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Vast naval schemes of Buonaparte: his immense resources: great

number of ships built since the present war : Malouet’s official ac-

count of the number of officers and sailors: the conscripts universally

prefer the naval to the military service : Genoa, an important naval

station, acquired by France: number of ships building there and at

Antwerp : Naples and Venice threatened : deficiency of French ad-

mirals : Murat appointed to the chief command of the combined

fleets : the proposed plan of operations, deranged by subsequent

events: admiral Truguet, his opinion of the French flotilla : occasion

of his disgrace; his character: public employments : hated by Tal-

leyrand : canes him publicly : Villeneuve: his exploits : his gascon-
o Gantheaume : his promotions : saves himself by swimming,

when l'Orient blew up at Aboukir : letter from Buonaparte to him on

the occasion : his naval exploits and character : La Crosse : his in-

trigues, fanaticism, and cruelty.

LETTER LXXIV,

Apathy of the French people: indifferent about the victories obtained

over the Austrians : rejoicings at Madame Joseph Buonaparte's :

patriotic verses and ballads: list of Buonaparte’s intended Kings,

Emperors, &c. : Arthur O'Connor, his present rank and views in

France: the Irish rebels universally despised : treated as criminals,

and act as such : their infamy and ingratitude : anecdote.

LETTER LXXV.

Absurdity and incoherence of the plan of the campaign of the Aus-
trians : inactivity of the army under the Archduke Charles, to what
to be attributed : character of the Archduke: his military life : re-
spected by his enemies : his proclamations composed with great ad-
roitness : Massena : deserts the army of his Sovereign : cause of his
advancement in the French service : his military exploits and mer-

Another great revolution supposed necessary to counterbalance that of
France : insignificance and presumption of General Mack : his per-
sonal intrepidity at Lissa ; his theoretical knowledge and declama-
tion impose on the Emperor Joseph : his campaigns: his bad con-
duct at the head of the Neapolitan army : his pusillanimous conduct
in the present campaign; his ill health : his fidelity and honour.

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Account of Madame de Stael, Annette La Vigne, Martha Glar, Ma-
dame Talleyrand, and of the French Prisons.

SECRET HISTORY

- o F THE

COURT AND CABINET

of

ST. CLOUD.

--

LETTER I.
Paris, August, 1805.
My LORD,

I PROMISED you not to pronounce in haste on persons and events passing under my eyes: thirty-one months have quickly passed away, since I became an attentive spectator of the extraordinary transactions, and of the extraordinary characters, of the extraordinary Court and Cabinet of St. Cloud. If my talents to delineate equal my zeal to inquire, and my industry to examine ; if I am as able a painter as I have been an indefatigable observer, you will be satisfied, and with your approbation at once sanction and reward my labours.

With most princes, the supple courtier and the fawning favourite have greater influence than the profound statesman and subtle minister ; and the determinations of cabinets are therefore frequently prepared in drawing-rooms, and discussed in the closet. The politician and the counsellor are frequently applauded or censured for transactions, which the intrigues of anti-chambers conceived, and which cupidity and favour gave power to promulgate.

It is very generally imagined, but falsely, that Napoleone Buonaparte governs, or rather tyrannizes by himself; according to his own capacity, caprices, or interest: that all his acts, all his changes, are the sole consequence of his own exclusive. unprejudiced will, as well as unlimited authority; that both his greatness and his littleness, his successes and his crimes, originate entirely with himself; that the fortunate hero, who marched triumphant over the Alps, and the dastardly murderer that disgraced human na

ture at Jaffa, because the same person, owed victory to himself B

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:: . : : SECRET. HISTORY OF THE alone, and by himself alone commanded massacre; that the same genius, unbiassed and unsupported, crushed factions, erected a throne, and reconstructed racks; that the same mind restored and protected Christianity, and proscribed and assassinated a d'Enghien. All these contradictions, all these virtues and vices, may be found in the same person ; but Buonaparte, individually, or isolated, has no claim to them. Except on some sudden occasions, that call for immediate decision, no sovereign rules less by himself than Buonaparte; because no sovereign is more surrounded by favourites and counsellors, by needy adventurers and crasty intriguers. What sovereign has more relatives to enrich, or more services to recompense; more evils to repair, more jealousies to dread, more dangers to fear, more clamours to silence; or stands more in need of information and advice : Let it be remembered, that he who now governs empires and nations, ten years ago commanded only a battery; and five years ago was only a military chieftain. The difference is as immense, indeed, between the sceptre of a monarch and the sword of a general, as between the wise legislator, who protects the lives and property of his contemporaries, and the hireling robber, who wades through rivers of blood to obtain plunder at the expense and misery of generations. The lower classes of all countries have produced persons, who have distinguished themselves as warriors; but what subject has yet usurped a throne, and by his eminence and achievements, without infringing on the laws and liberties of his country, proved himself worthy to reign : Besides, the education which Buonaparte received was entirely military ; and a man (let his innate abilities be cver so surprising or excellent) who, during the first thirty years of his life, has made either military or political tactics or exploits his only study, certainly cannot excel equally in the cabinet and in the camp. It would be as foolish to believe, as absurd to expect, a perfection almost beyond the reach of any man ; and of Buonaparte more than any one else. A man who, like him, is the continual slave of his own passions, can neither be a good nor a just, an independent nor immaculate, master.

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