Page images
PDF
EPUB

“ Sire"-when the Emperor gave him a flap with his glove, in the face-“ Taisez vous, mon ami, voilá Grouchy, qui vient de nous donner de ses nouvelles.They were Bulow's cannons which he mistook for Grouchy's, and which he announced as such to Ney, by Labédoyère. The marshal fought with his accustomed bravery, and having had three horses killed under him, was seen in advance of the line, with his sword drawn, and on foot, attended by a single corporal, who at last bore him away, exhausted and .covered with contusions, from the scene of car: nage. How dreadful must have been the rout may be collected from the confession of the marshal, who tells us that he, the second in command, arrived alone, totally ignorant of what had become of the Emperor or the army, at Marchiennes sur Pont, at four o'clock in the morning. He says, that he concluded the Emperor to be either taken or killed. The last sight the marshal had of him was when he was conducting the four regiments of the middle guard, in person, to the attack *.

* Lieutenant-colonel of the guards informed me, that he saw Napoleon about musquet-shot in front of the English line. “An authority on which I have not the same entire reliance, but which is backed by common rumour,

assured me, at Paris, that Napoleon made several efforts to plunge forwards into the enemies' ranks, but was stopped by his staff, who held his horse by the reins. I see now, that all this is said to be a concerted scene between Bertrand and Drouot and their Emperor. What pleasure or profit can be derived from the support of the paradox, that a man who has commanded in fifty pitched battles is a coward ?

G 2

LETTER XXVI.

Paris, June zg.

The terrific truth is displayed; Paris is to be saved, if it can be saved, only by a battle, to be fought under its walls. The law declaring the city in a state of siege is placarded ; as also is an ordonnance of the government, commanding the army of the north to repair without delay to the capital, providing for the subsistence of the inhabitants and garrisons, the defence of the heights, and the maintenance of tranquillity by the national guard. But care has been taken to show that the approaches only of the capital shall be defended, and by the troops of the line only, encamped without the walls, and seconded by the riflemen of the national guard. The guard itself is not to be employed, except upon the demand of its own body *

* Besides these notices, appears an order of the day, from the minister of war, making dispositions for a battle to be fought to-morrow morning, so says

* See Appendix - No. 28

report, at day-break. It is conceived in these terms.

“ All the soldiers at this moment in Paris, “ armed or not armed, will repair immediately, $ those of the first, second, and sixth corps in “ front of the height of Cinq Moulins, near the 6 butte Montmartre, and the village la Chapelle; “ those of the cavalry, mounted or not mounted, "upon the road to St. Denis, to the cross roads “ of Clichy.

" Those of the third and the fourth corps, to so the telegraph upon the height of Belleville.

“ Those of the infantry of the guard, command"ed by General Deriot, upon the road to Vin

cennes, near Petit Charonne. “ The general officers, and those of the staff, belonging to these different corps, will bes take themselves to the posts respectively as“ signed.

“ The general officers of the staff, who have

no destination, will repair to the head of the “ village of Lavillette, near the canal of L'Ourq, “ where is fixed the general head quarters.

" It is expressly forbidden, under the severest penalties, to give asylum to soldiers not wounded, who shall not repair to the post to which " they are called by the voice of honour, and of

their country

66

“ There shall be established, in each place “ above assigned, a depot of 4000 arms. Gene“ ral Desforneaux for the first, second, and “ sixth corps; General Pully for all the cavalry, « mounted or not mounted ; General Beau“ mont for the third and fourth corps, and Gene“ ral Deriot for the guard, are charged to review “ their respective troops, armed or not armed, “ to take cognisance of the number of arms

wanting, and to expedite an order, with which “ the officer of artillery, appointed by General Evam, at each of the depôts, will take care to

comply."

No notice is taken of arming any other portion of the federates than such as are comprised under the term riflemen of the national guard ; and I learn that not more than 7000 musquets have, as yet, been distributed amongst them. It is not to be doubted but that considerable alarm is entertained by such of the Parisians as are known to be attached to the royalist cause, many

of whom now say, that all their hopes for the preservation of Paris centre in Fouché : the other members of the commission are forgotten ; and his house alone, at the demand of the national guard, is protected by a guard of honour. Yet I find the Tuileries' gardens, and the boulevards, as full of company as usual, and my friend M. de

« PreviousContinue »