Imatges de pÓgina

pital of Calabria. On his way, he met
a colonel of gens d'armes, by name
Trentacapelli, whom he commanded
to follow him. The officer eluded the
request, afraid, probably, of being de-
tained had he given a direct refusal.
"My king," he replied, "shall be he
whose flag shall be displayed on the
castle of Monteleone." Murat per-
mitted him to proceed on his journey.
On arriving at Pizzo, Trentacapelli
found the inhabitants taking arms in
the cause of Ferdinand, under com-
mand of Seignior Alcala, the steward
of the Duke del Infantado, to whom
the village belongs. Colonel Trenta-
capelli put himself at their head, and
hastened to pursue Murat, who was
already half way on his journey to
Monteleone. With the fool-hardy in
fatuation that seems to have charac-
terized most of his measures, Joachim
concluded that the strong party which
advanced from Pizzo, were following
with the purpose of joining him, and
determined to wait their arrival. On
their approach, the shout of Viva il Re
Gioachino! which was raised by his
attendants, was answered by a volley
of musketry. A smart skirmish ensued,
in the course of which Murat fired his
last pistol in the face of Trentacapelli,
but without killing him; and at length,
breaking through the enemy, with
about twelve followers, all of whom,
save himself, were wounded, he regain-
ed, at full gallop, the sea-beach, near
the place where he had disembarked.
Here all hopes of escape terminated.
The commander of the felucca, from
which he had disembarked had taken
the alarm on hearing the firing, and,
giving up Murat for lost, bore away
from the coast. Joachim threw him-
selt into a fishing-boat, and endeavour-
ed to get it launched. The fisherman
and his comrades pulled the boat to
the beach, and surrounded him. As
a last effort, he produced the passport
for Trieste. It was too late. A female

rushed upon him, and tore off his decorations, and he was conveyed before General Nanziante, the commander of Calabria, where he underwent a short examination.

News of the capture of Murat was carried to Naples by telegraph, and by the same expeditious means an order was conveyed to the commandant of the military district in which he had landed, to subject him to a trial by martial law. His trial and condemnation were very summary; for the lot of a captive and defeated pretender is seldom long dubious. He was found guilty by the court-martial, unanimously, of having attempted to excite rebellion and civil war, and the presi dent, General Nanziante, passed sentence of death accordingly. The jus tice of this doom is vindicated by the general law of nations; yet, considering that Murat, though now unquestionably a private man, had been so lately numbered among those who make peace or war at their pleasure, a firm government would have disdained, and an humane monarch hesitated, to execute the sentence. It is said, accordingly, that Ferdinand expressed some scruples at signing the fatal warrant, until reminded that the unsettled state of his newly recovered kingdom did not permit him in prudence to spare the forfeit life of his unhappy rival. The sentence of death was executed in the same day. Murat made it his request that he should be shot by a party of his own guard, which was of course refused. With unnecessary cruelty, the Neapolitan officer denied him the use of scissars to cut off his hair, which he wished to send to his family. At the last fatal moment he behaved with the courage to be expected from Le beau sabreur, placed on his breast a picture of his wife, refused to have his eyes bandaged, or to use a seat, received six balls through his head, and fell without a

groan. His remains were interred in the chapel belonging to the castle in whose hall the execution had taken place.

Thus fell Murat, who, from the meanest rank of society, had raised himself by military courage alone,-for he was devoid of talents,-to the throne of one of the most delightful countries in Europe. Had he made active war during the campaign of 1814, he would have avoided the suspicions of Britain and Austria, or had he remained at peace in the subsequent year, he would have appeased their resentment, and, in either case, retained his rank among the kingdoms of Europe. His remarkable history is less striking, from its being interwoven with that of Buonaparte, to which it forms but an episode. Future times, however, could they forget the massacres of September at Paris, and the 4th of May in Madrid, might assign to Murat a fairer rank than his patron and relative. As a king, he conferred many benefits on his subjects, and was generous and hospitable in his intercourse with

strangers; as a soldier, he led his men in person against the cannon to which he exposed them, and as a general, he never forsook his army until it abandoned him. The circumstances of his death he had himself foretold, when he weighed in his rashness, and instigated, probably, by the pas sions of others as well as his own, the various dangers by which he was surrounded. A king," he said, "who could not keep his sovereignty, had no alternative but a soldier's death; and though a prison might be offered to him as an asylum, a grave would be at no great distance."

His fall, in a political point of view, was of importance to the tranquillity of Europe; for while Murat continued to live and reign, his court must have been the natural asylum of the disaffected French, and, liable as Joachim was to be acted upon by the insinuations of others, there can be little doubt that, at some future time, he would have adventured upon schemes of ambition for revolutionizing Italy.


Buonaparte attempts to conciliate Foreign Powers.-His Decrees for educa. ting Youth, and abolishing the Slave Trade.-A Plot to carry off the Empress and her Child is detected at Vienna.-Versatility of the French Men of Letters.-Disputes between Buonaparte and his Ministers.-Proclamations of Louis XVIII.-Activity of the Royalists of Paris.-Buonaparte pays Court to the Federates.-Their Procession and Review.-Preparations for War.-Commissioners sent into the Departments.-Disinclination to the War, and Disaffection, prevail generally.-Fouché's Report on these Particulars.-Buonaparte leaves the Tuilleries, and goes to the Palace of Elysee-Bourbon.-He Publishes the additional Act to the Constitutions of the Empire.Objected to as not originating with the Nation-And as being only an Appendix to the Imperial Code of Constitutions.—It is generally disliked-But subjected to the Votes of the French People.-Illusory Nature of the Sanction thus obtained.-Buonaparte's Brothers arrive at Paris.-Ceremony of the Champ de Mai-Acceptance of the Constitution.-Delivery of the Eagles to the Troops-Meeting of the Legislative Chambers.-Character of the Chamber of Peers-Of Representatives.-The Chamber of Representatives disputes with Napoleon on Points of Form.-Speech of Buonaparte to the Chambers.Address of the Peers.-Address of the Representatives.-Buonaparte's Reply to that Address.

WHILE Murat was struggling and sinking under his evil fate, Buonaparte was actively preparing for the approaching contest. His first at tempt, as we have already seen, was to conciliate the allied powers. To satisfy Great Britain, he passed an act abolishing the slave trade, and some regulations concerning national education, in which he spoke highly of the systems of Bell and Lancaster. But this approximation of sentiments was too obviously designed to flatter British habits of thinking, to produce much good effect. We have seen, hat these measures were more favour

ably construed by some of our legis-
lators, and that they were so is a com-
plete proof that Buonaparte under-
stood the temper of our nation. To
suppose, that, during his ten months
of retirement, his mind was actively
employed upon the miseries of the
negroes, or the deplorable state of ig-
norance to which his own measures,
and the want of early instruction,
had reduced the youth of France,
would argue but little acquaintance
with his habits of ambition.
believe, on the contrary, that he
would, at his first arrival in France,
make any apparent sacrifices which


might attract the good-will of his powerful and dangerous neighbours, is more consonant with his schemes, his interest, and his character. The path to our esteem which he chose, was by no means injudicious. The abolition of negro slavery, and the instruction of the poor, have (to the honour of our legislature) been frequent and anxious subjects of deliberation in the House of Commons; and to mankind, whether individually or collectively, no species of flattery is more pleasing than that of assent and imitation. By his decree against the slave-trade, Buonaparte also placed himself in advantageous contrast with the Bourbons, making voluntarily that very sacrifice to gain British friendship, which they, secure in possessing it, had been prevailed upon by the mercantile interest of France to refuse to our express and earnest solicitation. But the British public entertained too just a suspicion of Buonaparte's sincerity, to give him the general credit for these measures, which it was probably his principal wish to obtain by their promulgation.

With Austria, Napoleon acted differently. He was aware no impression could be made on the Emperor Francis, or his minister Metternich, and that it became impossible that, with their consent, he should fulfil his promise of presenting his wife and son to the people on the Champ de Mai. Stratagem remained the only resource; and the Frenchmen at Vienna, with those in Maria Louisa's train, formed a scheme of carrying off the Empress of France and her child. Their manœuvres attracted the attention of the police. A French officer was arrested coming out of a window in the palace,

where he had spent part of the night in preparing for the execution of the plan. He imprudently offered the police such a bribe, as inferred, by its amount, the importance of his private business in the place. The plot was discovered and prevented, and the most public steps were immediately taken, to show that Austria consider. ed all ties with Buonaparte as dissolved for ever. Maria Louisa, by her father's commands, laid aside the arms and liveries of her husband, hitherto displayed by her attendants and carriages, and assumed those of the house of Austria. All French men and women in attendance upon her person, and that of the young Napoleon, were dismissed, and precautions taken for the security of both. The secret overtures, by which Buonaparte, abandoning Murat to his fate, and even offering to aid in suppressing him, proposed to extend and confirm the Austrian power in Italy, were coldly and peremptorily rejected. It has been said, that Austria was fixed to the general cause by the insults which Buonaparte had offered to her prime minister, as well as by her own interest and that of Europe.*

Thus baffled in his overtures alike and intrigues at foreign courts, Buonaparte was compelled to rest his newly-acquired power upon the attachment and energy of the French nation, which was now to be conciliated in every possible manner. His successful march from Cannes had of itself arranged under his banners many of those who had been the foremost to reprobate his attempt as treason to France, so long as it seemed impossible he should have the means of effecting it. Benjamin Constant,

*He used to say, "I have Metternich in my sleeve, who has the Emperor of Austria in his pocket." And at Dresden, he opened the conference by abruptly asking Metternich, what bribe he had received from the allies?-a brutal arrogance, which he could scarce expect would be either forgotten or forgiven.

who had pronounced against the re turn of the Exile of Elba so animated a philippic, accepted without a blush the office of Counsellor of State, which he offered him a few days after; read his palinode, and lent his valuable assistance to the other statesmen and sçavants who were to form the new constitution of regenerated France, The journalists gave in their adhesion to the new order of things without a moment's hesitation, and the pens, which the week before denounced Buonaparte as an Ogre, who had devoured the youth of France, now wrote him down a hero and a liberator. Of sixty Parisian writers, engaged constantly or occasionally in composing for periodical publications, only five could be counted who remained faithful to the king. Most of the other men of letters showed the same disgraceful versatility. But it was not by the assistance of such political weather-cocks that. Buonaparte could hope to prop his re-established throne. It was necessary to conciliate the people's hearts, and to increase and animate the strength and spirits of the army.

It was in the first task that he endeavoured to employ the service of his republican adherents, and his ministers Fouché and Carnot; and in the beginning of his brief reign, he certainly received and profited by many of their lessons. The unlimited liberty of the press was instantly accorded, and the censorship removed; but it was not long ere Buonaparte, by appointing inspectors of the book sellers, endeavoured in some degree to indemnify himself for the license he had given to the press. Indeed, his interest and inclination alike made him desire an extension of his powers at this interesting crisis, and we shall presently find him complaining of the inconvenient effects of the freedom which he had restored. But, however the union of the imperialists and

jacobins had been cemented by mu. tual hatred of the Bourbons, and was still kept together by apprehension of their adherents within, and their allies in the exterior, seeds of discord were soon visible between the empe ror and the popular leaders. While the former was eager once more to wield with full energy the sceptre hé had recovered, the latter were continually reminding him, that he had only assumed it in a limited and restricted capacity, as the head of a free government, exercising indeed its executive power, but under the restraint of a popular constitution. Napoleon, in the frequent disputes which arose on these important points, was obliged to concede to the demagogues the principles which they insisted upon. But then, for the safety of the state, involved in foreign and domestic dangers, he contended it was necessary to invest the chief magistrate with a vigour beyond the law, a dictatorial authority, temporary in its duration, but nearly absolute in its extent, as had been the manner in the free states of antiquity, when the republic was in imminent danger. Carnot and Fouché, on the other hand, considered, that although it seemed easy and natural to conter such power at the present moment, the resumption of it by the nation, when it was once vested in the hands of Buonaparte, would be a most hopeless experiment. The emperor, therefore, and his ministers, proceeded to their mutual tasks with no mutual confidence; but, on the contrary, with jealousy, thinly veiled by an affectation of deference on the side of Buonaparte, and respect on that of his counsellors.

These appearances of dissention did not escape the eyes of the watchful Parisians, and augured ill for the subsistence of the existing league between the two parties, whose coalition had now placed them uppermost. The royalists did not fail to profit by these

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