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courtiers were admitted. Madame Napoleone now never neglects the mass, but, if not accompanied by her husband, is escorted by a guard of honour, among whom she knows that he has several agents watching her motions, and her very looks. In the month of June, 1803, I dined with Viscount de Segur; and Joseph and Lucien Buonaparte were among the guests. The latter jocosely remarked with what facility the French christians suffered themselves to be hunted in and out of their temples, according to the fanaticism or policy of their rulers; which he adduced as a proof of the great progress of philosophy and toleration in France. A young officer of the party, Jacquemont, a relation of the former husband of the present Madame Lucien, observed, that he thought it rather an evidence of the indifference of the French people to all religion; the consequence of the great havoc the tenets of infidelity and of atheism had made among the flocks of the faithful. This was again denied by Buonaparte's aide-de-camp, Savary, who observed, that had this been the case, the First Consul (who certainly was as well acquainted with the religious shirit of Frenchmen as any body else) would not have taken the trouble to conclude a religious concordat, nor have been at the expense of providing for the clergy. To this assertion Buonaparte nodded assent. When the dinner was over, de Segur took me to a window, expressing his uneasiness at what he called the imprudence of Jacquemont, who, he apprehended, from Joseph's silence and manner, would not escape punishment, for having indirectly blamed both the restorer of religion and his plenipotentiary. These apprehensions were justified : on the next day Jacquemont received orders to join the colonial depot at Havre; but refusing to obey, by giving in his resignation as a captain, he was arrested, shut up in the Temple, and afterwards transported to Cayenne or Madagascar. His relatives and friends are still ignorant whether he is dead or alive, and what is or has been his place of exile. To a petition presented by Jacquemont's sister, Madame de Veaux, Joseph answered, *that he never interfered with the acts of the haute police of his brother Napoleone’s government, being well convinced both of its justice and moderation.” -
o LETTER IV.
Paris, Mugust, 1805.
THAT Buonaparte had, as far back as February, 1803, (when the king of Prussia proposed to Louis XVIII. the formal renunciation of his heriditary rights in favour of the First Consul) determined to assume the rank and title, with the power, of a sovereign, nobody can doubt. Had it not been for the war with England, he would, in the spring of that year, or twelve months earlier, have proclaimed himself emperor of the French, and probably would have been acknowledged as such by all other princes. To a man so vain and so impatient, so accustomed to command and to intimidate, this suspension of his favourite plan was a considerable disappointment, and not a little increased his bitter and irreconcilable hatred of Great Britain.
Here, as well as in foreign countries, the multitude pay homage only to Napoleone’s uninterrupted prosperity ; without penetrating or considering whether it be the consequence of chance or of well-digested plans; whether he owes his successes to his own merit, or to a blind fortune. He asserted, in his speech to the constitutional authorities, immediately after hostilities had been commenced with England, that the war would be of short duration, and he firmly believed what he said. Had he by his gun-boats, or by his intrigues or threats, been enabled to extort a second edition of the peace of Amiens, after a warfare of some few months, all mouths would have been ready to exclaim, Oh the illustrious warriors Oh the profound politician! Now, after three ineffectual campaigns on the coast, when the extravagance and ambition of our government have extended the contagion of war over the continent; when both our direct offers of
peace and the negotiations and mediations of our allies have
been declined by, or proved unavailing with, the cabinet of St. James, the inconsistency, the ignorance, and the littleness of the fortunate great man seem to be not more remembered than the outrages and encroachments that have provoked Austria and Russia to take the field. Should he continue victorious, and be in a position to dictate another peace of Luneville, which probably will be followed by another pacific overture to or from England, mankind will again be ready to call out, “Oh the illustrious warrior: Oh the profound politician he foresaw, in his wisdom; that a continental war was necessary to terrify or to subdue his maritime foe; that a peace with England could only be obtained in Germany; and that this war must be excited by extending the power of France on the other side of the Alps.Hence his coronation as king of Italy; hence his incorporation of Parma and Genoa with France; and hence his donation of Piombino and Lucca to his brother-in-law, Bacchiochi !” Nowhere in history have I read of men of sense being so easily led astray, as in our times, by confounding fortuitous events with consequences resulting from preconcerted plans and well organized designs. Only rogues can disseminate, and fools believe, that the "disgrace of Moreau, and the execution of the Duke d'Enghein, of Pichegru and Georges, were necessary as footsteps to Buonaparte's imperial throne ; and that, without the treachery of Mehee de la Touche, and the conspiracy he pretended to have discovered, France would still have been ruled by a First Consul. It is indeed true, that this plot is to be counted (as the imbecility of Melas, which lost the battle of Marengo) among those accidents presenting themselves a-propos to serve the favourite of fortune in his ambitious views; but without it he would equally have been hailed an emperor of the French in May, 1804. When he came from the coast, in the preceding winter, and was convinced of the impossibility of making any impression on the British islands with his flotilla, he convoked his confidential senators, who then, with Talleyrand, settled the Senatus Consultum, which appeared five months afterwards. Mehee's correspondence with Mr. Drake was then known to him ; but he and the minister of police were both unacquainted with the residence and arrival of Pichegru and Georges in France, and of their connexion with Moreau; the particulars of which were first disclosed to them in the February following, when Buonaparte. had been absent from his army of England six weeks. The assumption of the imperial dignity procured him another decent.
opportunity of offering his olive-branch to those who had caused his laurels to wither, and by whom, notwithstanding his abuse, calumnies and menaces, he would have been more proud to be saluted Emperor, than by all other nations upon the continent. His vanity, interest, and policy, all required this last degree of supremacy and elevation at that period. Buonaparte had so well penetrated the weak side of Moreau's character, that, although he could not avoid doing justice to this general's military talents and exploits, he neither esteemed him as a citizen, nor dreaded him as a rival. Moreau possessed great popularity; but so did Dumourier and Pichegru before him ; and yet neither of them had found adherents enough to shake those republican governments with which they avowed themselves openly discontented, and against which they secretly plotted. I heard Talleyrand say, at Madame de Montlausier's, in the presence of fifty persons: “ Napoleone Buonaparte had never any thing to apprehend from General Moreau, and from his popularity, even at the head of an army. Dumourier too was at the head of an army, when he revolted against the National Convention; but had he not saved himself by flight, his own troops would have delivered him up to be punished as a traitor. Moreau, and his flofularity, could only be dangerous to the Buonafiarte dynasty, were he to survive Mafioleone; had not this Emficror wisely averted this danger.” From this official declaration of Napoleone's confidential minister in a society of known anti-imperialists, I draw the conclusion, that Moreau will never more, during the present reign, return to France. How very feeble, and how badly advised must this general have been, when, after his condemnation to two years imprisonment, he accepted of a perpetual exile; and renounccd all hopes of ever again entering his own country. In the Temple, or in any other prison, if he had submitted to the sentence pronounced against him, he would have caused Buonaparte more uneasiness than when at liberty; and been more a point to rally his adherents and friends, than when at his palace of Grosbois ; because compassion and pity must have invigorated and sharpened their feelings. If report be true, however, he did not voluntarily exchange imprisonment for exile; racks were shown him ; and by the
act of banishment was placed a poisonous draught. This report gains considerable credit, when it is remembered, that immediately after his condemnation, Moreau furnished his apartments in the Temple in a handsome manner, so as to be lodged well, if not comfortably, with his wife and child, whom, it is said, he was not permitted to see, before he had accepted of Buonaparte's proposal of transportation. It may be objected to this supposition, that the man in power, who did not care about the barefaced murder of the Duke d'Enghein, and the secret destruction of Pichegru, could neither much hesitate, nor be very conscientious, about adding Moreau to the number of his victims. True, but the assassin in authority is also generally a politician. The untimely end of the Duke d'Enghein and of Pichegru was certainly lamented and deplored by the great majority of the French people; but though they Thad many who pitied their fate, but few had any relative interest to avenge it; whilst in the assassination of Moreau, every gene
ral, every officer, and every soldier of his former army, might
have read the destiny reserved for himself by that chieftain, who did not conceal his preference of those who had fought under him in Italy and Egypt; and his mistrust and jealousy of those who had vanquished under Moreau in Germany; numbers of whom had already perished at St. Domingo, or in the other colonies, or were dispersed in separate and distant garrisons of the mother country. It has been calculated, that of eighty-four generals, who made, under Moreau, the campaign of 1800, and who survived the peace of Luneville, sixteen had been killed or died at St. Domingo, four at Guadaloupe, ten in Cayenne, nine at the Isle de France, and eleven at l'Isle Reunion, and in Madagascar. The mortality among the officers and men has been in propor-tion. An anecdote is related of Pichegru, which does honour to the memory of that unfortunate general. Fouche paid him a visit in prison the day before his death, and offered him “Buonaparte's. commission as a field marshal, and a diploma as a grand officer of the Legion of Honour, provided he would turn informer a-gainst Moreau, of whose treachery against himself, in 1797; c 2