Page images
PDF
EPUB

-, and

first glance for an hour or two after it was known that the two armies were in presence. More than once crowds rushed towards the elevated spots of the gardens and squares at the exclamation of individuals, who announced the opening cannonade.

At four o'clock the battle had not begun. I called on your friend Madame found her in tears. I was thunderstruck with the news.

Her son, the lieutenant general, had just left the army; all was lost-Paris had surrendered, with a devoted army of 80,000 soldiers before her walls. He was determined to denounce the treason and the traitors that night in the house of peers. Leaving the house, I soon heard the intelligence confirmed, both relating to the capitulation and the expected denunciation. Indeed, the artillery and some of the troops are now filing through Paris in their retreat.

The commission of government sat at the Tuileries the whole of last night, and did not break up until seven in the morning; about which time, it now appears, that M. le Baron Bignon and the Count of Bondy, prefect of the Seine, repaired with a flag of truce to the head quarters of Lord Wellington at Vauvres, and

thence to St. Cloud, where the convention was signed.

There was but little done in the chamber of peers this day: the chamber adopted the resolution of the representatives relative to the pacification of La Vendée unanimously, but there were six peers bold enough, I may call it, to vote against allotting the library of Trianon to Napoleon. There was no denunciation of the capitulators. The chamber adjourned until tomorrow at two o'clock. The representatives met at twelve : a letter was read from General Vandamme, giving an account of his corps,

and from the Baron Pamphile La Croix, remonstrating against the misrepresentation of the state of the corps of General Reille. A violent and interrupted discussion then took place. M. Felix Desportes began with saying, “ that “sinister reports were in circulation” but was stopped at once, by loud cries of order; as was also M. Sibuet, who endeavoured to declaim against the hereditary peerage. The president proposed, at half past two, the adjournment to the committee of constitution until five, when he re-entered the hall, and informed the members that, as the government had promised to make an interesting communication in the course of the evening, he should propose a further adjournment until eight. The proposition, after a considerable confusion and opposition, was at last adopted. I hear the house is now sitting in a secret committee, the expected message from the Tuileries having arrived at ten o'clock,

LETTER XXXI.

Tuesday, July 4.. Neither the Moniteur, nor any other papers this morning, asserted the conclusion of a convention. The chamber of representatives sat until two in the morning, and adjourned its secret committee until seven, and its public sitting opened at eleven. At two o'clock the inclosed convention and its articles were hawked about the streets. * The allies occupied St. Ouen, St. Denis, Clichy, and Neuilly, this day at twelve; to-morrow they are to be put in possession of Montmartre, and the next day of the barriers. The French army is to quit its present position in three days, and to retire in eight to the south bank of the Loire. There are reports at this moment current, that the troops have refused to retreat, but I have met several regiments myself. It is true that, at the barriers this evening, and, indeed, in the streets, are several small bodies of troops of the

* See Appendix-No. 33.

line, and of cuirassiers, straggling about, apparently without order or destination. An officer at the barriere de l'Etoile rushed by me, exclaiming with a furious tone, and slapping his breast, « On vend des bêtes à cornes, mais au"jourd'hui on vend des hommes.A persuasion of treachery has become very prevalent this afternoon, and some movement was then expected on the part of the troops and the federates.

I just hear that the whole national guard are put under arms. Single musquets have been heard in various parts of the city, on the bridges, the boulevards, and the squares, and parties of men are running through the back streets, shouting “ Vive l'Empereur!A cannon or two have been fired from Montmartre.

I saw a carriage stopped in my presence in the rue St. Honoré by two men, who insisted on knowing whether any of the government were in it. The movement began at three o'clock, when many groups were formed in the gardens and streets, listening to harangues and denunciations. At six o'clock the doors and windows were shut, and the whole of the national guards received orders to hold themselves in readiness to act at a moment's warning. The women disappeared from the streets, and preparations were made in the interior of many houses for a defence against

« PreviousContinue »