Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

thy of trust, for the purpose of se- vain that these officers warmly urged conding the efforts of Monsieur, who him to remain stedfast in his duty; had just departed from Lyons. For his resolution was formed. An order this purpose, he went to Besançon, of the day, or proclamation, informed wliere, on the 11th March, he learn- the soldiers under his command, that ed the occupation of Lyons by Buo. the cause of the Bourbons was lost naparte, and the defection of the for ever, and that the marechal, who troops stationed in that city. He con. hird often led them to victory, was tinued to assemble troops from the now about to march them to join the various neighbouring garrisons, as if to immortal phalanx which the emperor assume a position for attacking Buo- was conducting to Paris, there to esnaparte on Alank and rear when he tablish for ever the happiness of should move forward upon Paris. To France. This proclamation was rethose who objected the bad disposi- ceived by the soldiers with shouts of tion of the soldiers, and remarked that Vive l’Empereur ; Buonaparte's cohe would have difficulty in inducing lours and standard were instantly disthem to fight, Ney answered determi- played, anci his adherents took the linedly, " They shall fight; I will take cense of pillaging several houses in a musket from a grenadier and begin the place. But the superior officers theaction myself;— I will run my sword regarded the conduct of Ney as an to the hilt in the first who hesitates to act of gross dishonour and treachery. follow my example.” To the minis. Bourmont, Lecourbe, the Marquis de ter at war he wrote, that all were daz. la Genetiere, and others, even his own zled by the activity and rapid pro- aid-de-camp, the Baron Clouet, left gress of the invader; that the invader the army in disgust. · Another officer was favoured by the common people of rank gave a yet stronger testimony and the soldiers, but that the officers against this act of unparalleled treaand civil authorities were loyal, and He came before Ney, and thus he still hoped “to see a fortunate close addressed him : “ It is easier for a man of this mad enterprize.” In the night of honour to break iron than to break between the 13th and 14th, he recei- his word;" then snapping his sword ved in private an emissary from Buo- asunder, he threw it at the marechal's naparte, with a letter, in Bertrand's feet. “ To prove what I say, there hand-writing, summoning him as “the lie the fragments of the sword with bravest of the brave," a name which which I came to fight under your or. Buonaparte sometimes gave to Ney, ders.” He then turned his back on to join the imperial standard. On his the marechal, and left the town. trial he affirmed, that this was his first Ney, unmoved by the scorn thus pourcommunication with Buonaparte since ed on him, proceeded to carry his his exile; but it is certain that lie had treachery into effect, and joined Buoformerly represented his return as an naparte, who received him with open event long arranged by himself and

His defection did incalculable the other marechals. At any rate, mischief to the king's cause, by showif, bitherto, he had served the king ing that the very highest rank in the with good faith, his fidelity gave way army was infected by the same spirit exactly five days after he had parted of treason which possessed the comfrom Louis with professions of such mon soldiers. profound devotion. On the morning All was now apprehension at Paris. of the 14th, he communicated to Ge- False intelligence, communicated by nerals Bourmont and Lecourbe his in the telegraph, had announced the de tention to join Buonaparte. It was in struction of Buonaparte before Lyons,

son.

arms.

This served for the moment to para- that such bursts of loyalty must have lize the efforts of the royalists, when been followed by the most active and every moment was precious, and, when zealous exertions. Laws were hastily discovered, it spread discouragement, passed for the satisfaction of such grieby shewing that the public channels vances as the army had complained of; of intelligence were in possession of for calling out the population to arms; the enemy. The return of Monsieur, for recompensing those who should ef. with the melancholy intelligence of fectually serve the king; for pardoning the occupation of Lyons, at once those whom the invader had deluded; dispersed the vain hopes which this and for declaring the irrevocability of annunciation had spread through the the national domains, and affording seroyalists, and which rendered the real curity against the re-establishment of calamity doubly astounding. The last tithes or feudal services. These were stake for the kingdom was now to be wise and provident measures, so far as played: The king attended the sitting they went to organise resistance to of the Chamber of Deputies on the the immediate danger: but in so far as 16th of March, where he was received they were calculated to obviate the with lively tokens of respect and af- suspicions of the soldiers and propriefection. He reminded them of his tors of national domains, they were labours for the benefit of France; of impolitic, since the application of such the honourable peace which he had remedies seemed to acknowledge that procured for her when resistance was ground had actually existed for the no longer available. “I fear not,” he calumnies by which those suspicions said, “ for myself. What can befall had been excited. me better at the age of sixty than Louis next reviewed the garrison death in defence of my kingdom! It of Paris. The troops of the line, is for France I fear, to which he, who amounting to 6000 men, received him is now approaching, brings the scourge in silence indeed, but with respect. both of civil and foreign war. Let us They were ordered to march upon rally around our constitutional char. Melun, and a part of the national ter, which I here swear to maintain. guard was embodied with them. Other Let the concurrence of the chambers troops were assembled at the same give authority and impulse to our just point, and the royal army, in point of defence, and the termination of the numbers, appeared to double that war will shew what a great nation, which was marching toward Paris unloyal to its monarch and laws, can do der Buonaparte; but the afflicting news for their protection.” This touching of the treachery of Ney, shewed how appeal, rendered yet more affecting little dependence could be placed on by the benevolent looks and impres the regular troops. The point of consive delivery of the aged monarch, fiding in them, was the subject of a was received with shouts of “ Long warm discussion at a general council live the king,we are his for life and held in the Tuilleries, in which the death!” Monsieur, in his own name, presence of the king did not prevent and that of the princes of his house, the generals and nobles present from swore fidelity to the king and the using the most intemperate language charter; and ihe brothers threw them. towards each other. Louis retired in selves into each other's arms as he despair, well aware that this disunion concluded the oath. The hall echoed shewed of itself the fallen state of his with the most enthusiastic acclama. fortunes. He now made preparations tions, and it seemed impossible but for retiring from his capital, without

even awaiting the issue of the meet- The garrison of Lisle had shortly being betwixt Buonaparte's army and fore declared for the emperor, under the troops at Melun. What indeed D’Erlon, (president of the court-marcould be expected from them, after tial by whom Excelman was acquit. the successive revolts of Grenoble, ted), and had actually left the city in Lyons, and Lons le Saulnier !

order to march to join him. The disThe king departed from Paris at position of the inhabitants, and of the one o'clock on the morning of the adjacent country, was excellent, and 20th. The national guard thronged there was no doubt that the king around him, and asked permission to might have maintained this last asylum spend their lives in his defence. Tears within the French territory, if Ma. and sobs burst from the crowd, who, rechal Mortier had not caused these even at this hour, surrounded his care revolted troops of the line to re-enter riage. “ Dry your tears, my friends," the city. He had no sooner done so, said the good monarch, “ I will soon than he informed the king that he return to you !" Escorted by his could not be responsible for their fide. household troops, and attended by lity. After Louis had spent some his family, he took the road to Lisle. hours in vainly attempting to concili

In the morning, a proclamation, pla- ate the soldiery, Mortier at length incarded through the city, informed the sisted on his quitting Lisle, himself Parisians that the king was gone to escorting him to the gates, to save seek, in another part of his kingdom, him, he pretended, from the fury of not better subjects than they, but such the soldiers, excited by the report 23 were more favourably situated to that the Duke of Berri was on the serve his cause. The session of the point of arriving with the household two chambers was declared to be clo- troops to possess himself of the city, sed until the king should announce The unfortunate monarch, thus comto them his provisional seat of govern. pelled to a second exile, departed to

Ostend, and from thence to Ghent, The misfortunes which had attend. where he established his banished ed Louis during the greater part of court. The Duke of Berri, with the his life, continued to pursue his jour. household troops, and many volunteers ney. Every where he was received who had joined them, pursued a march by the citizens with shouts of wel. which every instant rendered more pecome, but with sullen silence by the rilous, from the revolt of the various armed soldiery, who alone could effec- garrisons in French Flanders. This tually have assisted him. The house- unfortunate band of loyalists included hold troops marched by Amiens, while boys who bore arms for the first time, Louis himself hastened to secure Lisle, and old men whom zeal had summonthe strongest fortified town in France, ed forth, though almost unfit for serby possession of which he could have vice. The orders of march transmitopened the gates of the kingdom to ted to them by the king were interhis foreign auxiliaries, or formed a cepted by the enemy, and while unplace of arms, while he assembled certain in what direction to proceed, around him the more faithful part of they were closely pursued and hahis subjects. This plan was defeat- rassed by a body of light cavalry uned by the conduct of Mortier, who, der Gaillebois,colonel of that 14th regiwhile maintaining a seeming allegiancement of lancers which revolted near to the king, contrived to serve most Montereau, an officer whom the Duke effectually the cause of his old master. of Berri had loaded with favours. Many of the household troops were hostile van.guard.

ment.

The silence was involved in a morass, where some only interrupted by the regimental perished; and at length when they bands of music, which occasionally arrived at Bethune, the Duke of played the airs of “ O Richard,. Berri, whether fearful of bringing on « Henri Quatre,"_" La Belle Gabthe king an expense which he was ill rielle," and other pieces consecrated able to support, or seeing some reluc- to the royal cause, but which excited tance on tbe part of the household no corresponding feeling in the minds troops to move beyond the frontier, of the soldiers. At length, about 12 or for some unexplained reason, dis- o'clock, a party of cavalry appeared banded them, and recommended that escorting an open carriage, and in a they should return to their homes. moment Buonaparte was among the This was no easy matter, and in the ranks which had been drawn out to attempt some of these unhappy strag- oppose him. His escort threw themglers were slain, and almost all were selves from their horses, and embraplundered and insulted. Such were cing their ancient comrades, implored ihe melancholy circumstances which them to unite the French army once attended the light of the king from more, under the authority of the empehis capital. He had no sooner left ror. The effect produced was instanLisle, than an order from Davoust, taneous and electrical: All drupped Buonaparte's minister at war, arrived their arms,-all left their ranks, -all for his arrest, and that of his family. shouted Vive Napoleon! and the suThe Duke of Orleans was yet in Lisle, perior officers, who remained loyal, but Mortier, in some measure, atoned were compelled to provide for their for his preceding conduct, by sup. safety by a hasty flight. Thus Buopressing the order until his royal high. naparte a third time, drew over to ness had left the place.

his standard the troops collected to Mean time Paris expected her new oppose him; and the army of Melun,

The most profound, but like those of Grenoble and Lyons, apgloomy tranquillity marked the morn- peared only to have been formed for ing after the king's departure. Even the purpose of affording him reinthe most zealous Buonapartists did forcements. not attempt to insult, by their tri. In the meanwhile, the pause of conumph, the general sensation of awe sternation at Paris began to give way and sorrow. All waited the issue of to tumult. Lavalette, who bad for the meeting of the armies at Melun, some days remained concealed in the which was not long dubious.

hotel of the Duchess de St Leu, made Marechal Macdonald commanded his appearance at the post-office, and the troops of Melun in chief, under superseding the superintendant placed the directions of the Duke of Berri. there by the king, took upon him, On the 20th they were drawn out in without opposition, the office of diorder of battle to oppose Buonaparte, rector of that important department, who was reported to be advancing which he had formerly enjoyed under from Fontainbleau. The general offi. Buonaparte. He made use of the cers of the royal army were faithful, power thus acquired to intercept all and used every means to keep their sol. the journals which contained the djers in the same sentiments. There king's proclamation, and to dispatch was a long pause of anxious expecta. an official intimation to the cities tion, while the troops, drawn out under and departments, that Napoleon was arms, awaited the appearance of the in quiet and undisturbed posses

master.

sion of his former authority. Lava- same carriage which he had brought lette also held an immediate com- with him from Elba, and at nine o'. munication with Buonaparte, now at clock alighted at the Tuilleries, a jour. Fontainbleau, and received from him ney of eighteen days having brought advice to be intimated to his friends him from Cannes to Paris, and achiein Paris, that all had succeeded so ved a revolution more remarkable, much to his wish, that there was no because less to be expected, than any occasion for the insurrection in the of the extraordinary events which capital, for which preparations had have distinguished the history of rebeen in forwardness.

volutionary France. The court was The spirit of resentment and despair filled with his ancieot courtiers, who acting on the more zealous royalists, crowded around so closely, that he joined to the triumphant hopes of the was obliged to call out, “ My friends, opposite faction, threatened, notwith you stifle me;" and some of his aidesstanding the communication of Buo- de-camp were actually obliged to carnaparte's pleasure, an explosion which ry him in their arms up the grand might have proved fatal to the capital. stair-case and into the royal apartNumerous groupes assembled in the ments, where he was welcomed by streets. The mob of the suburbs of his sisters Hortensia and Julia, and Saint Antoine and Saint Marçeau put other members of the conspiracy, now themselves in motion, and in a man- assembled to gratulate its success, and ner besieged the Tuilleries. Scuffles, gather the harvest of their labours. not without bloodshed, passed between . No sooner was Buonaparte once parties of royalists and imperialists. more possessed of political power, The steadiness of the national guard, than it seemed, from the subservience who doubled and trebled their senti. of all around, as absolute as if he had Dels' upon every post, on this as on never been deprived of it. The reaother occasions both before and after, dy and unscrupulous versatility with saved Paris from a great convulsion. which almost all the men in public The accesses to the Tuilleries were authority renewed to Napoleon the filled with tumultuous groupes, and vows they had so lately made to Louis, the sentinels could scarce prevent is one of the most degrading features them from forcing the gate of the of these memorable transactions, and Place de Carousel, which occupies inspires us almost with a contempt of the front of the palace. Amidst these human nature.

It is thus described alarming symptoms, General Excel- by Chateaubriant, the most eloquent man, whose oath to serve the king for of the French modern writers : “ Buo. ever, (p. 136.) had scarce dried on his naparte, placed, by a strange fatality, lips, appeared at the head of a body between the coasts of France and of soldiers, relieved the national guard Italy, has appeared, like Genseric, at at the Tuilleries, and entering the pa- the point to which he was called by lace, took down the white flag which the anger of God. He came, the hope had floated over the dome since the of all those who had committed, and restoration of the Bourbons, and re- of all those who ineditated to commit, placed it by the three-coloured banner. crimes ;-he came, and he succeeded.

It was late in the evening ere Na. Men, loaded with the king's bounties, poleon himself entered, to assume pos- and decoraied with his honours, kissed session of the vacant palace and un- in the morning that royal hand which swayed sceptre. He entered in the they betrayed in the evening. Re.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »