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Signor Santini overshoots his mark a little-he proves rather too
The Governor, it appears, has personally nothing to do with the supply of Buonaparte's establishment; it is managed by a purveyor, chosen, we believe, by the Emperor himself;-and the miserable pittance to which the purveyor is to confine his expenses is 1000/ a month. This, Lord Bathurst states, is the very sum allowed to the Governor of the island, who has a family and a staff to maintain--who is obliged to keep a table at which he receives the Commissioners of the Allied Powers, strangers who happen to arrive, and the principal inhabitants of the island:-but it is insufficient, it seems, to furnish Buonaparte with eggs and salt. What follows is still better: for it seems that but for Santini himself the Emperor would have starved altogether.
I used to rise at break of day, and when I did not succeed in shooting a few doves, in the neighbourhood of our dwelling, the Emperor frequently had nothing for breakfast. The provisions do not reach Longwood until two or three o'clock in the afternoon, and when they were of so bad a quality that the house-steward had to send them back, the Emperor subsisted entirely on the produce of my shooting.'
We really are in pain for poor Buonaparte-for now that Santini has been torn from him, he must go without his breakfast, unless indeed necessity should teach him to do as we generally do in England, namely, to make his breakfast out of the provisions which come in the preceding afternoon.
But this famine is tolerable in Mr. Santini's opinion when compared with the extremities they are made to suffer from thirst.
"It is a fact, which will appear incredible, but which is not the less true, that the emperor is limited to a bottle of wine per day! Marshal and Madame Bertrand, General Montholon and his lady, General Gourgaud and Count de las Cases have also each their bottle.'-p. 17.
We differ very much fron Signor Santini in thinking this fact incredible. We should, on the contrary, have thought it very probable, and that seven bottles of wine per day to five men and two women, was a reasonable allowance. It appears, however, unluckily for Signor Santini's credit, from Lord Bathurst's speech, that the fact, however credible, is not true:
In order to ascertain the expenditure of any establishment, it was usual to calculate on a certain quantity of such things as were used for each individual, per day. It was by no means intended, that the same quantity should always be drank by each individual. With respect to the calculation of one bottle per day, for each person, it was one which would be considered in this country as not an unfair one-this was the allowance for the King's table. A bottle a day, for each person, was considered by the officers of the British army as sufficient for the supply of their messes- -sufficient for themselves, and for such company as
might be invited to their mess: it was not usual to allow more, one day with another, to any person in the prime of life. But to shew how liberally the allowance to General Buonaparte was calculated, he should read to their Lordships an extract from the estimate for his table, in which this very article of wine was minutely specified. There was an allowance of strong and of weak wine. The quantity of weak wine was 84 bottles in the course of the fortnight; but he should put that out of the question, and merely state the quantity of the other description of wine. Of that better sort of wine, there was no less than 266 bottles in one fortnight, applicable, wholly and entirely to General Buonaparte and his attendants. The particulars were—
7 Bottles of Constantia (or 14 pint bottles). 14 Bottles of Champaign.
21 Bottles of Vin de Grave.
84 Bottles of Teneriffe.
140 Bottles of Claret.
In all 266 Bottles.
The number of persons connected with General Buonaparte, excluding those of tender age, amounted to nine, so that there was an allowance of nineteen bottles in one day for ten persons; and taking one day with another, the allowance might be considered two bottles a day for each grown person. In addition to this quantity of wine, forty-two bottles of porter were allowed every fortnight, being at the rate of three to each individual.'
Upon all this we cannot help repeating that we think our government has done and is still doing too much. Why should they allow twelve, why even eight thousand a-year for this establishment-why is General Buonaparte'to have a suite of FIFTY* persons -why is he to have twelve men-servants, and General Bertrand four, and Mr. Montholon three, &c.-why are two, or three, or four tables to be kept for all these people, according to the fancied gradations of their imperial character and offices? If these generals and their wives choose to live at St. Helena with Buonaparte, we have no great objection; but let them live, as they must do any where else, at their own expense, and not at ours. It is stated in Montholon's Letter that our government has called upon Buonaparte to make up all the expense of his establishment beyond £8000, or (as it would now appear to be settled) £12,000 per annum. This seems to us to be all wrong and inconsistent with our whole course of proceeding. We might have treated Buonaparte altogether as a common prisoner, given him no establishment at all, and made him only the usual prisoners' allowances; but as we did not take that course, and as we are pledged to treat him as a general officer, we are bound to furnish him a convenient habitation, a decent table, and
*So stated by Santini.
suitable attendants; and the expense of doing so, be it great or small, we must now be contented to bear. But are we also to provide for four other families towards whom we have no such engagements— for General and Madame Bertrand and four children, Count and Madame Montholon and two, and the worthy Las Cases and one; to say nothing of General Gourgaud and the rest of the imperial suite? If, for any objects of their own, they wish to remain in St. Helena, or if, for any objects of his, Buonaparte should persuade them to stay, it is no concern of ours, at least in a pecuniary way. Buonaparte should have a house at which he might receive their visits, and a table to which he might in turns invite them, and this house and this table should be liberally maintained: but with the daily and ordinary expenses of these other families we should have no concern; they never should be mixed with Buonaparte's accounts: and if he chooses, as he probably would, to contribute something to their housekeeping in return for the pleasure of their society, it should be no concern of ours. With a well furnished house, a carriage and horses, a table of four covers every day, as much wine as he or his guests choose to drink, and half a dozen servants, it could not be said that General Buonaparte was ill treated; and this establishment we have reason to believe might be defrayed for about £4000 per annum at the most. This arrangemeut, besides saving £8000 per annum, would have the further advantage of dissipating the fumes of the imperial intoxication; it would bring back the general to a recollection of himself; and it would save us from the inconsistency and scandal of treating him neither quite as a general nor quite as an emperor. As long as this undefined and middle course is pursued, we shall be always liable to complaints like Montholon's and Santini's, founded on pretensions which we do not admit and which yet we tolerate.
Santini informs us that the Pole, Piontkowski, has been sent back to Europe. Our readers must be aware that endeavours have been made to excite a great deal of interest about this person, and that our government was so far imposed on as to send him out to St. Helena to join his beloved master. That poor simpleton, Warden, was enamoured with the romantic Pole,' Captain Poniatowski, an officer of the Polish troops attached to Buonaparte's person, who had a command in the little army which landed in France from Elba. (p. 204.) Santiui calls him Colonel, (p. 29,) Chef d' Escadron, (p. ix,) and Count (p. 26) Poniatowski. This is of a piece with the rest,-all false, and all designed to deceive the world by magnifying every thing which has any concern with the Great Napolione.
The name of the person alluded to is, as we stated in a former number, Piontkowski, and not Poniatowski; the latter is a noble
Polish name, to which this Pole has no more pretensions than Cobbett has to call himself Percy or Howard; but a great name was chosen to give éclat and interest to the transaction,-when the detection should come, the blame of the mistake might be easily transferred to the printer.
He is not only not a Count, but (it would seem from Warden's account*) not a gentleman.
He was neither a Captain, Colonel, nor Chef d'escadron; but a private soldier, or, at most, a corporal.
He was so far from being attached to the person of Buonaparte, that the latter had never heard of him until he arrived at St. Helena, and so little interest did he feel about him, that we believe he never saw him; (Warden says he saw him once;) and it was at Buonaparte's particular request that he was sent off the island with the grooms and butler, as an infpudent intruder.
While Buonaparte was thus teaching Santini and Montholon to emulate the fame of Mendez Pinto and George Psalmanazar, an anonymous hand was playing, in the Manuscrit venu de St. Hélène, another trick of the same game.
This work, which affects to be a summary of Buonaparte's life written by himself, has excited a considerable degree of interest in this country, and a still greater in France; the name of the supposed writer, and the mysterious title which it bears, naturally excite curiosity; and there is besides a visible effort at imitating that sudden and tranchant style which is supposed to be characteristic of Buonaparte. But this effort is, we think, as vain as it is visible; and on an attentive perusal of the whole work we are satisfied, 1st, that the Manuscrit' is not the production of Buonaparte, and, 2d, that it is not from St. Helena. It is, we believe, the production of Paris; and it has been published, we are satisfied, with no other view than (what we have already stated to be the general object of the Revolutionary faction) that of keeping the name, past actions, and future pretensions of Buonaparte alive in the public mind. The 'Manuscrit' is neither a criticism on his character, nor an apology. It is not written for fame, for the author conceals himself-nor for profit, for we happen to know that no price was demanded for the copy there remains then no other possible motive for its publication than that which we have assigned. It is very much the fashion with all the Revolutionists in France to affect to believe in the authenticity of the Manuscrit.' If not written by the Emperor himself it is undoubtedly the production of M. de las Cases.'
*Neither Poniatowski's situation or manners suite, nor did his modesty appear to expect it.'
were such as to associate him with the Warden, p. 205.
--It is impossible that it should be the production of either, or that any well informed person should think so. It contains no new fact, no new argument, not even a new view of any of the subjects of which it treats; there is nothing to be found in it which a reader of the Moniteur might not have known; there are a thousand persons in France who could compose such a commentary; but we take it to be utterly impossible that Buonaparte, or Las Cases under his dictation, could have written the history of so many events, and of such an extensive and important period, without having slipped into some novelty either of fact or reasoning; nor would either of them have made a sketch of such turgid vapidity and such arrogant inanity as this production: nor do we believe that Buonaparte will be pleased with this supposed imitation of his style; we are confident that his personal vanity is so great that he will be enraged to find so trivial a production published in his name. We rest nothing on the numerous falsehoods and misrepresentations which this Manuscrit contains, because Buonaparte would probably have written as many and as gross, but there are blunders and anachronisms into which he could not have fallen-for instance, a par tisan writing hastily may forget the order of Buonaparte's battles and treaties, but could Buonaparte himself forget whether the battle of Jena preceded the treaty of Tilsit? In short, this work is obviously a fabrication, and we are prepared to expect, from the system which we now see in progress, that a series of similar attempts will be made to keep awake and active the hopes of the revolutionists; to make Buonaparte, though dead in law,
vivum volitare per ora virorum;
and to spread in France, and in Belgium, that great dogma of the revolutionists, that things cannot remain as they are. This is the chord upon which they are all strumming, and this is the cry in which they are all ready to unite. The survivors of the Mountain, or of the party of Duke Egalité, the rump of the Directory, or the tail of Buonaparte, are in this unanimous, and we shall be most happily mistaken if Europe does not soon feel the effect of this union of factions who, however discordant in their several hours of triumph, are now yoked together in the harness of adversity.
These people will soon, we understand, receive a considerable reinforcement in the person of the Count de las Cases, who, by a series of sedulous infractions of the regulations established at St. Helena, has contrived to be sent off the island. We say contrived, because we have heard that his proceedings were all steadily directed to this very object; and when the governor offered to overlook his irregularities, and to permit him to remain with his master, he peremptorily rejected this indulgence, and insisted upon undergoing the penalty of exile from St. Helena. This, from any