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fidelity of the troops, and they also most of them took office under the restored sovereign. The old emigrant party would have been jeered at by the army. Many distinguished individuals of ability, not military, who belonged to the overturned government, were particularly noticed by the Duke, who, ranking so high as a man of talent himself, would naturally give the preference to those of a similar class rather than to the old talentless, priest-ridden emigrants. Marshal Suchet, the last time I ever saw him, told me he was then going to call upon my great compatriot. Bonaparte, on his access to power, recalled the emigrants, and the larger part obeyed the call, but some, who were wedded to the old Bourbon race, remained until fortune favoured the king, and returned with him. They wanted back the old anti-revolutionary system to the letter. They were placed in situations of influence, and were the pests of Louis's reign. All the world knew in those days of the Duke of Wellington's letter to the king, in which he told his majesty that his enemies were within his own palace; or words to that effect. The Duke was too much in a state of intercourse with those of his own profession, and others, not of the Bourbon dynasty, to please these old gentlemen, some of whom might be met at seven in the morning going to mass, in white silk stockings, black breeches, huge buckles in their shoes, and a nosegay in their button-hole. Any attack made upon the Duke they calculated no one would attribute to them; it would all be charged upon the Bonapartists, or on those who had served the Empire, and render them distasteful. This kind of action would, it was thought, disgust the Duke with his friends and visitors not of the old régime. The individual charged with shooting at the Duke was tried and acquitted. Had the man been in earnest, acting upon his own impulse, he would have chosen a better time and place. This he might have done with a facility that would have ensured
The Duke had a French guard at his residence, which rendered any attack near his own house more hazardous. I believe, from what I saw, that the returned emigrants hated the English at heart much more than the Bonapartists, because they found the Duke would have nothing to do with the population of France, from the sovereign to the poorest subject, much less aid to place such miserable incompetent individuals at the head of affairs. "We hate your government," said the Bonapartist; "you have beaten us-it is the fortune of war-but we have no hatred to individual Englishmen, and we are happy to see you." The old emigrant party hated us altogether, adding an implacable religious antipathy to ingratitude, of which antipathy the Bonapartists had none. Apropos of the French guard: there was a cover for the officer laid every day at the Duke's table. The restoration of Louis XVIII. was accompanied, as far as possible, with the absurdities of the old time, from the court being under that influence, and a monarch, even poor old gormandising Louis, was a Dieu mortel in their eyes, or all others were to esteem him so. The late King of Prussia visited Paris in 1817, incog., as the Count de Ruppin. The Duke of Wellington invited the king-count to dinner. Louis XVIII. invited himself to meet him. Covers were laid for six only. A sort of avant courier of old Louis proceeded to the Duke's to examine whether all was en regle. On being told that six covers were laid, if I recollect rightly, the Duke de Richlieu and Sir Charles Stuart,
with the two kings and the Duke, made up five of the party. the officious official asked-" who is the sixth cover for? I must announce it to his most Christian Majesty." He was told it was for the officer of the guard, a French captain. He at once declared that the king could not dine that way with a subject in such a station; it was contrary to all rule-all etiquette. The Duke of Wellington was appealed to, who replied, he could not alter the rule of his house, and have his table changed; that he was a soldier himself. The official went back to the Tuileries, and made his report. They then attempted to prevent the king from going, but old Louis cared nothing about the matter, he said, and shocked some of his old courtiers in no slight degree-the relics of the race who thought France was ruined for ever when Necker came to court with strings in place of buckles in his shoes. On the present occasion, it may be added that no one was more surprised than the officer of the guard himself to be seated at table so unexpectedly with two crowned heads.
The friends of the Bourbon family who had returned under the decree of Napoleon, and those whose ultraism kept them with the princes in exile, were equally elated, having been in hopes that the return of Napoleon from Elba, and his utter defeat, would be the means of effacing for ever the influence and power of those who had served under the Empire, and of restoring things to the same state they were in before the Revolution. They forbade the name of Napoleon to be spoken in the public schools, and erased his cypher from the public works, while his face was impressed on every coin. They were utterly blind to the signs of the times, and the death of the old habits, feelings, and, for the most part, of the generation that had existed under them. This fallacious idea the Duke had to combat in those who surrounded the king, an easy man, whose love of good eating was the most distinguished of his qualities. Duels took place almost every day between the party of the Bourbons and those who had belonged to the Empire; nor did it matter if the last had sincerely entered the service of the restored monarch. There was a young man, said to have been otherwise amiable, the son of an emigrant, who was sore upon the possession, by purchase, of some of the property of his family (sequestrated under the Revolution) by Major du Fay, an officer who had served under the Empire, and was considered the best accountant in the army. St. Moreys insulted the major, and they went out, when the former was killed. Du Fay mentioned the circumstance to me the next day, and was anxious to ascertain what the Duke thought of his conduct, for the Duke knew the character and ability of the major in military administration. The Duke passed it over, and made no difference in his reception of him-another complaint whispered against this great man by the ultra party.
I may here mention that Du Fay fell in 1830, defending the barracks in the Rue Babylone, at the head of the Swiss Guards. His body was brutally treated by the mob, his head being cut open with an axe, and found lying in a pool of blood in the street. He had fallen by a musketshot, and his mutilation afterwards must, therefore, have been gratuitous.
I once saw the Duke of Wellington and Count de Ruppin on horseback, dressed in plain clothes, at the first review of French troops at which the Bourbon family were present after the peace of 1815. There
were about 25,000 men of all arms on the ground. The Duke and his companion did not once approach the calèche in which Louis XVIII. and the Duchess d'Angoulême were seated, nor did I observe the slightest recognition on either side. The Duke and King of Prussia appeared to regard the quick firing of a brigade of guns near which I was, with a certain degree of admiration. They both left the ground before the review was over. The Duke's horse was a little restive at the firing. I thought he did not sit as easy as became an accomplished horseman, but perhaps his exceeding stiffness of appearance when on horseback, particularly so out of uniform, made me imagine what might only have been grounded in fancy. The present representation of him in the print-shops, on horseback, on his birthday in 1842, gives much the same personal outline as he exhibited in Paris in 1817.
At that time there was assuredly a better feeling, arising from a military education and a higher sense of honour in those who had served in the old French armies, than has subsequently appeared, influencing the population. The Duke's levees were crowded with officers of the time of the Empire, many of whom he had met in battle, and this had engendered mutual respect. Suchet was the only marshal of France whom I knew beyond sight, and the last time I ever saw him he said he was on his way to call upon the Duke. He was the more noted of Napoleon's marshals, to whom the Duke had never been opposed in combat, and professed a high admiration of him. Suchet's features were very fine, but his person was thick-set, and in plain clothes not at all striking. The Duke of Wellington was not deeply versed in those idiomatic or vernacular niceties of the French language, which everywhere require an habitual intercourse with a native to manage. The consequence was, that he sometimes committed lapses, which, perfectly excusable in a foreigner in a language marked by such conversational niceties as the French, were not less odd for coming from so great a man. It sometimes happened, too, that the Duke persisted in his mistake until it was necessary to explain it to him. Some of these had the run of the salons in consequence.
The spectacle of such a distinguished man riding through the streets of the capital he had subdued, in perfect peace, was a singular incident; but it is due to his memory to state that his conduct in 1814 was not forgotten by the population of that time. Wreck and devastation had marked the progress of the other allies, but the Duke's army, from the Pyrenees to its point of embarkation, where he had so disciplined it "that he could have done anything with it," to use his own words, had scrupulously paid for everything they wanted of the inhabitants. A woman who kept an inn at Blangy, told me that she had had forty English dragoons on her premises for three months, and she should not mind having them again, they behaved so well, and paid for everything. "How did the Russians and Prussians behave ?" She replied, the Russians took only what they wanted; but the Prussians wantonly destroyed what they had no need of, and left the poor people and villagers in great misery. The contrast displayed by the Duke was a passport, besides his victories, to a certain degree of respect from a less equivocal cause.
During the Peninsular war, the Duke had a Portuguese secretary continually at his side, whose services, after 1814, were no longer required. He used to rhodomontade at table, and the Duke would often check him in his blunt way, with "No more of your d--nonsense, De S." I
was told at my lodgings in Paris, one evening, that an individual unknown had twice asked for me, and at length left his card, "Hotel de Boston." I returned the call, and found, au première, the aforesaid secretary, who made an appointment for the next day at eleven o'clock, having something of moment to consult me upon. De S-- was a stout-set man, hardly of the middle height, dressed in a green coat, and the usual pantaloons and half boots of the time. His swarthy countenance indicated a southern parentage, with no extraordinary intelligence imprinted on its expression. I found on the following morning a recherché French breakfast, of which I partook and that over, De S- began his business. The Times had supported the cause of Spain in the disputes about Monte Video with Portugal. De S-wanted me to answer the Times from authentic documents which he would supply from the Portuguese government. I consented, and sent over several letters to the Morning Chronicle upon the subject, for the insertions of which he charged the Chevalier A-- C--, the Portuguese agent in London, to pay. He paid twenty guineas for each. Perry, the proprietor, knew how to take care of the "siller," as well as any of his countrymen. When we had arranged this matter, De S- produced a bundle of papers written in Portuguese. "Here," said he, "is a history, public and private, of the Duke of Wellington during his campaigns from Lisbon to Paris. I always lived with him, and I have a wish to publish it." I looked once over the packet, which was bulky, but what with the writing and a language not familiar to me, I could make out but little. Still I saw enough to convince me that if what I saw were true, no man was a hero to his valet de chambre. To publish such a work on the part of one who had been in the Duke's confidence to a certain extent, was truly Portuguese in character, and I thought of what Spanish writers have sometimes said of their neighbours. The motive, too, was bad. The Duke would not interfere in behalf of his old secretary with the government at Lisbon, which had been guilty of an illegal act towards him, in consequence of a proceeding in Paris not morally creditable to the ex-secretary. The proceeding was one that did not concern the Portuguese government at all, and happened far beyond its jurisdiction. I naturally felt anxious that such a work should not appear in Paris, through the desire of an unworthy dissatisfaction in one who ought to have evinced a better feeling; much more, too, would be made of a similar work than it merited in the capital of France at such a moment. I therefore asked if the Duke knew of the manuscript being in existence. De S▬▬ replied in the negative. I then advised him to let the Duke know indirectly that such a history was in existence, and that perhaps he would then do something in his (De S--'s) behalf. That I would by no means advise his publishing such a work in France, for the police would expel him from Paris, and where could he go with his property under sequestration at Lisbon. That the Duke might be a cool friend, but he would be a formidable enemy, especially as such a publication would look like a breach of private confidence. People would only believe half of it. I believe De S-- took my advice, for I never heard further of the manuscript.
The cause of this dilemma into which the ex-secretary had got was not to his praise, though he justified himself by quoting no less an example than the Emperor Alexander of Russia. It related to a species
of love-intrigue involving some singular circumstances. The Duke of Wellington would not mix himself up with the diplomatists of France, Spain, and Portugal about a grievance that was not of a public nature, when his old secretary had brought it all upon himself.
I have mentioned the Duke's rigidness in refusing to be dictated to frivolously about his dinner guests, even by a monarch. In like manner he would not do an unjust act to please his own sovereign. George IV. said to him one day, "Arthur, the regiment is vacant, gazette Lord
Impossible, and please your majesty; there are officers who have served the country for many years whose turn comes first."
"Never mind, Arthur, gazette Lord ——.”
The Duke came up to town, and gazetted Sir Ronald Fergusson. He was then all-powerful in the cabinet as well as in the army, and the king, whose character the Duke well understood, was obliged to take the matter with as good a grace as he was able.
An officer in the army, still alive, expressing his wonder that the Duke should lend his papers to such a radical as the present Sir William Napier, to assist him in composing his admirable history of the "Peninsular War," he replied, " And what if he is a radical; he will tell the truth, and that is all I care about." The Duke had a great contempt for Southey's history of the Spanish war, and said to a friend that it was just as good a history of any other war as it was of that in Spain.
The eccentric Colonel Jones, of the Guards, who was on duty during the trial of Queen Caroline, gave her counsel, at their request, the intelligence of a particular witness being among others shut up in Cotten Garden, which he ascertained by personal inquiry, no one refusing entrance to a commanding officer of the Guards. Lord Sidmouth, whose agents were on the alert, ascertained the fact, and asked the Duke whether Jones should not be dismissed the service without appeal. "He did nothing unmilitary," replied the Duke; "you should lock up your witnesses. A few days afterwards, Jones took up an address to the queen at Brandenburgh House, in his full uniform, as colonel of the Guards. His lordship made another attempt to get Jones's commission taken from him, but succeeded no better. "By G, he had as good a right to carry up an address from his fellow-subjects as you or I, my lord; a soldier is a subject. If he had gone sneaking up in plain clothes, I might agree to it."
That Jones's political opinions should not subject him to injustice on the part of a minister of the Duke's own party, was no doubt a feeling strengthened by the injustice the Duke himself had sustained from such quarters. It was impossible for a straightforward man like the Duke to join in miserable cabinet intrigues. His despatches paint the annoyance he suffered from the unprincipled tactics of those with whom he had to deal in the cabinet of Portugal, more particularly with the Patriarch and his clique, and the Souzas, not to refer to his vexations at some of the dealings with him at home. While he knew how to keep his own secrets, his conduct with others was open. He was conscious of innate strength, because he acted upon the common-sense principles of right and wrong. He borrowed nothing from the arts of eloquence; strong and sententious, his rhetoric gained its end the shortest way, backed by his natural force of character.