Page images
PDF
EPUB

BOOK XIV. humiliated, by nobles, would have been com Europe, and can no longer be stifled, it be not

pelled to declare against their oppressors; the forced to withdraw itself, in order to combat. CAAP. VII. war which Protestants, Jews, men of various from those pacific meditations and means of inter.

religions, would have been compelled to sustain nal prosperity to which the people and their bead 1815. against their persecutors.

wish to devote themselves in happy accordance. 47. He caine to deliver France, and was re

56. There has been nothing changed, if, when ceived as a deliverer.

the French nation asks only to remain at peace 48. He arrived almost alone ; he traversed 220 with all Europe, an unjust coalition do not leagues without opposition, without combats, and compel it, as it did in 1792, to defend its will and resumed without resistance, amidst the capital its rights, its independence, and the sovereign of and the acclamations of an immense majority of its choice. the citizens, the throne deserted by the Bourbons, (Signed) Count DEFERMON, who, in the army, in their bousehold, among the

Count REGNAUD de St. Jeax national-guards, were unable to arm an indivi

D'ANGELY, dual to attempt to maintain them there.

Count BOULAY, 49. And yet, replaced at the head of the nation,

Count ANDREOSSY, which had already chosen him thrice, which has (A true copy) The Duke of BASSASO. just designated him a fourth time by the reception it gave bim in his rapid and triumphant march Two days afterwards, pacific overtures were and arrival,--of that nation by which and for the made by the French government to all the courts interest of wbich he means to reign, what is the of Europe. These were accompanied by a letter wish of Napoleon ?

in the hand-writing of Napoleon biinself to each 50. That which the French people wish—the of the sovereigns. On this occasion, the minister independence of France, internal peace, peace of foreign affairs (Caulincourt) sent the follow. with all nations, the execution of the treaty of irz letter to Lord Castlereagb: Paris of the 30th of May, 1814. 51. What is there then cbanged in the state of

Paris April 4, 1815. Europe and in the bope of repose it had promised My Lord,- The expectatious wbich induced itself? Wbat voice is raised to demand that his majesty the emperor, my august sovereign, to succour which, according to the declaration, submit to the greatest sacr:fices, have not been should be only given when claimed.

fulfilled; France bas not received the price of 62. There has been nothing changed,-should the devotion of its monarch; ber hopes have been the allied powers return, as we are bound to ex lamentably deceived. After some monuis of painpect they will, to just and moderate sentiments, ful restraint, her sentiments, concealed with reif they admit that the existence of France in a gret, have at length manifested themselves in an respectable and independent situation, as far extraordinary manner; by an universal and sponremoved from conquering as from being con taneous impulse she has declared as her deliquered, from dominating as from being en verer the map from whom alone she can expect slaved, is necessary to the

balance of great king- the guarantee of her liberties and independence.doms, and to the security of small states. The emperor has appeared, the royal throne has

53. There has been nothing changed,--if res fallen, and the Bourbon family have quitted our pecting the rights of a great nation, which wishes territory, without one drop of blood having been to respect the rights of all others, which, proud shed for their defence. Borne upon the arms of and generous, has been lowered, but never de his people, bis majesty bas traversed France from based, it be left to resume a monarch, and to give the point of the coast at wbich he at first toucbed itself a constitution and laws suited to its manners, the ground, as far as the centre of bis capital, its interests, its habits, and its new wants.

even to that residence which is now again, as are 54. There is nothing changed,-if not attempt all French hearts, filled with our dearest rememing to compel France to resume a dynasty which brances. No obstacles have delayed his majesty's it no longer wishes, feudal chains which it has triumphal progress ; from the instant of his rebroken, and to submit to seignorial and ecclesias- landing upon French ground, he resumed the gotical claims from which it has been liberated, it is vernment of his empire. Scarcely does his first not wished to impose upon it laws, to intermeddle reign appear to have been for an instant interwith its internal affairs, to assign it a form of go- rupted." Every generous passion, every liberal vernment, to give it masters in conformity to the thought, has rallied around him; never did any interests or the passions of its neighbours. nation present a spectacle of more awful unani55. There is nothing changed,

--if while France mity. is occupied in prepariog the new social compact "The report of this great event will have reached which shall guarantee the liberty of its citizens, your lordship. I am commanded to announce it the triumph of the liberal ideas which prevail in to you, in the name of the emperor, and to re

, 7

quest you will convey this declaration to the know- cissitudes of fortune bave caused sufficient great BOOK XIV. ledge of his majesty the King of Great Britain, reverses to succeed to great successes. A finer your august master.

field is now open for sovereigns, and I am the Chap. VII. “This restoration of the emperor to the throne first to enter it. After having presented to the of France, is for him the most brilliant of his world the spectacle of great combats, it will be

1815. triumphs. His majesty prides bimself, above all, more delightful, in future, to know no other rivalon the reflection that he owes it entirely to the ry except that of the advantages of peace, no love of the French people ; and he has no other other struggle except the sacred struggle for the wish than to repay such affections, no longer by happiness of our people. France is glad to prothe trophies of vain ambition, but by all the ad- claim with frankness this noble end of all its vantages of an honorable repose, and by all the wishes. Jealous of its independence, the inblessings of a happy tranquillity. It is to the variable principle of its policy will be the most duration of peace that the emperor looks forward absolute respect for the independence of other na. for the accomplishment of his noblest intentions. tions ; if such, as I have a bappy confidence, shall With a disposition to respect the rights of other be the personal sentiments of your majesty, the nations, bis majesty has the pleasing hope that general tranquillity is secured for a long time; those of the French nation will remain inviolate.. and justice, seated on the confines of different

“The maintenance of this precious deposit is the states, will alone suffice to guard their frontiers. first, as it is the dearest, of his duties. The quiet

“I seize with

eagerness, &c. &c. of the world is for a long time assured, if all the Lord Castlereagh, in his answer to the French other sovereigns are disposed, as his majesty is, minister, informed him that the prince-regent bad , to make their honor consist in the preservation given orders to transmit the letters to Vienna, for of peace, by placing peace under the safe-guard the information and consideration of the allied soof honor.

vereigns there assembled. “Such are, my lord, the sentiments with wbich Soon after Bonaparte's arrival at Paris, on his majesty is sincerely animated, and which he opening the drawers at the apartments of Count has commanded me to make known to your go- Blacas, (the king's favorite minister) at the vernment.

Thuilleries, his most secret papers were found. “I have the honor, &c.

Among these, was a memorial in the hand . (Signed) “ CAULINCOURT,

writing of the Abbé Montesquieu, addressed to “Duc de Vicenze.” the king at the period of his restoration, and sug

gesting, with the concurrence of Talleyrand, the This letter was accompanied by another, which public

measures which was to accompany the inclosed one from Napoleon to the prince-regent, king's entrance, which it was wished to frame in as follows :

such a way as to give the public the assurances “ Sir, my brother !-You will have learned, in of a satisfactory constitution, and at the same time : the course of the last month, my return on the get

rid of the senate itself. The senate, it will shores of France, my entrance into Paris, and be recollected, made a covenant for its own per. - the departure of the family of the Bourbons. The manence, as a prelude to this constitution, to 1 true nature of these events must now be known which-Monsieur agreed, saying, that he had not

to your majesty. They are the work of an irresisti any authority from the king to that extent, but he ble power, the work of the unanimous will of a was sure the king would not disavow what he had

great nation, which knows its duties and its rights. agreed to. The memoir proceeded to advise that 7 The dynasty which force had imposed on the the king should assume the title of King of

French people was no longer made for it: the France and Navarre ; and that the paper which

Bourbons would not accord with its sentiments he meant to issue should be stiled an edict, be- or its manners : France has separated itself from cause " the nation wishes for what is ancient; and

them. Its voice called for a deliverer. The ex every thing connected with antiquity is as suitpeetation which decided me to make the greatest able to it as to royalty itself.” of sacrifices was disappointed. I came, and from The Abbé Montesquieu, in another memoir, the point where I touched the shore the love of gives the following history of the struggle which my people carried me even to the bosom of my the senate made for its privileges while the allies capital. The first duty of my heart is to repay were in Paris, in 1814. - The senate had said, that so much affection by the maintenance of an ho the constitution should be made by the provisional norable tranquillity. - The re-establishment of the government. Some wisdom was to be hoped imperial throne was necessary for the bappiness for from a meeting of five persons who were deof Frenchmen. My dearest thought is, at the voted to the royal cause. However, the first as. same time, to make it useful to the securing of the semblage was composed of twenty-five persons,

. Sufficient glory has adorned of whom two were senators, charged with drawby turns the flags of different nations. The vi- ing up the report. The strangest topics were

to

BÕOK XIV, advanced, such as the right of peace and war be ment was on foot the whole night; it saw the

longing to the nation. While employed on these Emperor of Russia, and found bita much sbaken. Caap. VII. mischievous metaphysics, the strange proposition M. de Schwartzenberg had almost agreed to an

was advanced, that the question was not what armistice; the Emperor of Russia was recon1815.

was good in itself, but what would suit the senate vinced, thanks to the eloquence of General Des-
which bad the acceptance of it, and, therefore, the solles; M. Laharpe availed himself of this ineident
senators were requested to invite their colleagues to give courage to the constitutional party, and the
of most influence to meet next day in senate, and sevators came next day with a constitution, bet.
in the mean tiine to report progress. The Abbé ter, indeed, than the preceding, but still very
Montesquieu argued strougly against this propo- faulty.”
sal, which, however, was agreed to. The meet The Abbé then proceeds to criticise this con-
ing next day was still more numerous, comprising stitution. The public, he says, exclated against
all the constitutional men in the senate. The re. the inipudence of the senators, who made their
porter read his projet, which, among other things, private fortune a public affair

. On that part of proposed that the Senate should consist of 100 it which gave the initiation of laws to every members; that the king should appoint to vacant member of the senate and legislative body, be seats, and should only have to choose one of three remarks. “ Every kind of brawler, every man candidates, presented by the senate, who again sold to foreigners, could then propose the most were presented to them by electoral colleges. At the disorganizing laws, or the most contrary to the close of the report, and when the members were welfare of the state. What party-fury must be rising, the Abbé Montesquieu had some conver the consequence if men could not only cabal sation with the reporter. The Abbé declared that against the government, but subject it to theit such a senate would inevitably become a second laws. This, no doubt, is done in England; but committee of publie safety.

Where were their what a difference of character, manners, and of powers, be asked, to frame a constitution, without respect for engagements prevails in that country! ihe king, and without the nation? The proposal Is that country, besides, so extensive and diverwas the more strange as the king's sentiments on sified? has it so many opposing interests! In the subject were not unknown, baving been pub- England, there is only one climate, one character

, lished at Bourdeaux by the Duke D'Angouleme. one country, and one commerce. Among us, OR He stated the four articles in the proclamation. the contrary, two distinct nations inhabit the “ But the senate ?" said the reporter.--" I speak north and the soutb: the people of the Lamoosin of principles,” replied the Abbé" not of persons : have no resemblance to those of Britany: we I know only one thing, that it is the wish, both of have poor districts and rich ones, some of which the king and the nation, that the nominations to are commercial, and others wbich have done the upper chamber should belong to the king, and at all." that indefinitely. But persons are still something, In the course of the memoir the Abbé charac. the more as you wish to expel us all as drivel- terises Soult as the most ambitious of the generals

. lers.”—“ There is no wish to expel any one; why Of Talleyrand, at the period of the restoration, be should you give yourselves the preference ?" The thus speaks:-" The conduct of M. Talleyrand Abbé afterwards proceeded to ask, “ How will appears frank, but the inconveniences resulting you be able to defend yourselves against the le- from his fickle and indolent character extend into gislative body, the depositories of the mandates of the administration ; it is, however, indispensable the people ! On your first opposition they would to employ him, both on account of his influence be able to overthrow you, unless you were im- with his party, and the personal consideration with posing in point of number, and from the hopes which the sovereigns and their ministers treat held out to the ambitious of seats among you. him.” England has 350 peers, and you would have Another document, found among the count's ouly 100 in France!”-“ Very well,” said the re papers, contained a summary of the written doubted Lambrecht; “ We will give you 150.instructions of a M. Dagot, who was intrusted by

— " 150,” replied the Abbé, " I must have Talleyrand to convey bis sentiments privately to 150,000; I will not be satisfied with one less." Louis XVIII. previous to the departure of the This produced a laugh. The Abbé, then, in con latter from London in the preceding year. It is formity to the four articles of the Duke D'Angou- dated Dover, 24th April, 1814, at which place Jeme, proposed a senate to be nominated by the M. Dagot seems to have put liis instructions in king, and unlimited in number, with all the par writing. This curious paper begins thus :ticular arrangements, public or secret, to be made “ M. de Talleyrand was busily occupied with for the existing senators. The meeting then something for the king-1 proposed to bim to broke up. On the same night, Caulincourt went wait twenty-four hours, to carry it with me, but with three marshals to propose a regency, and an the fears of the unexpected arrival of the king armistice of four days. “The provisional govern determined him to send me off immediately with

asummary of what he proposér. ' In the event of have excited, that several times the people have BOOK XIV. the landiog of his majesty, before the docuinent cried under the windows of Monsieur, Vive Louis thus announced is ready, M. de Talleyrand tbinks, ' XVIII. abas le Senat. This outrageous żeal is Chap. VII. it indispensably necessary that his majesty should imprudett at present. If the people manifest an make immediately known, that he accepts the euthusiasm truly French, the army testifies a very 1815. constitution, but that this constitution appearing bad spirit. The troops of the line are good, to him susceptible of modifications in several however, and in the imperial-guards the discona points, he will afterwards discuss them in the tents are confined to the old bands. The young senate. M. de Talleyrand has already prepar- guard is either detached, or very near being so. ed the senate to see the constitution undergo M. Tälleyrand thinks that the Count D'Artois, some changes, by the following words, full of whose manners are full of grace, should go into address, which their vanity, caught hold of:-. the provinces to collect the wishes of the people, • Gentlemen, you will find in the king a man of and to lay them at the foot of the throne. The superior mind, and distinguished talents--you Duke of Bourbon will traverse other parts of may expect to hear him discuss the articles of the France with the same view. As to the Dukes of constitution, and you may prepare to have the Angouleme and Berri, it is desirable that there honor of entering the lists with him' This hint should be formed for them two camps in France, had the best effect. In the savie letters patent where they should remain for some time to gain the king will do well to fix a day for taking the the affections of the soldiery, and to accustom the oath of fidelity. This article is of the first im- latter to place all their hopes in these princes, and portance, as it will quiet all fluctuating ideas, and to look up to them alone for their welfare. It is bind the soldiery, who are in some degree isolated thought necessary that ihere should be near the from the chiefs who have sent in their adhesion. person of the king some one who is perfectly M. Talleyrand regards it as very essential, that well acquainted with the country, and who is also the king should not grant nor promise the stiallest a man of talent; and, in this respect, M. De power to the marshals ; but his majesty will Remuzat, whose conduct has been always good. satisfy them by flattering their vanity. The M. Talleyrand places his whole happiness in whole of the population of France are animated devoting his life to the service of the king; and with the same zeal, devotion, and love for the demands nothing for himself. He thinks himself berson of the king, and all the members of the qualified, however, for the foreign relations, and oyal family. These sentiments even go the claims that department, which is very difficult to length of madness; and such is the general in- manage, and requires a man habituated and aeJigoation which certain articles of the constitution cüstonied to treat with all the cabinets of Europe."

CHAPTER VIII.

Ir. Whitbread's Motion, in the House of Commons, for an Address against a War with France. -
Letter

from the Duke of Bassano to Caulincourt.- Observations --Report from the French Minister of Foreign Affairs to Bonaparte, on the State of Europe. ---Preparations of the French.Bonaparte's Additional Act to the Constitution.- Remarks.Extraordinary Commissioners.

ALTHOUGH nothing decisive had been resolved feelings, Mr. Whitbread, on the 28th of April, i by the British ministers, yet no doubt existed rose to make a motion for an address to the

their determination to join the allies in a war prinee-regent. He began by commenting upon Gainet Bonaparte. This, however, was a mea- the gross delusion practiced on the public by the ire of such serious consequence, that many ministers, in taking no notice of the treaty héembers of parliament hesitated to concur in it tween the allies, on the 25th of March"; of ithout faller proof of its political necessity; and which they had received an account on the 5th me felt considerable doubts as to the moral of April, when the regent's message was brought stice of drawing the sword to compel a nation down on the 6th, and taken into consideration on discard a ruler whom it had with apparent the 7th, by which suppression they had held forth nsent adopted. Under the impression of these tbe possibility of an alternative between peace

BOOK XIV. and war, whilst, in fact, they had engaged them- be obliged to consent to these cessions : his Chap. VIII.

selves to the latter. He then made some severe majesty intending, even though he should have

animadversions on the declaration of the allies, ratified the treaty, to be guided by the military 1815. by which one individual was placed out of the situation of affairs. Wait till the last moment.

pale of civil society; and endeavoured to shew The bad faith of the allies, in respect to the capithat there was neither justice nor policy in making tulations of Dresden, Dantzic, and Gorcum auhim the object of a war. He concluded by thorises us to endeavour not to be duped. Refer, moving, “That an humble address be presented therefore, these questions to a military arrangeto the prince-regent, to intreat his royal-highnessment, as was done at Presburg, Vienna, and Tilsit

. that he will be pleased to take such measures as His majesty desires that you will not lose sight may be

necessary to prevent this country being of the disposition which he feels not to deliver involved in war, on the ground of the executive up those three keys of France, if military events, power being vested in any particular person." on which he is willing still to rely, should permit

Lord Castlereagh opposed the motion, and him "not to do so, even if he should have signed defended the conduct of government with respect the cession of all those fortresses. In a word, his to the charge of concealment, by saying, that he majesty wishes to be able after the treaty to be was unwilling, by a premature disclosure of a guided by circumstances to the last moment. He treaty, of which the ratifications had not been ex orders you to burn this letter as soon as you have changed, to prevent a re-consideration of the read it." policy to be pursued towards France, under the The allies at that time declared that they would circumstances which had recently occured. In no longer treat with Napoleon or his family. What the coarse of his speech, Lord Castlereagh une

reliance then could be placed on his present proquivocally declared it to be the firm conviction of fessions? Not yet firmly seated on his throne, bis all the allied sovereigns, that it was not possible to army disorganized, and his funds exhausted, there avail themselves of the blessings of tranquillity; was every probability of crusbing him by one siand that Bonaparte was a person with whom it multaneous effort. But if he was permitted to was impossible to live in relations of peace and mature his projects, and call into action the yet amity: in fine, that war with him was unavoidable. powerful resources of France, the attempt to As an instance of his bad faith, this man, wben, destroy, or even to curb him, might be impractibe made his movement upon

Bar-sur-Aube, on cable. If they suffered him to remain unmothe rear of the allies, the success of which was lested, the peace, if peace it could be called, problematical, sent instructions to Caulincourt at would be a feverish state of anxiety and suspicion, Chatillon, which instructions happened to come as expensive and burdensome as war. Until he had into bis, (Lord C.'s) possession, directing him to given satisfactory and unequivocal proof that accede to the terms proposed by the allies; but to his character was indeed changed, and many long contrive, by keeping certain points suspended years must have elapsed ere that could have and delayed, to afford him (Bonaparte) an op been given, the powers of Europe must have reportunity, if circumstances should enable him, to mained in arms. Every measure would bave prevent the fulfilment of the treaty. He wished been scrutinized with suspicion. Jealousy and to retain Antwerp, which was not the key of mistrust would have raukled in the minds of France, but of Great Britain : Mayence, which either party, and whatever had heen the wish of was the key of Germany; and Alexandria, which Bonaparte, the restless character of his army was the key of Italy. The motion was negatived would have compelled him to some aggression, by 273 to 72 votes.

when he would have been better able to resist and The following are the instructions alluded to to foil their attempts to subdue him. by Lord Castlereagh in his speech. They were It was futile to

say

that he had now allied him. sent in a dispatch from the Duke of Bassano self to a party which had the real interests of (Maret) to Caulincourt, at Chatillon.

France at heart, and which had both the will and

the power to restrain his aggressions abroad and

March 19, 1814. his tyranny at home. It was not the first time “ Sir,-Your excellency will have received, or that he had connected himself with the wellwill doubtless in the course of to-day receive, a

wishers to France, and after he had used them dispatch from Rbeims, of which M. Frochot was as the means of attaining the summit of his the bearer, and which was accompanied by a wishes, had deluded, discarded, and destroyed letter from the emperor.

them. “The emperor desires that you will avoid ex On these grounds, therefore, the war which plaining yourself clearly upon every thing which united Europe prepared to wage against bin, may relate to delivering up the fortresses of was not only justifiable, but necessary The disAntwerp, Mayence, and Alexandria, if you should position of the French army, nay, even of the

« PreviousContinue »