
   —his origin, and family, #61#
   —conduct of the midshipmen to, #72#
   —details of the Emperor’s childhood, #73#
   —his attachment to Madame du Colombier, #81#
   —his extensive acquirements, #82#
   —question solved by, #83#
   —anecdotes of, #83#; iii. #229#; iv. 111
   —espouses the cause of the revolution, 85
   —commences learning English, i. #87#
   —his plan for conducting the siege of Toulon, #88#
   —takes that place, #95#
   —his assistance to emigrants, #97#
   —his attachment to Duroc, #99#
   —made a general of infantry, #101#
   —his presence of mind during a popular commotion, #103#
   —military administration of, #105#
   —his indifference to riches, #106#
   —his ascendancy over his troops, #108#
   —calumnies against, #115#
   —his advance to power, #118#
   —dictates to Las Cases his campaigns of Italy, #119#
   —respect paid to, on crossing the line, #122#
   —statements of Sir Robert Wilson regarding, #123#
   —his intrepidity, #133#
   —visits the Red Sea, #135#
   —popular among the Egyptians, #138#
   —his method of dictating, #148#
   —arrives at St. Helena, #154#
   —narrative of his residence at Briars, #156#
   —his wretched accommodation there, #158#
   —misery of his situation, #163#
   —indignant at his ill-treatment, #164#
   —communication of, to the British Government, #165#
   —his mode of living at Briars, #167#
   —libels on, #169#
   —his opinion of his libellers, #170#
   —letter of the king to, and Napoleon’s reply, #174#
   —reported to have made overtures to the French Princes,
   —his daily occupations, #176#, #195#
   —his remarks on the Council of State, #177#
   —lenity of, #180#
   —dismisses the Legislative Body, #183#
   —his reasons for dissolving the Tribunate, #185#
   —his opinion of the Generals of the army of Italy, #188#
   —his ideas on the armies of the Ancients, #189#
   —compares the French with the Romans, #191#
   —political schemes of, #192#
   —contrasts the characters of his two Empresses, #198#
   —his remarks on the education of Princes, #204#
   —his landing at Cannes, #207#
   —private amours of, #211#
   —palliates the conduct of his enemies, #214#
   —circumstances of his fall, #216#
   —officers of his household in 1814, #217#
   —his reservation of Corsica, #220#
   —reviews the events of the revolution, #221#
   —his ideas of public opinion, #223#
   —indisposition of, #234#
   —equestrian feats of, #235#
   —his diet and medicine, #236#
   —his convalescence and recreations, #237#
   —atrocious conspiracies against, #238#
   —his escape from the Infernal Machine, #240#
   —his kindness to a slave, #241#
   —state of crime during his dominion, #243#
   —escapes of, during the campaigns of Italy, #246#
   —his reflections on a field of battle, #248#
   —his remarks on several Generals, #251#, #337#
   —annoyances practised towards, #356#
   —his removal to Longwood, #260#
   —persons composing his establishment, #265#
   —Las Cases’ character of, #268#
   —the Abbe de Pradt’s analysis of his character, #269#
   —his style of addressing the Empresses, #274#
   —anecdote of and the Queen of Prussia, #276#
   —his system of espionage, #277#
   —abuses in the Post Office under, #278#
   —liberty of the Press during his reign, #280#
   —harsh treatment of at Longwood, #281#, #311#
   —his remonstrances, and the insulting replies to them, #283#
   —his ideas of popularity, #284#
   —frequent dangers and escapes of, #288#
   —his mode of answering the libels of the English Ministers,
   —amelioration of his condition, #302#, #303#
   —nick-names given to persons and places by, #307#
   —attentions paid to, by English sailors, #310#
   —his method of learning English, #324#
   —visited by Governor Wilks, #325#
   —Madame de Stäel, &c. #328#
   —his opinion of Bernardin St. Pierre and his works, #333#
   —remarks of, on French Historians, #334#
   —his personal danger at Eylau, Jena, &c., #335#
   —his progress in English, #344#, #350#
   —remarks of, on St. Helena, #346#
   —caricatures on, #357#
   —his views of French politics, #359#
   —picture of domestic happiness drawn by, #361#
   —predilection of the Algerines for, #363#
   —his opinion of the great French poets, #368#
   —his credit on his return from Elba, #372#
   —his talent as an accountant, #373#
   —remarks of on the invasion of England, #374#
   —etiquette of his court, #379#
   —the officers of his household, #383#
   —his opinion of the influence of a court on a nation, #386#
   —presentation of the Captains of the Chinese fleet to, #388#
   —facetiousness of, #390#
   —remarks of, on the character of the French, #395#
   —lamentation of, ii. #4#
   —M. Constant’s visit to, at the Tuileries, and his return from
      Elba, #10#
   —well qualified for governing the French, #12#
   —insult offered to, by Admiral Cockburn, #14#
   —his reflections on the death of Ney, #15#
   —his message for the Prince Regent respecting his inhuman
      treatment, #17#
   —affection of the inhabitants of the Isle of France for,
   —unwholesome food provided for, #19#
   —his remarks on Catiline’s conspiracy, the Gracchi, Historians,
      &c., #23#, #24#
   —on fortification, #26#
   —on moveable artillery, #27#
   —his cheerfulness, #30#
   —early friendships of, #31#
   —his universal celebrity, #32#
   —political self-examination of, #33#
   —his betrayers, #38#
   —remarks of, on his expedition to the East, #40#
   —description of his apartments, #44#
   —details of his toilet, dress, &c. #46#
   —absurd reports regarding, #47#
   —plots against, #49#
   —account of Cerache’s conspiracy against, #50#
   —his hesitation as to the course to be pursued after the battle
      of Waterloo, #57#
   —characteristic traits of, #59#
   —his opinion of Pozzo di Borgo, Metternich, Bassano, Clarke,
      Cambacérès, Lebrun Fouché, &c. #62#
   —good advice of, #72#
   —his return from Elba foreseen at the time of his departure from
      Fontainebleau, #74#
   —convention of the Allied Sovereigns respecting, #80#
   —last interview of Governor Wilks with, #84#
   —his message to the Prince Regent, #87#
   —state of his finances, #90#
   —his commercial shrewdness, #92#
   —his criticism on Voltaire, and other French dramatic writers,
   —Sir Hudson Lowe’s first insult to, #99#
   —his remarks on the Russian War, #104#
   —magnanimity of, #108#
   —his remonstrances with Sir Hudson Lowe, #116#
   —summary of his history, #120#
   —his seclusion, #121#
   —remarks of, on European Sovereigns at different periods,
   —details respecting his family, #132#
   —on the war in Spain, #134#
   —anecdote of, and Soult’s wife, #143#
   —his reception of the passengers in the Bengal fleet, #158#
   —angry interview between him and Sir Hudson Lowe, #177#
   —his observations on the Empress Josephine, #184#
   —curious details of his marriage to, and divorce from, the
      Empress Josephine, #187#
   —his reflections on popular errors, #194#
   —personal dangers of, #201#
   —political reflections of, #202#
   —his intentions if he had proceeded to America, #206#
   —letter of an American to, #207#
   —his anxiety respecting his abdication, #208#
   —observations of, on the state of French manufactures, #209#
   —on physiognomy, #210#, #389#
   —respect shown to by English soldiers, #212#
   —his affection for Corsica, #212#
   —difficulty of forming his court, #216#
   —receives a letter from his mother, #220#
   —relates the conspiracy of Georges, Moreau, and Pichegru,
   —attempts to assassinate, #225#
   —his observations on the situation of England, #226#
   —on the influence of Rousseau and Voltaire on the French,
   —his rebuke of a member of the Institute, #233#
   —public censures of, #235#
   —public attacks on, #236#
   —reflections of, on Sir Hudson Lowe, #237#
   —expenses of his household, #238#
   —transfer of his property, #239#
   —his jokes on women, #240#
   —resumes the dictation of his memoirs, #241#
   —plan of education prescribed by, #243#
   —his kindness 244
   —his imaginary schemes for the future, #252#
   —absurd reports respecting, _ib._
   —conversation of, on religion, #253#
   —his portraits of the directors, #256#
   —his celebrated order of the day, #265#
   —his conduct towards the directory, #265#
   —his influence, #263#
   —falsehood of the published conversation between him and Lord
      Whitworth, #270#
   —his opinion of the British Ministers, #273#
   —puns made by, #276#
   —his notices of Bailli, Monges, Gregoire, &c. #277#
   —his notes on the convention, #281#
   —conversation of, on the liberty of the press, #291#
   —his letter to Murat on Spanish Affairs, #302#
   —interview of the Queen of Prussia and, at Tilsit, #308#
   —his differences with the King of Prussia, #311#
   —attachment of the Emperor Alexander to, #312#
   —etiquette of, #315#
   —his conduct in the Council of State, #320#
   —his habit of taking snuff, #321#
   —attentions of his Chamberlains, _ib._
   —his delicacy, #322#
   —traits of kind feeling in, #323#
   —his speeches in the Council of State, #325#
   —his devotion to France, #326#
   —his rebuke of an Ambassador, #324#
   —on the proposal for a new organization of the National Guard,
   —his recollections of Waterloo, #333#
   —his observations on misrepresentations of authors, #336#
   —prophetic remarks of, #337#
   —conversation of, respecting Las Cases and his Atlas, #339#
   —his memory, #349#
   —his ideas of, and plans on, political economy, #350#
   —on foreign trade, #351#
   —on internal manufactures, _ib._
   —his discourse on Artillery, #354#
   —reviews the characters of his Generals, #355#
   —different tactics of, and Moreau, #357#
   —annoyed by rats, _ib._
   —imputed intrigue of, #360#
   —defence of his second marriage, #377#
   —his remarks on the pillage of armies, #379#
   —Sir Pulteney Malcolm introduced to, _ib._
   —his choice of his colleagues in the Government, #385#
   —instructs M. de Montholon’s son, #388#
   —said to be descended from the Man in the Iron Mask, #390#
   —his account of Madame Junot and her relations, #393#
   —narrates the death of Lannes, #395#
   —describes the works at Cherbourg, iii. #5#
   —improvements of, at Cherbourg, #7#
   —his plans for the advancement of his Navy, #11#
   —audience given to Sir Hudson Lowe by, and Napoleon’s
      conversation with, him, #13#
   —and Grassini, #15#
   —remarks of, on the Faubourg St. Germain, Aristocracy, Democracy,
      &c. #17#
   —observations of, on Illyria, #24#
   —on Prisons & Imprisonment, #34#
   —in Egypt, #38#
   —his Chinese servant, #40#
   —discourse of on the marvellous, #42#
   —his refutation of Gall’s and Lavater’s doctrines, #44#
   —repeated vexations of, #45#
   —interview between, and Admiral Malcolm, #49#
   —his Court, #51#
   —his rebuke of Santini, on his intending to assassinate Sir
      Hudson Lowe, #53#
   —his opinion of La Harpe and his writings, #55#
   —on monastic institutions, #56#
   —his observations on Versailles, #59#
   —his remarks on the emigration to Coblentz, #74#
   —his sentimental journey, #88#
   —present at the attack on the Tuileries, #90#
   —his attendance at masked balls, #91#
   —scientific questions proposed by, #94#
   —canals constructed by, #95#
   —public improvements of, #97#
   —his disbursements, #99#
   —projects of, #100#
   —his plan for a history of Europe, #101#
   —stigmatizes the Regency, #102#
   —his conversation respecting Gustavus III. and IV. #104#
   —elevates Bernadotte to the Swedish throne, #107#
   —his letter to Bernadotte, #110#
   —his paternal home, #113#
   —on the fatalities which had occurred to him, #118#
   —his birth-day, #123#
   —on the suppression of the Polytechnic School, #124#
   —religious idea of, #124#
   —his differences with the Pope, #129#
   —and influence over him, #131#
   —new interview and conversation with Sir Hudson Lowe, #137#
   —libels against, #141#
   —his dislike to medicine, #146#
   —protest of, #151#
   —remarks of, on Joubert, #162#
   —describes the burning of Moscow, #163#
   —his intentions if the conflagration had not taken place,
   —on the coronation of, #176#
   —cause of the exasperation of England against, #178#
   —his narrative of the campaign of Waterloo, #179#
   —the motives which regulated his conduct after the battle,
   —his plan for a political defence of himself, #194#
   —remarks of Turenne, Catinat, &c. #196#
   —errors of authors respecting, #197#
   —on his various battles, _ib._
   —Sir Sydney Smith &c. #200#
   —his departure from Egypt, #201#
   —singular changes of fortune related by, #203#
   —on Madame de Maintenon, #205#
   —interesting anecdote of M. Daru, &c. #207#
   —jocularity of, #208#
   —observations of, on the campaign of Saxony, #209#
   —his negociations, #219#
   —fatalities and perfidies which caused his failure in the
      campaign of Saxony, #229#
   —his visit to Holland, #239#
   —discourse, _ib._
   —on Revolutions, #241#
   —confidential conversation of, #247#
   —his observations on the English Colonial System, #249#
   —on the blunders of Castlereagh, #251#
   —on the National Debt, #252#
   —on liberal opinions, #255#
   —reduction of his household, #256#
   —allusions to his Court at the Tuileries, #257#
   —his _Manuscrit de L’Isle d’Elbe_, #260#
   —his inauguration as Emperor, #270#
   —alliances of, #273#
   —his marriage with Maria Louisa, #274#
   —his summary of the Campaign of Saxony, #275#
   —illness of, #281#
   —enormous gratuities of, #282#
   —his good humour, #286#
   —bad provisions, wine, &c. furnished to, _ib._
   —his criticism on Lucien Bonaparte’s “Charlemagne,” 288
   —Sir Hudson Lowe reduces the quantity of provisions allowed to,
   —narrative of his return from Elba, #290#
   —his reception by the soldiery, #295#
   —his arrival at Grenoble, #296#
   —reconciliation between him and Ney, #299#
   —conduct of his Generals on his return, #300#
   —his entry into Paris, #301#
   —his brothers and sisters who had become authors, #303#
   —statistical calculations of, #306#
   —sale of his plate, #308#
   —fresh vexations from Sir Hudson Lowe, #309#
   —conversation of, on the bills of St. Domingo, #310#
   —his plans of administrations, #313#
   —on sensibility, #316#
   —his attachment to his wife and son, _ib._
   —on the inhabitants of the East and West, Polygamy, &c.
   —particulars respecting Louis, King of Holland, related by,
   —complaints of, against the members of his family, #322#
   —his reasons for placing his relations on thrones, #324#
   —his letter to King Louis, #325#
   —his plan for a history, #331#
   —his secretary, #332#
   —great labours of, #334#
   —treachery of one of his secretaries, #338#
   —his dictation for another portion of his memoirs, #338#
   —national works of, #340#
   —his refutation of the calumnies of Castlereagh, #342#
   —peculiarities of, #345#
   —his hand-writing, #346#
   —his ideas of predestination, #347#
   —fruitless attempts of Sir Hudson Lowe to be received by, _ib._
   —conversation of, on legislation, #349#
   —in Egypt, #350#
   —reads Las Cases’ journal, #354#
   —reflections of, on his son and Austria, #360#
   —his observations on Sir Hudson Lowe’s restrictions, #363#
   —his recollections of M. de Cobentzel, #371#
   —M. de Gallo outwitted by, #372#
   —General Clarke and, #373#
   —singular dream of, #378#
   —privations of, #379#
   —his perambulations in disguise, #393#
   —conversations of, with the populace of Paris, _ib._
   —increasing illness of, #395#
   —new protest of, _ib._
   —conversation of, on Louis XVI., Marie Antoinette, Madame Campan,
      Leonard, the Princess de Lamballe, &c. #396#, #397#,
      #398#, #399#, #400#
   —his early career, iv. 4
   —remarks of a French female authoress, 7
   —his eulogium on Baron Larrey, 9
   —care taken of the wounded in his armies, _ib._
   —Las Cases’ present to, 12
   —new torments practised by Sir Hudson Lowe towards, 14
   —visible decline of, 16
   —his views and intentions with respect to the Russian war, 19
   —causes of his fall, 20
   —his instructions to M—- to serve as his guide in the Mission to
      Poland, 1812, _ib._
   —moderation of, 28
   —continued indisposition of, 29, 31, 36, 38, 65
   —discourse of on immorality, 30
   —jocular familiarity of, 34
   —the name of the GREAT NATION first applied to France by, 37
   —his proposed exchange of prisoners with England, 40
   —his designs with regard to Antwerp, 47
   —public works executed by, 52
   —report of the state of the Empire under, 60
   —observations of, on Mallet’s plot, 64
   —on French inconstancy, 65
   —allusions to his family, 67
   —his state bed, 69
   —remarks of, on Fox, Pitt, the East India Company, &c. 79
   —discussion of, on political economy, 81
   —opposition to his improvements in the, 83
   —his imperial system, 85
   —in La Vendée, 91
   —remarks of, on the drama, 92
   —anecdote respecting the Infernal Machine, &c., 94
   —Dumouriez more daring than, 97
   —Prince Leopold, &c., _ib._, 99
   —his commencement of diplomacy 101
   —his plans for the concentration of different nations, 104
   —his reasons for not divulging these plans, 108
   —remarks of, on the war with Russia, 109
   —reflections of, on Bernadotte, _ib._
   —his little confidence in the favourable issue of the events of
      1815, 110
   —his intentions of restoring the Bourbons, 113
   —ingratitude to, 114
   —occurrences on his departure from Fontainebleau, 124
   —his address to the French on his return from Elba, 125
   —allusions to his second marriage, 136
   —discourse of, on Alexander, Cæsar, Hannibal, &c. 140
   —on the art of War, 143
   —on the conscription, 145
   —on Lawsuits, 146
   —on the clergy, 147
   —misrepresentations of Madame de Stäel’s remarks on, 152
   —his opinion of Lord Bathurst, 154
   —of Lord Castlereagh, 155
   —on Lord Wellington’s conduct, 160
   —review of his principal Ministers, 162
   —treason to, 163
   —his opinion of gaming, 165
   —his account of M. de Rochefoucault, 166
   —characteristic anecdotes of, 167
   —his regard for equality of rights, 174
   —his military harangues, 176
   —his objects in creating nobility, 178
   —on the difficulties which history presents, 179
   —his discovery of the plot of Georges, &c. 183
   —his remarks on Georges, Pichegru, and Moreau, 184
   —observations of, on the Duke D’Enghien, 190
   —opportunities of procuring the assassination of his rivals, 195
   —his letter to Las Cases on his imprisonment, 220
   —his message to Las Cases on his departure, 236
   —wines sent by Las Cases to, 273
   —Las Cases’ transactions with his family, 339
   —his mother’s letter to the Congress at Aix-la-Chapelle, 343
   —continued vexations of, 354
   —illness of, 355
   —his denial of Sir Hudson Lowe’s statements, 359
   —note of, to Count Bertrand, respecting his ill-treatment, 360
   —feeling displayed on his death, 387
   —his religious notions, 393
   —his wishes as to his burial place, 394
   —advice to those around him on his death bed, _ib._
   —account of his death, 395
   —arrangements respecting his corpse, _ib._
   —funeral of, 397
   —description of his grave, 399
   —his will, 400

 Bourbons, anticipations of their overthrow, i. #232#
   —Napoleon’s intentions of restoring the, iv. 113

 Bovo, Countesse de, her amiable character, i. #201#

 Briars, narrative of Napoleon’s residence at, i. #156#
   —description of, #157#
   —wretched accommodations of the Emperor at, #158#
   —Napoleon’s mode of living at, #166#
   —the cascade at, #224#

 Brumaire, anecdotes on the 18th of, ii. #380#

 Brunswicks, degeneracy of the, ii. #376#

 Brussels, Las Cases not allowed to remain in, iv. 301

 Bulletins, accuracy of, ii. #39#

 Buonaparte, Charles, speech of, i. #66#

 —-- Jerome, character of, ii. #193#

 —-- Joseph, his amiable character, ii. #192#

 —-- Louis, particulars respecting, i. #69#

 —-- Lucien, Napoleon’s criticism on his “Charlemagne,” iii.

 —-- Madame, her parsimony, ii. #191#

 Burroughs, Sir W., Las Cases’ conversation with, ii. #160#

 Bussy, Colonel, anecdote of, i. #84#

 Caffarelli, curious particulars of, i. #141#

 Canals, constructed by the Emperor, iii. #94#

 Cannes, Napoleon’s landing at, i. #207#

 Cape of Good Hope, passage from St. Helena to, iv. 248
   —account of the town at, 250
   —Las Cases residence at, 251

 Carnot, some account of, ii. #259#

 Cartaux, General, plans of, i. #90#
   —Deputation to, #93#

 Castlereagh, Lord, impostures of, ii. #357#
   —his blunders, iii. #251#
   —Napoleon’s refutation of his calumnies, #342#
   —letter of, relative to the treaty of Fontainebleau, iv. 132
   —Napoleon’s remarks on, 154
   —character of, 155
   —his inconsistency, 157
   —Las Cases’ letter to, 259
   —Las Cases’ letter to, iv. 347

 Catiline’s conspiracy, remarks on, ii. #23#

 Caulincourt, M. letter of, correcting the errors in a work entitled
    “Campaigne de 1814,” iv. 49

 Cerachi, his conspiracy against Napoleon, ii. #50#

 Charette, some account of, iv. 89
   —his decision of character, 90

 Charles XII., death of, i. #332#

 Chateaubriand, M. de, his writings, ii. #230#
   —his appointment to the Embassy of Rome, #231#
   —his speeches, #232#
   —Clarke, General iii, #373#

 Cherbourg, situation of, iii. #4#
   —works at, #5#
   —blunders in their construction of, #6#
   —Napoleon’s improvements at, #7#

 Chevreuse, Mad. de, cause of her banishment, ii. #219#

 China Fleet, presentation of the Captains of the, to Napoleon, i.

 Clergy, observations of Napoleon on the, iv. 147

 Cobentzel, M. de, remarks on, iii. #371#

 Coblentz, sketch of the emigration to, iii. #61#
   —state of parties in, #63#
   —anecdotes respecting, #167#
   —amusements of the princes at, #68#
   —formation of the King’s troops at, #70#
   —delusions of the emigrants at, #93#
   —Napoleon’s observations on, #74#
   —arrival of the Duke of Brunswick at, #75#
   —reception of the emigrants in France, #78#

 Cockburn, admiral, seizes the effects of the Emperor, i. #50#
   —insult offered to Napoleon by, ii. #14#
   —accidental affront to, #75#
   —summary of his conduct, #77#

 Colombier, Madame de, her death, i. #81#.
   —Napoleon’s attachment to her, _ib._

 Colonial system, British, observations on, iii. #249#

 Cypriani, death of, iv. 363

 Commission of Government, resolutions entered into by the,
    respecting the departure of Napoleon, i. #15#

 Conscription, remarks on the, ii. #323#, iv. 145

 Constant, M., his visit to Napoleon at the Tuileries, ii. #10#

 Contractors during the Revolution, the Emperor’s treatment of, i.

 Convention, note of Napoleon on the, ii. #281#

 Corinne of Madame de Stael, iii. #119#

 Cornwallis, Lord, character of, ii. #272#

 Corsica, Napoleon’s reservation of, i. #220#
   —his attachment to, ii. #212#
   —The Buonaparte family attacked by the peasants of, #213#

 Corvisart, medical conversation with, i. #392#

 Council of State, the, Napoleon’s remarks on, #177#
   —freedom of discussion in, #180#
   —description of, iii. #317#
   —Napoleon’s conduct in, #320#
   —Las Cases’ speech in, #323#
   —The Emperor’s speeches in, #325#

 Courage, remarks on, i. #250#

 Crescentini, anecdote of, iii. #358#

 Crime, comparison between the state of in England, and in France,
    during the dominion of Napoleon, i. #244#

 D’Antraigues, Count, some account of, iii. #376#
   —his assassination, #377#

 D’Artois, Count, measures taken by to secure Napoleon’s interest
    for the Bourbons, i. #174#

 Daru, M. anecdote of, iii. #207#

 Decrès, Napoleon’s observations on, ii. #154#

 D’Enghien, Duke, remarks of Las Cases on, iv. 188
   —Napoleon’s observations on, 190

 Desaix, comparison between Kleber, and, i. #148#
   —his reasons for signing the capitulation of Egypt, iii.

 De Stael, Madame, particulars relative to, i. #328#
   —remarks on her Corinne, iii. #119#
   —history of Napoleon’s connexion with her, #120#
   —Napoleon’s observations on, iv. 7
   —misrepresentations respecting iv. 152

 Diplomacy, Napoleon’s commencement of, iv. 101

 Directors account of the, ii. #258#

 Directory, description of the, ii. #262#
   —Napoleon’s conduct towards the, #265#

 Divorce, on the law of, ii. #147#

 Dolgoruki, Princess, her observations on Napoleon’s court, ii.

 Drama, remarks on the, iv. 92

 Dream, singular, of Napoleon, iii. #378#

 Dresden, battle of, iii. #233#
   —particulars relative to the capitulation of, #234#

 Dromedary, hardihood of the, i. #137#

 Drouot, General, conversation of Napoleon respecting, ii. #28#

 Dugommier, General, delay of, i. #95#

 Dumesnil, General, his bravery, i. #142#

 Dumouriez, his daring, iv. 97

 Duroc, talents of, i. #99#
   —his attachment to the Emperor, #339#
   —his death, #340#

 East India Company, account of the, iv. 75
   —Mr. Fox’s bill relative to the, 77
   —remarks of Napoleon on the, 80

 Egypt, particulars relative to the Campaign of, i. #132#
   —discontent of the French Army in, #133#
   —great privations of the French troops in, #136#
   —loss sustained by the army in, #143#
   —remarks of Napoleon on, iii. #38#
   —Desaix’s reasons for signing the capitulation of, #199#
   —Napoleon’s voyage from, #201#
   —freedom of speech in, iv. 101

 Elba, Napoleon’s stay at, i. #229#
   —his situation in, ii. #74#
   —narrative of his return from, iii. #290#

 Elysée, return of the Emperor to the, after the battle of Waterloo,
    i. #10#

 Emigrants at Coblentz, iii. #61#
   —anecdotes of, #67#
   —delusions of, #73#
   —their reception in France, #78#
   —their attack on Thionville, #180#

 Emigrants, French, in England, condition of the, i. #291#
   —delusions of, ii. #34#
   —their opinion of the Emperor, #129#
   —Napoleon’s contemplated managements as to confiscation of their
      property, #130#
   —their confidence in Mr. Pitt, #309#
   —resources of, iii. #362#

 England, Napoleon’s remarks on the invasion of, i. #375#
   —the Emperor’s observations on the situation of, ii. #226#

 Europe, plan for a history of, iii. #101#

 Fain, Baron, his “Manuscript of 1814,” iv. 115

 Fauxbourg, St. Germain, particulars relative to, i. #213#

 Ferdinand of Spain and Napoleon, ii. #293#,
   —and Charles IV. #298#

 Fesch, Cardinal, Count Bertrand’s letter to, iv. 363

 Fitzherbert, Mrs., her marriage with the Prince of Wales, ii.

 Foissac, General Latour, Napoleon’s remarks on the cashiering of,
    ii. #99#

 Fontainebleau, the Concordat of, iii. #131#
   —particulars of the abdication at, #114#
   —occurrences on Napoleon’s departure from, #124#
   —Treaty of, #127#
   —letter of Lord Castlereagh, relative to the treaty of,

 Fortification, remarks on, ii. #26#

 Fouché, turpitude of, i. #12#
   —intrigues of, ii. #55#
   —particulars respecting, #67#

 Fox, Mr. and Napoleon, ii. #274#
   —his bill relative to the East India Company, iv. 17
   —remarks of Napoleon on, 79

 France, amelioration of the state of, during Napoleon’s dominion,
    ii. #36#
   —The Emperor’s devotion to, #326#
   —the Regency of, iii. #102#
   —resources of, after the Campaign of Waterloo, #179#
   —the name of the Great Nation first applied to, by Napoleon, iv.
   —report of the state of, under the Emperor, 60

 Frankfort, Las Cases settles at, iv. 309

 French, Napoleon’s remarks on the character of the, i. #395#
   —privileges of the, ii. #145#

 French government, contrasted with the English, i. #116#

 Gall, refutation of his doctrines, iii. #44#

 Gallo, M. de, outwitted by Napoleon, iii. #372#

 Gaming, remarks on, iv. 164

 Genlis, Madame de, her novels iv. 52

 Generals, Napoleon’s remarks on various, of his army, i.
    #337#—ii. #141#—355
   —their conduct on the Emperor’s return from Elba, iii. #300#

 George III. Las Cases’ character of, ii. #363#
   —particulars relative to his madness, #365#
   —attempts made to assassinate, #366#
   —Mr. Pitt’s influence over, #367#
   —his family, #369#

 Georges, discovery of the plot of, iv. 183

 Germany, narrative of Las Cases’ residence in, iv. 307

 Girondists, struggles between them and the Mountaineers, ii.

 Governments, French, extracts from Napoleon’s works on, iii.

 Goldsmith, his libels on Napoleon, i. #319#

 Goulburn, Mr., Las Cases’ letter to, iv. 374

 Gracchi, the Emperor’s remarks on, ii. #23#

 Grassini and Napoleon, iii. #15#

 Greece, disbelief of allegedevents in the history of, i. #189#

 Grégoier, described by Napoleon, ii. #278#

 Grenadier, repartee of a, ii. #87#

 Grenoble, Napoleon’s reception at, on his return from Elba,

 Guiche, Duchess of, employed by the Count D’Artois to interest
    Napoleon in favour of the Bourbons, i. #174#

 Guides, Corps of, origin of the, i. #246#

 Gustavus III. particulars relative to, iii. #104#

 Gustavus, IV. some account of, iii. #105#

 Hannibal, remarks of Napoleon on, iv. 141

 Hatfield, his attempts to assassinate George III., ii. #366#

 Heiresses, French falsehoods respecting Napoleon’s disposal of, ii.

 Historians, French, Napoleon’s remarks on, i. #334#

 History, on the difficulties which it presents, iv. 179

 Holland, the King of, Bonaparte, Louis, particulars relative to,
    iii. #321#
   —The Emperor’s letter to, #325#

 Holland, public works of Napoleon in, iv. 57

 Hortense, the Princess, ridiculous reports respecting, ii.

 Hotham, Admiral, visited by Napoleon on board the Superb, i.

 Hughes, condemnation of, i. #98#

 Illyria, observations on, iii. #24#

 Immorality, discourse of Napoleon on, iv. 30

 Inconstancy, French, remarks on, iv. 165

 Infernal machine, account of the, i. #239#

 Institute, Napoleon at the, ii. #144#
   —The Emperor’s rebuke to a member of the, #233#

 Intrigue, imputed of Napoleon, ii. #360#

 Iron mask, the man in the, conjectures respecting, ii. #389#
   —Napoleon, alleged to be descended from, #390#

 Isle of France, affection of the inhabitants of the, for Napoleon,
    ii. #17#

 Israelites, statistical calculation respecting the, iii. #306#

 Italy, results of the campaign of, i. #131#

 Jaffa, explanation of the affair at, i. #126#

 Jena, the Emperor’s danger at, i. #336#

 Jersey, Countess of, anecdote respecting, ii. #372#
   —Las Cases’ description of, #373#

 Josephine, Empress, Napoleon’s comparison of, with Maria Louise i.
   —observations of Napoleon on, ii. #184#
   —prodigality of, #185#
   —her submission on the occasion of her divorce, #187#
   —curious details respecting her marriage and divorce, _ib._
   —Maria Louisa’s jealousy of, #188#
   —her conjugal attachment, #189#
   —her arrival at Verona, iii. #114#
   —her extravagance, iv. 95

 Joubert, General, iii. #162#

 Jourdan, Marshal, observations of Napoleon on, iv. 13

 Junot, anecdote of, i. #99#
   —his expenditure, ii. #391#
   —reproved by the Emperor, #392#

 —-- Madame, particulars respecting, ii. #393#

 Keith, Lord, communication made to the Emperor by, respecting his
    exile to St. Helena, i. #37#
   —Las Cases’ conversation with on the situation of Napoleon,

 Kleber and Desaix, compared, i. #148#

 La Harpe, Napoleon’s opinion of, and his writings, iii. #55#

 Lamballe, the Princess of, iii. #399#

 Lannes, Marshal, death of, ii. #395#
   —his attachment to Napoleon, _ib._

 Lanuse, General, intrepidity of, i. #144#.

 Las Cases, requests permission to follow the Emperor, i. #13#
   —his interview with his wife, _ib._
   —excitement produced by his journey to Rochefort, #18#
   —goes on board the Bellerophon to negociate the departure of
      Napoleon, #21#
   —draws up a summary of the Emperor’s situation at Rochelle
      dictated by Napoleon himself, #29#
   —letter from his wife on his arrival at Torbay, #33#
   —his feelings on hearing of the Emperor’s probable exile to St.
      Helena, #34#
   —his intimacy with the followers of the Emperor, #41#
   —the Emperor’s confidence in, #45#
   —conversation with Lord Keith respecting the Emperor, #49#
   —writes an account of the campaigns in Italy at the Emperors
      dictation, #119#
   —his reasons for not signing his adherence to the resolution of
      the senate, #187#
   —controverts Napoleon’s opinions on the character of conquerors,
   —particulars related respecting the Fauxbourg St. Germain,
   —his conduct while the Emperor was at Elba, #227#
   —visits London, #230#
   —his return to Paris, #231#
   —the Emperor’s kindness to, #262#
   —his facilities for studying the character of Napoleon,
   —his sojourn in England when an emigrant, #292#
   —his new apartment described, #329#
   —his progenitors, #331#
   —illness of his son, #349#, ii. #156#
   —political self-examination of, #35#
   —his summary of the occurrences of the last nine months, from his
      quitting France, #41#
   —declaration signed by, #83#
   —his visit to Plantation House, #96#
   —conversation of with Sir W. Burroughs, #160#
   —his opinions of legal punishment, #161#
   —history of his Atlas, #164#
   —curious anecdote respecting the criticisms in his Atlas,
   —success of his undertaking, #172#
   —strange mercantile transaction respecting, #173#
   —the Council of State described by, #317#
   —his speech on the conscription, #323#
   —his sketch of the history of the Court of London during his
      emigration, #362#
   —fall of his son from his horse, #378#
   —his summary of occurrences in April, May, and June, #398#
   —missions of, iii. #24#
   —his tour of inspection of prisons, #26#
   —his historical sketch of the emigration to Coblentz, #61#
   —consoles the Emperor, #142#
   —ingratitude towards, #145#
   —anecdotes related by, #147#, #284#, #362#
   —kindness of an English family to, ii. #160#
   —his cousin’s conduct attributed to him, #244#
   —domestic affairs of, #281#
   —his narrative of Napoleon’s return from Elba, #290#
   —his Journal, #354#
   —accuracy of the details of, #357#
   —his interview with Sir Hudson Lowe respecting the signing the
      declaration, #385#
   —his present to Napoleon, iv. 12
   —his remarks relative to the action brought against Mr. O’Meara
      by Sir Hudson Lowe, 17
   —his account of the East India Company, 75
   —his disagreement with Sir Hudson Lowe, 137
   —reflections on his situation, 138
   —his description of Lord Sidmouth, 153
   —his remarks on the affair of the Duke D’Enghien, 188
   —visited by the servant who was taken away from him, 196
   —his arrest, 201
   —confinement of, 202
   —attentions of his companions, 202
   —examination of his papers, 203
   —removal of to Balcombe’s cottage, 205
   —his letter to Sir Hudson Lowe on his imprisonment, 208
   —his protest, 209
   —his mode of restoring Napoleon’s diamond necklace, 215
   —Sir Hudson Lowe’s examination of, 217
   —anxieties of, 219
   —letter of Napoleon to, 220
   —his reflections on the Emperor’s letter, 223
   —official document relative to his removal to the Cape, 226
   —decision of the Governor respecting, 227
   —letter which accompanied it, 228
   —his correspondence with Sir Hudson Lowe, 229
   —better treatment of, 235
   —the Emperor’s message to, 236
   —takes leave of Marshal Bertrand, 238
   —his papers sealed, 240
   —declaration of Sir Hudson Lowe to, 241
   —letters of introduction given to, 242
   —sails from St. Helena, 243
   —his passage to the Cape, 244
   —statement of his grievances, 245
   —his residence at the Cape, 251
   —his letters to Lord Somerset, 254, 255, 261, 264
   —letter to Lord Castlereagh, 257
   —his letter to the Prince of Wales, 259
   —singular incident related by, 263
   —his removal to Newlands, 269
   —account of his stay there, 270
   —wines sent by, to Longwood, 273
   —his ill health, 275
   —proceeds to Tygerberg, 277
   —his request to be allowed to return to Cape Town refused, 281
   —finally receives his passports, 285
   —particulars of his passage to Europe, _ib._
   —arrival in England, 291
   —his detention in the Downs, 292
   —not allowed to remain in England, 293
   —his letter to Lord Sidmouth, 294
   —proceeds to Ostend, 297
   —his letters to the French Ministers, 299, 308
   —sent from Brussels, 301
   —kindness shewn to, at Aix-la-Chapelle, 304
   —rejoined by his wife, 306
   —narrative of his residence in Germany, 307
   —settles at Frankfort, 309
   —his letter to Maria-Louisa, 310
   —to Prince Metternich, 311
   —to the Emperor of Russia, 312
   —to Lord Bathurst, 315
   —his petition to the English Parliament, 326
   —kindness shewn to, 338
   —his plans for sending to St. Helena, _ib._
   —transactions of with the Emperor’s family, 339
   —pecuniary difficulties of, singularly alleviated, 340
   —visits Baden, 341
   —proposals made to, at Manheim, _ib._
   —his preparations for petitioning the Congress of
      Aix-la-Chapelle, 342
   —letter of, to the Empress Maria-Louisa, 343
   —to the Congress, 344
   —to the Emperor of Austria, 347
   —to Lord Castlereagh, _ib._
   —receives a packet from St. Helena, 351
   —communication of, to Lord Liverpool respecting the printing of
      his letters, 352
   —Count Bertrand’s letter to, 354
   —correspondence of, with Count Bertrand, 364, 367, 369, 371, 373
   —his letter to Mr. Goulburn, 374
   —his representations to the Congress, 375
   —constrained to quit Baden, 377
   —ridiculous reports respecting, 378
   —his letter to the Emperor Alexander at Laybach, 384
   —receives intelligence of Napoleon’s death, 386

 Larrey, Baron, the Emperor’s eulogium on, and generosity to, iv. 9

 Lavater, refutation of his system, iii. #44#

 La Vendée, Napoleon in, iv. 91

 Lawsuits, remarks on, iv. 146

 League, Napoleon’s account of the, iii. #261#

 Lefevre, Mad., her goodness of heart, ii. #181#

 Legislation, conversation of Napoleon on, iii. #349#

 Legislative body, dissolution of the, i. #183#

 Leipsic, the battle of, iii. #227#, #278#
   —loss of the French and allies at, #228#

 Leopold, Prince, and Napoleon, iv. 97, 99

 Lepaux, La Reveillere, Napoleon’s description of, ii. #258#

 Liberality, on the progress of, ii. #62#

 Line, ceremony on crossing it, #121#

 London, Las Cases’ sketch of the history of the Court of, during
    his emigration, ii. #362#

 Longwood, preparations for the Emperor’s reception at, i.
   —description of, #263#
   —etiquette at, iii. #21#

 Louis XIV., his expenditure at Versailles, iii. #98#.

 —-- Phillipe, during his emigration, iii. #351#

 Lowe, Sir Hudson, his arrival at St. Helena, ii. #70#
   —his first interview with Napoleon, #76#
   —description of his person, #79#
   —his insinuations to Las Cases, #96#
   —his ill-natured conduct, #97#
   —his first insult and instance of cruelty, #99#
   —Napoleon’s remonstrances with, #116#,
   —ridiculous invitation sent by, #143#
   —stormy interview between him and Napoleon, #177#
   —tyrannical conduct of, ii. #227#
   —his statements respecting the expenses at Longwood, #360#
   —renewed insults of, #386#, #387#
   —conversation of Napoleon with, iii. #13#, #137#
   —Santini’s projected assassination of, #53#
   —protest addressed to, #151#
   —his cavillings, #246#
   —reduction of the Emperor’s expenditure, by, #256#
   —limits the quantity of provisions allowed to Napoleon,
   —fresh vexations from, #309#
   —his fruitless attempts to be received by the Emperor, iii.
   —complaints of, #355#
   —his restrictions on Napoleon’s household, and the Emperor’s
      observations on, #363#
   —declaration required by, from the followers of Napoleon,
   —cruel insult of, #382#
   —his conversation with the individuals of Napoleon’s suite,
   —tyrannous conduct of, iv. 3
   —new torments invented by, 14
   —Las Cases’ disagreement with, 137
   —examines Las Cases’ papers, 203
   —Las Cases’ letter to, on his imprisonment, 208
   —decision of, respecting, 227
   —Las Cases’ correspondence with, 229
   —declaration of, to Las Cases, 241
   —continued ill-treatment of, iv. 350
   —his tyrannical conduct to Mr. O’Meara, 355
   —letter of, to Count Montholon respecting the removal of Mr.
      O’Meara, 362
   —Count Montholon’s answer, _ib._

 Lutzen, the battle of, iii. #213#

 Macoy, Col., visits Napoleon, i. #354#

 Maintenon, Madame de, the Emperor’s observations on her marriage
    with Louis XIV., iii. #205#.

 Maitland, Capt., his alarm at the supposed escape of Napoleon, i.

 Malcolm, Sir Pulteney, introduced to Napoleon, ii. #379#
   —his conversation with him, iii. #49#

 Mallet, plot of, iv. 64

 Manheim, Las Cases’ residence at, iv. 341

 Manufactures, French, Napoleon’s remarks on the state of, ii.

 Manuscript of St. Helena, iv. 279

 Manuscrit de l’Ile d’Elbe, extracts from, iii. #260#

 Marbois, M. de, ludicrous hoax on, ii. #113#

 Marie Antoinette, Madame Campan’s account of, iii. #397#

 Maria Louisa, Empress, her marriage to Napoleon, i. #199#
   —accouchement of, ii. #21#
   —reported joke of, #114#
   —her jealousy of Josephine, #188#
   —particulars relative to her marriage, iii. #274#
   —Las Cases’ letters to, iv. 310

 Massena, General, i. #189#

 Medicine, Napoleon’s opinion of, i. #391#, iii. #146#

 Megrigny, Madame de, and Napoleon, iii. #93#.

 Memoirs of Napoleon, by one who was constantly near him during
    fifteen years, i. #151#

 Mendicity, establishment for, in France, iii. #22#

 Ménéval, M., Secretary to Napoleon, iii. #332#
   —his assiduity, #333#

 Metternich, Prince, letter of Las Cases to, iv. 311

 Ministers, British, perfidy of, ii. #272#
   —Napoleon’s opinion of, #273#

 —-- Napoleon’s review of his, iv. 162

 Monges, character of, ii. #278#

 Montebello, Duchesse de, appointed Lady of Honour to Maria Louisa,
    i. #200#

 Montesquiou, Mad. de, educates the King of Rome, i. #203#

 Montesson, Madame de, applies for the title of Duchess of Orleans,
    iv. 33.

 Montholon, Count, his letter to Sir Hudson Lowe, iii. #151#

 Montholon, Madame de, her return to Europe, iv. 382

 Montveran, M., his account of the Campaign of Saxony, iii.

 Moreau, conspiracy of, Georges, and Pichegru, ii. #221#
   —his trial, #225#
   —different tactics of Napoleon and, #357#
   —discovery of the plot of, iv. 183

 Moscow, the conflagration of, iii. #164#, #172#,
   —consequences of the, #165#
   —the approach to, #167#
   —description of, #168#
   —its public buildings, #169#
   —cause of the re-burning of, #171#
   —conduct of the inhabitants of, #173#.

 Murat, death of, i. #351#
   —particulars respecting, _ib._
   —Napoleon’s clemency to, #352#
   —letter from Napoleon to, on the affairs of Spain, ii. #302#
   —his treachery, #396#
   —his character drawn by Napoleon, #397#.

 Nantes, Anecdotes of the Bishop of, iii. #128#.

 Narbonne, Count de, Maria Louisa’s dislike of, i. #202#
   —attachment of the Emperor to, ii, #89#.

 National Debt, English, remarks of Napoleon on the, iii. #252#
   —means of reducing the, #253#.

 Nations, plans for the concentration of different, iv. 104
   —the Emperor’s reasons for not divulging these plans, 108.

 Navy, Napoleon’s plans for improving the, iv. 83.

 Newlands, removal of Las Cases to, iv. 269
   —account of his stay there, 270.

 Ney, Napoleon’s remarks on the memorial in justification of, i.
   —comparison between the fates of Turenne and, #259#
   —Napoleon’s reflections on the death of, ii. #15#
   —reconciliation of the Emperor with, iii. #299#.

 Nintz, Napoleon’s sentimental journey to, iii. #88#

 Nobility, Napoleon’s objects in creating, iv. 178.

 Northumberland, the conduct of the crew of, to Napoleon, i.
   —description of the Emperor’s cabin on board, #53#
   —departure of, ii. #334#.

 Offenbach, Las Cases’ residence at, iv. 380

 O’Meara, Dr., the Emperor’s explanation with, ii. #128#
   —Las Cases’ remarks respecting the action brought against, by Sir
      Hudson Lowe, iv. 17
   —extracts from his work, #246#
   —Sir Hudson Lowe’s tyrannic treatment of, iv. 355
   —the Governor’s letter to Count Montholon respecting the removal
      of, 362

 Paris, Napoleon’s improvements at, iii. #97#
   —his entry into, on his return from Elba, #301#

 Parisians, habits of the, ii. #246#

 Parliament, Las Cases’ Petition to, iv. 326

 Patience, German, curious instance of, ii. #276#.

 Paul, Emperor, character of, iii. #109#
   —letters of, #116#

 Physiognomy, observations of Napoleon on, ii. #210#,

 Pichegru, account of, i. #74#
   —his opinion of Napoleon, #76#
   —betrayal of, ii. #222#
   —trial of, #225#
   —discovery of the plot of, #183#.

 Piedmont, power of the king of, iii. #93#.

 Piontkowski, some account of, i. #364#
   —caricature on his arrival at St. Helena, #365#
   —arrested by Sir Hudson Lowe, iii. #360#

 Pitt, Mr., his influence, ii. #364#
   —his imputed tyranny, #367#
   —remarks of Napoleon on, iv. 79

 Plantation House, account of, i. #304#

 Plymouth, curiosity excited at, by the arrival of Napoleon at, i.

 Poets, French, Napoleon’s opinion of, i. #368#

 Politeness, importance of, ii. #167#

 Politics, French, the Emperor’s views of, i. #360#

 Political economy, Napoleon’s ideas of, and plans on, ii.
    #350#, iv. 81

 Polygamy, observations on, iii. #318#

 Polytechnic school, suppressions of, iii. #124#

 Pope, situation of the, at Fontainebleau, i. #253#

 —--, power of the, iii. #129#

 Portalis, disgrace of, i. #181#

 Pradt, Abbé de, his analysis of the character of Napoleon, i.
   —defends the Emperor against the animadversions of the Allied
      Sovereigns, #271#
   —describes the Emperor’s Court at Dresden, ii. #103#

 Prague, the Congress of, iii. #216#
   —negociations at, #225#

 Predestination, Napoleon’s ideas of, iii. #347#

 Prefects, their power, iv. 85
   —liberality of Napoleon to, 87

 Press, liberty of the, under Napoleon, i. #280#
   —conversation on the, ii. #291#

 Prince of the Peace; the, and Napoleon, ii. #298#

 Princes, Napoleon’s remarks on the education of, i. #204#

 Prisoners, proposed exchange of French and English, iv. 40
   —treatment of, in France, 45
   —anecdotes of English, 70

 Prisons, French state of, iii. #31#
   —the Emperor’s observations on, #34#

 Protestantism and Popery, iii. #128#

 Provisional Government, the, presented to the Emperor, i. #13#

 Prussia, the Queen of, anecdote of Napoleon and the, i. #276#
   —interview between her and Napoleon at Tilsit, ii. #308#

 ———— the king of, differences between him and Napoleon, ii.
   —his awkwardness, _ib._

 Rats, annoyances from, at St. Helena, ii. #357#

 Reade, Colonel, visits Napoleon, iii. #353#

 Recamier Madame, particulars relative to, iv. 151

 Religion, conversation of Napoleon on, ii. #253#, iii.

 Rewbel, described by Napoleon, ii. #258#

 Revolution, Napoleon’s notes on Robespierre and the other leaders
    of the, ii. #288#
   —observations of the Emperor on the, iii. #242#
   —effects of the, #266#

 Revolutions, discourse of Napoleon on, iii. #241#

 Robespierre, character of, i. #221#

 —-- the younger, i. #100#

 Rochefoucault, M. de-la,Napoleon’s account of, iv. 166

 Rome, the King of, his education, i. #203#
   —particulars of his birth, ii. #21#, iii. #274#

 Ross, Captain, his agreeable manners, i. #120#

 Russia, discourse on the war with, ii. #104#, iv. 109
   —conversation of Napoleon regarding, iii. #162#
   —the Emperor’s views and intentions with respect to the war with,
      iv. 19
   —physical advantages of, 73

 —-- the Emperor of, Napoleon’s remarks on, i. #400#
   —conversation respecting the war with, ii. #104#
   —plans of, #107#
   —his attachment to Napoleon, #312#
   —Las Cases’ letter to, #312#

 St. Denis, expiatory altars at, i. #224#

 —-- Domingo, the expedition to, ii. #279#

 Santini projects the assassination of Sir Hudson Lowe, iii.

 —-- adventures of, iv. 389

 Savary, reply of, to an agent of the king’s, ii. #314#
   —conversation of Napoleon in the bills of, iii. #310#

 St. Helena, the Emperor protests against his removal to, i.
   —arrival of Napoleon at, #154#
   —ball given by the Admiral at, #226#
   —Government of, #309##
   —the Emperor’s remarks on, #346#
   —scanty resources of, #347#
   —unhealthy climate of, ii. #40#
   —arrival of the Foreign Commissioners at, #315#
   —shooting party at, iii. #122#
   —departure of Las Cases from, iv. 243

 St. Jean D’Acre, particulars relative to the siege of, i.

 St. Pierre, Bernardin, his writings, i. #332#

 Saxony, the campaigns of, observations of Napoleon on the, iii.
   —M. Montveran’s account of, #213#
   —negociations during, #219#
   —fatalities and perfidies which caused the failure of Napoleon
      in, #229#
   —summary of, #275#

 Schönbrunn, the fanatic of, ii. #51#

 Schools, military, Napoleon’s plan of education in, ii. #243#

 Secretaries of state, opinion of, iii. #314#

 Sensibility, remarks on, iii. :316

 Serrurier, Napoleon’s opinion of, i. #189#

 Sidmouth, Lord, account of, iv. 153
   —Las Cases letter to, 294

 Sieyes, his opinion of Napoleon, i. #172#
   —avarice and knavery of, ii. #382#
   —anecdotes of, iii. #390#
   —character of, #391#

 Smith, Sir Sydney, remarks on, iii. #200#

 Somerset, Lord, Las Cases letters to, iv. 254, 255, 261, 264
   —character of, 268

 Soult, injustice done to, ii. #29#
   —anecdote of Napoleon and the wife of, #143#

 Spain, Napoleon’s remarks on the war in, ii. #134#, #292#
   —errors committed during the war in, #296#

 Spaniards, character of ii. #136#

 Stuart, Mrs., Napoleon’s conversation with, i. #197#

 Suffren, M. de, account of, iv. 82

 Supplement to the Memoirs of Las Cases’, iv. 393

 Talleyrand, Napoleon’s comments on, ii. #64#, iii. #118#

 Tartuffe, opinion of, iii. #144#

 Tascher, Mlle. de, her marriage, i. #202#

 Thionville, attack of the Emigrants on, iii. #80#

 Throne, Imperial, establishment of the, iii. #269#

 Tilsit, transactions during the conferences at, ii. #307#

 Torbay, arrival of the Emperor at, i. #32#

 Toulon, surrendered to the English, i. #86#

 Tourneur, de la Manche, Napoleon’s account of, ii. #261#

 Tours, the Archbishop of, iii. #136#

 Toussaint L’Ouverture, some account of, ii. #280#

 Trade-winds, explained, i. #110#

 Tribunate, Napoleon’s reasons for dismissing the, i. #185#

 Tristan de Montholon, instructed by Napoleon, ii. #388#

 Tuileries, attack on the, iii. #90#
   —allusions to Napoleon’s court at, #257#

 Tygerberg, account of Las Cases residence at, iv. 278

 Valency, situation of the Spanish Princes at, i. #252#

 Versailles, observations on the Court of, iii. #59#

 Veterans, Napoleon’s intentions respecting the employment of, ii.

 Voltaire, criticism on his Mahomet, ii. #94#

 Wales, the Prince of, his marriage with Mrs. Fitzherbert, ii.
   —his excesses, #371#
   —fascinating manners of, #373#
   —his treatment of the Princess, _ib._
   —Las Cases’ letter to, iv. 259

 —-- Princess Charlotte of, opinion of the English respecting, iv.
   —her high spirit, 99

 War, the art of, remarks of Napoleon on, iv. 143

 Ware, Col. visits Las Cases, iv. 271

 Waterloo, the battle of, Napoleon accounts for his losing it, i.
    #249#, iv. 161
   —measures that might have been adopted by Napoleon after, ii.
   —the Emperor’s hesitation as to the course to be pursued after,
   —his recollections of, #333#
   —his narrative of, iii. #179#
   —resources of France after, #179#
   —the motives which regulated Napoleon’s conduct after, #181#

 Wellington, Lord, Napoleon’s remarks on, iv. 160

 Whitworth, Lord, reported conversation between him and Napoleon,
    ii. #270#

 Wilks, Governor, his interview with Napoleon at St. Helena, i.
   —takes leave of the Emperor, ii. #84#

 Wilson, Sir Robt., erroneous statements of, i. #123#

 Wine, bad, furnished to Napoleon, iii. #257#
   —allowance of, to the Emperor’s household, #289#

 Women, Napoleon’s jokes upon, ii. #239#
   —repugnance of, to let their age be known, iii. #258#

 Wurmser, campaign against, iii. #114#




                         Transcriber’s Note

Errors deemed most likely to be the printer’s have been corrected,
and are noted here. The references are to the page and line in the
original. The issues tabulated below should be noted, along with the

Variants of proper names have been replaced with the most commonly
accepted version, in order to facilitate text searches.

The formatting and punctuation in the Index, which covers all four
volumes, has been normalized where necessary to follow the intended

There were a number of instances in the text where quoted material
was missing either an opening or closing quotation mark. The proper
placement is not always obvious, but the most plausible choice has
been made in each case.

One instance occurs on p. 247, when Las Cases is paraphrasing a
passage from Barry O’Meara’s book _Napolean in Exile_: the passage
beginning ‘only wanted to make’ is as suitable a place as any to
re-assume the quotation and make sense of the closing quotation mark
several lines later.

The references in the table below are to the page and line in the
original printed text. Entries for the index will have an indicator
of the column as the second digit.

  10.8     delivered up defenceless to the barbarians.[”] Added.

  34.38    he had just em[lp/pl]oyed;                     Transposed.

  44.10    [“]When, at length, they determined to treat   Added.

  49.16    that would inev[eti/it]ably have been imposed  Replaced.

  49.22    Inserted in that Jo[u]rnal                     Added.

  51.8     yet the pro[gid/dig]ies of his return          Transposed.

  54.11    Vimereux, Amblet[ue/eu]se, and Etaples         Transposed.

  58.27    But the object which particular[l]y engrossed  Added.

  58.40    and Decr[e/è]s, the minister, indefatigably    Replaced.

  67.42    they would have given me every proof of it[.]” Added.

  68.37    better and better pleased with your book.[”]   Added.

  73.9     answering any inq[iu/ui]ries he might make     Transposed.

  74.35    (this he pronounced very emphaticall[l]y)      Removed.

  81.1     the Minister Decr[é/è]s, on the subject here   Replaced.
           alluded to.

  92.10    a whim on the pa[s/r]t of the conqueror?       Replaced.

  94.38    Then, after a few moments[’] silence           Added.

  105.38   but Frederick the Great.[”]                    Added.

  112.40   saying, [“]I go to oppose the enemy,           Added.

  113.20   the deg[ar/ra]ding conditions which were       Transposed.

  121.6    upon Paris[, /. “]Here I wanted firmness,”     Replaced.
           said he;

  122.9    “Yes,” said the Emperor, [“]and those orders   Added.

  122.21   It is certain that at Fontain[e]bleau          Added.

  125.36   The victories of Cham[p]-Aubert, Montmirail,   Added.

  126.23   he would never allow it[ it] to be said        Removed.

  130.36   from delica[c]y to the Emperor Alexander.      Added.

  136.1    that he had int[ne/en]ded to make choice       Transposed.

  136.21   one of his Ministers (the Duke Decr[é/è]s)     Replaced.

  141.15   the most su[r]prising character                Added.

  143.34   that it should be sup[p]ressed                 Added.

  148.22   [“]But,” it was asked,                         Added.

  148.41   Historie critique et raisonn[e/é]e      Replaced.

  157.4    of the monstrous in[s/c]onsistency of a        Replaced.

  164.29   and a man of considerable fortune.[”]          Added.

  169.26   [“]At the same period,                         Removed.

  180.30   [“]I have seen the plan of my own battle       Added.

  193.15   the Duke d’Engh[ei/ie]n, who might now be      Transposed.

  208.8    I therefor[s/e] wrote to the Governor          Replaced.

  212.10   You have spok[o/e]n to me, Sir                 Replaced.

  214.11   to converse with me re[s]pecting the letters   Added.

  215.42   ready for you some time[;] it was written      Restored.

  221.22   the first article of his in[s]tructions        Added.

  221.35   those persons who are in[s]trusted with the    Removed.

  230.7    [“]You are too advantageously situated         Added.

  241.14   to permit me [s/t]o seal them with my arms     Replaced.

  242.22   [“]DEC. 31, 1816.”                             Added.

  246.27   describes the Emperor to have said[,]          Added.

  247.5    that Sir Hudson Lowe said[,]                   Added.

  247.8    [“]only wanted to make an instrument of him    Added.

  251.20   [vieing] with each other                       _sic_

  262.38   he was acting in[ in] conformity with orders   Redundant.

  263.38   the reproach of having addr[e]ssed no          Added.

  265.11   to depend entirely on my own resour[s/c]es.    Replaced.

  268.6    I had been so exce[e]dingly unwell             Added.

  272.6    visited in our solitude [h/b] numerous         Replaced.

  285.9    Thus I was  absolut[le/el]y a prisoner         Transposed.

  286.13   Our b[i/e]rth was small, dirty, and            Replaced.

  306.29   it was found nec[c]essary to allow me          Removed.

  327.9    if they never had been tran[s]gressed.         Added.

  328.29   and not to cho[o]se for him                    Added.

  329.40   to be thus compromised[./?]                    Replaced.

  330.1    and by removing or with[h]olding               Added.

  332.23   of the feelings of the illustr[i]ous victim?   Added.

  337.29   of your laws to foreign solicitations.[’]      Added.

  347.31   without incurring my anger—--[”]               Added.

  348.36   also the pe[e/c]uliar circumstances            Replaced.

  352.41   and pronounce[d] in the last instance          Added.

  368.20   on board the _Bel[l]erophon>_                  Added.

  370.30   is inspired with the [c/s]ame sentiments       Replaced.

  371.5    [“]I have at last received                     Removed.

  371.14   [“]My health is still as indifferent           Removed.T

  394.5    [“]You are a physician,” replied he laughing,  Added.

  394.19   near the limpid stream of this pure water.[”]  Added.

  409.28   in order to dis[c]harge my legacies.           Added.

  413.1.45 Army, the French, conspiracy in,[ in] Egypt,   Removed.
           i. 133

  414.2.33 his wretched accommo[c/d]ation there           Replaced.

  414.2.51 his ideas on the armies of the An[s]cients     Removed.

  414.2.53 politic[e/a]l schemes of,                      Replaced.

  414.2.54 contrasts th[a/e] characters of his            Replaced.

  419.1.32 Chateaubr[an/iand], M. de, his writings,       Replaced.

  421.1.54 Holland, public works of Napo[f/l]eon in       Replaced.

  424.2.64 —continued ill-treatment of, i[i/v]. 350       Wrong

  425.2.15 Protestan[t]ism and Popery                     Added.

Any external links referred to in these notes, or in the other
volumes in this work referred to in the Index, cannot be assumed to
be functional. They are working at the time of this project’s
posting in January, 2017.

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