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groan. His remains were interred in strangers; as a soldier, he led his the chapel belonging to the castle in men in person against the cannon to whose hall the execution had taken which he exposed them, and as a geplace.
neral, he never forsook his until Thus fell Murat, who, from the it abandoned him. The circumstan. meanest rank of society, had raised
ces of his death he had himself fore. himself by military courage alone,- for told, when he weighed in his rashness, he was devoid of talents, to the throne and instigated, probably, by the pasof one of the most delightful coun:
sions of others as well as his own, the tries in Europe. Had he made active various dangers by which he was surwar during the campaign of 1814, he rounded. “ A king,” he said, “ who would have avoided the suspicions of could not keep his sovereignty, had Britain and Austria, or had he remain- no alternative but a soldier's death; ed at peace in the subsequent year, he and though a prison might be offered would have' appeased their resentment, to him as an asylum, a grave would and, in either case, retained his rank be at no great distance.” among the kingdoms of Europe. His His fall, in a political point of view, remarkable history is less striking, from was of importance to the tranquillity its being interwoven with that of Buo. of Europe ; for while Murat continued naparte, to which it forms but an epic to live and reign, his court must have sode. Future times, however, could been the natural asylum of the disafthey forget the massacres of Septem- fected French, and, liable as Joachim ber at Paris, and the 4th of May in was to be acted upon by the insinua. Madrid, might assign to Murat a fair. tions of others, there can be little er rank than his patron and relative. doubt that, at some future time, hc As a king, he conferred many bene- would'have adventured upon schemes fits on his subjects, and was generous of ambition for revolutionizing Italy. and hospitable in bis intercourse with
Buonaparte attempts to conciliate Foreign Powers.--His Decrees for educa
ting Youth, and abolishing the Slave Trade.--A Plot to carry off the Empress and her Child is detected at Vienna. Versatility of the French Me of Letters.—Disputes between Buonaparte and his Ministers. Proclamotions of Louis XVIII.-Activity of the Royalists of Paris.-Buonaparte pays Court to the Federates.—Their Procession and Review.-Preparations for War.–Commissioners sent into the Departments.—Disinclination to the War, and Disaffection, prevail generally.Fouché's Report on these Particu. lars.-Buonaparte leaves the Tuilleries, and goes to the Palace of Elysee-Bour. bon. He Publishes the additional Act to the Constitutions of the Empire.Objected to as not originating with the Nation-And as being only an Appendix to the Imperial Code of Constitutions.-It is generally disliked-But subjected to the Votes of the French People. Illusory Nature of the Sanction thus obtained.-Buonaparte's Brothers arrive at Paris.-Ceremony of the Champ de Mai.- Acceptance of the Constitution. – Delivery of the Eagles to the Troops-Meeting of the Legislative Chambers. ---Character of the Chamber of Peers Of Representatives.- The Chamber of Representatives disputes with Napoleon on Points of Form.--Speech of Buonaparte to the Chambers.-Address of the Peers.-Address of the Representatives.—Buonaparte's Reply to that Address.
While Murat was struggling and ably construed by some of our legissinking under his evil fate, Buona- lators, and that they were so is a comparte was actively preparing for the plete proof that Buonaparte underapproaching contest. His first at- stood the temper of our nation. To tempt, as we have already seen, was to suppose, that, during his ten months conciliate the allied powers. To satisfy of retirement, his mind was actively Great Britain, he passed an act abo- employed upon the miseries of the lishing the slave trade, and some re- negroes, or the deplorable state of ig. gulations concerning national educa- norance to which his own measures, tion, in which he spoke highly of the and the want of early instruction, systems of Bell and Lancaster. But had reduced the youth of France, this approximation of sentiments was would argue but little acquaintance too obviously designed to flatter Bri- with his habits of ambition. Το tish habits of thinking, to produce believe, on the contrary, that he much good effect. We have seen, would, at his first arrival in France, hat these measures were more favouro make any apparent sacrifices which
might attract the good-will of his where he had spent part of the night powerful and dangerous neighbours, in preparing for the execution of the is more consonant with his schemes, plan. He imprudently offered the pohis interest, and his character. The lice such a bribe, as inferred, by its path to our esteem which he chose, amount, the importance of his private was by no means injudicious. The business in the place. The plot was abolition of negro slavery, and the discovered and prevented, and the instruction of the poor, have (to the most public steps were immediately honour of our legislature) been fre- taken, to show that Austria considerquent and anxious subjects of delibe- ed all ties with Buonaparte as dissolration in the House of Commons; and ved for ever. Maria Louisa, by her: to mankind, whether individually or father's commands, laid aside the arms collectively, no species of flattery is and liveries of her husband, hitherto more pleasing than that of assent and displayed by her attendants and carimitation. By his decree against the riages, and assumed those of the house slave-trade, Buonaparte also placed of Austria. All French men and wohimself in advantageous contrast with men in attendance upon her person, the Bourbons, making voluntarily that and that of the young Napoleon, were very sacrifice to gain British friend. dismissed, and precautions taken for ship, which they, secure in possessing the security of both. The secret overit, had been prevailed upon by the tures, by which Buonaparte, abandonmercantile interest of France to refuse ing Murat to his fate, and even offerto our express and earnest solicita- ing to aid in suppressing him, propotion. But the British public enter. sed to extend and confirm the Austained too just a suspicion of Buona- trian power in Italy, were coldly and parte's sincerity, to give him the ge- peremptorily rejected. It has been neral credit for these measures, which said, that Austria was fixed to the it was probably his principal wish to general cause by the insults which obtain by their promulgation.
Buonaparte had offered to her prime With Austria, Napoleon acted dif- minister, as well as by her own inteferently. He was aware no impression rest and that of Europe.* could be made on the Emperor Fran Thus baffled in his overtures alike cis, or his minister Metternich, and and intrigues at foreign courts, Buothat it became impossible that, with naparte was compelled to rest his their consent, he should fulfil his pro- newly-acquired power upon the atmise of presenting his wife and son tachment and energy of the French to the people on the Champ de Maj. nation, which was now to be conciliaStratagem remained the only resource; ted in every possible manner. His and the Frenchmen at Vienna, with successful march from Cannes had of those in Maria Louisa's train, formed itself arranged under his banners maa scheme of carrying off the Empress ny of those who had been the foreof France and her child. Their ma most to reprobate his attempt as treanæuvres attracted the attention of the son to France, so long as it seemed police. A French officer was arrested impossible he should have the means coming out of a window in the palace, of effecting it. Benjamin Constant,
* He used to say, " I have Metternich in my sleeve, who has the Emperor of Austria in his pocket." And at Dresden, he opened the conference by abruptly asking Metternich, what bribe he had received from the allies ?-a brutal arrogance, which he could scarce expect would be either forgotten or forgiven.
who had pronounced against the re. jacobins had been cemented by moturn of the Exile of Elba so animated tual hatred of the Bourbons, and was a philippic, accepted without a blush still kept together by apprehension of the office of Counsellor of State, which their adherents within, and their al. he offered him a few days after; read lies in the exterior, seeds of discord his palinode, and lent his valuable as were soon visible between the empe sistance to the other statesmen and ror and the popular leaders. While sçavants who were to form the new the former was eager once more to constitution of regenerated France. wield with full energy the sceptre he The journalists gave in their adhesion had recovered, the latter were conti to the new order of things without a nually reminding him, that he had moment's hesitation, and the pens, only assumed it in a limited and lewhich the week before denounced stricted capacity, as the head of a free Buonaparte as an Ogre, who had de government, exercising indeed its esevoured the youth of France, now wrote cutive power, but under the restraint him down a hero and a liberator. Of of a popular constitution. Napoleon, sixty Parisian writers, engaged con in the frequent disputes which arose stantly or occasionally in composing on these important points, was obliged for periodical publications, only five to concede to the demagogues the could be counted who remained faith- principles which they insisted upon. ful to the king. Most of the other But then, for the safety of the state, men of letters showed the same dis- involved in foreign and domestic dangraceful versatility. But it was not gers, he contended it was necessary to by the assistance of such political invest the chief magistrate with a viweather-cocks that Buonaparte could gour beyond the law, a dictatorial auhope to prop his re-established throne. thority, temporary in its duration, but It was necessary to conciliate the peo- nearly absolute in its extent, as had ple's hearts, and to increase and ani- been the manner in the tree states of inate the strength and spirits of the antiquity, when the republic was in army.
imminent danger. Carnot and Fouché, It was in the first task that he en on the other hand, considered, that deavoured to employ the service of although it seemed easy and natural his republican adherents, and his mi- to conter such power at the present nisters Fouché and Carnot; and in the moment, the resumption of it by the beginning of his brief reign, he cer- nation, when it was once vested in the tainly received and profited by many hands of Buonaparte, would be a most of their lessons. The unlimited li- hopeless experiment. The emperor, berty of the press was instantly ac- therefore, and his ministers, proceedcorded, and the censorship removed; ed to their mutual tasks with no mubut it was not long ere Buonaparte, tual confidence; but, on the contrary, by appointing inspectors of the book with jealousy, thinly veiled by an afsellers, endeavoured in some degree fectation of deference on the side of to indemnify himself for the license Buonaparte, and respect on that of his he had given to the press. Indeed, counsellors. his interest and inclination alike made These
appearances of dissention did him desire an extension of his powers not escape the eyes of the watchful at this interesting crisis, and we shall Parisians, and augured ill for the subpresently find him complaining of the sistence of the existing league between inconvenient effects of the freedom the two parties, whose coalition had which he had restored. But, how now placed them uppermost. The ever the union of the imperialists and royalists did not fail to profit by these
circumstances. Aware that the prin- placard them successively over the ciples of the popular party would ob- whole city of Paris, to the surprise lige them to oppose any arbitrary mea- and discredit of Fouchés police. A sures on the emperor's part, they took newspaper, entitled the Lily, was upon them to act with the greater printed by a secret committee of the confidence. The king had issued from royalists, and circulated by thrustGhent proclamations, one of which ing it under the doors of the inhaforbade the payment of taxes to the bitants during the night. In the usurped government; while others cor better classes of society, where it veyed to France, and to the army, the was difficult to say whether Buohostile intentions of united Europe, naparte was most feared or hated, provoked by the recall of him who there were handed round a variety had occasioned its distresses. “Eu- of lampoons, satires, and pasquinades, rope," said one of these papers, “ will in prose and verse, turning his peracknowledge no other king of France son, ministers, and government into but ourselves. Twelve hundred thou- the most bitter ridicule. Others atsand men are about to march to as- tacked his cause by eloquent invecsure the repose of the world, and a se- tive, of which the following is no cond time to deliver our fine country.” bad specimen. “ Buonaparte can It was announced, that, undeceived henceforth deceive nobody in France; by the tricks of the usurper's policy, for of all the parties which have surthe sovereigns of Europe did not con- vived our civil discords, the most sider the French nation as an accom- credulous already perceive his perplice in the attempts of the army; and fidy. A few of those irritable, imthat the peaceful labourers would be passioned, and, above all, credulous protected, wherever their invading men, because they are generally gearms should find Frenchmen faithful nerous and sensible, a few of those to their king. The weight of war men, I say, who have been dreamwas denounced against those pro- ing during twenty years of an imavinces, which, on the approach of the ginary republic, and who have purallies, should fail to return to their sued their illusions through all godaty. The allied sovereigns made vernments and all anarchies, felt their war, it was announced, only against hopes revive at the cry of liberty, rebels ; the subjects of Louis had which the mob, in the irain of Buonothing to dread. And to conclude, naparte, raised on his passage to Pathe king declared, that on his re ris. They forgot that Buonaparte is turn to his capital, which was consi. the sworn enemy of liberty, the assasdered as an approaching event, the sin of the republic, and the first vivServices of the loyal should be recom lator of those sacred rights, of which pensed, and that he himself would la- they had so dearly paid the purchase. bour to banish even the very appear. They forgot that Buonaparte spoke ance of those disasters, which had also of liberty, when he destroyed the withdrawn from their allegiance some national representation of Si Cloud. of the French people.
-They forgot that it was in the In the uncertain and alarmed state name of the French republic, that of the capital, the moderate and tem- Buonaparte had established the most perate tone of the royal proclamations insolent despotism of which mankind was highly calculated to serve the had ever supported the yoke. They cause of Louis XVIII. His agents, forgot that Buonaparte bad
attempted equally secret and alert, contrived to to suppress all the sentiments which