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William II. refused him admittance to his person, and after some
ineffectual intrigues with the illuminati and fihilosofthers at Ber-
lin, he returned to Paris as he left it; provided, however, with
materials for another libel on the Prussian monarch, and on the
House of Brandenburgh, which he printed in 1796. Ruined by
the Revolution which he had so much admired, he was impri-
soned under Robespierre, and was near starving under the Direc-
tory, having nothing but his literary productions to subsist on. In
1799, Buonaparte made him a legislator, and in 1803, a counsel-
lor of state; aplace which he resigned last year, for that of a grand
master of the ceremonies at the present Imperial court. His an-
cient inveteracy against your country has made him a favourite
with Buonaparte. The indelicate and scandalous attacks in 796
and 1797, against Lord Malmesbury, in the then official journal,
le Redacteur, were the offspring of his malignity and pen; and
the philippics and abusive notes in our present official Moniteur,
against your government and country, are frequently his fatriotic
progeny, or rather, he often shares with Talleyrand and Hau-
terive their paternity.
The Revolution has not made Count de Segur more happy
with regard to his family, than in his circumstances, which, not-
withstanding his brilliant grand mastership, are far from being
affluent. His amiable wife died of terror, and broken-hearted,
from the sufferings she had experienced, and the atrocities she
had witnessed; and when he had enticed his eldest son to ac-
cept the place of a sub-prefect under Buonaparte, his youngest
son, who never approved our present regeneration, challenged
his brother to fight, and after killing him in a duel, destroyed
himself. Count de Segur is therefore at present either a hus-
band nor a father, but only a grand master of ceremonies : What
an indemnification |
Madame Napoleone, and her husband, are both certainly under
much obligation to this nobleman, for his care to procure them
comparatively decent persons to decorate their levees and draw-
ing-rooms; who, though they have no claim either to morality
or virtue, either to honour or chastity, are undoubtedly a great
acquisition at the Court of St. Cloud, because none of them has
either been accused of murder, or convicted of plunder ; which
is the case with some of the ministers, and most of the gene-

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rals, senators, and counsellors. It is true, that they are a mixture of beggared nobles, and enriched valets; of married courtesans and divorced wives; but, for all that, they can with justice demand the places of honour of all other Imperial courtiers of both sexes. When Buonaparte had read over the names of these court recruits, engaged and enlisted by de Segur, he said, “Well, this lumber must do until we can exchange it for better furniture.” At that time, young Count d’Arberg (of a German family, on the right bank of the Rhine) but whose mother is one of Madame Buonaparte's maids of honour, was travelling for him in Germany, and in Prussia, where, among other negotiations, he was charged to procure some persons of both sexes, of the most ancient nobility, to augment Napoleone's suite, and to figure in his livery. More individuals presented themselves for this honour than he wanted, but they were all without education, and without address; ignorant of the world as of books; not speaking well their own language, much less understanding French or Italian; vain of their birth, but not ashamed of their ignorance, and as proud as poor. This project was therefore relinquished for the present; but a number of the children of the principal ci-devant German nobles, who, by the treaty of Luneville and Ratisbon, had become subjects of Buonaparte, were, by the advice of Talleyrand, offered places in French Prytanees, where the Emperor promised to take care of their future advancement. Madame Buonaparte, at the same time, selected twenty-five young girls of the same families, whom she also offered to educate at her expense. Their parents understood too well the meaning of these generous offers, to dare decline their acceptance. These children are the plants of the Imperial nursery, intended to produce future pages, chamberlains, equerries, maids of honour, and ladies in waiting, who, for ancestry, may bid defiance to all their equals of every court in christendom. This act of benevolence, as it was called in some German papers, is also an indirect chastisement of the refractory French nobility, who either demanded too high prices for their degradation, or abruptly refused to disgrace the names of their forefathers.

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LETTER XII.
Paris, August, 1805.
MY LORD,

BUONAPARTE has been as profuse in his disposal of the Imperial diadem of Germany, as in his promises of the papal tiara of Rome. The Houses of Austria and Brandenburgh, the Electors of Bavaria and Baden, have, by turns, been cajoled into a belief of his exclusive support towards obtaining it at the first vacancy. Those, however, who have paid attention to his machinations, and studied his actions; who remember his pedantic affectation of being considered a modern, or rather a second Charlemagne ; and who have traced his steps through the labyrinth of folly and wickedness, of meanness and greatness, of art, corruption and policy, which have seated him on his present throne, can entertain little doubt, but that he is seriously bent on seizing and adding the sceptre of Germany to the crowns of France and Italy. During his stay last autumn at Mentz, all those German Electors, who had spirit and dignity enough to refuse to attend on him there in person, were obliged to send extraordinary ambassadors to wait on him, and to compliment him on their part. Though hardly one corner of the veil that covered the intrigues going forward there is yet lifted up, enough is already seen to warn Europe and alarm the world. The secret treaties he concluded there with most of the petty Princes of Germany, against the Chief of the German empire, (which not only entirely detached them from their country and its legitimate Sovereign, but made their individual interests hostile, and totally opposite to that of the German commonwealth, transforming them also from independent princes into vassals of France) both directly increased his already gigantic power, and indirectly encouraged him to extend it beyond what his most sanguine expectations had induced him to hope. I do not make this assertion from a mere supposition in consequence of ulterior occurrences. At a supper with Madame Talleyrand last March, I heard her husband, in a gay, unguarded, or perhaps firemeditated moment, say, when mentioning his proposed journey to Italy, “I prepared myself to pass the Alps last October at Mentz, The first ground-stone of the throne of Italy was, strange as it may seem, laid on the banks of the Rhine: with such an extensive foundation, it must be difficult to shake, and impossible to overturn it.” We were in the whole twenty-five persons at table when he spoke thus, many of whom, he well knew, were intimately acquainted both with the Austrian and Prussian ambassadors, who, by the bye, both on the next day sent couriers to their respective courts. The French Revolution is neither seen in Germany in that dangerous light which might naturally be expected from the sufferings in which it has involved both princes and subjects, nor are its future effects dreaded from its past enormities. The cause of this impolitic and anti-patriotic apathy is to be looked for in the palaces of Sovereigns, and not in the dwellings of their people. There exists hardly a single German Prince, whose ministers, courtiers and counsellors are not numbered, and have long been notorious among the anti-social conspirators, the illuminati: most of them are knaves of abilities, who had usurped the easy direction of ignorance, or forced themselves as guides on weakness or folly, which bow to their charlatanism, as if it was sublimity, and hail their sophistry and imposture as inspira" tion. *: Among princes, thus encompassed, the Elector of Bavaria must be allowed a first place. A younger brother of a younger branch, and a colonel in the service of Louis XVI. he neither acquired by education nor inherited from nature, any talent to reign, nor possessed any one quality that fitted him for a higher situation than the head of a regiment, or a lady’s drawing-room. He made himself justly suspected of moral corruption, as well as of a natural incapacity, when he announced his approbation of the Revolution against his benefactor, the late King of France, who, besides a regiment, had also given him a yearly pension of one hundred thousand livres, 4000l. Immediately after his unexpected accession to the Electorate of Bavaria, he concluded a subsidiary treaty with your country, and his troops were ordered to combat rebellion, under the standard of Austrian loyalty. For some months it was believed that the Elector wished, by his conduct, to obliterate the memory of the errors, vices, and principles of the Duke of Deux Ponts (his former title). But placing all his confidence in a political adventurer and revolutionary fanatic, Montgelas, without either consistency or firmness, without being either bent upon information, or anxious about popularity, he threw the whole burthen of state on the shoulders of this dangerous man, who soon showed the world that his master, by his first treaties, intended only to pocket your money, without serving your cause or interest. This Montgelas is, on account of his cunning and long standing among them, worshipped by the gang of German illuminati as an idol, rather than revered as an apostle. He is their Baal, before whom they hope to oblige all nations upon earth to prostrate themselves, as soon as infidelity has entirely banished Christianity; for the illuminati do not expect to reign till the last Christian is buried under the rubbish of the last altar of Christ. It is not the fault of Montgelas, if such an event has not already occurred in the electorate of Bavaria. Within six months after the treaty of Luneville, Montgelas began in that country his political and religious innovations. The nobility and the clergy were equally attacked; the privileges of the former were invaded, and the property of the latter confiscated; and had not his zeal carried him too far, so as to alarm our new nobles, our new men of property, and new Christians, it is very probable that atheism would have already, without opposition, reared its head in the midst of Germany, and proclaimed there the rights of man, and the code of liberty and equality. The inhabitants of Bavaria are, as you know, all Roman Catholics, and the most superstitious and ignorant Catholics of Germany. The step is but short from superstition to infidelity ; and ignorance has furnished in France more sectaries of atheism than perversity. The illuminati, brothers and friends of Montgelas, have not been idle in that country. Their writings have perverted those who had no opportunity to hear their speeches, or to witness their example; and I am assured by Count de Buest, who travelled in Bavaria last year, that their progress among the lower classes is astonishing, considering the short period these emissaries have laboured. To any one looking on the map of the continent, and acquainted with the spirit of our times, this impious focus of illumination must be ominous. Among the members of the foreign diplomatic corps, there exists not the least doubt but that this Montgelas, as well as Buona

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