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he was reminded. On the other hand, he was informed, that, in consequence of his former denials, if he persisted in his refractory conduct, he should never more appear before any judge, but that the affairs of state, and the safety of his country, required that he should be privately dispatched in his gaol.” “So,” answered this virtuous and indignant warrior, “you will only spare my life, upon condition that I prove myself unworthy to live. As this is the case, my choice is made without hesitation: I am prepared to become your victim, but I will never be numbered among your accomplices. Call in your executioners; I am ready to die as I have lived, a man of honour and an irreproachable citizen.” Within twenty-four hours after this answer, Pichegru was no more.
That the Duke d'Enghein was not shot in the night of the 21st of March, 1804, in the wood, or in the ditch of the castle of Vincennes, is admitted even by government; but who really were his assassins is still unknown. Some assert that he was shot by the grenadiers of Buonaparte's Italian guard; others say, by a detachment of the gens d'armes d'Elite; and others again, that the men of both these corps refused to fire; and that general Murat, hearing the troops murmur, and fearing their mutiny, was himself the executioner of this young and innocent prince of the House of Bourbon, by riding up to him, and blowing out his brains with a pistol. Certain it is, that Murat was the first, and Louis Buonaparte the second in command on this dreadful occasion.
LETTER V. Paris, August, 1805. MY LORD, THANKS to Talleyrand's folitical emigration, our government has never been in ignorance of the characters and foibles
of the leading members among the emigrants in England. Otto, however, finished their picture, but added some new groups to
those delineated by his predecessor. It was according to his
plan that the expedition of Mehee de la Touche was undertaken, and it was in following his instructions that the campaign of this traitor succeeded so well in Great Britain. Under the ministry of Vergennes, of Montmorin, and of Delessart, Mehee had been employed as a spy in Russia, Sweden, and Poland, and acquitted himself perfectly to the satisfaction of his masters. By some accident or other, Delessart discovered, however, in December, 1791, that he had, while pocketing the money of the cabinet of Versailles, sold its secrets to the cabinet of St. Petersburgh. He, of course, was no longer trusted as a spy, and therefore turned a Jacobin, and announced himself to Brissot as a persecuted patriot. All the calumnies against this minister in Brissot's daily paper Le Patriot Francois, during January, February, and March, 1792, were the productions of Mehee's malicious heart and able pen. Even after they had sent Delessart a state prisoner to Orleans, his inveteracy continued, and in September the same year, he went to Versailles to enjoy the sight of the murder of his former master. Some go so far as to say, that the assassins were headed by this monster, who aggravated cruelty by insult, and informed the dying minister of * the hands that stabbed him, and to whom he was indebted for a premature death. - To these and other infamous and barbarous deeds, Talleyrand was not a stranger, when he made Mehee his secret agent, and entrusted him with the mission to England. He took, therefore, such steps, that neither his confidence could be betrayed, nor his money squandered. Mehee had instructions how to proceed in Great Britain, but he was ignorant of the object government had in view by his mission; and though large sums were promised, if successful, and if he gave satisfaction by his zeal and discretion; the money advanced him was a mere trifle, and barely sufficient to keep him from want. He was, therefore, really distressed when he fixed upon some necessitous and greedy emigrants for his instruments to play on the credulity of the English ministers, in some of their unguarded moments. Their generosity in forbearing to avenge upon the deluded French exiles, the slur attempted to be thrown upon their official capacity, and the ridicule intended to be cast on their private characters, has been much approved and admired here by all liberal minded
persons; but it has also much disappointed Buonaparte and Talleyrand, who expected to see these emigrants driven from the only asylum, which hospitality has not refused to their misfortunes and misery. Mehee had been promised, by Talleyrand, double the amount of the sums which he could swindle from your government; but though he did more mischief to your country than was expected in this; and though he proved, that he had pocketed upwards of ten thousand English guineas, the wages of his infamy, when he hinted about the recompense he expected here, Durant, Talleyrand's chef du bureaux, advised him, as a friend, o not to remind the minister of his presence in France, as Buona-. § parte never pardoned a Septembrizer, and the English guineas. he possessed might be claimed and seized, as national property, to compensate some of the sufferers by the unfirovoked war with England. In vain did he address himself to his fellow-labourer in revolutionary plots, the counsellor of state, Real, who had been the intermedium between him and Talleyrand, when he was first enlisted among the secret agents: instead of receiving money he heard threats; and therefore, with as good grace as he could, he made the best of his disappointment; he sported a carriage, kept a mistress, went to gambling houses, and is now in a fair way to be reduced to the statu quo before his brilliant exploits in great Britain. - Real, besides the place of a counsellor of state, occupies also. the office of a director of the internal police. Having some difference with my landlord, I was summoned to appear before. him at the prefecture of the police, My friend, M. de Sab–r, formerly a counsellor of the parliament at Rouen, happened to be with me when the summons was delivered, and offered to accompany me, being acquainted with Real, Though thirty persons were waiting in the anti-chamber at our arrival, no sooner, was my friend's name announced, than we were admitted, and I. obtained not only more justice than I expected, or dared to claim,. but an invitation to Madame Real's tea-party, the same evening. This justice and this politeness, surprised me, until, my friend, showed me an act of forgery, in his possession, committed by Real, in 1788, when an advocate of the parliament, and for which,
the humanity of my friend alone prevented him from being struck off the rolls, and otherwise punished. As I conceived my usual societies and coteries could not approve my attendance at the house of such a personage, I was intent upon sending an apology to Madame Real. My friend, however, assured me, that I should meet in her saloon persons of all classes and of all ranks ; and many I little expected to see associating together. I went late, and found the assembly very numerous: at the upper part of the hall were seated princesses Joseph and Louis Buonaparte, with Madame Fouche, Madame Roederer; the ci-devant Duchess de Fleury, and Marchioness de Clermont. They were conversing with M. Mathew de Montmorency; the contractor (a ci-devant lacquey) Collot; the ci-devant Duke Fitzjames, and the legislator Martin, a ci-devant porter: several groups in the several apartments were composed of a similar heterogeneous mixture of ci-devant valets; of ci-devant princesses, marchionesses, countesses and baronesses, and of cidevant chamber-maids, mistresses, and poissardes. Round a gambling table, by the side of the ci-devant Bishop of Autun, Talleyrand, sat Madame Hounguenin, whose husband, a ci-devant shoe-black, has, by the purchase of national property, made a fortune of nine millions of livres, 375,000l. Opposite them were seated the ci-devant Prince de Chalais, and the present Prince Cambaceres, with the ci-devant Countess de Beauvais, and Madame Fauve, the daughter of a fish-woman, and the wife of a tribune, a ci-devant barber. In another room the Bavarian minister Cetto was conferring with the spy Mehee de la Touche; but observed at a distance by Fouche's secretary, Desmarets, the son of a tailor at Fontainbleau and for years a known police spy.— When I was just going to retire, the handsome Madame Gillot, and her sister, Madame de Soubray, joined me. You have perhaps known them in England, where, before their marriage, they resided for five years with their parents, the Marquis and Marchioness de Courtin ; and were often admired by the loungers in Bond-street. The one married for money, Gillot, a ci-devant drummer in the French guards, but who, since the Revolution, has, as a general, made a large fortune; and the other united herself to a ci-devant Abbe, from love; but both are now
divorced from their husbands; who passed them without any notice while they were chatting with me. I was handing Madame Gillot to her carriage, when from the staircase, Madame de Soubray called to us not to quit her, as she was pursued by a man whom she detested and wished to avoid. We had hardly turned round, when Mehee offered her his arm ; and she exclaimed with indignation, “How dare you, infamous wretch, approach me, when I have forbid you ever to speak to me. Had you been reduced to become a highwayman or a house-breaker, I must have pitied your infamy ; but a spy is a villain who aggravates guilt by cowardice and baseness; and can inspire no noble soul with any other sentiment but abhorrence, and the most sovereign contempt.” Without ever being disconcerted, Mehee silently returned to the company, amidst bursts of laughter from fifty servants, and as many masters, waiting for their carriages. M. de Cetto was among the latter, but though we all fixed our eyes stedfastly upon him, no alteration could be seen upon his diplomatic countenance: his face must surely be made of brass, or his heart of marble.
THE day on which Madame Napoleone Buonaparte was elected an Empress of the French, by the constitutional authorities of her husband’s empire, was, contradictory as it may seem, one of the most uncomfortable in her life. After the show and ceremony of the audience and of the drawing-room were over, she passed it entirely in tears, in her library, where her husband shut her up and confined her. The discipline of the Court of St. Cloud is as singular as its composition is unique. It is, by the regulation of Napoleone, entirely military. From the . Empress to her lowest chambermaid, from the Emperor's first aide-de-camp down to his youngest page, any slight offence or negligence is punished with confinement, either private or public. In the former case, the cul