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trians, Prussians, and Bavarians, are on the east. warmed them into life. In many districts their Shame! Wellington is in France, and ye have influence over the peasantry was almost omninot risen, en masse, to drive him back. There potent. must be an impulse given. All must march. It The Count of Artois, afterward Charles X., is for you, counselors, fathers of families, heads hastened to join the army of the Austrians. His of the nation, to set the example. People speak son, the Duke of Angoulême, who had married of peace, when all should echo to the call of the unhappy daughter of Louis XVI., whose
tragic imprisonment with her brother, the DauThe emigrants, members of the old royalist phin, in the Temple, has moved the sympathies party, whom Napoleon had generously permitted of the world, hastened to the head-quarters of to return to France, and to enter again upon the Duke of Wellington. The Count of Protheir estates, basely, in this hour of disaster, vence, subsequently Louis XVIII., was residing turned against their benefactor. They organ- at Hartwell, England. He was an infirm, unized a wide-spread conspiracy, opened communi- wieldy, gouty old man, of three score years. cations with the Allies, distributed arms among Unable to make any exertions himself, he sat, their adherents, extolled the Bourbons, and de- lolling in his chair, while the Allies deluged famed, in every possible way, the good character France in blood and fame, to place him on the of Napoleon.
throne. Talleyrand, the wily diplomatist, clearThe priests, hoping by the restoration of the ly discerning the fall of the empire, entered into Bourbons to regain the enormous church posses- communication with the Allies, to secure the best sions which had been confiscated by the Revolu- possible terms for himself. He did every thing tion, in large numbers joined the conspirators, in his power to thwart the exertions of Napoleon, and endeavored to sting the bosom which had and of the nation. In the Council of Siate, and
VOL. IX.-No. 49.-C
in the saloons of the capital, he incessantly ad- minority, were ever ready to join hands for his vised submission.
overthrow. The President of the senatorial ccmOn the 20th of December Napoleon assembled mission, M. Fontanes, concluded his report rethe Senate. He opened the session in person, specting the continued assault of the Allies, with and thus addressed the members :
the following words : “ Against whom is that at"Splendid victories have illustrated the French tack directed ? Against that great man who has armies in this campaign. Defections, without a merited the gratitude of all kings; for he it was, parallel, have rendered those victories unavailing, who, in re-establishing the throne of France, exor have turned them against us. France would tinguished the volcano with which they were all now have been in danger but for the energy and menaced.” The people did not relish this declarthe union of the French. In these momentous ation, that Napoleon bad become an advocate of circumstances, my first thought has been to sum the rights of kings. Napoleon had achieved all mon you around me. My heart has need of the his victories, and attained his supremacy, as the presence and affection of my subjects. I have recognized advocate of the rights of the people. never been seduced by prosperity. Adversity His rejection of Josephine, and his matrimonial will find me superior to its strokes. I have oft alliance with the proud house of Hapsburg, also en given peace to the nations, when they had lost operated against him. They had secured for his every thing. With a part of my conquests I cause no monarchical friends, but had wilted the have raised up monarchs, who have since aban- enthusiasm of the people. doned me. I had conceived and executed great France was now disheartened. One army had designs for the happiness of the world. A mon- perished upon the snows of Russia ; another upon arch and a father, I feel that peace adds to the the plains of Saxony. The conscription and taxsecurity of thrones as well as families. No- ation had borne heavily upon all classes. All thing, on my part, is an obstacle to the re-estab-Europe had been combining in an interminable lishment of peace. You are the natural organs series of wars against revolutionary France. It of the throne. It is for you to give an example seemed impossible any longer to protract the conof energy, which may dignify our generation in flict. The majority of the legislative body adoptthe eyes of our posterity. Let them not say of ed the report of their committee, containing the as, They have sacrificed the first interests of following sentiments deeply wounding to the our country ; they have submitted to laws, which Emperor : Englund has sought in vain, during four centu-' “In order to prevent the coalesced powers ries, to impose upon France. I am confident from accusing France of any wish to maintain a that, in this crisis, the French will show them- too extensive territory, which they seem to fear, selves worthy of themselves and of me." would it not exhibit real greatness to undeceive
At the same time, Napoleon communicated to them by a formal declaration? It is for the govthe Senate and to the Legislative Assembly the ernment to propose the measures which may be correspondence which had taken place with the considered most prompt and safe for repelling the Allies, both before and after the battle of Leipsic. enemy, and establishing peace on a solid basis. He wished to prove to the nation that he had These measures must be effectual, if the French neglected no honorable exertions to arrest the people be convinced that their blood will be shed calamities of war. A committee was appointed, only in defense of their country and of its laws. by both bodies, to examine and report upon the It appears indispensable, therefore, that his Madocuments. The report of the Senate was favor- jesty shall be entreated to maintain the full and able to Napoleon, and yet the influence of that constant execution of the laws, which guarantee report was to weaken the Emperor's hold on the to the nation the free exercise of its political democracy. He had sought to identify himself rights." with the ancient order of things. It was the Napoleon regarded these insinuations as pecupolicy of his government to conciliate antagonis- liarly unfriendly, and ordered the printing of the tic principles, to engraft democratic rights upon report to be suppressed. He immediately assemmonarchical forms. He hoped thus to secure bled the Council of State, and thus expressed his popular rights on the one hand, and to abate the sentiments on the subject : hostility of monarchical Europe on the other. “You are aware, gentlemen, of the dangers to This policy might have been unwise ; but there which the country is exposed. Without any obis every evidence that he sincerely thought it the ligation to do so, I thought it right to consult the best which could be adopted, under then existing deputies of the legislative body. They have concircumstances. He knew that France would not verted this act of my confidence into a weason submit again to place her neck under the yoke against me, that is to say, against the country. of the old feudal aristocracy. He believed it im- Instead of assisting me, they obstruct my efforts. possible to maintain republican forms in France, We should assume an attitude to check the adwith a Jacobin mob at one extremity of society, vance of the enemy. Their attitude invites him. with royalist conspirators at the other extremity, Instead of showing to him a front of brass, they and with all Europe in arms against the republic. unvail to him our wounds. They stun me with
Though the overwhelming majority of the peo- clamors for peace, while the only means to obtain ple of France were strongly in favor of the policy it is to prepare for war. They speak of grievof Napoleon, yet the Jacobins on the one hand, ances. But these are subjects to be discussed in and the royalists on the other, a small but busy private, and not in the presence of an enemy,
Was I inaccessible to them? Did I ever show | had discovered the fatal effects of your internal myself averse to rational argument? It is time dissensions. By what authority do you consider to come to a conclusion. The legislative body, yourselves entitled to limit the action of government instead of assisting to save France, has concurred at such a moment as the present. Am I indebted to accelerate her ruin. It has betrayed its duty. to you for the authority which is invested in me? I fulfill mine. I prorogue the Assembly, and call | I hold it from God and the people only. Have for fresh elections. Were I sure that this act you forgotten in what manner I ascended the would bring the people of Paris in a crowd to the throne, which you now attack? There existed, Tuileries, to murder me this day, I would still do at that period, an Assembly like your own. Had my duty. My determination is perfectly legal. I deemed its authority and its choice sufficient If every one here will act worthily, I shall yet be for my purpose, do you think that I wanted the invincible, as well before the enemy, as behind means to obtain its votes. I have never been of the shelter of the law."
opinion that a sovereign could be elected in that Notwithstanding this prorogation, a few days manner. I was desirous, therefore, that the wish, after, on the first of January, a deputation from so generally expressed, for my being invested the legislative body attended court, to present the with the supreme power, should be submitted to congratulations of the season to the Emperor. a national vote, taken from every person in the As they entered the room, Napoleon advanced to French dominions. By such means only did I meet them. In earnest tones, which were sub- | accept of a throne. Do you imagine that I condued by the spirit of seriousness and sadness, he sider the throne as nothing more than a piece of thus spoke :
velvet spread over a chair? The throne consists “Gentlemen of the Chamber of Deputies! you in the unanimous wish of the nation in favor of are about to return to your respective depart- their sovereign. Our position is surrounded with ments. I had called you together, with perfect difficulties. By adhering to my views, you might reliance upon your concurrence in my endeavors have been of the greatest assistance to me. to illustrate this period of our history. You Nevertheless, I trust that, with the help of God might have rendered me a signal service, by giv- and of the army, I shall extricate myself, if I am ing me the support of which I stood in need, in- not doomed to be betrayed. Should I fall, to you stead of attempting to confine me within limits, alone will be ascribed the evils which will desolate which you would be the first to extend when you our common country.”
The Duke of Rovigo, who has recorded the generous heart will throb in sympathy with this above interview, says that the Emperor, on re- decision. turning to his cabinet, showed no particular indi. ' “ The Emperor,” says Caulaincourt, “ closed cations of displeasure against the legislative body. his last instructions to me, with the following With that wonderful magnanimity which ever words! I wish for peace. I wish for it, withcharacterized him, he gave them credit for the out any reservation or after-thought. But Caubest intentions. He, however, observed that laincourt, I will never accede to dishonorable he could not safely allow the existence of this conditions. It is wished that peace shall be state of things behind him, when he was on based on the independence of all nations; be it the point of proceeding to join the army, where so. This is one of those Utopian dreams of he would find quite enough to engage his atten- which experience will prove the fallacy. My tion.
policy is more enlightened than that of those It was the special aim of the Allies, aided by men who were born kings. Those men have their copartners the royalists of France, to create never quitted their gilded cages, and have never a division between Napoleon and the French read history except with their tutors. Tell them people, and to make the Emperor as odious as 1-I impress upon them, with all the authority we possible. Abusive pamphlets were circulated are entitled to exercise, that peace can be duralike autumn leaves all over the Empire. The ble only inasmuch as it shall be reasonable and treasury of England and that of all the Allies just to all parties. To demand absurd conceswas at the disposal of any one, who could wage sions, to impose conditions which can not be aceffective warfare against the dreaded republican ceded to consistently with the dignity and imEmperor. The invading kings, at the head of portance of France, is to declare a deadly war their locust legions, issued a proclamation, to be against me. I will never consent to leave France spread throughout Europe, full of the meanest less than I found her. Were I to do so, the and the most glaring falsehoods. They asserted whole nation, en masse, would be entitled to call that they were the friends of peace, and Napo- me to account. Go, Caulaincourt. You know leon the advocate for war; that they were strug- the difficulties of my position. Heaven grant gling for liberty and human rights, Napoleon for that you may succeed! Do not spare couriers. tyranny and oppression. They declared that Send me intelligence every hour. You know they earnestly desired peace, but that the despot | how anxious I shall be. Napoleon would not sheathe the sword. They | “Our real enemies," continues Caulaincourt, assured the French people that they waged no “they who had vowed our destruction, were Enwar against France, but only against the usurper, gland, Austria and Sweden. There was a dewho, to gratify his own ambition, was deluging termined resolution to exterminate Napoleon, Europe in blood. The atrocious falsehood was | and consequently all negotiations proved fruitless. believed in England, on the Continent, and in Every succeeding day gave birth to a new conAmerica. Its influence still poisons thousands fict. In proportion as we accepted what was of minds.
offered, new pretensions rose up, and no sooner Colonel Napier, though an officer in the allied was one difficulty smoothed down, than we had army, and marching under the Duke of Welling- to encounter another. I know not how I muston for the invasion of France, with noble candortered sufficient firmness and forbearance, to readmits, that the Allies in this declaration were main calm amidst so many outrages. I accordutterly insincere, that they had no desire for ingly wrote to the Emperor, assuring him that peace, and that their only object was to rouse these conferences, pompously invested with the the hostility of the people of Europe against Na- title of a congress, served merely to mask the poleon. He says the negotiations of the Allies, irrevocably fixed determination, not to treat with with Napoleon, were “a deceit from the begin- France ; that the time we were thus losing, was ning." "This fact," he says “was placed beyond employed by the Allied powers, in assembling a doubt, by Lord Castlereagh's simultaneous pro- their forecs, for the purpose of invading us on all ceedings in London. *
points at once ; that by further temporizing, we Napoleon sent Caulaincourt to the head-quar- should unavoidably augment the disadvantages ters of the Allies to make every effort in his pow- of our position." er to promote peace. They had consented to a In a private interview with Caulaincourt, as sort of conference, in order to gain time to bring reported by the Duke of Rovigo, Napoleon said, up their reserves. France was exhausted. The “ France must preserve her natural limits. All Allies had slain so many of the French, in these the powers of Europe, including England, have iniquitous wars, that the fields of France were acknowledged these bases at Frankfort. France, left untilled, for want of laborers. More than a reduced to her old limits, would not possess twomillion of men were now on the march to invade thirds of the relative power she possessed twenty the almost defenseless Empire. It is utterly years ago. What she has acquired toward the impossible but that Napoleon must have wished | Alps and the Rhine, does not compensate for for peace. But nobly he resolved that he would what Russia, Austria and Prussia have acquired, perish, rather than submit to dishonor. Every by the mere act of the partition of Poland. All
these powers have aggrandized themselves. To * For the conclusive proof of this hypocrisy on the part of the Allies, see Napier's Peninsular War, vol. iv. pp.
pretend to bring France back to her former state, 327, 328.
would be to lower and to degrade her. Neither
THE RUSSIANS SURPRISED. the Emperor, nor the republic if it should spring sought his aid. Carnot, retiring from the allureout anew from this state of agitation, can ever ments of the Imperial court, was buried in seclusubscribe to such a condition. I have taken my sion and poverty. His pecuniary embarrassments determination, which nothing can change. Can at length became so great, that they reached the I consent to le we France less powerful than I cars of the Emperor. Napoleon, though deemfound her? If, therefore, the Allies insist upon ing Carnot in error, yet highly appreciating the this reduction of France, the Emperor has only universally recognized integrity of the man, imone of three choices left: either to fight and con-mediately sent him, with a touching letter, ample quer; to die honorably in the struggle; or, lastly, funds for the supply of his wants. Years had to abdicate, if the nation should not support me. rolled away; gloom was gathering around the The throne has no charms for me. I will never Emperor ; foreign armies were crowding upon attempt to purchase it at the price of dishonor."* France; all who advocated the cause of Napo
In the midst of these days of disaster, when leon, were in danger of ruin. In that hour CarNapoleon's throne was crumbling beneath him, not came to the rescue, and ffered himself to there were exhibited many noble examples of Napoleon, for the defense of the country. Napodisinterestedness and fidelity. The illustrious leon gratefully accepted the offer, and intrusted and virtuous Carnot, true to his republican prin- him with the command of Antwerp, one of the ciples, had refused to accept office under the keys of the empire In the defense of this place, Empire. Napoleon had earnestly, but in vain, Carnot exhibited all those noble traits of charac
Memoirs of the Duke of Rovigo, vol. iv. p. 193. ter, which were to be expected of such a man.