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sumed a tone unusually rancorous. France, by the intrigues, and even In theatres and public places every open declaration of Talleyrand, her scurrilous reflection and conimon- minister at the Congress, held a place satire on English customs was course hostile to Britain, and endeaapplied personally to our countrymen voured by various means to force upwho chanced to be present, by an on the Congress the revisal, or rather audience calling themselves the most alteration, of the maritime law of nacivilized in the civilized world. tions, in hopes of arriving at the esta

It was unreasonably argued, that blishment of the long desiderated the British government had excited, principle, that free bottoms make free or at least aggravated, this irritation, goods. With what plausibility such by sending the Duke of Wellington, a discussion could be proposed, or on whom no Frenchman could look how it was expected that England, without feelings of national humilia- triumphant, and over whom not one tion, to be the resident ambassador of of the powers whose plenipotentiaries his Majesty at the court of France. were assembled in Congress, could But, not to mention that no such ef- pretend to exercise a coercive influfects were to be apprehended, froin ence, should yield rights to which she the unbounded applause with which had adhered as her palladium in the Paris had at first received the British darkest hour of her history, it is not general, we see no reason that our for us to conjecture. The attempt country should have lost the advan- was probably made to shew, that the tage of the duke's diplomatic talents, heads of the Bourbons were entirely in deference to the unreasonable sen. French at heart, and free from any sibility of the French, to which per- partiality in favour of England; or haps but too nuch respect had been perhaps they gave way to the ebulli. paid in other respects. It is gene- tion of national feeling, as a timid rally known, that Wellington, like horseman contents himself with an Marlborough, (the only name in Bri- attempt to guide the run-away steed, tish history which approaches his whose course he cannot check. own) has been as successful in trea- Other intrigues of France at the ties as in battles. Not that he pos. Congress were more consistent with sesses the winning address of Church- the interests, or at least the feelings, ill, which almost gained the iron of the royal family. An attempt was heart of Charles of Sweden; but be made to instigate the other powers cause, open, manly, and decisive, in against Bernadotte and Murat, whose the cabinet as in the field, he has authority in Sweden and Naples emasubstituted strong reason and plain pated originally from that of Buona. sense for artifice and finesse, and parte, and shared his taint of usurpacarried his point in political discus- tion. Bernadotte lay distant from sion, as in war, by marching straight France, and had besides, in the camup to it. He had claims upon the paign of 1813, deserved well of the gratitude of many of the French ge. European league. The merits of nerals, from his active interference Murat were more questionable, and with Louis in their behalf; and if his there were hopes of embittering presence at Paris was disagreeable to against him Austria, always jealous the French, it was only because they of her Italian possessions. Various hater in him the representative, as

documents were exhibited to the he had been the sustainer, of the ho. Duke of Wellington, as tending to nour of his country,

establish that King Joachim had played a double part during the Italian of the British government in behalf campaign of 1814, and continued to of his royal friend of Naples. It is promaintain an under-hand correspond- bable that Lord Oxford received no ence with Buonaparte. But, in the other answer than is usually given at Duke of Wellington's opinion, these a compulsory audience. But his lorddocuments failed to make out the case ship, however, directed his course founded upon them. They indicated, again to Naples, as a mediator, who he allowed, that Murat acted with returned to give an account of his reluctance against his brother-in-law; mission, and he took Paris in his road. but did not imply his being untrue to Those to whom the noble earl is the allies. The repulse of the British known will not suspect him of hatchminister did not prevent the Bour- ing or abetting high treason, and the bons from assuming an hostile attitude British public therefore learned with towards Joachim. His name was not surprize, that his lordship had been ar. permitted to appear as King of Naples rested by the French police at a stage in the Royal Almanack of France,- beyond Paris, called 'Ville Juif, and a trifle in itself, but one of those tri- compelled to deliver up his papers, fles which are important among sove- from which was taken by the commisreigns. A proclamation of Louis re- sary of police a quantity of letters adcalled all Frenchmen, civil and mili- dressed to different persons at Naples, tary, from the service of Murat, and and elsewhere beyond the bounds of numbers left Naples in consequence. France. This violence was slightly This was a measure decidedly hostile. covered by the intimation, that his Talleyrand, instigated, it is said, partly lordship had no title to diminish the by personal resentment for the loss revenue of the French post-office by of his principality of Beneventum, the taking so voluminous a correspondrevenues of which had been confis- ence under his charge; and with this cated by Murat, urged his ruin by supercilious explanation the commisevery art of persuasion, and we shall sary acquainted bis lordship he might presently see that the versatile im- proceed on his journey. Lord Oxprudence of Joachim himself precipi- ford chose rather to return to Patated his catastrophe.

ris, and carry his complaint to the In the mean while, Murat was not Duke of Wellington. Apparently without frienus and abettors in France, the French government alleged serias appeared from a remarkable inci- ous grounds for this strong measure dent, peculiarly illustrative of the dise against a British nobleman; for the content of the army, and the weak. explanations which were given were ness of the government. Lord Ox. satisfactory to the British ambassaford, with his lady, had resided for dor, and the letters were not resome time in the court of King Joa. turned to Lord Oxford, or any apochim, where they were treated with logy made for the manner in which the distinction which their rank re- he had been treated. Extraordinary quired. His lordship, leaving his fa- precautions were adopted for the satemily at Naples, had proceeded to ty of the Tuilleries, as if some exEngland apparently on important bu- traordinary conspiracy had been dissiness, where he demanded and ob- covered; the gates of the gardens, tained from the Prince Regent an and of the Place de Carousel, were audience, in his capacity of a peer of shut at an unusually early hour ; ballthe realm, in which his lordship is sup- cartridges were served out to the posed to have reclaimed the protection guards of the palace, and an air of

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apprehension, real or assumed, cha. bound to acknowledge, Excelman racterized all the movements of the petitioned the Chamber of Deputies government. About the same time, for redress against what he termed General Maison published an order an abuse of power, and violation of for the regular observance of the pa- domicile, and his wife lodged a simitroles of Paris, which breathed a spi- lar petition, complaining of the rigour rit of greater apprehension of insur- exercised by the officers while searchrection than the king had yet mani. ing for her husband. After a warm fested. This intercepted packet is debate, in which the opposition memalso supposed to have given rise to bers voted for receiving both petithe arrest of General Dufour and tions, the general's was rejected, and others; but no case was completely that of Madame Excelman was recanvassed before the public, except. ferred to the government. ing that of Count Excelman.

By a singular coincidence, while This officer, long colonel of the the Chamber was occupied in delifirst regiment of the chasseurs-à-che- berating whether they ought to enval, had been created by Buonaparte tertain a petition from an officer, who, a general of division and count of the being accused of military disobediempire, and now resided at Paris as ence, had fled from arrest and trial, inspector-general of the first division. one of a very different nature came It appears, that among the letters under their cognizance, serving to reof which Lord Oxford condescended mind them how similar dilinquencies, to be the bearer, was one from Ge- nay, even the disproved suspicion of neral Excelman to Murat, expres

them, was treated under the govern. sive of his own devoted attachment, ment of Buonaparte. Field-Marshal and assuring him, “ that thousands Grissolles had been tried as a Ven. of brave officers, formed in his school, dean by a special commission, and and under his eye, would have been solemnly acquitted. But, instead of ready at his call, had matters not regaining his liberty, he was for three taken a turn in his favour.” Dupont, years imprisoned in the Temple, and then minister at war, contented him- from thence transferred to the Bicetre. self with admonishing General Excel- Here he was loaded with irons, and man to be more cautious in his cor. immured in a dungeon eight feet respondence in future; but his suc- square, which had been recently plascessor Soult, affecting greater rigour, tered, lest his constitution should replaced the general on half-pay, and sist the mere confinement, and the ordered him to retire to Bar-sur- ordinary damp of the den. For two Ornain, which he named as the place years he suffered tortures only equalwhere he was in future to receive it. led by those of the celebrated Baron Excelman alleged the situation of his Trenck, and his petition (which was wife, then on the eve of being con. referred to the government), set forth

as an excuse for delaying his in the most horrid colours the secrets departure, and entered into farther of Buonaparte's prison-house. It may expostulations, which terminated in seem impossible, that, comparing the his formal refusal to obey the order case of Marshal de Grissoles with that for leaving Paris, and in his escape of General Excelman, there should from the officers sent to arrest him, exist such blinded folly and prejudice, in consequence of his disobedience. as would prefer the domination of the While thus in open resistance to the iron-handed despot to that of the leauthority, which, as a soldier, he was gitimate, and perhaps too feeble mo,


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narch, and proclaim that in doing so, was the nature of the delict inferred they favoured the cause of liberty, in the last article of accusation. It is Yet the event showed that prejudice manifest from the high and scornful and faction could achieve this extra- tone assumed by the accused party, ordinary conquest over reason and that he was already certain of his ac

quittal, which, accordingly, was uns The termination of General Excel. animously pronounced by the court. man's affair consisted in his surrendere martial. “General Excelman seized ing himself to a court-martial, in which the first opportunity," (we are inform: Count D’Erlon presided, and under- ed by the Journal of Debates) “which

going a trial at Lisle. In the bis freedom afforded to present him. 14 Jan. letter announcing his sur self at the foot of the throne, return 1811. render, he states, that it was thanks to his majesty for the justice

made in consequence of his which had been rendered him, and acquaintance with “ the justice and swear fidelity a toute epreuve." How enlightened sentiments” of the mem- he kept his oath we shall presently bers of the court-martial; an intima- learn. tion which seemed to anticipate the The reflecting part of the nation issue of the trial. The accusations could not but see, in the conduct of against him were, 1. That he had cor. General Excelman, and that of the responded with the public enemy, court-martial who gave it their sanc. namely, with Joachim Murat, whose tion, a resolution formed by the army sovereignty had not been recognised to shake themselves free of subordi. by France. 2. That he had commitnation to the king. If a government ted an act of espionage, by acquaint- has any authority over its soldiers, it ing Murat with the dispositions of the must consist in the power of assigning French officers in his favour. 3. That them their posts and places of resihe had written things derogatory to dence, and such authority is exercised the king's person and authority. 4. wherever a standing army is known. That he had disobeyed the orders of Yet so much was this point of discithe minister at war. 5. That he had pline disputed, or at least regarded as violated his oath as a Chevalier de St a grievance, by the French officers, Louis. Interrogated by the court on that General Flahault having expressthese heads of accusation, he replied ed himself on the subject of Excelto them in order. 1. That he could man's disgrace in a manner disagreenot be guilty of corresponding with able to the minister at war, and bethe enemies of France, since France, ing commanded to retire from Paris, at this moment, was at peace with all immediately sent in the resignation the powers of Europe. 2. That he of his decorations and military rank. disdained to make any reply to the ar- Every thing seemed to indicate that ticle accusing him of espionage. 3. an understanding pervaded the army That his profound respect for the king of their independent existence as rendered it impossible he could be separate order of the state, subject to guilty of the third charge, and that in no external authority, not even his letter there was not a word appli- that of the sovereign whom they ac cable to his majesty. 4. That he had knowledged as their master. Yet the resisted an order to exile himself, be. correspondence of Excelman wit cause the minister of war had no law. Murat

. seems to exclude the ides ful authority to issue such a mandate. that he had at that time hopes of the 5. That he did not understand what re-appearance of his ancient master since he would otherwise have natu- his life as met the harsh construction rally addressed Buonaparte himself. of the world. In giving free and easy And although the fact of an actual answers to those who conversed with organized and existing conspiracy, him, and especially to Englishmen of having the Isle of Elba for its object, rank, Buonaparte found a ready means and its centre, is strongly averred by of communicating to the public such some of the French writers, and is explanations concerning his past life even said to have existed within a as were best calculated to serve his few weeks after the restoration of the wishes. More modest than his BriBourbons, no direct proof has been tish apologists, he palliated, instead produced on that subject, and what of denying, the poisoning of his prievidence was adduced on the trials of soners in Egypt, the massacre at JafLabedoyere and Lavallette would ra- fa, the murder of the Duke D'Engther authorize a contrary conclusion. hien, and other enormities. An enStill, however, as discontents waxed peror, a conqueror retired from war, more and more bitter, and the jarring and sequestered from power, must be interests of contending factions be- favourably listened to by those who came less and less reconcileable, it is have the romantic pleasure of hearing obvious that the thoughts and hopes him plead his own cause. Milder ediof the malcontents of every descrip- tions of his crimes began to be circution must finally have centered on lated in Europe, and, in the curiosity Buonaparte, whose name had such to see and admire the chained tyger, charms for the soldiery, the lower men forgot the ravages which he had class of mechanics, and all other committed while at liberty. Frenchmen who were « fools to In France, especially, there were fame.”

many disposed to think more favourThe first reports from Elba seemed ably of Napoleon in Elba, than of to imply, that Napoleon had devoted Napoleon on the throne; and grahis life to the improvement of his li- dually, even from the novelty and mited dominions. He built, he plan- peculiarity of his situation, he begin ned, be improved; he erected bridges, to excite a very different interest from palaces, hospitals, fortifications ; cut that which attached to him who levied roads and canals, constructed ma- so many conscriptions, and sacrificed chines, and laid out pleasure-grounds. to his ambition so many millions of Nothing seemed either above his pow. victims. Every instance of his activier or beneath his notice, if it could ty within the little circle of his dornicontribute to the improvement of his nions was contrasted by his admirers limited dominions. His natural acti- with the constitutional inertness of vity of disposition divided his time the restored monarch. Excelling as into the hours of business, study, and much in the arts of peace as in those recreation, and he seemed to pursue all of war, it wanted but (they said) the with equal alacrity. He was affable, fostering hand and unwearied eye of and even cordial, (in appearance,) to Napoleon to have rendered France the numerous strangers whom curio- the envy of the universe, had his misity led to visit him; spoke of his re- litary affairs permitted the leisure and tirement as Dioclesian might have opportunity which the Bourbons now done in the gardens of Salonica; enjoyed. These allegations, secretly seemed to consider his political ca- insinuated, and at length loudly murreer as ended, and to be now chiefly mured, had their usual effects upon anxious to explain such passages of the fickle temper of the public; and,

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