Imatges de pÓgina
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

as the temporary enthusiasm in favour be sensible of the extravagance of of the Bourbons faded into indiffer- their generosity at the treaty of Paris. ence and aversion, the general horror It was in France and Naples only that of Buonaparte's ambitious and tyran- Buonaparte could look for allies and nical disposition began to give way to confederates. the recollection of his active, energe- The situation of Murat, partly ow. tic, and enterprizing qualities. ing to his own ambitious views, and

This change must soon have been partly to the persevering enmity of known to him who was its object. An Talleyrand, was becoming daily more expression is said to have escaped critical. The state of Italy afforded from him during his passage to Elba, him the most flattering hopes of suc. which marked, at least, a secret feel- cess in a daring enterprize; the views ing that he might one day recover

of France and Austria menaced him the high dignity from which he had with the loss of his kingdom. These fallen. “ If Marius," he observed, causes, which will be more fully de“ had slain himself in the marshes of veloped when we treat of the Italian Minturnæ, he would never have en campaign, rendered Murat peculiarly joyed his seventh consulate.” What accessible to the daring suggestions was perhaps originally but the vague of Napoleon, who, it must be remenaspirations of an ardent spirit striving bered, was at once his master, his against adversity, became, from the brother-in-law, and the author of his circumstances of France, a plausible fortune. The confidante of their corand well-grounded hope. It required respondence was the sister of Napobut to establish communications among leon, Pauline Borghèse. Lively, bold, his numerous and zealous partizans, active, an intriguer in every sense of to hold out such hopes as might lure the word, this lady performed several the jacobins to his standard, to profit voyages betwixt Elba and Naples, the by and inflame the growing discon- object of which was to re-establish tenis and divisions of France, and a an intimate union of interests betwixt conspiracy was ready formed, with the brothers-in-law. How Murat's little exertion on the part of him who share of the adventure terminated, soon became its object and its centre. we will detail hereafter. It has been gravely stated, that the In France, Buonaparte had doubt. Exile of Elba even intrigued with the less many correspondents; and it his foreign powers of Europe, in order to power had lasted longer, we should induce them to undo the work which, have heard them make a merit of with such Jabour, they had accom- their share in scheming and forwardplished, and replace Napoleon on the ing his enterprize. But the term of throne of the Bourbons. To England his success was so short, that although he is said to have offered the sove- it afforded innumerable reports of this reignty of Holland, and to have made kind, there was no time to discover proposals of equally extravagant ad- which of them were true, which forged vantage to Russia and Austria. We by the vanity of the narrators, which know this report to be false, so far as invented by the government to serve Britain is concerned, and we do not temporary purposes. The materials believe it in other respects. Such for this vast conspiracy seem to have overtures could only have served to lain so ready for combination, the sharpen the suspicion with which the moral sense of the people was so deCongress regarded Buonaparte, when praved, and their passions so much the allied powers began, too late, to inflamed, that its ramifications soon

extended, like those of an immense female conspirators was Hortensia net, over the whole kingdom of France, Beauharnois, daughter of Josephine, and the cord for drawing it was in the and wife of Louis Buonaparte, whom hands of Buonaparte. Paris was, of his brother created King of Holland, course, the centrical point from which and afterwards deposed. To this perthe subordinate agents received their son, at once his step daughter and secret instructions ; committees of sister-in-law, Buonaparte was so tenthe disaffected were established in derly attached as to give room for the different quarters of the city. The scandal, notwithstanding the propin. most active members were women, quity of this double connection. She who, having held rank at the court of had been created by Louis, Duchess Buonaparte, had been repulsed or of St Leu, at the request, it was be. treated with neglect at that of Louis. lieved, of the Emperor Alexander, They were, in general, the wives of who had magnanimously extended Buonaparte's generals and nobles and his protection to several of the fallen statesmen, to whom the aristocratic house of Buonaparte. At Nanterre, pride of the court-ladies denied the Neuilly, and St Leu, meetings of the honours of the drawing-room. It is principal conspirators were held: and astonishing how much the passions of her confidential friend, Madame Hafemale emulation and revenge influ- melin, is said to have assisted in conenced the feelings of their relations, cealing the agents whom Buonaparte and influenced a grand national catas. sent from Elba. The Duchess of trophe. A quarrel betwixt two ladies Bassano, wife of that Maret, Duke of · of Queen Anne's household occasion. Bassano, who was considered for some ed the peace of Utretcht; and the time as Buonaparte's favouriie couriaristocratic state maintained by the fe. sellor; with the Duchess of Montemale atiendants of the Duchess d’An- bello, (wife of Marechal Lanne,) and gouleme, had some share in bringing. other ladies, whose rank at the royal on the battle of Waterloo. One re.' court was inferior to that which they markable agent and victim of the had held at the emperor's, were enshort-lived revolution acknowledged gaged in the plot. Seductions of how much he was influenced by such every species were used to draw the considerations. " I shall no longer,” discontented within the vortex of said Ney, when he deserted the cause conspiracy; nor was it safe to be. of his sovereign for that of Buona- come possessed of the secret without parte, see my wite return from the joining their measures. It is said that Tuilleries in tears, on account of the such a confidence was fatal to Gene. Beglect with which she has been ral Quesnel, who, having repulsed treated;" and many, besides the Ma- with indignation the treasonable prorechal, felt, though they might not posals made to him at one of these acknowledge, the inpulse they recei- societies, was soon afterwards assassived from these womanish grievances. Dated and Aung into the Seine. Ofiended pride hesitates at no mea- At the meetings heid in the houses tures for gratifying vengeance. Be. of these intriguing females, the whole sides the purses of their husbands, or artillery ot conspiracy was forged and lovers

, which, of course, they com- put in order, trom the political lie, manded, many of these female intric which does its work if believed but guers devoted their jewels to the cause for an hour, to the political song or of revolution, and the sale produced squib, which, like the fire-work from considerable sums. The chief of these which it derives its name, expresses

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

love of frolic or of mischief, accord-broken his parole, and fled from Enging to the nature of the materials land when a prisoner of war. Thus amongst which it is thrown. From agitated like a lake by a subterranean these places of rendezvous the agents earthquake, revolutionary movements of the plot sallied out upon their re- began to shew themselves amongst spective rounds, furnished with every the populace. At times, under prelure that could rouse the suspicious tence of scarcity of bread or employlandholder, attract the idle Parisian, ment, tumultuous groups assembled seduce the Ideologue, who longed to on the terrace of the Tuilleries, with try the experiments of his Utopian clamours which reminded the Duchess theories upon real government, and D'Angouleme of those which preceabove all, 'secure the military, from ded the imprisonment and death of the officer, before whose eyes trun- her parents. The police dispersed cheons, coronets, and even crowns, them for the moment; but, if any ar. were disposed in ideal prospect, to rests were made, it was only of such the grenadier, whose hopes only aim- wretches as shouted when they heard ed at blood, brandy, and free quarters, others shout, and no efforts were made

The lower orders of the populace, to ascertain the real cause of symp. particularly those inhabiting the two toms so alarming: great suburbs of Saint Marçeau and The police of Paris was at this Saint Antoine, were disposed to the time under the direction of Mons. cause from their natural restlessness D’André, formerly a financier. His and desire of change; from the ap- loyalty does not seem to have been prehension that the king would dis- doubted, but his prudence and acticontinue the expensive buildings in vity are very questionable; nor does which Buonaparte was wont to em. he seem ever to have been completeploy them; from a jacobinical dislike ly master either of the duties of his to the lawful title of Louis, joined to office, or the tools by which it was to some tender aspirations after the hap-' be performed. These tools, in other py days of liberty and equality; and words, the subordinate agents and Lastly, from the disposition which the officers and clerks, the whole machilees of society every where manifest nery as it were of the police, had reto get rid of the law, their natural mained unchanged since that dreadcurb and enemy. The influence of ful power was administered by SaRichard Lenoir was particularly use- vary, Buonaparte's head spy and conful to the conspirators. He was a fidential kidnapper. This body, as wealthy cotton-manufacturer, who well as the army, felt that their hocombined and disciplined no less than nourable occupation was declined in three thousand workmen in his em. emolument and importance since the ployment, so as to be ready at the fall of Buonaparte, and looked back first signal of the conspirators. Le with regret to the days when they Noir was called by the royalists San- were employed in agencies, dark, seterre the Second; being said to as- cret, and well-recompensed, unknown pire, like that celebrated suburbian to a peaceful and constitutional admibrewer, to become a general of Sans nistration. Like evil spirits employed Culottes. He was bound to Buona- by the spells of a benevolent enchantparte's' interest by his daughter ha- er, these police officers seem to have ving married General Letebre Des served the king grudgingly and unwil. nouettes, who was not the less the lingly; to have neglected their duty, favourite of Napoleon that he had when that could be done with impu

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

nity; and to have shewn that they lice-officers, had found more advanhad lost their activity and omnisci- tage under the imperial than under ence, so soon as embarked in the the royal government, were several service of legitimate monarchy. of them in the interest of their old

Under the connivance, therefore, master. And it is averred, that the if not with the approbation of the po- correspondence relating to the conlice, conspiracy assumed a more open spiracy was carried on through the and daring aspect Several houses royal post-office, contained in letters of dubious fame, but especially the sealed with the king's seal, and disCaffé Montanssier, in the Palais Roy- patched by public messengers wearale, were chosen as places of ren- ing bis livery. dezvous for the subordinate satel- Such open demonstrations of trealites of the cause, where the toastssonable practices did not escape the given, the songs sung, the tunes observation of the royalists, and they performed, and the language held, appear to have been communicated all bore allusion to Buonaparte's glo- to the ministers from different quarries, his regretted absence, and his ters. But each of these official perdesired return. To express their sonages seems scrupulously to have hopes that this event would take place entrenched himself within the routine in the spring, the conspirators adopt- of his own particular department, 80 ed for their symbol the violet; and that what was only of general import afterwards applied to Buonaparte him to the whole, was not considered as self the name of Corporal Violet. The the business of any one in particuflower and the colour were publicly lar. Thus, when the stunning catasworn as a party distinction, before it trophe had happened, each endeawould seem the court had taken the voured to shift the blame from him. least alarm ; and the health of Buo- self, like the domestics in a large and naparte, under the name of Corporal ill-regulated family; and although all Violet, or Jean d'Epée, was pledged acknowledged that gross negligence by many a royalist without suspicion had existed elsewhere, no one admitof the concealed meaning.

ted that the fault lay with himself. Paris was the centre of the conspi- This general infatuation surprises us racy; but its ramifications extended upon retrospect; but Heaven, who through France. Clubs were formed frequently punishes mankind by the in the chief provincial towns. Regu- indulgence of their own foolish or lar correspondences were established wicked desires, had decreed that between them and the capital; an in- peace was to be restored to Europe tercourse much favoured, it has been by the extermination of that army to asserted, by Lavallette, who, having whom peace was a state so odious; been long director general of the and for that purpose it was necessary posts under Buonaparte, retained con- that they should be successful in their siderable influence over the subordi- desperate attempt to dethrone their nate agents of that department, none peaceful and constitutional sovereign, of whom had been displaced upon the and to reinstate the despot who was king's return. It appears from the soon to lead them to the completion evidence of Mons. Ferrand, director- of their destiny, and, it may be pregeneral under the king, that the cou- sumed, of his own. riers, who, like the soldiers and po

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Buonaparte embarks at Elba— And lands in France, And marches to Gap

Suspicions of Treachery in the War Department.— Labedoyere joins Buona. parte with his Regiment.Revolt of the Troops at Grenoble. Measures of made the Royal Party.Soult is displaced from the Ministry. The Treason of Le- de bet febre Desnouettes, and Lallemand is discovered, and prevented.-Defection of the Troops under Macdonald.-Decrees of Lyons.-Buonaparte's progress teen io Auxerre.- His Interview with the Vicar-General.- Ney is appointed to command against Buonaparte.-He deserts and joins him.The King visits the Chamber of Deputies. Their Enthusiasm in the Royal Cause.-Camp formed at MelunBut its Fidelity is doubted.--The King leaves Paris- is expelled from Lisle-And compelled to Retreat to Ghent -Disasters of his Followers.-- Defection of the Army at Melun. State of Afairs at Paris.Buonaparte enters the Capital and completes the Revolution.-Fickleness of the People and their Leaders.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


LL was now prepared in France, the road to Paris and with the safest and waited but the presence of the path to peace through the temple of head of the conspiracy. It is said, that victory. The die, however, was cast, and for some time previous to his taking it was no longer time to draw back. the last desperate step a gloom was Some previous steps had been cauobserved to hang upon Buonaparte's tiously ventured upon. Three hunmind. He shunned society, was soli- dred of Buonaparte's old guard had tary and moody, relinquished his usual been landed at Frejus, under the chaexercises and amusements, and seemed racter of disbanded soldiers. It was to brood over some dark and import- by means of these men that the alleant thoughts. That he deeply consider- giance of the military was corrupted ed the consequence to others of the and seduced, and their minds prepameasure he was about to adopt, wecan- red for what was to ensue. We cannot not believe; but it was fraught with such suppose that such a number of persons personal risk and danger as might well were positively entrusted with the sehave startled him. If he failed in ma- cret, but every one of them was preking the desired impression on the mind pared to sound forth the praises of the of the French soldiers and the people, emperor in his exile, and all entertainhe could hardly expect to avoid death; ed and disseminated the persuasion and if he succeeded, he had still to that he would soon appear to reclaim oppose the force of a lately subdued his rights. and divided nation ayainst the united On Sunday, 26th Februstrength of Europe, grown wise by ary, the troops who had fol- Feb. 26. experience, and familiar at once with lowed Buonaparte to the is.

« AnteriorContinua »