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Buonaparte's Return to Paris.- His Motives for this Measure.-Rise of the
Funds at Paris.-Meeting of the Chamber of Deputies.-Motion of La Fayette. They command the Attendance of the Ministers.- Debates in the Sea cret Committee.- The Chamber intimate their desire that Buonaparte should abdicate.-Reflections on their Right to require this Sacrifice.-Conduct of Napoleon, and his Indecision.He holds a Council.- Perment in the Chamber of Deputies. The Emperor's Abdication is presented to them.-- Their Ad. dress on the Occasion.—Ney's Speech in the House of Peers.— Furious Debate on acknowledging Napoleon II.-Labedoyere's violent Harangue.-Debate on the same Subject in the other Chamber.- Napoleon II. is indirectly acknowledged. --Buonaparte's farewell Proclamation to the Army. He is removed to Malmaison.-His Situation there.- Placed under the Superintendance of General Beker, and removed to Rochefort.-Proclamation of Louis XVIII.-Reflections on the Principle of Legitimacy, as applied to Mo. narchical Right.
The most important effects of the now his downfall seemed to give rise victory of Waterloo were of course to new competitors for the sovereignty expected to manifest themselves at of France, as in some tale of chivalry, Paris, which is to France what Rome when the adventurous knight has no was to the Roman empire. To dis- sooner slain a giant, than the carcase tant politicians it seemed as if the war of his deceased antagonist is convertwas already ended, and that France, ed into a dragon, and opposes him to avoid the humiliation of actual in- anew. Let us, however, take these vasion and conquest, had no other events according to their progress. course than to “unthread the eye of Buonaparte himself brought to Parude rebellion,” recall King Louis ris the news of his own defeat. On XVIII, lay the blame of Buonaparte's the 19th of June the public ear had usurpation on the army which had been stunned by the report of a hunjust perished, and, as the popular dred pieces of cannon, which announphrase goes, make a virtue out of ne- ced the victory at Ligny, and the cessity. But Buonaparte had, in the public prints had contained the most jacobins, evoked out of obscurity a gasconading accounts of that action; party, who possessed his own skill, his of the forcing the passage of the Samown ambition, with more than his ha. bre, the action at Charleroi, and the tred at the house of Bourbon; and battle of Quatre Bras. The impe
rialists were in the highest state of sonally, there had been opinions exexultation, the republicans doubtful, pressed among the jacobins, that he and the royalists dejected. On the ought to resign the crown at the morning of the 21st, the third day af- .Champ de Mai, and relieve the nater the fatal action, it was at first tion from the impending danger. He whispered, and then openly said, that was aware, that what they had ven. Napoleon had returned alone from tured to advise in his moment of the army on the preceding night, and strength, they would not hesitate to was now in the palace of Bourbon- require and extort from him in the Elysée. The fatal truth was not long hour of his weakness, and that the in transpiring—be had lost a dreadful Chamber of Representatives would pitched battle, and the French army, endeavour to obtain peace for them. , which had left the capital so confident, selves by sacrificing his
power. so full of hope, pride, and determina- is known," says an author already quotion, was totally destroyed.
ted, friendly to his fame, "to have said, Buonaparte's abandonment of his after the disasters of the Russian camarmy in such a crisis, seemed so abso. paign, that he would confound the lute a dereliction of his own cause, Parisians by his presence, and fall that the public were at a loss to ac- among them like a thunderbolt... But count for it. It was for some time as- there are things which succeed only cribed to the rash and hasty advice of because they have never been done Labedoyere; but, till the hour of his before, and for that reason ought nedeath, that unfortunate man professed ver to be attempted again. His fifth that he had exhausted every sort of fight from his army was an entire entreaty to persuade Napoleon to abandonment of him and his cause abide with his army. By some, it has by all who might have forgiven him been suggested that Buonaparte's re- his misfortune, but required that he turn to the capital had been hastened should be the first to arise from the by a false statement from La Vendee, blow.” which the royalists had caused to be It was a curious indication of public inserted in one of the journals, an- spirit in Paris, that, upon the news of nouncing a great victory on the part this appalling misfortune, the national of the insurgents, in consequence of funds rose so soon as the first shock of which General Travot was averred to the tidings was past; so soon, that is, as have come to Paris to request supplies. men had time to consider the probable But though such a false statement consequence of the success of the alwas unquestionably published, it is lies. It seemed as if public credit redifficult to reconcile the date of its vived upon any intelligence, however appearance with the supposed influ- fatal otherwise, which promised to ence ascribed to the intelligence over abridge the reign of Buonaparte. Buonaparte's motions. The
real reason The two Chambers hastily assem. of his return, was his jealousy of the bled. In that of the Representatives, measures which the Chambers might after a few minutes spent in bustle, adopt in his absence, and the apprehen- and in receiving and communicating sion of being sacrificed, as the Jonah intelligence, La Fayette addressed the for whose sake the vessel of the repub- assembly. “Gentlemen, while for the lic was endangered. He remembered, first time, for many years, you hear a that from the arrival of the declara. voice which the old friends of liberty tion of Vienna, in which the war was may yet recognise, I feel myself callalleged to be made against him per. ed upon to speak to you of the dan
VOL. VIJI. PART I.
gers of the country which
pre- was permitted to sustain the tri-cosent alone have the power of saving. loured banner of 1789, and how little Sinister reports have been spread; the days which followed its elevation they are unfortunately confirmed. resembled those of liberty, equality, This is the moment to rally round and, above all, of public order. The rethe old tri-coloured standard, that of solutions which he moved indicated the 89, that of liberty, equality, and pub- purpose of his party, that the Reprelic order; it is that alone which can sentatives should assume at this crisis protect us from foreign attacks and the reins of authority, for which Buointernal dissensions. Allow, gentle- naparte's defeat gave them both apomen, a veteran in that sacred cause, logy and opportunity to deprive him. who was ever an enemy to faction, to They were seconded by Flaugergues, submit to you some resolutions, which, and were all adopted excepting the I flatter myself, you will feel the ne- fourth, concerning the national guard, cessity of adopting.
which was considered as premature. “ Art. 1. The Chamber declares But it was obvious, from the Chamthat the independence of the nation ber's declaring its sittings permanent, is menaced.
and from the whole tenor of the de“ 2. The Chamber declares its sit- bate, that the members regarded the tings permanent. All attempts to dis- measures of Buonaparte with doubt solve it shall be considered high trea- and suspicion, and were apprehensive son: Whosoever shall render himself that he would dissolve their sitting by capable of such an attempt, shall be an armed force. An anxiety was considered a traitor to his country, evinced that the language used toand condemned as such.
wards the imperial ministers should “ 3. The army of the line, the na- mark the paramount authority of the tional guards who have fought, and Chamber, and instead of inviting them still fight, for the liberty, the indepen. to repair to the assembly, as in the dence, and the territory of France, fifth article, a member moved the subhave merited well of the country. stitution of the phrase, “ the mini
“4. The minister of the interior is ters shall repair hither.” This alterainvited to assemble the etat-major-ge- tion was rejected, not on the ground neral, the commanders, and majors of that the Chamber's authority was legion, of the Parisian national guard, doubted, but because the softer phrase in order to consult on the means of was considered as the most decorous. providing it with arms, and of com- Regnault de St Jean D'Angely next pleting this guard of citizens, whose read to them a bulletin, which stated tried patriotism and zeal offer a sure " that the emperor had arrived at 11 guarantee for the liberty, prosperity, o'clock. He had convoked the coun. and tranquillity of the capital, and forcil of ministers: He announced that the inviolability of the national repre. the army, after a signal victory on sentatives.
the plains of Fleurus, where the élité “5. The minister of war, of foreign of the Prussian army was destroyed, affairs, of police, and of the interior, fought a great battle four days after, are invited to repair to the hall of the within four leagues of Brussels. The assembly."
English army was beaten throughout In the exordium of this speech, it the whole day, and obliged to yield would appear that the orator, at once the field of battle. Six English standan apostle and a victim of the revolu- ards were taken, and the day was detion, had forgotten how short time he cided, when, on the approach of night,
some disaffected persons spread an of peace with the allies. They were alarm, and occasioned a 'disorder, bluntly reminded by the republican which the presence of his majesty members, and particularly by Henry could not, on account of the night, Lacoste, that they had no basis for recover. The consequence has been, any negociations which could be prodisasters which could not be arrested. posed in the emperor's name, since The army is rallying under the walls the allied powers had declared war of Avesnes and Philippeville. His against Napoleon, who was now in majesty proceeded to Laon. He there plain terms pronounced, by more than gave orders that the levy in mass of one member, the sole obstacle betwixt the national guards should stop the the nation and peace. Universal apfugitives. He has returned to Paris plause followed from all parts of the to confer with the ministers on the hall, and left Lucien no longer in means of replacing the materiel of the doubt that the Representatives intendo army. It is also his majesty's inten- ed to separate their cause from that tion to confer with the Chambers on of his brother. He omitted no art of the legislative measures which circum- conciliation or intreaty, and, more stances require, and he is at this mo. eloquent prebably in prose than in ment preparing propositions to be poetry, appealed to their love of glotransmitted to both Chambers.” Thus ry, their generosity, their fidelity, and far the Chamber listened with atten. the oaths which they had so lately tion; but when Regnault proposed to
• We have been faithful,'' read the singular bulletin published replied Fayette ; " we have followed in the Moniteur, in which, amongst a your brother to the sands of Egypttissue of falsehoods inconsistent not to the snows of Russia. The bones of only with truth and common sense, Frenchmen scattered in every region. but with each other, there only gleams attest our fidelity." All seemed to forth the absolute certainty that all unite in one sentiment, that the abdiwas lost, the Representatives refused cation of Buonaparte was a measure to listen. They became clamorous absolutely necessary. Davoust, the for the instant attendance of the mio minister at war, arose, and disclaimed, nisters. They dispatched a second with protestations, any intention of message, no longer to invite, but, as it acting against the freedom or indewas of purpose worded, to command pendence of the Chamber. This was, their instant appearance. “ Had you in fact, to espouse their cause. Carcommanded at first, instead of invi- not and Fouché were the natural leadting,” said the member who proposed ers of the popular party, and Caulainthis alteration, “ you would ere now court was supposed to be on indiffer. have been obeyed.” After a delay of ent terms with Napoleon, whose minitwo or three hours, the four ministers, sters, therefore, seemed to adopt the Caulaincourt, Davoust, Fouché, and interest of the Chamber in preference Carnot, entered the hall with Lucien to his. Lucien saw that his brother's Buonaparte.
authority was ended, unless it could The Chamber formed itself into a be maintained by violence. secret committee, before which the Chamber of Peers might have been ministers laid the full extent of the more friendly to the imperial cause, disaster, and announced that the em- but their constitution gave them as peror had named Caulaincourt, Fouché, little confidence in themselves as and Carnot, as commissioners to treat weiglit with the public. They adopt
ed the three first resolutions of the to hold consultation with more devolower Chamber, and named a com- ted adherents. The Duke of Bassano mittee of public safety.
spoke of defence, which extorted from The line of conduct which the Re- Napoleon the bitter exclamation,"Ah, presentatives meant to pursue was now my Old Guard ! could my courtiers obvious ; they had spoken out, and defend themselves like you!" a sad named the sacrifice which they ex- confession that the military truncheon, acted from Buonaparte. It remained which was his real sceptre, had been to be known if 'Buonaparte would broken in his gripe. Lucien, rememadopt measures of resistance, or sub- bering the successful violence with mit to this encroachment. If there which he had prompted his brother could be a point of right, where both to dissolve the Council of Five Hun. were so far wrong, it certainly lay dred on the 18th Brumaire, urged a with Napoleon. These very repre- repetition of a similar coup-de-main, sentatives were, by voluntary consent, A battalion, he said, would be suffias far as oaths and engagements can cient to silence and disperse the mubind men, his subjects, convoked in tinous Chamber. Buonaparte hesitahis name, and having no political ex. ted, the national guard would probaistence excepting as a part of his bly have espoused the cause of the constitutional government. However chamber, and offered opposition.great his faults to the people of France, Fouché and Carnot deprecated viohe had committed none towards these lence, but held out to Napoleon some accomplices of his usurpation, nor hope that the Chambers might, in this were they legislators otherwise than emergency of the estate, permit him as he was their emperor. Their right to assume the dictatorship. While he to discard and trample upon him in was amused with this expectation, his adversity, consisted only in their thrown out, doubtless, to prevent his having the power to do so; and the rushing upon instant violence, (for readiness which they showed to exer- both Fouché and Carnot knew too cise that power, speaks as little for well the temper of the representa. their faith as for their generosity. At tives, to suppose it possible they the same time, our commiseration for would go into such a measure,) he fallen greatness is lost in our sense of received intelligence of what had that justice, which makes the asso- passed at the interview between his ciates and tools of an usurper the ministers and the secret committee readiest implements of his ruin. of the Chamber.
The vacillations of Buonaparte's The gauntlet was now thrown mind are said to have amounted to down, and it was necessary that Naagony, when it was announced that poleon should resist or yield, declare his sway was melting from him. Up- himself absolute, and dissolve the on his return to his palace he had sent Chambers by violence, or abdicate for Carnot, who found him in a bath, the authority he had so lately rerefreshing himself with a bouillon. He sumed. Lucien, finding him still undemanded, with his wonted tone of determined, hesitated not to say, that authority, an instant supply of money, the smoke of the battle of Mont Saint and a levy of three hundred thousand Jean had turned his brain. In fact,
The minister replied, that it his conduct at this crisis was not that was impossible to compiy with either of a great man. He dared neither request. The fallen despot hastened venture on the desperate measures