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which were found to have been entirely proposed and settled by Joseph ; who had been induced by his secretary and factotum (a creature of Talleyrand) to adopt sentiments, for which that minister had been paid, according to report, six hundred thousand livres, 25,000l. Several other tricks have in the same manner been played upon Joseph, who, notwithstanding, has the modesty to consider himself (much to the advantage and satisfaction of Talleyrand) the first statesman in Europe, and the good fortune to be thought so by his brother Napoleone. When a rupture with England was apprehended, in the spring of 1803, Talleyrand never signed a dispatch, that was not previously communicated to, and approved by, Joseph, before its contents were sanctioned by Napoleone. This precaution chiefly continued him in place, when Lord Whitworth left this capital, a departure that incensed Napoleone to such a degree, that he entirely forgot both the dignity of his rank amidst the generals, a becoming deportment to the members of the diplomatic corps, and his duty to his mother and brothers, who all, more or less, experienced the effects of his violent passions. He thus accosted Talleyrand, who purposely arrived late at his circle : “Well . the English ambassador is gone; and we must again go to war. Were my generals as great fools as some of my ministers, I should despair indeed of the issue of my contest with these insolent islanders. Many believe that had I been more ably supported in my cabinet, I should not have been under the necessity of taking the field, as a rupture might have been prevented.” “Such, Citizen First Consul " answered the trembling and bowing minister, “is not the opinion of the counsellor of state, citizen Joseph Buonaparte.” “Well, then,” said Napoleone, as recollecting himself, “England wishes for war, and she shall suffer for it—This shall be a war of extermination, depend upon it.” The name of Joseph alone moderated Napoleone's fury, and changed its object. It is with him what the harp of David was with Saul. Talleyrand knows it, and is no loser by that knowledge. I must, however, in justice say, that had Buonaparte followed his minister's advice, and suffered himself to be entirely guided by his counsel, all hostilities with England, at that time, might have been avoided ; her government would have been lulled into security by the cession of Malta and some commercial regulations, and her future conquest, during a time of peace, have been attempted upon plans duly organized, that might have ensured success. He never ceased to repeat, “Citizen First Consul some few years longer peace with Great Britain, and the Te Deums of modern Britons, for the conquest and possession of Malta, will be considered by their children as the funeral hymns of their liberty and independence.”
It was upon this memorable occasion, of Lord Whitworth's departure, that Buonaparte is known to have betrayed the most outrageous acts of passion; he rudely forced his mother from his closet, and forbade his own sisters to approach his person; he confined Madame Buonaparte for several hours to her chamber; he dismissed favourite generals; treated with ignominy members of his council of state; and towards his physician, secretaries, and principal attendants, he committed unbecoming and disgraceful marks of personal outrage. I have heard it affirmed, that though her husband, when shutting her up in her dressing-room, put the key in his pocket, Madame Napoleone found means to resent the ungallant behaviour of her spouse, with the assistance of Madame Remusat.
NO act of Buonaparte's government has occasioned so many, so opposite, and so violent debates, among the remnants of revolutionary factions, composing his senate and council of state, as the introduction and execution of the religious concordat signed with the Pope. Joseph was here again the ostensible negotiator, though he, on this as well as former occasions, concluded nothing that had not been prepared and digested by Talleyrand.
Buonaparte does not in general pay much attention to the opinions of others, when they do not agree with his own views and interests, or coincide with his plans of reform or innovation ; but having, in his public career, professed limself by turns an atheist and an infidel, the worshipper of Christ and of Mahomet, he could not decently silence those who, after deserting or denying the God of their forefathers, and of their youth, continued constant and firm in their apostacy. Of those who deliberated concerning the restoration or exclusion of Christianity, and the acceptance or rejection of the concordat, Fouche, Francois de Nantz, Roederer and Sieyes, were for the religion of nature; Volney, Real, Chaptal, Bourrienne, and Lucien Buonaparte, for atheism; and Portalis, Gregoire, Cambaceres, Le Brun, Talleyrand, Joseph and Napoleone Buonaparte, for Christianity. Besides the sentiments of these confidential counsellors, upwards of two hundred memoirs, sor or against the Christian religion, were presented to the First Consul, by uninvited and volunteer counseliors; all differing as much from each other as the members of his own privy council. Many persons do Madame Buonaparte, the mother, the honour of supposing that to her assiduous representations is principally owing the recal of the priests, and the restoration of the altars of Christ. She certainly is the most devout, or rather the mort superstitious, of her family, and of her name; but had not Talleyrand and Portalis previously convinced Napoleone of the policy of re-establishing a religion, which, for fourteen centuries, had preserved the throne of the Bourbons from the machinations of Republicans, and other conspirators against monarchy, it is very probable that her representations would have been as ineffective as her piety or her prayers. So long ago as 1796, she implored the mercy of Napoleone for the Roman Catholics in Italy; and entreated him to spare the Pope, and the papal territory, at the very time his soldiers were laying waste and ravaging the legacy of Bologna, and of Ravenna, both incorporated with his newformed Cisalpine Republic ; where one of his first acts of sovereignty, in the name of the then sovereign people, was, the confiscation of church lands, and the sale of the estates of the clergy. Of the prelates who with Joseph Buonaparte signed the concordat, the Cardinal Gonsalvi and the Bishop Bernier have, by their labours and intrigues, not a little contributed to the present church establishment in this country ; and to them Napoleone is much indebted for the intrusion of the Buonaparte dynasty among the houses of sovereign princes. The former, intended from his youth for the church, sees neither honour in this world, nor hopes for any blessing in the next, but exclusively from its bosom and its doctrine. With capacity to figure as a country curate, he occupies the post of the chief secretary of state to the Pope ; and though nearly of the same age, but of much weaker constitution than his sovereign, he was ambitious enough to demand Buonaparte's promise of succeeding to the papal see, and weak and wicked enough to wish and expect to survive a benefactor of a calmer mind and better health than himself. It was he who encouraged Buonapate to require the presence of Pius VIf... in France, and who persuaded this weak pontiff to undertake a journey that has caused so much scandal among the truly faithful ; and which, should ever Austria regain her former supremacy in Italy, will send the present Pope to end his days in a convent, and make the successors of St. Peter, what this apostle was himself, a bishop of Rome, and nothing more. Bernier was a curate in La Vendee before the revolution, and one of those priests who lighted the torch of civil war in that unfortunate country, under pretence of defending the throne of his King, and the altars of his God. He not only possessed great popularity among the lower classes, but acquired so far the confidence of the Vendean chiefs, that he was appointed one of the supreme and directing council of the Royalists and Chouans. Even so late as the summer of 1799, he continued not only unsuspected, but was trusted by the insurgents in the western departments. In the winter, however, of the same year, he had been gained over by Buonaparte's emissaries, and was seen at his levees in the Thuileries. It is stated that General Brune made him renounce his former principles, desert his former companions, and betray to the then First Consul of the French Republic the secrets of the friends of lawful monarchy, of the faithful subjects of Louis XVIII. His perfidy has been rewarded with one hundred and fifty thousand livres in ready money, with the see of Orleans, and with the promise of a cardinal’s hat. He has also, with the Cardinals Gonsalvi, Caprara, Fesch, Cambaceres, and Mauri, Buonaparte's promise, and, of course, the expectation of the Roman tiara. He was one of the prelates who officiated at the late coronation, and is now confided in as a person who has too far committed himself with his legitimate prince, and whose past treachery, therefore, answers for his 1 uture fidelity. This religious concordat, of the 10th of September, 1801, as well as all other constitutional codes emanating from revolutionary authorities, proscribes even in protecting. The professors and protectors of the religion of universal peace, benevolence and forgiveness, banish, in this concordat, from France, for ever, the Cardinals Rohan and Montmorency, and the Bishop of Arras ; whose dutiful attachment to their unfortunate prince would, in better times, and in a more just and generous nation, have been recompensed with distinctions, and honoured even by magnanimous foes. When Madame Napoleone was informed by her husband of the necessity of choosing her almoner and chaplain, and of attending regularly the mass, she first fell a laughing, taking it merely for a joke: the serious and severe looks, and the harsh and threatening expressions, of the First Consul, soon, however, convinced her how much she was mistaken. To evince her repentance, she, on the very next day, attended her motherin-law to church, who was highly edified by the sudden and religious turn of her daughter, and did not fail to ascribe to the efficacious interference of one of her favourite saints this conversion of a profane sinner. But Napoleone was not the dupe of this church-going mummery of his wife, whom he ordered his spies to watch ; these were unfortunate enough to discover, that she went to the mass more to fulfil her appointments with her lovers than to pray to her Saviour; and that even by the side of her mother she read billets-dour and love-letters, when that pious lady supposed that she read her prayers, because her eyes were fixed
upon her breviary. Without relating to any one this discovery
of his Josephine's frailties, Napoleone, after a violent connubial fracas and reprimand, and after a solitary confinement of her for six days, gave immediate orders to bave the chapels of the Thuileries and of St. Cloud repaired; and, until these were ready, Cardinal Cambaceres and loor, is r, by turns, said the mass in her private apartments, where none but selected favourites or favoured