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is a much older and more experienced traveller than myself, I
asked him which, of all the countries he had visited, could boast
the prettiest and kindest women. His reply was really very in-
structive, and it would be a great pity if justice were not done to
his merit by its publicity.” Here the Baron, red as a turkey.
cock, and trembling with anger, interrupted—“. His Excellence,”
said he, “is to-night in a humour to joke; what he spoke of
had nothing to do with, women.” “Nor with men, neither,” re-
torted Talleyrand, going away. This anecdote Baron 1)ahlberg,
the minister of the Elector of Baden to our court, had the frank-
ness to relate at Madame Chapui’s, as an evidence of Edel-
sheim’s intimacy with Talleyrand; he only left out the latter part,
and forgot to mention the bad grace with which this impertinence
of Talleyrand was received; but this defect of memory Count
de Beust, the envoy of the Elector Arch-Chancellor, kindly sup-
plied. - - - -
Baron Edelsheim is a great amateur of knighthoods. On
days of great festivities his face is as it were illuminated with the
lustre of his stars; and the crosses on his coat conceal almost its
original colour. Every petty Prince of Germany has dubbed him
a chevalier; but Emperors and Kings have not been so unani-
mous in distinguishing his desert, or in satisfying his desires.
At Mentz, no prince or minister fawned more assiduously upon
Buonaparte, than this hero of chivalry. It could not escape no-
tice, but need not have alarmed our great man, as was the
case. The prefect of the palace was ordered to give authentic in-
formation concerning Edelsheim’s moral and folitical character.
He applied to the police commissary, who, within twenty hours,
signed a declaration, aflirming that Edelsheim was the most inof-
sensive and least dangerous of all imbecile creatures that ever en-
tered the cabinet of a Prince; that he had never drawn a sword,
worn a dagger, or fired a pistol in his life; that the inquiries a-
bout his real character were sneered at in every part of the Elec-
torate; as nowhere they allowed him common sense, much less
a character; all blamed his presumption, but none defended his
capacity. -
After the perusal of this report, Buonaparte asked Talleyrand,
“What can Edelsheim méan by his troublesome assiduities? does
he want any indemnities, or does he wish me to make him a
H -

German Prince? Can he have the impudence to hope that I should appoint him a tribune, a legislator, or a senator in France, or that I would give him a place in my council of state * “ No such thing,” answered the minister; “ did not your majesty condescend to notice, at the last fete, that this eclipsed moon was encompassed in a firmament of stars. You would, Sire, make him the happiest of mortals, were you to nominate him a member of your Legion of Honour.” “Does he want nothing else?” said Napoleone, as if relieved at once from an oppressive burden: “write to my chancellor of the Legion of Honour, Lacepede, to send him a patent, and do you inform him of this favour.” It is reported at Calrushe, the capital of Baden, that Baron Edelsheim has composed his own epitaph, in which he claims immortality, because, under his ministry, the Margravate of Baden was elevated into an Electorate | | |

LETTER XIX.
Paris, August, 1805.

MY LORD,

THE sensation that the arrival of the Pope in this country caused among the lower classes of people, cannot be expressed ; and, if expressed, would not be believed. I am sorry, however, to say that, instead of improving their morals, or increasing their faith, this journey has shaken both morality and religion to their foundation. -

According to our religious notions, as you must know, the Roman Pontiff is the vicar of Christ, and infallible ; he can never err. The Atheists of the National Convention, and the Theophilanthropists of the Directory, not only denied his demi-divinity, but transformed him into a satyr; and in pretending to tear the veil of superstition, annihilated all belief in a God. The ignorant part of our nation, which, as every where else, constitutes the majority, witnessing the impunity and prosperity of crime, and bestowing on the Almighty the passions of mortals, first doubted of his omnipotence in not crushing guilt, and afterwards of his existence, in not exterminating the blasphemers from among the living. Feeling, however, the want of consolation in their misfortunes here, and hope of a reward hereafter for unmerited suffering upon earth, they all hailed, as a blessing, the restoration of Christianity; and, by this folitical act, Buonaparte gained more adherents, than by all his victories he had procured admirers. Buonaparte's character, his good and his bad qualities, his talents and his crimes, are too recent and too notorious to require description. Should he continue successful, and be attended" by fortune to his grave, future ages may, perhaps, hail him a hero and a great man ; but by his contemporaries it will always be doubtful, whether mankind has not suffered more from his ambition and cruelties, than benefited by his services. Had he satisfied himself by continuing the chief magistrate of a commonwealth, or, if he judged that a monarchical government alone was suitable to the spirit of this country, had he recalled our legitimate king, he would have occupied the principal, if not the first place in the history of France ; a place much more exalted than he can ever expect to fill as an Emperor of the French : let his prosperity be ever so uninterrupted, he cannot be mentioned but as an usurper; an appellation never exciting esteem, frequently inspiring contempt, and always odious. The crime of usurpation is the greatest and most enormous a subject can perpetrate; but what epithet can there be given to him, who, to preserve an authority unlawfully acquired, associates in his guilt a supreme Pontiff, whom the multitude is accustomed to reverence as the representative of their God, but who, by this act of scandal and sacrilege, descends to a level with the most culpable of men? I have heard, not only in this city, but in villages, where sincerity is more frequent than corruption, and where hypocrites are as little known as infidels, these remarks made by the people: “Can the real vicar of Christ, by his inauguration, commit the double injustice of depriving the legitimate owner of his rights, and of bestowing, as a sacred donation, what belongs to another, and what he has no power, no authority to dispose of Can Pius VII. confer on Napoleone the First, what belongs to Louis XVIII : Would Jesus Christ, if upon earth, have acted thus? Would his immediate successors, the apostles, not have preferred the suffering of martyrdom to the commission of any injury 2 If the present Roman Pontiff acts differently to what his master and predecessors would have done, can he be the vicar of our Saviour?” These, and many similar reflections,

the common people have made, and make yet ; the step from, doubt to disbelief is but short; and those brought up in the Roman Catholic religion, who hesitate about believing Pius VII. to be the vicar of Christ, will soon remember the precepts of atheists and free-thinkers, and believe that Christ is not the Son of God, and that a God is only the invention of fear. The fact is, that by the Pope's performance of the coronation of an Emperor of the French, a religious as well as a political revolution was effected ; and the usurper in power, whatever his greed may be, will hereafter, without much difficulty, force it on his slaves. You may, perhaps, object, that Pius VII. in his official account to the sacred college of his journey to France, speaks with enthusiasm of the Catholicism of the French people. But did not the Goddess of Reason, did not Robespierre, as a high priest of a Supreme Being, speak as highly of their sectaries : Read the Moniteur of 1793 and 1794, and you will be convinced of the truth of this assertion. They, like the Pope, spoke of what they saw ; and they, like him, did not see an individual who was not instructed how to perform his part, so as to givesatisfaction to him whom he was to please, and to those who employed him. As you have attended to the history of our Revolution, you have found it in great part a cruel masquerade, where none but the unfortunate Louis XVI, appeared in his native and natural character, and without a mask. The countenance of Pius VII. is placid and benign, and a kind of calmness and tranquillity pervades his address and manners, which are, however, far from being easy or elegant. The .crowds that he must have been accustomed to see, since his present elevation, have not lessened a timidity, the consequence of early seclusion. Nothing troubled him more than the numerous deputations of our Senate, Legislative Body, Tribunate, National Institute, Tribunals, &c. that teased him on every occasion. He never was suspected of any vices, but all his virtues are negative; and his best quality is, not to do good, but to prewent evil. His piety is sincere and unaffected, and it is not difficult to perceive that he has been more accustomed to address his God than to converse with men. He is no where so well in his place, as before the altar; when imploring the blessings of Providence on his audience, he speaks with confidence, as to a

friend to whom his purity is known, and who is accustomed to

listen favourably to his prayers. He is zealous, but not fanatical, but equally superstitious as devout. His closet was crowded with relics, rosaries, &c. and there he passed generally eight hours of the twenty-four upon his knees, in prayer and meditation. He often inflicted on himself mortifications, and observed fast-days, and kept his vows with religious strictness. None of the promises made him by Cardinal Fesch, in the name of Napoleone the First, were performed, but were put off until a general pacification. He was promised indemnity for Avignon, Bologna, Ferrara, and Ravenna; the ancient supremacy and pecuniary contributions of the Gallican church, and the re

storation of certain religious orders both in France and Italy; but notwithstanding his own representations, and the activity of

his Cardinal Caprara, nothing was decided, though nothing was refused. - * By some means or other he was become perfectly acquainted with the crimes and vices of most of our public functionaries. Talleyrand was surprised, when Cardinal Caprara explained

to him the reason why the Pope refused to admit some persons to

his presence; and why he wished others even not to be of the

party, when he accepted the invitations of Buonaparte and his

wife to their private societies. Many are, however, of opinion, that Talleyrand, from malignity or revenge, often heightened and confirmed his Holiness's aversion. This was at least once the case, with regard to De Lalande. When Duroc inquired the cause of the Pope's displeasure against this astronomer, and hinted that it would be very agreeable to the Emperor, were his Holiness to permit him the honour of prostrating himself, he was answered, that men of talents and learning would always be welcome to approach his person; that he pitied the errors, and prayed for the conversion, of this savant, but was neither displeased nor offended with him. Talleyrand, when informed of the Pope’s answer, accused Cardinal Caprara of having misinter

preted his master’s communications; and this prelate, in his. turn, censured our minister's bad memory. You must have read, that this De Lalande is regarded in

France as the first astronomer of Europe, and hailed as the high

Priest of atheists; he is said to be the author of a shocking,

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