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blasphemous work, called, “The Bible of a People who acknow
ledge no God.” He imflored the ferocious Robespierre to honour.
the heavens, by bestowing on a new planet, pretended to be discovered, his ci-dvant Christian name, Maximilian. In a letter of congratulation to Buonaparte, on the occasion of his present elevation, he also im/lored him to honour the God of the Chiistians, by stiling himself Jesus Christ the First, Emperor of the French, instead of Napoleone the First. But it was not his known impiety that made Talleyrand wish to exclude him from insulting with his presence a Christian Pontiff. In the summer of 1799, when the minister was in a momentary disgrace, De Lalande was at the head of those who imputed to his treachery, corruption, and machinations, all the evils France then suffered, both from external enemies and internal factions. If Talleyrand has justly been reproached for soon forgetting good offices and services done him, nobody ever denied that he has the best recollection in the world of offences or attacks, and that he is as revengeful as unforgiving. The only one of our great men, whom Pius VII. remained obstinate and inflexible in not receiving, was the senator and minister of police, Fouche. As his Holiness was not so particular with regard to other persons, who, like Fouche, were both apostate priests, and regicide subjects, the following is reported to be the cause of his aversion and obduracy. - In November, 1793, the remains of a wretch of the name of Challiers, justly called, for his atrocities, the Marat of Lyons, was ordered by Fouche, then a representative of the people in tha; eity, to be - produced and publicly worshipped; and under his particular auspices, a grand fete was performed to the memory of this republican martyr, who had been executed as an assassin. As part of this impious ceremony, an ass covered with a Bishop's vestments, having on his head a mitre, and the volumes of holy writ tied to his tail, paraded the streets. The remains of Challiers were then burnt, and the ashes distributedamong his adorers; while the books were also consumed, and the ashes scattered in the wind. Fouche proposed, after giving the ass some water to drink in a sacred chalice, to terminate the festivity of the day, by murdering all the prisoners, amounting to seven thousand five hundred; but a sudden storm prevented the execution of this diabolical proposition, and dispersed the sacrilegious congo" tion.
- LETTER XX.
THOUGH all the Buonapartes were great favourites with Pius VII. Madame Lætitia, their mother, had a visible preference. In her apartments he seemed most pleased to meet the .family farties, as they were called, because to them, except the Buonapartes, none but a few select favourites were invited; a distinction as much wished for and envied as any other court honour. After the Pope had fixed the evening he would appear among them, Duroc made out a list, under the dictates of Napoleone, of the chosen few destined to partake of the blessing of his Holiness's presence. This list was merely fro forma, or as a compliment, laid before him; and after his tacit approbation, the individuals were informed, from the first chamberlain’s office, that they would be honoured with admittance at such an hour, to such a company, and in such an apartment. The dress in which they were to appear was also prescribed. The parties usually met at six o'clock in the evening: on the Pope’s entrance, all persons of both sexes kneeled to receive his blessing. Tea, ice, łiqueurs, and confectionary, were then served. In the place of honour were three elevated elbow chairs, and his Holiness was. seated between the Emperor and Empress, and seldom spoke to any one, to whom Napoleone did not previously address the word. The exploits of Buonaparte, particularly his campaigns in Egypt, were the chief subjects of conversation. Before eight o'clock, the Pope always retired; distributing his blessing to the kneeling audience, as on his entry. When he was gone, card tables were brought in, and play was permitted. Duroc received his master's orders how to distribute the places at the different tables; what games were to be played, and the amount of the sums to be staked. These were usually trifling and small, compared to what is daily risked in our fashionable circles. Often, after the Pope had returned to his own rooms, Madame Lætitia Buonaparte was admitted to assist at his private prayers. This lady, whose intrigues and gallantry are proverbial in Corsica, has, now that she is old, as is generally the case, turned devotee; and is surrounded by hypocrites. and impostors, who, under the mask of sanctity, deceive and plunder her. Her antichambers are always full of priests; and her closet and bedroom are crowded with relics, which she collected during her journey to Italy last year. She might, if she chose, establish a Catholic museum, and furnish it with a more curious collection, in its sort, than any of our other museums contain. Of all the saintsin our calendar, there is not one, of any notoriety, who has not supplied her with a finger, a toe, or some other part; or with a piece of a shirt, a handkerchief, a sandal, or a winding-sheet. Even a bit of a pair of breeches, said to have belonged to St. Mathurin, whom many think was a sans-culotte, obtains her adoration on certain occasions. As none of her children have yet arrived at the same height of faith as herself, she has, in her will, bequeathed to the Pope all her relics, together with eight hundred and seventy-nine prayer books, and four hundred and forty-six bibles, either in manuscript or of different editions. Her favourite breviary, used only on great solemnities, was presented to her by Cardinal Maury at Rome, and belonged, as it is said, formerly to St. François, whose commentary, written with his own hands, fills the margins; though many, who with me, adore him as a saint, doubt whether he could either read or write. Not long ago she made, as she thought, an exceedingly valuable acquisition. A priest arrived direct from the holy city of Jerusalem, well recommended by the inhabitants of the convents there, with whom he pretended to have passed his youth. After prostrating himself before the Pope, he waited on Madame Lætitia Buonaparte. He told her that he had brought with him from Syria the famous relic, the shoulder bone of St. John the Baptist ; but that being in want of money for his voyage, he borrowed upon it, from a Grecian bishop in Montenegra, two hundred Louis d’ors. This sum, and one hundred Louis d’ors besides, was immediately given him ; and within three months, for a large sum in addition to those advanced, this precious relic was in Madame Laetitia's possession. w Notwithstanding this lady's care, not to engage in her service
*ivism from the municipality, as was formerly the case, but a certificate of Christianity, and a billet of confession signed by the curate of the parish, she had often been robbed, and the robbers had made particularly free with those relics which were set in gold or in diamonds. She accused her daughter, the Princess Borghese, who often rallies the devotion of her mamma, and who is more an amateur of the living, than of the dead, of having played her these tricks. The Princess informed Napoleone of her mother's losses, as well as of her own innocence, and asked him to apply to the police to find out the thief, who no doubt was one of those pious rogues who almost devoured their mother. On the next day, Napoleone invited Madame Laetitia to dinner, and Fouche had orders to make a strict search during her absence, among the persons composing her household. Though he on this occasion did not find what he was looking for, he made a discovery, which very much mortified Madame Lætitia. Her first chambermaid, Rosina Gaglini, possessed both her esteem and confidence, and had been sent for purposely from Ajaccio, in Corsica, on account of her general renown for great piety, and a report that she was an exclusive favourite with the Virgin Mary, by whose interference she had even performed, it was said, some miracles; such as restoring stolen goods, runaway cattle, lost children, and procuring prizes in the lottery. Rosina was as relic mad as her mistress,; and, as she had no means to procure them otherwise, she determined to partake of her lady's, by cutting off a small part of each relic, of Madame Latitia’s principal saints. These precious morceaux she placed in a box, upon which she kneeled to say her prayers during the day; and which, for a mortification, served her as a pillow during the night. Upon each of these sacred bits she had affixed a label, with the name of the saint it belonged to, which occasioned the disclosure. When Madame Lætitia heard of this pious theft, she insisted on having the culprit immediately and severely punished; and though the Princess Borghese, as the innocent cause of poor Rosina's misfortune, interfered, and Rosina herself promised never more to plunder saints, she was without mercy turned away; and even denied money sufficient to carry her back to Corsica, Had she made free with Madame Letitia's plate or wardrobe, there is no doubt but that she had been forgiven; but to presume to share with those sacred supporters on her way to paradise, was a more unpardonable act, with a devotee, than to steal from a lover the portrait of an adored mistress. In the mean time, the police was upon the alert, to discover the person whom they suspected of having stolen the relics for the diamonds, and not the diamonds for the relics. Among our fashionable and new saints, surprising as you may think it, Madame de Genlis holds a distinguished place; and she too is an amateur, and collector of relics in proportion to her means; and with her were found those missed by Madame Laetitia. Being asked to give up the name of him from whom she had purchased them, she mentioned Abbe Saladin, the pretended priest from Jerusalem. He in his turn was questioned, and by his answers gave rise to suspicion that he himself was the thief. The person of whom he pretended to have bought them, was not to be sound, nor any one of such a description remembered to have been seen any where. On being carried to prison, he claimed the protection of Madame Lactitia, and produced a letter, in which this lady had promised him a bishopric either in France or in Italy. When she was informed of his situation, she applied to her son Napoleone, urging, that a priest, who from Jerusalem had brought with him to Europe, such an extraordinary relic as the shoulder of St. John, could not be culpable. Abbe Saladin had been examined by Real, who concluded, from the accent and perfection with which he spoke the French language, that he was some French adventurer, who had imposed on the credulity and superstition of Madame Laetitia; and therefore threatened him with the rack if he did not confess the truth. He continued however in his story, and was going to be released upon an order from the Emperor, when a gens-d’armes recognised him, as a person who eight years before had, under the name of Lanoue, been condemned for theft and forgery to the galleys; from whence he had made his escape. Finding himself discovered, he avowed every thing. He said he had served in Egypt, in the guides of Buonaparte, but deserted to the Turks, and turned Mussulman, but afterwards returned to the bosom of the church at Jerusalem. There he persuaded the friars that he had been a priest, and obtained the certificates which intros