Imatges de pàgina

circumstances. Aware that the principles of the popular party would oblige them to oppose any arbitrary measures on the emperor's part, they took upon them to act with the greater confidence. The king had issued from Ghent proclamations, one of which forbade the payment of taxes to the usurped government; while others conveyed to France, and to the army, the hostile intentions of united Europe, provoked by the recall of him who had occasioned its distresses. "Europe," said one of these papers, "will acknowledge no other king of France but ourselves, Twelve hundred thousand men are about to march to assure the repose of the world, and a second time to deliver our fine country," It was announced, that, undeceived by the tricks of the usurper's policy, the sovereigns of Europe did not consider the French nation as an accomplice in the attempts of the army; and that the peaceful labourers would be protected, wherever their invading arms should find Frenchmen faithful to their king. The weight of war was denounced against those provinces, which, on the approach of the allies, should fail to return to their daty. The allied sovereigns made war, it was announced, only against rebels; the subjects of Louis had nothing to dread. And to conclude, the king declared, that on his return to his capital, which was considered as an approaching event, the services of the loyal should be recompensed, and that he himself would labour to banish even the very appear ance of those disasters, which had withdrawn from their allegiance some of the French people.

in the uncertain and alarmed state of the capital, the moderate and temperate tone of the royal proclamations was highly calculated to serve the cause of Louis XVIII. His agents, equally secret and alert, contrived to

placard them successively over the whole city of Paris, to the surprise and discredit of Fouché's police. A newspaper, entitled the Lily, was printed by a secret committee of the royalists, and circulated by thrusting it under the doors of the inhabitants during the night. In the better classes of society, where it was difficult to say whether Buo naparte was most feared or hated, there were handed round a variety of lampoons, satires, and pasquinades, in prose and verse, turning his person, ministers, and government into the most bitter ridicule. Others attacked his cause by eloquent invective, of which the following is no bad specimen. "Buonaparte can henceforth deceive nobody in France; for of all the parties which have survived our civil discords, the most credulous already perceive his perfidy. A few of those irritable, `impassioned, and, above all, credulous men, because they are generally generous and sensible, a few of those men, I say, who have been dreaming during twenty years of an imaginary republic, and who have pursued their illusions through all governments and all anarchies, felt their hopes revive at the cry of liberty, which the mob, in the train of Buonaparte, raised on his passage to Paris. They forgot that Buonaparte is the sworn enemy of liberty, the assas sin of the republic, and the first violator of those sacred rights, of which they had so dearly paid the purchase.

They forgot that Buonaparte spoke also of liberty, when he destroyed the national representation of St Cloud.

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They forgot that it was in the name of the French republic, that Buonaparte had established the most insolent despotism of which mankind had ever supported the yoke.-They forgot that Buonaparte had attempted to suppress all the sentiments which

to belie the new doctrines of liberty, of thought, speech, and publication, his agents were instructed to leave these amazons undisturbed on account of their political sentiments.

united the citizens to the country, to extinguish all the lights of civilization, to paralyse every means of education. -They forgot that Buonaparte had proscribed every liberal and philosophic idea, under the title of ideology; that he consecrated the most destructive principles of despotism in books avowed by his ministers; that he promised feudal privileges to his sbiri, and gave sovereignty to his satraps. -They forgot that heaven and hell are not more distant, than those most extremes of all the series of ideas which occupy the human mind-Buonaparte and liberty. They forgot that the very word liberty, so cruelly proscribed under the iron reign of the usurper, only gladdened our ears for the first time, after twelve years of humiliation and despair, on the happy restoration of Louis XVIII. Ah! miserable impostor, would you have spoken of liberty, had not Louis XVIII. brought back liberty and peace ?"*

The disaffection spread among certain classes of the lower ranks. The market-women (dames des halles), so formidable during the time of the Fronde, and in the early years of the revolution, for their opposition to the court, were now royalists, and, of course, clamorous on the side of the party they espoused. They invented, or some loyal rhymer composed for them, a song, the burden of which (Donnez nous notre paire des gants, equivalent in pronunciation to notre Pere de Ghent demanded back the king, as their Father of Ghent. They ridiculed, scolded, and mobbed the commissaries of police, who endeavoured to stop these musical expressions of disaffection; surrounded the chief of their number, danced around him, and chaunted the obnoxious burden, until Fouché being ashamed

The police laboured with as little effect to stop the circulation of a variety of pamphlets, secretly printed and dispersed by the royalists, under the title of the "Cry of Alarm," the "Cry of Honour," and a series of addresses to the army, to the national guard, to the youth of France, &c. which, published under the assumed name of Lasmuldi Royaumant, appeared posted, almost every morning, on the walls of the metropolis, and on its most public streets and squares. These daring measures greatly incommoded the ministers, who were unwilling to recur to any strong measures for restraining the liberty of the press, which was one of the blessings which Buonaparte came to insure to the nation. They arrested, nevertheless, Le Normand and other printers, besides a female, who had been active in distributing the royal manifestoes. She was detained for some time in custody at her own lodgings, that the police might take note of those who came to visit her, and have an opportunity of arresting and searching their persons. A number of persons, suspected of royalism, were commanded to leave Paris; and several other arbitrary measures made plain what was said of the minister of police by Lecompte, the editor of Le Censeur, that if he loved liberty, it was only liberty after the manner of Monsieur Fouché. A quarrel between this editor (who had been an active promoter of Buonaparte's interest before his return) threw some curious light on the manner in which journals are managed in France. Lecompte was a loud, and probably

* Buonaparte, on the 4th of May.

a sincere advocate of freedom, and soon published some severe remarks on the undue weight which the army were like to exercise in the new set


tlement of the state. The journal was instantly seized by the police, while, at the same time, the Moniteur announced that it had been restored to the editors. This was boldly denied by Lecompte in his next number, on which he was called before the prefect, alternately threatened and wheedled, upbraided with indifference to the cause of the emperor, and requested to think of something in which the government might serve him. To this he firmly replied, that he desired only permission to profit by the stipulated liberty of the press, and he had the courage to make public the whole affair. Such incidents indicated an alienation from Buonaparte on the part of the republican party, who, indeed, stood only con nected with him by the ties which bind two enemies, embarked in the same vessel, to contribute their joint efforts to save her from shipwreck. They began to express aloud their regret, that France should incur the risk of a dreadful invasion for the sake of one man, and circulated a report that the emperor intended to consummate his sacrifices for the public, by resigning his crown to his son (and they might have added, to his jacobin ministry) at the approaching Champ de Mai. Lecompte, already mentioned, gave this suggestion publicly in his newspaper. But it was not at the head of an entire army of three hundred thousand men that Buonaparte was accessible to hints of this nature.

While the name of Buonaparte was execrated among the persons of rank and property, and pronounced with doubt and suspicion by the philosophers and constitutionalists, he him

self seemed to adopt the celebrated classical maxim,

Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo,

Since he could not form an interest in the saloons, he resolved to raise the suburbs, and add, by the furious and rude character of their inhabitants, to the terrors, if not to the dignity of his reign. For a time, crowds of artisans of the lowest order assembled under the windows of the Tuilleries, and demanded to see the emperor, whom, on his appearance, they greeted with shouts, as le grand entrepreneur, or general employer of the class of artisans, in language where the coarse phraseology of their rank was adorned with such flowers of rhetoric, as the times of terror had coined. Latterly, the numbers of this assembly were maintained by a distribution of a few sous to the shouters. Occasionally, the royalists contrived to mingle among this motley crew, and suggest to them questions and demands the most insulting to Buonaparte. It was on such an occasion, and through such malicious insinuations, when the crowd became persuaded, that Maria Louisa, whose journey from Vienna had been announced so often, was actually arrived, and that they might obtain a sight of her by being sufficiently clamorous. Accordingly, they demanded the presence of the empress with so much vehemence, that Buonaparte was obliged to appear, and though sensible of the irony which had prompted the sovereign people to strain their throats in this ill-timed request, thought it best to pacify them with an assurance, that she would certainly appear in May.

However disgusted with these degrading exhibitions, Buonaparte saw

distinguished in the groupe, were fa cetiously called his Gray and Black Mousquetaires. He hasted to dismiss his hideous minions, with a sufficient distribution of praises and of liquor. The national guards conceived themselves insulted on this occasion, because compelled to give their attendance along with the federates. The troops of the line felt for the degraded character of the emperor. The haughty character of the French soldiers had kept them from fraternizing with the rabble, even in the cause of Napoleon. They were observed, on the march from Cannes, to cease their cries of Vive l'Empereur, when, upon entering any considerable town, the shout was taken up by the mob of the place, and to suspend their acclamations, rather than mingle them with those of the pequins,* whom they despised. They now muttered to each other, on seeing the court which Buonaparte seemed compelled to bestow on these degraded artisans, that the conqueror of Marengo and Wagram had sunk into the mere captain of a rabble. In short, the disgraceful character of the alliance thus formed between Buonaparte and the lees of the people, was of a nature incapable of being glossed over even in the flattering pages of the Moniteur, which, amidst a flourishing description of this memorable procession, was compelled to admit, that, in some places, the name of the emperor was incongruously mingled with expressions and songs, which recalled an era unfortunately too famous.

himself under the necessity of courting the class, always the meanest, most corrupted, and most ignorant, of a great city. He was not contented with visiting Richard Lenoir, already mentioned, whose influence in the Fauxbourg Saint Antoine procured him the name of Santerre the Second, but he instituted a day of procession and festival in honour of this description of persons, who, from the mode in which they were enrolled, were termed Federates.

The motley and ill-arMay 14. ranged ranks which ́assembled on this memorable occasion, exhibited, in the eyes of the disgusted and frightened spectators, all that is degraded by habitual vice, and hardened by stupidity and profligacy. The portentous procession moved on along the Boulevards to the court of the Tuilleries, with shouts, in which the praises of the emperor were mingled with im precations, and with the revolutionary songs (long silenced in Paris), the Marseilloise Hymn, the Carmagnole, and the Day of Departure. The appearance of the men, the refuse of manufactories, of work-houses, of jails; their rags, their filth, their drunkenness; their ecstacies of blasphemous rage, and no less blasphemous joy, stamped them with the character of the willing perpetrators of the worst horrors of the revolution. Buonaparte himself was judged by close observers to shrink with abhorrence from the assembly he had himself convoked. His guards were under arms, and the field-artillery loaded, and turned on the Place de Carousel, filled with the motley crowd, who, from the contrasted colour of the corn-porters and charcoal-men

Even when he looked upon his army, the sole efficient guardians of his power, there were unpleasant circumstances for Napoleon's consideration.

"We soldiers," said a French marechal to one of Buonaparte's ministers, "call all pequins who are not military."-"Yes," retorted the statesman, "as we call all military who are not civil.”

Several of the most celebrated of the marshals and generals of France, as Oudinot, Macdonald, Augereau, Clarke, Marmont, Victor, Gouvion de St Cyr, and others, famous in his wars, either stood aloof, or avowedly retained their active allegiance to Louis XVIII. Berthier, long one of his chief confidents, had retired to Germany, and apparently embraced the Bourbon interest. But whether from discovery of some plot, which he had undertaken in Buonaparte's behalf, or from stinging regret at the circumstances in which he found himself, or from a temporary alienation of mind, he cast himself from a window, as a body of the allied troops passed through the city, and died in consequence of that rash action. The king's Swiss guards resisted every attempt to seduce their loyalty, and Buonaparte was obliged to disband and dismiss them. Their barracks were given to the guards who had escorted Napoleon from Elba, under the imposing title, The Quarters of the Brave. But the inscription gave so much offence to the rest of the army, that Buonaparte, now obliged to buy opinions of all sorts of men, and at all rates, commanded it to be erazed.

While he was thus engaged, it became necessary to unfold from the eyes of the public the veil with which he had bound them, and to prepare them for the sacrifices he had to demand, by setting forth the dangers which surrounded France. Instead of the twenty years truce, and the return of the empress and her child to Paris, as a pledge of the friendship of Austria, a report of Caulaincourt at length announced, that the allies were about to advance against the French territories. Much pains was used to identify Buonaparte's cause with that of France, and to satisfy the

nation that the sacrifices they were called upon to make, were to be only nominally made for the emperor, but, in fact, for the honour and safety of the country. "Upon all parts of Europe," said the reporter, with an affectation of as much surprise as if the war had not been the necessary consequence of the return of the emperor, whom he addressed," Upon all parts of Europe at once, they are arming, or marching, or ready to march. And against whom are these armaments directed? Sire, it is your majesty they name, but it is France that is threatened. The least favourable peace that the powers ever dared to offer you, is that with which your majesty contents yourself. Why do they not now wish what they stipulated at Chaumont-what they ratified at Paris? It is not then against the monarch, it is against the French nation, against the independence of the people, against all that is dear to us, all that we have acquired after twenty-five years of suffering and of glory, against our liberties, our institutions, that hostile passions wish to make war; a part of the Bourbon family, and some men who have long ceased to be French, endeavour again to raise all the nations of Germany and the north, in the hope of returning a second time by force of arms on the soil which disclaims and wishes no longer to receive them."

To meet dangers so imminent, a levy of two millions of men was resolved upon, to be effected by calling out all from sixteen to sixty through the whole kingdom. It was, indeed, impossible to carry so sweeping a resolution into effect; but it was thus widely worded, in order to authorise Buonaparte to select an army out of the population of France, and that by compulsion, without use of the odious word conscription. All being declared

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