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“Officers and Soldiers!—I have answered for your
BOOK XIV. tirely of the national guards and the household published the following affecting proclamation,
troops, some hope might yet have remained of written with his own hanı! : Chap. IV. arresting the progress of Napoleon.
The national guard had already shewn of what it was fidelity to all France. You will not falsify the word 1815,
capable, when, in the preceding year, it bravely of your king: Reflect that if the enemy should
wbo at this moment follow other was so well known, and all of whom bad deserted standards, I see in you only deluded children
. to Napoleon the moment his standard appeared, Abjure your error, and throw yourselves into the was to present him with so many reinforcements, armıs of your father. I engage my faith that and fatally compromise the royal cause.
every thing shall be forgotten. Reckon all of you The king made one last effort to recall the on he rewards which your fidelity and services army to its duty. On the evening of the 18th he shall merit.
Departure of Napoleon from Lyons.—Rapid Progress.—Decree and Ordinance of the King - Trea.
son of Marshal Ney.--His Proclamation. --Addresses of the two Chambers to the King.- Advance of Napoleon to Melun.—Defection of the Troops assembled there.--Departure of the King from Paris, and Entrance of Napoleon into that City.-- Arrival of the King at Abbeville and Lisle.Forced to quit the latter Place and retire to Ostend.— Interesting Narrative.
BONAPARTE, after issuing his proclamations goons at a distance, with the white standard and and decrees at Lyons, prepared to march for cockade, than he quitted his carriage, mounted a wards; and, on the 13th, he departed for Ville led horse, and, attended by one aid-du-camp, franche, and reached Maçon in the evening. He rode forward to meet them. He advanced to the travelled in an open carriage, seldom escorted by colonel, and without one word of preface, ordermore than a dozen dragoons, and often without a ed the regiment to break into column and follow single attendant. He was frequently more than him. The order was obeyed as quickly and as a league before his advanced-guard. At many regularly as if they were on parade. In many of the towns through which he passed, and at towns, the populace hearing of his approach, aswbich he changed horses, he was not recognized. sembled in crowds, and abandoned themselves to At one post house, an English lady arrived in an the greatest excesses.. Every symbol of the royal opposite direction at the same moment. Neither government was destroyed, and those who apshe nor the master of the post-house knew him, peared with the white cockade were insulted. and she requested that he would permit her to When Bonaparte appeared among them they have the first set of horses, as she was pressed thronged around him; impeded bis progress; for time. He sipiled, and replied, « that the ob and deafened him with their shouts of welcome. ject of his journey was rather pressing too, but He smiled at one ; caressed another; and distri that he must give way to a lady,” and he waited buted crosses of the legion of honor among some with the utmost impatience until her departure of the most distinguished, saying, at the same When she had proceeded about a league she met time, " It was for you, my friends, that I instituted the advanced-guard, and learned, to her great the legion of honor, and not for the emigranto surprize, that it was the Emperor Napoleon. A pensioned by our enemies." few posts from Lyons he met a regiment of ca. It is said that Bonaparte's motive for proceed. valry marching with the avowed purpose of op ing unaccompanied by his troops, and absolutely
He no sooner discerned the dra. unguarded, was, that as Louis XVIII. had been
called Louis le Desiré (Louis the desired), he love of their country, and their fidelity to our BOOK XIV. was determined to shew which was the real person, may not overcome; but it is necessary desiré.
to furnish those wbo are called upon to defend Char, V. The progress of Bonaparte towards Paris was the general interests with the most prompt and most rapid. On the 15th he slept at Autun, and efficacious means of acting in their own immedi
1813. on the 16th at Avallon. The military every where ate circle. There is nothing which may not be obeyed bim with alacrity, and his army, like a expected from their patriotism, when it becomes snow-ball, augmented as it rolled on. The French necessary to protect liberty against tyranny, progovernment bad used every exertion to keep the perty against robbery, and the constitutional charsoldiers to their colours, and even threatened ter against a monstrous despotisni. them with the punishment of death in case they “ For these causes, and on the report of our deserted. For this purpose the king had issued minister secretary of state for the department of the following decree :
the interior, we have decreed and do decree as
follow : * Louis, &c.
1. “ The general councils of the departments “ We have taken all the measures which the shall be convened by the prefects immediately on honor and safety of the state required, to repel receiving this our decree. by force the enemy who has dared to attack the 2. “ They shall remain in permanent sitting to public tranquillity, and who seeks to destroy the execute the measures of public safety directed by constitutional government, on which the hap- our decree of this day, as well for ihe organizapiness and prosperity of our kingdom depend. tion of the national guards, as for the formation
“ But it is not enough quickly to assemble im- of corps of volunteers. posing forces, if we do not check, by punishments 3. “ They shall be authorized to take such severely and instantaneously applied to the seduc further measures for the public tranquillity as. tive attempts daily made on our brave armies to local circumstances may suggest to them, on comwithdraw them from their duty.
municating their deliberations to the prefects of " For these causes, and with the advice of our departments, who will give an account of them to council, we have decreed, and do decree, as our minister of the interior. follows:
4. “ We recommend to the administrative corps 1. “ The law of the 4th Nivose, year 4, sball now permanently met, to act with an activity, pacontinue in force according to its form and tenour: triotism, and good understanding, which may entherefore, every agent for the enemy, or the rebels, sure success to their efforts." shall be punished with death.
In the mean time, Marshal Ney, with the whole 2. “ Those shall be considered as such, who, of his corps, had joined Napoleon. It is said that by money, speech, or the distribution and publica- this officer was taking measures for falling on the tion of incendiary writing, sball attempt to with rear of Bonaparte, and for that purpose was on draw from their duty soldiers or citizens called the point of marching froin Lons'le Saulnier, upon to repel the enemy, or to make them go where his forces were stationed, when, on the over to the rebels.
night of the 12th of March, some of Bonaparte's 3. “ Those soldiers or citizens called upon to emissaries arrived, and were introduced to him. defend their country, who shall desert their co- They delivered to bim letters from the Grandlours, or who shall refuse to join them, and go marshal Bertrand, which painted, in the most over to the enemy, shall be punished in the same glowing colours, the hopeless situation of the
king, and the certainty of Napoleon's success. 4. “ There shall be established with every They assured him that Bonaparte had concerted corps of the army, and in all the principal places this enterprize with Austria, through the mediaof the department, where we shall deem proper, tion of General Koller ;—that the empress and courts-martial, specially charged to try those her son were on the road to Paris ;—that England guilty of the above delinquencies.
had connived at his escape ;-that Murat ad• The decisions of the courts-martial shall be vanced triumphant towards Italy to assist bis executed within twenty-four hours, with regard brother-in-law; that the Russians had retired to to culprits taken in the fact, or arrested in at their distant country, and Alexander would no tempting to seduce from their duty soldiers and more intermeddle with the affairs of the south; officers of our armies."
that Prussia alone was unable to contend with The following ordinance was issued at the France ; that if the marshal were disposed to resame time:
sist, he had no longer the power ;-that Napoleon
had secretly received the submission of every re“ Louis, &c.
giment in the service; that all Ney's most confi. « The dangers of the state increase. There dential officers had long been enrolled among the are none which the courage of Frenchmen, their adherents of the emperor ;-and that a vain and
BOOK XIV. useless attempt at resistance, would expose his soldier, who was decorated with three medals.
country to the horrors of civil war. It was added, “ And you," said he, slapping him gently on the Char. V. that Napoleon had for ever renounced his pro- shoulder,“ how long have you been in the ser:
jects of arbitrary government and universal domi. vice ?" Twenty-five years, sire!"-"Ah! I recol. 1815. nion, and wished now to reign for the happiness lect,” interrupted Bonaparte, "we were together
of France alone. Whatever might have been the at Rivoli, where we took seven pieces of cannon." sentiments of Ney before he received this commu
“ Yes, sire !"_" I see that you are a good sol. nication, after pausing a short time, he resolved dier, and I will take care of you." By these to join his troops to those of Napoleon, and on familiar conversations Bonaparte always gained the next day be issued the following proclamation the hearts of bis soldiers. At Auxere he learned to bis troops:
that the 6th regiment of lancers had mounted
the white cockade, and had proceeded without Marshal Prince of the Moskwa to the Troops
the Moskwa to the Troops orders to oppose a body of the household troops under his Orders.
who attempted to blow up the bridge of Monte “ Officers, Subalterns, and Soldiers !--The reau. The king's troops retired at the approach cause of the Bourbons is for ever lost. The legiti- of the lancers without effecting their purpose
. mate dynasty which the French nation adopted On the 19th, at night, he turned off from the is about to re-ascend the throne. To the Emperor great road to sleep at Fontainebleau, determined Napoleon, our sovereign, it alone belongs to that the palace which had witnessed his misfor. reign over our fine country. Of what conse tunes should first receive him in his success. quence is it to us whether the noblesse of the The French court was in the greatest alarm. Bourbons again expatriate themselves, or consent On the night of the 18th, a grand council war to live in the midst of us? The sacred cause of held at the Thuilleries, at which the princes
, the liberty and of our independence will no longer ministers, and the generals assisted. The
gene. suffer under their fatal influence. They wished rals declared that no dependence was to be placed to degrade our military glory; but they have in the army assembled at Melun, and deprecated been deceived. , That glory is the fruit of at- any further resistance to the progress of Napoleon tempts too noble to permit us ever to lose its re as a useless waste of blood. This was strenu. membrance.
ously opposed by some of the courtiers, and one “ Soldiers!—Those times are gone by when the of the princes; and, it is said, the most violent people were governed by the suffocation of their and intemperate language was used. The counrights ; at length liberty triumphs, and Napoleon, cil broke up in disorder, and the king despairing our august emperor, is about to confirm it for and broken-hearted. The two chambers, however
, ever. Hereafter shall that noble cause be ours, continued firm in their attachment to the king, and that of all Frenchmen! A truth so grand must notwithstanding the critical state of affairs; and, penetrate the hearts of those brave men whom on the 17th, they voted two loyal addresses to
his majesty, which were presented by deputations “ Soldiers !--I have often led you to victory; on the evening of the 18th. now I lead you to join that immortal phalanx with which the Emperor Napoleon approaches Paris, Address of the Chamber of Peers. and which will be here within a few days; then “ Sire,—The peers of France have been deeply our hopes and our happiness will be for ever moved with the discourse which your majesty realized.-Vive l' Empereur.
pronounced yesterday from the throne. All hearts (Signed) “ Prince of the Moskwa, re-echoed to those words so energetic and so
“ Marshal of the Empire. touching, which express at once your love for “ Lons le Saulnier, March 13, 1815.”
your people, aşd your attachment to the consti
tution which you have given them. The sentiThis defection was decisive of the contest, for ments which animate the great soul of your maall confidence was now at an end. On the 17th, jesty were displayed at that solemn sitting with a Bonaparte arrived at Auxere. Here he met noble burst, wbich added even a livelier impresthe 14th regimentof the line, which had proceeded sion to the august and sacred character of your by forced marches to range itself under his ban- royal promise. Monsieur, your worthy brother
, As soon as these soldiers were drawn up and all the princes of your blood, wished to lay before him, they trampled under foot the white at the feet of your majesty, in the presence of cockade which they had sworn to defend. Bona- the two chambers, on the simple guarantee of parte smiled at this proof of their attachment, and their honor, their oath of fidelity to the constiwalking through their ranks, addressed himself tution. familiarly to several whom he recognized, or pre “ This constitution, sire, is the pledge of a new tended to recollect. He stopped before an old alliance between the French people and the
ancient race of its kings. The wisest institutions and France will be saved. The chamber of de- BOOK XIV. are associated with the most illustrious recollec- puties, sire, comes to bring to the foot of the tions; they lend a mutual support, and compose ibrone the homage of its gratitude ; it heard with CHAP. V. an immoveable power. What madman could confidence the solemn oath of your august fa
1815. believe, that a generous nation, united to its mily for the maintenance of the constitutional king by ties so strong, would receive the law charter. The organ of the nation, the chamber, of violence and treason; that it would recognise answers to the noble appeal which came from the for master, bim who used his power only to mouth of its king: the more the people have trample under foot all liberty, all honor, all security for their rigbts, the more they are penejustice: him against whom indignant Europe trated with the sanctity of their duties. The rore all in arms to cast bim from its boson ?
question is not merely, as heretofore, whether we " That which we have to defend is not only the shall be the prey of a foreign enemy, but whether safety of the state; it is not merely France we shall undergo the most severe and humiliating against the invasion of an enemy, it is the very yoke. existence of the country, it is the national honor, “ To save France from the evils which threaten it is the glory of our arms,--that glory which it, your majesty asks that the concurrence of the made us so proud, and which we exultingly two chambers may give to authority all the pointed out to other pations in the midst of our strength which is requisite. Already your majesty . internal calamities, and of the tyrannical oppres. bas taken measures of public safety against our sion under which we groaned. What people had oppressor, and what Frenchman could ever reever to fight for such dear interests?
cognise the titles and rights of sovereignty in the " Sire, it is by an unbounded confidence that person of Napoleon Bonaparte, that enemy of we ought to answer to the wisdom and firmness of France and of the world Yes, sire, the two which you give us so noble an example. The chambers will surround you, and will make it constitution places in the hands of your majesty their duty to concur with your majesty for the all the forces and resources of the state, when its safety of the country and of the throne. Let us defence is in question : and what powers besides discover treason wherever it is concealed: let us these do you not find in that unanimous agree strike it down wherever it exists; let us load with thent of sentiments and wills which collects round honors, and with gratitude, that generous army, the throne the representatives of the nation in the which, defending its chief and our liberty, which two chambers, and of which we come here to is also its own, goes to combat those misled solpresent you with the homage.
diers whom their barbarous leader brings to tear “ The chamber of peers further resolve, with the bowels of their country. But, sire, these prothe good pleasure of the king, that the address testations of our hearts will not suffice, and we shall be presented by a numerous deputation. supplicate your majesty to permit us to propose « The President and Secretaries,
toʻ your confidence the means which we think D'AMBRAY,
proper to re-animate more and more the public The Duke of Levis, hope. While the chambers thus lend to the
The Count PASTORET, government which is to save France the strength Seen and sealed The Count de VALENCE, of the whole nation, your faithful subjects are The Grand Referendary, Count de SemONVILLE." convinced that the government will concur in
the public safety, by trusting to men at once. The king, in his reply, said, " I receive, with energetic and moderate, whose names alone the most lively satisfaction, the address of the are a guarantee for all interests, an chamber of peers.
I have no less pleasure in all uneasiness: to men who having been, at seeing the confidence which it places in me. I different periods, the defenders of the principles will merit it by employing constantly all the of justice and liberty which are in the heart of means in my power for the safety of the your majesty, and forin the patrimony of the nastate.
tion, are all equally interested in the stability of
the throne, and in those principles which the pubAddress of the Chamber of Deputies. lic enemy comes to annihilate." “ Sire --Our tears flowed when your majesty, The king answered,-" I receive with the most expressing yourself like a father and a king, lively satisfaction the expression of the sentispoke of crowping your career by dying for your ments of the chamber of deputies, and of the people. At that moment, at once awful and concurrence which it promises me under these pleasing, ibere was not a man of those who heard difficult circumstances : on my part it may be you who did not desire to consecrate bis life in assured, that the instrumenis which I shall answer to your generous sentiments. Presently employ shall always be worthy of the country and
Meanwhile the troops remained at Melun, and ed through the whole of the royal army, and
6 Can I better termi.
Duchess D'Angouleme for many years, was All was anxious expectation. The chiefs were found on the table in the apartment of the king; conscious that a moment would decide the fate and in his drawers were his correspondence with of the Bourbon dynasty ; and the troops were Louis XVI. ; a medal which he was in the daily secretly awed at the thought of meeting in hos babit of wearing, and many things calculated 10 tility the man whom they had been accustomed compromise the safety of numerous individuals. to obey:
The medal contained on one side the effigy of On the side of Fontainebleau no sound was Louis XVI. and on the other a female kneeling heard as of an army rushing to battle. If the aud veiled, in an attitude of grief, and holding, enemy was advancing, his troops evidently moved embraced in one band, an urn resting on a pedesin silence. " Perhaps his heart has failed him, tal, and shaded by a weeping willow. Round and he has retreated," was the secret ardent wish the effigy of the king was the following inscripof the friends of the Bourbons.
tion," Louis XVI. King of France and Navarre, At length a light trampling of horses became and on the reverse,“ Lament him and avenge audible. It approached. An open carriage, at,
him.” tended by a few bussars and dragoons, appeared Even at this late hour, a considerable crowd on the skirts of the forest. It drove down the hills surrounded his carriage, aud rendered him the with the rapidity of lightning. It nearly reached homage of their sincere regrets. “ The king for the advanced-posts, when the escort threw down ever!” was repeated by every voice, and although their arms, and rushed forward to embrace the too many of the Parisians had already sbewn king's troops. Surprised at this unexpected ma worse than indifference to the royal cause, and nouvre, the soldiers were for a moment irresolute. cries of treason had begun to be heard in every The carriage now reached them. The traveller quarter of the city, yet no one dared to profane was immediately recognised. " The Emperor the interesting parting of the monarch and bis for ever!” burst from every mouth. “Napoleon! subjects. “Cease your tears,” said be, “I shall Napoleon the Great!” spread from rank to soon return." rank; for, bareheaded, Bertrand seated at his The Duchess of Serment was the friend of the right, and Drouet at his left, Napoleon continued late Queen of France, and governess of the Duch. his course ; now waving his hand, now opening ess of Angouleme. Age, sickness, and sorrow bad his arms to the soldiery, whom he called his conspired to enfeeble her body and her mind. friends, his companions in arms, whose honor, She had lately lost ber only daughter, who was whose glories, whose country he now came to
burned to death; and she was now reduced to restore.
a state which bordered on idiotism. It is the All discipline was forgotten, disobeyed, and in- pleasing duty of the historian to record that Louis sulted. The commanders-iv-chief took Aight. insisted that this unfortunate lady should be acThousands rushed on his passage. Acclamations commodated in his own carriage. rent the sky. At that moment his own guard The household troops alone bad sufficient descended ihe bill. The imperial march was loyalty to accompany the fugitive. They escort. played: the eagles were once more displayed, ed him to the frontiers with a fidelity which did and they whose deadly weapons were to have them much credit. aimed at each other's life, embraced as brothers, Early in the morning the following procla. and joined in universal shouts.
mation was found placarded on the walls of In the midst of these greetings, Napoleon pase