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NAPOLEON

THE PORTRAIT OF A KING


BY

R.

McNAIR WILSON
;

Authoi of Josephine; Germaine de Stael f Napoleon's

Monarchy

or

Money Poiuer

'937

EYRE AND SPOTTISWOODE

LONDON

Made and Printed in Great Britain for Eyre and Spottiswoode (Publishers'), London

To

PATRICK AND MICHAEL


AND THEIR

MOTHER
IN DEEP AFFECTION

PREFACE

HREE years ago the world learned that all its


about

motive of

knowledgeNapoleon was incomplete because the central his career had, more than a hundred years, during
This discovery followed the publication

remained unsuspected.
of the
full

Memoires

of Caulaincourt, his
yet,

Ambassador

in Russia;

its

implications have not This present is the first

been understood. by any means,

in which the biography of Napoleon


is

given place. by himself, which in which the struggle study, therefore, involved the whole world between 1800 and 1815 is presete
It is

central

motive of

his life, as declared

the first

as the

Emperor
I

of the

French himself saw

it.

That

is

no

virtue

of mine;

have been so fortunate


only partially known,

as to learn truth

unknown,

or at least

to earlier writers.

But
have

ask

my

reader to credit
years

me

with

this

namely, that

spent

many

in

studying

not

only

financial

method,

ofr monetary policy upon That study has convinced me that history cannot properly be understood without such The most astonishing knowledge.

but the influence

historical event.

fact of

present-day

life is

of

men and women


fact,

about money abysmal ignyrance otherwise instructed and informed.


the
fully

In

however, instruction must

now

be

acquired by

all

who

hope
four

a in human affairs, because, play part during the last the whicTi system against Napoleon fought has years,
to
its

the being replaced slowly by he tried to introduce into France and system which Europe,
received
is

death-blow and

During
at the

a recent address to the

House

of

Committee on Monetary Reform Commons I quoted from The Times, the

Economist, and the Financial


1936,

New

to

show

that, in the year

peak of expanEngland sion never before known. But on the same showing there has been virtually no increase in loans from banks. This can only

domestic trade in

has reached a

mean,

as I

that the system of debt-money has ceased pointed out, vn

PREFACE
to function,

The

reason

is

that the President of the United

of debtStates, Mr. Roosevelt, has adopted Napoleon's system less has compelled the world to adopt it also a and money

remarkable fulfilment of a prophecy made by the Emperor St. Helena.


I

at

friends

of thanking the large body of opportunity drawn. To the whose I have so freely knowledge upon Souls' of All Rev. S. N, L. Ford, Vicar Church, Hampstead, I

wish

to take this

glimmerings of understanding of the Christian and distinct system of thought, the as a separate philosophy most precious gift I ever received. From Mr. Featherstone
first

owe my

Hammond I have received the benefit of a

continuous discussion

and exchange of views about monetary matters, and so a knowof these matters to which I should not, otherwise, have ledge
attained.

Mr. Hammond's

essays,

Economics

in the

Middle

Ages, Financial Armageddon, and others, deserve the study of *dl students of history. Nor can I refrain from paying tribute to the work of Mr. week who, MacDonald, by week, Gregory
has interpreted present-day events in the light of monetary and thereby offered to his wide public a true understandpolicy " of the news behind the news." I can never that it forget ing was my present publisher, Mr. Douglas Jerrold, who too"k the
risk of

accepting

my early work on financial

policy

in history

namely, Monarchy and Money Power. To Mr. Jerrold I owe from many pitfalls, especially in the political field. His escape
I

own writings are witness of the clearness of his vision. * Again, am indebted to Mr. Christopher Hollis for the great joy I have derived from his work The Two 'Nations and for the light

which, from time to time, he has thrown on Mr. Roosevelt's and achievement;* nor can I omit mention of my old policy
friend
I

Mr. Douglas Woodruff, upon whose immense erudition have drawn for years and whose championship of "the
"
others.

ancient truths

many

has been a source of strength to me as to so My debt to Mr. Arthur Kitson and to Professor
will

Soddy remains and

always remain.
biography.
I

And

have a debt,

also, to the subject of this

have learned and


lessons to

from the great teacher whose learning and the discounted so often and so world, Europe
still

am

long, have never, at any time, been forgotten.


viii

Napoleon

is

part

PREFACE
of

Europe's inheritance; he

is

part

of her

spirit.

In

him

England and Germany and the lands of the Danubian basin, as well as France and and Spain, have a share the imItaly
portance of which is becoming clearer as the years pass. Indeed, the closer Europe comes to her authentic civilization, the nearer
she

approaches to

this universal

mind.

It is the

same in the
king there

case of America.

factions, each of them the creature of His come down through has money. leadership the of Greed and the sanction of other Century Pauperism to be

can be no

Napoleon taught but only parties and people,

that without a

which salvation is now being accomplished. leaderships by did not fight in vain, nor was his fall without hope.
R,

He

McNAIR WILSON,

LONDON, November,

1936.

CONTENTS
PREFACE
Vll

INTRODUCTION

BOOK

THE LIGHTING
CHAPfC"?
I.

THE BUONAPARTES OF AJ^CCIO


NAPOLEON GOES TO SCHOOL
SECOND-LIEUTENANT BONAPARIE

y
18

II.

III.

29

IV,

NAPOLEON, PHILOSOPHER

37 40
60

V.
VI,
VII.

THE REVOLUTION COMES TO CORSICA

MOB LAW
VENDETTA

67

BOOK

//

THE BURNING
VIII.

SALVATION BY FEAR
PRIDE AND HUNGER

8l

IX.

90
104 109
125

X,"jOSEPHINE
XI.
XII.
XIII,

SALVATION BY GLORY

CHAMPIONS OF LIBERTY
COLONIAL PRODUCE

132

XIV.

SULTAN OF FIRE

142
150
164
178

XV, FEAR MEETS GLORY


XVI.
XVII.
XVIII,

MARENGO
NAPOLEON; ECONOMIST
NAPOLEON, STATESMAN

184

XIX.

THE SECRET WAR

202 212 2iy


226
XI

XX. NAPOLEON, SOVEREIGN


XXI. POPE

AND EMPEROR
GOLD

XXII. SPANISH

CONTENTS
CHAPTER
P* OE

XXIII.

THE LAND AND THE SEA

233 24!
251

XXIV. NAPOLEON, BANKER

XXV, JENA
XXVI. ALEXANDER

259

BOOK

III

THE QUENCHING
XXVII.

RIGHT OF SEARCH

273 280
285

XXVIII, CASTLES IN SPAIN

XXIX. LATIN AND GREEK

XXX.

WAGRAM

293
301

XXXI, FATHERHOOD
XXXII. LOVE

AND WAR

304
321

#VIII. PEACE WITH HONOUR


XXXIV. CRISIS

327

XXXV. THE SYSTEM HAS AN HEIR


xxxvi. MOSCOW
XXXVII.
XXXVIII,

333

343
349

THE HIGHEST BIDDER


THE WAY OF A KING

354 367

XXXIX. GENERAL BONAPARTE'S DUTY

CONCLUSION

FLAME UNQUENCHABLE
"
XL.

VIA DOLOROSA

"
371

XH. FATHER AND SON


XLII,
XLIII.

378

WATERLOO

384
389
"

THE PUNISHMENT OF THE ROCK


"

XLIV.

MY SON

399
403
421

NOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEX

Xl

NAPOLEON
THE PORTRAIT OF A KING

." /
is

am
1

what

sent to change the face of the world. believer NAPOLEON (in a letter to Lucien).

man

That

INTRODUCTION
HE
verdict of

history

upon Napoleon

is

known

to

every

schoolboy.
sessed in the

He

was, that verdict declares, a soldier pos-

astonishing

of war who, by his highest degree of the genius shaken in a land victories, arrived at

supreme power

by revolutionary violence. At first his statesmanship, based a on was successful; but afterwards large extent military ideas,
the exercise of
authority
so

to

greatly

intoxicated

him

that he
of his

Jbecame consumed by ambition and fellows, His downfall followed as

careless of the
a

rights

matter of course,
verdict
lies

The

difficulty

about

accepting

this

chiefly

in

Napoleon's mastery of doubt has been raised


capacity
really

of his

Almost every kinji profession. about him, but none has doubted his

own

as a soldier, least of all soldiers themselves.

Did he

believe that his

Frenchmen

could, permanently, inflict

defeat

upon

all

the armies of

Europe?

Did he

really

wish

to

wage

battles

and to fight, every year, a series of great The armies to his own? against numerically superior barest record of his that these
iHiceasing

war

campaigns suggests

questions

cannot

safely
it

be answered in the

positive

manner

in which,

hitherto,

has been the habit to answer them,

In the

year 1805

the French

Emperor was faced by a coalition of England, and Austria, Russia; in 1806 and 1807 by a coalition of England, and Russia; in 1808 and 1809 by a coalition of England, Prussia, and Austria; and in 1812 by a cealition of England and Spain,
Russia,

which

in the

following year

was enlarged
the soldier,

to include

Prussia and Austria also.

The

greater

it

may

well

seem, the

go on struggling against such in which the loss of a in circumstances overwhelming odds, to be ruinous. battle was single great likely
less

the inclination to

Nor

is

that

Napoleon's Ambitious life.


disasters

weakened by that assumption supposing ambition had become the dominant motive of his

men may dream


3

of

conquest; they
foreseen

do not court

which can be more

clearly

by themselves than

INTRODUCTION
by their fellows.
the contrary, they are ready, as a rule, to have won, compromise with Fate in order to hold what they which statesman and If this crafty great soldier was the cunning

On

he

reputed to have been, then either had taken permanent leave of his senses,
is

he was forced

to

fight

or

Great pains have been expended

to

show

that the
it
is

first

of these

two hypotheses
have

is

untenable,

made

excessive

if peace at any time and unreasonable. History,

argued, could had been less only his demands therefore, has inclined to

Napoleon,

the view that even the soldier's


tyrant's
lust of

judgment

was warped by the


is

power.
as

The campaign

in Russia in 1812

mentioned usually

proof of as In other words, Napoleon is genius injrocess presented transmutation to madness. Nothing is balanced, rational, sane; t
even ambition has driHed from her anchorage to go raging
tempests, so that a world, taunted by this Flying in die discovers salvation phantom's ship-' only

of this contention.

among
wreck.

Dutchman,

Against

this view,

however, has always been opposed another, "


as the

known,

scornfully,

Golden Legend."
fighting

According to

that legend,

Napoleon was

a liberal

for the ideals of the

French Revolution against the kings and priests of a dying these ideals, The feudalism whose sole it was to destroy object
Empire,

on

this

showing, was a crowned republic, and Napoleon


well armed,
it is

himself a pilgrim

true

of eternal truth.

But there are great


such a accept
vievP,

difficulties, also, in

the

way

of those

who

not the

least of

own

actions,

Napoleon restored
he exerted a
his

them being the Emperor's and Christianity, monarchy,


censorship
of the Press;
so that direct

to France; nobility

strict

and he constituted
in

government

representation

any form was abolished. According to the legend, these were measures adopted in time of war, In fact, however, of

many

them were adopted during the only time of peace which France enjoyed while Napoleon was her master.
In these circumstances, the that the truth possibility may not be known cannot be dismissed. Was there an yet fully element, a motive, in this man's life of which, so far, history has failed
to take account?

That question
4

is

answered in the affirmative

in the

pages which

follow, not as a piece of theorizing on the

INTRODUCTION
part of die writer, but as a statement of fact which any far himself. It is answered, further, out of verify

may

Napoleon's
its

own mouth.
The
literature of the

Napoleonic period
to

is

bewildering in

Happily, possible factory selection by adhering to the First among these comes the
tion,

immensity.

it is

make

more

or less

satis-

documents

of the period.

Correspondence.

This vast collec-

supplemented by the New Letters, which were translated by Lady Mary Loyd, and the Letters to Josephine, translated by Hill, afford a clear view of the Emperor as man and soldier and
ruler.

Next

m importance come the Memoir es of Caulamcourt,

the most recent addition, and the most important, to contemThe fact that volumes these of Caulamcourt porary testimony.
.have remained unpublished during more than a century is not the least remarkable reveal a warrior about them.

thing

They

in a field
t

scarcely recognized as yet by the majority of men, and are the source of that but essential truth without
life is

which the Emperor's


Beside this
great

work

unsuspected incoherent and even meaningless. other contemporary writings have small

value, except as offering a means of filling in details of event or circumstance. But the records of the various Foreign Offices

must be consulted and

so

must the monumental works:

Napoleon en Espagne (prandmaison), Napoleon et Alexandre I (Vandal), and Napoleon and England (translation, Coquelle).
Masson's Napoleon et sa Famille (thirteen vols.), his three et les volumes on Josephine, and his volume entitled

Napoleon

Femmes
of

deserve careful reading, for they are rich in authentic information which cannot elsewhere be obtained. The Memoirs

Joseph and Lucien are

much
its

less

valuable.
will

Among
interest if

histories, Thiers'

huge work

always

command
recent

only by reason of
studies

comprehensiveness. More

and more popular


Sloane's

have generally been written from a of view, but mention must be made of W. M. definite point

Bonaparte (four vols.), of Fournier's Dr. Holland Rose's Napoleon (two Napoleon (two documented. Napoleon Journahste, are All these vols.). fully

Napoleon

vols.), of

by A, Perivier,

is

an exceedingly interesting work, and so

is

The

Growth

of

Napoleon, by Norwood Young.


studies

Among

which help

to elucidate
5

Napoleon's personB

INTRODUCTION
1

ality

Queen

Mere, by Baron Larrey; Dix Annees d'Exil, and the Memoires of Talleyrand and Fouclie. by Mme. de Stael; Hortense's Memoires deserve mention. Neither
are

Madame

Jose-

Marie Louise, nor Marie Walewska phine,


the ordinary sense of that

left

any memoirs in
interest.

word

a fact of

some

BOOK

THE LIGHTING

"

save was

There was a time when every man who had a soul bound to be a Jacobin." NAPOLEON.

to

THE BUONAPARTES
OF AJACCIO
CHAPTER
i

T.
HE
case of

ment upon
to

influence of birth, and early environupbringing in the character can be


easily

exaggerated
life is

any individual.

When

great

man's

in

question

the

temptation

explain

facts of
to

cumstances of childhood
been increased, as
it

ought

maturity by be resisted.

reference to cir-

Temptation

has

happens

in these latter

days,
is

.tions of students of

psychology

that character

by formed in the
cannot be e^
for this

the asser-

nursery
eluded,

and

that even the

pre-natal period
of

of

life

view, life, unhappily to a kind nor of are the annals of goes unwitnessed, infancy the the historian; but it tempt may be observed by anybody that
pre-natal period

The

same
are

parents,

the same

nursery
of

capable

of a

diversity

production

and the same native patch of soil both and mental.


physical
feast of the

Such

diversity

was shown when, on the

Assump-

tion of the Blessed

Virgin, August 15, 1769,


1

the wife of Carlo

Buonaparte,
child

of

Ajaccio
son.

to her fourth in Corsica, gave birth

an4 third
a

The

infant was

smaH and puny, and

it

head which seemed out of to its large proportion was a big, handsome girl shrunken body. Letizia Buonaparte looks in a of nineteen her husband high years; possessed good their other children, two dead, one a surviving, degree; boy,

had

had

all

been

shapely

and of

substantial
at

weight.

But the

ex-

planation,

in Letizia's

mind

any

rate,

was simple.

This in-

fant

had been formed while she was attending her husband him the perils and upon a battlefield and, later, sharing with
privations
Letizia
stances.
is

of defeat

and

flight.

was not

disposed

to
girl

make

too

much

of these circum-

She was a brave

with that attitude to life

which
has
its

often, mistakenly, called fatalistic, but


1

which, in

fact,

All notes are at the end of the book,

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


source in an

OF

KING

God.

The

unquestioning Corsican people were


of observation

faith

far

enough

the good Providence of removed from the

stream of European thought to have maintained, unsullied,


native

powers

and

action.

What

is

called

by

valued among countrymen "book-learning" was not highly read or write. could of their womenfolk them, and few if

any

held, in consequence, a sense of reality which, like an unvalued birthright, is thrown away too often by more sophisThere was no danger in the fastnesses of the ticated peoples. Sartene, from which Letizia's mother's people, the bandit ideas or chiefs di Pietra Santo, had come, of

They

for hard facts

those

who made

symbols mistaking such mistakes, like unwary

birds or animals, soon lost their lives.

On

the other

hand

there

was much opportunity of witnessing the perennial ecstasy o! Nature whereby, dangerously, life is geated out of life, to the

accompaniment of song and dance and suffering and death, as she accepted the

tears.

Letizia

offices of

woman,

acceptedwife-

hood and motherhood, with depth of feeling unruffled by quesIn that she had met her father's death and her tionings. spirit
Carlo Buonaparte
of
age.

mother's remarriage, and in that she had herself married spirit when she was fourteen and he eighteen years
In a sense the

marriage had been a good one from Carlo's

of view, for Letizia's father, Giovanni point


lino,

Girolamo Ramo-

belonged

to a

in the

fifteenth

Genoese family which had come to Corsica .century, whereas Carlo's family iad not
These differences had

reached the island until the sixteenth.


their

importance in Ajaccio just as they have their importance in America. All, except the wild Clansmen of the to-day Terra di Commune, were immigrants from Genoa or its neighbourhood, foreign conquerors of earlier foreign conquerors who had been driven into the mountains; all had become

enough Corsican
Nevertheless the

to
ties

measure worth in terms with

of the island life.

remained and, on the occasions Italy when the Clansmen of the interior descended upon the seaports,

became strong once more.


masters looked

Genoa was

merchant

state

under the rule of an

oligarchy largely given to moneylending.

The Genoese
some

upon
10

their Corsican

kinsmen

in

sort as bailiffs, collectors of tribute,

and the Clansmen,

THE BUONAPARTES OF AJACCIO


who were
the
system's victims, held the

same opinion.

The

Clansmen were at'perpetual war with the Genoese, and when, as often happened, they found good leaders drawn usually
from Genoese familiesgave their conquerors great trouble. In consequence French and Swiss mercenaries were employed
to

the island and

guard the seaports; they remained during long periods on frequently inter-married with the island folk.
;

Letizia's father

had kept open house to these soldiers died her mother had married one of them, a

when he

Captain of

Genoese Marines, a Swiss, named Franz Fesch. Letizia was only seven years of age, and so had come very soon to look upon Fesch as her own father and to accept his son Giuseppe, born six years later, as her brother. Fesch had been received
Catholic Church on his marriage, but had retained the outlook of a Swiss He had not been greatly inprotestant. terested in the minutiae of Corsican had preserved, nobility and
into the

some sympathy for the Clansmen. Consequent^;, apparently, he saw no objection to Carlo as a husband for Letizia, though " " the lad had become a and more or less thrown in patriot
his lot

with the Clansmen,


this.

Carlo was not to blame for


to lose'his father at fourteen

He had had
of

the misfortune

years

age

the sole charge of his

upbringing and education had, under his father's will, devolved upon his uncle, Lucciano Buonaparte, Archdeacon of Ajaccio.

The Archdeacon,
father) sind

by

their

his two brothers, Giuseppe (Carlo's had always treasured a hope, bequeathed Napoleone, father Sebastiano, that Corsica might one day become

like

of Genoa, In entirely independent consequence he had always maintained relations with the Clansmen, and especially with their Ligurian leaders. He had taught* young Carlo to honour

names which most


and
Paoli.

of the

Genoese held in abhorrence,


d'Istria,

for

example, Sambuccio, Rocca,

These

men were

Italians

Sampiero Corso, Gaffori who had gone up into

the mountains under compulsion of the island spirit, leaving Carlo would follow them, since the day all for Corsica's sake.
clearly

was
the

at

hand when the


of his

grip

of the

Genoese and

their

mercenaries must be relaxed.

The

lad

With

glow

youth in
>

his

had needed no urging. cheeks he had ascended,

sweet perfumes of cistus, lentisbearing incense of the Maquis


ii

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


cus,

KING
wild

olive, myrtle, heath, rosemary, juniper, to the high place of the Clans, Corsica's capital, Corte, where the leader, Pascal Paoli, had his eyrie among the faithful peaks. him a And the leader had welcomed him and himself

arbutus,

taught

man's wisdom in "the University of Corsica" the strong school conducted by five monks, which patriotism had offered and on the greensward, under the snow-capped to
posterity

mountains, where the Clansmen were being formed into an a will fiercer than their own. Carlo, from this fast-

army by ness, had caught glimpses, now and then,


Mediterranean.

of

the
2

blue

The

air

of the

hills,

Maquis perfumes pervade the whole island), He had loved Corsica, blindly, greedily, in

scented always (for the was in his nostrils.


ecstasy

of

passion.

And
the

he had loved Paoli,

whom Heaven

had sent

to re-create

With great bitterness, therefore, he Corsican people. received Uncle Lucdano's order to go to Pisa in Italy and study in laws. That was a tradition of the Buonathpre for a
parte family, and Carlo's

degree never in the Archdeacon's view, to be abandoned,


protests

commanded,

the lad

had been disregarded when Paoli too had had obeyed. At Pisa he had been called
;

the Conte di Buonaparte,

had

fallen in love for the first time failed to secure his degree.

and been refused.

But he had

Uncle Lucciano, hearing the news, had bidden him come back at once to Ajaccio to marry Maria Letizia Ramolino, who, as
her father's heir, a substantial dowry, possessed "

And

again the old


called

as his

nephew

Zio Lucciano," way. formidable him, possessed powers, includhis

man had had

ing

He

an absolute control of the financial resources of the family. had installed himself in the Casa Buonaparte in Ajaccio and
possession
of the lands at Bastelica

taken

and Bocognano

and

he had brought his sister-in-law, Maria Saveria of the family of Paraviccini, Carlo's mother, to live with him.
It

was into

this

disciplined household that the

young man

had brought

his wife after their

June 2, 1764. Lucciano and Carlo's mother


family
life

marriage in the Cathedral, on Letizia had been given the first floor Uncle
;

occupied upper rooms.


especially
at a

But

was not strained in Corsica,

moment

fateful for the island's future.

grave interruptions because

The honeymoon had suffered within two months Louis XV of


12

THE BUONAPARTES OF AJACCIO


France made a
to

with the Genoese whereby he treaty promised of means sum of pay off, by military service in Corsica, the which he had borrowed from the the ^80,000 Republic during
Seven Years' War.

The news

of that

Buonapartes with shame and rage.

Treaty had filled the Carlo had ridden out,

immediately, from Ajaccio to offer his services to Paoli, and he had taken his wife with him to the citadel in the mountains,

where, already, one of her uncles, Arrighi di Casanova, was installed in a house of his own. The had lodged with couple this man. They had been joined by Carlo's uncle, Napoleone,

and by
first

his aunt Geltruda

and her husband (who was

also her

cousin) Nicolo Paraviccini,

This up-rush of the Genoese to join the hated Clansmen


against Pascal Paoli.
.his

Genoa was conspicuous tribute to the leadership of That man^in the years since Carlo had given him

boyish adoration, had conquered Corsica without bloodshed or force, so that her virtue was made manifest to the

world.

Rousseau had blessed him

and Boswell had


at last to

visited

him. The families in the sea-ports blushed


Italian.

be called

Carlo had fallen once more under Paoli's spell and so had
Letizia*
It is

sometimes asserted that

men who awaken


type
;

the

fanatical zeal of

them

fellows are of inferior

and the

methods used by such men, emotional appeal and symbolism,


that theirs
to

are often cited as evidence against them, or at least as evidence is a In fact, however, the

commonplace

gift.

inspire unquestioning
is

faith

and

affection in

great

power numbers
It is

of persons
gift,

a rare gift

perhaps the rarest of


exists

all

gifts.

moreover, which

independently

of circumstance.

The hero may

lack intellectual power as that quality is understood in universities. He is seldom very well equipped with

knowledge and he
ment.

is

How

little

deficient in technical accomplishusually these deficiencies constitute a handicap is

matter of history.

Leadership

can always gather to

itself

ability

and technical knowledge and can always make use of these


qualities

men.

The danger indeed

which, in truth, are plentifully distributed among is not that he will go uncounselled

but that he

may

fail to

exert

enough control of
13

his counsellors.

The

barons are always, potentially, the King's enemies and the

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


true test of

OF
the

KING
from the

kingship

is

the

power

to

protect

sheep

wolves.

This power resides solely in the leadership itself that is to which has effected marriage with the in the ecstatic say, quality
people.
It is a

life

Every leadership partakes, in its essence, of fatherhood, endowed with the mystic power of bestowing and with the to sustain that which it has made.
goodwill

a sacrament.

Carlo and Letizia had been persuaded that


leader

Paoh was such a


on
his

and

father, a

man

sent of

God.

Paoli,

part,

had

seen in Carlo a worthy lieutenant, The young man had become the chief's aide-de-camp, and Letizia had rejoiced to be included,
to

some

extent, in that office.

Life in the

worn

mountains had been good for the girl, " '"' to like lovely complexion peach blossom
"

who had
fulfil

her

beauty. But the life as Paoli was called,

had gone to Carlo's head, was virtual King of Corsica with a body"
5

The General,"

of crimson guard, a charger richly furnished with saddle-cloth

and broad gold lace, and an unspeakable pride." He was unmarried and did not propose to marry. Carlo had been
velvet

treated in

some

sort as

hopes
turer,
self

to

outrun his discretion,

heir-presumptive, and had allowed his After all, the German adven-

crowned

Theodore, Baron Neuhof von La Mark, had ha3 himin Corte by die Clansmsen only thirty years

before.

" however, was very different from that of King Theodore of Corsica." The General was a statesman with a
Paoli's case,

War

sense of reality; he had seen that by reason of the Seven Years' a in Corsican was at hand. Genoa, turning-point history as a centre of finance and commerce, was fallen because London

occupied
that of

now

position incomparably

more important than

any Continental city, Amsterdam not excluded. The passing of India into English possession, further, had made of the Mediterranean an "English lake" in die sense that it

would be a
across the

chief end of English policy to protect the route Isthmus of Suez by which so much Indian produce

came
ing
this

to

Europe, and also to prevent competitors from obtainCorsica's


to the

colonial

produce for themselves. scheme was due to her nearness


Paoli, in short,

importance in

great French naval

base of Toulon,

had calculated on English

THE BUONAPARTES OF AJACCIO


support when, as he believed to be inevitable, Genoa sold the
island to die French.

diat

That calculation had proved to be unsound in die respect it had left out of account the of England's
completeness
of the sea.

command

Quiberon importance Pack's ideas, as recounted to Lord by Boswcll, were presented " Foolish as we are, we Holland, he scouted them, remarking
:

had

destruction of the French navy at so reduced the of Toulon that when

The

war because Mr, Boswell has been in Corsica." Paoh, when he had realized that there was no hope of help from England, had turned to Rome, on the
as to

cannot be so foolish

go

to

ground that Corsica had, formerly, been a possession of the Holy See. He had chosen Carlo Buonaparte to represent him
at the Vatican,

The mission had


Lctizia.

beeij accepted eagerly


this

by boy born in 1765 and named Napoleone after Carlo's uncle, who was its godfather, and a girl, Maria Anna, born 1767. Neither of these children had survived a year, The
children, a

Letizia

both by Carlo and time had borne her husband two

young

couple had fallen into distress, which was not relieved by the had been deep inroads which Carlo's taste for
in Letizia's

dowry

their chief

means

display of

making

support

while the

Archdeacon retained
Letizia

his iron control of the

Buonaparte fortune.

do

as

had not dreamed of questioning her husband's right to he willed; but the fact that he was to be occupied with

important affairs in Italy had seemed to her^a dispensation of Providence in that it was likely to exert a steadying influence.
as she had behaved when In his absence she had behaved exactly he was present, She had gone freely about the little town and,

on most evenings, had played reversi wfth the Chief at his headwhere his lieutenants and their womenfolk were quarters,
accustomed
to

gather.

Jealous tongues
girl's

had not

failed to

make

but the suggestions,

and honesty had dignity


than
his

silenced

them.
Carlo's mission

was

less successful

sanguine

mind
resist-

was disposed

to allow.

The Pope had been


allies.

sympathetic but

non-committal.

Paoli resolved to fight, in the

hope that

ance would attract sympathy and win

The

training

and

arming

of the

Clansmen on the greensward, among the moun15

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


tains, "continued

OF

KING
it

with ever-increasing enthusiasm, and


that Letizia's third child, a boy,

was

into this

armed camp

had been

born on January

7, 1768,

Carlo had

it

baptized

on the follow-

in the parish church of Corte. He ing day by Father Gaffori in the Corsican form, gave it the name of his first boy, but

Nabulione.

He

had himself adopted the

dress of a

Clansman,

for his pistols, daggers, a a tunic furnished with great pouches a and a feathered cap. Paoli staff surmounted

serpent, by he was still busy encouraged this form of propaganda because with his task of trying to secure independence bloodlessly. He

had appealed
of

to Frederick the Great,

who had
"

sent

him

sword

honour inscribed with the words

Patna: Libertas" and he

on good terms with the commander at pains to keep French garrison in Bastia, the comte de Marbceuf, If Paoh would certainly the French had been ready to do a dqal,

had been
of the

have met them,

to act for himself

The Chief resolved promises. the Genoese allegiance before by denouncing Genoa found a buyer. He had attacked the small island of and had taken it, Capraia, where there was a Genoese garrison,
But nobody cared
to

make firm

But the plan had miscarried in that Genoa meanwhile had sold
Corsica to Louis
at Versailles

XV for ^80,000.
May
15, 1768,

The

treaty

of sale

was signed
to choose

on

and Paofe was forced

between

had sent

war with France and surrender. In his extremity he Carlo and Letizia to Bastia to Marboeuf, but the

mission had failed.

On August

15, 1768,

the

King

of France

published an edict informing the Corsicans that they were his Ten thousand French soldiers brought the King's subjects. edict to the island. Paoli met and defeated them on the field
of

Borgo.
Paoli, better instructed

immediately to use victory as a bargaining counter with France or England and might poshave succeeded if fervour sibly patriotic among his own people had been less intense. As it was he was forced to the
fight,

That had been Corsica's undoing. than his clansmen, had tried

next year, against forty-five battalions of infantry, three regi-

ments of
of the

cavalry, artillery,

comte de Vaux.

The

and engineers, under tie command end, in such circumstances, was

not for a

moment

in doubt,

The Clansmen had


16

displayed

all

THE BUONAPARTES OF AJACCIO


their
qualities

of

courage and heroism, and their

women,

Letizia

among them, had played the part

of stretcher-bearers

on the

various batdefields; but equipment and discipline were lacking. six months had been in her fourth advanced Letizia,

pregnancy,

driven, with her shattered people, into the mountains to a cave upon the slopes of Monte Rotondo, and she had remained there without enough food or shelter until the French found the

hiding-place and informed to go aboard a British

its

inhabitants that Paoli

had agreed
penalties

warship on condition that no


as

were placed upon the Corsicans, At first Carlo had expressed himself
his Chief into exile, but Letizia

determined to follow

As has been argued been Frenchmen and was not said, she had brought up among towards them. She had foreseen immediately the ill-disposed
otherwise.
jact as interpreters

need of leaders who, by reason of their wider knowledge, could between Corsica and her conquerors, Carlo,
as usual, had accepted his wife's advice and had made submission at Corte to the comte de Vaux. The family then reOn the way down the mule on which turned to

Ajaccio.

was riding slipped on the bank of the Liamone River and she was plunged into the water. But her cool nerve and
Letizia

natural courage saved her, nor did it appear that the child great in her womb had takenrany hurt from the accident.

NAPOLEON GOES
TO SCHOOL
CHAPTER
ii

ONE
the real

of Carlo's

first acts after

mountains had been

to

homecoming from name of his son change the


his

the

Nabulione.

the war; but Uncle Napoleone had been killed a wish to have done with reason for the change was
Carlo, as advised by Letizia
to realize that Corsica, for

Corsican nationalism,

and the
or
ill^

Archdeacon, had come

good

was now
remain,
lost

French province and would almost certainly so He had no desire to make his family circle a home of
a

causes or to

burden

his children

wrth the patois of the


Giuseppe,
after his

vanquished,

Little

Nabulione was renamed

paternal grandfather.

When,
sudden

therefore, Letizia's

arrival

had

sent

its

war baby, the puny child whose mother hurrying home from her

devotions at the Cathedral in Ajaccio,


decision

made

its

appearance,

the
its

was taken

to use the

discardecjname

once more in

Italian form,

The boy was

called

Napoleone.

He

was

chris-

tened
partly

privately, partly

on account of the

state of his health,

because of the troubled

political situation;

and a wetthe

nurse

named Camilla

Ilari

was engaged,
to

With

family
part
to

servant, Catenna, she

was destined

play

a considerable

in the child's

life,

because Letizia, during

many

years,

was

be

and with the care of the Archoccupied with child-bearing deacon and his sister-in-law, Carlo's mother, whom everyone
"
called

now

Grandmother

Saveria,"
trust

Carlo

quickly

advanced in the

and confidence of the


decreed that Corsica

French,
should

He

applied,

when

Louis

XV

for a declaration that he possess noblemen,

to the title of comte,

and had no

difficulty

had the right in what he obtaining


"
of the

wanted.

The Comte de Buonaparte became one


at
i,

Twelve

Nobles" who,
at Bastia

the States-General of Corsica


1772,

which met

on May

were chosen
18

as the

upper chamber of

NAPOLEON GOES

TO

SCHOOL

the island was appointed legislature. In addition, as a lawyer, he Assessor to the Court in in modern at a Ajaccio salary equivalent to about a on Meanwhile, money ^200 July 14, 1771, year. Letizia had borne a in the daughter. This child was baptized

Cathedral, and the opportunity was taken to have Napoleone, nearly two years old, rebaptized at the same time. large

family gathering, which included Letizia's mother, Grandmother Fesch, her son, Fesch, now eight years old,

Giuseppe

and

attended the ceremony. were Lorenzo Napoleone's godparents Giubega, his father's closest friend, and his Aunt Geltruda, The infant girl was
Paraviccim,
called

Aunt

Geltruda

Maria Anna.

of the States of Corsica.


,to

Soon afterwards Giubega became Registrar The Buonapartes and their circle began

occupy a dominating position, not in Ajaccio alone, but

throughout the whole island. Carlo expanded in this atmosphere. If he was a vain man, his was not iff excess of his ability, whether as lawyer or vanity statesman, and his fellow-countrymen owed him thanks for the

way

in

which he protected

their interests
It

while

at the

same time

giving loyal support to the French.


islander?, for

was upon

his advice that

France exercised a wide tolerance in her behaviour towards the

he argued

that, if the

union between

this Italian

people and their conquerors was to be complete and permanent, time was necessary, Marboeuf, the Governor, took no im-

whose portant decision without consulting the Buonapartes, to house he was a frequent visitor, and while he remained on the island the relations between the French and the Corsicans improved steadily from year to year. Such a happy outcome was by no means pleasing to the remnant of Paoli's followers, who hankered still after their lost
leader
"

and comforted themselves with the hope that one day


"
ships,

he would return, with English


of
patriots
lost

to their rescue.

This body

when

Louis

XV

no opportunity of hampering Marboeuf, and died and was succeeded by his great-nephew,

Louis XVI, they addressed complaints to Versailles about the harsh behaviour of the Governor. Marboeuf was called to

France to answer these charges. He went provided with a defence which Carlo had helped him to prepare, and, when he

was exonerated, offered suggestions

for the

government of the

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


island with
that

OF
One

KING
was
should be

which Carlo had supplied him. the Corsicans, as an inducement to

of these

loyalty,

the granted some of the privileges of Frenchmen, especially this of free education in France. Louis XVI adopted privilege
plan.

When

Marboeuf returned
of

to

Ajaccio

it

was announced

France was ready to give education to the sons King and daughters of Corsican families on exactly poor but noble the same conditions as obtained in the case of French families.
that the

The

object

was

to associate the

in the island leading families

which otherwisewith French thought and French culture, remained to their have must beyond their owing poverty
reach.

must remain

Carlo had argued that, without such a link, the island of succour to a source of danger to France and

France's enemies, were only awaiting athat the patriots seeing favourable to strike. He resolved, as soon as the opportunity decree was promulgated, to avail himself of the King's bounty >

had made up his mind that his Cwn children should the belong to the French party. He was chosen to represent Nobles on a deputation to congratulate Louis XVI on his accesfor he
sion,

and the occasion enabled him


to unfold further

to

make

friends at Versailles

and so

of Corsica. plans for the pacification


lively

This deputation awakened a


followers,

wrath among Paoli's

and Carlo,
of

object special Paoli's heir, die future

an

was natural enough, was singled out as contempt. Had he not boasted that he was
as

King

of Corsica?

He was
had

not greatly

disturbed.
island

Hejealized

that, if the patriots

their

way, the

would be given over once more

to violent internal strife

and
be a

to

permanent brigandage the only

result of

which would

followed by severe repression. So he conquest, r accepted the grant of (in present values) about ^300, made to cover his expenses, and ordered his court dress. It was very
splendid apparel, in Corsican eyes, and gave
his
its

new

possessor

and

family

much

joy,

He

sailed to Marseilles

and went

direct

to Pans.

days later he was presented to Louis and Marie Antoinette, and began a series of consultations with the French

A few

ministers about the situation in Corsica,


ful that

These were so

success-

when he

returned

home he brought with him

a scheme

for the development of agriculture on the island which included the planting of three large mulberry groves and the establish20

NAPOLEON GOES TO SCHOOL


ment
of a silk

industry.

one of the

his wife that

mulberry groves. Immediately he had decided to send his sons to France

Carlo himself was to be responsible f <x^ on his return he told


to

be

educated.

So

far

from opposing him, Letizia urged that the


to her half-brother Fesch, of

same

benefit

might be extended
exceedingly fond.

whom

she was

cation for the

royal

The upshot was that appliof Napoleone bounty was made on behalf

of on behalf of Giuseppe and Napoleone. son out of pay for the education of his eldest his own forward as a candipocket. Napoleone's name was sent the date for the French Fesch while was designated for Navy,

and Fesch instead


Carlo decided to

Church.

Meanwhile Letizia had borne


Jiad died

a sixth child, a daughter,


21,

which

unnamed.

On March

seventh child, was born and was


deacon.
until the

her 1775, another son, called Lucciano after the Archspent

Her

three elder 'children

much

of their time,
of Camilla

boys were sent

to school, in the

company

Han's boy, Napoleone's foster-brother, who, as a sailor's son, was interested in boats and fishing, and who imparted his enthusiasm to his friends. Napoleone went first to a girls' school,

him away because he reacted to the more happily situated by fighting them and companions jeers himself hurt. He was sent to the Jesuit where getting College, a was did his brother He not already Giuseppe pupil. long
but his mother had to take
of

remain

there, because Carlo's application for his admission to

the Military and Naval College at Brienne had been successful. The Comte de Buonaparte had occasion to pay a second visit
to Versailles

and resolved

to take his sons

and Fesch with him

so that

before entering school, learn something of they might, the French language. On December 125 1778, the party took sad of from and timid Ajaccio, wayfarers, except Carlo, ship was nine years of age. But like the others face, Napoleone

he mingled pride with desolation and kept a stiff lip. After all, he was a Buonaparte, the son of a nobleman of Italy and France,

and splendour he had become the by reason of whose fame


recipient
of the royal bounty.

Others might sneer, but

who

did not envy? The who was a strict disciplinarian with a swift and heavy hand; but their father in veneration. This friend of kings and they held
boys loved and feared their mother,
21
c

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT


Master of Ajaccio,
far above

OF

KING

who was as learned as he was famous, stood men and women. Even their mother held ordinary
a fact rich in significance
his

him

in

respect

mingle lucky on board as the ship drew away from the harbour, though
Caterina, Letizia's maid,
of

to

blood with her own.

No

and thought them tears were shed

had wept violently at the moment It and this stoical behaviour imposed a heavy strain. parting, was different in France. The party went first to Aix-enProvence, where the fifteen-year-old Giuseppe Fesch was going
to school.
It travelled

from

there to Autun,

where Giuseppe

that his sons Buonaparte was to be educated. Carlo had arranged should remain together for a few months until Napoleone was

due to go north to Bnenne,

He

left

them on

New

Year's

Day

of the year 1779. On April 20 of that year the brothers parted; 9 e Giuseppe broke down, but Napoleont shed only one tear,

Napoleone had found the French language very difficult and was still unable to speak more than a fevf words. But he had

become accustomed
fared

Giuseppe

had people well at the hands of the priests into whose care pretty had passed. Brienne, therefore, before he reached it,
to

France and to French

and

did not dismay him.

The

reality

was the more

terrifying,

From

the hour of his arrival, he began to learn what It meant when r one was not a French to be a gentleman of France
>

a gentleman. In Ajaccio cadet of the House of Buonaparte was there was no but prince; Buonaparte at Brienne. The sons of

majority heard of Corsica because their fathers and pupils, had, indeed, elder brothers had fought there under de Chauvelm and de

the great houses, of France,

who

constituted the

of the

Vaux, against the


enable

natives.

But

it

needed

geography lesson to
history
to assure

them
it

to find tile island

and a

lesson in

them

that

was indeed

French province.

Napoleonc's ad-

ventures in their language, moreover, tended to cast doubt both geography and history. What language did he

upon

speak?

When

seemed to be saying 10 "Paille-au-nez" and they nicknamed him "Sttaw-in-the-nose." That was at the beginning. As time went on the boy learned to speak French which could be understood. He called himself
tell

he tried to

them

his

name he

Napoleon now, and wore a dignity which proved


ing
as his

as

exasperat-

early struggles to

make
22

himself understood had been

NAPOLEON GOES
ridiculous,

TO

SCHOOL

He made

enemies and became involved in fights;

one friend only came to him, Bourienne, whose family was as undistinguished as his own, The friendship did not go very lived alone with his troublesome thoughts. deep, Napoleon

The

school, in the course of 150 years, has acquired a reputa-

tion for vice.

But Napoleon did not find

it

vicious.

On

the

contrary, consideration assured him of its merits. The teachers were distinguished, notably the mathematical master, Pichegru,

and die boys were

as good as their neighbours. It would have been possible to be happy if circumstances had been even moderately favourable. His unhappiness belonged, not to the

Bnenne, day after forced to see Corsica and his father and Paoli, the he was day, Because the mirror was distorted, the -exile. it offered spectacle
broke his heart.
Paoli occupied the centre of the Boswell's Tour picture, which thtre was a translation in the school

school, but to himself, for, in the mirror of

Corsica, of

library,

the details to a reconstruction of the necessary supplied " " General's character and remade the appearance.

Napoleon

Corsican leader according to the Scotsman's found recipe and himself face to face with one of Plutarch's heroes. He adored,

day after day, the noble warrior in his simple habit, among his Clansmen, ready to fa*e destruction for liberty's sake. And
with
his small, red fists

he drove

Paoli's

name between

the teeth

of die French boys. " au-nez


it

One

of these

drew

a cartoon of "Paille-

shouldering a musket to fight for his dear Paoli.

But

was not the French against whom the little cadet's deepest stirred. These were reserved for his own father feelings were
the man who had been Paoli's aide-de-camp and then had " 14 The glory of Carlo's kissed the hands that him." oppressed court dress and association with governors and kings withered
in a bitter frost.
face.
It

was

difficult to

look the French boys in the

More

difficult still to
it

examine

his

own

heart.

Had

he faced

would have been easy to recall the fact Ajaccio that Paoli had not died sword in hand but had surrendered to the
this trouble in

French on conditions more

or less favourable to himself

and

his

an acute mind escaped people. at that Paoli believed in the necessity of peace widi living
the inference have
23

Nor would

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


France,

OF

RING
At
least his

But

at

Bnenne such
to

a view

was shame.

aide-de-camp ought
exile
gifts

among

the great-hearted

have accompanied the General to his English people. Never should

have been taken from the tyrant's hands

and

least of all

this

had

of a royal education. Napoleon felt that his father gift sold him into slavery. He was Moses among the Egyptians,

without Moses' excuse.

That view,
schoolfellows.

after a time, softened his exasperation against his

Since they were

Frenchmen and not Corsicans

honoured Corsica by hating her. He clung to this idea, they and after a time began to study them with a detachment which admire as well as brought him comfort. He found much to

much

to

condemn,

for, inevitably, all

were measured against

Paoli, Boswell's Corsican-Scot, the covenanter of Liberty.

Had

the lad remained a

have

known

he would longer in his native island that there were no covenanters in Corsica an4
little

would, consequently, have recognized the influence of French of his own nature in its culture. Had he possessed experience
reactions to the

into

world he would have been spared the excursion puritanism that French culture had made possible. In

convince,

such circumstances Boswell's portrait would have failed to But the bitterness of exile had darkened judgment

with the moralizing to which, at thafr hour, Frenchmen were giving themselves, even in boys' schools. It was necessary that
Corsica should outbid the world in those
qualities

of

austerity

and high-mindedness which the world professed to admire above all other qualities. The biographer of Dr. Samuel
Johnson

knew
in

And

so

the prescription and had used it unsparingly. Napoleon, as he entered his teens, found the French

stoic virtues, argumentative, loquacious, too fond of and drinking, of women, of pleasure-loving, eating what he called, scornfully, "art." There was Boswell's testi-

wanting

the

mony
was

that Paoli

had expressed the view that more


society of peasants

real virtue

to be

found in a

than

among

the most

illustrious

philosophers.

On

the other hand the considerable

independence of mind, especially in the matter of religion, exhibited by some of his schoolfellows earned Napoleon's approval, if only because it served in a measure to rehabilitate
his father in his esteem.

Carlo had exhibited a similar in24

NAPOLEON GOES

TO

SCHOOL

dependence and had not, except on rare occasions, gone to Mass with his wife and family. His behaviour had remained without
explanation because Letizia would as soon have cut out her tongue as criticize her husband to her children. Napoleon

At thirteen the religious training last, to understand. which he had received from his mother and the Jesuits wore an unreal appearance. His classical studies had undermined his
began, at
12

faith

man's

and he was already those about asking himself questions life and which are commonly answered, in destiny

Nevertheless, his youth, by a rejection of earlier answers. to believe caused him distress at such times as he was inability

not flattering himself that When he was twelve


"at the school,

it

proved

his intellectual

manhood.
visit,

from

years his father

of age, Napoleon received a

and mother.

It

was

his first

sight
at

of

them

for three

years,, because there

were no holidays

Brienne,

Carlo was unwell and was undergoing

treatment in

France.

He wore
"

a silk coat
1

and

carried a sword.

Letizia

was in white
1

most impressive wig and he silk decorated with


'

green flowers.
incisive tones

Her "Roman

to

were so impressive that which place she had gone in the


recalled

"

carriage
a

and "sonorous and


schoolboy at Autun,
instance to visit
years

first

Giuseppe,

them

clearly

many

afterwards.

Giuseppe had been in glod health, but the state of Napoleon's health shocked his mother, She found him thin, almost wasted,

and heard with dismay that his bed was a sailor's hammock, She had much to tell, and He Napoleon was eaggr to listen. remembered still the acute distress he had felt at the death of
his
little

sister,

him

that the

Maria Anna, five years before, Letizia told who had been born on January 3, 1777, and girl

who had

of his brother Lucciano

been given the same name, was as her dead just

now

the companion

sister

had been

his

companion. with Lucciano at


(after the

There was
its

new

family

at the

Casa Buonaparte,

head.

It consisted of

another boy, Luigi

and the Comte de Marboeuf), born on King of Maria Anna and of Paola Maria (after September 24, 1778, born on October 20, 1780. Letizia made no secret of the Paoli),
of France
fact that

Lucciano had

won

her heart and

this

was duly noted

by her son.

rest, the lad found his father kindly and of youth forgave and the with open-minded easy generosity

For the

25

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT OF


without exculpating.
ing away best educations he charge on
exerted
his
its

KING
was pay-

The

impressive

truth that Cailo


in

of his a large part

income

giving

his children the

Giuseppe remained a income and further charges were being planned influence, If the Comte de Buonaparte was not a
could obtain
for

Corsican patriot at least he was a man of substantial accomwho had the interests of his family close at heart. plishment 11 and took Carlo, for his part, was impressed by his second son, to in his succeed that he was likely comfort in the

thought

profession. This contact with reality exerted

its effect,

in

due

course,

on
the

Boswell's mythical figure,


real Paoli,

Carlo and Letizia had

known

whereas Napoleon

knew nothing
There was

at all outside of

the

pages

of the

Tour

in Corsica.

flesh

and blood ar
'

last for

the hero's wearing,

The boy was reading

history
J5

with
less-

greediness acute mind than his


ence,

which astonished the school libranan.

must have

realized that Corsican

independ-

support, in effect an English possession? in Carlo made

from the beginning, had been contingent on English Did he, Napoleon, wish that Corsica should become

arrangements

Pans

to

have Lucciano received

into the school at Brienne as a

paying pupil for two'brothers could not, simultaneously, receive the'King's bounty. At the for Maria Anna at the same time he obtained a royal
place after his return to Corsica school for girls at St, Cyr. Shortly he sent Lucciaoo to Autun to learn French under

Giuseppe's guidance, thus repeating the plan he had pursued in the case of Napoleon. His health did not improve and after a

prolonged

of he resolved to go again to Versailles to consuffering period the sult Queen's doctor. He took Maria Anna, who had come to

school

age,

with him.

They

visited

Autun and Brienne on

the
a

way.

Lucciano was himself and had already enjoying

made

small strength to oppose to his will. the contrary, was discontented on strong Giuseppe, and declared that he had no vocation for the He priesthood.

conquest of his eldest brother,

who had

wanted

to

become

a soldier.

Carlo carried this

new

affliction to

Napoleon and persuaded the lad


to exert such influence over

to write to Fesch,
as

Giuseppe
spoiled 26

urging him 16 he possessed. Carlo

had Lucciano with him.

The

child of the

Buonaparte

NAPOLEON GOES
family

TO

SCHOOL
time -since
17

met

his soldier brother face to face for the first

he had

left his cradle.

Lucciano did not like Napoleone,

Carle was advised at Versailles to take a course of treatment


at the Corsican

Autun, and
soldier of

since

Spa of Orezzo. He returned home by way of it was make a impossible, immediately, to

Giuseppe, he took the lad back with

him

to Corsica,

His indulgence towards his children was such that, though he was growing weaker daily, he busied himself to obtain a
military training for his eldest son and actually arranged to have him admitted at the school at Metz. Since the waters

Orezzo did him no good he resolved to take Giuseppe to Metz and then to go on to Paris for further medical advice.
of

The

chief obstacle to the

accomplishment of

this

purpose

was

lack of ready money, but Letizia,

who was

greatly alarmed

about her husband's health, borrowed ^50 in gold pieces from


.the

possible.

Deputy Governor of the island and so made the journey She was again expecting a child and could not thereaccompany Carlo.

fore

Napoleon, meanwhile, had passed out of Brienne. not attained a standard high enough to entitle him ]8 the Navy and was in to
compelled,
career of a gunner.
to enter the

He

had

to enter

He

travelled to Paris

accept consequence, on October 30, 1784,


city.

the

Military

Cdlege

in that

He

was

fifteen, older

than his years by reason of his afflictions, and without illusions about himself or his importance. He was still reading history with avidity and had already formed the project of a
writing
history
of Corsica.
Paris,

when he came

there,

was wearing the

last tints of

autumn.

great city

may

have made

But whatever impression upon him the and he knew nothing of cities-

was tempered by the fresh humiliations 'which awaited him at the College. He was very poor and the standard of life of his
fellow-cadets

The him

consequence,

part for he refused to admit in poverty and was compelled, to of that he disliked and

of skeleton at the feast

was higher than any of which he had knowledge. was thrust suddenly upon
pretend

disapproved

luxury. priggish letter to one of the masters at Brienne 19 eased his feelings. of It contained, nevertheless, an expression to about the of officers accustoming young opinion

importance hardship which was neither priggish nor embittered.


27

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


The
lellier,

KING
at

journey

of Carlo
fell

and Giuseppe came


suddenly
a so
ill

to

an end

Mont-

where Carlo

that he could not leave

is

bed,

He had
had

engaged

room

in a

cheap hostelry, but,


to his

as it

happened,

friends in the

town who hurried


had been

help

and took him

into their

own

house.

These were the Permons.


a close friend

Madame Pennon,
of Letizia's;

before her marriage,


a

her French husband was

man of amiable character


respect

who had
for his

conceived a real affection for Carlo as well as


as

gifts

statesman and talker,

Both husband and wife

declared themselves honoured to be his hosts

he would use their resources


soon recovered enough
his illness
to

as if

they

were

his

and urged 2 own.


"

that

He

get

about again, but a fresh


to bed,

crisis of

brought him back


to

urged Giuseppe the view that Letizia ougljt expressed

summon

Fesch,

Madame Permon now who had become abbe, and


to be told,

But Carlo

forbade the message to his wife, saying that she was in no state to hear bad news, Soon afterwards he Teamed that another

son had been born to

him (on November


after

15,

1784) and

had

been

called

Girolamo,

Letizia's

father.

There were

further flickers of
the doctors

recovery,

but the march of the disease, which


21

pronounced

to be cancer

of the stomach,

was not

Madame Permon urged once more that Letizia should stayed, be summoned but could not move the who assured (tying man,
her that his wife had need of
all

her resources.
practice

Carlo, as has

been
ity,

said,

had more or

less

abandoned the

of Christian-

he sent for January, 1785, however, confessed himself and received absolution. The end priest, came a month later at seven o'clock in the of February
of a

Towards the end

evening

presence of Giuseppe, Fesch and the Permons. The dying man charged his son to care for his mother and sisters and brothers, and then blessed those who surrounded
24, 1785,

in the

him.

He

expressed

regret

that

he would

not

again

see

Napoleon, who had not been informed about the severity of 22 his illness, His mind began to wander and Giuseppe heard

him pronounce Napoleon's name again and

again.

An

autopsy

was performed and the diagnosis confirmed, to the doctor's satisfaction. A few days later the body was buried in the vault
of a
religious house in the town.
23

28

SECOND-LIEUTENANT

BONAPARTE

CHAPTER in

wrote

at

power and expressing gratitude for all to me." He abandoned immediately his your great goodness reluctance to admit and when, on one occasion, a poverty
in his

NAPOLEON the help

once to his mother

promising "

all

teacher in the school offered to lend

him

money

replied

that
his

he could not increase in


mother's shoulders.
Letizia, however,'

^ny way the burden

now

resting

on

was not

poor

in

any tragic sense of that

word,
family,

She
of

possessed

the means, in the land

owned by

the

giving

her children a decent

upbringing.

She was

fortunate, further, in the fact that

Brienne, Lucciano, or Lucien as


stepped"

when Napoleon had left he now called himself, had


the

into the vacant


too,

place
at St,

among
Cyr.

King's

scholars.

Maria Anna,
a soldier

was

ftill

But Giuseppe's

career as

was no longer a possibility. He returned to Ajaccio of on to Metz, and helped his mother to secure instead going
the small pension to which, as the wife of a public
official,

she

was

entitled.

The

was family

now

French cause, and though


by
their Italian

their

wholly mother continued

identified

with the

to call

them

names, they began,


Giuseppe,

among
or
of the

themselves, to use

the French

equivalents.

Joseph,

took to farming

and hurried forward the planting

mulberry grove for


for

which payment was due to be made immediately on completion. At the same time anxious councils were held to decide whether or family

which Carlo had assumed

responsibility

and

not the eldest son of the Buonapartes should, according to the As to Pisa and take his doctorate. tradition of his house,

go

lawyer Joseph might hope


his father.
it

to obtain the

appointments

held

by and

Uncle Lucciano's view,


that the

as usual,

was accepted

was decided

was outlay
29

justified.

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT


honest

OF

KING

This decision imposed hardship on Letizia.

That brave and


in order to

woman wanted
,50

the debt of

repay plate she had incurred on her husband's behalf, but

to sell her silver

her creditors refused to allow her to


cut

make

the sacrifice.

She

down

her domestic
;

staff to

one maidservant and did the

and she asked to be excused the regular cooking herself attendance at church which, until now, she had given. Grandmother Savena did not long survive the loss of her son and her
death lightened Lctizia's burden but the loss of Joseph's help was a severe deprivation at a time when the household consisted of an old and somewhat surly miser, the Archdeacon, and
;

four

young

children,

Luigi (Louis) aged

six,

Paola Maria
two,

('Taulette")

aged

four,
a

Maria

Nunziata

aged

and

Girolamo aged only

few months.

Letizia did not

complain

nor did she allow a suggestion about her

difficulties to reach
,

Napoleon

were assured that everything was did not Napoleon accept th&e assurances easily. going He was passing through that early stage of adolescence when most active-minded boys became subject to fits of gloom and
or Lucien,
well.

who

when emotions

are never

very fully controlled.


difficulties

His

father's

death and thoughts about his mother's

troubled

him

a great deal and became associated, in his brooding/ with a sense of exile and even of frustration, There is his own witness
that he dwelt
to the

on

suicide,

but the idea

is

so

commonly

present

as

he wrote, "would it not be as well to kill myself? answered the question in rhetorical sentences about the
"

gloomy boys and so very seldom present except " " a that it has no Since I must die, significance. phantasy, "
of

minds

He
2
*

evil
1

plight

And
his

and the impossibility of changing it." he read Rousseau* with a zeal which was as unflagging as
of Corsica

spirit

and which was nourished by the encomiums pro-

nounced

the Corsicans by the Swiss philosopher. Rousseau's gift to Napoleon was the conviction that it was not the French people who had conquered Corsica but only the

upon

French King.
as the Corsicans

The French
were
slaves.

were slaves just people, therefore,

This comforting thought lightened


in the

many burdens and

was,

consequently, emphasized schoolboy essays with which " the little cadet amused and solaced himself. The people," he
3

SECOND-LIEUTENANT BONAPARTE
u

wrote,
Since,

can

at will take

on

his

own
it

than bestowed,
in

back the sovereignty it has given." showing, sovereignty had been usurped rather is obvious that his mind was moving already
as

revolutionary

channels.

self for

examination

an

officer and, largely

In September, 1785, he offered himon account of his

good performance
Second-Lieutenant.

in mathematics, received his

commission

as

A choice

of stations

was offered him.

He

elected to be posted to the


at Valence, for

regiment of La Fere, then in garrison he knew that the regiment provided the two

companies of artillery which were kept in Corsica. He seems On the day on to have felt some pride in his new uniform.

which he put it on for the first time he called on the Permons, who had come from Montpelher to live in Paris. One of their
two small daughters promptly nicknamed him Puss in Boots." " He returned a few daysjater with a model of "Puss and a
1

"

copy of die fairy

tale as

gifts

for the

little

girl."'

He

travelled to Valence with a lad

named Alexander

des

Mazis, with

whom

he had become friendly.

sergeant

con-

ducted them from the school to the stage-coach, paid their fares, and gave them each a small sum of money for their
journey,

At Chalon-sur Saone

which they entered a barge on

to second barge took them down the Lyons. they travelled Rhone to their destination. Each carried his commission.

was inscribed Napoleon's " Napoleone de Buonaparte, second Lieutenant of d'Autume's


:

company

of bombardiers in the

La Fere regiment
a

of

my

royal

R." corps of artillery, Louis It was a rule of the artillery


Lieutenant approved
period
in

rule of

which the new


serve for a short

that every officer

must

November
until

Napoleon therefore, on his arrival on He remained in the ranks became 5, 1785, private. i8th of the following year, when he was received January
every
rank.

into the full

comradeship of
his

his fellow-officers,

had made up
sense a

mind

that the

By this time he La Fere regiment was in every

commanded by men whom he found comfortable lodgings had he Moreover, in the house of an old man named Bou, who lived with his Bou conducted a cafe middle-aged daughter. Mademoiselle
worthy
institution, ably

could respect.

and billiard-room; she

offered the
3
1

young

officer,

whose

sole

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


means
consisted of Ins

OF
a

KING
the
first

pay of ^i a week,

room on

floor of the house, next to the billiard-room


street.
It

and facing the

The

rent was 2S. a week.

was a noisy room, but Napoleon did not object to that, He became very fond of the Bous, who, for their part, exerted themselves to make him comfortable and give him a home,

The regiment worked hard, He had to be up at dawn and did not return till evening, At midday he went to a baker's shop where he got two dry rolls and a glass of water for a penny,

He

dined with his fellow-lieutenants

at

an inn called The

Three Pigeons, where they had a weekly arrangement with the host. His food cost him, in all, about a shilling a day.

He
to

was thus spending only half his pay, and was in a position help his mother and also, occasionally, to buy books,
for the first time foj

He was happy

many

years.

The

ment, as he said, was like a family and the chiefs were our fathers and they were the bravest and most worthy
in the world."
20

"

regi-

like

men

He

began

to

and was

further

helped

in his

make progress with his history work by Mademoiselle Bou, who


own, the keeper of
the
a sub-

introduced

him

to a friend of her

its scription library. Napoleon joined library. resources were exhausted he wrote to Geneva for books'" about

When

the Island of Corsica." His writing ancf reading became thieves of his and on most nights his candle was burning into sleep, the small hours. But he never missed a parade. He had been

The him

given an introduction to the parish priest and duly presented it. handed him over to a Mme. Colombier, who invited priest
to her house.

She had a daughter named Caroline, with

in love, though very timidly. They ate Ke a few and took together dancing lessons, privately, 27 from a man in the town. But his clothes mortified self-esteem.
fell

whom

the lad

cherries

He

had brushed them bare and could not afford

to

buy new

ones.

Caroline, nevertheless,

was kind
was

urging him
read
it

to

bring

his

and joined her mother in of Corsica to the house and history


at this

28

present reading, and that he sent the first two impressed chapters to the Abbe the in Marseilles. Raynal, philosopher, Raynal urged the author to continue his work. The regiment was ordered to
priest

to them.

The

was

so

much

32

SECOND-LIEUTENANT BONAPARTE
Lyons and then
leave,

to Douai.
i,

On

September

to ask for opportunity presented to return Douai left 1796,

An

Napoleon

home.

He

went, in the

first

instance, to

Aix because

his brother

Lucien had quitted the school at Brienne and gone there, with his mother's consent, to for the Church. study Napoleon was
far

from approving
reluctantly
at

of this consent,

which
and

in fact

had been
grounds.

given

both

on

financial

general
to

go his own He scouted way. Napoleon's reproofs, falling back for supon now a man of Fesch, port twenty-three, with whom he was
Lucien
twelve, however,

was determined

living.

had

to retire.

The combination was so formidable that the enemy At Marseilles, Napoleon visited Raynal, who told
had
sent the history of Corsica to Mirabeau.

him
men,

that he

That name had


for

Honore

already captured the imagination of FrenchGabriel Riquetti, comte de Mirabeau, had not

been afraid to defy both Church and Throne and, in addition, to throw many stones at Necker, the King's Treasurer. Mirabeau, as was credibly reported, had been born with teeth in his
jaws; he had soured his boyhood and early youth by falling foul of his father the marquis, a man of infinite pnggishness

and inexorable

vanity.

Then he had married

a wife, experienced

the mortification of bet&yal, and, in the surge of reaction, first and afterwards deserted her, forgiven calling forth, by this proThe marquis filled up cess, a fresh outburst of paternal wrath. a lettre de cachet and sent the comte to prison. Gabriel was
carried
his

nursing the fiery spirit of he was held so close a prisoner not indignation, that all social contacts were denied him he met Sophie de
fortress to another,

from one

until

for

Monnier, seventeen-year-old wife of a sexagenarian. Sophie was gentle, soft, with a weight and power of passion as as his own. They were caught up in a whirlwind great

which
in a

carried them, fugitives


city,

from

society,

to a

mean
by

street

Dutch

where the

man

earned their

living

trans-

Gabriel Sophie became pregnant, and tasted such ecstasy of joy that his pride and all his rancours were swallowed up. He said that ambition and honour and
lating foreign

books.

fatherland were well lost for Sophie's sake and he meant it, because none in the world knew so well as he the exact value
33

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT OF


of the price
to

KING

he had paid.

Nothing would have induced him

run away with Sophie, and so ruin his hopes of a great The man of career, except utter incapacity not to run away.
the world cursed and
lover

fumed and

stood, finally, aghast at the

whose

existence within his

own

breast he

had not

sus-

pected.

And

burn

itself

even the lover confessed that his passion might out among the ashes of dead Gabriel was hopes.

born again into a world, so far as he was concerned, uncharted and incredible. His sacrifice was so real that even his terrific
love did not blind him.

Sophie accepted what no

woman

with

her heart could have refused.

The hunt was

up.

and separated them, Sophie to what was

the lovers down, seized Society tracked Gabriel went to a dungeon in Vincennes,
little

better than a house of correction.


la^er,

When
dead.

they

But

again, not the spirit

met

four years

the man's passion was

which

that

passion

had

lighted.

He.

plunged into politics


robbed him of
intrigues

and became the scoufge of those who had youth and love. Public affairs and private
life

divided his

in a

madness

of action
all

by

little,

made him
all

the

champion of "
liberty."

dissenters

which, little and the

master of
joy

the hosts of

Men

forgot his

shame

for

of his
to

seemed

and forgave him because his leadership strength be the most precious gift of Heaven at an hour when

France was falling in ruin. That such a man had received his manuscript and might condescend to read it was honour so great in Napoleon's judg-

ment
his

that he

went on

his

way

to Corsica

convinced already that

ambition was achieved.

His luggage consisted of a large box, most of which was occupied by his library. This consisted of the works of
Rousseau, McPherson's Ossian in a French translation, Plutarch, 29 as well as a number of notePlato, Cicero, Livy, and Tacitus,

books in which material


noted.

difficult

to

remember had been


30

Napoleon was still a passionate admirer of Rousseau, of Paoli, and of the patriots. He had advanced a long way in his revolutionary and had in thinking developed, consequence,
"
"

a lively hatred of

tyrants

and an equally
about
like

lively respect for

"peoples."

He

talked

eagerly

the

"State"

and
his

"Liberty" and "Equality," using,


34

Mirabeau and

SECOND-LIEUTENANT BONAPARTE
followers,

the

language

with

which

the

"philosophers,"

Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, and the others, had supplied Frenchmen and disclosing a robust faith in the coming of a

new

order of society.
his feet

But when

were

set

once more upon


of

his native soil

experience began correcting philosophy. He to his considerable he that could not found, surprise, speak to his brothers and sisters because he had their forgotten language, and he found, further, that the ideas that were surging in France exerted little or no influence in Corsica. His mother
to hasten to the

would not

listen,

and the Archdeacon, now bedridden with

was equally unresponsive. In this wholesome gout, atmosphere the of boy became a boy again and indulged in practical things
his pranks with
sister Paulette,

which earned many whippings


on one occasion

for that
.for

a charming cudgelling himself at the strong and impartial hands of Letizia, who
far
31

child

and

was

from bem
Letizia

impressed by die uniform of a French


full of

officer.

was

work, for she had no servant, and

her four young children, Louis and Paulette, Maria Nunziata and Girolamo, were aged, respectively, eight, six, four, and two.

She rose with the sun and


not complain. Napoleon setded

slept

when

the sun

set.

She did

dowA
was
It

to

now began

to realize,

complete his history, which, as he to have more readers in France likely

than in Corsica.
that since

was history with philosophy, the moral

man's regeneration can be accomplished only being in and through society, society must be free. Plato, as the author was aware, had pointed much the same moral as had
also the Stoics

and

their

pupils

of the

Roman

Republic.
so careful

And
and

so the history

had a

classic

background:

But

accurate an observer as

Napoleon

could not remain unaware

widely

he was writing and the real about that the patriots " " in Ajaccio were men of met he every day patriots The patriots of the different outlook and sympathy.

whom

whom

history

were Rousseau's men, seeking a social rebirth; the were Francophobes, smarting under a sense of Ajaccian variety
defeat and humiliation and eager, above all things, to revenge themselves upon their conquerors by handing Corsica over to the English. These real patriots did not hide their contempt
35

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT OF


for a Corsican

KING
contempt

who wore King Louis'

livery,

and

their

of his conviction that English overin spite stung the author


lords

would be many degrees worse than French.


this darkness,

Paoli's

name

remained a beacon in
wrote
to a

So

much

so that

Napoleon

Swiss physician

who had compared

the Corsican

hero with Caesar, Mahomet, and Cromwell, offering sincere The letter ended, however, on a practical congratulations.
"

note

namely, a request for professional advice about an uncle 32 of mine who suffers from gout." No answer was received.

NAPOLEON,

PHILOSOPHER

CHAPTER

iv

ROUSSEAU regeneration
mentality
certainly,

taught that
is

man

is

by

nature so vile that


the
instru-

impossible

except through

of

the social

organism.

This view was dictated,

by the condition of misery into which Europe, and had fallen since the end of the Seven Years' especially France, War, No matter how robust might be a man's belief in progress,

the facts of

everyday
stSyed.

progress
better,

had been

proclaimed unequivocally that were worse and not Things


life

getting

One might
good
that

explain
in

the declension

two ways

either the

was

human

nature was

being thwarted by a corrupt


not,

society

or the evil that

was in human nature was


It

exorcised, of that corruption, being

was

six of

by one and half

reason

a dozen of the other.


difficulty
bitter an

Uut

the mass of

Frenchmen had no

in

accepting
of

Rousseau's

experience

human

explanation. nature in

They had
to

too
its

high places

doubt
said,

callousness

and lack

of

principle,

Savage man, they

is

dog."
That,
as

has been stated, was Napoleon's view.

He

found

occasion of

support

for

it

when,

his a sudden call to rejoin regi-

ment having reached him, he travelled onc'e more across France. The country was experiencing bitter poverty, especially in the
towns where there were large numbers of unemployed workmen. He saw many of these unhappy men hanging about the
approaches
plight
to

towns and

villages,

and was

told that their evil

was due to the trade


compelled
to

treaty
at

had
of

ipn

sign

England which the King the close of the American War


with

French markets to treaty opened Independence, manufactured goods which were being offered at prices English
This

below those

of the

home-produced goods.
37

In

consequence D

the

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


townspeople

KING
to

had

lost their

jobs,

become

destitute,

and ceased

country himself about economic questions, but the spectacle burned itself his mind and became a foundation of all his thinking.

die rum thus spreadiilg buy the farmers' products, districts also, Napoleon had not, so far, concerned

into die

upon

Nor

did he accept then, or at any later period, die doctrine which was duly presented to him, that the remedy lay in lower French goods might be produced as cheaply as wages, so that

English goods.

On

had been a betrayal

the contrary, he concluded that the treaty with England of French interests, seeing that, as a country
self-sufficient.

France was predominantly agricultural,


suspicion

The

entered his

mind

that the rulers at Versailles

had done

of the bargain. very well out


It

was an unjust suspicion.


that the

What had
London

actually

happened

was

growing power centre had broken down French

of

as the world's financial

resistance at a

moment when

French power, whether financial, political, or military, was at a low ebb. France was a borrower from London, even though
the

presence of

many
so

intermediaries obscured that fact.


to dictate to the debtor.

The

creditor

was

in a

position
large

Indeed,

London
and

possessed silver that the

a part of the world's stock of gold


falling

under die necessity Had Rousseau possessed any understanding of this fact he might have revised his view about the wickedness of human
nature.

whole Continent of Europe was of borrowing from her.

of the
fact,

For what he had in mind, clearly, was the wickedness guides and rulers of men, the priests and the kings. In

authority was bankrupt, literally; and possessed as its chief concern the need of obtaining the means whereby industry and on, be carried agriculture might

Nor was
structure

this state of affairs the fault of

of a fundamental of

kind had taken place


to be

authority. in the

change economic

Europe,

sructure

had ceased

whereby the basis of that economic wealth and had become debt. In the

Europe wealth had been measured in land and in the but a new products of land, crops and herds and minerals
old
;

standard had
to

now been
"
tide

introduced
"

namely, a form of money

which the

credit

had been given.


38

The Middle Ages

NAPOLEON, PHILOSOPHER
had covered Europe with cathedrals and noble secular buildings and had left no debt; But during four centuries debt had been
increasing as the new credit-money, little by little, replaced the old money, and it had now, because of the concentration of the

world.

London, achieved a virtual conquest of the precious metals In other words, the notes of London
promissory

and purposes, the international that only money, seeing nobody could obtain gold or silver substantial recourse to amount without any
to all intents

banking houses had become,

having

London.

Not
War,

only
the

so,

but London had become, after the Seven Years'


of

centre

an Empire which included India and

Canada,

Access to colonial barred to produce was therefore nations which did not credits. Nor was it easy possess sterling

such credits to England, because by^ selling goods manufacturers were a tariff. France, thereJEnghsh protected by had been forced to borrow in to order obtain colonial fore,
to obtain

produce; she had been forced to borrow in order to play her

now part in the American War of Independence; she was the interest on her being forced to borrow in order to
pay
former loans.

And

since

ultimately,

as has

been

said, all loans

were

she sterling loans,

had

fallen

more and more under the

dominance of London,
London, for its part, had not concerned itself about the uses which the loans were going to be put. It was quite well understood that the borrowings of M. Necker, the French
to

King's Treasurer, during the American

War

of

Independence,

were destined to support the colonists against the British Government, but these borrowings took place in Switzerland and Holland and even in Paris; contact -with London was at
other hand,

second-hand, through Geneva or Amsterdam. London, on the was greatly concerned that English manufacturers

because,

should possess an outlet for their goods in foreign countries had such an outlet been lacking, it would have been
necessary
to

allow the goods to be consumed at home; in other

words, to permit a rise of wages in England. Had this occurred, must have been enthe whole structure of the credit
dangered.

system Consequently loans were made on condition that their markets to the English goods. The recipients opened
39

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


loans were secured
of the

KING

these

and mineral lesourccs upon the agricultural the interest was derived out of and borrowing country, Frenchman thus became in some sort a resources.
Every

debtor of London, seeing that he had to yield up so to the London lenders. his

much

of

production
the

Had

King

of

France possessed the wisdom of Solomon

he could scarcely have resisted tins process of peaceful penetraHe had, in fact, tried to resist when, tion of his dominions,
11

under the guidance of his minister Turgot;


taxes

he had refused to

contract any fresh on his nobles as

loans and had

at the

same time imposed such


to

would have enabled him

lighten

the

burdens of agriculture and industry. But M. Necker, who was banker as well as Treasurer, had attacked Turgot so violently,

and with
give

so

much

success, that the

King had been forced

to

up these plans. Borrowing had, therefore, been resumed. King Louis found himself, in the year 1786, with an additional
debt of ^170,000,000,^ all of which four years M. Necker in his

ha* been
as

contracted in

by

capacity

Treasurer.

The
in the
loans.

trade
face

was the expression of the King's helplessness treaty of this calamity. It was the price of further access to
the

Had
or

been refused, the Royal Treasury would have price remained empty and it would have been impossible to pay army
civil service or, indeed, ro defray the day-to-day Versailles. This Necker was a Swiss, the son of a of expenses Genevan professor of German extraction. He had come to lad and entered there a bank conducted Paris as a

navy or

young

by

one of his father's friends.


tion

had made him rich


still

at

Daring and unscrupulous speculaa time when most of his contemfor a


living, "

were poraries

struggling

and he had earned, in

wizard of finance." consequence, reputation of a wizard took a hand in the winding of the
the

The
des

up

Comfagmc
to
his

Indes and

emerged began French Treasury and to cherish ambitions which only was permitted to share.

a millionaire.

He

lend to the wife

She deserved his confidence, for, from the hour when he had rescued her from a Swiss pastor's house among the mountains,
she had

given

him

all

her affection.

of so excellent education girl

had been engaged

to her,

Suzanne Curchod was a and instruction that Gibbon, who but had jilted her in obedience to his
40

NAPOLEON, PHILOSOPHER
father's

command, held her


She had accepted
all

qualities

of

mind

in the highest

esteem,
so

much

came
a

philosophers bread every Friday to her great house to eat the banker's

die doctrines of the philosophers; so that those of the who were in Paris

their own When later her only child, opinions. named Germamc, grew up, mother and daughter vied girl with one another in the new aristocracy of talententertaining

and expound

philosophers, writers,

artists,

actors,

politicians,

an army of
hair,

which the

little

girl,

with her wild black eyes and raven

was very well

take qualified to early Necker's dismissal from the


to

command.

blow both

Suzanne and

to

been a bitter Treasurership had two women the and Gcrmaine,

nourished a lively hatred Marie Antoinette, at against Queen whose door they laid the blame. Necker himself, on those

Olympian heights where 4ie walked so easily, forgave all his "enemies and spoke only of liberty, that benefit which, as he he had tried to bestow on France. Meanwhile he said, supplied
himself with a magnificent
of Geneva,
estate,

Coppet,

on the shores
as

of the

and kept m as close touch with Paris Lake allowed, The King was floundering in a quagmire turn of the banker would soon come again.

prudence

of debt; the

Napoleon understood jiothing of all this. Like everybody he saw the results but not the causes, and, since these results were so unspeakably bad, was filled with indignation.
else,

Nor was

indignation left without fuel or draught. Necker, as has been said, had forced his way into the King's Treasury as a of the debt system, owing allegiance only to that representative
system.
to
It

had been
the

his business, before

he became a minister,

prevent

Turgot's plans.
of of the

King from getting out of debt by adopting To that end he had founded, in Paris, a number

newspapers in which, side by side, were presented accounts of the Court at Versailles and of the poverty profligacy
of France.

and wretchedness
namely,
that

The moral was

Rousseau's moral
a basis of

society

must be reconstituted on

and Equality. The basis actually aimed at namely, Liberty debt was not, of course, disclosed, and so few people guessed
that

what was

really

intended was the capture of the French

monarchy

by the financiers in the


4T

manner

in

which the English

monarchy had already been captured. Napoleon read the news

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT OF


sheets
his since greedily, and, they presented a flaw see as he read, He could not

KING

own

views, gie\v

angrier for he was

the argument,

of doubly blind by reason the majority of the the city, Lyons, when he passed through At the the municipality. working people were being fed by

his Corsican blood.

At

same time the farms


cultivated

outside of die city


1'

were grossly undcr-

conditions and even wholly neglected.' that the emerwas told much better in the north. At Douai he that he might and gency which had led to his recall had passed
therefore continue his leave,

Nor were

He went

to Paris, intending to

and also if possible to there to see his sister at St. Cyr, which was now in obtain payment for the mulberry plantation He took a cheap lodging in the city and went out to being, Versailles, where he obtained an audience of the King's

go from

Treasurer,

Lomenie de Brienne, Cardinal Archbishop


his case for

of Tours.

He
into

presented

payment.

Brienne bade

him put if

when it is known that the request King's coffers did not contain more than a few thousand francs.
writing
a reasonable
to Versailles at the

Napoleon had come

moment of

bankruptcy.

from tutelage which King escape Louis had made Necker and appointing as his by dismissing the Treasurer first Calonne and then Brienne was shipwrecked;
futile effort to

The brave but

hour when

it

would be necessary

to recall

Necker

to die

palace

had

arrived,

The Corsican Lieutenant went his way


or even of drama.

unsuspicious

of

tragedy

His thoughts were not about the ruin he had witnessed, but solely about the hardship which this reluctance to discharge a debt must inflict on his mother. Here was

example of the French King's perfidy. He returned to lodgings and eased his feelings by writing an essay about 37 Louis XIV, his marshals, and his Court an essay intended,
anodier
his

no doubt,

for inclusion in the

History of Corsica*

As was

in-

was contrasted, in this essay, with flame of the pure patriotism. But the writer had need, further, of an outlet for his own personal emotions, which had been
evitable, the pursuit of glory

Sex, who dost chain to thy chariot the hearts of men," that it declaring was in her annals that he would find the most
stirred

by the hectic gaiety of Paris.

He

denounced

"

" proof of
the insufficient

convincing

power
42

of

glory,"

There followed a

NAPOLEON, PHILOSOPHER
tribute to Letizia

and the

women

of

Corsica"

those Spartan

women."

He

returned

immediately to Ajaccio.

In his absence of four

months

his mother's difficulties

had increased by reason of a


it

severely poisoned hand,

which made

work

hard.

But the good

woman had

not,

for her to impossible on that account,

thought of reducing expenditure on her children, Napoleon assumed control and dictated a letter to Joseph at Pisa, urging him to take his come home, and bring with him
"

degree quickly,
of

a servant:

woman

about forty."

A letter was sent,

some experience, not too youngsay at the same time, to the French

authorities in Corsica, for asking

payment

for the

mulberry

grove.

Napoleon

constituted himself his mother's bailiff

and

undertook the care of the vineyards and plantations and of a salt work in which the He tried, family had an interest.

further, to obtain admission to Bricnne for his brother Louis.

Joseph obeyed ordefs and brought with


to

him

woman named
33

But Savena, immediately became attached. the for and no answer was received not was mulberry grove paid from the War Department at Versailles.
Letizia

whom

Nor were
the

these

family troubles the only distresses to which

postponed meeting of the Island Parliament, no doubt on instructions from Paris. Napoleon was rash enough to criticize this decision
while enjoying the hospitality of one of die companies of his own regiment which was stationed at Bastia, and earned immediately

violent youilg author was subject. Ajaccio was agitation because the French coTnmander-in-chief had the

the suspicion of his brother officers, one of


he, a

whom

asked

him

if

French

officer,

would draw

his

sword against the

King's representative. He returned soon afterwards to France and rejoined his regiment at Auxonne, to which town it had been transferred

from Douai. Auxonne


while in Corsica.

is marshy and did not suit him, perhaps because he had suffered from an attack of Mediterranean fever

He became

thin

and sallow and experienced

His lodging was situated in the house of the Professor of Mathematics, who was one of the
attacks of acute exhaustion.
instructors of the
for

substituting

it

regiment. He gave up his midday meal, an early dinner, which he ate each afternoon
43

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


-

OF

KING
Every
*irul

at three o'clock

a cafe

opposite

the Professor's house.


-to

moment

of his leisure time

was devoted

writing,

he

limited his sleep to six hours. u

and was accorded

But he did not neglect his wnik, 11 an unheard-of mark of favour by being
lull

some important gunnery experiments. placed in control of Meanwhile the elections for the States-General were in
swing,

King Louis
to his
as a

XVI had

been forced,

at last, to restore

M. Necker

position

as Treasurer,

and

that austere Swiss

condition of taking office, the summoning had demanded, n of the nation's Parliament after a lapse of more than a century.

m the the people Everybody professed to see a victory for of In the Rhone throne. the humiliation and bankruptcy
famine conditions prevailed in some districts and there Valley were outbreaks of violence. Troops had to be called out on
;

Napoleon was ordered to go to a neighbouring village, April where two merchants had been murdered by the inhabitants on
2,

of wheat-hoarding. suspicion Happily thcrriot the soldiers arrived. The Corsican had felt

was over when

pathy think

for the
that,

nothing but symFrench peasants and workers, and was glad to whereas it had been possible to prevent the meeting

of Parliament in his native island,


avail in France,

no such prohibition was

of

He
as

in the of rejoiced, too, exploits

Mirabcau,

who was

a candidate in Marseilles.

That name,
enables

corner of France.

has been said, was magic already in every There is a common sense of humanity which

men

to

prompts them immediately


dates for the

recognize a leader even by hearsay, and which to follow him, Of all the candi10

only Mirabcau was famous,' nor did recoil from the public opinion ugly facts of the man's life which were being broadcast by his enemies. If Mirabcau had

New Parliament

run away with a married woman, he had expiated that fault in


the

dungeons of Vincennes.

It

was

set to his credit

now

that

his father, the

marquis de Mirabeau, was his enemy and that the gates of die man's King's house were shut against him,

relations

women very seldom in the minds of common folk.


with
In Marseilles the leader was

affect the

he holds position

"Men, women, and

an object of already worship. children," he himself testified, "watered


with
44
tears

my

hands,

feet,

and

clothes

and

called

me

their

God

NAPOLEON, PHILOSOPHER
and
their salvation."

He wept
:

Joseph year has begun hopefully for right-thinking people, It is astonishing, after all these centuries of feudal barbarism and political slavery, to see how the word liberty sets ablaze minds that appeared to be demoralized the influence of
"

for their 'service. wrote to his brother

judgment

with them, but held a. cool Napoleon, hearing of these scenes,

The

'

'

luxury, indulgence, and art." He added " While France is being regenerated us unfortunate Corsicans?"

by

what

is

to

become of

THE REVOLUTION COMES


TO CORSICA
CHAPTER
v

NEWS
fortnight

travelled

gathered

like the rolling snowball, slowly and, heard a Auxonne What size in its travelling.

afterwards about events at Versailles and Pans

was

seldom, therefore,

much more
and
11

than a

garbled

tale.

But garbled

or not, the tale was told


clubs,

retold, in inns

with unflagging zest, and the Tiers Etat, under Mirabeau's leadership, had refused to. submit to the King's demands. Like chcSs-players, the village
politicians

and pothouses and Tta States-General had met,

forecast

the

next
their

move amid wranglmgs

that

nourished themselves

upon

own

bitterness.

at Versailles was In fact, however, the struggle proceeding

not between Mirabeau and the King, but between Mirabcau and Necker, The Swiss banker had compelled King Louis to

summon

the States for a definite

purjfcse

-namely,

to set

up

in

France a constitutional

monarchy on the English pattern, exthat this form of shown perience having government was the best for the smooth adapted working of the debt system, The
power
of the

purse

was

to be

taken from the


insisted,

Crown and

vested

in Parliament, which,

Necker

chambers,

The King would


which,
as

must comprise two but not would The reign, govern,


lever

colossal debt to

has been seen, the banker had himself

added ^i 70,000,000,^ was the


effected.

by which change was

to

be

Mirabeau, from the

first,

understood and

opposed

this

plan.

He had made
circulated

study of finance

privately

and had already written and some pamphlets with Necker's dealing

system,

the

exchange the absolutism of the King for that of moneylender would, he believed, be a calamity one effect

To

of which
the

must be

the eternal submission of French


Little,

policy

to

policy

of London.

therefore,

as

he liked the

46

THE REVOLUTION COMES TO CORSICA


monarchy, he
overthrow,
~

set

himself to
Tiers

The

EM
into

oppose Necker's designs for its was his weapon, Let the three

estates, the Clergy, the Nobles,

and the Commons, he demanded,

be

gathered together assembly, possessed of the authority necessary to reform the system of taxation in the
already suggested by Turgot and

one

manner

King Louis

himself.

The
in
it

proposal was exceedingly distasteful to Necker, who saw an attempt to impose a tax on land and so to diminish the

value of the chief collateral held against the loans from the financiers. Necker's ideas about taxation were those of all
other bankers.
a budget balanced by reduced on the one hand, and governmental expenditure by increased revenue, in the form of taxes on commodities and incomes, on die other.

He wanted

An

upper chamber,

as

he believed, was

essential in

order to exert control ov^r the humanitarian extravagance of die popular representatives. Mirabeau him inch

fought

by

inch; and, by way*of the tennis court, where the

Commons

swore to remain in session


the

till

France had a Constitution, and

Royal Sitting of June 23, achieved the union of the three estates in a National Assembly. Mirabeau's object was to unite
to against Necker and his friends; Necker's

King and people


them. separate
that the realized

When the banker, who had himself contrived Commons should be a large and unwieldy body,

was no hope of avoiding the National its he became avowed supporter and quarrelled Assembly, 43 the about its formation. He with his Master, publicly King,
that there

dared to absent himself from the Royal Sitting, and, the same His friends saw to it that the occahis evening, resigned post.
sion

was marked by

riots

both in Versailles and

Paris.

Louis

Antoinette were compelled to plead with M. Necker Mirabeau's victory, therefore, had been to remain in office.

and

Mane

turned into defeat because the

new Assembly was

ranged,

in the

hour of

its

birth,

behind Necker and against the King. "

The

way remained open for the English system." But Mirabeau's resources were not exhausted.

He set himself

with diligence to bait the Swiss, and succeeded so well that Madame de Stael, Necker's daughter, and now, by her marriage to the Baron de Stael-Holstem, Swedish Ambassadress, avowed
die distress

which he was

inflicting

upon her

father

and

herself,

47

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


"
1

OF
11
Lt

KING

He had

Necker."

M. of damnable way,' she lamented, praising The breach between the Assembly and the King, in

to heal; that between the Assembly and the consequence, began banker to grow wider. Necker, as has been said, had compelled the King to summon the States and to double the number of the Commons. He had

counted upon assuming immediately the leadership of the u

Commons and
the

so

forcing

his

system,"

as

Mirabcau

called

it,

King and the nobles, But a true leadership had upon it was necessary to defeat it, The banker, stung by arisen; Mirabeau's taunts, fell back upon the citadel of his powernamely, Pans.

His newspapers began


sleep
his
at

Assembly was going to General Lafayette^ with


repeated
this

complain that the " Versailles. His friend,


to
1

American honours upon him,

story, and,

on the showing of

Madame

dc Stael,
falling

a lively indignation. expressed under the influence of the King?

Was

tfye

Assembly
it

No sooner

had the question been asked than

was answered.

Some 20,000 soldiers, it was rumoured, under the nominal command of the octogenarian Marshal dc Broghe, but commanded by General Besenval, one of Louis XV's effectively Besenval was notorious veterans, was on the march to Paris. as a friend of the Comte d'Artois, the King's younger brother;
only

Mirabeau

seems

to

have

remembered

that

he

had

quarrelled recently with the Court and become, instead, a of Necker. Mirabeau showed the liveliest In partisan anxiety.
his greatest orations he conjured the King to send away to die frontiers the bad advisers had troops persuaded him to summon. he cried, ^Sire," "you are among your children.' He exerted himself privately, at the same time, to

one of

whom

show Louis XVI all the danger to himself and his throne which was being incurred. But his advice came too late. It was not that the King was
not fully entitled to dismiss a minister in whom he had lost confidence, nor that, in view of the riots which had followed M.
Necker's resignation a month before, the drafting of troops into Paris, when M. Necker's dismissal had been decided upon,
tion that

was a needless precaution. The mischief lay in the identificawas bound to be effected between the cause of the

THE REVOLUTION COMES TO CORSICA


banker and that of the people of
Paris,

Necker, they would

inevitably suppose, was to be sent away m order that they might be massacred. Mirabcau suspected that Necker had had a hand in the of the and the into the drafting

troops

capital,

events of July 14,


suspicions.

No

and the days which followed, added to his sooner was the banker exiled from France than

the Parisians were seized with


in
all

Fierce mobs, numbering panic. persons, occupied the Louvre, the Tuilenes, the Place Vcndome, and the Invahdcs. The trees in the

some 200,000

gardens

were stripped of

their leaves

to

make "Necker

cockades,"

green being the colour of the banker's livery. Finally, the strong fortress of the Bastille surrendered almost without a

blow and was destroyed. During all this time the troops remained inactive in their camp; not the smallest attempt was made by them to protect Ijfe or to oppose the mobs.
It

was with

Mirabeau watched

a sense of fear, exceeding his sense of shame, that tlfe further of his steps adversary's triumph,

the formation of the National


of the

Guard by

Lafayette,

the setting

Hotel de Ville, the making of the up tricolour cockade (again by Lafayette) out of the red and blue of Paris' flag and the white of the Bourbons, the
at the

Commune

capitulation

of the

King

in the face of his

army's defection, his penitential

journey to the capital to snake hands with treason, his yielding to the Assembly's demand for the recall of Necker. Mirabeau
himself was

m the toils;

for the

Commune had

triumphed over

the Assembly as well as over the King. Lafayette and Bailly the Mayor, and, above them all, Necker, were the masters of

France,

who had
a

and

enlisted

disarmed authority, whether royal or popular, force of their own. The Assembly fighting
in silence

received the

King

when he came

to

it,

and Mirabeau

was

was cheering and because Necker had come out again from his native shouting "
silent.

On

the frontier, at Bale, there

Switzerland to rule France, preferring,


regrets,"

as

he

said,

danger to
of his

Necker 's carriage was escorted by


National Guard.

bodyguard

new

On

reached Nogent-sur-Scme. 46 the commander of the troops at Paris, had General Besenval, had been arrested at the village of the fled from
capital,

the morning, it July 28, 1789, early The banker was informed here that

49

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


Villegruis

OF

RING
and

and was

to be sent back for

trial.
a'lr

Necker heard the


of confidence

news

with consternation,

He

lost all his

wrote instantly to the authorities of the village, assuring them that Besenval had the King's permission to go to Switzerland, He asked, as a favour to himself, that the General should be
set at liberty

and allowed
its

to continue his journey.

This
to

letter

did not achieve

object;

on the contrary,
days
later

it

was sent

police-

headquarters and Mme. de Stael,

in Paris,

Two

Necker, with his wife

made a triumphal entry into the city. He of the received was by Lafayette, Bailly, and a great number his to and their fortunes cadets of noble houses who had joined " welcome his were destined for places in Bailly's system."
was rather tepid because he had seen die letter about Besenval 7 and guessed what was coming. He at police-headquarters/

was not mistaken.


Ville, in

Necker, from the balcony of the Hotel de asking for a general amnesty, declared that Besenval

had co-operated faithfully with him durfng the two months which had preceded die outbreak, adding
:

"

That

is

why

most insignificant Before he left the building an order for Besenval's release had been signed by Saint-Mery, the president of the electors,

throw myself on my knees at the feet of the and humblest of the citizens of Pans."

and many

others.

But Bailly refused to


courier to

sign.

The

order was
letter

sent off instantly

by

a Villegruis, with covering

from Necker.
Mirabeau, hearing what had occurred, acted instantly, and " what he rightly called I'acte illegal

secured the annulment of

de commiseration."

despatched to bring Besenval to Paris, and the crowd, getting wind of what was afoot, dried the tears-which the banker's eloquence had
to its

Two

officers

were

brought and began to demand Besenval's blood. But the Swiss General was not brought to Paris, He remained during three months at Brie-Comte-Robert, from which he was
eyes
released.

He

died soon afterwards in a drunken


events

orgy.

and Paris, was a humble in Auxonne, where, on Napoleon playing part 1 8, a riot had taken The mob rushed to the office July place.
these
at Versailles

While

were passing

of the local tax-collector

and broke into

it.

They wrecked

it

and destroyed

all

the documents.

The

were called out, troops

50

THE REVOLUTION COMES TO CORSICA


but,

when

ordered

to

fire,

refused,

sullenly.

The

officers

reasoned with the men, but two days passed, during which the salt-store was raided and the salt sold off free of tax, royal
before
of the

any impression was made, On August 23 the officers regiment were required to take the new oath which the

National
"

Assembly had decreed

To

be faithful to the Nation, the

King and

the

Law and

never to lead those under


required to do so by the The inevitable soon
the Colonel's house and

my

orders

against the citizens unless

civil

or

municipal officers."

happened.

A
the

body of troops went

to

demanded

cashbox.

This was given to them.


part
officers.

They

custody of the regimental got drunk and forced


carousing.

some

of the officers to take

in their

Napoleon

was not one of these

He

took the

earliest

opportunity

of

asking for leave, and on

September
a second

15, 1789, sailed for Corsica.

At

Marseilles he

paid
the

visit to tht

Abbe Raynal

in order to

give

him

completed manuscript of the History. He reached Ajaccio at the end of the month. Joseph was now in legal practice in the town, and Lucien, after a second change of mind, had returned

home.

Lucien was fourteen and had no plans.


to Corsica,

The Revolution had come

and

its

coming had

set

were going up patriots his brothers remained to the mountains. and again Napoleon since the new France had obstinately in the town, saying that,

the Clans in motion one? more.

The

made amends
her.

to Corsica,

it

was the duty

of Corsicans to

sup-

Joseph was already one of the leaders of the Revo^ port and though his advocacy of the French cause lutionary party, was intemperate enough, it was sincere. When Mirabeau confessed

that he felt shame because te had fought, long publicly Paoli and demanded that the Corsican leader ago, against should be invited to return to his fatherland, the Buonapartes
felt

themselves
"

justified.
la

Letizia

made

the words,

Vive
it

Nation!
of the

Vive Paoli!
"

huge banner, bearing Vive Mirabeau !"

and hung

from one

windows

of her house.

Her

sons

the streets, shouting, patrolled those of them The


patriots,

Evviva

k Francia"
not gone
to Corte,

who had

and

the Royalists, of whom there were still a few, looked sourly on these demonstrations. La Ferandiere, commander of the

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


citadel of Ajaccio,

A
in

KING
for

wrote

to the Minister of

War

Pans saying u

that

Napoleon would be much


his time
stirring

better

with

his regiment,

he spends

up

trouble,"
since

Letizia had preserved, her husband's of the French conquest, a lively fear acceptance of the old scores to settle. She foresaw who had
lad's
better.

The

mother knew

patriots,

many

that Paoli's return

was

likely

to be attended

for her by trouble


to secure

family and was exerting


tection.

herself,

consequence,

pro-

gallery in order the better to entertain his

The long

which Carlo had added


French
friends,

to the Casa>

was thrown

open once more and became the scene of family gatherings at which everybody with whom kinship could be claimed was
This frugal woman knew very well that she was the last issue, not wasting her money; and she realized that, Not to the new France. the family must look for
entertained.

protection

that she felt

has been said, any sympathy with revolution; as had been presented to the King and Queen and held them both in respect and even affection.
she
Letizia's

policy
of

of

entertainment
to be one of the

to the

appointment Joseph Comite Supeneur of the island

was rewarded by the from Ajaccio delegates


at

Orezzo,

Another

delegate was her young kinsman Pc^zzo di Borgo. Napoleon went with them, At Orezzo they heard that Paoli had travelled
to Paris, where great honour had been paid him the National by Assembly, by the Jacobin Club, and by the Commune. of which deputation, Joseph was one of the four

from London

members, was

sent off at

once to France

to

meet him and

escort

him
its

into Corsica,

Paoli's arrival in Paris followed a series of events

which had

beginning on the night of August 4, 1789, when a group of noblemen, many of whom were close associates of Necker and Mme. de Stael, renounced publicly their feudal rights and even
their

names.
of

"night "
shouted,
It

Mirabeau was absent from the Assembly on this dupes"; but when he heard what had happened
"
I

Fools

jackasses
if

and put

all his

servants into

livery.

enough that, the feudal system had been liquidated, the feudal taxes could not be collected. In a night, therefore, King and Assembly had been stripped of the last rags of their revenue. Necker announced himself desolated, The
clear

was

Assembly,

52

THE REVOLUTION COMES TO


under Mirabeau's
its

C A

stinging tongue,

woke up
effected

to the
-

yielding

to

hysterical
to

where the money

and began to a conduct the government of France was to


6,

oratory had

come from,
the

On August
rights,
fact,

two days

after the renunciation of

feudal

belonged, in
to the

Buzot suggested that the Church lands "to the Nation." Next day Necker came

He
but

Assembly and announced that the cupboard was bare, demanded the immediate floating of a loan of 30,000,000

francs at 5 per cent.

The Assembly
failure,

accepted his suggestion,


cent.

angrily reduced the rate of interest to 4 per

The

loan was a
to

complete

On August

27 Necker got leave


This loan also
as

borrow 80,000,000 francs at 5 per cent. failed, King and Assembly were therefore,
them, "hideously bankrupt."

Mirabeau told

But there were the Qhurch lands.

The Committee

of

Finance of the Assembly that the proposed, in September, Church should be forced to pay its fair of taxes,
proportion

and Mirabeau remarked that die


to discuss

an

that issue

issue of paper money would be based on their

disinclination of the bishops was due to their fear that

lands.

Mirabeau did not

bankers possess themselves of these " Credit money," he lands in exchange for an overdraft. u 18 is or theft sword in hand." a loan a declared, collected,
to see the international

wish

The Assembly hesitated. The idea of despoiling the Church was repugnant to the majority of members; on the other hand, there was no money in the nation's coffers. September passed
without a decision.
to the officers of the so

On

October
to

bodyguard

Marie Antoinette appealed her and her children, protect

On the threatening had become the attitude of the Parisians. an'd next day King and the Women took of March the 5th place,
Assembly were taken
to Paris as the

On

the loth

Madame
The

of the Commune. prisoners 49 de Stael's lover, the Bishop of Autun,

Talleyrand, proposed that the Church lands should be confiscated

to

the

outright. extent of

Treasury, Talleyrand said, would profit

50,000,000 livres annually.

Mirabeau, on

October 30, supported this proposal But Mirabeau's support was given in order that France might be saved and not in order that Necker and his friends might
further enrich themselves.
Battle

was joined

at

once between
E

53

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


tribune and banker about the best
lands.

KING
the

means

of

using

Church

On November
its

14 Necker asked
it

'that his

bank might

be allowed to raise
to lend

note issue so that


to the

more
the

freely

Government.

might be in a position He was asking, in


at

effect, for

Church

lands, as

Mirabeau
of

once pointed out.

Mirabeau dwelt upon the absurdity


to lend to
itself.

The

debate went

on

the Government inviting until December, when,

on the

the igth, commissioners appointed to advise


after consultation

Assembly

reported
that
the

with Necker.
to

bank should be asked


not only

They recommended lend the Government


part,

80,000,000 livres; the Government,

on

its

would

offer the
all

Church

lands as

security,

for the

new

loan, but for

the old ones,


its risks,

The bank would


by
titles to

therefore be

covered, as to all
itself,

either

land (assignats) or by the land

into arrears. Ncckcr, supposing that the interest payment^ fell in short, was to have the land in exchange for his promissory

notes

in

exchange, that

is

to

say,

for

his'promises

to

pay gold
it

or silver

on demand.
this

storm greeted

proposal,
it

and Mirabeau denounced

as

a theft.

Nevertheless,

that the interest

was adopted, with the modification on the loan was to be derived directly from the

rent of the land.

The group of financiers of which *Nfecker was the head had when Paoh reached Paris, possessed themselves of the estate of Mother Church and become, at the same time, the
thus,

creditors

of

Throne and Parliament.

The

Corsican leader,
this

thanks to his stay in London, realized that


virtual transfer of the control of
Street, seeing that all loans, as

represented a

French policy to Lombard has been pointed out, were, ulti-

mately, loans from* London.

He

foresaw trouble in France

and became more firmly convinced than before that Corsica must join her fate to that of England,
accepted, nevertheless, from the French Government the of Commander-in-Chief in Corsica and took the usual position oaths. in Joseph Buonaparte and his friends met him in

He

Lyons

May,

1790,

The General gave Joseph

playing-card, on the

back of which, years before, Carlo had drawn his (Paoli's) portrait. Some few days later Paoh met Napoleon, who, in spite of his emotion, maintained a control of himself.
strong
54

THE REVOLUTION COMES TO CORSICA


"

You

are cast," the General told him,

"
in the ancient

mould.
But

You are one of Plutarch's men." The flattery was very precious and
Letizia remained anxious

achieved

its

object.

and watchful.

Paoli, she

warned her

sons, does not love the French and never will love them,

They

very strong position, for not only was he assured of the support of the Clansmen and patriots, he was also Commander-m-Chief of the

soon

knew

her wisdom.

The General was

in a

French forces in the


civil

island.

Further, the French authorities,

and military, were ready to because co-operate with him most of them were Royalists and therefore very ill-disposed
towards the Revolution,
dislike of the

Paoli scarcely troubled to hide his

men

in Paris or his distrust of their ideas.

thus

as the of the Revolution, were supporters minority; they did not, on that account, abate either their enthusiasm for the General or their turbulent

The Buonapartes,

a sad

Radicalism.

Paoli, 'for his part, visited Letizia,

showed her

great kindness, and helped the candidature of Joseph for a seat in the town council of Ajaccio, But he moved the of
capital

Corsica

from

Bastia, the

French headquarters,

to his old

eyrie

among
allow

the mountains.

Napoleon's leave was nearly up,

He

asked his mother to

him

to take Louis, ilbw

aged

thirteen,

with

him

to

France

in order to give the boy a better education than Ajaccio could offer, and the brothers reached Auxonne on February 12, 1791,

having spent a night on the way


at Valence.

at the cafe of

Mdlle.

Bou

a a week, pound Napoleon's pay was still about " first stairbut he was lucky enough to get rooms in barracks case No. 16 "and so was able to live with Louis rent free.

His
old

own room possessed a wooden box, and two


to

small uncurtakied bed, a table, an


chairs.

Louis'

room had no

other

furniture than a mattress on the floor.

how
fall

buy food and how

Napoleon taught himself to cook itso that they might not

into debt.

He

formed the chief meal


rations of

concocted a "nourishing broth" which of the day and which was helped out by

dry bread.
his

He

bought needles and thread and

mended

all

own and

Louis' clothes.

The

brothers never

set foot in a cafe.

Hope was

still

centred on the History about


55

which Mirabeau

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


had written
"

KING

The little history seems to announce Raynal a genius of the first rank." An excuse was found to interest for some Paoli in the work, and Napoleon wrote to him asking
to
:

details

about the war with France,


history

The General
rebuke
at a

replied

to the

effect that since

was not written in tender years he was

not interested.

The

effect of this

moment when
little

attempts to find a publisher

had

failed

and when the news from


Nevertheless, the

home was
soldier

be imagined. disturbing can


his

went doggedly on with

brother.

educating his Louis received a careful grounding in mathematics


insisted

work

of

and geography, and Napoleon


his Catechism for his first

on hearing him

recite

a diary of entry in the records the Lieutenant's view that love is hurtful to period " does and to man's individual happiness and that it society

Communion. An

more harm than good,"


In May, 1791, Napoleon was raised to the rank of First Lieutenant and received a small addition to his'pay. He was posted to Valence and returned, with Louis, to Mdlle. Bou's house.

Here he competed
City
of

for a

Lyons
Paoli,

for the best

was plain
to praise

living

and

offered by the Academy of the " on His recipe Happiness." essay high thinking, and he went out of his way

prize

But he did not win the

prize.

His

interest in

politics,

meanwhile, was as great a?

ever,

understanding of what was afoot in Paris, between Necker and Mirabeau nothing more important than a debate about methods. All eyes were on the King, whereas the

though he had no and saw in the battle

King was merely


and banker were

the prize for the possession of

which tribune

XVI as the fighting. of his the system, figure-head supreme guarantor of debt; and Mirabeau, on the contrary, wanted to reunite
Necker wanted Louis

King

people

in order to rid of the financial get dictatorship. The assignats were the bone of contention.

Until now, as

has been seen, they were no more than title-deeds to parcels of land which could be used as for loans from Necker's
security

enjoy the rent of the land instead of interest. Mirabeau saw another and better use, Why not, he demanded, use the tide-deeds instead of One could then off
to
all

bank

Necker

the loans

money? pay immediately and have plenty of cash in hand

as

well.

The

suggestion appalled the banker,


56

who

argued

that,

THE REVOLUTION COMES TO CORSICA


since the

price of land fluctuated,


particular title-deed
it

no guarantee could be given


its

that

any

would fetch

face value

if

the

land

upon which

was based was sold in the open market. His


if

opponent replied that


it

repayment could not be made in land

could not be

made

at all, that the seeing

Government did not

possess any gold or silver.

Mirabeau's case was that the bankers

were anxious
to

to

impose This battle raged from in 1790 until the autumn of that early on Mirabeau, year. August 27, addressed the Assembly and
a means of assignat as repaying debtthat is to say, as legal-tender money would help to rally Frenchmen to the support of the Government, This view found
asserted that the use of the

their will

keep France in debt so that they might continue on French policy.

favour with the Parisians, and within a


tions of the
city

month thirty-seven in declared, for increased issues of assignats smaller denominations, The idea was to create a
paper

sec-

money

convertible into land, of

which

the

instead of into

gold,

of

which the
:

Government owned much, Government owned none.


to substi-

Anson put "

die matter

simply

Every nation has the right


tute territorial

to

manufacture money,

The French provinces


cities,

currency for metallic currency." Mjere not so enthusiastic.


land

Among other

Lyons

if protested that,

everyone would refuse to thus be brought to a standstill. Necker was naturally grateful
scale,

money was issued on a large and business would accept it,

for this
in*

support; 50 the Assembly,

his friend

assignat,

made the most which was no more than

Talleyrand, who was his spokesman of it, declaring that the a token for the precious

metals, could never possess the full value of these metals. While this debate was in progress NeckEr was making heavy He had risen to weather in the matter of the food
supplies.

fortune by financing the grain trade. Marat, an extreme revonow attacked him for alleged swindles in connection lutionary, " " with the people's food, and, though the Friend of the People
of France, the charges continued to circulate, the alarmed Moreover, by the debates about the economic public, hoard to metallic had blizzard, money. Necker's banker begun

was driven out

friends

were being subjected

"

"

to

runs

which they were

in

no

to withstand, seeing that all of position

them had

lent

promises

57

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


to

OF

KING
holdings of

pay gold and

silver far in excess of their actual

these metals.
terrified

It

was now discovered by an astonished and

exchange
to
for

whereas the holder of an assignat could public that, it for a of land, the holder of a banker's promise
piece
silver
all.
z.^.,

pay gold or
anything
at

The moment
to the

bank-notecould not exchange it this was known every holder


and the
entire

of bank-notes rushed to cash them,


structure

banking

came crashing
silver as

ground.
as

Ncckcr's secret was

out

to pay namely, that you can promise

many

times as

much

gold and
to use

long you possess and instead of gold and silver your promissory notes no longer. The banker trembled for his life because the public,

so

induce people you can

he was

uninstructed about the everyday methods of finance, thought a scoundrel. Necker's newspapers assured the public
that the
toils

man had a stone in his kidney, adding great on in his office, though assured that he is running great
:

51

"He

risks

The public was unsympathetic. by so doing. ..." Necker decided to bolt. In his terror he appealed to Lafayette
One of the General's aides-de-camp came to his house at nine o'clock the same night and informed him that some 600 National Guardsmen were being held in readiness for his defence. Shaken and livid, and his wife entered a
Necker
having to pass the Barrier, and kept the driver perambulating the suburbs until 3 a.m., when they dared to go out. They
drove to Saint-Ouen and proceeded from there to Switzerland amid showers of brickbats from their ruined customers.
carriage of
to flee

to save him.

from the

city,

but

lost their

nerve at the

prospect

Mirabeau's victory was complete; his land shown to be better than bank-notes.

money had been

Only Mirabeau realized the importance of this victory. It was debt which had forced the King to call Necker to his at the While Treasury, Treasury, Necker had increased the volume of debt by a sum so enormous that he and his friends

had obtained a
reversed.

virtual

sovereignty.
in
flight

Now

the

positions

were

Necker was

from a nation which looked

upon him as a fraudulent bankrupt, and the King possessed, in the form of the the means of assignats, paying all his debts and
meeting
all

of salvation

expenses. The tribune began to see the way for France. He opening urged King Louis, in the
his
58

THE REVOLUTION COMES TO CORSICA


miraculously changed circumstances, to surround himself with
his

The guard and leave Pans for Rouen or Chantilly. he declared, would be forced to follow. But neither Assembly,
Mirabeau's understanding of not, therefore, see how an expedient such as the assignats could possibly help them. France was bankrupt. Could bankruptcy be abolished with a ? Horrible
ministers

King nor

possessed

money, and could

printing press

visions of
action.

rising prices

haunted their minds and paralyzed their

The tribune wore himself out m combating these terrors. The assignats, he declared on September 27, 1790, have the
to convert dead land into and he circulating wealth, returned again and again to that theme, To no purpose. Louis XVI could not believe that a virtual mine of wealth had

power

opened
assigned

at

his

feet,

and Defused,

therefore,

to

play

the

part

to

him

sovereign

who

namely, that of the rich and powerful has* been delivered from all his enemies,
died, saying that

Mirabeau sickened and

he took with him into

the next world the last hope of the monarchy.

Soon afterwards Louis and

Mane

Antoinette with their


at

children tried to flee out of France.

They were recognized

the frontier and brought back in a closed carriage, all the blinds of which were drawn. The Assembly, under its President of the day, Alexandre, Vicomte de Beauharnais, assumed control

of the realm.

The news reached Valence


at

few days

later.

Napoleon went

once to the Revolutionary Club and, of his own will, swore " to be faithful to the Nation and the Law." A week later this

oath was
time.

made

obligatory
later

upon

all officers.

He took it a

second

(July 14, brations of the second anniversary of the taking of the Bastille, and for the third time swore, in public, to serve the Revolution,

Three weeks

1791) he joined

the cele-

Then he

asked for leave, and, in September, sailed with Louis

for Corsica.

59

MOB LAW

CHAPTER

VI

and Louis reached home

in time to

NAPOLEON with brothers and


their

gather

sisters

round Uncle Lucciano's

deathbed. man, though completely bedridden, not teased to exert a dominating influence in the household

The

old

had

and had kept


funds.

until the

end a

tight grip

Letizia in October, 1791, therefore, put passing

on the money. His and her sons in

They could buy what they chose, Under Letizia's guidance they resolved

to

buy

safety,

but as
gifts,

those

who arm

themselves rather than

as those

who

offer

Joseph
party;

was committed

to the hilt to the

French Revolutionary

he had been chosen one of the thirty-six administrators of the island and also one of the eight Directors. Napoleon, with the consent of his superior officers in France, became a
candidate for the post of second Lieutenant-Colonel in one of
the

two

battalions of Corsican volunteers

which were

in

process

of formation for the defence of the island against the English.

The

candidature,

it

had been hoped, would have


it

Paoli's

support,

But no, the old General allowed

to be

understood

that he favoured
Carlo's son.

one of the three other candidates before any Letizia threw herself into the election contest and
of

put

the

whole

Uncle Lucciano's hoard

at

Napoleon's

disposal.

In addition she

made

her house his

headquarters,

Fierce-looking
Carlo's
gallery

men, "in native costume, gathered nightly in while Napoleon, wearing the uniform of France,

harangued them, usually to goad purpose. But the other even more freely and at last Letizia candidates were spending
began
to

doubt her

ability

to

stay

the course.

Her son
dream

rallied

her, declaring that they


treating,

had advanced too

far to

of re-

and assuring her that in ten days the


family
secure,

strain

would be
happened,

over and the future of the

And

so

it

Napoleon won without a drop of blood spilled no mean achievement in a Corsican election and in the teeth of Paoli's
60

MOB LAW
opposition.

But on the morrow of

victory, Joseph,

who

had-

many The old


Peraldi,

friends,

warned him
it

to exert the
felt

General,

seemed,

utmost circumspection. himself affronted while the

families of the unsuccessful candidates,

Pozzo di Borgo and

were bent on revenge.


fell

Trouble came very soon.

One

of

Napoleon's volunteers

foul of a sailor in the streets of

Ajaccio and began to fight with him. The sailor shouted that he was for the English and against the French. In an instant
bystanders joined in the scuffle, some declaring for the sailor and England and others for the volunteer and France, and
before long a not
volunteers

had broken

out.

When
became

a lieutenant of the
serious.

was

killed the

position

drew
to

and appealed for help mander in the citadel. This was refused,
off his force

to the

Napoleon French com-

He

ordered his

men

dig trenches across th^ street and fire on the mob and at the same time sent off pickets to seize the roads leading into the

town and

so secure'the

food supply.

The English

party,

meanwhile, had got into touch with the

citadel and, in its turn,

had ^demanded reinforcement.


request
these

The

commander acceded

to this

so far as to offer the use of

some small cannon and

were duly mounted against the

French party. Napoleonsaw the trap into which he had fallen. The French commander was his superior officer; if he attacked the guns he would be guilty of insubordination and

would be

liable to the

death penalty.

Without

hesitation

he

announced

English party, he was obeying the commands of General Paoli, the French Military Governor
that, in resisting the

of the island and therefore the superior officer of the commander of the citadel. This boldness succeeded because Paoli

was not

yet ready

to declare himself the

ftaemy of the country

whose uniform he wore.


Napoleon's statement;

The General did not repudiate but the commander of the citadel,

on hints conveyed to him, informed the Commissioners acting the French Government, who happened to be visiting the of
island, that the

command

of the volunteers

was in rash and

inexperienced

hands.
this

Napoleon had expected


immediately
old

move.

to Corte, to Paoli,

He countered it by going and demanding support, The


He was
cordial,

man was

taken by surprise.
61

though rather

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT


vague,

OF

KING
way
of a

and promised

to see

what could be done


His kindness

in the

transfer to another battalion.

won

Napoleon's

allegiance

anew and

the lad returned hopefully to Ajaccio.


a letter

He

found

there, awaiting him, made against complaint was being


to

from Joseph

him
to

that stating to the War Office in


to state his

Pans and urging him


case.

go instantly
to

France

own

He

neglected to follow this advice,

short time after-

wards he received an order


conduct.

in Pans and explain his report There was a threat of a court-martial.

He
that

reached the capital on

May

20, 1792,

and quickly realized

what was happening in Corsica was of small importance. After the flight and France was being -broken m pieces.
the capture of Royal Family power had passed exclusively to the Assembly in which, since Mirabeau's death, a body of
intellectual Liberals

had exerted thc^hief

influence.

Most

of

these Liberals

had accepted the "English system" and had

laboured (with the help of the abbe Sieyesjto evolve a Constitution which, as they hoped, the

King would

accept.

Necker

was no longer at hand, but his daughter, Mme. de Stael, filled his and contrived to keep in being the machine for manuplace
facturing public opinion as has been said, of a

which he had
group
of

created.

This consisted,

Journal de Paris and the Courier de

newspapers including the I Europe, and of a selected

body of writers and


as

talkers.

The

Constitutionals (or Feudlants

Rue St. Honore) were in close touch with London and with international finance
they called themselves after their club in the

and were concerned

to

put

an end

as

soon

as

the danger of assignats,

which

to themselves

and

to the possible their friends

While they remained in power they they saw very clearly. exerted a firm control of the assignats and resisted strongly all attempts to increase the number of these land notes in
circulation.

were printed,
secured
assignats

The ground of resistance was would rise. In spite of prices

that, if

more

notes

their

protests,

how-

ever, the party led by,

among
of

others,

Maximilien Robespierre

the

adoption

decrees
to

whereby some additional

were made available

pay for reform.

Robespierre when first he became a member of the Tiers Etat had been a mild little with a profound provincial lawyer for the a and desire to the respect monarchy burning poor help
62

MOB LAW
he by public works and other forms of relief, The fact that tL best as and been had chosen, Jesuits,
boy," to read an address of welcome to Louis XVI when the King visited the school, had no doubt influenced all his early

had been educated by the

He had refused the office of public prosecutor in thinking. the his native Arras because one of the duties was the signing of But Versailles and Pans had death-warrants of criminals.
changed
to
his views

help Mme, de Stael and her people accomplishing that end so long as exerted influence. Like Mirabeau, he knew exactly what might

the

poor but

and sharpened his wits. He was still eager of felt grave doubt about the possibility

have been done with the assignats, and despised King Louis because he had let slip so shining an opportunity. He did not
despair
of

mending

the King's mistake.

and accepted by the Constitution wastfinally passed King; the Constitutionals had looked forward to a period of control during which and restore they would retire the
assignats

The

the metallic basis of money, thus once more bringing France into line with London. These had not been realized.

hopes

In one of the

last

sittings

of the National

Assembly, Robespierre
eligible
as a

had proposed
to the

that

no member should be

for re-election

new

Parliament.

His motion came

bombshell.

It

was

punish
passed

but was carried because the extreme violently, on this occasion, voted with the extreme Left in order to Right, the Liberals. Constitution and assignats, therefore, had
resisted

1791 into the

new and

untried hands of the so-called

Legislative Assembly. The Constitutional

members remained

party ministers of the

was

still

powerful
;

in

that

its

de Narbonne, the Minister of

Crown and, since War, was Mme. de S tad's


12

Louis
lover,
It

the Necker influence was by no means inconsiderable. been exerted shamelessly to foment a war

had

European

on the

pretext that the Queen's brother, the Emperor, was plotting the Revolution. The real reason for secretly against desiring war was the urgent necessity of destroying the assignats before
either the

their value.
late

Right parties or the parties of the Left discovered Had the King, for example, realized, even at this

and industry and

hour, that he possessed the means of restoring agriculture so making available to his people the products
63

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


of the richest soil in Europe, France

KING
saved,

would have been

This

is

certain, because France, in 1790,

was almost completely

self-contained except in the matter of colonial produce which,


for a time at

A any rate, could have been dispensed with, debtless France, without poverty or unemployment, would have
constituted the
of

most serious of

all

threats to the financial

power

France could prosper on land money so could then borrow other countries with peasant populations. Why

London.

If

gold?

What
war.

is

possible

in time of

peace

is

not possible in time of

France might dispense with cotton and sugar and indigo and coffee she could not when at war dispense with gun;

powder nor with the armaments which the industrial areas of England were able to supply, nor with lead nor with the wool
of the

Cheviots

and Pennines.
it

If*

war broke out

so the

would be necessary to buy extensively in and England Spain and Holland and elsewhere. The assignats would not serve for these purchases because no banker on earth
calculation ran

would touch them. France would need gold-loans once more. as has been seen, had snatched the Robespierre, who,
assignats out of the

opposed

the

war with

hands of the Constitutional party, had all his so had King Louis, for strength^;
his brother-in-law.

the reason that the


less,

Emperor was

Neverthe-

an ultimatum was sent to Vienna demanding assurances of

friendship.

As it happened the Emperor had died on the day on which the ultimatum expired. But this had not changed matters in the least. The Constitutionals, who had actually
offered the throne of France to the

Duke

of

Brunswick

as a

reward for

his

had begun support,

at once to bait the

new

Emperor, Francis I. 'King Louis dismissed Narbonne and his fellow-ministers and appointed some of the deputies from the
Gironde their but the change came too late. Paris, places, thanks to the Press campaign against Austria and the Queen, was aflame with patriotism and would listen to no peace talk.
in

The
the

Girondists,

Roland and the

others,

had been hustled and

threatened.

They were merchants and lawyers,


;

men

of

proved too much for them, Driven themselves, they drove the King. Louis came to the
64

exponents of a noble idealism the Constitutionals supplied by

the

drums and

peace, whistles

MOB LAW
Parliament house through cheering crowds and, on April 20,
1792, declared

war on

Austria.

Robespierre went into hiding.

Disaster followed,
of

Far from

supporting France,

the.

Duke

Brunswick joined the Emperor, A series of defeats drove the French army in confusion back within the frontiers. Paris
began to fear for her safety. It was out of the question, in such circumstances, to attempt to borrow money anywhere, and the Girondists, in their
extremity, come of war

were forced to
very different
for their

fall

back on the assignats


that

an out-

from

envisaged and desired by

the Constitutionals.
cellars

dug
to

Roofs were stripped of thar lead and French miners and artisans saltpetre,

began

supply the needs of France.

But the Girondists


in

feared,

nevertheless, to use the assignats freely. to issue 300,000,000 hvres pf the land
3

They obtained

leave

money

April, 1792,

and

another 300,000,000 hvres in July, but did not actually put


these

sums into

circulation/'

Napoleon as yet knew nothing about finance, but, as a soldier, he realized on reaching Paris that the timidity of the Government could end only in ruin. He was confirmed in this view

when

the Girondists and to began to turn upon the King the that the of Austnans Prussians and would suggest victory

51

not be disagreeable either to

him

or

to

Marie Antoinette.

Napoleon had no love of Royalty, but he was beginning, thanks in Corsica, to look below the surface of to his things. experience

On

June 20, 1792, a mob, organized by the Girondists with the XVI to accept decrees against priests and object of forcing Louis
nobles, broke into the palace of the Tuileries. Napoleon, who was walking with his old school friend Bourienne, saw it go

raging by and remarked " 55 Let us follow these scoundrels."


:

The mob, which was about armed with pikes, hatchets,


sharpened
petition.
sticks,

7,000 to 8,000 strong

and was and

swords,
to

guns,

skewers
to

went

first

The garden

of the

a present Assembly shut and was defended was palace

the

by 15,000 National Guards. Nevertheless, the mob burst open the and trained small cannon on the royal apartments. gates

The King

received their leaders,

a tricolour cockade, bidding

who offered him a white and him choose between reigning in


65

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


Paris or in
finally

KING
Louis
several

Cobkntz, where the emigres were gathered, and wore a red cap. He talked for accepted

hours -with the deputation and gave them wine. U A11 this," wrote Napoleon to Joseph, "is unconstitutional

and

very dangerous example,


of the

It is
if

very

difficult to see

what

is going to become kind continue."

Empire

events of this outrageous

He was frankly horrified, men he had himself quelled


only another

because with a mere handful o{


a

big

mob.

Was

the Revolution

name

for chaos?

and the Buonapartes wrong? "

In that event was Paoh right "Why," he asked Bouricnnc,

did they allow these brutes to get in ? They ought to have the rest would shot down 500 or 600 of them with cannon
;
11

soon have run."'

For the

first

time he realized that the

National Guard was under the ordjrs of men concerned to save the King. Were the mobs

who were

not

under the acting

same orders?

He had news from home


lished a

that his brother Lucien


all

had pub-

pamphlet denouncing

who

did not sympathize with

the wildest excesses of the Revolution and wrote immediately 57 to reprove him. day or two later, on }uly 10, he was

informed that he had been of the charges against acquitted him with a caution and had been reinstated in his regiment and promoted Captain as from February. He was told,
further, that

he could either return to Corsica and resume

his

there or his rejoin regiment in France. to ask advice, This was to the effect that he Joseph's

command

He
was

wrote
better

out of Ajaccio. "

that I should go to my added that he had been studying astronomy and that he had finished a book on which he had been working.
are all

You

agreed," he replied,

regiment.

So

shaft go."

He

"

this is not the time for it. Besides, printing the ambition be to an author." longer petty

But

have no

66

VENDETTA

CHAPTER vn

NAPOLEON'S on August

decision to rejoin his regiment


1792.
It

was taken
into
effect

7,

was not

carried

because the advance of the Austrian and Prussian armies

upon

Pans had so disorganized the of machinery government that no orders were issued, The Girondists were at their
being
wits' ends.

Not

so the

party

of the extreme Left, the leaders of


18

which

were Jacques Danton;


Robespierre,

Dr. Marat and ai^ advocate,


again

Maximihen

now emerged
the Left

from

obscurity,
their

All these

men

had been Constitutionals and Liberals in

day.

Each had Each was

moved towards

along

a line of his

own,

committeed to die abolition of the monarchy. Robespierre and Marat, from the had been members of the beginning, in the Club rue Honore and had Saint Jacobin
played

conspicuous parts orcmg courses both in Pans and, through


the
provinces.

the

of the
its

Club towards extreme

network of branches, in
club, in the hall of the

Danton had

his

own

Cordeliers across the river


of an

sign unsleeping eye, extreme and the most human.

where he reigned alone under the Of the three he was now the least
His

made him famous throughout


face of defeat

France.

powers His

as

an orator had
in the

patriotism,

and

ruin, turned these powers against the feeble

Government,
and

He

Tallien organized, with Robespierre, Marat,

others, a plan to seize absolute

power

so as to defend

France.

The plan was carried out on the morning of August 10, 1792. Mobs which had been summoned overnight by the unceasing 59 of alarm bells were launched at dawn against the ringing
Tuileries, defended,

on

this occasion,

well as

by

the National Guard.

The

as by the Swiss Guard soldiers behaved with


off,

great courage,
rallied

and the

first

attack

was beaten

But the

mob

and returned

to the

palace.

King

Louis

now

forbade

67

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT


his

OF

KING

guard

to fire, and,

with the Queen, took refuge in the


massacred.

Assembly. The whole guard was

of a furniture Napoleon witnessed the scene from the window Bourienne's brother-in-law, On his way to this owned by shop " a head on the top shop he met a group of hideous men with "

cry Long stopped him and had been taken he joined the After the the Nation," palace crowd in the Tuileries Gardens and saw the bodies of the

of a

60

pike,"

who

made him

live

massacred guard. Even that spectacle, however, horrified him of "well-dressed women indulging in acts less than the sight
of the utmost indecency towards the corpses."

He hurried away

and entered a
"

cafe.

Rage was

in

all

hearts;

it

was

visible in

every face, although

these

from being the common people." A letter to Joseph expressed the opinion that Paris and Ajaccio obeyed the same laws and that one had to see things at close
were very
far

to realize that excitement was no irfore than excitement quarters and that the French were an ancient people who had broken 61 from control. This was the view of the stoic of Brienne and

Valence; savage
in

Ajaccio

or in Paris.

man was a dog who needed discipline, He lingered on in the capital


in the

whether
without
10,
52

orders,

Danton had not taken part

fighting

of

August

having acted that day as commander-ifi-chief of the insurgents. But now he was the acknowledged master with a seat in the first Republican Government as Minister of Justice, and with

The Robespierre, Carnot, and the others as his lieutenants. Girondists remained, but on sufferance. tremendous only announced that France was to be defended recruiting rally

going

without consideration of person or

cost.

The

use of the land


assignats

money began

in earnest,

and the 600,000,000

livres of

put into circulation, bought arms and " wherever these could be obtained. There are traitors supplies in your bosom," Danton told France on August 25, and his
voted, but not until

now

hearers

knew
them

that he

was referring
hope

to the Girondists,

who

were

believed to be in living
restore
to

that the

armies would foreign

power.

Napoleon watched the coming of panic to Paris and grew more and more uneasy. He had no orders, except a request from the girls' school at St. Cyr, which had been closed when
68

VENDETTA
the

King and Queen were imprisoned in the Temple, that he would come and take his sister Maria Anna away. He brought
seeing that she could not travel alone and that Danton appeared to have small use for his services, No objection was offered.

her to Paris and then decided to return with her to Corsica,

But departure had


all

to

be

the

gates

of

Pans were
those of

postponed because, on September 2, closed while the Revolutionary Comits

mune murdered
the

enemies

whom

it

had gathered

in

prisons Napoleon saw nothing of the capital. but much the of fear which had inspired them. He massacres, of sick France her and Revolution, and lost no time in grew
of the

63

quitting

her

bloody soil

Joseph and his mother, he found, when he reached Ajaccio, were experiencing similar doubts. But not so Lucien. That

young man was Jacobin


zeal

of the Jacobins, full of revolutionary

and

of

not only about Paoli, but also about his suspicions,


bl

own

brothers.
his

Napoleon rebuked him and was


pains.

called

Lucien apart, the family, under was displaying a moderate spirit in keeping Joseph's guidance, with its position. Napoleon approved, but he felt vexation, nevertheless, that his volunteers had been allowed to degenerate

"tyrant" for

into a rabble

and had not been

paid.

He

set

about quietly

re-

organizing them with thelielp of Sahceti, a Corsican deputy to the French Parliament, and others of the French who
party

were powerful at the moment because Paoli had fallen ill and was abed. Saliceti was a violent revolutionary and a close
personal
friend of Lucien.

bold

man

with a greedy love of

and money. power " We must punish


publicly except

officers

and

soldiers

who resist
'

discipline,"

Napoleon wrote to a brother commander, *but not accuse them


65

in the last extremity."

His enthusiasm, however, was no longer untempercd. He 06 began to talk about England and her Empire, and even, on

one occasion, when his mother complained of their poverty, " " told her that he would go to India in the service of the John Company and become a nabob. This statement was made after

he had seen and talked with


"

Paoli,

who, though he
efficient

called the

English
help.

a nation of shopkeepers,"

67

did not cease to covet their

Paoli

had been watching the


69

way

in

which
F

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT

OP

KING

Napoleon had reorganized the volunteers, restored discipline among them, and turned them from a rabble into an ctiectivc
force.

He

realized that the


of

offer a strong Buonapartes could

resistance to

plans out of his way, in to win their and to


try

which they did not approve, and had gone to his views to them explain consequence,
support.
It

Letizia continued to distrust him.

was not with her a

matter of
the old

politics,

but of personalities.

She did not believe that

man had

for his defection,

and the

forgiven or would ever forgive her husband of the vendetta was still lively spirit

among the hills. Moreover, like her sons, she was in sympathy with French ideas. Even a France torn by factions seemed to
her
preferable
to the

shifting

sands of Paoh's dictatorship.

The

under her direction, refused to commit themselves Buonapartes, continued to and regard themselves as bound in loyalty to
France.
68

made

Their position grew more and more difficult, and was not less difficult by the behaviour of Lucien, who had joined

himself to the small coterie of Jacobins Ajaccio and become their foremost orator, Lucien denounced Paoli and impartially the French Royalists. He assured his brothers that he and they

were destined for destruction


the

at the General's

hands, and that


Since his views

only safety

for

them

all

lay

in

Opposition.

were not

entirely

dissimilar
all

from

his mother's,

and

since he

was

her children, she attached an importance to them which exasperated her elder sons.
the dearest to her of

While matters were in

this condition

Napoleon,
to

as

Colonel
a French

of volunteers, received orders

from Pans

accompany

was about to be launched against Sardinia with expedition that of the the revolutionaries in that island. object
'

11

supporting

was being recruited in Marseilles. It reached December, 1792. While there the sailors, who were Ajaccio rioted and killed two of entirely undisciplined, Napoleon's
expedition
in

The

volunteers,

the

town

in the

They carried the heads of these men on pikes round manner of revolutionary mobs; it was only by

the exercise of an iron control that the comrades of the victims

were prevented from killing every Frenchman on the spot. Napoleon refused to embark his men, but agreed to go to Sarand the French sailed away. Paoli now dinia separately, put
70

VENDETTA
in supreme command of all the volunteer and these were carried in a French warship to an island ments, of the Maddalena The volunteers group belonging to Sardinia.
his

nephew

detach-

under captured a tower on the island and began, further order to cover in to construct a fort Napoleon's direction, advances. While the Sarthey were engaged on this work dinians bombarded the the result that the entire with warship, crew became mutinied, and tried to take the
panic-stricken,

attacked and

ship

out of range of the

enemy
his

guns.

It

was with great

diffi-

Napoleon got help he brought the mutiny to leaders. some of these Shortly afterwards
"

culty that

men on

board again. With their an end and dealt with the ring-

men made
"

a rush at
to

aristocrat him, shouting that he was an hang him. But his volunteers saved him.

and threatening

The

expedition re-

turned to Ajaccio, where its murderous beginning had not been the volunteers for the Revolution forgotten. The enthusiasm of

was

as cool as that or their

Colonel.
it

But, as

Napoleon quickly learned,

was no longer a question

merely of France against England. Paoli, in face of the evident disintegration of French power and the bitter disillusionment
of the volunteers,

had

lost his fear of the

Buonapartes and was

beginning
hostility.

to
It

change was necessary

his

attitude for an attitude of friendly


to resist or

open

be destroyed,
set

A
out

family

council was held, as the result of


for Bastia, diately

which Joseph

immeto

the north of the island, to meet Saliceti,

newly arrived from


his

Paris,

while Lucien went to France

get

into touch with the authorities there.

Napoleon remained with

volunteers

mother and watched, from day to day, the desertions of his and the rising tide of anti-French feeling. He

cherished a hope, nevertheless, that an open rupture with the General might be avoided, at least until some change in the of affairs in France had made such a rupture less
position

dangerous for his

own

people.

The meanwhile, had moved swiftly. come in time to save Pans, and the had of Valmy just victory Austrian and Prussian armies had retired. Relief had been
Affairs in France,

followed by patriotic fervour, and Danton, as the architect of had become the nation's hero. But enthusiasm is shortvictory,
lived.

The

Jacobins, in their victory,


7
1

began

to realize that the

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


if

KING

party of moderate liberalism, the Gironde,, was still powerful, not in Paris, at any rate in the great provincial centres where merchants and shopkeepers exert the chief influence, The
of violence and wished to settle down provinces were tired to a immediately period of quiet government; nor was there

any very great

hostility

to the

dethroned King in these

areas.

On

the contrary, the idea of a constitutional

monarchy which

Necker had implanted was

The

still widely accepted. Girondists did not wish to restore Louis

XVI

to his

throne, but they did wish to be rid of the Jacobins, of

whom

they were growing

more and more

afraid.

fore, to play off the provinces against Paris.


cult,

They tried, thereThat was not diffi-

because the merchant class, to which they belonged, had no love of the capital and no love at all of its politics. What, great in fact, they were doing was to discourage the payment of taxes at the same time, a the while, exerting deprecatory by provinces the land money. The assignats fell in influence

upon

buying

goods, in other words, rose), while the expected 70 In these circumrevenue from taxation was not realized.

power

(prices

of

stances

Danton and

his

to act with colleagues decided vigour,

They denounced "Federalism" (i.e., the release of the provincial centres from the necessity of paying taxes to Paris) and
they

demanded
This

that the

King should be brought

to trial as a

traitor.

latter

was a trap proposal

for the Girondists,

since, if they

them, while,
provinces

upheld the King, the Paris mob would savage they abandoned him, their supporters in the would be alienated. The Girondists began to temif

but were driven inexorably to action. Louis was porize, to trial; they resolved to vote against the death penalty.

brought

Danton
fatal

demanded
moderate
"

public vote,

by word

of

mouth; one by one these


72

Among them Joseph Fouch<, ex-Oratorian, who, the day before, had recited a speech in which he proposed to ask mercy for the King. On January 21, 1793, Louis was and beheaded in the presence of a brought to the guillotine
Mort"
silent

men n

ascended the tribune and pronounced the

crowd. Almost immediately afterwards England, Spain, and Holland declared war on France.
In face of
this

new emergency any


72

attempt to deliver the

from the provinces

control, financial or political, of Paris looked

VENDETTA
like treason.

But the Girondists had no option.

Unless they

found support outside the it was certain that Danton capital would make an end of them. Agents were sent, therefore, to
Bordeaux, Marseilles, Lyons, Toulon, and elsewhere, and a kind organcounter-revolutionary movement of a formidable ized. In the value of the revenue, as measured in consequence terms of buying power outside of France, fell by more than
twenty-five per cent, in a few months, though actual receipts diminished. The difficulty of obtaining war greatly material and armaments outside of the thus intensicountry was

were not

fied at a

moment when

The

Jacobins opened

a violent attack

the need of these materials was urgent. on the Girondists, whom

they accused of being in the pay of France's enemies, seeing that were pursuing policies which must have the effect of they the Republic, .The reply, that France desired only disarming to make peace with her enemies and to be rid of civil commotion,

was not,

in the circumstances, convincing, because

it

was

certain that, in the event of


allies

disarmament, England and her


speedy end.

would bring

the Revolution to a

The Giron-

were faced with the dilemma that they must put down all to Paris and so lose their support outside of the opposition
dists

capital

to

by inaction, incur the suspicion of being friendly England. They chose the latter course, and civil war at once broke out, notably in the west and the south, while the foreign
or,

invaders began to advance once

more from

the north

and

east.

Napoleon's stay in Ajaccio coincided, in point of time, with the victory of Valmy and the attempts of the Girondists to save
themselves.
Paoli's

That victory and these attempts had modified constituted the chief reason policy and why he had not for in this business, declared Corsica, England. already openly
to
its

ranked

If the civil war as a brought the Revolution province. knees, Corsica would have her share in the new Federalism

and achieve a large measure of independence. Early in May, 1793, while Danton was thundering
Convention
73

in the

in Paris against the Girondists,

news reached
as a traitor

Napoleon
to

in Ajaccio that Paoli

had been denounced

France and summoned to answer for his behaviour before


Revolutionary Tribunal.
in the

the

That news discovered a Corsican


soldier.

patriot

young French

He wrote

a defence of his

73

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


father's old friend
to Paris.

KING

and immediately despatched the manuscript

few days later he heard, with consternation, that it was Lucicn who, at Toulon, had denounced the General and demanded his execution. Lucicn himself wrote to his actually
brothers "
I've
;

given
74

our enemies a knock-out blow,

You
di

didn't

expect that."

This

letter

had

been

intercepted

by

Pozzo

Borgo,

Napoleon's old adversary, with the comment


:

who had

it

and distributed printed

in order to make the name of its original being kept author everlastingly infamous." Paoli hesitated no but gathered his Clansmen about longer,

"

The

is

him

as in

former days.

The French Commissioners,

led

by

Sahceti,

who were
The

them.
of

in Corte, fled toJBastia, with taking Joseph old General declared a vendetta against the family

Buonaparte, and sent orders to his supporters in Ajaccio to seize Napoleon. The small country houses of the Buonapartes

were taken

at the

same time.
to tell

Then

Paoli
if

messenger to Letizia

her that,

she

despatched a personal " would write ex-

of the behaviour of your sons," her pospressing disapproval sessions would be at once restored to her. mother
replied
that she

had supposed
;

that

me

Napoleon's General knew her better

than
"

that,

adding

Je

me SMS

jatte franfaise, et je restemi franfatse.'"

of Ajaccio and

Napoleon, meanwhile, was being hunted. He slipped out managed to reach one of the country houses, as this was in Paoh's hands he was Bocognano; captured the

moment he
to

arrived.

It

was decided

to take

him

to Corte,

but

before the journey


escape.

the

maquu

began one of his own people helped him He crept back to Ajaccio, going stealthily through at night and hiding by day. He did not visit the

Casa Buonaparte, but went, instead, to the house of a kinsman, Here he learned that Levie, a former mayor of the town.
Paoli's orders

were

to take

him

alive or dead,

and further

that

almost the entire population of Ajaccio was

now

in favour of

an

alliance
as

quickly out of die town by

with England. He was urged to escape to Bastia as and arrangements were begun to get him possible,

way

of the sea, 74

VENDETTA
Meanwhile
until

dawn

there

messages he could depend, and soon the corridors of his house were' filled with men who down to sleep with swords in their hands, lay

mayor

sent

to all those of his friends

was great danger. The exon whose loyalty

There came

a loud

knocking

at the street-door,

followed by a
to search the

demand

for

Napoleon.

Levic invited Paoh's

men

house, and contrived at once to

show them

the

glint

of steel

kinsman's hiding-place would be which disputed they thoroughly understood, They expressed themselves satisfied that a mistake had been made, and went
to his

an intimation that the way

away.

the darkness,

later a small went down, through party from the mayor's house to the harbour. Napoleon entered the boat which awaited him and was at once rowed

Half an hour

out to a

ship.

Before

dawn

the harbour

had been

left

behind.

Later in the day he disembarked at a northern where a port horse was in He reached Bastia after some further readiness,

Joseph and Saliceti awaited him. His escape caused a fellowoutburst of great rage among his with Lucien's in Paoh denunciation of townsmen, who, mind,
adventures.

looked on

him

as

betrayer

as well as

Frenchman.
espousal

All the crows


of the French

were coming home

to roost

Carlo's

cause, his patent of nobility, his visits to Versailles, his gran-

deur, his desire to have his sons


foreigners of those sons
as

and daughters turned

into

soon

as

they

left their cradles;

the success, too,

and daughters, Joseph's councillorships and Napoleon's volunteers. Ajaccio had a long reckoning with the Paoli's men were It was resolved to settle it.
Buonapartes,
instructed to seize Letizia as a

her sons. hostage for

Letizia
7
''

Fesch,

had no support except her half-brother, the abbe who had become almost as ferveht a revolutionary as
But she showed no fear and refused
until she
to leave

Lucien.
It

home.

was not

was

positively

assured that an

armed band,

whose destination was her house, was approaching through the 70 Some lads outskirts of the town that she consented to flee.
from Bocognano and Bastehca, who had come to warn her, her with the children. Within a few minutes a party, helped

which

consisted of herself, her

maid

Saveria, Fesch,

Maria Anna

Maria Nunziata (Elise), Louis, Paulette,


77

rechristened Caroline, after Carlo),


75

(whom Napoleon had and Jerome, was hurrying

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


through the narrow
lads
this

KING

streets towards the open country. The from the country houses marched in front and behind, and bodyguard from time to time obtained reinforcements as

other lads
to Milelli,

from the same places joined it. The plan was to go from there along another country house, and proceed

happily

the coast until a ship a warm, very

from
still

picked them up. It was night (May 23, 1793), but the way
Bastia

was rough and the children suffered severe scratches from thorns and cactus and had to be carried, At Milelli they were

and so began to climb the heights of below them, and they heard the clocks of Aspreto. Ajaccio lay the town, far away, striking midnight. They halted here and

warned not

to

stay,

slept

on the ground while their people kept watch. At dawn the journey towards the coast was resumed. They crossed the

open space called Campo de 1'Oro tod came to Campitello. There is a river here; their march was he]4 up until a horse

was obtained from a neighbouring farmer, Soon afterwards a Letizia could see assailed them from in front, great shouting

nobody

in the road, but she hid her the horse, party, including

among

undergrowth. A body of peasants, armed with daggers and scythes, went by on the way to join the At last the Whi|e Tower of Capitallo, on Paolists in Ajaccio.
the thick
the shore and facing, across the bay, the harbour of Ajaccio, was reached. Friends met them here and told Letizia that
Paoli's

made
carry

people had sacked her house, seized her goods, and a bonfire of everything which they had been unable to 78 So far there was no sign of a ship. away,

at hand. Bastia, had Napoleon, arriving the French there to be sent at once to that urged ought ships Ajaccio in order to protect those of the inhabitants who reat

But help was

on

mained
fleet

loyal

to France.
set sail

His advice was taken, and a small

board.

Saliceti, Joseph and himself on immediately anchored in the They bay of Ajaccio, but speedily

with

realized that they


Paoli's

had come too

late;

the

town was wholly

in

hands,

and

could not be

retaken

without troops.

Napoleon, meanwhile, went ashore at the White Tower in a small sailing-boat. He was unable, immediately, to find his
mother, and was about to put off again

when some

shepherds

who

belonged

to the

French party saw him and hailed him.


76

VENDETTA
They
told

him about
left

'

the

about his mother's


abouts.

flight,

sacking of the Casa Buonaparte but confessed ignorance of her whereto

and

They

him

near his boat, seated on a rock,

go to look for her; he remained, Suddenly he heard a shout of

warning. He sprang into the boat under a hail of bullets from enemies hidden in the bushes along the shore. He returned
to the

since attack was out of the ships which, question, weighed anchor and moved slowly up the coast. As night fell signals were observed. Napoleon went ashore a second time, and

found

his

mother and her party waiting

for

him on

the beach.
to

A ship
Calvi,
viccinis,

was now detached


all

to take Letizia

and the children

where

the families of the French the Paraparty,

Casabiancas,

and

Giubegas,

were

gathered

with

their retainers.

They
hope
June

sailed

Napoleon and Joseph remained with the fleet, and down'the coast for about a fortnight in the up

of
it

finding enough support to allow of action. Early in was decided that nothing could be done because the
for Paoli.

whole island was

The two

brothers joined their

mother and
It

relations in Calvi.
to face the fact that

was necessary
literal

most
the

sense of that word, for houses

ruined in the they were and lands were in

The

of enemies whose sole object was to kill possession decision to at once to France and to seek

them

all,

go

help from the

become identified was Republic with which their fortunes had soon taken. They sailed from Calvi on June n, 1793, in clothes
with a small sum of money which given them by friends and the same friends had offered, Two days later, on the I3th,

Lucien met them in Toulon.

77

BOOK

II

THE BURNING

"

L'oligarchie

me

redoute farce que je suis


(to Caulaincourt).

le

roi

des

peuples."

NAPOLEON

SALVATION BY FEAR

CHAPTER

vm

had been kind

to the exiled Corsican

EVENTS the party

family,

for

of the

Gironde had been destroyed Danton by

and Robespierre a fortnight before their arrival in France, and Lucien had the Jacobins, consequently, were in the saddle,
ceased, overnight, to be a liability

and had become an


all

asset,

while Paoli's hatred was the best of


the eyes of the "patriots," especially
that Corsica

recommendations in
it

when

became known
to

had been handed over

definitely

England

as

soon

as the

fact that

were driven out of the island, Buonapartes III soon afterwards assumed the title of George

The
King

of Corsica

was
of

to serve for
to the

many

day

as

the

Buonaparte

guarantee

loyalty

Republic,

The family were well aware of this advantage and, in their the most of it, Saliceti, as a extremity, made deputy who had
voted for the
of

King's

death 3n d
at

Danton, became
pension

the supported consistently policy once a person of importance, He

obtained a

for Letizia

and

posts

for

Joseph, Lucien,

and Fesch,
Letizia

Louis

15,

regiment. Napoleon had need of every penny, for Elise was only 16, Paulette 12, Caroline 10 and Jerome 8, and the times
anxiety.

returned to his

were

full of

Toulon was
warships

in the in the

hands of the mob.


naval base had

The crews
just

of

two

of the

great

mutinied and murdered tick


scarlet,

officers;

guillotine, painted

bright

was

at

work

daily

in the

place.

Hideous

men

heads on the tops of The carrying poles. paraded with for her matron sickened children's Corsican horror, but,
the streets
sake, held herself in control, while

Lucien assured her that


as

these outbursts

were due

to the

same kind of treachery

had

been manifested in Corsica.

The

Girondists, like Paoli, were,


selling

he

said, in English pay

and had been

France to her

enemies.

This was the Jacobin case which the Girondists had found
81

it

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


so difficult to answer, seeing that, in fact,

KING
provinces

many

of the

were actually making war against Pans while Paris was being " " The Republic," cried Danton, is one attacked by Europe. and indivisible," and this became the keynote of Jacobin policy.

The

Girondists were held

prisoners

in their houses or

hounded
on the

out of Paris.

Their downfall was the signal for a


central

series of attacks

government which,
governments,

as

prepared.
separate

Lyons, Marseilles, while in

was obvious, had been carefully and Bordeaux revolted and set up
August the inhabitants
of

Toulon opened France's chief naval base to the English and Letizia fleets, which entered and took possession of it.
Spanish

had

Valette. neighbouring village of La She shared the anxiety of her sons for the Revolution which, under these heavy blows, and by reason of the treachery of its
left the

city

for the

chief General, Dumouriez, who in April had gone over to the Austrians on the field of battle, was staggering. Danton, after the fall of the Girondists, had been in supreme
control,

and that

fact

had afforded some comfort, except

to

and Carnot, who saw with dismay that the man Robespierre was changed. The fierce patriotism of the year before had

grown

cold,

and there was weakness


It

the hour

when

strength

alone could achieve salvation.

was Robespierre who had snatched the land money from the Constitutionals and so made
foreign armies possible, Robespierre of that money as a con-

effective resistance to the

had watched the steady depreciation


sequence

upon Danton the


by preventing a
ings,

of the Girondists' policy of Federalism. He urged in the of confidence necessity restoring money
rise of

prices;

and when,
to
this

in

spite

of his

warn-

sufficiently vigorous

steps

end were not taken

began to grow suspicious, On July 10, 1793, the Committee of n Three Public Safety was reconstituted. Danton was left out. weeks
later

Cambon

proposed a sharp reduction in the number

of the assignats
prices.
85

picion.

Danton supported Robespierre was determined


so

in order to check depreciation and lower him and so incurred further susthat the land

money

long as any possibility remained of forcing on to the markets the supplies of food which, as he believed, the friends of the Girondists were hoard82

should not be curtailed in amount

SALVATION BY FEAR
ing in order to destroy that money. Robespierre's policy was to increase the amoiint of goods, not to decrease the amount
of money, for he believed that, once curtailment of monetary
supplies

had been

instituted,

might be abandoned.
English

hope of effective resistance he Danton, thought, was playing the


all

game

just

as

the
it.

Girondists

and

their

revolting

were playing provinces


penditure should be
too

To suggest that necessary excurtailed, when ample supplies of wheat


available,

and other foodstuffs were

was

to confess oneself either

weak

to exert

pressure on farmers and middlemen or wholly


safety

indifferent to the

of France.
therefore, set about the business of
to

Robespierre and Carnot,

supporting the land


fear, the

money by bringing hoarded goods


this

market, and since no means to

Reign

of

Terror.began.

end remained except naked Fear was the alternative to

defeat through lack of money, and was directed therefore, in the first instance, Sgainst all hoarders of all goods, persons to obtain or silver rather than in payment in trying
assignats,

gold persons found guilty of charging prices higher 81 than those fixed by the Government. The was

and

all

prescription

effective.

There was no curtailment of the number of


rose in less than a

assignats ;

on the contrary, the number


livres

year

from

4,050,000,000 doubled. But prices fell, The means of combating the enemies at home and the enemies on the frontier had been restored,

to 7,280,000,000 livres, thus being nearly

Robespierre
courage.

and Carnot used

these

means with

ruthless

The

armies were reformed and reconditioned and

under officers whose capacity could be relied upon. For placed the first time in his period of service Napoleon found that
interest

was being shown in training and .experience. When 82 he was given the rank of Captain Commandant and ordered of Toulon, his faith in the future of the to the to siege proceed
Revolution began to revive,
of ability trusts a
if only because every young man has enlisted his service. which judgment His regiment was stationed at Nice. He reached Toulon was placed under the command in 1793, and

early

September,
of

of

officers

artillery

whose

efforts

until

now had

been

unsuccessful singularly
consisted

evolved a plan of his own which of the batteries so that the a English rearrangement

He

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


under

OF

KING

at anchor in the harbour would be brought warships lying fire, This plan was adopted, to some extent as a con-

sequence

of the

fluence with Barras,

advocacy of his friend Saliceti, who had in83 the commissioner of the Committee of
cared only for success, and was ready could obtain it; for Paul Franfois

Public Safety.
to

support

man who anyone


This

Nicolas,

Comte de

Barras and ex-officer of the King's army,

had not become Jacobin for love of France, debauched, cruel as a tiger, he was saving his
possessions
for

life

Gay, lewd, and his

by serving Robespierre, and that man did not pay failure. Barras had to defend the remnants of helped
of

French power in India against the English and had some

knowledge

soldiering

just

enough

to realize that the little

Corsican gunner

knew what he was


this

talking about.

Napoleon

was given a

free hand.

How

well-placed

confidence had been was

shown im-

mediately. of a fire which

The

in the harbour becanfe the helpless targets ships

must soon have destroyed them

all.

19 the English fleet abandoned Toulon and the surrendered. One of Napoleon's superior officers wrote city

On December
him

about "
I

to Carnot

cannot find expressions to depict the merit of Bonaparte


service, as

much
that
is

much

intelligence*

and too much courage


84

a feeble sketch of the virtues of this rare officer."


21, 1793, at the age of twenty-four,

On December
was

Napoleon

raised to the rank of Brigadier-General and appointed the of Coast at the mouth of the Rhone. He Military Inspector
elated, because

was not unduly

such promotions were

common

enough become emigrants. . He visited his mother which city she had gone, and found her in a
basement
again to
flat

at a time

when many 85

of the best French officers had


at Marseilles, to

in a house in the rue Lafon.

cheap lodging, a Letizia, thanks

was being served with soldiers* rations of food was just able to meet the of her fuel, expenses 86 The fact that her son had his new family. headquarters near at hand was matter of to both of them. great rejoicing
Saliceti,

and

and

so

Napoleon was uneasy and unhappy.


capitulation
of

He had

witnessed the

scenes of terror which, under Barras' orders,

had followed the

Toulon

slaughter by the guillotine

which

SALVATION BY FEAR
had reduced the to 8,000, the mob population from 29,000 souls the And he knew that and confiscations. fury, imprisonments
the same scenes
place in

had taken place

in Marseilles

and were taking

Lyons and Nantes and other towns. He did not like to the fact that, by means of it; but he could not shut his eyes the frontiers were invaders terror, being driven across the foreign

and the

rebellious cities brought back again to their allegiance. France was being saved before his eyes from a ruin which, only a few weeks ago, had seemed to be without remedy.

Napoleon was too deeply and the study of politics not


thought
in
to this

interested in the study of history


to

devote careful and even anxious


"

spectacle

of salvation

by

fear,

and when,
"
Italy
as

early

1794, he was ordered to join


of
Artillery,
his

the

Army
in

of

Comto-

mander

mind was

still

agitation,

He had
There

appointed

his brother

Louis his went aide-de-camp', they


its

gether to Nice,
they

where the army had


representatives

headquarters.

met

the three

of the

War

Council in Paris

whom

Robespierre and Carnot had appointed to act as overseers of the commanders, These were Saliceti, Ricord, and military
Robespierre's younger brother, Augustm.

close

friendship

began between Napoleon and Augustin Robespierre, who was the Corsican that he wrote to his brother so much impressed by
in Paris that he

had found

a'soldier

"of transcendent merit

a Corsican

people
estates

who who has

can offer only the guarantee of a man of that resisted the blandishments of Paoli and whose
traitor."

have been ravaged by that

length whenever occasion offered, and Napoleon learned not only the philosophy of the Robespierres, but also the practical necessities which were It was his earliest, contact with their dictating policy. high defended his brother what means
discussed events at
politics.

The two young men

Augustin

by asking

remained to save France. except fear


that the
carried

He

pointed out, further,

commandeering

of

on in every village were to be obtained, because the goods

gold and silver which was being was essential if supplies of


foreign
assignat,
if

used on any

considerable scale for purchases outside of France, would immeso heavily as to lose its buying power inside diately depreciate 87 and Carnot were of the country. Robespierre gathering the metals so as to possess the means of obtaining essential precious G 85

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


.

KING
Terror

damage to the land money. was being used not only to destroy rebellion, but also to obtain the means of waging war. To the Corsican stoic this seemed to be unanswerable logic in
foreign supplies without

the

special circumstances;

but Napoleon was unable, neverthe-

less, to

rid himself of a sense of horror.

He

refused the

oflfer,

which Augustin made him on behalf of


of

his brother, of the post

had though not until he and Lucien. Lucien urged him consulted his mother, Joseph, 88 to and was told: accept,

Commandant

of the Paris

garrison,

"

Young
tioning

Robespierre (Augustin)

is

honest; but his brother

(Maximilien) will
obedience.

brook no opposition.

He demands
such a

unques-

And

I,

shall

support

man?

No,

never."
if he Napoleon, in other words, had fold Augustin that, to Paris, he would further the use of the method oppose

went

of terror, and had been answered that

suA

opposition

would

not be tolerated.

Moreover, he had offered an

alternative

mediod
into

the war across the frontiers namely, the carrying of 89 he the armies which If, enemy territory. argued, foreign
decisively

had been invading France were beaten


pelled

and so com-

the to furnish indemnities, the of difficulty supporting disappear.

land

money would
the

He

Sctually

drew up a plan

for

Alpine passes, and so far persuaded Augustin of his competence that the young man took the plan to Paris. Augustin succeeded in convincing his brother, but neither of
forcing

the

brothers
90

Robespierre
insisted that

could

Carnot,
except

who

make any impression France must make no

on

conquests

which were necessary for her liberty. The truth was that the policy of terror was working its own ruin now that immediate fear of invasion had been removed,
those

and Carnot had driven Danton from life die Robespierre public before because Danton's determination to save France had year weakened in the face of a host of enemies. In of Danton's
spite

unavowed, they had sent the whole party of the Gironde, and, a little later, Queen Marie Antoinette, to the
opposition,
real if

guillotine.

Their pro-consuls, Carrier, Tallien, Fouche, Collet

d'Herbois, Freron, Barras, and the others,


revolting
cities

had

scourged the
for

with massacre and

pillaged

them

gold so

SALVATION BY FEAR
that their armies

might win resounding victory over Austrians and Prussians and Spaniards. Paris, shuddering, had acquiesced. of

Nor had acquiescence been withheld 1794, when the dictators opened attack

in the

early spring simultaneously on

the

of Paris and on Danton. Danton had been gutter-boys forced to condem the as the mob leaders were publicly enrages, called; a week after their execution he himself had been charged

horrible cruelties, to discredit the Revolution.

with having aided and abetted them in order, by their secretly In other words, he had been charged with accepting bribes from London. Nor

had

all

the efforts of his friends been able to save

him

in the

face of a letter

from

the Foreign Office in Whitehall, addressed

to the banker

the time of his arrest.

Perregaux, and found in his (Danton's) pocket at This letter was shown in to the
private
it
01

jury at the trial;

contained details about bribery and incite-

ment

But victory on the frontiers effected immewhat no eloquence of tribune or pleas for mercy had diately been able to effect, France, delivered from fear, demanded
to violence.

that fear should be


It

put away.

was the opportunity for which a host of enemies had been waiting and none more anxiously than the moneylenders

Amsterdam and Geneva and London, whose utmost

efforts

had

not succeeded in breaking the land money. Robespierre began a kind so determined as to to encounter opposition of suggest
that his
sources.

opponents were by no means lacking in financial reMoreover, his opponents included honest and sincere
formerly had supported

men who
as well as

him

however reluctantly

many

of the rogues

Terror in the provincial the weaknesses of a character which was based on play vanity. at once he Instead of delayed, and so gave his enemies striking
the
tine

who had been the agents of his towns. The little man began to dis-

opportunity

to

organize themselves.

Meanwhile the

guillo-

was kept busy and thus served


so that

to advertise

Robespierre's

cold-bloodedness.
all citizens,

Moreover, an iron discipline was imposed on

desert

was quenched. Women began to gaiety from the Jacobin party, Even so, Robespierre might 92 have prolonged his reign had not Joseph Fouche conceivably been numbered among his foes, Fouche, as has been said, had
voted for the King's death on the
87

morrow

of the composition

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF

KING
a

of a fine in favour of mercy to the King. Though speech kind and even indulgent husband and father, he had accepted the Office, with Collot d'Herbois, of executioner of the rebellious

people of

of

Lyons,

and had

in that

city

massacred some hundreds

them in groups and firing young by arranging 93 cannon at them, The people of Lyons wanted Fouche's blood, and, since the man was suspected of being in English it to them. to Fouche, meangive pay, Robespierre proposed
children
while, was dividing his nights between the sickbed of his dying daughter and the houses of deputies, to whom he brought the

news

that their
terror
to

The

names were upon Robespierre's list of victims. which he thus spread does not, curiously enough,

appear

have been shared by himself to any great extent; his

brother conveyed the assurance that Robespierre's and that, consequently, there was nothing to fear, Fouche added a touch to his preparations which proclaims The only one of the pro-consuls who had shown his genius,
letters to his
fall

was

certain

any degree of mercy was Tallien, an ex-printer of coarse and brutal nature, who, on to which he had reaching Bordeaux, been sent as judge of the rebels, had found in one of the
Therese de Fontenay, wife of the marquis of that

94

prisons

name and

daughter of Cabarrus, the Treasurer of the King of Spain, Therese was very young and beautiful; but her chief attraction
Tallien's eyes national finance.

in

had been her

close

connection with inter;

He had set her free and made her his mistress


richest citizens

and she had sold mercy to the

and contrived,

with her father's not only to help, get many of them out of France^ but also to invest the proceeds in London and elsewhere. Tallien, not Therese, profited; but Robespierre's natural susof women was aroused, He had the watched and picion
girl

was she who was preventing the despoilof the Bordelais of their ing gold and silver and so cheating the Tallien was recalled and Therese found her Republic, way to
soon concluded that
it

95

prison

in Paris,

who had
story

Fouche obtained a Spanish dagger and gave it to Tallien, not been arrested. At the same time he broadcast the
of Therese,

making an angel
All the

of her and

painting hcf

young

lover as a hero,

deputies

who had
list

been told

that their

names were on Robespierre's

were informed,

SALVATION BY FEAR
further, that Tallien, the lover,

would

certainly

strike a

blow

for his mistress

if

her

life

was threatened.

Robespierre, during this time, continued in inaction, going out for walks with his the dog and playing with children in Should he to be or had the time come mercistrike, gardens.
July 19, 1794, against Carnot's opposition, he decided at adopt Napoleon's plan and sent a message to the army Nice to attempt the of the Alpine passes. Napoleon at forcing 95 once set off on a secret mission to Genoa. Meanwhile the
ful?
to
little

On

dictator

of all his

had decided, further, to make one last clean sweep opponents and then dramatically to proclaim forgiveif

ness with

sweeten

it.

the Alpine plan succeeded resounding victory to 97 His friend St, Just, young, good-looking, and a

rascal, rose in the

Convention on a hot day

of late

July

and

hinted insolently
froze,

that there were traitors in the

camp,

Faces
de-

and with trembling hands men livered up Danton and the Girondists
their brows.

the same

who had

wiped the sweat from

the Spanish "

Talhen's corn-coloured head thrust up suddenly; dagger gleamed, naked in the sunlight.
lover.

Names," shouted Therese's

hurled his dagger on the floor, while St, Just choked and cowards were raised from the dead. Robespierre tried to speak;
the

He

dagger answered him.

He

was swept away

to the

Hotel

de Ville, where the Revolution had been born, back, with broken jaw, to a table in a committee room of the Convention, to the the next Revolutionary Tribunal and the guillotine.

day

89

PRIDE

AND HUNGER

CHAPTER

ix

Jrf'was so successful that, on his return to Nice, he expected

N/
warm
superior

^PfrLEON'S

secret mission to

Genoa was connected


the

In some way with

his

plan

for

forcing

Alpine

passes.

congratulation.
officer

Instead he was arrested along with his


at

and thrown into the public gaol


this

Antibes,

He
With

soon learned the reason for


the

change

in his fortunes,

announcement from Pans of Robespierre's fall had come orders from Carnot countermanding the plan of attack,
commissioners

The

with

the

army,

Saliceti

and

Ricord

(Augustin Robespierre
fallen

had

perished

witft his brother),

had

their in order to purge immediately panic and, had turned upon its offence in the plan, having supported The author. had received many favours from

into

Saliceti,

and

this fact

Buonapartes seems to have been


to the

present
:

to

Napoleon's

mind when he wrote


"
If scoundrels

man frnm
life,
I

prison
give

want
it

my
an

shall

it

diem

willingly
it."

enough;

care for

so little

and have

so often

despised

He

refused to

accept

offer of rescue

de-camp, Junot, managed


prison

to

convey

to

his young aideand remained in him,

which

from

August 9
as

leased as

suddenly been received from Pans that there were to be no more


tions or executions*

August 22, 1794, when he was rehe had been incarcerated, news having
until

proscrip-

He

returned to

duty,

but with the con-

sciousness that his fortunes

had

suffered a severe reverse.

To

have been the friend of


to be the author of a

Augustin Robespierre was bad enough;

plan of campaign against the Austrian and Piedmontese armies, which Carnot had as unrejected

worthy
ruin,

of the
as

Republic,

was

so

much worse
was
his

as to

amount

to
to

Nor,

he

quickly learned,

disgrace personal
suffered

himself.

All the

members
98

of his

had family

Jos^k

and Fesch by
disciple

loss of their

of

Robespierre,

appointments, Lucien by arrest as a and their mother a by sharp reduction


90

PRIDE AND HUNGER


in her free rations,

while Happily Lucien had been released, in had merchant silk married the of a Joseph wealthy daughter once whose a had at become Marseilles, widow, mother, 'very
friendly with Letizia. sessed a fortune of her
9n

Julie Clery

was twenty-one and posLucien's marriage,

own

of about /6,ooo.

which had occurred on May 4, 1794, before the fall of Robeof spierre, had been less satisfactory from a monetary point
view. His wife was an two years older innkeeper's daughter than himself and wholly illiterate. Catherine Boyer had been off her feet Corsican the swept boy of nineteen, by eloquent in for the Revoorder the his better to enthusiasm who, display
lution,

had renamed himself

"

Brutus."

But the

girl

had

a cool

head and possessed a native wisdom which won Letizia's IflD approval. Napoleon visited his mother and met his new
sisters-in-law.

He became fond of Julie's younger sister Desiree, and paid her so much attention that, though no contract was 101 made, their early betrothal was expected by both families. He and Joseph agreed that, since their future had become so
campaign and submitted it to the whom it was accepted. An expedition military authorities, by was fitted out at Toulon and set sail, with Napoleon in com-

They prepared

overclouded, an attempt ought to be a plan of

made

to

reconquer Corsica.

mand

of the artillery, in

March, 1795.

had been warned and immediately gave

But the English fleet battle. The French

men-o'-war were severely beaten, and the transports had to flee for safety. Napoleon and his gunners disembarked at Toulon
within a few days of having left that base. This fiasco was soon followed by new
disaster.

Napoleon

received orders to report for duty in Paris, and, on reaching the was told to to La Vendee as-a General in charge capital,

proceed

of

infantry.

The meaning

of the order

was unmistakable.

La

Vendee, the Royalist province, had proved already the graveoffer a General of artillery yard of many reputations, while to

command of foot soldiers was to cover him with shame, He summoned his courage and asked for an interview with the
a

Minister of War,

When

his

protests

that

artillery

officers

were

too valuable to be wasted were ignored, he went sick and to Barras. At die same time he wrote to a friend appealed " I have been ordered to serve as General of the Line in La
:

91

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT OF


Vendee.
better
I

KING

will not do
I;

it.

Many

soldiers could direct a brigade


artillery

than

few have commanded

with greater

success,"

He was

of his sick at heart, not only because

also because of the ruin

which surrounded him.

own eclipse, but The policy of

and its ruthless Robespierre, with its iron control of prices an internal France seizure of the precious metals, had given

amount only by produce goods. At the same time

money

limited in

the capacity of the nation to there had been enough gold

and
fall

silver to buy essential foreign supplies. But Robespierre's had shattered his system. His successors, Barras, Freron,

Talhen, Carnot, had abjured their Jacobinism on the morrow of in response to the general weariness of France, victory and,

had proclaimed a return to freedom both political and economic. They had in December, 1794, rescinded the laws governing
in 1795, allowed the metals to circuprices and, early precious
late

once more.

102

They had,

further, taken possession, for

their

own

use, of Robespierre's

hoard of gold and

silver.

In

consequence money had lost about 95 per cent, of its value. Farmers would not sell except for metallic money, and
the land

famine conditions soon prevailed. In these circumstances soldiers, who were still paid in assigns, were reduced to starvation unless
coterie

103

they happened to possess friends among the small which was now ruling France.

This coterie, having lost the means of financing Government without recourse to foreign lenders, was in the which
position

Louis

XVI had

occupied before the

fall of

Necker,

Happily, in

consequence of the victories which had been won during the Terror, the foreign enemies were disposed to make peace, and so humiliation in ihe field was avoided; but the
Republic,
nevertheless, at the

moment when its


in

soldiers stood

triumphantly
sub-

on the Rhine, was going hat


sistence,

hand

for the

means of

Barras' defence

was

financial

necessity.

His behaviour threw

doubt upon his good faith. While the armies were being paid with the discredited paper, he and his associates in Paris were
living

in a

manner
101

of

which the

recklessness

was only equaling

by the corruption.
de Beauharnais,

The man had a


whose
92

mistress
it

named

Josephine

object in life

was

to outshine all

PRIDE AND HUNGER


and so maintain herself in power. She spent money with,. both hands and rue a possessed charming little villa in the off the Chaussee back Chantereine, d'Antin, standing among its own gardens, and a carriage horsed with a pair of blacks
rivals

which were the admiration

105

of Paris

at a

time

when

private

equipages had almost disappeared. The woman reckoned no value, but knew
thing.
1DC

the

worth of every-

too,

She had tasted poverty and obscurity. Dishonour She was determined never again to be thrust into

darkness,
Josephine's history was not, in fact,

unmixed with hardship.

She had been born on June


in the

in the island of 23, 1763, Martinique

West Indies at a moment when, by reason of the English blockade of the Continent, her father, a nobleman of bourgeois of his stock, who had taken to planting, was unable to
dispose
sugar.

Joseph Tajcher

appointed

man

Pagene had been a soured and diswhose character stood in marked contrast with
la

that of his brother, the baron Tascher, also a who wore planter, the Cross of St. Louis and held a smile on his face. always

Josenh had wanted a son; he gave his eldest daughter his own name, and she was baptized Marie Joseph Rose. Two other daughters left his hopes unfulfilled; but the masterful character
of his wife,
restraint that

who had

estates of

her own, held

him

in such

melancholy afforded the only outlet to his feelings.

Melancholy deepened when his house was burned down and he had to go to live in his sugar refinery.

His daughters had found

their lot a

dismal one, and Josephine

had rejoiced when she was sent to stay with her paternal grandmother in the neighbouring town of Fort Royal so that she

might

receive

some

sort of education.

Fort Royal had not

proved very exciting, but the

made by

a native

woman
Queen

cherished a strange prophecy girl called Euphemia to the effect that one
of France,

day she would be Queen of France,

though she would not

die

She was pretty with bright chestnut hair and blue eyes. But her chief attraction was a great suppleness and grace of figure,
acquired "
I

in the
I

open;
I

as she said

ran,

jumped,

danced from morning


of
93

to

night.

No

one

restrained the wild

movements

my

childhood."

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT

OF

KING

Her grandTrouble, however, had soon overtaken her. mother and her uncle, the baron, referred frequently in her to her aunt, Mme. Renaudm, who had gone to France
hearing

and was living in Paris, Josephine had very quickly realized that some mystery surrounded this woman, and, after a time,
found out that she was, in fact, living with the marquis de Beauharnais, whose wife had left him, Further, the marquis had a son, born at Martinique and brought up by Mme. Tascher,

whose

origins

were rather obscure.

Alexandre de Beauharnais
living

had entered the world while Mme. de Beauharnais was

in Fort Royal with her husband, then a naval officer; but obstinate rumour insisted that, nevertheless, Mme, Renaudin

and not Mme. de Beauharnais was

In any case, a Tascher should send Joseph had his second to France to Alexandre reached daughter marry
his

mother.

demand from Mme. Renaudin


the

that

when

to sugar refinery. comply Joseph was making ready fever. Mme. the girl, Desiree, fell victim to a tropical

Renaudin had now asked for the youngest daughter, Marie, but Mme. Tascher La Pagerie refused. It had become necessary
to

send Josephine.
girl

Her

developed for her age," while Alexandre was only a year older. Nevertheless, he wrote that
eldest
fifteen

was

and

father felt " well

some uneasiness because

his

she
"

possessed

A happy
and a

disposition, plays

little

on the

guitar,

voice

liking

for music, in

which she

will

has a good some time

become

proficient,

But

alas!

fear she will not fulfil

your

expectations on account of the objection you have to her age." had landed at Brest with her father in October, Josephine
1779.

She was married

to

Alexandre on December 13 of the


of

same year in the parish church


not

Noisy-Ie-Grand.

Joseph was

for an attack of malaria fever present,

had

sent

him

to bed.

Nor was
included
their

Francois de Beauharnais, Alexandre's elder brother,

among

married

life

eyes of was a

Mme.

The young couple had begun under the roof of the marquis and under the Renaudm, Quarrels soon broke out. Alexandre
the witnesses.

own importance, and and thirst for Josephine's hunger pleasure were insatiable. JTa live in Paris and one's time spend listening to admonitions and exhortations from one's husband was not a programme conprig with a pained sense of his
94

PRIDE AND HUNGER


genial to her nature,

son, Eugene,
a

had been born, and


visit to

then,

Alexandre had

left

home upon

protracted

Italy.

Wi*n

he came back but Josephine had borne a daughter, Hortense, he had followed. the child. Divorce had repudiated proceedings
Josephine in Pans with Alexandre had been
a

figure

of

pathos. place

She had loved Pans


the

so

much.

Fontainebleau, to

which

marquis and Mme, Renaudin retired, had proved much less congenial. But darker days were coming. Alexandre would not pay for the upkeep of his children; there had been no
option, finally, but to
to set sail

borrow ^1,000 from Mme, Renaudin and once more with her son and daughter for Martinique

and the sugar refinery. She stayed in Martinique during two and seldom in that period left her father's plantation. years, The outbreak of the Revolution lured her back again to France,
for a

Alexandre was become a to make deputy and seemed likely


for

name

He had
Josephine
the

himsejf. refused still to have anything to do with her, but he

had shown some

interest in Eugene and he had begun to pay. was muzzled no longer among the delicious joys of She found friends, notably Tallien of the corncapital.

coloured hair and and became a Jacobin, while leering eyes,

Alexandre,
at

as a

Metz and

good Liberal, was fighting his country's battles a soldier he had ever losing what reputation as

in her possessed. Robespierre, unhappily, had not believed Jacobinism and had thrown her into prison about the same time as Alexandre. They saw nothing of one another. Alexandre

went
"

to the

guillotine;

she survived.

When

she had established

herself once guillotine

in her old haunts with the added eclat of a " widow and a vicomtesse Tallien had introduced

more

her to Barras,

charm.

who had fallen in love with her grace and Since Barras was King, Josephine was Queen. Had
fulfilled?

Euphemia's prophecy been


Barras,

when

Robespierre's hoard

was

spent,

found money

by pledging France to the financiers who had crowded into Notable among these was Ouvrard, the friend of the Paris.

London and of the Hopes in Amsterdam, a man of and reputedly of greater wealth, and Perregeux, charm great whose deals with Danton had not impoverished him, These
Barings in

men

cash in exchange for supplied ready


95

all

kinds of contracts

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


and concessions and made
colossal fortunes.

KING

The armies were

that their betters starved and the poor were starved in order there was resentment, wax fat. might Naturally enough,
especially

among

the victims.

Though Therese

Tallien's

hand

had locked up the Jacobin Club, to die accompaniment of the cheers of a band of rich lads whom Freron once the executioner of Marseilles

had

recruited the

members

of the

Club-

famished and despairing


the rue
St.

continued to meet in the

cellars of

Antome.

One day

May

23,

1795

they broke

loose, in the old fashion,

and stormed into the Parliament

house,

The

President, Boissy d'Anglas,

his chair, while lean


that,

and threadbare

men

was dragged fiom informed the deputies


livres

whereas in 1790 wheat had cost 10

quintal,

the

price

was now 300

livres.

Only Freron's lads prevented a

massacre,
event terrified Barras, not only because it threatened of power, but also because it increased greatly the difficulty set the to borrowing. He organized a man-hunt and
guillotine

The

his

work once more. Every prominent Jacobin, among the number Saliceti, who had come to Pans, went into hiding. They were all in a week after the outbreak, hiding still when, Napoleon reached the and went to stay with his father's old friends capital the Pennons. The young officei met, on the stairs of the
Pennons' house, the
Saliceti did not

man who had

arrested

him

at

Nice.

revenge would Far from it.

speak, 107 be taken.


If

but his expression betrayed his fear that

day he was ten times a Jacobin now.


proclaimed daily that
stripping
it

Napoleon had been a Jacobin in Robespierre's This Government which

had saved France was, he could


its

see,

the

coufttry

of

defences, destroying the armies,


It

devouring the peasants and the poor,


as
it

was

as inefficient, too,

was

corrupt.

He
the

called

on Barras and reminded him of


it

their

Toulon.

Was

that the Revolution possible

meeting at had no need of

harbour?

artilleryman who had driven the English ships Barras promised to look into the matter;

from the
Napoleon

heard no more.

He would
live

on which none could


his

not yield, and took his , half-p^y rather than sacrifice his and
pride

patriotism,

He

starved

and
96

his clothes

and boots began

to

PRIDE AND HUNGER


give out, In the street he drew his hat down over his eyes so,* that none might recognize him. The usual effects of prolonged
fasting

began

to

show themselves.

He was

exalted

and

de-

pressed by turns and continuously rather light-headed. " letters to he confessed Joseph hinted at suicide,

His
I

though

am

sometimes astonished

at

myself."

He had

attacks of Mediter-

ranean fever, which further reduced his weight and his strength, but which exerted no influence on his occasionpurpose.

Very

ally,

as

General, he received

official

invitations

and thus

one of these occasions he met Boissy and talked to him about the army of Italy and his d'Anglas for the of the plan Alpine passes a subject on which forcing
obtained extra food.

On

he brooded continually.
to hear Pontecoulant,

who had

Next day Boissy d'Anglas happened become Minister of War, just

complaining that the mess and disorder in the War Office was so that he not cope with it unless couj[d great help was furnished.
"

He
all

a General on half-pay, yesterday," Boissy told him, has come back from the army of Italy and seemed to know
I

met

"

about that army. He might be able to help you." Pontecoulant sent for General Bonaparte. There came to his
"
a

room

shoulders,

young man with a wan and livid complexion, bowed and sickly appearance," The young man spoke with

such astonishing assurance and vigour, however, that Ponte08 on his own confession, concluded that privation and coulant/
disappointment had driven him mad. To get rid of him he asked him to prepare a memorandum of his views. Napoleon

went
ing

straight

to

Boissy

and
the

told

him what had

passed, explain-

that he

and why advised him,


later

Minister thought about him he had been asked for the memorandum, Boissy

knew what

War

nevertheless, to

Pontecoulant read
forcing
the
passes

perform the task. A few days and re-read a new version of the plan
Alps.

for

of the

He

sent for

General

Bonaparte. "
1

Would you
said

like to

work with me?" he

asked.
sat

"Yes/
work-table.

Napoleon and immediately

down

at the

From that moment he remained in his chair at the War Office when he was sleeping or eating. He continuously, except
seldom returned
to his

dingy lodging before 3 a,m., and within


97

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


41 short

OF

KING

obtained so complete a grasp of the whole period had iMtary organization that his Chief insisted on his attending wiui him all the meetings of the War Committee. One day
Pontecoulant, in gratitude, asked

him what he

could do for

him,
"
I

"

want," said Napoleon,


for

to

be reinstated in the artillery."

The

Minister visited the Director of Personnel, Letourneur,

and asked

Napoleon's reinstatement.

The

Director refused.

Soon afterwards Letourneur himself became Minister of War. services but found to retain General He Bonaparte's
proposed

young man determined not to work with him. Napoleon was in the street again with his pride and his hunger. He
the
starved once

more and because


Government

his clothes

were

now worn

out

could scarcely venture abroad.

Meanwhile
difficulty

was
it

of

borrowing made

increasing on printing necessary J;o go


tottering.

The

assignats

for the

payment of wages though nothing could be


Barras held anxious consultations with his

bought with them.

the colleagues upshot of which of the form of

was recognition

of the

necessity

changing

was

resolved,

must be

set

government. An administration, it up at once which would command the

confidence of the international bankers from

whom

could be obtained.

The abbe

Sieyes,

who had

alone help already fathered

two

was encouraged to get to work upon which provision should be made for an upper and lower chamber on the English At the same time it pattern.
abortive constitutions,
a third in

was hinted that the members of the Constitutional party, hitherto proscribed, would be allowed to return to Paris. While these preparations were going on the little son of 1 DD Louis XVI died ia his The heir to the throne was prison. his uncle, his father's elder surviving brother, who was living in Venice. Barras and Talhen into touch with him and
got
suggested
that,

in

exchange for restoration, he might be

disposed to
brother's
consuls.

overlook the fact that they had voted for his death and acted afterwards as

Robespierre's pro-

But "Louis XVIII," as he called himself, was not inclined to and could not be tempted even forgiveness bjuthe of a constitutional prospect monarchy. Indeed his reply was
of so

threatening a character that, had the need not been very


98

PRIDE AND HUNGER


negotiations would have been broken off at once... Instead, Barras re-baited his hook with a proposal obviously of a makeshift character for an executive of five Directors
great,

who

could,

if

occasion arose, at once vacate their offices in

favour of a King.

The

Constitutionals,

headed by
110

Mme.

de

Stael,

whose

husband had

returned to Pans as Swedish Ambassador, just

gave support to these proposals


houses.
situation

and reopened

their

big

The

more and the monetary Capital became gay once eased Barras was able to convince Ouvrard slightly.

impending formation of a national GovernFrench credit would soon improve. Peace proposals, ment, been had received from Prussia and Spain and meanwhile,
that thanks to the

elsewhere and these


so effect

made

it

possible
as

to

reduce the armies and

economies.
father,

In Spain,

has been said,

Therese

Talhen's
Treasury.

^abarrus,
to

was

in

charge
that

of
post,

the

He

had been dismissed from


negotiate
until

Royal but Barras


111

and Talhen had refused

he was

reinstated.

Therese, in other words, had become a link with the Spanish Government which, at the time, was the chief importer into

Europe
Tallien's

of

the

importance to

this link.

metals. Barras attached great precious In addition he had fallen in love with

The
that

young wife and was determined to possess her. for the new Government were advanced so quickly plans

Sieyes,

who

liked to

make

his constitutions

slowly,

became

angry and disclaimed in advance the child it was proposed to father upon him. In spite of his protests it was decided to call
the

upper chamber the Council of Ancients and the lower the Council of Five Hundred names that were not aggressively
Various checks and balances -were introduced

Republican.

so that an appearance of liberty might be preserved them a system whereby the presidential office in each could be held only during a short period.

among
chamber
"

Louis King. XVIII was in close touch with London and shared fully the objections of the English Government and the English bankers
Barras

But

had reckoned

without

the

"

to

doling with

Jacobins,

however reformed.

He

gave his
of

consent to the

landing in France,
to

from English warships,

an

expedition which was

with the Royalists in La join up


99

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


.^Vendee and undertaken,
so reinforce

KING
all

them

that a

march on

Paris could be

brought plans Barras acted and with courage. He sent General swiftly Hoche into La Vendee, where, but for his refusal, Napoleon

expedition duly for a national Government were

The

set sail,

In a night,
to ruin.

the

would have been

serving.
his

Denunciations of the Bourbons


lips

came thundering from


of the Constitutional

and he ordered the members

leave Paris immediately. Mme. party to de Stacl was forced to and go. At the same time the

pack up

new
had
post

Constitution was changed once more, so that nobody who not voted for the King's death should be eligible for the
of Director.

Hoche

defeated the

expedition.

Tallien was

despatched to deal with the prisoners.

These ruthless measures a new outbreak on the prevented of the Jacobins, Tallien acted with and had part great savagery

some hundreds
to Paris in full

of

prisoners

shot in cold blood.

He

returned

expectation

of honour and reward.

Instead he

found himself shunned his own wife. by Barras and even by The truth was that, while it had been necessary to show
severity

in order to silence the criticism of the Jacobins,


to

it

was

not

less

terrorist

their

necessary any appearance methods which might cause the financiers to withhold a second use, as a Tallien had been'useful support.
;

avoid

of

a return to

scapegoat,

was now found

for him.

Moreover, his wife had

been

supplied

Therese
Elysees

summoned
and
told

with an excellent excuse for leaving him. 112 to her house in the journalists Champs
them, weeping, that, had she been with her massacre of prisoners who, after all, were

husband

this terrible

Frenchmen, would never have taken place, She allowed it to be inferred that she could have no more with the dealings man of blood. Her surrender to Barras, therefore, was
presented
protector.
as the
flight

of innocence and

mercy

to a

strong

Josephine de Beauharnais did not share this view, for she was well aware that Barras had rid himself, of a simultaneously, dangerous political rival and of a troublesome husband.
popularity ever since he, too, had
Tallien's
as the

slayer

of Robespierre

was

lost for

become

terrorist.

His power toliold

Therese,

who had

the ambition to be
100

queen of

Paris,

had

PRIDE AND HUNGER


But Josephine, young to with her rival, who, children, 'position quarrel for the future, would dispense Barras' favours. She keprher
was
in

vanished by the same token,

with two

no

thoughts to herself, accepted jilting with a good grace, and remained in possession of her house, her carriage and her
pension. Barras

people to deal with who had supported because they believed that he meant to effect a restoration of the They had been outraged by Tallien's monarchy.
those

now had

him

massacre; they were suffering extremely, like most of their and defellow-countrymen, by reason of the prices

high

preciated

money and had become desperate. Worse still they commanded a good deal of sympathy among the peasants and
poor,
for

the

and

also

among

the officers and rank and


as

file

of the

army,
of the

nobody was so blind


it

not to see that the profligacy


to

new

rulers fjr exceeded that of the late

In these circumstances

was important

King and Queen, keep on good

terms with

officers

Therese began

to flirt

whose republicanism could be trusted. with the army, which, until now, she

had neglected, and threadbare uniforms appeared in her salon among them that of General Bonaparte. She noticed the
Corsican because he looked so
for a
ill

and gave him

piece

of cloth

new

overcoat.
to

Later ?he asked


tell

him

to an

evening party
requests
for

and allowed him


reinstatement

her fortune,
to

But

his

continued

meet with

refusal.

He grew

desperate and, hearing that a military mission consisting of goinners was about to be sent to entirely Turkey at the of the Sultan, his old chief, Pontecoulant, to request begged him was successto it. Pontecoulant's seconded get application " ful, On September 15 an order was issued relieving General
of
in

Brigade Bonaparte" of his unfilled post with the infantry La Vendee, in order that he direct the Turkish

might

mission.

He applied at once to the War Office for leave to choose the men who should accompany him, and this applicaon tion was considered at a meeting of the War Council held October i, 1795, and was The War Council then granted.
p^sed
to routine business and approved, without reading them, One of these a number, of orders from various headquarters. the active list of from orders removed General Bonaparte 101

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


"
officers

OF

KING

on account

'to

him/'

was no longer order which had been revoked disobeyed an

of his refusal to take up the post assigned the of the mission to head Thus, military Turkey a French officer on the active list because he had
a

fortnight before.

Two
this

while he was engaged in trying to resolve days later, storm which Barras had foreseen the muddle, Royalist

broke suddenly in Paris.

A mob

gathered at night outside one

of the theatres and began to shout threats against the Government. When troops were summoned to disperse it, the torches

which the

soldiers carried

were snatched from

their

hands and

The soldiers offered no resistance. extinguished. Next day Paris was full of soldiers, but none knew whether
be trusted.
or not, in view of the privations had endured, they could they The Royalists had entered a disused convent and

storm. ordered take the place by General Menou, so far disgjoeyed this order as to open negotiations personally with the rebels. He entered the convent alone and demanded that arms should be delivered
to

fortified it; the troops

were

But

their officer.

to him.
his

When

this

demand was

refused he agreed to remove

troops on condition that, after he had done so, the rebels would disperse peaceably. The soldiers were then marched

back to barracks through

lines of

dumbfounded

citizens,

among

whom
the

Napoleon, just emerged from the Theatre Feydeau, was standing, Napoleon and the friend who was with him followed

crowd

to the Tuileries

Convention

where

an

anxious

and entered the public gallery of the debate was in progress.

Deputies were on their feet hurling accusations and threats at one another and for some time the uproar was so great that no decisions could be taken. When the first shock of alarm

immediate
lodging. an order

and surprise had passed, however, Barras was invited to assume command of the troops. Napoleon went back to his

A few minutes
from Barras
post
of to

after

he had arrived there he received


to

come

him

at once.

Barras offered

him
I

the

second-in-command
:

to himself and

when

the

Corsican hesitated, declared "


It

give you three minutes to think it over." i a.m. o'clock of October the I3th 5, 1795 maire in the Calendar. At dawn

was

Vend4;

mob

Revolutionary would attack the Tuileries just


102

th^Royalist

as the

Jacobin

mob had

PRIDE AND HUNGER


attacked on August 10, Was Barras to share the fate of, 1792, Louis XVI ? remembered that there were a number

Napoleon

of

guns

at the

camp

of Sablons outside of Paris.

He

got

leave

to visit

been arrested by Barras, and obtained from him information about these Then he pieces.
cavalry
officer

General Menou,

who had

sent a

named Murat, with


his
force,

800 horse, to bring

the

guns

to Paris.

He now
Tuileries

organized
8,000

which,

including
leading

police,
to

numbered about

men,

Every
of

street

the

was picketed and

supplies

ammunition and food

were brought into the At the same time beds for the palace. wounded were made ready and a line of retreat decided upon
in case of need.

with the guns and reported


later, the

Murat came thundering across the cobbles that, had he been a few minutes
them, would have had guns and gave instructions that until definite orders were received.
also sent for

enemy, who had


fired

them.
they

Napoleon

.posted the

were not to be
entered the

Then he
abashed.

Chamber where

the

deputies
left

were
silent

still

in session, served out muskets to

them and

them

and

Dawn

broke and revealed the serried masses of the

rebels.

But there was no attack because of the guns from Sablons. It was not until four o'clock in the afternoon that the Royalist leaders managed to persuade their people to debouch from the
side streets.

Napoleon mounted
in the

a horse

which had been held

ready

for

him

of his batteries.

He

approaching it. with fire. The

and rode out to one courtyard palace reached the battery just as the mob was moment later the rue St. Honore was swept
of the
fled for shelter.

mob

This attack,

had

foreseen,

was a

feint to distract attention

as Napoleon from the main

assault

which was

to be

made by way

of the bridges across the

He had already trained the bulk of his artillery on the He rode to these guns and stood watching a body of bridges. men some 8,000 strong coming along the quays. He waited
Seine.
until the bridges
fire.

The enemy, struck in broke and fled in disorder.

were thronged and then gave the order to front and from the side, reeled,
It

was

six

o'clock.

Napoleon

the ordered his cavalrymen remained. no that himself streets to assure opposition anywhere
to follow

him and rode through

103

JOSEPHINE

CHAPTER

was obvious that

IT organizing
England.

great

deal of

money had been

spent

in

to the rebellion; in view of the expedition


this

La

Vendee, nobody doubted that

money had come from


6,

Barras, on the morning of October

1795, could

himself therefore that, twice over within a few congratulate

months, he had defeated the plans of the Bourbons and their


allies across

the

Channel

blood,

both victories had been won by spilling French Unhappily what had been therefore to do It was agpin necessary was called Tallien. General done in the case of Bonaparte

before the

no doubt
"

that he,

warmly Assembly and congratulated and he alone, had planned and carried out
so
as to leave

the

whiff of
is

grapeshot."

Barras declared

General Bonaparte whose prompt and skilful have saved the Assembly." positions
"It

dis-

Napoleon's

name was thereupon


promoted had not the

restored to the active

list

of officers and he was

General of Division,
loyalty

Matters

might have
doubtful.

rested there

of the

After a
its

of three weeks, delay during

army been which the new

Constitution in
Barras,

amended Republican form was introduced,


five

now

one of the

Directors, appointed
of the Interior

Napoleon
first

General-in-Chief of the
quarters business

Army

with his head-

in the

me

des

Capucines.

The new commander's


and
113

was
the

to maintain order in the streets

restore order

among

troops,

He was

given
city

a free hand; Paris became,

immediately,

the best-behaved

in

Europe.

Louis and for Fesch.


his

Meanwhile Napoleon had sent to Marseilles for his brother Louis became his and Fesch aide-de-camp
secretary.

They brought
might be sent
of

the
at

young Jerome with them


good
school.

to

Paris so that he
later the

once to a

A little

post

Commissioner with the

Army

o{-tbe Rhine
;

was secured

for

Joseph.

Napoleon wrote to him


104

JOSEPHINE
"I have sent the family
(his

mother and

sisters)
I

about /ioo..

You need

not, therefore, be uneasy about them.

am

still

very

pleased with Louis; he is my Captain aide-de-camp. Jerome "is at school where he is learning mathematics, Latin and drawing,"

Among

the measures

which he had ordained and was

carry-

ing out was the disarming of Paris. Every citizen was compelled to surrender such arms as he and have in his

might

to retain applications weapons of any kind to the General, One day a person

had

possession, to be made in

boy appeared carrying a lu had belonged to his father, the former vicomte de Beauharnais, who had in the Terror. The perished

sword which he

stated

boy asked that


sword.
consent.

mother might be permitted to retain the Napoleon was moved by this appeal and gave his He requested, at the same time, that he might pay his
his

in respects person to a mother of whose loyalty and devotion he approved so taartily. A few days later he called upon

Josephine

in the rue Chantereine.

The fact that he knew nothing about her is eloquent testimony to his isolation during the period of his refusal to serve in La Vendee. For him, when he saw her, she was
grand? dame of the ancien regime, victim of misfortune,
as

well as lovely woman. Nor did the fact that she displayed an inimitable grace and charm detract from this opinion. 115 Josephine was become supreme mistress of the art of beauty

and possessed

so that she a of figure exquisite suppleness The Corsican looked, at thirty-two, like a girl in her teens, love with her instantly, and determined, on the boy fell

spot,

to

make

her his wife.

wanted to meet General Bonaparte, for he Josephine had remained, more or less, the man of the hour": But she was in

no hurry

A long experience suggested that followed hasty apt by regret. She visited Therese and discussed the General dispassionately while he was informto

commit

herself,

action

is

to be

in ing himself, with Barras' help, about her romantic childhood her almost as a child, to Alexandre de marriage, Martinique,

Beauharnais and her incarceration by Robespierre during the Terror. Barras did not supply many details and so the divorce

from Alexandre went unrecorded.


ever,

The

Director hinted,

howla

that since

Mme,

de Beauharnais' family, Tascher


105

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT


in the .Pagerie, possessed large estates

OF

KING
and
since

West

Indies,

was now the only surviving child of her widowed mother, her prospects were substantial, Moreover her uncle, the baron
she

Tascher of Martinique, was

a rich

had worn the

cross of St. Louis.

man who,
Nor

in better
it

days,
all

Napoleon drank
did

in

and grew more and more


reach

infatuated.
relations

any whisper

and

Martinique were explanation enough of the delicious little house (which the actor Talma had built) and of the black horses. He abandoned himself to his dreams, while Therese,
Josephine's
its

him about
riches

with Barras,

on Barras' prompting, was talking about family


Corsica

estates

in

Buonaparte. In fact Barras was beginning to see his way out of his immediate difficulties and wished to be rid, finally, of both

owned by

the comtes de

117

for money plentiful Josephine and Bonaparte, the General's reforming hand had become'embarrassing at a

was none too


was

and

moment when
of

the sale of

army

contracts

obtaining daily

bread.

All the

odium

necessary of the whiff

means
of

had been fixed securely on his shoulders; his going grapeshot with Josephine to some new sphere of activity would be the
setting
free of another

scapegoat

and

so the

sweetening

of the

political
It
is

atmosphere. doubtful if Josephine believed a

word about the Corsican


and
far too

estates

Napoleon was

far too

much

in love

proud

to confirm that

short of

money

but she was becoming so desperately story that she had to draw on her mother, without
bills

her mother's consent, by means of

which a banker

in

Hamburg had
if

she married

him

was a General of Division; accepted. Bonaparte she would at least be able to keep body and
distress

soul together.

He, meanwhile, was in

about the necessity of

jilting

Desiree Clary, sister-in-law. But he did not hesitate. Joseph's or death. He Josephine proposed and was accepted. Josephine entered instantly upon a new and most embarrassing experience. with the

Her

lover took

possession

of her

and ordered her

life

same thoroughness which he was devoting to the of Paris. She choked in his Nor did she ordering presence. find it to tell him the untruths and half-truths which were easy
her stock-in-trade
for

to example, that she had been presented


106

JOSEPHINE
the

Queen

at Versailles

and that she had

lived

on familiar terms

with die old

to the She had never been nobility, presented Queen nor had she visited Versailles; his grey eyes examined
lost

her so that she

her

way

in her

most familiar imaginings,

On

January

21, 1796, Barras gave a party at the

to celebrate the execution of

Napoleon were guests 118 son, Eugene, and her daughter, Hortense,
transported
at
this

Luxembourg King Louis XVI. Josephine and and Josephine was accompanied by her
Her
lover

was

spectacle

of

maternal

solicitude.

He

announced his

engagement on February 9, and a few days later 119 sent Josephine in bad French" a thousand kisses," It was now decided by Barras and Carnot that the moment
had come
with the
the
to be rid of

him
the

for Paris

was subdued.
in

Carnot,

plan

for

forcing

Alpine passes
of
Italy,"

command
no

of the

"Army

mind, suggested and this was agreed.


Italy"
120

Barras had

illusions.

The "Army

of

had melted

away

long ago into bands of robbers


lived

who, being without food or


If
it

clothing,

by plundering the countryside,


it

still

possessed

officers

did not

not been
useful

paid during

one single horse and it had possess months. A Corsican General had been

Parisian rioters because he against the

was a Corsican and

therefore not

would be
different
taste for

useful

He squeamish about shedding French blood. a but in at fee, for the same reason again,
The French
soldiers

way.

who had

developed

in freebootmg would not,

all

probability,

relish his

attentions,

The

scapegoat

of

Vendemaire would

lose himself

among his Alps. The appointment was made on February 23. It did not excite as much as Josephine nearly Napoleon expected or wished,
possibly
for the reasons that she guessed

what "was

afoot

and that

Alexandre de Beauharnais had held the post of Commander-inChief of the Army of the Rhine without benefit to anybody. But she pretended to be pleased and agreed to an early This took place on March 9, at ten o'clock at night, marriage.
before the
bride's

mayor

of the Section,

who had gone

to

sleep

in the

while waiting for the bridegroom, and had to presence


Josephine's

be aroused.

witnesses were Tallien and a lawyer

named

Calmelet; Napoleon's, his aide-de-camp and Barras, who was 32, gave her age as 28, having thus inJosephine,
to;

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


formed her husband,
order not to
121

OF

KING
The newly

He

was

26, but

added two years in

put married couple went

his wife out of countenance.


at

once

to the

house in the rue Chantereme

where Josephine's lap dog, Fortune, gave the bridegroom a 122 Next day they went to St, Germain to sharp bite in the leg.
see

Eugene and Hortense, who were

at school there

Eugene
123

college conducted by Dermott, and Hortense in

in a

an Irishman named Patrick Mac-

Madame Campan's
March n, very

school.
early,

The

following morning, Friday,


left for his

Napoleon

army,

108

SALVATION BY GLORY

CHAPTER

xi

went

first to

NAPOLEON He wrote
and
addressed to

Marseilles to visit his mother,

letters to

Josephine

in the

travelling-carnage

despatched them

at the

post-houses,

One

of

them was

"Mme.

mind by
second

the grief of parting.

de Beauharnais," so unhinged was his But as he neared Marseilles he


just

collected his wits,


sister,

He had

heard from his mother that


to

his

Paulette, wanted

mary

Freron, Barras' agent

and formerly the agent of Robespierre. He held himself because he had obtained for Lucien the of responsible post
assistant to Freron,

and had thus made

it

possible
to

for Paulette

prevent the not only because Freron was rake and libertine, with marriage, an evil reputation as terrorist and swindler, but also because

to

meet the

fellow.

He was

determined

he was

forty,

whereas Paulette was sixteen.


arrived and

He announced
instantly

his

decision the

moment he

was involved

in
his

family quarrel. mother's consent to his


Paulette did not

a bitter

As he had

not, himself, asked

own

marriage, his position was weak.

aware

that,

him. Nor did she fail to make him spare thanks to Freron, she knew a deal about great

approve Clary nor of his marriage to a widow of doubtful reputation, older than himself, with two well-grown
jilting

she was convinced, had mind, poisoned his Josephine, who, of his He was forced to realize that his family did not

of Desiree

children, nor of his lack of respect for his mother and elder brother in them unacquainted with his intentions. leaving

They were
godson
resolve.

all

even the against him, Joseph, Lucien, Elise,

child, Caroline;

of a

and they liked Freron, who, after all, was the 124 and they all symking and a royal princess, But he refused to be shaken in
mother
to
his

pathized

with Paulette.

He

succeeded, moreover, in getting his


109

sign

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


a letter of

oj

KING
when

congratulation

to

he had drafted on Josephine which

the

way down from


left

Paris,

Freron was

still

in Marseilles

he

but though Paulette was infatuated to the point city; he felt confident that she would abide of by his hysteria,
the

judgment.

He
"
a

The

"

reached Nice on March 2J.


consisted
of

U5

army

presented
its

spectacle

on paper of some 30,000 men. It which gave misery and disorganization

new commander a shock and opened his eyes. summoned the staff and found himself in the presence
group
of embittered

He
of a

Berthier

and hungry men, which included Massena, and the big fencing master Augereau, Augereau who had come to lead sneered openly at the Corsican stripling

and Piedmontese armies, but a glance from the grey eyes froze his sneer on his lips and, on his own
against
the Austrian
confession, frightened

them

him.

was destined to regain more or less Augereau's attitude unchanged. The big rough fellow, with his bullying ways, was as vain as he was brave and as socially timid as he was
ambitious.
for

He had

risen (under the system invented

by Carnot

force of character in the narrowest sense training officers) by

of that word; but his character was not of the kind to sustain

him

against

abler or better instructed

men.

From

their first

meeting Napoleon dominated him to such an extent that Augereau divided his mind between adoring and detesting a master he could not understand. The man was Jacobin by
instinct

and jealous
as

but so far

his

authoritarian,
life

other than his own; were concerned he was pretensions The barrack-room was the background of his
of

every pretension

own

and thought, even

of his

taste;

the world

outside the

barrack-room remained, so far


shadows.
of

He

he was concerned, a of place was some thirteen years older than Napoleon,
as

humble

origin about
service in

which

little

or
his

nothing
ability

is

known.

He

had seen

where Spain,

had won him

promotion.

With him,
older than

as

Napoleon,

has been said, was Massena, also considerably son of a humble Jewish wine-dealer, who

had

so

far

neglected

him

as

to let

him grow up without


'mercenary,

education,

This was a soldier of

surpassing merit, but coarse

and greedy.

He had

served France as an Italian

no

SALVATION
had
retired

BY

GLORY
and
settled

from

in Nice, but

the, army had rejoined

in
in

1789, married

down

promoted Colonel. Napoleon called him Victory's favourite son/' and continued to look on him as one great craftsman
looks

1792 and, within a year, been "

upon another.

Berthier belonged to a category wholly different from that of Augereau and Massena. Louis Alexandre Berthier was the son
of

an

officer of the

Cotps dc Genie
in

at Versailles

and had

restill

ceived instruction

years older than Napoleon; indeed, he had entered the Royal Army when the Corsican was one year old, He had served sucon the staff, with the sappers, and in the Prince of cessively

almost a child.

soldiering from his father while Born on February 20, 1753, he was sixteen

Lambesque's dragoons. In 1780 he had gone to North America with Rochambeau, and on his return had been promoted Colonel a*id sent on a military mission to Prussia.

When

the Revolution began he

had become

chief of staff of the

Versailles National

Guard, and in that capacity had protected the aunts of Louis XVI from popular violence and helped them
escape.

to

Later he had served

as chief of staff

to

Luckner

and borne a distinguished part in the Argonne campaign of Dumouriez and Kellermann. Berthier was the ideal chief of
staff,

careful,

instructed

and

diligent;

but his powers of ingenius

dividual

action

were

limited

and

his

must have
of

remained undeveloped had not Napoleon made use

him.
It

Napoleon
began
:

issued his

first

proclamation

to

his

troops.

"Soldiers,

you

are ill-fed

and almost naked.

The Govern-

ment owes you much

but can do nothing for you."

The proclamation went on to describe the nches of the plains of Lombardy across the Alps. Napoleon began to requisition horses for his guns and found a moneylender who was prea substantial sum. pared to advance

He

and paid the troops

bought clothes for them, Then he armed them. them. Exactly a fortnight after his disciplined

Then he
arrival,

on

to advance towards the Alpine April n, 1796, he gave the order written his first bitter letter before he had Four days passes. were sadly as a whose to correspondent powers Josephine,

lacking.

in

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


l

OF

KING
last
letter.

"I am not
It is

satisfied,"

he declared,

with your

cold as friendship," " " The plan began with an attack on the Austrian* at Monte-

notte.

Napoleon stood on
held,

little

knoll to watch his raga-

muffins go up the pass, which,


lightly

as

he had informed himself, was


the

Under
five

his

eyes they swept

2,000 prisoners,

and four guns,

colours.

enemy away, taking He led them on,


a

without

drawing breath,

to Millesimo,

where

large

body

of

Austrians and Sardinians were massed,


attack

On

a surprise April 14

gave
at

him

6,000 prisoners, including


fifteen

two guns, and


victory

colours.

Next day

two Generals, thirtythere was a new

from

its

ally,

Dego, by which the Austrian army was separated the Piedmontese army of the King of Sardinia,

The Alps had been


Italian

plain.

Below lay the smiling for no soldier had no sneered longer, Augereau
crossed in a week.
of
this. Napoleor* congratulated them, punished others for looting, and named Lannes a Colonel on the field in

seen

to anything comparable

his

men, promoted some

made

young

officer

of his recognition bravery,

He

called a council of

war and

asked whether he should pursue the Austrians or the Piedmontese. He did not wait for an answer; it was written already
in the
the
plan,

He swung
of the

left-handed and

sprang

like a

tiger

at

fleeing troops

dovi on

secured April 22

King him the Treaty

of Sardinia,

The

battle of

Mon-

of Cherasco (with the

King

of Sardinia)

and three great


horses.

fortresses full of food,

ammu-

nition,

and guns,

A proclamation to the troops followed


"
Soldiers
rivers
.

you have

won

battles

without guns, crossed

without bridges, made forced marches without shoes, ." bivouacked without brandy and often without bread.
.
.

The proclamation was despatched to Paris for insertion in the newspapers, Napoleon was trying out the idea he had
offered to Robespierre

He
war
off

namely, to substitute glory for sent stacks of enemy colours at the same time and
materials

terror.
lists

of

and

prisoners.

Long

letters to

Josephine, dashed

with the fury of a love-sick boy, accompanied the trophies. Why had she not written? Did she not love him any longer?

Did

she love somebody else?

Josephine

was

horrified,

There were crowds outside her

na

SALVATION BY GLORY
in her sleep.

house day and Highland the sound of cheers haunted her even Pans stayed awake to read the bulletins, and,
"

having read them, rushed to the rue Chanter eine to Our Lady of Victories." But at the Luxembourg were black looks. The
Directors

had not bargained

for this sort of

released their scapegoat into the wilderness, his shoulders; Therese hoped that General

thing when they Barras shrugged


felt

Bonaparte was not


the
to

undertaking too

much.

The new Mme, Bonaparte


feet;

ground quaking under her

what was

become

of her

when

these

flash-in-the-pan

victories

were turned into defeat?

Napoleon, meanwhile, had turned in pursuit of the Austrians, who were falling back across the Italian plains. He received
the submission of the

Duke

of

Parma, and demanded

as in-

demnity 2,000,000 francs in gold and silver, 1,600 horses, great of food and forage, and twenty masterpieces from quantities One of these represented St. Jerome, the ducal picture gallery, and the Duke offered an additional million to save it.

"A

million," said Napoleon,


is

"would soon

be spent.

This

masterpiece

everlasting.

It will

adorn France."

Glory again; but Barras would have preferred the million. They ground their teeth in Paris and pretended to like it. A

was decreed for the presentation of the colours Junot, Napoleon's aidc-fe-camp. The Directors wore their by sat with Therese. It was hats and
great ceremony

plumed
to

Josephine

something
its

know

that

money,

real metallic

money, was on

way

to

Paris,

and anyhow General Bonaparte could not be attacked while Paris and all France continued to worship him. A hint was sent to him that he ought to march at once on Rome and
seize

the treasure there, leaving the Austrians for later en126 Instead Napoleon drove straight at his enemy massed behind the River Po, crossed the river before his inten-

counter.

tion

was

realized,

and on

May

8 at Placentia

won

another

re-

Austrians retreated towards the Alpine sounding victory. He outmarched them, outflanked them, and forced
passes.

The

them

to

fight

once more at the bridge of Lodi,

He

himself,

the battle staff, inspected the bridge before began, thus from his soldiers the rank of corporal for they winning themselves by promoting him according to his were

with his

amusing

courage.

Their "Little Corporal" ordered them to take the


113

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


bridge,

KING

and they obeyed him, though not fast enough to cut off content the whole Austrian army. He slept on the battlefield,
that he

had uncovered the

city

of Milan,

possessed restored and held.


into Milan.

and he

the certainty that by

His plan was fulfilled, France might be glory he marched his army
as their liberator.

Next day, May

15,

The

Italians received

him

Was

he not himself of Ligunan blood?

The
his

fall of

France's

prostrate

the great city sent a shiver of ecstasy through But it terrified Barras and and

hungry body.
Their
little

fellow-Directors.

General, as they were in-

formed, had entered Milan like a king, and, worse still, had been received with royal honours. He was quartered in the
his law to Serbollmi Palace and was They held Italy. giving anxious meetings, appointed General Kellermann to divide

future action,
It

with him the supreme command, and laid down a plan of 127 Napoleon instantly threw up bis command.

was the moment


his

for

which he had been waiting.

The

method, for the Directors, faced with the justified of France how they were rewarding the archinecessity telling tect of lost their nerve and glory, capitulated.
"
"
Soldiers," proclaimed Napoleon, torrent from the summits of the

event

you have rushed like a Apennines; you have over-

thrown and swept away all who opposed your advance. Piedmont, delivered from the Austrian tyranny, has returned to her natural feelings of friendship for France, Milan is the yours, flag
of the
"

Republic waves throughout all Lombardy. These victories have awakened joy the bosom of the

Fatherland; your representatives have decreed a festival in

honour of your

victories,

which

are

being celebrated in
fathers,

all

com-

munes

your mothers, your wives, your sisters, your sweethearts are glorying in your deeds and boasting proudly that you belong to them. ..."

of the

Republic. There your

The proclamation went on


mained
soldier
to be

to declare that
it

many
:

tasks re-

ended with a picture of the accomplished; home when peace had been won returning
fellow-citizens, pointing to you, will say:

"Your
longed

'He

be-

"

to the

army

of Italy.'
to

dcspsirjiptbut also of themselves, he* had only of the Revolution, given


114

At

the

moment when Frenchmen had begun

SALVATION BY GLORY
them back
lay
less

their

faith._

Therein lay his strength.

His weakness

in the

the Directors ever-increasing hostility of

and

in those

obvious

selves

powers who were now beginning to range themhim. The against people who had been financing Barras,

far

example, were very ill-disposed towards a General who,

of his campaign, had interfered ceaselessly with their contracts, insisted on honest dealings, and prevented the wholesale robberies which they were accustomed to practise

from the beginning

in

supplying the armies,


that,

French Government
they

if

These people began to threaten the they were not allowed a free hand,
any more money.

would

refuse to lend
only.

Nor

did they

speak

for themselves

The

great

financial houses with

whom

they dealt shared their displeasure and possessed, in addition, a grievance of their own in respect of the defeat of
the Austrian
Italian States.

armies and
Botiaparte

the

indemnities

levied

upon

the

was

and was inflicting heavy House precious metals, upon of and the House of Savoy, Moreover, the watchful-

seizing large quantities loss the

of the

Hapsburg
sent

ness he had

money

begun to exercise over the disposal by Barras of the from Italy to Pans was causing acute inconvenience
soldier, for,

and indignation. But once again Fortune favoured the


indemnities, the

without

his

Government

in Paris

must have

fallen into

were now worth one-half bankruptcy, seeing that the assignats 128 of one cent, of their first value. Barras, clutching at the per
Italian

gold,

was forced

to offend his backers in

Pans and

their
its

backers outside of France.

The

sale of the

Revolution to
lively

enemies was suspended, and Josephine, to her

astonish-

ment, found herself a person of enough importance to be She was not thus comforted. Napoleon wanted her flattered.
to him in Italy, join that she was

and she had had

to excuse herself

by saying

pregnant. She was not the only one of his relations


If his incredible success

who was

giving the

General trouble.
his

had dumbfounded

him with

them. Paulette bombarded failed to appease about Freron, who had gone to Paris, taking Lucien with him. In Paris Lucien was making himself so confamily,
it

had

letters

as the brother of the hero that the Directors had begun spicuous to complain about him. Napoleon wrote both to Carnot and

115

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


Barras
asking,
as a

OF

KING

that his brother might be personal favour, to one of the armies, the preferably the heard from from He removed so and northern, capital.
sent as

commissioner

his

school and

mother about the same time that Jerome had run away from a of news that greatly piece gone back to Marseilles
he had
his

exasperated him,

And
the

own

troubles.
line of

Some

of the inhabitants of

town

of Pavia,

on his

communication, revolted and

massacred the French soldiers in the military hospitals, He had to rush to the place and subdue it at a moment when the

He

Austrians were reconstructing their forces for a new attack. gave leave to his troops to pillage Pavia for two hours, but

stopped the pillage after fifteen minutes, confessing that the as to of wholesale sight robbery so offended his sense of order

be unbearable, and, further, that he realized that such licence

At Milan he was busy must soon prove fatal to discipline. with projects which were known only to his most intimate
friends
for

129

example, the reconquest of Corsica and the pur-

chase of Malta

from

its

Knights,
Joseph,

among them
domination.

his brother

who was

Agents came and went in touch with those


resentful of the English

of the Corsicans

who were growing


of
as

The number

quickly because,
to the to

increasing has been said, lie island had been annexed

the resentful was

English

Crown and

Paoli removed,

more
in

or less

forcibly,

London,

Meanwhile the army was being redothed

Milan

for the

work

that

ahead lay

namely,

the

meeting

of a

new

assault

by

the Austrians.

The

defeated Austrian

army had been with-

the eastern passes of the Alps towards Vienna. It was being refermed behind the Alps. Napoleon proposed to it battle before it had deployed fully upon the Italian plain. give With this end in view he asked far supplies from Venice and demanded the surrender of Verona; at the same time he established relations with the

drawn through

Pope and the King

of Naples,

130

who

agreed to close their harbours against English ships. himself to Bologna, one of the towns from which
tiations

He went

Papal negocould be conducted easily and without much offence. Everything he asked for, including provisions and materials for his troops and a sum of money, was accorded.

with

Rome

116

SALVATION BY GLORY
The Pope made
at
off peace with the Republic. Joseph was sent once to Paris with' this the Corsican news. and with treaty

He had
him.

peremptory instructions
to

to

bring Josephine

back with

Napoleon returned

Milan and addressed himself to the

work

of

organizing

his

army, which

now was

safe

from attacks

on the flank through the Venice and Papal States or by way of the His astonished both ceaseless and was Lagoons. activity and delighted the Italians, who had assured themselves
that he

long ago His slight figure and thin, sallow face became a symbol not only of glory, but of resur-

meant

to deliver

them.

131

rection.

Italy,

after centuries of

oppression, began

to

know
mean-

herself a nation.

In Paris the
while, with
victories "

all

had

Josephine was fighting, her strength to avoid going to Italy. not, convinced that shrewd campaigner
she called him, was
for all her

Frenchwoman

The
that

Bonaparte,"

as

more than

a very lucky

young
been
heroes.

fellow.

Josephine,

as has aristocracy, had,

said, professed the

Jacobin faith, and did not believe in

Moreover, she had no stomach for travelling. She wept violently in Barras' presence, in the hope that he would decree that she must not go to Milan, but found him immovable.
Bonaparte,
to

he told her, was'sendmg millions of livres in gold Pans; the Government consequently were anxious to humour him in every way. She returned to her villa and, according to
if

a witness, sobbed as

she was going to the guillotine.

Next

day she took her seat in the carriage with Joseph and Murat. This Joachim Murat was the son of an innkeeper at Cahors,
but what he lacked in birth he possessed in self-assurance.

There was not a

trace of diffidence in his nature,

which was
big

loud, showy, gorgeous.

He was

very handsome

in a

swash-

and he loved fine uniforms as a peacock loves buckling way, A huge courage condoned his offences, which, for the its tail.

most
harm.

part,

were blatant

as a
all

trumpet and therefore without


of

Lover of

women

them

popinjay, mountebank,
intrigue

he held, nevertheless, a cool


that

taste for

and an ambition
But Murat
ever sat in a

was

as

gargantuan

as his

unscrupulousness.

was one
saddle.

leaders of of the cavalry greatest

who

And Napoleon knew it. The Corsican stoic never liked


117
i

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


and never
ings,

OF

KING
his feel-

trusted the

Frenchman, and thus often hurt


if

for

Murat had

a childish affection for Bonaparte that

was

liable at

any moment,
Josephine,

resentment.

who had

to repulsed, a weakness for swashbucklers,

become petulance and

found Murat much more

attractive

than her

The

journey afforded no pleasure,

Milan she was weary and dejected.


her and
scarcely senior

own husband. and when she arrived in Nor did the irrepressible
least.

enthusiasm of the Italians cheer her in the

They
was

jostled

mobbed her

all

in

honour Bonaparte's
Josephine

and she could


like a

restrain her vexation.

in Italy

with babies in the nursery; schoolboy sent back to play her resentment spoiled the fun. But Napoleon's infatuation

was proof even against resentment, He adored with such in132 of devotion that, while he was in Milan, she found it tensity
easier to submit.

As

for his success, she


as she

was

as far

from

be-

lieving

in

its

permanence

had been

in JParisf

He had won

a battle or two.
soldiers

When
the

he

left her, early

in July, to lead his

against

new

Austrian army, she gave herself to a

lover, the Lieutenant

and amusing Hippolyte Charles, a gay

young fellow with a taste for the wives of his superior officers. Napoleon had only 30,000 men; the Austrians, under

Wurmser, had 60,000. But the French strategy was such that the enemy had to fight in positions of disadvantage at the
openings of the passes. Thus the inequality of numbers was overcome. Within six days, at Lonato and Castiglione,

Napoleon inflicted two major defeats on Wurmser, taking from him 15,000 prisoners and seventy cannon. The Austrian losses amounted to half of their effectives, whereas the nearly
French
lost

only 7,000.

week

of battles,

and

at the

Napoleon did not undress during this end of it was ready instantly to
part.

exchange the

soldier's for the statesman's

Some

of the

Papal troops had attempted an attack on his flank before the


operations. alarm in Rome,

The news

of

victory,

in

consequence, had caused


sent a Cardinal to head-

and the Pope had

quarters

This prelate fell on his knees before the conqueror; Napoleon put him under arrest in a religious house. At the same time he issued strict orders that no violence of
to

apologize.

kind was to be done to churches or


Josephine under date July
1 8,

priests.

He

any wrote to

1796
118

SALVATION BY GLORY
"A
thousand
kisses as

He begged
instead with

her to join

him

burning as you are cold." at Verona, but she went picnicking

Hippolyte Charles to Lake Como.

The

Austrians,

meanwhile, were heavily reinforced from Vienna and attempted to resume the campaign. Napoleon met them again at Bassano and San Georgio, and defeated them so in his own heavily that,

words

"Italy,

Fnuli,

Tyrol are assured to the Republic.

The

Emperor

will have to create a

new army;

artillery,

pontoons,

baggage, everything is taken." In fact, the means of

a new Austrian army were to creating because the on the Rhine under the Archhand, troops serving duke Charles, the Emperor's brother, had been so successful in

dealing with their French opponents there that the need for a movement on a great large concentration had disappeared. scale southward, from the Rhine to the Alps, began. Napoleon understood his danger. His soldiers were exhausted and he had

received

no reinforcements.
can count
us.

He

wrote to Paris:
of our

"They
solving.

The charm
is

strength

is

dis-

Troops, or Italy

lost."

He was informed that it was impossible to send more than a of He set about enrolling Italians very small number troops. in volunteer corps for army Jervice duty, so that all his Frenchmen might be concentrated in the firing line. At the same time
he took
steps

to secure that

no help

for his enemies should

come
or

from the Papal


diversion in the

States or

Naples,

and that there should be no


end the expedition to he had been planning, was
Since the departure

form

of

an attack on the French Riviera

Toulon by English
Corsica which,
as

ships.

To

this last

has been said,

launched.
of

It

was immediately successful

Paoh and the opening of the Italian campaign the islanders had made a hero of Napoleon. They turned against the English
and expelled them
at the moment when Corsica, in English hands, might have proved a formidable obstacle to success, that, if France had been attacked, it would have been

seeing abandon the operations in Italy. necessary to of Corsica the gave Incidentally reconquest
satisfaction

on personal grounds, because mother's estates would be restored to her,


119

it

Napoleon great meant that his


this

But

pleasure

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


was damped by the
missioners
arrival

KING
of

from Pans of

number

comtheir

whom

the Directors

General's activities

supervise in other words, to restrain him, Napoleon

had

sent to

refused to allow these

men

to

enter the zone of the army,


critical

himself on the ground that the position was so excusing no time in which to consult with them, had he that

The Austrian

attack

was launched

early

in

November, and

was of such strength that Napoleon ordered his troops to The enemy evacuate Verona and fall back towards Arcola.
rushed into the trap
to
fight
set for

them, and were thus compelled

upon ground of Napoleon's choosing where their in numbers became a hindrance rather than an superiority Even
so the battle

advantage.

was long and


of the battle

bitter,

and

victory

Napoleon himself rallied his men by riding among them, dismounting and raising the colour which had fallen. His men seised him^and bore
crisis

for a time doubtful,

At a

him
its

out of the area of danger.

But

his

courage

had achieved
defeated by

object.

The

Austrian army of 40,000

men was

his 15,000

Frenchmen,

Even so the struggle resources of the

was not over because


But the
victor

of the

aiperior
to

enemy.

was determined

snatch a few days to visit his wife, from a little, but about whom he was

whom
great

he had heard

hearing

deal.

She had
told her

not even troubled to answer the

letter in

which he had

laconically about Arcola. He left his headquarters secretly and He entered the Serbollim rode, without stopping, to Milan.

palace late at night


It

and flung himself

into

Josephine's bedroom.

was empty. He was told that

at

Mme. Bonaparte had gone to attend a fete Genoa, and that she had been accompanied by Lieutenant

Hippolyte Charles and others. her a letter, in which he said


"

He
:

called for a courier


"

and

sent

November

27, 1796.

your room. I have left everything to see you, to clasp you in my arms. You are not here. You gad about the towns amid junketings; you run
I

get to Milan.

fling myself into

away from me when


:

come

to

you.

You

care
till

no longer for
the evening of

your

dear

Napoleon.' ...

I shall

be here

the spth.

Don't

alter

your plans."
120

SALVATION BY GLORY
Next day he sent another letter " When I wanted from you a love
;

like

for headquarters and, ordered Charles that the Lieutenant decency's sake, Hippolyte should be sent back at once to Paris. Six weeks later, in
It

Farewell, beloved wife; farewell, was the end. He rode back to

my own I was my Josephine."

wrong.

met them
material.

January, 1797, the Austnans began to advance once more. He at Rivoli, and this time defeated them decisively, taking 15,000 prisoners and practically the whole of their war

He was now

able to

lay siege to

Mantua, where,

after

Bassano and San Giorgio,


the

of his army. within nine months, to a soldier whose name, before, had been unknown.

remnant
fallen,

Wurmser had shut himself up with Three of the armies of the Hapsburgs
a

had

year

The
wish
with a

siege

to

Mantua ended in a few days. Napoleon did not triumph over Wurmser. He left his headquarters and, body of picked troops, marched into the Papal States;
of

the fear of his

envoys from the Pope hurried to meet him and to Naples agree to such terms as he offered. These were onerous because both

name went before him, and


of

and the King

flank Papal and Neapolitan troops had been ready to fall on his in the event of defeat. Before he returned to Mantua a flank
attack of
his

any kind had been Tendered impossible.


:

He

addressed

troops

" SOLDIERS, " The capture of

Mantua

has put an end to the

war

of Italy.

You have been victorious in fourteen pitched battles and seventy actions. You have taken 100,000 prisoners, 500 field pieces, 2,000 heavy cannon and four pontoon trains. The contributions
laid

on the countries you have conquered have fed, maintained and paid the army; besides which you have sent 30,000,000 fr.
to the Ministry of Finance for the use of the public You have enriched the Museum of Paris with 300

(in metals)

Treasury.

You have conquered for the Republic the finest countries in Europe. The Kings of Sardinia and Naples, the Pope and the Duke of Padua have been separated from the Coalition (of the
121

and masterpieces of ancient to centuries thirty produce. "

modern

Italy,

which

it

has

required

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


enemies
of

KING
the

the

French Republic).

You have
Corsica.

expelled

English from Leghorn, Genoa and "


Still

higher destinies await you,"


of following the

Napoleon had conceived the idea


the Eastern

Austnans

through Vienna, of destroying the Coalition completely and so bringing The plan depended for its the war on all fronts to an end.
safety chiefly

them Alps and, by driving

to the gates of

Northern

Italy

nothing to

upon the French line of communication through and across the Western Alps. He had neglected secure these lines. The capture of Corsica had
improbable

secured Toulon, Genoa, and Leghorn and thus made action by The Papal the in the English fleet highest degree.

and Neapolitan ports were closed to English ships, and so to two English troops and munitions, while the troops of these
with. The only remaining effectually dealt was Venice. He an made danger arrangement with that ancient and on a March then, 10, Republic, year and a day after his

Powers had been

marriage, and a year, less a day, after his setting out from Paris for Nice, he led his army towards the Alps, where the Austrians,

under the Archduke Charles, were to reform their shattrying tered forces. A later the summits of the mountains fortnight

were in French possession; Triesfe had opened


the

its

gates

and

Archduke Charles was

in full retreat.
of his

Napoleon had informed Paris

plan

which had the

approval of Clark, the chief adviser sent to the army by the Directors and had that, as he drove back the
the French
that river

urged enemy, on the Rhine should co-operate by crossing and descending the valley of the Danube, thus maintroops

Carnot, however, opposed this taining additional pressure. even and forbade of the Rhine to attack at the strategy

Army

all.

Thus

the Austrians were able to rush further bodies of

troops southward to the help of the Archduke Charles. This unexpected obstacle filled Napoleon with an anxiety which was quickened when he heard that the Venetians had fallen
his lines of

upon

communication and were massacring his wounded. He wrote a bitter letter to Carnot asking him by implication if it was the hope of the Directors to see the Army of Italy and its
chief

involved in

destruction.
122

When, soon

afterwards,

he

SALVATION BY GLORY
learned that the
a

victory for the Royalist party,

in parliamentary elections in Paris had resulted he decided that his ruin had,

indeed, been resolved upon, seeing that it was against that party that the whiff of grapeshot had been directed, Some of the as he Directors, guessed, were in communication with the agents
"

of
still

Louis XVIII."

He

took a swift decision and, while victory

shone upon him, wrote to the Archduke, a truce. proposing The reply came back that power to open negotiations was lacking. Napoleon attacked again instantly with his whole
force
spires

and drove the Austrians pell-mell towards Vienna, the of which were seen by the French outposts. A truce
by the Archduke. Eleven days preliminaries of peace were signed.
for
later,

was then asked


April 18,

on

Napoleon sent couriers with the news to Paris, instructing them that not a moment must be lost. They arrived just as the were* Royalists planning a new attack. Once more Barras
profited by Napoleon's good soldiering because, since he " " voted for the Louis XVIII death, his fate, as

had
had

King's

warned him, was

sealed

if

the Bourbons returned to France.

The
in

armistice in Italy was played by

him

against

the Royalist

revival in Paris, with which,

sympathy, and

curiously enough, the intoxication of glory

Carnot was

proved the better

counter.
colours

Napoleon's proclamations and pictures and captured

had done

their

work

so well that his

portrait

and that

of

Josephine were in every cottage


133

in the land.

France, for his

sake, abjured her nascent

Royalism and embraced the Revolution

once more.

Barras was almost forgiven his peculations and

debaucheries.

Meanwhile Napoleon, who had by no means forgiven Barras, had turned back, with the swiftness of a panther, to secure the of his communications. French soldiers appeared sudsafety
denly on the lagoons, and the
the abyss open.
lenders,
terrified oligarchy of Venice, Republic of merchants and money-

Venice saw

had been playing London's game

at

London's prompt-

in the full assurance that General Bonaparte had ensnared ing, and his people knew the mountains. The himself

among

Doge

General Bonaparte having escaped out of the snare, their hour was come.
that,

They were not mistaken. Napoleon forced them


123

to surrender

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


the city; he abolished at a stroke the

OF

KING

power which they had

wielded so long and wrung from them a part of their great 131 treasure. Then he rode back to Milan and, on July 14, 1797, afraid now, accomof his held a great army. Josephine, parade him. issued a proclamation which began with a He panied " of the this reminder that I4th of day is the anniversary
July/'

declare that the Revolution

and went on, in ever more threatening language, would find defenders.

to

"Mountains separate us from France; you will cross them with the swiftness of the eagle, if necessary, to maintain the Contitution, to defend liberty, to protect the Government and
the

Republicans. "Soldiers ... the Royalists will have ceased to live the

moment
at

they appear.

."
its

This proclamation was already on

way

to Paris.

It

arrived

moment when jumpy, had summoned


the
to

Barras,

whose nerves were becoming


to the
capital

the

young General Hoche

Hoche's Republicans against the Royalists. caused a great his with and Barras so troops appearance outcry, far lost his head as to countermand his own order and
protect

the

begin

to

make

preparations

for

a tonic for feebleness. the Director took

Napoleon's stern words were For the second time within a few weeks
flight,

courage and appealed to France.

And

for

the second time he discovered that, because of Napoleon's glory,

he had nothing

to fear.

124

CHAMPIONS OF LIBERTY

CHAPTER xn

parade, NAPOLEON, Mombello await the Peace Conference opening of the


to

after his

moved from Milan

to

with Austria,

had already sent for his sister Paulette, partly to her to recover from the shock of with Freron, help breaking and partly in order that she might keep an eye on Josephine,

He

who had
meant
to

been told
as

towards her

felt though her husband no longer he had done at the time of his marriage, he

that,

preserve appearances,

Invitations

were

now

sent to

Mme.

Bonaparte, the senior, and other

members

of the

family.

Napoleon's mother was still in Marseilles, where Lucien, on his way to Corsica, had joined her, Mother and son were united m abhorrence of about whose Freron Josephine, history

had

fully

informed them.
having
to the

In addition Lucien was

angry

with

his brother for

sent

him

out of Paris,
of the

He had

the order to

go

had taken

his wife

with

headquarters the result that she had hirft, with

Northern

obeyed Army and


lost

her unborn child.


return to
gested

But he had seized an early opportunity Paris and Freron. It was who had

to

Napoleon

sug-

the visit to Corsica.

Nor was
eldest

Lucien's
Elisc

displeasure

Letizia's

only

trouble.

Her

daughter Corsican of Ajaccio

had received an

offer of

a marriage from

named

Felix Bacciochi, a in the captain

French Army. Elise was twenty, Bacciochi thirty-five, but this was counterbalanced by the fact that he was a man of objection

some substance.
to

The

real

his close objection was relationship

Pozzo

di

had played so big a part Borgo, who, with Paoli,


of the

in the

expulsion
It

Bonapartes

and the acceptance

of the

English,

seemed almost

certain, in the circumstances, that

Napoleon would forbid


Paulette's

as he had forbidden marriage his mother to her conLucien give marriage. urged and so circumvent the son who had consent without delay
this

stituted himself the master of

them
125

all,

and Letizia yielded

to

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF

KING

took place the promptings of her favourite. The marriage before the afterwards Almost Napoleon's mayor. immediately refusal of consent was received, Lucien had sailed for Corsica,
Joseph and Louis were in Italy; Letizia became uneasy lest, by her rashness, she might have alienated Elise from the conqueror.

and

She hastened, therefore, to accept the invitation to Mombello, sailed for Genoa at once with Elise, Bacciochi, Caroline,

and Jerome,
Lavalette,

They reached Genoa

at

the

moment when

the Napoleon's aide-de-camp, was arranging with

Doge

any and there were mobs in the streets, but Napoleon's mother was 135 not daunted. Lavalette hurried to welcome her and addressed
her in tones of deep respect, as

a moment for the submission of the Republic to France to excite the enthusiasm of Corsican. Genoa was in uproar

announced

his intention of

Signora Madre," He her to her son, but she conducting

"La

refused his good offices on the ground that there was no danger. travelled without carriage had been sent, and in this she

escort towards

Mombello,

near Milan,

He
him

Napoleon, with his staff, met her dismounted, ran to her and embraced her,

and she
It

told

that she

was the happiest mother

in the world.

was observed that he flushed with pride.

Mombello included all the members of the Bonaparte family (except Lucien Snd Fesch). Josephine had been told how to behave, and obeyed in such a way as to win
party at

The

her husband's approval,

atmosphere was
polyte Charles.

strained.

But Letizia did not approve, and the All that Freron had said was con-

firmed by Paulette,

about Hippicked up the gossip Napoleon, seeing Josephine isolated, took pity on her and rebuked his sisters, who were at no pains to hide
their

who had

feelings;

by

this act

he earned the sharp


a

hostility

of his

own

people.

Meanwhile he had arranged

marriage between his friend

Victoire Leclerc, a lad of twenty-four, sisted, to the lively astonishment of his


riage should take place taken the civil oath, and

and Paulette.

He

in-

family, in church before a

that this mar-

priest

who had

not

ordered,

further,

that Elise

and

Bacciochi should be remarried by the same priest at the same time. This definite break with the philosophy of the Revolution

and even with

its

politics

went unexplained,
126

for

Napoleon

CHAMPIONS
would not
was
discuss
it.

OF

LIBERTY
place
in the

The double marriage took

oratory of St. Francis of

pronounced
136

by

Mombello, and the nuptial benediction the cure of Bovisio, Joseph Marie

Bnoschi.

Napoleon accompanied his mother, and Fesch, who had taken the civil oath, was present. Napoleon did not
suggest that his the canon of

own marriage might

thus be brought within

Holy Church.
Fesch soon followed.
Caroline went with

From Mombello Letizia travelled into Corsica, taking Elise and


Bacciochi with her.

Joseph and his wife, while Jerome was sent back to school. Napoleon, with Josephine, Louis, Paulette, and her husband,

remained with the army. He was watching affairs in Paris with the closest attention and with In increasing anxiety.
order to be
137

more
to the

fully informed,

capital, instructing speak. Lavalette reported that Barras, recovered now from his fear of the an attack upon them after Royalists, was

Lavalette,

he sent his aide-de-camp, him to listen but not to

planning In other words, there was to be a new Terror, which was likely to engulf many honest men, Carnot himself. Paris was full of plotters and moneyincluding
the

manner

of

Robespierre.

jamin Constant.

them Mme. lendersamong138


Benjamin was
a Swiss

de Stael and her

new

lover,

Ben-

of Lausanne, a tall young man of with reddish hair and spectacles, loose, twenty-seven years curly, ill-favoured of of a singularly acute intellibut body, possessed

had been absent during long periods land and had studied in Germany, Belgium, England, and Scotland, making love, as occasion offered, to married women
gence.
his native

He

from

and barmaids, chambermaids and

harlots.

He was the
and

complete

Liberal as well as the complete libertine, could hold in thrall some of the cleverest
for

for this reason

women

example, Mme. Devil," and Mme.

de Charriere,

who

called

him her

of his age "

White

de Stael, who, having begun by loathing ended had him, by begging of him her literary and emotional
bread.

Appointed Chamberlain to the Duke of Brunswick," he had married a plump girl named Wilhelmina de Cramm la

bonne Uina

and

later

divorced her while he was himself

conducting, simultaneously, hectic love affairs with an actress and the wife of a nobleman, Charlotte de Hardenberg.
127

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT


But Benjamin, for
all his

OF

KING

academic thinking, was a shrewd In any period other than the politician. to curb his tongue and he he had learned would, Napoleonic almost risen to have control his hysterical vanity, high place use of the forbidden be was his misfortune to immediately, It
observer and a clever
his chosen
wit,

destructive criticism, a weapons, a deadly and

bitter

and

power
neither

of

which was limited epigrammatic writing

in

its

scope

Germame
cope with.
that, as

by scruple nor by mercy. de Stael, though, was more than Benjamin could
ate

The woman
said,

him

up, physically
left.

and morally,

so

She deprived him, too, of the of independent thought and thus sterilized his power mind. He became, in her hands, a weapon with which to
he
to this end. Napoleon, and he was used by her relentlessly She had got rid of her husband, though without scandal, and no longer counted Talleyrand among fer lovers. Of Ben-

he had no strength

attack

jamin,

as

she believed, she could


that the
as

make

a successor to her father,

provided

won

over.

the tireless

could be army, represented by Bonaparte, There was her plan of campaign, followed with all most tireless woman in Europe. persistence oithe
alienate

about to be taken Lavalette expressed the view that the steps

French sympathy from "the whole system Republican government^' and advised Napoleon that <b he would tarnish his glory if he gave any support to acts of
in Paris

would

of

violence

which the
at

situation of the

Government did not

justify."

once ceased to correspond with the Directors. Napoleon It had been obvious for long that the Royalist party was being from supported England; apparently, since Mme. de Stael was

back in Paris, Barras was drawing from Geneva. His support experiences in Italy had convinced him that all the financial
centres

Venice and Genoa, for example

were linked with

London and were ready to play London's game. The same " " Louis XVIII was, therefore, power which was financing the new Terrorists. It was heads I win and tails financing you lose. And this power had its agents also in Naples and the Papal States and in Vienna. The coalition against which he had dared to tilt was London's coalition, and he was
fighting,

not an enemy of flesh and blood, but a system established land and not everywhere, England every excepted, exerting an
128

CHAMPIONS

OF

LIBERTY

iron despotism over trade and production and, through these, itself, Certain facts had come to his notice over

government

the significance of for

which did not escape him.


in

He had

been

example, compelled, period before the battle of to the sum of 31,000 francs which to that Pans Arcola, complain
the

had been promised him been forthcoming and


his

for the

upkeep of
time

his

artillery

had not

this at a

when he was sending


After his

millions of gold and silver to the Government.

remonstrances had been more victory sharply worded, as he knew that the Directors were especially allowing gold his goldto flow out of France to London because, the Bank

England having reduced its commercial discounts, money was earning larger profits in England. Napoleon's remonstrances had frightened Barras, who, at the end of 1796, had
of
1 ]<I

felt it

necessary

to

show
sail

that he

was

really

England's enemy by

ordering the fleet t which achieved nothing.

from

Brest towards

Irelanda

gesture

further

a gesture of
of

more obscure

kind had been made

after the fall

Mantua.

Upwards

of

1,000 French convicts were hurriedly put into uniform and landed on the Welsh coast, from which they were instantly and

ignomimously expelled. This farcical event came opportunely, as it happened, for the London bankers, who, because of Bonaparte's resounding vic" " run which they were in no tories, were being subjected to a
11
"

position

to
it

withstand.
disturbed

The news

of the

Welsh landing,
to

nobody, was instantly made use of though the abandonment of the gold standard by the Bank justify

of
III

England.
of

Pitt,

who was Prime


a

Minister,

summoned George

from Windsor on

Sunday evening suspension the gold payments, and The Times next morning adjured nation to stand firm, keep its head, and accept the bank's
111

to sanction the

paper.

The French

gold was thus effectually tied up in


Robespierre's book, the the import of silver, prohibited
to

Borrowing English Government now which, had it been allowed


with the

London.

a leaf out of

come

in,
it

must have competed


to

new paper money and caused after gold and assignat had depreciated
circulate in France,

depreciate,

as the to

silver

were allowed

Napoleon saw that

large part
129

of the treasure which he had

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


taken in was Italy
excuse for

OF

KING

now

in the

that Barras' convict-soldiers

hands of the London bankers, these bankers with an had


r

supplied
that, in

seizing

that

gold,

now

possessed a paper

money

with a backing of gold, in obtaining the been wholly destroyed and her good fortune
Italian

consequence, England but of great expansion, capable had whereas France's paper money

and

gold countered successfully, shed their blood in vain.

The

soldiers of Italy
142

had

He
his

sent for a

famous banker
a

of

Genoa, Balbi,

and under

guidance

made

study

of financial

method

in order to be

able to remit to Paris funds

supply his army's need.

It

upon which he could draw to was an act of defiance against the

the enemy's as he saw, were playing corrupt Directors, who, resist him. Had they game. They were not strong enough to
told France that, whereas he attempted to do so he would have had opened the campaign with a sum in goid of 48,000 francs, only some 12,000 of these had been subscribed by the Treasury. As has already been said, he had borrowed from a moneylender
at Nice.

This

financed out of

its

man had been repaid; the campaign had been own indemnities and not less than 23,000,000

francs had gone to the Directors. They had grown rich while he had been starved of resources and compelled to resort to all kinds of shifts in order to pay tb troops and keep them supplied.
at a

Such a statement would have excited great indignation


Barras, not content with sending the Italian

moment when
to

to gold imprison it there, had actually, with calculated deliberation, destroyed the value of another form " 143 of paper money, the which a few months before mandats," had been put into circulation to replace the dying assignats. But if the Directors did not dare to interfere with Napoleon's

London and helping

methods, political methods remained to them. Napoleon was convinced that, whether the Royalists defeated Barras or Barras defeated the Royalists, attempts would be made
financial
to snatch from him and from France the fruit of his victories. London did not will that her coalition should be forced to make

terms and pay away to her enemy the resources she had ear-

marked
lieved,

for herself.
as

And

Royalists

and Terrorists

alike,

he be-

were

much

the creatures of

London

as the

Venetians

or the Austrians,
130

CHAMPIONS
How
correctly

OF

LIBERTY
how
truly

he had been informed, and

he had

read the situation, was

September, 1797, Barras, with the help of the Constitutionals, including Mme. de 144 Stael and her Fouche, and Ouvrard, Benjamin, Talleyrand,
all

made

clear in

when

savaged on the floor of the Parliament that Liberty about which of them had been Carnot escaped by prating for years. to the frontier, but more than of the Five flight fifty deputies

Hundred were
or

sent without trial into exile in

tropical

swamps

flung into prison. Because of Napoleon the guillotine did not make its appearance, and so the Parisians said that the " " " Little Terror had used the dry guillotine "death in penal settlements overseas. On the morrow of victory Barras reconstructed
creatures,

the Directorate,

filling

the vacant

places

with

his

He

sent an order to

Napoleon

telling

him

to refuse

to

complete

the treaty of peace with Austria.

COLONIAL PRODUCE

CHAPTER

xm

after

NAPOLEON, had gone up with her to the mountains, where the mam

touring

Lombardy with

Josephine,

Austnans. He of his army remained face to face with the body of a be to relieved answered Barras' order by asking instantly command which had become insupportable to him, since it
entailed the business of

waging

a useless war.

There was no reply


to Their reply, " the General."

to this

request;

the Directors did not dare


secretly

own

friends

were deserting them

for

Both Talleyrand,

now

and Foreign Minister,

Fouche,
lating

now

Minister of Police, had written to Italy congratu-

Napoleon and promising support. These two men, the most conspicuous

in

statesmanship
of French
a

after
life,

Napoleon himself, represented opposite poles was Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord


the uncicn regime,
legs,

nobleman

of

who, because

of a

weakness in one of his


family

had been unable


army.

to follow the tradition of his


priest
at

and

enter the

Ordained
of the

twenty-five,

he had been

Assembly Clergy AgentIn 1788 the "little abbe de as he was Perigord," called, received his mitre; soon, as he hoped, he would receive his Cardinal's hat also, and that would have had not
successively Secretary

of the

and

General.

happened

Louis

XVI
slept

harboured old-fashioned
in cither men's beds.

prejudices against priests

who

Talleyrand,

who

liked old-

fashioned
ill-will,

prejudices

as

one

likes old silver, bore the

King no

but reached the conclusion, on consideration, that he


better in future
at Court.

would do
likely

among

the bankers than he was

to

do

He had

taken the road to Paris, in conse-

quence,
into

and with

his mistress,

Mme.
to

de Flahaut, had hobbled

and delight challenge it with wit in the world and to sharpest join himself, very soon, to of Germaine's lovers. the goodly company It was he, as has been said, who was chosen Necker to
the

Germaine de StacTs sdon

by

132

COLONIAL PRODUCE
He the lands of Mother Church for "the People." had held himself removed in watchful had and Robespierre eye " " in the nick of time from that man's clutches to join Gerdemand
maine's
little

excuse for her


with,

was the colony at Leatherhead, England, which and for her cohabitation from Switzerland escape

others, Louis de Narbonne, Mathieu de Montand the morency, Bishop himself. The English Government, had shared the views of the vicars' wives about the unhappily,

among

uncolony and had sent Talleyrand packing to America as an desirable alien" a cross which he bore with exemplary
patience.

"

Talleyrand had come back to France under the Directory, and, thanks to Germaine, as has been said, had been supplied

with money and an


deserved the

office

that of Foreign

Minister.
of
if

He
mind
ever,

office, for his

were

qualities

of

^a

knowledge and his subtlety has rarely, statesmanship which

human story. Nevertheless, the man was sadly lacking in warmth of heart. Germaine herself knew it, and wrote of him " There is a man very well fitted for this world's commerce.
been excelled in
:

says learns

He

little

and

so

is

able to

weigh

his words.

As he never

anything except by listening, he hates arguments, where his lack of solid knowledge is exposed. He has no eloquence,
because eloquence demands movement in the spirit, and he has to such an extent as to be unable, even if he disciplined himself

wishes to do

so, to let

himself go.

He

cannot express himself,

because to speak easily one must be able to write easily, and, with all his gifts, he lacks the capacity to write even a of
all

the works

which have been published under

his

page name. But

when he
taste.

chooses his smallest gestures possess an inimitable good

the

ing needs both power and riches for his mind's, as well as for his Possessed of them he will let fall, as occasion body's, comfort.
offers,

He knows how to possess himself of the intelligence of whole world. And yet, excellent judge and most discerncritic as he is, he is also strangely barren and a man who

sarcasms or compliments, having taken care, beforehand, surrounded by people ready to pick them up and prepare Mask-like face, silent when it suits the way for more.
to be
.

him,

insolent in the

most calculated fashion when that K 133

is

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


necessary, displaying polished

KING

wants

and charming manners when he he cannot in trust to, inspire anyone." Germainc's of Fouche was not less positive. opinion
"

virtue as of an old often "Fouche," she wrote, spoke of wives' tale, But a very wise head made him choose decent

behaviour as the most rational, so that his wits brought

him

where other people arrive under the promptings of conscience." has been It had not always been so with Joseph Fouche, as
seen.

For the

man
His

was timid

as well as wise,

cowardly as well

as audacious.

.vote for the

and his murder King's death

of children in

even for

life itself.

Lyons were the price he had paid for public life, He was not naturally cruel, but he was

naturally corrupt, a

man

with

whom money

was passion and

snob, too, power, however exercised, the sum of happiness. in the most vulgar sense of that word. Fouche, like Talleyrand, had hidden himself during the dark days^but not before his web of intrigue had ensnared Robespierre to his doom, After
that the

man had become


of the

swineherd or cattleman so that

retri-

butionthe blood him out,

murdered children

might not find

Mme.

de Stael wrote to offer herself as the General's mistress,

that she did not consider that Josephine was fit to be saying 145 man. to so a companion great Napoleon called the peace
.,

conference together and acted as his own negotiator. He soon found that the Austrian, Count Cobentzel, had instructions to
delay matters as long as possible. Alps and the winter was at hand.

The snow was on


Napoleon

the

High

offered Venice to

the Austrians, and was himself offered a under the principality if he would leave the as his Hapsburgs personal possession

French Army, On October 16, no progress having been made, he declared that a continuation of the war was being forced upon him. Cobentzel retorted that he was sacrificing France
to
for so personal ambition by asking
to the sideboard of the
service, the gift to the

much. Napoleon walked on which was a porcelain tea room,

Russia,

head,
less

He snatched it up suddenly " War is declared," he cried.


three

Austrian of the Empress Catherine of and raised it above his "

But remember that in

than
.

months

will

demolish your

monarchy

thus

."

'34

COLONIAL PRODUCE
He
dashed the china
his
to the floor,

bowed

to the Austrians,

and rang for

carriage.

An

sent to the aide-de-camp was

announcement that fighting would in hours. Next day all Napoleon's terms begin twenty-four were granted. France obtained the of Northern suzerainty

Archduke Charles with

the

Italy

and a huge indemnity; Venice went

to the Austrians, to

the

of the lively anger


set

London

bankers.

146

Napoleon
her son,
Before

to out at once for Paris, leaving Josephine

visit

who was now attached to a regiment stationed

in

Rome.

Italian soil he addressed a quitting proclamation to the " in he which favour the diffusion of knowthem bade Italians,

ledge and respect religion," and promised them that until they " had learned how to defend their new-found liberty the Great

Nation

would protect them, Napoleon had many opportunities, on


France was beflagged

"

his

way back
him, and

to Paris,

of

judging the success of a policy of glory as opposed to a policy


to receive at

of terror.

many

of the villages on the way, in spite of the season, girls dressed in the red, white, and blue of the Revolution him

with wreaths and

laurels.

He

presented reached Paris on December

5,

once to Josephine's house in the rue Chantereine, which had now been renamed the rue des
1797, late at night,
at

and went

Victoires.

Next morning crowds began

house, but he remained secluded,

He

to gather outside the received a message from

Talleyrand saying that the Minister of Foreign Affairs wished to call upon him; he replied that he would call upon the
Minister of Foreign Affairs. He went to the appointment by way of his back door, thus disappointing the crowd, Talleyrand took him to the Directors, who were in process of arranging a festival in his honour.

was staged with the usual

This took place in the great hall of the Luxembourg and " "
effects
;

an

altar to the Father-

land, with the five Directors in robes

and plumed caps grouped round it, choirs of girls in white, the deputies in togas, some of the captured colours grouped round the walls, Napoleon
Vive Bonaparte!" as Rtpubliquc!" and ing though the two were one. It was the first time that most of them had Vive
la

entered alone in uniform, "

The audience
"

rose to

its feet,

shout-

seen Bonaparte.

Talleyrand delivered the introductory speech;


'35

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT OF


he
' :

KING

said that

the ambition of
"

General Bonaparte detested luxury and splendour, loved the poems of Ossian vulgar souls/' and

the

pseudo-classical rather in a that was his own style sharply " I have the honour to deliver to you the
:

because they detach us from the earth." Napoleon replied in same heroic, but his speech ended style,

treaty signed

at

Campo Formio and


Peace ensures the

ratified

liberty,

by His Majesty the Emperor. the prosperity and the glory of the

When the happiness of the French people shall be Republic. seated on better organic laws, all Europe will become free." had been Barras then announced that General
"

Bonaparte
of

of appointed General-in-Chief

the

Army

England."

He

conjured him to go to London and punish the evil-doers there. The ceremony ended with the unrolling of a standard on which

Napoleon's achievements in Italy had been suitably inscribed.

Napoleon was now


scientific

elected a

member

of tha Institute,
it

and

at

once put on academic dress and wore

daily.

He

attended

meetings and associated chiefly with

men

of science,

a course dictated to a large extent by his desire to acquire knowledge about Egypt and the Isthmus of Suez. He was alone in Pans, for had not returned from Italy in Josephine

time to be present at the festival, while his brother Joseph had been appointed Ambassador to Rome. Lucien was still in Corsica, trying to get himself elected to the Council of the Five

Hundred

in Paris as deputy for Liamone. Letizia and Fesch were in Ajaccio, installed once more in the Casa Buonaparte which the careful and frugal woman was reconstructing and
117

refurnishing. Paris wanted to study the new hero and gave many" enterI am tainments in his .honour, but he hid himself, saying,

determined not

to

remain in Paris."

Josephine joined

him and
ports,

soon afterwards he

made

a tour, alone, of the

Channel

His return to Paris surprised Barras in his house, but the Director was hidden, just in time, and escaped without being
This was not a reopening of the old relations with but an attempt to obtain from the wife the informaJosephine,
seen,

tion

which the husband

refused.

Josephine was ready to play

the Director's game,

Napoleon's plans were already complete, and had been com136

COLONIAL PRODUCE
plete
for

convinced
lack of

many months. him that the


other.

His study of French economics had country was suffering chiefly from a

money on

the one side

and from
deficiencies

a lack of colonial

produce on the

The two

were

inter-related

because England possessed most of the sources of colonial as has been seen, had obtained of most produce and, possession

French gold. France, lacking gold, could not obtain with which to the materials she needed, for trade sterling buy
of the

between the two countries had been curtailed severely by the and was curtailed further by the fall in gold war, being prices that had followed the abandonment of the standard by
gold

London.

French goods,

in

other words, were dearer than

English goods.

The Egyptian campaign, in short, was an attempt London's naval and economic blockade of France.
successful,

to defeat
If it

was

France would be able to supply her needs and would

thus escape
peace.

from
chief

the

necessity

of

concluding

humiliating
In addition

The

obstacles in the

way were

the admirable

English seamanship and the lack of ready money.


the

opposition

of the Turks,

who were

the titular overlords of

Egypt, was likely to prove troublesome unless steps were taken, in advance, to circumvent it. It was arranged that Talleyrand should go to Turkey and Explain that the French expedition
fact, an attack upon England and that Turkish interests would be safeguarded, Meanwhile Napoleon was exerting pressure on the Directors

was, in

to find

of money. The drain of gold and caused Austria, Italy by the Italian campaign, had had repercussions in all the financial centres, and notably in

him an adequate supply

from

Geneva, where the international bankers were being hard Largely from this cause a deputation of Genevese pressed.

which included La Harpe, and which had the blessand his circle, had come to Paris to ask for the Necker of help ing
Liberals,

148

the of the French Revolution against the Bernese Oligarchy, Government of Switzerland. The avowed reason for this

appeal

was the tyranny exercised by an unrepresentative government; the real reason was that the Oligarchy possessed a substantial
treasure
of

which the bankers

in

Geneva hoped
deal.

to

take

possession.

France was to be catspaw in the

Napoleon

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


that Barras suspected strongly the business
especially

KING
if

would not go unrewarded

the

prospered; of the

in

Italy,

dealings enabled him so

knowledge with London, which he had acquired


greatly
to

of financial methods,

and

alarm the Director

as to

secure

from him a promise that, if the blessings of popular government were bestowed on the Swiss, some part of the

Bernese treasure would become available for investment in ships and material. Mme. de Stael was in Paris, working hard to
secure the treasure,

and incidentally

to obtain out of

it

the

jioo,ooo which her father declared that the French Govern149 ment stall owed him. She and Benjamin Constant and their
friends were

and

congratulating themselves that the help, financial " Little other, which they had given to Barras during the

Terror"

was now about to be paid for, when news of Napoleon's proposal reached them. They rushed to Barras full of and threats; he asked them if they were not, then, protests
sincere
Stael

in

demanding
tried

liberty

for

Switzerland,

Mme,

de

now

Napoleon,

whom

possible

lover ever since his

had been hunting as a return from Italy, but in whose


she
150

presence she always experienced difficulty in breathing, spent an hour with him and he listened to her patiently.
she had finished he treated her to one or

She

When

two

of her

own and

her father's maxims.

Men, he

said;

without a flicker of mirth,

could not live without and imaginapolitical rights; self-respect were both increased when a man had a part in the government of his country, Mme. de Stael had no answer, On
tion

leaving

him

she wrote to a friend that the French were dis151

which turbed by the outflow of their gold into Switzerland, looked as a warlike act on the of the Swiss they upon part
bankers,

Barras seized the gold, and Napoleon fitted out the ships which he had been gathering in great secrecy at Toulon. He was anxious to be off because he saw that a financial crisis

was approaching in
for

gold get the French to of accept any kind paper money in substitution for the But the necessity of avoiding Nelson's fleet assignats. until some chance existed that a clear course imposed delay
could be steered.

owing hoarding purposes and to

Paris

to the

persistent

outflow of

the continued failure to

Napoleon had appointed Josephine's


138

son,

COLONIAL PRODUCE
Eugene, to be one of his aides-de-camp; Louis was another.
Barras sent Tallien,

now

in

the

undignified position

of a

hanger-on, to represent the Directors


addition a large staff of recruited for the

and report to them. In men of science and engineers had been

development of Egypt and for the cutting of " a canal the Isthmus of Suez, the overland way to through India." Napoleon had convinced himself that what he called " " the was based upon India and her products, English system and believed that even the threat to the Indian trade
lightest

would cause London

to

make

peace.

On May
a

6,

Toulon, where
destination.

1798, accompanied by Josephine, he reached a flotilla of 501 vessels awaited him. He issued

proclamation to his

men which

contained no hint of their

the

by Admiral Brueys. 'Four hundred transports, carrying in all some 30,000 men, were escorted by fifteen sail of the line, cutters and
smaller craft.

On May 19 he set sail, leaving a weeping wife quayside. He was in the flagship Orient commanded

on

On

June 6 Malta was sighted.

moned

the Knights to surrender


play,

Napoleon sumand received a formal refusal.

There was some stage

and then the arrangement which

had been made

carried out. The Knights of St. John admitted the French and an impregnable fortress fell without a blow. Ten day? later the voyage to Egypt was

in

Italy

was

resumed.

English ship was seen, though Nelson, with thirteen sail of the line, had visited Toulon soon after the
expedition left that port, had gone

No

then to Egypt.

Nelson

left

from there to Naples, and Alexandria for the Dardanelles

before the French arrived there on July i in a gale. Artillery who could not, fire from the shore batteries greeted Napoleon,

because of the weather, enter the harbour.

He

gave orders to

launch the boats and was the

first

to

obey

these orders.

Hun-

dreds of small craft were soon tossing on the waves. When some 4,000 men had been landed he announced his intention
of

Some

rushing the defences of the town under cover of darkness. twelve miles had to be covered; when dawn broke the

French had not yet reached the city, though it lay before them. A sharp fire from the walls challenged their advance, but
into in getting their scaling-ladders Napoleon's men succeeded their taken had and before Lon, prize. night

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


of

KING

Napoleon issued immediately a proclamation to the people in which he drew a sharp distinction between the Egypt, Sultan of Turkey, venerated Moslem Kahf, and the Mamelukes who, under the Sultan, ruled their country,

"If you are told," he declared, "that I am come to overthrow your faith, believe it not. ... I have a much higher than the Mamelukes for God, His Prophet and the respect Koran."

To his own soldiers he gave the order " The people with whom you are going to live are MohamThere is no medans. The first article of their faith is this God but Allah, and Mahomet is His Prophet! Do not con:
'

tradict

as you have acted towards the Pay respect to their Muftis and their Imams, as you have done to the Rabbis and to the Bishops. Recollect that he who violates (women) is a toward."

them.

Act towards them


Italians.

Jews and the

The annual
in

floods of the Nile


to

were due, and


use of the

it

was

necessary,

consequence,

make speedy
river

use
the

became impossible,
trip

But Napoleon was in

waterway before no mood to make

when the desert offered a shorter by out with his army across the desert, he struck 6 July There were grumblings among the himself on foot. marching he but to the men a*nd made them ashamed of spoke troops,
to Cairo

route,

On

themselves.

On

the Arabs

had destroyed

the second day the discovery all the wells, and

was made that

Napoleon's troubles

began. urged that there was water at Damanhour, and so the march kept going until that place was reached. There was no water at Damanhour. broke out, and some of the

He

Mutiny

officers,

frenzied by heat and thirst, Lannes and Murat among the number, joined in it. But the master remained undaunted,

and by his courage and cheerfulness managed to get them going once more. The sight of the scientists, mounted on donkeys,
exasperated the
their

men

at first,

but

later,

when

they

had found
his

courage again, "


set

amused them

so that

they

called these

learned professors

the ass-horse."

Napoleon, following up

them singing the hymns of the Revolution. Singing victory, and shouting, this army, which had tasted the qualities of its On the morning of leader, came to the banks of the Nile.
July
21
it

saw, by the light of the rising sun, the minar^is of


140

COLONIAL PRODUCE
Cairo, the Pyramids. and the

Sphinx.

The

gilded minarets

seemed

to

be on
die

fire.

"From
nounced

summits

in the

of these Pyramids," Napoleon anOrder of the day, "forty centuries look down

upon you." As the light

increased the French soldiers saw further the


to

army

of the

Mamelukes drawn up

give

them

battle,

141

SULTAN OF FIRE

CHAPTER xiv

Mamelukes were

THE
soldiers

nobility
to

of

arms which,

in the

past,

the Turks

had created

subdue and govern Egypt,

A number of Circassian boys of conspicuous beauty and strength


had been removed
at

early ages

from

their

homes, trained

as

and administrators, and then sent


without family
tie of

to Cairo to

begin a

new

life

any

sort,

They

constituted a
so

caste of a

a rigid kind, like knighthood,

and had become

powerful

as

men fighting

that their overlords

had much trouble

to extract tribute

from them,

inlaid with

Every Mameluke was mounted and all wore armour of steel and his soldiers beheld the spectacle gold, Napoleon

horsemen superbly mounted, armed with lances and swords and wearing helmets and from which breastplates,
of six thousand

the

sunlight

was

reflected
It

defiantly

upon

their enemies.

The

host

began

to

move,

were veiled in breastplates

gathered jpeed so that the helmets and dust, as flames are veiled in smoke.
in hand,

The Frenchmen, bayonets


surging

had the impression

of a tide

and foaming towards them,


six

great

shout went

up
out
to

from the

thousand.
of

upon the bayonets


blood.

poured France, and the waters were turned


living
all

The

waters were

The

terrible

horsemen, dread of Egypt and

the

caravan routes of Africa and Asia, were broken,


tide

The bloody
Cairo
lay
at

ebbed away,

Napoleon's

losses

were

trifling;

his feet,

entered the city at the head of his and set to work troops the administration of to The military staff reorganize Egypt.

He

was replaced by the


long,
cool

scientific,

and, through burning days and

improvement of health, agriculture, industry, transport and commerce were drawn up and into execution. Immense schemes of which had irrigation, put
nights, plans

for the

already
citizens,

been decided upon, engaged the attention of the chief

who

overnight

had yielded themselves, in great


142

SULTAN OF FIRE
in magic of the French commander. A chant the honour and was the Great in Napoleon's Mosque, sung

wonder,

to the

ceremony did not evoke Mamelukes had afforded


But
this

protest,

because the downfall of the

so universal a satisfaction.

rejoicing
his

Nelson found
himself
safe.

was soon interrupted. On August i, 1798, quarry while the French Admiral still believed
ships

The French

had not been taken into har-

bour

in Aboukir Bay, in lay shallow water, attacked them sandbanks. Nelson protected by as would have an similar circumattacked in Napoleon army
as

Napoleon had ordered, but

stanceswith genius which

snatches to

its

use daring and sur-

and great mastery of craftsmanship. The batde began at prise Admiral dusk, and by ten o'clock the Orient was on fire.
Brueys had fallen already on his quarter-deck. Within a few minutes the ship blew up with so great an explosion that, for
time, fighting was suspended. At dawn of August 2 nine of the French sail of the line had been taken, while two

little

had been destroyed by burning. Of the four French frigates one was sunk and one burned. The French losses were more
than 8,000 killed and wounded; Nelson had lost some 800 men. News of the battle of the Nile was taken at once to Napoleon
at Cairo

by Talhen,

who had

seen

it

from the shore and had


and Barras

at

once sent
it.

off a letter to his

wtEe telling her

about

The General

thus betrayed nothing of his feeling at being

trapped in the land he He began, on the

had conquered.
to overhaul his

spot,

plans,

Nothing now,

neither colonial produce nor gold nor silver, could be sent from Egypt to France, and consequently, so far as the Directors were had ceased to be a matter of interest. concerned, he and his

army

He
to

bent his

mind

to the

and Constantinople

of possibility marching through Syria thus, if Turkey proved friendly, estab-

a land route to France through the Balkans, Trieste, he examined the project of Italy, Alternatively, a descent the route followed Alexander the India
lishing

and Northern
Great,

upon

by

by

the desperate character of these projects any His position in substantial objection to their consideration.

Nor was

Egypt was already desperate, while in France, as he well understood, he appeared now only as an adventurer who had lost a
great ^fleet

and was bound, very soon,

to lose a

great

army

also.

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT OF


To
strike at

KING

England

in India,

reverse Nelson's

undertaken.

triumph and At no time in

so to fulfil the mission


later

on the other hand, might be to he had


years

was he prepared
it

to

admit that

this

plan was chimerical, and

did not certainly he

levies beyond his powers to increase his army by means of native and by rapid marches to do once more what the Macedonians had done before him. Nor can there be much doubt that, had

he reached his goal, English policy would have been modified. He attended the annual festival of the Nile on August 22.

About

the

same time he founded the

Institute of
:

Egypt,

for

which he proposed the following inquiries "The best construction of wind and watermills;
substitute for

to find a

hops, which do not grow

in

Egypt;

to find the

best

for how to bring the water to the places planting vines; of citadel Cairo; where to dig wells; how to cool and cleanse

the water of the Nile;


of Cairo;

how
these

to

make

of the rubbish dispose usefully gunpowder in Egypt."


to

how

While

projects

were being discussed he reorganized

his

army and began the work of forming an Egyptian force. It was still possible to communicate with France by means of small
vessels,

and

letters

reached

him

at intervals.

He

learned from

members

of his

family that Josephine had bought a house,


Paris,

Malmaison, near

and wa? living there with Hippolyte


to his affliction, not because

Charles, a piece of
it

news that added

it

hurt his feelings he no longer loved Josephine but because announced the ruin of his cause, Josephine's open infidelity

proclaimed to the world that he had ceased to count and might be flouted with impunity. He opened his heart to Eugene,

"walking with long

strides

up and down

his tent,'

H52

and he

wrote to Joseph in Paris begging him

to act,

Meanwhile he

himself repeated Josephine's fault by becoming the lover of a young married woman named Pauline Foures, the wife of a
cavalry officer, as a soldier.
to Paris,
to come to Egypt disguised husband back with despatches Napoleon in the manner of David with Bathsheba; but Foures

who had managed


sent her

was captured on the way by the English, who, hearing his story, to lost no time in The army called returning him Egypt. " Pauline Queen of the East," and made a heroine of her; but

Eugene

felt so

much

distressed, for his mother's sake, that

he

144

SULTAN OF FIRE
complained to Berthier,
then

who spoke to the General, Pauline was The news, in due course, reached Paris and did dropped.
longer

in that

something to counteract the bad effect of Josephine's behaviour it announced that her husband was no greatly
Napoleon, meanwhile, awaited anxiously the outcome of the mission to the Sultan which Talleyrand had promised to undertake. He soon learned that the Foreign Minister had not left

interested in her,

Pans and

defeat of the

Egypt.
the

though by no means distressed at the Mamelukes, were determined to drive him out of Nelson's victory, in other words, had put Turkey at
that the Turks,
of the English,

disposal

who were

French.

Napoleon prepared and hurried forward his plans

the offering help against for attack both and land by sea
to create a native defence force.

His energy aroused opposition, which was fanned secretly by the friends of the defeated Mamelukes, with the result that a broke out in Cairo. It was rerevolt of serious proportions
the more sternly because positive information had been pressed received that two Turkish armies were about to be launched

one of them by way of Syria and


officered largely by

Palestine,

and the

other,

Englishmen, across the Mediterranean.

to divide his forces. He Napoleon found himself compelled decided to go personally mtoPalestine and, by defeating the Turks there, to conquer that country and possess himself in

addition of Syria. The resulting threat to Anatolia would, he believed, cause the Sultan to abandon any idea of sending troops

by sea
after

to

Egypt.

In February, 1799, he

left

Cairo and marched


early
in

across the desert of Sinai,

He

entered

Gaza

March

men

an encounter which gave him many prisoners. These not .to fight again, if he restored them to liberty, promised,

and they were allowed to go free. But when, on the 1581 of the month, Jaffa was stormed and the liberated prisoners were found with arms in their hands, defending the town, he had

them

153

shot.

On

the 20th the French reached Acre, to find

that their siege guns, the

captured by

which had been sent by sea, had been under Sir Sidney Smith and mounted English

Napoleon had only 13,000 men, and that number the was daily, while already reducing plague Turkish army, which was advancing against him, was some

on

the walls of the town.

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


25,000 strong.
series of violent assaults effected

OF

KING
A
a

Nevertheless, he decided to attack Acre.

a breach in the walls, but the


as to

losses inflicted

by the siege guns were so heavy

preclude

general
rescue.

movement when a relieving army was hurrying to the Once again he had to divide his forces. He left 7,000
unreduced stronghold, and with the remain-

men

to contain the

in of the valley ing 6,000 marched towards the Jordan by way which stands the little village of Nazareth. He spent a night in Nazareth, in a to which came leaders of the religious house

who had espoused the French cause, and upon he had counted to establish his power in Palestine whose help and Syria. From Nazareth he marched to Mount Tabor, below
Coptic Christians

which, in the valley of the Jordan, the Turks were drawn up He gave them instant battle, and before the to receive him. fall of night had broken and destroyed them, though their
strength
to

was four times greater than


siege,

his

own.

He

rushed back

only to learn that 12,000 Turkish in English ships, to defend the town. were their on way, troops He ordered a last assault. It took place by night, and the

Acre and resumed the

French entered the

streets.

had already disembarked


assailants

their

But they came too late, for the ships men. A galling fire drove the

by means
the

back; Napoleon saw his plan of menacing the Sultan With of the conquest of S^ria crumble to ruins.
his flank,

Acre unreduced on
question.

advance

to the

north was out of

The second Turkish army,


Egypt brought with the 9,000 men
to

therefore,

across the sea.

He

who remained

certainly raised the siege and began, to him, to return, forced

would

be

by

marches, to Alexandria. There was not a moment to be lost because, if th^ Turks established themselves, a holy war on the
infidel

and Arab

would be proclaimed. Every Mohammedan, Egyptian, alike must thus become an enemy.

return to Egypt was as swift as the going out from it, the General found time to visit the victims of though plague in
Jaffa. hospital rebellion among the population

The

to Cairo, where he found and mutiny in the garrison. He rallied his men, encouraged them, shamed them, won them. Within a few days he was on his way to the coast with 6,000

154

the

at

He went first

soldiers to

meet an army of more than double that number.


146

SULTAN OF FIRE
best This army, which had disembarked, was composed of the

of the Sultan's
officers.

and included Englishmen among reinforcewas Napoleon urged to delay his attack until ments had reached him from Cairo; but he had already, at
troops
its

nightfall
his

on July

of 24, 1799, detected a flaw in the dispositions

the

was raked by It Aboukir English gunboats manoeuvring Bay. came to grips, nevertheless, with the enemy, and a hand-to-hand battle with swords and daggers began, The faulty alignment
enemy.
fire of

He

struck at

dawn;

his little force

in

of the Turkish

army was now proved by


from
his

the inability of

its

commander

to

profit

superiority

in numbers,

Napoleon
flung the

so contrived that

strength

became weakness,

He

Turkish ranks back upon one another in confusion and at last broke them, Feeling themselves surrounded, they became
panic-stricken

and rushed back down the sand


into the sea

to their boats.

Thousands hurled ^hemselves was destroyed.


(Sultan of Fire),

and the whole army


"

The Egyptians had already named Napoleon

Sultan Kebir

"

Now a compliment more virtuous was offered by Kleber, who had arrived from Cairo with reinforcements time to witness the last moments of the battle. This distin-

guished soldier embraced his brother-in-arms with emotion,


exclaiming :
General, you are as great as the world." saved provided that peace with England could be obtained before the Turks were enough recovered to fight
"

The army was

again.

The

disaster of the Jordan, afforded

rout and on the sands, following the slaughter of confidence that re-

grounds

covery would be long deferred. Napoleon decided to return at be once to France so that such influence as he possessed
exerted

upon

the Directors,

who, in

his absence,

might would almost

certainly
as a

underestimate the importance of the conquest of Egypt counter with London. His mind had scarcely bargaining

been made up when he received, from Sir Sidney Smith, a an account of the total packet of French newspapers containing
loss of his conquests in Italy,

He

spent

a whole night reading

these newspapers.
tions

Next day he informed Kleber of his intenand appointed him to take over the supreme command.

In great secrecy preparations for departure were completed.

On

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


August
Eugene,
22, 1799, a

KING

few

of his staff,
151

with Berthier, his secretary, Lannes, Murat, and two of the scientists, he set sail

in a small vessel.

The

ship

was becalmed soon

after the

him to return to voyage began, and his companions begged Alexandria and thus escape capture by the English; but he
refused to listen, saying that his brother Louis, whom he had sent home with despatches before going to Palestine, had passed
in
safety. spent a result of his study,

He

his

time studying the newspapers and,


that Barras'
left

as

was convinced

power was
and

shattered,

The

Directory since he

France had been reconof constitutions,


a

structed to include the abbe Sieyes,

maker

Gohir, one-time Terrorist.


fire-water,

So impossible

mixture of

oil

and

with Barras

as

statesmanship, especially Genoa and standing before

apothecary, proclaimed the nadir of at a moment when the Austrians were

making ready

to invade France.

Gohir was no Robespierre, but, once in t^e saddle, he would make short work of Sieyes and the Liberals. The Jacobins

would

rule

again

in Paris.

The calm gave


ship

which drove the little to a violent gale, place out of her course towards the Italian coast. The captain
a

asked leave to run for shelter to Ajaccio in Corsica

sugges-

heavy

tion agreeable to Napoleon, who supposed that his mother was there in their old home.. They made the port after a living to that no find remained on the buffeting,

Buonaparte

Napoleon landed with Murat, Lannes, and Eugene, and received a welcome from his fellow-townsmen which imisland.

his companions. He was told that, after the battle of pressed the Nile, the English party, headed by Pozzo di Borgo, had become dominant, and that the volunteers, recruited and

again

threatening sympathizers with adopted France. In consequence the abbe Fesch had prevailed upon Mme. Buonaparte to accompany him to Paris, where her sons
as Corsican deputies to the Council of Five Joseph and Lucien, The return of Louis from were now Hundred, living.

trained by Sir Hudson had a

Lowe during

the

English occupation,

attitude to all

and the news he brought had further influenced leave her home.
stationed in Ajaccio

his

Egypt mother to

for himself that the French Napoleon discovered troops had not been paid for more than a
year,

SULTAN OF FIRE
exeven though a descent upon the island by the English was the to take of evidence 'at This moment. pected place any

Directors'

as to overcloud his
15b

incompetence and corruption disturbed him so much " the house where We joy in revisiting

lived/'

in

meeting again
hospitality
itself out.

his old nurse,

Camilla

Ilari,

and

in

receiving

the

of the town.

The
ball

given

gale blew in

The wind

veered,

fancy-dress

Napoleon's honour was interrupted

so that

he and

his staff

might return at once to their ship.

149

FEAR MEETS GLORY

CHAPTER xv

NAPOLEON'S gone to
live
It

Rocher in
tation

Paris,

had mother, on her return from Corsica, with Joseph and his wife in the rue du was an uneasy household because the repu-

was in eclipse, Napoleon, upon which they all depended defeated at sea and marooned on land, was a spent force; had
they doubted
it,

there
to

with her

popinjay
their

was Josephine convince them.


affairs

at

Malmaison

living openly

Nor had
affairs.

own

prospered

more than Napoleon's


in a riot,

Joseph's embassy
of

to

Rome had ended


of the

His

seat

and that

Lucien in the Council

Five Hundred

had been depended on Corsican votes, and Letizia and Fesch warned that since the battle of the Nile no Buonaparte was safe
in

Ajaccio,
that

cluding

had her
off,

Napoleon and Joseph's wife was exceedingly well again, Their wealth had been invested, with great shrewdness, in
estates

inthe other hand, they possessed money, for Letizia to had entrusted which them,

On

which continued to magnificent country houses, the* value of rise as the various which had followed the paper monies,
assignat,

faded out of existence,

157

had not developed in character as he had Napoleon's brothers Corsicans still, with a veneer of French were developed. They

which was always liable to wear thin, Nevertheless, were all men of conspicuous ability, Lucien. they especially From his earliest hours, as has been said, this spoiled child had
culture

been a rebel, violent, with a most unexarrogant, greedy, yet trait of and with a dauntless His nobility pected courage.
nobility

had shown

itself

in the emotional

sincerity
It

which had
inspired

characterized
his
its

all his relations

with his wife.


it

had

contempt ambit the

for

Josephine, but
of

superiority

comprehend in Lucien had the Napoleon, singular


to

was unable

to

misfortune to be a

genius

doomed

one of the

greatest

minds of human
others
for

story,

perpetual association with a misfortune which

he shared with

many

example, Talleyrand, Fouche,

FEAR MEETS GLORY


Benjamin Constant, aad, among the soldiers, Moreau, Massena, Berthier. Lucien's true and vivid intellect was warped by contact

with the

spirit

of his brother,

his abilities

strayed and

lost themselves, so that,

In that profound simplicity misunderstand-

ing

he achieved nothing, A sense of much personal outrage, than and fired his darkened stronger injured vanity, thought
all,

his resentment until he

began

opposing Napoleon,

He had

satisfaction in to find his only not yet come to this stage, but his

mind was
It

already uneasy.

was

different

always

a sense of

with Joseph, who, as head of the family, felt which comforted him. He was a superiority

good-looking and easy-going, but he had his pride. with the Tall, straight Greek nose of die Bonapartes, he posmouth sessed a weak and a corresponding weakness of character
soft fellow,

which made him the


bibber also.

slave of

women

and, occasionally, a wine-

Nevertheless, he was intelligent above the ordinary, very well instructed, and of a philosophical turn of mind. But knowledge had not brought peace of mind. This Corsican felt himself lost in a world where his position as eldest son counted for of nothing, Too sensible of the value money to dream for an instant of his share in luck, he

renouncing

Napoleon's good

slap

continued, throughout his life, to regard that good luck as a in the face. Providence fiad been churlish or ill-informed.

Mme>

de Stael had

known how
in

to flatter

and

cajole

this

uneasy
It

man, and had won,


different

consequence,

his entire

regard.

was

thought Joseph a fool, but remained, in spite of everything, deeply attached to him. It was the one Corsican trait which remained dominant in his
character.

with Napoleon.

He

To
father

Louis, on the other hand,

and preceptor.

And

this

Napoleon remained fostervery handsome boy, while


He,
too,

acknowledging the

benefit, resented it in his heart.

was

able;

Napoleon would not allow him


in this case,

to

grow

up.

Adol-

escence rebelled, as ever, against parental authority.

escape

from

tutelage,

Unhappily, was impossible, Louis beinto ill-health.

came embittered even before he


health was

fell

Louis'

now
a

his mother's chief

preoccupation,

The

lad

had contracted

mysterious disease in

Egypt and was


1" 8

suffering

from

severe weakness

and very unstable nerves.

Letizia, in

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF

KING

August, but Louis remained gloomy and depressed. for years, enjoyed his trouble to an unsuccessful love affair ascribed himself He

him to Vichy, and they left Paris June, 1799, resolved to take at the end of that month. When they returned at the together Letizia was in better health than she had end of

with Josephine's kinswoman, Emihe de Beauharnais, whom had snatched away from him and married to Count
Josephine
159

Lavaiette.

He met Mme.

Lavalette in Paris

and
of

fell

in love

with her for the second time, only to suffer a severe rebuff,

which was added, unreasonably enough,


crimes
the Bonaparte family, against
as
it

to the

list

Josephine's

These crimes,

happened, were becoming so notorious

that Gohir, the Jacobin

member

Josephine suggested a divorce, to be followed by marriage to Hippolyte Charles, and she agreed to adopt his
did not love Napoleon.

and remonstrated with her. lady

of the Directory, sent for the told him that she

He

She visited a lawyer and signed a petition asking for the dissolution of her marriage, a she hoped, would step which, convince Barras and his friends that she had had no part in
advice.

Napoleon's schemes to

make

honest

men

of

them.

In fact,

Barras and his friends were in such straits that their opinions had ceased to matter. Only one man in all France commanded

any respect
Directors,

namely, the abbe Sieyes,

now

President of the

reputed patriotic Sieyes had returned from Berlin, where he had attended the coronajust tion of King Frederick William III of Prussia; his absence

who was

and honest.

from France had enabled him


condition and to

to take a

detached view of her

make up

convinced that salvation

mind about her future. He was could come now only from the army.
his

But the armies of France were once again in retreat towards her frontiers, both on the Rhine and in while the Jacobins Italy, in Paris, ceased to fear Barras and his having corps of scoundrels,

were growing every day more threatening.


solution,
to lose his

Sieyes, finding

no

last, resigned began presidency to Gohir, the Jacobin, in order to avoid bloodshed. Gohir and his friend and fellow-Director Moulins began to purge Paris of the Moderates and Constitutionals almost without reference

nerve and, at

his

to

Sieyes, his disciple

suffered further disaster a

Roger Ducos, or Barras. If the armies new Terror was certain.


152

FEAR MEETS GLORY


The men who had
financed
Barras

experienced

a lively

anxiety and joined themselves to Sieyes in his search for a dictator. Ouvrard was prominent in this company, military He had fallen in love with Therese Tallien, taken her from
Barras,

and

installed her
1 '

with her children in a huge house,

rue du

Babylon.

Sieyes' soldier,

when

All his resources were held ready for Nor was that man should be found.
less

Mme,
ready
full

de Steel, as instructed by her father,


to

anxious or

less

help,

Necker
"

ui

approval to Sieyes'
a

blessed Sieyes and had given his that what of private expression opinion

had

France needed was

head and a sword."


has been said, was an academic Liberal
of the courage, but lacking the courage in the tennis court at Versailles, had

The abbe Sieyes, as endowed with moral


heart.
It

was he who,

baptized the Revolution. He had been, ever after, its preceptor; he had not at any time guided it, His mechanical mind, which " " exalted into a principles godhead remote from human contact,

was bent

to discover "

eliminate for ever the


so

would

secure to

human element from government and " men an automatically acting State." His
been framed with that object in view, and looking for a leader was his need

some magic formula which would "

constitutions

had

all

even
of

now

his sole reason for

temporary support, in order that a

new

constitution

might

himself was vain and pompous, a Cicero of the eighteenth century, envious of Anthony's power to per-

be created.

The man

form, afraid

after his

experiences

with Mirabeau and Danton

and Robespierre
able to control.
ability

to invoke monsters
If

he had been
all

less sure

which he might not be than he was that his

transcended that of
"
for a

gone questing

sword."

made

the

help

of a soldier

men, he would not have But lack of physical courage indispensable if he, Sieyes, was to
other

rule France.
as Sieyes views,
it

country folk, lying in

happened, were the views also of the French dread of invasion, But whereas the
"
a soldier," the country folk

statesman talked vaguely about

gave him

name.

That name was Bonaparte.


!

What

folly

to

have sent the conqueror of Italy to die in desert sands when the If frontiers of the Fatherland were insecure only he would

come back

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


On

RING

an October morning, in bright sunshine, this prayer was answered. The little ship from Egypt dropped anchor in the A few minutes later the fisherfolk of the harbour of

town heard
the

Frejus. that General Bonaparte

was aboard.

Instantly they

rushed to the sea-front.


ship.

their arms,

They plunged and carried him ashore


officers

from rowing-boat was approaching into the water, seized the General in
in
spite
of die protests of

the
"

quarantine

who

cried that there

was plague

in

Egypt.
Better plague than the Austrians," the villagers shouted. He It was the voice of France; Napoleon recognized it.

had judged

well.

He

remained for a

little

time in Frejus, while

news along every highway. Then, with Eugene, he drove out on the long road to Paris. The
lathered horses carried die
carriage
tations

went slowly because, at every village, dicre were depuand choirs of girls to vie with the pealing bells and
:

booming guns. Every village possessed already its triumphal arch, and on each of the arches the same word was inscribed "Saviour." The General spoke very little, and only about the
plight
of the

"Great Nation,"

as

he called France.

It

was

observed that he was pale in spite of Egyptian suns and that his
expression

was grave.

The news reached Paris and was brought by Lucien Bonawho was walking in the Directors' garden at to Sieyes, parte the Luxembourg with General Moreau. Sieyes was still huntwas feeling a little happier because the ing his soldier; he Austrians had been repulsed at Zurich. Only two candidates
had so
far

been found

Bernadotte and Moreau.

He had

dis-

missed the former from the of Minister of War because of post his Moreau with the had just refused to serve. Jacobins; plottings

Lucien blurted out


"

his

story.

Moreau turned

to the Director,

There's your man," he said, and left the garden. Sieyes addressed Lucien
:

"

The

die

is

cast,

It is

round your brother that we must

rally."

making ready to use Bernadotte, be the ablest soldier then in France. Jean Baptiste Bernadotte was the son of an attorney in Pau and grandson of a master tailor. At seventeen he had enlisted in

Gohir, meanwhile, was

whom

he believed

to

FEAR MEETS GLORY


in

Royal Marines, in which regiment he saw service in Corsica, Dauphine, and in'Provence, In 1788 he was at Grenoble; later he went to Marseilles, where he took part in various revolutionary
disturbances

the

and,

with great courage, saved his


raised

Colonel from the mob.


ranks.

The Revolution

him from

the

Colonel, serving under Pichegru, and Moreau in the armies of the Sambre and Meuse Kleber, and on the Rhine.

In 1792 he was

no

Bernadotte called himself Jacobin, but, in fact, belonged to his party. His ambition was exceeded in intensity only by
it

in

jealousy of any rival, and high degree the

cannot be disputed that he possessed


of

qualities

leadership.

He, and he alone,

for

example, could exercise over Napoleon's soldiers an influence of any considerable kind in opposition to Napoleon's influence.

Augereau, in Bernadotte's company, became Bonaparte's critic and even detractor. But Bernadotte wilted, like all the others,

under the Corsican's


self to

eye,

and

so, early in

the day, joined him-

the

opposition.

Mme.

de Stael welcomed

him
"

to her

and hoped, undoubtedly, to use him as the sword." party, Thus he was Napoleon's rival from the beginning, with the
of Joseph support of the financial interest and even, on occasion,

and Lucien Bonaparte, His marriage to Desiree Clary, Joseph's sister-in-law and the whwn Napoleon had jilted, filled the girl
cup of his jealousy of the Corsican.
to the

He

belonged,

after that,

Bonaparte group as well as to the group of the dispossessed, and he fished, during years, in the troubled waters of
defeated Jacobinism and Liberalism.

That he was
That he was
a

a soldier of

high merit

is

not to be doubted.

great any student of his career can believe for a

man

in

real sense of that

word no
and
This

momeat,

brilliant

even incredible in

its

success as that career became.

man

sought power and wealth for the sake of power and wealth and showed himself incapable of believing that any other motive
existed anywhere,

habit of

To the end of his life, too, he retained the mind which was expressed, as between the soldiers of

the Revolution "

and the soldiers of Napoleon, in the terms: Les messieurs de I'armee du Rhin; les citoyens de I'armee
Bernadotte was an apt pupil of international finance in
155
its

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


disguise
of international Liberalism.
of friends

KING

Gohir was entertaining a

party

Napoleon's landing his embarrassment. Suppose that Bonaparte discovered the part

which included Josephine when the news of in France reached him, and he did not hide

he had played in the divorce petition ? He urged Josephine to meet her husband, and the joy of the Parisians, go instantly to which was lifting the capital from stupor to frenzy, convinced
her of his wisdom.
she had
It

was

failure, after all,

not triumph, which

proposed

to divorce

from her bed.

She drove through the night to Mme. Campan's academy, where Hortense was still at school, and bade her daughter come
with
her. They took the road by Sens, Joigny, Anserre, and Chalon-sur-Saone, driving swiftly under the triumphal arches; at Lyons they heard that they had missed him. He had passed the of Moulins, overs, and Cosne. city, going by way

through

He
and

reached the house in the rue des Victoires at six o'clock

on the morning of October 18, 1799, and was met by Joseph Paulette, for Lucien and Louis had gone to meet him by
the same route as

Josephine.

"Is Josephine

ill?"

Pitying smiles answered him. " She has gone to meet

you," they said.

Memories

of his return to

had declared
French
his

in the

" 162

Milan choked him, and he who " carriage that he had become absolutely
Paulette

became, instead, absolutely Corsican.


kindle to the vendetta and

saw

spirit

knew

herself

revenged.

Collot, a cool

and

sensible

man, came

to breakfast,

and the

tornado burst over his head.

waited and then pointed out that the of France were fixed eyes upon General Bonaparte,
the Corsican "

He

who had

a French wife.

Leave your wife and her faults alone," he urged. Lucien and Louis arrived with the news that Josephine was she So not had run following. away. By imputing the worst
motives to their enemy, the Bonapartes, as they now saw, had served her cause. They tried to undo that error

by dwelling

on her

infidelities

revelations

and dishonour, and under the the pilgrim broke down and wept.

strain of these

His mother

came, and, with her stubborn objections to divorce, steadied him, Letizia defended her daughter-in-law. He remembered
156

FEAR MEETS GLORY


Collet's

warning

that he

who

aspired

to lead France
his bed.

must not

begin by casting out a

Frenchwoman from

Meanwhile the parties were at his door. Talleyrand came and Fouche came, Barras' and the Jacobins, the army people, and the politicians. disputed his attention. He noticed

They

only that Sieyes had not come and that the Royalists had not

come.
the third day Josephine returned and fell into the hands and Paulette. She reached the door of the study. It " was locked. He is going to divorce you/' they told her. She knocked on the door; she heard Napoleon's voice and Joseph's
of Lucien
voice.

On

She rushed away


to

to her

bedroom.

message was

her to pack up and go to Malmaison. She answered brought it by beating again on the locked door with her hands. In the

morning she began to heap clothing into a trunk. Eugene and Hortense watched her. She bade them suddenly go down to throw themselves at his feet. She followed their stepfather and
them, waiting on the
stair.

Napoleon's nerve broke and, in

that instant, she presented and shut the door.

herself.

away
was

He sent son and daughter He walked about the room break-

while she told ing small ornaments


in the

him everything. Joseph Lucien, newly elected President of the Council of Five Hundred, called next morning, husband
room.

When

and wife were sharing their old bedroom. That day the Directors sent for him, and

collectively

offered

him the command of any of the armies which he might choose to command. He asked for a little rest. Barras invited him to dinner and offered him partnership in government. Napoleon did not speak. From Barras' rooms he went by appointment The abbe received to to Sieyes. Talleyrand, who conducted him
him
was
a
coldly, explaining

necessarily

hateful to a

that the idea of a military dictatorship good Liberal. Then he unfolded

the abolition of the Directorate and the plan which included of three Consuls himself, Roger Ducos, and appointment

Bonaparte.

There were no further meetings, and Gohir and

his Jacobins

became
over to

less

uneasy.

Josephine

visited

the President of the

Directors

and assured him that she hoped to bring her husband She comforted Barras with the same hope. his side.

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF

KING

but otherwise showed Napoleon attended a few public dinners, took himself unresponsive to the general clamour, Sieyes
riding
lessons

and got his travelling carriage made ready


153

for a

long journey.

On
leon

the

morning

of

November

9,

1799, before

dawn, Napo-

in uniform passed along the gave a breakfast-party. Figures entered the Chaussee d'Antin to the rue des Victoires.

They

He was awaiting them, also in uniform. Gohir garden gate. and Moulins, Talleyrand and Fouche had been invited, but Gohir and Moulins did not come. Very soon the house was
full.

The

officers

overflowed into the garden and even into the


of

street

where detachments

cavalry

tion.

Breakfast was served.

were jingling into posiThere was a movement in the

crowd.

way
leon

to the door of the

messenger from the Council of Ancients made his house and disappeared within. Napoto the
:

balcony and announced in The Ancients have just danger. taken the decision to remove Parliament to St. Cloud. They
"Citizens, France
is

came out on

have appointed
to help

me

Commander-in-Chief

of all the troops in


I

the 17th Military Division of the National Guard.

rely

on

you

me.

Will you?"

their swords,

thudding sound, as men clapped their hands to the hilts of answered him. He retired indoors. Fouche, the

Minister of Police, told

him

that

he had

just given

orders to

close the gates of the city.

"Why?" "To help

you."

Napoleon bade him open the gates, saying that he was determined not to imitate in any way the behaviour of the Terrorists
a rebuke for the ex-butcher of

Lyons.

He
rode

descended to the
off

courtyard and mounted


general yard of the palace

his horse,

He

with a bodyIn the courtof


Italy.

guard

of

officers

towards the Tuileries.

were veterans of the

Army
"

He

spoke
"

to

them.

Then he

entered the hall where the Ancients


bar,
154

were assembled and walked to the


Citizen
Representatives," he

cried,

the Republic was


it,

on the point of perishing.


the fomenters of disorder.

Your

decision has saved

Woe

to

my

find means, with the help of comrades-in-arms here present, to restrain them.
I shall

FEAR MEETS GLORY


"

You have

refused to be deflected

citation of

precedents.

That

is

well,

from your course by the for there is no historical


itself

parallel to the eighteenth century

nor does this century

furnish any parallel to "

We

closing years. will maintain the

its

Republic.

We

will secure that

it

shall be
I

based on real

swear, in

my

and on the representative system. own name and in that of my comrades, to


liberty

maintain

it."

All the officers

leon

left

the hall.

clapped hands again to their swords. NapoAs soon as he had the Ancients ad-

gone

journed their sitting and hurried away, for Sieyes had summoned the Council of the Five Hundred for eleven o'clock

without

informing the members of that body about the early meeting of the upper house. in the in the Napoleon reviewed the
troops

courtyard

presence

of a

crowd which could not contain


"

its

enthusiasm and which

shouted

Vive Bonaparte!"
in a cloudless

till

it

was hoarse.

The sun had


showers of

come up
gold.

sky and the air was

full of

Terror on such a morning is handicapped as against The members of the Five Hundred arrived obscurely glory. without welcome from the Lucien arrayed in his toga people.

was

in the chair.

He
to

announced the Ancients' decision


St.

to re-

move

the

sittings

loud,

reminded the house that


in
spite

criticism of the decision

was unlawful and,

of violent

uproar, suspended the sitting until the next day. The Jacobins rushed off to the Sections, as of old, to recruit mobs; they

found Napoleon's soldiers posted already

at

every street corner,


11 5
"

and read placards to the effect upon which they had counted
abolished,

that the Regional Councils,


as

rallying centres,

had been

When

the Five

Hundred were

safely

on

their

way home,

Napoleon concluded his review and joined Sieyes. He found the abbe full of cheer at the success of his plan; but the fear

which had

remained with him.

man's mouth in Robespierre's day Roger Ducos, he announced, had Barras' resignation was doubttheir but Directorships, resigned and joined forces with Gohir ful. If Barras refused to resign
so often dried the

He and

and Moulins the Directory would

be

saved,

Napoleon's
could
a

common

sense

rejected

such

possibility.

How

'59

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT

OF

KING

scoundrel defy the will of France? Talleyrand was instructed to visit Barras and demand his resignation, Just after Talley-

rand had gone away, Barras' secretary burst into the room "What have you done with the Directors?" he shouted
:

at

Napoleon.

"What/' Napoleon
France
I

asked,
so

"have the Directors done with


strong?
I
I I find war. left peace; I the millions of

the France
I

I left

left victories;

find defeats,
,

left

Italy;

find

plunder and misery.

."

The

final shot told; Barras' secretary

hurried from the room.

Talleyrand returned with Barras' surrender. The Directory, lacking a quorum, had ceased to exist; it remained now only to the two Chambers to set The door the Consulate, get

up was flung open and Gohir and Mouhns strode in. " You have come to resign also?" Napoleon asked them.
"

have come to save the Republic." messenger entered with a note which stated that Santerre, 165 the brewer, was leading a mob towards the Tuileries. Napo-

We

leon turned to

Mouhns.
your kinsman?"
If

"Santerre

is

"My "
him

friend,"

He's giving trouble.


shot,"

he continues,

tell

him,

shall

have

Gohir and Moulins went away ana the day closed peacefully. But Sieyes remained full of alarms in face of a danger the extent of which he was to measure. He advised qualified to have some of the of the members Jacobin Napoleon forty
Five

Hundred

arrested

overnight.
to St.

When

that

was refused he
it

sent his

travelling carriage

Cloud with orders that

should wait at a point near the This veteran of palace, assemblies did not share the soldier's faith in the national will
as a sure shield.

Had

the nation willed the King's death?

The

nation, however, showed so lively an interest that next morning even Sieyes was comforted. Again the day was glorious; Paris went hero-worshipping in her gayest frocks, and

the road to St. Cloud


stationed

became a promenade. But the troops round the palace would admit nobody except the
in accordance with
closeted with

deputies

Napoleon's orders.

He was

Sieyes in the
160

room which had become

FEAR MEETS GLORY


his

headquarters by yirtue of his post as Commander-in-Chief.


Jacobins had arrived in full force
the

The

and had brought with


their

them

two Generals who were notoriously Bernadotte and Augereau.

supporters

The Chambers began

their

sitting

and the proposal


to each of

for the

institution of the Consulate

was submitted

them.

What

Sieyes had feared took place. The Jacobins shouted down the speakers with the cry: "No dictatorship," Napoleon,
to the hubbub, learned that the popular will is imwithout These were the men who had suppotent leadership. ported Robespierre's wet guillotine and Barras' dry one. He

listening

understood that

it

was he, not


intention

Sieyes,

who had
in

blundered,
to

and

announced

his

of

going

person

the

Chambers

so that Fear

might be brought

face to face with

Glory. Outside in the sunshine he


jubilantly:

met Augcrcau, who remarked

"Now
He
bar,

you're

in a

tight

corner."
"
at

"Things were worse," said Napoleon,


His face was
bloodless,

Arcola."

strode into the Council of the Ancients and

came

to the

He

spoke

few halting sentences


the hall and, with

which were
his

listened to in silence,

He

left

to th<? Orangery to the Five Hundred. grenadiers, went He came alone to the platform on which Lucien was seated.

After the Jacobins had recovered from their surprise they began
to shout

again

"What,

soldiers here?

Down

with the Dictator,

To

hell

with the Tyrant."

He

tried to

speak but could not


their seats

make

himself heard,

His

enemies jumped from "

and

jostled

him, crying:
to

Your

laurels are blasted, Bonaparte.

Shame

your glory.

Begone!"
Lucien appealed for order and a hearing, but he, too, was shouted down. The Jacobins struck at Napoleon. At a sign

from Lucien the grenadiers entered the hall and surrounded him. One of the soldiers had his uniform torn from his
back.
157

his horse.

Napoleon was dragged from the hall and lifted on to He remained at the window, on horseback, survey161

ing the scene.

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


"Outlaw him!"
Lucien pulled
"
to

OF

KING

yelled

the Jacobins.

off his

toga,

You would not

explain his

though he came conduct, to acquaint you with his plans and to


listen to

"

him/' he

cried,

answer your questions."

He
"

flung his toga away, The Jacobins rushed at him. " would you have me outlaw Scoundrels," he shouted,

my

own

brother?"

Napoleon sent ten grenadiers to rescue him, He was brought out and joined his brother and Sieyes in front of the palace. The Terrorists roared their triumph.

"For God's
the soldiers."

sake," Sieyes cried,

"do something.
to the

There are

Lucien mounted a horse and rode

troops

who were
of

drawn up some

distance

away under the

command

Murat,

He told the suitor for Caroline Bonaparte's hand. already them that scoundrels in the pay of England had attempted to assassinate his brother and himself, and that in consequence,
as its President,

he had suspended the sitting of the Council.

But the
"
I

assassins

had refused

summon
soldiers

you," he shouted,

to leave the hall, " to march

and

clear

them

out."

The
move.

shouted

"Vive Honapartel" but did not


it.

Lucien drew his sword and brandished


"
I

swear," he cried,

"
to stab

my

brother to the heart

if

ever

he should attempt anything against the freedom of French-

men."

Murat gave
led the

the order to fix


into the hall.

troops

Angry

It was bayonets. obeyed. shouts met them.

He
The

command rang
Drums began
hall

out

"Grenadiers, advance!"
to roll; bayonets flashed.

In a

moment

the

was empty, and the Jacobins who had escaped by the windows were fleeing across the lawns.

Some hours
in a house

later

Lucien assumed his toga once more, and,

well

filled,

which contained no Jacobin, but was nevertheless put the motion that a Consulate of three be formed
Roger Ducos, and Bonaparte be the Consuls.
162

and

that

Sieyes,

FEAR MEETS GLORY


The motion was
Ancients assented.
Paris
carried

unanimously.

At midnight

the

was abed when Napoleon returned.

He had

sent a

courier to
late at

Josephine with the good news, His mother called night at the rue des Victories and heard from the lips of

her daughter-in-law that her son was master of France.

163

MARENGO

CHAPTER xvi

THE
1794
confined
assignatSj

France which

1799,

was

little

on November n, Napoleon took over better case than had been the France of
its

when

Robespierre became

master.

For

if civil

war was

now

Normandy and Brittany, the that miraculous land money by which armies had
to the seaboard of

been created and

no longer, equipped, existed


still

And England
It

and Austria were


sary
to find

at

war with

the

Republic.

was

neces-

gold and
of

silver,

On

the
as

morrow
empty

"Brumaire," the Consuls looked into a


Louis

treasury

as that of

XVI and realized

that,

thanks

to Barras, they possessed

no

credit,

turn to Ouvrard.
of the arts

The

illustrious

to Napoleon was forced banker, who was a great

and a most charming man, presented himself patron at the Luxembourg and promised to do what he could, To his
surprise,

a hint

was dropped

that his mistress, Therese Tallicn,

would consult her dignity by


public function,

refraining

A hint of a similar

from appearing at any kind was to Mme. conveyed


Fouche, Joseph, and
leaders of
re-

de

Stael,

who had
once

returned to Paris, and, with Benjamin ConSieyes, Talleyrand,

stant,

was entertaining
as

Lucien
the

upon a time
168

she

had entertained the


and

National

Assembly.
as

Talleyrand

Fouche

tained their

posts

Foreign Minister and Minister of Police.


days
of
parties

All were advised that the


end.

and salons were

at

an

Meanwhile

Sieyes

was

at

work on

new

constitution,

leon did not interfere with him, but,

when

the

Napodocument was

produced, offered criticisms of so damaging a kind that the abbe felt he had no but to
option
his that of resignation and Roger

gated

his

own

constitution.

resign, Napoleon accepted Ducos and at once promulThe Consulate was reformed.
years,

Napoleon became First Consul for ten as Second and Lebrun as Third.

with Cambaceres

M
These were two

A R

EN

men of widely different character. Jean de Cambaceres was born at Montpellier on OctoJacques Regis ber 1 8, 1753. He was descended from a family of the noblesse
de
la

robe and had been

of his designed for the magistracy

province. But he became revolutionary and was elected to the States-General, being unseated, however, on a technical objecHe was a member of the Convention and devoted himtion.
self to

legal

during the Terror. voted that the


sentence,
cides.

work on which he continued to be engaged even His legal mind caused him, after he had King was guilty, to demand postponement of

and thus he escaped being included among the regiLater he opposed Barras; but made him Minister Sieyes
honest, of great erudition,

of Justice.

The man was

and
if

of

an excellent

he did not wholly judgment. was trust his and to hear his views and, loyalty, always ready if to But Cambaceres' weakgive weight to them. possible,

Napoleon respected him, even

nesses

were not hidden from

his master.

another an academic quality of vanity,

One of them was mind which made it

for its to impossible accept wholeheartedly the Napopossessor leonic the in his secret Empire. Cambaceres, thought, awaited dawn of Liberalism, even while he was wearing the insignia of
dictatorship,
It

was

different with Lebrun,

who remained

Royalist

at

heart and, according to his master, took

no important

step

without

friends. Napoleon found consulting his Royalist Lebrun's knowledge of finance exceedingly useful, but was
first

of a man possessed of so much knowincapable trusting fully " " was he told Caulamcourt, of that Lebrun," ledge subject.

by nature
tion.

lacking was, too, devoured by ambition." Absolute power was vested in the First Consul and popular election was

crafty, able, disobliging, hard,

and

in affec-

He

abolished, but provision

was made

for a

Council of

State, to

be

nominated by Napoleon himself, and for two popular chambers, the Tribunate and the Legislative Body, to be nominated by
the Council of State.
Sieyes

was rewarded with a senatorship

and a large estate. A referendum was then held on the question whether or not Napoleon should be First Consul for ten
years.

There voted

165

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


For Napoleon's Consulship
Against
... ...

KING

3,001,007
1,526

Opposition
active,

notably

had been driven underground, but it remains in the salons, the Press, and among the Jacobins

with Mme. de Stael at their head, professed them " attack on and began to hin outraged by the Liberty," " " that Louis XVIII was prepared to return to France as

The

salons,

selves

constitutional

king,

The

Jacobins declare that "the People'

had been brought again into slavery. Both parties were en dowed with fighting funds, the sources of which were not dis
closed,

Napoleon made

it

his first business to

disarm these

opponents
lb9
:

On

the
I

morrow

of his

coming

to

power he declared

"If

leave the Press unbridled I won't be in

power

thre<

months,"
In
"

opening
is
its

a secret council

on January
widespread

17, 1800,

he asked:

What
on

newspaper
readers

but a

club

newspapa
oratoi

exerts
exerts

exactly

the same effect as a

mob

on his audience.

You want me
by
at

harangues

that can be heard

impose most four or

to

silence
five

on

th<

hundrec

to allow the of other wil persons, but harangues that delivery

reach thousands."

A
in

censorship

was imposed,

170

When

Benjamin Constant

who had been


which
a silence to

to the Tribunate, delivered a appointed speed " he said that, there is here and silence

only servility
listening,"

which

all

Europe

is

he found himsel]

shunned by many former friends. Mme. de Stael's dinner table was no longer by Talleyrand's wit or Fouche'i regaled
cynicism, and- soon the "great lady"

was marooned
listen to

in th<

country

at Saint

Ouen.

Nor would Napoleon


France was
at

Joseph's

pleadings
desperate

on her
state that

behalf.

war and in such

On
the

February
to hold a

19,

nothing could be forgiven to any detractor, 1800, tie Consular Court was moved from

Luxembourg

to the Tuileries,

tunity
lines

great

review of his

Napoleon seized the opporand rode down the troops,

past

the blackened standards

which had been unfurled on


off his hat in salute to these

his Italian battlefields.

He

pulled

emblems, and the great crowd which watched him believed


166

M
that

RE N

they saw tears in his eyes,


palace found him lying sticking pins with heads
171

week

or two later a visitor

to the
Italy

full

of

of Northern length on a map red and black wax into various

towns and
ning how

villages.

to relieve the

Napoleon explained that he was planof Genoa, which was still city being
with England and Austria
to necessary, therefore,

besieged by the Austrians, In fact he had tried to make

peace

and had been rebuffed.


if

172

It

would be

fight again peace was in Egypt brought back

to

be obtained and the army locked up to France. The Consulate, for all its

popularity, concentrate

hung upon
troops
in

Napoleon began to from which an advance might be Dijon,

the issue of war.

made

namely, to the Rhine, to the Alps, or to the Riviera. The Austrian reports on this concentration were not such as to
cause Melas, the

in

any one of three different directions

commander
of
Italy,"

was the

"

Army

before Genoa, much Nor anxiety. now commanded by Massena, in any

condition to repeat its heroic performances. There remained the Army of the Rhine, to which Moreau had been appointed; its office was too important to admit the possibility of transfer,

That any other French army existed or could exist was not suspected by the Austrians, and consequently Napoleon was able
to various unperceived to send small bodies of picked troops convenient centres and so gradually to build up the elements of

a formidable force.

173

He meant

at first to

join

this force to

Moreau's army under cover of the Rhine and then to attack the Austrians, under Kray, turn their left flank and either capture
or annihilate them.
the

The way would


its

Danube
would

to Vienna,
(since

Italy

thus have been open down and Melas' army operating in Northern base had been taken) have been forced to

surrender,

But

this

magnificent conception
his

was wrecked

at its

launching by
orders

the

of Moreau, jealousy

who

refused to take

from anybody. Napoleon showed


to the

Moreau

free to exercise his great ability.

wisdom by leaving The picked troops

were sent

meadows

at the

head of the lake of Geneva.

Meanwhile Melas with 60,000 Austrians had attacked Masand had by the ayth driven him back behind sena on April 6,
the walls of Genoa. An English fleet was co-operating the Austrians, and the position of the French was precarious;

with

167

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


so

OF

KING
to retreat

much

so indeed that,
city,

while Massena himself remained to


of his

defend the
along

large part

army was forced

the coast.
effect of holding the Action in the north was

These actions in the south had the


Austrians near the French
frontier.

now urged upon Moreau, and


General crossed the Rhine and
able

that great in succeeded obtaining a favourafter

some delay

Kray

at Engen, in which to give battle. position, and his Austrians were forced to retreat, and the

On May

danger

that they

might

strike

obviated.

A
camp

new
of

battle

through Switzerland to the Tyrol was broke out on May 5 in which the

Austrians were again defeated; defeat pursued


fortified

them

to

the
re-

Ulm, where they made

a stand.

Moreau

from Carnot, now Napoleon's Minister of War, who asked for a detachment to serve in the secret force.
ceived a visit
It

was Napoleon's

turn.

He

appointed Bernadotte,

who had

in France at St, Cloud, to command the troops opposed him and made Cambaceres his deputy in the civil office. Some

suppressed, and sixty newspapers ceed instantly against anyone who attempted in any

were

Fouche was

told to

proto

way

The Moniteur, Napoleon's own newspaper, which had published the appeals for peace made by the First
create disaffection.

Consul
Francis,

to

King George
its

III

of

England and the Emperor

now informed
except

refused

readers that, since peace had been on condition that the Bourbons were restored,

war had become


it

The British Navy, under Lord inevitable. was was added, Keith, co-operating with the Austrians, but the soldiers of the Republic would teach this Second Coalition
the lesson

which the

First

had learned from the \rrny


first

of Italy.
it

When

the

news

of the

of Moreau's victories arrived,

was proclaimed from the stage of the Opera, and Napoleon, in his box, led the cheers. Less emphasis was laid upon the
Massena Genoa, desperate position her good . Meanwhile Talleyrand, as
of
in
spirits,

and Paris recovered


Foreign Minister, I. Paul was a

was

in touch with the

Emperor

of Russia, Pafil

member
which
Italy

of the Coalition against France, but the

manner

in

his Russian

had been troops


anger and
168

treated
It

had aroused

his resentment.

was

by the Austrians in Talleyrand's business

to fan the flames of this

thus, if possible, to drive a

M AR

NG
and Talleyrand under-

wedge between Russia and Austria


stood his business.

the State Loan,


their

per par value before his return from Egypt, were standing at seventeen The institution of a new per cent, of that value.

Napoleon meanwhile had been finding money. The Rentes, which had fallen to one and a half cent, of

bank
count

"

called
bills at

the

Bank

of France

"

had made

it

possible

to dis-

cheap

rates

taxes which, against

owing

to the

of the administration, were efficiency "good before were due for collection. Lebrun, the

money"

even

they

Third Consul,

as

has

been

said,

understood finance and so did the

new

Treasurer, Gaudin; while Napoleon himself, thanks to his studies in a Italy, possessed knowledge which, if not extensive,

He had obtained the means of paying for war (by loans from Ouvrard, by taxes, and by a system of inquiry which was forcing many rogues to disgorge ill-gotten
was
respectable.
175

171

gains
fate of

),

and the means


his

of

staving

off

bankruptcy while the

France and of

slipped the road to Dijon.

He

Government was being decided. out of Pans on the night of May 6, 1800, and took

He was

dressed in a blue uniform

which

had been designed for the Consuls and held no military rank, because the leadership of armies had been forbidden by law
to the

head of the Government.


all

During
at

single

spected

the

troops

in

Dijon and then,

night,

day he resumed

in-

his

halt was made at Coppet, of the on his way to play onlooker magistrate Republic, simple at a war, might greet the man who had recently bestowed

journey to Geneva.

so that the

Napoupon himself the title of Magistrate of the Truth," leon told Necker that he must, for the future, cease to attempt any interference in French affairs and, above all, must restrain
the activities of his daughter
financier

"

175

Mme.
"

de Stael; and the fallen

A very ordinary fellow/' promised humbly enough. was Necker's verdict on the First Consul Napoleon thought
!

him a wheezy old schoolmaster." The army was now formed and was ready

"

to cross the Alps It was some 42,000 or other of the one strong. passes. by When Napoleon reached Lausanne on May 10, Lannes, with

the remainder of the

8,000 infantry, stood at the foot of the Great St. Bernard and out along the two sides army was

spread

169

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


of the lake,

KING

Carnot, who was awaiting him in the town, informed him that the body of troops which had been detached from Moreau's army was marching towards the St. Gothard.

Four days

later

Lannes was ordered

to cross the

leon followed and took post on a height

the snows, he watched his

army go by. dismounted and placed in hollowed tree-trunks so that they might be dragged up the wretched mule-track, A hundred men constituted the team for each gun, and when their strength
failed

Alps. Napofrom which, among The guns had been

drums

beat the charge

and put new heart into them,


at the

Bread and cheese and beer awaited the troops for Napoleon had sent supplies in advance of

Hospice

his

men,

The

soldiers, regaled, broke into song and went down singing to the Italian plain. Napoleon descended on the 20th, two days

after Melas,

informed

at last,

had turned with

all

available

forces

to

meet him.

Napoleon planned to news from Lannes, from the

Melas was hurrying towards Turin. meet him and give battle, but received
front, that

an attempt

to take Fort

Bard, a perpendicular rock in the Vale of Aosta, had failed. Berthier answered Lannes that the fate of France hung on the

taking of the rock. In the end the obstacle was turned by the device of the guns it at getting night on roads covered with past straw and dung. The French aKny debouched on the plain.
in a flash, Napoleon saw a new strategy which, if must give him not victory only but also triumph. His army was within a short distance of Turin where Melas awaited it. Orders were to swing left-handed away from given
successful,

And now,

that
Italy

city

towards Milan.

behind the Austrian


If

lines

Napoleon was going to reconquer and before the decisive battle


Italy

had been fought.


further

he

won

would belong

to

him without

campaigning. triumphal arches and to the sound of cheers and singing. He proclaimed once more deliverance and formed, on the spot, a
Cisalpine Republic, This statesmanship sent a shiver of of and turned through the prostrate Italy

On

June 2 he entered Milan under

hope

body

loyalty

and adoration.

conquest into the same took Cathedral act he the By

of Milan under his

protection and proclaimed to the world his intention of recognizing the Catholic faith " Because religion is essential to and is in man; and because
170

M
the

AREN

G
itself best to

Church

of

Rome

is

the best,

and lends

demo-

cratic

Republican institutions."
in

The army was organized


Victor,

three

Corps, under Lannes,

and Desaix, and these were marched through Tortona towards Alessandria where Melas had gathered his Austrians,
Both armies were facing homeward, for the French had described a huge semicircle behind the Austrian lines and so outflanked and encircled Melas.

sandria, crossed the

But Melas, though old, was tough. He sallied from AlesBormida River and opened his attack upon the little of village Marengo where Victor was posted. Couriers
dashed
off to recall Desaix,

from

whom Napoleon had despatched while were sent to Victor to hold orders force, the village at cost until Desaix returned, any Napoleon began to change dispositions to meet a blow he had not
his

main

expected.

The Austrian commander made good use of this opportunity. He struck hard at Victor in Marengo and at the same time enveloped the right flank of the French army under Lannes. Murat with his cavalry defended this flank but was beaten back.

At midday Victor abandoned Marengo and began to retreat in order to close the gaps in his broken front. As a last resort men was flung into the Consular Guard of some eight hundred
But the Austrian Cavalry were already far advanced was without avail. flanking movement and the sacrifice Napoleon, by the roadside, riding-whip in hand, tried to rally He failed and his army streamed away his shattered
the battle.
in their

troops.

past

him

in

apparent ruin until

five in the

afternoon

when

Desaix appeared, Meanwhile Melas was so certain that he had won that he rode back to Alessandria, leaving the pursuit of the

French

to his

Chief of Staff Zain.

Zain was equally confident

not, in consequence, observe what was happening before his eyes namely, the transformation of a retreat into a had conceived; Desaix executed. The flank attack.

and did

Napoleon

It broke and Austrian line had been allowed to straggle, melted away. Six thousand laid down their arms while the

others took to
victory,

flight,

saw the remnants

Melas, in the act of writing about his of his army hurled into Alessandria.

Napoleon, mourning for Desaix


of victory, bivouacked in

who had

fallen in the

hour
at

Marengo.
171

If his tactics

had been

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


fault his

OF

KING

belonged to him. This was proved next morning by the capitulation of Melas, who as far as the River Nuncio, agreed to evacuate all Northern Italy
strategy

was

faultless,

Italy

our Pans "To-day," wrote Napoleon, "whatever

atheists
is

may

say,

am

going

in full state to the

It

Deum

that

to

be

sung in the Cathedral of Milan."

Marengo was fought on June 14. On June 25 Napoleon his way back to Paris, from which all kinds of rumours in of trouble had been point of reaching him. The politicians, of in case disaster on been lines had of retreat fact, opening the battlefield and had become so absorbed in their game that Napoleon was forgotten. Thus Talleyrand and Sieyes were in touch with the due d'Orleans, while the Royalists were moving
was on
once more in La Vendee, where English help was being given
to
idle.

Georges Cadoudal and other leaders. Nor were the Jacobins Fouche kept an eye on them, but he also kept a foot in

their

camp

in case of accidents.

He had
177

already

offered Jose-

and was thus kept inphine bribes to spy on her husband, formed about the movements of the Bonaparte family and their
ambitions.
casting
his

was helping
of his

In this way he learned that Lucien was already eye on his brother's office and that, meanwhile, he himself, in the manner of Barras, to the
perquisites

own

office.

All these intrigues withered in the sun of Marengo, and when " nor the Napoleon returned, by night, neither "King Louis

due d'Orleans had any supporters. Josephine salved her conscience by exposing Lucien and calling Fouche to witness, and
thus
instantly quarrel in which,

the victor was submerged in a violent family when he deprived Lucien of the Ministry of

the Interior, his

mother and brothers and


lost his

sisters

took part

against him.

wife and was just deeply afflicted, Mme. Bonaparte the senior felt specially tender towards him and accused her second son of heartlcssness and in-

As Lucien had

gratitudea reference

to the scene in the

Orangery at

St.

Cloud.
:

When

Napoleon protested, the old woman replied truthfully " If you were in his place I would protect you in exactly the
17 *

same way,"
in

Twenty-four hours later Lucien was appointed Ambassador The Austrian agent who was to discuss terms of Spain.
172

A R E

NG
It

peace arrived meanwhile in Paris,


that his master, the

was made

clear to

him

Emperor, must

cease to receive subsidies

from England

for the

purpose of making war on France.

was actually drawn up and signed, but when treaty it reached Vienna Thugut and his master repudiated it and
to this effect

imprisoned its bearer, on the ground that Austria's policy was based upon London's The raised a new approval,

Emperor

army

to continue the

war, but at the same time sent Cobenzl to

Luneville to

reopen negotiations with the French. appointed Joseph to meet Cobenzl.

Napoleon

Meanwhile

December

4,

Hohenlmden, near Munich, Moreau, on 1800, inflicted a crushing defeat on the Archduke
at

John of Austria, who was in command of the new army. The French pursued their enemies almost to the gates of Vienna, and on Christmas Day signed with them an armistice which
brought the campaign to an end. Joseph at Luneville now had an easy task, and on February 9, 1791, concluded a treaty with Cobenzl which not only deprived Austria of most of her Italian
possessions,

was declared
possession

but also separated her from England. The Rhine to be France's frontier, and, as this meant the dis-

of a

number
it

of princelings,

members

of the

Holy

Roman
bank

was arranged that compensation should be Empire, " " found by secularizing the;ecclesiastical lands on the Austrian
of the river.

This
as

weakened Austria
federation.

was important because it provision in the Germanic ConPrussia against


last

Napoleon, in
failed to

fact,

was trying

to

do

at

Luneville

what he had

do in Egypt namely, to force England to make peace terms which would deliver France from the economic upon control of London. He had learned that England would, in
no circumstances,
listen to his

proposals

unless a trade treaty

whereby France agreed to abandon her policy of economic selfwas concluded simultaneously with the political sufficiency
179

treaty.

He

was

as

firmly

determined

as ever

not to abandon

economic

and he sought, therefore, for some self-sufficiency, new means of securing his Egyptian conquest and even of extending
success
also,

to promise a chance of with Russia and perhaps with Prussia for Russian help against Turkey might enable a French
it.

The means which seemed


alliance

were an

'73

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


corridor to be
to Anatolia, Syria, Palestine,

OF

KING

Northern opened through and Egypt.

Italy
'

and the Balkans


that corridor,

Along

one day march conceivably, troops might


India.

to the reconquest of

command of the sea, in other words, whereby was exerted on Europe in the form of a deprivation pressure of raw materials and colonial produce, should be challenged by
England's

power extending into the heart of the made gestures of Napoleon had already, as has been said, were still Russian There Russia. the of to Emperor friendship
a land

Orient.

He clothed them in new uniforms and in France, prisoners sent them back home. At the same time he expressed to the
which Emperor Paul his entire agreement with the protests " Paul had made against the English doctrine of the right of
search at sea/' an assurance the sincerity of which, in the light

not be doubted. Paul reof the Egyptian campaign, could himself from the Coalition, with enthusiasm, separated sponded Frederick William of Prussia to understand that his and
gave
sympathies

were

now

entirely

with the French

an announce-

ment which was by no means unwelcome in Berlin, where fear of Vienna was more lively than fear of Paris, Paul's main grievance against England was the seizure of
Malta, which had followed the destruction of the French fleet
at

Aboukir, for the Knights of fylalta, though Catholic, had besought his protection. In his own eccentric way he was
to

trying
to

help

them by the
and
"

indirect

method

of

closing

the Baltic
alliance

"

English ships,

to this

end had entered into an

of

armed
in

neutrality

with Sweden and Denmark and Prussia.

The

success of his

policy,

which caused a sharp


fall

rise of

wheat

prices

London and

thus brought about a

of the

sterling

exchange and an outflow of gold, had been so conspicuous that he was in a mood to listen to Napoleon's proposal for a joint Franco-Russian expedition to India by way of Khiva and Herat,

and even urged

that, since Austria

had been humbled

in the

The First dust, the master-stroke ought not to be delayed. 180 Consul was of the same mind, for Kleber, whom he had
left in command in Egypt, had fallen by an assassin's bullet on the day of the battle of Marengo. Napoleon made ready for action, while the price of wheat in

London continued

its rise

from
174

2 IDS.

quarter to

jj

155.,

M
and the
its

A R

EN

G
to bleed

financial cenfre of the

world began

gold

from
to

wounded
to

exchanges.

He

prepared, by binding Spain

France,

do for the Mediterranean what Paul had done

the Baltic, In the control as he declared, already for lay Spain, of the Mediterranean and so the on one the hand, to power,
protect
to
his

enterprises
still

in

Egypt and the

East, and,

depress

further the

sterling exchange.

on the other, His victory at

Marengo had weakened Spanish opposition to France by making effective opposition impossible. The hands of the in Madrid, therefore, which had favoured a French party alliance were strengthened, and Emmanuel Godoy, called
"
Prince of the Peace," a Guards officer

who had managed

to

combine the
virtual

offices of

Queen's lover and King's friend, became

master of Spain,
his

Godoy saw

in

Napoleon the means of

retaining the

treaty

of

power and, in consequence, made haste to sign San Ildefonso, by which Parma and Elba and the

American colony

of Louisiana were surrendered to France, while a joint Spanish and French expedition was launched

against Portugal in order to force the

House

of Braganza to
its

abandon

its

alliance

with England and to shut

harbours

against English ships.


for

Spain agreed, further, to pay

Napoleon

protection.

Since, however, the heir to the principality of Parma had married a daughter of the King of Spain, it was necessary to make restitution in some form. Napoleon renamed Tuscany

"Etruria," raised
it

it

to the status of a

kingdom, and conferred

upon young Louis and his wife. He entertained the couple in Paris for a few thus advertising to the world the fact days,
further, that

were become a part of his system and, Italy he had bestowed royal crowns upon members of the House of Bourbon, King Ferdinand IV of Naples, another
that

Spain

and

Bourbon, was confirmed in his kingship, though not before he

had been compelled

to evacuate the Papal States

and

restore to

Rome
It

the treasures he

had

filched

from her before Marengo.

the Mediterranean,

remained, in order to complete this peaceful conquest of to come to terms with Rome herself.

Napoleon was already determined upon that course for reasons of unconnected with his Russian allianceas the marpolicy
riages
at

Mombello, the protectorship of Milan Cathedral, and,


175

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


most important of
Pius VI, Pope
tunity
all,

OF

KING
for

the

who had

ordering of funeral obsequies died at Avignon, had shown, Oppor-

favoured his plans, because the

new

Pope,

Pius VII, had

been
in

his friend

during

the

first Italian

campaign and stood

now

some need

of his

of the disputes support by reason


election.

which had

attended the
States of the

Papal

Church

in

that the Napoleon announced French occupation would be restored

one of which was the closing of all harbours to English trade. A hint was conveyed at the same time that the First Consul was ready to come to an understand-

upon

certain conditions,

the Curia, and Cardinal Consalvi immediately travelled ing with called the Concordat to Paris, After some the negotiation
treaty

was signed, Napoleon acknowledged the Pope as head of the Church and agreed that appointments of archbishops and
bishops the
sidy

should not be valid unless approved by him. In return a subPope gave recognition to the Consulate and accepted
for such losses of
territory
as

were

irreparable,

Like the creation of the throne of Etruria, the Concordat

showed that he and proclaimed Napoleon's strength, since it not the Royalists or the Jacobins was master in France, The
mass of the French nation, always Catholic at heart, rejoiced, while a similar was felt throughout Italy and Spain, Thus, joy a master-stroke of Latin had the three by peoples great
policy,

been fused together in an alliance based upon their common of faith and as its secular heritage object emancipation having

from a

financial

upon London.
Baltic

system that was making all Europe dependent This Latin League was the of the
counterpart
process

League.

great

inland sea was in

of

being

closed to

and English trade, while a shield English shipping was being provided behind which countries, denied the use of
the oceans as a

means

of communication,

might pursue

in the

Near East and Northern Africa


ducts,
Pitt's

their search for colonial

pro-

by a prospect
ruin

of blockade policy of economic

was thus dangerously threatened


which,
if it

self-sufficiency

succeeded,
so inflict

must make Europe independent

of

sterling

credits

and

upon

the international bankers of


clearly

Lombard

Street.

This was

understood on the other side of the Channel.

Indeed, two occurrences, the one execrable and the other of lustrous fame, showed with what the enemies of France anxiety
176

A R E

N G

were watching events. On Christmas Eve of the year 1800 an machine was exploded by Royalists, among them Georges Cadoudal, in the rue Nijaisc in Paris, just after the of the First Consul had passed carriage along the street on its
infernal

way

to the

Opera,

was uninjured and appeared


consular box,
of the

deaths, Napoleon with Josephine, in the The second event was the destruction by Nelson
at once,

Though

there were

many

Danish

fleet at

Copenhagen, with the consequent opening


This second blow, by exposing put a check for the moment

of the Baltic to English ships. Russia to attack from the sea,

upon

the

Emperor

interfere with greatly trade that the price of wheat remained at its high level English in London. Pitt, unable to agree with the King on the question of Catholic Emancipation, resigned, and Addmgton replaced

Paul,

Paul's designs. nevertheless, contrived

so

to

him

as

Prime Minister.

Overtures for peace were

made

to

Napoleon,

177

NAPOLEON, ECONOMIST

CHAPTER xvn

had the discussion

of

SCARCELY Emperor Paul


burg by
personal
instantly

peace begun
palace

when

the

was

assassinated in his

at St. Peters-

group

of officers

who were
and

notoriously

the close

friends of his son

heir Alexander,
his

Alexander
harbours to

abandoned

his father's

policy,

English ships, association with France.


education from

renounced

interest in Malta,

opened and withdrew from

This young man had received his early La Harpe, a Swiss Liberal in touch with the

Neckers, and was already identified with advanced thinkers in the Russian for the most capital noblemen, part, having
financial or

commercial connections with London,

who

had-

suffered

" " armed neutrality and reason of Paul's severely by were heartily glad to be rid of it, It was observed that the his father's murderers, new to took no

punish steps by the blow, was now so little sure that would be made that he inserted a clause in his treaty with peace Holland to the effect that the Low Countries would not be

Emperor

Napoleon,

afflicted

" evacuated

by

the French

until the final conclusion of

peace

with England."

As

it

of happened, however, the high price

wheat in London and the change of Government proved enough, in combination, to offset the Russian volte-jace and so
to secure the continuation of the

peace

talks.

these talks forward by


that,
If

all

the

means in

his

Napoleon urged power, well knowing

without Russia, his was fatally great design compromised. Alexander became the ally of England a new Austrian cam-

was a certainty, It would be necessary, in that case, to paign defend France once more upon European battlefields, Happily the were of war and determined to make English people
weary
an end of
October
it.

i,

thusiastic.

were signed in London on 1801, amid great rejoicing, Paris was not less enThere were torchlight in the streets and
Preliminaries or

peace

processions

salvos of

guns,
178

NAPOLEON, ECONOMIST
his counsellors

Napoleon's satisfaction was unrestrained, for alone among he realized that he had snatched victory from

that was defeat. If the treaty gave England India and Ceylon, no more than an acknowledgment of accomplished fact. On the other hand, Egypt was to be restored to the Sultan of Turkey and Malta to her Knights, Nor had to any clauses relating
trade been included.

This

last

advantage outweighed

all

the others in the First

Consul's mind, because he remained implacably determined to

pursue his

own economic

policy

namely

''Agriculture, industry, and foreign trade. Agriculture is the soul, the foundation of the kingdom; industry ministers to

the comfort and happiness of the population, Foreign trade is the superabundance; it allows of the due exchange of the surplus of trade, which in its agriculture and industry.
.

Foreign

results

is

infinitely

inferior to

agriculture,

was an

object

of

secondary importance in my mind, Foreign trade ought to be the servant of agriculture and home these last
industry;

ought

never to be subordinated to foreign trade." This economic system threatened the possessions of no other
nation, but constituted, as

Napoleon knew, a deadly danger to of London, for the reason that, when home the debt system trade is allowed to expand to ks full extent, producers of goods,
being
in

out of debt and are enabled, assured of their markets, get

to sell their surplus products more cheaply than consequence, in other countries who are producers carrying a burden of debt.

and must

Debt in such circumstances cannot be endured by any nation from all nations. Had the inevitably disappear

bankers, Napoleon asked himself, lost their control of Government that a treaty which did not protect He allowed himself to their system had been concluded?
the English
believe
it

London

ment

of the

and began immediately to make plans for the developFrench possessions in America and the West Indies.

His policy was changed completely, and the complications of first place in his mind, European diplomacy no longer occupied
"

This old Europe," he exclaimed in tones almost of scorn,

as

his

moved from gaze

the scenes of his triumph to the shores of

the ocean.

France had a

new

"

slogan

merce."

He sent Joseph to Amiens


179

to

conclude the

Ships, Colonies, Com" Definitive

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


"

OF

KING
new

Treaty
period
in

with England which was to form the French and European history,

basis of a

Meanwhile plans were discussed whereby French agriculture and French industry might be stimulated in every possible way. Napoleon was determined that his factories should constitute
the

market for

his

farms and his farms for his

factories,

and that

these

two should be protected against any


their

influences

tending to

interdependence. The system is as old as civilization upset and possesses an effectiveness in making those who adopt it
prosperous
story,

which has been displayed again and again


it

in

human

Essentially,

consists in

equating consumption to proor

duction until the

demand

for

home-made

home-grown goods
as

has been fully


exist

satisfied.

Such unwanted

surpluses

may
the

then

are
is

exchanged for foreign goods, of which the home


insufficient.

supply
to

Since the

amount of goods not consumption and production will at once get out of step with one another in the language
equal, at a given level of prices, to the
if

buy, must be

it is

obvious that the

power to consume amount of money in

is

power

the markets

and must be kept equal, for

of economics, will begin to fluctuate, when the prices rising amount of buying power exceeds the amount of goods on sale

and falling when buying power is less than the amount of goods. Napoleon was determined to 'prevent such fluctuations in
prices

and possessed the means to carry out his intention in the indemnities obtained from Austria (after Hohenlinden and

Marengo) and from Portugal. These large sums, amounting to about 50,000,000 frs,, were to be supplemented by annual payments from Piedmont and Northern Italy.
of France served as the necessary buffer the between Treasury and the markets, on the one hand, and between the Treasury and the tax-payers on the other. If the

The new Bank

First Consul

he lodged put money into circulation, notes with the Bank in exchange for cash; if he promissory wanted to take money out of circulation, he redeemed his

wanted

to

was in a position to buy promissory notes. In the first case, he more himself or to enable others for example, army pensioners
to buy more; in the second, power to buy was restricted. This maintenance of a stable relationship between supply and

demand was

equivalent

to the

maintenance of stable

relation-

180

NAPOLEON, ECONOMIST
ships

between

costs

and

prices,

sellers

and buyers,

creditors

and

debtors, producers and consumers, farms and factories, and thus afforded the necessary basis for an expansion of the home trade,

and

also for

The system

an export trade of consisting surplus products. no from required foreign bankers borrowing

because the steadiness of prices ensured reasonable to profits farmers and industrialists, out of which new could production

be financed by them,

The
of of

difference between
resided, as

London

Napoleon's system and the system of been has indicated, in the attitude to the level

lived by preventing the equating was production and consumption. Production in England ^ in stimulated while consumption was being restricted; prices, neither consequence, tended to fall and to go on falling so that
prices.
1

The London bankers

cost of

farmers nor industrialists could ever earn enough to cover the new capital goods, and were forced to borrow con-

tinuously

from the banks,

Most English farmers had

to mort-

gage manufacturers built and equipped their factories with debt. Wages were very small because, had they been allowed to rise,
interests

their

before they were and most English crops planted,

on the debts could not have been paid.


little

The home

market

which had

The

absorbing goods, consequence possessed power to be markets. disposed of at foreign London bankers accordingly feared exceedingly either

in

of

the closing against English goods of important foreign markets or the deliverance from debt of any great European country, These two dangers, as they very well knew, were in reality the same danger, seeing that the effect of either must be to damage with the English export trade (debt-laden goods cannot
debt-free goods)

and

so to

depress

the

sterling

compete exchange and

cause

an outflow of gold.
of

monopoly

Napoleon was challenging the which was secret of London's the gold power, not

only over Europe, but over England. On the other hand, his system, as must be repeated, threatened no interest of the English people, but, on the contrary, held
as for all other peoplesof deliverance promise for that people from the debt-system and so of higher wages, expanding production and a rising standard of living, His system carried no

threat of war,

because

it

involved no struggle for foreign


181
,

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


markets by producers unable
markets.
for
claret are not,

KING
home

to sell their goods in their anxious to exchange their surplus wool Englishmen

surplus

by that anxiety, tempted

to kill

French wine-growers nor

waste the vineyards of France. to lay has free access Again, the possession of colonies, when a nation to the world's markets, is no matter of life and death, and may

even be something of a burden.


sists

When

the

export

trade consuper-

of the barter of a nation's


of

superabundance

for the

some other nation, the desire to cripple that other materials or nation tropical by excluding it from sources of raw with its concomitant is not awakened. debt, Only products
abundance

power arouses that desire. was not menaced by Napoleon's England's empire economic system; nor was England's command of the sea. Only one interest, indeed, was threatened namely, moneylending. Napoleon was to discover that, in his own words,
/,e.,

low wages

lack of buying

colonial

"

I'

argent cst plus fort que


of

Ic

despotismc"

after the discovery began almost immediately process conclusion of the Peace of Amiens. The First Consul had used

The

the occasion of peace to go in state to Notre Dame on Easter 183 thus showing to the world France's Sunday of the year i8o2,
reconciliation with Christianity. nobles frontiers to the

He
nd

had, further, opened his

emigrant

priests,

who were

assured,

they had not taken arms against France, of welcome and These actions, far from winning approval among protection. the Royalists, had caused an outbreak of vituperation, which
if

had achieved
Emigrant
subsidized

its liveliest

expression in

London

in the so-called

Press.

Napoleon,

always fearful of the influence of

had protested to the English Governnewspapers, be told that ment, only to they possessed no jurisdiction in the
matter.

A sharp anxiety immediately took possession of him, and was quickened when demands were made by London for a trade treatythat is to say, for the removal of the French tariff
on English
exports.

The

First

Consul refused to make a

treaty.

hurried on his preparations for an expedition to quell the of San Domingo who had rebelled the French negroes against

He

and seized the


effectives to

island,

and he ordered the whole of

his naval

make

ready to cross the Atlantic. 182

These

plans,

NAPOLEON, ECONOMIST
which
the
left

France
of

unprotected

at sea,

did not, however, silence

On the conPress. suspicion to the West Indies was as an the trary, expedition represented attack on English trade, to be followed, very soon, by the
campaign
in the

London

creation of a

powerful French Navy.

183

NAPOLEON, STATESMAN

CHAPTER

xvm

as Consul, the Napoleon day following his election had appointed bodies to advise him about the reform of the legal and educational systems. The reports of these bodies

ON

were discussed by the Council of State; he attended the meetits deliberations. of the Council and guided and directed ings

The schemes which were

evolved were his schemes.

There was nothing haphazard about any of them. Napoleon, since he had become leader of armies and administrator of
peoples,

had acquired
and
tested
its

body

of

men

of his

generation possessed.

few as very knowledge such won It was exact knowledge,


last

in action

by events; he was the


value.

man

in the

world
it

to underestimate
to

On

the

contrary,

he had allowed

change

all his

and opinions

so to

give

new

direction to his
in the

policies*

Whereas,

as a Jacobin,

he had been interested

nature of ideas, his interest was ^set


things,

now upon

the nature of

The

nature of things, as he had begun to understand,


that, apart

is

utility,

He saw
ing,

and that

from men and women, nothing had meanfor the abstraction was a consequently every trap

unwary. There was no such thing as Liberty; but there were free men. In the same way Beauty and Justice and Truth were virtues to be not ideals to be and The enjoyed worshipped,
State, too,

was

figment,

if

term was meant a by that


the
reality

social

contract

superimposed upon
leadership,
as

of effective

leadership.

Without

no

estate,

had shown him, there was and consequently was not subject to any leadership
experience

contract, but existed sui generis as

one of the

supreme
itself,

facts of

man's

life,

resembling

in this

fatherhood respect

Just as

the father created the so the leader created the nation, family,

which was always


the

in the last issue his


spirit.

offspring stamped

with

impress

of his

To

say,

as the revolutionaries

had

NAPOLEON, STATESMAN
said, that a
as to

people created

its

leader was, therefore, as absurd

say that a child created

its sire

battlefield
itself

unmasked and which

the

history

an absurdity which every of the Revolution

had, again and again, exposed. Mirabeau and Danton and Robespierre had thrust themselves upon the French, and with their hands and hearts had remoulded that each
people,

according to his own nature. This was the antithesis of the doctrines of Rousseau and the
philosophers who had taught that leadership is a quality dele181 gated by the People and therefore inherent in the People. Napoleon was enough acquainted with the writings of the Athenians to know that, whereas Rousseau's ideas derived,

however remotely, from Plato, his own had been enunciated, in some degree, by Aristotle and, later, in a new and richer
form, by
field
St.

Thomas Aquinas,

The

and the Council Chamber, what he called the nature of 18 " had compelled him to abandon abstractions for things,"
reality.

exigencies "

of the batde-

he had passed from Liberalism to Robespierre, Stoicism; unlike Robespierre, he had rejected fear to espouse
Like
glory,

and

this last

movement had

carried

him unexpectedly

beyond the confines of classic thought into a world where the ideas he had received in childhood from his mother and nurse
began to wear again the complexion as he saw, glory is a bubble, and
of truth.

Wthout

purpose,

so the office of the leader

employs glory to lift up his folk is itself utilitarian and ideological. There is a quality of men and things which cannot be described or defined apart from human need. He saw
that the Catholic doctrine of "essential substance" offered a

who

complete and profound philosophy of

life

and urged

this

view

upon Chateaubriand,
and, on that writer's
exalt
Christianity.
.

who was

writing

book on philosophy,
to

own showing, persuaded him, instead, The result was the famous Genie
and therefore no
effect of

de

Christianisme
there was

If the leader

could not lead, Napoleon insisted


leadership.

no

leader,

An

army without a leader, as he had seen, became an agglomeration same of fugitives or of bands of freebooters; a people in the
was torn by factions and enslaved or destroyed. A chair broken was no longer a chair, because the essential substance
plight

had gone out

of

it.

185

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF

A
its

KING
effective-

had the duty to. preserve Leadership, therefore, ness as well as the duty to sacrifice itself for the led. It must truth and give them warning against error. teach the people

man, in his daily life and found understanding of and thus work, experienced and the The its husbandman craftsman, freely and reality.
it

And

must

so contrive that each


its

virtue

the virtue exchanging their products, would experience was which had instituted such exchange and protecting it,
easily

while the fact of exchange would enable apprentices, by their


native
gift

of enthusiasm, to

undergo the
to

discipline

of

refractory

materials,

and

so

(in learning

supply

their

to increase in

moral and

spiritual

stature

neighbours' needs) the true education.

Napoleon's restoration of her Christian altars to France was It was no a firstfruit of this in his way of

mere

political

change move, deeply

as

politics

thinking. entered into

it,

but a

chosen because he had found, contrary to his deliberately be applied that the teaching of the Church could expectations,
course
in
practice,

whereas the teaching of the philosophers could not.


unreality,
cost

He was
to his

no position to flirt with abstinence from such flirtation might


in

however much
It

him.

was

essential

purpose

to

show

the French his

he conceived leadership;

that this object could best be attained by truth about all leadership namdy, that it and not a contract, a intellectual, a

showing them the is ecstatic and not

marriage and not a passion His sense of acute history approved and justified chairmanship. this method. Out of the Christian doctrine of the Fatherhood
of God had as he proceeded, recognized, the reality of the fatherhood of the Christian king a reality wholly distinct and

different
its

from

secular

representation.

Thus

leadership found

religion prototype every He desired to inculcate that truth, and, further, the family. truth that as Creation a Creator since with

sanction in

and

its

in the life of

proclaims Loving out love there can be no creation and as the children are

witness of their father, so the nation, strong and self-respecting, makes manifest the leader's

and prosperous
grace.

In other

words, altar and throne and hearth, craftsman's bench and

husbandman's

fields

embody
1

the

same substance of

love.

Verbum caw factum

est.

Madame

de Stael's sneer that the returned were the priests


186

NAPOLEON, STATESMAN
"
First Consul's
Clerical
of

"

Constabulary
of the

is

testimony

to the lack

whole body of Liberals understanding Napoleon and So far had their minds moved, indeed, from philosophers. that order of ideas civilization was upon which
Europe's
originally built, that they failed even to recognize the order. had become counters in a Christianity and

of

kingship

political

game, names of opprobrium


the nostrils of the
to

to

fling

at enemies,
It

an offence in
therefore,

great god, Liberty.


as
187

attack

Napoleon "

and despot, tyrant

was duty, "

Robespierre

on

horseback,"

Notre Dame, I might not witness the odious spectacle."


bitterly

the day of the Tc Dcum in ideophobe.'' " Mme. de Stael shut herself in her house, so that

On

And

she complained

that

and
well,

liveries

Bonaparte had made use of the old royal carnages and even, in some instances, of the coachmen as
in the Cathedral the

and that

sermon had been preached


at the

by the
Louis

same

prelate

who had

officiated

marriage of

XVI and Mane

Antoinette.

Napoleon cared nothing for such opinions. The service in Notre Dame informed France, if it did not inform the people

who had
in the

and dishonour.

used the cry of Liberty to load Frenchmen with debt On the morrow there was further information
civil

shape of a code of

and criminal law, a system of

primary and secondary education, an economic system, and a


in its form, expressed Catholic then with things it dealt first with because persons, philosophy with the relationor natural and, world), (the objective finally,

new order of chivalry. The Code Napoleon, even

ship

between them

the

law of property and inheritance.


real

of the Types and averages were abandoned in favour and the real woman. The object was utility, clarity, in

man

efficiency

was protected as never before family, too, in recorded history, knit together and armed against every sort of danger. of education. It informed the the same
operation.

The

Exactly

spirit

system

is

significant

that a distinguished chemist, Foucroy,

was put in

a and scienof the system, which thus acquired charge practical The system possessed also a political character, tific character. to to be for believed that children

Napoleon

hold rather than

to criticize the

taught upought government of their country.

187

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF

KING

He wanted men and women capable of helping to remake France rather than scholars; the sneer that a mental enslavement was aimed
to
at

has

little

substance

when
"

it is

remembered
"

what

uses,

during more than

ten years,

Liberty

had been

In the economic sphere, as has been said, attention was put. 1SS focussed upon markets, Napoleon declared, at a later period
:

"I

will create institutions


to the

which
I

will

give strength

to

my

system,

machine which
sacrifices I

imagine what
secure a
to all

am

have organized. You cannot even gladly, to make to ready,

European order which will assure a long period of rest and prosperity to France and Germany as great peoples,
by England,
. .

as that enjoyed

."

He

added:
rests

"England's prosperity

on

figment.

Her

'credit'

the that she does not resides solely in confidence, possess seeing
of her discharging promissory notes in actual money. admit, though, that her Government has more substantial assets than the means of payment, seeing that every private fortune is bound up with that of the State. The system of debt a the to the debt, piled upon by binding present past, compels of confidence in the future. species By involving everybody,
I

means

in that of the State, the every private fortune,


sesses

Government

posit

something much

better than

means

of

payment (which

does not possess), because it has created an unlimited interest of in itself on the part every possessor of wealth. That is why we must persevere in our course. The time is not, perhaps, far

make

when the English Ministry will find it more difficult to loans or will only be able to make much smaller loans. When that time comes the English will no be able to
distant

longer

offer the subsidies

which have exerted

so

potent

an influence on

the Continent; for, with the of France, the exception paper of all the States is debased. There is neither money

European

credit

nor money to-day in London and Paris. except " England's power, such as it now is, reposes solely on the
.

monopoly
nations.

(of colonial

Her power could not


keep
people would

produce) which she exercises over other exist without that monopoly.

Why

does she

to herself the benefits like to share

which

so

many
She

milsees

lions of other

with her?

the world

only through her Customs houses, through her com188

NAPOLEON, STATESMAN
merce; but her population cannot consume all the goods on which duty is paid to' her there is the proof that she is acting as other selfishly against peoples. Why, then, if that be so,
should other
peoples pay duty to

London on

the goods they

use?"
Inherent in his regulation of markets was his determination be independent of London, whether in the matter of colonial
his clear

to

produce or in that of tariffs. Nor, as was he under any misapprehension.

He knew

exposition shows, that it was the

monopoly of money, supported by the monopoly of raw materials, that he was challenging, The enemy was not England at all but Lombard Street, the Debt System, which had defeated and of mediaeval replaced the debt-free
system

Europe,

Christianity

and leadership were the guarantees of the


were the guarantee
independence
of the

debt-free

system just as speculative philosophy, party government, and


a subsidized Press

Debt System. Such


to

illusions

about the

of the

English Ministry as he
dissolve

had cherished when peace was made began


:

very

soon afterwards, for he declared, in a speech about the greatness of France


"

The
it

struggle
will

is

not over for the maintenance of that great"

ness;

be renewed,

That he hoped,
the efforts he

made

nevertheless, to prevent renewal is clear from to disarm English fears about French sea-

the sending away to America of his naval units has been No building upon an important scale mentioned. already was undertaken to replace these units. Nor did the size of the

power

expedition to San

Domingo

leave

room

for

doubt about

its

genuine character.
in to

charge

of

it

accompany

Black Napoit had been reconquered from the the First Conwere Toussaint drawn leon," 1'Ouverture, up by that he expected to be sul himself in a manner which proves able to maintain peace during many years, The same expectathe island after

Napoleon put Leclerc, Paulette's husband, and compelled Paulette herself, against her will, her husband. Elaborate schemes for developing "

tion

was shown

in the

persistence

with which the attack on

San Domingo was pressed in face of grave danger from yellow fever and other tropical ills, and the stubborn refusal to relinin the face of quish hold even

new

threats of

war

in

Europe.

i8g

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT


Napoleon has been accused
to

OF

KING
who was
illustrious

of

cruelty

to Toussaint,

captured, brought died of the effects of the

France, and imprisoned.

The

negro been left in San

European climate; but had he


into a

Domingo

all

hope of turning the island

source of colonial produce must have been abandoned. Toussaint's removal from the scene of his power, therefore, is further

proof that hope of avoiding war with England had not been abandoned in Paris. Nor can the steps taken to send troops to Louisiana and to buy Florida be excluded from this category of
evidence,

Hope,

nevertheless,

was not permitted

to serve as

an excuse

for dilatoriness in

preparing

for the worst

by strengthening

the defensive of France both within and without her position frontiers. Napoleon instituted the Legion of Honour in order
to

the means of rewarding service, whether military or he demanded, and obtained by an overwhelming vote, the his suclife-tenure of his great office, with the right to name
possess
civil;

and he armed himself with such power of control over members of his own family as seemed necessary to him. His family was in uproar, as it happened, over Josephine's processor,

the

daughter Hortense should marry Louis. Lucien, but Mme. Bonaparte the senior was also active, because she had reason to believe that a rumour,
posal
that her
as usual, led the opposition,

to the effect that

Napoleon himself was Hortense's

lover,

had

Her suspicions, in been put into circulation by Josephine. from of fact, were well founded, Josephine's escape point
divorce after her husband's return

from Egypt had been

so

amounting new-found glory would soon be snatched away from her unless she could provide Napoleon with an heir. If, howthat her
ever,

narrow

as to leave

behind

it

a fear,

to obsession,

Hortense's son was believed to be Napoleon's son, her

salvation might, she thought, be accomplished. The scandalous reached Louis' ears; and though he knew story, unfortunately, fond of Hortense, it poisoned it to be baseless and was really
his

happiness.

The

was already married


Hortense.

took place. Caroline marriage, nevertheless, to Murat, and she and her husband re-

ceived the nuptial benediction at the

same time

as Louis

and

Their joy made striking contrast with the melanof the other two. Napoleon, who liked a seasonable excholy
190

NAPOLEON, STATESMAN
hibition of mirth at a wedding,

was gloomy and ill at ease, Next morning he took with him to Lyons Josephine away where the election of the head of the new Cisalpine Republic was about to take place,
already been chosen to acceptance of it because of his

He had

fill

this office, but

had delayed

hope

that

peace would be main-

tained.

His journey

to

France

creasing uneasiness, as for though that


of the

Lyons, therefore, expressed an inalso did his annexation of Piedmont to

signing taken.
the

step Treaty of Amiens,

had been announced before the


it

had not immediately been


to

Italy possessed

importance

France in proportion as
said,

war with England increased. The same was true of the Rhine. As has already been
danger of

the Treaty of Luneville with Austria the secularizaprovided for tion of a number of on bank of that river, the bishoprics right and their distribution among the princes who had been dispossessed by the French acquisition of the left bank. This shareout, so far as

means
further

of

Napoleon was concerned, was important only defending France against Austria, but he saw in
of

as a
it

The young binding Russia to his policy. Emperor Alexander, who was related to the family of Baden,
means
was
tion.

invited to express his approval of the principle of secularizaWhen was the Prince of Baden,

approval

forthcoming,

the

of England (as Elector of Hanover) were enriched by new possessions (George III got a Austria suffered loss and, in addition, was bishopric), whereas

King

of Prussia,

and the King

virtually

cast

down from
was

her seat as head of the Holy

Roman

Empire.

The

first effect

to stimulate

Austrian intrigue in Switzer-

land so that the safety secured by France on the Rhine might be of Luneville had lost again among the mountains. The Treaty secured the removal of French troops from the Swiss valleys,

No

sooner were

its

civil

war between

pro-French no part of the treaty that the population broke out. It was from Briques Alpine passes the great road over the Simplon was in process of completion should be handed to Austria and the French thus shut off from communication with Italy. When
191

and financed by

carried out by Napoleon than a provisions the Bernese Oligarchy, supported by Austria elements of the London, and the

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


the
in violence, therefore, struggle increased

KING
sent
;

Napoleon

Ney

with an army of 20,000


C

men

to restore order, declaring

I will not deliver up to 15,000 mercenaries, paid by England, those formidable bastions of the Alps which the European

from Coalition has not been able, in two campaigns, to wrest our exhausted talk to me about the will of the
troops,

Swiss people;

People cannot discover

it

in the will of

two hundred

aristocratic families."

Mme,

-de Stael

and her
the

friends,

who

as has

been seen had

formerly demanded
Oligarchy,

help
the

of the

French against the Bernese

the Oligarchy's champions against French, and an outcry was raised in Geneva and also in London " " the against engaged in trampling down the liberties of bully a small
people.

now became

The

British

Government despatched a Mr.


to offer financial aid

Moore

to

Berne with instructions

and

to

proceed into Austria for the purpose of buying guns and other munitions. At the same time an offer was made to the Emperor
Francis of Austria of a to subsidy of .9,000,000 if he would go the of the the with help Oligarchy. Negotiations Emperor

Alexander of Russia were opened at the same time. These acts of secret hostility awaked Napoleon's
picions,
if

liveliest sus-

and he instructed
told to

his

Ambassador

in in

London
Europe.

to ask

England Ambassador was


"
If

desired to kindle artother

war

The

add

19
:

war should be renewed on the Continent it would be England that would have obliged us to conquer Europe."
Swiss, other than the Oligarchy of Berne, shared none fears on their behalf. On the contrary, they sent a mission to Paris to consult with the First Consul, who told
of

The

London's

them:
"

You must be

a neutral
it

world respects because do not, in your wish

people, whose neutrality it, all the world to obliges respect to remain that independent, forget

all

the

But

you
to

must be
of

friends with France.


not,

Her
on

you ... Switzerland must


intriguers

necessary any account, become a focus


friendship
"

is

and

secret enemies."

He

announced

his intention of

" of the Swiss

becoming

Grand Mediator

Republic

and

of

ditions conformable to

French

guaranteeing neutrality on conand safety. The Swiss accepted

192

NAPOLEON, STATESMAN
the
to a

French troops were withdrawn. Switzerland settled down and prosperity which was not of interperiod peace again
ten
years.
for a trade

rupted during

London's demands
to be

treaty continued,

meanwhile,

pressed

either that the English

ideas as the

no doubt Government were actuated by the same bankers or that he himself must choose English
Napoleon was
left in

in

Pans

so that

between compliance and war. He was immediately stubbornly determined not to comply. His mind was bent consequence

upon the discovery

of

means

whereby the martial ardour

of the

merchants of debt might be abated. His turned thoughts and he sent Colonel Sebastiani 191 on a semito again Egypt, "
private

mission to that country


the enthusiasm

to observe

and report."
for

In

England

which had been shown

France

time of the Treaty of Amiens was evaporating daily under the fiery blasts of a Press which spoke with one voice.
at the

The Addington
to

Ministry

was

already doomed, and Pitt's return

power was certain, the Throne declared


:

Parliament met and the

speech

from

"

You

will,

am

persuaded, agree with


to

me

in

thinking

that

it

is

adopt these measures of security which are best calculated to afford the of to prospect preserving my of the subjects peace/' blessings

incumbent upon us

Measures to increase the strength of the English men and to add 66,000 men to the 30,000 to 50,000

Navy from

Army

were

immediately passed,

In the debate
feebleness
;

Lord Grenville taunted the

Government

for

its

"What," he exclaimed, "has


covered that

the

Government

at last dis-

we have

interests

on the Continent;

that attention

to these interests

is an of British and that important part policy; have to be sacrificed since the hollow never ceased they peace with France And is it the invasion of Switzerland that signed
*

led ministers to
to discover that
allies

perceive

this?

Was

it

not

till

then

they began

we were excluded from

the Continent; that our

there were immolated to the insatiable ambition of that

pretended French Republic which has desisted from threatening European society with a demagogue convulsion only to
threaten "
it

with a frightful military tyranny?

Scarcely

had you signed the Preliminaries


193

of

London before

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


our erstwhile
of

KING

enemy openly

seized the Italian

Republic upon

having the presidency of it decreed to him, appropretext to himself, priated Tuscany upon pretext of granting it to an Infant of Spain and, as the price of this false concession, made himself master of the finest part of the American continentLouisiana. Scarcely had you the signed the Definitive
Treaty

wax which you had stamped with the arms of England upon was scarcely cold when our indefatigable foe, disthat treaty
closing

the intentions which he had dexterously concealed from to France, and dethroned the united Piedmont you, worthy ... But this is King of Sardinia, the constant ally of

England.

not

all

...
to

mated

August (1802) the Consular Government intiEurope, plumply and plainly, that the Germanic Conin

stitution

had ceased

to exist.

All the
as it

German

States

were

blended together and divided,


assigned to

were, into lots

which France

and the only power on pleased; reckon for curbing the ambition of our enemy, Austria, has been so weakened, abased, humbled, that we know not whether she will ever be able to raise herself again."

whomsoever she
to

which we have reason

to speak of the distresses of the House Orange, which had received from the secularizations on the " Rhine a same as the House of paltry bishopric, nearly the of

Lord Grenville went on

Hanover, which has been unwtjrthily robbed of


property,"

its

personal

However, there was point upon which the Government could be congratulated it had not withdrawn from Malta. " " Is it from that negligence, from levity," he asked, you have acted thus? Lucky negligence! The only thing we can approve in you. But we hope you will not let this last pledge, and that left from your by accident in your hands,
one
:

slip

grasp,

indemnify us for all the violations of treaties committed by our insatiable enemy." Napoleon had violated no treaties and had fulfilled already

you

will hold

it

fast to

to

Treaty of Amiens. But Malta lay upon the way its store of colonial with Grenville was Egypt produce. answered by Fox, who had visited Paris and been received by
his

part

of the

Napoleon on several occasions. " "I am astonished," Fox said,


ticularly

at all I hear, astonished par.


.

on considering

who

such things. they are that say


194

NAPOLEON, STATESMAN
When
was this extraordinary aggrandizement which astonishes and alarms you, when was it produced? Was it during the administration of Mr. Addmgton? ... Or the adminisduring
tration of

Mr.

Pitt

and Lord Grenville?

Under

the administra-

tion of

Mr.

Pitt

and Lord Grenville had not France acquired

the line of the Rhine, gained possession of Holland, Switzeras far as land, Italy Naples? Was this because no resistance

had been made

to her, because her

encroachments had been

tamely endured, that she had thus outstretched her giant arms? I not, for Mr. Pitt and Lord Grenville had banded

apprehend

most formidable of coalitions to crush that ambitious together the France, " They laid siege to Valenciennes and Dunkirk, and already destined the first of these for Austria, the second for places
Great Britain.
force in the affairs of others,

That France, who is charged with intruding by was then to be invaded for the

purpose of forcing upon her a government to which she would not submit, of obliging her to accept the family of Bourbon,

whose yoke was spurned, and by one of those sublime movements of which history ought to preserve an eternal record and
to

ciennes and

recommend to imitation, France repelled her Dunkirk were not wrested from

invaders, Valen-

her; laws were

not dictated to her; on the contrary she has dictated laws to

You talk of Italy; but was it not in the power of the French when you were treating for peace? Did you not know that it was? Was not this one of your grievances? Did this circumstance

others. "

from signing the peace? prevent you

"The King of Piedmont (King of Sardinia) interests you much well and good; but Austria,, whose ally he was much
more than
that

yours,

Austria has abandoned him.

She did not even

the indemnity negotiations of the diminish to this should be part prince given might the Venetian States which she coveted for herself.
in the
lest
, .

choose to mention

him

"

You

talk of

Germany

been done in Germany?


1 '

turned upside down; but what has The ecclesiastical States have been

virtue of to indemnify the hereditary princes by a formal article of the Treaty of Luneville, a treaty signed nine months before the Preliminaries of London, more than twelve

secularized

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF

KING

months before the Treaty of Amiens,, and signed at what When Mr, Pitt and Lord Grenville were ministers of period?
England,
halves in
"
,
,

Why

do you not complain of Russia,


the convulsion?

who went

consummating

The

for Elector of Hanover, you say, because unfortunately

I have King of England, has been very ill-used. not heard that he was dissatisfied with his lot; for extremely without he has obtained a rich bishopric.

himself he was

"

losing anything
a

To break

solemn engagement,

to retain

Malta for instance,

would be an unworthy breach the honour of Britain. promise


"

of faith
,
.

which would com-

Must we

then, to gratify the ambition of our merchants,

spill
It

torrents of British blood?"

was necessary,

after Fox's

speech,

to find

some more

sub-

stantial reason for

keeping Malta than had

so far

been advanced,

The

therefore that were English Government declared they the island because had removed his not yet retaining Napoleon
troops

from Holland
at

as

he had promised
final

to do, in his treaty of

with the Dutch,

"the

conclusion

peace
a

with

England." Napoleon replied peace treaty upon which remained unfulfilled in an important respect had not been concluded." Malta first, then Holland. The "finally

that

based

French Ambassador, Andreossy, London, was instructed that


:

who had

been sent specially

to

"
In our
existing
relations

with England

we cannot but

see a

kind of armistice."

Meanwhile Colonel
reported to the terms of the
the
that the

Sebastiani

had returned from Egypt,

He

English were
Treaty
of

settled in Alexandria, contrary

Amiens, that the Turks were and that, in such circumstances, six Mamelukes, fighting French thousand soldiers could reconquer the country. Napoleon at once

published

this

report

in his

with the comment that


order to

publication

newspaper Lt Moniteur, had been resolved upon in


fulfilling

show

the world

how England was


publication

the Treaty

of Amiens.

The

real reason of
that, if

was

to convince the

City

of

London

expedition
pressed
Paris
is

could be counted
clear

war was resumed, a second Egyptian That London was imupon.


fact that the

from the

Russian Ambassador in

immediately offered, on his master's behalf, to mediate


196

NAPOLEON, STATESMAN
Without committing himself to Lord Whitworth, the British Napoleon Ambassador. He received him in an empty room furnished with
the Russian,
sent for
a

between France and England.

long
1
1 qo ^ 19

table.

of the table,

The Ambassador was given a chair on one side Napoleon sat down opposite to him on the other
*

"

"Every wind
brings

that

me

hate and insult.

blows from England," Napoleon said, Now we have got into a situation
extricate ourselves,

from which we must,


or will

absolutely,

you

not, fulfil

the Treaty of

Amiens?

Will you, executed have it

on

part with scrupulous fidelity. That treaty obliged me to evacuate Taranto, and the Roman States within three

my

Naples,
less

months; in

than two months

all

out of those countries.

Ten months have

the French troops were the elapsed since


still

exchange of the ratifications and the English troops are Malta and Alexandria.
"
It is

in

useless to

try

to deceive us
If

on

this

point;

will

you have

peace, will

will

you have war?

If wage it relentlessly until you want peace, you must evacuate Alexandria and Malta. ..." Lord Whitworth answered that Malta would already have

you want war, only say so; one or other of us is ruined.

we

been evacuated but for Colonel Sebastiam's report and the


changes which had occurred yi Europe.

"To what changes are you alluding?" Napoleon asked. "Not the Presidency of the Italian Republic conferred on me
before the signature of the Treaty of

mont?
the

Is it

Switzerland?

Treaty of

Amiens? ... Is it Pied... I told everybody, even before Amiens, what I meant to do with Piedmont. I
:

told Austria, Russia,

He
"
If

and yourselves." discussed Switzerland and the Rhine, and continued you
are jealous of

try

to

satisfy

and

I shall

I you. Yes, think about it I

my Lord, I will my have thought a great deal about Egypt,


still

designs on Egypt,

more

if

you force

me

to

renew

the war.

enjoyed

endanger the peace which we have so short a time for the sake of reconquering that

But

will not

Turkish Empire threatens to fall. For my part I country. The shall contribute to uphold it as long as possible; but if it
crumbles to pieces
"
If I
I

mean France
I

to

have her share,

had pleased,

might, out of the numerous divisions o 197

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


which
an
I

KING

sent to

The four thousand


obstacle.

San Domingo, have diverted one to Alexandria, men you have there would not have been
the
contrary,

They would, on

have been

my

excuse.

time you
thoughts
that
I

I could have pounced unawares on Egypt, and this have wrested it from me. But I have no not would

of the kind.

...
I

contemplate
in
Italy

had

to

do

Germany and
a
treaty.
I
.

is

no aggression. All done; and I have

done nothing but what


or
"

had previously announced, avowed,


. .

comprehended in

Do

you suppose that


?

want

to risk

my

power and renown


I

in a desperate struggle
contrive to find
I shall

If I

have a war with Austria,


If I

shall

my way

to

Vienna.
ally

have a war with you,


I shall

take

from you every


all

on the Continent;
will blockade

cut

you
turn.

off

from

access to

it,

from the
I

Baltic to the

Gulf of
in

Taranto,
. .

You
,"

will blockade us, but

you

my

This was an announcement that the Baltic and Mediterranean

had existed before the assassination of the Leagues which Paul would be reformed at once and the drain of gold Emperor from London, in consequence, resumed. But Whitworth was
too well aware of the state of

mind

Russia to feel nervous.


anxiety

If

the Baltic League

London

because of her purchases of believed that it could not

new Emperor of was London's chief wheat in Poland and Russia,


of the

be

reformed

without

Alexander's consent, and was assured that Alexander was implacably


hostile to France.

Napoleon understood this perfectly, and in consequence had been very reserved of late in his attitude to the Russian Ambassador. Nevertheless, as Whitworth knew, he possessed
weapons of a kind likely to be formidable notably the underwhich for a long time had existed between France standing

and
"

Prussia,

Act cordially by me," the First Consul concluded, and I on an I entire promise you, my part, cordiality. promise you continual efforts to reconcile our interests wherever they are
reconcilable.

"

and we
thing
is

shall rule at

Let us think of uniting instead of going to war the destinies of the world. pleasure Everyin the interest of possible, humanity and of our double

power, to France and England united."

NAPOLEON^ STATESMAN
Napoleon, on the showing of Whitworth, displayed great
(

uneasiness.

He

felt

it.

An

anxious

message was sent by him


:

to

the "

Chamber in which the sentence occurred The Government states with just pride that England
strive alone

to-day

cannot

against France," for him, as he knew, Unfortunately England had no thought of alone Austria and Russia and other smaller states striving

were with
peace
" "
as

her.

Nevertheless, there were


so

still

many

in

England

many

that

it

was determined by

of partisans their

rulers to

make
it

their flesh
a

creep in order to convert them.

His Majesty,"

acquaint necessary very considerable military preparations are being carried on in to of France and Holland, he has judged it parts expedient

thinks

to

royal message to Parliament announced, the House of Commons that,

adopt additional measures of precaution for the security of his dominions."

These statements were untrue, the King was made to add


:

as the

speech

itself

shows, for

refers are preparations to which His Majesty ." avowedly directed to colonial service yet

"

Though

the

There were no preparations.


a single disposable port, ship.

There was
In a

not, in

Dutch

any French two sail of port


for Louisiana.

the line and

two

frigates

wer embarking troops

Napoleon, reading the speech,


disappointed.

He was

that his hopes about to receive the

knew

had been
walked

Diplomatic Corps.
salon,

He showed
straight "

a
to

lively anxiety and,

on entering the
193

up

Lord Whitworth,
to

So you are determined

go

to

war," he exclaimed.
fifteen

"No,
peace.
years.
.

First Consul,

we

are too sensible of the advantages of


last

We
.

have already been at war for the


to

."

"

But you want

make war

for fifteen

and you years more,

are forcing "

me

into it."

That

is

His Majesty's intention." very far from

Napoleon had become violently agitated. He left Whitworth and strode to the Russian Ambassador. He declared in loud
tones
:

"

The English want


I

to

make war;
last to

but

if

they are the


it.

first

to

draw the sword

shall

be the

replace

They

refuse to

199

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


respect treaties.

OF

KING

In the future they will have to be covered with black crepe." He turned to the Swedish Minister another representative of was co-operating with Russia die old Baltic League, who "Your he exclaimed, "that Sweden is not
:

King forgets/' what she was m the time


sunk

of Gustavus Adolphus, that she has

to the level of a third-rate

power."

Lord Whitworth was watching closely. Napoleon returned resumed the conversato him, and "to my great annoyance"
"
tion by saying "

something personally

civil to

me."

What

is

the

"

meaning
are
o*

of these

armaments?" he then asked.

Against not a single

whom
man
arm

war
if

you taking all these precautions? I have but if you wish to in the French ports;

arm

shall

too;

you wish

to

fight

I shall

fight

too.

You

may
her," "

succeed in annihilating France; you will never intimidate

We

wish

to

do neither;

we

should like to live on good terms

with her."

You should then respect your treaties. May evil befall those who fail to respect their treaties. They are responsible to all
Europe."
"

"

" to make it advistoo agitated," Whitworth wrote, able to prolong the conversation, r I therefore made no answer

He was

and he

retired to his apartments repeating the last phrase,"

Meanwhile Andreossy,
real reasons of hostility.

in

As has been

London, had been discovering the said, a flight of gold from

London had preceded

the conclusion of Gold, since peace. was had been to London; the exdeclared, returning peace were and the merchant bankers were eager to steady changes
lend.
these

merchant bankers
as

Napoleon's refusal to discuss a trade treaty had made all his enemies. Andreossy reached the
his

same conclusion
between the trade
"
191

master

namely, that the choice lay

treaty

and war.

In a country where the

to

Napoleon,

main interest is business," he wrote "and where the merchant class is so prosperous,

the Government has to appeal to the merchants for extraordinary funds and they have the right to insist that their interests should be considered in the policy which is adopted."

This meant simply that the English Government would find


200

NAPOLEON, STATESMAN
itself

without resources
of

if

it

did not obey the dictates of the

London, and that consequently the merchant bankers City " " who supplied the extraordinary funds and not the Ministers
of the

Crown, were

in control,

Andreossy thought that

this

a justified change of attitude on Napoleon's part, and urged that if concessions were made, in the matter of commerce, the English would be found willing to arrive at a settlewho had ment; and similar advice was
state of affairs

given by Talleyrand, a acquired large fortune since he became Barras' Foreign the First Minister and knew what he was talking about. But Consul would not yield, Nor did the references to the hints

made at Amiens that England might be willing to acknowledge him as King of France if satisfactory terms were reached move him in the least. England, as he believed, was trying to force him into her debt system by threatening that, if he refused, she
would
him.
that
if

close all the seas, the including

Mediterranean, against
for submission, seeing

The
that

threat

amounted

to a

demand

he became the recipient of sterling loans

and without

his

tariff

would
"

and
"

foot to

hand inevitably happenhe would be bound " the interests of his creditor. The hand that gives,"
is

he declared,

above the hand that takes."

Later he said

195
:

One

realize their

has only to consider what loans can lead to in order to danger. Therefore I would never have anything
striven

to

do with them and have always

against

them."
to

To Talleyrand and
him
"

his brother

Joseph,

who continued
:

press

for concessions to

As we must

fight,

London, he declared sooner or later, with a country to

whom

the

is intolerable, why, the sooner the better. greatness of France ... Let them (the a obtain English) place in the Mediterranean

I have no But I am determined that objection. put into, in that sea, one at the have two not Gibraltars they shall

to

entrance and another in the middle."

Andreossy

he instructed anxiety, the mediation of the accept Emperor of Russia in into Russian hands. The the sense that Malta should pass
later,

few days
to

so

great

was

his

English Government replied that it possessed positive informathe task which France tion that Alexander would not accept

sought to impose upon him.

But

it

was too

late;

war had already been


201

In fact, Alexander did accept. declared.

THE SECRET WAR

CHAPTER xix

Peace of Amiens was broken on

THE

May
as

16, 1803,

ty

declaration of

on the high ship


for his

seas

war by England. Every was thereupon seized


ordered
all

available

French
prize.

lawful

Englishmen in France to be Napoleon, arrested and thrown into prison and at once sent an expedition Bremen and Hamburg were of Hanover. to take possession
part,

closed to British

commerce.

A month later the French


of Taranto,

entered

Naples
Otranto,
In

and closed the harbours

Brindisi,

and

July, 1803,

the "Continental system" was inaugurated,

of the English goods importation Napoleon forbade absolutely into France or into any of her dependencies, and thus threw

back on the deflated English market a large bulk of merPrices fell could not be sold in chandise. The England, goods and industrialists and farmers suffered heavy losses. The consequent freezing
system,
of

credit

inflicted

injury

on the

financial

But the weapon was two-edged in the respect that English markets were now closed to the First Consul, who stood in
great
of

need of equipment for

his

army and

in

still

greater

need

had vanished, money. hope preserving peace hurried had been made to borrow in Holland. The attempts bankers there, however, were in close association with London
of

When

and refused
United
the

to lend,

Napoleon thereupon
that
if

sold Louisiana to the

States,

arguing
of

he

won

his

war with England


would be
resolved,
his colonial
useless.

difficulty
if

raw obtaining
it,

materials

whereas

he

possessions,

England would seize all In the meanwhile Louisiana was


lost

He

to

for the and of this sum had only ^3,000,000 colony, with about in commissions to the part ^1,000,000 Hopes of Amsterdam and other financial houses; but the money, never-

obtained

theless,

saved

him from immediate


202

ruin,

With

it

he bought

THE SECRET WAR


some 250,000 muskets, 100,000
and 100
in
batteries of field

cavalry pistols, 30,000 sabres,

artillery.

He

also
still

spent

a small

sum
he

refitting
to

those naval units


all

which he

possessed.

And

began

concentrate
cliffs

his available forces

under his

ablest

Generals on the
guarantee
of her

of

Boulogne.

Holland, in exchange for a


colonial,

integrity,

home and

furnish 5 of the line, 100 ships gunboats, 11,000


sistence for a

was compelled to men, and subwas ordered


to

French army of 18,000.


of the
treaty

Spain

accept

change

made
frs.

in

money payment
the
ships

of 6,000,000

which change a 1796, by month was substituted for


to her
ally.

and men she had guaranteed

Portugal

month. bought neutrality by " " the flotilla All these resources were and the on spent army was to with which, so it was asserted, the invasion of England
a contribution of 1,000,000 frs. a

be undertaken.
In
fact, as

has been said, Napoleon's object was to restore as


possible

quickly

as

the

Baltic

and Mediterranean Leagues.

Much depended upon


shores of the Baltic

Prussia,
size

and the

owing to her position on the and strength of her army. The


for signal, therefore,

declaration of

war with England was the


to

an

approach by France

King Frederick William. Napoleon

had studied Frederick

and the Great's grand-nephew carefully had assured himself that tte only qualities of that illustrious to soldier which he had inherited were frugality amounting
meanness,
honesty,
for

and stubbornness.
alliance,

He

offered

him, in
of
as

exchange

an immediate

England's German

principality,

Hanover,

King George III The offer was


of refusal to

tempting was dismal.

as the

prospect

of the

consequences

accept

of the Elbe Napoleon controlled the navigation and Weser by which the linens of Silesia, Prussia's chief pro-

duct, reached the sea.


so that a severe

Already that navigation was paralyzed economic crisis had taken place.

But an
Russia.

difficulties with alliance with France meant grave Frederick William, as has been seen, had shared fully

in the secularizations

on the Rhine and

so

had incurred the

of Austria. hostility

promised.

Was
the

His relations with England were comhe, then, to have no friend in Europe except
This
lovely girl
listen

Bonaparte?
possessed

His wife answered for him.


spirit

of

Marie Antoinette, and would not


203

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


to

KING
Frederick
to

should be any proposal that the House of Hohenzollcrn


the catspaw of the Corsican revolutionary,

made

William hesitated and then accepted an invitation Alexander of Russia at McmeL

meet

the cliffs at Boulogne Napoleon meanwhile was forging, on and in six camps placed at intervals down the coast from Holland to the Pyrenees, a weapon which, while it seemed to

be directed against England, could obviously be turned


diately against
cliffs

more

accessible
as

neighbours.

immeThe army on the


and Vienna

London, and it constituted, as far as Frederick William was concerned, an additional reason why
as
it

was engaging was engaging

much

attention in Berlin

in

the French offer should not be refused out of hand.

In these

circumstances
ligence,

London acted with her usual vigour and intelThe French emigrants in England were encouraged

assistance and, becoming convinced that the hour of triumph was near, made a great stir which was re-echoed in France. At the same time instructions of a very secret nature
to

hope for

their

were sent

to the British

and Munich, obedience

to

Consular agents in Cassel, Salzburg, which was attended by no stir of

any kind. Thus Alexander doubtless had good news for Frederick William when they met at Mcmel. There was, in fact, no
need to be unduly depressed about the of the Elbe and closing Weser, seeing that the Danube and the right bank of the Rhine remained in friendly hands, and could therefore be used not
of

only for the export of Prussia's linens, but also for the import England's manufactures. Napoleon's Mediterranean League
so

was not
nor was
that

complete that English ships could not enter that

sea,

his

hand

so

heavy upon Naples and the Papal


Italy,

States trans-

English merchandise could not be brought into


to the Tyrol

ported from there

and the Danube

basin,

and

so

dispatched through Bohemia to Dresden or through Bavaria and Baden to the Rhine. Why, then, join an attempt to close the Sound in the interests of France? Such a step could have no other effect than that of still further the

exasperating

English

Government, which had it in its power any shipment from any Continental
204

to

prevent absolutely

port.

Frederick William must have been the more ready to listen

THE SECRET WAR


to

Bremen
as

such pleadings because the merchants of Hamburg and both in French hands who had always bought the Sdesian linens had refused recently to bid for such quantities

were

available.

It

could not be doubted that these merchants

were acting upon French instructions. Prussia had lost the markets by which she lived, and he, Frederick William, had
been compelled to send a million crowns into
the distress in that
district.

Silesia to relieve

tions of

But though Emperor and King parted with many protestathe Prussian soon showed that he did not friendship,
sec his course clear.

yet
to

He

sent

an emissary, Herr Lombard,

Napoleon,

young man
his sole

Napoleon received this and told him, without that cordially equivocation, to curb the maritime was of purpose England despotism

who was

then in Brussels.

Sweden and Denmark, peace, Prussia, Russia, had made common he added, cause against England in 1780 and again in 1800, and on both occasions had achieved their
and
so to obtain
object,

Why

not again

make

use of so

well-proven a weapon?

the First Consul developed his argument, Herr became first interested and then enthusiastic.

As

Lombard
coasts

Napoleon urged
of
that

upon him the necessity of closing completely the Prussia and promised that the sufferings caused by

step

would be

markets of Europe were denied to her, England would be driven into bankruptcy, and would thus be compelled to make peace on terms honourable
of short duration.* If the
to the

European Powers.
and offered
to

take her stand with France.


Silesia

For these reasons Prussia ought to The First Consul then mentioned
full for all

pay in

the

damage

inflicted

upon It was the month of August,

the trade of that area.

1803.

The

Baltic

would not be

ice-bound for several months, and consequently no time ought to be lost in bringing matters to an issue. But Herr Lombard's
return to Berlin was not followed by any new advance on the to his part of Frederick William, who continued merely protest were aroused, First Consul's The friendly
feelings,

suspicions

Did the King


produce
to the

of Prussia

know

of

some means whereby, when


still

the Baltic was frozen, he

would

be able to send out his

world?

Very

secretly inquiries

were begun in the Rhineland where


205

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT

OF

KING
Wurtem-

the activities of the British Consular agents in Hesse,

Before long a berg, and Bavaria were being closely watched, the Frenchman who had been associated with Mr. Drake,

British Minister in
tion.

He

stated that

Munich, was persuaded to supply informaMr. Drake was in close touch with the
lived in the

French
received

Royalists

who

Rhenish

States,

that he

agents

from France

and that he

was concerned in
letters

Royalist conspiracies.

The

First

Consul dictated some


to

which
in

this

Frenchman was
of the

instructed to forward
at

Drake and
'

which the object

army
this

invasion of Ireland.

But

the Boulogne was said to be for real the was only a shield

purpose

namely,, to find out

if

Drake was one

of a chain of

with arrangements for the smuggling of merchanagents busy dise into and out of Germany and Prussia, when the Baltic
should be no longer available. soon convinced himself that his suspicions were Napoleon well-founded. He discovered that an emigrant named

Vernegues,
in

of a Russian subject and, further, living quality that another M. d'Entraigues, was of the exiled agent princes, at Dresden on a of Russia. mission from the

who was Rome in the

in close touch with the Bourbons,

was

diplomatic

Emperor

It

needed no great acuity to connect these circumstances with the of Drake and so to discover the activity making of a secret
channel for English goods (and Russian goods also), stretching from Southern Italy to the Rhine or to Prague and Dresden,

and no doubt, as occasion offered, entering France too. Here Napoleon convinced himself was the explanation
recreate the Baltic

of

Frederick William's dilatoriness, and so also of the failure to

League.

Those Rhenish

States

bank

of the river,

some of which he himself had

on the right created, were

being used for his undoing. And he had no power to enter and control them. While his were busy watching the police
Royalists
that

in

Normandy and

had

recently been discovered/ he obtained


activities

unravelling the details of a plot information

about the
living

of various

important persons

who were

and Baden and Wiirtemberg, Among these was the son of Bourbon-Conde, the Due d'Enghien, a young maa whose rather mysterious comings and goings were ascribed
in Bavaria
at

Ettingen,

where he

lived, to his passion for

hunting and to

206

THE SECRET WAR


the fact that he

was married

secretly

to Ins cousin,

a Princesse

D'Enghien had applied for a commission in the and was acting, as was soon discovered, on orders English Army
de Rohan.
sent

from London.

Napoleon kept his discoveries to himself until the time should have come to take action, But he developed suddenly an interest in the Royalists of Normandy which he had not
hitherto displayed.

The

police

were urged

to

hasten their

no pains to discover the source of the spare inquiries rumours and counter-rumours which were vexing the capital, France, in a short time, was horrified to learn that a plot to
and
to

assassinate

the First Consul had been

discovered, and that

involved in the plot, in addition to English agents, Morcau, victor of Hohenlmdcn, General

were General

Pichegru, Napoleon's old teacher at Briennc and the one-time conqueror of Holland, and Georges Cadoudal, a chief author of the infernal machine,

Pichegru had a bad reputation, for he had been convicted of treason to France and sent to Cayenne, from which he had
escaped. sioned dismay.

But the association of Moreau with Cadoudal

occa-

Was

not France at war with England?


1

What
the

was

to befall

enemy's game
popularity
like

a country whose greatest soldiers played because they were personally jealous^ Moreau's vanished overnight, and when search began for

Pichegru and Cadoudal,


tiling

who were

in

hiding in Paris, someit

panic

occurred,

Napoleon made
a

known

that the

conspirators

had come from England and had been landed from

an English naval unit


further, that they

commanded by
a secret

Captain Wright, and,


reaching Paris by

had

means

of

way

of lonely farmhouses.
gates

of the

capital

the anxiety was at its height the were closed, Cadoudal's arrest on March 9,

While

1804, after a

murderous struggle

in

which two men were


last traces of

killed,

removed from the public mind the


the seriousness of the danger.

doubt about

Consul himself, however, was still much more about the threat to his Baltic policy than concerned deeply about the threat to his life. It was obvious to him that unless

The

First

Enland's secret highway was closed Prussia would not move; he would thus be powerless to bring any real pressure to bear

on London, and

his slender stocks of gold

and

silver

would be

207

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


drained away to pay for the goods which
all

KING
would
those

his efforts

not be able

so

was the demand great


to
state of

for colonial

produce and
all

other merchandise

keep out of France.

Whereas

about him saw a

armed

England, he saw
bleeding

active

between France and neutrality and relentless war. England was


off his resources

him
of

to death

by cutting

and drawing

away

his

money,
the

Nor

outside

Baltic

did any possibility the possession of Malta League, for

of salvation exist

guaranteed his enemy against a


It

new Egyptian

expedition.

knowledge which awakened his lively anger No doubt their position and way against the Bourbon princes, of thinking entitled them to look upon him as usurper of their
was
this

patrimony and

so as a

dog

to

be killed,

But

it

did not entitle

These princes, on their own showing, were obeying English orders and accepting English money. They were actively supporting England's efforts to compass

them

to kill France.

the economic destruction of their fatherland.


to treat

He was

resolved
at a

them

as

enemies and, by means of them, to destroy


in

blow the system

personal control whose connection with the chief

which they had been enlisted. He assumed of the and caused to be arrested persons police
plotters

was not obvious

among them a Swiss attached to the Russian Embassy. Before this man had been M. de Markoff, the Russian interrogated,
Ambassador, demanded his release. The demand was refused and orders were issued to increase the rigour of imprisonment,
agent, d'Entraigues, should be dismissed imand a mediately, peremptory message to Rome asked for the arrest and extradition of Vernegues, the Russian agent in that
city.

request the Russian

was sent

at the

same time

to the

Court of Saxony that

M.

Both demands were of a nature which admitted of no

refusal.

to de

At the next diplomatic audience Napoleon strode up Markoff and told him, in loud tones, that it was most strange that he should have had in his employment a conspirator
Government
to

(the Swiss) against the

which he was

accredited,

and stranger such a man.

still

that he should have asked for the release of

"Does

Russia,"

he demanded, "suppose that she

is

so

superior to us in strength that she can act thus with impunity? Does she fancy that we have so utterly laid aside the sword for 208

THE SECRET WAR


the distaff that

we must
if

needs endure such conduct?


I

She

is

much
The

deceived

she thinks this;


<l

will suffer
1 '

no affront from

any prince

on the

face of the earth.

reference to

the distaff"

was calculated

to recall the

which Napoleon had offered to buy so that it be might spun m France. Meanwhile he had sent a police to Ettenheim, in Baden, to on the officer in disguise report
Silesian linen

doings of the due d'Enghicn.

This
first

officer

informed him, on
of

March

10,

the

day

of

the

interrogation

Georges

Cadoudal, that the

and that
absences.

young duke was often absent from home known about the reasons for these was nothing

Napoleon

at

once

summoned an

extraordinary
his in-

council to attend

him

at the Tuilenes.

He

announced

tention of seizing the due d'Enghicn and apologizing afterwards to the Prince of Baden for the violation of territory, and,

though protests were uttered, notably by the Second Consul Cambaceres, persisted in his plan.

"These
lesson."

little

German
on

princes,"

he

declared,

nccd

He

issued his orders

the

spot.

Colonel Ordencr, with

300 dragoons, some sappers (for bridge building), and several of brigades gendarmerie, and furnished with rations for four

go to the Rhine,* cross that river at Rheinau, and surround the town of Ettenheim. He was to seize immediately the due d'Enghicn with all his and was also to seize papers,
days,
to

was

any Frenchmen

who might

be in the chateau.

He was

to con-

duct his prisoners to Strasbourg. At the same time Colonel was to go with another detachment, supported Caulaincourt some of to Offenburg and wait there until by artillery,

pieces

the arrest had been carried out.


of

He

was then

to visit the Prince

Baden and present him with a letter from Napoleon in which it was complained that, by allowing gatherings of emigrants in his territory, he had compelled the French Govern-

ment

to act for itself

without previous assent.

These orders were executed.

Napoleon demanded
to Paris.

that the

due d'Enghien should be brought


to

He

himself went

Malmaison and shut himself up

so that great difficulty

was

experienced in getting into touch with him.

The due

d'En-

ghien reached the capital on March 20, 1804, and was taken to
209

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT OF


the fortress
of Vincenncs.
for the

KING

signed orders-for-the-day

Napoleon personally issued and Pans garrison, in which it was

commanded that a military commission should immediately try the Duke for treason and that, if he was found guilty, sentence on the spot. The comof death should be passed and executed mission assembled at midnight. The due d'Enghien declared
France and was bravely that he had served against of Rhine the for serving against upon the banks of the purpose her again. He was condemned; nor were his appeals for an
that he

interview with Napoleon listened to. Just before dawn he was shot in the fosse of the castle and then buried in a grave which

had been dug the day before. Next morning the news was announced
world.
It

to

Pans and the

caused such a revulsion of feeling against Napoleon

that those Royalists


called

who had

been giving him

him

assassin
at

and murderer

France was

war with England and

regardless that the due d'Enghien

tepid support of the fact that

was

in the enemy's pay. Napoleon cared nothing. The louder and more violent the outcry against him became, the more he knew that he had found the way of closing the certainly
secret

channel for English merchandise and Prussia's linen.


after this,

There was not a princeling in Germany,

who would

allow a bale of goods access to hjs dominions. And he was right. Drake and the other agents were hurriedly

removed from

their

posts

and

sent

home, and King

Frederick William of Prussia, through whose kingdom they passed, would not allow them to linger an hour on their way, Frederick William was terrified, His hopes of obtaining

Hanover, and, more important

still,

the reversion

from Austria

of the the Rhenish States, could now be abanleadership of doned, because Napoleon must have discovered everything about his relations with Russia and his on the Rhine-

doings

land.

He

busied himself to

damp down,

so far as

possible,

the

outcry against France which his wife was conducting, and it is probable that he hinted to Mme. de Stael, who had come to
Berlin on a

missionary

visit

against

Napoleon and in favour

of

England, and who was 198 had better go home.


tell

in

high favour with the Queen, that she


instructed to
that
this affair the

the French

Ambassador

Herr von Haugwitz was "


throughout
210

THE SECRET WAR


King has been
anxious especially of the First Consul." glory
the Baltic

about

all

that concerns the

Happily for Frederick William the spring was at hand and ports were opening. There was no immediate pros-

of ruin, pect, therefore,


a secret

He turned again to Russia, and made both treaty whereby sovereigns bound themselves to go to war with if he so Napoleon attempted to invade Denmark
as to close the

Sound by
and
to

his

own unaided
the

action

(May

24, 1804).

Alexander, meanwhile, was venting his fury on the unhappy

Rhenish
over

States

also

on

Pope

Vernegues
St.

Napoleon.

He had

for having delivered put his Court in mourn-

ing for the

Due

from

Petersburg, and that remained of the

d'Enghien, had dismissed the Papal Nuncio had ordered the Diet of Ratisbon (all

Holy Roman Empire)


neutrality

against

the violation of the


to

protest of Baden, He himself

to

to

France

protested

France,
St.

Napoleon

replied

by removing the French

Ambassador from

Russian AmPetersburg, whereupon the bassador was removed from Paris. To a deputation of the Rhenish States, which waited him, the First Consul de-

upon

clared that
"

if

they

made any formal


and

protest
so

My
will be

reply

will be so scornful

cruelly

humiliated.
to take

You

harsh that your dignity will have no choice but to


I

endure that reply or


be, to

for ujj arms,

am

resolved,

if

need

begin on the Continent my war with Great Britain." Austria had made no protest, because she was glad to see the

the Rhineland so severely disappointed. hopes of Prussia about in the affair was not overlooked her Nevertheless, by part

Napoleon.

She had drafted bodies of troops into the Tyrol and Bavaria to protect the English merchandise; she was ordered the march of to reduce these establishments at once or to expect
to

40,000 Frenchmen upon Munich. Finally a reply was sent the Emperor Alexander, in which Napoleon asked him whether

or not, had be

known
The

that the assassins of his father, the

Em-

peror Paul, were living close to his frontiers,

he would have

had them
as has

seized,
said,

sting

of this question lay in the fact that,


steps

been

Alexander had taken no

to

punish the

murderers of his father.

211

NAPOLEON, SOVEREIGN

CHAPTER xx

NAPOLEON, d'Enghien, had


also

by the seizure and execution

of the

due

won

the secret war,

restored her altars to France; he determined

He had already now to restore


is

her throne, for he had learned that a dictator


king,

a feeble

substitute for a

The power
party

of a dictator, as

or a caste, whereas a king's

he saw, tends to be based upon a out of himself

in his relation to all his


self
self

people.

power proceeds He had never identified him-

himany party, and had been at pains to dissociate from the Army; on the other hand, by his leadership, he had recreated the French nation and thus become, in fact, the
with
consecrated

man.

"France," he declared, "needs a king." The French people were of the same opinion,
years they had exhausted
all

During eleven
to

the forms of

government known

men

constitutionalism, liberalism, dictatorship, oligarchy,

the

rule of the

At last the fatherhood for which they rogues. craved had been restored to them. wished to surround it

They

with the ancient forms and to symbols, and


by
the

make

it

manifest

garlands and the

oil

of sacrifice.

raised,

once for

all,

above those

so that, sovereignty,

upon

dispute the throne, he might possess new re-

who

Napoleon should be his continued to

sources of

strength.

The impulse was


their

spontaneous,

for

the

plot

of

Georges

Cadoudal had revealed

to millions of

Frenchmen

the extent of

dependence upon their leader. Petitions demanding the restoration of corner of monarchy flowed into Paris from
every

France and from

all classes

of the

people,

The Army and Navy

were not more


townsfolk.

insistent

than the body of the peasants or the

The

First

his mind. He opened France must speak. The Senate, under Fouche's guidance,

Consul called his advisers together and would be no Emperor of the Praetorians;
212

NAPOLEON, SOVEREIGN
drafted a

message

to

Napoleon on March
d'Enghien,
in

27, 1804,

week

after

the execution of the due


to

which he was

invited

assume new powers for the benefit and of France. safety in that a time in he for wished little Napoleon replied person

which

to

make

Couriers were

home and abroad. necessary soundings at to Berlin and Vienna, from sent immediately
the

both of which end of April favourable capitals towards the were received. On replies April 25 Napoleon asked the Senate to what it meant. On May 3 the Tribunate explain fully
carried

by an enormous majority a proposal that Napoleon Bonaparte should be "named Emperor," and that the title and
of the

power
line

Emperor should descend


to the order of

in his family in the

male

This proposal according primogeniture. was carried next day to the Senate, which received it with joy,

upshot himself presided,

and the

was

that a

Committee, over which Napoleon


to

set to

work

draw up the
its

constitution of the

new Empire,
all

its

chambers, and

functionaries.

By May

18

Senate accepted the new constitution, and then drove in a body, escorted by the Consular Guard and

was

in readiness.

The

through delirious crowds, to St. Cloud where, in the palace, the First Consul and his wife awaited its coming.
very instant," announced Cambaceres, the Second " the conclusion of a short the Senate proConsul, at speech, claims Emperor of ine French."
this

"At

Napoleon

the "Everything," Napoleon replied, "which can add to welfare of France is and parcel of my happiness.. I accept part

the

title

which you
I

believe to be useful to the glory of the

submit to the people the sanction of the law of succession. I hereditary hope that France will never repent of the honours with which she invests my family. At all events
nation.

my
it

spirit

will

no longer be with

my posterity

shall

have ceased

to deserve the love

on that day when and confidence of the

Great Nation."

_ Cheers broke

out and were carried to the gardens and the


Paris.

to highway, and along the highway He remained addressed Josephine.

Cambaceres then

to dinner

and the new

Emperor
King
of

told
Italy

him
and

that he proposed to take the title also of to come to Paris for the to invite the

Pope

Coronation.

The Arch-Chancellor,
213

as

Cambaceres had become,

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


was not
fully

OF

KING

which had nothing

informed about the reasons for these decisions, to do with ambition or glory. Napoleon

League a focus in his own so to weld together France, Italy, Naples, and Spam, person and Portugal the Latin Catholic peoples. The blessing of the
desired to give the Mediterranean

Father of Christendom was essential to that purpose, not only because the new Empire was Catholic but also because the Pope
himself was an Italian sovereign. France voted immediately, and nearly unanimously, for the

new Emperor and


was
less

his family.

The

Imperial family, however,

ready

to

acquiesce.

On

the

morrow

of his accession

involved in bitter with his quarrels Napoleon found himself 109 and assailed their anew by violent brothers and sister He had already had experience of this of his wife. jealousy
jealousy,

Louis'

and Hortense's
if

which had flamed out when he had proposed to adopt son. His family had warned him on
he did anything so imprudent, everybody that he was the slanderous Josephine's story

that occasion that,

would

believe

child's father, but the real reason of their opposition namely, this infant in the direct line of sucwould that

adoption

place

cession

the coming to the throne of Joseph, prevent Lucien, 01 Louis had not been hidden from him. His brothers
so

and

remark,

were determined that he should not disinherit them, and his "To hear my family, you would think that I had
wasted the patrimony of the
ful
late

king, our father,"

was

faith-

Lucien, in particular, was he because not service he had rendered could the angry forget at St. Cloud, nor the harshness with which Napoleon had dealt

rendering of their thought.

with him
public.

when it became known that he was robbing the Lucien had revenged himself by making a large for-

tune in Spain during the period of his ambassadorship in that


off opportunity scoring Napoleon, succeeded in alienating, for a time, their mother's sympathy from her second son. Thus, when on one occasion

country.

He

lost

no

of

and

asked
it's

him

" to
tell

Napoleon

mother not

to call

me

an

Italian

obliged to Medicis."

name," he replied; speak French than was,

"

Napoleone in public; Our mother is no more


for

example, Marie de

had been appointed a Grand Officer of the of and a member of the Council of the Order, Honour Legion
214

He

NAPOLEON, SOVEREIGN
which made him
by
these
a senator, but

was

far

from being appeased

promotions. second source of trouble was Paulette.

Her husband had

died of yellow fever during the San Domingo expedition and she had nursed him with and courage. But she great devotion

was not

willing, after her return to Paris, to endure the monoof a tony prolonged period of mourning, Napoleon was using

Leclerc's death as

an example of devoted
tolerate die

sacrifice to the

Father-

land, and could not

of his sister driving spectacle

about the capital as if gaily nothing had happened, Nor did he hear with any pleasure that Paulette meant to marry Prince Camille Borghese, who the finest diamonds in
possessed

Europe.
it

There was no objection

to the

marriage as such

indeed, might help the Mediterranean League but every kind of objection to anything of indecent haste. savouring
Paulette

became very angry and complained to her mother and

Lucien,
in the

who

advised her to do as she chose.

A secret marriage,

presence of the Bonaparte family, took place. He had just, at his mother's Napoleon's vexation was
great.

request,

obtained a Cardinal's hat for his half-uncle, the abbe

Fesch, and

had appointed Fesch

to be his

Ambassador

to the

Holy

See.

Was

the

Rome
riage

of his sister

Pope to be insulted by the presence in and her husband when the fact of their mar-

was unknown? On the other hand, to make the marthe known memory of a riage immediately would be to insult brave French soldier who had been his own personal friend,

He

ordered the couple to remain in France until a second, and told them that he public marriage could be celebrated,

would not himself be present on


Napoleon's
the hatred
sisters

that occasion.

were

all

interesting

and

all different,

and

which each cherished against Josephine was coloured who by disposition and character. Ehse, Bacciocchi's wife,
for the plainness of her face

made up
intriguer.

by the firmness of her


Martinique
as a

character, despised the

woman from

vulgar

Elise

was blue-stocking and

wit, the friend of

Mme.

Stael, but always enough Corsican to prefer the deed to the word, If she invited Chateaubriand, Fontanes, La Harpe, and BoufHers to her house, that was very much after the fashion in

de

which she

filled

her salons with flowers.


215

She took no

man

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT

OF

KING

her brother, and set his teeth on edge often by seriously except and performances. the of her comments on his weight plans But she had, likewise, a silly side to her character, the expression and witless. Josephine of which was a literary output, jejune was not afraid of her.
really

This lovely girl, the in to most beautiful Europe, according many testimonies, posas reckless as her sessed a fine love-making. courage, which was She had known how to face disaster and death in San Domingo;
different the case of Paulette'
in

How

Pans she seemed to care


toilets

for

her long, lingernothing except

and great mirrors. Napoleon was as much attracted ing He used to attend as the fading Josephine was repelled,
Paulette's toilets

and amuse himself by inspecting the arsenal of


lipsticks,

perfumes, soaps, face creams, tonics in which she delighted,


the array of her frocks

powders, paints,

salves,

Her surging laces and silks and and hats gave him unending joy that
compliments.
to

made
and

his protests so

many

But he listened

to

Paulette,

whose attachment

him was

sincere

and unswerving,

acted, very often,

on her suggestions.

Josephine

knew

that

and recognized an enemy whose hate was sleepless. Paulette's faithfulness made her own infidelity an enduring danger.
Caroline,

on the

contrary,

was not

greatly

to

be feared,

Bonaparte implacablpambitious, governed by her unruly passions, but in love, as schoolgirls love, with her big dragoon. It was not Josephine's position she
that she coveted so

though she hated, too, with the strength of a nature masculine in its Caroline, when she married Murat, had convigour. She was brave, fierce, tracted out of the family.

much

as

Napoleon's, and

occasion, to intrigue with her consequently That she was Murat's evil sister-in-law against her brother.

was ready, on

genius
less

the

Emperor did not doubt, and he

felt for
if

her
she

much

regard than he bestowed on Hortense, who, with her mother, remained wholly dependent

upon

plotted himself.

Hortense was far too unhappy with Louis and far too much in love with M. de Flauhaut, Talleyrand's natural son, to constigentle girl, pretty in her own inclined to lamentation, but simple way, possessed, nevertheless, of a natural gaiety which was always disarming.
tute a real

danger to anyone,

Paulette's revolt

proved to be a
216

trifle as

compared with the

NAPOLEON, SOVEREIGN
Luden, which immediately followed it, Luden, too, had contracted a second was a widow marriage. The lady named Mane Laurence Charlotte Louise Alexandrine, She was
revolt of

the daughter of an official of St. Malo, and at nineteen had married Jean Jouberthou, a financier, who had made a fortune She had borne him two children, during the Revolution.

Jouberthou
leaving
his

lost all his

money and emigrated to San Domingo, wife and daughter (his son had died in infancy)
fell in

without resources.
Lucien,

who

big blue eyes. Plessis, son was born, and Lucien then went through a form of M, Jouberthou marriage. But nobody knew whether or not was dead. Napoleon found himself face to face with a scandal,

Mme. Jouberthou met with her wild red hair and sight Lucicn installed her in his country house at
few months
first

later

love at

the

danger of which lay in the

fact that

Luden's

son,

if it

was

legitimate, was his, Napoleon's, heir, for Joseph had no son and Louis' son had not been for his brother adopted, Napoleon sent and pointed out the impossibility, in the circumstances, of allow-

ing him to remain in the succession, A violent quarrel followed, and was immediately taken up by the whole family and notably

by Mme. Bonaparte the senior. In vain Napoleon pleaded that Lucien must either repudiate a doubtful marriage or forfeit his
the wits in Paris were that making use of rights, seeing already the scandal to discredit the House of Bonaparte. " " 200 She told me Mother came to see us," Lucien wrote.

how

distressed she felt at the

which

the Consul

was showing,

to rr$ marriage public opposition She said she had foreseen his

attitude,

and she advised

me

to

go on

my way

calmly without

showing resentment against anybody."

Meanwhile

it

was ascertained
effect of

positively
a

was dead. Lucien now went through

that M. Jouberthou second form of marriage,


his six-months-old son.

which had the

Napoleon urged
mediately

legitimizing that at least Mme. Jouberthou

might not im-

call herself

Mme.

Bonaparte, but this suggestion was

rights

very ill-received. 201 " can anybody try to secure "How," the Emperor asked, of succession to the throne of France for the fruit of a

union which only a belated marriage has made legitimate? How can the French be expected to respect such a person?"
217

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


a

OF

KING

Lucien replied by taking his wife to Italy, to the Papal States, which threatened to have consequc'nces not less disturbing step

than Paulette's the moment when the Pope was marriage, At about to be invited to come to Pans to crown him, Napoleon,

Emperor and by
;

that act to bless the Mediterranean League,


insult

his sister

and brother were heaping


his

upon the good

old
de-

man

by using

territory

as a

sanctuary

for scandal.

He

clared that Lucien

must

either have his marriage dissolved or


2
"

remain permanently out of France. " " If Lucien their mother declared, goes/'

go

also."

the family against Napoleon, It was Lucien against Napoleon, Corsican loyalty and Corsican tradition against Napoleon, vendetta at the centre of which stood the tarnished figure of

Josephine.

Mme.

travelling ask for a letter of

Bonaparte the senior closed her house and ordered her She visited for the last time to carriage.

Napoleon recommendation to the Pope for Lucien.


letter.

Napoleon gave her the


Paris.

On March

13,

1804, she left

marriage immediately engaged Napoleon's attention namely, that of his brother Jerome, now a naval officer, to Miss Elizabeth Patterson, of Baltimore. Jerome had contracted
third

marriage in America while absent without leave from his and complaints had been Addressed to the new ship,
this

Emperor

by the Captain, who had stated that discipline on board had been completely undermined. Napoleon declared that, since
the consent of their mother
there had, in fact, been

no marriage

had not been asked or obtained, 203 according to French law,

and adopted
the senior,
plaints,

so

threatening
in
to abide

an attitude that

Mme.

Bonaparte

now
wife

Rome and becoming weary


by
his

of Lucien's com-

promised "
"

will

that his

would not be allowed


as

to

Jerome was informed land in France and

that he himself

would be punished

an

officer

who,

in time of

war, had forsaken his post.

218

POPE AND EMPEROR

CHAPTER xxi

MMEDIATELY
to

after

his

accession

hold a great and naval review and to Boulogne military distribute decorations, His flotilla of flat-bottomed boats was
still

Napoleon went

to

the minds of the statesmen of who conexercising Europe, tinued to about its ultimate destination. speculate In fact, these boats were not intended to transport troops across the Channel to as Alexander

England,

of Russia

had

suspected,

was

to

Napoleon's plan, advance into Denmark and

occupy Copenhagen, thus sealing the Sound against English The function of the flotilla was to hold a large of ships, part
the

English

Navy

in the

Channel while

this

operation

was in

and a further refinement had been introduced in the progress, of a diversion in the Mediterranean, where Nelson was shape
on the French in Toulon harbour. keeping watch ships
in short,

The
hold

Emperor, Navy, one part by means of a dash out of Toulon, and to hold the other by means of the flotilla andjts escort, while he himself with
his
sail

meant

to divide the British

to

the Baltic with the of the Danish picked troops sealed help of the line land batteries. The hostility of supported

by

the

House

of

Vasa

to France

was an obstacle

so far^js

Sweden

was concerned, but there was, nevertheless, in Sweden a powerful French still from their while the Danes, party, smarting
defeat in the battle of

Copenhagen,
anticipate

Napoleon did not

co-operate. eager that Prussia would attack him,

were

to

Frederick William, no doubt, had

made promises to Alexander, but the events on the Rhine had shaken the good man's confidence and shown

him

that in the event of trouble with France

would be forthcoming in that quarter, The real danger, help now as before, was Russia and especially Russia in alliance
no
with Austria.
fore,

The French Emperor kept


especially
after

a close

watch, therePitt,

on Alexander,
to

he learned that
for

who

had returned
2,400,000

power

in

England, had asked

an additional

for the Secret Service.

The

reply

of the Russian

219

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


Government
to his note

KING

his

about the due d'Enghien did not allay Russia was it suspicions, by asking why at Corfu, her concentrating troops why agents everywhere conher showed themselves hostile to France and

and he answered

why

policy

sisted of

supporting England and opposing himself,


effect of

These
been

had the questions


in

causing M.

d'Oubril,

who had

charge

of the Russian

Embassy
a

in Paris since the recall of the

Ambassador, to

ask, in his turn, for his passports.

declaration of war? prelude to was evidently to be found at Vienna, and Napoleon at once
this the

Was

The answer

inquired of that capital

why

the

of promised recognition

his

so Imperial tide had been long delayed. Making no attempt to hide his suspicions, he demanded recognition and declared that
this

should be sent to
to visit.

was about

him at Aix-la-Chapelle, which place he Refusal would be followed by the recall of

the French Ambassador.


a skirmish with part in to him his life, costing
of

He went
Then he

aboard his
frigates,

flotilla

and took

some English

which came near

left

Boulogne and went, by

Mons and Valenciennes, to Aix. way bassador awaited him with the required

The Austrian AmM. de recognition.

Cobenzl, however, had in addition a piece of news to impartnamely, that the Emperor Francis had, by his own act, made

some
of the

alterations in his titles.

He Remained

the elected

Emperor

Romans, but he had become, in addition, hereditary of Austria and peror King of Germany. This was a plain
mation
thjtf

Eminti-

Napoleon's power ended on the

left

bank

of the

Rhine and that the raid into Baden, if repeated, would be met by strong resistance. The French Emperor visited the tomb of

Charlemagne and descended


of

inspection of the fortifications

which astonished

his

Then he began an on the Rhine, the thoroughness own staff. Venloo, Cologne, and
into the vault.
at the

Coblentz were visited in turn;

end of September, 1804,

he was in Mayence, All the German princelings were there to welcome and congratulate him a circumstance the meaning of

which was not overlooked

in Vienna.

Meanwhile orders
partly
Treville, the

sent to the naval bases

as the result of the

commander

had been changed, death of Admiral Latoucheuntimely of the Toulon but also, and squadron,
of the French felt doubtful
220
still

because the chiefly,

Emperor

POPE AND EMPEROR


about the plans of Russia.
or without her consent,

The

fortifications of the

Rhine were

in excellent state; but a Russian advance

through Prussia, with


a heavy defeat of

movement

into

might Denmark.

result in the

How

well founded were these fears


negotiations were
St.

is

evident from the fact

that secret

at that

moment

proceeding

in

Petersburg, object of which was an AustroRussian agreement to attack, by way of Poland and Prussia,
the

Vienna and

Napoleon's lines of communications if he should make a move towards the north. Agreement was reached and on signed
October 25, 1804. " If it should happen," one of the clauses of the Austro"

Russian Treaty ran,

that the
it

advantages procured to

French Government, abusing the by the position of its troops which now

occupy the territory of the Empire of Germany (Hanover), should invade the adjacent countries (Denmark) of which the
integrity
interests of Russia,

and independence are essentially connected with the and if His Majesty the Emperor of all the

Russias should find himself obliged to

march

his

troops thither,

His Majesty the Emperor-King will consider such proceedings on the part of France as an aggression which will impose upon
him, etc. " These troops will be embodied and constantly provided on both sides with every requisite, and there will further be a corps
,

of observation left to secure the of the Court of non-activity " Berlin

The

troops through

Russian for the transport of treaty provided, further, the Dardanelles and so for a simultaneous attack

by way of Naples.
subsidies

from

Pitt.

Alexander promised to obtain the necessary Napoleon was ready to fight in the north,

but his preparations in Italy were not yet complete. He returned, therefore, to Pans and set about immediately preparing
for his coronation.

The Pope was


exceedingly

Paris

proposal
a

formally invited to come to and to Austria disagreeable

Fesch, in

Rome, was

told to exert his

utmost

efforts to this end.

There was

of hesitation, period

Napoleon announced to of Christendom would anoint him Emperor in the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
221

and then consent was given. France and the world that the Father

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


Nothing was now spared
might recognize
naturally,
left

OF

KING
with

to

endow

the

Papal journey

splendour so that all Europe, but especially Italy and Spain, old man, not unThe its
importance.
in

Rome

before anxiety, but

hours upon French soil found his fears proceeded, mile after mile, through double ranks of kneeling
peasants,

good he had been many His carnage dissipated.

who,

in

seeking
restored

his

blessing,

themselves blessed the


Catholic

leader

who had

to

them

their

worship.

Napoleon became, like the kings of France before him, the elder son of the Church, and so immediately took the place in Italian and hearts which, as it had a few
Spanish

appeared

months

Bourbon could occupy. Paris to began glow with colour, and all the great dignitaries of the new Empire soldiers, sailors, civilians were gathered
before, only a

within her walls.

There was, however, one notable absentee.

Napoleon's mother was not by his side; she had elected to remain with Lucien in Italy. The Emperor experienced real
distress,

which, however, he

tried to hide.

He

sent

messengers

to Corsica to his foster-mother, Camilla Ilari, her to be inviting

his

guest

in the Tuileries

and

at

Notre Dame, and, though the

good woman's son was now serving

in the British Navy, she with his she had own Alone, among accepted pride, people, not swerved in devotion to him, ^jid her presence was comfort

the violent wrangles of his sisters, whose fury at the a throne knew no bounds. of seeing Josephine upon prospect The Pop^, travelled, in the first instance, to Fontainebleau,

among

where Napoleon,

artlessly

engaged in hunting

stags,

met him

by the roadside in order to avoid the ceremonial difficulties of a more formal The two sovereigns drove together reception. to the seated on the left side of the
palace,
carriage,

Josephine

Napoleon being and the Court stood on the

steps

to receive

the

Holy Father, who was immediately conducted

to his

apart-

ments.

On November

into the capital, enthusiasm so


out.

Pope and Emperor drove together which received them with a great but subdued
28

perfectly

had Napoleon's wishes been

carried

bitterness

Behind the scenes the family quarrel was reaching a degree of which even the Emperor found terrifying. Paulette
to

and Caroline had already refused


222

carry Josephine's train in

POPE AND EMPEROR


and had reduced Hortense, 204 whose disputes with her husband were an added source of misery, to tears and
die Cathedral,

Emperor cajoled helplessness. until an event occurred which, for a


more
to his

The

and threatened by turns

moment, joined him once


secret

visit people. paid by to the Josephine Pope to tell him that her marriage had not received the blessing of the Church as had all the other marin the Pius VII was horrified, and Bonaparte riages

own

This was a

family.

sent at once for the

Emperor,

who was made


205

to

understand that

the coronation as originally planned could not take place until


so

grave

an omission had been remedied,


retired to his

Napokon
sisters

apartments in

lively anger,

which

his

did their utmost to exacerbate.


of that troll?

Why,

make an Empress
alone and,
later,

Why

they demanded, not ascend the throne

get

rid of her in favour of a wife with an

honest reputation?
spite

But they overdid

their wrath,

As

their

quickened Napoleon became amused. Josephine had got the better of him and had revenged the insult of Mombello handsomely on the steps of the throne. He expressed his admiration for a strategy which had thus turned his flank, His reluctant sisters received orders in a tone which even they were
to

disregard. midnight Empress received the


Tuileries at the

At

of
of

December

Emperor and

sacrament

of the marriage in the chapel

hands of Cardinal Fesch and in the presence of Berthier, the Emperor's Chief of Staff, and Talleyrand, of Autun, but now a married formerly Bishop maj^and a millionaire.

in state to

by Preceded by the Cross, he walked slowly to the High Altar, knelt before it, and then ascended the throne which had The Cathedral was been prepared for him on the right.
voices.

Next morning, which was bright and cold, the Pope drove Notre Dame. He entered the Cathedral to the sing" " of the chant a choir of five hundred Tu es Petrus ing

already

full,

and the decorations

golden bees, offered a spectacle such as

of velvet cloth, sprinkled with seen. none had

formerly

There were armchairs


altar;

before the Napoleon and Josephine the Imperial throne, on the contrary, stood at the far end
for

of the nave

The

door. against the west did not leave the Tuileries until the Imperial procession
223

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


Pope had reached the church, an
a
strain

KING

error in

timing which im-

posed heavy Napoleon's waiting on Pius VII, drawn coach, by eight horses, was completely surrounded by He wore a costume specially deglass and lavishly gilded.
of

signed for
hat.

of

and a plumed Honore where the hounds Danton and Robespierre had hunted and by which Mane
the artist David, a short mantle

him by

The

route

that rue St. lay along

Antoinette, Danton, and Robespierre, tims, had come to their death.


street

among

a thousand victhis

Duplay's house was in

and

these walls bore

still

the scars inflicted

"

on them by
to

the

whiff of grapeshot,"
his

But Paris had forgiven or forgotten.


in the

The Emperor found nothing


by
subjects
of

reception

accorded

him

which the most exacting could complain.

The crowds were The ceremony

and their enthusiasm matched their size. large in the Cathedral followed a course every step of which had been for the new subject to long consideration, sovereign was only too conscious of the fact that all that
pageantry and ritual could bestow would be less than his need in the struggle about to begin, Not that he was insincere or
basely J calculating, O sure of his pletely
effectually

No

had ever been king, perhaps, OJ L 1 ]


kingly power.

more com-

because no king had ever more legitimacy,


But, face to face with a

exercised the

world arming, or already in armj, he owed it to his people to The crown, extract from every source its contribution of safety,
modelled upon that of Charlemagne, was borne in front of him as he entejjed the Cathedral, but he wore a golden laurel the

crown
and

of the Caesars,

He

knelt and then took his seat beside

Josephine.

Camilla

Ilari, at

whose

breast he
to the

had been

suckled,

whom

he had presented already

Pope, was watching

him.

and Imperial robe lay upon the altar. The the anointed Pope Emperor on forehead, arms, and hands, him the with sword, gave him the sceptre, and advanced girded
Sceptre, sword,

crown upon his head, Napoleon, with a sudden movement, took the crown and set it on his own head thus,
to set the

in

an

instant,
itself
is

resolving the
alive
still

question,

old as

the

Gallican

Church

and

kingship
Josephine

the direct

gift

with contention, whether or not of Heaven. After that he crowned

as she knelt

weeping before him, and then proceeded


224

POPE AND EMPEROR


to the throne,

of his robe.

followed by Joseph and Louis, When he was seated, with

who

bore the tram


Pius VII

Josephine,

came

to the foot of the throne, blessed

him, and chanted the


of

words which had proclaimed the Empire


thousand years before: " Vivat in ceternum semper Augustus.'"

Charlemagne a

The music
shouted

ceased.

The whole company

in the Cathedral

together:

"Vwc

I'Empereurl"

A moment
sovereign

later

cannon announced

to the Parisians that their


service,

had

been consecrated to their

be

Sixteen days later Mme. Bonaparte the senior, who was to known in future as Her Imperial Highness Madame Merc dc I'Empercur, and to receive a grant of ^12,000 a year, came
',

back unobtrusively

to Paris.

Her son

received her with deepest

homage,

225

SPANISH GOLD

CHAPTER xxn

ON
make

Italy, Savoy which, for so long, had remained a symbol of a glorious past. of the Romans he would be crowned in the Like the Emperors

of his coronation Napoleon decided to " " assume the crown of that Iron Crown of
the

morrow

Cathedral of Milan

by

the

Archbishop,

The Pope

consented;

Cardinal Caprera,
the

who was

in Paris, returned to his See to

necessary preparations,

Intimation had thus been


that

Russia given both to Austria and

attempts

to

join

forces in the Italian States

would meet

with the utmost resistance, and would

result, for Austria, in the

immediate

loss

of Venice,

Napoleon now

sent his aide-de-

to Toulon with orders to Admiral Villeneuve camp, Launston,

embark 6,000 picked men, artillery, and a battering under Lauriston himself, and to sail at once for the West
to so as to lead

train,

Indies

sent at the

away from European waters. same time to the Admiral at Brest

Nelson

Orders were
to

land some

thousands of
Channel,

men on

the coast of Ireland and then return to the


directed Boulogne, meanwhile, was
to

The

flotilla at

hold

itself

in readiness for action.

mark,

in other words,

was about

to

expedition be launched.

The

into

Den-

of a in the shape great storm, Unhappily, misfortune,

scat-

tered Villeneuve's

harbour.
against

squadron and sent it back, dismantled, to Nor was that the only gale which was blowing
Emperor's design,
Events were taking place
ift

the

in any case, Spain which,


since

Napoleon's

must have caused a postponement, threatened the whole financial structure on which they was based. policy
after the

Soon

beginning

of the Consulate, as has

been

said,

the banker Ouvrard

had

offered to

make

loans to the Govern-

ment.

with regreat Napoleon had accepted the offer, though 206 him. was At the to because no alternative luctance, open same time he had told Ouvrard, as has also been said, that
226

SPANISH GOLD
Theresc Tallicn would not be received at the Luxembourg and would not be permitted to visit her old friend This Josephine,

snub had occasioned a

distress in the rue de Babylon. lively Ouvrard, whose wife was alive, could not marry Thcrese; he did not wish, because of her, to be excluded from the Consular

Court.

He

had advised

her, therefore, since she

had divorced
re-

Tallien, to accept a proposal of marriage ceived from the comte de

which she had

Caraman-Chimay,

At the same time

he had promised to remain her friend and to avenge her. It had been arranged, at his that he should travel into request,
to visit her father, Cabarrus, the Treasurer of the Spain King. Before Pans for Madrid the banker had some long leaving consultations with Marbois, Napoleon's Finance Minister, who

was experiencing great

in the money to difficulty equip finding the Boulogne flotilla and the at Ouvrard army Boulogne. offered to make advances the two sources of against great revenue namely, the taxes and the annual contributions from

Spain.

These
in

latter

amounted

to

48,000,000 francs and were

payable

Spam possessed, in Mexico and Peru, the chief goldfields of the world. Napoleon was informed and since money was indispensable and in expressed uneasiness, but, short his consent. Marbois was allowed to supply, gave very discount with the banker the. taxes and the promises,
gold, because

Spanish but was urged at the same time to exercise great care. Ouvrard now left France. He appeared at the Spanish Court as a great financier, the master of millions, and quickly w^n the confidence not of Cabarrus

of the King and Queen only but also

and the Prince


-

of the Peace,

Godoy.

He made
Hopes

the important

comdiscovery that the Spanish Treasury was empty, and duly of Amsterdam iimcated the news to his backers, the
the Barings of

London.

Then he
as

offered to advance to

King

Charles as

much money

addition, to bring bread to

he might require, and, in the famished people of Madrid and

of the large cities on the sole condition that he was made the for the from Mexico and agent shipments of gold and silver Peru. That condition was immediately granted; Ouvrard obtained the right to buy the whole production of precious metals
at the rate of three francs a dollar, the usual price being five
francs.

227

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


This meant that

OF

KING

London was now able to buy the Spanish which gold, Napoleon had earmarked for his army and navy, at little more than half its former value, It was agreed between Ouvrard and the Barings that the metal should be shipped
direct

from America

to

London,

so that all risk of loss

might

that certainty remained, however, Napoleon would offer violent resistance to this project, and it was necesto sary, therefore, provide against him, Pitt resolved the diffiin December, 1804, that the culty by complaining, Spanish

be avoided.

The

Court was helping the Emperor of the French by permitting

him

to

make

use of

its

harbours.

King Charles IV,

instructed

by Ouvrard and Cabarrus, made a great show of indignation 'and, without telling Napoleon anything about it, declared war

on England.
its

Pitt immediately seized a convoy of four frigates laden with .2,400,000 worth of gold and silver, which was on

way from Mexico to Spain, Spain was now in a position

to

tell

the French

Emperor

that,

he was no longer acting as the guarantor of her neutrality, he was no longer entitled to his annual tribute. Ouvrard, proto be horrified at what had taken sent a courier fessing place,
since
to

Marbois

to

say

that he could advance

no more money

to the

French Treasury since there would be no more Spanish gold with which to repay such debts. needed urgently Jlie Emperor a sum of 22,000,000 francs for his war chests at Boulogne, on
the Rhine, and in Italy.

He
to

could scarcely contain himself.


the banker, urging him, as a utmost endeavours. After

Marbois, therefore, replied


patriotic

Frenchman, some bargaining Ouvrard agreed to do what he could on condition that the whole revenue of France, for at least a year, was^
to

to exert his

pledged

him

as

security.

These terms were accepted.


a

Pitt, therefore,

and his friends had secured

stranglehoh
exerting heavy
its

Napoleon's

finances as well as the

means

of

on the Spanish Court which, without pressure


hopelessly bankrupt. realized what had happened;

gold,

was
the

The

feeble old
it

King Spam was upon Godoy,

of

scarcely
as

persist

Queen's lover, that Ouvrard had principally relied. Nevertheless Napoleon determined to recast his plans and in his effort. At least he had gained the nominal
of

help
in-

Spain against England.

He

sent Junot to

Madrid with

228

SPANISH GOLD
structions to stimulate the

Court and the Government

to active

measures which should restore the Spanish


possible
to

wrest Gibraltar from the

Navy and make it At the same time English.

he evolved

An

for splitting up England's sea-power. was determined upon, as well as the exexpedition to the West Indies, and what remained of the pedition Spanish
to India

new schemes

into the field of it was operations. Action, should was in take while himself decided, place Napoleon at his second coronation, the as he believed, Italy, upon which, of his enemies eyes England, Russia, and Austria would be

Navy was brought

focussed,

He meant

to ride

northwards from Milan

to

the

Danish frontier and make himself master of the Sound, while Nelson and the other British Admirals were pursuing his ships
the North and South Atlantic and while England kept anxious watch over die flat-bottomed boats in the harbour of

on

Boulogne.

On April 4, 1805, the Pope left Paris to return to Rome. Napoleon had gone three days before to Fontainebleau, where he had been informed that Villeneuve, in command of the exthe pedition to
ately,

West

Indies,

had

set sail.

He

began immedi-

his
six

with Josephine, his journey to Italy, and, travelling with accustomed speed in an excellent carriage, behind teams of
big

Normandy

cavalcade,

He

final farewell.

horses, replied Lyons ahead of the Papal awaited the Pope at Turin, and there bade him few days later he witnessed a great military

review on the battlefield of Marengo and laid the foundationstone of a memorial to die fallen,
bells

On May

8, to

the sound of

and cannon, he rode into Milan, On the 26th, in pealing the Cathedral of that city, he set upon his own head the famous " " iron crown, repeating at the same time the formula
:

"

Dio me

"

I'

ha

data, guai a chi la tocchera

("

God

has given

it

me; let him beware who shall touch it "). The same day Italy was transformed into a monarchy, and Eugene de Beauharnais, Josephine's son, was named Viceroy
to

and presented
his mother.

to the Italian people

a considerable

triumph

for

offered the

The Spanish Ambassador, on behalf of Charles IV, new King of Italy the Order of the Golden Fleece,
Minister,

and the Prussian

on

his master's behalf, tendered the

Black Eagle and the Red Eagle.


229

Soon afterwards

Elise

was

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


created by her brother Princess of

KING
com-

Lucca

a bagatelle as

with Eugene's prize. pared

The

final act of the Italian visit

was the inclusion of the Re-

of Genoa, once insolent public

and ruinous mistress of Corsica,

in Napoleon's Empire, for the fact that

only

England's review there, and, while great


a 1805, entered

He cared nothing for this revenge, but he had closed another gateway against He returned to Turin and held a merchandise.
this

was in progress, on July


as the

8,

humble post-carnage and drove out


post-houses the nth he

of the town.

He announced himself at the Interior, On the morning of

Minister of the

was

in

Fontamebleau

where Cambaceres and other Ministers awaited him.

He had

one question for them; What were Prussia's intentions? only He was fully informed, as they soon discovered, about the mobilizations of on the Danube and in the Venetian troops
States

which Austria was carrying


of the Russian

out,

and

also

about the

march

Army

towards the frontiers of Poland.

These events scarcely interested him and he talked only about


the invasion of England.
"

"Rely on
I

my

activity,"

he told the anxious Cambaceres.


by the grandeur and the rapidity
of

will

my

surprise strokes."

the world

Cambaceres took him


plate
that.

at his

the

sailing

of the

flotilla,

^ord and trembled to contemBut there was no question of

The Emperor's sole concern was the possibility of reachand hojding Copenhagen and the Sound. If Prussia would ing he could do it; if not, the enterprise must, once again, him join
be for he knew now that his descent upon Italy had postponed, not intimidated Austria to the extent which he had hoped,

The Spanish gold was flowing


Vienna and
St.

already into the treasuries of

Petersburg, where the desperate state of his own 207 finances was, doubtless, very well known. He reached Boulogne on August 3, 1805, an(^ plunged at once

and with

the of his Admirals crossing Reports about doings and about Nelson's movements poured in upon him and were
discussed with the
greatest eagerness;

publicity the Channel.

as

much

as

possible

into

preparations

for

in fact, he cared very

little

where any of his ships were situated, because wherever they were they were attracting the enemy and so dividing the
230

SPANISH GOLD
enemy's forces, just
its

as,

in a

week

or two, the flotilla

itself,

by

mere

existence,

within the

would be holding English men-o'-war bound narrow seas. What was Prussia going to do? News
that a treaty
that, in consequence, Sweden's

had reached him


in the north of

and Sweden, and


with troops.
she remained

had been made between England "foothold"

Germany, Stralsund, was already swarming But he was not afraid of Sweden, provided that

unsupported. He had already, at Fontainebleau, ordered Talleyrand to offer Hanover to Frederick William on condition that he allied himself instantly with France and pro-

claimed his alliance to the world.

answer

to that offer, for if

it

Everything depended on the was accepted Prussia would forbid,

or dispute, the passage of the Russians through her territory, and thus both Russia and England would be held back from
the scene of the operations until he had made himself master of entrance to the Baltic. In such circumstances Austria would
lose her

courage.
22, 1805,

The answer reached him on August


Talleyrand announced
alliance.

of by way
to

Paris.

that Prussia

was ready

The Emperor, without waiting

agree to an an instant, sent for

Duroc, one of the very few people whom he could trust, and bade him ride hard to Berlin and bring the treaty of alliance

back with him,

Hanover," give that an immediate decision

"I

him
the

he told Duroc, "but on condition


is

taken.

In a fortnight

will not

make him

same

offer."

He now began to speak openly of his intention to embark immediately for England, and wrote also on August 22 to Villeneuve, whom he was far from trusting and even suspected
of

treachery " Set out, lose not a

moment, bring
208

my

united

squadrons into

the Channel

and England is ours." Villeneuve had returned from his decoy work in the West Indies and was supposed to be in Brest, though, in fact, he was

in Cadiz.
fleet?

What

matter, since he

was containing an English

But Admiral Decres, the Minister of Marine, who thought that Napoleon meant what he said, urged that such a message should not be sent, and that, in any case, Spanish ships
should not be included in the French
231
fleet,

Napoleon, having

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


supplied any spies

OF

KING

who might be at hand with the information he hoped to send the English Navy down channel, which by and withdrew his order. Next day Bernadotte in yielded
Hanover, Marmont on the Tcxel, and corps commanders in withBoulogne itself received secret orders to prepare to march, out at the same time giving any indication of what they were about, The Emperor himself rode daily on the seashore, fieldglass

in

hand,

as

though watching
that
its

for the

The amy, which supposed


actually already

destination

coming of his fleet. was England, was


an example of

embarked upon the

flotilla

Napoleon's thoroughness. A very few hours would suffice to disembark these picked and send them northward towards Denmark while troops
Bernadotte and the others were hurrying
stall

to the

Rhine

to fore-

any possible action by Austria.

As

the time

approached for

Duroc's return from Berlin, Napoleon's anxiety increased to such an extent that he walked about his quarters talking to

This time an evasive himself apd gesticulating. from reply Frederick William meant the ruin of his hopes, seeing that, if Prussia did not go with him, she would, in all probability, be
forced to go with Alexander. In that case Austria would attack on the Rhine and in Italy and he would be compelled to fight
great
battles in the north, while,
territories

209

^hundreds of leagues away, his

own

were being invaded.


day, but
dictate a

Day followed down grimly to

Duroc did not


plan
of

Napoleon sat campaign extending from the

return.

Rhine to the Danube,

232

THE LAND AND

THE SEA

CHAPTER XXIII

had
that

NAPOLEON order he might


without debt,

tried,

and

failed, to close the Baltic in

force

London

to

give

him

peace

Choice

now

between war and that system lay

which, for the sustaining of the monopoly of money exercised by a small number of banking houses in the world's
capjtals,

imposed on the whole of mankind the necessity of unending economic strife, The French Emperor, to his honour, chose to
fight,

"Europe," he declared real which beset dangers


shameful
seas,

210 "

at a later date,

does not see the

her.

She

listens to

people

who

are

You can
all

that

sugar.

say poor Europe, her interests, are contained in the of a barrel of price That is a sad state of affairs, but it is the state of affairs
exists.

that

imposing on her the whole of policy

their
this

nobody but the war of the

which now
see

any other armies than mine; as

Everybody abuses France and nobody can if England was not also

ubiquitous

Tarifa, Malta

and much more threatening, Heligoland, Gibraltar, what are these but English strongholds which
of all other

menace the commerce


relinquish

Powers?

If I

were

to

my

hold on

Europe

she

would throw

herself into

trade treaties would be subEngland's arms- And then all mitted to the good pleasure of the London Cabinet, and nobody would be allowed to taste any sugar which had not been sup-

nor to plied by English merchants,

wear
,

stockings
.

or cloth

woven elsewhere than


"It
is

in

English

factories,

thus for the dearest interests of


sacrifices

fighting
the

and exacting so many which a wise foresight

am Europe that from France, I have


I

whereas the other policy bestows,


only by
the blindness of an

sovereigns

seem

to

be actuated

abysmal

fear,

They seem

to fear

nothing except the power of

233

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


France
at a

OF

KING

moment when my power


As
for

alone can defend Europe's

one aimI have only universal that is to with say peace. England, namely, peace Without peace with England all others are mere truces.

commercial freedom, ...

me,

For

expense except of other people, seeing that it cannot pay the interest on its loans nor give subsidies nor even meet its bills except by means which it exerts over all other nations," of the

this

commercial colossus cannot

exist

at the

monopoly The plan of campaign was dictated by two chief to draw Russia It was tions, away from necessary

considera-

the north,

and, secondly, to deprive the forces she was sending through the Dardanelles to Corfu of the support of a great British fleet.

These Russian forces numbered only about 12,000 men, but from they were likely to be augmented by some 6,000 English

Malta and

30,000 Neapolitans. army naval co-operation might easily take Genoa and even advance along the French coast to Toulon and Marseilles for the

at least

Such an

with

Austrian army of 100,000

men coming from

Venice would

demand
the

the whole attention of the

French troops gathered on

Adige under Massena.

Prussian difficulty was dealt with by the simple exof over Hanover to Frederick William, and pedient handing
thus in Swedish Pomerania the isolating army of 16,000 Russians and 12,000 Swedes which had been brought by sea to Stralsund, more elaborate diplomacy was used in the case

The

of

Naples.

^On September
in

14, 1805,

Napoleon

sent an order to

Admiral Villeneuve
Spanish
fleets for

Cadiz to
"

sail

with the French and

and to engage the enemy wherever Naples he may be found." The object was to keep Nelson away from the Mediterranean, and there is no doubt that the French

Emperor expected to pay for that benefit with heavy losses, he had small faith in the seamanship of his commanders.

for

week

the Court of Naples for a treaty of was neutrality accepted, though Napoleon knew that this was a ruse to induce him to remove his troops under St. Cyr from the Neapolitan frontier so that the Russians and

later the offer

made by

English

might the more


their

easily

establish themselves,

Without naval

support these forces would be powerless to

gathering

in

Naples in defiance of the treaty

harm him, whereas would justify

THE LAND AND 1HE SEA


so

him, when victory had been won, in annexing that country and obtaining a strong position in the Mediterranean,
of plan of campaign was based on his knowledge Austrian and Russian methods. He ordered Massena to hold

His

own

the

Archduke Charles and

his

army

of 100,000

men

on the

Adige for six weeks while he, himself, with the mass of the French army, defeated the Austrians on the Danube and entered

Vienna
cut off

after

from

its

which, of course, the Archduke's army would be base. At the same time, he directed his own

side troops to advance towards the Danube along the northern of the Black Forest so as to avoid any contact with the Austrian

army, under General Mack, which had entered Bavaria and was
in

position

at

Ulm.

It

was the
for
it

strategy

of
at

Marengo on the
surrounding two

greatest conceivable

scale,

aimed

armies, the

one

after

their lines of the other, cutting


to

Com-

munication and thus compelling them either

grave disadvantage or to surrender. In twenty days the army which had been formed and trained on the cliffs of Boulogne was
fight

at

transported

to the Rhine.

Napoleon,,

who had

left Paris

on

September 24, 1805, with Josephine and Talleyrand, joined it of Mack there on the 26th, Two days later the encirclement

had begun while


for the

that

coming of

the

unsuspecting General waited confidently which was to support him. Russian^ army

Mack was fortnight later the movement was complete. and the Russians, who had been hurrying to his help, trapped,
were falling back, in haste, towards Moravia. Twenty-three thousand Austrians laid down their arms. Napoleon took the
surrender of the Austrian
in front of a

army on October

big

camp

fire

20, 1805, standing with his arms crossed behind his

back,

He wore

the uniform of a

common

soldier

with a shabby

a hat of the he had now affected. He grey overcoat and type a fire of conversation with the Austrian kept up running
officers, telling

them

that he

had no quarrel with


211

their

or their

had been acting merely country, and that they

sovereign as the

catspaws of the

London

bankers.

Next morning, as the Emperor of the French made ready to advance upon his enemy's capital city, his battle-fleet put out, a thousand miles away, to dispute for him the mastery of the
Mediterranean,

Admiral Villeneuve
2

left

the shelter of Cadiz

35

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF

KING

harbour with a heavy heart, not so much because he feared Nelson as because he disapproved his master's plans. This

which based
the Elbe,

brave and gallant sailor failed to grasp the unity of a design its left flank upon the Mediterranean, its right on

and

its

centre
to

on the Danubian

plain.

Unaware

that

he had been chosen


which,

had

it

action by Nelson prevent an enveloping the Russothe made landing of


possible

on the Mediterranean coast of France, must Neapolitan army have threatened the success of the campaign, he saw only the ot a landsman into whose hands, by perverse heavy blunder
fate,

that Nelson

had come the destiny of a great fleet. Villeneuve knew was his superior in all that concerned the strategy
had pleaded,
of small
in

of the sea; he
caution,

consequence,

for a

policy

of

made up

of opportunity offered,

engagements and the raiding, as English commerce, The working of a


to risk the
lay

mind which was prepared


for

complete

loss of sea

power

wholly beyond his comprehension. Nevertheless, on that 2ist of October, 1805, while Nelson's

any

reason whatsoever

down on his line, he made ready to exert his utmost fighting strength. The allied navies of France and Spain
ships

were

bearing

were drawn up in two


at their

parallel lines,
as

curved so

as to offer the

English a kind of bay into which,


penetrate of these
peril,

Every

sfyip

he believed, they would which entered the embrace

deadly arms would be subjected to a double cross-fire. But Nelson did not hesitate. With dauntless courage he drove at the straight enemy line, broke it in two places, and,
left

and

right,

hemming
in

sweeping embraced, in his turn, the French and Spaniards, them in as Mack had been surrounded and hemmed

by Napoleon,

By two
But

o'clock of the afternoon the battle

was

hour Nelson in the lay dying of the struck a ball from the Redoubtable; cockpit Victory, by rigging, England had won the command of all the seas, but
already decided.
at that

not soon

enough to turn the Emperor's flank. As he gasped his last orders, Nelson knew that his work was accomplished and that, ^henceforward, England had
to fear

nothing
advice
:

"

upon her native element, He gave his final Anchor the fleet," and was silent for a time. Then,
:

before he died, exclaimed

"Kiss me, Hardy."


236

THE LAND AND THE SEA


The storm which followed

who had
and
it

neglected

to

obey him.
difficulty

bore harsh witness against those Most of the prizes were lost,
that the fleet

was with great

made

the Straits

of Gibraltar.

Three weeks

later, after a series of

marches without

parallel

Napoleon brought the mass of his army to Vienna, one misfortune had attended that operation Only the the orders to him and Murat of namely, disregard by given the isolation and destruction of a French force under consequent
the
history of war,

Mortier.

back
flight

to link

and the Tyrol had fallen Italy with the of Vienna in its headlong up garrison across the Moravian and Ney were Massena plain.
But far
to the east the armies of Russia stood, ready

The Austnans from

coming up.
to

give battle.

Napoleon knew now about Trafalgar. He had expected Nevertheless defeat, but not certainly on this ruinous scale.
the battle
set

had postponed

action

from Naples.

His gaze was

no longer on the Mediterranean, but on Berlin, where the Emperor Alexander was expending his utmost persuasiveness
to

Hanover; Russia offered the same


later,

induce King Frederick William to fight. France had given but had to retract it gift,

when

Pitt declared that his

master would never consent.


212

Then

England and Russij together offered Holland. Frederick William descended with Alexander into the tomb

of

Frederick the Great, and there, urged by his wife, swore to declare war on the French if they had not retired from Austria
within four weeks.

Alexander rushed

off

to

Olmutz

in Moravia,

where the
that

Emperor
battle

Francis of Austria had arrived.

He demanded

should immediately be offered to Napoleon. The allied forces were set in motion and, returning towards Vienna, came

face to face with the

French near the


this

little

village

of Austerlitz.

Napoleon had already chosen

as his battlefield, village

and

had prepared catastrophe for his enemies in the shape of an a of ridge high ground of a comapparent oversight by which

manding
It

was

his calculation that,

character had been left unoccupied by his troops. the this having seized ridge,

upon

Russians and Austrians would defend


tion of force,

by a great concentrathus weakening the more remote of their parts


it

2 37

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


line.

OF

KING
line

He

proposed

to deliver his

masterstroke where the

was weakest,

up the opposing flank, and, by turning the ridge, to convert it into an abyss for his enemies.
to roll

He worked

to secure the effective

with ceaseless care throughout December i, 1805, The Russians of his


operation
design.
as

and Austrians came slowly into position; bivouac fires roped the darkness with light.

night

fell

their

Napoleon

left his

the ranks of his sleeping headquarters and walked through under His tour lasted until beyond a clear, army, frosty sky.

midnight.

As he was coming back

a soldier

saw him and

jumped up, shouting: "The anniversary That cry was taken up by others, and in a moment the French
of the Coronation."

were kindling bonfires with the straw of their beds in honour of their Emperor. The men crowded round Napoleon, begging* him not to expose himself on the morrow, and this he
promised provided that they gave him no occasion of anxiety. He was uneasy, not from fear of the issue of battle, but lest,
even now, his enemy might refuse to fight.
If a decision

was

not

immediately obtained, Prussia


lines of

haps sever his

him and percommunication, and there was another


would
attack

and equally grave menace


financial resources.

namely, the drying up of his

Every

courier

from

Paris brought

news

of

the

impossibility of raising further moneys. This was Ouvrard's work, carried out in collaboration with

London.

The banker had


^Spanish

contrived, as has been seen, to divert

the flow of
his excuse

gold to

London.

With

that diversion as

any further sums to the French until the revenues for the Treasury coming year, in the form of the advance notes promissory given to the Government by the
to lend
collectors of taxes,

he had refused

were made over

to

him.

Having gained
re-

possession

of these

promissory notes, he presented them for


of France.

discount at the
accept the
sessed
bills

Bank

The Bank

could not refuse to


but, since
it

bills

of the

Government's agents,
silver, it
It

pos-

very small stocks of gold and only by printing bank-notes.


its

could meet these


great the taxes

did this without

anxiety because of

belief that, sooner or later,

when

had been

collected, gold

and

silver

would flow

to

make

backing for the bank-notes.

But the demands of Napoleon for money grew greater and


258

THE
more
insistent

N D

AND THE SEA

every day, and fresh borrowings by the Treasury became imperative, Ouvrard declared that he had come to the end of his resources, and so induced Marbois to commit the folly of was handing over to him, as soon as it
therefore

the Ouvrard now taxpayers, supplied by the bank-notes of the Bank of France, which he only had obtained by but also rediscounting the tax collectors' bills, the and silver the have as which to served gold backing
received, the

money

held not

of these notes.

Just as

ought he had enabled London


before, so

to seize the

Spanish bullion a few

months

now he had himself,

on London's behalf, seized the French. His closest friends, in addition to Therese,

now

Princesse de

Chimay, were Mme. de Stael and Juliette Recamier, wife of the banker of that name. These three women were entertaining on
a lavish scale
financial

and were using

their salons to shatter

Napofeon's

which

strength in the interests of that international power to all of them belonged and by which the armies of Russia

and Austria had been munitioned and supplied. All three women were courtesans, with lovers innumerable; Therese and

played part, hour, in dissuading the Prussian Court, and especially Queen
Louise,

were lovely; Juliette possessed nimble wits; but of the three the carried the heaviest ugliest weight of influence, Mme, de Stael, as has been seen, had at a critical her
Juliette

from

associating

with Napoleon; she had gone

later

before the conqueror into and tried to stir up opposition Italy 213 to to him there. in Paris she awaited OuvratcTs signal

Now

begin the
of

work

of

casting

doubt upon the solvency of the Bank

France and so of setting in motion a calamitous run upon

that institution,

whispers Therese, and Juliette, bankers' daughters and banker's wife, let it be known that rushed to they were panic-stricken, Everyone the Bank of France to demand silver for the bankand gold notes in their The Directors, beside themselves,
possession.

was given when signal the salons held of

The

Napoleon entered Vienna. All impending ruin, and Mme. de Stael,

begged Marbois to hand over to them such moneys as had been received by him from the collectors of taxes, already
in his

Marbois then had to confess that these moneys were no longer Ouvrard had taken everything. possession;
239

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT


The Bank
devices
of France

OF

KING
on

now
put

various suspended payment, though


as

were adopted

to

good a complexion

the event,

Wild panic swept through Pans, and

possible the bank-notes,

as

which, could not be redeemed, lost their value.


in the

Once

again,

as

to bring their days of Barras, farmers showed reluctance of an outbreak of to market, and there was goods danger on the crash of the violence. In the salons, where speculation that franc was it was now declared Napoleon busy, confidently was ruined, Trafalgar itself was not likely to exert a more disastrous effect upon his fortunes than the collapse of his

monetary system. It was with the news of


the

this

deadly threat in his

mind

that

Emperor on the morning of December 2, 1805. It was a misty morning, but Napoleon had the satisfaction of his bait taken by seeing the Russians. He attacked them on the high ridge and, as he
expected, observed huge reinforcements being hurried to the defence of a position which both Alexander and Francis believed to be the of the battle. About the mists
cleared

faced his enemies across the frozen lake of Tellnitz

key and the sun blazed

midday

forth.

The enemy
slopes

line

on the

French

left

was

now

dangerously weak, whereas the French


positions

were holding

their

on the

of

the

ridge.

Napoleon gathered his thunderbolts and launched them on the weakened Austro-Russian flank, and long before the sun had
set the allied

army was
fled
safety.

leaders.

Alexander

deserted helpless by its royal through the night, knowing not where

rabble

he should find

240

NAPOLEON, BANKER

CHAPTER xxiv

in the

hour

of

NAPOLEON, and showed no of uneasy sign triumph,


which he bade them
u
:

victory,

seemed anxious and

On

the

night
in

before the battle he had addressed to his soldiers a

message

Be

thoroughly

imbued with
of

this

thought that you must

defeat these

hirelings

England."
:

He now issued a proclamation in which he said " I am satisfied with In two months this you,
tion has been beaten

Third Coali-

and destroyed.

Peace cannot
before
I

now

be far

away,
I

but, as

will

make

promised my people a only such peace as gives us guarantees,"


;

crossed the Rhine,

Next day he wrote


"

SOLDIERS, "

You have won


to

peace; you will again see France.


If

Give

my name my

your one worthy of us I will leave fam


1

children.

among them
all

there should be

my

goods and declare him

successor/
thrilled the

This reversal to the authentic nature of

kingship

was no piece of exuberant rhetoric. Napoleon's was that of a leader capable of protecting conception king the his all their enemies and against especially against
army.

But

it

of a

people

enemies

at

home, who,

as

he wrote, were gnawing


214

at the foun-

dations of his house. "


I

a
later,

have never wished," he said


to find

to be

anybody's
I

man; not even

support

in an idea or in

men.

lean on

on those things which successively I have created in the myself, interest of France, on my institutions, on the moral strength of
a

Government based upon no


I

special opinions.

First

Consul

have been King of the people. I have governed to be in its interest, without for the allowing myself people,

and Emperor,

distracted

by

the clamourings or the interests of special classes.


241

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


'

KING

loves me. I use They know it in France and the French people never liked I have the word people '; I mean nation/ because about 'the talk the sense in which many superior persons

people/ meaning
because,
if

the rabble.

have not favoured great lords

die ignorance

and poverty of poor men make them

of the the to pretensions disorderly conduct, disposed always others make them just as dangerous for authority. Always diswith a power which does not depend on themselves, pleased

they

will always,
'
'

when

turn to revolt. they dare,


.
.

The

France needs a nobility, always poor people but a nobility based upon different foundations from those now
is

deceived.

existing."

The great realist proceeded now to take the steps which he believed to be necessary for the success of his plan never for an
to obtain a debtless instant forgotten or relinquished peace over the heads of the London money-changers, with

England

He met
carriage.

Francis of Austria,

who came
officers

to his bivouac in

an old

One
:

of the

French

heard Napoleon open the

talk

"

by saying

A
He

Xb^English are merchants of human flesh." few days later tEe victor was back again in Schoenbriinn.
gave orders to seize the kingdom of Naples, which had

broken faith with him, and bad^his brother Joseph ascend the throne of that country and see that every harbour was closed to
English merchandise.
harbours,
sharply
215

The same ban was


protests,

laid

upon the Pope's

in

spite

of

between the

spiritual

Napoleon distinguished and the temporal power, as he

for

said:

"
I

am no

eye

to

pagan king; although politically I don't always see with the Pope, I venerate him. I eye religiously respect

his character."

Holland, which Pitt had offered to Prussia as a substitute for Hanover, now asked for Napoleon's protection, and was bestowed on Louis and Hortense, not that they might enjoy themselves upon a throne, but that they

might

effectually expel

English shipping from their harbours. Attention was then directed to the Rhenish States, that German confederation
all

which

in days past

had

constituted the

body

of the

Holy Roman

Empire.

Napoleon wanted

a substantial buffer

between him-

242

NAPOLEON, BANKER
self, Austria, and Prussia, a buffer, moreover, which he could hold under his control while he was to the Sound turning again

and the

Straits of Gibraltar.

Bavaria and
the Princess

He made kings of die Electors married Eugene de Beauharnais Wurtcmberg,


of Bavaria, betrothed his brother
2

of
to

Augusta

parted from Miss Patterson, though without the consent to the Princess Catherine of of the Pope Wurtemberg, a grand-

now

Jerome

daughter of King George III of England. This last stroke was a delicate one, for Catherine had been betrothed to the son of
the Prince of Baden.

But Josephine resolved the difficulty by her pretty niece Stephanie de Beauharnais to Munich, bringing The Elector's son promptly fell in love with her. Murat and his
wife Caroline were

made Grand Duke and Duchess

of

Berg

and

Cleves.

Napoleon was now ready to deal with Prussia. All his flans on the Rhine and his plans about the Sound would be useless
unless he could count absolutely on Frederick William's supWas the of Prussia still the of Alexander? He

King ally had received von Haugwitz, sent to congratulate him on and had asked him sharply victory,
port.
;

his

"

Will you

tell

me

whether,

if

had

lost the battle,

you

would to-day have mentioned the friendship which you say your master bears me? ... Your master was ready to attack me. ... He was signing treaties against me. He has no mind
of his

own; he

is

ruled

by the Queen, by women, by Court

ladies."

After this outburst, which von Haugwitz had oorne with

he had offered to forget the past and to leave Hanover dignity, But there must be an open in Frederick William's hands.
Peace with Austria, meanwhile, had been concluded. and Dalmatia, again with Napoleon possessed himself of Venice merchandise out of of the keeping English Europe, and object obtained as indemnity a large mass of gold and silver the
alliance.

treasure

which

Pitt

had seized on the Spanish galleons and

transmitted to Vienna.

This treasure meant salvation because, by means of it, the Bank of France could be restored to solvency. Heavy carts,

under strong guard, began

to roll slowly towards the


at his usual

Rhine and

France. Napoleon himself, travelling


243

speed, reached

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


Paris

OF

KING

on January

26, 1806, at

midnight.

he Early next morning

probe to which had so nearly ruined him,

was

seated in council to

the bottom the financial panic Marbois stood trembling

before him; Ouvrard and his associates were present. " to his Finance I esteem your character," said the Emperor " but you have been the dupe of men against whom Minister,
I

warned you

to be

on your guard.
portfolio."

You have

given up

to

them

all

the effects in the

Ouvrard had used the money given to him in a gigantic " United Merchants." He had speculation in Spain known as
the boldness
to

now

to tell

the affairs of his company. to be He offered the banker cajoled.


alternative of criminal

wind up

to be allowed Napoleon that he ought The Emperor was not and his associates the

prosecution

or the surrender of all that

or they' possessed, whether goods, papers, pledges. them into Vincennes to make up their minds.

He

flung

Then he
Finance

appointed
Minister.

Mollien,

whom

he

trusted,

to

be

his

"was an intriguer with "Marbois," Napoleon said later, the of a Quaker and the manners of a appearance deceptive salesman. I was for his because he kept me long dupe telling
about his high principles and severe judgments on passing
., people and their doings. phantic towards power, but loathing

217

other

A discontented man, sychoit

and trying

to

undermine

it.

At bottom an unprincipled man."


Mollien found that Ouvrard had obtained 141,000,000 francs,

and Napoleon immediately took the place of Ouvrard's company in relation


found, the House of
in in which, as he speculations Spain, in Amsterdam was Hope heavily involved. He thus became possessed of claims of 60,000,000 francs against the Spanish Court and of 10,000,000 francs against the
to the

Hopes.

The

financial

system meanwhile was

recast.

Napoleon had

70,000,000

20,000,000
in

francs in hand, the war Of this, indemnity. had been spent on the army, leaving about 50,000,000 in precious metals and good bills on Frankfort,

Hamburg,

and other
" 218

centres,

This money he turned into an

"Army

Fund for pensions of all sorts; the Army Fund became his own private bank. The fund was further enriched by the sale
of captured

war material

to the

Government and by other

244

NAPOLEON, BANKER
means,
It

was empowered

to discount

and to Treasury notes

Napoleon regulated the rate of interest, Emperor Napoleon became the customer of General Bonaparte and General Bonaparte of the Emperor Napoleon, and the markets were excluded, A further refinement

buy national domains. Thus the

money

was

fighting fund by which, in an emergency, speculators could be put to rout the counterpart of the modern Exchange
a

Equalization Accounts. The Emperor banished

Mme,

de Stael from Paris, excluded

Therese and her husband from any access to the Court, and refused to lift a to save Juliette Recamier's husband, finger

whose banking business had been involved in the crash. Recamier lost the whole of his fortune. Nor was Fouche,

whose dealings with financiers, especially Ouvrard, were always an object of Napoleon's suspicions, left in doubt about what his
master thought of him.

Meanwhile
in

Pitt

had

died.

He was

succeeded by a coalition

which Fox was Foreign Minister, Feelers began to be extended both from London and Pans. Napoleon instructed
to inform Fox Talleyrand " The Emperor is persuaded that the real cause of the rupture of the Peace of Amiens was no other than the refusal to conclude
:

a commercial treaty,

Be assured

that the
if

Emperor, without
they are possible,

refusing
will not

certain

commercial advantages,
to
all

admit of any treaty prejudicial to French industry,


protect by
duties or

which he means
favour
its

development.
that

He
all

insists

on having

prohibitions that can to do at


liberty
beneficial,

home
any

all

he

pleases,

that

is

deemed

without

rival nation

having a right to find fault with him."

Napoleon was once again interesting himself in Prussia. Why had Frederick William not avowed his alliance with
France?

Orders were sent to the French army

to

remain on

the Rhine, and the

King

Emperor conveyed the suggestion to the of Prussia that he ought to form a confederation of the
his,

north similar to

Napoleon's, confederation of the Rhine.


:

was plain-spoken Napoleon "


no more European
coalition

If Prussia is frankly, publicly

on

my

side,"

he

"
said,
I

have

coalitions to fear,

and without a European


matters with England,"
R

on

my hands I will

soon
245

settle

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


As he knew,

KING

Prussia had a large mercantile fleet of some 300 the value of which, in an attack on the Sound, could not ships, be the earlier treaty which gave exaggerated. Since, therefore,

Hanover unconditionally
ratified in Berlin, a

to

Frederick William had not been

new

treaty

what more onerous terms, seeing


the
price of

was granted, though on somethat Prussia was required, as


Elbe and the Weser against
treaty

Hanover,

to shut the

English merchandise,

The second

was signed in

Paris

on February
nine days

15,

later.

1806, by von Haugwitz, and ratified in Berlin was the ink dry before England and Scarcely

Sweden

declared

war on

Prussia.

The

merchantprecious 300

men were

instantly

seized.

Napoleon made no sign; but he knew that his gift of Hanover had been accepted in order that Frederick William might have an excuse in England's prearranged declaration of war for
removing
the
his

ships

way

to the

Sound was barred and

beyond the reach of the French. Once again bolted; worse still, it was
coalition

obvious that a

new

was in process

of secret formation.

Napoleon began to busy himself again with his financial system, which must now at once be put on a war footing. He had
determined to contract no loans, but he needed a large sum in ready money. With astonishing skill he obtained his object
while apparently busying himself with purely domestic
affairs.

While he watched
versity,

Prussia,

he founded and endowed the Uni-

and arranged endowments, in addition, for the Senate and the Legion of Honour. He had given national domains to the Senate and the Legion. He now replaced these gifts by
Treasury Paper yielding 5 per
the
cent.,

and put the domains

into

Army Fund, to be sold gradually as occasion offered. This, again, enabled him to borrow from the Army Fund against the
security

of the national domains

for the

Fund would be

re-

imbursed gradually as it sold off the domains and would meanwhile enjoy interest on the money advanced.
tions

was now, therefore, in a position to replenish the muniand equipment of the great force with which he had just conquered Austria and which, as has been said, remained on
the Rhine.

He

He lost not a moment in carrying out this work. In addition he reduced the burdens on reintroagriculture by indirect taxation and so secured the and coducing goodwill
246

NAPOLEON, BANKER
operation of the farmers. " "
colonial

Thanks

to his

encouragement,

too,

produce

was being made

in France,

Europe owes

her beetroot sugar to him. industry Nor was he content to leave the
state,

Bank of France in its unThe Bank institution a was satisfactory semi-private conducted by merchants; they had shown that their sympathies
could not be relied upon in an emergency, and he had conseas has been said, set quently, up his own bank in the form of
the

Army Fund,

could be conducted.
chants a free

through which his own immediate business But he did not propose to leave the merin the vital matter of
its

hand

private

trade.

The

Governor would always be nominated by himself, and a was of a most rigid kind policy laid down for it. Its advances were limited to "the known
reconstituted so that
credit of the mercantile

Bank was

men who

applied

for

them"

that

is

to

were related strictly to the volume of goods to be say, they of. This was a method of maintaining the disposed general
prices

level of

demand

in a condition of and so of equating stability to Thus, though the Government and the supply.
1

commercial community were served by two separate institutionsthe Army Fund and the Bank of Franceboth were wholly in the Emperor's power, and could, therefore, be usedi
,

by him separately or jointly as occasion might require. Incithe Bank was allowed to receive the promissory notes dentally

and discount them immediately at fixed rates of the taxpayers to the administration a safe and of interest, thus rapid securing

method

against the discounting

of realizing its revenue and protecting flic Emperor of the calamity which had been caused by repetition of the notes with outside brokers,

promissory

There was in

this

new system no
that

place

for

an Ouvrard and no
into the citadel.

loophole by which

man might

penetrate

From

Napoleon had become his own banker. Meanwhile the farce, of which the Anglo-Prussian "war"
first to last

had been the

first act,

was

still

being played.

Lord Yarmouth,
at the

who had

been a prisoner

at

Verdun, was released


to

request

conduct negotiations for peace with M. de Talleyrand, while a little later Alexander of Russia asked leave to send an envoy, d'Oubril, to Paris. Napoleon
of the British

Government

took

little

or no interest in these proceedings.


247

As has been

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


said, the seizure of the three

KING
have

hundred Prussian ships by which,


real
ally,

had Frederick William been a

so

much might

been accomplished in the Baltic, occupied the whole of his Not a doubt remained in his mind that a fourth
thought,

England, Prussia, Russia was already actually in and that, in consequence, the peace negotiators had no being, other object than to delay matters until the Russian Army had
coalition

recovered from the


the

wounds
It

of Austcrlitz
his
lively

Army

of Prussia.

was

and been joined to determination that such

a junction should not take place, Whereas it was the interest of his secret enemies to lull him into a false sense of security

and

so

get

him

to

bring his army


it

home
one

pleted

upon Tie

plans, war, to fight

their

was

his interest, since they

again while they comhad resolved

them

at once,

after the other.

object of his strategy

was

to force Prussia to declare

war

before Alexander
object

and

his

army

arrived

upon

the scene.

The

of his enemies,

claration until
series of

on the contrary, was to delay any dethat event had taken a place and, further, by
offers, to

peace

people
bition

that their

convey the suggestion to the French Emperor was a madman, inflamed with amof that

and pride and determined to trample the whole world


his feet

under

so propaganda proficient, and which was already a principal weapon of the British Government and of the merchant bankers associated with it.

in

Napoleon recognized all the danger which Mme. de Stael had shown herself

He met
the

propaganda with propaganda. The chief obstacle in a" quick encounter with Prussia was the influence of way William over his people. The King had Frederick King
of

managed

so far to hold the

war party

in check,

and believed
This

that he could maintain his hold until Alexander arrived.

eminently wise and politic attitude, however, was mistaken by the hot-heads of the Court and Army, who had the active
support
of the Queen, for a of weakness and even of sign
efforts

pusillanimity. Napoleon's the war fever so that the

were

directed, therefore, to

fanning and the Prussian

King's hand might be forced motion Army unsupported by any allies. The Napoleonic propaganda suggested from Paris that the
set in

army of Frederick the Great had fallen into decrepitude and could no longer act without Russian help, and the French Em248

NAPOLEON, BANKER
peror reinforced these-sneers by treating Prussia with open contempt and not even troubling to inform her about the arrangements he was making in Bavaria and elsewhere, as these
closely

arrangements concerned her. In Berlin, on the contrary, the French agents insinuated that the moment had come to show
that the

army

of Frederick the

Great was not imbued by the

cowardly spirit of Frederick William. Their efforts porters so violent that the King began to despair.

found supstir
still

Meanwhile strong

up

trouble in South

were being made by Prussia to Germany where the French army was
efforts

in billets.

throw

off the

Appeals were addressed to the people to rise and foreign yoke, and these were broadcast by a net-

work

booksellers. Napoleon ordered the arrest of these and ordered further that one of them, Palm of Nuremmen,

of

berg, should be charged with inciting the inhabitants tcTnse against the army in occupation, should be tried by court martial, was taken in no and, if convicted, should be shot. The
step

savagery, but deliberately as an act of war. It was the case of the due d'Enghien over again. In ordinary circumstances both these men would have had their sentences
spirit

of

quashed, because that, in was circumstances, ordinary Napoleon's habit. But the circumstances were not ordinary. France was fighting for her freedom the ^whole of Europe and was being against

menaced anew by a great coalition. Salvation depended on to this end separating Prussia from Russia, and no better means
existed than a

policy
hostile

of

severity against

those

Germans who
It

were exciting
be, his

feelings

among

their fellows.

was

obvious that, no matter

how

clear the case

against

Palm might

death would inflame the war party in Berlin, who would inevitably proclaim him martyr and hero and demand
satisfaction of his

executioners.

This was the object which

most of

all

the French

the arrest

and

trial,

Emperor wished to attain. He ordered therefore, as he would have ordered his


to exercise

cavalry to charge,
"

and refused
to
as

clemency

just

as

he

would have refused


the ranks.

spare

trooper
"
is

who had

deserted

from
of

War,"

he

said,

not

made with

rose water."

Palm died with an excellent courage, protesting his love Germany. The effect exceeded expectations. A shiver
249

of

and Frederick horror and rage ran through the body of Prussia,

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


his wife.

OF

KING

William found himself almost alone, despised and scorned even


by
It

was in

this

on in

Paris.

atmosphere that the peace negotiations dragged D'Oubril agreed to all Napoleon's terms, em-

bodied them in a treaty, and left for St, Petersburg. Lord Lauderdale, who had succeeded Lord Yarmouth, for his part
offered
Sicily

to

France on condition that the King of Naples,

who
the
that

retained that island,

leon, not to be

was suitably compensated. Napooutdone as a player in this farce, suggested that

compensation might take the form of the Hanse towns


is

to

say,

the

mouths of the great

rivers,

on which

all his

one day hopes land ostensibly under seal of profound secrecy. The news, as he had foreseen, reached Berlin as
ing Worses could carry
it.

were based.

Then

he offered Hanover

to

Eng-

fast as
its

gallop-

party triumph. Napoleon, they declared, had been playing a double game. And was it to placate this swindler that the King had sacrificed
the

The war

shouted

honour

of his

did not dare to

his house? Frederick William country and In he his a sent extremity reply. messenger to
:

Alexander with the cry "If he (Napoleon) is capable of perfidy so black, be convinced, Sire, that it is not merely a question of Hanover between

him and me, but


at all costs.
.

may hope beg you, your troops will be within reach to succour me, and if I count on them in case of aggression. ."
.
.

that he has decjded to Tell me, Sire, I

make war
if I

against

me
that

may

ended the
d'OubriFs

Alexander" hastened his preparations, and at the same time farce of the Paris negotiations by repudiating
treaty

and

disgracing

the

man

himself.

Lord

Meanwhile the war party in Berlin overwhelmed the forced him to yield to and King their demands. The streets were full of marching men, and Queen Louise herself put on a helmet of polished steel shaded
Lauderdale asked for his passports.

by a plume, a gleaming golden cuirass, a tunic of cloth of silver, red buskins with golden and rode out among the troops. spurs,
"
It

ander on September
initiative.

appears then/' wrote her despairing husband to Alex" that it is I who am to take the 6, 1806,

My

troops are marching on

all sides

to hasten that

moment."
250

JENA

CHAPTER XXV

ON
the

September
to

25, 1806,

Josephine

join

his

Napoleon drove out of Paris with army. He reached Mayence, where


the 28th,

Old Guard awaited him, on


Josephine good-bye;
the

Three days

later at

he
the

bade

parting because she believed that


enterprise

Empress wept bitterly if he was victor in this new

he would

certainly

divorce her.

fortnight

later

he sent her a
excellently.

letter in

which he

stated that his affairs

went

"

With

the aid of God, they will,


terrible course for the

believe, in a

few days

have taken a
I

poor King
is

of Prussia,

whom
The

am

sorry
is

for

personally,

because he

good man.

Queen

with the King.


pleasure."

If she

wants to

see a battle she shall

have that cruel

army had been completely attained and the major strategy of the campaign therefore accomplished. It remained to dispose of
object

The

of

separating

the Prussian from the Russian

the

war machine of Frederick the Great and

to secure that

Austria did not

move while

that

was in operation progress.

Napoleon's strategy consisted of making a prctencj of attemptthe Prussians and then, instead, of ing to surround attacking
their left flank.

He knew
to

that the cases of

Ulm

would be present
at the first
fall

every

mind

in the Prussian staff,

and Marengo and tjiat,

sign

of an

encircling

back so as to avoid being trapped.


very

movement, the enemy would It was his intention to


and retrograde movement,

strike at the

moment

of this

from the
His

side.

dispositions

were made in accordance with

this

plan.

The main road from Germany into France comes by Halle, Naumburg, Weimar, Erfurt, Frankfort, and Mayence. But there is another road to the eastward, running up the River
Saale and

the going through

lieved that Frederick

little town of Jena. Napoleon William would take the main road; he

be-

251

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT

OF

KING
He

to travel by the road through Jena. prepared, therefore, would not remain Prussians the that realized, however,

forget-

ful of the Jena road,

which

offered a

means

watched,

behind them, and that every movement His early operations, in consequence, were designed
to raise as

getting round on this road would be


of

many

doubts as possible.

By

using tracks and defiles


of

of various kinds,
of Thuringia,

which everywhere

traverse the forest lands


later,

he got bodies of cavalry and,

troops

down
was

into the

told

Saxon plain without arousing suspicion. Murat to ride towards Leipzig and then return up the Saalc
an army of some 50,000

to Jena, while

men under Davout and

Bernadotte was smuggled round to Naumburg, where the road which passes through Jena joins the main road from Weimar

and where that main road

crosses the Saale.

Frederick William was at Weimar, on the main road, with


his Queen, his Court,

and his staff. Napoleon, with the grand army, was at Saalfield, on the Saale above Jena, which had been taken by his advanced detachments. Thus news reached the

Prussians that the French were descending the Saale in force towards Jena, that they had already so far completed their encircling movement that their advanced guard was on the main

road behind the Prussian army

at

Naumburg, and

that conse-

quently the bridge by which th& main road crosses the River Saale to join the Jena road was already lost.

foreseen, the

Frederick William was no coward, but, as Napoleon had memory of Ulm was too fresh in his mind to

allow

him

to

weigh matters.

If

the French were at


cut.

Naumburg,
go back

then his line of communications was

He must

instantly, before larger bodies of his enemy made retreat across the Saale impossible. The Queen was sent away by a crossand the main to retreat from country route,

army began
the Saale.

Weimar towards Naumburg and

This retreat was covered by a force nearly 100,000 strong, under the Prince of Hohenlohe. Hohenlohe's army was sent

towards Jena and told to stand on the

hills

above that town,


place.

which form the


Especially

left

bank

of the River Saale at this

was the crossroad from Jena to Weimar to be watched, because, though no army was likely to climb the rocky slopes above the river up which that road mounts in a
252

JENA
scries of

might

cross the Saalc nearer

hairpin bends, there was a chance that the French its source, where the left bank of

the river was less steep, and so advance towards Weimar over the downs that stretch between that town and the Saale.

army was now divided into two parts namely, which was retreating towards Naumburg and that which was covering the retreat on the top of the downs part above Jena, and which, once it had been ascertained positively

The

Prussian

that part

French were not going to strike across country towards Weimar, would descend and join up again with the royal
that the

army.

Napoleon did not

cross the Saale

down
town

the River Saale to that town,


13,

above Jena, but held on which he reached on


staff,

October

1806.

He

rode on, with his


cliffs

beyond the
of the^iver
defile here

to a

place where the

on the

left

bank

reached their highest points.


in the side of a hill called the

There was

narrow

ascended the defile


the horses

Landgrafenberg, The Emperor and decided that it was just possible to get

and guns up during die night. He gave orders accordingly, and spent the night himself, lamp in hand, directing the sappers and gunners and superintending the ascent of of the his the road in the river to the top troops from valley
downs.
Hohenlohc's army was still posted on the Jena-Weimar road it crosses the downs. He was facing south, Napoleon's

where

army, on the contrary, lay already to the north of ^himthat is to say, between him and the King's army retreating from

Weimar to Naumburg. The day of October


mists, but
after

14,

1806, broke darkly through heavy

Napoleon had already set his troops on the move he had himself visited the front lines, accompanied by

torchbearers,
his

design.

He

and explained to officers and men the nature of attacked Hohenlohe before that brave soldier
of the confusion
to the

was awake and made use


get the
this

which followed

to

whole of

his

army on

downs.

By nine o'clock

operation

was complete.

The
to

Prussians meanwhile had

been compelled to turn from south shaken in this difficult enterprise.


perate courage

north and had been badly


des-

But they fought with

during

many

hours,

Towards evening the

253

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


Emperor administered
Prussian
the

OF

KING

and the whole coup dc gr&cc^

towards army was flung back down the rolling slopes field. the on and Weimar, leaving most of its guns equipment

Meanwhile the
towards
1806,

royal

Prussian

army had pursued


the previous day,
Saale,

its

retreat
13,

Naumburg throughout
it,

October

In front of

on the bridge over the


to

were Davout
as

and Bernadotte with orders

impede

its

passage

much

as

As has been said, they commanded between them possible. some 50,000 men; Bernadotte refused to co-operate with Davout and actually, just before the enemy appeared, marched his body
of 20,000 off the battlefield.
face to face with

from 70,000
little

Davout with 30,000 was therefore to 100,000 Prussians under the

King

himself.

This intrepid road from

acted as his master dariftng waltzes,

Marshal, whose chief joy in life was would have acted. The
resembles that from

Weimar
it

to

Naumburg

to Jena in that

comes, above the Saale, to a narrow defile


to the river.

Weimar down
is

which

it

winds

Above

this defile of

Kosen

wide area of rolling land intersected by a small brook and dominated, near the opening of the defile, by a little hill on

which stands the

village

of Hassenhausen.

Davout climbed up

the defile on the night of the i3th before the enemy had arrived and seized the hill and the village. To their dismay, on the

morning

of the I4th, the Prussians

found

their retreat cut off.

Napoleon himself whom they were meeting? The mist was as thick here as it was on the Landgrafenberg, and for

Was

this

a time the armies remained inactive.

But
to

as

day advanced the

Prussians resolved

to

attack

and

cut

their

way

out of

Napoleon's trap. urging him to furnish reinforcements.

Couriers were sent meanwhile to Hohenlohe

Frederick William's
village

was object

to

Davout from dislodge

the

on the

hill

and

so to gain access to the defile and the bridge* He proposed to achieve it by a turning movement on the French right, across

the
the

little

brook and
battle

its

meadows.
it

It

was

here, therefore, that

main

took place, and

was here

that

Davout and

his solid

squares withstood, during many hours, the charges of the Prussian cavalry under Blucher and other leaders. The old
of Brunswick,

Duke

who was

in nominal

command

of the

King's army, was mortally wounded and


254

carried off the field,

JENA
and the flower
his

of Prussia's

nobility laid

down

their lives

with

most heroic courage.


by
of

But they could not defeat Davout, who, choice of far to make good his lack position, had gone

men.

Frederick William had behaved himself with conspicuous but was reluctant to more blood in view of the courage, spill
fact that, as

was coming

he supposed, Hohenlohe's great army of 100,000 to reinforce him. He gave orders, therefore, as

and fall back evening began to draw m, to break off the battle across the towards Weimar. retreated The Prussians again
off the field

brook, choked with their dead; but scarcely had they marched when the host which Napoleon had shattered on
disaster

the

downs came roaring down upon them. This avalanche of and chaos broke the royal army in pieces and sent it
into the forests in wild

fleeing

to Erfurt

and

tried there to

rally

panic, his

Frederick William fode

men, but Napoleon was


to his

resolved to

deny

even a
to

moment's

respite

enemy.

He
and

rode across the

downs

Weimar on

the

day

after the battle

met
on
his

there the

sister,

whom

Grand Duchess of Weimar, Alexander of Russia's he treated with marked consideration, He hurried
to visit Davout's battlefield

to

Naumburg

and congratulate

men.

A bitter reproof was administered to Bernadotte, who

was

accused of trea^ficry without, however, being revirtually lieved of his command. This man, who, as has been said, had

married Desiree Clary after Napoleon had jilted her, had already been given a principality in Italy and a Marshal's baton.
the Elbe at Dessau.

The Emperor launched his army on the road tolHalle and to At the same time he called together the
officers
if

Saxon
their

who had

been taken prisoner and offered them

liberty they would go back to Dresden and invite tlieir to become France's a move to cover the ally right wing King Austrian attack of his advance towards Berlin from a possible

by way of Prague,

His treatment of the

Duke

of Hesse-Cassel
flesh,

was altogether
lived

different.

This merchant of human


as mercenaries to

who

by selling

his

subjects

foreign princes,
richest

and
in

especially

to the

Government
deep

of India,

was the

man

Europe.

He was

in the confidence of the

banking houses and

actuality

nourished in his

London bosom the

founder of the House of Rothschild, Meyer Amschel,


255

who was

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


one of his

OF

KING

men

and everything in

Duke

fled to

Napoleon seized his principality on which he could lay his hands, and the Amschel Schleswig not, however, before Meyer
of business.
it

had got most

of the gold away to London. Halle offered a slight resistance which was immediately overcome, but which served once more to show the disaffection

of Bernadotte; the French,

on October

20,

reached and crossed


handfuls of the van-

the Elbe at Dessau at the

moment when

quished Prussians were crossing the same river at Magdeburg. The Prussian army had ceased to exist; but the Russian army

was advancing through Poland. At Leipzig, the great European market for English goods, Napoleon issued orders that all such
be seized immediately for the army. On Octogoods were to of Sans ber 25 he reached Potsdam and went to the palace
SouJl,

the Great

where he possessed himself of the sword of Frederick and his Black Eagle, trophies to which he attached

high importance.
master's
special
city,

That same day Davout,


and posted a

in obedience to his

command,

received the submission of Berlin,


single regiment within
its

entered the

walls.
is

Thus was the

victor of Auerstadt, as the battle at

Naumburg

called, signally

honoured.

Napoleon had conquered Prussia in eleven days. But his thoughts were busy with Englan^and her System and with the
Russian
solved to declare
city

army which was hurrying to their support. He new war upon the English System from

re-

the

of Berlin on the

as all

of his

morrow of victory and in such language must understand. A triumphal entry, the first Europe It career, was ordered for the morning of October 28.
was
at

took place with the brave ceremonial of which the Emperor master. The streets were crowded and there were
every window. But Berlin held her dignity in her
foot
in
disaster.

spectators

The

full dress uniform with bearskins, came first; guard, then the horse guard, remounted upon splendid German horses; then a group of marshals including Davout, Berthier, Augereau,

and Duroc.
hat, with

Napoleon rode alone


tricolour,

in his

grey coat and slouched

its little

a soldier

who had no
chief

untriumphing, solemn, as befitted quarrel with those whom he had defeated


it

and whose
to

wish

was

to unite this

brave Prussian people


of

him

in

common

action against the

enemy

them

all

the

256

JENA
English people
itself-

not excluded.

219

The

keys of the

city

were presented.
protection
to
all

He

rode on to the
the nobles,

except

where he promised palace, he declared sternly, who,

must now go and beg their bread in that London for which had sacrificed their people. Afterwards he visited Prince they
Ferdinand, the aged brother of the great Frederick,
still

who was
all

alive,

and other members

of the

royal

house.

To

these

he showed profound respect. Nor was there anything haphazard in this conduct, for he knew that it was the part of

System of London to give subsidies to noblemen so that they might resist their sovereigns and thus bring the government of
States into the

On

that

power of moneylenders. same day some of the last stragglers

of the Prussian

army surrendered on the road to Stettin, and a few days later Bluchcr, who had shut himself up with a small force in LiAeck
on the Danish
opened
its

frontier,

was forced

to surrender.

Magdeburg

doors next

morning.
set for the

The
issued

stage

was now

on November

21,

after

challenge to England. It was the British Government had

English

declared a blockade of the whole Continent against any except and merchandise, Napoleon decreed colonial

produce

That France, Holland, Spain,


merce with

Italy,

and

all

Germany

de-

clared the British Islands to be in a state of blockade.

All com-

England wherever found, were


to

was
to

prohibited;

all

English

goods,
or

be seized;

all letters

coming from

England were to be seized and destroyed; all Englishgoing men on the Continent were prisoners of war; finally, all vessels
at any English port were lawful prize. This was the Continental System, designed to prevent London from paying with goods for her purchases from Europe, and

which had touched

was pay with gold. The Continental System the reply to the Credit or Debt System, which must inevitably, as has been come to an end had Europe learned explained, have to conduct her internal trade without loans and so been able
so to force her to
to
satisfy

her needs without recourse to the


difficulties

London

bankers.

Napoleon saw the


the

which lay in

supreme

difficulty

of exclusion,

way, apart from Europe needed colonial


his

produce; she needed buyers for her surplus products for exwine, London, owing to her ample, wheat, timber, linen,
257

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT

OF

KING

command of the sea, possessed the former; she was, in addition, He began, the world's greatest market for foreign products. France between trade to therefore, at once to
attempt
develop

and the countries he had conquered and


the colonial goods,

to find substitutes for

has been said, beetroot sugar was one of these substitutes; another. The Leblanc process chicory was offered whereby carbonate of soda can be made from sea water

As

still

another.

220 " is Continental System," he stated at a later period, a to become a voluntary system, which ought great conception the system of all since it exists in the interest of each peoples, Continent. individual as well as that of the whole

"

The

To

prohibit hopes to build

the

up

justice. prohibitor on the Continent an

is

European For die rest, whoever


freed

industry
its rival,

from the

industry of England,

and consequently

has no choice

of methods. ... My system is a source of wealth, both to France and Germany, which already has replaced the foreign trade we have lost. The Rhineland and Germany, even
. .

those countries
prohibitions,

which were the most exasperated against the


justice
to foresight, that they can, by trading

will do

my

To have

taught

Frenchmen and Germans


another, keep the

with one

from them
St.

is

to

money which English industry used to take have scored a big victory over the Court of
victory

James.

That

alone

is

immortal on account of the

effect

enough to make my reign which it will produce on our


Germany.
.

own
thing
find

internal

colossal

power

prosperity of France

and on
is,

that of

The
good

therefore, at this

moment
means

for

Europe because

it

constitutes the sole


. .

of curb-

ing the
it

pretensions

of England,

convenient to ask for subsidies in

The Cabinets of Europe London whenever they

need them; little they care that the sixpence which they receive was taken from the pockets of their own subjects, or rather that to their subjects' detriment, seeing industry cannot gained
develop

while the English monopoly (of money)

lasts."

ALEXANDER

CHAPTER xxvi

THE
other

Emperor Alexander

of Russia

was the champion, on

the Continent of

from which he had been


kings,

Credit System, Europe, of the English Like all the a substantial


beneficiary,
interests of his

he had abandoned the

people

in

order to secure himself as the head of an of oligarchy predatory


nobles and

moneylenders, King and people, therefore, no longer joined in the sacramental relation which is leadership. The supports of the throne, from the nobles and bankers, apart

were

were

blood-magic and a priesthood which no longer taught, indeed it understood, that that of Christianity great principle
is

if
it

by

the

passion

of love alone that

and anything can be born,


owes nothing
and
but popular choice,
experience

that therefore
to blood or the
is

leadership,

which
parties

creates nations,

support

of

or even to

self-conditioned

and self-supporting

a fact of

history

made

manifest in the

and strength and conhappiness

fidence of the created nation,

In this sense Alexander was


seeing
that his throne

^surper, Napoleon King by grace, no supports in faction or wealth posse_ssed


its

or

but existed virtue of hereditary claim, solely by


that
is

ability

to

exist

to

say,

by

virtue of

its

effective

leadership,

Not

th# Alexander

This upon could not forget that he had the blood of his who man, young father on his hands, called himself a man sent of God to endid not look

himself as a leader.

lighten

and

deliver his

people.

A liberal in
to
say,

the sense in wffich


city

Mme.

de Stael and Ouvrard and their friends in the


liberals

of

London were
chose,

that

is

determined to do what he

no matter who might be the loser. this time was full of understanding Napoleon by
that, if

of the

Russian and well persuaded


exert
to

occasion offered, he could

some influence upon him. But first of all it was necessary defeat him in battle, and that before the when the spring,

Baltic

would be open
was
set in

to

shipping.

For

this reason the

French

army

motion again in November, 1806,


259

The Russian

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF

KING

army under Benningsen had crossed the Vistula at Warsaw; Napoleon meant to drive it out of Poland and destroy it as he
had destroyed the army of Frederick William. He proposed, in addition, to turn Prussian Poland into an independent State
under the King of Saxony, for that move was bound to occasion a both in Austrian and Russian hearts, As his lively anxiety
troops approached

Warsaw he informed
their frontiers, that

the Austnans,

who had

60,000 soldiers

on

if

any

hostile

move was
this

made Austrian Poland would cease to exist. The Poles themselves were far from understanding
and
in

policy,

of sole object Napoleon's persisted supposing that the march was their deliverance. The Emperor was importuned to

work avenge this brave people of its adversaries by undoing the of Frederick the Great, the Empress Catherine, and Empress Maria Theresa. He refused to commit himself, for, had he comthe
plied,

Austria

and

all

possibility

would have hurled her 60,000 men against him of an alliance with Russia would have disapat

peared.
vital to

He was
London.

His

war with England, and the Baltic trade was was to attack that trade and sole object

so secure the

emancipation of France and, with France, of the

There was no other way. The Poles, consequently, by agitating, were playing the English game, no doubt at the
Continent.
secret

instigation

of his enemies.
politics,

He

tried to

them, only to learn that


stood,

which can

explain this to be undereasily

weigh heavily in the scales of men's minds against economics and finance, the workings of which are always
obscure antf difficult.

the urgent need of a quick decision.

These conversations with the Poles, indeed, convinced him of If men understand politics

better than finance, they understand either

war much

better than
secret

and resent

it

much more
its

bitterly.

There was the

of the

London System with

subsidies to
its

any Power ready

to
in

sovereigns, The nobles were always ready to proclaim wars of freedom against of debt was threatened, and tyranny when the secret tyranny
their

take the field against the name of liberty, of

him and with

perpetual support,

noblemen against

who, in
fraud?

face of invading armies,


if

was

likely to penetrate that to

Very soon, London was not forced Europe would call him tyrant and monster,
260

make

peace,

all

ALEXANDER
He
had ridden into Warsaw.
reached Posen an November 25, three days after Murat He remained there nineteen days,

during which he organized his long line of communications, dealt with the Austrian the again danger, and encouraged
Sultan of Turkey, Sehm, to keep the Dardanelles closed against Russian and and to attack Russia on the shores of English ships the Black Sea, On the of December 1 he went to night 15-16, 806,

Warsaw, being anxious to avoid any kind of public welcome or demonstration by which his freedom of action might be compromised. He did not remain long in the city, but rode on to launch his forces against Benningsen and his Russians. On December 23, 1806, he was at Okunm on the River Narew,

planning have the

how

to execute

effect of

driving

an encircling movement which should his enemies away from the Baltic
to his

coasts into the


left.

woods and marshes lying

right

and

their

This movement succeeded in the sense that the Russians


a
of material and great deal

yielded
it

some 20,000

failed because the state of the

ground,

prisoners, a sodden

but

quagmire,

brought both armies


slowly

to a standstill.

The

Russians

moved back

and Konigsberg, where, in his last Frederick William and his Queen were remaining possession, holding their Court; Napoleon, on January i, 1807, returned
to the Pregel River

for the

outskirts of the he met that day on capital jfie 221 time the young countess, Marie Walewska, whose fervent patriotism had suggested to her the possibility, to

Warsaw.

On

first

of inducing the French Emperor by means of a personal appeal, to restore Poland. Marie little knew her Napoleon*

effect

Nevertheless, her golden head and blue eyes exerted a strong him, the more so as his sister Caroline had just

upon
a

informed him of the birth of a son

to a

young married woman,


222

who was

member

the lover of this


years before,

Napoleon had been had whose deserted her some husband woman, and Caroline, because of her hatred of Josephine,
of

her household.

had played a large part in the affair. Unfortunately, as told Napoleon, Murat, Caroline's own Josephine had already
husband, was numbered among Eleanore's lovers. Was this The question infant son his, Napoleon's, or Murat's child?
interested
if

him

for

political

as well as

personal reasons because,


yet, possess
s

he was capable of fatherhood, he might, even


261

an

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


heir

OF

KING
He who

and

so

add a great
to

stability

to his throne

and system.

told Duroc, therefore, to find the girl

with the the d'ange,

had come

him

at the

Bronie. post-house at

The

search

proved long and difficult because Marie Walewska, although her husband was more than seventy years of age, was fond of

him
of

as the father of

her infant son.

She had had no thought

becoming the Emperor's mistress and refused, when at last Prince Ponmtowski, the head of the Provisional Government, found her, to have anything to do with him. The Prince was
a great lover of of the

women;

like

Napoleon, he could not conceive


escapade
as that of the

possibility

of such an

post-house

from a desire to conquer the conqueror. He told Mane apart that she must sacrifice herself for Poland and sent his whole
Cabinet to reason with her.

Weeping and

terrified, she

was

induced to

visit

the French
that, for

convinced himself
sent her

Emperor, who, however, having once, he had met a virtuous woman,

away

she

fell in

again. This act so touched the girl's heart that love and, after a while, returned of her own will,

From that breaking, at the same time, with her husband. moment she became the Emperor's wife in the sense in which

Emma Hamilton had No sooner had the

been the wife of Nelson.


winter frosts hardened the ground than

Napoleon resumed the campaign.

He

had formed

new

plan

namely, to drive the Russians towards the sea at

Komgsberg

and surround them upon the shore itself. He left Warsaw on January 30, 1807, and reached Willenberg next day. On
February 2
Russian army had taken up the which his calculations were based. A position upon great under Soult, was immediately set in encircling movement, mofion. But during the night Benningsen, with the terrible
Tie learned that the

example of Jena before


to

his

eyes,

ordered a retreat and managed

before the jaws of the closed on him. escape just trap to decide whether to follow, and so extend now Napoleon had
his lines, or await a

more favourable opportunity. His army was much smaller than the Russian and he had the wind, with its snow showers, in his face; nevertheless he pushed on until,
on February
village
7,

1807,

he came

up with

his

enemy

at the little

Benningsen turned here to give battle in a the element of was almost position in which possible surprise
of

Eylau.

262

ALEXANDER
wholly eliminated, for the
cover.

ground was open and without


with
local

Napoleon held the

village,

his left

extending to a big

windmill and his right in the


fied his usual tactics as to

cemetery.

He

so far

modiin one

gather

huge mass of

artillery

place,

and with

this,

began the battle. and then, having weakened him, to roll up his left flank. Davout was entrusted with this latter operation. The fighting
proved to be exceedingly bitter and bloody, and it was not until well on in the day that the flanking movement became possible,
It was reinforced by a frontal attack in mass, which, however, encountered a snowstorm and was hurled back with great loss,

on the morning of February 8, 1807, he His plan was to hold the enemy in front

Angereau, who led it, being wounded. reached the cemetery where
approached very back again.
close to

The

Russian infantry

Napoleon had taken post*and him; but the Old Guard swept them

That was the

crisis

of the battle, for immediately afterwards

Davout's flank attack began to take effect. Napoleon launched his cavalry under Murat and broke the Russian centre so
the effectually that ranks.

French horsemen rode through the enemy

the same time Ney, who had been separated from the army, arrived on the F?ench left with a body of fresh and immediately began to attack the Russian right. troops of surrounded because Benmngsen was now in

At

danger

being

Davout's attack on his


therefore broke off

was making good the battle as night fell and


left

progress. retreated

He
from

the field.

But the

retreat

was by no means a

rout,

and though^the

Russians had lost nearly half of their effectives, the French


losses

were also very heavy. Napoleon was face to face with the fact that his second attempt to bring the campaign to a
quick

end had

failed.

He
to
as

retired to the Castle of Finckenstein

and began

at

once

reorganize the bad effect which an indecisive battle was bound possible

his

army. Nor

did he neglect to counteract as far


the
of his enemies.

to

produce

in Paris and in

all

capitals

Josephine,

who had
give

been living

at

home and

a series of balls

Mayence, was told to return and other entertainments, and

263

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


Fouche was ordered
notably

KING

Mme.

to keep a sharp look-out for English agents, de Stael and her coterie which was not to be
22
'

suffered to return to the capital

Events meanwhile were proceeding in Constantinople in

which the French Emperor felt the that the Bosphofus and Dardanelles
Black Sea what the Sound
is

liveliest

interest,

are to the

ports

seeing of the

to those of the Baltic.

A Russian

army

of 50,000

men had

crossed the Dniester

and was advancing

into the

Danubian provinces; at the same time an English Dardanelles and lay at anchor squadron had passed through the
Constantinople.

off

Napoleon

sent a courier to Sultan Selim,

he had already dispatched his friend and fellowGeneral Sebastiani, urging him to fight. Corsican, ct l am near you," he wrote, ''engaged in reconstituting
to

whom

One of my armies (that in Dalmatia) is ready to descend the Danube and take the Russians m flank while you One of my squadrons is about to sail attack them in front.
Polahd.

from Toulon

to

guard your

capital

and the Black Sea."

sending gunners and guns from his forces in Dalmatia. These arrived within a few days and helped to not Constantinople only, but also the shores of the fortify
was, in
fact,

He

Dardanelles.
tions,

The English squadron, learning of these preparareturned to the Mediterranean and the Turks were left

free to

cope with the Russians. This important success gave Napoleon

much

satisfaction.

He

followed it up by telling Austria plainly that, if she continued to mass men on the Polish frontiers, he would march

again to Vienna and order his army in Northern Italy to do the same. Austria replied by offering to act as mediator between

France and Russia, and though a polite and provisional acceptance was sent from Fmckenstein, Napoleon promptly gathered a large army on the Elbe in case Francis decided to attack his
lines of

Dresden and the Saxon

communication by an advance from Prague towards 221 Another hint of trouble on plain.

the lines of communication had

come from

whose small Pomeranian


This
little

force

army, early in April, but was promptly attacked and driven back again. In the following month Dantzig surrendered to
tried to strike inland,

the King of Sweden, was bottled up in Stralsund. sallied from the and 1807, city

264

ALEXANDER
Marshal Lefebvre
it,

after

considerable

made to hold desperate efforts had been thus and was removed, danger Napoleon
city

went

in

person to the captured

in order to

mark

his

appre-

ciation

and

to direct the construction of

He
to

returned to Finckenstein

new fortifications. and made ready to crush

the

Russian

army which was once more on the move against him the northward of the battlefield of Eylau, near Kbnigsberg.
this time,

His plan,
his

was

to

do the retreating himself and

so

tempt shy enemy have arrived for a counter-stroke,


structed

to follow

him
the

until the

moment

should

He had had

earthworks con-

and contrived

to

give

an uneasy impression of

defence, crumbling gradually under Benningsen's blows. The Russians to but suddenly became fearful actually began pursue,

once again and slipped away, down the right bank of the River towards the sea and Alle, Konigsberg, where Frederick WiMi am and his Queen were entertaining the Emperor Alexander. This
possibility

had not been

left

out of Napoleon's reckoning.

He

brought
Soult to

his

army towards Kbnigsberg and, leaving Davout and contain that northward towards the town city, swung
on the Alle, thus placing himself between the His first idea was to cross the Alle at

of Friedland,

Russians and their base.

Friedland, gain the right bank, and fight his battle there, But Lannes, who had been sent forward to the town, arrived too
late to obtain

possession

of the

bridges.

Couriers were sent

back

Napoleon, whose concern it was to know whether Benningsen would cross the river at Friedland and so take the
to

route to Konigsberg or follow the rigfit bank the a much to the city longer journey owing to the of the river. Lanne's windings messages left no doubt that the
direct

whole way

crossing the front

had been determined upon. The Emperor hurried to and took post in the village of Posthenen, which stands
left

on the high ground above the


the

bank

of the Alle and facing

town

of Friedland,
battle
to

Below him the


left

was already

joined, especially

on the
village

where the road

Konigsberg passes through

the

of Heinrichsdorf.

The enemy had been held

here,

and con-

sequently the streets

could not deploy from the town, with the result that and the bridges beyond them were choked.
at a

Napoleon saw

glance what was likely to happen.


265

Despair-

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


his ing of forcing

KING

way through

the French ranks to Konigsberg,

the town of Benningsen would retreat once more back through Friedland and across the bridges to the right bank of the Alle.

He

would,

secure the

blow up the bridges behind him, in order to The Emperor of the broad and deep river. protection
too,
left

ordered his

wing

to fall

back

slightly

through the village

of Heinnchsdorf

on the Konigsberg road, thus affording the At the Russians an opportunity to debouch from the town.

same time he instructed Ney

to force a
is

from
Eylau

the

opposite
to

side

that

to

say,

into the town passage along the road from

and then

Ney commanded

body

blow up the bridges behind the Russians. moved off to the of picked men, He

and took position in a wood behind the village of Sordack right on the Eylau-Friedland road, some distance inland from the of the He remained here until the main rivefr-bank.

body and passed through the town of Friedland towards Heinrichsdorf and the French left, now

enemy had

crossed the river

signal

the road to Konigsberg; then, on a apparently retreating along he from his towards the to

town,

Napoleon, This combat was

sion at least,

began fight way and bloody, and, on one occathe French line recoiled. But its comintrepid
bitter

mander,

whom

the

Emperor had
to

called

"the bravest of the


rallying

brave," rode from


his

company

company cheering and


the

bridges destroyed. Napoleon, field-glass in hand, saw the success of his plan and ordered a general advance. Thunders of cannon rolled across

men.

Friedland was

won and

the

moment

meadows; horse and foot sprang at the Russians, who, a before, had seemed to be triumphing. Benningsen's
to the

whole army reeled and broke and rushed back in panic town and the bridges which no longer stood,
It

exist as
all

was Jena over again. The Russian army had ceased to an effective force. Konigsberg, its base, wherein were its stores and equipment, belonged to the victor. Hearing

the terrible news, Alexander and Frederick William and their


courts fled

up

the coast to

Memel,

the last

remaining

village

on

Prussian territory; from there Alexander continued his way alone to the Niemen at Tilsit, where the remnants of his stricken host were being pieced together behind the barrier of the great Napoleon entered Konigsberg and superintended the 266

river.

ALEXANDER
unloading of
supplies'

from the English

ships

which had been


anniversary of was the final

trapped in the harbour.

Friedland was fought on June

14, 1807, the

Marengo. stroke had

The summer campaign

of

which

it

lasted only ten days. On June 19 Murat, who had followed the Russians to Tilsit, received from Prince Bagration a met proposal for peace. Six days later, on the 25th,

Napoleon

Alexander on a barge moored in the middle of the River Niemen. Victor and vanquished embraced one another in the
sight into a
of both armies

drawn up on

the banks

and then

retired

pavilion erected on the boat. There were no witnesses, but the burden of the discussion which followed is not in doubt.

Napoleon had only one concernnamely,


the

to close the Baltic,

Black Sea,

and,

if

possible,

the Mediterranean also to


therefore,
a

English merchandise. He Alexander to the policy of

desired,
his,

returrt

by

Alexander's, murdered father,

Paul

namely, the "League of armed neutrality," by which Sweden, Denmark, and Russia had closed the Sound against
I

Navy. Napoleon, as has been said, had studied the character of the Russian Emperor, and had plumbed the deeps of his vanity,
English ships,
his

making

use to this end of the Danish

greed,

and

his

superstition.
his

Alexander was a missioner


apostle
of

with a murder on

hand^ an
power.

freedom with an

hungry

for freebooting; a Puritan, too, disordered emotionally, appetite Above all, a snob, convinced for wealth and

a divine right of blue blood, obscure, magical, and a divine displeasure against blood that fs red, unless, potent, indeed, circumstances have witnessed to the contrary. It was
that there
is

necessary
appetite;

to
to

heal

this

young man's wounds;


anxiety.

to

whet, his

awaken

his

Napoleon achieved all barge Alexander passed

at a

these objects simultaneously. On the bound fro'm the humiliation of

defeat to the glory of victory; rich prizes in the shape of Finland

and the lands about the mouths of the Danube were dangled before his eyes; but only half-concealed in Eden was the snake
of the Restoration of Poland,
that

The Russian knew


"

Napoleon had

"

very well

a Polish

wife

who had
all

with him

at Finckenstein

and had,

spent the winter that time, worn black


All Poland,

frocks in token of

mourning

for her fatherland.

267

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


except

KING

the area belonging to Austria, lay in the conqueror's

power.

And

so a

bargain was struck.

The Sound was

to be closed;

the Russian and Polish harbours were to be shut against England; Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, and Austria were to be invited to declare war on that country if peace without a trade
treaty

was any longer refused by London.

In the Levant the

of Sultan Selim by his janissaries deposition a month before. French influence in

had abolished
Napoleon was

Turkey

ready to help Russia in the Balkans, but would not consent to


of Constantinople proof that trust was lackoccupation ing when so great matters as the trade of the Black Sea and the overland way to the Levant, Egypt, and India were in question.

the

The Treaty
ledged
tion of
all

of Tilsit, with

pressed these arrangements.

open and secret clauses, exAlexander acknowIncidentally


its

Napoleon's conquests, agreed to the French acquisiMagdeburg and the line of the Elbe, to the creation of

kingdom of Westphalia for Jerome Bonaparte, and to the nomination of the King of Saxony as Grand Duke of Warsaw and head of the new Polish Statethis last with a wry face,
a

Frederick William was thrown overboard with his unhappy Queen, for he obtained only a modest slice of his estate,
great

and though Queen Louise humtjed herself to plead with the conqueror for better terms Napoleon was adamant. This
brave, beautiful,

and noble

woman had

committed, in his eyes,

the unpardonable sin; she had conspired with the nobles against her husband's authority and better judgment. To the woman,

The courtesy and honour; to the Queen an icy resistance. lesson was not lost who had in far upon Alexander, conspired
more deadly fashion with
his father's nobles.
Tilsit,

Alexander crossed the Niemen and lived in

where

Frederick William was also quartered, The Russian spent his time with Napoleon, complaining about England, her
treacheries

and her greed, and so by implication expunging the

memory
was he

own actions, holy light shone in his eyes; not, in restoring his father's policy, separating himself at last from the cause of his father's murderers and so
of his

joining

himself to the side of the angels?

The brand

of

Cain had been

smoothed from

his

brow by

the 268

gentle fingers of the French

\LEX\NDER
wizard; the brand appeared now glooming bloodily upon the brows of the merchant bankers of the city of London and their

Government.

The Treaty
don
of St. of

of Tilsit

the Legion of accepted

was signed on July 7, 1807. Alexander Honour and Napoleon the Grand Corthe

Andrew. Next day


escorted the

Emperor
of
all

of the

French and

King

Italy

Emperor

the Russias to the

riverside,

embraced him

for the last time,

and watched him

towards the frontiers of his vast dominion. The being rowed same day Napoleon left his army, which he had led from the
cliffs

Russia,
to

Boulogne to Vienna and Berlin and the borders of and turned back, by way of Konigsberg and Dresden, He reached Paris on July 27, 1807, at s* x c l c k in Paris.
of
'

the

morning.

269

BOOK

777

THE QUENCHING

"

Man

bonheur

n'est

pas dans

les

grandeurs,"

NAPOLEON

(to Caulaincourt).

RIGHT OF SEARCH

CHAPTER xxvn

NAPOLEON'S of a clear
Since the

field for

achievement at Tilsit was the acquisition dealing with the System of London.
I

murder

of Paul

of Russia

no such

clear field

had

existed; the price of restoration had been Marengo,

Hohenthe
say

linden,

Ulm, Austcrhtz,
States.

Jena,

Eylau,
Prussia,

and Fnedland,
and Russia,
to

humiliation in turn of Austria,

These campaigns had furnished the means of inter-Continental trade, raw materials, and money.
nothing of smaller

They had not


the
price paid

yet

secured

the Sound, the Straits,

any one of the three vital watertvays and the Dardanelles, For, included in

day in the history of the British

by humanity, was Trafalgar, the most glorious Navy. Though empires had

been shaken, sea-power remained the secure possession of England. By means of that splendid heritage, bought with the
blood of the bravest, the merchants of Lombard Street and
Street

Throgmorton
gigantic

had already acquired new fortunes


for

in a

Brazilian

speculation*

But the

moment had come


Old

London

to turn

from the

New

World

to the

in order to succour those small nations

whose

so Tilsit. gravely compromised at was with the at Fontainebleau While, therefore, Napoleon busy to execute as he meant soon as he had plans of reform which

freedom of action had been

concluded his debtless peace with England, Canning, ihe jiew


Foreign Secretary, was writing a "most secret" despatch to It ran his agent in Denmark. " reached me yesterday, directly from Sir, Intelligence
:

Tilsit,

that at

an interview which took place between the

Emperor

of Russia

and Bonaparte on the 24th or 25th of

last

month, the latter brought forward a proposal for a maritime Great Britain to which the accession of Denmark league against

was represented by Bonaparte

to be as certain as

it

was

essential.

The Emperor

of Russia

is
,

described as
.
.

having

neither

accepted

nor refused this proposal.

273

NAPOLEON: THE PORIRAII OF


"But
the confidence with
accession of

RING

Denmark
makes

to

cumstances and particulars


this

which Bonaparte spoke of the such a league, coupled with other cirof which have reached intelligence
that

country,

it

absolutely necessary

should receive from the Court of


either that satisfactory assurances,

Denmark some

His Majesty distinct and

no such proposition has been

made

Court by France or that, having been made, it has been rejected, and some sufficient security that, if made or
to that

repeated,

it

will

The
twenty

"

sufficient
sail

meet with the same reception." " was the Danish Navy, consisting of security of the line, nine brigs, and a eighteen frigates,

number

of

mark, was immediately surrendered

to

gunboats, The British agents offered to defend Dento guarantee her colonies, and pay the bill if this fleet
to

England, but the Prince Royal,

who*was already pledged to Napoleon, refused. He was now warned that the English squadron which had appeared in the
Sound would take by
but
this

force what it could not obtain by consent, warning did not prove effective. Accordingly, on September 2, 1807, an^ without any declaration of war, the bombardment of Copenhagen began after a landing-party had

been sent against the

city,

"For

the last

two days," runs

the English official report,


at

"the conflagration has been vfry considerable and moment rages with great violence."

this

The Danes
their fleet

surrendered after three days.


sea

They had

said that

proved Their ships were sailed away to English waters.


rent torn

was not ready for


in the

and

this

to be the truth,

Thus was
would
in

already

Treaty of Tilsit,

and the whole Con-

tineat unformed that peace without trade treaties

no

circumstances be granted by London.

Napoleon made no# sign except to use the event as propaganda. But he turned towards Portugal and Spain and at the
same time
cast

Could he

trust the

an anxious backward glance at Alexander. Russian now that it was certain that peace

would not immediately be concluded? Paul I had been murdered because he was interfering with Anglo-Russian trade;
fear of the

same

fate,

position of his son.

the disperhaps, might change very soon to think about a Russian Napoleon began

marriage, and would, perhaps, have taken some steps in the


274

RIGHT OF SEARCH
matter had he possessed any assurance that he was capable of fatherhood; but Marie Walewska, who, as has been said, had

borne a son to her husband, seemed unlikely to bear him any children. Nevertheless he ordered Fouche to mention the subject

knowledge, Josephine, who, the Mettermchs and the Austrian in an intrigue that exparty tended from Paris to Vienna, and included Mme. de Stael and

to

to his

was involved with

Fouche himself.
Eylau,

when

This intrigue had come to full flower after there was question of an Austrian attack on the

long lines of communication, and had caused him lively uneasiness, But it was no motive of revenge which now actuated

him; Josephine would tell the Austrians and her news would counteract at Vienna the bad effect of Copenhagen by suggesting that he and Alexander were even more closely united than

had been supposed. He was anxious above all things to attoid fresh trouble on the Danube at the moment when he was taking
of the mouths of the Cattaro possession Adriatic a French lake.

and

so

making

of the

similar

anxiety

informed

his

dealings with the Pope,

through whose harbours large quantities of goods were entering Europe, and with his brothers, who already were finding the
positions assigned
to them as Royal Customs House Officers irksome and undignified. Joseph at Naples received sharp 225 while Louis in Amsterdam was told that if he reprimands,

continued to yield to the importunities of the Dutch merchants, who wished to trade with England, he would be removed from
his throne,

Nor was Lucien

of his mother, the

Emperor agreed
visit to

forgotten. At the earnest request to meet that stubborn man


Italy,

during his forthcoming

agreed to join the Continental System, but of the with Portugal, spectacle Copenhagen before her eyes, War more was therefore declared upon her, refractory. proved

Denmark had

and General Junot, Mme. Permon, was

who had
so

married the daughter of

M, and

sent off to

which he succeeded

conquer that country, a task in well that the House of

Braganza

sailed, with every available ship, from Lisbon for its possesan event which caused Napoleon to sions in South America

remark that the day was not far distant when the countries of the New World would refuse to obey the order which
275

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT


Europe.

OF

KING

forbade them to trade except with their mother countries in

"Everything points/' he declared,

new

to the entry of these lands into die System of the United States." And he
to
all

235

"

added:

"The English will end by agreeing United States demands."


Meanwhile he was concerned with the

that the

closing

of the Portu-

harbours. Portugal belonged to him, but guese and Spanish the Queen's favourite, Emmanuel Godoy, by Spain, governed the Prince of the Peace, was an ally only in name as the affair
of Ouvrard had shown, and as had been shown again, just issued before the battle of Jena, by a by Godoy to proclamation the nations of Europe to unite against tyranny. Napoleon pos-

London, accepting but the ascendancy of this man over both King and Queen was deal so great that it was necessary to through him. His was summoned to Fontainebleau and negotiator, Isquierdo, offered a the rest of that in Portugal for principality
proofs

sessed

that

Godoy was

bribes

from

227

Godoy
was

country to remain in French hands until peace was secured

with England.

The King would be known in future

of
as

Spain, "

it

further

promised,

King of the two Spains." promised to place the Spanish

Emperor Godoy accepted and, on

of the Americas
his

and
part,

asmy

at

Napoleon's disposal for

coastguard work. " herself," Napoleon reEngland could no longer delude " 228 counted of this arrangement. She was about to see her merchandise* everywhere rejected and the whole of Europe her as an Everything on this occasion contritreating enemy. butgl to the success of plans

my

and

my

seemed to great object

be within

my

grasp.

The

secret of these negotiations

was

so

well kept, and the military so ably conducted, preparations were even at Madrid, that*I entertained no doubt of success. The

ambitious Prince of the Peace, solely concerned to take possession of his principality in Portugal, got King Charles IV to

In fact, Spain was the gainer, " EmKing, enchanted to conquer Portugal and to be called peror," was convinced that this title would make a great man
agree to everything.

The

old

of

him

as

if

the

new

title

was
if

likely

to

appeal
of

more

to his

than the old one, as subjects

the

name

Emperor

confers

RIGHT OF SEARCH
upon
its

bearer the
fine

to regenerate genius and energy necessary

and defend his

empire."

But these arrangements, so satisfactory to all concerned, were viewed in London with a baleful constituted a since they eye,
threat to the financial

and commercial system

French descent on the Sound.

Canning

as great acted with his usual

as

promptitude, and the stream of money which formerly had flowed into the pockets of Godoy was now diverted to those
of the intimate associates
Asturias,
of

Ferdinand, the Prince of the

Since Ferdinand, very son. detested his mother's lover and father's best naturally, Godoy, friend, intrigue was easy, Nor did the vicious and treacherous

Charles

IV's

eldest

character of the

young Prince himself make

it less

difficult.

Ferdinand began by posing as the friend of France, and to this end showed M. de Beauharnais, the French great favour to

Ambassador, who was Josephine's brother-in-law, Beauharnais was in close touch with the Austrian intrigue in Pans, and set
about arranging a marriage between Ferdinand who was a widower and Stephanie Tascher la Pagerie, Josephine's niece.

Napoleon was not


their

told about this


all

rand and Metternich knew

about

match-making, but Talleyit and did everything in


the contrary,

power

to

further

it.

The Emperor, on

looked on the Spanish business as settled and had already turned his attention to affairs in as he had informed himItaly where,
self, a

busy smuggling of English merchandise was in progress,

chiefly

cross the

through the Papal Alps once more.

States.

He

to prepared, ^erefore,

Italian

to accompany her husband on this the objects was to visit her^son one of journey, though the a which was duly interpreted in fact Eugene, Viceroy

Josephine

was not invited

Vienna
"

as proof that the Russian marriage was being discussed. Metternich wrote to his Government
:

The question of the marriage (between Napoleon and the Grand Duchess Catherine) seems, unfortunately, to gain more The reports of it are so general, the consistency every day.
Empress
herself
difficult to believe that

speaks so openly about her divorce, that it has not some foundation."

it

is

The moment Napoleon's back was turned the Austrian and its Spanish ramification awoke to new life, for intrigue
277
T

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


Josephine
self

OF

KING

now had

policy

of her

own

with her husband's enemies so


grief,

namely, to secure herthat, whether he divorced


for.

her or came to

she would be

provided

The Emperor

heard to his
acquiring

exasperation

that his wife's

lamentations were

an international and were being eximportance, as of witness her devotion and his inploited everywhere with the that Corsican had no added the humanity, suggestion
people except in so far as he could use them for the furtherance of his ambition. was that Talleyrand feeling associated with these after his rehad closely already, plotters turn from Tilsit, caused him to his Minister,
love of French

but

Talleyrand
visit

The

Foreign change wielded a great deal of influence. to as has been said, was Italy,
still

primarily

an

in-

spection
ports

of

of the

Pope, but

all the It included in its scope to the peninsula and especially those belonging bitter with the Vatican immediately began; quarrel

Customs Houses.

Napoleon would

listen to

no

objections.

The

Adriatic, the

$gean, the Levantall engaged an attention which at same time ranged over the Sound, the Straits, the Baltic,
North
Sea, the Channel,
article in the

the

the

and the Bay of Biscay, In an inspired Moniteur the Emperor wrote "England is an utterly weak and miserable nation; her calcuMinisters must have recourse to piratical operations; they
;

late the results of

how much money


decree that

much per cent, and only think about make." can they At Milan he promulgated his answer to the new English
war
at so

"every ship
first

of

every

nation bound for a Continental

must port
hercargo.
of tribute

touch at some British port and pay tribute on


ship,

Any

would be
failure,

seized as lawful

he announced, which had paid a farthing The meeting with


prize.

Lucien was a
of

though there was some


of a

talk

in

ignorance

daughter

his eldest marriage between Josephine's matchmaking 229 a Charlotte and Prince Ferdinand of Spain, project

which

for different reasons neither of the brothers favoured.

They parted
230

sadly

that failure to

come

because their mother had already told them " would be for her a mortal to an

agreement

blow."

daughter

Napoleon came

returned
to the

to

Paris;

soon

afterwards

Lucien's

capital

to

with her grandmother. stay

278

RIGHT OF SEARCH
Her
old
bitter

tongue and insolent manners so gravely offended the

lady that the idea of

making

Spanish princess

of her

was

abandoned.

to

Meanwhile Ferdinand was preparing, with Canning's help, depose his father and mother and put Godoy to death, The

projected Beauharnais, or rather Tascher la Pagerie, marriage was ardently desired because, when the act of usurpation had

been carried out,

it

would form

bond between the Spanish

and French thrones which Napoleon would find it difficult to break. The French Emperor would, so it was hoped, be compelled to

acknowledge Ferdinand, the nominee of Canning, and thus with his own hands to for his own policy, destroy
Ferdinand could be trusted
goods, and Josephine's
to

admit any quantity of English


if

she became Queen niece, Spain, could be trusted to the interests of oppose Napoleon as actfvely as her aunt was doing in the position of Empress of the French,
of

or as her cousin Hortense, was doing as Josephine's daughter, Holland. of Queen

were engaged, in
he not

All these, with Talleyrand and Fouche and many others, truth, in saving themselves from what they did believed to be the suicidal madness of

Napoleon, Why with London, seeing that London was make paace with him? The obstacle of notoriously ready to

make

peace

meant nothing to these men and women who, understood it at all, looked if they upon it as trivial and absurd. the of a more than bountiful miraculous Why not enjoy gifts
the trade treaty

Providence while those

gifts

might

still

be enjoyed?

English

wisdom, seasoned in many cases with English guineas, was listened to and Napoleon's demand for a debtless peace relegated
to

a place

among

the obsessions of

great

minds,

required could only oppGse a fixed idea which as the truest patriotism, drenched had Europe in blood and by which the whole already commerce of the world was being disorganized. Was war,

to be saved

from himself; the

truest

friendship,

Clearly as well

he

economic war,
In his view

as

well as the

war

of the sword, to last for ever?

Civilization itself
it

would be

destroyed.

Napoleon knew

it all.

was

better to die in battle than be bled


fate of the ancien

slowly

to

death by

debtthe

regime.

279

CASTLES IN SPAIN

CHAPTER

xxvm

belief that the

NAPOLEON'S breaking-point
Portuguese
sailed
fleet

English System

was

at

the

was not unfounded,

Indeed, had the

been handed over to France instead of being

away. Canning,
In

on

of success.

Portugal

would have despaired good showing, the same idea had existed, for Lord
:

the British Minister in Lisbon, wrote to Strangford, Canning " The Portuguese Ministers place all their hopes of being able
to

wed

off this terrible

blow

in the

certainty

that

they

entertain

of

England being obliged

to enter into

negotiations

for a

general

peace."

The

closing

of the

the Spanish harbours, therefore, engaged

Emperor's highest hopes


in
of the reverses at

and seemed

to

justify

his faith that,

and Lisbon, the war was spite Copenhagen to its close, He was in this frame of happy drawing quickly mind when news reached him that public opinion in Madrid

was

in a state of

ferment because^f the

trial

of

some

friends of

Ferdinand, the Prince of the Asturias,

who were

accused of

having plotted against Godoy of this ferment aroused the Emperor's he saw in it much more than an
tion.

and the

The King.
liveliest

circumstances

anxiety

because

ordinary popular demonstra-

Nor

did the news that the old

son

go

far to reassure him,

King had pardoned his Godoy, as he knew, was exceedin his

ingly unpopular

and had involved

unpopularity

both the

King and

the Queen,

In the middle of

February, 1808, he

became convinced that Ferdinand, on the suggestion and with of London, was about to the his and seize depose help parents
the throne.
large force to

He

ordered Murat to

proceed instantly with a

Spain by

way

of

army which had been designated as his Burgos, headquarters. Further orders from Napoleon were soon received. Both Marshal Moncey's corps and that of General were to Dupont
280

and

his

reached Vittoria

Bayonne and Vittoria, Murat on March n and hurried on to

CASTLES IN SPAIN
cross the

Guadarrama, the

first

the by the Somosierra Pass,

second by that of Madrid on Segovia, and both were to reach March 22 or 23, 1808, and to ask leave to rest there for a day
or

two before going on

to Cadiz.

Murat was urged,

several

times, to avoid
politics,

any kind of disturbance, to abstain from talking and to pay for he might need. Various everything

fortresses

were to be occupied by the French at the same time. These precautions the full consent having been taken, with of the la married of King Spain, Napoleon Stephanie Tascher

Pagerie to the Due d'Aremberg and so brought Josephine's plans to confusion. He showed his displeasure at the same time against M. de Beauharnais, his Ambassador in Madrid.

Nor were March 17


place
at

his

precautions

taken too soon,

the

palace revolution,

on the night of which he had foreseen, took


for,

Aranjuez, near Madrid.

A great mob attacked

Gg^loy's

palace, without, however, finding of the 1 8th, Charles IV was

him; early on the morning

compelled to sign a decree dismissing the Queen's favourite from all his offices. Murat's troops

were

still

some
had

distance

therefore

a clear field,

away in the Guadarrama, and the rebels The search for Godoy went on, and

he was found on the morning of the ipth. A body of horse guards conducted him to their barracks, but did not succeed in

him mob ^hich severely protecting out of his and one were now The Queen gouged eyes. King which dealt with a of threats and frightened by process cajolery them both out of their wits, for they were old and feeble. They
a

him from

wounded

and

were forced

to abdicate

on pain of what

believed to be immediate massacre.


their crown.

*at they, any rate, Their son Ferdinand seized

pillage father's

as

His supporters began at once to murder and many of those who had been associatecKvitfi his
as

Government

they could find.


effort of

During the whole of


restrain

March

20, a Sunday,

no

any kind was made to

the mob, and the terrible and bloody confusion persisted until the 23rd, when Murat, who had kept Napoleon's time-table,

but had, nevertheless, arrived too He entered it at midday with his

late,

reached the stricken

city.

staff

and a detachment

of the

and one of his first acts was to forbid the trial Imperial Guard, of Godoy, which was being hurried forward. The unlucky Prince of the Peace had been loaded with chains and was near
281

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT OF


to death.

KING

Murat

sent

him under

strong

escort to the village of

Pinto, and declared

in

Napoleon's name

that he forbade any

further

ill-use.

Ferdinand and

his friends

now

understood that they had

Napoleon informed about


to

to deal

with and that the French Emperor was fully


projects.

all their

From

massacre, therefore,

whining, and begged Murat to acknowledge they passed After their act of to do. usurpation, which he flatly refused
to threaten violence, and they plucked up enough courage Ferdinand declared that on the morrow, the 24th, he would make his solemn entry into Madrid as King Ferdinand VII, him that his Ambassador Murat wrote to

that

Napoleon

telling

Beauharnais was a secret accomplice of Ferdinand. He mainwas in progress, tained a chill silence while the solemn entry

and refused

to visit the

new

"

King

"a course which Napoleon

wrote to Napoleon begging do all that might be and "recognized" promising to in no mood for comwas of him, but the required Emperor
heartily approved. to be

Ferdinand

now

promiseespecially
of

as

he had

just

been

made aware
so

that the

Pope, because of the closing of the

Roman ports and the policing


made
of

Rome
in

itself,

had excommunicated him and


his

every

priest

Spain

enemy and

detractor.

Ferdinand was told

that his father

themselves under

and mother, the King and Queen, had placed his, Napoleon's, protection and that they

were about

to travel to

Bayonne

in order to consult with him.

This news completed the collapse of the usurper, who now saw his only ehance of success in ^personal appeal to the French

Emperor, and at once made ready to go also to Bayonne. Murat demanded the person of Godoy and indicated that, if a hair"of%h*s head was injured, punishment would be exacted.

demands were not immediately satisfied, he sent his the^unhappy man, whom he then supplied with clothes and money and sent offto strongly guarded,
his

When

to rescue troopers

Bayonne.
promise
in

Ferdinand

now

decided that he must have some

writing from his father, and so visited the old King and tried to get him to sign a new abdication; but the fear of

massacre had been relieved.


natural son about his business.

King and Queen sent their unThe various cavalcades set out

from Madrid

to cross the

Pyrenees. 282

CASTLES IN SPAIN
April 2, 1808, 'Napoleon drove out of Paris. He had Josephine in the carriage with him, so that Ferdinand might
see that his Empress was not yet in a position to dispose of thrones for the benefit of his enemies. was gloomy Josephine because the death of Hortense's little son Charles the

On

Napoleon
seemed

year before had snatched an important card from her


still

hand and
going,

further,

if

things

went on

as

they

to be

undermined her

position,

Napoleon,
important

on the

contrary,

was

cheerful with the sense of an

decision taken.

made up

Spanish nothing to do with Ferdinand and his English backers;

his

mind about

the

business.

He had He would have


it

was

wholly out of the question to restore the rule of the King and Queen and Godoy, because they were incapable of ruling and would be murdered if he sent them back to Madrid,
inevitably

He

proposed, therefore, to accept the offer which Charles had already made to him and himself nominate a

IV

necking.

He had
Holland,
Joseph,

already approached his brother Louis, the

King

of

who had
King
of

refused.

He had

reason to believe that

the

Naples, would accept.

He

left

Josephine at Bordeaux and went alone to Bayonne,


first

Ferdinand was the

of the

Spaniards

to arrive.

He

was

received as Prince of the Asturias and told

plainly

that his be-

haviour towards his parents and his intrigues had caused the Emperor to reject all his claims, Nor did Napoleon hide from

him

the considerations of

policy

which supported

that decision.

The war with England had come to a stage which admitted of no weakness towards allies who could not be trusted. A little
later the

same

stern

part,

was only too thankful


to

message was spoken to Godoy, who, for his and to have escaped out of Spain
anything
so

was ready
return.

agree
the

to

long

as

he was

nafr aSlfed to

Napoleon unbent and did them great reverence, both in th^public manner of their and in his own behaviour. He had already sent to reception
arrived,

When

King and Queen

Bordeaux for Josephine, and

now

instructed her that she

was

to devote herself to Marie Louise; Charles


special care,

IV became

his

own

and

for

days

this

crazy

old man, descendant of

Louis

XIV and brother of that King Ferdinand of Naples whom


Austerlitz, treated the son of the
his

after Napoleon had deposed Revolution as if he had been

own

son.

Nor

did

Bonaparte

283

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


fail

OF

KING
dumb-

in kindness to Bourbon,

Josephine

confessed herself

founded,

For hours on end Marie Louise discoursed about

Ferdinand's brutality, and even expressed a lively hope that him to death. And the King, would in,

coming Napoleon put used to punctuate his wife's complaints with his gold-headed cane. Godoy was often present, but very seldom uttered a word. " The Bull" had ceased to bellow,

The tragi-comedy played


Charles, stick in hand,

itself

out at a family council,

King

wandered about the room cursing his son and sometimes even threatening him and blessing Napoleon,
while the Queen hissed her fury. Ferdinand, tall, resentful, debauched, spoke never a word, but suddenly burst into tears,
at

Josephine

which exhibition of weakness the whole room exploded. heard with great relief the crisp voice of her husband

these infuriated and hysterical people, Ferdinand was direg^op; to restore the crown to his father and to go to live in France

under the care of M. de Talleyrand.

The King and Queen and


dis-

Godoy would proceed


posal

to
,

Rome.

Great wealth was at the

of

all

of them.

Napoleon handed them into their carriages and bade them Then he gave the crown of Spain to Joseph, and, good-bye. embraced him and his wife, sent them out on the long having
road to Madrid,

The

gift

of

th^

vacant throne of Naples to


coasts of

Murat and Caroline completed the transaction, Emperor and Empress began to tour the western
France.

They had not advanced very


received

far
to

upon

when Napofeon

a message

expedition the effect that the

this

Spaniards had risen against their new King and his troops, while the French army under General had been sur-

Dupont

rounfteSimd compelled to surrender. homewards across the Pyrenees.


"

Joseph was in flight


"
that
I

This means," said, the Emperor grimly,

must con-

it." quer Spain or abandon In a moment he was full of action, despatching couriers to corner of Europe. They hurried back to Paris, every

picking

up Talleyrand on the way at Nantes; Napoleon insisted that a meeting between the Emperor Alexander and himself must
immediately be arranged.

284

LATIN AND GREEK

CHAPTER xxix

"

"

WITH
"

the

cry

of

Liberty

the old monarchical struca

ture of France

had been destroyed;

new

slogan

namely,

Nationalism

"was

now
his

given

to the

world for the

destruction of
false,

Napoleon and

seeing shoulders more


all

that their

Both were equally comers were concerned to fasten on men's


system,
is

of

that yoke of debt which firmly freedom and the ruin of every people,

the

negation

The method was


Funds were put
by
these

the

same

in

Spain

as

it

had been e'^where.

at the

disposal

of nobles

and merchants" whereneighbours' expense


as

might support themselves

at their

by organizing bands of retainers and mobs who, could be called "the nation" or "the
required,
so invested with

necessity

people/'

and

semi-mystical

sanctions,

The

chief business of

these factions

was

to further the interests of their

paymasters by

denouncing
This

as

and oppression whatsoever ran counter tyranny

to these interests,

policy

had already made of the Emperor Alexander

his

father's murderer, of the

Queen

of Prussia the ruin of Frederick

William, and of the Prince of the Asturias the brutal usurper of his father's throne. It was now about to undermine the religious

and monarchical foundations


to

Spain by using the priesthood and aims and to hold up to misrepresent Napoleon's policy of the admiration the English financial
of

policy

oligarchy*.

Napoleon

understood

all

this

clearly

and

realized,

in

addition, that his

own

actions

were

easily capable

of

presenta-

and predatory adventurer bloodthirsty in whom direction was to serve to any humanity. Had oppose he not seized Holland and Italy and Naples and Rome and
tion as the crimes of a

Germany and Portugal and

Spain,

and

filled these

and other
his

lands with his brutal soldiery?

Had

he not stained

hands

with the royal blood of d'Enghien and the patriot blood of

Palm?

And had

his insatiable

in these greed not led him,

285

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


i

OF

KING
out; his

last

weeks, to

filch

from

helpless,

half-witted old
cast

couple their

ancient

patrimony?

Mother Church had

him

own mother
his brothers

grieved for the humiliations of her dearest son;

and sisters, wearing uneasily the crowns which he had thrust upon them, cursed him in their hearts, while even his wife had rebelled against him.

He
policy.

set his

teeth

and turned,

as ever, to the object of his

face

Could he keep the ports of the Peninsula closed in of the defeat at Baylen and of the not less bitter defeat,
his

by Wcllesley and
Alexander and

Englishmen, of Junot in Portugal?


disasters exert

And
of

what influence would these


so

upon

the

mind

upon
if

the

closing

of the Baltic

and Black

Sea ports? Again, would Austria do?


the

Alexander's support weakened, what The Continental System was certainly not

failure that his enemies were announcing, English gjgss trade had contracted to small dimensions and the exchanges

were moving against London. The dreaded outflow of gold had already begun. If the pressure could be maintained for
a

sure, be accorded,

few months longer, the peace he wished for would, he He was the more certainly assured of

felt

this

because
a

London and
hostility,

all

the financial centres had been showing

renewed

The month which had followed


August, 18^8 a kind so formidable

his

return

from Spain
finances
its

had witnessed an
as

attack

on

his

of

to

leave

no

doubts about per


cent,

origins.

As has
risen

been already

said, the five

rentes

which he had
nominal had
94.

inherited

from Barras when


had taken place
their life

their value tfas

after Tilsit, steadily until,


rise

they were worth


the teeth

This spectacular
citizens.

in

and had restored of opposition

savings to

When,

honest great~nuitfber$ of therefore, the funds

The
to

effect
slip

can be imagined,

began

back and

finally

reached 70, a kind of panic seized upon the nation. Napoleon had no intention of borrowing and so was not concerned for
himself; but he was determined

on the one hand that the

world should not be advised through the stock exchanges that were bad, and on the other hand that his people his
prospects

should not be robbed by speculators.


Treasurer,

He

sent for Mollien, his


'

and told him

"I

am

war on the going to wage


286

"231

'bears,'

LATIN AND GREEK


He then gave orders that the Army Treasury (not to be confounded with the Army Fund) and the Bank of France
should invest as

much money

as

possible

in rentes until the

had price
of

risen at least to 80.

This was done,

great

number

were speculators sustained by big operators in other countries, have beaten the 'bears,'" the Emperor exulted. " will not the and meanwhile we shall try game again; They have preserved for the creditors of the State the to
losses

in Paris

were ruined and heavy

"We

capital

which they have a right; for 80 per cent, which I am determined that they shall be
besides,

is

the

figure

able to count

upon and

we

shall

have effected good investments for the money

of the
It

army/'
to

was with
of

went
place

considerable triumph to his credit that he which town had been agreed upon as the Erfurt, to welcome Alexander. A pageanf"0n the meeting,
this

scale had, by his orders, been prepared so whatever the actors might say or feel, the that, scenery should proclaim undying friendship, The two Emperors met and

most sumptuous

embraced on the

outskirts of the

town on September

27, 1808;

they rode together, hunted together over the battlefield of Jena and visited together innummerable entertainments of all kiir*s,

Goethe and Wieland were there

to cast the lustre of genius

upon

the event,

But even Napoleon's stage-management could not comobscure the facts of the situation, which were clearly pletely
letter to his .mother by Alexander himself in a " has Russia of maintaining other means," he wrote, the alliance (unavoidable and necessary for me) with the

set forth

"

What

dreadful Colossus, than by falling in with his idas 4tx the time being and showing him that he can prosecute his plans All our efforts must be directed towards without distrust?
in the greatest obtaining a free breathing space and working, to increase our forces."
secrecy,

This policy had the active support of Talleyrand, who had master and was conducting a busy and accompanied his with Alexander on the one intrigue
personally
profitable

hand, and Austria and the House of Rothschild on the other. rich and important, thanks to his Rothschild had

grown

287

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


aged to
set

KING
the letters

connection with the Prince of Hesse, and had actually man-

up

a bureau for

opening and reading


232

all

confided to the Austrian The agent of this postal system. of business was die Prince of Thurn and Taxis, whose piece

wife had constituted herself Alexander's chief hostess.

The

Russian

Emperor came every night to her house after Napoleon had gone to bed, and Talleyrand was always present
to receive

him.

Thus Meyer Amschel had


else,

the

news
secret

in his

counting-house before anybody of finance were brought with


action

and thus the

powers

as little

against Napoleon, had the entree to the midnight parties. But the plotters deceived themselves in supposing that their enemy was unaware of their doings or that he rated very high
events, Vincent,

The Austrian "observer"

delay as possible into of these

their^oower
to
defifllte

to

harm him.

He had come

to obtain

answers

answers.

not to plead for help. He had his questions, " Alexanderwhom he called the Greek "would

continue to keep his ports closed because he feared so greatly the restoration of Poland and because he coveted so
the

greedily he would of possession Constantinople. For these reasons Austria in any new attack refuse to co-operate with upon

France.

Austria on her part was incapable of independent months. action until after the lapse of several These definite conclusions had been reached by methods

which included

a hint that the a second

Emperor

of the French might,

some day, contract


derive satisfaction

from

marriage and would, in that event, union with the House of Romanoff.

But the matter was not pressed.

Alexander was well aware

in Paris, during that Napoleon had spent a great deal of time he had visited that the winter, with Marie Walewska;
jJSSt

her openly almost every day; and that this ardent Polish girl had recently been ser^t back to Warsaw to inflame the enthusiasm of her countrymen for the French, and to remind them daily that the Romanoffs, the Hohenzollerns and the

who had expended such great efforts destroy the same who had torn Poland asunder and were Napoleon,
Hapsburgs,
to

continued to devour her.

And

further that the partition of

Poland had not

at

a flicker of interest in any time awakened

the city of London,


288

LATIN AND GREEK


Goethe,
it

may

Napoleon he was a supremely great man. They witnessed together Voltaire's the Mori de Cesar, and the Emperor said tragedy, "You should write a play giving a loftier and more
:

in

which he

be noted, formed at Erfurt that opinion of ever afterwards persisted namely, that

imposing picture of Caesar's death than Voltaire has achieved. The world should be made to see that Caesar would have made
it

that things would have been quite different prosperous, and

had he only been given time to complete his noble plan, Such a tragedy would be a lesson alike to kings and nations."
free to devote his attention to the Spanish Erfurt on October 14, 1808, and arrived at ports. St. Cloud on the morning of the i8th, and then, after the

Napoleon was now

He

left

lapse

of a

few days, took the road


All his

to

Vittona where Joseph

now

held his Court,

preparations complete,^*! his army, transported from Poland and Prussia and the Rhine, was in He reached headquarters on November 5, Spain. already

were

and immediately announced his plan of campaign. The were commanded by a junta of nobles, and their Spaniards
1808,

armies,

still worse united, stretched from badly led and Santandcr in the north, across Spam to Barcelona, along the

line,

Napoleon meant to break the and then* drive through the centre across Soult the mountain range of die Guadarrama to Madrid. was told to take Burgos and this place became the Imperial

more or

less,

of the Ebro.

flanks of this line

Headquarters.

Then

the attack on Santander, that


Victor, to

is

on the

Spanish left, been given, met his enemies

was launched,

whom

the task

had

among

the mountains at Espinosa

on November n,

1808,

defeated

and

scattered
as

them, and
of this

descended to the sea at Santander.

As soon

ne^s

reached Napoleon he ordered Lannes and Ney to operation On Noverrtber 23, 1808, Lannes attack the Spanish right. the battle of Tudela and drove the opposing army fought week later, on under Palafox helter-skelter into Saragossa.

the

engaged

ascended the pass of Somosierra, and 30th, Napoleon His the enemy near the village of that name.

Polish lancers swept the Spaniards away and captured their On December 2, the anniversary of Austerlitz and of guns. He did the coronation, the Emperor was before Madrid.
289

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


not wish to bombard the
to
city,

OF

KING
and
tried

his brother's

capital,

obtain

its

surrender

peacefully,

But the populace was

inflamed to the of madness and refused to point open the gates.

The bombardment began,


continued for some hours,

therefore,

on December

3,

and

At

Thomas de Morla

to

negotiate.
his

the Spaniards sent Don Napoleon received this noblelast

man

at

the

head of

Guard.

De Morla

told

him

that

Madrid would be surrendered, but


troops
" so that the Junta

that he must withdraw his

might pacify the people.

about the Don't people," Napoleon exclaimed. "If you can't find the means to pacify them that is because
talk to

me

you have yourselves excited and misled them by

lies."

He demanded
inhabitants

that the

priests

showing that

summoned to speak to he realized how a great part


be

the
his

exconw^unication by the Pope had played. remove his troops, Madrid surrendered

He
the

refused to

next

day,

December

4,

1808,

Napoleon did not enter the city, but began at once to make arrangements for seizing and closing all the Spanish ports.
Troops were despatched to the south and were soon within of the Sierra Morena. At the same time instructions were sight
sent
to

take

Barcelona

and

to

reduce

the

stronghold

of

in the palace the Saragossa. Joseph was housed ofttside capital of Pardo and was told not to enter until the city was calm.

few days

later a courier

from

Paris brought a piece of

news which occasioned the conqueror lively indignation and astonishment. This was to the effect that his Empress, in his
absence,

speech to the Corps Ligulattf, his victories, in which she had said that her on congyjulate " sensible of the homage of an assembly His Majesty would be So there was another plot the nation." which
a

had made

come

to

represents

the author of at a glance hatching in Paris. He recognized as the nation's this fatal admission that a parliamentary body, was in a position to bestow power or to take it
representative,

away.

had

been

Here was Talleyrand's work Talleyrand who, as he informed, was strolling every night through

Fouch, drawing-rooms, whist with the Metternichs, from whom Josephine playing seemed to be unable to separate herself. He sat down and sent
Josephine's

arm

in

arm with

or

290

LATIN AND GREEK


to the

Uoniteur, which had published his wife's speech, a


:

correction in these terms

"The Empress
knows
that
it is

did not say that. Her Majesty the Empress too well the nature of the Constitution not to be aware
the

Emperor who represents the nation; for all power from God and from the nation. In the order of our proceeds
Constitution come, after the Emperor, the Senate; after the the Council of Senate, State; after the Council of State, the

Corps ttgislatif.

."

He
They

began now

to

study again the letters which he had


his friends in Paris.
to the effect that

received

from

his

mother and other of

spoke of

rumours

he would never come


also

back from Spain.

Had

these

rumours
did

proceeded from

if so, Talleyrand? Alexander had married his

And

what
sister

mean? Again, they Catherine to the Duj^e of

His thoughts were busy with these questions Oldenburg. when he heard on December 19, 1808, that the English armies under Sir John Moore and Sir David Baird which, as he

knew, had entered Spain in order to bring help to the Junta, were marching upon Valladolid with the evident intention of
his
his lines of communication and so him and separating army from France, A new plan leaped to his mind. He would cut off these Englishman. He waited for three days to his new enemy time to reach his lines, and then made a give

cutting

dash across the Guadarrama by the Escurial, His held up, in the mountain passes, by a tremendous which was followed by a sharp frost and then- a though he refused to rest for a moment he made

army was
hurricane

thaw and

slow very and were the warned In began consequence English going. from the trap into which they hai soliearly at once to escape Moore fell back on Benevente, which he reached on fallen.

December
at

26.

On New

Year's

Day

of .the year 1809 he was

a day's march behind him. Astorga, with Napoleon only well as he this Nevertheless, very gallant Englishman,

understood, had already defeated the French Emperor in the sense that he had drawn him away from the work of seizing
the ports of Southern Spain at the very

moment when

that

work, under his personal direction, could easily and expedihave been carried out. Napoleon had been faced with tiously
291

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT

OF

KING

the choice of abandoning that enterprise or perhaps of being cut off from France.
But, bitterly as he regretted this fact, the Emperor's thoughts Paris. What was in his If

were now in
there

happening
in

capital?

Spain, then there must be a counterpart to that plan namely, the intention to depose him in France. The Corps Legislauf was the obvious instrument of that policy. Alexander had refused his sister;
a

had been

plan to hold

him

Austria
his

was arming;

a fresh

What an opportunity to proclaim empire. make peace with Bonaparte and to would never Europe "
own
his

conscription was in progress in that


offer

crown

to

Louis XVIII."

He came instantly to a decision. He handed over the pursuit of the English to Soult, and, mounting his horse, rode the back to Valladolid. He remained here long
whok^way
to issue

enough

some

orders about the closing of the ports

and

to write

to his brother

Joseph.

On

January 17, 1809, he took the road


his habit.

to

Bayonne, riding more quickly even than was


1

On

8th he was at Burgos, on the igth at Bayonne, on the 2ind at the Tmleries. the

292

WAGRAM

CHAPTER XXX

return

shattered

the

NAPOLEON'S found that the


tinuous session since his
habitually
cast

conspiracy,

He

Corps Lfyislatif
departure
for

had remained in con-

against

his

Spam, and that the votes Government in that body of 250 men
to

had increased from about 10 or 12


Further, a
these

more than one hundred.


had taken
place,

new

raid

against

the rentes

and

was the

had been driven down well below 80 But it cent, per close relations between the Austrian Amexisting
Metternich

bassador

and his wife on the one

hafid,

and

Josephine, Talleyrand, and Fouche on the other, which chiefly engaged his attention. Nor did he omit Mme, de Stael from
his

reckoning.

While he was

in

Spam

she

had visited Vienna,

233

a deal of excitement not great only by but of an also acting public by her violent wooing Austrian officer of Irish extraction named Maurice O'Donnell.

and had created there


in

her

She had been received in


France was the chief

all

the

great

houses where war against

and she had gone 231 from Vienna to a who was a straight meeting with Gentz, leader of the to France that was opposition being organized,
of conversation, subject

English money, Germany, his absence were during


articles in the

with

in

The newspapers published


and
a series of

carefully searched,

Gazette de France

the Royalists of praising

La

Vendee

for their devotion to the

Bourbons discovered. 'Then


to the

the storm broke. "


3

was summoned Talleyrand

Emperor,

Napoleon "a thief and a spoke, blackguard to whom nothing is sacred. You would sell your own father, I have loaded you with gifts,

You

are,'

as he told him, choking with rage

and yet there is nothing you are not capable of attempting me. For months since it seemed to you that my against past,
affairs in

Spain

were going badly, you have been


listen to

telling every-

one
that

who would
enterprise,

you

whereas

it

you always disapproved of was you who first suggested it and u 293

that

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


constantly urged crush like this

OF
it

KING
power
to

me

on.

...

Now

have

in

my

you

goblet he was holding), the trouble."

glass" (Napoleon " but I despise

hurled to the floor a

you too

utterly

to take

lain.

of Grand ChamberTalleyrand was dismissed from his post who had now and her Josephine daughter Hortense,

cards with to separated from her husband, were forbidden play the Mettermchs and to understand that everything was

given

received a severe reprimand. mild were these punishments is shown by a letter Francis of written shortly before by Metternich to his master,

known, Fouche

How

Austria

"We
time

have

at last,"

the

Ambassador

stated,

"reached the
the

when

allies

seem

to offer themselves

from

very heart

of the French Empire.

temptible intriguers. our support," quest These were the words which

And these allies are Men worthy to represent

not low, conthis nation re-

used in her Josephine had address to the Corps Legislatif. But Napoleon never forgot that his wife was a Frenchwoman. At a moment when Austria

was arming once more against him, when Prussia and all Germany were trembling with hope, and when Alexander was sulking in his
people.
tent,

One

of his officers
:

he could not take the risk of offending his own had been seized by the Austrians.

He

wrote to Fouche

"All

couriers belonging to

M, Metternich and

his Court,
to

whether coining from Austria or going out from Paris

Vienna, are to be stopped. They are to be seized halfway between here and Strasbourg. The despatches will be brought to aad a report will be drawn up by the agent you send yoli
for the

run as follows report will the violation of the Law of Nations consequence fj exercised on a French officer carrying dispatches for the
purpose.
:

The

"'/

Minister of France

Braunau by main
fact that the

which dispatches were U\en from him at force, and in spite of his protests, and of the

of France appeared on the packet all disthe Austrian Government or its agents patches coming from will be seized and held until the before-mentioned dispatches are restored.'

Arms

294

W
"The

A G R A

M
work
quietly
so

that the arrests

persons employed on this duty will as secret as may be

kept
of

long

possible

and the

greatest possible

number

Austria, while preparing up a new alliance which

dispatches seized." for war, was

busy trying to break

order to

Napoleon had formed with Turkey in exclude English goods from the Black Sea. That

could only mean that Alexander was in close touch with Vienna, Napoleon remained, happily for himself, in close touch with Warsaw. He had of honour to his given the
Polish

place cavalry at the battle of Somosierra, and the news of Polish valour, on that remote under the French Emplateau, had exercised a influence upon the peror's eyes,

whole Polish nation.


should

profound Poland had risen from the dead.

Europe
itself.

know

soon that the race which had saved Vienna and


Infidel

Christendom from the

was capable

also of

saving

The Countess Walewska


ment; and
wife
all

thought for Josephine's intrigues were not hidden


eyes.
still

played her part bravely in this her of her as the countrymen

move-

Emperor's
time

at that

from the world's

Napoleon
avoided.

retained a slender

hope that war might be

assembled the diplomatic corps and told them that he had no quarrel with Austria,

He

and

"All Europe is witness," he declared, "that all my efforts my whole attention were directed towards the field of

battle

which England has selected namely, Spain." But the opportunity of attacking France while her armies r were divided, and while her best Generals were far away beyond the Pyrenees, was too good
the
to

be

lost,

and,

as

London had

provided money, Austria determined upon war. Napoleon, being convinced on this point, made his preparations,

had nothing left now to fight with except my and my longioots." His plan was little conscripts, my name, to strike an immediate blow and march to Vienna. straight
saying
that he

"

He
of

eight o'clock on the night by the system of April ct which had he inaugurated, was received at signal telegraph" the Tuileries. The Emperor had gone to bed and was
12,

was not long kept waiting.

At

1809, a message, transmitted

asleep.

At

ten o'clock he

awoke and read

that the Austrian

army had

entered Bavaria, one of the Rhineland States,


295

Six hours later,

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


at four o'clock in the

KING

morning, the great travelling carriage stood in the courtyard of the palace, Emperor and Empress entered it for Josephine was no longer to be trusted alone in
the capital. Four days later the "little conscripts," many of them lads only eighteen years of age, saw for the first time the on the white horse. small
figure

The Archduke

Charles was in
of the

command

of the Austrians.

When

the

Emperor

French reached Donauworth on


staff, It

April 17 armies in
diate

without guard, aides-de-camp, or


evil condition,

he found
his

his

widely spread concern to concentrate these scattered forces, and his


"

out.

was

imme-

orders bore, in each case, the words


centration

speed." day or two, and in such a fashion that, as the French forces drew closer, the Austrians,

action

and

Con-

was

effected within the next

trying the

to

were more widely extended. envelop them,


for

Here was
looking,

opportunity
at

which

Napoleon had
his

been

Arriving

the night of April 19, Ingolstadt on

what had occurred, he instantly mounted Next morning, by a off to reconnoitre, weakened Austrian
centre,

and hearing horse and rode

swift
left

blow

at the

he severed the

wing

of the

Archduke's army from the body, and drove that wing against the Iser, while the body was being driven towards the Danube.

He

slept

the saddle

wing

in a chair without undressing, and was in night again at daybreak watching the severed Austrian He trying to escape across the bridges of the Iser.

that

attacked and routed the enemy, and the town of Landshut, which was full of war material, fell into his hands. He now

turned to the body of his

enemy which

the

Archduke had

gathered at Eckmiihl and which, as he guessed, was about to He himself attempt encircling movement by the right.

determined to encircle also by the right that is to say, by the Austrian lefta plan which entailed the taking of a high ridge already occupied by the enemy. But the plan was carried out
so that
full retreat

on the night of April 22 the Archduke's forces were in from the battlefield of Eckmiihl, Next day Napo-

wound
was

leon entered Ratisbon, before which he had received a slight in the to the consternation of his soldiers. He instep
astride the

road to Vienna, and the Archduke Charles, with

his second left

wing

shattered as

had been the

first 3

was

in

flight

296

A G R A

M
60,000 Austrians had

towards the defiles of Bohemia.

Some

been put out of action.


queror.

Vienna was

at the

mercy of the con-

Fear that Alexander would


could

ally

himself to the Austrians

now be dismissed a matter of great importance at a moment when an Austrian army nearly 40,000 strong was advancing down the Vistula upon Warsaw in order to quell the
exuberance of the Poles.

Archduke Ferdinand; opposed


12,000 Poles.

This army was commanded by the to it was Poniatowski with some

In the circumstances there was no but to option

abandon Warsaw and

fall back upon strong positions among the marshes of Pultusk. Napoleon had demanded of Alexander that in accordance with his the help promises he should go to of Poniatowski; but the Russian had not moved. The Emperor

heard the news at Ratisbon; at the same time he was informed that the Austrian army, under the Archduke John, which had

invaded Northern

over Eugene de Beauharnais, the Viceroy, and was advancing, Thus, if the Austrian as a whole, success plan of campaign be looked
Italy,

had won

victory

upon

had been achieved by and on the left flank

his enemies in Italy,

on the right flank in Poland But the Austrian centre on the


:

Danube was
"I

shattered.

am
:

doing
all
I

that

Napoleon wrote to Eugene which J have never done before, and

that which, of

things,

must be most repugnant

to a

General
of

am

marching with

my wings

in the

air,
I

prudent unconscious
all

what

is

passing on

my

flanks.

Fortunately,

can brave

risks."

He added: " War is a serious game


one's
troops,

in

which

are staked one's

reputation,

and one's country.


to learn
art.
I

A man
Italy

should feason and


is fitted

examine himself in order


nature for the

whether or not he

by

know
him

that in
this

Massena.

If I

had

sent

would
of

despise . not have occurred,


. .

you

affect to

In confiding to you
error."

my Army

Italy

have committed an

The march on Vienna now


encountered at several places

it

and though resistance began, continued without a break until,

was

on May

13, 1809,

campaign was by no means

the French entered the Imperial city. But the over, for the Archduke Charles had 297

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


led tie remains of his

OF

KING

army

to the

capital

where he had already

obtained reinforcements, and to his aid were


of the

now

hurrying the

Archduke Ferdinand, which on the receipt of the army news of Ratisbon had begun to retreat from Warsaw, and the army of the Archduke John, returning by forced marches from Danube and, under the Italy, Napoleon decided to cross the
walls of Vienna,

make an end

of the

army which he had

already handled so roughly. The enterprise was hazardous, because the French had to river in face of an cross the enemy already in position.
great Nevertheless by the evening of course of being carried out by

May

20 this operation was in


use of the island of

Lobau

as a

halting-place.

making Next morning

the French began to

debouch and deploy between the villages of Aspern,

on

their

and Essling, on their right, meant to strike at the Austrian


left,

Napoleon, on this occasion, centre, while the plan of the


flanks attacking the French

Archduke Charles

consisted in

simultaneously at Aspern and at Essling. Both plans failed; at the end of the day the two armies remained as they had been
at the

beginning. But darkness for Napoleon brought heavy because the Danube had risen suddenly, by reason of anxiety,
hills, and was raging and foaming under which formed the lines of communication army and also its line of retreat. Great logs of

melting snows in the


the slender bridges of the French

wood were being

carried

down on

bridges had been broken and repaired ments and ammunitions were hurried

the tide and already the several times. Reinforceacross, nevertheless, until

midnight when the biggest of the bridges broke again, for the third time. The river had now risen fourteen feet; time was The battle was resumed at required te repair the damage, dawn and, after severe fighting, Napoleon launched his frontal attack and broke the Austrian centre so far that Lannes, who

was leading the French,

sent

an

officer to

report that he

was

about to go forward across the plain, This officer, to his astonishment, found the Emperor gloomy and preoccupied.

The
out

big bridge had been swept away and ammunition was already running short. Very soon the French would be withartillery.

Napoleon

hesitated

only for a few minutes, and then ordered


298

W
Lanncs
sible.

A G R A

M
little

to fall

back slowly, using as

ammunition

as

pos-

The French

centre receded towards the

river^

hotly

pursued by the astonished Austrians, who, a short time before,

had believed themselves beaten.


Lannes himself had both
mortally wounded.
until his

At

this crisis of the battle

legs by a ball and fell But the enemy, nevertheless, was held

shattered

brought the bloodiest encounter of that age to a During the night the French were brought back to the island of Lobau for the broken bridge lay on the opposite side
nightfall
close.

of the island.

The blow,
had
persisted

There Napoleon determined they should remain. The Emperor nevertheless, was a severe one.
in his plan in face of the rising river because else in his inflicted Empire defeat was

almost everywhere

being

upon him, and he had not dared to delay. Now delay had been forced upon him in the unwelcome form of a second
Eylau.

None knew

better

than he to what uses

his

enemies

would put the event or how greatly Russians and Prussians and English and Spaniards would rejoice because of it. He spent a
melancholy hour by the deathbed of his old friend and companion Lannes, and there were tears in his eyes as he left the
poor
so desperately anxious to live that he had threatened to have his surgeons put to death for incompetence. Napoleon said long afterwards that he had seen in

man who was

already

this

brave man's eyes a look which

demanded why

he,

Napo-

leon, could not save a life so valuable to


reflection that all his soldiers, to look

him, and added the even the greatest of them, tended


to

upon him

as Providence.

Napoleon now set himself arrange a new plan of attack.

the bridges rebuilt and to Messages were sent to Eugene to


get
it

hold the army in front of him, and

was soon knoVn

that he

was acquitting himself well. On June 14, on the Raab, the army of the Archduke John was put to x>ut, but the fortress of

Raab remained.
his

The Emperor demanded

its

reduction so that

own

be the better secured, position might

His

fertile

mind

had devised many ways of undoing the damage which he had He had a great new bridge built upon piles, high suffered. above the river, and he collected large numbers of boats and rafts
on the
his
river

banks and

at the island.

At

the

beginning of July

were complete. preparations


299

The

island of Lobau,

which

is

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


and 40,000 horses. held 150,000 troops, 550 guns,
of
this host July 4

KING
the night

about three miles in diameter and nine miles in circumference,

On

was brought
fire,

across to the

opposite

bank

of

the river under a continual

A thunderstorm,

accompanied

but could not by rain and hail, filled the darkness with light, drown the sound of the 900 cannon which, from various positions, were covering the operation with their fire. Napoleon
rode up and

down

the river
cc

bank

all

and soldiers and boatmen.

When

night directing his gunners the sun rose and his men saw

him
duke

Vive I'Emfcrewl" warned the Archgreat shout of Charles that what he had conceived to be impossible had

already

been accomplished, The Austrian army fell back at once to a prepared position near the village of Wagram, where, attacked them without during the night of July 5-6, the French

much

success,

On

the

morning

of the 6th the battle

began in

duel of artillery a new method which great had for the first time at used Eylau, and which he Napoleon was now developing. Then the Austrians attacked the French
earnest with a
left

and

as to cut off retreat.


until
their

Aspern and the Danube, so some had success in this They enterprise turned the whole weight of his Napoleon artillery against it that the flank attack had to centre and so heavily shook
tried to reach the village of

be reduced in vigour,

The French now advanced everywhere,


Archduke Charles

and

at three o'clock in the afternoon the

enemy

ordered a general retreat, which speedily degenerated in quality, so that it was continued during four days until, at Znaim, the asked'for an armistice. In three months had

Napoleon

once more overawed Russia, conquered Spain and Austria, had and had thus preserved intact that Continental System by which

he hoped

fo

win

peace,

with economic freedom, from England.

300

FATHERHOOD

CHAPTER xxxi

NAPOLEON Schoenbrunn
One
of his first
of

returned from
to

Znaim

to

the

palace

of

await the issue of the

peace

conference,
of the

steps

was

to

mark

his

appreciation
his bitter

gallantry

Pomatowski and

his Poles

and

disappoint-

ment with Russia by summoning


Walewska.

to his side the Countess

Marie

His feelings about who had remained Josephine, on the Rhine, were in an order to her to return to expressed

Malmaison
of

or, if

she

preferred

it,

to

go

to

some

spa.

]p a

series

angry

letters his

Minister of Police, Fouche, was informed


that his

that his master's


actions

was upon him and eye had been observed.


that his

many

disloyal

Now
sea at

own campaign was

at

an end Napoleon was


English into the

concerned with Spain.

Soult had driven the

Corunna, and Saragossa had been forced to capitulate; were still active, and their activities had been but the Spaniards
a second

quickened by

Pope against
"

the

excommunication pronounced by the the and French all his Emperor of


235

an excommunication which will

No

is Naples, King on the Pope's own head. more consideration must be shown. He is a dangerous mad-

This," he wrote to Murat,

now

supporters. "

the

of

fall

man and must


Instructions

be shut up. other adherents arrested,"

Have Cardinal Pacca and

the

Pope's

were sent

to

Fouche

at the

same time

to see that

the French newspapers avoided

making any mention of the


to the

Pope,

whose

afflictions, if

reported

Spaniards,

must

in-

evitably

stiffen their resistance.

On

the outbreak of war Metter-

nich had been placed under some kind of arrest in Paris

on

account of his plottings.


closely

watched and that

his relations

Orders were given that he was with England were

to be to be

observed.
last order was made because an English expedition had been sent to Holland and had already captured the town of just

This

301

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


Flushing.

KING
or even

Napoleon refused

to take the

news

tragically

seriously, but

he experienced a great exasperation against his to the of brother Louis, whom he being friendly suspected

invaders,

"You are no king," he know how to be a king.


Holland
just
as in

and you do not wrote to him, Trade with England goes on in


peace,

235

"

times of

and the partisans of England


this

triumph, I must inform you, however, that allowed to continue."

cannot be

He
"

turned to finance, and wrote to Fouche


will send
237

Maret

you
I

a collection
to

of

all

the different kinds

of bank-notes.

...
until

want you

manufacture these notes of

every
set

amount

you have reached 100,000,000.

You must

up machinery which will turn out 10,000,000 a month. It was paper currency which enabled Austria to make war on me,
and with paper currency she may be able to do it again. " That being so, it is my policy, both in peace and war, to to come back that paper currency and to force Austria destroy
to the metallic

to reduce her

force her currency which, by its very nature, will on her part and all that wild expenditure army
safety

which has threatened the

of

my

dominions.

It is

my

and intention that this operation shall be carried out secretly I set before me is far more a the mysteriously, yet object political one than any advantageous speculation or gain. The subject is There is no hope of peace in
exceedingly important. so long as the House of Austria
300,000,000
, .

Europe
of

can obtain advances of

or

400,000,000

francs

on the

strength

its

paper. " I whether in peace or war, repeat that,

attach the

greatest

importance notes. This


is

to
is

having one or two hundred millions' worth of


a
political operation.
it

Once

the

House

of Austria

shorn of

its

paper currency
If I

will not be able to

make war
should not

against me.

...

had destroyed

that

paper

have had

this

war."
largely

As the Austrian paper was

held in

England, the blow


the
negotiations

was a shrewd
for

one, especially

at a

moment when

were being held up in the hope of a successful issue of peace " the English Walcheren" adventure in Holland or of an inter-

vention by the Emperor Alexander,


302

Napoleon was

insisting

FATHERHOOD
upon
the surrender to

him

of a land route across the Balkans to

slice Constantinople and of the surrender to the Poles of a large of that part of their fatherland which Austria claimed to possess

demands which Francis and


their strength.
loss,

his counsellors resisted

with

all

But the English expedition failed with heavy and Alexander accepted a piece of Austrian Poland for
"

Poland would himself on the understanding that the word not be revived by the French Emperor a decision which had
the
of the Countess Walewska, who realized that withapproval out Alexander's help the Continental System was doomed, Austria was now forced to capitulate. Napoleon imposed an

"

indemnity in gold and


all

silver of 75,000,000 francs, thus removing the treasure supplied by London; at the same time he took of Trieste (and with it the control of the Adriatic). the
city

Austria promised, further, to reduce her

army

to

150.000

men

and

keep should have been concluded.

to

it

at or

below

this

figure

until

peace with England

French Emperor retained the friendship of the Poles without breaking with Alexander, crippled Austria and ruined
the

Thus

many
of

of those

who had

lent her

money, and obtained the means

and so, if necessary, himself closing reaching Constantinople the Dardanelles and the Black Sea. The Duchy of Warsaw

was now
Austria,

greater

threat than ever before both to Russia

and

His enemies, who had calculated so certainly upon his downfall, were broken and separated. It was while he was
engaged
that she
in these labours that

Marie Walewska informed him

was with

child.

33

LOVE AND WAR

CHAPTER xxxn

IT
last

of this

Napoleon news of the Countess Walewska's pregnancy. At he knew for certain that he was of fatherhood and
exaggerate
capable
"

would be

difficult to

the effect on

might therefore contract


ing

an

heir,

My

of obtainmarriage with hope " make enemies," he had been wont to say,
a second

appointments at my tomb." was the chance to

The chance
to his

to

disappoint

them

give permanence

system,

He had won
severe

enemies the campaign and confounded his of teTms which Austria had was accepted proof enough
his

that

but so

long

as his life alone

stood between his enemies

and the

virtual

of the world, dictatorship

which

their

system

of debt secured to them,

nothing was permanent.


opposition
to

Would any
Louis was

of his brothers continue the

London?

playing game Hopes and the other Amsterdam was showing no alacrity in closing the moneylenders, Joseph and he had numbered Mme. de Stael Spanish among his
the
of the ports
best friends.

Nor was

the case of Jerome any better.

That

the King of Wurtemberg's daughter young man, married to of and had shown himself made Catherine, King Westphalia, a of unfit for serious work any kind, libertine, and a fool. Was
it

for such as these that he, Napoleon,

was

spilling

honest men's

blood?

And

yet

how

to

them? replace

Few
to his

of his Ministers

were trustworthy, and several of them, been bought, They wanted his system

knowledge, had

as little as his brothers

wanted

it;

his to the objection they undjrstood system of

London
debtless

as little as his brothers

understood
their

it,

The
a

vision of a

world which he saw was in

eyes

phantasy and a

mirage,
all

What was wrong

with a world which had


it

made them
treaty

kings?

And what

did

matter, anyhow,

if

a trade

with England threw a few workmen out of

their

jobs?

Idle

workmen and impoverished


things.

peasants belonged

to the nature of
it

No,

if

the

Napoleon System was


304

to live

must have

L,

V E

AND WAR
plastic
it

an

heir, a child

upon whose

mind he
above
all,

could
that

imprint
it is

truth as he

knew and

understood

the

mission of kings to protect the sheep from the wolves, and that fail in that mission if they they are nothing. His thoughts turned, therefore, to a second marriage. They

made

were quickened by an attempt to assassinate him, which was at Schocnbrunn the son of a Proby a lad named
Staaps,
testant

Emperor

parson of Naumburg. This lad was found near the with a knife hidden under his cloak, He was brought

before Napoleon,

who

asked him about his motives,


to strike

Staaps

answered that he

wished

down

tyrant.

then offered pardon if the lad would promise to never again make such an attempt, but this offer met with a
flat refusal,

The Emperor go home and

"
If I

"

the chance," I will kill Staaps said, you." His firmness touched the man's heart, and he made several
get

further

attempts

to save

him from
in the

the court-martial which, in


inevitable,

view of the excitement

army, was otherwise


"
if I

But no change could be


"
I

effected,

will kill

you," Staaps repeated,

ever

get

the chance

to kill
It

you,"

was known that clubs were being formed throughout


as their

Germany having
was Staaps

object

the assassination of

Napoleon,

therefore tried

shot; he displayed to

by the end a

court-martial,
lofty courage.

condemned, and

About the same


'

time one of the Russian envoys mentioned the possibility of horror further wars, Napoleon's face expressed he cried in tones of more blood," "Blood, blood, always
:

dismay,

He was weary of war, of blood, of shootings; weary, too, of the fear that a bullet or an assassin's knife might, at any instant,
annul the
sacrifices

which he had demanded


freely given.
It

of his

people

and
to

which they had


a

so

He must marry

his

system

king's daughter,

preoccupied.

He

was observed that he looked gloomy and had become deeply attached to Marie
to

Walewska;

it

would be necessary
hesitate.

"

But he did not


to

His

Polish wife

send her awqy. " should return

Warsaw

for the birth of their child, which, thereafter,

would be his link with Poland.

He

himself would seek a wife

35

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


in one of the

KING

that his son and heir might possess royal palaces so of birth and race, conceivable every advantage He was finished with Josephine; but she was a Frenchwoman,

He
his

began to make plans for

his divorce,

which should show


at

but her devotion and not their people, Empress' treachery,

from her. Eugene's victory his reluctance to part been announced to the nation with as much enthusiasm

Raab had
as his

own
The

victory of that

at

Wagram. He continued

to insist

on the merits

young man and on

the affection

which he bore him.

hints that a second marriage was in contemplation were accompanied by praises of Josephine, which endeared her anew to the whole French and which lent a sad and even tragic

people

complexion

to the

and Empress meeting of Emperor

at

Fon-

tainebleau after the conclusion of peace. with his dear said, was

enjoying

Napoleon, people companion a kind of final


sacrifice of

honeymoon
France.

before these

two made

themselves for

gave colour to this idea and so his however, thoughts were engaged helped plans. with politics, for his keen intelligence had discerned a new
Josephine's
his

tear-stained face

In

fact,

move

of the enemy.

Alexander's failure to support

him during

in his mind, with the the recent campaign was now linked up, news that his brother Louis was constantly in the company of

the Russian Ambassador.

Louis' resistance to the Walcheren

had expedition
lad, to

left

nearly everything to be desired.

Was

the
to

whom he had played a father's part, England? He made searching inquiry about
English goods into Holland,
the

betraying him
the

smuggling of and found that everything which

King could do
St.

to

Louis, in fither words,

had

help that smuggling was being done. constituted himself a link between

London and
as

Petersburg, where Alexander, too, was acting in defiance of his patron smugglsrs promises. But that was not the full extent of the mischief. At Erfurt he had hinted
of to the Russian that

an

offer for the

hand

of his sister, the

Grand

Duchess Catherine, might soon be presented. She was married, and now they were talking about the Grand Duchess Anne.

Did they mean


sacrifice of his

make him pay for his royal wife with the system? The insistent demands for a formal
to

promise never

to restore

Poland, and the recent unauthorized


306

LOVE AND WAR


publication by Alexander of his, Napoleon's, promise to forget the name of that country, began to assume a new significance, If he made such a promise and then married the Grand

Duchess, Alexander, by reason of the fury and disgust of the Poles against France, would be delivered from all anxiety and

would be

free

immediately to open
to

his

ports.

his enemies with close great captain began attention. He had not a to yet spoken Josephine about divorce; he deferred that ungracious task and returned with her to the

The

watch

Tuileries on

November
his

15,

1809.

On November
:

22 he
238

in-

structed

court, his

"M.

in St. Petersburg, as follows as TAmbassadeur, you are aware, the most devoted

Champagny, Ambassador

Foreign

Minister, to write to

Caulin-

among the friends of the Emperor and of his dynasty have, on many occasions, urged him to remarry. Their pleas have for
after

long been without avail; but I have reason to believe that now, mature consideration of the situation of France and of his
the

family,

Emperor has made up

his

mind

to divorce his wife.


this decision so

His Majesty has informed me personally of that I may communicate it to you.


"

Emperor Alexander, who


peror

Suggestions about a divorce were made at Erfurt to the will no doubt recall them. The Em-

now

desires that

you

will discuss die

subject frankly

and

simply with the Emperor Alexander and that you will speak in these terms
:

"

'

have reason
all

to believe that the


is

Emperor, urged

to this

step by

France,

about to divorce his wife.

Can

I tell

him

that, in that event,

he can count on your

sister?

Will your

to consider the matter, and in two days Majesty be so good as as Ambassador but a frank answer, not in my me capacity give

rather as a devoted friend of the

two families?
ask for
is

am

not

making
"

formal request.

What

an idea of your

feelings.'

and

Will you also inform us what the young Princess is like when she will be old enough to become a
especially
state of affairs,

mother, for, in the existing a matter of importance,"

even six months

is

The
as to

object

of this letter
his

was not

so

much

to test

Alexander

encourage

able to outwit Napoleon, hopes of being

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


for

OF

KING

that

no doubt remained in the mind of the French Emperor Anne would be granted to him only if he so far disarmed

as to be unable any longer to resist the demands of London. Napoleon was feinting in the direction of Russia, He took care to add to his letter an assurance that there was no idea of re-

same time, to the to give consent, at the storing Poland and He began, market. of a Russian loan on the Paris floating to the Russian the most marked attention moreover, to
pay Ambassador, Kourakme, an old and entertainment. splendour

man

with an insatiable love of

On November
place,

30 the inevitable scene with Josephine took


for

The Empress, who had known


fell

weeks what was

that she would not shrieking to the floor, declaring survive the blow, An usher, M, de Bausset, was summoned to

coming,

carry

her back to her apartments,


feet.

He

lifted

her in his arms,

while Nkpoleon guided her


staircase to
1

negotiate.
:

They had a narrow private De Bausset was relieved to hear the


too

voice Empress saying "

You

are

holding me

tightly."

Hortense was in the offing and Napoleon sent her to her mother. He had recalled Eugene from Milan so that the
family might be united in its affliction, and he bore with patience the hostility which these stepchildren upon whom the had conferred royal crowns displayed.

"Every
flicts.

day,"

wrote

239

Hortense,

"brought

new

con-

...

We

were

won

over by the Emperor's solicitude

reputation." Josephine wept, screamed, and swooned by turns until the settlement was announced she was to retain her Imperial title and enjoya revenue from the Treasury of ^80,000 a year with,
:

for his wife's

in addition, a revenue

from the Emperor's privy purse


a

of

,40,000

year

^12^,000

year in

all.

Meanwhile sharp eyes were watching Napoleon and trying to read his plans. Ouvrard, the financier, had recently been
released

from Vincenncs and was once more in


Fouche.
Police

close touch

with

his old friend

Ouvrard had already introduced


240

to the

Minister

an Irishman named Pagan, who it to act as was London. with ready go-between Pagan appeared was now instructed to cross the Channel and to find out from
of

308

LOVE
the

ANt>

WAR

Marquis Wellesley,

whom

he knew, whether or not Eng-

land was ready to make peace. " " If we could only get into touch," Fouche stated, come to terms." easily

we

could

Napoleon knew nothing about this mission, the object of which was to force his hand by dangling the prospect of peace before the of Frenchmen at the moment when the Russian eyes
marriage and the Polish treaty should have brought the Continental System into jeopardy. Fouche, in other words, had taken Napoleon's bait. He lived in close touch with
Josephine,

who, during many


in

years,

had supplied him with information

exchange for large bribes, and this connection linked him up with Hortense, the Queen of Holland, and so with Louis, Pagan was supplied with passports on the day on which
Josephine heard that she was to be divorced, but he jiid not immediately set out on his journey. Three days later, on December 3, the Emperor went in state
to

Notre

Dame

to celebrate his

victory

and the anniversary of

had the King of Saxony, Grand Duke of Warsaw, and the King's wife and marriageable daughter with him. After the It Deum he delivered his annual address to
his coronation.
his

He

Parliament before the Corps Legislatif and went out of his

way to praise Alexander and Russia and the heroic Russian army which, as he said, had conquered Finland and the Danubian States.
its

In a reference to Poland, the intention to restore


sovereignty
to send

ancient

was disclaimed.
into

the

moment
left

Pagan

England had

Fouche judged that arrived, and the

Boulogne, where, however, he failed to find means of crossing the Channel. Nor was he more successful at

Irishman

for

To the exasperation of his employer he reappeared at the Ministry of Police after the of about a week. Meanlapse while the speech to the Parliament wasbeing set out, with comments by Napoleon, for immediate transmission to Russia,
Dieppe.

from which country, on December n, a fresh batch of complaints had been received, The King of Saxony and his family left on the I2th for a short to at Grosbois stay preparatory
returning home. Napoleon accompanied them to the chateau and took the Russian Ambassador with him to the delight of old Kourakine and the chagrin of Schwarzenberg, the Am309

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


bassador of Austria.
the

KING

Not a soul now but felt convinced that Grand Duchess Anne was as good as Empress, The formal divorce took place on December 15, 1809, in the
of

presence

Mme.

Bonaparte the senior, Louis, the King of

Holland, Jerome, the

King

of

Westphalia, Pauline, the Princess

and Caroline, the Queen of Naples, as well as HorBorghese, the Queen of Holland, and Julie, the Queen of Spain. tense,

Napoleon read
the fact that he

was getting

to obscure so far as speech calculated possible rid of his French wife in favour of

some foreigner.

martyr's

crown was

offered to

Josephine,

who made

haste to

her reply. She It was the next afternoon in a carriage known as I' Of ale. for few hours afterwards Napoleon himself left the raining.

by expressing herself unable to read left the Tuileries for Malmaison with Hortense
it

wear

Trianon.

Next morning he was at Malmaison administering comforf; and the good Parisians, having been told everything, dried their tears, blessed Emperor and Empress, and suffered
their
all

no hurt to
It
if

pride.

was not

there

showmanship, however, and the odds are that, had been no political necessity, Josephine would have

retained her position. Napoleon did not approve of divorce; he detested change, especially under his own roof. And over

and above

all that,

he retained some shreds of affection for the


crowned.
it

woman whom he had was his own creation;


struck, to see her go.

distressed

her faults, Josephine, with him, when the moment

Meanwhile, in St. Petersburg, Alexander was congratulating himself that Napoleon's strategy of the council chamber was He purred his satisfaction when Caulaincourt sadly lacking,
conveyed'to him the request for the Princess

Anne and
to

the

French Emperor's assurance that he was willing

give all reasonable satisfaction about Poland. On the of Decemnight ber 28, 1809, the French Ambassador was bidden to dine;

Alexander opened his heart.


fessed,

His great

difficulty,

as

he confar

was the reluctance

of his nobles to be

committed too

to

with a country which, as things stood, had no friendship What was to happen to Franceand to Russia with heir.
France
at Napoleon's death? That question seemed to be the answer for which Caulaincourt was waiting Napoleon must
:

310

LHDVE

AND WAR
to follow.
definitive

marry Anne. But there was more dared that unless he could show a
that

Alexander de

treaty promising Poland would never be restored his position would remain difficult and Caulamcourt might even become impossible.

into a
Paris.

then said that Napoleon had no objection to putting his ideas for such was the direction he had received from treaty

No further doubt now remained in the Russian's mind, and he refrained from so much as mentioning the Continental System and the ports. The plan which he had concocted with London was assured, as he believed, of success.
Russia.

Napoleon, on his part, had digested the new complaints from He answered them with calculated asperity on New
"

Year's
I

Day

of the

year 1810,

I can't know what you want," he wrote. or make war on clouds. I leave destroy figments your.Majesty to judge which of us is the better ally, the better friend. To

"

really don't

mistrust

me

is

to have

by suggesting an extreme eagerness. In fact, Alexander had no susHe had drawn up a treaty, strong as an iron cage, in picions. for ever. which to hold his

This

letter

was

forgotten Erfurt and Tilsit." calculated to remove any suspicion

"The kingdom

captive of Poland,"

this

document

stated,

"will

never be re-established ... the names Poland and Pole will be


abolished for ever so far as any
official

or public statement

is

concerned."
It

was further provided

that the orders of

knighthood of the

old

kingdom

of Poland should be abolished, that

no

Pole,

who

was a

King

of Alexander, should ever be employed by the subject in his capacity as Grand Duke of Warsaw and of

Saxony

Grand Duchy of Warsaw should never at any time be was to obtain the signature of the King enlarged. Napoleon
that the

of Saxony to these terms, In other words, as Napoleon had correctly guessed, the indiscondition of a Russian marriage was the renunciation pensable Alexander to the Contimeans of France of

by

any

holding

nental System.
treaty

on January

Caulaincourt, wholly unsuspicious, signed this to his master's ratification, and it 4, subject

was immediately signed by Romiantsof, ratified by Alexander, and dispatched to Paris, The French Ambassador then pressed

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


for his

OF

KING

answer about the Princess,


his

Alexander said that he

would consult
on January

mother, because

his sister,

whose birthday
in a

fell

was only sixteen. 7, had now engaged Napoleon

his

enemy
to

position

where

he could hope to hold him for some time.


to his

He

turned

instantly

own

strategic plan,

which was
it

Marie Louise of Austria before


that, at the price suggested, the

marry the Archduchess was discovered in Vienna


a

Grand Duchess Anne was

luxury which he could not


fied at the

afford.

The

Austrians were so

terri-

prospect

of a Russian

marriage that while their fear

would agree to anything, On January 18 he drove out to Malmaison and had a long talk with Josephine. He had allowed Metternich to return to Vienna for the peace negotialasted they

Metternich was in Paris; his request was that should drop a hint to her old friend, The ex-EmJosephine was not unwilling, though she urged that by way of press reward she might be allowed to come back to Paris,
tions,

but

Mme,

so

Napoleon continued to praise Russia and all things Russian much so that Fouche sent Pagan off again on his travels.

This time a passage was secured at Ostend, on January 19, On the 2ist the Emperor returned to Malmaison, where good

news awaited him


riage

Mme.

Metternich was sure that the mar-

could be arranged. Three days later Josephine was given permission to return to the capital, On January 27 Metternich

wrote from Vienna to Schwarzenberg


"

having been made by the Empress JosepKine and Queen of Holland (Hortense) to Mme. de Metternich, His Imperial Majesty (Francis I) thinks it better to
distinct overtures

The most

pursue this unofficial but Francif was hesitating.

less

compromising road." Napoleon was made aware of

this

and experienced a lively anxiety. He had just received the about Poland from St, treaty Petersburg and thus obtained confirmation of
all

suspicions.

On

Sunday evening, January

29,

he called a council

at the Tuileries to advise

him

about his

second marriage, He allowed Europe to behold him torn between the choice of a Frenchwoman, a Saxon Princess, a

Russian Grand Duchess, and an Austrian Archduchess,


cleverly

So

was the
to

stage
lift

managed

that not a doubt remained that

he had only

his finger in order to obtain his cjesire,

t'GVE
Artless
for

AND WAR
occasionally

compliments

to Austria fell

from

his

lips;

example, to the objector


;

who

said that she

was no longer
at

great power he replied "It is well seen, sir, that you were not

the battle of

Wagram."

He

listened

patiently to all the advice offered to him, and,

of course,

became
his

quite

fulsome about Russia.

He

expressed

no opinion of
been
said,

But he had decided already, as has that an Austrian marriage was to be desired on

own.

almost every count. For one was woman thing Mane Louise Austria of Alexander's threatened both the props grown; again,
policy namely, the subjugation of the Poles tion of Marie Louise would

and the

acquisi-

Constantinople,

his hands put into

weapon whereby Alexander might be forced to support the Continental System and so to in the work of compelled help
As
it

obtaining a real peace.

happened, on that day of the matrimonial conference

Pagan was received in London by the Marquis Wellesley, who greeted him with the remark
:

have just heard that Napoleon has given orders for the invasion of Holland."

"

We

The news was


discuss

true in the sense that the


soldiers-

Dutch

about to be taken over by French

How,

ports then, could

were

England

as far off as ever.

peace seeing that the trade treaty was obviously of illness, reFagan retired, but, on
pretext

mained in London.
England was
clearly suspicious

another reason for haste on

Napoleon's part,
Petersburg.
act, called his

for

London

The Emperor,

exercised great influence in St. to while he awaited his

ipoment

brother Louis to Pans and dealt with


so that this friend of the

fullySo much

him faithAmsterdam money-

Nor was of lenders and English smugglers Was shaken. patron Hortense spared. She had quarrelled with her husband and
was
living

in Paris.

should accept favours from those

Napoleon demanded why such people whom their conduct was cal-

culated to injure in their most vital interests. He declared his intention of annexing Holland to his own crown, and then offered Louis a chance to rehabilitate himself by open-

suddenly with England. for peace ing negotiations


3 3
r

Let the Amsterdam

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


bankers send a

OF

KING
Baring

man

to

London

to

inform

Sir Francis

and and

his

that the days of smuggling were over, protege Wellesley unless was made, the outflow in that,

consequence,

peace

from London now beginning would soon assume terriLouis consented and saw Fouche, who, on fying proportions.
of gold

Ouvrard's prompting, suggested the name of the Dutch banker, Labouchere, Sir Francis Baring's son-m-law. Napoleon
approved,
tions.

and on February
sailed

Labouchere received

his instruc-

He
that

next day from Bnelle for


6.

Yarmouth and

reached

London on February

towards evening, Eugene de Beauharnais was day, sent by Napoleon to Schwarzenberg with the intimation that an Austrian marriage had been resolved upon and that a reply,
or no, yes bassador.

On

must be given by him at once in his capacity as AmIt was added that if he found himself unable to give
Schwarzenberg was plunged into the most

an immediate reply the offer would be withdrawn and would


not be renewed,
lively

important Eugene step. break out on his brow as he tried to come to a decision.
pose

no sort of uneasiness and distress, because he possessed to take so saw the sweat a authority
Sup-

he refused and Napoleon married the Russian

girl?

He

begged for time

enough time to send a courier to Vienna. The plea was refused out of hand; the Emperor's mind, it was
said,

was irrevocably made up. At last, in despair, the Ambassador agreed to back to sign the contract. Eugene hurried the Tuilenes where, to his in an he found
surprise,

Napoleon

excited

and anxious

state of

mind.

"When the word 'yes' fell from my mouth," Josephine's son stated, "I saw the so great man deliver himself to a joy I stood dumbfounded." wild that impetuourand

Council was called there and then and informed about


p

Napoleon's decison.

The

contract of marriage

was drawn up

midday Vienna for signature by the Emperor Francis. Napoleon showed the eagerness and resolution which characterized him

during the following night and was ready for signature early in the it was on its morning of February 7, 1810. By
to

way

on a

battlefield.

He

declared that the contract should reach

Vienna by the i3th and be back again, Paris on the signed, in Berthier would leave on the 2ind to 2ist. represent him in

3M

Lt)VE
Vienna
at die
2,

AND WAR

March

The new Empress would

marriage by proxy, which should occur about leave on the 7th and reach

Pans on the 26th,


heard them.

These calculations astounded everyone


the

who

possessed that he could not contain himself at the

Was

man

of so

little

self-respect

Hapsburg?

thought of marrying a have been obtained had the Enlightenment might

courtiers seen their

Emperor

drafting the

first

which he proposed

to send to Alexander,

of two messages This stated that the

offer for the Princess

drafting of the Polish Treaty was suggested, sent off at once and the business of
defeat resumed.

Anne must now be withdrawn, A reThe courier was


completing the Russian's

Before another night had passed Napoleon


of the details of the

had planned most


the

marriage.
to the

His wish

that these details should

exactly

conform

precedent of

with Marie Antoinette anyised his marriage Court and has beguiled historians, but, fact, he was not thinking about history. He must get Francis committed before his
of Louis

XVI

enemies had time to work on the man's mind; a marriage by

proxy in Vienna would shorten the period of acute danger by more than a week. He examined his battlefield once more with
unerring vision.

what was

afoot,

England would act the moment she realized and that action would take place in St, Peters-

burg, where Alexander would be urged to inform Francis at once that he had no intention of offering his sister. Since the

was concerned,

divorce from Josephine was based, so far as its religious aspect on the contentionadmitted by the solely

that, owing to the absence of the parish in fact, been from the nuptial benediction, there had, priest no marriage, its validity was open to doubt, Francis^reassured

Archbishop of Paris

on the subject of the Russian marriage, was certain to raise this an excuse for shuffling out of his bargain, nor was point as
he
likely,

in such circumstances, to listen to the contention that

the French ecclesiastical authorities were competent to deal with the matter. He would demand the intervention of the

man who had refused to dissolve Jerome's the had who marriage, pronounced excommunication upon French Emperor, and who was the French Emperor's prisoner
Pope
first

that brave old

at Savona.

The utmost

speed,

therefore,

combined with

delaying

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


policy for St,
to

OF

RING
courier left

where Alexander was concerned,


Petersburg on
the
of

A second

night February 7, of the proceed slowly. He carried the announcement Austrian marriage as though no doubt whatever existed a
of

with instructions

method
initiative

information
his

calculated

to

paralyze

Alexander's

and delay
:

communication with Vienna.

The

message declared

"We
alliance

feel

that the

with Russia;

it

our marriage will tend to strengthen adds to our eagerness to clasp Russia

to us."

But the powder was present under the jam. "


I

St.

cannot say," Napoleon instructed his Ambassador in " that the of Poland will never be rePetersburg,

kingdom
is

established. ...
all
'

My

object

to reassure Russia,

and

to

do

this

that^hould be necessary
to

is

a clause in these to

words

namely,

The Emperor Napoleon promises never


any power
or to any
of

support

body

of

or give any help kind that is trying any

to re-establish the

kingdom

Poland."

visit to

As usual Napoleon was ahead of his enemies. Labouchere's London, which coincided with the setting up of a " Bullion Committee" to discover why the sterling exchange

was falling in value, occasioned so much excitement in Government and financial circles that, for a moment, Russia was forgotten.

When

it

was seen

that

the

emissary had, in
lost.

fact,

nothing

to offer, valuable time

had already been

Nor

did

further talks with

Pagan do anything to alleviate English the same effect was produced in Vienna, much anxiety. Very where the fear of a Russian marriage had distorted judgment
and so quickened action in the opposite Emperor Trancis, smarting from the wounds
direction.

The

of

Wagram, and
put
spoke

the loss of Galicia to Russia, congratulated himself that, this a in time, he had stolen a. march on Alexander and the wheels that were rolling southward, across the mouths of the Danube, to Constantinople. He was scarcely less anxious

than his prospective son-in-law to hurry the marriage forward. Berthier was sent to Vienna;' the Archduke Charles stood
far his

proxy

conqueror at the first marriage in that city. Then, loaded with jewels, the poor little Archduchess, who, from her
cradle,

had heard her husband's name only


316

to

shudder

at

it,

.LOVE

AND WAR

was hustled out upon that highway down which Napoleon's armies had marched a few months' before, Berthier had only
received only one instruction the of the new
:

Ma{c

haste.

He had

organized

coming

Empress

into France as he

might have

The journey was attended by kind of the every splendour, by homage of kings and princes and nobles, by the acclamations of above all, it peoples; but,
organized a charge of cavalry.

was attended by speed. The same speed, as Napoleon had shown on die highways between St.
St.

was now being Petersburg and Pans and


foreseen,
of the marriage

Petersburg and Vienna,


as a

The news

had
to

come
".

heavy blow
:

to

Alexander, and indeed, according

Joseph de Maistre
.
,

effected a universal
a frontier of France.
political

panic.

There was Austria

be-

coming
sive

The

familial alliance
alliance

would soon
flf

be translated into a

and economic

an offen-

and defensive kind.


about Poland.

The Russian Emperor


treaty

Russia would be brought to nothing." at once prepared a fresh draft of his


sent
it

He

off to Paris

which Marie Louise


this latter

crossed the French frontier.

on the day on He had


It

already dispatched a special representative to Vienna.

was

move upon which Napoleon's

attention

was

fixed.

Could he obtain possession of his Empress before the Russian envoy had opened her father's eyes? The plans included a
second marriage in Paris; but that was not to take place for He determined to leave nothing to chance. several days.

While he awaited
Labouchcre's mission.

his

bride,

he heard

of* the

failure

of

he dictated day, February 24, he was to send 18,000 soldiers a with Holland which treaty by

The same

into that country to take possession of all the ports and of the of commerce. Louis' protests were brushed aside, apparatus and when a rumour reached Napoleop that Josephine's house, the Elysee, was becoming a focus of intrigue, the ex-Empress a second order to leave Paris. Next was ordered

brusquely

day

reached her

at

Malmaison

to the effect that,

on March

25, the

day when Marie


Navarre.
information.

Louise was expected to arrive, she must go to


of

Fouche was thus deprived

an important source of

saw Pagan, who had at last returned from March on 12, and realized that no hope of an arrangeEngland,

He

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


meat any longer
built
existed.

OF

KING

up

Ouvrard, however, because he had on the idea that peace would big speculative position

be made, was in no
for

mood

to

and accept defeat,

left

on the i5th
before the

Amsterdam

so as to install himself in that

city

arrival of the
treaty.

French

troops.

On

On

the i8th

Napoleon

the i6th Louis signed the new told him to send Labouchere

back to London, and then suddenly countermanded the order. Three days later Ouvrard saw Labouchere and informed him
that he, Ouvrard,

had been empowered

to act for

Napoleon,

who was now

ready to

make

ardently desired. Ouvrard get into touch at once with his father-in-law, Sir Francis Baring, to which Labouchere readily agreed. Copies of the relevant documents were then sent secretly to Fouche.

the treaty which London so urged the unsuspecting banker to

Once again the plan was to force Napoleon's hand at the season of nis marriage, when a refusal to make peace would create a undoubtedly among the mass of very bad
impression
people
of

who

had, of course,

no understanding
object, present

of the

meaning
mind,
that

London's claims. Another

to Fouche's

was the

alienation of Alexander
to

from France,

for the Russian

was bound
his

experience lively resentment

when he heard

had been negotiating behind his back. Alexander ally would most probably react by opening his own ports, and that
step,

coming
for

at

such a moment,

when

ardently

peace and the right

to trade,

the world longed might turn the scales

urging attempt peace but the Emperor's attention was engaged elsewhere. It had bedi arranged that Napoleon should meet his bride

against Napoleon, who could scarcely spend his honeymoon on a battlefield. Ouvrard to actually dared to write Napoleon, to make that a fresh should be made;

on March

28, near
retire

the

palace

of

Compiegne, and that she


to the

should then

with

frer

afternoon, however, the

in the palace. Early in the Cardinal asked Fesch, Emperor

women

presence
"

of witnesses,

if

marriage by proxy was a binding

ceremony.

She

off, accompanied only by but he urged his postilions forward until the royal carriages came into view. He then

He

is your wife," Fesch said. ordered his carriage and drove

Murat.

Floods of rain were

falling,

318

LOVE AND WAR


jumped out
with the
of his

own

carriage, and, to the astonishment of

his sister Caroline, the

new Empress,

Queen of Naples, who was travelling took his seat beside her. It was imme-

that he looked diately apparent upon himself already as a married man. By his orders die royal coach swept through
several
their
villages

where die

local worthies stood


as

ready to address
con-

sovereign, ducted the

As soon

Compiegne was reached he

He
"
last

Empress to their private apartments. took an early opportunity to write to his father-in-law
fulfils
all

She

my

hopes.

have not ceased, during the


proofs of the tender feelings

two

which unite

days, to give us."

and

receive

He had won
was
safe

his race
little

against
at

London and Alexander, and


rate, the

once again, for a

time

any

Continental

System

delivered of yet her child, to bind Poland to his system, If it had beerf necessary to divorce and marry a hundred times over in order to save his

for there

was

Mane Walewska,

not

system, he would not have hesitated as Marie Louise very This girl was neither fool nor fanatic, and quickly realized. the truth was not hidden from her. She had sacrificed herself
for Austria; he

was

sacrificing

himself

and her

for France.

On

that

common
to

prepared

ground, since there was no help for it, she meet him and even to like him. But she remained,

nevertheless, a Princess of the

House

of

Hapsburg, which he
herself the

had defeated and humiliated, and from which he had snatched

away

rich

provinces.

In her heart she

knew
made

spoil

of war.

He
the

did not resent that attitude; he

use of her from

"
"

moment of her coming to him. One of the chief means used by the English,"

heproclaimed,
allegation

to rekindle the

war on the Continent has been the


all

of

my

intention to overthrow

dynasties.

Circumstances

having placed

ing

me in a position to choose a consort, I have desired to deprive them of that dangerous pretext for disturbthe nations and sowing discord which has steeped Europe
Alexander was informed that the amended draft of the

in blood."

Polish Treaty could not be signed, and hints were dropped that, if Marie Walewska bore a son, that son might one day
319

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF

KING

become King of Poland. The Russian, having failed both in Vienna and in Paris, retired sulking once more to his tent,
Napoleon, amid the festivities of his marriage, studied the the were laid before him reports on foreign exchanges which
every day.
sterling

He

observed with delight that the value of the

pound

consequence golden guineas were being shipped out of England in order to be melted down since their gold-value had become greater than their
falling, at last.
loss of

was

and that

in

face-value.

The Continental System was exerting its influence London, very soon, would have to choose between the her gold and peace without debt.

320

PEACE WITH

HONOUR

CHAPTER XXXIII

THE
Dame

marriage of Napoleon and Marie Louise took at St. Cloud on 1810. The place April i, following day Cardinal Fesch the in Notre performed religious ceremony
civil

gave not ceased to work,

and Pans

itself to

feasting.

He

ratified the

But the Emperor had Dutch Treaty and sent

Louis and Hortense back to Holland, and he continued to


write
"
to

soothing

letters to

Alexander.

Meanwhile

the Ouvrard-Fouche to force plot "

him

into an
letter

English peace

was
;

developing rapidly,

Labouchere's

had Baring "


It

stated

the now, though only appears that (Napoleon) occasion of his marriage, ready to yield on the following
is

he

on

points
seatic

Malta,

Sicily,

Naples,

the Ionian

provinces,

the

Han-

towns, Holland, Portugal, and the greater part of the


colonies/'

Spanish

His

letter to

Wellesley said

"From
make an

result of his

he is becoming a preserver; the first conqueror with Mane Louise will be that he will marriage
peace
to

offer of

England,
proposal

Why
to

does not the


destroy
the

English Cabinet

make

to

France

United States of America, and by making them again deto lend his aid to pendent on England, persuade Napoleon
destroy
the life-work of Louis

XVI

Finally, peace

will

allow

England

to

pour

her

industrial

products

over

the

Continent."

The Trade Treaty


severely
in his

Sir Francis

Baring,

who was

suffering

by personal could scarcely contain himself, He sent an announcement to Wellesley, whom he had rescued from bankruptcy
System,

fortune

reason of the Continental

and over

whom

in

consequence
321

he exerted great influence,

to

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


the effect that he the letters at midnight of the

KING

had big news for him. Wellesley received same day, and next morning took

member of the Canning, who, though no longer a carried on discussions was his close friend. Ministry,
them
to

They

from April

8 to

time further comApril 14, during which

munications from Labouchere were received,


note from Fouche, saying " The note recently sent (to London) by received our most careful attention; it has
:

among them

M. Labouchere has
met with approval

and shows an excellent


situation."

spirit,

tact

and an appreciation of the


to

The

use of the

word "our" was intended

suggest

that

Napoleon himself was writing. A further suggestion to the same effect was the announcement that a certain Baron Kolly, whom Wellesley had sent to attempt the escape of Ferdinand
of Spain 'from Valencay and who had been arrested, would be exchanged. Wellesley and Canning finally agreed that the proposed American Settlement (Ouvrard's letter to Napoleon

had suggested that he, Napoleon, should seize the United States) and the untrammelled outlet for the great stores of
colonial

products

now

rotting on the wharves of the


for

Thames

would be very advantageous


therefore, to submit the

London.

It

was decided,

French plan to the Cabinet. Meanwhile Louis had returned to Amsterdam charged with the duty of closing the ports or abdicating. He saw Labouchere,
but told
later

him nothing
that

a fact

which confirms the view taken

from the beginning he had been party by NapoJeon to the and was plot working in collaboration with Ouvrard and Fouche. He had agreed, in Paris, to the of the
entry

French

troops,

but in

Amsterdam changed

his

mind,

tried to

close his frontiers,

and ordered

a general mobilization of his

army.

The Dutch,

terrified out of their wits, refused to act,

and Napoleon's soldiers entered. Easter had come and gone. As soon
laid Labouchere's letters before the

as

it

was over Wellesley

English Cabinet, to

whom

he explained that they represented Napoleon's views. There was no difficulty about this because Labouchere had
believing

formerly been employed by Napoleon. After some deliberation about the proposed Franco-British expedition to seize the
322

PEA.CE
United
States, it

WITH HONOUR
that the basis offered

was resolved

by Napoleon

was

entirely satisfactory,

No

sooner was this decision arrived at than Wellesley hurried

Baring. The illustrious financier had gone out; the Minister called three times before finding him. After full disto Labouchere was drafted in which cussion a reply
off to tell

was thanked

for his kindness in the matter of

Napoleon Baron Kolly a

matter of some amusement because

a week before Napoleon had written a long letter to Fouche from Compiegne about this man. Napoleon's letter, which was dated April 14, 1810,

ended
"

Keep

the

English agent in the closest confinement so that

he can have no outside communication whatever and renew


the strictest orders against his being given ink or paper," pens, Thus was Napoleon's case against London proved to the hilt by London itself, for these negotiations showecf that the British Cabinet was concerned only to obtain the Trade Treaty
as the

indispensable

means
to the

of

keeping the Continent and the


bankers.
It

whole world in debt

London

was shown,

moreover, that Sir Francis Baring was the real master of England, nor had the wily Fouche erred in believing that the
the subjugation of the United out of their system, in other words, could have had his peace with Napoleon, title at of his and full the any recognition Imperial England moment, had he cared to make his peace with London. Nor would the slightest opposition by his own subjects have been
States,

London bankers would welcome


which was threatening

to contract

experienced,
ardently

for

they

for the

knew nothing about finance and longed end of the war. It follows that this man

threw away ambition, in the sense in which that word is commonly understood, in order to serve a vision and rescue
not his

but the whole world, people only 1810, Baring himself 'wrote to Labouchere, April 24, of the decision of the English Cabinet. The him informing letter reached Amsterdam on the 26th and on the 2yth

own

On

Ouvrard was on
the banker

his

way

to Paris to consult with Fouche,


careful.

But

was not

sufficiently

His way

lay through
city

that day was visiting the Antwerp, and Napoleon Marie Louise. Napoleon saw again the face of the
3*3

with

man who

NAPOLEON; THE PORTRAIT


had
so

OF

KING
What,

Ouvrard in the
to Louis

nearly destroyed Low Countries?

him on

the eve of Austcrhtz.

The Emperor

sent a courier

demanding a searching inquiry. Ouvrard meanwhile continued his journey


that he

to Paris

without
con-

knowledge
cocted a
"
it

had been observed.

He and Fouche
:

new

letter to

Your

letter

Labouchere which began has been shown to the Emperor,


perfect,"

who
it

praised

and found
This
letter

it

was

immediately

dispatched;

reached

Amsterdam in time to fall into Napoleon's hands. He was growing more and more suspicious, for he began to see the hand of Alexander more and more clearly. What an excuse
the Russian

now
all

possessed

wrote a long

letter to

opening his ports. On May 20 he 241 Louis from Ostend in which he stated
for
:

"I know

and nothing your most secret arrangements

you tell ifie in a contradictory sense will be of any avail. need not speak of your feelings nor of your childhood."

You
sent

Three days

later,

on

from

242

May

23, 1810, a second letter

was

Lille:

"
"

To Louis Napoleon, King

of

Holland.
the finest

very moment I learn that protestations

At

the

when you

are

making me

ill

used.

my Ambassador's people have been In consequence of this I will have no Dutch

(in Paris): Admiral Verhuell, who is at has to be gone in twenty-four hours. I will have orders Paris, no more talking and vowing. It is high time for me to know

Ambassador here

whether you intend


the ruin of

jour
in

bring Holland to misery and cause country by your follies. I will not have you
to
I
I

send a Minister to Austria.

Frenchmen
master

your

service.
. .

have you dismiss the will not keep an Ambassador in

will not

Holland any longer.


(i.e.,

As

it

was the Russian Ambassador's

Alexander) who placed you on your throne it is natural that you should follow his advice. Write me no quite more of your usual twaddle; three years now it has been going

on and every

instant

proves

its

falsehood!"
"
:

in Postscript Napoleon's writing shall ever write in life,"

This

is

the last letter

you

my

324

PEACE WITH HONOUR


The
of

scathing taunt, that Alexander

Holland, expressed the writer's bitterness. was showing himself more hostile
daily.
St.

had made Louis King For Alexander


Napoleon dismissed
243
:

Fouche on the

spot,

hurried back to
his
is

Cloud," and on June 6

wrote to General

"The Ouvrard
to the bottom.
for

Savary, business

new

Minister of Police
serious;
it

growing

must be

sifted

Have him taken

to Vincennes.

You

will send

Governor; you will employ a few trustworthy gendarmes, and you will take every measure, in fact, to prevent his holding communication with anybody. ... I shall have the examinations conducted by Mounier, my Private so as to make the matter more and Secretary, impressive
obtain full and clear

die

knowledge of everything that happens, great point is that he should be put into solitary confinement in Vmcennes, and that henceforward he should

"The

see

no one.

more important

State

criminal has

never

existed."
It

to

trade with

was now discovered that Louis had been granting licences England and these were declared "null and
Real was sent to Fouche's house to examine his papers seals had been placed but arrived too late to
a

void."

upon which

prevent a conflagration,
date July i:
"

"

Napoleon wrote to Fouche, under

le due d'Otrante (Fouche's title), your services can no to me. be You would do well to leave acceptable longer within twenty-four hours to take up your residence in the

M.

district for

which you are senator." Napoleon's mind was concerned chiefly with the use which
affair as a

Alexander would make of the

means

of

escaping
to

from

his

alliance

with France,
24S
:

He

sent

an "Depress"

Caulaincourt with instructions " You will point out the falsehood of the imputation that

we
its

carry

on commerce with England; ^nd you

will

say

that

on the fact that we granted a passage only foundation rests to a few vessels laden with corn. " You will inform him that we have not written to Lord

Wellesley,
to

who,

therefore, cannot have said that

we

did write

him.
"

If

such a statement was

made

it is

lie.

That neither has any overture been made by Holland; that


325
Y

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


the

KING

Duke

of Otranto (Fouche) alone,

on

his

own

responsibility

and without the Emperor's approval, put Ouvrard, a financier, and a certain Pagan, a relation of Lord Wellesley's, into communication with the Minister, not so much for purposes of a that when the as to carry on negotiation spying system;

Emperor heard

of

it

he dismissed the

Duke

of Otranto

from

English

the Ministry of Police; that the English therefore boast falsely when they boast of having received overtures; . that the are in a and that they are not so little very bad
. .

way

peace proposals as they pretend," This last statement was true, for the Bank of England's notes were depreciating faster than the Continental issues of

inclined to listen to

paper money.

"For
"

the

first

quarter

of 1810,"

says

R. G,

240

Hawtrey,

the

Hamburg exchange
First

catastrophe,

averaged barely 29. Then came the embarrassments arose from the

disappoint-

ing results of the South American trade.


contract

Credit began to

and the exchange on Hamburg rose suddenly in

to 31. In July Napoleon, seeking to complete his April, 1810, of exclusion, annexed Holland; in he

system

August

imposed

liberally smuggled and Oldenburg. Partly

a prohibitive tariff on colonial products such as had been so in; in December he annexed
as

Hamburg

the inevitable reaction after the

of 1808 and 1809, feverish activity pardy as the result of the increased seventy of the Continental System, the second half of 1810 was marked by a violent financial crisis in

England." Never had. Napoleon's hopes burned more brightly; his Louis and Fouche and Ouvrard was therefore the anger against
of an acute anxiety. Louis, determined to resist his expression brother to the end, abdicated and fled by night out of Holland

on

July

i.

tions in the

Napoleon published Momteur.

a full account of the

negotia-

CRISIS

CHAPTER XXXIV

ON
grounds,

May 4, 1810, Marie Walcwska gave birth to a son in her husband's chateau of Walewice, Napoleon was well
effect this event

aware of the

was

likely

to exert
as

on Alexander's
personal

mind and

rejoiced
for

therefore on

political

well as on

became involved in furious immediately with the Dutch merchants, At the same time he quarrels gave to the Swedes in active rid of their getting King, who was help
his inveterate

enemy. He and at Hamburg and

he no longer doubted that the Russian was his set himself to stamp out smuggling in Holland

enemy. The
to

Emperor had meant

new King was a feeble maft, and the he the name of a suggest person whom

could trust as Regent and Prince Royal. He discovered that who had for long been in command of the troops on Bernadotte,
the Danish frontier, had
for

managed

to

to ask persuade the Swedes

him.

Napoleon

hesitated because Bernadotte, at the battle

of

Wagram, had shown once more


manifested at Auerstadt
friend,

the hostile

spirit

which he

had

and elsewhere.

The man was

England's

At

last,

however, owing to the insistence


given.

of the Swedes, consent

was

The Emperor's

state of

mind

is

shown by

the fact that he struck out the following

dictated the letter which by himself, from. 247 he sent to the new Prince Royal on September 10, 1810 " These letters patent give you authority to become a Swede;

passage, previously

one clause only has been added, to the effect that youj personally, cannot bear arms against France. This restriction is in conformity

with the Constitution of the Empire; it agrees with and is not, indeeS, opposed to the duty your own inclination about to ascend, which can never, of the throne except you are in utter madness, be at war with France."
Bernadotte was urged to form an alliance with

Denmark
to

and the Duchy of Warsaw (/'.<?,, Napoleon's Poland) in order which caused lively uneasiness a close the Sound prospect
St.

in

Petersburg

and inclined Alexander

to

peaceful

courses.

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAI-T OF


Napoleon then turned
his attention to

KING
to Savona.

Rome and

His brother Lucien,' once the fiercest of Jacobins, had now espoused the Pope's cause with an equal enthusiasm and was

become

a leader of the revolting clergy.

Pamphlets of
for

all sorts

were being printed and

circulated, chiefly Spanish conabout the horrible tyrannies of the French sumption, Emperor and about the brutal fashion in which he was persecuting the Church and its venerable Head, Napoleon deprived Lucien of

his

Senatorship (September 27, 1810), but not before that stub-

born

man had

sailed

with

his

family for America and been

the English. The captured by Pope, meanwhile, was placed a under very strict surveillance and deprived of all means of

measures which communicating with the outside world failed completely either to daunt his courage or to diminish his
campaign.

218

"As
"

rfbthing will teach the


I

Pope

sense,"

Napoleon wrote,

my predecessors did before me, and depose a Pope." All the Pope's papers were seized; but care nevertheless was
taken of his person Napoleon wrote to Prince Borghese " I am to observe that glad you have taken the steps I prescribed to the prevent Pope distilling his poison into the Em: :

he shall see that

am

strong enough to do as

is perhaps too small; I give matters so that he shall not suffer, and to arrange you liberty to 100,000 or raise his Do not 150,000 francs. expenditure

pire.

The sum
to

of 15,000 francs

him any external sign of consideration, but furnish him with an abundance of all necessaries so that no one may be
allow
in any discomfort." suppose him to be The truth was that affairs in Spain, where Wellesley was now campaigning against Napoleon's Marshals, were going
able to

the hope of closing the. Straits badly and that, in consequence, " was being deferred. "Few people," said the Emperor, saw in my Spanish policy the control of the Mediterranean." The

Pope,

had been proved, was capable of playing a decisive to the influence exerted on the Spaniards by their part owing therefore classed his opposition with that of priests. Napoleon
as

Louis and Lucien (and, to a lesser extent, Joseph and Jerome resisted it with all the means in his also), and power, just as he

would have

resisted

a hostile

army.

Whatever they might

328

CRISIS
think, his family and the Pope were playing London's game and, now that he had got London definitely on the run, he would not permit that of them should weaken him,

any

year 1811 began in this anxious and violent atmosphere. French trade was and was

The

means

languishing being supported by export licences which it was easy to represent as breaches in the Continental System, made by the Emperor for 219 his own but forbidden to his allies, the Poles advantage
of

always excepted.

Napoleon did not care. He had only one and that enemy enemy was beginning to yield ground; everywhich thing strengthened France and weakened London was
in his
eyes.

justified

He

behaved exactly

as

he was accustomed

to behave

on the

field of battle,

snatching sleep

when he

could

get

it, receiving reports and dispatching couriers. Ships, armies, kingdoms, his family, his wives, his children, the Holy See itself were the materials of this war which he at least called

holy and national

power
"

which he was waging single-handed against an interthat, as he believed, had destroyed the authenof

tic civilization

thrones.

Money," he exclaimed

the Europe, ruined the Church and broken " is in stronger than despair,

despotism."

Why

was
did

their

enemy

also

could not Pope and kings see that his enemy their blindness he and that in

opposing

them great

service?

He still refused to sign Alexander's treaty about Poland, rebuke to Caulaincourt for having signed it. sent a sharp " "
People,"

and

he wrote,

must imbue themselves with the coninckof me


'

viction that nothing in the world would document of a dishonourable nature that
; '

the words

Poland

a sign to sign consequently will not be re-established would be more


to
it

than to acknowledge the Partition;

would be

blasting

my

own

character,"
;

In conversation with his Foreign Minister he asked " What is Russia after? Does she want war? ...
at

will be

war with her on the day on which she makes peace with I have no re-establish Poland. I do not propose to England. desire to finish my course among her sandy deserts. ... But
'

neither will

disgrace myself by declaring

that

the

kingdom
I

of Poland will never be re-established.'


fool of myself

Why

should

make

God would be by using language which only


2 3 9

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT OF


entitled to use?

RING
by putting
I

Why
take

should

stain

my memory
.

my
to

seal

on an
to

act of 'Maechiavelhan

policy?

No,

refuse

promise nothing against me,


offered

up arms against men who have done

who

have served

me

well,

who

have

me

a constant witness of their goodwill and

shown me

devotion."

leon sent to
Paris

This conversation was to be repeated to Alexander. NapoWarsaw a request to Marie Walewska to come to

and bring her baby son with


for
her.

her.

She travelled with her


a

sister-in-law,

Princess Jablonowska, and occupied

house

specially

prepared

The Emperor

called

upon her

immediately after her arrival and there and then created the infant a Count of the French Empire. Dr. Corvisart,
leon's

own

doctor,

was instructed

to look after

Napomother and child

and a large sum was set aside for their entertainment. These semi-pubKc acts were carefully reported in St. Petersburg.
Alexander replied to them by publishing, anonymously, a statement to the effect that he had made a secret treaty with Napoleon

whereby the restoration of Poland was rendered impossible. Soon afterwards the Russian Emperor began to fortify his
western frontier and to concentrate troops behind it. " On the day," Napoleon told Metternich, who had returned " as Ambassador to Paris, on which I see myself forced to go to

war with
the

Russia,

will

have a powerful and important


to

ally

in

King

of Poland'."

Alexander
but

now began

woo

the Poles on his

own

account,

been admitting small recently of into his he began quantities English goods ports; suddenly to of at once The the French accept large quantities. Emperor
wrote to him, through his Ambassador.

made no headway.

He had

"At

this

moment,

sacrifices

have been

sir, when the object for which all our made seems to lie within our reach, you

for the a
joint

ought to urge upon the Russian Government the importance common cause for Russia herself, who wants peace, of
action with France in
secure.

peace order die seizure of

make
They

Urge
all

striking that the

the final blow

which
his

will

the

ships

Emperor which make use of

of Russia shall
ports.

all

enough

carry produce; that alone ought to be reason for their condemnation. All colonial is necescolonial

produce

330

CRISIS
sarily

come

English merchandise no matter under what flag it may to To seize it, therefore, is to act in accordance part,

with the

engagements entered into by the Continental powers. Threat of seizure will at this moment be of the value greatest
to the Continent,

Never before has England found


is

herself in

such a
is

state of distress as she


all

now

due above

to the

steps recently taken

experiencing; by the

this distress

Emperor

Napoleon, "

The

condition of

England grows worse every


a

day.

Her

bank-notes have become

paper money

the value of which has

already declined. Bankruptcies are increasing in number; that of the House of Becker, which speculated in colonial produce, was occasioned by the failure of these The downspeculations.

Mr. Goldsmith, one of the pillars of the City, English say, was due also, though indirectly, to the same
fall

of

as the

cause.

He had

underwritten a large part of the

latest

GSvernment

loan and had received Government securities.

The merchants

speculating in colonial produce, who were dependent on the sale of their produce which sale has not taken place have to sell their Government securities to meet their been forced
obligations.

Government

securities,

including the

last

loan,

have fallen in consequence, and by their fall have ruined Mr. Goldsmith, who has blown out his brains, The effect, as it
held back happens, was produced by a contrary wind, which or the Baltic; what the cargoes going to the north of Germany

would not be achieved


seized at the

moment

Russia were if all the cargoes going to WeJiave reliable inof their arrival?

formation that English trade is almost at a standstill and that and all England is now inclining towards peace; a little more
her appetite for war will have vanished, shut against English trade. ..."
Just after this letter
lish

Sweden

is

about to be

was sent

off a

huge convoy
to

laden with cargo entered the* Baltic. ships


full

EngNapoleon was
and

of 600

informed and sent couriers at

Mecklenburg gallop Prussia to order that the ships were in no circumstances to be


allowed to land their goods. The convoy was hunted from It entered Russian waters on the day on which a to
port
port,

dispatch

from Napoleon was thrust


that
:

into Alexander's

hands

urging him

33 1

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


"

OF

KING

To

seize these 600

of

all victories

cargoes over England,

will be to

What

win the most splendid what profit for glory and


Napoleon
Prince.

Russia!"

But Alexander allowed the cargoes to be landed.

now

seized

Oldenburg, of which State the Grand Duchess


of
Russia's

Catherine

husband

was

the

reigning

Alexander reacted by issuing a ukase placing import taxes on all French goods entering Russia, and so inaugurated a new Continental

System aimed against Napoleon. At the same time he completed the secret mobilization on the Polish frontier of an army 240,000 strong, which he had been gathering during
several

months and with which he meant


250

to

advance upon
proclaim a reto assume
did his plans

Warsaw.

It

was

his

purpose, thereafter, to

storation of

Poland under his


title

own

protection and

immediately the end at Warsaw.

of

King

of Poland.

Nor

He had

resolved to

march on

into Prussia, to

reform the Prussian army, and, having summoned Austria to help him, to begin a march across Germany into France. Not the Continental System alone, but Napoleon himself was to be
destroyed.

This design

failed

moment

they

knew about

because the Poles sprang to arms the it and at the same time sent mes-

sengers galloping to Paris.

Alexander
at a

lost his nerve,

Early in

February, 1811, Napoleon, a loud voice " I have been speaking about Poland to-day instead of about Russia."
:

public audience, announced in

And
"

Tchernitchef,

who

heard this remark, commented


a

The women were


shown

playing

big

part at this time, especially


,

since the afrival in Paris of

favour was

to this

Madame Walewska. who had an lady


. . .

Great

infant with

her to

whom

The

also the was paid." Continental System had fallen wounded in grievously

utmost attention

the hour of

its

triumph,

33 2

THE SYSTEM HAS

AN HEIR

CHAPTER XXXV

NAPOLEON reason of Alexander's embargo on the entry of French


and Prussian and Austrian goods, and that " within the body of Europe by which the loss had been
Paris
so

defend his system which, by prepared to

goods into Russia, was already crippled, French merchants, unable to dispose of their goods, became unable to buy Russian
"
internal trade

of external trade

countered began to break down. From bankruptcy spread all over Europe, and the* Emperor found himself surrounded by and desperate traders. angry
successfully

"

"Complain," he urged his Ambassador in about the behaviour of Russia, and

St,

Petersburg,

especially

about the un-

ukase of December 19-31. Can one imagine a state of of which to of an alliance, say nothing during the course peace, one of the two nations burns all the merchandise of the other
friendly

which happens

to fall into its

hands?

What

effect

must such

an auto-da-fe produce? Do they take us, then, which has grown deaf to the voice of honour?
rascals

for a nation

Those

who

have advised the Emperor of Russia to adopt such measures are

who

are

taking advantage
silks of

of his char^ttJ,
is

know

that to

burn the

Lyons

to

Well they alienate the two

nations from each other so that a breath of


into war.
. .
.

wind can plunge nations Great and them especially great powers are more motives of honour than by motives easily swayed by be forced to of The go to gain Emperor (Napoleon) may war with Russia to save his honour ana to avoid the reproach
of
fulness of his what Louis XV, glory, having endured, in the not would in the arms of Mme. have endured," Dubarry, asleep

wrote personally to Alexander at the same time on the of the annexation of subject Oldenburg. "That country," he said, "has always been the centre of
the

He

smuggling business with England,


333

England and

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


Europe believe that our
alliance

OF

KING
,

no longer
.

exists.

Cun-

England keep on wearying your If ears with slanders, Majesty's your Majesty has no real intention of being reconciled with England, you will feel the
ning fellows in the' pay of
, ,

need, for yourself and for myself, of dissipating these clouds." This very gentle tone, in view of the recent threat to invade
the

Duchy

Napoleon stood in a position in which could give him Even the


victory.

of Warsaw, was adopted because, for the first time, no success in the field
of the complete destruction
it

Russian

armies

would
the

not

smuggling along were not enough Frenchmen in the world


task.

whole

possible coastline of the Baltic


to

make

to

prevent
for there

undertake that

Again, the internal European trade could scarcely be helped by a new war, whereas war must inevitably and greatly increase the demand for English merchandise, This last consideratioit

aware

that, if

was the most important, for Napoleon was well he had to meet Russia in the field, he himself

would be forced to buy great quantities of English woollen and other goods and so, himself, to bring succour to his enemies and ruin to his system. It was a chief object of English policy to rekindle war on the Continent, and so to open markets
which in peace and under the system
trade were closed.
of internal

European

Peace in Europe, indeed, if it lasted long with meant, enough, Napoleon in power, that universal debtless

peace which was the object of French policy. "Without Russia," Napoleon exclaimed bitterly, "the Con-

Systran* an absurdity." struggled day and night to avoid the war England was him without at the same time sacrificing the forcing upon
tinental

He

supreme
his help.

aifa of his

life.

And

once more Providence came to

On March

20, 1811, in the Tuileries

Marie Louise

gave birth to a son.

The confinement of the Empress was a very severe one and shook her husband's nerves, He had insisted on being present
to
his wife in his arms, but when it became necessary use of forceps poor Marie Louise's cries drove him fainting from the room. Soon afterwards he was asked by the doctors to choose between his wife and his son for the sex

and holding

make

of the child

had been determined owing


334

to the character of the

THE SYSTEM HAS AN HEIR


Napoleon unhesitatingly bade them "save the thus his dearest Soon afterwards mother," sacrificing hopes. he was told that mother and son were well, He now fell into
presentation.
a condition of

great nervous exhaustion

and burst

into tears.

room, and from the window, hidden by the blind, watched the demonstrations of his people round the This spectacle drew fresh tears from his He palace. eyes.
his wife's

He

haunted

gave the child the


of

title

of

Napoleon Francis bore his grandname; urgent requests were sent to the Emperor of Austria to come to Pans for the and every availchristening,
father's

Charlemagne had chosen, pomp and circumstance,

the same which Rome, and surrounded him with every kind

251

King

of

able

means were employed


existing that what

alliance

to emphasize the closeness of the between Paris and Vienna. The French

learned

was good enough

for

their

workaday

sovereign was by no means good enough for his wife or his son. Napoleon Francis had his own household, his own carriages,
his

own

attendants; plans to build a palace for him,


still

high above the Seine, were passed by his father while


lay in the great silver cradle

he

which the

citizens of the

capital

had given him. Nor was Napoleon lacking in the office of fatherhood. Until now his brother Louis and Louis' eldest son had been
herself

nature asserted the sole recipients of his paternal care; pent up and he became nurse and mother to Napoleon Francis, Marie Louise and terrifying the Court. He planned astonishing the baby's days and kept vigil often over itwtfghts. Marie Louise's wonder She had testified already that he

deepened.

was very kind

to her, but the of the spectacle

brigand chief

conquered by his babe challenged all her ideas aboflt him. Nor- was there insincerity in this marriage of paternity to He had been ready to relinquish the child for its politics. he was mother's sake, but it, he meant to use it as

having got Couriers galloped across the face far his system. using himself the news, and as he saw them go the Emperor, of with Europe
strangely
letters."

"These are good while the letter to was not forgotten; Josephine Francis of Austria contained an expression of the deepest gratisoftened these days, exclaimed:
tude.

335

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT


The
position,

OF

KING

Napoleon now

of view, was that political point for he had three sons and three wives possessed

from the

adopted Eugeae de Beauharnais. Thus France, Austria, and Poland had shares in his system that were not, like his own life,
wasting
assets.

He had won

the future.

That

fact

was

Alexander
Poles,

still

in St. Petersburg where clearly understood smarted from his rebuff at the hands of the
visit

Alexander watched with growing uneasiness the


to Paris to

of

Pomatowski

and congratulate Napoleon


still

receive

Napoleon's congratulations; uneasiness increased

further

when

Caulaincourt, the French Ambassador,


explain

was

recalled to

Paris to

why he had

so readily signed the treaty with

Russia.
of the in St, Petersburg English Government Alexander to with into touch Bernadotte, the urged get Prince ifoyal of Sweden, who, thanks to the weakness of

The

agents

now

King Charles XIII, was already master of the country, and offer him Norway, at that time a Danish possession. Bernadotte snatched

French eagerly at the bait and actually told the


:

Ambassador in Stockholm
"

Norway wants to give herself to us; I can get that country from other hands than those of Napoleon, though, believe me,
I

should prefer to receive

it

from

his hands.
at his

If

he

is

willing

will
lets

put fifty or sixty thousand me lead them in


person."

men

disposal provided he

an army into object was to obtain leave to transport Swedish Pomfcrafiia in order ultimately to threaten Napoleon's in position Germany and the Emperor instantly recognized it. crossWhen Caulaincourt arrived in Paris in June

The

Napoleon

examined

ffim.

Napoleon: You've been duped.


the Greek (Alexander^, Caulaincourt: Your

I'm an old fox.

I-

know

Majesty must choose,

think, between

Poland and Russia.

Napoleon: Which do you favour? Caulamcourt: Alliance. Prudence.


:

Peace.
.
.
.

be lasting and honourable. Napoleon is to be If and honourable, England must be conpeace lasting vinced that she can find no more allies on the Continent Peace?
let it
. . .

Then

336

THE STSTEM HAS AN HEIR


and Russia and her hordes must no longer be in a position to break out into Central Europe. Caulaincourt : So your Majesty favours Poland? I don't want war. I'm not hankering to restore Napoleon: of Poland. the What I want is an alliance with kingdom
Russia that will be of some value to me.
Since the of ships neutral nations were admitted to Russian the (so-called) ports alliance has been of no value to me.

Caulaincourt:
Majesty.

The

question

of

war and peace

rests

with your

Napoleon: You speak like a Russian. Caulaincourt: No, Sire, like a good Frenchman, Napoleon I don't want war.
:
.

The

fact

remained that Alexander had


certainly

tried to

win the

Poles.

Napoleon abandoned them, and in that event would unite with Prussia and march* through
succeed
if

He would

Germany against France. The choice lay, therefore, not between Russia and Poland, as Caulaincourt had been persuaded by
Alexander, but between the intimidation of the Russian

Em-

whatperor and another great European conflagration which, ever the issue, would give London a new and prolonged lease of life by breaking up the Continental System and, as has been
said,

making

of

Napoleon himself

good customer

of the

English factories. Bernadotte knew

this too, for, like Alexander, he had been enchanted by London and was in process of instruction. On August 26, 1811, at Drottningholm, he had ?rtlolent quarrel

with the French Ambassador and told him

"111 do nothing for France till I know what the Emperor means to do for me. I comfort myself with the feelings which the Swedes entertain towards me. I have a people which takes

my
own
felt

horses

from

hands.

my When

carriage

and draw$ the carriage with

its

ashamed of myself.

cible,

who

superior

upon troops, obviously and a speed far orders with a carry out precision to those shown by French troops, and I know that I

they gave I look

me

that proof of their love,

invin-

have only to say to these huge fellows: 'Forward, march!' will carry everything before them. ..." and
they

Napoleon had

just

received a

report

of this

speech

when he

337

NAPOLEON: THE PORTRAIT

OF

KING

almost happened to hear the Russian Ambassador in Paris using the same words about Alexander, Not a doubt remained in

mind that a Northern League Russia, Sweden, Englandhad been formed against him. Bernadotte, as he realized, had been a close friend of Madame de Stael and her financiers, of
his

brothers Louis and Talleyrand, of Ouvrard, of Fouche, of his


of Pozzo di Borgo, too, that enemy of his Joseph and Jerome,

who was now fulfilling the instructions of London his own vendetta in Al