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of the judges had more than one reas endeavoured to shelter himself under son for feeling in common with the that article of the capitalation of Pas prisoner. To the surprise of all, Mar. ris, which promised, chat no one should shal Ney declined the authority of the be molested on account of political court martial, and requested to be opinions. It was replied, that these judged in conformity to the ordinance conditions were granted by the allies of the king of 24th July. The court in their own name, and were only in.
martial, by a majority of five tended to regulate their own actions, Nov. 9. to two, declared themselves but that the Duke of Wellington and
incompetent to the task im- Prince Marshal Blucher pretended to posed on them, glad, perhaps, to have no right of pardoning the state crimes gotten rid 80 easily of an office, in dis- committed against the King of France, charging which it would have been nor did they mean to extend their difficult for them, placed as they were, protection to such criminals as were to have reconciled their feelings to within the walls of Paris, beyond what their duty. It is not so easy to judge was necessary to protect them from what could be the motives of the ac- military violence. This plea being cused, in declining a court where he therefore repelled, the unfortunate might assuredly have expected consi. Marshal was directed to hold himself derable favour.
ready to expiate his guilt by a violent Two royal ordinances appeared im- death.' mediately, one of which appointed the Efforts were made to save Ney's Chamber of Peers to proceed to the life, by an attempt upon the prison trial of Marshal Ney, as a peer of of the Conciergerie, where he was France, accused of high treason; and confined, and by invoking the intets the second provided the rules and forms ference of the Duke of Wellington, to be used on the occasion. All pre in favour of a man forsaken, as it were, vious obstacles being thus removed, by the whole world. The British this celebrated soldier was at length general did not think himself entitled
brought to trial before the to act as mediator between so great Nov. 21. Chamber of Peers. Accu- an offender and the prince whom he
sed of the same crime with had betrayed. Every door of hope Labedoyere, his conduct shewed the was now closed. The sentence of difference betwixt the feelings of a death being read to the criminal, he man who has committed such an act interrupted the speaker as he detailfrom enthusiasm, and one who had, ed his rank and titles—6 Michael against his own conviction of his duty, Ney,” said he, " and presently a fatally yielded to the temptation of heap of dust--that sums it all."' A the moment. Ney confessed his error Vendean grenadier of La Roche Ja. with a humility that approached to quelein's army reminded him of relimeanness : He had been misled, he gious duties : “ I have been in many said, but he was incapable of voluntary battles,” said the veteran, " and aland premeditated treachery. Since ways fought the better of having made he had yielded to the culpable weak. my peace with God." The Field: ness of the time, he had not enjoyed a Marshal yielded to the suggestion, and moment's peace of mind, He had of. sent for a confessor: When the fatal ten meditated blowing out his own moment arrived, he was transported in brains, and almost regretted he had a coach to the gardens of the Luxem. not adopted that desperate remedy. bourg palace. When he perceived the This contrition availing nothing, he detachment drawn up for his execu
VOL, VIII. PART I.
tion, he resumed the dauntless demea. and the quartering of two large armies, nour of the “ bravest of the brave," supplied with every necessary at the committed his case to posterity, or charge of the country, was a heavy dered the soldiers to aim straight at burthen to Paris and its environs, even his heart, received the fire, and ex- had the Prussians used the rights of pired. Alas ! what can posterity war less severely. As their disposition learn from the history of Ney, ex- did not lead them to spare the French, cepting that great personal courage their presence would have been into and consummate military skill may lerable, but for the strong compulsion unite in the same character with much of necessity. And although the Eng. political versatility, and a total want lish did not assume the same licentious of fixed and steady principle. exertion of authority, yet their army
Lavalette, director of the posts un- being supplied by requisitions, the ex. der Buonaparte, was next brought to actions necessary for this purpose were trial for assuming the exercise of his grievously felt by the country. To ancient office the morning after the render the French more impatient, king left Paris. But his condemna- and their king more embarrassed, the tion and escape from punishment, allied armies continued to advance inwhich are connected with the assist. to France, to possess themselves by ance he received on that occasion from force of some barrier fortresses, and three English gentlemen, fall properly to besiege others, although the gar. under the annals of 1816.
risons had made a submission (in ap. While the King of France adopted pearance at least) to Louis XVIII, these political and
judicial measures for their ally. The ministers of the French the regulation of his government and king remonstrated against these enthe intimidation of future offenders, his croachments. “The allied sovereigns," situation, in relation to the allies, had they said, “ declare that they only become painful and embarrassing in made war against Napoleon, and yet the extreme. Nothing could be so all their measures belie their words, strongly contrasted as the manner and since at the present moment, when conduct of the allied monarchs- to- the war ought to be finished, it is wards the French at the first and se- only about to commence. The precond occupation of Paris. In 1814, sent position of France is so much the the incident resembled the first weeks, more afflicting, as were war openly deor honey-moon, as it is termed, of an clared (which it is not), it is utterly union, from which the parties have impossible that she could suffer in a formed the most extravagant hopes of greater degree all its evils, and all its future happiness. In 1815, the scene horrors. Every where, wherever the was rather like the forced accommo- armies are always excepting the Engo dation, by which a couple, who have lish), pillage, fire, rape, and murder, separated from incompatibility of tem- have been carried to their fullest exper, are compelled once more to take tent ; avarice and vengeance have left up their residence together. There nothing for the officers or soldiers to was doubt, fear, shame, jealousy, and desire. To speak with freedom, they vindictive resentment, to darken, with exceed even the atrocities of which all their various hues of shade, the po- the French armies have been too often litical atmosphere of Paris. The ale justly accused. These measures can lies, on their first entrance, had sub- have no other results than to extend the jected the metropolis to a heavy contri- limits of this devastation. The armies bution. This was followed by others; spread themselves in our provinces, and all the horrors which we have de. ters, retreated across the frontier, with picted follow in their train »
assurances on either side of the highBut the allies replied, that, with. est consideration. out doubting the inclinations of Louis The Prussians had, from the comXVIII., for whom they professed mencement, shewn the greatest severity much regard and attachment, they against the French. The magnificent were determined, on this second occa. bridge of Jena was undermined by the sion, to exact such indemnities and order of Blucher the day after the allies guarantees as should effectually secure had obtained possession of Paris, and both Louis and themselves against the would have been blown up but for the risk of future loss, risk, and disturb. earnest interference of the Duke of ance, from the mutability and enterpri. Wellington. They were also rigorous zing ambition of the French people. in exacting requisitions, and were main. The discussing the basis and condi- tained 90 much to their satisfaction, tions on which the peace was to rest, that they declined to receive the pay added new difficulties to the thoray due to them by their own state until crown worn by Louis XVIII. As a they should return to their native grateful ally, who had been just re- country ;--a patriotic resolution, which stored to the crown by the auxiliary prevented France from being benefitforces of the confederated sovereigas, ed by the spending of that money, it seemed ungracious and unbecoming and at the same time prevented the in Louis to cavil at the stipulations soldiers from acquiring those bad which they deemed it necessary to ad. habits incident to the possession of ject to the peace, for his sake as well more than is necessary for their main. as their own, while, as an independent tenance. monarch, he was bound to resist arti · In the excesses imputed to the allies cles which went to place the country the English had no share. They were which he was called to rule, entirely exculpated, as we have seen, from the at the mercy of foreign powers. slightest accession to them, even by
The allied sovereigns, however, had Talleyrand and Fouché, in the report the power, and seemed determined ef. which accuses the troops of the other fectuaily to use it. The French not powers. They chanced, however, to only groaned under the burthen of be called upon to assist in a great act free-quarters for eight hundred thou. of national justice, more humiliating sand men, but heavy requisitions, im- and more offensive to the pride of the posed from time to time, were applied French nation than any injury that to the clothing and subsistence of the could have been offered to them. troops. Nay, an army of eighty thou- The splendid collection of pictures sand Spaniards, after all opposition on and statues deposited in the great Mu. the part of France had long ceased, seum in the Louvre, had been assempenetrated beyond the Pyrenees, for bled, as the spoils of war, from Italy, the purpose, it may be presumed, of Flanders, and Germany, and the prosharing the spoils of the once Great prietors now demanded back those Nation, since no other object can be specimens of art, of which they had assigned for their march. The Duke been unjustly deprived. The French of Angouleme, after much correspon- provisional government so greatly apdence, convinced these forward assist prehended the dispersion of this col. ants that the house of Bourbon had lection, that they endeavoured to no occasion for their aid, and they, af. make its integrity one of the condi. ter living for some time at free quar. tions of the surrender of Paris. Blucher replied, that there were in the nerosity than by their arms, might be Louvre pictures belonging to Prussia, disposed to preserve inviolate a peace, which Louis XVIII. had promised, which had been studiously framed to during the preceding year, to restore, serve as a bond of reconciliation beand he sternly refused to cede the tween the nation and the king. They right of his monarch to the recovery. had also reason to expect that his maof his property. The French com. jesty would be advised voluntarily to missioners offered to make the Prus- restore a considerable proportion, at sian pictures an exception ; upon which least, of these spoils to their lawful the Duke of Wellington replied, that owners. he was there as representative for the “ But the question is'a very different other powers of Europe, and could one now, and to pursue the same not agree to give up the rights which course, under circumstances so essenthey also claimed in these fruits of spo- tially altered, would be, in the judgliation. He recommended the omis- ment of the Prince Regent, equally sion of the article demanded, and the unwise towards France, and unjust toreserving the affair for the discussion wards our allies, who have a direct in of the sovereigns. Early in August, terest in this question. the Prince-Marshal removed, without “ His Royal Highness, in stating ceremony, the pictures which he claim this opinion, feels it necessary to guard ed on the part of Prussia and her de against the possibility of misrepresen. pendencies; and as they were not of tation. the very first order, little notice was • Whilst he deems it to be the duty,
taken of the measure: · But of the allied sovereigns, not only not Sept. 11. in the course of the next to obstruct; but to facilitate, upon the
month, Lord Castlereagh, present occasion, the return of these in the name of the Prince Regent, des objects to the places. from whence manded the restoration of the various they were torn, it seems not less cono master-pieces of art to the countries sistent with their delicacy, not to suffrom which they had been transported: fer' the position of their armies in He required, in name of the allies of France, or the removal of these works Britain, more especially the weak and from the Louvre, to become the means, helpless, a restoration of the orna. either directly or indirectly, of bring mental spoils which had been rended ing within their own dominions a sin. from them by violence.
gle article which did not of right, at " The allied sovereigns," said this the period of their conquest, belong spirited representation, “ have perhaps either to their respective family-collec. something to atone for to Europe, in tions, or to the countries over which consequence of the course pursued by they now actually reign. them, when at Paris, during the last • Whatever value the Prince Re. year. It is true, they never did so far gent might attach to such exquisite make themselves parties in the crimi- specimens of the fine arts, if otherwise nality of this mass of plunder, as to acquired, he has no wish to become sanction it by any stipulation in their possessed of them at the expense of treaties ; such a recognition has been, France, or rather of the countries to on their part, uniformly refused; but which they of right belong, more esthey certainly did use their influence pecially by following up a principle to repress, at that moment, any agita in war, which he considers as a retion of their claims, in the hope that proach to the nation by which it has France, not less subdued by their ge- been adopted ; and so far from wish: ing to take advantage of the occasion ever, royalist, imperialist, or constituto purchase from the rightful owners, tionalist, considered the removal of the any articles they might, from pecu- first paintings and first statues, from niary considerations, be disposed to the first city in the world, as an act of part with, his Royal Highness would, sacrilege, too horrible to be thought on the contrary, be disposed rather to of, or looked upon. The princes of afford the means of replacing them in the house of Bourbon' shut themselves those very temples and galleries, of up in their palace ; the connoisseurs which they were so long the orna. shed tears of anguish and resentment; ments.”
Denon, the celebrated guardian of Whatever might be the internal these ravished treasures, was literally conviction of Louis XVIII. concern. seized with a fit of the jaundice ; and ing the justice of wbat was required the very porters and crocheteurs of of him, the dishonour of yielding up Paris refused to lend their assistance spoils in which the nation gloried so to remove the subjects of art, though much, and the sense of the unpopula. high pay was offered them. rity it would bring on his reign, in- The late ministers of Louis failed duced his ministry to evade, as long not, in a Memorial, which we have alas possible, compliance with the de- ready quoted, to hold up this among mand. In the meanwhile, the com- other aggressions of the allie:, as one missioner of the King of the Nether of the grounds on which, in despair of lands, receiving no answer concerning the safety of the commonwealth, they the paintings of the Flemish school tendered their resignation. “ Foreignwhich belonged to his master, required ers," said they, “ possess France as a of the Duke of Wellington, as com. conquered country ; to civil discords mander in chief of his master's troops, they add the ravage of provinces; they the means of enforcing restoration of dissipate the funds which ought to his master's property. The duke laid find their way into the treasury ; they the question before the ministers of devour the provisions of the people, the allied monarchs, who judged the who are threatened with an approach. request reasonable ; and, as all milder ing famine ; they carry off the magaapplications failed, the pictures were zines of arms, the ammunition of war, removed under the escort of an armed and the cannons from the ramparts of force. The Italian States, and others, our cities. The white Aag floats only who had been plundered of those trea. over ruins ! They despoil us of our sures of art, now put in their claim for public monuments, the tokens of our restitution, and the halls of the Louvre former glory; they seize the monuwere stripped of its most valuable or- ments of art, which alone remain to
us after twenty years of coquest. It - The French might have forgiven is dishonour, sire, which the people the British general the battle of Wa. are most reluctant to pardon, and your terloo and the taking of Paris, but majesty has remained silent in the midst the removal of these pictures, to of all these attacks on the national howhich they attached so much conse- nour!” quence, as marking at once their long It was easy to reply to this tirade, train of conquests, and ascertaining that three years of defeat had cancel. the right of Paris to be termed the first led the claim founded on twenty years city for the arts, they never can, and of victory ; and that their own national they never will, pardon. Every French. vanity, which had ascribed the forbearman, of what political sentiments so. ance of the foregoing year to fear on