Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud, entire
Stewarton, a Gentleman at Paris, to a Nobleman in London

Part 7 out of 7

hot irons all over his body, brandy, mixed with gunpowder, was infused in
the numerous wounds and set fire to several times until nearly burned to
the bones. In the convulsions, the consequence of these terrible
sufferings, he is said to have bitten off a part of his tongue, though,
as before, no groans were heard. As life still remained, he was again
put under the care of his former surgeon; but, as he was exceedingly
exhausted, a spy, in the dress of a Protestant clergyman, presented
himself as if to read prayers with him. Of this offer he accepted; but
when this man began to ask some insidious questions, he cast on him a
look of contempt and never spoke to him more. At last, seeing no means
to obtain any information from him, a mameluke last week strangled him in
his bed. Thus expired a hero whose fate has excited more compassion,
and whose character has received more admiration here, than any of our
great men who have fallen fighting for our Emperor. Captain Wright has
diffused new rays of renown and glory on the British name, from his tomb
as well as from his dungeon.

You have certainly a right to call me to an account for all the
particulars I have related of this scandalous and abominable transaction,
and, though I cannot absolutely guarantee the truth of the narration,
I am perfectly satisfied of it myself, and I hope to explain myself to
your satisfaction. Your unfortunate countryman was attended by and under
the care of a surgeon of the name of Vaugeard, who gained his confidence,
and was worthy of it, though employed in that infamous gaol. Either from
disgust of life, or from attachment to Captain Wright, he survived him
only twelve hours, during which he wrote the shocking details I have
given you, and sent them to three of the members of the foreign
diplomatic corps, with a prayer to have them forwarded to Sir Sidney
Smith or to Mr. Windham, that those his friends might be informed that,
to his last moment, Captain Wright was worthy of their protection and
kindness. From one of those Ministers I have obtained the original in
Vaugeard's own handwriting.

I know that Bonaparte and Talleyrand promised the release of Captain
Wright to the Spanish Ambassador; but, at that time, he had already
suffered once on the rack, and this liberality on their part was merely a
trick to impose upon the credulity of the Spaniard or to get rid of his
importunities. Had it been otherwise, Captain Wright, like Sir George
Rumbold, would himself have been the first to announce in your country
the recovery of his liberty.


PARIS, October, 1805.

My LORD:--Should Bonaparte again return here victorious, and a
pacificator, great changes in our internal Government and constitution
are expected, and will certainly occur. Since the legislative corps has
completed the Napoleon code of civil and criminal justice, it is
considered by the Emperor not only as useless, but troublesome and
superfluous. For the same reasons the tribunate will also be laid aside,
and His Majesty will rule the French Empire, with the assistance of his
Senate, and with the advice of his Council of State, exclusively. You
know that the Senators, as well as the Councillors of State, are
nominated by the Emperor; that he changes the latter according to his
whim, and that, though the former, according to the present constitution,
are to hold their offices for life, the alterations which remove entirely
the legislature and the tribunate may also make Senators movable. But as
all members of the Senate are favourites or relatives, he will probably
not think it necessary to resort to such a measure of policy.

In a former letter I have already mentioned the heterogeneous composition
of the Senate. The tribunate and legislative corps are worthy to figure
by its side; their members are also ci-devant mechanics of all
descriptions, debased attorneys or apostate priests, national spoilers
or rebellious regicides, degraded nobles or dishonoured officers.
The nearly unanimous vote of these corps for a consulate for life,
and for an hereditary Emperor, cannot, therefore, either be expressive of
the national will, or constitute the legality of Bonaparte's sovereignty.

In the legislature no vote opposed, and no voice declaimed against,
Bonaparte's Imperial dignity; but in the tribunate, Carnot--the
infamously notorious Carnot--'pro forma', and with the permission of the
Emperor 'in petto', spoke against the return of a monarchical form of
Government. This farce of deception and roguery did not impose even on
our good Parisians, otherwise, and so frequently, the dupes of all our
political and revolutionary mountebanks. Had Carnot expressed a
sentiment or used a word not previously approved by Bonaparte, instead of
reposing himself in the tribunate, he would have been wandering in

Son of an obscure attorney at Nolay, in Burgundy, he was brought up, like
Bonaparte, in one of those military schools established by the
munificence of the French Monarchs; and had obtained, from the late
King, the commission of a captain of engineers when the Revolution broke
out. He was particularly indebted to the Prince of Conde for his support
during the earlier part of his life, and yet he joined the enemies of his
house, and voted for the death of Louis XVI. A member, with Robespierre
and Barrere, of the Committee of Public Safety, he partook of their
power, as well as of their crimes, though he has been audacious enough to
deny that he had anything to do with other transactions than those of the
armies. Were no other proofs to the contrary collected, a letter of his
own hand to the ferocious Lebon, at Arras, is a written evidence which he
is unable to refute. It is dated November 16th, 1793. "You must take,"
says he, "in your energy, all measures of terror commanded or required by
present circumstances. Continue your revolutionary attitude; never mind
the amnesty pronounced with the acceptance of the absurd constitution of
1791; it is a crime which cannot extenuate other crimes. Anti-
republicans can only expiate their folly under the age of the guillotine.
The public Treasury will always pay the journeys and expenses of
informers, because they have deserved well of their country. Let all
suspected traitors expire by the sword or by fire; continue to march upon
that revolutionary line so well delineated by you. The committee
applauds all your undertakings, all your measures of vigour; they are not
only all permitted, but commanded by your mission." Most of the decrees
concerning the establishment of revolutionary tribunals, and particularly
that for the organization of the atrocious military commission at Orange,
were signed by him.

Carnot, as an officer of engineers, certainly is not without talents;
but his presumption in declaring himself the sole author of those plans
of campaign which, during the years 1794, 1795, and 1796, were so
triumphantly executed by Pichegru, Moreau, and Bonaparte, is impertinent,
as well as unfounded. At the risk of his own life, Pichegru entirely
altered the plan sent him by the Committee of Public Safety; and it was
Moreau's masterly retreat, which no plan of campaign could prescribe,
that made this general so famous. The surprising successes of Bonaparte
in Italy were both unexpected and unforeseen by the Directory; and,
according to Berthier's assertion, obliged the, commander-in-chief,
during the first four months, to change five times his plans of
proceedings and undertakings.

During his temporary sovereignty as a director, Carnot honestly has made
a fortune of twelve millions of livres; which has enabled him not only to
live in style with his wife, but also to keep in style two sisters, of
the name of Aublin, as his mistresses. He was the friend of the father
of these girls, and promised him, when condemned to the guillotine in
1793, to be their second father; but he debauched and ruined them both
before either was fourteen years of age; and young Aublin, who, in 1796,
reproached him with the infamy of his conduct, was delivered up by him to
a military commission, which condemned him to be shot as an emigrant.
He has two children by each of these unfortunate girls.

Bonaparte employs Carnot, but despises and mistrusts him; being well
aware that, should another National Convention be convoked, and the
Emperor of the French be arraigned, as the King of France was, he would,
with as great pleasure, vote for the execution of Napoleon the First as
he did for that of Louis XVI. He has waded too far in blood and crime to

To this sample of a modern tribune I will add a specimen of a modern
legislator. Baptiste Cavaignae was, before the Revolution, an excise
officer, turned out of his place for infidelity; but the department of
Lot electing him, in 1792, a representative of the people to the National
Convention, he there voted for the death of Louis XVI. and remained a
faithful associate of Marat and Robespierre. After the evacuation of
Verdun by the Prussians, in October, 1792, he made a report to the
Convention, according to which eighty-four citizens of that town were
arrested and executed. Among these were twenty-two young girls, under
twenty years of age, whose crime was the having presented nosegays to the
late King of Prussia on his entry after the surrender of Verdun. He was
afterwards a national commissary with the armies on the coast near Brest,
on the Rhine, and in Western Pyrenees, and everywhere he signalized
himself by unheard of ferocities and sanguinary deeds. The following
anecdote, printed and published by our revolutionary annalist, Prudhomme,
will give you some idea of the morality of this our regenerator and
Imperial Solon: "Cavaignac and another deputy, Pinet," writes Prudhomme,
"had ordered a box to be kept for them at the play-house at Bayonne on
the evening they expected to arrive in that town. Entering very late,
they found two soldiers, who had seen the box empty, placed in its front.
These they ordered immediately to be arrested, and condemned them, for
having outraged the national representation, to be guillotined on the
next day, when they both were accordingly executed!" Labarrere, a
provost of the Marechaussee at Dax, was in prison as a suspected person.
His daughter, a very handsome girl of seventeen, lived with an aunt at
Severe. The two pro-consuls passing through that place, she threw
herself at their feet, imploring mercy for her parent. This they not
only promised, but offered her a place in their carriage to Dax, that she
might see him restored to liberty. On the road the monsters insisted on
a ransom for the blood of her father. Waiting, afflicted and ashamed,
at a friend's house at Dag, the accomplishment of a promise so dearly
purchased, she heard the beating of the alarm drum, and looked, from
curiosity, through the window, when she saw her unfortunate parent
ascending the scaffold! After having remained lifeless for half an hour,
she recovered her senses an instant, when she exclaimed:

"Oh, the barbarians! they violated me while flattering me with the hope
of saving my father!" and then expired. In October, 1795, Cavaignac
assisted Barras and Bonaparte in the destruction of some thousands of
men, women, and children in the streets of this capital, and was,
therefore, in 1796, made by the Directory an inspector-general of the
customs; and, in 1803, nominated by Bonaparte a legislator. His
colleague, Citizen Pinet, is now one of our Emperor's Counsellors of
State, and both are commanders of His Majesty's Legion of Honour; rich,
respected, and frequented by our most fashionable ladies and gentlemen.


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--I suppose your Government too vigilant and too patriotic not to
be informed of the great and uninterrupted activity which reigns in our
arsenals, dockyards, and seaports. I have seen a plan, according to
which Bonaparte is enabled, and intends, to build twenty ships of the
line and ten frigates, besides cutters, in the year, for ten years to
come. I read the calculation of the expenses, the names of the forests
where the timber is to be cut, of the foreign countries where a part of
the necessary materials are already engaged, and of our own departments
which are to furnish the remainder. The whole has been drawn up in a
precise and clear manner by Bonaparte's Maritime Prefect at Antwerp,
M. Malouet, well known in your country, where he long remained as an
emigrant, and, I believe, was even employed by your Ministers.

You may, perhaps, smile at this vast naval scheme of Bonaparte; but if
you consider that he is the master of all the forests, mines, and
productions of France, Italy, and of a great part of Germany, with all
the navigable rivers and seaports of these countries and Holland, and
remember also the character of the man, you will, perhaps, think it less
impracticable. The greatest obstacle he has to encounter, and to remove,
is want of experienced naval officers, though even in this he has
advanced greatly since the present war, during which he has added to his
naval forces twenty--nine ships of the line, thirty--four frigates,
twenty-one cutters, three thousand prams, gunboats, pinnaces, etc., with
four thousand naval officers and thirty-seven thousand sailors, according
to the same account, signed by Malouet. It is true that most of our new
naval heroes have never ventured far from our coast, and all their naval
laurels have been gathered under our land batteries; but the impulse is
given to the national spirit, and our conscripts in the maritime
departments prefer, to a man, the navy to the army, which was not
formerly the case.

It cannot have escaped your observation that the incorporation of Genoa
procured us, in the South of our Empire, a naval station and arsenal, as
a counterpoise to Antwerp, our new naval station in the North, where
twelve ships of the line have been built, or are building, since 1803,
and where timber and other materials are collected for eight more. At
Genoa, two ships of the line and four frigates have lately been launched,
and four ships and two frigates are on the stocks; and the Genoese
Republic has added sixteen thousand seafaring men to our navy. Should
Bonaparte terminate successfully the present war, Naples and Venice will
increase the number of our seaports and resources on the borders of the
Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. All his courtiers say that he will
conquer Italy in Germany, and determine at Vienna--the fate of London.

Of all our admirals, however, we have not one to compare with your
Nelson, your Hood, your St. Vincent, and your Cornwallis. By the
appointment of Murat as grand admiral, Bonaparte seems to indicate that
he is inclined to imitate the example of Louis. XVI., in the beginning of
his reign, and entrust the chief command of his fleets and squadrons to
military men of approved capacity and courage, officers of his land
troops. Last June, when he expected a probable junction of the fleet
under Villeneuve with the squadron under Admiral Winter, and the union of
both with Ganteaume at Brest, Murat was to have had the chief command of
the united French, Spanish, and Batavian fleets, and to support the
landing of our troops in your country; but the arrival of Lord Nelson in
the West Indies, and the victory of Admiral Calder, deranged all our
plans and postponed all our designs, which the Continental war has
interrupted; to be commenced, God knows when.

The best amongst our bad admirals is certainly Truguet; but he was
disgraced last year, and exiled twenty leagues from the coast, for having
declared too publicly "that our flotillas would never be serviceable
before our fleets were superior to yours, when they would become
useless." An intriguer by long habit and by character, having neither
property nor principles, he joined the Revolution, and was the second in
command under Latouche, in the first republican fleet that left our
harbours. He directed the expedition against Sardinia, in January, 1793,
during which he acquired neither honour nor glory, being repulsed with
great loss by the inhabitants. After being imprisoned under Robespierre,
the Directory made him a Minister of the marine, an Ambassador to Spain,
and a Vice-Admiral of France. In this capacity he commanded at Brest,
during the first eighteen months of the present war. He has an
irreconcilable foe in Talleyrand, with whom he quarrelled, when on his
embassy in Spain, about some extortions at Madrid, which he declined to
share with his principal at Paris. Such was our Minister's inveteracy
against him in 1798, that a directorial decree placed him on the list of
emigrants, because he remained in Spain after having been recalled to
France. In 1799, during Talleyrand's disgrace, Truguet returned here,
and, after in vain challenging his enemy to fight, caned him in the
Luxembourg gardens, a chastisement which our premier bore with true
Christian patience. Truguet is not even a member of the Legion of

Villeneuve is supposed not much inferior in talents, experience, and
modesty to Truguet. He was, before the Revolution, a lieutenant of the
royal navy; but his principles did not prevent him from deserting to the
colours of the enemies of royalty, who promoted him first to a captain
and afterwards to an admiral.

His first command as such was over a division of the Toulon fleet, which,
in the winter of 1797, entered Brest. In the battle at Aboukir he was
the second in command; and, after the death of Admiral Brueys, he rallied
the ships which had escaped, and sailed for Malta, where, two years
afterwards, he signed, with General Vaubois, the capitulation of that
island. When hostilities again broke out, he commanded in the West
Indies, and, leaving his station, escaped your cruisers, and was
appointed first to the chief command of the Rochefort, and afterwards the
Toulon fleet, on the death of Admiral Latouche. Notwithstanding the
gasconade of his report of his negative victory over Admiral Calder,
Villeneuve is not a Gascon by birth, but only, by sentiment.

Ganteaume does not possess either the intriguing character of Truguet or
the valorous one of Villeneuve.

Before the Revolution he was a mate of a merchantman, but when most of
the officers of the former royal navy had emigrated or perished, he was,
in 1793, made a captain of the republican navy, and in 1796 an admiral.
During the battle of Aboukir he was the chief of the staff, under Admiral
Brueys, and saved himself by swimming, when l'Orient took fire and blew
up. Bonaparte wrote to him on this occasion: "The picture you have sent
me of the disaster of l'Orient, and of your own dreadful situation, is
horrible; but be assured that, having such a miraculous escape, DESTINY
intends you to avenge one day our navy and our friends." This note was
written in August, 1798, shortly after Bonaparte had professed himself a

When, in the summer of 1799, our general-in-chief had determined to leave
his army of Egypt to its destiny, Ganteaume equipped and commanded the
squadron of frigates which brought him to Europe, and was, after his
consulate, appointed a Counsellor of State and commander at Brest. In
1800 he escaped with a division of the Brest fleet to Toulon, and, in the
summer of 1801, when he was ordered to carry succours to Egypt, your ship
Skitsure fell in with him, and was captured. As he did not, however,
succeed in landing in Egypt the troops on board his ships, a temporary
disgrace was incurred, and he was deprived of the command, but made a
maritime prefect. Last year favour was restored him, with the command of
our naval forces at Brest. All officers who have served under Ganteaume
agree that, let his fleet be ever so superior, he will never fight if he
can avoid it, and that, in orderly times, his capacity would, at the
utmost, make him regarded as a good master of a merchantman, and nothing

Of the present commander of our, flotilla at Boulogne, Lacrosse, I will
also say some few words. A lieutenant before the Revolution, he became,
in 1789, one of the most ardent and violent Jacobins, and in 1792 was
employed by the friend of the Blacks, and our Minister, Monge, as an
emissary in the West Indies, to preach there to the negroes the rights of
man and insurrection against the whites, their masters. In 1800,
Bonaparte advanced him to a captain-general at Guadeloupe, an island
which his plots, eight years before, had involved in all the horrors of
anarchy, and where, when he now attempted to restore order, his former
instruments rose against him and forced him to escape to one of your
islands--I believe Dominico. Of this island, in return for his
hospitable reception, he took plans, according to which our General
Lagrange endeavoured to conquer it last spring. Lacrosse is a perfect
revolutionary fanatic, unprincipled, cruel, unfeeling, and intolerant.
His presumption is great, but his talents are trifling.


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--The defeat of the Austrians has excited great satisfaction
among our courtiers and public functionaries; but the mass of the
inhabitants here are too miserable to feel for anything else but their
own sufferings. They know very well that every victory rivets their
fetters, that no disasters can make them more heavy, and no triumph
lighter. Totally indifferent about external occurrences, as well as
about internal oppressions, they strive to forget both the past and the
present, and to be indifferent as to the future; they would be glad could
they cease to feel that they exist. The police officers were now, with
their gendarmes, bayoneting them into illuminations for Bonaparte's
successes, as they dragooned them last year into rejoicings for his
coronation. I never observed before so much apathy; and in more than one
place I heard the people say, "Oh! how much better we should be with
fewer victories and more tranquillity, with less splendour and more
security, with an honest peace instead of a brilliant war." But in a
country groaning under a military government, the opinions of the people
are counted for nothing.

At Madame Joseph Bonaparte's circle, however, the countenances were not
so gloomy. There a real or affected joy seemed to enliven the usual
dullness of these parties; some actors were repeating patriotic verses in
honour of the victor; while others were singing airs or vaudevilles,
to inspire our warriors with as much hatred towards your nation as
gratitude towards our Emperor. It is certainly neither philosophical
nor philanthropical not to exclude the vilest of all passions, HATRED,
on such a happy occasion. Martin, in the dress of a conscript, sang six
long couplets against the tyrants of the seas; of which I was only able
to retain the following one:

Je deteste le peuple anglais,
Je deteste son ministere;
J'aime l'Empereur des Francais,
J'aime la paix, je hais la guerre;
Mais puisqu'il faut la soutenir
Contre une Nation Sauvage,
Mon plus doux, mon plus grand desir
Est de montrer tout mon courage.

But what arrested my attention, more than anything else which occurred in
this circle on that evening, was a printed paper mysteriously handed
about, and of which, thanks to the civility of a Counsellor of State,
I at last got a sight. It was a list of those persons, of different
countries, whom the Emperor of the French has fixed upon, to replace all
the ancient dynasties of Europe within twenty years to come. From the
names of these individuals, some of whom are known to me, I could
perceive that Bonaparte had more difficulty to select proper Emperors,
Kings, and Electors, than he would have had, some years ago, to choose
directors or consuls. Our inconsistency is, however, evident even here;
I did not read a name that is not found in the annals of Jacobinism and
republicanism. We have, at the same time, taken care not to forget
ourselves in this new distribution of supremacy. France is to furnish
the stock of the new dynasties for Austria, England, Spain, Denmark, and
Sweden. What would you think, were you to awake one morning the subject
of King Arthur O'Connor the First? You would, I dare say, be even more
surprised than I am in being the subject of Napoleon Bonaparte the First.
You know, I suppose, that O'Connor is a general of division, and a
commander of the Legion of Honour,--the bosom friend of Talleyrand, and
courting, at this moment, a young lady, a relation of our Empress, whose
portion may one day be an Empire. But I am told that, notwithstanding
Talleyrand's recommendations, and the approbation of Her Majesty, the
lady prefers a colonel, her own countryman, to the Irish general.
Should, however, our Emperor announce his determination, she would be
obliged to marry as he commands, were he even to give her his groom, or
his horse, for a spouse.

You can form no idea how wretched and despised all the Irish rebels are
here. O'Connor alone is an exception; and this he owes to Talleyrand,
to General Valence, and to Madame de Genlis; but even he is looked on
with a sneer, and, if he ever was respected in England, must endure with
poignancy the contempt to which he is frequently exposed in France. When
I was in your country I often heard it said that the Irish were generally
considered as a debased and perfidious people, extremely addicted to
profligacy and drunkenness, and, when once drunk, more cruelly ferocious
than even our Jacobins. I thought it then, and I still believe it,
a national prejudice, because I am convinced that the vices or virtues of
all civilized nations are relatively the same; but those Irish rebels we
have seen here, and who must be, like our Jacobins, the very dregs of
their country, have conducted themselves so as to inspire not only
mistrust but abhorrence. It is also an undeniable truth that they were
greatly disappointed by our former and present Government. They expected
to enjoy liberty and equality, and a pension for their treachery; but our
police commissaries caught them at their landing, our gendarmes escorted
them as criminals to their place of destination, and there they received
just enough to prevent them from starving. If they complained they were
put in irons, and if they attempted to escape they were sent to the
galleys as malefactors or shot as spies. Despair, therefore, no doubt
induced many to perpetrate acts of which they were accused, and to rob,
swindle, and murder, because they were punished as thieves and assassins.
But, some of them, who have been treated in the most friendly,
hospitable, and generous manner in this capital, have proved themselves
ungrateful, as well as infamous. A lady of my acquaintance, of a once
large fortune, had nothing left but some furniture, and her subsistence
depended upon what she got by letting furnished lodgings. Mischance
brought three young Irishmen to her house, who pretended to be in daily
expectation of remittances from their country, and of a pension from
Bonaparte. During six months she not only lodged and supported them, but
embarrassed herself to procure them linen and a decent apparel. At last
she was informed that each of, them had been allowed sixty livres--in the
month, and that arrears had been paid them for nine months. Their debt
to her was above three thousand livres--but the day after she asked for
payment they decamped, and one of them persuaded her daughter, a girl of
fourteen, to elope with him, and to assist him in robbing her mother of
all her plate.--He has, indeed, been since arrested and sentenced to the
galleys for eight years; but this punishment neither restored the
daughter her virtue nor the mother her property. The other two denied
their debts, and, as she had no other evidence but her own scraps of
accounts, they could not be forced to pay; their obdurate effrontery and
infamy, however, excited such an indignation in the judges, that they
delivered them over as swindlers to the Tribunal Correctional; and the
Minister of Police ordered them to be transported as rogues and vagabonds
to the colonies. The daughter died shortly after, in consequence of a
miscarriage, and the mother did not survive her more than a month, and
ended her days in the Hotel Dieu, one of our common hospitals. Thus,
these depraved young men ruined and murdered their benefactress and her
child; and displayed, before they were thirty, such a consummate villainy
as few wretches grown hoary in vice have perpetrated. This act of
scandalous notoriety injured the Irish reputation very much in this
country; for here, as in many other places, inconsiderate people are apt
to judge a whole nation according to the behaviour of some few of its


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--The plan of the campaign of the Austrians is incomprehensible
to all our military men--not on account of its profundity, but on account
of its absurdity or incoherency. In the present circumstances, half-
measures must always be destructive, and it is better to strike strongly
and firmly than justly. To invade Bavaria without disarming the Bavarian
army, and to enter Suabia and yet acknowledge the neutrality of
Switzerland, are such political and military errors as require long
successes to repair, but which such an enemy as Bonaparte always takes
care not to leave unpunished.

The long inactivity of the army under the Archduke Charles has as much
surprised us as the defeat of the army under General von Mack; but from
what I know of the former, I am persuaded that he would long since have
pushed forward had not his movements been unfortunately combined with
those of the latter. The House of Lorraine never produced a more valiant
warrior, nor Austria a more liberal or better instructed statesman, than
this Prince. Heir to the talents of his ancestors, he has commanded,
with glory, against France during the revolutionary war; and, although he
sometimes experienced defeats, he has rendered invaluable services to the
chief of his House by his courage, by his activity, by his constancy, and
by that salutary firmness which, in calling the generals and superior
officers to their duty, has often reanimated the confidence and the
ardour of the soldier.

The Archduke Charles began, in 1793, his military career under the Prince
of Coburg, the commander-in-chief of the Austrian armies in Brabant,
where he commanded the advanced guard, and distinguished himself by a
valour sometimes bordering on temerity, but which, by degrees, acquired
him that esteem and popularity, among the troops often very advantageous
to him afterwards. He was, in 1794, appointed governor and captain-
general of the Low Countries, and a Field-marshal lieutenant of the army
of the German Empire. In April, 1796, he took the command-in-chief of
the armies of Austria and of the Empire, and, in the following June,
engaged in several combats with General Moreau, in which he was repulsed,
but in a manner that did equal honour to the victor and to the

The Austrian army on the Lower Rhine, under General Wartensleben, having,
about this time, been nearly dispersed by General Jourdan, the Archduke
left some divisions of his forces under General Latour, to impede the
progress of Moreau, and went with the remainder into Franconia, where he
defeated Jourdan near Amberg and Wurzburg, routed his army entirely, and
forced him to repass the Rhine in the greatest confusion, and with
immense loss. The retreat of Moreau was the consequence of the victories
of this Prince. After the capture of Kehl, in January, 1797, he assumed
the command of the army of Italy, where he in vain employed all his
efforts to put a stop to the victorious progress of Bonaparte, with whom,
at last, he signed the preliminaries of peace at Leoben. In the spring
of 1799, he again defeated Jourdan in Suabia, as he had done two years
before in Franconia; but in Switzerland he met with an abler adversary in
General Massena; still, I am inclined to think that he displayed there
more real talents than anywhere else; and that this part of his campaign
of 1799 was the most interesting, in a military point of view.

The most implacable enemies of the politics of the House of Austria
render justice to the plans, to the frankness, to the morality of
Archduke Charles; and, what is remarkable, of all the chiefs who have
commanded against revolutionary France, he alone has seized the true
manner of combating enthusiasts or slaves; at least, his proclamations
are the only ones composed with adroitness, and are what they ought to
be, because in them an appeal is made to the public opinion at a time
when opinion almost constitutes half the strength of armies.

The present opposer of this Prince in Italy is one of our best, as well
as most fortunate, generals. A Sardinian subject, and a deserter from
the Sardinian troops, he assisted, in 1792, our commander, General
Anselm, in the conquest of the county of Nice, rather as a spy than as a
soldier. His knowledge of the Maritime Alps obtained, in 1793, a place
on our staff, where, from the services he rendered, the rank of a general
of brigade was soon conferred on him. In 1796 he was promoted to serve
as a general of division under Bonaparte in Italy, where he distinguished
himself so much that when, in 1798, General Berthier was ordered to
accompany the army of the East to Egypt, he succeeded him as commander-
in-chief of our troops in the temporary Roman Republic. But his
merciless pillage, and, perhaps, the idea of his being a foreigner,
brought on a mutiny, and the Directory was obliged to recall him. It was
his campaign in Switzerland of 1799, and his defence of Genoa in 1800,
that principally ranked him high as a military chief. After the battle
of Marengo he received the command of the army of Italy; but his
extortions produced a revolt among the inhabitants, and he lived for some
time in retreat and disgrace, after a violent quarrel with Bonaparte,
during which many severe truths were said and heard on both sides.

After the Peace of Luneville, he seemed inclined to join Moreau, and
other discontented generals; but observing, no doubt, their want of views
and union, he retired to an estate he has bought near Paris, where
Bonaparte visited him, after the rupture with your country, and made him,
we may conclude, such offers as tempted him to leave his retreat. Last
year he was nominated one of our Emperor's Field-marshals, and as such
he relieved Jourdan of the command in the kingdom of Italy. He has
purchased with a part of his spoil, for fifteen millions of livres--
property in France and Italy; and is considered worth double that sum in
jewels, money, and other valuables.

Massena is called, in France, the spoiled child of fortune; and as
Bonaparte, like our former Cardinal Mazarin, has more confidence in
fortune than in merit, he is, perhaps, more indebted to the former than
to the latter for his present situation; his familiarity has made him
disliked at our Imperial Court, where he never addresses Napoleon and
Madame Bonaparte as an Emperor or an Empress without smiling.

General St. Cyr, our second in command of the army of Italy, is also an
officer of great talents and distinctions. He was, in 1791, only a
cornet, but in 1795, he headed, as a general, a division of the army of
the Rhine. In his report to the Directory, during the famous retreat of
1796, Moreau speaks highly of this general, and admits that his.
achievements, in part, saved the republican army. During 1799 he served
in Italy, and in 1800 he commanded the centre of the army of the Rhine,
and assisted in gaining the victory of Hohenlinden. After the Peace of
Lundville, he was appointed a Counsellor of State of the military
section, a place he still occupies, notwithstanding his present
employment. Though under forty years of age, he is rather infirm, from
the fatigues he has undergone and the wounds he has received. Although
he has never combated as a general-in-chief, there is no doubt but that
he would fill such a place with honour to himself and advantage to his

Of the general officers who command under Archduke Charles, Comte de
Bellegarde is already known by his exploits during the last war. He had
distinguished himself already in 1793, particularly when Valenciennes and
Maubeuge were besieged by the united Austrian and English forces; and, in
1794, he commanded the column at the head of which the Emperor marched,
when Landrecy was invested. In 1796, he was one of the members of the
Council of the Archduke Charles, when this Prince commanded for the first
time as a general-in-chief, on which occasion he was promoted to a Field-
marshal lieutenant.

He displayed again great talents during the campaign of 1799, when he
headed a small corps, placed between General Suwarow in Italy, and
Archduke Charles in Switzerland; and in this delicate post he contributed
equally to the success of both. After the Peace of Luneville he was
appointed a commander-in-chief for the Emperor in the ci-devant Venetian
States, where the troops composing the army under the Archduke Charles
were, last summer, received and inspected by him, before the arrival of
the Prince. He is considered by military men as greatly superior to most
of the generals now employed by the Emperor of Germany.


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--"I would give my brother, the Emperor of Germany, one further
piece of advice. Let him hasten to make peace. This is the crisis when,
he must recollect, all States must have an end. The idea of the
approaching extinction of the, dynasty of Lorraine must impress him with
horror." When Bonaparte ordered this paragraph to be inserted in the
Moniteur, he discovered an 'arriere pensee', long suspected by
politicians, but never before avowed by himself, or by his Ministers.
"That he has determined on the universal change of dynasties, because a
usurper can never reign with safety or honour as long as any legitimate
Prince may disturb his power, or reproach him for his rank." Elevated
with prosperity, or infatuated with vanity and pride, he spoke a language
which his placemen, courtiers, and even his brother Joseph at first
thought premature, if not indiscreet. If all lawful Sovereigns do not
read in these words their proscription, and the fate which the most
powerful usurper that ever desolated mankind has destined for them, it
may be ascribed to that blindness with which Providence, in its wrath,
sometimes strikes those doomed to be grand examples of the vicissitudes
of human life.

"Had Talleyrand," said Louis Bonaparte, in his wife's drawing-room, "been
by my brother's side, he would not have unnecessarily alarmed or awakened
those whom it should have been his policy to keep in a soft slumber,
until his blows had laid them down to rise no more; but his soldier-like
frankness frequently injures his political views." This I myself heard
Louis say to Abbe Sieyes, though several foreign Ambassadors were in the
saloon, near enough not to miss a word. If it was really meant as a
reflection on Napoleon, it was imprudent; if designed as a defiance to
other Princes, it was unbecoming and impertinent. I am inclined to
believe it, considering the individual to whom it was addressed, a
premeditated declaration that our Emperor expected a universal war,
was prepared for it, and was certain of its fortunate issue.

When this Sieyes is often consulted, and publicly flattered, our
politicians say, "Woe to the happiness of Sovereigns and to the
tranquillity of subjects; the fiend of mankind is busy, and at work,"
and, in fact, ever since 1789, the infamous ex-Abbe has figured, either
as a plotter or as an actor, in all our dreadful and sanguinary
revolutionary epochas. The accomplice of La Fayette in 1789, of Brissot
in 1791, of Marat in 1792, of Robespierre in 1793, of Tallien in 1794, of
Barras in 1795, of Rewbel in 1797, and of Bonaparte in 1799, he has
hitherto planned, served,, betrayed, or deserted all factions. He is one
of the few of our grand criminals, who, after enticing and sacrificing
his associates, has been fortunate enough to survive them. Bonaparte has
heaped upon him presents, places, and pensions; national property,
senatories, knighthoods, and palaces; but he is, nevertheless, not
supposed one of our Emperor's most dutiful subjects, because many of the
late changes have differed from his metaphysical schemes of innovation,
of regeneration, and of overthrow. He has too high an opinion of his own
deserts not to consider it beneath his philosophical dignity to be a
contented subject of a fellow-subject, elevated into supremacy by his
labours and dangers. His modesty has, for these sixteen years past,
ascribed to his talents all the glory and prosperity of France, and all
her misery and misfortunes to the disregard of his counsels, and to the
neglect of his advice. Bonaparte knows it; and that he is one of those
crafty, sly, and dark conspirators, more dangerous than the bold
assassin, who, by sophistry, art, and perseverance insinuate into the
minds of the unwary and daring the ideas of their plots, in such an
insidious manner that they take them and foster them as the production of
their own genius; he is, therefore, watched by our Imperial spies, and
never consulted but when any great blow is intended to be struck, or some
enormous atrocities perpetrated. A month before the seizure of the Duc
d'Enghien, and the murder of Pichegru, he was every day shut up for some
hours with Napoleon Bonaparte at St. Cloud, or in the Tuileries; where he
has hardly been seen since, except after our Emperor's return from his
coronation as a King of Italy.

Sieyes never was a republican, and it was cowardice alone that made him
vote for the death of his King and benefactor; although he is very fond
of his own metaphysical notions, he always has preferred the preservation
of his life to the profession or adherence to his systems. He will not
think the Revolution complete, or the constitution of his country a good
one, until some Napoleon, or some Louis, writes himself an Emperor or
King of France, by the grace of Sieyes. He would expose the lives of
thousands to obtain such a compliment to his hateful vanity and excessive
pride; but he would not take a step that endangered his personal safety,
though it might eventually lead him to the possession of a crown.

From the bounty of his King, Sieyes had, before the Revolution, an income
of fifteen thousand livres--per annum; his places, pensions, and landed
estates produce now yearly five hundred thousand livres--not including
the interest of his money in the French and foreign funds.

Two years ago he was exiled, for some time, to an estate of his in
Touraine, and Bonaparte even deliberated about transporting him to
Cayenne, when Talleyrand observed "that such a condemnation would
endanger that colony of France, as he would certainly organize there a
focus of revolutions, which might also involve Surinam and the Brazils,
the colonies of our allies, in one common ruin. In the present
circumstances," added the Minister, "if Sieyes is to be transported, I
wish we could land him in England, Scotland, or Ireland, or even in

I have just heard from a general officer the following anecdote, which he
read to me from a letter of another general, dated Ulm, the 25th instant,
and, if true, it explains in part Bonaparte's apparent indiscretion in
the threat thrown out against all ancient dynasties.

Among his confidential generals (and hitherto the most irreproachable of
all our military commanders), Marmont is particularly distinguished.
Before Napoleon left this capital to head his armies in Germany, he is
stated to have sent despatches to all those traitors dispersed in
different countries whom he has selected to commence the new dynasties,
under the protection of the Bonaparte Dynasty. They were, no doubt,
advised of this being the crisis when they had to begin their
machinations against thrones. A courier from Talleyrand at Strasburg to
Bonaparte at Ulm was ordered to pass by the corps under the command of
Marmont, to whom, in case the Emperor had advanced too far into Germany,
he was to deliver his papers. This courier was surprised and interrupted
by some Austrian light troops; and, as it was only some few hours after
being informed of this capture that Bonaparte expressed himself frankly,
as related above, it was supposed by his army that the Austrian
Government had already in its power despatches which made our schemes of
improvement at Paris no longer any secrets at Vienna. The writer of this
letter added that General Marmont was highly distressed on account of
this accident, which might retard the prospect of restoring to Europe its
long lost peace and tranquillity.

This officer made his first campaign under Pichegru in 1794, and was, in
1796, appointed by Bonaparte one of his aides-de-camp. His education had
been entirely military, and in the practice the war afforded him he soon
evinced how well he remembered the lessons of theory. In the year 1796,
at the battle of Saint-Georges, before Mantua, he charged at the head of
the eighth battalion of grenadiers, and contributed much to its fortunate
issue. In October of the same year, Bonaparte, as a mark of his
satisfaction, sent him to present to the Directory the numerous colours
which the army of Italy had conquered; from whom he received in return a
pair of pistols, with a fraternal hug from Carnot. On his return to
Italy he was, for the first time, employed by his chief in a political
capacity. A republic, and nothing but a republic, being then the order
of the day, some Italian patriots were convoked at Reggio to arrange a
plan for a Cisalpine Republic, and for the incorporation with it of
Modena, Bologna, and other neutral States; Marmont was nominated a French
republican plenipotentiary, and assisted as such in the organization of a
Commonwealth, which since has been by turns a province of Austria or a
tributary State of France.

Marmont, though combating for a bad cause, is an honest man; his hands
are neither soiled with plunder, nor stained with blood. Bonaparte,
among his other good qualities, wishes to see every one about him rich;
and those who have been too delicate to accumulate wealth by pillage, he
generally provides for, by putting into requisition some great heiress.
After the Peace of Campo Formio, Bonaparte arrived at Paris, where he
demanded in marriage for his aide-de-camp Marmont, Mademoiselle
Perregeaux, the sole child of the first banker in France, a well-educated
and accomplished young lady, who would be much more agreeable did not her
continual smiles and laughing indicate a degree of self-satisfaction and
complacency which may be felt, but ought never to be published.

The banker, Perregeaux, is one of those fortunate beings who, by drudgery
and assiduity, has succeeded in some few years to make an ample fortune.
A Swiss by birth, like Necker, he also, like him, after gratifying the
passion of avidity, showed an ambition to shine in other places than in
the counting-house and upon the exchange. Under La Fayette, in 1790, he
was the chief of a battalion of the Parisian National Guards; under
Robespierre, a commissioner for purchasing provisions; and under
Bonaparte he is become a Senator and a commander of the Legion of Honour.
I am told that he has made all his money by his connection with your
country; but I know that the favourite of Napoleon can never be the
friend of Great Britain. He is a widower; but Mademoiselle Mars, of the
Emperor's theatre, consoles him for the loss of his wife.

General Marmont accompanied Bonaparte to Egypt, and distinguished himself
at the capture of Malta, and when, in the following year, the siege of
St. Jean d'Acre was undertaken, he was ordered to extend the
fortifications of Alexandria; and if, in 1801, they retarded your
progress, it was owing to his abilities, being an officer of engineers as
well as of the artillery. He returned with Bonaparte to Europe, and was,
after his usurpation, made a Counsellor of State. At the battle of
Marengo he commanded the artillery, and signed afterwards, with the
Austrian general, Count Hohenzollern, the Armistice of Treviso, which
preceded shortly the Peace of Luneville. Nothing has abated Bonaparte's
attachment to this officer, whom he appointed a commander-in-chief in
Holland, when a change of Government was intended there, and whom he will
entrust everywhere else, where sovereignty is to be abolished, or thrones
and dynasties subverted.


PARIS, October, 1805.

MY LORD:--Many wise people are of the opinion that the revolution of
another great Empire is necessary to combat or oppose the great impulse
occasioned by the Revolution of France, before Europe can recover its
long-lost order and repose. Had the subjects of Austria been as
disaffected as they are loyal, the world might have witnessed such a
terrible event, and been enabled to judge whether the hypothesis was the
production of an ingenious schemer or of a profound statesman. Our
armies under Bonaparte have never before penetrated into the heart of a
country where subversion was not prepared, and where subversion did not

How relatively insignificant, in the eyes of Providence, must be the
independence of States and the liberties of nations, when such a
relatively insignificant personage as General von Mack can shake them?
Have, then, the Austrian heroes--a Prince Eugene, a Laudon, a Lasci, a
Beaulieu, a Haddick, a Bender, a Clairfayt, and numerous other valiant
and great warriors--left no posterity behind them; or has the presumption
of General von Mack imposed upon the judgment of the Counsellors of his
Prince? This latter must have been the case; how otherwise could the
welfare of their Sovereign have been entrusted to a military quack, whose
want of energy and bad disposition had, in 1799, delivered up the capital
of another Sovereign to his enemies. How many reputations are gained by
an impudent assurance, and lost when the man of talents is called upon to
act and the fool presents himself.

Baron von Mack served as an aide-de-camp under Field-marshal Laudon,
during the last war between Austria and Turkey, and displayed some
intrepidity, particularly before Lissa. The Austrian army was encamped
eight leagues from that place, and the commander-in-chief hesitated to
attack it, believing it to be defended by thirty thousand men. To decide
him upon making this attack, Baron von Mack left him at nine o'clock at
night, crossed the Danube, accompanied only by a single Uhlan, and
penetrated into the suburb of Lissa, where he made prisoner a Turkish
officer, whom, on the next morning at seven o'clock, he presented to his
general, and from whom it was learnt that the garrison contained only six
thousand, men. This personal temerity, and the applause of Field-marshal
Laudon, procured him then a kind of reputation, which he has not since
been able to support. Some theoretical knowledge of the art of war,
and a great facility of conversing on military topics, made even the
Emperor Joseph conceive a high opinion of this officer; but it has long
been proved, and experience confirms it every day, that the difference is
immense between the speculator and the operator, and that the generals of
Cabinets are often indifferent captains when in the camp or in the field.

Preceded by a certain celebrity, Baron von Mack served, in 1793, under
the Prince of Coburg, as an adjutant-general, and was called to assist at
the Congress at Antwerp, where the operations of the campaign were
regulated. Everywhere he displayed activity and bravery; was wounded
twice in the month of May; but he left the army without having performed
anything that evinced the talents which fame had bestowed on him. In
February, 1794, the Emperor sent him to London to arrange, in concert
with your Government, the plans of the campaign then on the eve of being
opened; and when he returned to the Low Countries he was advanced to a
quartermaster-general of the army of Flanders, and terminated also this
unfortunate campaign without having done anything to justify the
reputation he had before acquired or usurped. His Sovereign continued,
nevertheless, to employ him in different armies; and in January, 1797, he
was appointed a Field-marshal lieutenant and a quartermaster-general of
the army of the Rhine. In February he conducted fifteen thousand of the
troops of this army to reinforce the army of Italy; but when Bonaparte in
April penetrated into Styria and Carinthia, he was ordered to Vienna as a
second in command of the levy 'en masse'.

Real military characters had already formed their opinion of this
officer, and saw a presumptuous charlatan where others had admired an
able warrior. His own conduct soon convinced them that they neither had
been rash nor mistaken. The King of Naples demanding, in 1798, from his
son-in-law, the Emperor of Germany, a general to organize and head his
troops, Baron von Mack was presented to him. After war had been declared
against France he obtained some success in partial engagements, but was
defeated in a general battle by an enemy inferior in number. In the
Kingdom of Naples, as well as in the Empire of Germany, the fury of
negotiation seized him when he should have fought, and when he should
have remembered that no compacts can ever be entered into with political
and military earthquakes, more than with physical ones. This imprudence,
particularly as he was a foreigner, excited suspicion among his troops,
whom, instead of leading to battle, he deserted, under the pretence that
his life was in danger, and surrendered himself and his staff to our
commander, Championnet.

A general who is too fond of his life ought never to enter a camp, much
less to command armies; and a military chief who does not consider the
happiness and honour of the State as his first passion and his first
duty, and prefers existence to glory, deserves to be shot as a traitor,
or drummed out of the army as a dastardly coward. Without mentioning the
numerous military faults committed by General von Mack during this
campaign, it is impossible to deny that, with respect to his own troops,
he conducted himself in the most pusillanimous manner. It has often been
repeated that martial valour does not always combine with it that courage
and that necessary presence of mind which knows how to direct or repress
multitudes, how to command obedience and obtain popularity; but when a
man is entrusted with the safety of an Empire, and assumes such a
brilliant situation, he must be weak-minded and despicable indeed, if he
does not show himself worthy of it by endeavouring to succeed, or perish
in the attempt. The French emigrant, General Dumas, evinced what might
have been done, even with the dispirited Neapolitan troops, whom he
neither deserted, nor with whom he offered to capitulate.

Baron von Mack is in a very infirm state of health, and is often under
the necessity of being carried on a litter; and his bodily complaints
have certainly not increased the vigour of his mind. His love of life
seems to augment in proportion as its real value diminishes. As to the
report here of his having betrayed his trust in exchanging honour for
gold, I believe it totally unfounded. Our intriguers may have deluded
his understanding, but our traitors would never have been able to seduce
or shake his fidelity. His head is weak, but his heart is honest.
Unfortunately, it is too true that, in turbulent times, irresolution and
weakness in a commander or a Minister operate the same, and are as
dangerous as, treason.


Complacency which may be felt, but ought never to be published
General who is too fond of his life ought never to enter a camp
Generals of Cabinets are often indifferent captains in the field
How many reputations are gained by an impudent assurance
Irresolution and weakness in a commander operate the same
Love of life increase in proportion as its real value diminishes
Opinion almost constitutes half the strength of armies
Presumptuous charlatan
Pretensions or passions of upstart vanity
Pride of an insupportable and outrageous ambition
Prudence without weakness, and with firmness without obstinacy
They ought to be just before they are generous
They will create some quarrel to destroy you
Vices or virtues of all civilized nations are relatively the same
We are tired of everything, even of our existence


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