Memoirs of the Court of St. Cloud, v2
Stewarton, a Gentleman at Paris, to a Nobleman in London

This etext was produced by David Widger

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


Being Secret Letters from a Gentleman at Paris to a Nobleman in London



PARIS, August, 1805.

MY LORD:--Bonaparte has been as profuse in his disposal of the Imperial
diadem of Germany, as in his promises of the papal tiara of Rome. The
Houses of Austria and Brandenburgh, the Electors of Bavaria and Baden,
have by turns been cajoled into a belief of his exclusive support towards
obtaining it at the first vacancy. Those, however, who have paid
attention to his machinations, and studied his actions; who remember his
pedantic affectation of being considered a modern, or rather a second
Charlemagne; and who have traced his steps through the labyrinth of folly
and wickedness, of meanness and greatness, of art, corruption, and
policy, which have seated him on the present throne, can entertain little
doubt but that he is seriously bent on seizing and adding the sceptre of
Germany to the crowns of France and Italy.

During his stay last autumn at Mentz, all those German Electors who had
spirit and dignity enough to refuse to attend on him there in person were
obliged to send Extraordinary Ambassadors to wait on him, and to
compliment him on their part. Though hardly one corner of the veil that
covered the intrigues going forward there is yet lifted up, enough is
already seen to warn Europe and alarm the world. The secret treaties he
concluded there with most of the petty Princes of Germany, against the
Chief of the German Empire which not only entirely detached them from
their country and its legitimate Sovereign, but made their individual
interests hostile and totally opposite to that of the German
Commonwealth, transforming them also from independent Princes into
vassals of France, both directly increased has already gigantic power,
and indirectly encouraged him to extend it beyond what his most sanguine
expectation had induced him to hope. I do not make this assertion from a
mere supposition in consequence of ulterior occurrences. At a supper
with Madame Talleyrand last March, I heard her husband, in a gay,
unguarded, or perhaps premeditated moment, say, when mentioning his
proposed journey to Italy:

"I prepared myself to pass the Alps last October at Mentz. The first
ground-stone of the throne of Italy was, strange as it may seem, laid on
the banks of the Rhine: with such an extensive foundation, it must be
difficult to shake, and impossible to overturn it."

We were, in the whole, twenty-five persons at table when he spoke thus,
many of whom, he well knew, were intimately acquainted both with the
Austrian and Prussian Ambassadors, who by the bye, both on the next day
sent couriers to their respective Courts.

The French Revolution is neither seen in Germany in that dangerous light
which might naturally be expected from the sufferings in which it has
involved both Princes and subjects, nor are its future effects dreaded
from its past enormities. The cause of this impolitic and anti-patriotic
apathy is to be looked for in the palaces of Sovereigns, and not in the
dwellings of their people. There exists hardly a single German Prince
whose Ministers, courtiers and counsellors are not numbered, and have
long been notorious among the anti-social conspirators, the Illuminati:
most of them are knaves of abilities, who have usurped the easy direction
of ignorance, or forced themselves as guides on weakness or folly, which
bow to their charlatanism as if it was sublimity, and hail their
sophistry and imposture as inspiration.

Among Princes thus encompassed, the Elector of Bavaria must be allowed
the first place. A younger brother of a younger branch, and a colonel in
the service of Louis XVI., he neither acquired by education, nor
inherited from nature, any talent to reign, nor possessed any one quality
that fitted him for a higher situation than the head of a regiment or a
lady's drawing-room. He made himself justly suspected of a moral
corruption, as well as of a natural incapacity, when he announced his
approbation of the Revolution against his benefactor, the late King of
France, who, besides a regiment, had also given him a yearly pension of
one hundred thousand livres. Immediately after his unexpected accession
to the Electorate of Bavaria, he concluded a subsidiary treaty with your
country, and his troops were ordered to combat rebellion, under the
standard of Austrian loyalty. For some months it was believed that the
Elector wished by his conduct to obliterate the memory of the errors,
vices, and principles of the Duc de Deux-Ponts (his former title). But
placing all his confidence in a political adventurer and revolutionary
fanatic, Montgelas, without either consistency or firmness, without being
either bent upon information or anxious about popularity, he threw the
whole burden of State on the shoulders of this dangerous man, who soon
showed the world that his master, by his first treaties, intended only to
pocket your money without serving your cause or interest.

This Montgelas is, on account of his cunning and long standing among
them, worshipped by the gang of German Illuminati as an idol rather than
revered as an apostle. He is their Baal, before whom they hope to oblige
all nations upon earth to prostrate themselves as soon as infidelity has
entirely banished Christianity; for the Illuminati do not expect to reign
till the last Christian is buried under the rubbish of the last altar of
Christ. It is not the fault of Montgelas if such an event has not
already occurred in the Electorate of Bavaria.

Within six months after the Treaty of Lundville, Montgelas began in that
country his political and religious innovations. The nobility and the
clergy were equally attacked; the privileges of the former were invaded,
and the property of the latter confiscated; and had not his zeal carried
him too far, so as to alarm our new nobles, our new men of property, and
new Christians, it is very probable that atheism would have already,
without opposition, reared its head in the midst of Germany, and
proclaimed there the rights of man, and the code of liberty and equality.

The inhabitants of Bavaria are, as you know, all Roman Catholics, and the
most superstitious and ignorant Catholics of Germany. The step is but
short from superstition to infidelity; and ignorance has furnished in
France more sectaries of atheism than perversity. The Illuminati,
brothers and friends of Montgelas, have not been idle in that country.
Their writings have perverted those who had no opportunity to hear their
speeches, or to witness their example; and I am assured by Count von
Beust, who travelled in Bavaria last year, that their progress among the
lower classes is astonishing, considering the short period these
emissaries have laboured. To any one looking on the map of the
Continent, and acquainted with the spirit of our times, this impious
focus of illumination must be ominous.

Among the members of the foreign diplomatic corps, there exists not the
least doubt but that this Montgelas, as well as Bonaparte's Minister at
Munich, Otto, was acquainted with the treacherous part Mehde de la Touche
played against your Minister, Drake; and that it was planned between him
and Talleyrand as the surest means to break off all political connections
between your country and Bavaria. Mr. Drake was personally liked by the
Elector, and was not inattentive either to the plans and views of
Montgelas or to the intrigues of Otto. They were, therefore, both doubly
interested to remove such a troublesome witness.

M. de Montgelas is now a grand officer of Bonaparte's Legion of Honour,
and he is one of the few foreigners nominated the most worthy of such a
distinction. In France he would have been an acquisition either to the
factions of a Murat, of a Brissot, or of a Robespierre; and the Goddess
of Reason, as well as the God of the Theophilanthropists, might have been
sure of counting him among their adorers. At the clubs of the Jacobins
or Cordeliers, in the fraternal societies, or in a revolutionary
tribunal; in the Committee of Public Safety, or in the council chamber of
the Directory, he would equally have made himself notorious and been
equally in his place. A stoic sans-culotte under Du Clots, a stanch
republican under Robespierre, he would now have been the most pliant and
brilliant courtier of Bonaparte.


PARIS, August, 1805.

MY LORD:--No Queen of France ever saw so many foreign Princes and
Princesses in her drawing-rooms as the first Empress of the French did
last year at Mentz; and no Sovereign was ever before so well paid, or
accepted with less difficulty donations and presents for her gracious
protection. Madame Napoleon herself, on her return to this capital last
October, boasted that she was ten millions of livres--richer in diamonds;
two millions of livres richer in pearls, and three million of livres
richer in plate and china, than in the June before, when she quitted it.
She acknowledged that she left behind her some creditors and some money
at Aix-la-Chapelle; but at Mentz she did not want to borrow, nor had she
time to gamble. The gallant ultra Romans provided everything, even to
the utmost extent of her wishes; and she, on her part, could not but
honour those with her company as much as possible, particularly as they
required nothing else for their civilities. Such was the Empress's
expression to her lady in waiting, the handsome Madame Seran, with whom
no confidence, no tale, no story, and no scandal expires; and who was in
a great hurry to inform, the same evening, the tea-party at Madame de
Beauvais's of this good news, complaining at the same time of not having
had the least share in this rich harvest.

Nowhere, indeed, were bribery and corruption carried to a greater extent,
or practised with more effrontery, than at Mentz. Madame Napoleon had as
much her fixed price for every favourable word she spoke, as Talleyrand
had for every line he wrote. Even the attendants of the former, and the
clerks of the latter, demanded, or rather extorted, douceurs from the
exhausted and almost ruined German petitioners; who in the end were
rewarded for all their meanness and for all their expenses with promises
at best; as the new plan of supplementary indemnities was, on the very
day proposed for its final arrangement, postponed by the desire of the
Emperor of the French, until further orders. This provoking delay could
no more be foreseen by the Empress than by the Minister, who, in return
for their presents and money almost overpowered the German Princes with
his protestations of regret at their disappointments. Nor was Madame
Bonaparte less sorry or less civil. She sent her chamberlain, Daubusson
la Feuillad, with regular compliments of condolence to every Prince who
had enjoyed her protection. They returned to their homes, therefore, if
not wealthier, at least happier; flattered by assurances and
condescensions, confiding in hope as in certainties. Within three
months, however, it is supposed that they would willingly have disposed
both of promises and expectations at a loss of fifty per cent.

By the cupidity and selfishness of these and other German Princes, and
their want of patriotism, Talleyrand was become perfectly acquainted with
the value and production of every principality, bishopric, county, abbey,
barony, convent, and even village in the German Empire; and though most
national property in France was disposed of at one or two years'
purchase, he required five years' purchase-money for all the estates and
lands on the other side of the Rhine, of which, under the name of
indemnities, he stripped the lawful owners to gratify the ambition or
avidity of intruders. This high price has cooled the claims of the
bidders, and the plan of the supplementary indemnities is still
suspended, and probably will continue so until our Minister lowers his
terms. A combination is supposed to have been entered into by the chief
demanders of indemnities, by which they have bound themselves to resist
all farther extortions. They do not, however, know the man they have to
deal with; he will, perhaps, find out some to lay claim to their own
private and hereditary property whom he will produce and support, and who
certainly will have the same right to pillage them as they had to the
spoils of others.

It was reported in our fashionable circles last autumn, and smiled at by
Talleyrand, that he promised the Comtesse de L------ an abbey, and the
Baroness de S-----z a convent, for certain personal favours, and that he
offered a bishopric to the Princesse of Hon----- the same terms, but this
lady answered that "she would think of his offers after he had put her
husband in possession of the bishopric." It is not necessary to observe
that both the Countess and the Baroness are yet waiting to enjoy his
liberal donations, and to be indemnified for their prostitution.

Napoleon Bonaparte was attacked by a fit of jealousy at Mentz. The young
nephew of the Elector Arch-Chancellor, Comte de L----ge, was very
assiduous about the Empress, who, herself, at first mistook the motive.
Her confidential secretary, Deschamps, however, afterwards informed her
that this nobleman wanted to purchase the place of a coadjutor to his
uncle, so as to be certain of succeeding him. He obtained, therefore,
several private audiences, no doubt to regulate the price, when Napoleon
put a stop to this secret negotiation by having the Count carried by
gendarmes, with great politeness, to the other side of the Rhine. When
convinced of his error, Bonaparte asked his wife what sum had been
promised for her protection, and immediately gave her an order on his
Minister of the Treasury (Marbois) for the amount. This was an act of
justice, and a reparation worthy of a good and tender husband; but when,
the very next day, he recalled this order, threw it into the fire before
her eyes, and confined her for six hours in her bedroom; because she was
not dressed in time to take a walk with him on the ramparts, one is apt
to believe that military despotism has erased from his bosom all
connubial affection, and that a momentary effusion of kindness and
generosity can but little alleviate the frequent pangs caused by repeated
insults and oppression. Fortunately, Madame Napoleon's disposition is
proof against rudeness as well as against brutality. If what her friend
and consoler, Madame Delucay, reports of her is not exaggerated, her
tranquillity is not much disturbed nor her happiness affected by these
explosions of passionate authority, and she prefers admiring, in
undisturbed solitude, her diamond box to the most beautiful prospects in
the most agreeable company; and she inspects with more pleasure in
confinement, her rich wardrobe, her beautiful china, and her heavy plate,
than she would find satisfaction, surrounded with crowds, in
comtemplating Nature, even in its utmost perfection. "The paradise of
Madame Napoleon," says her friend, "must be of metal, and lighted by the
lustre of brilliants, else she would decline it for a hell and accept
Lucifer himself for a spouse, provided gold flowed in his infernal
domains, though she were even to be scorched by its heat."


PARIS, August, 1805.

MY LORD:--I believe that I have mentioned to you, when in England, that I
was an old acquaintance of Madame Napoleon, and a visitor at the house of
her first husband. When introduced to her after some years' absence,
during which fortune had treated us very differently, she received me
with more civility than I was prepared to expect, and would, perhaps,
have spoken to me more than she did, had not a look of her husband
silenced her. Madame Louis Bonaparte was still more condescending, and
recalled to my memory what I had not forgotten how often she had been
seated, when a child, on my lap, and played on my knees with her doll.
Thus they behaved to me when I saw them for the first time in their
present elevation; I found them afterwards, in their drawing-rooms or at
their routs and parties, more shy and distant. This change did not much
surprise me, as I hardly knew any one that had the slightest pretension
to their acquaintance who had not troubled them for employment or
borrowed their money, at the same time that they complained of their
neglect and their breach of promises. I continued, however, as much as
etiquette and decency required, assiduous, but never familiar: if they
addressed me, I answered with respect, but not with servility; if not,
I bowed in silence when they passed. They might easily perceive that I
did not intend to become an intruder, nor to make the remembrance of what
was past an apology or a reason for applying for present favours. A
lady, on intimate terms with Madame Napoleon, and once our common friend,
informed me, shortly after the untimely end of the lamented Duc d'
Enghien, that she had been asked whether she knew anything that could be
done for me, or whether I would not be flattered by obtaining a place in
the Legislative Body or in the Tribunate? I answered as I thought, that
were I fit for a public life nothing could be more agreeable or suit me
better; but, having hitherto declined all employments that might restrain
that independence to which I had accustomed myself from my youth, I was
now too old to enter upon a new career. I added that, though the
Revolution had reduced my circumstances, it had not entirely ruined me.
I was still independent, because my means were the boundaries of my

A week after this conversation General Murat, the governor of this
capital, and Bonaparte's favourite-brother-in-law, invited me to a
conversation in a note delivered to me by an aide-de-camp, who told me
that he was ordered to wait for my company, or, which was the same, he
had orders not to lose sight of me, as I was his prisoner. Having
nothing with which to reproach myself, and all my written remarks being
deposited with a friend, whom none of the Imperial functionaries could
suspect, I entered a hackney coach without any fear or apprehension; and
we drove to the governor's hotel.

From the manner in which Murat addressed me, I was soon convinced that if
I had been accused of any error or indiscretion, the accusation could not
be very grave in his eyes. He entered with me into his closet and
inquired whether I had any enemies at the police office. I told him not
to my knowledge.

"Is the Police Minister and Senator, Fouche, your friend?" continued he.

"Fouche," said I, "has bought an estate that formerly belonged to me; may
he enjoy it with the same peace of mind as I have lost it. I have never
spoken to him in my life."

"Have you not complained at Madame de la Force's of the execution of the
ci-devant Duc d'Enghien, and agreed with the other members of her coterie
to put on mourning for him?"

"I have never been at the house of that lady since the death of the
Prince, nor more than once in my life."

"Where did you pass the evening last Saturday?"--"At the hotel, and in
the assembly of Princesse Louis Bonaparte."

"Did she see you?"

"I believe that she did, because she returned my salute."

"You have known Her Imperial Highness a long time?"

"From her infancy."

"Well, I congratulate you. You have in her a generous protectress. But
for her you would now have been on the way to Cayenne. Here you see the
list of persons condemned yesterday, upon the report of Fouche, to
transportation. Your name is at the head of them. You were not only
accused of being an agent of the Bourbons, but of having intrigued to
become a member of the Legislature, or the Tribunate, that you might have
so much the better opportunity to serve them. Fortunately for you, the
Emperor remembered that the Princesse Louis had demanded such a favour
for you, and he informed her of the character of her protege. This
brought forward your innocence, because it was discovered that, instead
of asking for, you had declined the offer she had made you through the
Empress. Write the Princess a letter of thanks. You have, indeed, had a
narrow escape, but it has been so far useful to you, that Government is
now aware of your having some secret enemy in power, who is not delicate
about the means of injuring you."

In quitting General Murat, I could not help deploring the fate of a
despot, even while I abhorred his unnatural power. The curses, the
complaints, and reproaches for all the crimes, all the violence, all the
oppression perpetrated in his name, are entirely thrown upon him, while
his situation and occupation do not admit the seeing and hearing
everything and everybody himself. He is often forced, therefore, to
judge according to the report of an impostor; to sanction with his name
the hatred, malignity, or vengeance of culpable individuals; and to
sacrifice innocence to gratify the vile passions of his vilest slave.
I have not so bad an opinion of Bonaparte as to think him capable of
wilfully condemning any person to death or transportation, of whose
innocence he was convinced, provided that person stood not in the way of
his interest and ambition; but suspicion and tyranny are inseparable
companions, and injustice their common progeny. The unfortunate beings
on the long list General Murat showed me were, I dare say, most of them
as innocent as myself, and all certainly condemned unheard. But suppose,
even, that they had been indiscreet enough to put on mourning for a
Prince of the blood of their former Kings, did their imprudence deserve
the same punishment as the deed of the robber, the forger, or the
housebreaker? and, indeed, it was more severe than what our laws inflict
on such criminals, who are only condemned to transportation for some few
years, after a public trial and conviction; while the exile of these
unconvicted, untried, and most probably innocent persons is continued for
life, on charges as unknown to themselves as their destiny and residence
remain to their families and friends. Happy England! where no one is
condemned unheard, and no one dares attempt to make the laws subservient
to his passions or caprice.

As to Fouche's enmity, at which General Murat so plainly hinted, I had
long apprehended it from what others, in similar circumstances with
myself, had suffered. He has, since the Revolution, bought no less, than
sixteen national estates, seven of the former proprietors of which have
suddenly disappeared since his Ministry, probably in the manner he
intended to remove me. This man is one of the most immoral characters
the Revolution has dragged forward from obscurity. It is more difficult
to mention a crime that he has not perpetrated than to discover a good or
just action that he ever performed. He is so notorious a villain that
even the infamous National Convention expelled him from its bosom, and
since his Ministry no man has been found base enough, in my debased
country, to extenuate, much less to defend, his past enormities. In a
nation so greatly corrupted and immoral, this alone is more than negative

As a friar before the Revolution he has avowed, in his correspondence
with the National Convention, that he never believed in a God; and as one
of the first public functionaries of a Republic he has officially denied
the existence of virtue. He is, therefore, as unmoved by tears as by
reproaches, and as inaccessible to remorse as hardened against
repentance. With him interest and bribes are everything, and honour and
honesty nothing. The supplicant or the pleader who appears before him
with no other support than the justice of his cause is fortunate indeed
if, after being cast, he is not also confined or ruined, and perhaps
both; while a line from one of the Bonapartes, or a purse of gold,
changes black to white, guilt to innocence, removes the scaffold waiting
for the assassin, and extinguishes the faggots lighted for the parricide.
His authority is so extensive that on the least signal, with one blow,
from the extremities of France to her centre, it crushes the cot and the
palace; and his decisions, against which there is no appeal, are so
destructive that they never leave any traces behind them, and Bonaparte,
Bonaparte alone, can prevent or arrest their effect.

Though a traitor to his former benefactor, the ex-Director Barras, he
possesses now the unlimited confidence of Napoleon Bonaparte, and, as far
as is known, has not yet done anything to forfeit it,--if private acts of
cruelty cannot, in the agent of a tyrant, be called breach of trust or
infidelity. He shares with Talleyrand the fraternity of the vigilant,
immoral, and tormenting secret police; and with Real, and Dubois, the
prefect of police, the reproduction, or rather the invention, of new
tortures and improved racks; the oubliettes, which are wells or pits dug
under the Temple and most other prisons, are the works of his own
infernal genius. They are covered with trap-doors, and any person whom
the rack has mutilated, or not obliged to speak out; whose return to
society is thought dangerous, or whose discretion is suspected; who has
been imprisoned by mistake, or discovered to be innocent; who is
disagreeable to the Bonapartes, their favourites, or the mistresses of
their favourites; who has displeased Fouche, or offended some other
placeman; any who have refused to part with their property for the
recovery of their liberty, are all precipitated into these artificial
abysses there to be forgotten; or worse, to be starved to death, if they
have not been fortunate enough to break their necks and be killed by the

The property Fouche has acquired by his robberies within these last
twelve years is at the lowest rate valued at fifty million livres--which
must increase yearly; as a man who disposes of the liberty of fifty
millions of people is also, in a great part, master of their wealth.
Except the chiefs of the Governments and their officers of State, there
exists not an inhabitant of France, Italy, Holland, or Switzerland who
can consider himself secure for an instant of not being seized,
imprisoned, plundered, tortured, or exterminated by the orders of Fouche
and by the hands of his agents.

You will no doubt exclaim, "How can Bonaparte employ, how dares he
confide, in such a man?" Fouche is as able as unprincipled, and, with
the most unfeeling and perverse heart, possesses great talents. There is
no infamy he will not stoop to, and no crime, however execrable, that he
will hesitate to commit, if his Sovereign orders it. He is, therefore, a
most useful instrument in the hand of a despot who, notwithstanding what
is said to the contrary in France, and believed abroad, would cease to
rule the day he became just, and the reign of laws and of humanity
banished terror and tyranny.

It is reported that some person, pious or revengeful, presented some time
ago to the devout mother of Napoleon a long memorial containing some
particulars of the crimes and vices of Fouche and Talleyrand, and
required of her, if she wished to prevent the curses of Heaven from
falling on her son, to inform him of them, that he might cease to employ
men so unworthy of him, and so repugnant to a Divinity. Napoleon, after
reading through the memorial, is stated to have answered his mother, who
was always pressing him to dismiss these Ministers: The memorial, Madame,
contains nothing of what I was not previously informed. Louis XVI. did
not select any but those whom he thought the most virtuous and moral of
men for his Ministers and counsellors; and where did their virtues and
morality bring him? If the writer of the memorial will mention two
honest and irreproachable characters, with equal talents and zeal to
serve me, neither Fouche nor Talleyrand shall again be admitted into my


PARIS, August, 1805.

MY LORD:--You have with some reason in England complained of the conduct
of the members of the foreign diplomatic corps in France, when the
pretended correspondence between Mr. Drake and Mehee de la Touche was
published in our official gazette. Had you, however, like myself, been
in a situation to study the characters and appreciate the worth of most
of them, this conduct would have excited no surprise, and pity would have
taken the place both of accusation and reproach. Hardly one of them,
except Count Philipp von Cobenzl, the Austrian Ambassador (and even he is
considerably involved), possesses any property, or has anything else but
his salary to depend upon for subsistence. The least offence to
Bonaparte or Talleyrand would instantly deprive them of their places;
and, unless they were fortunate enough to obtain some other appointment,
reduce them to live in obscurity, and perhaps in want, upon a trifling
pension in their own country.

The day before Mr. Drake's correspondence appeared in the Moniteur, in
March, 1804, Talleyrand gave a grand diplomatic dinner; in the midst of
which, as was previously agreed with Bonaparte, Duroc called him out on
the part of the First Consul. After an absence of near an hour, which
excited great curiosity and some alarm among the diplomatists, he
returned, very thoughtful and seemingly very low-spirited.

"Excuse me, gentlemen," said he, "I have been impolite against my
inclination. The First Consul knew that you honoured me with your
company today, and would therefore not have interrupted me by his orders
had not a discovery of a most extraordinary nature against the law of
nations just been made; a discovery which calls for the immediate
indignation against the Cabinet of St. James, not only of France, but of
every nation that wishes for the preservation of civilized society.
After dinner I shall do myself the honour of communicating to you the
particulars, well convinced that you will all enter with warmth into the
just resentment of the First Consul."

During the repast the bottle went freely round, and as soon as they had
drunk their coffee and liqueurs, Talleyrand rang a bell, and Hauterive
presented himself with a large bundle of papers. The pretended original
letters of Mr. Drake were handed about with the commentaries of the
Minister and his secretary. Their heads heated with wine, it was not
difficult to influence their minds, or to mislead their judgment, and
they exclaimed, as in a chorus, "C'est abominable! Cela fait fremir!"

Talleyrand took advantage of their situation, as well as of their
indiscretion. "I am glad, gentlemen," said he, "and shall not fail to
inform the First Consul of your unanimous sentiments on this disagreeable
subject; but verbal expressions are not sufficient in an affair of such
great consequence. I have orders to demand your written declarations,
which, after what you have already expressed, you cannot hesitate about
sending to me to-night, that they may accompany the denunciation which
the First Consul despatches, within some few hours, to all the Courts on
the Continent. You would much please the First Consul were you to write
as near as possible according to the formula which my secretary has drawn
up. It states nothing either against convenance, or against the customs
of Sovereigns, or etiquettes of Courts, and I am certain is also
perfectly congenial with your individual feelings."

A silence of some moments now followed (as all the diplomatists were
rather taken by surprise with regard to a written declaration), which the
Swedish Ambassador, Baron Ehrensward, interrupted by saying that, "though
he personally might have no objection to sign such a declaration, he must
demand some time to consider whether he had a right to, write in the name
of his Sovereign, without his orders, on a subject still unknown to him."

This remark made the Austrian Ambassador, Count von Cobenzl, propose a
private consultation among the members of the foreign diplomatic corps at
one of their hotels, at which the Russian charge d'affaires, D'Oubril,
who was not at the dinner--party, was invited to assist. They met
accordingly, at the Hotel de Montmorency, Rue de Lille, occupied by Count
von Cobenzl; but they came to no other unanimous determination than that
of answering a written communication of Talleyrand by a written note,
according as every one judged most proper and prudent, and corresponding
with the supposed sentiments of his Sovereign.

As all this official correspondence has been published in England, you
may, upon reading the notes presented by Baron de Dreyer, and Mr.

[In consequence of this conduct, Livingstone was recalled by his
Government, and lives now in obscurity and disgrace in America. To
console him, however, in his misfortune, Bonaparte, on his
departure, presented him with his portrait, enamelled on the lid of
a snuff-box, set round with diamonds, and valued at one thousand
louis d'or.]

the neutral Ambassadors of Denmark and America, form some tolerably just
idea of Talleyrand's formula. Their impolitic servility was blamed even
by the other members of the diplomatic corps.

Livingstone you know, and perhaps have not to learn that, though a stanch
republican in America, he was the most abject courtier in France; and
though a violent defender of liberty and equality on the other side of
the Atlantic, no man bowed lower to usurpation, or revered despotism
more, in Europe. Without talents, and almost without education, he
thinks intrigues negotiations, and conceives that policy and duplicity
are synonymous. He was called here "the courier of Talleyrand," on
account of his voyages to England, and his journeys to Holland, where
this Minister sent him to intrigue, with less ceremony than one of his
secret agents. He acknowledged that no Government was more liberal, and
no nation more free, than the British; but he hated the one as much as he
abused the other; and he did not conceal sentiments that made him always
so welcome to Bonaparte and Talleyrand. Never over nice in the choice of
his companions, Arthur O'Connor, and other Irish traitors and vagabonds,
used his house as their own; so much so that, when he invited other
Ambassadors to dine with him, they, before they accepted the invitation,
made a condition that no outlaws or adventurers should be of the party.

In your youth, Baron de Dreyer was an Ambassador from the Court of
Copenhagen to that of St. James. He has since been in the same capacity
to the Courts of St. Petersburg and Madrid. Born a Norwegian, of a poor
and obscure family, he owes his advancement to his own talents; but
these, though they have procured him rank, have left him without a
fortune. When he came here, in June, 1797, from Spain, he brought a
mistress with him, and several children he had had by her during his
residence in that country. He also kept an English mistress some thirty
years ago in London, by whom he had a son, M. Guillaumeau, who is now his
secretary. Thus encumbered, and thus situated at the age of seventy, it
is no surprise if he strives to die at his post, and that fear to offend
Bonaparte and Talleyrand sometimes gets the better of his prudence.

In Denmark, as well as in all other Continental States, the pensions of
diplomatic invalids are more scanty than those of military ones, and
totally insufficient for a man who, during half a century nearly, has
accustomed himself to a certain style of life, and to expenses requisite
to represent his Prince with dignity. No wonder, therefore, that Baron
de Dreyer prefers Paris to Copenhagen, and that the cunning Talleyrand
takes advantage of this preference.

It was reported here among our foreign diplomatists, that the English
Minister in Denmark complained of the contents of Baron de Dreyer's note
concerning Mr. Drake's correspondence; and that the Danish Prime
Minister, Count von Bernstorff, wrote to him in consequence, by the order
of the Prince Royal, a severe reprimand. This act of political justice
is, however, denied by him, under pretence that the Cabinet of Copenhagen
has laid it down as an invariable rule, never to reprimand, but always to
displace those of its agents with whom it has reason to be discontented.
Should this be the case, no Sovereign in Europe is better served by his
representatives than his Danish Majesty, because no one seldomer changes
or removes them.

While I am speaking of diplomatists, I cannot forbear giving you a short
sketch of one whose weight in the scale of politics entitles him to
particular notice: I mean the Count von Haugwitz, insidiously
complimented by Talleyrand with the title of "The Prince of Neutrality,
the Sully of Prussia." Christian Henry Curce, Count von Haugwitz, who,
until lately, has been the chief director of the political conscience of
His Prussian Majesty, as his Minister of the Foreign Department, was born
in Silesia, and is the son of a nobleman who was a General in the
Austrian service when Frederick the Great made the conquest of that
country. At the death of this King in 1786, Count von Haugwitz occupied
an inferior place in the foreign office, where Count von Herzburg
observed his zeal and assiduity, and recommended him to the notice of the
late King Frederick William II. By the interest of the celebrated
Bishopswerder, he procured, in 1792, the appointment of an Ambassador to
the Court of Vienna, where he succeeded Baron von Jacobi, the present
Prussian Minister in your country. In the autumn of the same year he
went to Ratisbon, to cooperate with the Austrian Ambassador, and to
persuade the Princes of the German Empire to join the coalition against
France. In the month of March, 1794, he was sent to the Hague, where he
negotiated with Lord Malmesbury concerning the affairs of France; shortly
afterwards his nomination as a Minister of State took place, and from
that time his political sentiments seem to have undergone a revolution,
for which it is not easy to account; but, whatever were the causes of his
change of opinions, the Treaty of Basle, concluded between France and
Prussia in 1795, was certainly negotiated under his auspices; and in
August, 1796, he signed, with the French Minister at Berlin, Citizen
Caillard, the first and famous Treaty of Neutrality; and a Prussian
cordon was accordingly drawn, to cause the neutrality of the North to be
observed and protected. Had the Count von Haugwitz of 1795 been the same
as the Count von Haugwitz of 1792, it is probable we should no longer
have heard of either a French Republic or a French Empire; but a
legitimate Monarch of the kingdom of France would have ensured that
security to all other legitimate Sovereigns, the want of which they
themselves, or their children, will feel and mourn in vain, as long as
unlimited usurpations tyrannize over my wretched country. It is to be
hoped, however, that the good sense of the Count will point out to him,
before it is too late, the impolicy of his present connections; and that
he will use his interest with his Prince to persuade him to adopt a line
of conduct suited to the grandeur and dignity of the Prussian Monarchy,
and favourable to the independence of insulted Europe.

When his present Prussian Majesty succeeded to the throne, Count von
Haugwitz continued in office, with increased influence; but he some time
since resigned, in consequence, it is said, of a difference of opinion
with the other Prussian Ministers on the subject of a family alliance,
which Bonaparte had the modesty to propose, between the illustrious house
of Napoleon the First and the royal line of Brandenburgh.

On this occasion his King, to evince his satisfaction with his past
conduct, bestowed on him not only a large pension, but an estate in
Silesia, where he before possessed some property. Bonaparte also, to
express his regret at his retreat, proclaimed His Excellency a grand
officer of the Legion of Honour.

Talleyrand insolently calls the several cordons, or ribands, distributed
by Bonaparte among the Prussian Ministers and Generals, "his leading-
strings." It is to be hoped that Frederick William III. is sufficiently
upon his guard to prevent these strings from strangling the Prussian
Monarchy and the Brandenburgh dynasty.


PARIS, August, 1805.

MY LORD:--Upwards of two months after my visit to General Murat, I was
surprised at the appearance of M. Darjuson, the chamberlain of Princesse
Louis Bonaparte. He told me that he came on the part of Prince Louis,
who honoured me with an invitation to dine with him the day after.
Upon my inquiry whether he knew if the party would be very numerous,
he answered, between forty and fifty; and that it was a kind of farewell
dinner, because the Prince intended shortly to set out for Compiegne to
assume the command of the camp, formed in its vicinity, of the dragoons
and other light troops of the army of England.

The principal personages present at this dinner were Joseph Bonaparte and
his wife, General and Madame Murat, the Ministers Berthier, Talleyrand,
Fouche, Chaptal, and Portalis. The conversation was entirely military,
and chiefly related to the probable conquest or subjugation of Great
Britain, and the probable consequence to mankind in general of such a
great event. No difference of opinion was heard with regard to its
immediate benefit to France and gradual utility to all other nations; but
Berthier seemed to apprehend that, before France could have time to
organize this valuable conquest, she would be obliged to support another
war, with a formidable league, perhaps, of all other European nations.
The issue, however, he said, would be glorious to France, who, by her
achievements, would force all people to acknowledge her their mother
country; and then, first, Europe would constitute but one family.

Chaptal was as certain as everybody else of the destruction of the
tyrants of the seas; but he thought France would never be secure against
the treachery of modern Carthage until she followed the example of Rome
towards ancient Carthage; and therefore, after reducing London to ashes,
it would be proper to disperse round the universe all the inhabitants of
the British Islands, and to re-people them with nations less evil-
disposed and less corrupted. Portalis observed that it was more easy to
conceive than to execute such a vast plan. It would not be an
undertaking of five, of ten, nor of twenty years, to transplant these
nations; that misfortunes and proscription would not only inspire courage
and obstinacy, but desperation.

"No people," continued he, "are more attached to their customs and
countries than islanders in general; and though British subjects are the
greatest travellers, and found everywhere, they all suppose their country
the best, and always wish to return to it and finish their days amidst
their native fogs and smoke. Neither the Saxons, nor the Danes, nor
Norman conquerors transplanted them, but, after reducing them,
incorporated themselves by marriages among the vanquished, and in some
few generations were but one people. It is asserted by all persons who
have lately visited Great Britain, that, though the civilization of the
lower classes is much behind that of the same description in France, the
higher orders, the rich and the fashionable, are, with regard to their,
manners, more French than English, and might easily be cajoled into
obedience and subjection to the sovereignty of a nation whose customs, by
free choice, they have adopted in preference to their own, and whose
language forms a necessary part of their education, and, indeed, of the
education of almost every class in the British Empire. The universality
of the French language is the best ally France has in assisting her to
conquer a universal dominion. He wished, therefore, that when we were in
a situation to dictate in England, instead of proscribing Englishmen we
should proscribe the English language, and advance and reward, in
preference, all those parents whose children were sent to be educated in
France, and all those families who voluntarily adopted in their houses
and societies exclusively the French language."

Murat was afraid that if France did not transplant the most stubborn
Britons, and settle among them French colonies, when once their military
and commercial navy was annihilated, they would turn pirates, and,
perhaps, within half a century, lay all other nations as much under
contribution by their piracies as they now do by their industry; and
that, like the pirates on the coast of Barbary, the instant they had no
connections with other civilized nations, cut the throats of each other,
and agree in nothing but in plundering, and considering all other people
in the, world their natural enemies and purveyors.

To this opinion Talleyrand, by nodding assent, seemed to adhere; but he
added: "Earthquakes are generally dreaded as destructive; but such a
convulsion of nature as would swallow up the British Islands, with all
their inhabitants, would be the greatest blessing Providence ever
conferred on mankind."

Louis Bonaparte then addressed himself to me and to the Marquis de F----.
"Gentlemen," said he, "you have been in England; what is your opinion of
the character of these islanders, and of the probability of their

I answered that, during the fifteen months I resided in London I was too
much occupied to prevent myself from starving, to meditate about anything
else; that my stomach was my sole meditation as well as anxiety. That,
however, I believed that in England, as everywhere else, a mixture of
good and bad qualities was to be found; but which prevailed, it would be
presumption in me, from my position, to decide. But I did not doubt that
if we cordially hated the English they returned us the compliment with
interest, and, therefore, the contest with them would be a severe one.
The Marquis de F---- imprudently attempted to convince the company that
it was difficult, if not impossible, for our army to land in England,
much more to conquer it, until we were masters of the seas by a superior
navy. He would, perhaps, have been still more indiscreet, had not Madame
Louis interrupted him, and given another turn to the conversation by
inquiring about the fair sex in England, and if it was true that handsome
women were more numerous there than in France? Here again the Marquis,
instead of paying her a compliment, as she perhaps expected, roundly
assured her that for one beauty in France, hundreds might be counted in
England, where gentlemen were, therefore, not so easily satisfied; and
that a woman regarded by them only as an ordinary person would pass for a
first-rate beauty among French beaux, on account of the great scarcity of
them here.

"You must excuse the Marquis, ladies," said I, in my turn; "he has not
been in love in England. There, perhaps, he found the belles less cruel
than in France, where, for the cruelty of one lady, or for her
insensibility of his merit, he revenges himself on the whole sex:

"I apply to M. de Talleyrand," answered the Marquis; "he has been longer
in England than myself."

"I am not a competent judge," retorted the Minister; "Madame de
Talleyrand is here, and has not the honour of being a Frenchwoman; but I
dare say the Marquis will agree with me that in no society in the British
Islands, among a dozen of ladies, has he counted more beauties, or
admired greater accomplishments or more perfection."

To this the Marquis bowed assent, saying that in all his general remarks
the party present, of course, was not included. All the ladies, who were
well acquainted with his absent and blundering conversation, very good-
humouredly laughed, and Madame Murat assured him that if he would give
her the address of the belle in France who had transformed a gallant
Frenchman into a chevalier of British beauty, she would attempt to make
up their difference. "She is no more, Madame," said the Marquis; "she
was, unfortunately, guillotined two days before----" the father of Madame
Louis, he was going to say, when Talleyrand interrupted him with a
significant look, and said, "Before the fall of Robespierre, you mean."

From these and other traits of the Marquis's character, you may see that
he erred more from absence of mind than any premeditation to give
offence. He received, however, the next morning, a lettre de cachet from
Fouche, which exiled him to Blois, and forbade him to return to Paris
without further orders from the Minister of Police. I know, from high
authority, that to the interference of Princesse Louis alone is he
indebted for not being shut up in the Temple, and, perhaps, transported
to our colonies, for having depreciated the power and means of France to
invade England. I am perfectly convinced that none of those who spoke on
the subject of the invasion expressed anything but what they really
thought; and that, of the whole party, none, except Talleyrand, the
Marquis, and myself, entertained the least doubt of the success of the
expedition; so firmly did they rely on the former fortune of Bonaparte,
his boastings, and his assurance.

After dinner I had an opportunity of conversing for ten minutes with
Madame Louis Bonaparte, whom I found extremely amiable, but I fear that
she is not happy. Her husband, though the most stupid, is, however, the
best tempered of the Bonapartes, and seemed very attentive and attached
to her. She was far advanced in her pregnancy, and looked,
notwithstanding, uncommonly well. I have heard that Louis is inclined to
inebriation, and when in that situation is very brutal to his wife, and
very indelicate with other women before her eyes. He intrigues with her
own servants and the number of his illegitimate children is said to be as
many as his years. She asked General Murat to present me and recommend
me to Fouche, which he did with great politeness; and the Minister
assured me that he should be glad to see me at his hotel, which I much
doubt. The last words Madame Louis said to me, in showing me a princely
crown, richly set with diamonds, and given her by her brother-in-law,
Napoleon, were, "Alas! grandeur is not always happiness, nor the most
elevated the most fortunate lot."


PARIS, August, 1805.

My LORD:--The arrival of the Pope in this country was certainly a grand
epoch, not only in the history of the Revolution, but in the annals of
Europe. The debates in the Sacred College for and against this journey,
and for and against his coronation of Bonaparte, are said to have been
long as well as violent, and arranged according to the desires of
Cardinal Fesch only by the means of four millions of livres distributed
apropos among its pious members. Of this money the Cardinals Mattei,
Pamphili, Dugnani, Maury, Pignatelli, Roverella, Somaglia, Pacca,
Brancadoro, Litta, Gabrielli, Spina, Despuig, and Galefli, are said to
have shared the greatest part; and from the most violent anti-
Bonapartists, they instantly became the strenuous adherents of Napoleon
the First, who, of course, cannot be ignorant of their real worth.

The person entrusted by Bonaparte and Talleyrand to carry on at Rome the
intrigue which sent Pius VII. to cross the Alps was Cardinal Fesch,
brother of Madame Letitia Bonaparte by the side of her mother, who, in a
second marriage, chose a pedlar of the name of Nicolo Fesch, for her

Joseph, Cardinal Fesch, was born at Ajaccio, in Corsica, on the 8th of
March, 1763, and was in his infancy received as a singing boy (enfant de
choeur) in a convent of his native place. In 1782, whilst he was on a
visit to some of his relations in the Island of Sardinia, being on a
fishing party some distance from shore, he was, with his companions,
captured by an Algerine felucca, and carried a captive to Algiers. Here
he turned Mussulman, and, until 1790, was a zealous believer in, and
professor of, the Alcoran. In that year he found an opportunity to
escape from Algiers, and to return to Ajaccio, when he abjured his
renegacy, exchanged the Alcoran for the Bible, and, in 1791, was made a
constitutional curate, that is to say, a revolutionary Christian priest.
In 1793, when even those were proscribed, he renounced the sacristy of
his Church for the bar of a tavern, where, during 1794 and 1795, he
gained a small capital by the number and liberality of his English
customers. After the victories of his nephew Napoleon in Italy during
the following year, he was advised to reassume the clerical habit, and
after Napoleon's proclamation of a First Consul, he was made Archbishop
of Lyons. In 1802, Pius VII. decorated him with the Roman purple, and he
is now a pillar of the Roman faith, in a fair way of seizing the Roman
tiara. If letters from Rome can be depended upon, Cardinal Fesch, in the
name of the Emperor of the French, informed His Holiness the Pope that he
must either retire to a convent or travel to France, either abdicate his
own sovereignty, or inaugurate Napoleon the First a Sovereign of France.
Without the decision of the Sacred College, effected in the manner
already stated, the majority of the faithful believe that this pontiff
would have preferred obscurity to disgrace.

While Joseph Fesch was a master of a tavern he married the daughter of a
tinker, by whom he had three children. This marriage, according to the
republican regulations, had only been celebrated by the municipality at
Ajaccio; Fesch, therefore, upon again entering the bosom of the Church,
left his municipal wife and children to shift for themselves, considering
himself still, according to the canonical laws, a bachelor. But Madame
Fesch, hearing, in 1801, of her ci-devant husband's promotion to the
Archbishopric of Lyons, wrote to him for some succours, being with her
children reduced to great misery. Madame Letitia Bonaparte answered her
letter, enclosing a draft for six hundred livres--informing her that the
same sum would be paid her every six months, as long as she continued
with her children to reside at Corsica, but that it would cease the
instant she left that island. Either thinking herself not sufficiently
paid for her discretion, or enticed by some enemy of the Bonaparte
family, she arrived secretly at Lyons in October last year, where she
remained unknown until the arrival of the Pope. On the first day His
Holiness gave there his public benediction, she found means to pierce the
crowd, and to approach his person, when Cardinal Fesch was by his side.
Profiting by a moment's silence, she called out loudly, throwing herself
at his feet: "Holy Father! I am the lawful wife of Cardinal Fesch, and
these are our children; he cannot, he dares not, deny this truth. Had he
behaved liberally to me, I should not have disturbed him in his present
grandeur; I supplicate you, Holy Father, not to restore me my husband,
but to force him to provide for his wife and children, according to his
present circumstances."--"Matta--ella e matta, santissimo padre! She is
mad--she is mad, Holy Father," said the Cardinal; and the good pontiff
ordered her to be taken care of, to prevent her from doing herself or the
children any mischief. She was, indeed, taken care of, because nobody
ever since heard what has become either of her or her children; and as
they have not returned to Corsica, probably some snug retreat has been
allotted them in France.

The purple was never disgraced by a greater libertine than Cardinal
Fesch: his amours are numerous, and have often involved him in
disagreeable scrapes. He had, in 1803, an unpleasant adventure at Lyons,
which has since made his stay in that city but short. Having thrown his
handkerchief at the wife of a manufacturer of the name of Girot, she
accepted it, and gave him an appointment at her house, at a time in the
evening when her husband usually went to the play. His Eminence arrived
in disguise, and was received with open arms. But he was hardly seated
by her side before the door of a closet was burst open, and his shoulders
smarted from the lashes inflicted by an offended husband. In vain did he
mention his name and rank; they rather increased than decreased the fury
of Girot, who pretended it was utterly impossible for a Cardinal and
Archbishop to be thus overtaken with the wife of one of his flock; at
last Madame Girot proposed a pecuniary accommodation, which, after some
opposition, was acceded to; and His Eminence signed a bond for one
hundred thousand livres--upon condition that nothing should transpire of
this intrigue--a high price enough for a sound drubbing. On the day when
the bond was due, Girot and his wife were both arrested by the police
commissary, Dubois (a brother of the prefect of police at Paris), accused
of being connected with the coiners, a capital crime at present in this
country. In a search made in their house, bad money to the amount of
three thousand livres was discovered; which they had received the day
before from a man who called himself a merchant from Paris, but who was a
police spy sent to entrap them. After giving up the bond of the
Cardinal, the Emperor graciously remitted the capital punishment, upon
condition that they should be transported for life to Cayenne.

This is the prelate on whom Bonaparte intends to confer the Roman tiara,
and to constitute a successor of St. Peter. It would not be the least
remarkable event in the beginning of the remarkable nineteenth century
were we to witness the papal throne occupied by a man who from a singing
boy became a renegade slave, from a Mussulman a constitutional curate,
from a tavern-keeper an archbishop, from the son of a pedlar the uncle of
an Emperor, and from the husband of the daughter of a tinker, a member of
the Sacred College.

His sister, Madame Letitia Bonaparte, presented him, in 1802, with an
elegant library, for which she had paid six hundred thousand livres--and
his nephew, Napoleon, allows him a yearly pension double that amount.
Besides his dignity as a prelate, His Eminence is Ambassador from France
at Rome, a Knight of the Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece, a grand
officer of the Legion of Honour, and a grand almoner of the Emperor of
the French.

The Archbishop of Paris is now in his ninety-sixth year, and at his death
Cardinal Fesch is to be transferred to the see of this capital, in
expectation of the triple crown and the keys of St. Peter.


Paris, August, 1805.

MY LORD:--The amiable and accomplished Amelia Frederique, Princess
Dowager of the late Electoral Prince, Charles Louis of Baden, born a
Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt, has procured the Electoral House of Baden
the singular honour of giving consorts to three reigning and Sovereign
Princes,--to an Emperor of Russia, to a King of Sweden, and to the
Elector of Bavaria. Such a distinction, and such alliances, called the
attention of those at the head of our Revolution; who, after attempting
in vain to blow up hereditary thrones by the aid of sans-culotte
incendiaries, seated sans-culottes upon thrones, that they might degrade
what was not yet ripe for destruction.

Charles Frederick, the reigning Elector of Baden, is now near fourscore
years of age. At this period of life if any passions remain, avarice is
more common than ambition; because treasures may be hoarded without
bustle, while activity is absolutely necessary to push forward to the
goal of distinction. Having bestowed a new King on Tuscany, Bonaparte
and Talleyrand also resolved to confer new Electors on Germany. A more
advantageous fraternity could not be established between the innovators
here and their opposers in other countries, than by incorporating the
grandfather-in-law of so many Sovereigns with their own revolutionary
brotherhood; to humble him by a new rank, and to disgrace him by
indemnities obtained from their hands. An intrigue between our Minister,
Talleyrand, and the Baden Minister, Edelsheim, transformed the oldest
Margrave of Germany into its youngest Elector, and extended his dominions
by the spoils obtained at the expense of the rightful owners. The
invasion of the Baden territory in time of peace, and the seizure of the
Duc d'Enghien, though under the protection of the laws of nations and
hospitality, must have soon convinced Baron Edelsheim what return his
friend Talleyrand expected, and that Bonaparte thought he had a natural
right to insult by his attacks those he had dishonoured by his

The Minister, Baron Edelsheim, is half an illuminato, half a philosopher,
half a politician, and half a revolutionist. He was, long before he was
admitted into the council chamber of his Prince, half an atheist, half an
intriguer, and half a spy, in the pay of Frederick the Great of Prussia.
His entry upon the stage at Berlin, and particularly the first parts he
was destined to act, was curious and extraordinary; whether he acquitted
himself better in this capacity than he has since in his political one is
not known. He was afterwards sent to this capital to execute a
commission, of which he acquitted himself very ill; exposing himself
rashly, without profit or service to his employer. Frederick II.,
dreading the tediousness of a proposed congress at Augsburg, wished to
send a private emissary to sound the King of France. For this purpose he
chose Edelsheim as a person least liable to suspicion. The project of
Frederick was to idemnify the King of Poland for his first losses by
robbing the ecclesiastical Princes of Germany. This, Louis XV. totally
rejected; and Edelsheim returned with his answer to the Prussian Monarch,
then at Freyburg. From thence he afterwards departed for London, made
his communications, and was once again sent back to Paris, on pretence
that he had left some of his travelling trunks there; and the Bailli de
Foulay, the Ambassador of the Knights of Malta, being persuaded that the
Cabinet of Versailles was effectually desirous of peace, was, as he had
been before, the mediator. The Bailli was deceived. The Duc de
Choiseul, the then Prime Minister, indecently enough threw Edelsheim into
the Bastille, in order to search or seize his papers, which, however,
were secured elsewhere. Edelsheim was released on the morrow, but
obliged to depart the kingdom by the way of Turin, as related by
Frederick II. in his "History of the Seven Years' War." On his return he
was disgraced, and continued so until 1778; when he again was used as
emissary to various Courts of Germany. In 1786 the Elector of Baden sent
him to Berlin, on the ascension of Frederick William II., as a
complimentary envoy. This Monarch, when he saw him, could not forbear
laughing at the high wisdom of the Court that selected such a personage
for such an embassy, and of his own sagacity in accepting it. He quitted
the capital of Prussia as he came there, with an opinion of himself that
the royal smiles of contempt had neither altered nor diminished.

You see, by this account, that Edelsheim has long been a partisan of the
pillage of Germany called indemnities; and long habituated to affronts,
as well as to plots. To all his other half qualities, half modesty can
hardly be added, when he calls himself, or suffers himself to be called,
"the Talleyrand of Carlsrhue." He accompanied his Prince last year to
Mentz; where this old Sovereign was not treated by Bonaparte in the most
decorous or decent manner, being obliged to wait for hours in his
antechamber, and afterwards stand during the levees, or in the drawing-
rooms of Napoleon or of his wife, without the offer of a chair, or an
invitation to sit down. It was here where, by a secret treaty, Bonaparte
became the Sovereign of Baden, if sovereignty consists in the disposal of
the financial and military resources of a State; and they were agreed to
be assigned over to him whenever he should deem it proper or necessary to
invade the German Empire, in return for his protection against the
Emperor of Germany, who can have no more interest than intent to attack a
country so distant from his hereditary dominions, and whose Sovereign is,
besides, the grandfather of the consort of his nearest and best ally.

Talleyrand often amused himself at Mentz with playing on the vanity and
affected consequence of Edelsheim, who was delighted if at any time our
Minister took him aside, or whispered to him as in confidence. One
morning, at the assembly of the Elector Arch-Chancellor, where Edelsheim
was creeping and cringing about him as usual, he laid hold of his arm and
walked with him to the upper part of the room. In a quarter of an hour
they both joined the company, Edelsheim unusually puffed up with vanity.

"I will lay and bet, gentlemen," said Talleyrand, "that you cannot, with
all your united wits, guess the grand subject of my conversation with the
good Baron Edelsheim." Without waiting for an answer, he continued: "As
the Baron is a much older and more experienced traveller than myself, I
asked him which, of all the countries he had visited, could boast the
prettiest and kindest women. His reply was really very instructive, and
it would be a great pity if justice were not done to his merit by its

Here the Baron, red as a turkey-cock and trembling with anger,
interrupted. "His Excellency," said he, "is to-night in a humour to
joke; what we spoke of had nothing to do with women."

"Nor with men, either," retorted Talleyrand, going away.

This anecdote, Baron Dahlberg, the Minister of the Elector of Baden to
our Court, had the ingenuity to relate at Madame Chapui's as an evidence
of Edelsheim's intimacy with Talleyrand; only he left out the latter
part, and forgot to mention the bad grace with which this impertinence of
Talleyrand was received; but this defect of memory Count von Beust, the
envoy of the Elector Arch-Chancellor, kindly supplied.

Baron Edelsheim is a great amateur of knighthoods. On days of great
festivities his face is, as it were, illuminated with the lustre of his
stars; and the crosses on his coat conceal almost its original colour.
Every petty Prince of Germany has dubbed him a chevalier; but Emperors
and Kings have not been so unanimous in distinguishing his desert, or in
satisfying his desires.

At Mentz no Prince or Minister fawned more assiduously upon Bonaparte
than this hero of chivalry. It could not escape notice, but need not
have alarmed our great man, as was the case. The prefect of the palace
was ordered to give authentic information concerning Edelsheim's moral
and political character. He applied to the police commissary, who,
within twenty hours, signed a declaration affirming that Edelsheim was
the most inoffensive and least dangerous of all imbecile creatures that
ever entered the Cabinet of a Prince; that he had never drawn a sword,
worn a dagger, or fired a pistol in his life; that the inquiries about
his real character were sneered at in every part of the Electorate, as
nowhere they allowed him common sense, much less a character; all blamed
his presumption, but none defended his capacity.

After the perusal of this report, Bonaparte asked Talleyrand: "What can
Edelsheim mean by his troublesome assiduities? Does he want any
indemnities, or does he wish me to make him a German Prince? Can he have
the impudence to hope that I shall appoint him a tribune, a legislator,
or a Senator in France, or that I shall give him a place in my Council of

"No such thing," answered the Minister; "did not Your Majesty condescend
to notice at the last fete that this eclipsed moon was encompassed in a
firmanent of stars. You would, Sire, make him the happiest of mortals
were you to nominate him a member of your Legion of Honour."

"Does he want nothing else?" said Napoleon, as if relieved at once of an
oppressive burden. "Write to my chancellor of the Legion of Honour,
Lacepede, to send him a patent, and do you inform him of this favour."

It is reported at Carlsruhe, the capital of Baden, that Baron Edelsheim
has composed his own epitaph, in which he claims immortality, because
under his Ministry the Margravate of Baden was elevated into an


PARIS, August, 1805.

MY LORD:--The sensation that the arrival of the Pope in this country
caused among the lower classes of people cannot be expressed, and if
expressed, would not be believed. I am sorry, however, to say that,
instead of improving their morals or increasing their faith, this journey
has shaken both morality and religion to their foundation.

According to our religious notions, as you must know, the Roman pontiff
is the vicar of Christ, and infallible; he can never err. The atheists
of the National Convention and the Theophilanthropists of the Directory
not only denied his demi-divinity, but transformed him into a satyr; and
in pretending to tear the veil of superstition, annihilated all belief in
a God. The ignorant part of our nation, which, as everywhere else,
constitutes the majority, witnessing the impunity and prosperity of
crime, and bestowing on the Almighty the passions of mortals, first
doubted of His omnipotence in not crushing guilt, and afterwards of His
existence in not exterminating the blasphemous from among the living.
Feeling, however, the want of consolation in their misfortunes here, and
hope of a reward hereafter for unmerited sufferings upon earth, they all
hailed as a blessing the restoration of Christianity; and by this
political act Bonaparte gained more adherents than by all his victories
he had procured admirers.

Bonaparte's character, his good and his bad qualities, his talents and
his crimes, are too recent and too notorious to require description.
Should he continue successful, and be attended by fortune to his grave,
future ages may perhaps hail him a hero and a great man; but by his
contemporaries it will always be doubtful whether mankind has not
suffered more from his ambition and cruelties than benefited by his
services. Had he satisfied himself by continuing the Chief Magistrate of
a Commonwealth; or, if he judged that a monarchical Government alone was
suitable to the spirit of this country, had he recalled our legitimate
King, he would have occupied a principal, if not the first, place in the
history of France,--a place much more exalted than he can ever expect to
fill as an Emperor of the French. Let his prosperity be ever so
uninterrupted, he cannot be mentioned but as an usurper, an appellation
never exciting esteem, frequently inspiring contempt, and always odious.

The crime of usurpation is the greatest and most enormous a subject can
perpetrate; but what epithet can there be given to him who, to preserve
an authority unlawfully acquired, asssociates in his guilt a Supreme
Pontiff, whom the multitude is accustomed to reverence as the
representative of their God, but who, by this act of scandal and
sacrilege, descends to a level with the most culpable of men? I have
heard, not only in this city but in villages, where sincerity is more
frequent than corruption, and where hypocrites are as little known as
infidels, these remarks made by the people:

"Can the real vicar of Christ, by his inauguration, commit the double
injustice of depriving the legitimate owner of his rights, and of
bestowing as a sacred donation what belongs to another; and what he has
no power, no authority, to dispose of? Can Pius VII. confer on Napoleon
the First what belongs to Louis XVIII.? Would Jesus Christ, if upon
earth, have acted thus? Would his immediate successors, the Apostles,
not have preferred the suffering of martyrdom to the commission of any
injury? If the present Roman pontiff acts differently from what his
Master and predecessors would have done, can he be the vicar of our

These and many similar reflections the common people have made, and make
yet. The step from doubt to disbelief is but short, and those brought up
in the Roman Catholic religion, who hesitate about believing Pius VII.
to be the vicar of Christ, will soon remember the precepts of atheists
and freethinkers, and believe that Christ is not the Son of God, and that
God is only the invention of fear.

The fact is, that by the Pope's performance of the coronation of an
Emperor of the French, a religious as well as a political revolution was
effected; and the usurper in power, whatever his creed may be, will
hereafter, without much difficulty, force it on his slaves. You may,
perhaps, object that Pius VII., in his official account to the Sacred
College of his journey to France, speaks with enthusiasm of the
Catholicism of the French people. But did not the Goddess of Reason, did
not Robespierre as a high priest of a Supreme Being, speak as highly of
their sectaries? Read the Moniteur of 1793 and 1794, and you will be
convinced of the truth of this assertion. They, like the Pope, spoke of
what they saw, and they, like him, did not see an individual who was not
instructed how to perform his part, so as to give satisfaction to him
whom he was to please, and to those who employed him. As you have
attended to the history of our Revolution, you have found it in great
part a cruel masquerade, where none but the unfortunate Louis XVI.
appeared in his native and natural character and without a mask.

The countenance of Pius VII. is placid and benign, and a kind of calmness
and tranquillity pervades his address and manners, which are, however,
far from being easy or elegant. The crowds that he must have been
accustomed to see since his present elevation have not lessened a
timidity the consequence of early seclusion. Nothing troubled him more
than the numerous deputations of our Senate, Legislative Body, Tribunate,
National Institute, Tribunals, etc., that teased him on every occasion.
He never was suspected of any vices, but all his virtues are negative;
and his best quality is, not to do good, but to prevent evil. His piety
is sincere and unaffected, and it is not difficult to perceive that he
has been more accustomed to address his God than to converse with men.
He is nowhere so well in his place as before the altar; when imploring
the blessings of Providence on his audience he speaks with confidence, as
to a friend to whom his purity is known, and who is accustomed to listen
favourably to his prayers. He is zealous but not fanatical, but equally
superstitious as devout. His closet was crowded with relics, rosaries,
etc., but there he passed generally eight hours of the twenty-four upon
his knees in prayer and meditation. He often inflicted on himself
mortifications, observed fast-days, and kept his vows with religious

None of the promises made him by Cardinal Fesch, in the name of Napoleon
the First, were performed, but all were put off until a general
pacification. He was promised indemnity for Avignon, Bologna, Ferrara,
and Ravenna; the ancient supremacy and pecuniary contributions of the
Gallican Church, and the restoration of certain religious orders, both in
France and Italy; but notwithstanding his own representations, and the
activity of his Cardinal, Caprara, nothing was decided, though nothing
was refused.

By some means or other he was made perfectly acquainted with the crimes
and vices of most of our public functionaries. Talleyrand was surprised
when Cardinal Caprara explained to him the reason why the Pope refused to
admit some persons to his presence, and why he wished others even not to
be of the party when he accepted the invitations of Bonaparte and his
wife to their private societies. Many are, however, of opinion that
Talleyrand, from malignity or revenge, often heightened and confirmed His
Holiness's aversion. This was at least once the case with regard to De
Lalande. When Duroc inquired the cause of the Pope's displeasure against
this astronomer, and hinted that it would be very agreeable to the
Emperor were His Holiness to permit him the honour of prostrating
himself, he was answered that men of talents and learning would always be
welcome to approach his person; that he pitied the errors and prayed for
the conversion of this savant, but was neither displeased nor offended
with him. Talleyrand, when informed of the Pope's answer, accused
Cardinal Caprara of having misinterpreted his master's communications;
and this prelate, in his turn, censured our Minister's bad memory.

You must have read that this De Lalande is regarded in France as the
first astronomer of Europe, and hailed as the high priest of atheists;
he is said to be the author of a shockingly blasphemous work called "The
Bible of a People who acknowledge no God." He implored the ferocious
Robespierre to honour the heavens by bestowing, on a new planet pretended
to be discovered, his ci-devant Christian-name, Maximilian. In a letter
of congratulation to Bonaparte, on the occasion of his present elevation,
he also implored him to honour the God of the Christians by styling
himself Jesus Christ the First, Emperor of the French, instead of
Napoleon the First. But it was not his known impiety that made
Talleyrand wish to exclude him from insulting with his presence a
Christian pontiff. In the summer of 1799, when the Minister was in a
momentary disgrace, De Lalande was at the head of those who imputed to
his treachery, corruptions, and machinations all the evils France then
suffered, both from external enemies and internal factions. If
Talleyrand has justly been reproached for soon forgetting good offices
and services done him, nobody ever denied that he has the best
recollection in the world of offences or attacks, and that he is as
revengeful as unforgiving.

The only one of our great men whom Pius VII. remained obstinate and
inflexible in not receiving, was the Senator and Minister of Police,
Fouche. As His Holiness was not so particular with regard to other
persons who, like Fouche, were both apostate priests and regicide
subjects, the following is reported to be the cause of his aversion and

In November, 1793, the remains of a wretch of the name of Challiers--
justly called, for his atrocities, the Murat of Lyons--were ordered by
Fouche, then a representative of the people in that city, to be produced
and publicly worshipped; and, under his particular auspices, a grand fete
was performed to the memory of this republican martyr, who had been
executed as an assassin. As part of this impious ceremony, an ass,
covered with a Bishop's vestments, having on his head a mitre, and the
volumes of Holy Writ tied to his tail, paraded the streets. The remains
of Challiers were then burnt, and the ashes distributed among his
adorers; while the books were also consumed, and the ashes scattered in
the wind. Fouche proposed, after giving the ass some water to drink in a
sacred chalice, to terminate the festivity of the day by murdering all
the prisoners, amounting to seven thousand five hundred; but a sudden
storm prevented the execution of this diabolical proposition, and
dispersed the sacrilegious congregation.


PARIS, August, 1805.

MY LORD:--Though all the Bonapartes were great favourites with Pius VII.,
Madame Letitia, their mother, had a visible preference. In her
apartments he seemed most pleased to meet the family parties, as they
were called, because to them, except the Bonapartes, none but a few
select favourites were invited,--a distinction as much wished for and
envied as any other Court honour. After the Pope had fixed the evening
he would appear among them, Duroc made out a list, under the dictates of
Napoleon, of the chosen few destined to partake of the blessing of His
Holiness's presence; this list was merely pro form, or as a compliment,
laid before him; and after his tacit approbation, the individuals were
informed, from the first chamberlain's office, that they would be
honoured with admittance at such an hour, to such a company, and in such
an apartment. The dress in which they were to appear was also
prescribed. The parties usually met at six o'clock in the evening. On
the Pope's entrance all persons, of both sexes, kneeled to receive his
blessing. Tea, ice, liqueurs, and confectionery were then served. In
the place of honour were three elevated elbow-chairs, and His Holiness
was seated between the Emperor and Empress, and seldom spoke to any one
to whom Napoleon did not previously address the word. The exploits of
Bonaparte, particularly his campaigns in Egypt, were the chief subjects
of conversation. Before eight o'clock the Pope always retired,
distributing his blessing to the kneeling audience, as on his entry.
When he was gone, card-tables were brought in, and play was permitted.
Duroc received his master's orders how to distribute the places at the
different tables, what games were to be played, and the amount of the
sums to be staked. These were usually trifling and small compared to
what is daily risked in our fashionable circles.

Often, after the Pope had returned to his own rooms, Madame Letitia
Bonaparte was admitted to assist at his private prayers. This lady,
whose intrigues and gallantry are proverbial in Corsica, has, now that
she is old (as is generally the case), turned devotee, and is surrounded
by hypocrites and impostors, who, under the mask of sanctity, deceive and
plunder her. Her antechambers are always full of priests; and her closet
and bedroom are crowded with relics, which she collected during her
journey to Italy last year. She might, if she chose, establish a
Catholic museum, and furnish it with a more curious collection, in its
sort, than any of our other museums contain. Of all the saints in our
calendar, there is not one of any notoriety who has not supplied her with
a finger, a toe, or some other part; or with a piece of a shirt, a
handkerchief, a sandal, or a winding-sheet. Even a bit of a pair of
breeches, said to have belonged to Saint Mathurin, whom many think was a
sans-cullotte, obtains her adoration on certain occasions. As none of
her children have yet arrived at the same height of faith as herself,
she has, in her will, bequeathed to the Pope all her relics, together
with eight hundred and seventy-nine Prayer-books, and four hundred and
forty-six Bibles, either in manuscript or of different editions. Her
favourite breviary, used only on great solemnities, was presented to her
by Cardinal Maury at Rome, and belonged, as it is said, formerly to Saint
Francois, whose commentary, written with his own hand, fills the margins;
though many, who with me adore him as a saint, doubt whether he could
either read or write.

Not long ago she made, as she thought, an exceedingly valuable
acquisition. A priest arrived direct from the Holy City of Jerusalem,
well recommended by the inhabitants of the convents there, with whom he
pretended to have passed his youth. After prostrating himself before the
Pope, he waited on Madame Letitia Bonaparte. He told her that he had
brought with him from Syria the famous relic, the shoulder-bone of Saint
John the Baptist; but that, being in want of money for his voyage, he
borrowed upon it from a Grecian Bishop in Montenegro two hundred louis
d'or. This sum, and one hundred louis d'or besides, was immediately
given him; and within three months, for a large sum in addition to those
advanced, this precious relic was in Madame Letitia's possession.

Notwithstanding this lady's care not to engage in her service any person
of either sex who cannot produce, not a certificate of civism from the
municipality as was formerly the case, but a certificate of Christianity,
and a billet of confession signed by the curate of the parish, she had
often been robbed, and the robbers had made particularly free with those
relics which were set in gold or in diamonds. She accused her daughter,
the Princesse Borghese, who often rallies the devotion of her mamma, and
who is more an amateur of the living than of the dead, of having played
her these tricks. The Princess informed Napoleon of her mother's losses,
as well as of her own innocence, and asked him to apply to the police to
find out the thief, who no doubt was one of the pious rogues who almost
devoured their mother.

On the next day Napoleon invited Madame Letitia to dinner, and Fouche had
orders to make a strict search, during her absence, among the persons
composing her household. Though he, on this occasion, did not find what
he was looking for, he made a discovery which very much mortified Madame

Her first chambermaid, Rosina Gaglini, possessed both her esteem and
confidence, and had been sent for purposely from Ajaccio, in Corsica, on
account of her general renown for great piety, and a report that she was
an exclusive favourite with the Virgin Mary, by whose interference she
had even performed, it was said, some miracles; such as restoring stolen
goods, runaway cattle, lost children, and procuring prizes in the
lottery. Rosina was as relic-mad as her mistress; and as she had no
means to procure them otherwise, she determined to partake of her lady's
by cutting off a small part of each relic of Madame Letitia's principal
saints. These precious 'morceaux' she placed in a box upon which she
kneeled to say her prayers during the day; and which, for a
mortification, served her as a pillow during the night. Upon each of the
sacred bits she had affixed a label with the name of the saint it
belonged to, which occasioned the disclosure. When Madame Letitia heard
of this pious theft, she insisted on having the culprit immediately and
severely punished; and though the Princesse Borghese, as the innocent
cause of poor Rosina's misfortune, interfered, and Rosina herself
promised never more to plunder saints, she was without mercy turned away,
and even denied money sufficient to carry her back to Corsica. Had she
made free with Madame Letitia's plate or wardrobe, there is no doubt but
that she had been forgiven; but to presume to share with her those sacred
supports on her way to Paradise was a more unpardonable act with a
devotee than to steal from a lover the portrait of an adored mistress.

In the meantime the police were upon the alert to discover the person
whom they suspected of having stolen the relics for the diamonds, and not
the diamonds for the relics. Among our fashionable and new saints,
surprising as you may think it, Madame de Genlis holds a distinguished
place; and she, too, is an amateur and collector of relics in proportion
to her means; and with her were found those missed by Madame Letitia.
Being asked to give up the name of him from whom she had purchased them,
she mentioned Abbe Saladin, the pretended priest from Jerusalem. He, in
his turn, was questioned, and by his answers gave rise to suspicion that
he himself was the thief. The person of whom he pretended to have bought
them was not to be found, nor was any one of such a description
remembered to have been seen anywhere. On being carried to prison, he
claimed the protection of Madame Letitia, and produced a letter in which
this lady had promised him a bishopric either in France or in Italy.
When she was informed of his situation, she applied to her son Napoleon
for his liberty, urging that a priest who from Jerusalem had brought with
him to Europe such an extraordinary relic as the shoulder of Saint John,
could not be culpable.

Abbe Saladin had been examined by Real, who concluded, from the accent
and perfection with which he spoke the French language, that he was some
French adventurer who had imposed on the credulity and superstition of
Madame Letitia; and, therefore, threatened him with the rack if he did
not confess the truth. He continued, however, in his story, and was
going to be released upon an order from the Emperor, when a gendarme
recognized him as a person who, eight years before, had, under the name
of Lanoue, been condemned for theft and forgery to the galleys, whence he
had made his escape. Finding himself discovered, he avowed everything.
He said he had served in Egypt, in the guides of Bonaparte, but deserted
to the Turks and turned Mussulman, but afterwards returned to the bosom
of the Church at Jerusalem. There he persuaded the friars that he had
been a priest, and obtained the certificates which introduced him to the
Pope and to the Emperor's mother; from whom he had received twelve
thousand livres for part of the jaw bone of a whale, which he had sold
her for the shoulder-bone of a saint. As the police believe the
certificates he has produced to be also forged, he is detained in prison
until an answer arrives from our Consul in Syria.

Madame Letitia did not resign without tears the relic he had sold her;
and there is reason to believe that many other pieces of her collections,
worshipped by her as remains of saints, are equally genuine as this
shoulder-bone of Saint John.


PARIS, August, 1805.

MY LORD:--That the population of this capital has, since the Revolution,
decreased near two hundred thousand souls, is not to be lamented. This
focus of corruption and profligacy is still too populous, though the
inhabitants do not amount to six hundred thousand; for I am well
persuaded that more crimes and excesses of every description are
committed here in one year than are perpetrated in the same period of
time in all other European capitals put together. From not reading in
our newspapers, as we do in yours, of the robberies, murders, and frauds
discovered and punished, you may, perhaps, be inclined to suppose my
assertion erroneous or exaggerated; but it is the policy of our present
Government to labour as much as possible in the dark; that is to say, to
prevent, where it can be done, all publicity of anything directly or
indirectly tending to inculpate it of oppression, tyranny, or even
negligence; and to conceal the immorality of the people so nearly
connected with its own immoral power. It is true that many vices and
crimes here, as well as everywhere else, are unavoidable, and the natural
consequences of corruption, and might be promulgated, therefore, without
attaching any reproach to our rulers; but they are so accustomed to the
mystery adherent to tyranny, that even the most unimportant lawsuit,
uninteresting intrigue, elopement, or divorce, are never allowed to be
mentioned in our journals, without a previous permission from the prefect
of police, who very seldom grants it.

Most of the enormities now deplored in this country are the consequence
of moral and religious licentiousness, that have succeeded to political
anarchy, or rather were produced by it, and survive it. Add to this the
numerous examples of the impunity of guilt, prosperity of infamy, misery
of honesty, and sufferings of virtue, and you will not think it
surprising that, notwithstanding half a million of spies, our roads and
streets are covered with robbers and assassins, and our scaffolds with

The undeniable TRUTH that this city alone is watched by one hundred
thousand spies (so that, when in company with six persons, one has reason
to dread the presence of one spy), proclaims at once the morality of the
governors and that of the governed: were the former just, and the latter
good, this mass of vileness would never be employed; or, if employed,
wickedness would expire for want of fuel, and the hydra of tyranny perish
by its own pestilential breath.

According to the official registers published by Manuel in 1792, the
number of spies all over France during the reign of Louis XVI. was
nineteen thousand three hundred (five thousand less than under Louis
XV.); and of this number six thousand were distributed in Paris, and in a
circle of four leagues around it, including Versailles. You will
undoubtedly ask me, even allowing for our extension of territory, what
can be the cause of this disproportionate increase of distrust and
depravity? I will explain it as far as my abilities admit, according to
the opinions of others compared with my own remarks.

When factions usurped the supremacy of the Kings, vigilance augmented
with insecurity; and almost everybody who was not an opposer, who refused
being an accomplice, or feared to be a victim, was obliged to serve as an
informer and vilify himself by becoming a spy. The rapidity with which
parties followed and destroyed each other made the criminals as numerous
as the sufferings of honour and loyalty innumerable; and I am sorry to
say few persons exist in my degraded country, whose firmness and
constancy were proof against repeated torments and trials, and who, to
preserve their lives, did not renounce their principles and probity.

Under the reign of Robespierre and of the Committee of Public Safety,
every member of Government, of the clubs, of the tribunals, and of the
communes, had his private spies; but no regular register was kept of
their exact number. Under the Directory a Police Minister was nominated,
and a police office established. According to the declaration of the
Police Minister, Cochon, in 1797, the spies, who were then regularly
paid, amounted to one hundred and fifty thousand; and of these, thirty
thousand did duty in this capital. How many there were in 1799, when
Fouche, for the first time, was appointed a chief of the department of
police, is not known, but suppose them doubled within two years; their
increase since is nevertheless immense, considering that France has
enjoyed upwards of four years' uninterrupted Continental peace, and has
not been exposed to any internal convulsions during the same period.

You may, perhaps, object that France is not rich enough to keep up as
numerous an army of spies as of soldiers; because the expense of the
former must be triple the amount of the latter. Were all these spies,
now called police agents, or agents of the secret police, paid regular
salaries, your objection would stand, but most of them have no other
reward than the protection of the police; being employed in gambling--
houses, in coffee--houses, in taverns, at the theatres, in the public
gardens, in the hotels, in lottery offices, at pawnbrokers', in brothels,
and in bathing-houses, where the proprietors or masters of these
establishments pay them. They receive nothing from the police, but when
they are enabled to make any great discoveries, those who have been
robbed or defrauded, and to whom they have been serviceable, are, indeed,
obliged to present them with some douceur, fixed by the police at the
rate of the value recovered; but such occurrences are merely accidental.
To these are to be added all individuals of either sex who by the law are
obliged to obtain from the police licenses to exercise their trade, as
pedlars, tinkers, masters of puppet-shows, wild beasts, etc. These, on
receiving their passes, inscribe themselves, and take the oaths as spies;
and are forced to send in their regular reports of what they hear or see.
Prostitutes, who, all over this country, are under the necessity of
paying for regular licenses, are obliged also to give information, from
time to time, to the nearest police commissary of what they observe or
what they know respecting their visitors, neighbours, etc. The number of
unfortunate women of this description who had taken out licenses during
the year 12, or from September, 1803, to September, 1804, is officially
known to have amounted to two hundred and twenty thousand, of whom forty
thousand were employed by the armies.

It is no secret that Napoleon Bonaparte has his secret spies upon his
wife, his brothers, his sisters, his Ministers, Senators, and other
public functionaries, and also upon his public spies. These are all
under his own immediate control and that of Duroc, who does the duty of
his private Police Minister, and in whom he confides more than even in
the members of his own family. In imitation of their master, each of the
other Bonapartes, and each of the Ministers, have their individual spies,
and are watched in their turn by the spies of their secretaries, clerks,
etc. This infamous custom of espionage goes ad infinitum, and appertains
almost to the establishment and to the suite of each man in place, who
does not think himself secure a moment if he remains in ignorance of the
transactions of his rivals, as well as of those of his equals and

Fouche and Talleyrand are reported to have disagreed before Bonaparte on
some subject or other, which is frequently the case. The former,
offended at some doubts thrown out about his intelligence, said to the

"I am so well served that I can tell you the name of every man or woman
you have conversed with, both yesterday and today; where you saw them,
and how long you remained with them or they with you."

"If such commonplace espionage evinces any merit," retorted Talleyrand,
"I am even here your superior; because I know not only what has already
passed with you and in your house, but what is to pass hereafter. I can
inform you of every dish you had for your dinners this week, who provided
these dinners, and who is expected to provide your meats to-morrow and
the day after. I can whisper you, in confidence, who slept with Madame
Fouche last night, and who has an appointment with her to-night."

Here Bonaparte interrupted them, in his usual dignified language: "Hold
both your tongues; you are both great rogues, but I am at a loss to
decide which is the greatest."

Without uttering a single syllable, Talleyrand made a profound reverence
to Fouche. Bonaparte smiled, and advised them to live upon good terms if
they were desirous of keeping their places.

A man of the name of Ducroux, who, under Robespierre, had from a barber
been made a general, and afterwards broken for his ignorance, was engaged
by Bonaparte as a private spy upon Fouche, who employed him in the same
capacity upon Bonaparte. His reports were always written, and delivered
in person into the hands both of the Emperor and of his Minister. One
morning he, by mistake, gave to Bonaparte the report of him instead of
that intended for him. Bonaparte began to read: "Yesterday, at nine
o'clock, the Emperor acted the complete part of a madman; he swore,
stamped, kicked, foamed, roared--", here poor Ducroux threw himself at
Bonaparte's feet, and called for mercy for the terrible blunder he had

"For whom," asked Bonaparte, "did you intend this treasonable
correspondence? I suppose it is composed for some English or Russian
agent, for Pitt or for Marcoff. How long have you conspired with my
enemies, and where are your accomplices?"

"For God's sake, hear me, Sire," prayed Ducroux. "Your Majesty's enemies
have always been mine. The report is for one of your best friends; but
were I to mention his name, he will ruin me."

"Speak out, or you die!" vociferated Bonaparte.

"Well,'Sire, it is for Fouche--for nobody else but Fouche."

Bonaparte then rang the bell for Duroc, whom he ordered to see Ducroux
shut up in a dungeon, and afterwards to send for Fouche. The Minister
denied all knowledge of Ducroux, who, after undergoing several tortures,
expiated his blunder upon the rack.


PARIS, August, 1805.

MY LORD:--The Pope, during his stay here, rose regularly every morning at
five o'clock, and went to bed every night before ten. The first hours of
the day he passed in prayers, breakfasted after the Mass was over,
transacted business till one, and dined at two. Between three and four
he took--his siesta, or nap; afterwards he attended the vespers, and when
they were over he passed an hour with the Bonapartes, or admitted to his
presence some members of the clergy. The day was concluded, as it was
begun, with some hours of devotion.

Had Pius VII. possessed the character of a Pius VI., he would never have
crossed the Alps; or had he been gifted with the spirit and talents of
Sextus V. or Leo X., he would never have entered France to crown
Bonaparte, without previously stipulating for himself that he should be
put in possession of the sovereignty of Italy. You can form no idea what
great stress was laid on this act of His Holiness by the Bonaparte
family, and what sacrifices were destined to be made had any serious and
obstinate resistance been apprehended. Threats were, indeed, employed
personally against the Pope, and bribes distributed to the refractory
members of the Sacred College; but it was no secret, either here or at
Milan, that Cardinal Fesch had carte blanche with regard to the
restoration of all provinces seized, since the war, from the Holy See, or
full territorial indemnities in their place, at the expense of Naples and
Tuscany; and, indeed, whatever the Roman pontiff has lost in Italy has
been taken from him by Bonaparte alone, and the apparent generosity which
policy and ambition required would, therefore, have merely been an act of
justice. Confiding foolishly in the honour and rectitude of Napoleon,
without any other security than the assertion of Fesch, Pius VII., within
a fortnight's stay in France, found the great difference between the
promises held out to him when residing as a Sovereign at Rome, and their
accomplishment when he had so far forgotten himself and his sacred
dignity as to inhabit as a guest the castle of the Tuileries.

Pius VII. mentioned, the day after his arrival at Fontainebleau,
that it would be a gratification to his own subjects were he enabled to
communicate to them the restoration of the former ecclesiastical domains,
as a free gift of the Emperor of the French, at their first conference,
as they would then be as well convinced of Napoleon's good faith as he
was himself. In answer, His Holiness was informed that the Emperor was
unprepared to discuss political subjects, being totally occupied with the
thoughts how to entertain worthily his high visitor, and to acknowledge
becomingly the great honour done and the great happiness conferred on him
by such a visit. As soon as the ceremony of the coronation was over,
everything, he hoped, would be arranged to the reciprocal satisfaction of
both parties.

About the middle of last December, Bonaparte was again asked to fix a
day when the points of negotiation between him and the Pope could be
discussed and settled. Cardinal Caprara, who made this demand, was
referred to Talleyrand, who denied having yet any instructions, though in
daily expectation of them. Thus the time went on until February, when
Bonaparte informed the Pope of his determination to assume the crown of
Italy, and of some new changes necessary, in consequence on the other
side of the Alps.

Either seduced by caresses, or blinded by his unaccountable partiality
for Bonaparte, Pius VII., if left to himself, would not only have
renounced all his former claims, but probably have made new sacrifices to
this idol of his infatuation. Fortunately, his counsellors were wiser
and less deluded, otherwise the remaining patrimony of Saint Peter might
now have constituted a part of Napoleon's inheritance, in Italy. "Am I
not, Holy Father!" exclaimed the Emperor frequently, "your son, the work
of your hand? And if the pages of history assign me any glory, must it
not be shared with you--or rather, do you not share it with me? Anything
that impedes my successes, or makes the continuance of my power uncertain
or hazardous, reflects on you and is dangerous to you. With me you will
shine or be obscured, rise or fall. Could you, therefore, hesitate (were
I to demonstrate to you the necessity of such a measure) to remove the
Papal See to Avignon, where it formerly was and continued for centuries,
and to enlarge the limits of my kingdom of Italy with the Ecclesiastical
States? Can you believe my throne at Milan safe as long as it is not the
sole throne of Italy? Do you expect to govern at Rome when I cease to
reign at Milan? No, Holy Father! the pontiff who placed the crown on my
head, should it be shaken, will fall to rise no more." If what Cardinal
Caprara said can be depended upon, Bonaparte frequently used to
intimidate or flatter the Pope in this manner.

The representations of Cardinal Caprara changed Napoleon's first
intention of being again crowned by the Pope as a King of Italy. His
crafty Eminence observed that, according to the Emperor's own
declaration, it was not intended that the crowns of France and Italy
should continue united. But were he to cede one supremacy confirmed by
the sacred hands of a pontiff, the partisans of the Bourbons, or the
factions in France, would then take advantage to diminish in the opinion
of the people his right and the sacredness of His Holiness, and perhaps
make even the crown of the French Empire unstable. He did not deny that
Charlemagne was crowned by a pontiff in Italy, but this ceremony was
performed at Rome, where that Prince was proclaimed an Emperor of the
Holy Roman and German Empires, as well as a King of Lombardy and Italy.
Might not circumstances turn out so favourably for Napoleon the First
that he also might be inaugurated an Emperor of the Germans as well as of
the French? This last compliment, or prophecy, as Bonaparte's courtiers
call it (what a prophet a Caprara!), had the desired effect, as it
flattered equally Napoleon's ambition and vanity. For fear, however, of
Talleyrand and other anti-Catholic counsellors, who wanted him to
consider the Pope merely as his first almoner, and to treat him as all
other persons of his household, His Eminence sent His Holiness as soon as
possible packing for Rome. Though I am neither a cardinal nor a prophet,
should you and I live twenty years longer, and the other Continental
Sovereigns not alter their present incomprehensible conduct, I can,
without any risk, predict that we shall see Rome salute the second
Charlemagne an Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, if before that time
death does not put a period to his encroachments and gigantic plans.


Bestowing on the Almighty the passions of mortals
Bow to their charlatanism as if it was sublimity
Cannot be expressed, and if expressed, would not be believed
Feeling, however, the want of consolation in their misfortunes
Future effects dreaded from its past enormities
God is only the invention of fear
Gold, changes black to white, guilt to innocence
Hail their sophistry and imposture as inspiration
Invention of new tortures and improved racks
Labour as much as possible in the dark
Misfortunes and proscription would not only inspire courage
My means were the boundaries of my wants
Not suspected of any vices, but all his virtues are negative
Nothing was decided, though nothing was refused
Now that she is old (as is generally the case), turned devotee
Prelate on whom Bonaparte intends to confer the Roman tiara
Saints supplied her with a finger, a toe, or some other parts
Step is but short from superstition to infidelity
Suspicion and tyranny are inseparable companions
Two hundred and twenty thousand prostitute licenses
Usurped the easy direction of ignorance
Would cease to rule the day he became just


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