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quest; the advantage of first having the tri-coloured flag hoisted at every point of the empire, prevailed *, and he remained in the capital. It was soon trumpeted for the second or third time through Europe, that his energies and stamina of mind and body were worn.t At this very time he devoted sixteen hours of the four-and-twenty to the labours of the cabinet and the parade-ground.
His first measure was to recast, or rather restore, the administrative and judiciary order, local and supreme. Fouché, it has been observed, was engaged in a conspiracy to overthrow the government of Louis XVIII. The defeated movement of generals Lefebre-Desnouettes, and Lallement in the north, without the slightest concert, though simultaneous with Napoleon's landing in the south, was a partial explosion of this plot; and nothing but the prodigiously rapid march of Napoleon saved Fouché from the guillotine. He made a merit with Napoleon of his share in this intrigue; he was looked upon as the only competent director of the tremendous engine of the police, and he was once more invested with that odious ministry.
Carnot and Fouché might be taken as antagonist representatives of the good and evil principle in the revolution. The former was appointed minister of the interior, and his appointment received as a guarantee of the emperor's intention that France, under the new system, should enjoy real freedom. Napoleon next re-constituted the council of state.
* Mémoires de Napoléon.
+ The English ministerial journals announced that he was grown so corpulent as to require the aid of four men to mount his horse.
The first act of this body was to declare the abdication of the preceding year null, on the ground of treason, incompetence, and foreign force. The basis of this declaration was the following maxim, with which it set out :-“ The sovereignty resides in the people, the only source of legitimate power.” Not content with the declared nullity of his abdication, Napoleon determined upon a new appeal to the national will, and proclaimed the convocation of a champ de Mai, or general assembly of the electoral body and deputies of France, to decide by the majority of votes, the question of his re-election to the imperial throne, and the adoption of a new constitution for the security of public liberty.
News arrived at Paris that Louis XVIII. had disbanded his household troops and royalist volunteers, and sought shelter beyond the frontier in despair. But, at the same moment, the declaration of Vienna, circulating through France, damped the public confidence and popular enthusiasm.
The declaration of Vienna was, in every sense, a trial of life or death. Napoleon assumed the task of replying to it with his own pen. The answer drawn up by him was made public as an act of the council of state ; but count Boulay, the president, only moulded it into an official forn, and softened some expressions which appeared too plain and energetic. It is valuable as a historic document,
* It was rumoured in the drawing rooms of Paris at the time, that the chief erasure was a personal challenge to the Emperor of Russia. “ Individual quarrels,” said Napoleon, *** are decided only by single combat among brave and honourable men.” This idea took such hold of his imagination that The duke of Bourbon and the duke and duchess of Angoulême went upon insurrectionary missions,
remarkable as a composition, and conclusive as an argument. The non-fulfilment of the treaty of Fontainbleau by the king of France, the designs of the congress against the personal liberty of Napoleon, the attempts made upon his life by the agents of the Bourbons *, the absence of all right to issue against him such a proscription, and, above all, the odious principle of assassination which the declaration authorised, are exposed by him in detail with the abrupt and vigorous rhetoric of his bulletins. He treated the odious manifesto as the work of Talleyrand, and succeeded in rousing and rallying round him the generous indignation of the French people.
the first to La Vendée, the two latter to Bourdeaux, Toulouse, and Marseilles. A colonel of gens d'armes put an end to the mission of the duke of Bourbon, and respectfully escorted him on board an English ship. The duchess of Angoulême was equally unsuccessful at Bourdeaux. Much has been said of the heroism with which she harangued the
it was conveyed, indirectly through the Moniteur, in a pretended letter from Vienna. “ The princess Bagration,” says the letter, “ who permits herself to say any thing, and who was formerly the greatest enemy of Napoleon, said to the emperor Alexander, at a court ball, “ If this be a personal quarrel between your majesty and Napoleon, why don't you send him a cartel, instead of all this noise and bustle of armies.'”
* Talleyrand is implicated; and two persons, Maubreuil and Brulart, the former a ruined reckless spendthrift of high birth, the latter a Chouan, noted for his crimes, and made governor of Corsica for the purpose, are named as being engaged to assas
ate him. The charge is corroborated in Lavalette's Memoirs.
troops. The real fact is, that she abused their moderation, and the privilege of her sex, by the fury and ribaldry of her reproaches. The duke, her husband, a poor compound of regal insolence and imbecility, having been defeated in one or two skirmishes, was deserted by his followers, and surrendered himself to general Grouchy. Napoleon was advised to retain him as a hostage, and reminded of the proclamations of Louis XVIII., setting a price upon his head. He had the magnanimity or prudence to reject these suggestions, and sent Grouchy orders to leave the duke of Angoulême at liberty to quit France, and go where
* he pleased.
* The following statement of Napoleon is confirmed by Fleury, Savary, and Lavalette in their respective memoirs. “ A telegraphic despatch was presented, by the duke of Bassano, to Napoleon, in the morning. All passed in half an hour between Napoleon and his minister. It was decided that the capitulation should be executed. Some opposition was manifested in the afternoon, when the news became known. A report of after reminding Napoleon of the hue and cry proclamation against his life (l'ordre de courir sus), stated the reasons for not abandoning so valuable a hostage as the duke of Angoulême. In the evening, whilst doing business with Napoleon, the duke of Bassano submitted to him a second telegraphic despatch, announcing that circumstances had occurred to annul the capitulation. Napoleon asked his minister • Whether the first despatch was gone ?'-'Yes.' — Whether, before sending it off, he had received the second communication?' Yes.' Napoleon approved the conduct of his minister; and, if it were necessary to say why to those who read this, they would be incapable of understanding it. The character of Napoleon would be unknown to them. And the duke of Bassano wanders in exile !!!" - Mém. de Napoleon.
Napoleon was reinstated at the Tuileries on the 20th of March. Before the 20th of April the white flag had vanished, and the tri-color reappeared throughout France. This was a natural and easy consequence of the national movement. The great difficulty was to reorganise the military force of France so as to meet a million of foreign bayonets pressing on her frontier. It has been said, that Napoleon, at Paris in 1815, as at Moscow in 1812, was too sanguine in his hopes of peace.“ Mon attitude pacifique endormit la nation,” says the Manuscrit de l'Isle d'Elbe, an imposing, but well known forgery, pretending to be written by him. The following is the substance of his answer to the charge of inactivity, and his statement of what he really performed, as given in the notes dictated by him at St. Helena. “ Napoleon, who worked sixteen hours of the four-and-twenty, could not say that he was asleep. Never was more performed in the space of three months. A hundred fortresses were garrisoned and provisioned. The army was recruited and equipped. In March, 1815, France had about 80,000 effective troops ; a force barely sufficient for her inland garrisons and naval arsenals. Napoleon thought 800,000 men requisite to combat Europe. He created the necessary nuclei of additional battalions of infantry and artillery, and squadrons of cavalry. He made a requisition of 200 battalions of select national guards. He summoned the old soldiers back to their colours; and they cheerfully left their civil occupations to put on the old uniform. The conscription of 1815 was called out, and would produce 140,000 men.