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monds, stars, and other trinkets, as evidences of his Majesty's satisfaction with their behaviour, presence, and performances. These troops were under the command of Buonaparte's fieldmarshal, Jourdan, a general often mentioned in the military annals of our revolutionary war. During the latter part of the American war, he served under general Rochambeau, as a common soldier, and obtained in 1783, after the peace, his discharge. He then turned pedlar, in which situation the revolution found him. He had also married for her fortune, a lame daughter of a tailor, who brought him a fortune of two thousand livres, (84l.) from whom he has since been divorced, leaving her to shift for herself as she can, in a small milliner's shop at Limoges, where her husband was born in 1763. Jourdan was among the first members and pillars of the Jacobin club, organized in his native town, which procured him rapid promotion in the national guards, of whom, in 1792, he was already a colonel. His known love of liberty and equality induced the committee of Public Safety in 1793, to appoint him to the ehief command of the armies of Ardennes and of the North, instead of Lamarche and Houchard. On the 17th of October, the same year, he gained the victory of Wattignies, which obliged the united forces of Austria, Prussia, and Germany, to raise the siege of Maubege. The jealous republican government, in reward, deposed him, and appointed Pichegru his successor, which was the origin of that enmity and malignity, with which Jourdan pursued this unfortunate general, even to his grave. He never forgave Pichegru the acceptance of a command, which he could not decline without risking his life ; and when he should have avenged his disgrace on the real causes of it, he chose to resent it on him, who, like himself, was merely an instrument, or a slave in the hands, and under the whip of a tyrannical power. After the imprisonment of general Hoche, in March 1794, Jourdan succeeded him as chief of the army of the Moselle. In June he joined, with thirty thousand men, the right wing of the army of the North, forming a new one under the name of the army of the Sambre and Meuse. On the 16th of the same month he gained a complete victory over the prince of Cobourg, who tried to raise the siege of Charleroy. This battle, which was fought near Trasegnies, is nevertheless commonly called the battle of Fluries. After Charlercy had surrendered on the 25th, Jourdan and his army were ordered to act under the direction of General Pichegru, who had drawn the plan of that brilliant campaign. Always envious of this general, Jourdan did every thing to retard his progress; and at last intrigued so well that the army of the Sambre and the Meuse was separated from that of the North, With the former of these armies, Jourdan pursued the retreating confederates, and after driving them from different stands and positions, he repulsed them to the banks of the Rhine, which river they were obliged to pass. Here ended his successes this year; successes that were not obtained without great loss on our side. Jourdan began the campaigns of 1795 and 1796 with equal brilliancy, and ended them with equal disgrace. After penetrating into Germany with troops as numerous as well disciplined, he was defeated at the end of them by the Archduke Charles, and retreated always with such precipitation, and in such consusion, that it looked more like the flight of a disorderly rabble than the retreat of regular troops; and had not Moreau, in 1796, kept the enemy in awe, few of Jourdan's officers or men would again have seen France; for the inhabitanis of Franconia rose on these marauders, and cut them to pieces, wherever they could surprise or way-lay them. In 1797, as a member of the council of Five Hundred, he headed the Jacobin faction, against the moderate party, of which Pichegru was a chief ; and he had the cowardly vengeance of base rivalry, to pride himself upon having procured the transportation of that patriotic general to Cayenne. In 1799, he again assumed the command of the army of Alsace and of Switzerland; but he crossed the Rhine and penetrated into Suabia, only to be again routed by the Archduke Charles, and to repass this river in disorder. Under the necessity of resigning as a general in chief, he returned to the council of Five Hundred, more violent than ever, and provoked there the most oppressive measures against his fellow-citizens. Previous to the revolution effected by Buonaparte in November that year, he had entered with Garreau and Santerre into a conspiracy, the object of which was to
restore the reign of terror, and to prevent which Buonaparte said he made those changes which placed him at the head of government. It was even printed in the papers of that period, which Buonaparte on the 10th of November addressed to the then deputy of Mayenne, Prevost: “If the plot entered into by Jourdan and others, and of which they have not blushed to propose to me the execution, had not been defeated, they would have surrounded the place of your sitting, and, to crush all future opposition, ordered a number of deputies to be massacred. That done, they were to establish the sanguinary despotism of the reign of terror.” But whether such was Jourdan's project, or whether it was merely given out to be such by the consular faction, to extenuate their own usurpation, he certainly had connected himself with the most guilty and contemptible of the former terrorists, and drew upon himself by such conduct, the hatred and blame even of those whose opinion had long been suspended on his account. General Jourdan was among those terrorists, whom the consular government condemned to transportation; but after several interviews with Buonaparte, he was not only pardoned, but made a counsellor of state of the military section ; and afterwards, in 1801, an administrator-general of Piedmont, where he was replaced by general Menou in 1803, being himself entrusted with the command in Italy. This place he has preserved until last month, when he was ordered to resign to Massena, with whom he had a quarrel, and would have sought him in a duel, had not the viceroy Eugenius de Beauharnois put him under arrest and ordered him back hither, where he is daily expected. If Massena's report to Buonaparte be true, the army of Italy was very far from being as orderly and numerous as Jourdan's assertions would have induced us to believe. But this accusation of a rival must be listened to with caution; because should Massena meet with a repulse, he will no doubt make use of it as an apology ; and should he be victorious, hold it out as a claim for more honour and praise. The same doubts which still continue of Jourdan's political opinions remain also with regard to his military capacity. But the unanimous declaration of those who have served under his orders as a general must silence both his blind admirers and unjust slanderers. They all allow him some military ability: he combines and prepares in the cabinet a plan of defence and at: tack with method and intelligence; but he does not possess the quick cous-d’ail, and that promptitude which perceives, and rectifies accordingly, an error on the field of battle. If on the day of action some accident or some manoeuvre occurs which was not foreseen by him, his dull and heavy genius does not enable him to alter instantly his dispositions, or to remedy errors, misfortunes, or improvidence. This kind of talent, and this kind of absence of talent, explain equally the causes of his advantages, as well as the origin of his frequent disasters. Nobody denies him courage, but, with most of our other republican generals, he has never been careful of the lives of the troops under him. I have heard an officer of superior talents and rank assert, in the presence of Carnot, that the number of wounded and killed under Jourdan, when victorious, frequently surpassed the number of enemies he had defeated. I fear it is too true that we are as much, if not more, indebted for our successes to the superior number as to the superior valour of our troops. Jourdan is, with regard to fortune, one of our poorest republican generals, who have headed armies. He has not, during all his campaigns, collected a capital of more than eight millions of livres, (333,000l.) a mere trifle compared to the fifty millions of Massena, the sixty millions of Le Clerc, the forty millions of Murat, and the thirty-six millions of Angereau ; not to mention the hundred millions of Buonaparte. It is also true that Jourdan is a gambler and a debauchee, fond of cards, dice, and women ; and that in Italy, except two hours in twenty-four allotted to business, he passed the remainder of his time either at the gambling-tables, or in the boudoirs of his seraglio–I say seraglio, because he kept in the extensive house joining his palace, as governor and commander, ten women; three French, three Italian, two German, and two Irish or English girls. He supported them all in style; but they were his slaves, and he was their sultan, whose official mutes (his aides-de-camp) both watched them, and, if necessary, chastised them.
LETTER XXXVII. Paris, Señtember, 1805. My Lord, I CAN truly defy the world to produce a corps of such a heteTogeneous composition as our Conservative Senate, when I except the members composing Buonaparte's Legion of Honour. Some of our senators have been tailors, apothecaries, merchants, chymists, quacks, physicians, barbers, bankers, soldiers, druminers, dukes, shopkeepers, mountebanks, abbes, generals, savans, friars, ambassadors, counsellors, or presidents of parliament,
admirals, barristers, bishops, sailors, attorneys, authors, barons,
spies, painters, professors, ministers, sans-culottes, atheists, stonemasons, robbers, mathematicians, philosophers, regicides, and a long et cetera. Any person reading through the official list of the members of the senate, and who is acquainted with their former situations in life, may be convinced of its truth. Should he even be ignorant of them, let him but inquire, with the list in his hand, in any of our fashionable or political circles, he will meet with but few persons who are not able or willing to remove his doubts, or to gratify his curiosity. There are not many of them whom it is possible to elevate, but those are still more numerous whom it is impossible to degrade. Their past lives, vices, errors or crimes, have settled their characters and reputation; and they must live and die in statu quo, either as fools, or as knaves, and perhaps, as both. I do not mean to say that they are all criminals, or all equally criminal, if insurrection against lawful authority, and obedience to usurped tyranny, are not to be considered as crimes; but there are few indeed who can lay their hands on their bosoms, and say, vitam refendere vero. Some of them, as a Lagrange, Berthollet, Chaptal, La Place, Francois de Neuf Chateau, Tronchet, Monge, Lacepede, and Bougainville, are certainly men of talents; but others, as a Porcher, Resnier, Vímar, Auber, Pere, Sers, Vernier, Vien, Villetard, Tascher, Rigal, Bachiocchi, Bevier, Beauharnois, de Luynes (a ci-devant duke, known under the name of Le Gros Cochon) nature never destined but to figure among those half idiots and half imbeciles, who are, as it were,
intermedial between the brute and human creation,