« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
his services to me. This letter was deli- my aid-de-camp, and subsequently raised vered to Talleyrand, who concealed it until him to be what he was. He loved, I may after his execution. Had the Count d'Ar- rather say, adored me. In my presence he tois been in his place, he would have suf- was as it were struck with awe, and ready fered the same fate ; and were I now placed to fall at my feet. I acted wrong in under similar circumstances, I would act having separated him from me, as without in a similar manner. As the police,” me, he was nothing. With me, he was added Napoleon, “ did not like to trust to my right arm. Order Murat to attack and the evidence of Mehée de la Touche a. destroy four or five thousand men in such a lone, they sent Captain Rosey, a man in direction, it was done in a moment ; but whose integrity they had every confidence, leave him to himself he was an imbécile to Drake at Munich, with a letter from without judgment. I cannot conceive how Mehée, which procured him an interview, so brave a man could be so láche. He was the result of which confirmed Mehée's no where brave unless before the enemy. statement, that he was concerned in a plot There he was probably the bravest man in to terrasser le premier consul, no matter the world. His boiling courage carried by what means." * (Vol. i. p. 453, 454.
him into the midst of the enemy, couvert
de But we gladly turn from these with gold. How he escaped is a miracle,
pennes jusqu'au clocher, and glittering topics to the sketches of character being as he was always a distinguished with which the book is filled. No- mark, and fired at by every body. Even thing can be more amusing than the Cossacs admired him on account of his some, or more intensely interesting extraordinary bravery. Every day Murat than others. We question much was engaged in single combat with some of whether they are not far better hit them, and never returned without his sabre off in conversation as they appear, dropping with the blood of those whom he than if they had been the result of had slain. He was a paladine, in fact a Jabour and deliberation. The cha- Don Quixote in the field ; but take him racter of Murat thus rapidly thrown into the cabinet, he was a poltroon without off could not be improved by any judgment or decision. Murat and Ney polish :
were the bravest men I ever witnessed.
Murat, however, was a much nobler cha. I informed him that Colonel Macirone, racter than Ney. Murat was generous and aid-de-camp to Murat, had published some open; Ney partook of the canaille. Strange anecdotes of his late master.
to say, however, Murat, though he loved does he say of me?” said Napoleon. I me, did me more mischief than any other replied, that I had not seen the book, but person in the world. When I left Elba, I had been informed by Sir Thomas Reade sent a messenger to acquaint him with that he spoke ill of him. “Oh," said he, what I had done. Immediately he must laughing, “ that is nothing ; I am well attack the Austrians. The messenger went accustomed to it. But what does he say?" upon his knees to prevent him ; but in I answered, it was asserted that Murat had vain. He thought me already master of imputed the loss of the battle of Waterloo France, Belgium, and Holland, and that to the cavalry not having been properly he must make his peace, and not adhere to employed, and had said, that if he (Murat) demi-mesures. Like a madman, he at. had commanded them, the French would tacked the Austrians with his canaille, and have gained the victory. " It is very pro- ruined me. For at that time there was a bable,” replied Napoleon ; “ I could not negociation going on between Austria and be every where; and Murat was the best me, stipulating that the former should recavalry officer in the world. He would main neuter, which would have been finally have given more impetuosity to the charge. concluded, and I should have reigned un. There wanted but very little, I assure you, disturbed. But as soon as Murat attacked to gain the day for me. Enfoncer deux ou the Austrians, the emperor immediately trois bataillons, and in all probability conceived that he was acting by my direcMurat would have effected that. There tions, and indeed it will be difficult to were not I believe two such officers in the make posterity believe to the contrary. world as Murat for the cavalry, and Drouot Metternich said, “Oh, the Emperor Na. for the artillery. Murat was a most sin- poleon is the same as ever. A man of iron. gular character. Four and twenty years The trip to Elba has not changed him. ago, when he was a captain, I made him Nothing will ever alter him : all or nothing
* While the Duc d'Enghien was on his trial, Madame la Maréchale Bessière said to Colonel Ordener, who had arrested him, “ Are there no possible means to save that malheureux ? Has his guilt been established beyond a doubt ? ” “ Madame,” replied Colonel Ordener, “ I found in his house sacks of papers sufficient to compromise the half of France.”—The duke was executed in the morning, and not by torch-light as has been represented.
for him.' Austria joined the coalition, and field-equipage several times, but he alway's I was lost. Murat was unconscious that lost it. Wrapt up in a cloak, Desaix my conduct was regulated by circumstances threw himself under a gun, and slept as and adapted to them. He was like a man contentedly as if he were in a palace. gazing at the scenes shifting at the opera, For him luxury had no charms. Upright without ever thinking of the machinery be- and honest in all his proceedings, he was hind, by which the whole is moved. He called by the Arabs, the just sultan. He never however thought that his secession was intended by nature for a great general. in the first instance would have been so in- Kleber and Desaix
were a loss irreparable jurious to me, or he would not have joined to France. Had Kleber lived, your army the allies. He concluded that I should be in Egypt would have perished. Had that obliged to give up Italy and some other imbecile Menou attacked you on your landcountries, but never contemplated my total ing with twenty thousand men, as he ruin.” (Vol. i. p. 94-97.)
might have done, instead of the division
Lanusse, your army would have been only There are many sketches of Mu
a meal for them. Your army was sevenrat, but this is the best.
teen or eighteen thousand strong, without Mr. O'Meara who communicated to cavalry." (Vol. i. p. 237, 238.) Napoleon the intelligence of Murat's
I asked his opinion of Clarke. He redeath. “ He heard it,” says he, with plied, " he is not a man of talent, but he calmness, and immediately demanded is laborious and useful in the bureau. He if he had perished on the field of bat- is, moreover, incorruptible, and saving of tle.” He afterwards remarked that the public money, which he never has apthe conduct of the Calabrese towards propriated to his own use.
He is an ex Murat was mercy compared with the cellent redacteur. He is not a soldier, treatment which he was experiencing. however, nor do I believe that he ever saw The following are descriptions of a shot fired in his life. He is infatuated some of his generals and ministers.
with his nobility. He pretends that he is
descended from the ancient kings of Scot“ Moreau,” said he, “ was an excellent land, or Ireland, and constantly vaunts of general of division, but not fit to command his noble descent. A good clerk. I sent & large army. With a hundred thousand him to Florence as ambassador, where he men, Moreau would divide his army in employed himself in nothing but turning different positions, covering roads, and over the old musty records of the place, in would not do more than if he had only search of proofs of the nobility of my fathirty thousand. He did not know how to mily, for you must know that they came profit either by the number of his troops, from Florence. He plagued me with let. or by their positions. Very calm and cool ters upon this subject, which caused me to in the field, he was more collected and write to him to attend to the business for better able to command in the heat of an which he had been sent to Florence, and action than to make dispositions prior to it. not to trouble his head or mine with his He was often seen smoking his pipe in nonsense about nobility ; that I was the battle. Moreau was not naturally a man first of any family. Notwithstanding this, of a bad heart; Un bon vivant, mais il he still continued his inquiries. When I n'avait pas beaucoup de caractère. He returned from Elba, he offered his services was led away by his wife and another in. to me, but I sent him word that I would triguing Creole. His having joined Pi. not employ any traitors, and ordered him chegru and Georges in the conspiracy, and to his estates. I asked if he thought that subsequently having closed his life fighting Clarke would have served him faithfully. against his country, will ever disgrace his “ Yes," replied the emperor, as long as meinory. As a general, Moreau was in- I was the strongest, like a great many finitely inferior to Desaix, or to Kleber, or others.” (Vol. i. p. 400, 401.) even to Soult. Of all the generals I ever had under me, Desaix and Kleber possessed
The following is his description of the greatest talents ; especially Desaix, as
Carnot. Kleber only loved glory, inasmuch as it A man laborious and sincere, but liable was the means of procuring him riches and to the influence of intrigues and easily de. pleasures, whereas Desaix loved glory for ceived. He had directed the operations of itself and despised every thing else. De- war, without having merited the eulogiums saix was wholly wrapt up in war and glory. which were pronounced upon him, as he To him riches and pleasure were valueless, had neither the experience, nor the hanor did he give them a moment's thought. bitude of war. When minister of war, he He was a little black-looking man, about shewed but little talent, and had many an inch shorter than I am, always badly quarrels with the minister of finance and dressed, sometimes even ragged, and de- the treasury ; in all of which he was spising comfort or convenience. When in wrong. He left the ministry, convinced Egypt, I made him a present of a complete that he could not fulfil his station for want
of money. He afterwards voted against think at first, but at length discovered by the establishment of the empire, but as his her questions that she really imagined him conduct was always upright, he never gave to be Robinson Crusoe. His astonishment any umbrage to the government. During and that of the company cannot be dethe prosperity of the empire, he never scribed, nor the peals of laughter which it asked for any thing; but after the misfor- excited in Paris, as the story few like wildtunes of Russia, he demanded employ- fire through the city, and even Talleyrand ment, and got the command of Antwerp, himself was ashamed of it. (Vol. i. p. where he acquitted himself very well. After 434_436.) Napoleon's return from Elba, he was mi. nister of the interior ; and the emperor had rand," said he, “ to proceed on a mission
“ At one time I had appointed Talleyevery reason to be satisfied with his con
to Warsaw, in order to arrange and orduct. He was faithful, a man of truth and probity, and laborious in his exertions. ganize the best method of accomplishing After the abdication, he was named one of had several conferences with me respecting
the separation of Poland from Russia. He the provisional government, but he was
this mission, which was a great surprise to joué by the intriguers by whom he was surrounded. He had passed for an original character at the time. Having manied one
the ministers, as Talleyrand had no official amongst his companions when he was young. He hated the nobles, and on that of his relations to the Duchess of Courland, account had several quarrels with Robes. appointment, in order to revive the claims
Talleyrand was very anxious to receive the pierre, who latterly protected many of of the Duchess's family. However, some them He was member of the committee of public safety along with Robespierre, money transactions of his were discovered
at Vienna, which convinced me that he Couthon, St. Just, and the other butchers, and was the only one who was not de- determined me not to employ him on
was carrying on his old game and nounced. He afterwards demanded to be the intended mission. I had designed at included in the denunciation, and to be tried for his conduct, as well as the others, with which he refused to comply. Ma
one time to have made him a cardinal, which was refused; but his having made dame Grand threw herself twice upon her the demand to share the fate of the rest, knees before me, in order to obtain permis. gained him great credit. (Vol. i. p. 186
sion to marry him, which I refused ; but 188.)
through the intreaties of Josephine, she The characters of Fouché and Tale succeeded on the second application. I leyrand are strongly and unfavour- afterwards forbade her the court, when I ably drawn. The following anecdote, discovered the Genoa affair, of which I if not probable, is at least amusing. told you before. Latterly," continued he,
“ Talleyrand sunk into contempt.” (Vol. i. : Madame Talleyrand was a very fine p. 446, 447.) woman, English or East Indian, but sotte
The last character which we can and grossly ignorant. I sometimes asked Denon, whose works I suppose you have afford to take out of these volumes, read, to breakfast with me, as I took a is that of his Majesty of Prussia. pleasure in his conversation, and conversed
I asked him, if the king of Prussia was very freely with him. Now all the in
a man of talent. “ Who," said he, “ the triguers ard speculators paid their court to king of Prussia ?” He burst into a fit of Denon, with a view of inducing him to laughter. “ He a man of talent! The mention their projects or themselves in the course of his conversations with me, thinks greatest blockhead on earth. Un ignorantormented one with questions about matters his own private property, and the belonging to tailors, of which I was en- savings which he had made on the tirely ignorant, though, in order not to af- civil list, were to be preserved to him, front them, I answered just as gravely as but that on the contrary they were if the fate of an army depended upon the seized ; that the private property of cut of a jacket. When I went to see the his family was to be held sacred,. King of Prussia, instead of a library, I found he had a large room, like an arsenal, but it was confiscated; that the do-furnished with shelves and pegs, in which tations assigned to the army, on the were placed fifty or sixty jackets of various Mont Napoleon
taccio che non ha nè talente, né informaing that even being mentioned by such a
zione. A Don Quixote in appearance. I man as Denon, for whom I had a great es
know him well. He cannot hold a conver. teem, might materially, serve them. Tal. sation for five minutes.” (Vol. i. p. 102.) leyrand, who was a great speculator, invited Denon to dinner. When he went " When," continued Napoleon, “I home to his wife, he said, 'my dear, I was at Tilsit, with the Emperor Alexander have invited Denon to dine. He is a great and the King of Prussia, I was the most traveller, and you must say something ignorant of the threc in military affairs. handsome to him about his travels, as he These two sovereigns, especially the King may be useful to us with the emperor.' of Prussia, were completely au fuit, as to His wife being extremely ignorant, and the number of buttons there ought to be in probably never having read any other book front of a jacket, how many behind, and of travels than that of Robinson Crusoe, the manner in which the skirts ought to be concluded that Denon could be nobody else cut. Not a tailor in the army knew better than Robinson. Wishing to be very civil than King Frederic, how many measures of to him, she, before a large company, asked cloth it took to make a jacket. In fact," him divers questions about his man Friday! continued he, laughing, “ I was nobody in Denon, astonished, did not know what to comparison with them. They continually
were to be premodes. Every day he changed his fashion, served, but they were suppressed; and put on a different one. He was a tall, that 100,000 francs, which were to dry looking fellow, and would give a good be paid as pensions, to persons pointidea of Don Quixote. He attached more ed out by him, were never paid ; and importance to the cut of a dragoon or a last, that assassins were sent to Elba hussar uniform, than was necessary for the to murder him. salvation of a kingdom. At Jena, his army performed the finest and most shewy stood, that Napoleon uttered sweep
It must by no means be under mancuvres possible, but I soon put a stop to their coglionerie, and taught them, that ing and indiscriminate censures upon to fight, and to execute dazzling manæuvres
those Englishmen who were opposed and wear splendid uniforms, were very dif- to him ; even in acknowledging a ferent affairs. If,” added he, “ the French repulse at Acre from Sir Sidney army had been commanded by a tailor, the Smith, he speaks of him in terms of King of Prussia would certainly have commendation, and says, “ he liked gained the day, from his superior know- his character."-Of Lord Cornwallis ledge in that art; but as victories depend his sentiments are quite enthusiasticmore upon the skill of the general como of Sir John Moore he said, that he was manding the troops, than upon that of the “ a brave soldier, an excellent officer, tailor who makes their jackets, he consequcntly failed.” (Vol. ii. p. 48, 49.)
and a man of talent, and that the few
mistakes he made were probably inseIt is a curious fact, and one morti- parable from the difficulties by which fying enough to human greatness, he was surrounded.”—Mr. Fox, he that Napoleon declared, that the hap- said, was so great and so good a man, piest days he ever passed were when that every member of his family seemhe was but a private man, “ living ed to have taken a tinge from his virin a lodging near Paris.” Being tues.--Speaking of Admiral Sir Pulasked by Mr. O'Meara, what was his teney Malcolm he said—“ his counhappiest point of time after his ac- tenance bespeaks his heart, and I cession to the throne, he instantly am sure he is a good man; I never replied, “ the march' from Cannes yet beheld a man of whom I so imto Paris.” This, our readers will mediately formed a good opinion as doubtless recollect, was after the of that fine, soldier-like old manexpedition from Elba. He declares, there is the face of an Englishman~ that he had no idea of departing a countenance, pleasing, open, infrom Elba at first; and that, on the telligent, frank, sincere."-of Sir contrary, he would have contentedly George Cockburn also, who appears remained there, had it not been for the to have done his duty strictly, but numberless violations of the treaty of like a gentleman, he spoke in terms Fontainbleau by the allies; amongst of commendation. -- On the subthe most prominent of which he enu- jects both of his elevation and his merates the following. He says, it was fall, he is extremely minute and instipulated that all the members of his teresting. Our readers may recollect family should be permitted to follow two reports, which in this country him, and that this was violated by certainly gained considerable curthe almost instant seizure of his wife rency; one, that Napoleon owed and child ; that they were to have much of his rise to Barras; and the had the duchies of Parma, Placentia, other, that he at one time in his and Guastalla, of which they were early life offered his services to Engdeprived ; that prince Eugene was land. Both of these he declares to to have had a principality in Italy, be “ romans," and says, he did not which was never given ; that his know Barras till long after the siege mother and brothers were to receive of Toulon, where he was chiefly inpensions, which were withheld ; that debted to Gasparin, the deputy for
Orange, who protected him against I ventured, said Mr. O'Meara, upon the ignorantacci, sent down by the another occasion, to express my surprise Convention; he goes on to say, that to Napoleon, that the Empress Marie Paoli always anticipated his eleva. Louise had not made some exertion in his
behalf. tion, and when he was a boy used
“I believe,” replied the Em. frequently to pat him on the head peror, “ that Marie Louise is just as much and say, You are one of Plutarch's that more attention is paid to decorum in
a state prisoner as I am myself, except Ön the subject of his fall, in the restraints imposed upon her. I have
a question from Mr. always had occasion to praise the conduct O'Meara, whether he did not con- of my good Louise, and I believe that sider Baron Stein as mainly instru- it is totally out of her power to assist me; mental to it? he said immediately- moreover, she is young and timorous. It “No-none but myself ever did me was, perhaps, a misfortune to me, that I any harm; I was, I may say, the had not married a sister of the Emperor only enemy to myself; my own pro- Alexander, as proposed to me by Alex. jects -- that expedition to Moscow, ander himself, at Erfurth. But there were and the accidents which happened her religion. I did not like to allow a
inconveniences in that union, arising from there, were the causes of my fall. I Russian priest to be the confessor of my may, however, say, that those who wife, as I considered that he would have made no opposition to me, who been a spy in the Thuilleries for Alexander. readily agreed with me, entered into It has been said, that my union with all my views, and submitted with Marie Louise was made a stipulation in the facility, were my greatest enemies; treaty of peace with Austria, which is not because, by the facility of conquest true. I should have spurned the idea. It they afforded, they encouraged me was first proposed by the Emperor Francis to go too far.” How happy would himself, and by Metternich to Narbonne. it be for the world if kings re- In presenting to the public these flected upon this in time! In his anticipations of a very interesting exile, Napoleon seems to have so- work, we have not felt ourselves laced himself much with the idea called upon to exercise the office of that Marie Louise was still strongly a critic. Our object has been to give attached to him, and he was repeat- a general idea of the nature of the edly recurring to the mention of the work, without engaging ourselves in King of Rome.
The Carly French Pocts.
ESTIENNE JODELLE. The first of the French poets, who cuba of Euripides, and that of Ninus made a figure in tragedy, was Es- in the Semiramis of Manfredi and of tienne Jodelle. He was, as we have Voltaire. Cleopatra then enters with seen, the intimate of Ronsard, and Eras and Charmium, and tells them had a place in the French Pleiad. that she has seen Anthony in a dream, His Cleopatre, which was performed and that he calls her to follow him. in the presence of Henry 11. and his She declares her resolution to die racourt, pleased that monarch so well, ther than be led in triumph by Octhat he immediately made the au- tavius Cæsar. The other dramatis thor a present of five hundred crowns. personæ are Octavius, Agrippa, ProOn this occasion, a he-goat crowned culeius, and a chorus of Alexandrian with ivy, his beard and horns gilded, women. Octavius expostulates with was led in mock procession to Bac- her for her conduct towards Octavia, chus; and the sacrifice accompanied the wife of Anthony. Cleopatra enby a dithyrambic effusion from the deavours to appease him, by discomuse of Jan Antoine de Baïf; all this vering to him her treasures. Seleuto the great scandal of the reformers. cus, one of her vassals, who is present, At the opening of this play, the ghost declares she has not shown the whole of Anthony appears, and ushers in the of them, on which the Queen cuffs argument in the same manner as the and drags him by the hair, and he ghost of Polydorus does in the He- flies to Octavius for protection. The