Imágenes de páginas

from the inhabitants, in order to enable théht to prepare for the reception of the government, tended rather to corroborate tliis' statement."

pp: 312, 19. Yet, amid this universal apathy, it seems that some sparks of enthusiasm have been kindled, and that both music and poetry have been enlisted on the side of the patriot feeling.

Beautiful,' says Mr. Quin; as many portions of their ancient • musit may be, there ate none superior, nor perhaps equal' ini point of melody, toʻsome of the new patriotic compositiotis.

• There is a fire, and at the same time a tenderness, in the best of these pieces, which, whatever becomes of the Constitution, promise them an immortality. I was detained a full' hour one day in the streets, listening to two itinerant musicians performing a war song. One of them sung the air, and played it at the same time'on a violin, while his companion sung also and performed the accompaniment on the guitat. Both were blind, and neither gung nor played with mach'skill, and yet it was surprising how much effect they threw into the words of the song: The air had oecasional bursts of grandeur, which animated their sightless countenances with a flush of inspiration. In the intervals between the verses, the leader recited pas. sages from'a prose' rhapsody, the object of which was tb rouse the Spaniards to the remembrance of those injuries' which France in Alcted on the Peninsula, during the last' war, to Autter then with the event of the contest, and to bid them bind on their swords for the ex. termination of the approaching invaders. One' would be surprised at the attention with which these two bards were listened to Tears glistened frequently in the eyes of those who were crowded around them.'

Our Author's notices of Spanish painting and music are, as might be expected, meagre and vague. He is not at home in the subject, nor had he time to collect the requisite information. He should not have ventured upon these topics, especially in his title-page.

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Art. VII. Memoirs of the Baron de Kolli, relative to his secret

Mission in 1810 for liberating Ferdinand VII. King of Spain, from
Captivity at Valencay. Written by Himself. To which are added,
Memoirs of the Queen of Etruria, Written by Herself. 8vo.
pp. 340. Price 10s. 6d. London. 1823.

Sieur de Kolli appears to have been one of the most

loyal, trusty, brave, and unlucky agents that were ever selected by a wise government for a secret and delicate mission. We find it hard to persuade ourselves, that the Marquess Wellesly placed any confidence in the discretion and adroitness of the individual to whom he entrusted the task of eluding and


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baffling the police of Bonaparte, and achieving the liberation of the royal prisoner. And yet, the Baron tells us, that he had been selected for the execution of this great enterprise, in preference to a colonel of indisputable merit,' we know not in what service, whose disinterestedness was not sufficiently • relied upon.' The deliverer of Ferdinand was expected to

Le a person guided neither by interest nor' ambition.' Thus far the preference was justified: the Baron seems to have been as pure and devoted a loyalist as ever risked his neck in the

a cause of Legitimacy. Having at different periods beéti employed in secret missions in France, Italy, and Germany, he had moreover given, he says, sufficient pledges of his fidelity and devotion to the cause of the Bourbons and of royalty, to prevent the English ministers from being afraid to entrust him with the plan they had conceived to liberate Ferdinand. We should have liked exceedingly to know the nature and issue of some of these secret missions ; but the Baron observes a tantalizing silence respecting the whole of his previous history up to this period of Nov. 1809. It was an ominous time; the English expedition was off Walcheren ; and the same wisdom which presided over that most disastrous of enterprises, seems to have guided the Cabinet in the execution of this notable scheme for liberating Ferdinand. It is stated, that the late Duke of Kent requested permission from the King to become the principal in this plan, but that his Majesty could not consent io it. If this be correct, it affords a fine instance of chivalrous spirit and magnanimity in that distinguished and lamented indivídual; but one feels no surprise that the monarch's paternal feeling and good sense should have concurred in dictating his decided refusal, or that his ministers should have been equally unwilling to incur the responsibility of accepting so rash, though spirited a proposal. His majesty, however, appears to have taken no slight interest in the project; and the Baron was entrusted with a letter from King George III. to Ferdinand VII. in Latin, and in French, a copy of which is given in the present volume. The success of the measure seems, indeed, to have been very confidently. anticipated. A squadron was appointed to act in cuncert with the Baron; Admiral Sir George Cockburn' was to have made • his descent on the coast at the moment of his catholic ma

jesty's arrival, and the king of Spain would then have been • at liberty.'

And he is now at liberty, this same Ferdinand, though neither Baron de Kolli nor the English ministry has the merit of letting him loose this time on his subjects! But at the period referred to, it is very doubtful whether the royal petticoat-embroiderer would have accepted of the proffered services of his heretical friends, and have co-operated in the plan for his deliverance. This the English ministers seem to have taken for granted, without, so far as appears, thinking it worth while to ascertain the inclinations of the ex-monarch; or else they trusted it to the Baron de Kolli's eloquence, to overrule alike his fears, his scruples, and his indolence. They had, however, exercised their foresight so far as to provide, if not for his escape, yet, for his reception.

• Every thing which was regarded as conducive to the comfort and convenience of the king, was put on board ; the admiral sent his own plate, his best wines, chests filled with linen and clothes, an excellent selection of books, astronomical instruments and valuable maps, consecrated plate and ornaments for Divine service, a catholic priest to officiate; in a word, every thing which it was thought, would please the princes whom it expected to carry back to Spain.'

All this was doubtless very considerate ; yet, the issue makes these details appear somewhat ridiculous. The Baron de Kolli had picked up a young man at Antwerp, whom, on the strength of his open and expressive features, he had admitted to his confidence in the capacity of his secretary. In this indiscreet and unknown youth, strange to say, our ministers seem to have reposed a measure of confidence which there appears nothing in the circumstances of his introduction to warrant. The Baron exculpates his secretary from having betrayed the cause of Ferdinand; but, whether he had played the traitor or not, to the full extent of deliberate perfidy, it is plain that he had blabbed. • Albert,' says the Writer, • had

committed more than one fault, and the police furnished me • with ocular demonstration of it.' From what other person, indeed, could the French police have obtained information as to De Kolli's secret interviews with lord Wellesley at Sir George Coekburn's ? On his examination before the minister of police, M. Desmarest informed the Baron, doubtless to his surprise and chagrin, of the arrest of several persons with whom he had been politically connected. He adds : · He gave a most • accurate account of my transactions in London, of my ar• rival in Quiberon, and of my slightest movements in France

up to the moment of my arrest. The Baron imputes the treachery, in the first instance, to a M. de Ferriet, whom he fell in with off the coast of Quiberon, and whom he says he suspected from the first, he does not know why ; his being a Frenchman, however, and pretending to be unfortunate, combated his suspicions, and so he contented himself with making him half a confidant and half an enemy. M. de Ferriet was to have been detained on board an English vessel for some


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time, and then to have been put on shore at a different point. But this was not done, and though the Baron was told that the police were on the look-out for two strangers who were expected to land, and Sir George Cockburn thought it might be more prudent to choose another point of the coast, our bero inflexibly persisted in adhering to his first orders. On his arrival at Paris, he contrived to make another worthy acquaintance in the Sieur Richard, whom,' he says very frankly, I was weak enough to believe a man of honour,

because his previous conduct had been honourable.' That is to say, be had served, or said he had, under the Prince de Talmont. To this man, whom there is some reason to suspect to have been a spy of the police, he disclosed so much of his project as led to the supposition that it involved an attempt on the life of Bonaparte. At length, the day before the Baron intended to set out for Valençay, when, all confidence and security, he had just given the faithful Richard 2700 francs to make some purchases in Paris, a knocking was heard at the

. door, and on its being opened, eleyen armed emissaries of the police entered, and took them both into custody. De Kolli, on being asked who he was, immediately confessed the nature of ; his mission; as uperfluous disclosure, as it afterwards appeared, and, under the circumstances, a very indiscreet one. It is easy to perceive that the Baron was proud of his commission, and that vanity had some share in inducing him to repeat his answer aloud. The trusty Secretary contrived to be out of the way, informed, there can be little doubt, of the intended visit; for he does not appear to have been molested.", De Kolli in his first examination was led, he distinctly admits, without per- :

ceiving it, to answer questions he had previously determined to evade completely. The method of interrogation, he complains, jumbled all his ideas. Once, however, he sufficiently regained his self-possession, to give a directly, false answer, in a matter, it seems to us, not worth the poor stratagem of a lie. It was subsequently proposed to him by Fouché, still to complete his mission to Ferdinand, under the sanction of the French police, that they might know whether the King had any wish to make his escape.

• I should have an opportunity of seeing the prince, and hearing from his own mouth an admission or a disavowal, of the interest which the King of England expressed to him in his letter ; and if, in spite of the reasons which led them to imagine one rather than the other, the prince consented to seize the opportunity of escaping, in that case only slight impediments would be thrown in the way of his fight; and that then would be the time to avail myself of the funds placed to his credit.


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This insidious proposal the Baron rejects with high-minded indignation; upon which he is taken back to the Donjon of Vincennes, and the Sieur Richard consents to go as his counterfeit. The sequel may be given in the words of Bonaparte, as reported by Mr. O'Meara." The subject of Baron Kolli and Ferdinand being one day introduced,

• Kolli,' said he,' was discovered by the police, by his always drinking a bottle of the best wine, which so ill corresponded with his dress and apparent poverty, that it excited a suspicion among some of the spies, and he was arrested, searched, and his papers taken from him. A police agent was then dressed up, instructed to represent Kolli, and sent with the papers taken from him to Ferdinand, who, however, would not attempt to effect his escape, although he had no suspicion of the deceit passed upon him.'

The reception which the pseudo-Baron met with is thus described by M. de Berthemy, the governor of Valençay.

• Richard having been introduced into the castle, placed himself in a gallery which led to the royal apartments. Deceived by a guilty conscience, Richard saw the Infant Don Antonio coming out : he imagined that prince was the king, and shewed him some trifles. His royal highness examined them, and put some questions to him, about turnery work, listened with indulgence to his upconnected gossip, and perceiving an extraordinary confusion in the man, endeavoured to read through his dull countenance. His royal highness was about to retire, when the pretended merchant declared himself an envoy from the British government to effect his majesty's Escape, and that he had letters of king George to deliver to his majesty...: His royal highness cast a significant look at him, withdrew without paying the least attention to what he said, and immediately informed the king of the circumstance. His majesty sent his usher shortly after to complain of this audacity, and requested me to dismiss the wretch.'

De Kolli was for four years imprisoned au secret at Vincennes; he was then transferred to Saumur, and the ominous order had been received for his being sent, under proper escort, with seven other state prisoners, to Fontainebleau, when the entry of the Allies into Paris occasioned his liberation. The narrative of his imprisonment, his escape and re-capture, and his subsequent adventures, is highly interesting, and forms the best apology for the publication. Its disclosures cartainly reflect no credit on the wisdom of his employers; but they place in à still stronger light, the unprincipled character of his persecutors, their meanness, shameless dishonesty, and sanguinary inclination.

We have no room left to notice the Memoirs of the Queen of Etruria. They were addressed by the royal Authoress, to

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