Page images
PDF
EPUB

ABDICATION OF NAPOLEON IN FAVOUR the union of all efforts, of all wills, and the conOF HIS SON. APPOINTMENT OF A PRO-currence of all national authorities. I had reason VISIONAL GOVERNMENT. PROCEEDINGS to hope for success, and I braved all the declaraOF THE TWO CHAMBERS. STATE OF THE tions of the Powers against me. Circumstances ARMIES, &C. appear to me changed. I offer myself as a sacrifice to the hatred of the enemies of France. May they prove sincere in their declarations, and have really directed them only against my power! My political life is terminated, and I proclaim my son under the title of Napoleon II. Emperor of the French. The present Ministers will provisionally form the Council of the Government. The interest which I take in my son induces me to invite the Chambers to form, without delay, the Regency by a law. Unite all for the public safety, in order to remain au independent natiɔn. (Signed) NAPOLEON.

This has been a week of events, perhaps the most extraordinary which are recorded in history. The Emperor Napoleon has resigned the throne of France, and his son, by the Empress Maria Louisa, daughter of the Emperor Francis of Austria, and niece of the Queen of France, Maria Antoinette, who was guillotined, during the Revolution, has been proclaimed Emperor of France, by the style and title of Napoleon the IId. The proceedings by which this great event has been brought about, are as follow:-Napoleon, after losing the battle of Waterloo, which, perhaps, was attended with more fatal consequences than any yet ever heard of, returned to Paris. He lost no time in sending a Message to the Legislative Bodies, calling upon them to take measures for the re-organization of his army, and for the replacing of its "Material," (that is, in English, all the engines of war) which, it appears, had been completely lost.This Message was received with, at least, coldness; and Napoleon, seeing that the feeling of the Assemblies were against him, sent a Message, informing them, that he had abdicated in favour of his Son! This Message excited very turbulent debates. The Republican body seemed to pause at his right to abdicate in favour of any one. Those of the Assem-leon blies who were Bonapartists, argued, that there was no other way of exciting enthusiasm in the army; and a third party appeared to be tinctured with a sort of attachment to the Duke of Orleans; at least, they were openly denounced as such by several Members. At last, however, a Council of Regency was established, consisting of the following persons: Count CARNOT, FOUCHE, (Duke of Otranto) General GRENIER, CAULAINCOURT (Duke of Vicenza) and Baron QUINETTE.

. On the 22d June, the debates were opened by the delivery of the Declaration of Napoleon, of which the following is a Copy:

DONAPARTE'S DECLARATION TO THE FRENCH
PEOPLE.

FRENCHMEN -In commencing war for main taining the national independence, I relied on

The Duke of Otranto addressed the which he concluded by proposing that a Assembly in a very energetic speech, in council of five persons should be appointed, with instructions to them to treat with the Allies for the maintenance of the independence of the French nation.-M. DUPIN followed. He stated, that the first duty of the House was to accept the resignation of Napoleon.

ment.

After a very long and turbulent debate, the members already mentioned were elected to form the Provisional Govern On the following day, the 23d, M. Berenger moved, that the Provisional government should be declared collectively responsible. After considerable agitation and confusion, the sitting closed, with recognising the accession of Napo

II. as Emperor of the French, and instructing the new Provisional government

to communicate forth with with the Allies.

The Debates in the House of Peers were nearly of the same kind, and had the same result.-Ney, the Prince of Moskwa, gave the following detail of the state of the armies.

Marshal Grouchy and the Duke of Dalmatia are not capable of assembling 60,000 men. It is impossible to assemble them on the line of the army of the north. Marshal Grouchy in particu

lar has not been able to collect more than 7 or 8000 meu. The Duke of Dalmatia was not able to rally any troops at Rocroy, and the only means yon lrave of saving the country is to open

a negociation.

On this statement a long debate ensued, in which no sort of blame was attempted to be attributed in any way, directly or

indirectly, to Napoleon, or any of his from General Lemarque, dated 22d June, generals; and, on the motion of the in which he states, that he had " surprised Count de Ponte Contant, the House re- 66 a large body of Vendeans, to the amount solved, that the Resolutions of the House" of 18 or 20,000, near La Roche Serof Representatives be adopted, in which" vieres, routed them, and killed and the war was declared National, and the "wounded between 12 and 1,500 men." whole nation called upon to defend itself. The following decree was then proposed: During the debates in the Chamber of Representatives, the following most energetic speech was made by M. De la of the armies and the transport of troops. Fayette, that celebrated man, who has cut so distinguished a figure in the cause of liberty, from his first appearance in pub-exercise of these requisitions.

"Art. I. The Government is authorised to secure, by means of REQUISITION, the subsistence

"2. The Government will adopt such measures as to prevent and punish any abuses in the

(Signed) Le Duc d'OTRANTO, President." On the 25th the Duke of Otranto communicated the following extract of the correspondence, received by the Minister of War during the 24th, relative to the operations of the armies:

lic life as Commander in Chief of the
French Army or Armies, through the
whole period of the French Revolution
up to the present day; during all which
he has proved himself decidedly and con-
clusively a true friend of liberty:-
"Gentlemen, while for the first time for
many years you hear a voice which the
old friends of liberty may yet recognize,
I feel myself called upon to speak to you
of the dangers of the country which you
at present alone have the power of sav-
ing. Sinister reports have been spread;
they are unfortunately confirmed. This
is the moment to rally round the old tri-
coloured standard, that of 89, that of
liberty, equality, and public order; it is
that alone which can protect us from fo-
reign attacks and internal dissensions.
Allow, Gentleman, a veteran in that sa-
cred cause, who was ever an enemy to
faction, to submit to you some resolu-
tions, which I flatter myself you will feel
the necessity of adopting."

[ocr errors]

Art. 1. The Chamber declares that the indepoudance of the nation is menaced.

ment.

2. The Chamber declares its sittings permaAll attempts to dissolve it shall be considered high-treason; whoever shall render himself guilty of such an attempt shall be considered a traitor to his country, and condemned as such.

3. The Army of the Line, the National Guards, who have fought, and still fight, for the liberty, the independence, and the territory of France, have merited well of the country.

Marshal Grouchy writes from Recroi, that he has entered that place with 20,000 infantry, 5000 cavalry, and a numerous artillery. The Duke of Dalmatia writes from Mezieres on the 19th June, that the enemy will be in three days before Laon ; that great disorders have taken place in the administration of the army; that there are a great number of fugitives, and that he is doing every thing in his power to repair the evil. A telegraphic Disthe Moselle was attacked in the night, that the pest patch of the 22d June, announces that the army of of St. Jean has retired upon Forbach and St. Avold, Our army of the Alps has repulsed the enemy upon the bridge of La Grange, and taken 150 prisoners.

Nothing new in the army of the Eastern PyrenæcesThe spirit of the department of the Gers appears to be ameliorated.

After a long debate, the following laws were passed against Agitators, and afterwards received the sanction of the senateand the Provisional government :

Art. 1. The Commission of Government, in order to ensure public tranquillity, besides the mastes indicated by law, may order against those who shall be accnsed of provoking or favouring disturbances, displaying signs of rallying, or other colours than the National ones, spreading false and alarming news, either being placed under superintendance, in a place different from their place of residence, or arrest without being

These resolutions were carried in both houses. On the 24th; a letter was read in the House of Representatives, from obliged to send them before a Court of Law in the General Delange. Announcing, that pro- period prescribed by the law. posals had been made to him by Laroche 2. The present disposition shall only be exe; Jacquelin, for a suspension of arms, to ented for two months, at which time the indi enable him to communicate to other Ven-viduals taken up or placed under superintendencè dean chiefs a proposition for pacifying shall be free, or sent, if necessary, before the the country." Another letter was read! Tribunals.

:

3. There shall be created in each of the Legis- | interior of the capital, in order to watch over the Jative Chambers a Committee, to which the complaints of individuals affected by the present law shall be addressed.

maintenance of order, which the disaffected would in vain endeavour to trouble. The Pasisian federation is animated with an unanimous

wish it knows no efforts beyond its zeal for the holy cause of liberty. Its dearest hope in making this solemn demand, is to be placed in advauće, to prove immediately by actions its devo

tedness and patriotism. The Members of the

Confederation,

CARRET, President.
CHERY, Treasurer,
QUINET, Secretary-Gen.

26

62

BY THE GOVERNMENT COM MISSION TO THE FRENCH PEOPLE.

(C

66

A decree was issued by the Provisional overnment, requiring, that "all the young men of 1815 remaining of the 66 160,000 ordered to be levied on the 9th of October, 1813, shall be immediately placed in active service;" and by an order of the Minister of War, all officers and soldiers belonging to the army of the north, then at Paris without leave of ab- PROCLAMATION sence, are required to depart within 24 "hours, and proceed to Soissons, whence "they will be directed to their respective corps," under pain of being "conveyed "to the military prisons and their names "delivered up to public censure."-During this sitting, addresses were presented by the Parisian Federation, by the confederated pupils of the Schools of Law and Medicine, and from the pupils of the Lyceum Napoleon, declaring that they put themselves under the orders of the Assembly, for the defence of the country. Ilo-rified and extended. There no longer exist norable mention of these was made in the powers jealous of e.ch other. The space is free minutes. The following address of the to the enlightened patriotism of your Represen Parisian Federation, will give an idea of tatives, and the Peers feel, think, and vote as the whole :your mandatories. After twenty-five years of political tempests the moment has arrived when

Paris, June 24. FRENCHMEN,Within the period of a few days glorious successes and a dreadful reverse have again agitated your destinies. A great sa crifice appeared, necessary to your peace and to that of the world, and Napoleon abdicated the Imperial Power. His abdication forms the term of his political life. His son is proclaimed. Your new Constitution, which possesses as yet only good principles, is about to undergo its application, and even those principles are are to be pu

―――――

:

Gentlemen Representatives-The country was threatened the Bretons, the Lyonnois, the Bur-every thing wise and sublime that has been congundians, confederated to repel our aggressors. ceived respecting social institutions, may be perInspired by the same sentiments, the Parisiaus, fected in yours. Let reason and genius speak, who in all times have given the example of pa- and from whatever side their voices may proceed triotism, immediately rose, and independently of they shall be heard. Plenipotentiaries have dethe federations of St. Antoine and St. Marceau, parted, in order to treat in the name of the nathe capital saw the Parisian federation formed in tion, and to negociate with the Powers of Europe its bosom. While our armies were extended over that peace which they have promised on one conour lines, and were preparing for battle, the Pa- dition, which is now fulfilled. The whole world risian federation organised and fortified itself, will, like you, be attentive to their reply. Their and erected in the midst of the capital a redoubt, auswer will make known whether justice and which will bear its name, and which it has sworn promises are any thing on earth. Frenchmen! to defend. Great events have just broken out : be united; let all rally under circumstances of greater perhaps are in preparation. The repre. such great importance. Let the civil discords sentatives of the nation call to the defence of the be appeased; let dissention be silent at this mocountry all Frenchmen capable of bearing arms. ment in which the great interests of nations are The Parisian federation has heard this appeal: to be discussed. Be united from the North of the Parisian federation presents itself in a body. France to the Pyrenees; from La Vendee to Its reekous among its members a great number Marseilles. Who is he, who, born on the soil of of old soldiers of all ranks, artillerymen and young France, whatever may be his party, whatever and robust citizens, who all burn with the desire his political opinions, will not range himself unof advancing on the threatened points, and of der the National Standard to defend the Indestriking the enemies of our independence. The pendeuce of the Country? Armies may, in part, Confederates solicit arms, a military organization, be destroyed; but the experience of all ages, and and the honour of serving their country usefully, of all nations, proves that an intrepid nation, whether on the frontiers, the heights, or in the combating for justice and liberty cannot be de

stroyed. The Emperor, in abdicating, has of- | accustomed to admire the sentiments of fered himself as a sacrifice. The Members of the indignation and horror professed by the Government devote themselves in accepting from Times writer against the alledged cruelties Representatives the reins of the State. of the Jacobins, read the following extract from that paper, of Friday, and then ask themselves, who are the most deserving of the epithets of wretches, savages, and murderers? "A weak and timid wish to spare the effusion of blood at Fontainebleau has caused the elusion of ten "times as much blood at Ligny and Waterloo. A visionary hope of conciliat "ing the ferocious soldiery and unprincipled Jacobins of I aris has afforded them the means of concerting a treason the Let us at least profit by this sad experience. Let

Allied Powers declared solemnly, in the face of Europe and of the world, that their object in going to war, was to remove Bo-most disgraceful to the age. naparte from power. He is removed from the throne, and become a private citi-us turn the unparalleled valour of Wa

zen.

terloo to a beneficial account. To think of reforming a CARNOT, or a CAULAINCOURT, is the height of folly to ima(6 gine that we can tame the ferocity of "BONAPARTE'S savages of the Imperial

(Signed) The Duke of OTRANTO, President. T. BERLIER, Secretary, &c.

Thus, according to the last accounts received, is situated the great empire of France. Napoleon has abdicated in favour of his son, who is the present sovereign, acknowledged as such by the representatives of the French nation. The

Guard is no less absurd. Every indi"vidual that has taken an active part in this perfidious and atrocious rebellion, "must be brought under the due coercion of the law. Not to make some examples of severity among such a horde of criminals would be to condemn the viṛ"tuous to a certainty of renewed and

What more do they want? They abjured all idea of interfering with the internal government of France. We shall see now whether they were sincere or not. For my part, I still think, as I have always thought, that it is a war not against this man, or that man, but against liberty and independence. The allies will shew at once by their conduct, whether this is the case. If it is, Louis will be again" placed upon the throne. How long he will continue there, will remain yet to be seen. But, at all events, the scenes which have lately occurred, without the least po- cruel persecution. To compound with pular commotion, and which appear likely the traitors would be a death-blow to to occur, form one of the most extraordi- "loyalty. We are happy to believe that nary instances of sudden change, from one "the King of FRANCE has adopted a firm extreme to another, that has ever taken "and decisive line of conduct. The weak place in the annals of the human race. If" and, temporising councils by which he the French nation are sincere in their wish was induced to load the ungrateful with for liberty and independence, the allied honours, and to exempt the guilty from armies, not even with the assistance of punishment, have, at length, lost their Lord Castlereagh, who is said to be on weight and influence. The KING, in the point of again displaying his diplomatic" re-entering France has acted from the talents in a new sphere, will be unable to " energy of his own mind, and that conquer thirty millions of people, animated" energy will teach him that it is as much by a love of freedom, and a hatred of their" his duty to protect and encourage the former oppressors. Success against such loyal, as it is to coerce and punish the a cause would be morally and physically" seditious. We earnestly hope he will be impossible. If, however, the Bourbons" supported in a just and discriminating are restored, and the dreadful work of "firmness by all the Allies. We hope slaughter, which our corrupt newspapers" that no Sovereign will interpose between recommend, is indeed to be commenced" him and the leaders of the Rebellion, to on all the actors in the late scenes in screen the latter from the punishment France, humanity will have gained little" they so richly merit. Let not a band of by the cessation of war, the horrors of" murderers escape, because they have which will only have been transferred from" the audacity to style themselves a Comthe field of battle to the platform of the "mittee of Government. Hitherto these executioner. Let those who have been "wretches and their accomplices have

66

6.

"been able at once to corrupt and to oppress the French nation; now the "sword is broken in their hands, let us "not leave them the means of acquiring new weapons to our own destruction, and that of civilised society."-TIMES of 30th June, 1815.

66

Since writing the above, Paris Papers of Monday have arrived, in which it is stated, that "Napoleon is gone to Havre, "where he is to embark for England, "accompanied by Prince Jerome, Prince "Joseph, a first Equerry, a first Cham"berlain, and two Valets de Chambre." If this step has really been taken, it need not surprise any one if it is the prelude to the restoration of the Bourbons to the throne of France. Thanks to the vanity, the contemptible vanity of Napoleon, and the fickle disposition of the French people, for so unlooked for a change.

INVASION OF FRANCE.

MR. COBBETT.-Those who consider the late disaster of Napoleon a prelude to the submission of the French people to the yoke of the Bourbous, seem to forget the events, of a similar nature, which have occurred since the beginning of the revoletion. During the first campaign in the Netherlands, the French General Biren was on the eve of attacking the Austrians at Mons, with an army already flushed with victory, and which made the air resound with shouts of "victory or death." In a moment it was seized with a panic; the whole was thrown into confusion; the Austrians commenced the attack; the republicans were forced to retreat with immense loss, and only escaped entire annihilation by a detachment, under General Rochambeau, coming to their relief. -Notwithstanding this disaster, it is well known that the French very soon after drove their assailants from the field. When General Dumourier was obliged to retreat before the Prussians, he sent orders to General Chazot, whom he had detached with about 10,000 men from the main body of his army, to join him. This division on its march fell in with 1500 Prussians, which they took for the advancedguard of Clairfayt's army. Disorder immediately pervaded the ranks; they threw down their arms and fled in all directions. Intelligence of this having reached the

army under Dumourier, it excited terror and confusion through the camp. Every one cried out he was betrayed; the army became disorganized; flight ensued, and it was not till they had reached the gates of Paris, that the runaways were convinced they were in safety. All the world knows how soon these same fugitives compelled the Prussians to fly before them. The battle of Jemappe, which decided the fate of Flanders in November 1792, was followed by a similar occurrence. After the Austrians fled to Mons, Dumourier sent two brigades to occupy the suburbs of that place. On their march, the advanced guard was seized with a panic, from a strange apprehension that the Austrians had undermined the ground over which they were marching. Terror and disorder ensued, which having communicated to the rest, the two brigades fell back upon the main army, by which the Austrians gained time to effect their retreat in safety. Shortly after this, however, we find the same troops that had discovered so il grounded a fear, driving the Austrians before them, and possessing themselves of Brussels.-Many other instances could be added of the same description; but these are sufficient to shew, that that sort of disaster, which led to the retreat of Napoleon, will not justify the opinion, now industriously propagated, that France has been subdued, and that the allied armies may proceed, without interruption, to Paris. In the discussions, which have taken place in the Senate and Legislative body, respecting the elevation of Napoleon's son to the Imperial dignity, the most decided hostility appeared against the family of the Bourbons. If, as it is said, the British army have marched into France with Louis XVIII. at their head, nothing more will be wanting to open the eyes of the French to the plans now forming to replace that unfortunate personage on the throne; no other stimulus will be necessary to rouse the nation, as it was roused in the early part of the revolution, to resist all attempts to impose a government so hostile to its feelings, and so much at variance with the true interests and glory of France.

But it will be said, that the near approach of the allies to Paris, precludes all idea of any resistance which the French people can offer, being successful. It is

« PreviousContinue »