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Thus Napoleon the Second, after a reign of three days, has been replaced by the French people. I have found no one here who is able, or who cares, to reconcile this ordonnance with the succession of the son of Maria Louisa. You will observe, also, that the five commissioners were ordered to treat in the name of the nation. This confirms what I before said, that the Duke of Otranto will not be embarrassed in his communications with the allies, by any premature adoption of a sovereign. There are not a few who think thathe inclines to the Duke of Orleans; but his enemies must allow that he has as yet taken every measure, which can give the nation a chance of maintaining their independence.
By a decree of the 24th, the Marshal Prince of Eckmülh, minister of war, was ordered to take every measure relative to the defence of Paris ; and his seal was, ad interim, intrusted to his chief secretary, Baron Marchant. By another decree of the 25th, all soldiers absent from their regiments were commanded to join the nearest corps, or to march to Paris. He proposed also to the chamber, on the 27th, a law enabling the state to borrow 150,000,000 francs, for the payment of the debts and arrears on the military and other establishments; and to whatever men he may incline, there is no reason to think that his wishies
or opinions respecting things are different from those of the great majority of the nation, or unbecoming the great part which he is called upon to perform in this momentous juncture. He is known, as I have before said, to have no personal attachment to the imperial dynasty; and to have been chosen by Napoleon, as one of the guarantees which he offered to the French nation, of his re-adoption of the principles of the revolution. Fouché of Nantes, is a name and character lost in the Duke of Otranto; and so much are the sanguinary propensities, for which he was once so fatally distinguished, changed long ago, as they say, by paternity, that the day of his succession to Savary, as minister of police, was a jubilee to Paris and all France.
He has contrived to keep the confidence even of the royalists of the capital, who now dishonour him with the suspicion that he is in their interests, and is acting only for Louis XVIII. The chamber of representatives has as yet shewn no repugnance to his measures, with the exception of M. Felix Desportes, who, observing the new name of the French people, asked “ if the constitution " was abolished.” It adopted his project of a law relative to requisitions, in the sitting of the 20th, but with a long debate, and after some amendments, which might have been spared :
some one stated, that there was no urgency in the case; when a member exclaimed, “how far “ is it from here to St. Quentin ?”-intimating that the allies were arrived at that town.
But in the peers, in the discussion on the law of arrests, a considerable opposition arose, on the parts of Counts Lameth, Cornudet, Boissy d'Anglas, Latour Maubourg, and d’Aubusson ; the latter of whom said, “ that he would ask for “ a passport for Constantinople, if the law passed « without amendment, as he would rather live “ under a pacha than a denunciator, made de. « spotic during three months." The law, however, was passed with some immaterial amendments, and sent to the representatives; but M. Boissy d'Anglas stated that he should the next day propose a project for the abolition of the commissions of high police. In the sitting of the next day, the law of requisitions was agreed to by the peers, but not until the Duke of Dantzick had observed,“ that if the requisi« tions were not made according to law, they r would be made without law; and that as to “ the observance of forms and regulations, so “ much insisted upon, it should be recollected " that when they were made, the enemy was “not in full march upon the capital.” Count Latour Maubourg read, in this sitting, the pro
ject of Count Boissy d'Anglas, announced the day Before ; in which, as Count Thibaudeau observed, either by a great oversight, or a great foresight, the word kingdom was inserted.
The communication made yesterday by the government to the chambers might indeed give rise to a suspicion, that the prophetic spirit of M. Boissy d'Anglas had been in activity, rather than that he had been guilty of any neglect. The bulletin of the army stated the French head-quarters, at five in the evening of the 26th, to be at Soissons; and that the enemy occupied St. Quentin, Guise, Avesnes, and Noyon. Four or five hundred cavalry had appeared between that latter place and Compiegne. An accompanying message announced, that the French plenipotentiaries had received their passports at Laon, and left that town, for the head-quarters of the allied sovereigns, on the evening of the 26th. The government has taken care to have this intelligence placarded in the streets. The Counts Andreossy, Boissy d'Anglas, and Valence, with Messieurs Flaugergues and de la Bernardière, left Paris this morning, to attempt to negotiate an armistice with the Duke of Wellington.
No communication has yet been made to the chambers respecting Napoleon. One of
the first steps taken by the government was to order him from the Elysée to Malmaison; a measure which was found necessary to prevent any commotions on the part of the lower classes of the metropolis, having for object the reinstatement of their favourite, as well as to convince the allied sovereigns that the capital, and the deliberations of the chambers, are free from the influence of the fallen monarch.
Notwithstanding the speeches of his friends, and even of the patriots in the chambers, who think that decency, and the public service, re. quire such an eulogy, the abdication of Napoleon is said to have been any thing rather than a voluntary sacrifice. I believe you may depend upon the following account of that transaction. Napoleon, seeing the battle was lost, and being borne away by the part of his body guard immediately about his person, retired from the field with a few cavalry, and rode for some time in the darkness, ignorant of the direction he was taking. The Duke of Bassano, who was with him, was asked by the Emperor if he knew where he was, and replied in the negative. The staff officers, with only one exception, advised the return to Paris ; and my informant, the general who deprecated that fatal measure, assures me Napoleon was overpersuaded against his