« PreviousContinue »
ference of men and circumstances rendered in him the height of folly and desperation. Although the Neapolitan coasts were guarded by a line of armed vessels, he ventured to embark with six small vessels, two of which, on October the 8th, reached the coast of Pizzo, in the Ulterior Calabria, where he landed with thirty persons, among whom were General Francescetti and Marshal Natali. Proceeding to the village, he attempted to raise the people in his favour, by crying, "I am your King, Joachim; it is your duty to acknowledge me." The effect, however, was only to bring
upon him the whole armed neighbourhood; to avoid whose attack, Murat and his followers threw themselves into the mountains, whence they attempted to make their way back to the vessels which were in waiting. Being surrounded in their march, after a sharp conflict, some were killed, and the rest made prisoners. A military commission was assembled, which condemned Murat and his followers to be shot, and the sentence was executed on the 15th. The whole of his rash enterprise was disapproved by his family, and his death appears to have been little regretted.
Russian and Austrian Troops arrive on the Borders.-Their Advance.The Chambers remain sitting.-Declaration of that of Representatives. -Message from the Provisional Government, and the Chambers dissolved.-Entrance of the King into Paris.-Ministry appointed.-Paris occupied by the Allied Armies.-Animosity of the Prussians.—Arrival of the Sovereigns.-Election of new Deputies.-Proceedings of Buonaparte.-Goes on board an English Man of War.-Brought to Torbay, and embarked for St. Helena.-Progress of the Allies, and submission of the French Generals.-Royal Ordinances, and Proceedings against the culpable and disaffected.-Restrictions on Periodical Publications.-Disbanding and re-organization of the Army.-Proceedings against Traitors.-Labedoyere condemned.-The Peerage rendered hereditary.-Disturbances in the South of France.-Protestants persecuted at Nismes.-Royal Proclamation.—Change in the Ministry.Opening of the Chambers.-The Museum of the Louvre stript of the fruits of conquest.-Letter to the King by the late Ministers.-Reflexions.-Law for the Suppression of Seditious Cries.-Cour Royal opened, and Speech of the President.-Ney's Trial and Condemnation. -Further Outrages at Nismes.-Final Treaty between the Allied Powers and France.
HE military convention of Paris effected no more than putting the capital in the hands of the allies, and still left a considerable body of French regular troops at liberty to act as inclination or interest should prompt them in the differences of their country, besides a number of others, either in the field under separate leaders, or in garrison at the fortified towns on the borders. It was therefore necessary, in order to bring France into that state of submission which was thought requisite for securing the peace of Europe, that the whole stipulated force of the confederates should be brought to action. The two great powers of Russia and AusVOL. LVII.
tria, though their remoteness from the first scene of action had prevented them from contributing to the successes already gained, were by no means slack in hastening their troops to the frontiers, and commencing warlike operations. Towards the end of June it was announced from Germany that Prince Wrede had attacked the French near Landau, and defeated them with great loss; that Prince Schwartzenberg had routed French corps near Besançon, and had invested that town and Befort; that Marshal Frimont had passed the Simplon, and that hostilities had commenced on the whole line as far as Basle. The Russian troops were at this time [G]
passing incessantly through Mentz and Frankfort. Alsace and Lorrain were presently over-run by the allied armies, against whom there were no French forces in the field capable of making a stand. The peasantry of Alsace, however, shewed a spirit of animosity against their Austrian invaders, which brought upon them some severe chastisement.
At Paris the chambers remained assembled after the signature of the convention, and flattered themselves with the idea that they were still invested with the authority of the nation. That of representatives issued a declaration, in which it announced the intention of continuing to sit where the will of the people had called them, and made a solemn appeal to the national guard for their protection. It then declared its full confidence in the honour and magnanimity of the allied powers, and in their respect for the independence of the nation, so positively expressed in their manifestoes that the government of France, whoever be its chief, ought to unite the wishes of the nation, legally expressed--and that a monarch cannot offer substantial guaranties without swearing to observe a constitution deliberated on by the national representation, and accepted by the people. At subsequent sittings the chamber passed votes of thanks to the French armies, and occupied itself with discussions on the plan of a constitution. This display of independence was, how ever, short-lived.
On the 7th the following message was received by both chambers from the committee of provisional govern
ment::- "Hitherto we had be lieved that the intentions of the allied sovereigns were not unanimous upon the choice of the prince who is to reign in France. Our plenipotentiaries gave us the same assurances on their return. But the ministers and generals of the allied powers declared yesterday in the conferences they had with the president of the commission, that all the sovereigns had engaged to replace Louis XVIII. on the throne, and that this evening or to-morrow he is to make his entrance into the capital. Foreign troops have just occupied the Thuilleries where the government is sitting. In this state of affairs we can only breathe wishes for the country; and our deliberations being no longer free, we think it our duty to separate."When this message was read in the chamber of peers, the members rose spontaneously, and retired without deliberation. The chamber of representatives refused to consider their mission as terminated, and resolved to continue their sittings till separated by force.
Both the chambers were, however, shut up on the following day by order of general Desolles, commander of the national guard.
On July 8th the King re-entered his capital, and was received, according to the authorized accounts, with demonstrations of joy and attachment which proved that the mass of population were well affected to the restoration of the Bourbon government. Paris, however, was no longer her own mistress. The military points of the city were occupied by the allied troops; and orders had been
given that all disturbers of the public tranquillity should be arrested by the national guard, and punished according to law. A royal order was issued on the same day that the white cockade should be the only rallying sign of Frenchmen, and that every other bearing should be regarded as a signal of disorder. On the 9th the King determined upon the form of his administration, which was to consist of a privy council, and a council of ministers. Of the latter, the following persons were nominated :-Prince Talleyrand, president of the council, and secretary for foreign affairs; Baron Louis, secretary for the finances; the Duke of Otranto, (Fouche) secretary for the police; Baron Pasquier, secretary for the department of justice, and keeper of the seals; Marshal Gouvion St. Cyr, secretary at war; Count de Jaucourt, secretary for the marine; the Duke of Richelieu, secretary for the household. Of those appointed to inferior posts were several who had been in office under Buonaparte; a proof that it was thought necessary to conciliate a party which still remained numerous and powerful. About a hundred of the representatives of departments assembled at the house of their president, M. Lanjuinais, for the purpose of making a protest against the dissolution of their chamber. The capital was, in fact, a focus of discontent, and it was manifest that the time was not yet come in which the throne of Louis could be secure without the aid of those arms which had seated him upon it.
Paris became more and more
in the absolute possession of the allies, whose troops so much accumulated, that the expectation of its being freed from the quartering of soldiers could not be fulfilled. The inveterate hatred between the Prussians and the French, fostered by so many mutual injuries, displayed itself on various occasions, and was aggravated by an act of power which might have been spared. One of the bridges over the Seine, erected under the rule of Napoleon, was named that of Jena, in memorial of the victory which laid Prussia at his feet. Marshal Blucher determined to use the right of retribution in obliterating this triumphal monument by blowing up the bridge, a fine piece of art, and his soldiers had already made excavations in some of the piers and filled them with gunpowder, and stripped the bridge of its pavement, when an order was given for putting an end to this demolition. The order is said to have proceeded from the Emperor Alexander, after the Duke of Wellington had in vain interposed. That sovereign, with the Emperor of Austria and the King of Prussia, arrived at Paris on the 10th.
The King of France, on the 13th, published an ordinance announcing the dissolution of the chamber of deputies, and regulating the mode of election for a new one.
By these rules the candidates were declared eligible at the age of twenty-five, the deputies were to be persons paying at least 1000 francs in taxes, and the whole number was augmented from 262, as fixed by the constitutional charter, to 395. Buonaparte, from the period of [G 2]
his resignation, had entirely ceased to appear on the public scene, and it was scarcely known whither he had withdrawn himself; the general opinion, however, was that he had proceeded towards the western coast for the purpose of watching an opportunity of embarking to America. From authentic accounts it appears that on July 3d he arrived at Rochefort, where he resided in the house of the prefect till the 8th. Being then urged by the general who had been charged to escort him till his going on board, and by the maritime prefect, not to neglect any occasion for putting his intention in practice, he embarked on that day in one of the boats which were kept continually in waiting, and at night went on board the Saale frigate. On the next day he landed on the isle of Aix, and viewed its fortifications. The wind was favourable for his putting to sea on the 10th, but he was too closely watched by the English cruizers posted for the purpose, to venture the attempt. He then sent a flag of truce on board the English man of war Bellerophon, Captain Maitland, which returned on the following day. At this time he received information from his brother Joseph of the King's entrance into Paris, and the dissolution of the chambers, which put an end to his last hopes of a recall. Two more days were passed in undeterminate projects for escaping by sea; and on the night of the 13th he went on board the Epervier brig, to which, on the 14th, after the return of Gen. Becker, who had been parleying with the English cruizers, he caused his suite
and baggage to be conveyed. On the morning of the 15th the Epervier made sail. towards the English admiral as a flag of truce. It was met by some boats, which conducted it to the Bellerophon, where the passengers were taken on board.
These, besides Buonoparte, consisted of Gen. Count Bertrand, grand marshal of the palace, his lady and three children, the Duke of Rovigo (Savary), General Lallemand, Baron Gourgauld, aide-de-camp to Buonaparte, Count Moutholon Semonville, his lady and child, Count Las Casas, counsellor of state, and his son, several other officers, a surgeon, and a suite of 40 persons. The Bellerophon immediately set sail for England, and arrived at Torbay on the 24th.— Thus, after all the vicissitudes of this extraordinary man's life, during many years of which he had been the most conspicuous object of the age, the wonder and the terror of all Europe, he saw the sphere of his activity limited to the quarter-deck of a man of war, belonging to that nation which alone had perpetually resisted his power, and curbed his restless ambition.
The conduct to be observed with respect to a prisoner who had proved himself capable, even after his fall, of lighting up so destructive a flame, was an important subject of consideration. His rank and character were equivocal, for he had been left, by the treaty of Paris, an emperor in title, and the sovereign of Elba in fact; so that he might (as he did) lay a plausible claim to the rights of an inde pendent prince, conquered in a lawful war. But the peace of the world was not to be sacrificed to scruples