« ForrigeFortsæt »
and a full corroboration of all we have final determination on this momentous stated, from the lips of the count de subject ; nor shall I attempt to describe Las Cases.'
the anxiety visible on the contenance “ I shall now proceed to give the of our small assembly. The Emperor account of an interesting conversation alone retained an unembarrassed look, which I had with the count de Las when he calmly demanded the opinions Cases on the final resolution of Napo- of his chosen band of followers, as to leon to throw himself on the genero- his future conduct. The majority were sity of the English government. He in favour of his returning to the army, prefaced his narrative with this assu- as in the South of France his cause still rance: No page of Ancient History appeared to wear a favourable aspect. will give you a more faithful detail of This proposition the Emperor instantany extraordinary event, than I am ly rejected, with a declaration delivered about to offer of our departure from in a most decided tone, and with a peFrance, and the circumstances con- remptory gesture-that he never would nected with it. The future Historian be the instrument of a Civil War in will certainly attempt to describe it; France. He declared, in the words and you will then be able to judge of which he had for some time frequently the authenticity of his materials and repeated, that his political career was the correctness of his narration. terminated; and he only wished for the
• From the time the Emperor quit- secure asylum which he had promised ted the capital, it was his fixed deter: himself in America, and, till that hour, mination to proceed to America, and had no doubt of attaining. He then establish himself on the banks of one asked me, as a naval officer, whether I of the great rivers in America, where thought that a voyage across the Athe had no doubt a number of his friends Jantic was practicable in the small vege from France would gather round him; sels, in which alone it then appeared and, as he had been finally baffled in that the attempt could be made. I had the career of his ambition, he deter- my doubts,' added Las Cases, and I mined to retire from the world, and, be. had my wishes: The latter urged me Death the branches of his own fig-tree, to encourage the enterprise ; and the in that sequestered spot, tranquilly and former made me hesitate in engaging philosophically observe the agitations of for the probability of its being crowned Europe.
with success. My reply indicated the On our arrival at Rochfort, the influence of them both. I answered, difficulty of reaching the Land of Pro- that I had long quitted the maritime mise appeared to be much greater than profession, and was altogether unachad been conjectured. Every inquiry quainted with the kind of vessels in was made, and various projects pro- question, as to their strength and ca. posed; but, after all, no very practica- pacity for such a navigation as was ble scheme offered itself to our accep- proposed to be undertaken in them; tance. At length, as a dernier resort, but as the young midshipmen who had two chasse-marées (small one-masted volunteered their services, must be comTessels) were procured; and it was in petent judges of the subject, and had actual contemplation to attempt a voy- offered to risk their lives in navigating age across the Atlantic in them. Six. these vessels, no small confidence, I teen midshipmen engaged most willing- thought might be placed in their proly to direct their course; and, during bable security. This project, however, the night, it was thought they might was soon abandoned, and no alternaeffect the meditated escape. We tive appeared but to throw ourselves on met,' continued Las Cases, in a the generosity of England." small room, to discuss and come to a “In the midst of this midnight coun
cil, but, without the least appearance and it is therefore reasonably supposed of dejection at the varying and rather that this profession of honour and highirresolute opinions of his friends, Na- minded loyalty was a cloak to cover poleon ordered one of them to act as the conspiracy which was hatching, and secretary, and a letter to the Prince an insidious attempt to deceive the Regent of England was dictated. On king and his ministers. This letter, the following day I was employed in written to the duke of Fitzjames, (who making the necessary arrangements has the misfortune to be Bertrand's with captain Maitland on board the brother-in-law,) cannot be denied; it Bellerophon. That officer conducted was at the time communicated by the himself with the utmost politeness and duke to the king, and it has been since gentlemanly courtesy, but would not verified and officially published in enter into any engagements on the France, and in half the journals of Eupart of his government." pp. 60-64. rope.
This avowal of Las Cases is quite The contempt in which these folks sufficient to oppose to the falsehoods must have held poor Mr. Warden, is which Bertrand related to Mr. Warden, evident from the absurdities with which and which Bonaparte recorded in the they crammed his credulity. famous protest which we gave in the “Thus, Bertrand says that “ Bonaarticle before mentioned. Why, it will parte was never sensual, never gross." be asked, do we, on this occasion, give (p. 212 ) His manners and language that credit to Las Cases which we deny were gross in the extreme, and his him in every other? We answer, be- habits scandalously sensual. We need cause his account tallies with undisput- only recall to our readers' recollection ed facts, and because Bonaparte's and the anecdote slightly alluded to in our Bertrand's story is irreconcilable with 27th number, page 96, the authenticity those facts.
of which (filthy and disgraceful to Bo. Marshal Bertrand is a great favour- naparte as it is) is established by the ite with Mr. Warden, and he therefore testimony of the commissioners that endearours to exculpate him from the attended him to Elba, and his own concharge of having, while at Elba, made fessions. overtures to the king. On this point 'Las Cases completes the picture Mr. Warden thinks count Bertrand him ". He never speaks of himself; he self the best witness he could adduce, never mentions his achievements. Of and he represents him as saying, “ the money he is totally regardless; and he report of my having taken oath of fide- was not known to express a regret for lity to Louis Xvin is groundless; for, any part of his treasure but the diaI never beheld a single individual of the mond necklace, which he wore conBourbon family of France." (p. 45.) stantly in his neckcloth, because it was Admirable logic! But M. Bertrand the gift of his sister, the Princess Hormisstates the charge-he was not tense, whom he tenderly loved.' This charged with baring sworn allegiance, he lost after the battle of Waterloo." but with writing a letter to the Duke p. 212. of Fitzjames, promising allegiance on This is no bad instance of Las the honour of a gentleman, and solicit- Cases's varacity: the necklace in quesing permission to return to France, tion was stolen or forced from his siswhere he intended to live as a faithful ter previously to his leaving Paris, when subject of the king, and under his pro- the generous Bonaparte, contemplating tection: and it is further charged, that the chances of a reverse, determined to this letter was written at a time when collect about his own person as much Bonaparte's return was in preparation, wealth as possible ; he accordingly, as
the most portable, took all the jewels mitted to Paris; and instructions were he could lay his hands on, and, amongst expeditiously returned to interrogate the the rest, this necklace of the Princess crew, separately, and transfer their te's Hortense; who wished her brother's timonies to the minister of Police. The anxiety for a keep sake had been con- purport of their examination was at tented with a lock of her hair, or a first very unsatisfactory; but, at length, bracelet, or a ring, or any thing, in on the examination of one of the crew, short, rather than her best diamond some light was thrown on the subject. necklace, of the value of 20,0001. He stated that the brig had landed se
But there are four topics connect. veral Frenchmen, and among them he ed with the character of Bonaparte, particularly remembered one, a very on which above all others, a good deal merry fellow, who was called Pichegru. of interest is naturally excited—we Thus a clue was found that led to the mean the murders of Captain Wright discovery of a plot, which, had it sucand the duke D'Enghien, the poisoning ceeded, would have thrown the French of his own sick at Jaffa, and the mas- nation, a second time, into a state of sacre of the garrison of that place; and revolution. Captain Wright was acas Mr. Warden professes to have heard cordingly conveyed to Paris, and confrom Bonaparte himself explanations of fined in the Temple; there to remain both of these events, we shall give them till it was found convenient to bring the as shortly as we can, but always in his formidable accessaries of this treason. own words ; stating, however, that Mr. able design t) trial. The law of France Warden's reports may be in these in- would have subjected Wright to the prestances substantially correct, because nishment of death : but he was of minor we have understood that Bonaparte was consideration. My grand object was forward to give similar explanations to to secure the principals, and I consiother persons.
dered the English captain's evidence of ". The English brig of war com- the utmost consequence towards com manded by Captain Wright, was em- pleting my object.' Bonaparte again ployed by your government in landing and again, most solemnly asserted, that traitors and spies on the west coast Captain Wright, died in the Temple, of France. Seventy of the number had by his own hand, as described in the actually reached Paris; and, so myste- Moniteur, and at a much earlier period rious were their proceedings, so veiled than has been generally believed." p. in impenetrable concealment, that al. 139–141. though general Ryal, of the Police, We beg leave to postpone making gave me this information, the name or any observations on this story till we place of their resort could not be dis. have quoted the ex-emperor's denial of covered. I received daily assurances the murder of Pichegru, and his de that my life would be attempted, and fence of that of the duke D'Enghien.' though I did not give entire credit to “ Here Napoleon became very anithem, I took every precaution for my mated, and often raised himself on the preservation. The brig was afterwards sofa where he had hitherto remained taken near L'Orient, with Captain in a reclining posture. The interest atWright, its commander, who was car- tached to the subject, and the energy ried before the Prefect of the depart- of his delivery, combined to impress ment of Morbeau, (Morbihan,) at Van- the tenor of his narrative so strongly nes: General Julian, then Prefect, had on my mind, that you need not doubt accompanied me in the expedition to the accuracy of this repetition of it Egypt, and recognised Captain Wright He began as follows. on the first view of him. Intelligence 66 At this time, reports were every of this circumstance was instantly trans- night brought me,' (I think, he said,
Vol. 1.--No. 11.
by General Ryal,) that conspiracies quitted his house, I conceived there were in agitation ; that meetings were would be good ground for suspicion. held in particular houses in Paris, and The old Monk was secured, and in the names even were mentioned; at the act of this arrest, his fears betrayed same time, no satisfactory proofs could what I most wanted to know Is it,' be obtaived, and the utmost vigilance he exclaimed, because I afforded and ceaseless pursuit of the police was shelter to a brother that I am thus evaded. , General Moreau, indeed, be treated !'- The object of the plot came suspected, and I was seriously was to destroy me; and the success importuned to issue an order for his of it would, of course, have been my arrest; but his character was such; his destruction. It emanated from the name stood so high, and the estima- capital of your country, with the count tion of him so great in the public d'Artois at the head of it. To the mind; that it appeared, to me, he had west he sent the duke de Berri, and to nothing to gain, and every thing to lose, the east the duke d'Enghien. To by becoming a conspirator against France your vessels conveyed underme: I, therefore, could not but exon- lings of the plot, and Moreau became erate him from such a suspicion. I ac- a convert to the cause. The moment cordingly refused an order for the pro- was big with evil : I felt myself on a posed arrest by the following intima- tottering eminence, and I resolved to tion to the minister of police. You hurl the thunder back upon the Bourhave named Pichegru, Georges, and bons even to the metropolis of the BriMoreau: convince me that the former tish empire. My minister vehemently is in Paris, and I will immediately urged the seizure of the Duke though cause the latter to be arrested. Another in a neutral territory. But I still heand a very singular circumstance led sitated, and Prince Benevento brought to the developement of the plot. One the order twice, and urged the meanight, as I lay agitated and wakeful, I sure with all his powers of persuasion : rose from my hed, and examined the it was not, however, till I was fully list of suspected traitors; and chance, convinced of its necessity, that I sancwhich rules the world, occasioned my tioned it by my signature. The matstumbling, as it were, on the name of ter could be easily arranged between a surgeon, who bad lately returned me and the duke of Baden. Why, from an English prison. This man's indeed, should I suffer a man, residing age, education, and experience in life, on the very confines of my kingdom, to induced me to believe, that his con- commit a crime, which within the disduct must be attributed to any other tance of a mile, by the ordinary course motive than that of youthful fanaticism of law, Justice herself would condemn in favour of a Bourbon: as far as cir- to the scaffold ? And now answer me; cumstances qualified me to judge, did I do more than adopt the principle money appeared to be his ubject. I ac- of your government, when it ordered cordingly gave orders for this man to the capture of the Danish feet, which be arrested; when a summary mock was thought to threaten mischief to trial was instituted, by which he was your country? It had been urged to found guilty, sentenced to die, and in- me again and again, as a sound poformed he had but six hours to live. This litical opinion, that the new dynasty stratagem had the desired effect: he could not be secure, while the Bourwas terrified into confession. It was bons remained. Talleyrand never denow known that Pichegru had a hro- viated from this principle : it was & ther, a monastic priest, then residing fixed, unchangeable article in his poliin Paris. I ordered a party..of gen- tical creed. But I did not become a darmes to visit this man, and if he bad ready or a willing convert I examined the opinion with care and with caution; To all those who knew any thing of and the result was a perfect conviction General Pichegru's mind and manners of its necessity. The Duke d'Enghien-to all those who have been accuswas accessary to the confederacy: and tomed to weigh probabilities, and to although the resident of a neutral terri- reason on evidence, it will be evident tory, the urgency of the case, in which that this particular must be false. Pi. my safety and the public tranquillity, chegru was, by character and habit, to use no stronger expression, were in- sedate-he could never have been the volved, JUSTIFIED THE PROCEEDING. I buffoon of the seamen-he could never accordingly ordered him to be seized have betrayed his name to the gossipand tried: He was found guilty, and ing merriment of a ship's crew, who sentenced to be shot.-The sentence would have repeated it on their return was immediately executed; and the to England, where it would hive soon same fate would have followed had it found its way into the newspapers, and been Louis the Eighteenth. For I again through them into France. No-Bodeclare, that I found it necessary to roll naparte knew mankind too well, and the thunder back on the metropolis of he was well aware that the only one of England, as from thence, with the the crew who was worth interrogating Count d'Artois at their head, did the was Captain Wright. The conclusion assassins assail me."--pp. 144-149. then to be drawn from all this is inevi
Now we have here, from this most table, that the Captain, to be made of interested witness, some adinissions use, inust be forced to speak. It would which, so far from exculpating him, in- be too much to assert positively that crease the presumption against himn. Captain Wright would have resisted all
Let it be recollected that the charge the extremities of torture. We must relative to Captain Wright was not that not reckon so confidently on the firmBonaparte had wantonly murdered him, ness of human nature ; but at least the but that he had first caused him to be generous character of that gallant officer tortured, in order to obtain the clue of induces us to think him as capable as the conspiracy, and afterwards to be any other man of a noble resistance :murdered to prevent this atrocity from yet, to prove how uncertain are all debeing discovered.
ductions of this kind, Bonaparte afterFrom Bonaparte's own account, it wards tells us that he found Pichegru is evident how great his anxiety was to was in France, not by one of the crew trace this plot.-His police, he says, but by a surgeon tu whom he was miwere in an ignorant perplexity-liis life raculously directed, and from whom, was supposed to be in imminent dan- because he was avaricious, he contrives ger-seventy conspirators were at Pa- to obtain a confession, not by money, ris, but neither their names, persons, but by terror! The contradictory nor haunts can be discovered : fortu- statements prove, at least one thingpately in this moment of perplexity, that Bonaparte was not telling truth, Captain Wright is taken—the intellic and that there was some part of the gence is instantly transmitted to Paris transaction which be chose to involve -instructions immediately returned to in obscurity. We have seen his anxiinterrogate the crew separately, i. e. ety for information, the vast importance secretly, and by the police. These ex. he attached to the capture of Captain aminations, however, produced nothing Wriglat, and the necessity in which he at first; but at length one of the crew was to obtain bis evidence : let us now threw some light on the subject; he see whether there is rrason to suppose stated that the brig had landed several he was a man to be deterred from enFrenchmen on the coast, and, among deavouring to obtain this evidence by others, a merry fellow called Pichegru. torture.