Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, v7
Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

Part 1 out of 2

This etext was produced by David Widger

[NOTE: There is a short list of bookmarks, at the end of several of the
files for those who may wish to sample the author's ideas before making
an entire meal of them. D.W.]



His Private Secretary

Edited by R. W. Phipps
Colonel, Late Royal Artillery





Mr. Pitt--Motive of his going out of office--Error of the English
Government--Pretended regard for the Bourbons--Violation of the
treaty of Amiens--Reciprocal accusations--Malta--Lord Whitworth's
departure--Rome and Carthage--Secret satisfaction of Bonaparte--
Message to the Senate, the Legislative Body, and the Tribunate--
The King of England's renunciation of the title of King of France--
Complaints of the English Government--French agents in British ports
--Views of France upon Turkey--Observation made by Bonaparte to the
Legislative Body--Its false interpretation--Conquest of Hanover--
The Duke of Cambridge caricatured--The King of England and the
Elector of Hanover--First address to the clergy--Use of the word
"Monsieur"--The Republican weeks and months.

One of the circumstances which foretold the brief duration of the peace
of Amiens was, that Mr. Pitt was out of office at the time of its
conclusion. I mentioned this to Bonaparte, and I immediately perceived
by his hasty "What do you say?" that my observation had been heard--but
not liked. It did not, however, require any extraordinary shrewdness to
see the true motive of Mr. Pitt's retirement. That distinguished
statesman conceived that a truce under the name of a peace was
indispensable for England; but, intending to resume the war with France
more fiercely than ever, he for a while retired from office, and left to
others the task of arranging the peace; but his intention was to mark his
return to the ministry by the renewal of the implacable hatred he had
vowed against France. Still, I have always thought that the conclusion
of peace, however necessary to England, was an error of the Cabinet of
London. England alone had never before acknowledged any of the
governments which had risen up in France since the Revolution; and as the
past could not be blotted out, a future war, however successful to
England, could not take from Bonaparte's Government the immense weight it
had acquired by an interval of peace. Besides, by the mere fact of the
conclusion of the treaty England proved to all Europe that the
restoration of the Bourbons was merely a pretext, and she defaced that
page of her history which might have shown that she was actuated by
nobler and more generous sentiments than mere hatred of France. It is
very certain that the condescension of England in treating with the First
Consul had the effect of rallying round him a great many partisans of the
Bourbons, whose hopes entirely depended on the continuance of war between
Great Britain and France. This opened the eyes of the greater number,
namely, those who could not see below the surface, and were not
previously aware that the demonstrations of friendship so liberally made
to the Bourbons by the European Cabinets, and especially by England, were
merely false pretences, assumed for the purpose of disguising, beneath
the semblance of honourable motives, their wish to injure France, and to
oppose her rapidly increasing power.

When the misunderstanding took place, France and England might have
mutually reproached each other, but justice was apparently on the side of
France. It was evident that England, by refusing to evacuate Malta, was
guilty of a palpable infraction of the treaty of Amiens, while England
could only institute against France what in the French law language is
called a suit or process of tendency. But it must be confessed that this
tendency on the part of France to augment her territory was very evident,
for the Consular decrees made conquests more promptly than the sword.
The union of Piedmont with France had changed the state of Europe. This
union, it is true, was effected previously to the treaty of Amiens; but
it was not so with the states of Parma and Piacenza, Bonaparte having by
his sole authority constituted himself the heir of the Grand Duke,
recently deceased. It may therefore be easily imagined how great was
England's uneasiness at the internal prosperity of France and the
insatiable ambition of her ruler; but it is no less certain that, with
respect to Malta, England acted with decidedly bad faith; and this bad
faith appeared in its worst light from the following circumstance:--
It had been stipulated that England should withdraw her troops from Malta
three months after the signing of the treaty, yet more than a year had
elapsed, and the troops were still there. The order of Malta was to be
restored as it formerly was; that is to say, it was to be a sovereign and
independent order, under the protection of the Holy See. The three
Cabinets of Vienna, Berlin, and St. Petersburg were to guarantee the
execution of the treaty of Amiens. The English Ambassador, to excuse the
evasions of his Government, pretended that the Russian Cabinet concurred
with England in the delayed fulfilment of the conditions of the treaty;
but at the very moment he was making that excuse a courier arrived from
the Cabinet of St. Petersburg bearing despatches completely, at variance
with the assertion of Lord Whitworth. His lordship left Paris on the
night of the 12th May 1803, and the English Government, unsolicited, sent
passports to the French embassy in London. The news of this sudden
rupture made the English console fall four per cent., but did not
immediately produce such a retrograde effect on the French funds, which
were then quoted at fifty-five francs;--a very high point, when it is
recollected that they were at seven or eight francs on the eve of the
18th Brumaire.

In this state of things France proposed to the English Government to
admit of the mediation of Russia; but as England had declared war in
order to repair the error she committed in concluding peace, the
proposition was of course rejected. Thus the public gave the First
Consul credit for great moderation and a sincere wish for peace. Thus
arose between England and France a contest resembling those furious wars
which marked the reigns of King John and Charles VII. Our beaux esprits
drew splendid comparisons between the existing state of things and the
ancient rivalry of Carthage and Rome, and sapiently concluded that, as
Carthage fell, England must do so likewise.

Bonaparte was at St. Cloud when Lord Whitworth left Paris. A fortnight
was spent in useless attempts to renew negotiations. War, therefore, was
the only alternative. Before he made his final preparations the First
Consul addressed a message to the Senate, the Legislative Body, and the
Tribunate. In this message he mentioned the recall of the English
Ambassador, the breaking out of hostilities, the unexpected message of
the King of England to his Parliament, and the armaments which
immediately ensued in the British ports. "In vain," he said, "had France
tried every means to induce England to abide by the treaty. She had
repelled every overture, and increased the insolence of her demands.
France," he added, "will not submit to menaces, but will combat for the
faith of treaties, and the honour of the French name, confidently
trusting that the result of the contest will be such as she has a right
to expect from the justice of her cause and the courage of her people."

This message was dignified, and free from that vein of boasting in which
Bonaparte so frequently indulged. The reply of the Senate was
accompanied by a vote of a ship of the line, to be paid for out of the
Senatorial salaries. With his usual address Bonaparte, in acting for
himself, spoke in the name of the people, just as he did in the question
of the Consulate for life. But what he then did for his own interests
turned to the future interests of the Bourbons. The very treaty which
had just been broken off gave rise to a curious observation. Bonaparte,
though not yet a sovereign, peremptorily required the King of England to
renounce the empty title of King of France, which was kept up as if to
imply that old pretensions were not yet renounced. The proposition was
acceded to, and to this circumstance was owing the disappearance of the
title of King of France from among the titles of the King of England,
when the treaty of Paris was concluded on the return of the Bourbons.

The first grievance complained of by England was the prohibition of
English merchandise, which had been more rigid since the peace than
during the war. The avowal of Great Britain on this point might well
have enabled her to dispense with any other subject of complaint; for the
truth is, she was alarmed at the aspect of our internal prosperity, and
at the impulse given to our manufactures. The English Government had
hoped to obtain from the First Consul such a commercial treaty as would
have proved a death-blow to our rising trade; but Bonaparte opposed this,
and from the very circumstance of his refusal he might easily have
foreseen the rupture at which he affected to be surprised. What I state
I felt at the time, when I read with great interest all the documents
relative to this great dispute between the two rival nations, which
eleven years afterwards was decided before the walls of Paris.

It was evidently disappointment in regard to a commercial treaty which
created the animosity of the English Government, as that circumstance was
alluded to, by way of reproach, in the King of England's declaration.
In that document it was complained that France had sent a number of
persona into the ports of Great Britain and Ireland in the character of
commercial agents, which character, and the privileges belonging to it,
they could only have acquired by a commercial treaty. Such was, in my
opinion, the real cause of the complaints of England; but as it would
have seemed too absurd to make it the ground of a declaration of war, she
enumerated other grievances, viz., the union of Piedmont and of the
states of Parma and Piacenza with France, and the continuance of the
French troops in Holland. A great deal was said about the views and
projects of France with respect to Turkey, and this complaint originated
in General Sebastiani's mission to Egypt. On that point I can take upon
me to say that the English Government was not misinformed. Bonaparte too
frequently spoke to are of his ideas respecting the East, and his project
of attacking the English power in India, to leave any doubt of his ever
having renounced them. The result of all the reproaches which the two
Governments addressed to each other was, that neither acted with good

The First Consul, in a communication to the Legislative Body on the state
of France and on her foreign relations; had said, "England, single-
handed, cannot cope with France." This sufficed to irritate the
susceptibility of English pride, and the British Cabinet affected to
regard it as a threat. However, it was no such thing. When Bonaparte
threatened, his words were infinitely more energetic. The passage above
cited was merely au assurance to France; and if we only look at the past
efforts and sacrifices made by England to stir up enemies to France on
the Continent, we may be justified in supposing that her anger at
Bonaparte's declaration arose from a conviction of its truth. Singly
opposed to France, England could doubtless have done her much harm,
especially by assailing the scattered remnants of her navy; but she could
have done nothing against France on the Continent. The two powers,
unaided by allies, might have continued long at war without any
considerable acts of hostility.

The first effect of the declaration of war by England was the invasion of
Hanover by the French troops under General Mortier. The telegraphic
despatch by which this news was communicated to Paris was as laconic as
correct, and contained, in a few words, the complete history of the
expedition. It ran as follows: "The French are masters of the Electorate
of Hanover, and the enemy's army are made prisoners of war." A day or
two after the shop windows of the print-sellers were filled with
caricatures on the English, and particularly on the Duke of Cambridge.
I recollect seeing one in which the Duke was represented reviewing his
troops mounted on a crab. I mention these trifles because, as I was then
living entirely at leisure, in the Rue Hauteville, I used frequently to
take a stroll on the Boulevards, where I was sometimes much amused with
these prints; and I could not help remarking, that in large cities such
triffles have more influence on the public mind than is usually supposed.

The First Consul thought the taking of the prisoners in Hanover a good
opportunity to exchange them for those taken from us by the English navy.
A proposition to this effect was accordingly made; but the English
Cabinet was of opinion that, though the King of England was also Elector
of Hanover, yet there was no identity between the two Governments, of
both which George III. was the head. In consequence of this subtle
distinction the proposition for the exchange of prisoners fell to the
ground. At this period nothing could exceed the animosity of the two
Governments towards each other, and Bonaparte, on the declaration of war,
marked his indignation by an act which no consideration can justify;
I allude to the order for the arrest of all the English in France--
a truly barbarious measure; for; can anything be more cruel and unjust
than to visit individuals with the vengeance due to the Government whose
subjects they may happen to be? But Bonaparte, when under the influence
of auger, was never troubled by scruples.

I must here notice the fulfilment of a remark Bonaparte often made, use
of to me during the Consulate. "You shall see, Bourrienne," he would
say," what use I will make of the priests."

War being declared, the First Consul, in imitation of the most Christian
kings of olden times, recommended the success of his arms to the prayers
of the faithful through the medium of the clergy. To this end he
addressed a circular letter, written in royal style, to the Cardinals,
Archbishops, and Bishops of France.

It was as follows:

MONSIEUR--The motives of the present war are known throughout
Europe. The bad faith of the King of England, who has violated his
treaties by refusing to restore Malta to the order of St. John of
Jerusalem, and attacked our merchant vessels without a previous
declaration of war, together with the necessity of a just defence,
forced us to have recourse to arms. I therefore wish you to order
prayers to be offered up, in order to obtain the benediction of
Heaven on our enterprises. The proofs I have received of your zeal
for the public service give me an assurance of your readiness to
conform with my wishes.

Given at St. Cloud, 18 Prairial, an XI. (7th June 1803).


This letter was remarkable in more than one respect. It astonished most
of his old brothers-in-arms, who turned it into ridicule; observing that
Bonaparte needed no praying to enable him to conquer Italy twice over.
The First Consul, however, let them laugh on, and steadily followed the
line he had traced out. His letter was admirably calculated to please
the Court of Rome, which he wished should consider him in the light of
another elder son of the Church. The letter was, moreover, remarkable
for the use of the word "Monsieur," which the First Consul now employed
for the first time in an act destined for publicity. This circumstance
would seem to indicate that he considered Republican designations
incompatible with the forms due to the clergy: the clergy were especially
interested in the restoration of monarchy. It may, perhaps, be thought
that I dwell too much on trifles; but I lived long enough in Bonaparte's
confidence to know the importance he attached to trifles. The First
Consul restored the old names of the days of the week, while he allowed
the names of the months, as set down in the Republican calendar, to
remain. He commenced by ordering the Moniteur to be dated "Saturday,"
such a day of "Messidor." "See," said he one day, "was there ever such
an inconsistency? We shall be laughed at! But I will do away with the
Messidor. I will efface all the inventions of the Jacobins."

The clergy did not disappoint the expectations of the First Consul. They
owed him much already, and hoped for still more from him. The letter to
the Bishops, etc., was the signal for a number of circulars full of
eulogies on Bonaparte.

These compliments were far from displeasing to the First Consul, who had
no objection to flattery though he despised those who meanly made
themselves the medium of conveying it to him. Duroc once told me that
they had all great difficulty in preserving their gravity when the cure
of a parish in Abbeville addressed Bonaparte one day while he was on his
journey to the coast. "Religion," said the worthy cure, with pompous
solemnity, "owes to you all that it is, we owe to you all that we are;
and I, too, owe to you all that I am."

--[Not so fulsome as some of the terms used a year later when
Napoleon was made Emperor. "I am what I am," was placed over a seat
prepared for the Emperor. One phrase, "God made Napoleon and then
rested," drew from Narbonne the sneer that it would have been better
if the Deity had rested sooner. "Bonaparte," says Joseph de
Maistre, "has had himself described in his papers as the 'Messenger
of God.' Nothing more true. Bonaparte comes straight from heaven,
like a thunderbolt." (Saints-Benve, Caureries, tome iv. p. 203.)]



Presentation of Prince Borghese to Bonaparte--Departure for Belgium
Revival of a royal custom--The swans of Amiens--Change of formula
in the acts of Government--Company of performers in Bonaparte's
suite--Revival of old customs--Division of the institute into four
classes--Science and literature--Bonaparte's hatred of literary men
--Ducis--Bernardin de Saint-Pierre--Chenier and Lemercier--
Explanation of Bonaparte's aversion to literature--Lalande and his
dictionary--Education in the hands of Government--M. de Roquelaure,
Archbishop of Malines.

In the month of April 1803 Prince Borghese, who was destined one day to
become Bonaparte's brother-in-law by marrying the widow of Leclerc, was
introduced to the First Consul by Cardinal Caprara.

About the end of June Bonaparte proceeded, with Josephine, on his journey
to Belgium and the seaboard departments. Many curious circumstances were
connected with this journey, of which I was informed by Duroc after the
First Consul's return. Bonaparte left Paris on the 24th of June, and
although it was not for upwards of a year afterwards that his brow was
encircled with the imperial-diadem, everything connected with the journey
had an imperial air. It was formerly the custom, when the Kings of
France entered the ancient capital of Picardy, for the town of Amiens to
offer them in homage some beautiful swans. Care was taken to revive this
custom, which pleased Bonaparte greatly, because it was treating him like
a King. The swans were accepted, and sent to Paris to be placed in the
basin of the Tuileries, in order to show the Parisians the royal homage
which the First Consul received when absent from the capital.

It was also during this journey that Bonaparte began to date his decrees
from the places through which he passed. He had hitherto left a great
number of signatures in Paris, in order that he might be present, as it
were, even during his absence, by the acts of his Government. Hitherto
public acts had been signed in the name of the Consuls of the Republic.
Instead of this formula, he substituted the name of the Government of the
Republic. By means of this variation, unimportant as it might appear,
the Government was always in the place where the First Consul happened to
be. The two other Consuls were now mere nullities, even in appearance.
The decrees of the Government, which Cambaceres signed during the
campaign of Marengo, were now issued from all the towns of France and
Belgium which the First Consul visited during his six weeks' journey.
Having thus centred the sole authority of the Republic in himself, the
performers of the theatre of the Republic became, by a natural
consequence, his; and it was quite natural that they should travel in his
suite, to entertain the inhabitants of the towns in which he stopped by
their performances. But this was not all. He encouraged the renewal of
a host of ancient customs. He sanctioned the revival of the festival of
Joan of Arc at Orleans, and he divided the Institute into four classes,
with the intention of recalling the recollection of the old academies,
the names of which, however, he rejected, in spite of the wishes and
intrigues of Suard and the Abby Morellet, who had gained over Lucien upon
this point.

However, the First Consul did not give to the classes of the Institute
the rank which they formerly possessed as academies. He placed the class
of sciences in the first rank, and the old French Academy in the second
rank. It must be acknowledged that, considering the state of literature
and science at that period, the First Consul did not make a wrong
estimate of their importance.

Although the literature of France could boast of many men of great
talent, such as La Harpe, who died during the Consulate, Ducis, Bernardin
de Saint-Pierre, Chenier, and Lemercier, yet they could not be compared
with Lagrange, Laplace, Monge, Fourcroy, Berthollet, and Cuvier, whose
labours have so prodigiously extended the limits of human knowledge. No
one, therefore, could murmur at seeing the class of sciences in the
Institute take precedence of its elder sister. Besides, the First Consul
was not sorry to show, by this arrangement, the slight estimation in
which he held literary men. When he spoke to me respecting them he
called them mere manufacturers of phrases. He could not pardon them for
excelling him in a pursuit in which he had no claim to distinction.
I never knew a man more insensible than Bonaparte to the beauties of
poetry or prose. A certain degree of vagueness, which was combined with
his energy of mind, led him to admire the dreams of Ossian, and his
decided character found itself, as it were, represented in the elevated
thoughts of Corneille. Hence his almost exclusive predilection for these
two authors With this exception, the finest works in our literature were
in his opinion merely arrangements of sonorous words, void of sense, and
calculated only for the ear.

Bonaparte's contempt, or, more properly speaking, his dislike of
literature, displayed itself particularly in the feeling he cherished
towards some men of distinguished literary talent. He hated Chenier, and
Ducis still more. He could not forgive Chenier for the Republican
principles which pervaded his tragedies; and Ducis excited in him; as if
instinctively, an involuntary hatred. Ducis, on his part, was not
backward in returning the Consul's animosity, and I remember his writing
some verses which were inexcusably violent, and overstepped all the
bounds of truth. Bonaparte was so singular a composition of good and bad
that to describe him as he was under one or other of these aspects would
serve for panegyric or satire without any departure from truth.
Bonaparte was very fond of Bernardin Saint-Pierre's romance of 'Paul and
Virginia', which he had read in his boyhood. I remember that he one day
tried to read 'Les etudes de la Nature', but at the expiration of a
quarter of an hour he threw down the book, exclaiming, "How can any one
read such silly stuffy. It is insipid and vapid; there is nothing in it.
These are the dreams of a visionary! What is nature? The thing is vague
and unmeaning. Men and passions are the subjects to write about--there
is something there for study. These fellows are good for nothing under
any government. I will, however, give them pensions, because I ought to
do so, as Head of the State. They occupy and amuse the idle. I will
make Lagrange a Senator--he has a head."

Although Bonaparte spoke so disdainfully of literary men it must not be
taken for granted that he treated them ill. On the contrary, all those
who visited at Malmaison were the objects of his attention, and even
flattery. M. Lemercier was one of those who came most frequently, and
whom Bonaparte received with the greatest pleasure. Bonaparte treated
M. Lemercier with great kindness; but he did not like him. His character
as a literary man and poet, joined to a polished frankness, and a mild
but inflexible spirit of republicanism, amply sufficed to explain
Bonaparte's dislike. He feared M. Lemercier and his pen; and, as
happened more than once, he played the part of a parasite by flattering
the writer. M. Lemercier was the only man I knew who refused the cross
of the Legion of Honour.

Bonaparte's general dislike of literary men was less the result of
prejudice than circumstances. In order to appreciate or even to read
literary works time is requsite, and time was so precious to him that he
would have wished, as one may say, to shorten a straight line. He liked
only those writers who directed their attention to positive and precise
things, which excluded all thoughts of government and censures on
administration. He looked with a jealous eye on political economists and
lawyers; in short, as all persons who in any way whatever meddled with
legislation and moral improvements. His hatred of discussions on those
subjects was strongly displayed on the occasion of the classification of
the Institute. Whilst he permitted the reassembling of a literary class,
to the number of forty, as formerly, he suppressed the class of moral and
political science. Such was his predilection for things of immediate and
certain utility that even in the sciences he favoured only such as
applied to terrestrial objects. He never treated Lalande with so much
distinction as Monge and Lagrange. Astronomical discoveries could not
add directly to his own greatness; and, besides, he could never forgive
Lalande for having wished to include him in a dictionary of atheists
precisely at the moment when he was opening negotiations with the court
of Rome.

Bonaparte wished to be the sole centre of a world which he believed he
was called to govern. With this view he never relaxed in his constant
endeavour to concentrate the whole powers of the State in the hands of
its Chief. His conduct upon the subject of the revival of public
instruction affords evidence of this fact. He wished to establish 6000
bursaries, to be paid by Government, and to be exclusively at his
disposal, so that thus possessing the monopoly of education, he could
have parcelled it out only to the children of those who were blindly
devoted to him. This was what the First Consul called the revival of
public instruction. During the period of my closest intimacy with him
he often spoke to me on this subject, and listened patiently to my
observations. I remember that one of his chief arguments was this:
"What is it that distinguishes men? Education--is it not? Well, if the
children of nobles be admitted into the academies, they will be as well
educated as the children of the revolution, who compose the strength of
my government. Ultimately they will enter into my regiments as officers,
and will naturally come in competition with those whom they regard as the
plunderers of their families. I do not wish that!"

My recollections have caused me to wander from the journey of the First
Consul and Madame Bonaparte to the seabord departments and Belgium.
I have, however, little to add to what I have already stated on the
subject. I merely remember that Bonaparte's military suite, and
Lauriston and Rapp in particular, when speaking to me about the journey,
could not conceal some marks of discontent on account of the great
respect which Bonaparte had shown the clergy, and particularly to M. de
Roquelaure, the Archbishop of Malines (or Mechlin). That prelate, who
was a shrewd man, and had the reputation of having been in his youth more
addicted to the habits of the world than to those of the cloister, had
become an ecclesiastical courtier. He went to Antwerp to pay his homage
to the First Consul, upon whom he heaped the most extravagant praises.
Afterwards, addressing Madame Bonaparte, he told her that she was united
to the First Consul by the sacred bonds of a holy alliance. In this
harangue, in which unction was singularly blended with gallantry, surely
it was a departure from ecclesiastical propriety to speak of sacred bonds
and holy alliance when every one knew that those bonds and that alliance
existed only by a civil contract. Perhaps M. de Roquelaure merely had
recourse to what casuists call a pious fraud in order to engage the
married couple to do that which he congratulated them on having already
done. Be this as it may, it is certain that this honeyed language gained
M. de Roquelaure the Consul's favour, and in a short time after he was
appointed to the second class of the Institute.



The Temple--The intrigues of Europe--Prelude to the Continental
system--Bombardment of Granville--My conversation with the First
Consul on the projected invasion of England--Fauche Borel--Moreau
and Pichegru--Fouche's manoeuvres--The Abbe David and Lajolais--
Fouche's visit to St. Cloud--Regnier outwitted by Fouche--
My interview with the First Consul--His indignation at the reports
respecting Hortense--Contradiction of these calumnies--The brothers
Faucher--Their execution--The First Consul's levee--My conversation
with Duroc--Conspiracy of Georges, Moreau, and Pichegru--Moreau
averse to the restoration of the Bourbons--Bouvet de Lozier's
attempted suicide--Arrest of Moreau--Declaration of MM. de Polignac
and de Riviere--Connivance of the police--Arrest of M. Carbonnet and
his nephew.

The time was passed when Bonaparte, just raised to the Consulate, only
proceeded to the Temple to release the victims of the "Loi des suspects"
by his sole and immediate authority. This state prison was now to be
filled by the orders of his police. All the intrigues of Europe were in
motion. Emissaries came daily from England, who, if they could not
penetrate into the interior of France, remained in the towns near the
frontiers, where they established correspondence, and published
pamphlets, which they sent to Paris by post, in the form of letters.

The First Consul, on the other hand, gave way, without reserve, to the
natural irritation which that power had excited by her declaration of
war. He knew that the most effective war he could carry on against
England would be a war against her trade.

As a prelude to that piece of madness, known by the name of the
Continental system, the First Consul adopted every possible preventive
measure against the introduction of English merchandise. Bonaparte's
irritation against the English was not without a cause. The intelligence
which reached Paris from the north of France was not very consolatory.
The English fleets not only blockaded the French ports, but were acting
on the offensive, and had bombarded Granville. The mayor of the town did
his duty, but his colleagues, more prudent, acted differently. In the
height of his displeasure Bonaparte issued a decree, by which he bestowed
a scarf of honour on Letourneur, the mayor, and dismissed his colleagues
from office as cowards unworthy of trust. The terms of this decree were
rather severe, but they were certainly justified by the conduct of those
who had abandoned their posts at s critical moment.

I come now to the subject of the invasion of England, and what the First
Consul said to me respecting it. I have stated that Bonaparte never had
any idea of realising the pretended project of a descent on England. The
truth of this assertion will appear from a conversation which I had with
him after he returned from his journey to the north. In this
conversation he repeated what he had often before mentioned to me in
reference to the projects and possible steps to which fortune might
compel him to resort.

The peace of Amiens had been broken about seven months when, on the 15th
of December 1803, the First Consul sent for me to the Tuileries. His
incomprehensible behaviour to me was fresh in my mind; and as it was
upwards of a year since I had seen him, I confess I did not feel quite at
ease when I received the summons. He was perfectly aware that I
possessed documents and data for writing his history which would describe
facts correctly, and destroy the illusions with which his flatterers
constantly, entertained the public. I have already stated that at that
period I had no intention of the kind; but those who laboured constantly
to incense him against me might have suggested apprehensions on the
subject. At all events the fact is, that when he sent for me I took the
precaution of providing myself with a night-cap, conceiving it to be very
likely that I should be sent to sleep at Vincennes. On the day appointed
for the interview Rapp was on duty. I did not conceal from him my
opinion as to the possible result of my visit. "You need not be afraid,"
said Rapp; "the First Consul merely wishes to talk with you." He then
announced me.

Bonaparte came into the grand salon where I awaited him, and addressing
me in the most good-humoured way said, "What do the gossips say of my
preparations for the invasion of England?"--"There is a great difference
of opinion on the subject, General," I replied. "Everyone speaks
according to his own views. Suchet, for instance, who comes to see me
very often, has no doubt that it will take place, and hopes to give you
on the occasion fresh proofs of his gratitude and fidelity."--"But Suchet
tells me that you do not believe it will be attempted."--"That is true, I
certainly do not."--"Why?"--"Because you told me at Antwerp, five years
ago, that you would not risk France on the cast of a die--that the
adventure was too hazardous--and circumstances have not altered since
that time."--"You are right. Those who look forward to the invasion of
England are blockheads. They do not see the affair in its true light.
I can, doubtless, land in England with 100,000 men. A great battle will
be fought, which I shall gain; but I must reckon upon 30,000 men killed,
wounded, and prisoners. If I march on London, a second battle must be
fought. I will suppose myself again victorious; but what should I do in
London with an army diminished three-fourths and without the hope of
reinforcements? It would be madness. Until our navy acquires
superiority it is useless to think of such a project. The great
assemblage of troops in the north has another object. My Government must
be the first in the world, or it must fall." Bonaparte then evidently
wished it to be supposed that he entertained the design of invading
England in order to divert the attention of Europe to that direction.

From Dunkirk the First Consul proceeded to Antwerp, where also he had
assembled experienced men to ascertain their opinions respecting the
surest way of attempting a landing, the project of which was merely a
pretence. The employment of large ships of was, after rang discussions,
abandoned in favour of a flotilla.

--[At this period a caricature (by Gillray) appeared in London.
which was sent to Paris, and strictly sought after by the police.
One of the copies was shown to the First Consul, who was highly
indignant at it. The French fleet was represented by a number of
nut-shells. An English sailor, seated on a rock, was quietly
smoking his pipe, the whiffs of which were throwing the whole
squadron into disorder.--Bourrienne. Gillray's caricatures should
be at the reader's side during the perusal of this work, also
English Caricature and Satire on Napoleon I., by J. Ashton Chatto:
and Windus, 1884.]--

After visiting Belgium, and giving directions there, the First Consul
returned from Brussels to Paris by way of Maestricht, Liege, and

Before my visit to the Tuileries, and even before the rupture of the
peace of Amiens, certain intriguing speculators, whose extravagant zeal
was not less fatal to the cause of the Bourbons than was the blind
subserviency of his unprincipled adherents to the First Consul, had taken
part in some underhand manoeuvres which could have no favourable result.
Amongst these great contrivers of petty machinations the well-known
Fauche Borel, the bookseller of Neufchatel, had long been conspicuous.
Fauche Borel, whose object was to create a stir, and who wished nothing
better than to be noticed and paid, failed not to come to France as soon
as the peace of Amiens afforded him the opportunity. I was at that time
still with Bonaparte, who was aware of all these little plots, but who
felt no personal anxiety on the subject, leaving to his police the care
of watching their authors.

The object of Fauche Borel's mission was to bring about a reconciliation
between Moreau and Pichegru. The latter general, who was banished on the
18th Fructidor 4th (September 1797), had not obtained the First Consul's
permission to return to France. He lived in England, where he awaited a
favourable opportunity for putting his old projects into execution.
Moreau was in Pains, but no longer appeared at the levees or parties of
the First Consul, and the enmity of both generals against Bonaparte,
openly avowed on the part of Pichegru; and still disguised by Moreau, was
a secret to nobody. But as everything was prosperous with Bonaparte he
evinced contempt rather than fear of the two generals. His apprehensions
were, indeed, tolerably allayed by the absence of the one and the
character of the other. Moreau's name had greater weight with the army
than that of Pichegru; and those who were plotting the overthrow of the
Consular Government knew that that measure could not be attempted with
any chance of success without the assistance of Moreau. The moment was
inopportune; but, being initiated in some secrets of the British Cabinet,
they knew that the peace was but a truce, and they determined to profit
by that truce to effect a reconciliation which might afterwards secure a
community of interests. Moreau and Pichegru had not been friends since
Moreau sent to the Directory the papers seized in M. de Klinglin's
carriage, which placed Pichegru's treason in so clear a light. Since
that period Pichegru's name possessed no influence over the minds of the
soldiers, amongst whom he had very few partisans, whilst the name of
Moreau was dear to all who had conquered under his command.

Fauche Borel's design was to compromise Moreau without bringing him to
any decisive step. Moreau's natural indolence, and perhaps it may be
said his good sense, induced him to adopt the maxim that it was necessary
to let men and things take their course; for temporizing policy is often
as useful in politics as in war. Besides, Moreau was a sincere
Republican; and if his habit of indecision had permitted him to adopt any
resolution, it is quite certain that he would not then have assisted in
the reestablishment of the Bourbons, as Pichegru wished.

What I have stated is an indispensable introduction to the knowledge of
plots of more importance which preceded the great event that marked the
close of the Consulship: I allude to the conspiracy of Georges, Cadoudal,
Moreau, and Pichegru, and that indelible stain on the character of
Napoleon,--the death of the Duc d'Enghien. Different opinions have been
expressed concerning Georges' conspiracy. I shall not contradict any of
them. I will relate what I learned and what I saw, in order to throw
some light on that horrible affair. I am far from believing what I have
read in many works, that it was planned by the police in order to pave
the First Consul's way to the throne. I think that it was contrived by
those who were really interested in it, and encouraged by Fouche in order
to prepare his return to office.

To corroborate my opinion respecting Fouche's conduct and his manoeuvres
I must remind the reader that about the close of 1803 some persons
conceived the project of reconciling Moreau and Pichegru. Fouche, who
was then out of the Ministry, caused Moreau to be visited by men of his
own party, and who were induced, perhaps unconsciously, by Fouche's art,
to influence and irritate the general's mind. It was at first intended
that the Abbe David, the mutual friend of Moreau and Pichegru, should
undertake to effect their reconciliation; but he, being arrested and
confined in the Temple, was succeeded by a man named Lajolais, whom every
circumstance proves to have been employed by Fouche. He proceeded to
London, and, having prevailed on Pichegru and his friends to return to
France, he set off to announce their arrival and arrange everything for
their reception and destruction. Moreau's discontent was the sole
foundation of this intrigue. I remember that one day, about the end of
January 1804, I called on Fouche, who informed me that he had been at St.
Cloud, where he had had a long conversation with the First Consul on the
situation of affairs. Bonaparte told him that he was satisfied with the
existing police, and hinted that it was only to make himself of
consequence that he had given a false colouring to the picture. Fouche
asked him what he would say if he told him that Georges and Pichegru had
been for some time in Paris carrying on the conspiracy of which he had
received information. The First Consul, apparently delighted at what he
conceived to be Fouche's mistake, said, with an air of contempt, "You are
well informed, truly! Regnier has just received a letter from London
stating that Pichegru dined three days ago at Kingston with one of the
King of England's ministers."

As Fouche, however, persisted in his assertion, the First Consul sent to
Paris for the Grand Judge, Regnier, who showed Fouche the letter he had
received. The First Consul triumphed at first to see Fouche at fault;
but the latter so clearly proved that Georges and Pichegru were actually
in Paris that Regnier began to fear he had been misled by his agents,
whom his rival paid better than he did. The First Consul, convinced that
his old minister knew more than his new one, dismissed Regnier, and
remained a long time in consultation with Fouche, who on that occasion
said nothing about his reinstatement for fear of exciting suspicion.
He only requested that the management of the business might be entrusted
to Real, with orders to obey whatever instructions he might receive from
him. I will return hereafter to the arrest of Moreau and the other
persons accused, and will now subjoin the account of a long interview
which I had with Bonaparte in the midst of these important events.

On the 8th of March 1804, some time after the arrest but before the trial
of General Moreau, I had an audience of the First Consul, which was
unsought on my part. Bonaparte, after putting several unimportant
questions to me as to what I was doing, what I expected he should do for
me, and assuring me that he would bear me in mind, gave a sudden turn to
the conversation, and said, "By the by, the report of my connection with
Hortense is still kept up: the most abominable rumours have been spread
as to her first child. I thought at the time that these reports had only
been admitted by the public in consequence of the great desire that I
should not be childless. Since you and I separated have you heard them
repeated?"--"Yes, General, oftentimes; and I confess I could not have
believed that this calumny would have existed so long."--"It is truly
frightful to think of! You know the truth--you have seen all--heard all
--nothing could have passed without your knowledge; you were in her full
confidence during the time of her attachment to Duroc. I therefore
expect, if you should ever write anything about me, that you will clear
me from this infamous imputation. I would not have it accompany my name
to posterity. I trust in you. You have never given credit to the horrid
accusation?"--"No, General, never." Napoleon then entered into a number
of details on the previous life of Hortense; on the way in which she
conducted herself, and on the turn which her marriage had taken. "It has
not turned out," he said, "as I wished: the union has not been a happy
one. I am sorry for it, not only because both are dear to me, but
because the circumstance countenances the infamous reports that are
current among the idle as to my intimacy with her." He concluded the
conversation with these words:--"Bourrienne, I sometimes think of
recalling you; but as there is no good pretext for so doing, the world
would say that I have need of you, and I wish it to be known that I stand
in need of nobody." He again said a few words about Hortense.
I answered that it would fully coincide with my conviction of the truth
to do what he desired, and that I would do it; but that suppressing the
false reports did not depend on me.

Hortense, in fact, while she was Mademoiselle BEAUHARNAIS, regarded
Napoleon with respectful awe. She trembled when she spoke to him, and
never dared to ask him a favour. When she had anything to solicit she
applied to me; and if I experienced any difficulty in obtaining for her
what she sought, I mentioned her as the person for whom I pleaded.
"The little simpleton!" Napoleon would say, "why does she not ask me
herself: is the girl afraid of me?" Napoleon never cherished for her any
feeling but paternal tenderness. He loved her after his marriage with
her mother as he would have loved his own child. During three years I
was a witness to all their most private actions, and I declare that I
never saw or heard anything that could furnish the least ground for
suspicion, or that afforded the slightest trace of the existence of a
culpable intimacy. This calumny must be classed among those with which
malice delights to blacken the characters of men more brilliant than
their fellows, and which are so readily adopted by the light-minded and
unreflecting. I freely declare that did I entertain the smallest doubt
with regard to this odious charge, of the existence of which I was well
aware before Napoleon spoke to me on the subject, I would candidly avow
it. He is no more: and let his memory be accompanied only by that, be it
good or bad, which really belongs to it. Let not this reproach be one of
those charged against him by the impartial historian. I must say, in
concluding this delicate subject, that the principles of Napoleon on
points of this kind were rigid in the utmost degree, and that a
connection of the nature of that charged against him was neither in
accordance with his morals nor his tastes.

I cannot tell whether what followed was a portion of his premeditated
conversation with me, or whether it was the result of the satisfaction he
had derived from ascertaining my perfect conviction of the purity of his
conduct with regard to Hortense, and being assured that I would express
that conviction. Be this as it may, as I was going out at the door he
called me back, saying, "Oh! I have forgotten something." I returned.
"Bourrienne," said he, "do you still keep up your acquaintance with the
Fauchers?"--"Yes, General; I see them frequently."--"You are wrong."--
"Why should I not? They are clever, well-educated men, and exceedingly
pleasant company, especially Caesar. I derive great pleasure from their
society; and then they are almost the only persons whose friendship has
continued faithful to me since I left you. You know people do not care
for those who can render them no service."--"Maret will not see the
Fauchers."--"That may be, General; but it is nothing to me; and you must
recollect that as it was through him I was introduced to them at the
Tuileries, I think he ought to inform me of his reasons for dropping
their acquaintance."--"I tell you again he has closed his door against
them. Do you the same; I advise you." As I did not seem disposed to
follow this advice without some plausible reason, the First Consul added,
"You must know, then, that I learn from Caesar all that passes in your
house. You do not speak very ill of me yourself, nor does any one
venture to do so in your presence. You play your rubber and go to bed.
But no sooner are you gone than your wife, who never liked me, and most
of those who visit at your house, indulge in the most violent attacks
upon me. I receive a bulletin from Caesar Faucher every day when he
visits at your house; this is the way in which he requites you for your
kindness, and for the asylum you afforded his brother.--[Constantine
Rancher had been condemned in contumacy for the forgery of a public
document.--Bourrienne.]--But enough; you see I know all--farewell;" and
he left me.

The grave having closed over these two brothers,--[The Fauchers were twin
brothers, distinguished in the war of the Revolution, and made brigadier-
generals at the same time on the field of battle. After the Cent Jours
they refused to recognise the Bourbons, and were shot by sentence of
court-martial at Bordeaux. (Bouillet)]--I shall merely state that they
wrote me a letter the evening preceding their execution, in which they
begged me to forgive their conduct towards me. The following is an
extract from this letter:

In our dungeon we hear our sentence of death being cried in the streets.
To-morrow we shall walk to the scaffold; but we will meet death with such
calmness and courage as shall make our executioners blush. We are sixty
years old, therefore our lives will only be shortened by a brief apace.
During our lives we have shared in common, illness, grief, pleasure,
danger, and good fortune. We both entered the world on the same day, and
on the same day we shall both depart from it. As to you, sir....

I suppress what relates to myself.

The hour of the grand levee arrived just as the singular interview which
I have described terminated. I remained a short time to look at this
phantasmagoria. Duroc was there. As soon as he saw me he came up, and
taking me into the recess of a window told me that Moreau's guilt was
evident, and that he was about to be put on his trial. I made some
observations on the subject, and in particular asked whether there were
sufficient proofs of his guilt to justify his condemnation? "They should
be cautious," said I; "it is no joke to accuse the conqueror of
Hohenlinden." Duroc's answer satisfied me that he at least had no doubt
on the subject. "Besides," added he, "when such a general as Moreau has
been between two gendarmes he is lost, and is good for nothing more. He
will only inspire pity." In vain I tried to refute this assertion so
entirely contrary to facts, and to convince Duroc that Moreau would never
be damaged by calling him "brigand," as was the phrase then, without
proofs. Duroc persisted in his opinion. As if a political crime ever
sullied the honour of any one! The result has proved that I judged

No person possessing the least degree of intelligence will be convinced
that the conspiracy of Moreau, Georges, Pichegru, and the other persons
accused would ever have occurred but for the secret connivance of
Fouche's police.

Moreau never for a moment desired the restoration of the Bourbons. I was
too well acquainted with M. Carbonnet, his most intimate friend, to be
ignorant of his private sentiments. It was therefore quite impossible
that he could entertain the same views as Georges, the Polignacs,
Riviera, and others; and they had no intention of committing any overt
acts. These latter persons had come to the Continent solely to
investigate the actual state of affairs, in order to inform the Princes
of the House of Bourbon with certainty how far they might depend on the
foolish hopes constantly held out to them by paltry agents, who were
always ready to advance their own interests at the expense of truth.
These agents did indeed conspire, but it was against the Treasury of
London, to which they looked for pay.

Without entering into all the details of that great trial I will relate
some facts which may assist in eliciting the truth from a chaos of
intrigue and falsehood.

Most of the conspirators had been lodged either in the Temple or La
Force, and one of them, Bouvet de Lozier, who was confined in the Temple,
attempted to hang himself. He made use of his cravat to effect his
purpose, and had nearly succeeded, when a turnkey by chance entered and
found him at the point of death. When he was recovered he acknowledged
that though he had the courage to meet death, he was unable to endure the
interrogatories of his trial, and that he had determined to kill himself,
lest he might be induced to make a confession. He did in fact confess,
and it was on the day after this occurred that Moreau was arrested, while
on his way from his country-seat of Grosbois to Paris.

Fouche, through the medium of his agents, had given Pichegru, Georges,
and some other partisans of royalty, to understand that they might depend
on Moreau, who, it was said, was quite prepared. It is certain that
Moreau informed Pichegru that he (Pichegru) had been deceived, and that
he had never been spoken to on the subject. Russillon declared on the
trial that on the 14th of March the Polignacs said to some one,
"Everything is going wrong--they do not understand each other. Moreau
does not keep his word. We have been deceived." M. de Riviera declared
that he soon became convinced they had been deceived, and was about to
return to England when he was arrested. It is certain that the principal
conspirators obtained positive information which confirmed their
suspicions. They learned Moreau's declaration from Pichegru. Many of
the accused declared that they soon discovered they had been deceived;
and the greater part of them were about to quit Paris, when they were all
arrested, almost at one and the same moment. Georges was going into La
Vendee when he was betrayed by the man who, with the connivance of the
police, had escorted him ever since his departure from London, and who
had protected him from any interruption on the part of the police so long
as it was only necessary to know where he was, or what he was about.
Georges had been in Paris seven months before it was considered that the
proper moment had arrived for arresting him.

The almost simultaneous arrest of the conspirators proves clearly that
the police knew perfectly well where they could lay their hands upon

When Pichegru was required to sign his examination he refused. He said
it was unnecessary; that, knowing all the secret machinery of the police,
he suspected that by some chemical process they would erase all the
writing except the signature, and afterwards fill up the paper with
statements which he had never made. His refusal to sign the
interrogatory, he added, would not prevent him from repeating before a
court of justice the truth which he had stated in answer to the questions
proposed to him. Fear was entertained of the disclosures he might make
respecting his connection with Moreau, whose destruction was sought for,
and also with respect to the means employed by the agents of Fouche to
urge the conspirators to effect a change which they desired.

On the evening of the 15th of February I heard of Moreau's arrest, and
early next morning I proceeded straight to the Rue St. Pierre, where
M. Carbonnet resided with his nephew. I was anxious to hear from him the
particulars of the general's arrest. What was my surprise! I had hardly
time to address myself to the porter before he informed me that
M. Carbonnet and his nephew were both arrested. "I advise you, sir,"
added the man, "to retire without more ado, for I can assure you that the
persons who visit M. Carbonnet are watched."--"Is he still at home?"
said I. "Yes, Sir; they are examining his papers."--" Then," said I,
"I will go up." M. Carbonnet, of whose friendship I had reason to be
proud, and whose memory will ever be dear to me, was more distressed by
the arrest of his nephew and Moreau than by his own. His nephew was,
however, liberated after a few hours. M. Carbonnet's papers were sealed
up, and he was placed in solitary confinement at St. Pelagic.

Thus the police, who previously knew nothing, were suddenly informed of
all. In spite of the numerous police agents scattered over France, it
was only discovered by the declarations of Bouvet de Lozier that three
successive landings had been effected, and that a fourth was expected,
which, however, did not take place, because General Savary was despatched
by the First Consul with orders to seize the persons whose arrival was
looked for. There cannot be a more convincing proof of the fidelity of
the agents of the police to their old chief, and their combined
determination of trifling with their new one,



The events of 1804--Death of the Due d'Enghien--Napoleon's arguments
at St. Helena--Comparison of dates--Possibility of my having saved
the Due d'Enghien's life--Advice given to the Duc d'Enghien--Sir
Charles Stuart--Delay of the Austrian Cabinet--Pichegru and the
mysterious being--M. Massias--The historians of St. Helena--
Bonaparte's threats against the emigrants and M. Cobentzel--
Singular adventure of Davoust's secretary--The quartermaster--
The brigand of La Vendee.

In order to form a just idea of the events which succeeded each other so
rapidly at the commencement of 1804 it is necessary to consider them both
separately and connectedly. It must be borne in mind that all
Bonaparte's machinations tended to one object, the foundation of the
French Empire in his favour; and it is also essential to consider how the
situation of the emigrants, in reference to the First Consul, had changed
since the declaration of war. As long as Bonaparte continued at peace
the cause of the Bourbons had no support in foreign Cabinets, and the
emigrants had no alternative but to yield to circumstances; but on the
breaking out of a new war all was changed. The cause of the Bourbons
became that of the powers at war with France; and as many causes
concurred to unite the emigrants abroad with those who had returned but
half satisfied, there was reason to fear something from their revolt, in
combination with the powers arrayed against Bonaparte.

Such was the state of things with regard to the emigrants when the
leaders and accomplices of Georges' conspiracy were arrested at the very
beginning of 1804. The assassination of the Due d'Enghien

--[Louis Antoine Henri de Bourbon, Duc d'Enghien (1772-1804), son of
the Duc de Bourbon, and grandson of the Prince de Conde, served
against France in the army of Conde. When this force was disbanded
he stayed at Ettenheim on account of a love affair with the
Princesse Charlotte de Rohan-Rochefort. Arrested in the territory
of Baden, he was taken to Vincennes, and after trial by court-
martial shot is the moat, 21st May 1804. With him practically ended
the house of Bourbon-Conde as his grandfather died in 1818, leaving
only the Duc de Bourbon, and the Princesee Louise Adelaide, Abbesse
de Remiremont, who died in 1824.]--

took place on the 21st of March; on the 30th of April appeared the
proposition of the Tribunate to found a Government in France under the
authority of one individual; on the 18th of May came the 'Senatus-
consulte', naming Napoleon Bonaparte EMPEROR, and lastly, on the 10th.
of June, the sentence of condemnation on Georges and his accomplices.
Thus the shedding of the blood of a Bourbon, and the placing of the crown
of France on the head of a soldier of fortune were two acts interpolated
in the sanguinary drama of Georges' conspiracy. It must be remembered,
too, that during the period of these events we were at war with England,
and on the point of seeing Austria and the Colossus of the north form a
coalition against the new Emperor.

I will now state all I know relative to the death of the Due d'Enghien.
That unfortunate Prince, who was at Ettenheim, in consequence of a love
affair, had no communication whatever with those who were concocting a
plot in the interior. Machiavelli says that when the author of a crime
cannot be discovered we should seek for those to whose advantage it
turns. In the present case Machiavelli's advice will find an easy
application, since the Duke's death could be advantageous only to
Bonaparte, who considered it indispensable to his accession to the crown
of France. The motives may be explained, but can they be justified?
How could it ever be said that the Due d'Enghien perished as a presumed
accomplice in the conspiracy of Georges?

Moreau was arrested on the 15th of February 1804, at which time the
existence of the conspiracy was known. Pichegru and Georges were also
arrested in February, and the Due d'Enghien not till the 15th of March.
Now if the Prince had really been concerned in the plot, if even he had a
knowledge of it, would he have remained at Ettenheim for nearly a month
after the arrest of his presumed accomplices, intelligence of which he
might have obtained in the space of three days? Certainly not. So
ignorant was he of that conspiracy that when informed at Ettenheim of
the affair he doubted it, declaring that if it were true his father and
grandfather would have made him acquainted with it. Would so long an
interval have been suffered to elapse before he was arrested? Alas!
cruel experience has shown that that step would have been taken in a few

The sentence of death against Georges and his accomplices was not
pronounced till the 10th of June 1804, and the Due d'Enghien was shot on
the 21st of March, before the trials were even commenced. How is this
precipitation to be explained? If, as Napoleon has declared, the young
Bourbon was an accomplice in the crime, why was he not arrested at the
time the others were? Why was he not tried along with them, on the
ground of his being an actual accomplice; or of being compromised, by
communications with them; or, in short, because his answers might have
thrown light on that mysterious affair? How was it that the name of the
illustrious accused was not once mentioned in the course of that awful

It can scarcely be conceived that Napoleon could say at St. Helena,
"Either they contrived to implicate the unfortunate Prince in their
project, and so pronounced his doom, or, by omitting to inform him of
what was going on, allowed him imprudently to slumber on the brink of a
precipice; for he was only a stone's cast from the frontier when they
were about to strike the great blow in the name and for the interest of
his family."

This reasoning is not merely absurd, it is atrocious. If the Duke was
implicated by the confession of his accomplices, he should have been
arrested and tried along with them. Justice required this. If he was
not so implicated, where is the proof of his guilt? Because some
individuals, without his knowledge, plotted to commit a crime in the name
of his family he was to be shot! Because he was 130 leagues from the
scene of the plot, and had no connection with it, he was to die! Such
arguments cannot fail to inspire horror. It is absolutely impossible any
reasonable person can regard the Due d'Enghien as an accomplice of
Cadoudal; and Napoleon basely imposed on his contemporaries and posterity
by inventing such falsehoods, and investing them with the authority of
his name.

Had I been then in the First Consul's intimacy I may aver, with as much
confidence as pride, that the blood of the Due d'Enghien would not have
imprinted an indelible stain on the glory of Bonaparte. In this terrible
matter I could have done what no one but me could even attempt, and this
on account of my position, which no one else has since held with
Bonaparte. I quite admit that he would have preferred others to me, and
that he would have had more friendship for them than for me, supposing
friendship to be compatible with the character of Bonaparte, but I knew
him better than any one else. Besides, among those who surrounded him I
alone could have permitted myself some return to our former familiarity
on account of our intimacy of childhood. Certainly, in a matter which
permanently touched the glory of Bonaparte, I should not have been
restrained by the fear of some transitory fit of anger, and the reader
has seen that I did not dread disgrace. Why should I have dreaded it?
I had neither portfolio, nor office, nor salary, for, as I have said, I
was only with Bonaparte as a friend, and we had, as it were, a common
purse. I feel a conviction that it would have been very possible for me
to have dissuaded Bonaparte from his fatal design, inasmuch as I
positively know that his object, after the termination of the peace, was
merely to frighten the emigrants, in order to drive them from Ettenheim,
where great numbers, like the Due d'Enghien, had sought refuge. His
anger was particularly directed against a Baroness de Reith and a
Baroness d'Ettengein, who had loudly vituperated him, and distributed
numerous libels on the left bank of the Rhine. At that period Bonaparte
had as little design against the Due d'Enghien's life as against that of
any other emigrant. He was more inclined to frighten than to harm him,
and certainly his first intention was not to arrest the Prince, but,
as I have said, to frighten the 'emigres', and to drive them to a
distance. I must, however, admit that when Bonaparte spoke to Rapp and
Duroc of the emigrants on the other side of the Rhine he expressed
himself with much irritability: so much so, indeed, that M. de
Talleyrand, dreading its effects for the Due d'Enghien, warned that
Prince, through the medium of a lady to whom he was attached, of his
danger, and advised him to proceed to a greater distance from the
frontier. On receiving this notice the Prince resolved to rejoin his
grandfather, which he could not do but by passing through the Austrian
territory. Should any doubt exist as to these facts it may be added that
Sir Charles Stuart wrote to M. de Cobentzel to solicit a passport for the
Duc d'Enghien; and it was solely owing to the delay of the Austrian
Cabinet that time was afforded for the First Consul to order the arrest
of the unfortunate Prince as soon as he had formed the horrible
resolution of shedding the blood of a Bourbon. This resolution could
have originated only with himself, for who would have dared to suggest it
to him? The fact is, Bonaparte knew not what he did. His fever of
ambition amounted to delirium; and he knew not how he was losing himself
in public opinion because he did not know that opinion, to gain which he
would have made every sacrifice.

When Cambaceres (who, with a slight reservation, had voted the death of
Louis XVI.) warmly opposed in the Council the Duc d'Enghien's arrest, the
First Consul observed to him, "Methinks, Sir, you have grown very chary
of Bourbon blood!"

Meanwhile the Due d'Enghien was at Ettenheim, indulging in hope rather
than plotting conspiracies. It is well known that an individual made an
offer to the Prince de Conde to assassinate the First Consul, but the
Prince indignantly rejected the proposition, and nobly refused to recover
the rights of the Bourbons at the price of such a crime. The individual
above-mentioned was afterwards discovered to be an agent of the Paris
police, who had been commissioned to draw the Princes into a plot which
would have ruined them, for public feeling revolts at assassination under
any circumstances.

It has been alleged that Louis XVIII.'s refusal to treat with Bonaparte
led to the fatal catastrophe of the Due d'Enghien's death. The first
correspondence between Louis XVIII. and the First Consul, which has been
given in these Memoirs, clearly proves the contrary. It is certainly
probable that Louis XVIII.'s refusal to renounce his rights should have
irritated Bonaparte. But it was rather late to take his revenge two
years after, and that too on a Prince totally ignorant of those
overtures. It is needless to comment on such absurdities. It is equally
unnecessary to speak of the mysterious being who often appeared at
meetings in the Faubourg St. Germain, and who was afterwards discovered
to be Pichegru.

A further light is thrown on this melancholy catastrophe by a
conversation Napoleon had, a few days after his elevation to the imperial
throne, with M. Masaias, the French Minister at the Court of the Grand
Duke of Baden. This conversation took place at Aix-la-Chapelle. After
some remarks on the intrigues of the emigrants Bonaparte observed, "You
ought at least to have prevented the plots which the Due d'Enghien was
hatching at Ettenheim."--"Sire, I am too old to learn to tell a
falsehood. Believe me, on this subject your Majesty's ear has been
abused."--"Do you not think, then, that had the conspiracy of Georges and
Pichegru proved successful, the Prince would have passed the Rhine, and
have come post to Paris?"

M. Massias, from whom I had these particulars, added, "At this last
question of the Emperor I hung down my head and was silent, for I saw he
did not wish to hear the truth."

Now let us consider, with that attention which the importance of the
subject demands, what has been said by the historians of St. Helena.

Napoleon said to his companions in exile that "the Due d'Enghien's death
must be attributed either to an excess of zeal for him (Napoleon), to
private views, or to mysterious intrigues. He had been blindly urged on;
he was, if he might say so, taken by surprise. The measure was
precipitated, and the result predetermined."

This he might have said; but if he did so express himself, how are we to
reconcile such a declaration with the statement of O'Meara? How give
credit to assertions so very opposite?

Napoleon said to M. de Las Casas:

"One day when alone, I recollect it well, I was taking my coffee,
half seated on the table at which I had just dined, when suddenly
information was brought to me that a new conspiracy had been
discovered. I was warmly urged to put an end to these enormities;
they represented to me that it was time at last to give a lesson to
those who had been day after day conspiring against my life; that
this end could only be attained by shedding the blood of one of
them; and that the Due d'Enghien, who might now be convicted of
forming part of this new conspiracy, and taken in the very act,
should be that one. It was added that he had been seen at
Strasburg; that it was even believed that he had been in Paris; and
that the plan was that he should enter France by the east at the
moment of the explosion, whilst the Due de Berri was disembarking in
the west. I should tell you," observed the Emperor, "that I did not
even know precisely who the Due d'Enghien was (the Revolution having
taken place when I was yet a very young man, and I having never been
at Court), and that I was quite in the dark as to where he was at
that moment. Having been informed on those points I exclaimed that
if such were the case the Duke ought to be arrested, and that orders
should be given to that effect. Everything had been foreseen and
prepared; the different orders were already drawn up, nothing
remained to be done but to sign them, and the fate of the young
Prince was thus decided."

Napoleon next asserts that in the Duke's arrest and condemnation all the
usual forms were strictly observed. But he has also declared that the
death of that unfortunate Prince will be an eternal reproach to those
who, carried away by a criminal zeal, waited not for their Sovereign's
orders to execute the sentence of the court-martial. He would, perhaps,
have allowed the Prince to live; but yet he said, "It is true I wished to
make an example which should deter."

It has been said that the Due d'Enghien addressed a letter to Napoleon,
which was not delivered till after the execution. This is false and
absurd! How could that Prince write to Bonaparte to offer him his
services and to solicit the command of an army? His interrogatory makes
no mention of this letter, and is in direct opposition to the sentiments
which that letter would attribute to him. The truth is, no such letter
ever existed. The individual who was with the Prince declared he never
wrote it. It will never be believed that any one would have presumed to
withhold from Bonaparte a letter on which depended the fate of so august
a victim.

In his declarations to his companions in exile Napoleon endeavoured
either to free himself of this crime or to justify it. His fear or his
susceptibility was such, that in discoursing with strangers he merely
said, that had he known of the Prince's letter, which was not delivered
to him.--God knows why!--until after he had breathed his last, he would
have pardoned him. But at a subsequent date he traced, with his own
hand, his last thoughts, which he supposed would be consecrated in the
minds of his contemporaries, and of posterity. Napoleon, touching on the
subject which he felt would be one of the most important attached to his
memory, said that if the thing were to do again he would act as he then
did. How does this declaration tally with his avowal, that if he had
received the Prince's letter he should have lived? This is
irreconcilable. But if we compare all that Napoleon said at St. Helena,
and which has been transmitted to us by his faithful followers; if we
consider his contradictions when speaking of the Due d'Enghien's death to
strangers, to his friends, to the public, or to posterity, the question
ceases to be doubtful Bonaparte wished to strike a blow which would
terrify his enemies. Fancying that the Duc de Berri was ready to land in
France, he despatched his aide de camp Savary, in disguise, attended by
gendarmes, to watch the Duke's landing at Biville, near Dieppe. This
turned out a fruitless mission. The Duke was warned in time not to
attempt the useless and dangerous enterprise, and Bonaparte, enraged to
see one prey escape him, pounced upon another. It is well known that
Bonaparte often, and in the presence even of persons whom he conceived to
have maintained relations with the partisans of the Bourbons at Paris,
expressed himself thus: "I will put an end to these conspiracies. If any
of the emigrants conspire they shall be shot. I have been told that
Cobentzel harbours some of them. I do not believe this; but if it be
true, Cobentzel shall be arrested and shot along with them. I will let
the Bourbons know I am not to be trifled with." The above statement of
facts accounts for the suppositions respecting the probable influence of
the Jacobins in this affair. It has been said, not without some
appearance of reason, that to get the Jacobins to help him to ascend the
throne Bonaparte consented to sacrifice a victim of the blood royal, as
the only pledge capable of ensuring them against the return of the
proscribed family. Be this as it may, there are no possible means of
relieving Bonaparte from his share of guilt in the death of the Due

To the above facts, which came within my own knowledge, I may add the
following curious story, which was related to me by an individual who
himself heard it from the secretary of General Davoust.

Davoust was commanding a division in the camp of Boulogne, and his
secretary when proceeding thither to join him met in the diligence a man
who seemed to be absorbed in affliction. This man during the whole
journey never once broke silence but by some deep sighs, which he had not
power to repress. General Davoust's secretary observed him with
curiosity and interest, but did not venture to intrude upon his grief by
any conversation. The concourse of travellers from Paris to the camp
was, however, at that time very great, and the inn at which the diligence
stopped in the evening was so crowded that it was impossible to assign a
chamber to each traveller. Two, therefore, were put into one room, and
it so happened that the secretary was lodged with his mysterious
travelling companion.

When they were alone he addressed him in a torso of interest which
banished all appearance of intrusion. He inquired whether the cause of
his grief was of a nature to admit of any alleviation, and offered to
render him any assistance in his power. "Sir," replied the stranger,
"I am much obliged for the sympathy you express for me--I want nothing.
There is no possible consolation for me. My affliction can end only with
my life. You shall judge for yourself, for the interest you seem to take
in my misfortune fully justifies my confidence. I was quartermaster in
the select gendarmerie, and formed part of a detachment which was ordered
to Vincennes. I passed the night there under arms, and at daybreak was
ordered down to the moat with six men. An execution was to take place.
The prisoner was brought out, and I gave the word to fire. The man fell,
and after the execution I learned that we had shot the Due d'Enghien.
Judge of my horror! . . . I knew the prisoner only by the name of the
brigand of La Vendee! . . . I could no longer remain in the service
--I obtained my discharge, and am about to retire to my family. Would
that I had done so sooner!" The above has been related to me and other
persons by Davoust's secretary, whom I shall not name.



General Ordener's mission--Arrest of the Due d'Enghien--Horrible
night-scene---Harrel's account of the death of the Prince--Order for
digging the grave--The foster-sister of the Duo d'Enghien--Reading
the sentence--The lantern--General Savary--The faithful dog and the
police--My visit to Malmaison--Josephine's grief--
The Duc d'Enghien's portrait and lock of hair--Savary's emotion--
M. de Chateaubriand's resignation--M. de Chatenubriand's connection
with Bonaparte--Madame Bacciocchi and M. de Fontanes--Cardinal Fesch
--Dedication of the second edition of the 'Genie du Christianisme'
--M. de Chateaubriand's visit to the First Consul on the morning of
the Due d'Enghien's death--Consequences of the Duo d'Enghien's
death--Change of opinion in the provinces--The Gentry of the
Chateaus--Effect of the Due d'Enghien's death on foreign Courts--
Remarkable words of Mr. Pitt--Louis XVIII. sends back the insignia
of the Golden Fleece to the King of Spain.

I will now narrate more fully the sanguinary scene which took place at
Vincennes. General Ordener, commanding the mounted grenadiers of the
Guard, received orders from the War Minister to proceed to the Rhine, to
give instructions to the chiefs of the gendarmerie of New Brissac, which
was placed at his disposal. General Ordener sent a detachment of
gendarmerie to Ettenheim, where the Due d'Enghien was arrested on the
15th of March. He was immediately conducted to the citadel of Strasburg,
where he remained till the 18th, to give time for the arrival of orders
from Paris. These orders were given rapidly, and executed promptly, for
the carriage which conveyed the unfortunate Prince arrived at the barrier
at eleven o'clock on the morning of the 20th, where it remained for five
hours, and afterwards proceeded by the exterior boulevards on the road to
Vincennes, where it arrived at night. Every scene of this horrible drama
was acted under the veil of night: the sun did not even shine upon its
tragical close. The soldiers received orders to proceed to Vincennes at
night. It was at night that the fatal gates of the fortress were closed
upon the Prince. At night the Council assembled and tried him, or rather
condemned him without trial. When the clock struck six in the morning
the orders were given to fire, and the Prince ceased to exist.

Here a reflection occurs to me. Supposing one were inclined to admit
that the Council held on the 10th of March had some connection with the
Due d'Enghien's arrest, yet as no Council was held from the time of the
Duke's arrival at the barrier to the moment of his execution, it could
only be Bonaparte himself who issued the orders which were too punctually
obeyed. When the dreadful intelligence of the Duc d'Enghien's death was
spread in Paris it excited a feeling of consternation which recalled the
recollection of the Reign of Terror. Could Bonaparte have seen the gloom
which pervaded Paris, and compared it with the joy which prevailed on the
day when he returned victorious from the field of Marengo, he would have
felt that he had tarnished his glory by a stain which could never be

About half-past twelve on the 22d of March I was informed that some one
wished to speak with me. It was Harrel.

--[Harrel, who had been unemployed till the plot of Arena and
Ceracchi on the 18th Vendemiairean IX (10th October 1800) which he
had feigned to join, and had then revealed to the police (see ante),
had been made Governor of Vincennes.]--

I will relate word for word what he communicated to me. Harrel probably
thought that he was bound in gratitude to acquaint me with these details;
but he owed me no gratitude, for it was much against my will that he had
encouraged the conspiracy of Ceracchi, and received the reward of his
treachery in that crime. The following is Harrel's statement:--

"On the evening of the day before yesterday, when the Prince arrived,
I was asked whether I had a room to lodge a prisoner in; I replied, No--
that there were only my apartments and the Council-chamber. I was told
to prepare instantly a room in which a prisoner could sleep who was to
arrive that evening. I was also desired to dig a pit in the courtyard.

--[This fact must be noted. Harrel is told to dig a trench before
the sentence. Thus it was known that they had come to kill the Duc
d'Enghien. How can this be answered? Can it possibly be supposed
that anyone, whoever it was, would have dared to give each an order
in anticipation if the order had not been the carrying out of a
formal command of Bonaparte? That is incredible.--Bourrienne.]--

"I replied that that could not be easily done, as the courtyard was paved.
The moat was then fixed upon, and there the pit was dug. The Prince
arrived at seven o'clock in the evening; he was perishing with cold and
hunger. He did not appear dispirited. He said he wanted something to
eat, and to go to bed afterwards. His apartment not being yet
sufficiently aired, I took him into my own, and sent into the village for
some refreshment. The Prince sat down to table, and invited me to eat
with him. He then asked me a number of questions respecting Vincennes--
what was going on there, and other particulars. He told me that he had
been brought up in the neighbourhood of the castle, and spoke to me with
great freedom and kindness. 'What do they want with me?' he said. What
do they mean to do with me?' But these questions betrayed no uneasiness
or anxiety. My wife, who was ill, was lying in the same room in an
alcove, closed by a railing. She heard, without being perceived, all our
conversation, and she was exceedingly agitated, for she recognised the
Prince, whose foster-sister she was, and whose family had given her a
pension before the Revolution.

"The Prince hastened to bed, but before he could have fallen asleep the
judges sent to request his presence in the Council-chamber. I was not
present at his examination; but when it was concluded he returned to his
chamber, and when they came to read his sentence to him he was in a
profound sleep. In a few moments after he was led out for execution.
He had so little suspicion of the fate that awaited him that on
descending the staircase leading to the moat he asked where they were
taking him. He received no answer. I went before the Prince with a
lantern. Feeling the cold air which came up the staircase he pressed my
arm and said, 'Are they going to put me into a dungeon?'"

The rest is known. I can yet see Harrel shuddering while thinking of
this action of the Prince's.

Much has been said about a lantern which it is pretended was attached to
one of the Due d'Enghien's button-holes. This is a pure invention.
Captain Dautancourt, whose sight was not very good, took the lantern out
of Harrel's hand to read the sentence to the victim, who had been
condemned with as little regard to judicial forms as to justice. This
circumstance probably gave rise to the story about the lantern to which I
have just alluded. The fatal event took place at six o'clock on the
morning of the 21st of March, and it was then daylight.

General Savary did not dare to delay the execution of the sentence,
although the Prince urgently demanded to have an interview with the First
Consul. Had Bonaparte seen the prince there can be little doubt but that
he would have saved his life. Savary, however, thought himself bound to
sacrifice his own opinions to the powerful faction which then controlled
the First Consul; and whilst he thought he was serving his master, he was
in fact only serving the faction to which, I must say, he did not belong.
The truth is, that General Savary can only be reproached for not having
taken upon himself to suspend the execution, which very probably would
not have taken place had it been suspended. He was merely an instrument,
and regret on his part would, perhaps, have told more in his favour than
his vain efforts to justify Bonaparte. I have just said that if there
had been any suspension there would have been no execution; and I think
this is almost proved by the uncertainty which must have existed in the
mind of the First Consul. If he had made up his mind all the measures
would have been taken in advance, and if they had been, the carriage of
the Duke would certainly not have been kept for five hours at the
barriers. Besides, it is certain that the first intention was to take
the Prince to the prison of the Temple.

From all that I have stated, and particularly from the non-suspension of
the execution, it appears to me as clear as day that General Savary had
received a formal order from Bonaparte for the Due d'Enghien's death, and
also a formal order that it should be so managed as to make it impossible
to speak to Bonaparte again on the subject until all should be over. Can
there be a more evident, a more direct proof of this than the digging of
the grave beforehand? I have repeated Harrel's story just as he related
it to me. He told it me without solicitation, and he could not invent a
circumstance of this nature.

General Savary was not in the moat during the execution, but on the bank,
from whence he could easily see all that passed. Another circumstance
connected with the Due d'Enghien's death has been mentioned, which is
true. The Prince had a little dog; this faithful animal returned
incessantly to the fatal spot in the moat. There are few who have not
seen that spot. Who has not made a pilgrimage to Vincennes and dropped a
tear where the victim fell? The fidelity of the poor dog excited so much
interest that the police prevented any one from visiting the fatal spot,
and the dog was no longer heard to howl over his master's grave.

I promised to state the truth respecting the death of the Due d'Enghien,
and I have done so, though it has cost me some pain. Harrel's narrative,
and the shocking circumstance of the grave being dug beforehand, left me
no opportunity of cherishing any doubts I might have wished to entertain;
and everything which followed confirmed the view I then took of the
subject. When Harrel left me on the 22d I determined to go to Malmaison
to see Madame Bonaparte, knowing, from her sentiments towards the House
of Bourbon, that she would be in the greatest affliction. I had
previously sent to know whether it would be convenient for her to see me,
a precaution I had never before observed, but which I conceived to be
proper upon that occasion. On my arrival I was immediately introduced to
her boudoir, where she was alone with Hortense and Madame de Remusat.
They were all deeply afflicted. "Bourrienne," exclaimed Josephine,
as soon as she perceived me, "what a dreadful event! Did you but know
the state of mind Bonaparte is in! He avoids, he dreads the presence of
every one! Who could have suggested to him such an act as this?"
I then acquainted Josephine with the particulars which I had received
from Harrel. "What barbarity!" she resumed. "But no reproach can rest
upon me, for I did everything to dissuade him from this dreadful project.
He did not confide the secret to me, but I guessed it, and he
acknowledged all. How harshly he repelled my entreaties! I clung to
him! I threw myself at his feet! 'Meddle with what concerns you!'
he exclaimed angrily. 'This is not women's business! Leave me!' And he
repulsed me with a violence which be had never displayed since our first
interview after your return from Egypt. Heavens! what will become of

I could say nothing to calm affliction and alarm in which I participated,
for to my grief for the death of the Due d'Enghien was added my regret
that Bonaparte should be capable of such a crime. "What," said
Josephine, "can be thought of this in Paris? He must be the object of
universal, imprecation, for even here his flatterers appear astounded
when they are out of his presence. How wretched we have been since
yesterday; and he!.... You know what he is when be is dissatisfied with
himself. No one dare speak to him, and all is mournful around us. What
a commission he gave to Savary! You know I do not like the general,
because he is one of those whose flatteries will contribute to ruin
Bonaparte. Well! I pitied Savary when he came yesterday to fulfil a
commission which the Due d'Enghien had entrusted to him. Here," added
Josephine, "is his portrait and a lock of his hair, which he has
requested me to transmit to one who was dear to him. Savary almost shed
tears when he described to me the last moments of the Duke; then,
endeavouring to resume his self-possession, he said: 'It is in vain to
try to be indifferent, Madame! It is impossible to witness the death of
such a man unmoved!'"

Josephine afterwards informed me of the only act of courage which
occurred at this period--namely, the resignation which M. de
Chateaubriand had sent to Bonaparte. She admired his conduct greatly,
and said: "What a pity he is not surrounded by men of this description!
It would be the means of preventing all the errors into which he is led
by the constant approbation of those about him." Josephine thanked me
for my attention in coming to see her at such an unhappy juncture; and I
confess that it required all the regard I cherished for her to induce me
to do so, for at that moment I should not have wished to see the First
Consul, since the evil was irreparable. On the evening of that day
nothing was spoken of but the transaction of the 21st of March, and the
noble conduct of M. de Chateaubriand. As the name of that celebrated man
is for ever written in characters of honour in the history of that
period, I think I may with propriety relate here what I know respecting
his previous connection with Bonaparte.

I do not recollect the precise date of M. de Chateaubriand's return to
France; I only know that it was about the year 1800, for we were,
I think, still at the Luxembourg: However, I recollect perfectly that
Bonaparte began to conceive prejudices against him; and when I one day
expressed my surprise to the First Consul that M. de Chateaubriand's name
did not appear on any of the lists which he had ordered to be presented
to him for filling up vacant places, he said: "He has been mentioned to
me, but I replied in a way to check all hopes of his obtaining any
appointment. He has notions of liberty and independence which will not
suit my system. I would rather have him my enemy than my forced friend.
At all events, he must wait awhile; I may, perhaps, try him first in a
secondary place, and, if he does well, I may advance him."

The above is, word for word, what Bonaparte said the: first time I
conversed with him about M. de Chateaubriand. The publication of 'Atala'
and the 'Genie du Christianisme' suddenly gave Chateaubriand celebrity,
and attracted the attention of the First Consul. Bonaparte who then
meditated the restoration of religious worship: in France, found himself
wonderfully supported by the publication of a book which excited the
highest interest, and whose superior merit led the public mind to the
consideration of religious topics. I remember Madame Bacciocchi coming
one day to visit her brother with a little volume in her hand; it was
'Atala'. She presented it to the First Consul, and begged he would read
it. "What, more romances!" exclaimed he. "Do you think I have time to
read all your fooleries?" He, however, took the book from his sister and
laid it down on my desk. Madame Bacciocchi then solicited the erasure of
M. de Chateaubriand's name from the list of emigrants. "Oh! oh!" said
Bonaparte, "it is Chateaubriand's book, is it? I will read it, then.
Bourrienne, write to Fouche to erase his name from the list."

Bonaparte, at that time paid so little attention to what was doing in the
literary world that he was not aware of Chateaubriand being the author of
'Atala'. It was on the recommendation of M. de Fontanel that Madame
Bacciocchi tried this experiment, which was attended by complete success.
The First Consul read 'Atala', and was much pleased with it. On the
publication of the 'Genie du Christianisme' some time after, his first
prejudices were wholly removed. Among the persons about him there were
many who dreaded to see a man of de Chateaubriand's talent approach the
First Consul, who knew how to appreciate superior merit when it did not
exite his envy.

Our relations with the Court of the Vatican being renewed, and Cardinal
Fesch appointed Ambassador to the Holy See, Bonaparte conceived the idea
of making M. de Chateaubriand first secretary to the Embassy, thinking
that the author of the 'Genie du Christianisme' was peculiarly fitted to
make up for his uncle's deficiency of talent in the capital of the
Christian world, which was destined to become the second city of the

It was not a little extraordinary to let a man, previously, a stranger to
diplomatic business; stepping over all the intermediate degrees; and
being at once invested with the functions of first secretary to an
important Embassy. I oftener than once heard the First Consul
congratulate himself on having made the appointment. I knew, though
Bonaparte was not aware of the circumstance at the time, that
Chateaubriand at first refused the situation, and that he was only
induced to accept it by the entreaties of the head of the clergy,
particularly of the Abby Emery, a man of great influence. They
represented to the author of the' Genie du Christianisme that it was
necessary he should accompany the uncle of the First Consul to Rome; and
M. de Chateaubriand accordingly resolved to do so.

However, clouds, gathered; I do not know from what cause, between the
ambassador and his secretary. All I know is, that on Bonaparte being
informed of the circumstance he took the part of the Cardinal, and the
friends of M. de Chateaubriand expected to see him soon deprived of his
appointment, when, to the great astonishment of every one, the secretary
to the Roman Embassy, far from being disgraced, was raised by the First
Consul to the rank of Minister Plenipotentiary to the Valais, with leave
to travel in Switzerland and Italy, together with the promise of the
first vacant Embassy.

This favour excited a considerable sensation at the Tuileries; but as it
was known to be the will and pleasure of the First Consul all expression
of opinion on the subject was confined to a few quiet murmurs that
Bonaparte had done for the name of Chateaubriand what, in fact, he had
done only on account of his talent. It was during the continuance of
this favour that the second edition of the 'Genie du Christianisme' was
dedicated to the First Consul.

M. de Chateaubriand returned to France previously to entering on the
fulfilment of his new mission. He remained for some months in Paris, and
on the day appointed for his departure he went to take leave of the First
Consul. By a singular chance it happened to be the fatal morning of the
21st of March, and consequently only a few hours after the Duc d'Enghien
had been shot. It is unnecessary to observe that M. de Chateaubriand was
ignorant of the fatal event. However, on his return home he said to his
friends that he had remarked a singular change in the appearance of the
First Consul, and that there was a sort of sinister expression in his
countenance. Bonaparte saw his new minister amidst the crowd who
attended the audience, and several times seemed inclined to step forward
to speak to him, but as often turned away, and did not approach him the
whole morning. A few hours after, when M. de Chatenubriand mentioned his
observations to some of his friends; he was made acquainted with the
cause of that agitation which, in spite of all his strength of mind and
self-command, Bonaparte could not disguise.

M. de Chateaubriand instantly resigned his appointment of Minister
Plenipotentiary to the Valais. For several days his friends were much
alarmed for his safety, and they called every morning early to ascertain
whether he had not been carried off during the night. Their fears were
not without foundation. I must confess that I, who knew Bonaparte well,
was somewhat surprised that no serious consequence attended the anger he
manifested on receiving the resignation of the man who had dedicated his
work to him. In fact, there was good reason for apprehension, and it was
not without considerable difficulty that Elisa succeeded in averting the
threatened storm. From this time began a state of hostility between
Bonaparte and Chateaubriand which only terminated at the Restoration.

I am persuaded, from my knowledge of Bonaparte's character, that though
he retained implacable resentment against a returned emigrant who had
dared to censure his conduct in so positive a manner, yet, his first
burst of anger being soothed, that which was the cause of hatred was at
the same time the ground of esteem. Bonaparte's animosity was,
I confess, very natural, for he could not disguise from himself the real
meaning of a resignation made under such circumstances. It said plainly,
"You have committed a crime, and I will not serve your Government, which
is stained with the blood of a Bourbon!" I can therefore very well
imagine that Bonaparte could never pardon the only man who dared to give
him such a lesson in the midst of the plenitude of his power. But, as I
have often had occasion to remark, there was no unison between
Bonaparte's feelings and his judgment.

I find a fresh proof of this in the following passage, which he dictated
to M. de Montholon at St. Helena (Memoires, tome iv. p 248). "If," said
he, "the royal confidence had not been placed in men whose minds were
unstrung by too important circumstances, or who, renegade to their
country, saw no safety or glory for their master's throne except under
the yoke of the Holy Alliance; if the Duc de Richelieu, whose ambition
was to deliver his country from the presence of foreign bayonets; if
Chateaubriand, who had just rendered valuable services at Ghent; if they
had had the direction of affairs, France would have emerged from these
two great national crises powerful and redoubtable. Chateaubriand had
received from Nature the sacred fire-his works show it! His style is not
that of Racine but of a prophet. Only he could have said with impunity
in the chamber of peers, 'that the redingote and cocked hat of Napoleon,
put on a stick on the coast of Brest, would make all Europe run to

The immediate consequences of the Duc d'Enghien's death were not confined
to the general consternation which that unjustifiable stroke of state
policy produced in the capital. The news spread rapidly through the
provinces and foreign countries, and was everywhere accompanied by
astonishment and sorrow. There is in the departments a separate class of
society, possessing great influence, and constituted entirely of persons
usually called the "Gentry of the Chateaux," who may be said to form the
provincial Faubourg St. Germain, and who were overwhelmed by the news.
The opinion of the Gentry of the Chateaux was not hitherto unfavourable
to the First Consul, for the law of hostages which he repealed had been
felt very severely by them. With the exception of some families
accustomed to consider themselves, in relation to the whole world, what
they were only within the circle of a couple of leagues; that is to say,
illustrious personages, all the inhabitants of the provinces, though they
might retain some attachment to the ancient order of things, had viewed
with satisfaction the substitution of the Consular for the Directorial
government, and entertained no personal dislike to the First Consul.
Among the Chateaux, more than anywhere else, it had always been the
custom to cherish Utopian ideas respecting the management of public
affairs, and to criticise the acts of the Government. It is well known
that at this time there was not in all France a single old mansion
surmounted by its two weathercocks which had not a systems of policy
peculiar to itself, and in which the question whether the First Consul
would play the part of Cromwell or Monk was not frequently canvassed.
In those innocent controversies the little news which the Paris papers
were allowed to publish was freely discussed, and a confidential letter
from Paris sometimes furnished food for the conversation of a whole week.

While I was with Bonaparte he often talked to me about the life in the
Chateaux, which he considered as the happiest for men with sufficient
income and exempt from ambition. He knew and could appreciate this sort
of life, for he often told me the period of his life which he remembered.
with the greatest pleasure was that which he had passed in a Chateau of
the family of Boulat du Colombier near Valence. Bonaparte set great
value on the opinion of the Chateaux, because while living in the country
he had observed the moral influence which their inhabitants exercise over
their neighbourhood. He had succeeded to a great degree in conciliating
them, but the news of the death of the Due d'Enghien alienated from him
minds which were still wavering, and even those which had already
declared in his favour. That act of tyranny dissolved the charm which
had created hope from his government and awakened affections which had as
yet only slumbered. Those to whom this event was almost indifferent also
joined in condemning it; for there are certain aristocratic ideas which
are always fashionable in a certain class of society. Thus for different
causes this atrocity gave a retrograde direction to public opinion, which
had previously been favourably disposed to Bonaparte throughout the whole
of France.

The consequences were not less important, and might have been disastrous
with respect to foreign Courts. I learned, through a channel which does
not permit me to entertain any doubt of the correctness of my
information, that as soon as the Emperor Alexander received the news it
became clear that England might conceive a well-founded hope of forming a
new coalition against France. Alexander openly expressed his
indignation. I also learned with equal certainty that when Mr. Pitt was
informed of the death of the French Prince he said, "Bonaparte has now
done himself more mischief than we have done him since the last
declaration of war."

--[The remark made on this murder by the astute cold-blooded Fouche
is well known. He said, "It was worse than a crime--it was a
blunder!"--Editor of 1836 Edition.]--

Pitt was not the man to feel much concern for the death of any one; but
he understood and seized all the advantages afforded to him by this great
error of policy committed by the most formidable enemy of England. In
all the Treasury journals published in London Bonaparte was never spoken
of under any other name than that of the "assassin of the Duc d'Enghien."
The inert policy of the Cabinet of Vienna prevented the manifestation of
its displeasure by remonstrances, or by any outward act. At Berlin, in
consequence of the neighbourhood of the French troops in Hanover, the
commiseration for the death of the Due d'Enghien was also confined to the
King's cabinet, and more particularly to the salons of the Queen of
Prussia; but it is certain that that transaction almost everywhere
changed the disposition of sovereigns towards the First Consul, and that
if it did not cause, it at least hastened the success of the negotiations
which England was secretly carrying on with Austria and Prussia. Every
Prince of Germany was offended by the violation of the Grand Duke of
Baden's territory, and the death of a Prince could not fail everywhere to
irritate that kind of sympathy of blood and of race which had hitherto
always influenced the crowned heads and sovereign families of Europe; for
it was felt as an injury to all of them.

When Louis XVIII. learned the death of the Due d'Enghien he wrote to the
King of Spain, returning him the insignia of the Order of the Golden
Fleece (which had also been conferred on Bonaparte), with the
accompanying letter:

SIRE, MONSIEUR, AND DEAR COUSIN--It is with regret that I send back
to you the insignia of the Order of the Golden Fleece which his
Majesty, your father, of glorious memory conferred upon me. There
can be nothing in common between me and the great criminal whom
audacity and fortune have placed on my throne, since he has had the
barbarity to stain himself with the blood of a Bourbon, the Duc

Religion might make me pardon an assassin, but the tyrant of my
people must always be my enemy.

In the present age it is more glorious to merit a sceptre than to
possess one.

Providence, for incomprehensible reasons, may condemn me to end my
days in exile, but neither my contemporaries nor posterity shall
ever have to say, that in the period of adversity I showed my self
unworthy of occupying the throne of my ancestors.

The death of the Due d'Enghien was a horrible episode in the proceedings
of the great trial which was then preparing, and which was speedily
followed by the accession of Bonaparte to the Imperial dignity. It was
not one of the least remarkable anomalies of the epoch to see the
judgment by which criminal enterprises against the Republic were
condemned pronounced in the name of the Emperor who had so evidently
destroyed that Republic. This anomaly certainly was not removed by the
subtlety, by the aid of which he at first declared himself Emperor of the
Republic, as a preliminary to his proclaiming himself Emperor of the
French. Setting aside the means, it must be acknowledged that it is
impossible not to admire the genius of Bonaparte, his tenacity in
advancing towards his object, and that adroit employment of suppleness
and audacity which made him sometimes dare fortune, sometimes avoid
difficulties which he found insurmountable, to arrive, not merely at the
throne of Louis XVI., but at the reconstructed throne of Charlemagne.



Pichegru betrayed--His arrest--His conduct to his old aide de camp--
Account of Pichegru's family, and his education at Brienne--
Permission to visit M. Carbonnet--The prisoners in the Temple--
Absurd application of the word "brigand"--Moreau and the state of
public opinion respecting him--Pichegru's firmness--Pichegru
strangled in prison--Public opinion at the time--Report on the death
of Pichegru.

I shall now proceed to relate what I knew at the time and what I have
since learnt of the different phases of the trial of Georges, Pichegru,
Moreau and the other persons accused of conspiracy,--a trial to all the
proceedings of which I closely attended. From those proceedings I was
convinced that Moreau was no conspirator, but at the same time I must
confess that it is very probable the First Consul might believe that he
had been engaged in the plot, and I am also of opinion that the real
conspirators believed Moreau to be their accomplice and their chief; for
the object of the machinations of the police agents was to create a
foundation for such a belief, it being important to the success of their

It has been stated that Moreau was arrested on the day after the
confessions made by Bouvet de Lozier; Pichegru was taken by means of the
most infamous treachery that a man can be guilty of. The official police
had at last ascertained that he was in Paris, but they could not learn
the place of his concealment. The police agents had in vain exerted all
their efforts to discover him, when an old friend, who had given him his
last asylum, offered to deliver him up for 100,000 crowns. This infamous
fellow gave an enact description of the chamber which Pichegru occupied
in the Rue de Chabanais, and in consequence of his information Comminges,
commissary of police, proceeded thither, accompanied by some determined
men. Precautions were necessary, because it was known that Pichegru was
a man of prodigious bodily strength, and that besides, as he possessed
the means of defence, he would not allow himself to be taken without
making a desperate resistance. The police entered his chamber by using
false keys, which the man who had sold him had the baseness to get made
for them. A light was burning on his night table. The party of police,
directed by Comminges, overturned the table, extinguished the light, and
threw themselves on the general, who struggled with all his strength, and
cried out loudly. They were obliged to bind him, and in this state the
conqueror of Holland was removed to the Temple, out of which he was
destined never to come alive.

It must be owned that Pichegru was far from exciting the same interest as
Moreau. The public, and more especially the army, never pardoned him for
his negotiations with the Prince de Conde prior to the 18th Fructidor.
However, I became acquainted with a trait respecting him while he was in
Paris which I think does him much honour. A son of M. Lagrenee, formerly
director of the French Academy at Rome, had been one of Pichegru's aides
de camp. This young man, though he had obtained the rank of captain,
resigned on the banishment of his general, and resumed the pencil, which
he had lad aside for the sword. Pichegru, while he was concealed in
Paris; visited his former aide de camp, who insisted upon giving him an
asylum; but Pichegru positively refused to accept M. Lagrenee's offer,
being determined not to commit a man who had already given him so strong
a proof of friendship. I learned this fact by a singular coincidence.
At this period Madame de Bourrienne wished to have a portrait of one of
our children; she was recommended to M. Lagrenee, and he related the
circumstance to her.

It was on the night of the 22d of February that Pichegru was arrested in
the manner I have described. The deceitful friend who gave him up was
named Le Blanc, and he went to settle at Hamburg with the reward of his
treachery, I had entirely lost sight of Pichegru since we left Brienne,
for Pichegru was also a pupil of that establishment; but, being older
than either Bonaparte or I, he was already a tutor when we were only
scholars, and I very well recollect that it was he who examined Bonaparte
in the four first rules of arithmetic.

Pichegru belonged to an agricultural family of Franche-Comte. He had a
relation, a minim,' in that country. The minim, who had the charge of
educating the pupils of the Military School of Brienne, being very poor,
and their poverty not enabling them to hold out much inducement to other
persons to assist them, they applied to the minims of Franche-Comte. In
consequence of this application Pichegru's relation, and some other
minims, repaired to Brienne. An aunt of Pichegru, who was a sister of
the order of charity, accompanied them, and the care of the infirmary was
entrusted to her. This good woman took her nephew to Brienne with her,
and he was educated at the school gratuitously. As soon as his age
permitted, Pichegru was made a tutor; but all, his ambition was to become
a minim. He was, however, dissuaded from that pursuit by his relation,
and he adopted the military profession. There is this further remarkable
circumstance in the youth of Pichegru, that, though he was older by
several years than Bonaparte, they were both made lieutenants of
artillery at the same time. What a difference in their destiny! While
the one was preparing to ascend a throne the other was a solitary
prisoner in the dungeon of the Temple.

I had no motive to induce me to visit either the Temple or La Force, but
I received at the time circumstantial details of what was passing in
those prisons, particularly in the former; I went, however, frequently to
St. Pelagie, where M. Carbonnet was confined. As soon as I knew that he
was lodged in that prison I set about getting an admission from Real, who
smoothed all difficulties. M. Carbonnet was detained two months in
solitary confinement. He was several times examined, but the
interrogatories produced no result, and, notwithstanding the desire to
implicate him in consequence of the known intimacy between him and
Moreau, it was at last found impossible to put him on trial with the
other parties accused.

The Temple had more terrors than St. Pelagie, but not for the prisoners
who were committed to it, for none of those illustrious victims of police
machination displayed any weakness, with the exception of Bouvet de
Lozier, who, being sensible of his weakness, wished to prevent its
consequences by death. The public, however, kept their attention riveted
on the prison in which Moreau was confined. I have already mentioned
that Pichegru was conveyed thither on the night of the 22d of February; a
fortnight later Georges was arrested, and committed to the same prison.

Either Real or Desmarets, and sometimes both together, repaired to the
Temple to examine the prisoners. In vain the police endeavoured to
direct public odium against the prisoners by placarding lists of their
names through the whole of Paris, even before they were arrested. In
those lists they were styled "brigands," and at the head of "the
brigands," the name of General Moreau shone conspicuously. An absurdity
without a parallel. The effect produced was totally opposite to that
calculated on; for, as no person could connect the idea of a brigand with
that of a general who was the object of public esteem, it was naturally
concluded that those whose names were placarded along with his were no
more brigands than he.

Public opinion was decidedly in favour of Moreau, and every one was
indignant at seeing him described as a brigand. Far from believing him
guilty, he was regarded as a victim fastened on because his reputation
embarrassed Bonaparte; for Moreau had always been looked up to as capable
of opposing the accomplishment of the First Consul's ambitious views.
The whole crime of Moreau was his having numerous partisans among those
who still clung to the phantom of the Republic, and that crime was
unpardonable in the eyes of the First Consul, who for two years had ruled
the destinies of France as sovereign master. What means were not
employed to mislead the opinion of the public respecting Moreau? The
police published pamphlets of all sorts, and the Comte de Montgaillard
was brought from Lyons to draw up a libel implicating him with Pichegru
and the exiled Princes. But nothing that was done produced the effect

The weak character of Moreau is known. In fact, he allowed himself to be
circumvented by a few intriguers, who endeavoured to derive advantage
from the influence of his name. But he was so decidedly opposed to the
reestablishment of the ancient system that he replied to one of the
agents who addressed' him, "I cannot put myself at the head of any
movement for the Bourbons, and such an attempt would not succeed. If
Pichegru act on another principle--and even in that case I have told him
that the Consuls and the Governor of Paris must disappear--I believe that
I have a party strong enough in the Senate to obtain possession of
authority, and I will immediately make use of it to protect his friends;
public opinion will then dictate what may be fit to be done, but I will
promise nothing in writing." Admitting these words attributed to Moreau
to be true, they prove that he was dissatisfied with the Consular
Government, and that he wished a change; but there is a great difference
between a conditional wish and a conspiracy.

The commander of the principal guard of the Temple was General Savory,
and he had reinforced that guard by his select gendarmerie. The
prisoners did not dare to communicate one with another for fear of mutual
injury, but all evinced a courage which created no little alarm as to the
consequences of the trial. Neither offers nor threats produced any
confessions in the course of the interrogatories. Pichegru, in
particular, displayed an extraordinary firmness, and Real one day, on
leaving the chamber where he had been examining him, said aloud in the
presence of several persons, "What a man that Pichegru is!"

Forty days elapsed after the arrest of General Pichegru when, on the
morning of the 6th of April, he was found dead in the chamber he occupied
in the Temple. Pichegru had undergone ten examinations; but he had made
no confessions, and no person was committed by his replies.

All his declarations, however, gave reason to believe that he would speak
out, and that too in a lofty and energetic manner during the progress of
the trial. "When I am before my judges," said he, "my language shall be
conformable to truth and the interests of my country." What would that
language have been? Without doubt there was no wish that it should be
heard. Pichegru would have kept his promise, for he was distinguished
for his firmness of character above everything, even above his qualities
as a soldier; differing in this respect from Moreau, who allowed himself
to be guided by his wife and mother-in-law, both of whom displayed
ridiculous pretensions in their visits to Madame Bonaparte.

The day on which Real spoke before several persons of Pichegru in the way
I have related was the day of his last examination. I afterwards
learned, from a source on which I can rely, that during his examination
Pichegru, though careful to say nothing which could affect the other
prisoners, showed no disposition to be tender of him who had sought and
resolved his death, but evinced a firm resolution to unveil before the
public the odious machinery of the plot into which the police had drawn
him. He also declared that he and his companions had no longer any
object but to consider of the means of leaving Paris, with the view of
escaping from the snares laid for them when their arrest took place.
He declared that they had all of them given up the idea of overturning
the power of Bonaparte, a scheme into which they had been enticed by
shameful intrigues. I am convinced the dread excited by his
manifestation of a resolution to speak out with the most rigid candour
hastened the death of Pichegru. M. Real, who is still living, knows
better than any one else what were Pichegru's declarations, as he
interrogated him. I know not whether that gentleman will think fit,
either at the present or some future period, to raise the veil of mystery
which hangs over these events, but of this I am sure, he will be unable
to deny anything I advance. There is evidence almost amounting to
demonstration that Pichegru was strangled in prison, and consequently all
idea of suicide must be rejected as inadmissible. Have I positive and
substantive proof of what I assert? I have not; but the concurrence of
facts and the weight of probabilities do not leave me in possession of
the doubts I should wish to entertain on that tragic event. Besides,
there exists a certain popular instinct, which is rarely at fault, and it
must be in the recollection of many, not only that the general opinion
favoured the notion of Pichegru's assassination, but that the pains taken
to give that opinion another direction, by the affected exhibition of the
body, only served to strengthen it. He who spontaneously says, I have not
committed such or such a crime, at least admits there is room for
suspecting his guilt.

The truth is, the tide of opinion never set in with such force against


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