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TALKS OF NAPOLEON 
AT ST. HELENA 



MRS. LATIMER'S WORKS 



TALKS OF NAPOLEON 
AT ST. HELENA 



NINETEENTH CENTURY SERIES 

The Last Years of the Nineteenth Century 

Spain in the Nineteenth Century 

Italy in the Nineteenth Century 

Europe in Africa in the Nineteenth Century 

England in the Nineteenth Century 

France in the Nineteenth Century 



MY SCRAP-BOOK OF THE FRENCH 
REVOLUTION 



JUDEA, FROM CYRUS TO TITUS 

537 B. C. TO 70 A. D. 



THE PRINCE INCOGNITO 
A Romance 




GEiYERA L GOURGA UD 



TALKS OF NAPOLEON 
AT ST. HELENA 

WITH 

GENERAL BARON GOURGAUD 

TOGETHER WITH THE JOURNAL KEPT BY GOURGAUD ON THEIR 
JOURNEY FROM WATERLOO TO ST. HELENA 

TRANSLATED, AND WITH NOTES, BY 

ELIZABETH WORMELEY LATIMER 

AUTHOR OF "FRANCE IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY," "ENGLAND IN 
THE NINETEENTH CENTURY," " RUSSIA AND TURKEY IN THE NINE- 
TEENTH CENTURY," "EUROPE IN AFRICA IN THE NINETEENTH 
CENTURY," "ITALY IN THE NINETEETH CENTURY," 
"SPAIN IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY," 
"MY SCRAP-BOOK OF THE FRENCH 
REVOLUTION." ETC. 

SECOND EDITION 




CHICAGO 

C. McCLURG & CO. 

1904 



Copyright 

By A. C. McCLURG & CO. 

1903 



Published Sept. 30, 1903 



R. R. DONNELLEY & SONS COMPANY 
CHICAGO 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Translator's Introduction xi 

General Gourgaud's Journal from the Day after 
THE Battle of Waterloo, June ig, 1815, to 
THE Arrival of Napoleon at Saint Helena, 
October 15, 1815 i 

THE TALKS OF NAPOLEON. 

Chapter L Early Years 35 

Chapter U. Napoleon's Rise to Fame and 

Fortune 53 

Chapter HL Campaign of Marengo .... 77 
Chapter IV. Government of France under the 

Consulate and the Empire . . 85 

Chapter V. Bonaparte Consul 100 

Chapter VI. Napoleon Emperor 114 

Chapter VII. Campaigns of i8og in Spain and 

Austria 128 

Chapter VIII. Domestic Relations 135 

Chapter IX. Campaigns of 1812-1814 in Russia, 

Germany, and France ... 154 

Chapter X. Elba and the Return from Elba 167 

Chapter XI. Waterloo 182 

Chapter XII. France after the Restoration . 198 

Chapter XIII. Great Generals in the Past . . 207 

Chapter XIV. Marshals and Generals, 1814-15 221 

Chapter XV. The Art of War 229 

Chapter XVI. Anecdotes and Miscellaneous 

Sayings 243 

Chapter XVII. Religion 270 

Index .... 281 

vii 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

PAGE 

General Baron Gourgaud . . . Frontispiece 

Napoleon 35 

Empress Josephine 70 

Empress Marie Louise 105 

Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland . 140 

Marshal Ney 175 

Marshal Soult 210 

Marshal Massena 245 



TRANSLATOR'S INTRODUCTION 



Lord Rosebery, in his admirable and most interesting 
record of Napoleon's life at St. Helena, which he called 
"Napoleon: the Last Phase," speaks thus: 

"The one capital and superior record of life at St. 
Helena is the private journal of General Gourgaud. It 
was written, in the main at least, for his own eye, without 
flattery or even prejudice. It is sometimes almost brutal 
in its realism. He alone of all the chroniclers strove to 
be accurate, and on the whole succeeded." 

This journal, which consists of twelve hundred printed 
pages, was not published until 1898, and is too prolix for 
complete translation. We want to know all Gourgaud 
can tell us about Napoleon; we do not care to know what 
he notes down concerning his jealousies, his sulks, his 
ennui, his perpetual pity for himself. I have therefore 
extracted from the two volumes of the Journal (without 
the help of any satisfactory index), almost all that Napo- 
leon said to Gourgaud in familiar chats, about his past 
life, and his speculations as to the future. I have omit- 
ted most of Napoleon's vituperations of Sir Hudson Lowe, 
and his complaints against the English government, also 
anecdotes of his bonnes fortunes, and his constantly recur- 
ring disputations with Gourgaud concerning that follower's 
mother's pension — a pension Napoleon was quite ready to 
give, and Gourgaud eager to receive, though he could not 
be prevailed upon to take it, on some point of honor. 

It is hoped that this record of what Napoleon said, 
taken down by one whose truthfulness Napoleon himself 
vouched for, may be found interesting by many who might 
have been wearied by reading the larger part of this record, 
although it was kept by a man who loved his master 
devotedly, and who had been attached to his personal 
service since 18 12. 

Gaspard Gourgaud, son of a musician in the king's 
private orchestra at Versailles, was born November 14, 
1783. His mother had formed part of the royal house- 
hold, as nurse to the Due de Berry, son of the Comte 

xi 



xii INTRODUCTION 

d'Artois, and Gaspard was brought up as the playmate of 
the Httle prince, who was about four years older. He 
looked upon that prince almost as his foster-brother, and 
the friendship of the Due de Berry never failed him — not 
even when he had become the aide-de-camp and devoted 
follower of the Emperor Napoleon. After the Restora- 
tion in 1815, when Gourgaud went into exile with Napo- 
leon, his mother continued to receive from the Bourbons 
a small pension for her past services, and we see in every 
mention of the royal family of France in Gourgaud' s Jour- 
nal that great care has been taken to say nothing that 
could hurt their feelings. 

On September 23, 1799, when Napoleon was First 
Consul, young Gourgaud was admitted to the Ecole Poly- 
technique, whence two years later he entered the École 
d'Artillerie at Chalons. In 1802 he joined the army as 
second lieutenant in the Seventh Regiment of Foot Artillery 
then in camp at Boulogne, and two years later he became 
aide-de-camp to General Foucher. He distinguished him- 
self at Ulm, at the capture of Vienna, at the Bridge of 
Thabor, and at Austerlitz, where he was wounded. He 
fought at Jena and at Friedland, received the Cross of the 
Legion of Honor at Pultusk, was promoted the day after 
the affair at Ostrolenka, was then sent to Spain, and was 
present at the siege of Saragossa; returned to the army 
in the North, and was at Abensberg, Eckmiihl, Ratisbon, 
and Wagram. 

In 181 1 he was sent on a mission to Dantzic, and in 
July of the same year was chosen by Napoleon to be one 
of his orderly officers (officiers d'ordonnancé). Though 
wounded in the Battle of Smolensk, Gourgaud was the 
first to enter the Kremlin, where he destroyed the mine 
intended to blow up the Emperor, his staff, and the 
Imperial Guard. 

For this he was made a Baron of the Empire. For 
his heroic conduct during the terrible retreat from Russia 
he was made Chef d' Escadron and was appointed First 
Orderly Officer. 

At Dresden he received the Gold Star of the Legion 
of Honor, and on January 29, 18 14, at Brienne, he killed 
with a pistol shot a Cossack who was about to thrust his 
lance through the Emperor. For this Napoleon gave him 
the sword that he had worn at Lodi, Montenotte, and 



INTRODUCTION xiii 

Rivoli. At Montmirail Gourgaud received another 
wound; he distinguished himself at Laon, was made a 
Colonel, and Commander of the Legion of Honor, after 
which he was the first to enter Rheims. 

At Fleurus he was promoted to be a General and 
made aide-de-camp to the Emperor. At Waterloo he 
fired the last shots from the French cannon. 

In 1 8 14, however, when the Emperor had abdicated, 
and had been sent to Elba, Gourgaud, believing that the 
Restoration would bring peace and prosperity to France, 
returned to his former allegiance to the Bourbons. He was 
cordially received by the Due de Berry, and made one of 
the royal household. He did not desert his post until the 
King had fled to Ghent, when the household had been 
virtually disbanded; and Gourgaud, desirous to serve his 
country in his chosen career, returned to his former 
master. He was, as we have seen, at Waterloo. He 
accompanied Napoleon after the battle in his flight 
to Paris, and was sent by him to Rochefort to see 
what prospects of escape to the United States might be 
found there. 

Napoleon, while at Rochefort, endeavored to send 
Gourgaud to England, and intrusted him with what the 
French editors of the Journal call "the immortal letter" 
to the Prince Regent, reminding that personage of the 
hospitable reception accorded to Themistocles when he 
surrendered himself to his enemies. Had Napoleon had 
any knowledge of the English constitution or the English 
character, he never would have made to the Prince Regent 
an appeal of sentiment ; but he and his admirers thought 
the allusion to Themistocles sublime. 

At St. Helena Napoleon said, speaking of Gourgaud: 
"He was my First Orderly Officer. He is my work. He 
is my son." 

Napoleon was sincerely attached to the young officer; 
his participation in all the great campaigns from 1804 to 
181 5, and his knowledge of the English language — sup- 
posed to have been much greater than it really was — made 
him useful in many ways to the Emperor. "But," 
says Lord Rosebery, 

"At St. Helena Gourgaud was utterly out of place. On 
active service, on the field of battle, he would have been of the 
greatest service to his chief — a keen, intelligent, devoted officer; 



XIV INTRODUCTION 

but in the inaction of St. Helena, his energy, deprived of its 
natural outlets, turned in upon himself, on his nerves, and on his 
relations to others. He himself was in much the same position 
as the Emperor. The result was that he was never happy except 
when grumbling or quarrelling. To use Madame de Montholon's 
figure when speaking of Napoleon, 'His fire, for want of fuel, 
consumed himself and those around him.' But Napoleon had the 
command of what luxury and companionship there was at St. 
Helena; the others in the little colony had their wives and chil- 
dren; Gourgaud had nothing He was a brilliant young 

officer devoted to his master with an unreasonable, petulant jeal- 
ousy, which made his devotion intolerable; and above all, he was 
perpetually bored — bored with the islands, bored with the confine- 
ment, bored with the isolation, bored with celibacy, bored with 
court life in a shanty, involving all the burdens without the splen- 
dor of a palace, bored with inaction, and bored with himself for 
being bored." 

And yet we like him. There were times when he 
showed good sense, and his master might have done well 
to follow his advice in his relations with Sir Hudson Lowe. 
But what we are most grateful for is the new view we 
obtain from his Journal of the fallen Emperor. Lord 
Rosebery says: 

"With his abnormal frankness he depicts himself as petulant, 
captious, and sulky to the last degree, while we see Napoleon 
gentle, patient, good-tempered, trying to soothe his lonely and 
morbid attendant with something like the tenderness of a parent 
for a wayward child. Once indeed he calls Gourgaud 'a child.' 
Gourgaud is furious. 'Me! a child! I shall soon be thirty-four! 
I have seen eighteen years of service. I have been in thirteen 
campaigns. I have received three wounds! And to be treated 
like this! Calling me a child is calling me a fool.' All this he 
poured forth on the Emperor in an angry torrent." 

Yet the impression left on us by Gourgaud's own 
words, written in his own journal, for his own eye, is that 
he was not only a child, but a provokingly naughty one. 
We would love him were it not that we are keenly sensible 
how intolerable his constant loss of self-control must have 
been to the fallen and forsaken Emperor. Lord Rose- 
bery says: 

"The Napoleon who endured such scenes as Gourgaud relates 
is not the Napoleon of our preconceptions: that Napoleon 
would have ordered a subordinate who talked to him like this out 
of the room before he had finished a sentence. What does the 
teal Napoleon do? Let us hear Gourgaud himself. After the 



ÏNTRODUCTIOI^ xv 

scene in which he resents having been called a child, he says : 'In 
short, I am very angry. The Emperor seeks to calm me. I 
remain silent. We pass into the dining-room. He speaks to me 
gently. "I know you have commanded troops and batteries, but 
you are after all very young." I only reply by gloomy silence.' 
The insulting charge of youth is more than Gourgaud can bear. 
This is our Gourgaud as we come to know him. But is this the 
Napoleon that we thought we knew? Not menacing or crushing 
his rebellious equerry, but trying to soothe, to assuage, to per- 
suade."' 

Strange to say, in spite of Gourgaud's almost brutal 
devotion to truth, he was selected by Napoleon (who loved 
mystification, whose line of policy was habitually deceit- 
ful) to be his agent — in point of fact his ambassador — to 
the crowned heads of Europe, and to his own family; and 
in order to leave St. Helena without exciting suspicion 
that he had a mission, he was to throw dust in the eyes 
of Sir Hudson Lowe and in those of the foreign com- 
missioners. Gourgaud lent himself to this deception as 
he would have lent himself to any plan that carried out 
the wishes of the Emperor. 

Piontkowski, Las Cases, and Santini had by turns left 
St. Helena with instructions to communicate with Napo- 
leon's friends and family, but little had resulted from their 
missions. They were not persons of sufficient weight to 
act as agents between the Emperor who had fallen, and 
other emperors and kings. But Gourgaud was a different 
man; he had been Napoleon's aide-de-camp, intrusted 
with his most private thoughts, and occasionally em- 
ployed as his secretary. If he obtained leave to quit his 
post at St. Helena without good reason, all men would 
naturally suspect a secret mission. For two months 
before the date fixed for his departure, the way was being 
prepared by a series of bitter quarrels with Montholon, of 
whose personal relations with Napoleon Gourgaud was 
already jealous, and scenes took place which amounted to 
violent quarrels with the Emperor himself, duly reported 
to Sir Hudson Lowe by his staff of spies at Longwood. 
At last Gourgaud resolved to provoke a duel with Mon- 
tholon, and asked advice concerning it from Sir Hudson 

' I perhaps ought to apologize for such long extracts from the Chapter on 
Gourgaud in Lord Rosebery's book, "Napoleon: the Last Phase," but any 
one who knows the book will be glad to read these words over again, and 
any one of my readers who does not know it may thank me for the introduc- 
Uon.— -£. W. L. 



xvi INTRODUCTION 

Lowe ! Considerable correspondence on the subject passed 
through Sir Hudson's hands. No detail of the plot, or 
more properly of the little comedy, seems to have been 
omitted. As the Journal of Las Cases had been seized 
before his departure from Longwood, the same thing, it 
was thought, might happen to that of Gourgaud. This 
accounts for the bitterness and ill-temper that fill its latter 
pages. When Gourgaud, after he left Longwood, found 
himself for some weeks associating with English officers 
at Jamestown, with Sir Hudson Lowe, and with the for- 
eign commissioners, no doubt his conversation was in the 
same strain. He even attempted to palm off on Sir 
Hudson Lowe some cock-and-bull stories about plans for 
projected escapes, such as carrying off the Emperor in 
a hogshead, etc., which fables Sir Hudson accepted with 
all belief, and reported to the Foreign Office, where Sir 
Walter Scott subsequently had access to them, and 
arrived at the conclusion that Gourgaud was a traitor.* 

Meantime, by help of some secret agent, Gourgaud 
kept up an almost daily correspondence with Longwood. 
Montholon writes to him, a few days after they had parted, 
to all appearance, enemies to the death: 

"The Emperor thinks that you are overacting your 
part. He fears lest Sir Hudson should open his eyes. 
You know how astute he is. Therefore be always on 
your guard, and sail as soon as you can, without, how- 
ever, seeming anxious to hurry your departure. Your 
position is a very difficult one. 

"Do not forget that Sturmer^ is devoted to Metter- 
nich. On every suitable occasion turn the conversation 
on the tender affection the Emperor feels for the Empress, 

but say Httle about the King of Rome Complain 

openly of the affair of the five hundred pounds, and write 

• Nothing could equal the credulity of Sir Hudson Lowe when any plan 
for his captive's escape was suggested to him. Many years ago a captain in 
the navy who had been in command of one of the ships on guard at St. Helena 
visited often at ray father's house. He would talk freely of Sir Hudson Lowe, 
and of his annoying and absurd precautions. His ship was sent to guard the 
rocky islet of Tristan d'Acunha, lest any ship having the imperial captive on 
board should touch at that island, which lies on the route to nowhere, and is a 
long distance from St. Helena. The island had no harbor, and the English 
warship was saved with much difficulty in a great storm from which she had 
no refuge. It was with anything but blessings our friend would comment on 
the peculiarities and vexatious precautions of Sir Hudson Lowe.— £. W. L. 

'Stiirmer was the Austrian commissioner; Montchenu the commissioner 
of Louis XVin. 



INTRODUCTION xvii 

an aggfrieved letter about it to Bertrand. Fear nothing 
from him. He knows nothing of your mission.* Your 
yesterday's report reached me safely. It greatly inter- 
ested his Majesty. Montchenu is an old émigré, a man of 
honor. You must make him talk; that is all. Any time 
you go into Jamestown give a report to No. 53. It is 
most certainly our safest way." 

On March 14, 1 818, Gourgaud embarked onboard an 
Indiaman going home to England. On the authorities at 
Jamestown he had made so favorable an impression that 
he was spared the voyage to the Cape, which he had 
looked forward to with dread. Sir Hudson Lowe sup- 
plied him with funds in lieu of the fictitious five hundred 
pounds about which he made so much disturbance, and 
also gave him letters to Cabinet ministers in England, 
speaking of him in the highest terms. Montchenu, the 
French commissioner, wrote to his government, and to 
his friend the Marquis d' Osmond, French Ambassador in 
London, saying to the latter: "You will doubtless be glad 
to converse with an intelligent officer, who for more than 
ten years has been attached to the personal service of 
Bonaparte. You will see, too, that things are not so bad 
with him at St. Helena as he and his subordinates would 
have us believe." 

On reaching London early in May, 1818, one of Gour- 
gaud's first visits was to the Marquis d'Osmond. The 
Marquis advised him to hold no relations with the leaders 
of the Liberal party in England; that is, with Lord Hol- 
land, Lord Grey, Sir Robert Wilson, or Lord Brougham — 
all of them admirers of Napoleon, who compassionated his 
fate. Men who held clerkships under Lord Castlereagh's 
government, and all foreign ambassadors, tried to make 
Gourgaud talk, and if possible obtain from him some- 
thing unfavorable to his master, but as this could no 

• This matter of the £500 proves that Gourgaud did not hesitate to accept 
an odious part when it might lead to what was earnestly desired by the 
Emperor. He was apparently to dun Napoleon for an indemnity due on his 
departure, and he was to do it with acrimony and ingratitude, laying aside all 
delicacy; and this was to keep up appearances. We see in this also that Gour- 
gaud was sacrificing himself that he might blindly obey the instructions of his 
imperial master. The commissioners, who of course did not know this, sought 
in vain for some explanation of his conduct, and came to the conclusion that it 
was altogether unworthy of a man of bis character and position. Stiirmer so 
speaks of \\..— French Editor. 



xviii INTRODUCTION 

longer serve Napoleon's purposes, his faithful agent dis- 
appointed them. 

Soon Castlereagh's spies reported that Gourgaud was 
holding relations with Bonapartists, that is, visiting leaders 
of the Liberal party, against whom the Marquis d' Osmond 
had taken care to warn him; on November 14, 1818, he was 
arrested, his papers were seized, and he was sent to Cux- 
haven. Thence he went to Hamburg, and had some 
scheme of going to Russia, where he hoped to be well 
received by the Emperor Alexander. Instead of this, 
however, he went to Austria, where French and English 
agents in vain endeavored to persuade him to go to the 
United States. 

Gourgaud's main pretext for leaving St. Helena was 
the state of his health, broken down, he said, by the 
deadly climate that was undermining that of his master. 
Napoleon was anxious that Gourgaud should be credited 
with liver complaint, from which he persisted he himself 
was slowly dying. He never suspected hereditary cancer 
of the stomach, neither did Dr. O'Meara, nor th^ surgeon 
of the "Conqueror," nor subsequently Antomm rchi, his 
Corsican physician. 

Gourgaud fought a duel with the Comte c Ségur 
after the publication of his most interesting boo on the 
retreat from Russia. He also wanted to fight Sir Walter 
Scott, but had no opportunity to send his challeng î. 

Early in 1 821 he received permission to re i urn to 
France, and soon after being reunited to his mother, to 
whom he was always a devoted son, he received naws of 
the death of the Emperor. He at once headed a petition 
to the Chamber of Deputies, imploring it to take some 
steps to reclaim the body of the Emperor, and bury 
it in the soil of France, so that no foreigner might say, 
pointing insolently to the spot: *'Voci /' Empereur des 
Français. ' ' 

In the next year, 1822, Gourgaud married the daugh- 
ter of Comte Roederer, with whom there had been some 
question of marriage before he went to St. Helena, His 
son, Baron Napoleon Gourgaud, has permitted the pub- 
lication of his father's journal. 

After the fall of the Bourbons in 1830, Gourgaud was 
made Commander of the Artillery in Paris and Vincennes. 
In 1832 he was appointed aide-de-camp to Louis Philippe, 



INTRODUCTION xix 

and received other military honors. When the young 
Duke of Orleans was married, Gourgaud and the Due de 
Broglie were deputed to escort the young princess Hélène 
from the frontier of France to Fontainebleau. 

In July, 1840, having negotiated together with Ber- 
trand the restoration to France of arms formerly belonging 
to Napoleon, Gourgaud and Bertrand placed them among 
the treasures of the crown. 

When Napoleon's will was published, some surprise 
was expressed that no mention of any legacy to Gourgaud 
appeared therein. Napoleon had carefully avoided naming 
him in that document, for he knew that Gourgaud was 
then trying to get back to France, and he thought that 
any public testimony of affection and appreciation upon 
his part might embarrass him. But in a secret will (or 
rather, testamentary expression of his secret wishes) Gour- 
gaud was given one hundred and fifty thousand francs "in 
recognition of his devotion and of the services he rendered 
me for ten years as my First Orderly Officer and aide-de- 
camp on fields of battle in Germany, Russia, Spain, and 
France, and on the rock of St. Helena." 

Gourgaud was one of those who in 1840 accompanied 
the expedition of the "Belle Poule" to St. Helena to bring 
back to France the remains of Napoleon. "Only those 
who loved the Emperor as I did," he says, "can compre- 
hend what passed through my heart when Dr. Guillard 
allowed us to see, through streaming tears, the mortal 
remains of our hero." 

When the body, on its catafalque, passed into Paris 
beneath the Arch of Triumph, with shouts from some 
hundred thousand voices of ''''Vive T Empereur! '' ^ it 
was Gourgaud, who on its arrival at the InvaUdes, laid 
the sword of Austerlitz upon the coffin. Bertrand was 
joined with him in that sacred mission, but Montholon lay 
in prison at Ham, with the prince who ten years later 
was to be the third Emperor Napoleon. In vain Gour- 
gaud had attempted to induce the Government of Louis 

' I saw that funeral procession in December, 1840, and joined with all my 
heart in the enthusiasm. It was a day so bitter that it was said that three hun- 
dred English died of colds caught on the occasion. A day or two later 1 was 
nearly crushed to death, when, in company with my father, 1 struggled to get 
into the Chapelle Ardente, and stand inside the railing which separated spec- 
tators from Napoleon's coffin. 1 wrote an account of this funeral in "France 
in the Nineteenth Century," though 1 believe I did not spealc in the firit 
person.— £. W. L, 



XX INTRODUCTION 

Philippe to pardon, if only for that supreme occasion, the 
man he had once hated so jealously, and had pretended to 
defy to mortal combat, but with whom he carried on for two 
years and a half a familiar clandestine correspondence, 
and whom he had received as a dear friend and comrade, 
when, after the Emperor's death, Montholon returned 
from exile. They had even collaborated in a book, 
^'Mémoires pour Servir à l'Histoire de France Sous 
Napoléon,'' which appeared in eight volumes in 1823. 

In 1 84 1 Gourgaud was intrusted with the armament of 
the new fortifications of Paris, doomed to be destroyed, 
we are told, in the present year. 

After the fall of Louis Phihppe, February 7, 1848, 
Gourgaud was made Colonel of the First Legion of the 
National Guard, and did good service under Cavaignac in 
the days of June. He was then sent to the Legislative 
Assembly from one of the departments. 

He died July 25, 1852, having lived just about long 
enough to see another Napoleon established on the throne 
of France as Emperor. 

Here are the instructions given by Napoleon to Gour- 
gaud at the moment of his departure as a secret agent 
from St. Helena: 

"As soon as he shall have reached Europe, he will write 
five or six letters, seven or eight days apart, to Joseph at 
Philadelphia, addressed to M — , merchant, or to the care 
of M. Nego or Neyon. He will alternate these letters. 
He will tell him the true position in which we are, with- 
out making it better or worse than it is. He will send 
him copies of all the papers, declarations, or letters of 
M — , and will tell him in each letter that it is important 
to learn from American newspapers how he is. If he ' 
foresees that he will have to remain long at the Cape,^ and 
if he is free, he must write to Cardinal Fesch under cover 
to Torlonia, banker at Rome. He will also write to him 
when he reaches Europe. It would be well, too, that he 
should write to Lucien at Rome; and to the Empress, 
Duchess of Parma. If he land in Italy he would do well 
to go at once to Rome, where Fesch and Lucien will give 
him advice as to how he may visit the family of His 

• Gourgaud. 

' All others who had quitted Longwood were sent first to Capetown, 
thence to England. 



INTRODUCTION xxi 

Majesty. He might also carry a little letter relative to 

Madame Gu Bertrand might write a few words 

to Eugene on the subject of our interests. These little 
notes could be placed in the soles of his shoes. He will 
put them into the proper hands. From the Cape he might 
write to Eugene and Fesch and ask them to send us some 
of the latest books. He will carry some of my hair to 
the Empress." 

And when Gourgaud, in December, 1 840, more than 
twenty years after his departure from St. Helena, once 
more beheld its rocky shore, he thus speaks of the mis- 
sion confided to him by his master, and of the promise 
he gave Napoleon when they parted: 

"This time it is not with despair in my heart that I 
am going to land. I am here to fulfill a pious, a national 
duty; I am here to keep my parting promise to the Em- 
peror, which was that I would accomplish his deliverance 
from his prison." ' 

' When Gourgaud, Bertrand, and the rest reached St. Helena they were 
shocked to see to what a deplorable condition want of care had reduced Long- 
wood. In my "Last Years of the Nineteenth Century" I have given a far 
different account of what it is now, as seen a year or so since by an English 
lady. The place has been purchased by the French government, and placed 
in charge oi a Frenchman who resides there.— £. W, L. 



TALKS OF NAPOLEON 

AT 

ST. HELENA 



Journal of General Baron Gourgaud from the 
Day after the Battle of Waterloo, June 
19, 1815, TO THE Arrival of Napoleon at St. 
Helena, October 15, 1815. 



June ig^ iSij. The Emperor reached Charleroy at 
7 o'clock in the morning, passed through the town, and 
crossed the Sambre. He passed some time in the 
meadow which lies to the right after crossing the bridge. 
There he tried to rally a small body of cavalry, carbineers, 
etc. It was a vain effort! The men who fell into the 

ranks on one side slipped out at the other His 

Majesty ate something. His servants rejoined me with 
those of Lariboisière; my horse being exhausted, I took 
one of his. 

The Emperor told me to give orders to four companies 
of pontonniers who were near, equipped for bridge-build- 
ing, to abandon their drays and their boats, and to fall 
back with the horses and soldiers of their party on 
Avesnes. I also hastened the departure of a number of 
peasants' carts, loaded with wine, bread, etc. They con- 
tained a considerable quantity of provisions, while in the 
army we were dying of hunger. His Majesty, who was 
greatly fatigued, demanded a calèche. We told him the 
roads were encumbered with vehicles, and that in a car- 
riage he could not escape from the light horse of the enemy, 
which every moment we expected to appear. He then 
remounted on horseback, and for a short time we took the 

I 



2 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

road to Avesnes ; but after being informed that there were 
partisans of the enemy at Beaumont, the Emperor decided 
to go toward PhiHppeville. After a time we met some of 
our men in flight, who tried to obstruct our passage. His 
Majesty hesitated for a moment, but seeing no enemy, 
decided we must go on; we therefore resumed our route. 
With Saint-Yon, Regnault, Amillet, and Montesquiou, 
I formed a httle band, which preceded him. A httle 
farther on I met about twenty Red Lancers at full gallop. 
I told them there was no cause for their terror, and I 
made them join us and go on. At last, overcome by 
weariness. His Majesty reached Philippeville almost alone, 
having with him only Soult, Bertrand, Drouot, Flahaut, 
Gourgaud, Labédoyère, Amillet, and two or three other 
orderly officers. The Emperor dismounted at a tavern on 
the Place , and sent for the officer in command of the 

town We got something to eat, and I was told 

that His Majesty was about at once to post to Paris. He 
borrowed the carriage of General Dupuy, who was in 
command at Philippeville, and two other light vehicles 
were prepared. At this moment the Due de Bassano 
joined us. I asked Bertrand if I was to travel in one of 
these carrioles. He said I was to follow on horseback. 
I replied that my horse was foundered, and offered to go 
on the box of one of the carrioles. He assured me that 

would be impossible We argued the matter. 

Meanwhile His Majesty having drawn up the list of those 
who were to go with him, named me. We set off with 
post horses; as we were passing through Rocroy, a town 

at a little distance, at the village of , we overtook 

the Emperor's carriage. We supped there, and they 
made us pay for the supper three hundred francs. We 
consulted as to what road we had better take, and decided 
that for fear of not being able to get fresh horses, we 
would take the high road to Mézières, along which we 
were not recognized until we reached Rheims. 



GENERAL GOURGAUD' s JOURNAL 3 

June 20. From Rheims we went on to Berry-au- 
Bac, where we breakfasted. We held a consultation, 
Drouot, Flahaut, Labédoyère, Dejean, etc. (Soult had 
remained at Philippeville). We all agreed that His 
Majesty ought, as soon as we reached Paris, to go booted 
and travel-stained to the Chamber of Deputies, give an 
account of the disaster, ask aid, and returning to Belgium, 
put himself at the head of Grouchy's army, collect what 
scattered corps he could, and then propose to lay aside 
his crown, if that should be made a condition of peace. 
We next paused at Laon, where we were received with 
cries of ""Vive r Empereur!" AU the peasants in the 
neighborhood offered to defend this position. His Majesty 
changed his carriage. He sent Flahaut to Avesnes, and 
Dejean to Guise. Bassy stayed at Laon, and at last the 
rest of us set out for Paris, which His Majesty reached 
about ten o'clock, incognito, for he had not been willing 
to make use of the Court carriages that Caulaincourt, 
warned of his arrival by a courier, had sent to meet him 
beyond the barrier. The Emperor, as soon as he arrived, 
sent for his ministers, and took a bath. 

As for me, I hurried to see my mother and my sister; 
M. Dumas took me in his cabriolet. They had not heard 
of our disasters, and to avoid any questions, I ordered 
that no one should enter our door. 

June 22. The Emperor — worried by all the men 
around him who were afraid and who persisted in be- 
lieving that without Napoleon they themselves might 
make peace; beset, I say, by these people, and utterly cast 
down by his great misfortune — decided to abdicate and to 
go to the United States of America. His Majesty proposed 
to me to go with him, an offer I accepted immediately, 

June 2j. Saint-Yon, Saint-Jacques, Planât, Résigny, 
Autric, and Chiappe, all orderly officers, asked me to see 
if they, too, might not accompany his Majesty, wherever 
he might retire. I did all I could to dissuade them, tell- 



4 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

ing them that His Majesty would wish to live like a private 
gentleman, that he would have no need of them, and that 
they would only be poor, expatriated, and of no use to 
Napoleon. That my case was different, that the Emperor 
had long known me, whilst of them he knew hardly more 
than their names. But all wished to go, and I spoke of 
the matter to His Majesty. 

Jujie 24. Their request was granted. The Elysée 
then presented a very different spectacle from what it had 
done two weeks before. No callers, no carriages; . . . . 
officers of the citizen soldiery called Fédérés, met in the 
neighboring streets, and shouted wildly, ^'Vive l' Empe- 
reur! We will not forsake him ! " .... But the Cabinet 
ministers represented to His Majesty that his presence in 
Paris paralyzed their orders, and that in spite of his abdi- 
cation he was reigning still. At last the Emperor suffered 
himself to be persuaded, and resolved to leave Paris the 
next day (the 25th) for Malmaison, in order to wait there 
for passports, which had been drawn up authorizing him 
to go to the United States. I went to say good-bye to my 
mother and sister, to Lariboisière, and to Dalton. I em- 
braced Fain and my colleagues in the Cabinet. Bertrand 
gave me my papers. 

June 2j. At half-past twelve his Majesty quitted 
the Palace of the Elysée. A great number of the inhabi- 
tants of Paris came to the gates, and shouted ' ' Vive 
r Empereur!'' His Majesty, too much moved to receive 
their farewells, made his imperial carriage, with six horses 
and an escort, leave by the Rue Saint-Honoré, whilst a 
carriage with two horses belonging to Bertrand the Grand 
Marshal, came to the back of the Palace through the 
garden. The Grand Marshal and the Emperor got into 
it, and left by way of the Champs Elysée. It was not 
until they had passed the Barrière de Chaillot that the 
Emperor alighted from the Grand Marshal's carriage and 
got into his own. 



GENERAL GOURGAUD'S JOURNAL 5 

I was in the second carriage with six horses with 
Montholon, Montaran, and Las Cases; Mesgrigny rode 
on horseback beside the imperial coach. 

At half-past one we reached Malmaison, where the 
Princess Hortense was awaiting us. His Majesty walked 
some time with Rovigo * who had just come from Paris 
with orders from the Provisional Government, to take 
command of the Guard, which consisted of about three 
hundred men of the Old Guard and forty dragoons. His 
Majesty walked a long time with the General, who did all 
he could not to make his mission disagreeable to the 
Emperor. 

When His Majesty re-entered the château, he was 
astonished to find so few people there, and said to me, 
"Eh bien! I do not see any other of my former aides-de- 
camp." I answered that many people who surround us in 
prosperity desert us in adversity. About dusk, six orderly 
officers came from Paris to join the Emperor, who went to 
bed at eleven o'clock. The same evening Generals Pire 
and Chartran came too, but it was only to ask for money. 

June 26. I started for Paris in a coucou [a sort of 
open cab] with Montholon, to arrange my own affairs, 
and to say a last farewell to my relations. I went to the 
Ministry to ask for a duplicate copy of my nomination on 
June 9th. I saw Marchand, who attends to such things, 
César La Ville, Carion, and Vital. All said: "Urge His 
Majesty to go at once." Carion added: "His Majesty 
has done me much wrong, but assure him that I am entirely 
devoted to him, as well as to my country." I got back 
to Malmaison at seven in the evening. I found there the 
Due de Bassano, the Duchesse de Vicence, and Madame 
Duchâtel, who were with His Majesty. Madame Regnault 
had also come to say that there was a conspiracy on foot 
against the Emperor, and that Fouché was at the head of 
the plot. Madame Walewska had also hastened thither. 

•Savary.. Due de Rovigo, Ex-Prefect of Police. 



6 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

Generals Pire and Chartran had come back to insist on 
the settlement of their business, and had obtained a note 
which entitled them to draw some money. During the night 
Decrès, the minister, came to speak with His Majesty. 

June 27. There were more visitors. Flahaut, Labé- 
doyère, Bassano, and Joseph came, as well as Decrès. 
The day passed in conversation. Nothing was decided 
on. Pire and Chartran came back very angry from Paris, 
the first because he had received only twelve thousand 
francs, the second only six thousand. 

June 28. A report of the near approach of the enemy 
caused me to make, in company with Montholon, a com- 
plete survey of Malmaison. We settled on what spot we 
would station our little troop. We were all resolved that 
the capture of the château should cost the partisans of the 
enemy who might attack it, dear. The Emperor ordered 
me to send out scouting parties of three dragoons each, 
in the direction of Gonesse and Saint-Germain. Becker 
received orders from Davout to have the bridge at Chatou 
destroyed. I went with him; we made the necessary 
arrangements. The bridge burned all night. During the 
day we had heard some firing in the direction of Saint- 
Denis. Madame Caffarelli had returned from Paris. 
When every one is deserting His Majesty she clings to 
him. She is a good woman. I am very fond of her. 

June 2Ç. Bernard gave me his reasons for not wish- 
ing to go; he thinks they apply to me. Batri, the secre- 
tary, receives a pension of fifteen hundred francs, but he 
says he will not go. Fain, who has always shown much 
friendship for me, gave me the same advice; so did 
Drouot. I do not know what has become of Fleury. 
Lariboisière has been faithful up to the last moment. Our 
uncertainty continues. Our passports for the United 
States have not come. M. de La Valette has come from 
Paris. He tells me that he is glad for the Emperor's 
sake that I am to accompany him. The enemy is draw- 



GENERAL GOURGAUD'S JOURNAL 7 

ing near. His Majesty sends Becker to Paris to ask the 
Provisional Government if lie cannot put himself at the 
head of the troops assembled around Paris, and crush the 
Prussian corps, which, knowing his deposition, is boldly- 
advancing. The Emperor offers to give his word of 
honor that as soon as this is over he will leave France and 
carry out his first design of going to America. The Pro- 
visional Government, which was of no importance as long 
as His Majesty remained at Malmaison, is very far from 
wishing to see him at the head of the forces. It refused 
his offer, thus sacrificing to its private ends the interests 
of the country, and preferring to see Paris pillaged by its 
enemies, rather than delivered by Napoleon. Becker 
having come back at a quarter to five. His Majesty decided 
to leave for Rochefort. In the morning, Résigny went 
to the police to get the passports. There was one among 
them for Labédoyère, who wanted to come, but was dis- 
suaded by his friend Flahaut. The Minister of Marine 
had sent orders to Rochefort that two French frigates 
should be there ready to put to sea; these were placed at 
the orders of the Emperor. 

He left at five o'clock in a common yellow calèche, 
with Bertrand, Becker, and Rovigo. He wore a coat of 
maroon cloth. The calèche drove out by the little gate 
of the park; His Majesty got into it in the little court to 
the left, on leaving the palace. The road he proposed to 
take led through Rambouillet, Vendôme, Châteaudun, 
Poitiers, Tours, Niort, and so on. I got into the voiture 
coupé. They gave me in charge a hundred thousand 
francs in gold. I took pistols from the stores of His 
Majesty, and divided the weapons among those in the 
carriages. I could have fired sixteen shots. Montaran 
gave me a repeating rifle in exchange for the Enghsh 
horse I had captured at Waterloo. Bertrand told us all 
before starting to be sure that we had rifles. He had a 
sharp quarrel with Ferdinand, the chief cook, who did not 



8 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

choose to go, because he said he had never been paid 
what he was promised when he went to Elba. My car- 
riage, and that of the valets de chambre took the same 
road as the carriages of the Emperor. The others went 
by way of Orleans, Limoges, and Saintes. 

Before my departure, a man named Stupinski came 
and bothered me to take his wife in my carriage; I re- 
fused, though she was very pretty; but it did not seem 
proper in the situation in which we found ourselves. 
However, the Pole, by applying afterwards to the Grand 
Marshal, succeeded in obtaining permission not only for 
his wife, but for himself to travel in my coupé. It was 
at the moment when the carriages were to start, and I had 
to permit it. The persons who went by the other road 
were Montholon, Résigny, Planât, Autric, Las Cases, and 
Chiappe; and in a second line on the same route, came 
Madame Bertrand and Madame Montholon. I made 
François, my servant, go with this carriage. 

Monsieur Saint- Yon, who was bubbling over with 
ardor as long as His Majesty might have been of use to 
him, deserted him as soon as our departure was decided 
on. He had been to Paris with Autric. The Provisional 
Government had declared that those of us who remained 
in France would retain their grades and their positions. 
He quitted Autric at the barrier when they were returning 
to Malmaison, under pretext that they would not let him 
pass. I had advised him not to come, but he would not 
then listen to me. 

Princess Hortense returned to Paris, and the same day 
I bade Madame Caffarelli farewell. When shall I see 
again that charming woman? 

June JO. The Emperor, who travelled under the 
name of General Becker, reached Rambouillet. When 
my carriage approached the palace, a servant stopped it 
and told me that His Majesty wanted me, that the other 
carriage was to go on to the post-house, and that Mar- 



GENERAL CO URGA UD'S JO URN AL 9 

chand also was wanted at the palace. I went to the château, 
where I found His Majesty very impatient to get news 
from Paris, which he was quitting with great regret. I 

found there Becker, Rovigo, and Bertrand They 

gave us supper with His Majesty, who being greatly 
fatigued, lay in bed till eight o'clock the next morning. I 
related my journey with Stupinski, and spoke of the im- 
propriety of taking a woman along with me, especially 
one dressed in man's clothes. The Emperor, on being 
consulted, decided that she and her husband need go no 
farther. Bertrand commissioned me to tell them this bad 
news, but I refused. Then he gave me a note for the 
Pole, telling me to hand him one or two napoleons. 

I picked out in the library a number of books, which, 
after the departure of His Majesty, I put into my carriage. 
Then I gave Stupinski the note Bertrand had left for him. 
He was furious. When he became more calm I offered 
him an indemnity if he would go back to Paris. He 
refused me flatly. So I sent him to the devil. Hardly 
had I left the house before he stopped my carriage and 
asked me if I would please give him some small sum. I 
handed him one hundred francs. 

July I. His Majesty passed through Chateau- 
Renaud, where he was recognized by the innkeeper at 
the inn where we dined. At Vendôme the inhabitants 
did not seem to me well disposed. When the carriage 
that followed mine passed, some of them shouted, ' ' Vive 
le Roi!'' The Post Mistress, Madame Imbault, also 
recognized the Emperor, and showed me much kindness 
because of my attachment to His Majesty. She told me 
that she had lodged the Empress, and she thought that 
"the poor man" (thus she called the Emperor) was to be 
exiled to Valençay. I found she had a letter addressed to 
Montmorency, and I wrote upon its back: "Your old com- 
rade Gourgaud says good-bye to Raoul de Montmorency." 
I reached Tours at half-past four o'clock in the morning. 



lo TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

His Majesty dined at Poitiers; from there he sent a 
courier to Rochefort; he reached Niort at eight o'clock 
in the evening, and received news that Rochefort was 
blockaded by the English. When I passed through Saint- 
Maixent in the evening, people crowded round my carriage ; 
we took supper while waiting for fresh horses. The 
mayor came with a party of armed men to examine our 
passports, and settled all difficulties on that subject. The 
horses being ready, I got back into my carriage, saying 
that if any one tried to stop me on my way I should 
defend myself as I would against a highwayman. At last 
we got off. ' 

July 2. I reached Niort at three o'clock in the morn- 
ing. Two officers of ge7idarmene, General Saulnier, and 
Colonel Bourgeois, came to the post-house in the fau- 
bourg, where a gendarme had arrested me. They recog- 
nized me, and conducted me, secretly, to the Grand Cerf 
tavern, where I heard that His Majesty was at the hotel 
of the Boule d'Or. I went to see if he was sad. The 
Prefect, Monsieur Busche, asked an audience. He was 
received. The Emperor is undecided what to do. Mon- 
sieur Kerkadin, who commands all that is to be done in 
the port at Rochefort, arrived, and was admitted to the 
Emperor immediately. He says that there are two French 
frigates ready to sail, but that the roadstead of the île 
d'Aix is blockaded. We send word to Paris. His Majesty 
takes up his quarters at the Prefect's house. I tell the 
Emperor that his brother Joseph has arrived. The offi- 
cers of the Second Regimeijt of Hussars pay him a visit 
in a body. They offer to join him, beseeching him to 
put himself at the head of the army, and offering to march 
on Paris with him. His Majesty refuses. They are much 
cast down. 

At half-past six His Majesty dines with the Prefect, 
Madame Bertrand, who has just arrived, Rovigo, Beker, 
Joseph, and Bertrand. A crowd surrounds the Prefect- 



GENERAL GOURGAUD' S JOURNAL n 

ure, crying, ""^ Vive V Empereur!"' After dinner a sort 
of council is held. The general opinion is that the 
Emperor should return to Orleans, where he will find the 
army. Lallemand, senior, arrives from Paris. At nine 
in the evening his Majesty dictates instructions to me, 
and sends me to Rochefort, that we may see what chances 
there are that we may be able to get away; also to see if 
the road by Maumusson is free, and also if we might not 
make use of an American ship about to sail, and go on 
board of her at sea, five or six leagues from land, by 
means of a good large sailing boat. His Majesty told 
me to make the journey in a carriage as before. Along 
the road there were pickets of twenty horsemen stationed 
at regular distances; they took me for His Majesty and 
shouted " Vive I ' Etnpereur!'' 

Journal from Arrival at Rochefort to Em- 
barkation. 

July J», 1 813. I reached Rochefort at six o'clock in the 
morning. I alighted at the Hôtel du Pacha and went at 
once to see M. de Bonnefoux, the Prefect Maritime, to 
whom I communicated my instructions. 

The Emperor arrived at eight o'clock, and alighted at 
the Prefecture, where he found me with the Prefect. All 
the baggage was got together as rapidly as possible. I 
am to do duty as aide-de-camp to the Emperor. At one 
o'clock came Las Cases and Madame de Montholon, who 
had been stopped at Saintes and had run some risk there. 
My servant François, too, rejoined me. 

July 4, 1 81 3. I informed His Majesty at four o'clock 
in the morning that these carriages had come in. I break- 
fasted with the Emperor. Planât,' Autric,^ and Sainte- 

' Planat was an orderly officer on the staff of the Emperor, who wished to 
take him to St. Helena. Gourgaud was jealous of him. After the departure of 
the Emperor. PJanat, Résigny, General Lallemand, and Savary Due de Rovigo 
were sent to Malta, where they remained some time as prisoners, After 
Napoleon's death Planat entered the service of Prince Eugene. 

» Autric, another orderly officer. 



12 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

Catherine/ who had remained behind, rejoined us. We 
could see in the offing two or three frigates, and several 
other ships. 

July 5. Arrival of Prince Joseph. All the baggage 
is put aboard the "Saale" and the "Méduse."^ The 
Emperor consulted me concerning the organization of his 
household, and told me that Montholon and myself should 
be his aides-de-camp. He made me make a note of this 
organization. He asked me if I knew Monsieur de Las 
Cases, and what he might be useful for. His Majesty 
thought of making him his treasurer. I said that he would 
do well at the head of the Cabinet; that he was a man of 
much information, who might replace Monsieur de Bassano. 

July 6. The same cruiser is in sight. I went to the 
port with Madame Bertrand. There is talk of my being sent 
to visit the "Bayadere," a corvette in the river Gironde. 

July f. Newspapers are received from Paris, which 
announce the speedy entrance of the English into the capi- 
tal. Much apprehension. I reinforce the guard. I 
sleep at the palace.^ M. de Las Cases insists that Napo- 
leon will reign again, and that the Bourbons will not be 
received in France. 

July 8. At six o'clock in the morning, His Majesty 

• Sainte-Catherine, a relative of the Empress Josephine, and a page to the 
Emperor. 

* Ponée, who commanded the French frigate " Méduse," offered to fight 
the "Bellerophon" single-handed, while the "Saale "(Captain Philibert) should 
pass out. But Philibert refused to play the glorious part assigned him. Then 
two young naval officers belonging to the brig "Epervier," and the corvette 
" Vulcain," offered to form the crew of the little sail-boat which should convey 
Napoleon to the United States. One was Lieutenant Genty, the other Ensign 
Doret. Both were scratched off the navy list in consequence. Doret was 
restored in 1830. He was made captain of a corvette, and was on board the 
"Oreste" at St. Helena when the^expedition of the "Belle Poule" took place 
in 1840. There was also at the île d'Aix a Danish brig, the " Magdeleine," 
which belonged to F. F. Friihl d'Oppendorff, and was commanded by his son- 
in-law, a young lieutenant, a Frenchman named Besson. He put the brig at 
the service of the Emperor. There was also the French corvette " La 
Bayadere " stationed in the Gironde. She was commanded by the brave Cap- 
tain Baudin, son of a member of the Convention, who afterwards became an 
admiral. 

^ That is, at the Prefecture Maritime. In all the cities where Napoleon 
stopped during his journey, the place where he slept at once took the name of 
Palais Impérial. 



GENERAL GOVRGAUD'S JOURNAL 13 

sent me to the frigates in the roads. I consulted Cap- 
tains Philibert and Ponée, They again assured me that 
in the daytime the wind came from the sea, and at night 
from the land, but that the change was not felt three 
leagues from shore ; that the English had several vessels 
in the Gulf, and had stationed cruisers from Les Sables to 
the Gironde; in short, that there is very little hope we 
can get out to sea. I went back to Rochefort, which I 
reached at three o'clock in the afternoon. I found every 
face full of anxiety. Everybody, except the Emperor, 
was in the greatest alarm. Rovigo told me that His 
Majesty was going to embark at Fouras, in spite of the 
wind and the surf, and that I must not dissuade him. 
Nevertheless, I told the Emperor the truth. At four 
p. M., we set out. His Majesty was in the carriage of 
the Prefect. We embarked at Fouras in a boat belonging 
to the port — the Emperor, Beker,' Lallemand, Bertrand, 
Rovigo, and I — with more than ten rowers. Ten minutes 
after five of that day. Napoleon quitted France, amid the 
acclamations and regrets of all the people assembled on 
the shore. The sea was very rough. We ran in con- 
siderable danger. A few minutes after seven, His 
Majesty boarded the "Saale," and received the honors 
due his rank, omitting a salute, which I had told them 
they had better not fire. His Majesty saw the officers, 
and talked with Captain Philibert. We had supper. His 
Majesty made me come into his state-room, and asked 
my advice. Then he lay down on his bed, but made me 
stay there some time. 

July Ç. At one in the morning the wind changed to 
the north, and blew a gale till three o'clock. Then it 
grew calm, and the Emperor called for me at four o'clock. 
I told him about the wind. The "Epervier" cast anchor 

• On June 25, 1815, by order of the Minister of War, acting under the Pro- 
visional Government, Beker was charged to keep watch over the Emperor. On 
June 26 Beker arrived at Malmaison. June 27 an order from the Provisional 
Government commanded him to hasten the departure of >iapoteon. 



14 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

in the roads at six o'clock. His Majesty went ashore on 
the île d'Aix, inspected the batteries and the fortifica- 
tions. The inhabitants of the island followed him, crying 
''''Vive V Empereur!'' Then he came back on board. 
At nine o'clock came the Prefect Maritime with papers. 
He held a consultation with Bertrand and Beker. We 
soon learned that the Provisional Government insisted that 
the Emperor must leave in twenty-four hours, either in a 
despatch boat, or with the two frigates, or with a flag of 
truce. At eleven o'clock we had breakfast. Everybody 
was sad and discouraged. His Majesty secluded himself. 
Opinion was divided. Some wanted the Emperor to go 
on board the "Bayadere," which lay off Bordeaux, or to 
embark at once on an American ship at anchor in the 
river, whilst the two frigates should go out to sea and 
draw off the attention of the English cruiser. Others 
advised that he should go in a very small boat, of the 
kind called mouches, which was at hand. Others thought 
the Emperor had better make a stand on the île d'Aix, 
or go and join Clausel at Bordeaux. At last, in the even- 
ing, it was decided to send Las Cases and Rovigo to the 
English, to find out their opinion, to ask if our passports 
had arrived, and if we could depart. Las Cases, who 
spoke English well, was to make it supposed that he did 
not understand it, so that he might better find out the 
opinion of the people round him. 

July I o. Return of Las Cases. The "Bellerophon" 
followed him with her sails set. We thought she was 
going to attack us ; but no ! she came to anchor nearer to us. 
She was sure that the Emperor was on board the "Saale." 

July II. Arrival of newspapers announcing that the 
King had entered Paris. The Emperor sends General 
Lallemand aboard the "Bayadere" in the Gironde. 

July 12. During the night we send off all the bag- 
gage to the île d'Aix. Everybody on board is very sad. 
At a quarter-past ten, His Majesty leaves in a boat for 



GENERAL GOURGAUD'S JOURNAL 15 

the île d'Aix, accompanied by General Beker, Bertrand, 
Planât, and myself. Cries of ''Vive r Empereur!'' 
uttered with all the energy of despair, rose from the 
"Saale" and the "Méduse." AU else was deep silence. 
The Emperor was received with the same acclamations on 
his arrival in the island. He took up his quarters in the 
house of the general who was in command, but who at 
that time was absent. The English vessel, the "Bellero- 
phon," came on with all sails set. She fired a salute; we 
thought it was in honor of the entrance of the allies into 
Paris. His Majesty asked me what I thought: had he 
better put to sea in a lugger {chasse-marée^ or go on board 
the Danish brig which was at anchor near the island, or 
give himself up to the English? I answered that I dared 
not offer him my opinion, seeing that there were so many 
risks in each of these directions. But His Majesty pressed 
me, and I answered that I thought his best course would 
be to give himself up to the English nation,* among whom 
he had many admirers, rather than run the risk of leaving 
home on board a chasse-marée. It is probable such a 
boat would have been captured, and then his situation 
would have been far worse. The Emperor would have 
been confined in the Tower of London. Perhaps it would 
have been better to try to force a passage with the two 
frigates, or to reach the ' ' Bayadere . ' ' Rovigo was incHned 
to try the chasse-marée. We made all preparations for 
leaving that night . Rovigo returned on board the ' ' Saale . ' ' 
July 13. During the night there was an alarm on 
board the frigates. Small English sail-boats fired shots. 

'The advice of Gourgaud corresponded, as the event proved, with the 
secret feeling of the Emperor. Concerning Napoleon's admiration of the 
English, see an old document published in the "Carnet Historique et Litté- 
raire" (March 13, i8g8); "Une Soirée à Sainte-Hélène" (March 10, i8ig), 
from notes taken by Montholon. "The English," said Napoleon, "are veri- 
tably people of a stamp superior to ours. . . . If 1 had had an army of Eng- 
lishmen I might have conquered the world; I could have gone all over it, and 
my men would not have been demoralized. If 1 had been the man of Eng- 
land's choice, as 1 was that of France in 1815, I might have lost ten battles of 
Waterloo without losing one vote in the Legislature, one soldier from my ranks. 
1 should have ended by winning the game."— French Editor. 



i6 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. //ELENA 

His Majesty sent me to the lookout to see what it was 
about. They told me that there were two English frigates 
at anchor in the river near Bordeaux, one at Maumusson, 
and a ship and a frigate in the Basque Roads. At eight 
o'clock Savary, the Due de Rovigo, arrived. He brought 
word that the officers who were to have formed the crew 
of the chasse-marée were beginning to lose heart. They 
said it would be very difficult to pass out if the English 
had their boats on the watch. His Majesty asked me my 
opinion. I tried to dissuade him from attempting to save 
himself in that manner. At nine o'clock General Lalle- 
mand returned from his visit to Bordeaux, and the corvette, 
etc. He held many mysterious talks with different per- 
sons. Bertrand, the Grand Marshal, told me that His 
Majesty had made up his mind to go to sea in the Danish 
ship, whose captain (Besson) had been a French naval 
officer of the Guard; that he had just bought at Rochelle 
a cargo of brandy to be loaded on his ship, in which there 
was a hiding-place; that he had all his papers, a passport, 
etc. There were only four sailors on board, and only 
four persons could accompany His Majesty. I replied 
that I would never quit France unless I did so to follow 
the Emperor, and if I left, it must be with him. I went 
up to the chamber of His Majesty, who told me with 
regret that he could take with him on board the Danish 
vessel only Bertrand, Lallemand, Rovigo, and Ali,^ his 

' Ali, alias Saint-Denis, was a native of Sens, and became one of the 
Emperor's household in 1806. He served in Germany and Spain. He also 
accompanied the Emperor to Holland in 1811. At the close of that year he 
became the Emperor's second Mameluke under the name of Ali, and served 
him as a valet de chambre. In the field he always carried the spy glass of the 
Emperor and a small bottle of brandy. In the year 1813 he received the rank 
of captain. After having been shut up in Mayence, he rejoined the Emperor 
at Elba, and was with him in the campaign of 1815. At St. Helena he was 
especially charged with the care of the books and of all dictations. During 
their captivity a daughter was born to him, who was still living in November, 
i8g8; to whom Napoleon, on the day of her baptism, gave a gold chain, still 
preserved as a sacred relic in her family. Saint-Denis went back to St. Helena 
on the " Belle Poule." In his will, dated July 6, 1855, he left to the town of 
Sens a number of things that had belonged to the Emperor. Pons de l'Hérault, 
in his " Souvenirs de l'Ile d'Elbe," says of Saint-Denis: "He was a man of 
fidelity and devotion; the Emperor could entirely count on him. He was at 
St. Helena one of the daily witnesses of the persistent crimes by which the 



GENERAL GOURGAUD' S JOURNAL 17 

valet — that he would much rather have taken me than 
Lallemand, but that Lallemand knew the country, and was 
besides a friend of the captain of the Danish vessel. He 
thinks it quite reasonable that I should not be willing to 
leave France unless I accompanied him; he told me that 
he was very much attached to me, that he had grown 
accustomed to me, but that his career was ended; that 
when he reached America he should live there as a private 
gentleman ; that he should never return to France ; that in 
America two or three months would be necessary to get 
news from Europe, and as much to make the return pas- 
sage; therefore, such an enterprise as he had made from 
Elba would thenceforth be impossible. I answered that I 
feared nothing from the Bourbons, having nothing to 
reproach myself with; and that I did not adhere to His 
Majesty from interest or ambition, but because he was 
unfortunate; and that no one could suppose I was prompted 
by any motives except unlimited devotion to so great a 
man, when defeated and deserted. I repeated that he 
would, I thought, have done better to go to England; 
that that noble step would have been the most suitable for 
him; that he could not play the part of an adventurer; 
that history might some day reproach him for having abdi- 
cated, since he had not entirely sacrificed his hopes. He 
answered that my reasons were good; that it would be 
the wisest thing to do; that he felt sure of being well 
treated in England; that it was also the advice of Lava- 
lette, but that good treatment in England would be some- 
what humiliating for him. He was a man, and could not 
bear the idea of living among his most bitter enemies; 
that he could not conquer this repugnance; and besides, 
that history could not reproach him for having sought to 
preserve his liberty by going to the United States. I 

objected that if he were captured, he might suffer ill- 
English government shortened the life of the Emperor, He devoted himself 
to worshipping with deep respect the memory of one who in his last moments 
gave him an imperishable testimony of his esteem,'"— /^r^wirA Editor, 



1 8 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

treatment. He told me that he should be master of his 
fate, for in that case he could kill himself. "No," I 
objected, "His Majesty could not do that. At Mont 
Saint-Jean it might have been all right, but now it would 
never do. A gambler kills himself; a great man braves 
misfortune." The Emperor interrupted me by saying 
that last night he had had an idea of going aboard the 
English cruiser, and as he did so exclaiming, " Like 
Themistocles, not being willing to take part in the dis- 
memberment of my country, I come to ask an asylum 
from you," but he had not been able to make up his 
mind. At this moment a little bird flew in through the 
window. I cried, "It is an omen of good fortune!" 
and caught it in my hand. But Napoleon said to me: 
"There are enough unhappy beings in the world. Set it 
at liberty." I obeyed, and the Emperor went on: "Let 
us watch the augury." The bird flew to the right, and I 
cried, "Sire! it is flying toward the English cruiser." 

The Emperor resumed our conversation, and assured 
me that when he grew bored in the United States, he 
would take to his carriage, and travel over a thousand 
leagues, and that he did not think any one would suspect 
that he intended to return to Europe. Then he spoke of 
the Danish vessel, and said: "Bah! It could very well 
hold five of us, and you must come with me." I replied 
that Madame Bertrand would worry her husband by insist- 
ing she should die if he went away and left her." ' His 

' According to Montholon, Madame Bertrand, who was a créole and very 
exacting, made a slave of her husband. She was gracious, charming, and 
capricious. Madame de Montholon, in her "Souvenirs," says she was the 
daughter of an Englishman named Dillon, and was niece of Lord Dillon, and 
that she had been brought up in England. Through her mother she was a 
kinswoman of Josephine; that the Emperor himself had made her marriage 
with Bertrand, and had given her a marriage portion. 

According to Stiirmer, Madame Bertrand was sister-in-law of the Due de 
Fitz James, and niece of Lady Jerningham, who had brought her up. On all 
this, without doubt, she founded her pretensions to nobility. 

Captain Dillon, an Englishman and a near relation of Madame Bertrand, 
was received at St. Helena by Napoleon October 22, 1816. — French Editor 

^ Though Gourgaud does not say so, this speech convinced those around 
the Emperor that he was about to go to America. The mission of Las Cases 
and Lallemand was a blind intended to keep up the idea that Napoleon was on 
the point of going on board the English squadron.— A'. W. L. 



GENERAL GOURGAUD'S JOURNAL 19 

Majesty then said that at Rochefort, and at the île d'Aix, 
he had proposed to Bertrand not to accompany him, but 
Bertrand had insisted upon coming. Then he told me to 
let Bertrand in. Our dinner was a very sad one. After 
it was done, Bertrand gave me two pairs of pistols to be 
given on the part of His Majesty to Captain Ponée and 
Captain Philibert. They thanked me, exclaiming: "Ah! 
you do not know where you are going! You do not know 
the English! Dissuade the Emperor from taking such a 
step!" I returned. All our luggage was taken on board 
the Danish ship when the night was darkest. I went to 
the corner of the island, near which the vessel was moored. 
Las Cases and Lallemand were sent to the frigate, and 
were thence to go, under a flag of truce, on board the 
English vessels. About midnight, our preparations for 
departure were suspended. 

July 14. We saw our envoys with their tricolored 
flag approach the English vessel. Las Cases and Lalle- 
mand came back. His Majesty made us enter his room 
and asked us for our opinion. All of us, without excep- 
tion, advised that we should go on board the English 
ships. Then I remained alone with His Majesty, who 
showed me the rough copy of a letter he had just written, 
and asked my advice as well as that of Lavalette. "Like 
Themistocles . . . ." He asked me what I thought of 
this letter to the Prince Regent. I said that it brought 
tears into my eyes. His Majesty added that it was I 
whom he had chosen to carry it, and gave me his instruc- 
tions: I was to hire a country house, not to enter Lon- 
don in the daytime, and not to accept any proposal of 
his going to the colonies. Then he dictated to me a 
letter that Bertrand was to write to the English commo- 
dore, when he should send me with Las Cases on board 
his ship, as quartermaster to prepare his quarters. He 
dictated to me besides, a copy of the letter I was to carry. 
Then he sent for Bertrand, made him write the letters, 



20 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST HELENA 

and gave me for myself the rough copy in his own hand 
of the one he was about to send to the Prince Regent.^ 
As I went out I met Beker; I did not tell him I was 
going to England, but I begged him to see my mother ^ 
on his return to Paris, and to give her news of me. 
Madame de Montholon begged me to contrive in some 
way that she should go on board the same ship as His 
Majesty. I took Las Cases with me, and I embarked on 
a boat taking with me an usher, a page, and a footman. 
We were well received on board the "Bellerophon." 
Captain Maitland made Las Cases and me come into his 
cabin, where we found Captains Gambler and Sartorius 
commanders of two corvettes.^ Las Cases still pretended 
that he knew no EngUsh.* Captain Maitland and the two 
officers did not seem to doubt that I should at once be 
forwarded to London. Las Cases was enchanted. He 
heard all that the English officers said: the letter to the 
Prince Regent had made a great impression on them. 
Las Cases advised me to write to the Emperor that he 
would certainly be well received in England. I objected, 
saying that I understood nothing of what was said around 
me; that he on the contrary had better write all that to 
Bertrand, when the boat went back; that as for me I 
should go aboard the corvette that they placed at my 
service. As night fell. Captain Sartorius took me, as 
well as my servant François, on board the "Slaney," a 
corvette with four guns and eight carronades. 

July i^. At eight o'clock in the morning we fell in 

• Needless 'to say that this precious document is reverently preserved 
among the archives of the Gourgaud i^iVaWy .—French Editor. 

^ What proves that after all Napoleon had doubts what fate might await 
him when he should have given himself up to the English, is that he said to 
Beker, who wished to accompany him on board the "Bellerophon ' : " 1 do not 
know what the English will do with me, but if they should not respond to the 
confidence 1 place in them, people would be sure to say that you delivered me 
up to them." — French Editor. 

^ Gambler commanded the " Myrmidon," and Sartorius the " Slaney." 

*The English were afterwards indignant at this dissimulation of Las 
Cases, and it is possible that the opinion of him it created in England had 
something to do subsequently with his expulsion from St. Helena. 



GENERAL GOURGAUD'S JO URN AL 2 1 

with the "Superb," the flagship of Admiral Hotham. 
Our captain went on board of her, but soon returned. At 
nine o'clock we had tea, at four dinner; at six they sig- 
nalled an English frigate which had overhauled a Danish 
vessel. The wind being northwest, we tacked. An Eng- 
lish sailor was flogged. 

Jtily id, Simday. We saw the schooner ' ' Telegraph . ' ' 
I dined in the ward room with the officers, who were 
excessively polite to me. They do not play cards, nor 
even chess, on Sundays. 

July ij. The wind shifted a little. During the night 
a vessel spoke us. In the morning another asked us 
where Napoleon was. 

July i8. During the night the pilot lost his way. 

July IÇ. Just as we thought ourselves near Ouessant, 
and were making ready to double the point, we found 
that we were south of the île de Sein. We passed the 
Bee du Raz and the Black Rocks. In the evening the 
sea was rough; we had a storm. 

July 20. We saw Ouessant. The wind was from 
the north and against us. At ten o'clock we saw a ship, 
the "Chatham," and a corvette; we made signals to them. 
At half-past two we passed Ouessant between the rocks. 

July 21. Perfectly calm. 

July 22. At six in the morning we sighted England. 
We reached Plymouth in the evening. At nine o'clock 
Captain Sartorius, who up to that time had led me to 
beUeve that he would take me up to London, lowered his 
boat, but refused to take me to speak to Admiral Keith. 
I reminded him that that was not what Captain Maitland 
had said to me. I protested against this deception, and I 
asked permission to go up to London and carry the letter 
of the Emperor to the Prince Regent. Refusal. I have 
been duped. I thought Captain Maitland a different 
man. Could I have deceived myself as to English gener- 
osity? Captain Sartorius has evidently no intention of 



22 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

returning to his ship. He is going up to London; he has 
taken his trunk and his portmanteau with him. 

July 2j. The boat came back at midnight. It 
brought a note from Captain Sartorius to his First Lieu- 
tenant, containing an order to weigh anchor and go at 
once to Torbay. I protested again. They started at 
noon. We anchored at Torbay. Again I asked permis- 
sion to go ashore. Refusal. I asked for a refusal in 
writing, which was not granted me. They hoisted a 
quarantine signal to prevent any communication with us. 
They placed four sentinels to prevent any boats from 
coming near us. They made one exception, however, 
for a boat which brought a newspaper. 

July 24. The "Bellerophon" came to anchor at Tor- 
bay. I went on board of her shortly after, at eight 
o'clock. The Emperor, who was on board, made me 
come into his cabin. I told him all that had happened 
to me. He told me that Admiral Hotham had sent an 
officer who would make a change in the situation, and he 
asked me if I had kept the letter. "Yes, Sire." They 
brought in some newspapers. A great number of people, 
curious to see the Emperor, surrounded the "Bellero- 
phon." Boats were put off to make them keep away. 
I noticed that Las Cases was wearing the Cross of the 
Legion of Honor, which he had not had when we parted. 

July 2j. We got some papers from Exeter. 
Madame Bertrand, who had been on good terms with 
Captain Gambler, got angry with him because he did not 
choose to show her these papers. He behaved somewhat 
rudely. 

July 26. At half-past one in the morning Sartorius 
returned from London. At three o'clock they put to sea. 
Nothing had transpired about his journey. We reached 
Plymouth at four o'clock. Maitland landed. During his 
absence the frigate "Liffey" anchored close to the 
"Bellerophon." The ship's boats, with officers on board 



GENERAL GOURGAUD' S JOURNAL 23 

of them, made all the little craft with curious spectators 
keep away. Maitland announced that he should dine on 
shore with the Admiral. At nine o'clock he came back, 
seemed much embarrassed, and said nothing positively. 
Our position seemed no better. We all began to feel 
anxious as to whether His Majesty would be received. 
Las Cases had no doubt of it, nor of the reign of Napo- 
leon II. He gave us a great eulogium on the subject of 
English liberty. He had a sharp dispute with Lallemand, 
who drove him off the field. During the night another 
frigate, the "Eurotas" (Captain Lillicrap) took up her 
position on our starboard. The Emperor told me to give 
the letter of which I was bearer to Maitland, who asked 
it to carry it to London. I then learned that Las Cases 
being in the boat which was carrying the Emperor on board 
the "Bellerophon," had asked him to name him Chevaher 
of the Legion of Honor, in order to make a better appear- 
ance on his landing in England. He had put on a naval 
captain's uniform, having been a midshipman before the 
Revolution. Vanity of vanities! 

July 27. I asked Maitland why the frigates were 
moored so close to us. He gave me very poor reasons, 
and ended by saying it was by order from the Admiralty. 
I spoke of it to the Emperor, who replied that we must 
wait to hear from the commander of the "Superb." 
Maitland went on shore again, and on his return seemed 
less embarrassed. He told us that next day Admiral 
Keith would come on board. They would not fire a 
salute because they had fired none for His Majesty. Many 
boats, full of curious spectators, surrounded the ship; one 
among them was filled with musicians. They were less 
severe with them than on the day before. 

July 28. At five o'clock Captain Maitland went 
ashore. They told me that I and Planât and Maingaud,^ 
were to be transferred to the "Liffey." His Majesty 

* A surgeon who bad been with the Emperor since he left Malmaison. 



24 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

sent for me. He had not heard of this, and assured me 
that it was very far from his intention that I should not 
stay with him. Bertrand pointed out to him that the 
Heutenant had orders during Maitland's absence to take 
me to the "Liffey." Maitland's return is expected. 
Many boats with ladies on board were seen going toward 
the "Eurotas," where a companion ladder had been put 
over the side. This made us all very anxious. We were 
afraid we might be sent on board one of these frigates. 
Maitland came back and announced that Admiral Keith 
would soon arrive, and that Planât and the others were on 
board the ' * Liffey. ' ' He made his way into the Emperor's 
cabin, but soon came out again. The Admiral came at a 
quarter to twelve, went in to see the Emperor, stayed 
there from twenty to twenty-five minutes, came out, went 
up to Madame Bertrand and Madame Montholon, was 
very poHte to them, and told them that everybody could 
stay on board; that it had only been proposed to put some 
on board other vessels that we might be more comfortable. 
We felt more reassured. Maitland went ashore again at 
two o'clock. I gave him a letter to be mailed to my 
mother. Las Cases seems to have got a gold Cross of 
the Legion of Honor which Marchand must have sold him. 
We are again made anxious by reports that are flying around 
us. In the evening Maitland returns, and seems gloomy. 

July 2Ç. It rains all day. Maitland goes ashore at 
five o'clock. He brings back papers which talk of send- 
ing us to St. Helena. 

July JO, Sunday. Maitland goes ashore as usual. 
He brings back at two o'clock papers containing dreadful 
news. He informed us that an Under Secretary of State 
was about to visit us, who would bring us the decision of 
the English Government. Our depression was extreme. 
We noted the goings and comings of Maitland, who at 
last told us that Admiral Keith would not come till the 
next day. We grew more and more anxious. It is said 



GENERAL GOURGAUD' S JOURNAL 25 

that His Majesty will be permitted to take with him only 
myself and four officers. 

July ji. Maitland went ashore at six o'clock. He 
came back at ten and brought bad news. Admiral Keith 
and Bunbury, the Under Secretary of State, arrived at a 
quarter past eleven, and went in to His Majesty, with 
whom they stayed three-quarters of an hour. They had 
informed him that he must go to St. Helena with his offi- 
cers, except Rovigo and Lallemand. The Emperor 
declared that he would not go; that his blood should 
rather stain the planks of the "Bellerophon"; that by 
coming among the English he had paid the greatest pos- 
sible comphment to a nation whose present conduct would 
throw a veil of darkness over the future history of Eng- 
land. The Admiral begged him to write him a letter on 
this subject, and His Majesty wrote that he preferred death 
to St. Helena, and that he was not a prisoner of war. He 
told us afterwards that he would not go to St. Helena, to 
find an ignoble death there. "Yes, Sire!" we all cried, 
"very ignoble! Better be killed defending ourselves, or 
set fire to the powder magazine." Lallemand and 
Rovigo, who were present, wrote to the Admiral to invoke 
the protection of the English laws.' A sad dinner. 

In the evening Madame Bertrand rushed like a mad 
woman into the Emperor's cabin, without being announced, 
and made a great row. Then she went back to her own 
quarters and made a terrible scene. She tried to cast 
herself into the sea. Lallemand, much moved, spoke to 
the English, and reproached them for their conduct. Mait- 
land, on his part, wrote to Lord Melville. He said he was 
very sorry for what had happened. He could not have be- 
Ueved it. Lallemand and Rovigo ^ wrote to Lord Bathurst. 

August I. Maitland as usual went ashore 

' We know how that turned out. They were sent to Malta, and were long 
confined in Fort Manuel.— /"r^wc/t Editor. 

' Rovigo (Savary) was, as the English knew, the man responsible for the 
death of the Due d'Enghien.— £. W. L. 



26 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

August 2. The Emperor did not breakfast with us. 
Madame Bertrand on deck, got up a scene with me Hke a 
market woman, and insisted that her husband must fight 
me. She went so far as to tell him that anybody could 
see he was not born a gentleman. Maitland reported all 
this to the Emperor. 

August J. Maitland went ashore. Nothing impor- 
tant. Boats are all the time around the ship, with men 
and women, all wearing red carnations. 

August 4. At two in the morning Maitland received 
orders to have everything ready to make sail. They 
weighed anchor. Very soon we learned that the Captain 
had received orders to go out of the roads; that His 
Majesty would not be permitted even to cho'ose the offi- 
cers who were to accompany him, but that Admiral Keith 
would select them. The Emperor then replied that he 
would not go. He did not breakfast with us, and desired 
to speak with the Admiral, who was expected on board; 
but who did not come. A corvette, the "Prometheus," 
was at the entrance of the harbor. We went out. The 
"Thunderer" and the "Eurotas" followed us. The 
Emperor did not leave his cabin. Some thought he had 
poisoned himself. 

The Captain went on board the corvette where Keith 
was; he came back saying that Bertrand had also been 
excepted, but that the Admiral would take it on himself 
to let him go if he wished it. Great hesitation on the 
part of Bertrand and his wife. They seem inclined not to 
accompany the Emperor. His Majesty does not dine this 
day, and does not come out of his cabin. In the evening 
Montholon goes to see him. He seems better, and laughs 
at the anxiety of some people to see him die. He asks me 
about those who are to go with him. I write to my mother. 

August^. The same escort follows our vessel. The 
day is passed lying to, or cruising in the channel. The 
sea is rough. His Majesty is indisposed, and we are all 



GENERAL GOURGAUD' S JOURNAL 27 

seasick. They say that Keith, Cockbum, and Hull are 
on board the "Thunderer," and that they have declared 
that His Majesty can take only three officers. 

August 6. At eight o'clock a ship is seen in the 
offing. They think she is the "Northumberland." At 
eleven o'clock we are near her, and all make for Torbay, 
where we can anchor outside of the roads. The Emperor 
sends a list of the persons he wishes should accompany 
him. I am on it. My name is the fourth. Bertrand 
carries it to the Admiral, with His Majesty's orders to 
insist on having me. When he comes back he brings 
word that the English do not choose I should go, but the 
Emperor insists. Keith, Cockburn, and Bunbury come 
and interview His Majesty, who protests against the treat- 
ment he is made to suffer. He proposes to consider Las 
Cases as his secretary, and then I can make one of the 
three officers. The Admirals consult together and decide 
on nothing. They give us belts, each containing sixteen 
thousand francs. Montholon, urged by his wife, goes to 
the Emperor and advises him not to take Madame Ber- 
trand. His Majesty's indecision increases. Will Bertrand 
go — or will he not go? 

August 7. Las Cases goes at eight o'clock to see the 
Admiral. They make him take off his sword and tell all 
of us to give up our arms. We murmur at this, for it 
seems an increase of severity. His Majesty still hesitates 
about taking Bertrand, because of his wife, but they use 
their influence with him, and in the end he consents to 
take them. 

Cockburn came at noon with a commissioner; he 
announced that we were about to be embarked on the 
"Northumberland." The commissioner looked after the 
transportation of our trunks, and examined them.' None 
of us chose to witness this proceeding, at which Cockburn 
was present; eighty thousand francs belonging to His 

' While this was going on an Englishman, Mr. Guerry, sent some fruit to 
the Emperor.— /'rtfMcA Editor. 



28 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

Majesty was sequestrated. I begged the Admiral to let 
me have my servant. He refused, saying: "Just see 
these famous French officers; they cannot do without an 
attendant ! ' ' 

At two o'clock His Majesty took leave of Rovigo and 
Lallemand. He refused to take back the belt that he had 
intrusted to the former, and gave to the latter all that was 
his on board the Danish ship, which was worth probably 
thirty thousand francs. He offered a snuff-box to 
Maitland, who declined it; gave a pair of pistols to the 
Captain of Marines, and the same to his lieutenant. We 
all embarked on board a launch. Bertrand, the Admiral, 
Montholon, Las Cases, myself, Madame Bertrand, 
Madame de Montholon, and finally the Emperor. When 
we reached the "Northumberland," the crew were all on 
deck. His Majesty bowed and said a few words to 
several of the officers. A boat full of spectators was run 
down by a cutter, and several persons perished. Before 
dinner the Emperor had some conversation with Mr. 
Littleton and Lord Lowther, members of Parliament.' At 
seven o'clock we all dined together. Then we played at 
vingt-et-un and went to bed at eleven o'clock. 

August 8. The sea was rough. His Majesty was 
sick. I slept in the big cabin. Admiral Cockburn^ and 
Bingham^ were very polite, and talked much with me. 

^ On board the " Northumberland " when the Emperor arrived there were 
two other members of Parliament, Messrs. Stanley and Hutchinson, both 
belonging to Lord Castlereagh's party. 

'Cockburn was the custodian of Napoleon until the arrival of Sir Hudson 
Lowe. He had a secretary named Glower, who wrote some reminiscences of 
the Emperor. "Cockburn could not understand the devotion and fidelity 
shown to the Emperor," says Madame de Montholon in a letter written July 14, 
1816, " by the Bertrands, Gourgaud, and Montholon. These persons continued 
attached to him in a way no Englishman could understand or even witness 
without a profound feeling of disgust and contempt." And the Russian com- 
missioner at St. Helena, Balmain, writing on September 8, 1816, speaks with 
surprise of the fascination Napoleon still retained over his followers. Such 
devotion, which strikes and astonishes foreigners, is natural in France.— French 
Editor. 

*Sir George Bingham, Colonel of the Fifty-third Infantry, was made a 
General, April 15, 1816, and as such, under Sir Hudson Lowe, commanded the 
camp at Longwood. In May, 1819, he sent in his resignation, and returned to 
Europe. 



GENERAL COURGAUD'S JOURNAL 29 

The Voyage. 

On August 9, l8i5,the "Northumberland," ' with her escort 
of smaller ships, shaped her course for St. Helena. The voyage 
lasted until October 14 — two months and five days. The "Nor- 
thumberland" - was not in good condition, and had to go into dock 
when she returned to England; her crew, like Kipling's "Rowers," 
were bitterly disappointed when, on entering Torbay after a long 
cruise in Southern seas, they found they were not to be paid off, 
were not even to land or take in fresh supplies of water and 
provisions. 

"Last night ye swore our voyage was done, 
But seaward still we go," 
was the cry of their hearts, and there was mutiny on board during 
the whole voyage. It must have been an anxious time for the 
commander and his officers. Gourgaud kept his daily journal; 
but from this time it is chiefly a report of the ship's latitude and 
longitude, the state of the wind, and a record of the thermometer. 
Here and there, however, there are passages of interest, as: 

August 10. His Majesty did not leave his cabin; he 
sent for me and said to me that he had better have stayed 
in Egypt, that he could have established himself there. 
Arabia, he said, needed a man. "With the French in 
reserve, and the Arabs as auxiliaries, I should have been 
master of the Orient. I should have taken possession of 
India." 

August 75. His Majesty spoke to me of his other 
birthdays. Oh, how different! .... After dinner 
when, as usual, His Majesty left the table to go on deck 
with Bertrand and Las Cases, we drank his health. In 
the evening, as usual, we played vingt-et-un. The Em- 
peror, who on other nights always lost, won that evening 
eighty napoleons. It was his birthday. 

'The "Northumberland" was an 80-gun ship, carrying the pennant of 
Admiral Cocicburn. She was commanded by Captain Ross, the Admiral's 
brother-in-law. Her attendants were the " Havanna," a frigate of 44 guns, 
Captain Hamilton; the "Weasel," a 36-gun frigate; the "Eurotas," the "Squir- 
rel," and the "Peruvian"; also the "Grifhn" (Captain Wright). Montholon.in his 
"Souvenirs," has given us conversations with this officer, who he says bears 
a historic nAtne.— French Editor. 

'The "Northumberland" was in bad condition throughout. When 1 was 
a little girl I was given a big piece of dry-rot that came out of her.— .£. W. L, 



30 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

August ly. One day is like another; the Emperor 
gets up at half-past eight, talks with one or two of us; 
gets dressed. At three o'clock he goes into the main 
cabin, and plays chess there with me or Montholon, until 
four o'clock; walks until five; at half -past five dinner; 
then walks till seven, and plays vt?igt-ei-un till ten o'clock. 

August ji. His Majesty wishes to learn English, and 
says he shall soon know it after taking a few lessons from 
Las Cases. 

They did not land at Madeira, though the ship lay to off one 
of the outlying islands, and took in fruit, wine, and water. With 
so mutinous a crew the Admiral was probably more afraid of deser- 
tions among his men than of the escape of his captives. 

September 8. Whilst I was in His Majesty's cabin he 
got me to measure his height. It was exactly five feet 
two inches and a half.' We talked of his return to France, 
and of Waterloo. In the evening the Emperor played 
whist with the Admiral. 

September 77, Sunday. His Majesty worked with me 
at problems in mathematics. We extracted square roots 
and cube roots, and we solved equations of second and 
third degrees. 

September 18. His Majesty talked to me about 
Lannes, Murat, Kleber, and Desaix, and assured me that 
the last was the best general he had ever known. He 
expressed great regret for the death of Lannes, for he 
knew how much I loved him. "Clausel and General 
Gérard," he said, "promised well. Bernadotte has no 
head; he is a true Gascon; he will not stay long where 
he is. His turn to go off will soon come." 

September iç. Madame Bertrand has inflammation of 
the brain. She has been bled twice. The Emperor says 
she had better die. His Majesty tells me that among all 
the actresses of Paris he had connection with only one, 
Mademoiselle Georges, and that all the stories told about 

• French measure. 



GENERAL GOURGAUD' S JOURNAL 3^ 

little Saint-Aubin, are false. The prettiest women are 
the hardest to make love to. 

To-day they cleaned the arms that they had forced us 
to give up. These are nov^r kept under lock and key. 
Among them are two of the Emperor's swords — the sword 
of Aboukir, and that of the Champ de Mai. There are a 
repeating rifle and three other rifles, besides eight or ten 
pairs of pistols. 

September 2j. At eleven o'clock in the morning we 
crossed the Line at about 0° longitude, at the same time 
as the sun. At nine o'clock the sailors made ready for 
the usual ceremony. We all expected to be well soaked, 
but they were not hard on us. A sailor came forward and 
asked the Admiral who was on the poop, where General 
Bonaparte was. The Admiral replied that the General 
had once before crossed the Line. Two men in a car 
came forward, one dressed as Neptune, the other as 
Amphitrite. A band accompanied them. It was a real 
saturnalia. Persons on board who had not previously 
crossed the Line, presented themselves one after another. 
I followed General Bertrand. I gave them a napoleon 
and was not drenched. His Majesty sent for me to know 
how things were going on, and told me to give Neptune 
from him a hundred napoleons. I went and asked Ber- 
trand for the money, but he thought it was too much. He 
hesitated to make the gift. The right time passed. We 
consulted the Admiral, who told us that if Neptune 
received five napoleons it would be enough. In the end 
Neptune got nothing, through the foolishness of Bertrand. 

It is worthy of remark that the thermometer was that day 76' 
Fahrenheit, and only on two days while they were in the tropics 
did it reach 80°. 

Septetnber 28. His Majesty sends for me to talk about 
Waterloo, "Ah! if it were only to be done over again!" 
he cried. 



32 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

Two days later there was a little scene between Gourgaud 
and the Emperor, the forerunner of many others occasioned by 
Gourgaud's jealousy of Las Cases. 

September 30. His Majesty sent for me. Las Cases had 
told him that yesterday I had said to the Admiral that Bona- 
parte was not General-in-chief on the 13th Vendémiaire, 
which is true. The Emperor scolded me sharply. He told 
me it was he who commanded, and besides, it was none of 
my business. He was the person to tell the Admiral what 
he chose, and that even if he did not say the truth, I was 
not to contradict him. "I did not know," I said, "that 
Your Majesty had spoken on the subject to the Admiral; 
he questioned me, and I said the truth." The Emperor 
grew still more angry, and advised me to have no further 
talk with the Admiral. If he questioned me I was to 
make no reply. He advised me to imitate Las Cases, and 
even went so far as to exclaim, "Some day you will pass 
over to the service of the English!" I replied, "Sire, if 
I refused to enter the Russian service in 18 14, it was not 
that I might now take service with any foreigners. I 
prefer to be a soldier of France." 

In the evening His Majesty sent for me. The book 
written by Las Cases, which he had not read, was not, I 
told him, a work of genius, but it might be useful. 

October j. I had some words with Las Cases, be- 
cause he had told the Emperor what I said in a conversa- 
tion I had with him about the death of Due d'Enghien. 
He asked me why I came, and assured me that His 
Majesty would give me three hundred thousand francs 
with which I could build up a large fortune, if I would go 
back again. I retorted vigorously. "Las Cases," I said, 
"I shall never approve of the death of the Duke, or of 

that of Pichegru If I am here, it is because I 

was attached to the personal service of His Majesty, whom 
I have followed everywhere for four years, except when 
he went to Elba. I saved his life once, and one always 



GENERAL GOURGAUD'S JOURNAL 33 

loves those for whom one has done some great thing. 
Yet if I had thought he was coming back from Elba to 
bring misfortunes upon France, I would not have resumed 
my place in his service. But you, sir — you never knew 
the Emperor. He did not know you even by sight. 
.... Then what are the motives of your great devotion 
to him.?" .... 

I see around me many intrigues, much deception. 
Pauvre Gourgaud, qu^ allais-tu faire dans cette galère? 

October 7. At noon His Majesty dictated to me 
several pages about the campaign in Italy, and the siege 
of Toulon. Then the conversation turned on Madame 
Junot (the Duchesse d'Abrantès). Napoleon said: "She 
belonged to the police of Monsieur de Blacas in 1814, 
and was paid fifteen hundred francs a month for her ser- 
vices. Junot married her out of vainglory; he had a 
mania for the noblesse.^' 

Las Cases asserts that the Emperor said to him, 
"Gourgaud will have no more talks with the Admiral. I 
have put a stop to them." 

October 14, 181^. St. Helena is sighted. 

October 75". We cast anchor at noon. I was in the 
Emperor's cabin as we approached the island. He said: 
"It seems no charming place to live in. I should have 
done better to stay in Egypt. I should now have been 
Emperor of the whole Orient." 

A day or two after the Emperor lands, Gourgaud reports him 
assaying: "It is a horrible island, besides being our prison. You 
must all of you complain of it bitterly." 

This they all did, except Gourgaud in letters written to his 
mother, to reassure and console her. These letters passed 
through the hands of Sir Hudson Lowe (who came out as Gover- 
nor of the island, on the 15th of April, 1816) and Lord Bathurst, 
the Colonial Secretary in the Cabinet of Lord Castlereagh. The 
tone of this correspondence gave them a favorable opinion of 
Gourgaud, which in the end served to facilitate a scheme of 
Napoleon's. 




NAPOLEON 



THE TALKS OF NAPOLEON 



CHAPTER I. 

EARLY YEARS— 1769-1796. 

The Bonaparte Family. — Brienne. — Toulon. — His 
Life as an Artillery Officer. — The Revolu- 
tion and its Leaders. 



The Bonaparte Family. 

"There are many Napoleons in Corsica; I preferred 
to call myself Bonaparte. Bonaparte is the same name 
as Buonarotti. I made a mistake when I would not let 

my relative, Fra Buenaventura, be canonized 

At San Miniato one of my kinsmen who was a Capuchin, 
Brother Bonifacio Buonaparte,' died in the odor of sanc- 
tity. He was declared 'blessed.' When I entered Italy, 
the Capuchins earnestly besought me to have him canon- 
ized, but it would have cost a million francs. Afterwards, 
when the Pope came to Paris, he proposed the same thing. 
It would probably have brought over to me many of the 
clergy; but I consulted my Council, and they thought 
that it would seem ridiculous, like certain genealogies 
that had been proposed to me. So the blessed Boniface 
Bonaparte never became a saint." 

The Emperor one day remarked that he liked the old 
French custom of leaving the bulk of a family fortune to 
the eldest son. In this way every family might possess 
one wealthy member, whom public opinion would oblige 
to push the fortunes of his younger brothers. The Bona- 

' When the Bonnparte family became French subjects, they changed the 
Italian spelling of their name: Buonaparte became Bonaparte.— £■. W. L. 

35 



36 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

parte family in Corsica had an annual income of about 
twelve thousand francs because their property for more 
than a century had not been subdivided. 

The Emperor's grandfather, knowing the spendthrift 
habits of his son, left all his fortune to one of his brothers, 
the Archdeacon Lucien Bonaparte. "This," said His 
Majesty, '*was fortunate for us; for my father, who liked 
to play the grand seigneur, would soon have spent every- 
thing. He was fond of making journeys to Paris, which 
always cost a great deal of money. He died at Mont- 
pellier at the age of thirty-five. Our great-uncle kept a 
fortune for us, which my father would have squandered. 
It was this granduncle, whose purse Pauline took from 
under his pillow when he was dying." 

"My father had always been a man of pleasure, but 
in his last moments he could not draw too many priests 
and Capuchins around him. On his death-bed he was so 
devout that the people in Montpellier insisted he must be 
a saint. On the other hand, my uncle, the Archdeacon 
Lucien, who died at the age of eighty-four, and who all 
his life had been a wise man and a brave man, would not 
let a priest come near him in his last moments. Fesch, 
however, insisted upon seeing him; but when he wanted 
to put on his stole, ^ my uncle, as soon as he saw him do it, 
told him angrily to let him die in peace. Nevertheless he 
spoke to us of religion up to the very last." 

"My father, Charles Bonaparte, died of a cancer 
about 1785. My brother Louis was so absurd as to have 
his body removed from Montpellier, that he might erect a 
monument over his remains at Saint-Leu. My father and 
mother were very handsome people. My wet-nurse came 
to see me at the time of my coronation. My mother 
seemed quite jealous of her, but the Pope noticed her 
several times. My foster-sister, who was a clever woman, 

' Preparatory to administering the last offices of religion. 



EARLY YEARS— i-jôç-irçô 37 

married an officer, and one of her brothers, who was not 
far from my own age, became (though the son of a Corsi- 
can boatman) captain of a frigate in the EngUsh navy." 

"Madame mère had thirteen children. I am the third. 
On August 15, 1769, she was on her way home from 
church, when she felt the pains of labor, and had only 
time to get into the house, when I was born, not on a 
bed, but on a heap of tapestry. My father died in 1785. 
If he had lived my mother might have had twenty chil- 
dren. Madame mère was a maîtresse fenwie. She had 
plenty of brains!" 

"At one time in my reign there was a disposition to 
make out that I was descended from the Man in the Iron 
Mask. The Governor of Pignerol was named Bompars. 
They said he had married his daughter to his mysterious 
prisoner, the brother of Louis XIV., and had sent the pair 
to Corsica under the name of Bonaparte. I had only to 
say the word, and everybody would have believed the 
fable." 

"When I was about to marry Marie Louise, her father, 
the Emperor, sent me a box of papers intended to prove 
that I was descended from the Dukes of Florence. I 
burst out laughing, and said to Metternich: 'Do you sup- 
pose I am going to waste my time over such foolishness? 
Suppose it were true, what good would it do me? The 
Dukes of Florence were inferior in rank to the Emperors 
of Germany. I will not place myself beneath my father- 
in-law. I think that as I am, I am as good as he. My 
nobiHty dates from Monte Notte.' Return him these 
papers.' Metternich was very much amused." 

"I am not a Corsican. I was brought up in France. 
I am a Frenchman, and so are my brothers. I was bom 
in 1769, when Corsica had been united to the kingdom of 

' Napoleon's first victory, 1796. 



3^ TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

France. Joseph is my elder brother, which caused some 
people to say that I was born in 1768. One day at 
Lyons, a maire, thinking he was paying me a compliment, 
said: 'It is surprising. Sire, that though you are not a 
Frenchman, you love France so well, and have done so 
much for her.' I felt as if he had struck me a blow! I 
turned my back on him." 

"Those who write libels on me are pleased to call me 
a Corsican. They say that I am not a Frenchman! I 
am more of an Italian, or a Tuscan, than a Corsican. 
And yet my family has always held first rank in that 
island. Like Paoli, I had twenty-five or thirty cousins in 
Corsica. I am sure that many of the Corsicans who fol- 
lowed Murat into Calabria must have been my kinsmen." ' 

"My mother was a superb woman, a woman of ability 
and courage. Almost up to the time of my birth she fol- 
lowed the army that was contending against France in 
Corsica. The French generals took pity on her, and sent 
her word to go to her own house until after her confine- 
ment. In her own home she was received in triumph. 
By the time my mother was confined, Corsica had become 
French. During ihe Revolution, when Paoli had some 
idea of putting the island under the protection of the 
English, I opposed his project, and at last I broke with 
him. I was persuaded that the best thing Corsica could 
do was to become a province of France. I said to Paoli: 
'I own that many crimes are now being committed in 
France, but that is the case in all revolutions. All that 
will end before long, and then we shall find that we make part 
of a great country.' Paoli would not believe me. I left 
him and I came to France after war had ruined our prop- 
erty in Corsica. When I first joined the army I was em- 
ployed on a commission for the purchase of gunpowder; 

' Two hundred Corsicans formed a band which followed Murat when, in 
1815, he attempted to recover his kingdom of Naples. 



EARLY YEARS— 176Q-17Q6 39 

then I came to Paris, whence they sent me to the siege of 
Toulon. 

"It has been sometimes said that Paoli was my father. 
It was false. It could never have been." 

* 'One of my ancestors in Florence wrote a comedy, 'La 
Veuve.' It was extremely indecent [libre). I saw the 
manuscript in the Imperial Library. The changes now 
going on in France will people America with French refu- 
gees, as Florence peopled Corsica with Tuscans." 

Brienne. 

"In 18 14 I could not recognize Brienne, where I had 
spent my school-days. Everything seemed changed; even 
distances seemed shorter. The only thing that looked 
familiar to me was a tree under which, when I was a 
pupil, I read Tasso's 'Gerusalemme Liberata.' " 

The Emperor one day declared he could not finish 
reading "Clarissa Harlowe, " and yet he remembered that 
when he was eighteen he had devoured it. 

"That sets me to considering the difference between 
eighteen and forty-eight. It was the same thing when I 
revisited Brienne. What once appeared to me so vast, or 
so far off, seemed to have grown smaller and nearer. 
Lovelace was a scoundrel. He was forever holding out 
hopes that he would make the fortune of those who served 
him, but his income was only two thousand pounds. I 
calculated it for him. At eighteen I did not understand 
what bad places he frequented." 

The Emperor told us that when in garrison at Valence 
and a lieutenant in the artillery, he was walking one day 
some distance from the town, when a man came up to 
him asking if he could tell him where to find Lieutenant 
Bonaparte ; then, suddenly recognizing the man he sought, 



40 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

he threw his arms about him. He was an ex-monk, one 
of the teachers at the mihtary school of Brienne. He was 
a man who had always treated his young pupil with kind- 
ness and distinction. When asked what the lieutenant 
could do for him, Brother Elie (that was his name) an- 
swered that he would let him know by and by. Mean- 
time young Bonaparte saw that he was well provided for 
at Valence, and at the end of three days was told that the 
funds of his convent had been divided between himself 
and his colleagues, and that he found himself in posses- 
sion of thirty thousand francs in gold. Not knowing how 
to dispose of so much money, he had bethought him of 
his old pupil, whom he knew, he said, to be trustworthy, 
and of an honorable family. He therefore begged him to 
take the money, and to let him draw on it as he had need. 
After some hesitation Bonaparte accepted the trust, 
though the sum was an enormous one for a young man 
in his position. But he heard no more of Brother Elie 
until he was at Milan during his first campaign in Italy. 
Then Brother Éhe came to see the General, not to reclaim 
his money, but to shake hands with him. The great man 
paid over to him more than the original sum; and that 
was the last he ever heard of Brother Elie. 

The Emperor also told us that there had been at 
Brienne another minime, or monk teacher, Patrault by 
name. He was an excellent mathematician. He had 
instructed Pichegru ; and the whole school highly esteemed 
him. It was he who had given the Cardinal the poison 
when he was sentenced to death. He had been made 
guardian to the daughters of Monsieur de Brienne, and 
three hundred thousand francs had been given him to bring 
them up in obscurity, and to find them good husbands in 
the peasant class, but he wished instead to marry them to 
his nephews. 

"Monsieur de Brienne, when I was Consul, wanted to 
have his daughters back again, but Patrault would not 



EARLY YEARS— lyôg-iygô 4^ 

give them up. Finally I intervened, and restored the 
young ladies to Monsieur de Brienne. One of them, who 
but for me, would have become the wife of a peasant 
husband, became Madame de Canisy, and subsequently 
the Duchesse de Vicence.' I gave Patrault a place in the 
quartermaster's department, where he made five hundred 
thousand francs during my second Italian campaign. I 
had pretty much forgotten him, when one day at Malmai- 
son, I received a letter from him requesting an audience. 
As I knew him to be a lover of intrigue, I thought at first 
he wanted to tell me about some plot, and was uneasy 
until I saw him. It was only, however, to say that he 
was ruined, and to ask me for a place. I told him to 
come back in two days' time. Then I wrote to Dubois 
to ask what he knew about him. He replied that he had 
lost his fortune by lending money for short periods. 
When he came back to see me I reproached him for this, 
telling him that I had made his fortune once, and that he 
ought to have taken better care of it. I never saw him 
again." 

"I think the use of pistols in a duel is ignoble. The 
sword is the weapon of brave men. When I was a lieu- 
tenant in the artillery I fought a duel with a naval officer, 
who in company had said that all officers of artillery were 
sordid money-lenders {/esses- fnathieu)." 

"I read Père Bourgoing's book ^ in my youth, and 
what I remembered of it was of use to me in all my nego- 
tiations. Of battles he writes as a civilian. He speaks 
of the wind as if it played the same part in fights on land 
that it does in those at sea. Civilians can form no con- 
ception of a battle. Tilly and Wallenstein were better 
generals than Gustavus Adolphus." 

' Caulaincourt was Duke of Vicenza. 

'Bourgoing: a theologian who was one of the founders of the Congrega- 
tion of the Oratoire. He lived at the close of the sixteenth century and the 
beginning of the seventeenth.— £. W. L. 



42 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

"Maignet, who was Representative of the people at 
Marseilles, once asked me to give him a plan to strengthen 
the arsenal against any coup de main, and I drew a design 
with a crenelated wall. But shortly afterwards arrived a 
denunciation against the commission of artillery at Mar- 
seilles, who were, it was said, planning to construct a 
fortress to intimidate the patriots. A decree of the Con- 
vention summoned the commission to appear before its 
bar. Sugny, the Military Governor of Marseilles, came 
and informed me that I was the person implicated, and 
that I had better go up to Paris, and answer the charge. 
I replied that the decree referred to the Chief of Artillery 
at Marseilles, and not to me; that therefore he ought to 
go to Paris, and testify that he was not the man who had 
made the plan. He did so, and another decree was issued 
against me. But the younger Robespierre wrote to his 
brother in my behalf, and I was not molested." 

The Emperor told us that when he was quite young he 
gained a prize offered by the Academy of Lyons for the 
best paper in answer to the question: "What are the 
truths and principles that ought to be inculcated on men 
that they may enjoy happiness?" His paper gained him 
a gold medal, which he sold afterwards for fifty louis. He 
mentioned this one day before Talleyrand, who seemed to 
take no notice, but five or six days later he came to 
the Emperor, bringing him this paper, which he had 
obtained from the Academy at Lyons. "I asked him, as 
I took it: 'Have you read \\?.' 'No, Sire, I have just 
received it.' Then I flung it into the fire, and pushed it 
down with the tongs. Talleyrand became quite red in the 
face, but I did not wish to let any one see such a paper, 
written when I was very young. It might have exposed 
me to ridicule when I was Emperor." 

"When I was a lieutenant, in a visit the corps paid to 
Monsieur du Teil (afterwards a general), I made a few 



EARLY YEARS— 176Q-17Q6 43 

remarks, which pleased him so much, that he gave me the 
ordnance-yard to superintend. I should soon have been 
made a colonel, and then I would have tried to get an 
appointment on the staff of some marshal. I might have 
advised him and assisted him, and I should soon have 
become distinguished. The most important quality in a 
general is firmness. And firmness is a gift from heaven." 

Toulon. 
"I knew Junot first at the siege of Toulon. He was 
quarter-master in a battalion from the Côte d'Or. I 
needed some one who could write for me. I asked Gavais 
for such a man. Gavais, who was commandant at Fon- 
tainebleau in 1 8 14, was in command of a battalion at 
Toulon. He sent me two men. Junot came first. I 
took him. He pleased me. That same day, being in my 
battery, I was getting him to write a letter, when a can- 
non ball covered us both with dust and gravel. Junot 
cried at once, * Bien! Here's sand enough for this letter!' 
He wrote a superb hand, and he stayed with me. The 
other man long after, was still a non-commissioned officer, 
while Junot had got splendid promotion. Such is fate. 
Junot was always a braggart, a terrible fellow for running 
after women. He liked to be surrounded by members of 
the old nobility. I ought never to have given him a com- 
mand; in his latter days he wanted very much to be made 
a marshal. At Valoutina he was already mad." 

"The itch is a terrible malady. I contracted it at the 
siege of Toulon. Two gunners who had it were killed 
in front of me, and I was covered with their blood. I 
was not properly treated, and I continued to suffer from 
it while in Italy, and in Egypt. When I came back from 
the East, Corvisart cured me by putting three blisters on 
my chest; this brought on a salutary crisis. Before that 
time I had been thin and sallow; since then I have always 
had good health." 



44 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

During the siege of Toulon, the Convention wanted * 
to send to the Gulf of Piombino a squadron to disembark 
ten thousand troops who were to march on Rome. Bona- 
parte opposed the project, pointing out that the King of 
Naples would have sixty thousand men not far from there, 
that the French had no cavalry, and that the best place 
to land would be Monte Argentario, whence they could 
take up a position at Orbitello. He asked them, "How 
do you expect to avenge the death of Bassville? The 
Pope and the cardinals will escape from Rome; if you 
pillage, or outrage the women, you will frighten the 
partisans we now have in the States of the Church. 
Besides, men are men, and a population of two hundred 
thousand is not to be despised." In spite of this, Letour- 
neur, who was the Representative from the Convention, 
persisted. He wanted to go to Rome, and his colleagues 
wanted to follow him. 

"Old Thénard, who was a fierce aristocrat at heart, 
but terribly afraid of what might happen to himself, 
addressed the Representatives, and urged them to favor 
the expedition, being sure it would not succeed. The 
only way I could oppose it was by asking the sailors 
whether they would rather fight the English with or with- 
out a convoy of transports. They all answered, 'Without 
the convoy!' 'Then,' said I, 'let us beat the English 
first, and then, when you are masters of the sea, you can 
come back and take the convoy.' This advice prevailed. 
But the French squadron of fifteen ships was dispersed by 
the English, and the expedition never took place." 

The Revolution and Its Leaders. 

"Up to July 14, 1789, I would not have stayed the 

Revolution; the King had good sense; what he wanted 

was vigor. He was like my brother Joseph, who, when 

King of Spain, complained to me about Belliard, the Gov- 

' In revenge for the murder of Bassville, tfie French ambassador in 
Rome. 



EARLY YEARS— 176Q-17Q6 45 

ernor of Madrid. When I spoke to Belliard, he replied: 
'It is true, Sire. I was in command. Every day I had to 
give my own orders and to arrange my own plans, for 
King Joseph did not think about plans or orders once a 
month.' " 

"At the time of the oath of the Tennis Court, I think 
Louis XVI. might have arrested the Revolution, but 
though he had daring in reserve, he lacked decision at the 
right moment for action. He had more talent than most 
men. He knew it, and that was the reason why he per- 
sisted in wishing to govern France by himself. He ought, 
like Louis XIII., to have taken a competent prime minis- 
ter, and to have let him act. Perhaps if Monsieur de 
Montmorin had governed France the Revolution might 
not have taken place." 

"Necker was a man of talent. Monsieur de Calonne's 
support was among the rascals; Necker had that of 
honest men. But Monsieur Necker did much to bring 
on the Revolution. He was not noble, and not being in 
favor with the noblesse, he could not be of their party." ' 

"The Constituent Assembly made a constitution that 
was absurd, but I think that a constitution is not wanted 
in France. France is essentially a monarchical country — 
I mean that it does not need deliberative assemblies, 
although there always have been such in the provinces, 
the States General, and the parliaments, but no legislative 
assemblies. If any one wants to get up a revolution, his 
sure plan would be to create a parliament. At once two 
parties will be formed in it, and then passions and 
hatreds will be aroused between them." 

' Napoleon said that when he was First Consul he was visited at Geneva by 
M. Necker, who talked as if he was by no means au courant in French affairs, 
" And," added the Emperor, " he wanted me to make him one of my ministers, 
for men never lose sight of ambition. Monsieur de Calonne also addressed 
a long memorial to meat Malmaison, full of erasures, immediately after his 
return to France. He, too, aspired to be a minister. In this paper he strongly 
advised the government to take no part in certain financial operations, which 
were merely speculative. The man was a fool!" 



46 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. //ELENA 

"The Constituent Assembly had better have taken the 
Duke of Orleans for King, and have at once changed the 
succession. Foreign powers would probably not have 
interfered. Some people might have said that to acqui- 
esce in such a change of dynasty would have been dis- 
honorable in the Duke of Orleans, but the splendor of 
royal robes can conceal anything. I declare I believe 
that if Louis XVI. had made his escape at Varennes, the 
Duke of Orleans would have been elected King, and the 
Revolution might have taken a very different course." 

"Louis XVL, after his flight, deserved what happened 
to him! He had made us all swear to be faithful to the 
constitution, and then he deserted us!" 

"The campaign of Dumouriez in Champagne was 
very fine, very bold. Dumouriez was the only great 
soldier who, during the Revolution, sprang from the 
ranks of the nobility. He would have made me a good 
minister. He had good sense and great talent. But in 
his Memoirs he talks nonsense when he tells us that he 
might have been made Duke of Brabant, when his military 
career had lasted only eight or ten months! It is possible 
that if it had lasted as many years, he might have become 
a man of high renown. With Lafayette it was different. 
All the other generals of that time — Kellerman, Beurnon- 
ville, and Valence — were mere nonentities; we found them 
so afterwards ! Brunswick acted very foolishly during his 
campaign in Champagne. When a general invades a 
country he must not be afraid of giving battle. He must 
follow up his enemy until he can attack him. Brunswick 
ought not to have given the French time to breathe. Who 
at that time could have stopped the Prussian general.?" 

"I think the massacres of September may have pro- 
duced a powerful effect on the men of the invading army. 
In one moment they saw a whole population rising up 



EARLY YEARS— 1769-1796 47 

against them. Everywhere there was blood and murder. 
It has been said that during the Revolution honor took 
refuge with the Republican armies, but I can declare from 
my own knowledge, that those who massacred in September 
were almost all soldiers, who, before going to the fron- 
tier, were resolved to leave no enemies behind them. It 
was Danton who made the project. He was a very extraor- 
dinary man; a man capable of anything. One cannot 
understand why he separated from Robespierre, or why 
he should have suffered himself to be guillotined. It 
seems as if the two millions he had appropriated in Bel- 
gium had changed his character. It was he who said, 
''De r audace! puis de V audace! et encore de V audace!' " 

"Marat was naturally a clever man, but he was more 
or less mad. What gave the public great confidence in 
him was, that in 1790 he had prophesied what would hap- 
pen in 1792. He kept up a lone fight against every man. 
He was a very singular being. Such abnormal persons 
are not seldom found in history. Whatever people may 
say of them they are not despicable characters. Few men 
have made their mark on the world as they have done." 

"Robespierre will never be well known in history. It 
is certain that Carrier, Fréron, and TaUien were more 
bloody-minded than he. 

"Danton left many friends behind him, among them 
Talleyrand and Sémonville. He was a real party-chief, 
greatly beloved by his followers." 

"All I read in the 'Moniteur' confirms my opinion of 
Robespierre. The Constitutent Assembly drew up an 
absurd constitution. It was ridiculous to decree that the 
King might not do as he pleased with his own Guards, 
without asking the permission of the Assembly. The 
mayor of any little insignificant town under the constitution 
would have had more power than a marshal of France." 



48 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

"Robespierre was overthrown because he wished to 
become a moderator, and to arrest the Revolution. 
Cambacérès told me that the day before his death he made 
a magnificent speech to that effect, which had never been 
printed. Billaud and other Terrorists thought he was 
becoming too little of a Jacobin, and would certainly cut 
off their heads, so they leagued together against him, and 
excited the so-called 'honest men' to overthrow 'the 
tyrant,' but really that they might take his place and 
make the Reign of Terror worse than ever. But as soon 
as Robespierre fell, the popular explosion was so great 
that the Terrorists, do what they would, were powerless 
to get the upper hand again." 

"Collot d'Herbois committed atrocious deeds at 
Lyons. One cannot conceive how he was able to have 
five or six thousand persons shot, and assuredly in such a 
city the execution of fifty or sixty leaders would have 
been more than was necessary. 

"Carrier wrote to the Convention that the Loire was a 
beautiful gulf in which the Revolutionists might drown their 
enemies. Those men were far more sanguinary than 
Robespierre. Robespierre was a man of probity and 
strict morality. He committed a great blunder when he 
caused the death of Danton. He ought to have sent 
Chaumette and Hébert into exile, and not have condemned 
them to the scaffold; but in those days nothing was 
thought of but the guillotine. Danton' s party was very 
numerous. It took its revenge by overthrowing Robe- 
spierre." 

"Robespierre ought to have had himself proclaimed 
Dictator. But he would not have found that so easy as 
if he had been a general. Soldiers are not republicans. 
They are accustomed to obey; and are very wilHng to 
see citizens submit to authority. 



EARLY YEARS— 1769-170 49 

"At the camp at Boulogne, in 1803, the soldiers wished 
to have me proclaimed Emperor. Armies are essentially 
monarchical, and you will see the same spirit gaining 
ground in England. On the i8th Fructidor' (September 
4), if the Directory had been reconstructed, I would have 
marched on Lyons with fifteen thousand men, and have 
placed myself at the head of the Government. I could 
have rallied all parties round me." 

"Marat was a singular man. He boasted in the 
Chamber of being guilty of the things for which other 
men tried to frame excuses. Charlotte Corday, I think, 
did a noble deed in defense of society." 

"What I approved in Marat was his perfect frankness 
about himself. He was an original. He said what he 
thought. Single-handed he fought all men." 

"In my opinion the Duke of Orleans never conspired 
against the King. There had always been an Orleans 
party in France because all dissatisfied members of the 
royal family instinctively turn their eyes toward that 
branch which is nearest the throne. It is the same thing 
now." 

"Carrier was a perfect monster, a beast of prey. 
What atrocities he committed! How did it happen that 
no one murdered him.'' A taste for murder came from 
making a god of Marat, who was a madman, — and his 
coffin was placed in the Pantheon!" 

"What Marat proposed to do. Carrier did. At Mar- 
seilles Fréron and Barras also committed atrocities. They 
arrested an old tradesman who was deaf and blind. They 

' On the 15th Fructidor, while Napoleon was still with his victorious army 
in Italy, the majority of the Directors summoned Hoche to rid them of 
Barthélémy and Carnot, their two minority colleagues, and of fifty-three mem- 
bers of the Council, whom they accused of being anti-revolutionary. Napo- 
leon, in spite of his victories, was not a favorite with the Directors at that 
period.— £. W. L. 



50 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

said he was a conspirator. The poor wretch asked 
them: 'Do you want my fortune? Take it, but spare my 
life. I have eighteen millions. I give it all to you, pro- 
vided you will leave me my life and half a million ! ' But 
they guillotined him. 

"Men who had dined one day with Representatives of 
the Convention, were next day sent by their entertainers 
to the scaffold. There is a great difference between 
preaching the effusion of blood and shedding it. I was 
at Marseilles at that time, on business connected with the 
artillery; I saw it all. 

"At Nantes there perished six thousand persons, and as 
many at Lyons and at Marseilles; but at Toulon compara- 
tively few lives were taken. Only three hundred men 
were shot there — poor wretches! — because they had ac- 
cepted employment from the English. 

"Well! it was the deeds of Carrier, Fréron, and Barrera 
which were the prime cause of the overthrow of Robe- 
spierre. Carrier brought on the revolt in La Vendée by 
his iniquities. I can easily conceive why men hated the 
Convention. 

"But we will not talk about such dreadful things. 
Nothing in all history equals those horrors. All the 
members of the Committee of Public Safety deserved to 
perish. Any man who sentences another man to death 
without hearing his defense deserves death himself. 
They condemned at one stroke thirty of their fellow- 
deputies. Blood calls for blood .... Pick up your 
book, Gourgaud, and go on with our reading." 

"The Duke of Orleans found poor support from the 
mob, who have always looked on those who can dine with 
two courses as their enemies. It is the same thing with 
slaves; they are always the enemies of their masters, 
however kind those masters may have been to them. 
Roustan abandoned me because I had bought him." 



EARLY YEARS— 1760-1796 51 

"The Bourbon kings needed always a prime minister 
or a mistress. The Queen was the mistress of Louis 
XVI. If he had not persisted in thinking himself a man 
capable of governing, he might have taken a prime minis- 
ter, and then perhaps the Revolution might not have 
broken out." 

"Roederer did not vote for the King's death; on the 
contrary he gave excellent advice at the Tuileries. He 
has often told me that when the Queen was alone with the 
King she was frightened and wept, but as soon as she 
showed herself to the courtiers she took an air of dignity 
and hauteur. Marie Louise was like that. She, too, 
had German pride. The King, on the contrary, was always 
in full dress, with his steel sword at his side, and the 
powder falling out of his hair; it was piteous to look at 
him. He was incapable of inspiring energy in others." 

"Louis XVI., when at Fontainebleau, would never 
review a regiment of dragoons, if it shouted: 'The King! 
The King!' because public opinion in those days did not 
like a sovereign to be a military man, nor even to care for 
his soldiers. And yet as a general thing the Bourbons 
were all brave. They cannot be reproached for lack of 
courage." 

The Emperor blamed Sieyès for having voted for the 
death of Louis XVI. without explanation. "In his 
place," he added, "I should have said that, tvith the 
deepest regret I voted the death of the King. ' ' 

"On a certain occasion the Deputies kept on their hats 
while the King was uncovered. When Louis XVI. saw 
this, with a gesture full of dignity, he put on his hat. 
Cambacérès told me afterwards that this act, and the 
manner of the King gave great pleasure to those who wit- 
nessed it, and some even cried Bravo!" 



52 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

"Roederer has often told me that the Queen (Marie 
Antoinette) lost her head on the loth of August. The 
only soldiers at the Tuileries that day were the Swiss. 
Unhappily they fired on a party from the sections who 
were coming to support the King — and then, all that 
afterwards happened took place." 

"Roederer assured me that all that has been said of 
the firm courage of the Queen on the lOth of August, 
was false. She was like any other woman. In the 
King's cabinet she wept bitterly; she appeared to be 
frightened, and asked Roederer what had better be done. 
It was she who insisted that they ought to go to the 
Assembly; when she left the King's cabinet her tears were 
dried, and all who saw her beheld her dignified and 
courageous. As to Madame Elizabeth, I think she was, 
as Las Cases says, 'a devil,' as the Duchesse d'Angou- 
leme now is, though in the provinces and in the news- 
papers she is called an angel of goodness." * 

"I have been reading the Queen's trial. Chauveau- 
Lagarde would have done better to make no reply, and 
she herself made a noble answer on the subject of her son. 
It really seems as if they may have succeeded in destroying 
the child's mind, and that he may have spoken against his 
mother; agents of the court may have perverted his heart." 

"In the affair of the Diamond Necklace the Queen was 
innocent, and that her innocence might be more publicly 
acknowledged, she wished that the Parliament of Paris 
should try the case. The result was that the public con- 
sidered the Queen guilty. That caused a scandal, and 
threw discredit on the Court. Perhaps the fate of the 
King and Queen may be said to have been fixed from the 
day of that trial." 

» Madame Elizabeth was devoted to her brothers, the Comte de Provence 
and the Comte d'Artois. This led to disagreements between herself and the 
Queen, and probably her sympathies with these brothers and the cmisrés led 
to the opinion here pronounced on her by Napoleon, who elsewhere spoke of her 
as "that saint who bore on earth the name of Elizabeth."— £. W. L. 



CHAPTER II. 

NAPOLEON'S RISE TO FAME AND FORTUNE. 
1795-1799- 

The Day of the Sections, 13 Vendémiaire 
(October 4, 1795). — Campaign with the Army 
OF Italy, 1796, 1797. — Egypt, 1798. — 18 Bru- 
maire (November 9, 1799). 



The Day of the Sections, 13 Vendémiaire 
(October 4, 1795). 

"On the 13th Vendémiaire,^ I was apprehensive that 
the populace might gain possession of the Louvre. As 
soon as I was in command I asked, 'Where is the artil- 
lery?' I was told that it was at Sablons under the charge 
of fifteen men. I sent for an officer of the Twenty-first 
Light Chasseurs. Murat arrived, and I despatched him 

• By I7Q5 the French nation had grown disgusted with the rule of the 
Convention. Conventionahsts themselves saw that some change must be 
attempted. They framed a new constitution called that of the year VIII., 
which was wholly unsatisfactory. There seemed no remedy but the dispersion 
of the Convention by force and a change of government. The National Guard 
of Paris, 30,000 strong, and the mob instigated by the Jacobins, whose power 
lay in the Sections (or as we might call them the wards) into which the city was 
divided, were joined by what remained of the party of the Royalists, who, 
although the triumph of the Sections would imply a renewal of Jacobinism, 
thought that anything which might lead to the overthrow of the Convention 
would be to their advantage. The men most powerful at that time in the Con- 
vention and in its Conseil des Quarante were Barras, Carnot, and Sieyès. 
They resolved to make resistance. General Menou marched with a column of 
regular troops to disarm and disperse a large body of the National Guard 
drawn up in the Rue Lepelletier; but, hampered by Representatives from the 
Convention who accompanied him, he retired without a contiict. When news 
of this reached the Convention, Barras said to Carnot, or Carnot said to Barras 
(which spoke first is uncertain), "We have the very man for this work. He is a 
little Corsican officer who will not stand on ceremony." it was the month of 
October, 1795. Napoleon had come to Paris in May earnestly soliciting em- 
ployment, but had received nothing but repulses. He had grown so dis- 
couraged that it is said he was on the point of offering his services to the 
Turkish government, saying to his friends: "How strange it would be if I 
should one day become King of Jerusalem! "— £. W. L. 

53 



54 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

at a gallop to bring off the cannon. He was but just in 
time. The Sections were arriving to gain possession of 
them. Murat charged them at once. This was my first 
meeting with Murat. On the same occasion I first saw 
Lemarois. Muiron I had known at the siege of Toulon. 
On this occasion he commanded at the cul-de-sac Dau- 
phin. I had five thousand men with me, but at such 
moments troops are apt to change sides. 

"I was at the Conseil des Quarante, presided over by 
Cambacérès, when some one came in to announce the 
position taken by the Sections. The members of the 
Conseil trembled and were inclined to conciliate the mob. 
Sieyès came up to me and said: 'While these people are 
deliberating, the Sections will break in upon us. Go, 
General! Act according to your own judgment, and do 
not fear to fire.' 

"I distributed muskets to the Representatives. They 
asked what for. When I answered, 'To defend yourselves, * 
they began to comprehend that they were in danger. 

"That movement on the 13th Vendémiaire was in the 
hands of Royalist leaders. Danican was one of them. 
He sent us a message by a flag of truce. When the 
handkerchief was taken from the man's eyes, in presence 
of the Quarante, all the members begged him to repre- 
sent the Republic favorably to his general. Their plan 
was, if we should be defeated, to retire on Tours." 

"On the 13th Vendémiaire General Dupont, brother of 
the minister, was in command at the Hôtel de Noailles. 
He opened a passage to the Sections. The Terrorists 
fought like heroes!" 

"After the 13th Vendémiaire there were bread riots in 
Paris. In one of these I found myself, with my chief of 
staff, passing along a street filled with rioters. An im- 
mensely stout woman stepped forward and began to abuse 
me, caUing me an é^aulettier. I turned to the mob and 



RISE TO FAME AND FORTUNE 55 

asked them which of us two seemed to have the most 
right to complain of famine. At this the crowd burst 
into a hearty laugh and dispersed." 

"The Parisians are a curious people! I never would 
organize a national guard. I called civihans out only 
occasionally. Paris gives laws to France. Few people 
appreciate the temerity of the Girondins, who tried to 
master Paris without the help of a mihtary force." 

"The day after the 13th Vendémiaire, I found Tallien 
and his friends at the Tuileries. They had come to make 
me comphmentary speeches. I said to them: 'Gentle- 
men, yesterday you were poltroons — to-day you wish to 
be considered saviors of the Republic. What do you say 
now about the forty thousand National Guards who yester- 
day wished to murder you, and who shout to-day that 
they are all for you.?' That was just like the French. 
They are weathercocks." 

"After the 13th Vendémiaire Lemarois came one morn- 
ing to tell me that Madame de Beauharnais, whose husband 
had been guillotined after having been a Republican 
general, had sent her son to speak to me. The lad was 
in my antechamber. Lemarois said he was a handsome 
boy. I told him to let him enter. The young fellow said 
that his mother wished to keep his father's sword, that 
we had just disarmed the Sections, and that this weapon 
had been found on one of the combatants. He begged 
me to have it given back to him. I granted his request, 
and sent Lemarois with him to the Section to get it. 
Next day Madame de Beauharnais came to see me, and 
left her name. A few days later she came again. Then 
I sent Lemarois to see her. He was well received. He 
reported that she was a beautiful and agreeable woman. 
She had a private residence, so I sent my card. Shortly 
after that she invited me to dinner. I met at her table 



56 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

persons with whom she was on the most friendly terms, 
the Due de Nivernois, Madame TaUien, Elleviou, and I 
think, Talma. She behaved charmingly. She placed 
me next to herself at table. She bantered me a Uttle. I 
thought her a very charming woman, but somewhat of an 
intrigante. In my turn I asked her to dinner. I had 
Barras, too, that day. Things went on until at last we 
became fascinated with each other. Barras did me good 
service in that affair, for he advised me to marry her, 
assuring me that she belonged both to the Old Régime 
and to the New, so that the marriage would give me good 
standing in society. Her house was known to be the best 
in Paris, and I should cease to be called a Corsican. In 
short, by this step I should become thoroughly Frenchi- 
fied, Hortense did not approve of the marriage, for in 
those days they called Republican generals épaulettiers. 
Eugene, on the contrary, favored my suit. He saw him- 
self in imagination my aide-de-camp. Josephine was at 
that time a very charming woman. She was full of grace 
— a woinati in every sense of the word. She always 
began by saying 'no' to everything, merely that she might 
gain time to consider her final answer; then she would 
say, 'Ah! yes. Monsieur.' She seldom told the truth, 
but there was something charming about her equivoca- 
tions. I may say that she was the woman I have the 
most really loved. She knew me thoroughly. She never 
asked me to do anything for her children. She never 
begged me for money, but she made debts by the milhon. 
She had bad teeth, but was so careful of showing them 
that few people perceived them. She was the wife who 
would have gone with me to Elba." 

"Barras ^ was a man of good family in Provence, who 
brought himself into prominence in the Convention by his 
loud voice. He never said more than one or two phrases, 

• Barras became a count of the Empire, but received no other favors from 
the Emperor. He survived Napoleon eight years, dying in 1829.— £. W. L, 



RISE TO FAME AND FORTUNE 57 

but they came like thunderclaps. He had the bearing of 
a fencing master, boastful and self-assured. He could be 
of great value in any popular movement. On the 13th 
Vendémiaire I had all the trouble in the world to get him 
to give me an order to fire on the rioters, and I was re- 
solved if possible to get that order. 

"Barras was a very immoral man. He was shameless 
in his debauchery. He stole openly, but he was the only 
one of the Directors who had good manners — who knew 
how to receive guests, and how to dispense hospitality. 
He had adopted a fashion of never taking part in any 
argument, of never expressing an opinion, and in this 
way, in whatever manner things turned out, he could 
always approve or disapprove the action of his colleagues. 
He had a certain revolutionary cunning, never expressing 
an opinion until after the event. He was utterly untrust- 
worthy. He would cordially press the hands of those 
whom he would much rather have stabbed. Falseness and 
deception may, it is true, be sometimes useful to the 
leader of a faction. He was very ignorant. All he knew 
about history was the name and fame of Brutus; and that 
name he made sound like a trumpet call in the Conven- 
tion. He always showed friendliness to me, though after 
my return from Egypt he would have been glad to get rid 
of me by sending me back to the East." ' 

' The Directors, in consideration of Napoleon's services on the 13th Ven- 
démiaire, gave him command ol the Army of Italy, then out of heart, disorgan- 
ized, and accustomed to reverses. 

This campaign in Italy, when Napoleon took the command, was most 
brilliant and successful. He joined his troops at Nice late in the month of 
March, 1795, and in less than a month he had won three battles (the first of 
which was the battle of Monte Notte), against forces superior to his own. He 
had reduced the Austrians to inaction; he had forced the King of Sardinia to 
make a disadvantageous peace, and had secured every important city in Lom- 
bardy and Piedmont, e-xcept Turin, Mantua, and Milan. After Beaulieu, the 
Austrian general, had suffered repeated defeats, the command of his forces 
was transferred to tlie veteran general Wurmser, who had no better fortune. 
By the close of 1796 not only the King of Sardinia, but the King of Naples, 
the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and several of the minor potentates of Italy had 
been forced to sign treaties of peace with the French Republic. 

On the Rhine, Moreau had njade his masterly retreat through the Black 
Forest, while Jourdan, whom Napoleon always considered an incapable gen- 
eral, bad been defeated. All through the autumn of 1796 Napoleon was push- 



58 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

Campaign With the Army of Italy, 1796-1797. 

"In the days of the Terror and the Revolution, France 
had no good generals. The Austrian general staff was 
better than ours. I am now writing the campaign of 
Schérer; ' what a record of incapacity! Once in the 
Directory I heard Schérer talking about war; he did so 
with great fluency. I turned to Talleyrand, and said: 'I 
am not astonished that this man should be the eagle of 
Rewbell and Barras; he misleads them with false reason- 
ing based on false facts cleverly put together, but he 
understands nothing about war.' When I superseded 

ing the remains of Wurmser's array into the mountains of the Tyrol, ably 
assisted by Augereau and Massena. Late in the year Wurmser was replaced 
by a younger general, Marshal Alvinzi, 

Of course this note cannot relate the story of the campaign, nor even tell 
of Lodi, Rivoli, Castiglione, or Areola. The latter (fought Nov. 15, 1796) assured 
the fortunes of Napoleon. That success Napoleon said he gained in person 
with the help of only twenty-five brave followers, but he suffered the loss of 
the gallant Colonel Muiron, his one intimate personal friend. 

In I7g7 the fight was still kept up with Alvinzi, while Wurmser, who had 
held out bravely in the strong city of Mantua, had been forced to capitulate. 
By February, i7g7, with the exception of Venice, Napoleon was master of all 
northern Italy. The imperial court at Vienna was paralyzed, and the Pope, 
who was threatened by General Victor, felt as if the days of Alaric the Goth 
had come again. But Napoleon showed no disposition to imitate the blood- 
thirsty Jacobin leaders, whom he abhorred. Even exiled French priests, who 
had sought refuge in the States of the Church, were treated with humanity and 
consideration. Peace was made with the Pope, and Napoleon prepared to 
march his victorious army to Vienna. He was now opposed to the Archduke 
Charles, who had obtained recent victories over the French armies on the 
Rhine, but after three days' fierce fighting on the banks of the Tagliamento, 
the Archduke received instructions from the Emperor to treat with the enemy. 
A provisional treaty was made at Leoben, April 18, 1797, twelve months and a 
few days after Napoleon had taken command of the disorganized and dispirited 
Army of Italy. Six months later the provisional treaty of Leoben was changed 
into the important but brief peace of Campo Formio. Meantime Napoleon 
had summoned his young wife to join him in Italy, and had established a 
small court near Milan, at Montebello. 

It is singular that Napoleon does not seem to have discussed this brilliant 
campaign with Gourgaud. We can only bring together some few anecdotes he 
told that bear on it, and refer the reader to any good historical work on the 
subject.— .£. W. L. 

' Napoleon, on March q, 1796, three days after his marriage, set out to 
supersede General Schérer. General Schérer died in 1804, having achieved no 
historical distinction, though he was at the head of the War Department from 
i7q7 to i7gg under the Directory. Napoleon as a general of artillery had been 
a short time with the Army of Italy after the siege of Toulon, but his contempt 
for the Representatives of the Convention, and his new plan of campaign, had 
made him unpopular iu Paris with the authorities.— .£. W. L. 



RISE TO FAME AND FORTUNE 59 

him in the Army of Italy it was bare of everything in the 
district of Nice. I ordered the magistrates to furnish the 
supphes it needed, or else I would let the soldiers pillage 
the farms and violate the women. The cavalry, which 
was on the Rhone, could not rejoin the main army for 
want of authority to procure forage on the march. I 
sent orders to the colonels of all these regiments, wherever 
they passed to requisition it, to show my order, and if it 
was not obeyed, to take what was needed by force. In 
this way I soon organized my army. Schérer, after his 
battle of Pastrengo, instead of recalling Moreau, who had 
victoriously pushed up to the walls of Verona, should have 
marched after him, and by giving him good support, he, 
too, would have achieved a victory. Instead of that he 
recalled Moreau, and began to retreat. His purpose 
being to establish himself on the Adige, he should have 
taken Verona and Lugano, and he would thus have 
obtained a good position, which ought to be the object in 
every movement. The Austrians ought to have placed 
themselves at some crucial point between the Mincio and 
the Adige, in the centre of the Quadrilateral, and to have 
fortified themselves, waiting till the Russians should come 
up, and if the French tried to cross the Adige they might 
have fallen on their flanks. Turenne would have done so, 
but they dared not make war after Turenne' s fashion — in 
Schérer's day. Besides this, I declare, in spite of Dumas 
and other scribblers, that during the Revolution the art of 
war went backward rather than improved. Moreau did 
well during that campaign, because he was with his centre. 
He had about twenty thousand men under his orders — 
more he could not manage. I think I see him now, boast- 
ful and smoking his pipe, for he was only good for com- 
manding a division. A general-in-chief should be quite 
another man. Moreau was, however, greatly superior to 
Jourdan. In 1800 Jourdan lost a whole month before 



6o TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

Ulm, where Kray was detaining him; he did not know 
what he wanted to do, and yet Ulm is the central point 
of Germany. During the wars of the Revolution the plan 
was to stretch out, to send columns to the right and left, 
which did no good. To tell you the truth, the thing that 
made me gain so many battles was that the evening before 
a fight, instead of giving orders to extend our lines, I tried 
to converge all our forces on the point I wanted to attack. 
I massed them there. I overcame all before me, for of 
course I aimed at some weak point. Before Wagram I 
recalled Bernadotte, who was forty leagues away, on the 
Danube. I collected all my forces. I had one hundred 
and sixty thousand men under my orders, while the Arch- 
duke Charles had left Prince John at Presburg. 

"Berwick says that more men are required to defend 
the Alps than to attack them. That is nonsense. Are 
not the Alps a good line of defence.»' If a general has the 
most men, why should he stay on the defensive.!* Besides, 
if he massed his troops at Grenoble or Chambéry, he 
would be exactly in a position to crush the enemy as he 
descended from the mountains. Villars thought it was 
best to remain beyond the mountain range, and to fall on 
the enemy when he entered the last defile; and he was 
right. Feuquières was wrong when he blamed circumval- 
lations. They are always necessary; they are indispens- 
able. If the Duke of York had had circumvallations 
before Dunkirk he would never have lost the battle of 
Hondschoote. Feuquières writes that at Turin, Valen- 
ciennes, and Arras, the lines were forced, but those three 
places were exceptions. There are so many instances to 
the contrary! Should an army stay in its lines? That is 
another question, which cannot be answered positively, so 
much depends on circumstances, the strength of the lines, 
and the spirit of the soldiers. France was so ill-governed 
at that period that one faction after another formed itself 



RISE TO FAME AND FORTUNE 6i 

at the head of the state. One day Carrier was lauded to 
the skies; the next day he was guillotined." ' 

"When I was at the head of the Army of Italy, the 
Directory sent me two commissioners [faiseurs d'affaires) . 
They came in search of me, and while I was marching on 
Leoben, I was told that they had laid hands on a contribu- 
tion of six millions of francs that I had imposed. Forth- 
with I put into General Orders that two men, furnished 
with false letters from the Directory, had carried off six 
millions intended to pay the soldiery, and I ordered that 
they should be arrested and brought before a military 
commission. They had gone back to Paris, however. 
When they arrived there, as they brought many diamonds 
with them, they were well received by Barras and dined 
with him. When my Order to the Army was known at 
the Luxembourg, La' Réveillière, who was a very honest 
man, persuaded the Directory to have them arrested, say- 
ing that the honor of the Directors was at stake. 

"At Rastadt^ Merlin and Jean de Bry (commissioners 
from France) had only fifty thousand francs, and they 
could hardly contrive to live, until I got there. The 
Grand Duke caused the best apartment to be given me, 
though Metternich had applied for it, saying that he was 
the representative of the Emperor Francis. Horses, 
carriages, everything, in short, was put at my disposal. 
I distributed presents, for I had brought considerable 
money from Italy. The two poor French representatives 
were quite amazed when they found I had so much, while 
they had so little. The Grand Duke treated me with dis- 
tinction; perhaps that induced me afterwards to see that 

' Perhaps these observations should more properly be placed under the 
head of the Art of War, but they were part of an animated speech Napoleon 
was making which began with strictures on the campaign conducted in 1795 by 
his predecessors in Italy. — E. W. L. 

• A town in the Grand Duchy of Baden, where a congress was being held 
to arrange terms of peace between France and Austria.— £. W. L. 



62 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. //ELENA 

he was well treated. I soon perceived that I could not 
hold friendly relations with princes and representatives of 
the people at the same time, so I departed, leaving the 
two poor plenipotentiaries the greater part of the money 
that remained to me, and they were enchanted." 

"General Laharpe commanded an advance guard of 
five thousand grenadiers, in which Lannes was chief of a 
battalion, at the passage of the Po. When the passage 
had been effected, I hurried to my grenadiers, for it was 
very important to take possession of Saorgio before the 
arrival of Beaulieu. I found their commander behind the 
fleet of boats, pale, with disordered features. I asked 
him where he was going. 'I am going to Piacenza; I am 
ill.' I told him I expected him to attack Saorgio. Well! 
he obeyed. But he, who was generally bold and brave, 
would not put himself at the head oi his men on this occa- 
sion, but kept in the rear of the centre columns. He was 
evidently in some unusual state of mind. Saorgio was 
taken during the night, and Laharpe led the advance in a 
reconnaissance. As his party came back to Saorgio about 
two o'clock in the morning, our troops mistook them for 
the enemy. They fired on Laharpe and his escort. He 
was killed! I have also noticed that men who have 
retired from the army and return to active service almost 
invariably meet their fate in battle." ' 

"Yes,^ I was happy when I became First Consul; 
happy at the time of my marriage, and happy at the birth 
of the King of Rome, but then I did not feel perfectly 
confident of the security of my position. Perhaps I was 

'This anecdote was related during a conversation on presentiments and 
what are called ghost stories.— £■. IV. L. 

"On one occasion a discussion arose among the members of the little 
court at Longwood on the question: At what period in his life was Napoleon 
most happy? Gourgaud said: "At the time of his marriage"; Madame de 
Montholon, "When he became First Consul"; Bertrand, "At the time of the 
birth of the King of Rome." Napoleon answered as above. 



RISE TO FAME AND FORTUNE 63 

happiest at Tilsit. I had just surmounted many vicissi- 
tudes, many anxieties, at Eylau for instance; and I found 
myself victorious, dictating laws, having emperors and 
kings to pay me court! And yet perhaps I felt most 
happy after my victories in Italy. What enthusiasm was 
then shown for me! What cries of 'Long live the Liber- 
ator of Italy!' and all this when I was only twenty-five. 
From that moment I perceived what I might some day 
become. I saw the whole world passing beneath me just 
as if I had been borne up into the air." 

Gourgaud records that one day at Longwood the talk 
fell on the time of the Treaty of Campo Formio, and on 
Comte de Cobentzel, the Austrian ambassador sent to 
negotiate that treaty. Gourgaud says that Napoleon 
always called him the White Bear of the North, for 
though he was amiable in society, he was roughly Ger- 
man in these diplomatic conferences. He was always 
saying to any proposition, "It cannot be. My master 
will never consent to it." He had on a side-table a little 
tray on which were displayed some teacups given to him 
by various sovereigns, especially Catherine of Russia, of 
whom he was always talking. The young French general, 
then General Bonaparte, annoyed at the rough tone and 
manner of this diplomatist, who, laying his great hand 
upon the treaty exclaimed, "This cannot be," said: 
"Comte de Cobentzel, have you given us your ultimatum.? 
Well, then, before three months are over I shall break 
your monarchy in pieces, as I now break the china cups 
upon this table. Our negotiations are at an end." So 
saying he let the precious porcelains fall, and left the 
room. Next day the Treaty was signed. "The Em- 
peror," says Gourgaud, "in telling us this anecdote, 
remarked: 'In those days I had all the stem pride of a 
Republican, and I despised the Austrians.' " 



64 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

Egypt. 

"When my army disembarked in Egypt it was ready 
to mutiny, seeing what a country it was — a country where 
there was no bread to eat, no wine to drink; a country 
where none of our customs were understood, where there 
were no forks, and no countesses to make love to, as in 
Italy. Before reaching Damanhour I asked Magallon, 
who had been French consul in those parts, if we should 
find provisions in that city. He answered in the negative. 
I had sent Desaix with a guard in advance to prepare me 
quarters. When we reached the place, I was conducted 
to a kind of barn. I sent for Desaix and reproached him 
for assigning me such a lodging. He assured me that it 
was the best he could do for me. I told him he was right 
to respect harems, but that the conquered must always 
lodge their conquerors. In the end, when I found that 
there was really no better place for me, I slept in my tent. 
The soldiers were indignant at the nature of the country, 
but the generals were the most dissatisfied, and — it is 
horrible to own it — I really think it was fortunate for us 
that our fleet was destroyed at Aboukir,^ otherwise the 
army might have re-embarked. 

"We hoped that Cairo might prove better than we 
had been told to expect, and it was not until the night of 
our arrival, when we had examined the cushions of 
Murad Bey, that we beheved Magallon, who had laughed 
when I asked him if we should find handsome furniture 
and Lyons silks there. Cairo gave me at once eight 
millions worth of contributions. People knew nothing 
about Egypt in Paris. If I could have had the Mamelukes 
for my allies I should have been master of the Orient; 
Arabia was all ready to welcome a leader." 

"In Egypt what most astonished the natives was our 
clothes, our hats especially. I at once changed several 

• The battle of the Nile. 



RISE TO FAME AND FORTUNE 65 

parts of our French costume. The sheiks always told 
me that if I wished to establish myself in Egypt as a 
patriarch, the French army must assume the turban, and 
turn Mohammedan. That was my own intention, but I 
would not take the step until I was sure it would succeed, 
else, like Menou, I should only have made myself ridicu- 
lous. I could have made my army do anything I pleased, 
it was so much attached to me. Any other general at the 
head of troops accustomed to all the delights of Italy, 
would have failed in that expedition. At the end of 
three days the army wanted to re-embark. I had great 
trouble about this on the march from Alexandria to Cairo. 
They had no bread, and the discontent was great. Some 
regiments even refused to continue the march. I was 
firm. I seized a negro general, Dumas, and I threatened 
to have him shot. Lannes, Berthier, and Davout were 
among the grumblers. Desaix alone thought as I did. 
Kleber was not there, but would probably have thought 
like Desaix. The army was particularly opposed to the 
savants and to Caffarelli; they said that I had suffered 
myself to be dragged into the expedition by the Directory, 
and that Caffarelli thought it a good joke, for he had one 
leg in France. In the end the soldiers changed their 
views about the savants and Caffarelli.' 

"Crétin was an excellent engineer officer; though he 
was rather morose. He said what he thought very 
frankly, and when he talked with me was more ready to 
raise objections to my plans than to give them his 
approval." 

"Perhaps the destruction of the fleet was an advantage 
to us, inasmuch as it took away for a time the wish th"e 
army had of returning to France. But yet had I had my 
ships, I should have been master of everything. The 
Mamelukes would have joined me; the loss of the fleet 

' Killed at the siege of St. Jean d'Acre. Chief of the engineer corps in 
Egypt.— .£. W.L. 



66 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

hindered all that! The Arabs only wanted a man to 
lead them; they looked on me as an extraordinary being, 
especially when they saw how my generals obeyed me. I 
took care to assure them that in the event of my death 
another man would take my place, and would command 
the same obedience, but that, perchance, that other general 
would not be so favorably disposed to them as I was. 

"Caffarelli was a very brave man. When we crossed 
the Red Sea, I put him under the care of two guides,* 
who were excellent swimmers. The night was dark, the 
tide was rising. We had mistaken the light on a gunboat 
for the land, and we should have been lost if we had not 
got back promptly to the shore. I heard behind us about 
a hundred and sixty yards away, the shouts of Caffarelli. 
I thought his guides had deserted him. I hastened to the 
spot and found he was refusing to follow his guides, tell- 
ing them to let him drown, that it was useless that for his 
sake such brave men as they should die. I was angry 
and struck him a blow in the face with my riding whip. 
But for this he would have been lost." 

"When I was in Egypt I raised a company mounted 
on dromedaries, in squads of five, with two horses and 
eleven men to accompany them. They were to carry 
provisions for a month. Water can generally be found 
in the desert every four days. By this means I reduced 
the Arabs to submission, because I sent these dromedary 
men into the very heart of the desert to destroy their 
encampments. Immensity no longer proved a refuge for 
the Arabs. I could get at them anywhere. This drome- 
dary corps was an experiment, to see if I could not by 
such means get into India. I wanted to bring fifteen 
thousand black men from Darfur, who if well officered, 
would have made excellent soldiers.^ I would have had 

• Caffarelli had lost a leg. 

'The black soldiers in the recent campaign from Cairo to Khartoum 
proved this.— iS. W, L, 



RISE TO FAME AND FORTUNE 67 

sixty or seventy thousand men for the kernel of my 
army. In the desert I would have marched ten leagues a 
day in three columns en échelons, so that we might find 
sufficient water in the wells. I could have had as many 
dromedaries as I wanted. My sick, my ammunition, and 
my provisions would have been placed on these animals. 
I would have had no carriages on wheels, except such as 
were needed for the cannon. I would have concentrated 
my columns before entering inhabited places. I would 
thus have marched to the Indus, and have destroyed the 
power of the English in India. It would have been a 
march of three thousand miles. I would have made a 
long halt on the Euphrates and at other places, according 
to circumstances. I would have had rations prepared to 
be transported on the dromedaries — rice, flour, and 
coffee, enough to give a pound a day to each man." 

"Sire, the English have one hundred and sixty thou- 
sand men in India," interrupted Gourgaud. 

"But I would have allied myself with the Mahrattas. 
They would have furnished me with excellent cavalry. 
Besides, the sepoys are natives of India. The English 
very much dreaded my coming. That was why they took 
possession of Alexandria. But some day they will see 
what will happen to them from Russia. The Russians 
will not have so great a distance to march to enter India. 
They are already in Persia. Russia is the power likely 
to march the most safely and most swiftly to universal 
dominion." 

"If I had stayed in the East I should have founded an 
empire, like Alexander. It was a most politic visit that 
he paid to the Temple of Ammon. I would have under- 
taken a pilgrimage to Mecca, and have made prayers 
and genuflexions before the tomb of the Prophet; but I 
would not have done this if it had not been worth while. 
I would not have acted prematurely like that fool Menou." 



68 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

"One day in May, 1 8 17," says Gourgaud, "His 
Majesty spoke to me of Egypt. He thinks Bertrand did 
very wrong when he signed the sentence of impalement 
pronounced upon Sohman. He had not the right to inflict 
such punishment according to French law. 'If the 
punishment of the country had been milder than that of 
France, would you, or would you not, have applied it? 
You should be impaled yourself for that act in the infernal 
regions.' " 

"Mohammed appeared at a moment when all men 
were anxious to be authorized to believe in but one God. 
It is possible that Arabia had before that been convulsed 
by civil wars, the only way to train men of courage. 
After Bender we find Mohammed a hero! A man can be 
only a man, but sometimes as a man he can accomplish 
great things. He is often like a spark among inflammable 
material. I do not think that Mohammed would at the 
present time succeed in Arabia. But in his own day his 
religion in ten years conquered half the known world, 
whilst it took three centuries for the religion of Christ 
firmly to establish itself. The religion of Christ is too 
subtle for Orientals; they want something more definite, 
less spiritual." 

"Mohammed's case was like mine. I found all the 
elements ready at hand to found an empire. Europe was 
weary of anarchy. Men wanted to make an end of it. 
If I had not come, probably some one else would have 
done like me. France would have ended by conquering 
the world. I repeat, a man is only a man. His power 
is nothing if circumstances and public sentiment do not 
favor him. Do you suppose that it was Luther who 
brought about the Reformation? No; it was public opin- 
ion, which was in opposition to the Popes. Do you think 
it was Henry VIII. who broke with Rome? No; it was 



RISE TO FAME AND FORTUNE 69 

the public sentiment of his nation which willed the sepa- 
ration. Ah! }non Dieu, in the days of Francis I. France 
came very near becoming a Protestant country. A coun- 
cil was held at Fontainebleau, and it was only the Con- 
stable de Montmorency who opposed the change. And 
then the national desire of France to rule in Italy had 
something to do with public opinion in favor of separation, 
Charles V. hesitated as to what course he should pursue, 
but, as sovereign of a country essentially Catholic, he did 
not dare to favor the Reformation. It offered kings a 
tempting chance to escape from under the sovereignty 
of the Popes, and to confiscate the wealth of the clergy." 

"Ah! if I had stayed in Egypt I should have been at 
this moment Emperor of the Orient. But for Saint Jean 
d'Acre the whole population would have declared for me." 

"I regret very much that I did not go to Jerusalem, 
but that would have put off my expedition to Acre two or 
three days, and time was precious. The favorite of the 
Pasha at Jerusalem was a former French cantiniere. She 
wrote me that she would do everything in our favor that 
was in her power." 

"Egypt is the country which now appears to have 
had the oldest civilization. Gaul, Germany, and Italy 
were not far behind. But I think that the human race 
came most probably out of India or China, which had 
a vast population, rather than from Egypt, which had only 
a few thousand inhabitants. All this leads me to think 
that the world is not so very old, at least as inhabited by 
man, and within one or two thousand years I am disposed 
to accept the chronology appended to the sacred writings. 
I think that man was formed by the heat of the sun acting 
upon mud. Herodotus tells us that in his time the slime 
of the Nile changed into rats, and that they could be seen 
in process of formation." 



70 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

" 'There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his 
Prophet.' I said that to make myself popular among 
Orientals. At the time of my coronation one of the 
announcements in the programme was that I should par- 
take of the Communion. When that was shown to the 
Pope, he declared that I could not communicate. It 
would be proper and praiseworthy, he said, to prepare 
myself for it, and even to make my confession, but that 
he could not advise me to communicate, as it was not an 
indispensable part of the coronation ceremony. He 
added, 'With gentleness and patience we shall yet bring 
him to become a good Catholic' " 

"I think it would be possible to send an expedition of 
five thousand men into Egypt with orders to inundate the 
country by cutting through two leagues of land near the 
Red Sea, which is fifteen feet higher than the level of 
the Nile.'" 

"If I had taken Acre, — and that was only prevented by 
three wretched little ships which were afraid of approach- 
ing the fortress, — I should have gone on to India. My 
intention was to take the turban at Aleppo. I was popu- 
lar enough for that, and I should have found myself at the 
head of a fine army and two hundred thousand auxiliaries. 
The Orient only needed a man." 

"I have been reading three volumes on India. What 
rascals those English are! If I had been able, while in 
Egypt, to pass over into India with a small body of troops, 
I could have chased them out of it. The East only needs 
a man. Whoever is master of Egypt is master of India." 

"Russia might easily send twenty thousand regular sol- 
diers and twenty thousand Cossacks to conquer India; but 

• On this theory, that is, on the difference of water level between the Red 
Sea and the Mediterranean, Lord Palmerton based his opposition to the Suez 
Canal.-£. W. L. 




f 







EMPRESS J( )SEP///XE 



RISE TO FAME AND FORTUNE 71 

it would need generals of reputation to induce the tribes 
and nations they might meet upon their march to become 
their auxiliaries. Russia is on the way to acquire 
universal dominion, now that there is no longer any 
France, and the balance of power is broken. The Eng- 
lish are fools in their diplomacy. In their place I should 
have stipulated in recent treaties to have the sole right 
to navigate the Indian and Chinese seas, and to carry 
on commerce with those people in Asia. It was ab- 
surd that Batavia should be left to the Dutch, the Isle 
of Bourbon [or Réunion] to the French. I am sure that 
Monsieur Dupuis already has established relations through 
that channel with the princes of India; I used to get my best 
information through the île de France [the Mauritius] . 
In ten years' time the powers will have got nothing out of 
the present arrangement but jars. Nor should the Ameri- 
cans be allowed to navigate the China seas. What can 
they do against England? Now that there is no longer 
any France, the English, with thirty ships, could blockade 
all the coast of America. I never could understand why 
in 1 8 14 they sent over an army of thirty thousand men. 
That force was too small to subdue the United States, too 
large if they wished to force the Americans to make 
peace. Had they maintained a strict blockade along the 
coast of the United States, the Americans would have 
been forced to agree to all that was required of them. 
They are nothing but shop-keepers ; their glory is in their 
wealth. In my time they had agreed to charter their 
vessels to England, it was only when I declared that I 
should consider them as my enemies if they did so that 
they went to war in 1812.^ They have no army, and only 
own a few frigates; in the first year of a war they would 
injure English commerce by privateers, which would soon 

» As this passage is important, and seems somewhat obscure, it may be 
better to give Napoleon's words in French as well as in translation: "De mon 
temps, ils avaient consenti à conduire leurs vaisseaux en Angleterre, et ce 
n'est que sur ma déclaration que je les considérerais comme ennemis qu'ils 
ont fait la guerre." 



72 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

be captured, and America could not endure a strict 
blockade three years. The English understand the sys- 
tem of blockading very well, the French are not so good 
at it. The United States are of no account. At present 
England might give law to the whole world, especially if 
she would recall her troops from the Continent, send 
Wellington to his estates,' and remain only a maritime 
power. Then she could do what she would." 

"Kleber was always thinking about women and 
amusements in the capital. Glory in his eyes was only 
the road to enjoyment, but Desaix loved glory for glory's 
sake. At Acre Kleber would not come and inspect the 
breach nor give me his opinion, so that if the assault did 
not succeed he might be able to give it his disapproval. 
And yet I was obliged three times to order him not to 
mount to the assault. He wanted to march at the head 
of the troops. He was capable of the very greatest 
things when he had to choose between glory and dishonor. 
He had no talent for administration; and he disapproved 
my system of cajoling the sheiks at Cairo. He gave two 
hundred blows with a stick to the Sheik Sada, a descend- 
ant of the Prophet, and so he got himself assassinated; 
whilst I, who treated the sheiks with marked kindness, 
was thrice warned by them of plots formed against me in 
the name of religion. Kleber fought at Heliopolis because 
some people spoke lightly of him. It was Keith's letter 
which was the cause. He never consulted any one. 
Without intending it, he deceived the English by writing 
a letter to France, saying he had only five thousand men. 
His letter, being intercepted by the English, induced them 
to attempt their expedition. Sidney Smith behaved very 
well under the circumstances. 

"Desaix was quite another man. If I had left him in 
Egypt I should have retained my conquest." 

' Nothing ever convinced Napoleon that Wellington, after his success at 
Waterloo, would not aim at becoming, like himself, the world's great con- 
queror.— iS. W. L. 



RISE TO FAME AND FORTUNE 73 

Gourgaud says: "Yes, Kleber has a good reputation; 
his campaign was very fine upon the Rhine." The Em- 
peror replies that he had all the faults and also the good 
qualities natural to a very tall man.' 

i8 Brumaire. 

"A short time after my return from Egypt, Barras 
asked me to dine with him. We were only four at table, 
the Due de Lauraguais, who was there as a kind of buffoon; 
a sort of prefect of the palais of the Luxembourg; and 
myself. In the middle of the dinner Barras said to me, 

'The Republic is in a bad way I want to retire 

and to give up public business. You, General, are for- 
tunate in having nothing to do with politics. Your career 
is military. You are about to place yourself once more 
at the head of the Army of Italy, and to repair our re- 
verses. The Republic is in so bad a state that nothing 
but a President can save it; and I see no one but General 
Hédouville who would suit us. What do you think? '^ 

"I answered with a manner calculated to convince him 
that I was not his dupe. He looked down, and muttered 
a few remarks that at once decided me. From his apart- 
ment in the Luxembourg, I went down to that of Sieyès, 
who told me that the Republic was at its last gasp, and 
that a change must be made. I told him I had made up 
my mind to act with him. That same evening, when I 
returned home, I found Fouché, Real, and Roederer 
waiting for me. I told them about my dinner, and what 
had been said by Barras. Real exclaimed, 'Ah! what a 
fool! What a fool!' Fouché, who was attached to 
Barras, hastened to reproach him for his want of tact, and 
the next morning at eight o'clock, before I was out of bed, 

• Napoleon, who was of short stature, expressed this opinion of tall men 
on several occasions. 

» Barras was inclined to accept the alliance of the Royalists. Sieyès, who 
bad cast in his lot with the Republicans in 1789, was not in favor of making 
terms with the Bourbons. The Hcdouville proposed by Barras (probably as a 
man of straw) was a general who never attained distinction.— .£. W. L. 



74 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

I was told that Barras had called to see me, about some- 
thing very important. I said he might come in. He told 
me that he had come to speak to me about our conversa- 
tion the evening before. That he had thought it over, 
and concluded that Hédouville was not a fit man for Presi- 
dent, and that I alone could fill the position. In my turn 
I dissembled. I assured him that I should obey whomso- 
ever the nation might select. As for myself, I was ill in 
bed, as he might see, suffering from a change of climate 
from dry to damp, and as he had told me the day before, 
my road was marked out for me. I should only seek to 
be placed at the head of the Army of Italy. He tried to 
bring me over to his own plans, saying, 'Now see; I will 
be whatever you decide; white if you will, black if you 
wish it.' But I had given my word to Sieyès. It was 
too late. Possibly, had it not been for that piece of 
stupid finesse on the part of Barras, at his dinner table, I 
might have gone in with him. For in truth he had shown 
me much kindness. 

"Gohier, who loved good cheer, and was a simple- 
minded fellow, often came to my house. I did not know 
whether he considered himself of my party, but I knew 
that he paid court to my wife. Every day at four o'clock 
he came to my house. When I had fixed on the i8th 
Brumaire,^ as my day, I thought I would set a trap for him. 
When a conspiracy is in progress one has the right to do 
anything. So I told Josephine she must flatter him by 
inviting him to breakfast with heron the l/th Brumaire at 
eight o'clock. I intended at that hour to make him, 
whether he would or not, get on horseback and accom- 
pany me. He was President of the Directory, and his 

' At this date (Nov., i7gg,) there were five Directors: Barras, Sieyès, 
Moulin, Gohier, and Roger-Ducos. After the success of General Bonaparte at 
Saint Cloud they all resigned, and left the field open for a new arrangement. 
On Napoleon's return from Egypt he is said to have exclaimed, apostrophizing 
the Directory: "What have you done with that fair France that 1 left so pros- 
perous? For peace 1 find war; for the wealth of Italy taxation and poverty. 
Where are the 100,000 brave Frenchmen with whom I fought? Where are the 
companions of my glory? Tbey are dead!" — E. W.L. 



RISE TO FAME AND FORTUNE 75 

presence, I thought, might prove very useful. But he 
sent word that there seemed so much disturbance afoot 
in Paris, that he must remain in session with the other 
Directors, and that he would come to 'second breakfast' 
with us at eleven o'clock." 

"When Barras saw Sieyès mount his horse, he laughed 
at him, saying: 'Who ever saw an abbé on horseback?' 
Half an hour later they came and told him that the Coun- 
cils had assembled, and that Sieyès was with me. He 
then swore that if he could have known that, he would 
have fired a pistol shot at Sieyès through the window. 
Shortly after I sent Monsieur de Talleyrand to him to ask 
for his resignation. 

"Moulin was a good man. He, too, came to my 
housp every day. He thought that everything was going 
badly, that such a state of things could not last, and he 
asked me to give him plans for a new political campaign. 
As for Gohier, he thought everything all right. If he had 
good dinners, he cared little for anything else. 

"Carnot^ did some very abominable things during the 
Reign of Terror. He was a member of the Committee 
of Public Safety. You may see his name at the bottom 
of all their orders to shed blood. He showed great cour- 
age on the 9th Thermidor in defending Billaud-Varennes 
and Collot d'Herbois. When he saw how people held 
him in horror on account of his connection with the Com- 
mittee of Public Safety, he threw himself into the opposite 
party, until the 1 8th Fructidor. Barras detested him; he 
told him in presence of the whole Directory that he wanted 
to kill him, and fiung an inkstand at his head. In short, 
he is a man without much ability, but he is honest. His 
work on the defence of strongholds is absurd. Such a 
treatise may do us much harm, for foreigners will hardly 

' Carnot was expelled from the Directory on the i8th Fructidor. He went 
into exile, and for some months was believed to be dead. — E. VV. L. 



76 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

be able to imagine that the man who wrote it could have 
played a great part in our affairs." ' 

• It seems remarkable that Napoleon talked so little to Gourgaud about 
his appointment as Consul or the events of the i8th Brumaire. On the 
morning of the 17th, accompanied by a large concourse of officers on horse- 
back and in uniform, he set out at an early hour, ostensibly to review three 
regiments of dragoons drawn up in the Champs Élysêes. 

At the same early hour the Council of the Ancients in session at the 
Tuileries passed two dscrees: one giving command of all troops in and about 
Paris to General Bonaparte; the other ordering both bodies of the Legislature 
(that of the Ancients answering to our Senate, and that of the Five Hundred 
answering to our House of Representatives), to transfer their sittings to the 
Château at Saint Cloud. Then the next morning, after some slight parlia- 
mentary opposition, they were driven forth by soldiers, and their sitting was 
adjourned until the middle of February. Meantime a Provisional Consulate 
was appointed, the provisional consuls being Bonaparte, Sieyès and Ducos. A 
great revolution had been accomplished without the effusion of blood. At 
once the Provisional Consuls proceeded to pass measures tending to restore 
prosperity and tranquillity to France. Then the great soldier showed himself 
a great statesman and a great financier. Order was introduced into the 
system of finance; the collection and expenditure of the revenue was arranged 
on a better footing. Above all the heathenish worship of the goddess of 
reason was put an end to. Churches were reopened for divine service, and 
the credit of all this was wholly due to Napoleon, who had to oppose the "philo- 
sophic" principles of his colleagues. 

The unfortunate émigrés, shipwrecked when escaping from France 
(known as the naufragés de Calais), were set at liberty instead of being 
detained in prison waiting for deliverance by the guillotine. Lafayette and 
other Revolutionists who were in exile were restored to their homes, Lazare 
Carnot was placed at the head of the War Department, and set to work at 
once to reorganize the army. Next, peace was concluded with the Chouans in 
La Vendée. The principal leaders submitted themselves to the new govern- 
ment, all but Georges Cadoudal who, however, had a private interview with 
the Chief Consul at the Tuileries, when nothing was accomplished. 

A new Constitution was proclaimed, December 14, i7g9,iwhich placed all 
power in the hands of three Consuls: Bonaparte, First Consul; Cambacérès, 
Second Consul, and Lebrun, Third. Napoleon, in a speech, assured the peo- 
ple "The new government has been founded on the great principles in which 
the Revolution originated. Now, therefore, the Revolution is ended."— 
E. W,L 



CHAPTER III. 

CAMPAIGN OF MARENGO. 

1799-1802. 

Napoleon's Colleagues in the Consulate. — Sec- 
ond Campaign in Italy. — Royalists in France. 
— Projects of Assassination. 



Napoleon's Colleagues in the Consulate. 

"Lebrun was an earnest defender of the Third Estate, 
and could not endure the old nobility. Nevertheless, 
according to documents found among his papers by Mon- 
sieur de Blacas, it was he who drew up the Constitution 
for the Senate in 1814. I spoke to him in 1815 
about this, but not severely. He made amends for it 
by a beautiful speech. He must have accumulated a 
large fortune. 

"Cambacérès, too, would have tried to make terms 
with the Bourbons, if he had not voted in the Convention 
for the death of the King. He was the opposite to 
Lebrun in his appreciation of the nobility, and was the 
defender-in-chief of all abuses. I did much less for him, 
for he was already well known, than I did for Lebrun. 
Cambacérès on the 13th Vendémiaire came very near being 
made a Director, but his competitors made a denunciation 
against him, and although it was false, and he proved 
himself entirely innocent, the accusation made him lose a 
large number of votes. ' ' ' 

* Lebrun, under the Empire, was made Duke of Piacenza and head of 
the Department of Finance. He died in 1824. Cambacérès became Arch- 
ChanceMor of the Empire and President of the Senate. He was an experi- 
enced and sagacious lawyer, and was of great assistance to Napoleon. He 
died in 1824.— £■. W. L. 

n 



78 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. //ELENA 

Second Campaign in Italy. 

"As I was making my way into Italy for my second 
campaign, and was climbing on foot the Mont Tarare, in 
company with Duroc, we met an old woman, who hated 
the Bourbons and who told us she wanted to see the First 
Consul. I answered, 'Bah! — tyrant for tyrant — they are 
just the same thing!' 'No! not so,' she replied. 'Louis 
XVI. was the King of the nobles; Bonaparte is the King 
of the people.' '" 

"An unsuccessful attack made on Fort Bard before I 
arrived had discouraged the troops. Berthier had lost his 
head. Happily I arrived in time, and showed them how 
to pass the defile. If I could not have got our artillery 
through the pass it would have been very dangerous for 
me, but I should have kept on with the infantry, and 
should have joined Tureau, who had plenty of cannon, 
having Grenoble in his rear. At Stradella I came very 
near losing everything. Ott had attacked Lannes, and 
had established himself at Pavia. I drove him out. Some 

' The First Consul, as soon as he had restored some order in France, 
hastened to join his forces in Italy. The army that two years before he had 
left victorious, well organized, and in high spirits, had been disheartened by 
repeated defeats and disasters. Austria, having resumed the war, had 
recovered Lombardy; Massena was closely besieged in Genoa; Suchet had 
been driven over the French frontier. Napoleon decided to pour his forces in 
four columns over the Alps, he himself accompanying the one under Lannes, 
which had the task of greatest difficulty. 

This passage of the Great Saint Bernard forms one of the most wonderful 
acts in modern warfare. The guns were drawn up the mountain on sledges by 
hand, a hundred or more men to a gun. Napoleon himself walked beside his 
soldiers, encouraging their exertions. When the first mountain was crossed 
another tremendous difficulty presented itself. A narrow passage into the 
Vale of Aosta was defended by Fort Bard. Napoleon, hastily summoned 
to the spot, found his men in confusion. He climbed a steep cliff which 
overlooked the fortress and the little town through which his army and its 
artillery must pass. A single cannon was dragged to the top of this clitî up 
slippery goat-paths. Napoleon placed it himself, and pointed it with such skill 
that it silenced the fort's principal battery. As night fell, the French quietly 
gained possession of the town. They strewed its street with straw to deaden 
the noise they dared not make; they covered their guns with branches of trees, 
and dragged them safely through the town under the very guns of Fort Bard 
without exciting the suspicions of the Austrian garrison. 

Of all this, marvellous as it seems when written in history, Napoleon to 
Gourgaud said not a word.— .£. H''. L. 



CAMPAIGN OF MARENGO 79 

thought I ought to wait for Melas at Stradella. I stayed 
there two days, but as he did not come I feared he might 
be faUing back on Suchet, so I marched on, and detached 
Desaix to move on Rivalto. When I saw that the enemy 
was not occupying Marengo, I no longer doubted that he 
had recrossed the Bormida. It seems that during the 
night Melas, seeing that I was following him, and perceiv- 
ing that he would be placed between two fires, resolved 
to give battle, and crossed the Bormida by three bridges, 
whose existence I was not aware of, but as I had posses- 
sion of Marengo he was not able to deploy his forces. I 
had that morning recalled Desaix,* and during the battle 
I changed my line of operations, placing him on my right. 
The Austrians attacked my right eji masse, attempting to 
recover their former line, but Desaix had arrived, and 
Kellerman charged. Melas, thinking he had won the 
battle, lay down very weary. His troops were driven in, 
and repassed the Bormida. It is a question whether Melas 
was right to capitulate instead of falling back on Genoa, 
where at worst he could have embarked his army. He 
abandoned his strongholds, but he saved his men; audit is 
soldiers who are most needed in warfare ! Maybe he acted 
wisely; but in his place I do not think I should have done 
the same. Anyhow, the campaign, brilliant as it was, did 
not lead to peace, and Austria saved her army." 

"When Melas evacuated Turin he left a garrison in 
the citadel. Tureau took the city and blockaded the 
citadel. It was intended that he should make a junction 

' The first battle fought after Napoleon entered Italy was that of Monte- 
bello, in which Lannes distinguished himself, and subsequently he was made 
Duke of Montebello in recognition of his gallantry. Surmounting many ob- 
stacles, but tortured by many delays, Desaix, who had been recalled from 
Egypt, did not reach his friend and commander until the St. Bernard had 
been crossed. He was just in time to do great service in the battle of Marengo, 
fought June 13, 1800, four weeks and five days after Napoleon had left Paris to 
put himself at the head of his army. For a short time Napoleon and his 
troops were in great peril, when Desaix with a fresh column of five thousand 
grenadiers changed the fortune of the day. But Desaix fell dead at the first 
fire, shot through the head. By this one battle Napoleon regained all that bad 
been lost in Italy by the unfortunate campaign in the preceding year. 



8o TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

with Chabran, who was trying to take Fort Bard; but his 
forces were so weak that all he could do was to invest the 
citadel. When Marengo was fought, Chabran had taken 
Bard, occupied Aosta and Chivasso, and guarded the left 
bank of the Po. The divisions of Mounier, Boudet, 
Vatrin, and Victor were at Marengo. Loison was besieg- 
ing Pizzighetone, occupying Cremona, and observing Man- 
tua. Moncey was coming down the St. Gothard with 
Lorge and Lapoype; each of these divisions had four 
thousand five hundred men. During the battle, Lapoype 
occupied Pavia and the right bank of the Po, so as to be 
able to deploy on the Ticino, if Melas tried to pass on 
the left bank so as to get out by way of Milan. Chabran 
and Lapoype might have formed a corps of twelve thou- 
sand to fifteen thousand men, which, under Moncey, 
would have guarded the left bank of the Ticino and would 
have given our army time to repass the Po, to get on the 
other bank of the Ticino, and hinder Melas from crossing 
it. At Marengo I had: Vatrin with five thousand men; 
Mounier with five thousand; the Consular Guard, one 
thousand; Boudet with six thousand; Victor with six 
thousand; and the cavalry, three thousand, which made 
about thirty thousand men. I had detached Tureau on 
Turin, with three thousand men; Chabran and Lapoype 
were on the left bank of the Po, with five thousand; 
Lorge was on the march with five thousand; Loison at 
Pizzighetone had six thousand: altogether about twenty 
thousand men. If I could have waited a fortnight I might 
have had under me fifty thousand men. But it was abso- 
lutely necessary to besiege the citadel of Turin, and that 
of Milan (three thousand men), Cremona and Arona (fif- 
teen hundred). Lecchi took that in charge. Pizzighe- 
tone required twelve hundred men, and Piacenza eleven 
hundred. We had to watch Mantua and the corps that 
was coming up behind the Frioul, which grew larger day 
by day; in short, we had to occupy the left bank of the 



CAMPAIGN OF MARENGO 8 1 

Po, for the question was not merely to conquer Melas, but 
to capture him, and if these corps had not been at hand 
he might have crossed the Po at Valenza, have marched 
rapidly to the Ticino, crossed it, gained Cassano, and 
have been joined by the troops in his rear, before my 
army could have got back into the Milanese. The French 
army was not in its natural position; it had its rear on 
Mantua and on Austria. Its only line of retreat was by 
the left bank of the Po; it was therefore impossible to 
leave this line of communication undefended. In any 
ordinary case the general-in-chief on the eve of a battle 
ought to recall all his detachments. In this case it was 
not possible, without losing all the advantages of the cam- 
paign. If we had been defeated, we could not have been 
reproached for this fault, to which justly they would have 
attributed the loss of the battle. The advantage of the 
position occupied by my detached troops would then have 
been made manifest, since the main army would have 
owed its safety to them, and would have been able to wait 
for fresh reinforcements from Switzerland and France. 
Then we should have been in a position on the left bank 
of the Po. All Melas could have hoped to do was to fall 
back on Mantua, and to resume his natural position." 

"Massena' might have held out ten days longer in 

Genoa He had sixteen thousand men in garrison, 

and the inhabitants amounted to one hundred and sixty 
thousand. He could have got provisions if he had seized 
them from the inhabitants. A few old men and some 
women might have died of hunger, but then he would not 
have surrendered Genoa. If one thinks always of human- 
ity — only of humanity — one should give up going to war. 
I don't know how war is to be conducted on the rose- 

' Massena, shut up in Genoa, not knowing that help was near at hand, 
surrendered on most honorable terms to General Ott, the Austrian commander, 
and Lord Keith, the Admiral of the English fleet, which lay in the harbor, 
etiectually preventing escape or supplies. — E. W. L. 



82 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

water plan. The whole population of Genoa was not worth 
the sixteen thousand soldiers who were there, and who 
would have formed the framework of an army of forty- 
five thousand men. I don't understand either why 
Massena's defence of Genoa should be spoken of as a 
marvel; the place was well fortified. Massena was very 
wrong to leave it by sea. He had hoarded money, how- 
ever, and was anxious to see it in safety. He ought to have 
marched by land, to have joined Suchet on the Var, and 
to have attacked the Austrians. Never speak to me of 
generals who care for money. That was what made me 
fight the battle of Eylau. Ney wanted to reach Elbing 
to put himself in funds." 

Royalists in France. 

"At all times the RoyaHsts have exercised in France a 
great influence on pubhc opinion. In the interview I had 
with Hyde de Neuville after the i8th Brumaire, he said to 
me: 'Look at Pichegru; we have made a great general of 
him since he joined our party. If you will declare for 
our cause, in the course of a few days you will see what 
is public opinion in the capital ; the use of our mots d 'ordre 
alone would rally round you the most fervent Royahsts."" 
Gourgaud remarked that Madame de Guiche was very 
charming and made a great impression on Parisian society; 
but as soon as she spoke of the Bourbons the First Con- 
sul knew her for their agent, and turned away. Josephine 
told her husband that if he would favor the Restoration of 
the Bourbons, Louis XVIII. would place a statue in the 
Place du Carrousel in which he should be represented as a 

'Louis XVIII. (the Comte de Lille) addressed a letter to Bonaparte, 
which he persuaded Lebrun to present to him. He said: "You cannot secure 
the happiness of France without me, and I on the other hand can do nothing 
without you. Hasten then to point out what posts and dignities will satisfy 
you and your friends." The First Consul answered most courteously. "Your 
Royal Highness must not think of appearing in France. You could not do so 
without marching over 500,000 corpses." 

About the same time the beautiful Duchesse de Guiche came to Paris 
and endeavored to interest Josephine, who was not unwilling, in the same 
cause,— £. W, L. 



CAMPAIGN OF MARENGO 83 

genius placing a crown upon the King's head. Napoleon 
stopped her by exclaiming, "And my body will be under 
the pedestal." 

"A short time after Marengo Louis XVIII. wrote to 
me. The Abbé de Montesquiou gave the letter to the 
Chief Judge, who gave it to me. It was in these terms: 
'Monsieur de Bonaparte has no connection with those who 
have governed France hitherto. But you have too much 
good judgment, Monsieur, to think that the present state 
of things can last. Say what place, what rank, you would 
hke to occupy. I leave the choice entirely with you. I 
only desire the tranquillity of the French people. I will 
give them happiness, and you will give them glory.' " 

The First Consul gave the Abbé de Montesquiou an 
order at once to leave Paris, with an answer that he could 
not desert those who had raised him to the chief magistracy, 
but that he would do all he could to justify the good opin- 
ion expressed of him by the Comte de Lille, whom he 
begged to let him know where he intended to take up his 
residence, to which place he might be assured the good 
wishes of the French people would follow him. 

Projects of Assassination. 

"I knew all the injustice of the arrest of Ceracchi^ 
because the agents of Sotin's police were men who had 
followed me in Vendémiaire, when I commanded in Paris, 
and they told me about it. It was a project of assassina- 

• Fanatics among the Jacobins, accustomed to look with favor on tyran- 
nicide, began to form plans for the "taking ofï" of the First Consul. An 
Italian sculptor named Ceracchi, who had once made a bust of Napoleon when 
he was General Bonaparte, with the army in Italy, arranged a plan with several 
Jacobin confederates to surround and stab the First Consul in the lobby of the 
opera house. The plot was revealed to the police, and the conspirators were 
put in prison, where they associated with desperadoes of the Chouan faction. 
Together with them they planned to blow up the First Consul by an infernal 
machine. This plot, the means by which it was to be carried out as Napoleon 
went in a carriage to the opera, its ill success, and the destruction of harmless 
bystanders, was exactly paralleled in the attempt to blow up Napoleon III., 
1858. Napoleon showed the utmost calm courage at the time, but seems ever 
after that to have had fears of assassination, even when in the custody of Sir 
Hudson Lowe at St. Helena.— £. W. L. 



84 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

tion intended not to kill, but to create terror. I went to 
the Directory and reproached Sotin and the other Direc- 
tors, with their conduct. I astonished them greatly. They 
made no reply. But afterwards they had much to say 
against me." 

"No people has had more kings assassinated than the 
French, a nation by no means easy to govern. Very few 
Frenchmen, however, have attempted to assassinate me. 
The time when I incurred the most danger was at Schon- 
brunn, and the man was named Staps. I sent for him 
to come and speak with me. He was a great fanatic. 
He told me that he wanted to kill me to prevent more 
bloodshed. I asked why, then, he had not thought of 
killing the Emperor Francis. He repHed that that was 
different; the Emperor was a fool whom another fool 
would succeed. He kept bringing in quotations from the 
Holy Scriptures. He was a cold, stolid fanatic, but he 
appeared to me a little moved when I asked him if he 
would attempt the same thing over again, provided I par- 
doned him? He hesitated, and then replied: 'No, I 
should think that I had done my duty, but that God did 
not intend I should succeed.' But as he said these words 
he did not seem to feel them. I kept him fasting twenty- 
four hours, and then I questioned him once more. He 
was just the same. He was shot. 

I have always had a dread of madmen. One night I 
hired a box in the theatre, and went incognito with Duroc. 
A man came up to me. I thought he wanted to hand me 
a petition, but he cried: 'I am in love with the Em- 
press!' I answered: 'You seem to have chosen an 
extraordinary confidant.' Dilroc then recognized him as 
a madman who had escaped from the Bicêtre, and he was 
arrested. Madmen always talk of God or kings." 



CHAPTER IV. 

GOVERNMENT OF FRANCE UNDER THE 
CONSULATE AND THE EMPIRE. 

Commerce and Manufactures. — Prefects. — 
Weights and Measures. — Paris and the 
Parisians. — Police. — Cabinet Ministers, Fouché 
and Talleyrand. — Private Secretaries, Bour- 
rienne, Méneval, Fain. 



Commerce and Manufactures. 

"I had great difificulty in getting a decree passed to 
prohibit the importation of cotton yarn. I held a Coun- 
cil on the subject, and except Chaptal, all were against it. 
They said that our factories for printing calicoes would 
suffer, and that we had better do things by degrees. 
Then and there I took up a pen and signed the decree, 
saying, 'It is decided.' They all thought it would be the 
ruin of our industries, and yet the success of our manu- 
factures dates from that day. I looked on this affair as 
a battle; in every battle one runs risks, but in such ques- 
tions, as in war, one has often to act with vigor. 

"The domestic commerce of France amounts to several 
thousand million francs. The trade in grain alone is very 
great. It is difficult to establish cut and dried rules about 
the exportation of bread stuffs. The measures adopted 
to prevent exportation when wheat reaches a certain price 
do not answer the end expected. It is like the flow of 
water: when one makes dams to stop it, it is too late. 
One receives one day a letter from the prefect of some 
department, telling one that he has a supply of wheat 
sufficient for two years, and by the next post, one may 

85 



S6 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

hear from another official that there is not enough wheat 

in his department to last three months One 

requires much experience and much skill to know when 
to allow exportation, and when to prohibit it. I think I 
possessed that skill myself. It is unjust that bread should 
be sold cheap in Paris while it is dear in the country, but 
then the government is in the capital, and soldiers do not 
like to fire upon women with children on their backs, who 
come and howl before the bake-shops of the city. I asked 
Vanderberg to give me a scheme by which the price of a 
four-pound loaf might always be twelve sons. Store- 
houses for grain have their advantages and their disad- 
vantages. Nevertheless I wished to establish them, because 
in times of scarcity more people die of hunger than is 
generally supposed. Insufficient nourishment ends in 
death. In France, one year in six is a year of scarcity." 

Prefects. 

"A prefect ought to take precedence of a brigadier- 
general. I never thought it necessary that prefects should 
be expected to give balls and fêtes. Each prefect ought 
to have a wife who can do the honors of his position in her 
own house, and socially rally all parties. I was wrong in 
not hking to change my prefects or my ministers. That 
is right up to a certain point. But when a man goes to 
sleep in his position, he ought to be superseded. Change 
gives a fresh impetus to all the springs." 

Weights and Measures. 

"I never have approved the system of weights and 
measures adopted by the Directory, and invented by 
Laplace. It is all based on the mètre and conveys no 
ideas to my mind. I can understand the twelfth part of 
an inch, but not the thousandth part of a mètre [milli- 
mètre] . The system created much dissatisfaction with 
the Directory. Laplace himself assured me that if, before 



THE CONSULATE AND THE EMPIRE 87 

its adoption, all the objections I made to it had been 
pointed out to him, he would have recognized its defects 
and have given it up." 

Paris and the Parisians. 

"I am fond of the Parisians; I have always done 
everything I could for Paris. I ought to have done more 
for Italy, but I waited. Before I declared her independ- 
ent, I hoped to have a second son. I would have made 
him King of Italy. I had one foot in Italy, the other in 
France; for I am descended from Italians. My family 
came from Tuscany two hundred years ago. Brother 
Bonifacio Buonaparte, a Capuchin, was blessed by the 
Church. I might have had him canonized. That would 
have rallied to me all the Capuchins; but how much ridi- 
cule it might have brought on me!" 

"Paris ought to have been fortified, and must yet be 
fortified. At the present day armies are so large that the 
strong places on our frontier would not stop a victorious 
army, and it is a great stroke for an army, flushed with 
victory, to march on a capital, and take possession of it. 
But when Paris shall be fortified, the extent of its walls 
should be such that it need not fear bombardment. I 
always intended to do this. I meant to fortify Montmartre, 
or some point on the Seine, which Vincennes does not 
command like the Arche de V Étoile. But I was always 
restrained by the fear that my fortifications would be un- 
popular with the Parisians, who would have been sure to 
see in my forts and strongholds so many Bastiles. I 
spoke to Fontaine ' of my intentions, and the Arch of 
Triumph was to be so constructed as to have a platform 
on its top, furnished with many guns of long range. It 
would have flanked Montmartre, and would have served 
as a support to other works in the country around the 

' Fontaine, an architect who had built the arch in the Place du Carrousel. 
~E, W.L. 



S8 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

capital. I should have liked to build at Montmartre a 
Temple to Victory. It would, like the Arch, have had 
a platform, on which we should have mounted cannon, 
and have secured that important point in the city's 
defence. A few batteries of twenty-four pounders below 
would have produced a good effect. In addition France 
ought to have a strongly fortified position on the Loire, 
somewhere near Tours. It is absurd to place all the 
depots, arsenals, and factories that make arms, on the 
frontier, exposed to be cut off as soon as an enemy enters 
on his campaign." 

"I should have liked to make my capital at Lyons, but 
then I should have had to create everything, while Paris 
stands high already among the cities of France. I wanted 
my capital to excel by its splendor all other capitals in the 
world. I did everything — or planned to do everything — 
for Paris. I had a dispute with the Pope because I 
wanted him to take up his residence in Paris, where I was 
bent on fitting up the Archiépiscopal Palace for his abode. 
All the provinces of France are delightful to live in, but 
my own preference would be for Champagne, in the neigh- 
borhood of Brienne, probably because I lived there in my 
boyhood. Nice also lies in the midst of a beautiful coun- 
try. I am very fond of the people of Lyons, and they 
return my regard. Neighbors of Italy, they know that I 
had placed the French frontier five hundred leagues away 
from them. I bought one hundred and thirty millions' 
worth of silks in Lyons and in Italy, and I wanted to start 
up their silk factories again. I have torn Josephine's 
embroidered dresses, that cost a hundred and fifty to two 
hundred louis, that she might replace them by others. 
Ah ! if I could have governed France for forty years, I 
would have made her the most splendid empire that ever 
existed I ' ' 



THE CONSULATE AND THE EMPIRE S9 

"If another Revolution should take place in France, it 
would be brought about in Paris. Paris is France now. 
Paris has succeeded me!" 

Police. 

"It is more dangerous than useful, I think, to open 
private letters at the Post Office." 

"The Police of Paris' causes more fear than it does 
harm. There is a great deal of charlatanism in its pro- 
ceedings. It is very difficult to spy out what a man is 
doing every day. The Post Office can give excellent infor- 
mation, but I am not sure but that the good is balanced 
by the evil. Frenchmen are so singular that they often 
write things they do not think, and thereby those who 
inspect their letters are led astray. When one violates 
the privacy of letters one is often led to adopt unjust 
prejudices and false ideas. Lavalettewas exactly the man 
for his place. ^ I also had Laforêt, who was Monsieur de 
Talleyrand's man. One cannot read every letter, but 
they opened those of the persons I pointed out to them, 
especially those of the ministers who stood near to me. 
Fouché and Talleyrand never wrote letters, but their 
friends and their employees did, and through these letters 
we could see what Fouché and Talleyrand thought. 
Monsieur Malouet wrote down all the discussions he 
had with Fouché, and by this means we could guess 
what had been Fouché's words. Foreign ministers 
or diplomatic agents, knowing that their mails were first 
sent to me, often wrote letters with the hope that I should 
read them. They said what they wanted me to know 
concerning Monsieur de Talleyrand One day Monsieur 

'The Police in Paris are agents of the Government. They are detec- 
tives, political spies, employed in secret service. The men we call "police" 
are in France the gendarmes, who keep order in the streets, make arrests, and 
do what we consider police duty. — E. W. L. 

' Lavalette was Postmaster General. 



90 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

de Luchesini [the German Ambassador] wrote to his 
master in cipher that I had made an agreement with the 
Russian Emperor to partition Prussia. It was this that 
made the Prussian monarch declare war. Talleyrand did 
all he could to make people believe that packages of let- 
ters were sent to him from the Post Ofi&ce, in order to 
prevent foreign ministers from saying any harm of him. 
One day Mademoiselle Raucourt wrote concerning him. 
'When one wants him to speak one can get nothing out 
of him. He is tight as a tin box. But at the close of a 
soirée, in a little group of five or six friends, he can gos- 
sip like any old woman.' This was true. I joked Talley- 
rand about it, and he could not understand whence I got 
the idea. He was astonished when I told him it was in a 
letter from Raucourt, relating a trip they had made 
together to Fontainebleau. 

"If I had had any reason to mistrust the Empress or 
Prince Eugene, Lavalette would not have aided me. He 
never spoke about them; he was entirely devoted to them. 

"Madame de Bouille was one of the ladies who acted 
as agents of the police. She sent me in reports every 
day. She is now [1817] in the service of the Duchesse 
de Berry, and I am certain she informs the King of 
everything that concerns her mistress. People of that 
sort are very contemptible. 

"Reading letters taken from the Post Office needs a 
bureau particulier — a separate department. The men 
employed in it are unknown to one another. There is an 
engraver attached to it, who keeps all kinds of seals always 
ready. 

"Letters in cipher, no matter in what language they 
may be, are always deciphered. All languages are trans- 
lated. It would be impossible to invent a cipher which 
could not be found out by the help of forty pages of speci- 
mens of deciphered despatches, which cost me six hun- 
dred thousand francs! 



THE CONSULATE AND THE EMPIRE 91 

"Louis XIV. invented the system; Louis XV. used it 
to find out the love affairs of his courtiers. I could not 
tell you exactly what service it did for me, but I am cer- 
tain it did aid me a good deal, for one day when I re- 
proached Fouché, telling him that his police knew nothing, 
he answered, 'Ah! if Your Majesty would only give me 
the position of examiner of the Post Office, I should know 
everything ! ' 

"That was the way I learned all about the ridiculous 
intrigues of the Abbé de Pradt. The next morning at my 
levee I told him all I knew, and then I forgave him. I 
did wrong. But Heaven must have protected him. Any- 
how, I afterwards found him useful as a spy among the 
clergy. Still I ought to have got rid of him. He was too 
fond of intrigue." 

"One day Madame Lannes ^ came and told me that her 
husband was restless in his sleep; that he was always 
muttering about the Republic, about tyrants, and about 
consuls; that he looked anxious and excited, and was 
often visited by former Jacobins. I at once superseded 
him in command of my Guard. That was the real cause 
why he lost his reason, not the deficit of three hundred 
thousand francs in his accounts, as was supposed. I sent 
him as ambassador to Portugal, and replaced him by four 
captains who were entrusted with the command of the 
Guard." 

"If I had to begin governing again I would not do 
precisely the same as I did then. I would look after 
things en masse j I would not bother myself about details. 
That is why I repeat that the reading of letters was less 
useful to me than to most sovereigns." 

"It was making war on Russia that ruined me. That 
opens another question; but my system of governing was, 

' Madame Lannes— the Duchesse de Montebello. 



92 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. I/ELENA 

I think, good on the whole. I would adopt it again if I 
had the chance." 

"I regret now that I did not walk about Paris incog- 
nito. I might possibly have been recognized, but I could 
have put on a wig. I went out once with Duroc, at two 
o'clock in the morning. The lamps at the Gate of the 
Palace had gone out. The next day I reproached the 
Prefect of Police for this neglect. He could not imagine 
how I had found it out." 

"Junot married his wife for the glory of being aUied 
with the nobility. He had a mania for nobles." * 

Cabinet Ministers — Fouché, Talleyrand.^ 

The Emperor told us that when he was First Consul 
he was informed that a man had come to Paris from 
Vienna, and had had a secret interview with Fouché. He 
sent for the man and said : * ' Do you know who I am? ' ' 

"Yes." 

"Well, then, tell me all you know, or I will have you 
shot." 

The emissary, much alarmed, said that he had given 
Fouché a sort of passport, by which he might send an 
agent to Basle to confer with Metternich. By help of this 
document a trustworthy agent to Metternich was de- 
spatched instead. Bonaparte had already had four con- 
versations with the emissary of Metternich, and knew all 
that was to be known of the affair. Fouché, two days 
later, came in the evening to see the First Consul, looking 
much disconcerted. He said he had seen an agent from 

•The mother of Madame Junot, the Duchesse d'Abrantès, was descended 
from the Princes of Trebizond. Her daughter says that Napoleon, when a 
young officer of artillery, wished to marry her mother, He always seems to 
have indulged a hope of becoming some day master of the East, and may have 
thought this alliance would be a stroke of policy. — E. W. L. 

'As Napoleon had Fouché for his Minister of Police, and Talleyrand for 
his Minister of Foreign Affairs, both under the Consulate and the Empire, all 
that he said of them while in his service and of their subsequent career has 
been included in this chapter.— .£. W. L. 



THE CONSULATE AND THE EMPIRE 93 

Metternich, but had not paid much attention to him, being 
occupied at the moment, and he could not tell what had 
become of him. Bonaparte answered: "I am willing to 
believe you. But if a person I have myself sent to Met- 
ternich is arrested, you will be arrested too." 

The Emperor told us that when he was First Consul 
he woke one night strangely disturbed. He found lying 
on his table a report from the police, saying that a man 
named Traisnel who was a surgeon, had just reached 
Paris, and had been arrested as a Chouan. The First 
Consul knew the man, and gave orders to have him tried 
at once. He was condemned to death, but was reprieved 
in hopes that by a promise of pardon he might be induced 
to speak. The fear of death opened his mouth. He 
confessed that Georges Cadoudal and Pichegru were in 
Paris. The police went to the lodging of Pichegru 's 
brother, and arrested him. He cried at once: "What 
for.-* I have done nothing! It cannot be thought a crime 
to have given hospitality to my brother.?" All the other 
Chouans in Paris were arrested, one after another. 
Monsieur d'Ozier hanged himself in prison. They cut 
him down. Real was sent for, and d'Ozier's first words 
as he began to revive (Real heard them) were: "You 
rascal of a Moreau! You made us come to Paris by say- 
ing that you had a party, and that all was ready! And 
you have nobody! You have been the ruin of us all, and 
perhaps also of one of our princes!" ^ After that, sus- 
picion turned on Moreau; but first, for the sake of public 
opinion, it was necessary to arrest Pichegru. He was 
betrayed by one of his friends for one hundred thousand 
crowns. The police got into his bedchamber, and over- 
turned a small table on which pistols were lying, ready to 
his hand. Georges, too, was betrayed, I think by a liter- 
ary man. "It was infamous on the part of the man who 

' The Comte d'Artois, who was off the coast of Brittany waiting for the 
success of the conspiracy.— £. W. L. 



94 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

betrayed Pichegru, for he was his friend," said His 
Majesty. Moreau was arrested. As soon as they took 
him to the Temple he asked to read the charge against 
him, and when he saw that he was suspected of intelU- 
gence with Georges and Pichegru, he became faint. His 
wife came to see Josephine, half upbraiding, half coaxing 
her. Josephine told her that pardon could be hoped for 
only if her husband would make a sincere confession. 
"Had he written to me," said Napoleon, "I would have 
stopped proceedings against him. I have been blamed 
for not having had him brought before a military commis- 
sion. He was tried in a civil court for criminal con- 
spiracy." 

"Fouché says that he means to write his memoirs, but 
he will never do it. He can, by dint of careful correc- 
tions, turn out a letter hke the one he addressed to Wel- 
lington, but he could not write a historical work. He has 
not logic enough for such an undertaking. He is a man 
fit only for base intrigues. He often told me that small 
means were not to be disdained. He undertook the 
defence of Murat, in 1 8 14, even after he had declared 
war against France, but in return he made Murat give 
three thousand francs a month to Montrond, and to many 
others, which cost the King of Naples three hundred 
thousand francs in one year. During the elections he sent 
his agents into the departments to collect votes. After 
having committed all sorts of horrors during the Revolu- 
tion, he tried to make his deeds forgotten by doing ser- 
vices for various parties. 

"He tormented me constantly to make him a duke, and 
when he became Duke of Otranto he wanted to be a 
prince, because Talleyrand was one. It was that he 
might succeed in this, that he entered, through Ouvrard,' 
and without my knowledge, into secret negotiations with 

' Ouvrard, the financier. See Nolté's "Fifty Years in Both Hemispheres." 



THE CONSULATE AND THE EMPIRE 95 

England. He wanted to say to me some fine morning: 
'You wished for an understanding with the Enghsh gov- 
ernment. I have brought it about without saying any- 
thing to you.' " 

"Fouché gave out that he was constantly in opposition 
to me in the Cabinet; whereas, in reality, of all my 
ministers he was the one who the least often opposed me. 
He rarely spoke at the Council board. He is a man of 
very little talent, and utterly without moral sense; good 
only to carry on small intrigues.' He has a large for- 
tune, and the best thing that could now happen to him 
would be never to be spoken of again. Louis XVHI. did 

a wise thing when he got rid of him He took him 

in the first instance for the sake of policy, and because 
he might be useful to him, but he ought afterwards to 
have had him hanged. That is the way in politics! 
Governments keep their promises only when they are 
forced to do so, or when it will be to their advantage." 

"I had not read in the 'Moniteur' all the things Fouché 
had done, when I took him for my minister. In 1815 I 
wanted to give a guarantee to the Jacobins. Bassano, 
Caulaincourt, and Davout eulogized him, and persuaded 
me to take him. Besides, there was not much choice, 
and events were going on so rapidly. I made a great 
mistake. I am not Louis XVHL, but I felt great repug- 
nance at having much to do with such a man. The King 
ought to have had him hanged. Talleyrand is another 
bad man, but he is quite different from Fouché. He long 
wanted to be my Finance Minister. He knew all about 

• If we are surprised that Napoleon, knowing perfectly tfie character of 
such men as Fouché and Talleyrand, took them into his Cabinet and sought 
their advice, we must remember what he said in 179g when he accepted their 
services: "Fouché, and Fouché alone, is able to conduct the ministry of police. 
We cannot create men, we must take such as we find." And of Talleyrand: 
"He is the ablest minister for foreign affairs in our choice. It shall be my 
care that he exerts his abilities." — E. W. L. 



96 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. //ELENA 

stock-jobbing, but he never would have done at the head 
of that department; he is too lazy. That position needed 
a man with plenty of work in him, like MolUen." 

"I did wrong to keep Fouché. After I saw that he 
was not dealing honestly with me, I ought to have dis- 
missed him at once. I did say to him on one occasion, 
'You may as well send home your baggage.' I ought to 
have given his place to Real,' who was devoted to me." 

The Emperor said that Talleyrand never betrayed him 
like Fouché; in 1 8 14 he was not a cabinet minister. 
Talleyrand was a very different man from the Due 
d'Otrante, who was a Figaro and a rascal. The Prince of 
Benevento had the confidence of his master; Fouché 
never had. In 18 15 Fouché got up an intrigue with 
Metternich. 

"That was why I sent Fleury to the Congress of 
Vienna instead. I ought to have had the Due d'Otrante 
shot, but Lafitte prevented me. Talleyrand will maintain 
himself in power. He is a man of the Revolution, a mar- 
ried priest, husband of a disreputable woman, who was 
Delessert's mistress, and who used to appear nude at his 
supper parties. But he comes of a great family, and 
that will cover anything. That is the advantage of being 
born one of the noblesse. A woman who had played a 
quarter of the pranks Madame de Montmorency has 
played, would have been deemed too disreputable to be 
received in good society, but Madame de Montmorency is 
a grande dame. So the world goes. Fouché, by rights, 
ought to have come to a bad end. It is true that his end 
has not yet come." '" 

"Ah! financiers and bankers are sometimes very use- 
ful. They manage to know everything. Lafitte came to 
see me one day, and told me that a man had just come 

• Real was Chief of Police under the minister. He died in the United 
States in exile while Napoleon was at St. Helena.— £. W. L. 

* Fouché died in exile in 1820, some months before Napoleon. 



THE CONSULATE AND THE EMPIRE 97 

from Vienna, bringing a letter of credit on Fouché. He 
thought it a suspicious circumstance." ' 

"Talleyrand got money out of everything, and he really 
has great talent for stock-jobbing. I am certain that he 
sold documents to the English, not important ones, but 
secondary letters which he sent to Pitt. It had been inti- 
mated to him that for each of these he would be paid one 
thousand louis. The Prince of Benevento [Talleyrand] is 
not a man of transcendent merit. He hates work; but 
he knows how to hold his tongue. He rarely gives advice, 
but can make others talk. If you overwhelm a man with 
your own views, or your counsel, you must have a certain 
regard for him ; now Talleyrand never cared for anything 
but his own personal interests. The thing that might be 
of the greatest service to the State he put aside, if it 
would not contribute to his advantage. One might say of 
him that he was utterly without moral consciousness. I 
never knew any one so entirely indifferent to right and 
wrong. He is able to let none of his thoughts appear in 
his face; and he knows when to hold his tongue. The 
Prince of Benevento has another advantage; he can sit 
up and keep awake till three o'clock in the morning, 
which is a great advantage to a man who has much to do 
with public affairs. He can, at that hour, give an audi- 
ence, and talk as usual to people, who would have no idea 
he had not been in his bed all night. Talleyrand drew 
up the report concerning the situation of the Republic in 
the year VIII. [1799]. That report was well done, and 
will be useful to any one engaged in writing history. In 
short, I think that Talleyrand is the best man living to 
hold the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs under the 
French king. He sees much company, and can make 
people talk. He is a proud man, Hke all the Perigords. 
All he wanted was a clever woman for a wife, not such a 

' It related to an intrigue going on at Basle during the hundred days 
between Napoleon's escape from Elba and his abdication alter Waterloo. 



98 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

one as he married I never consented to his 

marriage, and what is more, I did not know all that Lebrun 
told me afterwards about her antecedents. I had 
thought of making him a cardinal, which would have 
suited him admirably. If he persisted in wishing for a 
wife, he might at least have chosen an honest woman. 
But he is far above the common run of men. He knows 
exactly how and when to change his party, and in short, 
I think Louis XVIIL has done wrong to dismiss him.^ 
He understood the Revolution perfectly; and it must 
have been a great advantage to the King to have at hand 
a Grand Chamberlain who could answer all his questions 
on this subject. Richelieu,^ who does not know France, 
could give him no information. Talleyrand must have 
perceived that public opinion was so strong against him 
that the only way to save himself was to join the party of 
the ultras. I repeat that the King has made a blunder. 
.... Since he has thrown Talleyrand out of office he 
ought to send him away from Paris." 

"What makes me think that there can be no God who 
metes out punishment, is that good people are so often 
unhappy and rascals prosperous. You will see that 
Talleyrand will die in his bed." ^ 

Private Secretaries — Bourrienne, Méneval, 
Fain. 

"One day I found Bourrienne weeping hot tears in my 
cabinet. I pressed him with questions. He at last owned 

' Spoken in March, 1817. 

' The Due de Richelieu, Louis XVIII. 's prime minister. 

* Deep and true was the grief felt for the loss of Talleyrand in his own 
household; many and bitter have been the things said of his character and his 
career. He himself summed up his life in some words written shortly before 
his death, which read like another verse in the Book of Ecclesiastes: "Eighty- 
three years have rolled away! How many cares, how many an.\ieties! How 
many hatreds have I inspired, how many exasperating complications have 1 
known! And all this with no other result than great moral and physical ex- 
haustion, and a deep feeling of discouragement as to what may happen in the 
future— disgust, too, as I think over the pd^sV— France in the Nineteenth 
Century, 



THE CONSULATE AND THE EMPIRE 99 

that he had made a very heavy loss — he had lost money 
by the failure of a great business enterprise. He had 
entered into partnership with some contractors, and he 
begged me to lend him a million francs. At once I 
gave him his dismissal instead. If it had to be done over 
again I would do it again. He is a man of talent, he 
speaks German well, but he loves intrigue, and is a thief. 
So much of a thief that I am not sure he would not steal 
a casket of diamonds lying on a chimney piece. Twenty 
millions would not satisfy him and keep him from steal- 
ing. Whenever I dictated orders to him which spoke of 
millions his face lighted up. He enjoyed it. Our parting 
was very unlucky for me, for he was useful. He wrote 
a beautiful hand. He was active and indefatigable; was 
a patriot and did not like the Bourbons; but he was too 
dishonest! He had begun to think himself of too much 
importance. He gave soirées and acted like a prime 

minister Perhaps I ought to have given him 

the Cross he wished for so much; he might have had 
himself proposed by one of the ministers, and then it 
would have been easy for me to let him receive it without 
question, like so many others. 

"Meneval was a mere clerk who hardly knew how to 
spell. 

"Fain' was beginning to act as if he felt himself of 
importance; but he had been trained in official bureaux ^ 

' Baron Fain accompanied the Emperor to Elba, but strongly advised his 
friend Gourgaud not to share Napoleon's exile to St. Helena.— £. W. L. 



CHAPTER V. 

BONAPARTE CONSUL. 

1 799-1804. 

The Legion of Honor. — The Concordat, — The 
Conspiracy of Pichegru, Moreau, and Georges 
Cadoudal. — Trial and Execution of the Dug 
d'Enghien. — Saint Domingo. 



The Legion of Honor. 

"The Legion of Honor was a good institution. The 
officers made an outcry when they saw the soldiers obtain 
the same distinction as themselves, but their discontent 
made no impression upon me. The soldiers, wherever 
I commanded, were accustomed to be victorious; besides 
that, one reason they loved me was that they knew that I 
protected them from the injustice of their colonels, who 
were always trying to bring forward young men whom 
they favored, in place of tried old soldiers. It is all very 
well to say that a young man has more impetuosity than 
a veteran, but an old soldier who has lived through many 
battles has more steadiness and experience than a young 
one."» 

The Concordat. 

"At the time of the Concordat Macdonald, Delmas, 
and others conspired against me, and said I was re-estab- 
lishing the power of the priests. It was very surprising 
how much they detested them. The Concordat was the 

' The institution of the Legion of Honor took place in the summer of i8oj. 
it was a brilliant stroke of policy, but it was not popular with men of the Revo- 
lution. It has survived both them and their opinions, for the burning of the 
Palace of the Legion of Honor by the Communards in 1871 was not done as a 
protest against the Institution, but in a wanton spirit of destruction. — E. W.L. 

100 



BONAPARTE CONSUL loi 

thing I found it hardest to carry out successfully. Madame 
de Staël assembled the principal generals at her house, 
and told them that they had only twenty-four hours 
in which to decide how to do something to prevent me 
from carrying out my scheme of re-establishing the power 
of the clergy. That if they did nothing to preveot me I 
should soon have forty thousand priests under my orders; 
that I should make no account of the generals, and should 
get rid of them; that I must be made to change my plans; 
and that some of them must ask an audience with me to 
set forth their views and wishes." 

"I made the Concordat' to consolidate things by a 
new agreement, and to rally round me the true Catholics. 
"I wanted to have the Pope with me, and then I should 
have been master of things ecclesiastical in France, as 
much as if I had been Head of the Church. The Pope 
would have done everything I asked of him, and I should 
have found no difficulty with the sincerely religious party 
in France. It would have been supposed that the Pope 
did everything, and it was for him I spent millions in 
magnificently fitting up the Archiépiscopal Palace in Paris. 
My design was that after my death all Italy should be 
united into one kingdom, of which my second son should 

" As soon as Napoleon was in power he ordered the churches to be opened 
and permitted the offices of religion to be resumed. On September i8, 1802, 
peace was signed between the Pope and the French Government. The Con- 
cordat, which was its basis, was the work of Napoleon himself. It was a com- 
promise not wholly satisfactory to the ultramontane party, but its conditions 
had been accepted by the Pope and were the best they were likely to obtain. 
In 1816 Louis XVIll. abrogated this Concordat and made new terms with the 
Vatican. But the Napoleonic Concordat was afterwards restored, and in a 
great measure governs the ecclesiastical relations of France with Rome to the 
present day. Its terms were chiefly these : 

I. Tfie Catholic religion is recognized as the national faith. 

II. France shall be divided into new dioceses. 

III. The Government shall nominate bishops. The Pope shall confirm 
them. 

IV. All bishops shall be required to swear allegiance to the Government, 
and prayers shall be introduced into their ritual for the Consuls. 

v. The bishops, whom the Government shall approve, shall appoint the 
parish priests. 

VI. The Government shall make proper provision for the prelates and 
clergy.— £. W. L. 



I02 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. //ELENA 

be the sovereign. It is absurd for the Pope to exercise 
pohtical power over the subjects of another ruler. The 
Popes have done so very often. They have even under- 
taken to give away kingdoms. 

"In China the sovereign is worshipped as a god. That 
I think is how it ought to be." 

The Conspiracy of Pichegru, Moreau, and 
Georges Cadoudal. 

"What I can never forgive Pichegru' is his conduct in 
1797, at the commencement of his intrigues with the 
enemy, when he sold the lives of his soldiers, and so 
conducted his manoeuvres that he knew his troops must 
be defeated. When he reached Mayence he told Kleber 
that he had brought few men with him because he had 
left behind a large force to protect the Upper Rhine. 
'Faugh!' replied Kleber, 'you should only have left plenty 
of field hospitals. 

"Madame Moreau caused the ruin of her husband, a 
kind-hearted man, but weak. She carried her imperti- 
nence so far when I was First Consul as to attempt 
to take precedence of Madame Bonaparte when Talley- 
rand was giving her his hand at a fête he was making for 
me. He gave Madame Moreau a slight kick or two, to 
make her step back, but as she paid no attention to this, 

* a brief note may here be desirable to sketch the career of General 
Pichegru. He was twenty-eight years old when the Revolution broke out. 
His parents were of the peasant class ; he had been educated by the monks 
who called themselves Minimes, and subsequently (probably on their recom- 
mendation) he was admitted to the Military School at Brienne, where his pro- 
ficiency in mathematics caused him to be employed as a pupil-teacher. 
Napoleon Bonaparte was one of his scholars. He enlisted as a private after 
leaving Brienne. He went with his regiment to the war in America and rose 
rapidly to be a non-commissioned officer. Soon after the Revolution broke out 
he received a commission. In 1792 he was a general ; in 1793 he was one of the 
most brilliant military chiefs in the Army of the Republic, publicly commended 
by Robespierre, and by Collot d' Herbois. His field of operations was in Hol- 
land. He defeated the English under the Duke of York, and the French 
^»?i^r(? army under Condé. Moreau and Jourdan were generals of distinction 
ander him. Butin 1795 he began to listen to arguments and overtures from 
the head of the Army of Condé. He was in Paris on the 13th Fructidor (Sep- 
tember 4, 1797), and on bis return to his army he entered into close relations 



BONAPARTE CONSUL 103 

he was forced to have her put aside by some of those 
young men who, with ribbons on their arms, were acting 
in the fête as ushers. You cannot conceive of that 
woman's impertinence. One day she came to call on 
Josephine, and as she could not be received at once, she 
went away, slamming the doors behind her as she departed, 
and calling loudly that she was not a person to be kept 
waiting! .... I had done a great deal for Moreau; I 
had placed him at the head of a magnificent army, while 
I was only in command of a few conscripts; I had made 
him a present of a pair of superb pistols; in short, I had 
treated him generously in every way. I knew that he had 
put four millions of francs into his pocket, but I never 
said anything about it. He told me himself that he did 
not feel capable of being a commander-in-chief, and that 
he would rather be second in command than first. He 
often came to see me about this, and ended by thinking I 
was right. We used often to dine together. 

"Twice I forgave him his rash talk, and that of 
Madame Moreau, At last, as the thing went on, I said 
to Lanjuinais that if Moreau did not change the attitude 
he was taking toward me, I should have to change mine 
toward him; and that the law must be the same for both 
of us. 'Do not you think so, Lanjuinais?' 'Yes, First 
Consul; there is nothing more to be said about it.' At 

with the enemy. His correspondence fell into the hands of the Directory. 
Some say his papers were captured in Venice, where government officials 
arrested a French émigré nobleman, living there, as he supposed, in safety. 
The Doge sent the papers as a peace offering to Genera! Bonaparte, who was 
threatening his city. Fart of the correspondence had, however, fallen into the 
hands ot Moreau, who, partly from sympathy with the new views of his old 
general, and partly from personal consideration for him, withheld them for 
some months from the Directory. But suspicion had already invaded the 
minds of the Directors, and Pichegru with other Royalists was arrested and 
sent to the malarious swamps of Cayenne. Thence Pichegru and seven com- 
panions escaped in a boat to the capita! of the Dutch settlement of Surinam. 
Pichegru soon found his way to London, where he no longer made any secret 
of his Bourbon sympathies. He was consulted by the Princes and by the 
British Government. At last, in the summer of 1804, he was landed from a 
British ship of war on the coast of France. The ship was commanded by 
Captain Wright, an English naval officer who had distinguished himself at 
Acre under Sir Sidney Smith. We may learn Pichegru's subsequent history 
from Napoleon's talk with Gourgaud.— £. W. L. 



I04 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

last his actions and his speeches in the hearing of other 
men became such that I would no longer keep up any 
intercourse with him. I forbade Josephine, who was 
afraid of his wife and his mother-in-law, to receive 
them; and I met them myself only in large public 
gatherings. Moreau had placed himself in open hostility 
to me. I let him alone to ruin himself; I drew out of the 
affair, thinking, 'Moreau will break his head against the 
walls of the Tuileries.' He found fault with everything; 
above all with my Guard; and that made quarrels between 
him and Bessières. 

"I let things come to a head until Lajolais, who had 
heard him assert in his ill-humor that nothing could be 
easier than to overthrow me and take possession of my 
place and power, and say other things of the same kind, 
communicated his sentiments to Pichegru and Georges. 
One would have thought Lajolais was running the con- 
spiracy. Pichegru and Georges came to Paris; they had 
an interview with Moreau at dusk in the Place de la Made- 
leine. Moreau came by the Rue Royale, and Pichegru 
met him from the boulevard. He embraced Moreau and 
told him he had come to the capital to overthrow the First 
Consul. Georges remained apart. Pichegru brought him 
forward, and introduced him to Moreau, who not having 
expected that the things he had said before Lajolais, would 
be taken so seriously, was much embarrassed. Georges 
asked him on what he might depend. Moreau replied: 
'Let us first overthrow Bonaparte; then everybody will 
be for me. I shall be named First Consul, with Pichegru 
Second Consul, and you will be all right.' Georges ex- 
claimed that he had expected more than that. He wanted 
to be Third Consul. At these words Moreau declared that 
if it were known that he, Moreau, held any communica- 
tion with a Chouan, all the army would be against him, 
and the whole thing would fail. The first thing to be 
done was to kill the First Consul, and then everybody 





'^^A?'^^ 




EMPRESS MARIE LOUISE 



BONAPARTE CONSUL 105 

would declare for Moreau. Georges asked him to name 
three men of mark among those who he considered would 
be with him. To this Moreau repHed: 'So long as Bona- 
parte is living, I cannot arrange matters for anybody, but 
when Bonaparte is dead, I shall have all France and the 
army with me.' Then ensued mutual reproaches. 'You 
made us come here, and now you can do nothing!' 
Georges even cried, 'If I must choose between two blues, 
I prefer Bonaparte to you!' Then they separated, 

"However, Moreau said to Pichegru that he should 
be glad to see him at his own house, and even told him 
how he might reach him secretly. But as to Georges, he 
said he wished never to see him again. Moreau received 
Pichegru several times after that in his own library. He 
tried to collect about thirty of his friends who were 
men of determination, and he made up his dispute with 
Bernadotte, with whom he had quarreled about twenty 
days before. I was told all this by Désirée,^ who informed 
me that her husband could not sleep at night. If he 
slumbered he dreamed and talked about Moreau and con- 
spiracies. Moreau had been to their house, she said, 
three times the evening before, and she was afraid her 
husband might get mixed up in some dangerous affair. 
She had ordered her servants not to admit Moreau, and 
had come at once to give me warning. I could not have 
had a better spy; after that came the quarrel, and the 
capture of Hotier. 

"Real wanted me to imprison Moreau at once. I 
would not consent to this before knowing if Pichegru and 
Georges were still in Paris. I took a notion to arrest 
Pichegru's brother, a former monk, and to get some infor- 
mation out of him. This plan succeeded. He had 
rooms on the fourth floor of a house on the Place Ven- 

' Désirée Clary, Bernadotte's wife, was the sister of the wife of Joseph 
Bonaparte. Early in Napoleon's career she had been engaged to be married 
to him, but the affair was broken olf when they were on the eve of being 
married.— £. W. L. 



io6 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

dôme. Amazed at his arrest, he cried, 'I have done 
nothing! Is it a crime to entertain one's brother?' Real 
questioned him, and made certain that Pichegru was in 
Paris, and that a great conspiracy was being formed. He 
hastened to Malmaison, showed me the interrogations, and 
laid before me a warrant for the arrest of Moreau; I 
signed it. Henri, who belonged to the gendarmerie, 
made the arrest, as Moreau was returning from his coun- 
try house at Grosbois. 

"Moreau appeared quite unconcerned, and laughed 
frequently, as they drove into Paris, but when he reached 
the Temple, and learned that he was charged with 
secret correspondence with Georges and Pichegru, in a 
matter which concerned the integrity of the Republic, he 
sat down and changed color, as if he would have fainted. 
If he had written to me then, all would have been forgot- 
ten. But his wife came, and instead of throwing herself 
at my feet, and telling me that guilty or not guilty, she 
implored me to set her husband at liberty, she made loud 
protestations of his innocence, declared that his arrest was 
unjust, and that if he were tried it would be shown that 
he was innocent. In short, instead of appeasing me, she 
exasperated me beyond control. 

"I charged Régnier to see Moreau, to get him to 
own his relations with Pichegru, and to express his regret 
to me. Instead of that, Moreau persisted in saying that 
he did not know at all what Régnier wanted of him. 

"It was most important for me to secure the arrest of 
Georges and Pichegru. The police were on the track of 
the latter when his best friend, who had once been his aide- 
de-camp, came and offered to deliver him up for three 
hundred thousand francs. He was to sup at his house 
that evemng with Rolland, the brother of a captain in the 
navy. I promised the three hundred thousand francs, 
giving a draft No. II. on Estève, not payable until after 
the arrest. During supper Pichegru said: 'Now don't 



BONAPARTE CONSUL 107 

you suppose that if Macdonald and I presented ourselves 
on the parade ground with all our plumes, we should 
carry all the troops with us?' The Judas answered: 
'Do not deceive yourselves; not a cat would budge.' At 
midnight the traitor gave my agents a key to the chamber 
where his friend was to sleep, giving them at the same 
time its description. Pichegru had beside him on a small 
table, a wax candle and his pistols. Comminge knocked 
over the table. The general tried to recover his weapons, 
but was seized by seven or eight picked gendarmes, who 
were obliged to gag him and to take him naked to the 
Prefecture of Police. Real there told him that he must 
see that all resistance was useless, and that it would only 
result in personal ill-treatment, an indignity to such a 
man. At length he decided to submit: 'True,' he said, 
'I will put on my clothes.' 

"Georges was given up by Leridan for one hundred 
thousand francs. He wanted to quit the Faubourg Saint- 
Honoré, where he found out that they were searching for 
him. Leridan warned the police that he was going to 
drive him to the Faubourg Saint-Jacques in a cabriolet, 
of which he gave a description. The agents followed the 
cabriolet, and Cadoudal, finding that several of his friends 
in the Faubourg Saint-Jacques had been arrested, tried to 
turn back, and reach Chaillot. It was then that he was 
taken." 

"I consulted others concerning the trial of Moreau. 
Lebrun and Cambacérès ' thought he had better be tried 
by a military commission, composed of officers from the 
reserve. I did not think so; I had him brought before a 
criminal court, and had afterwards good reason to repent 
of my decision. One of the judges, Lecourbe, under the 
influence of party feeling, went so far as to declare that 
he did not believe Georges to be guilty of conspiracy. In 

' The other consuls. 



loS TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. I/ELENA 

the end, by one sole vote — that of Guillemin, who was an 
imbecile — Moreau was pronounced guilty.* If he had 
been acquitted, I was advised to have him shot on the spot 
by my own gendarmes, to avert a revolution. That was 
what I might have brought upon myself by my folly in 
having him tried by civil judges." 

Gourgaud and Bertrand discuss some statements in the 
book of Warden. Bertrand says: 

"Pichegru was not murdered. Nor do I think he was 
put secretly to death, in order that so great a general 
might not perish on the scaffold. No; he had lost his 
honor, there was nothing more to be feared from him. 
His treason was clear. Why should he have been mur- 
dered?" 

Napoleon said: "The only man I ever condemned to 
death for political reasons was Georges. I pardoned 
Polignac. I am sorry I did so." 

"If I had been killed, Moreau would have been named 
Consul in my place, but Georges said that blue for blue 
be preferred me to him. I saw Georges at the Tuileries 
at the time of the pacification of La Vendée. I tried all 
means to bring him over to the party of submission. He 
was a fanatic, and I softened him without convincing him. 
At the end of half an hour I was where I had been at the 
beginning. He wanted to keep his armed bands together. 
I told him that there could not be a state within a state, 
and that old Châtillon under similar circumstances had 
wept, but yielded the point, crying, 'The real question 

' Moreau was sentenced to two years' imprisonment, and to pay the costs 
of the suit. The sentence of imprisonment was subsequently changed to 
exile. He came to the United States, where he purchased a handsome estate 
near Philadelphia. In July, 1813, he listened to entreaties from the Emperor 
Alexander and his allies ; returned to Europe and joined the allied army before 
Dresden. During the battle, while sitting on horseback conversing with the 
Emperor Alexander, and watching the fortune o*. the day, a cannon-ball shat- 
tered his legs, and he died in less than a month after his return to Europe 
trom America,— iE. IV. L. 



BONAPARTE CONSUL 109 

is, What will be most for the good of France, and be most 
likely to re-establish tranquillity?' D'Autichamps said 
almost the same thing. ' ' 

"Moreau was very wrong to bear arms against France 
in 1813. He was a brave man. I had great pleasure in 
talking with him until, under the influence of his wife and 
mother-in-law, who were créoles, he ceased to visit me; 
and I said to Talleyrand, 'He will not respond to my 
offers of friendship, he will knock his head against the 
walls of the Tuileries.' " 

"The Chouans in their depositions said that Georges 
had held conferences with some person whom he treated 
with the greatest respect, and to whom he always spoke 
uncovered. The police thought it must have been the 
Due d'Enghien. It was Pichegru." 

"Pichegru was a man of honor. Anger and enmci must 
have led him to commit suicide. I should have pardoned 
him. He did very wrong. Look at Rivière, and at the 
Polignacs! I pardoned them. They are now great noble- 
men. Fortune has favored them in every way. Time 
brings about great changes. It is only fools who commit 
suicide." ^ 

Montholon had been trying to find the date of Captain 
Wright's death." Napoleon says: "I would have sworn 
it was during the trial of Moreau and Pichegru I 

• Pichegru was found dead in his bed with a black silk handkerchief tight- 
ened by a tourniquet round his throat. So far as the public knew, there were 
no signs of a struggle. Gourgaud did not believe in the suicide theory. He 
thought the death of Pichegru was the act of the police, who judged it would 
create scandal and embarrassment to bring so great a general to trial and the 
scaffold. Savary was Minister of Police at this time and Real under him. Both 
were unscrupulous and what Napoleon called "/awwrj' " — men who lived to 
act for themselves.— £■. W. L. 

'The mysterious death of Captain Wright, R. N., when a prisoner in the 
Temple, took place about the same time as that of Pichegru, and e.xcited 
intense indignation in England. Wright's ship had been captured by a supe- 
rior force shortly after he landed Pichegru at Calais. Then Captain Wright, 
though a prisoner of war, was held to be a member of the conspiracy, li "le 



no TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

have lost my memory. How careful one ought to be of 
what one says! Now, people in England are going to cry 
out that I had Wright murdered. I thought that he had 
died at the time of the trial of the other conspirators 
because he dreaded being called as a witness against 
them. I suppose those fools, the pohce, did not want to 
bring him to trial. Ma foi! We must just say that Las 
Cases was talking nonsense. Fool that he was!" 

There was another Captain Wright, commander of the Griffin, 
which was one of the English fleet that escorted the "Northumber- 
land" to St. Helena. 

Trial and Execution of the Due d'Enghien. 

"Public opinion was much agitated after the death of 
the Due d'Enghien. It was Talleyrand who in a cabinet 
meeting made me feel the danger of having, three leagues 
from our frontier, a prince who was head of a political 
conspiracy in Paris. Talleyrand maintained that the 
Bourbon princes having begun the attack on me by the 
Infernal Machine, I had a right to carry off the Due 
d'Enghien and to have him tried." 

Yielding to these arguments of Talleyrand, the First 
Consul ordered Ordener to cross the Rhine, and to carry 
off the Prince. Caulaincourt at the same time was sent 
to Carlsruhe to present the Prince of Baden with a note 
from Talleyrand, excusing the violation of his frontier. 

Capitaine Voigf is French spelling for his name in Gourgaud's journal, 
Savary (the Due de Rovigo) protested he had nothing to do with his death. 

At this time Mr. Nathaniel Amory, of Boston, afterwards my uncle by 
marriage, a fair-haired, fiorid man, was in Paris, and was mistaken by the police 
for a spy and an Englishman. He was suddenly arrested, taken to the Temple, 
and placed in the next cell to Captain Wright. They managed to open com- 
munication with each other. Captain Wright did not complain of especial ill- 
treatment, only of loneliness, weariness, separation from his family, and the 
loss of his prospects in his profession. Persistent offers had been made to him 
if he would enter the French naval service. As suddenly and mysteriously as 
Mr. Amory hadibeen arrested came his release. His washerwoman, who washed 
also for Washington Irving, asked Mr. Irving what could have become of 
the other American gentleman, whose name she did not know. "N. A." on his 
shirts identified him, and the American minister procured his release. — 
E. W. L. 



BONAPARTE CONSUL îîl 

"I never committed any assassination. The Duc 
d'Enghien was tried as an émigré holding intelligence 
with the enemies of France, and for conspiracy. 

"Talleyrand once advised me to take advantage of an 
offer that was made me by certain smugglers, who for a 
million of francs apiece, proposed to rid me of all mem- 
bers of the house of Bourbon. He said I had the right 
to fight them with the same weapons they were employing 
against me. 

"I ought to say that Louis XVIII. was the only one 
of his family who never countenanced any project of 
assassinating me. But all the others tried it. Possibly 
for the sake of France I did wrong to reject the propo- 
sition of Talleyrand." 

"We talked," says Gourgaud, "of Caulaincourt, the 
Due de Vicence, and of the Due d'Enghien. Were I 
in the Due de Bourbon's place, I would certainly be 
avenged for the fate of my son. .... But it was not 
Caulaincourt who was responsible for the death of the 
Prince." 

"Sire," said Gourgaud, "men reproach Talleyrand 
with having influenced what they call a crime on the part 
of Your Majesty." 

"What! the d'Enghien affair.-* ' The King of France 

*The Due d'Enghien was a prince of the blood, heir of the house of 
Condé. He was the only son of the Due de Bourbon, who in early life had 
eloped with his own bride, a princess of Orleans. Their marriage was not 
happy, and after a year the young couple were estranged. The Due d'Enghien 
emigrated with his family and distinguished himself by his gallantry and 
humanity in what was called the Army of Condé — that is, the band of noble 
émigrés raised by his father. He had never been on French soil since he 
quitted it with his family. In the early months of 1804 he was living at Etten- 
heim, a castle in the Grand Duchy of Baden, and if some of his movements 
were a little secret and mysterious it was because of his early attachment to 
the Princess Charlotte de Rohan, then living within a few leagues of his castle 
on the frontier. On March 14, 1804, by orders from Caulaincourt, Colonel 
Ordener, with a force of French soldiers and gendarmes, appeared at Etten- 
heim, arrested the Prince and carried him toStrasburg, the nearest French 
stronghold. He is sometimes said to have written a letter to the First Consul 
from Strasburg, which was never delivered. There is no evidence of such a 
letter, but at Vincennes he did write a few words on the margin of the paper 
which contained his sentence. This Talleyrand or Savary took care should 



112 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST HELENA 

will never blame me for that. What is one man, after all? 
Ah! the King will never quarrel with Talleyrand about 
that! Louis XVIII. is a man of sense, and a sharp poli- 
tician. Talleyrand will die in his bed." 

"Our conversations at St. Helena, reported in Eng- 
lish papers and gathered from the book of Las Cases, do 
Talleyrand wrong. The English newspapers say that 
Madame Bertrand said she was sure that it was Talley- 
rand who was the cause of the death of the Due d'En- 
ghien.'" 

Saint Domingo. 

"The Saint Domingo business was a great piece of folly 
on my part. If I had succeeded, all it would have done 
would have been to enrich the de Noailles and the La 
Rochefoucaulds. I think that Josephine, a créole her- 
self, had some influence in inducing me to undertake the 
expedition; but a wife who shares her husband's bed has 
always a certain influence over him. It was the greatest 
error that in all my government I ever committed. I 
ought to have treated with the black leaders, as I would 
have done with the authorities in a province. I should 

not be seen by the First Consul, who was in a state of great excitement, until 
after the execution, which immediately followed the sentence. The young 
Prince was shot, March 24, 1804, at 6 o'clock in the morning, beside the moat 
at Vincennes. The individual most responsible for the indecent haste of the 
trial before a military commission, and for the hasty execution, was Savary, 
Due de Rovigo. The story is a very sad one. At St. Helena any mention of 
it always seemed to give pain to Napoleon, though he deprecated the blame 
that the world then and ever since has cast upon him. The outspoken Gour- 
gaud could not refrain from saying at St. Helena: "I never can forgive the 
death of the Due d' Enghien." Strange to say, the fate of this young Prince 
made little impression on the Bourbons. When they were restored, Talley- 
rand and Caulaincourt entered into the service of Louis XVIll. Savary went 
into exile. Louis XVIIL, as Napoleon hints, was quite capable of thinking 
that the removal of the most brilliant scion of his race might have been to his 
advantage.— £■. W. L. 

' " Bertrand says," adds Gourgaud, " that Murat was the person who most 
strenuously advised the immediate execution of the Due d' Enghien. He 
argued that if Napoleon waited till the next day he would pardon him, and he 
urged the matter until he succeeded in bringing over the First Consul to 
his own views. Josephine did very differently. Napoleon, when all was 
over, regretted the execution, and for several days seemed extremely 



BONAPARTE CONSUL I13 

have nominated negro officers in regiments composed of 
soldiers of their own race, and have let Toussaint 
L'Ouverture remain as Viceroy. I should not have sent 
French troops there. I ought to have left the blacks to 
govern themselves, though I might have sent them a few 
French officials, — a treasurer, for example, — and I ought 
to have let these men know that it would please me if they 
married colored wives. Thus the negroes, not finding 
themselves over-awed by whites, would have acquired 
confidence in my system. The colony would have decreed 
the suppression of slavery. It is true that I might have 
lost Martinique, for the blacks there would have been 
free; but these changes would have been accepted without 
disorder. I had a plan for that, a plan that would have 
attached the slaves to the soil. Vincent, a colonel of 
engineers, was the only man who ever spoke sensibly to 
me about this expedition. He tried to dissuade me from 
it by showing me why it would be far better to treat with 
the negroes than to try to destroy them. All that he 
prophesied took place. The Bourbons ought now to 
make an effort to recover this beautiful colony, which 
brought into France one hundred and eighty millions a 
year. In three years they must expect to lose a hundred 
thousand men, but with their present system that may be 
to their advantage. They will get rid of all the officers 
and soldiers of my old army, and may get repossession 
of a very fine colony. What may stop them will be the 
money question. They would have to allow one hundred 
and twenty millions for the start, and after that sixty 
millions a year." 

unhappy. " 1 think," says Gourgraud, " that affair will always do much harm to 
the Emperor, especially as the Prince was arrested on foreign territory." 

Gourgaud also records that the Emperor was much annoyed by Las 
Cases having retained his journal, which had been seized by tlie agents of Sir 
Hudson Lowe and restored to him. Montholon thought the Emperor regretted 
this because there might have been passages in it relating to the death of the 
Due d'Enghien, to the Bourbon Princes, the Infernal Machine, the conspiracy, 
and other matters, in which names would have been mentioned by Las Cases, 
which the Emperor would rather have had suppressed.— ii. W. L. 



CHAPTER VI. 

NAPOLEON EMPEROR. 

AusTERLiTz, December 2, 1805. — Jena, March 14, 
1806. — Eylau, February 8, 1807. — Friedland, 
June 14, 1807. — The Conference at Tilsit, 
July 7, 1807. 

Napoleon, in his familiar talks with Gourgaud, makes no 
allusion to the period of his life in which he was made Emperor. 
It seems as if he always thought of himself as bom in the purple, 
and Emperor of the French people, rather than on a roll of 
tapestry representing the achievements of Achilles. Nor does he 
allude to the Peace of Amiens, a brief truce in his war with Eng- 
land, signed March 27, 1802. One of its conditions was that 
England should restore Malta to the Knights of St. John; in 
which case it would have fallen an easy prey to France in case 
of a renewal of the war. Napoleon was willing to comply with all 
the stipulations which bound France to give up certain colonies in 
the West Indies, but insisted that the English government must, 
on their part, give up Malta. Lord Whitworth, the English 
ambassador, after a stormy scene with Napoleon at one of his 
levees, left Paris, May 13, 1803, and war was declared by both 
countries the next day. Napoleon, who was greatly annoyed by 
the caricatures and insults to his person, published in the English 
journals, felt bitter resentment not only against the English gov- 
ernment, but against the English people, and showed it by giving 
orders for the arrest of all travelling Englishmen or English resi- 
dents in France and their detention as prisoners at Verdun. My 
grandfather Captain James Wormeley was in France at the 
time, not far from Calais. He escaped by hastening to the coast 
and paying a fisherman a hundred pounds to put him across the 
Channel. 

In March, 1804, occurred the trial and execution of the Due 
d'Enghien; in April the arrest of Georges Cadoudal, Pichegru, 
and Moreau; in May, the trial of these and other conspirators. 
Immediately afterwards the French Chamber (then called the 
Tribunat) advised that the First Consul should be invited to take 

114 



NAPOLEON EMPEROR "5 

upon Wmself the style and title of Emperor of the French people. 
This proposal was submitted to a plébiscite. Out of thirty million 
people (two-thirds probably being non-voters, women, and chil- 
dren) between three and four million signed Yes to the docu- 
ment; only between three and four thousand voted No! 

Anticipating this result, and well knowing the sentiments of 
the Army, where all men desired to see him Emperor, Napoleon, 
before the official return of the vote, assumed the title and dignity 
of an Emperor. He made seventeen of his generals Marshals of 
France, and conferred court offices and civil positions upon 
others. There was no popular enthusiasm in Paris, or in the 
Departments, upon his accession, but great joy in the Army, espe- 
cially in the camp at Boulogne, where an army lay awaiting the 
opportunity to be set across the Channel, to conquer and to devas- 
tate the "right little, tight little island," whose white cliffs on 
every clear day could be seen from the heights above their camp- 
ing-ground. 

There are probably not many people living who feel, as I do, 
a sort of personal connection with this period of English history. 
My father was always talking of those days and singing Thomas 
Dibdin's song, which was on the lips of every Englishman as long 
as invasion was threatened. I wish I could remember all its stir- 
ring verses. I recollect but one of them. 

The Spanish Armada set out to invade her. 
And swore, if it ever came nigh land 

It wouldn't do less than tuck up Queen Bess, 
And take its full swing of the Island! 

O ! the right little, tight little Island ! 
The Dons would have plundered the Island! 

But snug in her hive. Queen Bess was alive, 
And buzz was the word of the Island ! 

And then its enthusiastic conclusion. 

Frenchman, devil, or Don, we'll let them come on! 
And show them some sport in the Island! 
At the risk of being forced to apologize for my garrulity, I add 
another family reminiscence. 

The great army at Boulogne lay waiting until Villeneuve, with 
his fleet from the West Indies, should arrive and prevent any 
English man-of-war from entering what was called the Chops of 
the Channel. But Villeneuve was encountered on July 22, 1805, 
off Brest, by Sir Robert Calder. My father was signal lieutenant 
on board the flag-ship. The action was a very brilliant one- 



ii6 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

Villeneuve was defeated. He was driven into Brest, some of his 
ships were taken, and his squadron dispersed. His plan of guard- 
ing the entrance to the British Channel was defeated, and Napo- 
leon's rage and indignation were extreme. But the British Board 
of Admiralty were disappointed. They thought that any British 
fleet, however inferior to the French,^ ought to have captured 
or sunk every ship of the enemy. Sir Robert Calder was ordered 
home to be tried by a court martial. When the order arrived he 
had joined Nelson off Trafalgar. Nelson was indignant at the 
injustice shown to a gallant and victorious officer. The order of 
the Admiralty was to send Sir Robert home in a frigate; but 
Nelson swore he would be no party to an indignity shown to such 
an officer; Sir Robert, he said, should go home in the "Prince of 
Wales," his own flag-ship, though it would cost him the best 
three-decker in his fleet when he was on the eve of a battle. So 
the flag-ship, with its signal lieutenant, sailed for England, and 
my father lost the chance, which he regretted all his life, of being 
present at the battle of Trafalgar. 

On December 2, 1804, Napoleon and Josephine appeared in 
great splendor at Notre Dame to be crowned by the Pope. 
Josephine, always uneasy lest Napoleon should open the question 
of divorce, well knowing that their marriage had been made only 
by civil contract, implored her husband to make their union more 
safe by an ecclesiastical ceremony, and two nights before the 
Coronation they were privately married by the Pope, in the Chapel 
of the Tuileries. All of us who have seen David's great picture 
of the Coronation of Napoleon, which hangs in the Gallery at 
Versailles, can almost feel as if we had witnessed the ceremony. 
But, as I said. Napoleon makes only slight allusions to it in his 
talks with Gourgaud. 

The Emperor and Empress made a visit together to the camp 
at Boulogne, where they were received with wild enthusiasm. 
Everything was ready for the invasion of England, which, if suc- 
cessful — and they never doubted its success — was to leave Napo- 
leon master of the civilized world. 

The Death of the Due d'Enghien meantime excited great 
horror in the courts of Russia, Austria, Prussia, England, and 
Sweden; and while other countries sent polite congratulations to 
Napoleon on his accession, Russia, Sweden, and England held 
aloof. England indeed was already at war with France, since the 

' Sir Robert Calder had fiiteen sail of the line and two frigates under his 
command. The French force was twenty sail of the line, three fifty-gun 
ships, and four frigates. 



NAPOLEON EMPEROR 117 

rupture of the Peace of Amiens, and was carrying on naval oper- 
ations against her in the West Indies and the Mediterranean. 
Austria wavered; she had not yet recovered from the campaign of 
Marengo. Prussia also was unwilling to join "the Allied Powers," 
as the enemies of Napoleon were afterwards called. But Austria's 
indecision was put an end to by the Coronation of Napoleon, at 
Milan (May 26, 1805), as King of Italy. She had not resisted the 
formation of her former possessions in Italy into the Ligurian 
Republic, but to have Lombardy made a vassal kingdom of 
France was an insult and an injury which called for a renewal of 
hostilities. Prussia was bitterly resentful at the invasion of Han- 
over (part of the German Empire, though its Elector was an Eng- 
lish Prince) and she was not reassured when told that it was only 
to be held as a hostage for the evacuation of Malta. But the 
King, dreading war, for which he was unprepared, vacillated, and 
did not make up his mind to act until the opportunity for that year 
had escaped him. 

Napoleon, after the defeat of Villeneuve, felt that it was no 
use at that time to attempt the invasion of England; he broke up 
his camp at Boulogne, and in all haste moved his Army of Eng- 
land across the Rhine. He put his men into diligences, chaises, 
ambulances, anything in short that would transport them rapidly 
to a new field of action. Six French divisions, each under a 
general of distinction, crossed the Rhine, converging from differ- 
ent points upon Vienna. Meantime General Mack, who com- 
manded the Austrian Army, abandoned the line of defence which 
prudence would have pointed out to him, behind the river Inn, 
and gathered his soldiers around Ulm, a town of considerable mil- 
itary importance, where Napoleon, coming up with the main army, 
supported by other divisions, forced him (October 20, 1805) to sur- 
render.^ 

"What caused the surrender of Mack was that his 
eighty thousand men were all in the houses at Ulm. The 
rain had put everything into confusion; no one seemed to 

' On the day after Mack surrendered at Ulm (October 21, 1805) was fought 
the battle of Trafalgar. Napoleon received the news the night he trium- 
phantly occupied the Emperor of Austria's palace of Schonbrunn in Vienna. 

Napoleon remained only a few days in Vienna. Had he known that 
Schonbrunn would be the scene of the sad life and death of his only son, the 
hour of his triumph might have been full of sad reflections. He hurried for- 
ward with high hopes into Moravia, where his army found itself face to face 
with the armies of the Emperor of Austria and the Czar of Russia. 

On the last night of November, 1805, he slept at Brunn, the capital of 
Moravia, and the next morning, with several of his generals, he rode over the 
country around the village of Austerlitz, remarking to those about him that 



ii8 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

have the command. The Archduke Ferdinand would not 
obey Mack; I sent him word that I would not assault the 
place, but I should take it by famine. I knew the state of 
his army, and I told him what I knew. He thought the 
Russians were on the Inn; I assured him they were not, 
and it was for that reason I was willing to besiege him. 
The affair at Elchingen had demoralized the Austrians. 
Mack owned to me afterwards that his troops had been in 
very great disorder." 

"Nelson is a brave man. If Villeneuve at Aboukir 
(the battle of the Nile) and Dumanoir at Trafalgar had 
had a little of his blood, the French would have been con- 
querors. I ought to have had Dumanoir's head cut off." 

Napoleon valued men of action more than engineer 
officers or constructors. 

"Do not you all think more highly of Nelson than 
of the best engineers who construct fortifications? Nelson 
had what a mere engineer officer can never acquire. It 
is a gift of nature. I grant you that a good engineer or 
a constructor may be a very useful man, but I never 
liked to reward him like a man who had risked his life 
and shed his blood. For instance, I was very unwilling 
to make Évain a general of artillery. I cannot bear an 
officer who has gained his rank step by step in a bureau. 
Yet I know that there must occasionally be generals who 
never fired a shot. But to promote them goes against me. " 

"What was my most brilliant battle.?" asked the Em- 

they would do well to observe everything, as the field before them would soon 
be a scene of conflict. 

On December 2, 1805, the "sun of Austerlitz" rose with extraordinary 
brilliancy, and the day was hailed by the French soldiers as the anniversary of 
their Emperor's coronation. The battle that they that day fought has been 
called the Battle of the Emperors, three of whom were present and in com- 
mand. For Napoleon it was a complete success. Besides the carnage, which 
was terrible, 20,000 prisoners were taken by the French, forty pieces of artillery, 
and all the standards of the Russian Imperial Guard. 

It led immediately to peace negotiations with Austria in which Napoleon 
obtained everything he asked for, and an armistice was concluded with 
the Russian Emperor, who withdrew his army within his own frontier.— £■. W. L. 



NAPOLEON EMPEROR '^9 

peror of his fellow-exiles. Gourgaud replied," Austerlitz." 
"Perhaps so, but Borodino (the Moskwa) was superbly 
fought, at so great a distance, too, from home! At 
Austerlitz my army was the very best I ever had. Splen- 
did soldiers, and it was a superb battle! Great results 
acquired in the presence of three emperors. If the Prus- 
sians had joined the Austrians and Russians it might have 
been embarrassing for me. After that time my armies 
deteriorated, although at Jena I still had fine troops. The 
Prussians missed their opportunity in 1805, and commit- 
ted a great error the next year in declaring war against 
me." 

Napoleon made Eugene Beauharnais Viceroy of the new 
kingdom of Italy; Joseph Bonaparte was made King of Naples; 
Louis Bonaparte King of Holland; Jerome King of Westphalia; 
Murat Grand Duke of Berg. Elisa Bonaparte (Princess Baccio- 
chi) had the principalities of Lucca, Massa-Carrara, and Garfa- 
gnana, which she governed well and wisely; while Pauline 
Borghese had Guastalla.^ ^ n u j 

After Austerlitz Napoleon went back to Pans, and flushed 
with victory, his first thought was to bestow kingdoms, principali- 
ties and dukedoms on his followers. Kingdoms he gave to 
members of his own family, not one of whom (with the exception 
of his sister Elisa, Madame Bacciochi) proved a right ruler m 
the right place. With the principalities and dukedoms he gave 
large estates in the conquered countries, thus creating a foreign 
nobility of Frenchmen, which might be useful to him at some 
future day. 

> Other princes, without sovereign rights, were : 

Talleyrand, Prince of Benevento. 

Bernadette, Prince of Ponte Corvo. 

Berthier, Duke of Neufchâtel and Prince of Wagram. 

Davout, Duke of Auerstadt and Prince of Eckmuhl. 

Ney, Duke of Elchingen and Prince of the Moskwa. 
Junot, Duke of Abrantès. Macdonald Duke of Taranto. 

Mara , Duke of Bassano. Marmont Duke of Ragusa. 

Bessières, Duke of Istna. Mortier Duke of Trev.so 

Caulaincourt, Duke of Vicenza. Oudinot Duke of Reggio. 

Duroc, Duke de Friuli. Savary Duke of Rov.go. 

Fouché Duke of Otranto. Soult, Duke of Dalmatia. 

KeuTrmann, Duke of Vaimy. Suchet. Duke of A bufera 

LanneJ Duke of Montebello. Augereau, Duke o Cast.ghone. 

T efebvre Duke of Dantzic. Clarke, Due de Feltre. 

The;e tÏÏes were not all conferred in 1805, but they are here placed m one 
list, as such a record is hard to find elsewhere— £• H ■ •^. 



120 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

Besides the establishment of vassal kingdoms throughout 
Western Europe, which made Napoleon in fact Emperor of the 
Occident, he had plans that included the destruction of the Holy 
Roman Empire, which had lasted for more than one thousand 
years. He forced the Emperor of Austria, by the Treaty signed 
at Presburg immediately after Austerlitz, to relinquish his author- 
ity as Emperor of Germany, and held out hopes to the head of 
the House of Hohenzollern that he should be Emperor of Ger- 
many in Francis Joseph's stead. This hope, which for some 
months beguiled the King of Prussia into inactivity, had to wait 
for its accomplishment until France was humbled in 1871, under 
the Second Empire. 

In pursuance of his system of destroying the power and pres- 
tige of the old German Empire, Napoleon formed what he called 
the Confederation of the Rhine — a league of the lesser German 
princes on the frontier of France, and of this Confederation he 
called himself the "Protector". At the same time he bitterly 
opposed the formation of a Northern Confederacy headed by 
Prussia, which was designed to oppose further aggressions. 

These things made the diplomatic relations of France and 
Prussia very much strained. About this time occurred a visit of 
the Czar Alexander to Berlin, in order to induce the King of 
Prussia to join the coalition forming against France, namely, 
England, Russia, and Sweden. And the letter intercepted in the 
French post-office, written by the Prussian ambassador in cipher 
to his master, informed him that there was reason to think that 
Napoleon and the Czar were plotting to break up the Kingdom of 
Prussia, 

Napoleon had in fact a project for the dismemberment of 
Prussia, and was ready to take any opportunity of dethroning its 
reigning family. 

War broke out again early in October, 1806. Napoleon was 
already over the Rhine in the states of the Rhenish Confederacy, 
and the King of Prussia, without waiting for the arrival of a Rus- 
sian army which was marching to join him, advanced to attack the 
French, while another Prussian corps entered Saxony, where the 
king was Napoleon's ally. In less than a fortnight Napoleon had 
turned the flank of the King of Prussia's army, had taken Naum- 
burg, where the king had deposited all his ammunition and stores, 
and with a terrific explosion had blown up his magazines. A 
few days later Davout fought the King of Prussia at Auerstadt, 
while Napoleon with his main army prepared to fight the great 
battle of Jena. It took place on October 14, 1806, and Napoleon 



NAPOLEON EMPEROR 121 

arrived in Berlin about ten days afterwards. In three weeks he 
had driven the King of Prussia from his capital to Konigsburg. 
and had taken all his strongholds, except Konigsburg and Dantzic, 
while at Jena and Auerstadt he had annihilated the Prussian 
armies. 

During his brief stay at Berlin Napoleon promulgated what 
are called the Berlin Decrees: these were orders issued to all 
"peoples, nations, and languages," under the imperial government, 
or in alliance with France, to enforce what was called the Con- 
tinental Blockade; that is, to prohibit all commercial intercourse 
with England, her allies, or her colonies. Anything manufactured 
or grown in England, or in any English colony, any article of 
commerce that had passed through English ports, or those of her 
allies or colonies, if seized, was to be publicly destroyed. In 
French memoirs and French novels there are graphic descriptions 
of great bonfires on the sands near Dieppe and Ronfleur, where 
government officials were busy feeding the flames with English 
goods, keeping bystanders aloof, who watched the destruction of 
what would have been to them comfort and affluence. The Con- 
tinental Blockade was the most cherished scheme of Napoleon. 
It originated in his own brain. By it he hoped to discourage and 
defeat England. He could not succeed in his scheme of inva- 
sion; he could not rival her as a sea power; but he would cut off 
her commerce, and with it, he persuaded himself, all her resources. 

But these decrees aimed at the power of England created for 
the first time great popular discontent with the imperial govern- 
ment in France. Every private citizen found his domestic comfort 
invaded by these orders, while repeated conscriptions bore heavily 
on all classes and all homes. 

At the same time Napoleon committed the great blunder 
(perhaps I should say crime) of exciting hopes he did not mean to 
gratify, among the Polish people. He held out the most enticing 
prospects to them. His appeals and addresses encouraged them 
to feel certain that he would restore their ancient kingdom. Their 
young men flocked into his army, looking to Napoleon as their 
liberator and avenger, and responding with passionate enthusiasm 
to the questions he asked of them in his bulletins: "Shall the 
Polish throne be re-estabUshed, and shall the great nation secure 
for it respect and independence? Shall she recall it to life from 
the grave? God only, who directs all human affairs, can solve 
this mystery." 

On November 28, 1806, Napoleon entered Poland, and found 
himself received with rapture and delight by the whole population. 



Î22 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

Their old national dress reappeared. Hope and exultation beamed 
in every countenance. They did not know that Poland must be 
sacrificed if Napoleon's grandest scheme of personal ambition 
was to be carried out. In his youth he had dreamed of being 
another Alexander, a great conqueror, the Emperor of the East. 
Time and events had changed his views. He had become the 
sovereign of Western Europe. He might divide the world with 
an Emperor of the East. He had great confidence in the ultimate 
preponderance and sovereignty of Russia. 

But if this scheme were to succeed, it would never do to leave 
a turbulent little independent kingdom, the natural enemy of 
Russia, on her frontier. It was better to incorporate Poland with 
the great power, whose sovereign would hold her down with a firm 
hand. 

The Russian army under Benningsen, a skillful general, gave 
considerable trouble to Napoleon's marshals and generals; and 
during this winter the French first encountered dreadful hardships 
from ice and snow during their marches. The drawn battle of 
Eylau was fought in a snowstorm, and the French encamped at 
night in deep snow on the field of battle, while the enemy marched 
off, having captured twelve of their standards. The result of this 
fight was a bitter disappointment to Napoleon. 

Dantzic surrendered in May, by which time Napoleon was at 
the head of an army of two hundred and eighty thousand men, 
though many of them had been raised by premature conscrip- 
tions. Then followed the battle of Friedland, in 1807, in which 
Benningsen, the Russian general, was outmanœuvred and de- 
feated. 

The Emperor Alexander, overawed by the genius of Napo- 
leon, and unacquainted with his ultimate designs, apprehensive 
that the kingdom of Poland was about to be restored, now sin- 
cerely desired peace. An armistice was entered into, and on a 
raft moored in the river Niémen, near the town of Tilsit, the two 
emperors met each other, shortly after which they adjourned to 
the town, and the Treaty of Tilsit was concluded. An almost 
boy-like friendship was then entered into between Alexander and 
Napoleon. 

Napoleon rightly placed at Tilsit the apogee of his prosperity. 
After that the brightness of his star began slowly to fade. To be 
complete master of the Western (European) world, he had yet to 
conquer Spain, Portugal, and England. England he thought had 
no generals fitted to oppose him, or even the Marshals he had 
trained in the art of war. 



NAPOLEON EMPEROR ^^3 

Of Napoleon's relations with Spain in 1807 and 1808, I have 
given a full account in "Spain in the Nineteenth Century." He 
had a good deal to say about Spain in his talks with Gourgaud. 
Joseph Bonaparte was made King of Spain against his own will. 
The dethroned and exiled Charles IV. was living at Amboise. 
His son, Ferdinand VH., was in honorable captivity at Valençay, 
Talleyrand's almost princely property. Massena, Soult, and 
Junot were Napoleon's principal generals in the Peninsula. So 
closed the year 1808, and another war was declared in 1809. 

"Montholon," says Gourgaud, "gathered from the instruc- 
tions he received when he was an ambassador in Italy that His 
Majesty aspired to make himself Emperor of Germany, and then 
to be crowned Emperor of the West. The establishment of the 
Confederation of the Rhine aimed at this result. At Erfurt it was 
a thing agreed upon, but Alexander wanted Constantinople, which 
Napoleon would not consent he should have." 

"In France we must increase the power of our infantry 
to resist cavalry, so that we need never fear an invasion 
by Tartars or Cossacks. I drew up my army on the 
plateau of Jena because Augereau could come up with me 
on the road to the left, as well as Ney. Soult was on the 
right. Davout and Bernadotte were at Naumburg. 

"If Lannes had been defeated the Guard could have 
held out long enough to give Soult and Augereau time to 
join me. Bernadotte wanted to head the column, instead 
of Davout, and being angry at not having obtained what 
he asked, he broke off from his colleague, and tried to 
pass between Soult and the defiles. He did not succeed 
in this manoeuvre, and Davout, with only his own corps 
of thirty thousand men, made head against the King of 
Prussia. What threw the enemy into terrible confusion 
was the double crowd of fugitives who met each other, 
some coming along the road from Neuburg, some flying 
from Jena toward Weimar. The Duke of Brunswick 
was a very poor general. I made a mistake when I 
thought better of him and fancied he could do something. 
He had detached Blucher and the Duke of Weimar to a 
considerable distance, and it was his purpose to cross the 



124 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

Rhine. The Prussians have poor soldiers! I ought to 
have had Bernadotte shot; I am sorry I did not; but he 
came to Berthier full of grief and remorse I ex- 
plained the battle of Jena to Alexander and to the Duke 
of Weimar; they knew nothing about it." * 

"Jena was a magnificent battle, because it was the 
one event of a successful campaign, all my movements 
being connected with it. I ought not to have crossed the 
Vistula. It was the taking of Magdeburg that induced 
me to enter Poland. I did wrong. It led to terrible 
wars. But the idea of the re-establishment of Poland 
was a noble one. At Friedland my army was not so good 
as at Jena; there were too many new recruits. But 
where I erred most fatally was at Tilsit. I ought to have 
dethroned the King of Prussia. I hesitated a moment. 
I was sure that Alexander would not have opposed it, 
provided I had not taken the King's dominions for myself. 
I might have declared that the House of HohenzoUern had 
ceased to reign, because at the time of the definitive treaty 
that would have seemed quite natural. A little Hohenzol- 
lern who was figuring on Berthier' s staff, asked me to 
place him on that throne. I would have done so had he 
been of the same branch of the Hohenzollerns as the great 
Frederick, but his family for three hundred years had been 
separated from the elder branch, and I thought of the 
protestations that would certainly be made by the King 
of Prussia." 

"After Jena the Prussians ought to have fallen back 
on Magdeburg, and have defended Wittenburg and 
Torgau. They did badly throughout the war. I never 
saw men so completely beaten. At Ligny they were 

•The Prussian army, on the evening before the battle, mustered 150,000 
men. The next day its routed divisions were roaming about the country, fall- 
ing one after another into the enemy's hands. The Duke of Brunswick (the 
general who had invaded France in 1792) was wounded at Jena, and died of his 
wounds. He was the father of the duke who fell at Waterloo.— .£. W. L. 



NAPOLEON EMPEROR 125 

twice as many as we were. Brunswick usurped his repu- 
tation. Because he had carried on a little partisan war in 
France in 1792 he was exalted into a hero. Boufflers and 
other wits of the time were his friends. They praised 
him in the salons; they created his reputation. He was 
only a court general. His behavior in Champagne was 
very foolish. If Davout had not captured the bridge at 
Wittenburg the results that followed the battle of Jena 

would not have been so great Now, alas! we can 

no longer boast. We, too, have met reverses." 

"Kosciusko was a poor creature. One never could 
do anything with him. I never saw him." 

"I never signed any treaty about Poland. Caulain- 
court at Tilsit drew up one, but it was never signed." 

"The Queen of Prussia was a much superior woman 
to the Queen of Bavaria; but she came to Tilsit too late. 
The king would not summon her until he saw he could get 
nothing from me; but everything by the time she came 
had been settled. I went to call on her, but she received 
me in the tragic style, like Chimène in The Cid: 'Sire! 
Justice! Justice! Magdeburg!' She went on in this 
way, and greatly embarrassed me. At last to make her 
stop I begged her to sit down, knowing that nothing is so 
likely to cut short a tragic scene, for when one is seated 
its continuance turns it into comedy. She wore a most 
beautiful pearl necklace. I felicitated her upon it. All 
she would say was, 'Ah! my beautiful pearls.' We 
dined together, the King, Alexander, the Queen, I, etc. 
During the whole repast she would speak of nothing but 
Magdeburg. After dinner the King and the Emperor left 
me alone with her. She still pressed me. I offered her 
a rose which happened to be there. 'Yes,' she said, 
'but with Magdeburg!' 'Eh! Madame,' I replied, 'it is 
I who am offering the rose to you, not you to me.' 



Î26 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

When they were all gone, I sent for Talleyrand and 
ordered him to summon the other ministers, as I wanted 
the treaty signed that very evening, otherwise I said I 
should resume the campaign. I wanted Magdeburg to be 
a protection to my ally, the King of Saxony. 

"The King of Prussia was a real booby. Every time 
he came to see me to talk over important affairs, he never 
managed to say anything on the subject. He went off 
about shakos, buttons, skin haversacks, and a lot of 
other nonsense, while I did not know a word about such 
trifling military details." 

"Alexander always wore upon his heart a portrait of 
the two children he had had by the Princess Nariskine. 
The Empress is a foolish woman, much to blame for 
having borne no children. They say Prince Czartoryski 
was in love with her." ^ 

"Alexander begged me to detain the King of Prussia 
at Tilsit while he went into the country with the Queen. 
The King could not leave until I had paid him a farewell 
visit. I made him wait eight or ten hours. He sent me 
word that he would excuse my visit, but I returned for 
answer that I was anxious to see him. I firmly believe 
that the relations of Alexander with the Queen were 
merely those of friendly intimacy; all right, all honorable; 
but the King was a bore. When I wanted to converse 
with Alexander I was obliged to make plans, so as not to 
have him on my back all the time. The 'Manuscript from 
St. Helena' says truly, that I committed a great poHtical 

' It is a little remarkable that not one of the sovereigns who met to confer 
on the affairs of Europe at Tilsit had a son and heir. Napoleon and Alexander 
had no legitimate children ; the Emperor of Austria and the King of Prussia 
had no sons. Of the leading sovereigns in Europe at the time of the Treatj 
of Tilsit only the King of Prussia had sons. The Prince Regent in England 
had no child but Princess Charlotte. Perdinand of Spain never had a son. 
The King of Sardinia was childless. Joseph Bonaparte had only daughters. 
Sweden had to choose a successor for its King among Napoleon's marshals. 
The Due d'Angoulême, heir of Louis XVIIl., had no sons.— .£. W. L, 



NAPOLEON EMPEROR Î27 

blunder when I suffered that dynasty to continue to reign 
in Prussia. Yes; I ought to have changed it — and I 
could." 

"The Queen of Prussia was a cultivated and superior 
woman. She often interrupted me as we talked. One 
day in the presence of Alexander she tormented me to 
give her Magdeburg; she wished that I should bind my- 
self by a promise. I kept on refusing her gallantly and 
politely; there was a rose on the chimneypiece; I took 
it up and offered it to her. She drew back her hand, 
saying, 'On condition that it be with Magdeburg.' I 
replied at once, 'But, Madame, it is I who am offering 
you the rose.' After this I escorted her to her carriage. 
She asked for Duroc, whom she liked, and she began to 
cry, saying, 'I have been cruelly deceived.' " 

"The Emperor Alexander may talk about religion, but 
he is at heart a materialist! At Tilsit I had many con- 
versations with him on the subject." ' 

"In order to kill Paul the conspirators persuaded Alex- 
ander that his father had given orders for his arrest. 
Peter III. was assassinated because he had ahenated the 
priests and the common people." 

"Alexander at Tilsit flattered and cajoled the French 
generals. He was sly and deceitful. He cannot com- 
mand armies, and therefore is an embarrassment when 
with his troops, because generals do not like to go against 
the will of their emperor. ' ' 

' At Tilsit Alexander had not fallen under the influence of Madame de 
Kriidener, of which I have told in " Russia and Turkey in the Nineteenth 
Century."-£. W. L. 



CHAPTER VII. 

CAMPAIGNS OF 1809 IN SPAIN AND AUSTRIA. 

Affairs in Spain. — Battles of Essling and 
Wa<jram. 



Affairs in Spain. 
"I have been reading in the 'Moniteur' the letters 
written to me by the King of Spain and Ferdinand. Ma 
foi! when I saw that the son was bent on dethroning 
the father, and the mother maintained that her child was 
not the son of the King, I said, 'Let us drive them all 
out. Let there be no more Bourbons on the face of the 
earth!' ' After the campaign in Russia I made a great 
mistake in not sending Ferdinand back to Spain; that 
would have reinforced me with one hundred and eighty- 
thousand good soldiers. If I had had those men during 
the campaign of Lutzen what might not have been done 
with them! Metternich, during the conferences in Prague, 
said to the Emperor of Austria, 'Look out! Bonaparte will 
withdraw his army from Spain.' Until Vittoria Metter- 
nich was always saying: 'It is a pity the French armies 
in Spain are retreating. They will be sent to Germany.' 

1 The treaty of Tilsit was signed July 7, 1807, seven months after the open- 
ing of the campaign, and there was peace for a while among the great conti- 
nental sovereigns. War with England was carried on, but it was chiefly war 
upon the seas. Napoleon was bent upon subjugating Spain and Portugal, 
which were in close alliance with the English, and all English sympathy went 
to assist the patriotic struggle in the Peninsula. Napoleon had never expected 
such determined resistance as was offered to his armies by the insurrectionists 
in Spain. Hitherto he had conducted his campaigns with pitched battles and 
with large armies on both sides. The experience of warfare with a whole popu- 
lation, its men familiar with their rivers, crags, and mountain passes, was new 
to him and to his generals. Up to this time, when he occupied the capital and 
palace of a sovereign, both conqueror and conquered considered the war virtu- 
ally at an end. The occupation of Madrid by Murat and his French troops did 
no more to subdue the insurrection in Spain than the capture of Pretoria did 
the Boers. The first French army sent into Southern Spain was commanded 

128 



CAMPAIGNS OF 1809 129 

"Don't you see that misfortunes follow fast upon each 
other, and that when one is unfortunate all things turn 
out ill? If that battle of Vittoria had happened earlier, I 
should have signed the treaty of peace, but it happened 
just at the moment when I could not do so. When the 
Allies saw that I had lost that battle, my guns, and my 
baggage, and that the English were entering France, they 
thought I was lost. The French people behaved ex- 
tremely ill to me at that time. The Romans, after Cannae 
redoubled their efforts, but then every one was in dread 
of murder, rapine, and pillage. That is real war. But 
in these modern times warfare is all rose-water." 

"I made a great mistake at the time of the Spanish 
war. What I ought to have done was to adopt some 
young girl, and give her in marriage to Ferdinand, who 
asked me again and again to do so. People said to me, 
'What makes you hesitate? Because he is a Bourbon? 
He is such a fool that he does not know the difference 
between Monsieur de Montmorin and Monsieur de Bassano. 
He likes neither the French people nor the French nobil- 
ity. He will always need your support because of his 
colonies.' When he was at Valençay he wrote to me 
several times to ask me to give him one of Joseph's 
daughters. I committed a great mistake in putting that 

by General Dupont, who was forced to surrender to a Spanish force with all 
his 'army. His men were sent to the rocky island of Cabrera, where their 
sufferings were terrible. Often provisions could not reach them from the 
mainland. Of all this— and how my father. Captain Ralph Randolph Worme- 
ley, then in command of the Minorca, was sent by Admiral Sir Charles Cotton 
to report on the condition of things on the island (Sir Charles had no diplo- 
matic excuse for interfering with the treatment of French prisoners by the 
Spaniards I, how he relieved their necessities, and Sir Charles Cotton paved the 
way for their exchange— 1 have told in "Spain in the Nineteenth Century.' 
Also of the extraordinary proceedings at Bayonne. where all the royal person- 
ages of Spain threw themselves at the feet of Napoleon. 

Napoleon in his talks with Gourgaud, did not make many observations 
about the war in Spain, but he had much to say about the famous battles in his 
campaign against Austria in 1809. He had poured troops over the Pyrenees to 
effect the subjugation of the Peninsula, and Austria, thinking it a good time 
to avenge her defeat at Austerlitz, collected her armies and roused the miscel- 
laneous populations in her empire to rise against the French, who in many 
instances had left garrisons and troops in the countries they had conquered. 
-£. W. L. 



130 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

fool of a Joseph on the Spanish throne. I proposed to 
Ferdinand at Valençay to send him back to Spain. But 
he would not return to his own country, except on condi- 
tion that I would promise never to make war on him. I 
would not do that; I wanted the Spaniards. In three 
years I could have regenerated them. I did wrong to 
keep Ferdinand so long in France. In the end I signed a 
treaty with him, by which he bound himself to marry 
Joseph's daughter when I should have made peace. It 
was the campaign in Spain which hindered me from 
negotiating for peace with the English." 

"Spain needed a very different king from my brother 
Joseph. Blacke said it required a man three times more 
firm than I am. We are not severe enough in France 
toward governors of strong places who capitulate, or 
admirals who surrender. The English are more harsh, 
and they do well." 

"Compare the sieges in Spain with those of the Rus- 
sians. Think of Ossakoff filling the trenches with the 
corpses of his soldiers! I would never have put more 

than two hundred men into Badajos Breaches 

should never be attacked with too many men at a time. 
If there are too many it will cause loss and confusion." 

"Massena in Portugal began by doing a foohsh thing; 
he ought to have turned the position at Busaco — he who 
knew perfectly how to make war among mountains. But 
he had a personal spite against Wellington, who he said 
was a polisson,^ a man whom he had promised me he 
would take prisoner! At the Moskwa I made an attack 
on the Russian army's strong position, but then I wanted 
to bring on a battle. Massena might have attacked the 
lines of Torres Vedras the very day that he arrived 
before them. It is true that would have been ex- 
tremely prompt. It is only right, as a rule, first to 

* A cowardly scoundrel. 



CAMPAIGNS OF 1809 131 

reconnoitre the position one is going to attack, but I can- 
not believe that hnes eight leagues in extent could not 
have been forced at some point. He remained a whole 
month before them, doing nothing, just because he 
wanted to have things all his own way. Ah! Massena — 
Massena! He ought to have blushed to retreat before a 
general he considered a polisson. Afterwards he took up 
a position at Santarem, and did everything he could to 
establish on the Tagus a connection with Soult. That, 
too, was a piece of folly! That position at Santarem 
Wellington could have easily turned. Reynier wrote me 
that he feared something bad might come of it, and was 
in a state of continual alarm. It is certain that had I been 
Wellington, I should have made myself master of Mas- 
sena's bad position, which he maintained only to save his 
own pride. Afterwards, in March, he decided to evacu- 
ate Portugal. Then, why did he not fall back on Coimbra? 
He might have maintained himself there. Massena is 
brave on a battle-field, but is a poor general." 

"Soult might have captured the whole English army 
at Roncesvalles. He failed to do so. He was a man 
good in counsel, but weak in execution. He was not as 
good as Prince Charles. We have no very good generals. 
The Austrian staff officers are better than ours." 

"His Majesty," says Gourgaud, "assured me that if 
he had remained in Spain ^ he could have subdued the 

' On January 22, 1809, Napoleon arrived in Paris, having hastened back 
from Spain, riding post-horses, attended by a single aide-de-camp, whose horse 
and his own horse he was seen tlogging with a postillion's heavy whip along the 
roads. He was anxious to avoid another war with Austria, and came home 
with this speed to superintend negotiations. But war had been decided on 
by Austria, and it was declared on the 3d of April. On April 21 was fought 
the battle of Landshut, the Archduke Charles losing g,ooo men, thirty guns, 
and all his baggage. A few days later was fought the battle of Eckraiihl, in 
which Davout particularly distinguished himself. The defeated Austrians 
sought refuge in Ratisbon. That city was stormed by Napoleon, who was 
wounded in the foot, to the great consternation of his soldiers. He hardly 
waited to have the wound dressed, and then rode along their lines to assure 
them of his safety. 

On May 10 Vienna again received Napoleon as her conqueror, and he 
again made his headquarters in the Imperial Palace of Schônbrunn. The Arch- 



132 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

Peninsula. He thought he ought to have stayed there a 
month longer, and have driven Sir John Moore into the 
sea. The English would have been discouraged, and 
would not have ventured on the Continent again, and he 
added, 'Austria is the cause that I am here.' " 

"As to the Continental Blockade, England in every- 
thing shows herself insatiable ; and when she manufactures 
more than she can find a market for, there will be a glut. 
The people will have grown accustomed to low prices, 
and when the merchants find no outlet for their goods, 
they will revolt. I have taught nations on the Continent 
to do without England. They will act henceforth on what 
I have taught them." 

Battles of Essling and Wagram. 

"It was a splendid movement that I made at Landshut 
in 1809. Berthier had lost his head when I reached the 
seat of war. Pire came and told me that Davout was 
surrounded and was about to be lost. I might have 
pursued the Austrians into Bohemia, but then they would 
have retreated on Prague. Besides, I had no object in 
this war; Austria had made war on me. I did indeed 
think of separating the three crowns, but then again I 
considered that it was well to leave a great power intact 
to oppose Russia, if necessary. But for Essling I might 
have demolished the Austrian monarchy, but Esshng cost 
me dear, and I gave up the plan. When I reached 

duke Charles collected another army and confronted his enemy on the opposite 
bank of the Danube. Between them was the wide and rapid river with its 
island of Lobau. On May 21, 1809, the drawn battle of Essling was fought, 
both sides claiming a victory. There was then a six weeks' pause. The Arch- 
duke, weakened by losses, did not take the offensive. 

On July 6 was fought the famous battle of Wagram. At its close there 
remained in the hands of Napoleon twenty thousand prisoners and all the 
Archduke's artillery and baggage. After this an armistice was concluded, and 
peace was signed in October. Its terms were more favorable to Austria than 
could have been expected, but Napoleon had already conceived the plan of a 
divorce and was contemplating a second marriage. He had hoped at Tilsit to 
induce Alexander to give him one of the Grand Duchesses, but her mother so 
strongly opposed the match that the project was abandoned. His final choice 
fell on the Emperor of Austria's young daughter, the Archduchess Marie 
Louise, and in every way it was a disastrous marriage. — E. W. L, 



CAMPAIGNS OF 1809 133 

Vienna I feared lest Prince Charles, who was on the left 
bank of the Danube, might have advanced on Lintz, which 
would have obliged me to quit the capital. I wanted to 
have a bridge over the Danube so as to follow him up if 
he made that move." 

Gourgaud remarks, "But, Sire, if he had crossed at 
Lintz he might have marched on Vienna." 

"Yes, that would have been going forward and back, 
but in such cases one must be guided by circumstances. 
That was why when I reached Vienna I wanted to take 
possession of the island of Lobau. It was like besieging 
the Danube. Once on the island, there was only one arm 
of the river to cross, not wider than the Seine. I made a 
mistake in not putting my whole army across to the island 
more rapidly. But a great flood came. I do not think 
the bridge was destroyed by the enemy, but by the sudden 
flood. Lasalle warned me that the whole force of the 
enemy was there. When I had examined the field of 
battle, as I had not enough soldiers to guard Enzendorf, 
Essling, and Aspern, I at first thought of taking up a 
position behind Essling on the Danube, but then I saw 
that the position at Essling was too important to be aban- 
doned. I hoped by the twenty-second to have Davout to 
line the road between Essling and Enzendorf. In the 
night between the twenty-first and twenty-second, I had a 
great notion of passing over again to the island, but the 
disorder reigning on the bridge convinced me that it would 
be impossible. The wme was drawn; we had to drink it. 
It was a mistake not to have thrown another bridge over 
the lesser branch, still no one can say that Essling was a 
lost battle. The enemy lost so many men that he dared 
not renew the attack. Each side was busy licking its 
wounds. I ought not to have put back the bridge, and I 
ought to have placed ten thousand men in the wood. 

"When the battle of Wagram took place I was afraid 
that Prince Charles would attack Lintz. That worried 



134 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST HELENA 

me very much. My bridges were only half made, I had 
a new one constructed where I had had one at the time of 
the battle of Essling, to draw the enemy to that point. 
The Austrians thought that the mouse meant to come out 
where she went in. They constructed ever so many 
redoubts. When I crossed over I endeavored to make a 
great stir, so as to prevent the Austrians from forming in 
line of battle, for they never manoeuvre well or promptly 
when they are attacked upon the march. Davout made 
too great a detour. Bernadotte did not do well with his 
Saxons, and the Austrians took up their position. Their 
line was more extended than mine. I had left a space 
between my left and the Danube, but I had great masses 
in reserve. I wished to force their left and to protect my 
own. They, however, outflanked my left, passing through 
the gap, but my reserves made a change of front to the 
left, and the right wing of the enemy was in danger of 
being driven into the river. Schwartzenberg told me 
afterwards that it was this movement more than the effect 
of the artillery of the Guard which obliged them to 
retreat. In doing this they opposed a great mass of artil- 
lery to mine, many French were killed, and fewer Austri- 
ans. I knew that the Archduke John was coming up. 
That evening there was an alarm. I was in bed, but I 
got up and mounted my horse. I ought to have repulsed 
them more quickly, but that scoundrel Marmont had done 
badly at Znaim and I had to consent to make peace. 

"It was my marriage with the Archduchess that led 
me to make war on Russia. Prussia wanted to aggrandize 
herself, and I thought myself sure of her support, and 
that of Austria. I really had no other allies. I was too 
much in a hurry. I ought to have stayed a year on the 
Niémen and in Prussia, resting and reorganizing my army; 
by that time I could have eaten up Prussia. My troops 
were much fatigued by the long marches they had made 
to reach the Russian frontier." 



CHAPTER VIII. 

DOMESTIC RELATIONS. 

Napoleon's Two Empresses. — His Brothers and 
Sisters. — His Stepson and Stepdaughter. — 
His Son Napoleon, King of Rome and Due de 
Reichstadt. 



Napoleon's Two Empresses. 

"His Majesty," says Gourgaud, "was very gay, and 
talked to-day of his two Empresses. Josephine and Marie 
Louise, he said, were very different. The latter was 
passivity itself. Eugene and Hortense were not like their 
mother." 

His Majesty declared that he preferred fair women to 
dark women. "When I heard Marie Louise was fair I 
was very glad." 

"When I met Marie Louise on the road to Fontaine- 
bleau I stopped her carriage. I did not want her to 
know who I was, but the Queen of Naples, who was sit- 
ting beside her, called out, 'There is the Emperor!' I 
sprang into the travelling carriage, and embraced Marie. 
The poor girl had learned a long speech by heart, which 
she was to kneel and say to me. She had just been 
rehearsing it. I had asked Metternich and the Bishop of 
Nantes if I should be justified in passing the night under 
the same roof with her. They said, 'Certainly,' and that, 
having been married by proxy, she was my Empress and 
no longer an Archduchess. I asked her what they had 
told her before she left Vienna. 'When you find your- 
self alone with the Emperor Napoleon, you must do 
exactly what he tells you. You must obey him in every- 

135 



136 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

thing that he requires of you.' She was a charming 

young girl I made a great mistake in placing 

Madame de Montebello ' at the head of her household. I 
did it to please the Army, and it was not necessary. 
Marie Louise liked my new nobility better than the old 
noblesse. Archdukes and archduchesses consider them- 
selves so great that all nobles are on the same level in their 
eyes. Madame de Beauvau in Madame de Montebello's 
place would have done much better. Madame de Monte- 
bello dishonored herself by not remaining with Marie 
Louise after she left France. I wanted to give her 
Narbonne as her chevalier d 'honneur; he was very desir- 
ous to have the place, and would have filled it admirably. 
He would have reported everything to me. But Marie 
would not consent. She did not like Madame de Monte- 
bello. She never told falsehoods. She was very re- 
served, and showed no open dislike even to those she 
detested. At Vienna they had taught her to act gra- 
ciously, even to^ ministers that she could not endure. 
When she wanted money she asked me for it, and was 
delighted when I gave her ten thousand francs. That 
charmed me; for she was very discreet. Anything might 
have been confided to her. She was a closed box in the 
matter of secrets. She was not very fond of her father. 
I did wrong to let Isabey give her drawing lessons. When 
I entered the room while the lessons were going on, he 
seemed embarrassed. He was a fanatic. Prudhon would 
have been better. People of that sort are all spies. 

"I think, although I loved Marie Louise very sincerely, 
that I loved Josephine better. That was natural; we had 
risen together; and she was a true wife; the wife I had 
chosen. She was full of grace, graceful even in the way 
she prepared herself for bed; graceful in undressing her- 
self. I should have liked an Albano to see her then, that he 
might have painted her. Marie was as sincere as Joseph- 

' The widow of Marshal Lannes. 



DOMESTIC RELATIONS I37 

ine was diplomatic. Josephine always began by saying 
'No,' that she might have time for consideration. She 
made debts and expected me to pay them. Once a month 
she made resolutions to economize, and would pour out 
everything she had on her heart to me. She was a true 
Parisienne. I never should have parted from her if she 
could have borne me a son; but, ma foi " 

"Assuredly but for my marriage with Marie I never 
should have made war on Russia; but I felt certain of the 
support of Austria, and I was wrong, for Austria is the 
natural enemy of France." 

"Cardinal Fesch is opinionated. He has little learn- 
ing, and is a zealous Papist; but he has an excellent heart. 
He would go through flames for me, and that is why I 
have confided to him my papers. One day Marie con- 
sulted the Bishop of Nantes, to know if she might eat 
meat on fast-days. 

" 'Do you mean at the table of His Majesty?' 

" 'Yes.' 

" 'In that case you can. You ought to do what the 
Emperor does, and give rise to no scandals. Even sup- 
posing His Majesty does wrong in eating meat, you had 
better imitate him; that will do less harm than if a refusal 
on your part led to a scandal, a disagreement, or a quarrel.' 

"Marie told me all this. Well! Fesch would have 
said, 'Throw your plate at his head, rather than eat meat 
on fast-days.' One could talk with the Bishop of 
Nantes. I asked him once if dogs might not have souls. 
He replied that there might be some place prepared for 
them in another world, for that there were some dogs and 
some horses that had marvellous intelligence 

"Marie always liked to be without a fire, and she 
insisted on having five or six lighted candles all night in 
her room. She was afraid of ghosts." 

"Josephine wished to marry Hortense to Monsieur de 



138 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

Gontaut-Biron, but his family feared lest the Terrorists 
might again get the upper hand, and as at that time the 
Jacobins were very bitter against me, the Gontaut family 
was not willing to run the risk of incurring their enmity." 

"Fouché had the impertinence, unauthorized by me, 
to speak to Josephine about divorce. As if I had had 
any need of his assistance ! When I made up my mind, I 
said to the Empress: 'You have children; I have none. 
You must feel the necessity that lies upon me of strength- 
ening my dynasty. To do that I must be divorced and 
marry again. That will be to the advantage of your chil- 
dren. You cannot alter my resolve, though you may 
weep. Reasons of State go before everything. You 
must submit with a good grace, for whether you will or 
no, I am determined.' " 

"Josephine never would acknowledge her age. Accord- 
ing to her calculation, Eugene must have been bom twelve 
years old!" 

"When I told Josephine I wanted a divorce, she did 
everything that tears could do to dissuade me.' I told 
her that if fifty thousand men had to die for the good of 
their country, I should certainly grieve for their fate, but 
should feel that reasons of State must be my first consid- 
eration. Then, in spite of Josephine's tears, I said to 
her: 'Will you submit willingly, or must I use force.!* My 
mind is made up.' Josephine the next day sent me word 
that she consented. But when we sat down to table, she 
gave a scream and fainted. Mademoiselle d'Albert had 
to carry her away." ^ 

• Marchand, Napoleon's valet, told Gourgaud that Josephine used to say 
that the only way to manage Napoleon was by pertinacity. 

*" Madame Bertrand is kind-hearted," says Gourgaud; "1 think she is 
the only person at Longwood who has humane instincts and a feeling heart. 
She told me: ' It was 1 who told the Emperor that the Empress Josephine 
was dead. When he met me on his arrival at Elba he made me get into his 
carriage to tell him the last news from Paris. I told him of the death of the 
Empress Josephine. His face did not change ; he only exclaimed ; " Ah ! she 
is happy now!" ' " 



DOMESTIC RELATIONS 139 

"It was my having wedded a princess of Austria that 
ruined me. How could I have supposed that Austria 
would act as she has done?" 

"When a man is fifty years old he can seldom be in 
love, Berthier could, but my heart is turned to bronze. 
I ne^er was in love, except perhaps with Josephine — a 
little. And I was twenty-seven years old when I first 
knew her. I had a sincere affection for Marie Louise. 
But I am a little like Gassion, who said he did not think 
life was worth giving to others." 

"If I lost the Empress I would not marry again. 
.... I amazed the Bishop of Nantes by quoting to him 
whole passages from the writings of Saint Bernard, which 
are in the 'Lives of the Saints.' .... The enthusiasm 
of those saints carried them away." 

"Madame d'Arenberg^ is a créole. She wished me 
to make her Queen of Spain, but I never would have con- 
sented to give such a wife to the King. I had much regard 
for the d'Arenberg family. They were like sovereigns in 
Brussels and Belgium. But I became disgusted and dis- 
satisfied with Madame d'Arenberg, and gave up seeing 
her. At the time of my divorce Lucien's daughter came 
to Paris. She stayed with Madame d'Arenberg, and 
found fault with everything; she has a biting tongue. I 
asked Caroline why Lucien's daughter came to Paris. 
After some pressing I found out that all the family were 
intriguing to make me marry her. I strongly opposed 
this idea. She is my niece. I said I should feel I was 
committing incest. 

"I at first thought of choosing some Parisian lady for 
my wife. I looked over a list of five or six women. But 
almost everybody I consulted advised an alliance with 
Austria, except Fouché and Cambacérès, who were afraid, 

' Née Tascher, a native of Martinique and niece of Josephine. 



Î40 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

because of their own conduct in the days of the Revolu- 
tion. In the end they saw they had had no cause for 
apprehension." 

Before Napoleon's second marriage the Queen of 
Naples besides Pauline and Hortense tried to teach him to 
waltz, that he might dance with the Empress, but he 
never could learn. Eugene danced well. 

"I wish I had made Narbonne the Empress's cheva- 
lier d^ honneur. She did not like Beauharnais, who had 
the place, but made fun of him. She would never have 
agreed, however, that I should displace him for Narbonne. 
I ought to have done it, however. Narbonne was a man 
of ability and much judgment. At Smolensk some one 
asked him what he thought of the expedition into Russia; 
he answered, 'It is the ruin of the Empire.' At Dresden 
he urged me to make peace, though he felt certain Austria 
did not really wish for it. I should have done well to 
follow his advice. I ought to have made him my Minister 
for Foreign Affairs, instead of Caulaincourt, who was a 
man of no ability, incapable of diplomatic correspondence, 
and too much occupied with details to make a good 
minister." 

"Marie Louise was innocence itself, incapable of 
deception; she was opposite in that to Josephine. She 
loved me. She always wanted to be with me. If she 
had been well advised, and had not had around her cette 
canaille de Montebello, and that wretch Corvisart, she 
would have come with me to Elba; but they reminded her 
that her aunt had been guillotined in France, and circum- 
stances were too much for her. Since then her father has 
placed in her service that scoundrel Neipperg!" ' 

' " Every one," says Gourgaud, "is blaming the Empress for amusing her- 
self with Neipperg, while the Emperor is here at St. Helena, and they are ask- 
ing, 'Is that Neipperg a handsome fellow?' " In spite of these reports Napoleon 
took every opportunity (and the zealous care of Sir Hudson Lowe made them 
very few) of sending presents and messages to the Empress. 




HO R TENSE DE BEAUHARNAIS 
Qiiee/t oj Holland 



DOMESTIC RELATIONS 1 41 

"The Empress Marie Louise has much more ability 
than the Emperor of Austria, her father. She could not 
bear her stepmother, the Empress Beatrix, who used to 
write her long letters, eight to ten pages at a time; such 
letters as an old woman might write to a young one. It 
was mere pretension and pedantry. Beatrix, however, 
was much more intelligent than the Emperor Francis. 
His people will be very well pleased at his present marriage, 
with Princess Augusta of Saxony, because they feared the 
influence Marie Louise might exert over her father." 

"Princess Augusta of Saxony is thirty-five; she may 
bear children to the Emperor of Austria. She was 
brought up with the idea that she might become Queen of 
Poland. She likes the French and the Poles. Her rela- 
tions are good people. Do you say that she and Marie 
Louise may possibly influence the Emperor Francis in our 
fate, and that we — Ah! sovereigns and princes are 
moved only by fear." 

"Duty was always the line of Marie Louise's conduct. 
She fancied that Josephine was an old woman, so I said 
to Josephine: 'She thinks you are old. If she were to 
see you, she would weep, and I should be forced to send 
you away. It is not as it was in the time of Henri IV., 
when you, dear,* would have been expected to hold up 
the train of her robe.' " 

Napoleon's Brothers and Sisters. 

The Emperor spoke of the Corsicans as brave, but 
always ready to give a dagger thrust for nothing. He 
said they were a kind-hearted people, but ferocious. "My 
family were of the first rank in Corsica, where I still have 
many relations." ^ 

* I have added the word dear, because otherwise the reader would miss 
the tenderness in this speech, shown by its loving tntoiment.—E. W. L. 

'The children of Charles Bonaparte and Letitia Ramolino were all bap- 
tized in Corsica, and received Italian names : 



142 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

**Murat will probably join Joseph in America.^ Joseph 
has money. As for me, I have been too constantly occu- 
pied in State affairs to attend much to my own, and to 
think of making money. ' ' 

''Joseph will marry his daughters to French officers 
now in America, and will give them each a million. He 
has put au^ay plenty of money. His father-in-law told 
him confidentially that I was sure to be killed. I dare say 
he has twenty- five million francs. He cannot marry his 

daughters to American men of business Regnault^ 

is de la canaille. Lallemand is a good officer.* 

"This news* gives me no satisfaction. Joseph has 
talent, but he hates work. He knows nothing of the art 
of war, though he thinks he does. He does not know if 
a redoubt is strong, nor how to attack it. He knows 
nothing. He likes to enjoy himself. He must have a 
large fortune, possibly twenty milHons. He would there- 
fore make a great mistake if he mixed himself up with any 
revolution. To do that with success a man must be more 
unscrupulous than he is; have more brains, and not be 
afraid of cutting off people's heads. He is a great deal 
too soft-hearted; nevertheless he has plenty of ambition. 
He believes in his own ability. A crown is a great temp- 
Giuseppe (Joseph); Napoleone (Napoleon); Luciano (Lucien); Luigi 
(Louis) ; Geronimo (Jerome); Mariana (who became Elisa); Parletta (who 
became Marie Pauline); Annunciada (who became Caroline, Queen of Naples). 
There must have been five other children who died in infancy, for 
Napoleon says his mother had had thirteen children and was left a widow at 
thirty.— 75. W.L. 

» About two months after reaching St. Helena, news arrived that Prince 
Joseph had reached America. The Emperor, on hearing it, remained thought- 
ful for some time, then expressed satisfaction. Joseph had followed the 
Emperor to Rochefort, had ottered to take his place and pass himself off for 
his brother, while the Emperor should escape by embarking on a ship Joseph 
had engaged to take him to America. 

= A French officer then in exile in America. 

^^Both these ladies married their cousins. Zenaïde married the son of 
Lucien ; Charlotte, the younger, married Napoleon Louis, elder brother of the 
Emperor Napoleon IIL He died soon after their marriage. 

* About two months after reaching St. Helena news came that a deputa- 
tion of Spanish-American revolutionists had invited Prince Joseph to put him- 
self at their head.— £. W. L. 



DOMESTIC RELATIONS 143 

tation. He could employ the French officers now in the 
United States, and perhaps it may suit England to sepa- 
rate Spanish America from its parent state. 

"Still — a Frenchman in that country! That seems 
too much for me! If I hear he has succeeded, I shall say 
I am very glad. But to know that he is about to take his 
chance in such an enterprise gives me pain. Anyhow, 
here — we cannot know the truth about what is now pass- 
ing in the rest of the world." 

"With the army I generally travelled in a carriage 
during the day with a good, thick pelisse on, because night 
is the time when a commander-in-chief should work. If he 
fatigues himself uselessly during the day, he will be too 
tired to work in the evening. At Vittoria we were defeated 
because Joseph slept too long. If I had slept the night 
before Eckmlihl I could never have executed that superb 
manoeuvre, the finest I ever made. With fifty thousand 
men I there defeated one hundred and twenty-five thou- 
sand. I multiplied myself by my activity. I woke up 
Lannes by kicking him repeatedly; he was so sound 
asleep. Ah! mon Dieu! perhaps the rain on the seven- 
teenth of June had more to do than is supposed with the 
loss of Waterloo. If I had not been so weary, I should 
have been on horseback all night. Events that seem very 
small often have very great results." 

Speaking of the capture of Paris by the Allies in 1814, 
Gourgaud says he thought that when Prince Joseph with 
the Empress quitted Paris so abruptly, he did it in hopes 
that the capture of Paris would force His Majesty to make 
peace. 

"No! he knew very well that Paris being taken all 
was lost.^ He had seen a corps of cavalry coming up on 

• Gourgaud says : "The heights around Paris, which ought to have been 
fortified, were not. Everywhere want of preparation was evident. There were 
batteries of six-pound guns supplied with balls for eight-pounders. Your 
Majesty's brother Joseph went oti without leaving any orders. An aide-de- 
camp of Marmont's rode after him, hoping to get some, but failed to come up 
with him. 1 think he wanted thus to force Your Majesty to make peace." 



144 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

the left, and was afraid of being cut off. Joseph is not 
a soldier, and has no soldierly courage. He would stay 
under fire, but be all the time tightening his belt; for he 
is constitutionally timid. The Empress would have re- 
mained in Paris, but would not have given orders. I did 
very wrong to make Joseph a king, especially of Spain, a 
country that needed a firm and vigorous sovereign. But 
at Madrid Joseph was always thinking about women. 
He is clever, but he accounts himself a soldier, and has 
no knowledge of the art of war. He has done me a 
great deal of harm, and will do me more if he join 
the revolutionists in South America. He is not the 
proper man to head a revolution. When I was First 
Consul my brothers had no households, but people paid 
court to them, because of me! Lafayette and Mathieu 
de Montmorency were always at Joseph's. When he was 
King of Naples he asked me to give them to him for 
chamberlains, and tormented me to do so. I left him free 
to ask them, but they slipped out of his hands. My 
brothers have done me a great deal of harm." 

"Great private fortunes are made in India, and great 
riches come from that source into England. It was so 
with France during the war with Spain. Joseph worried 
me to make the custom-houses prevent money from com- 
ing out of his Kingdom, or else to send it back to his 
Treasury, which would have required proof of whence it 
came. I pointed out to him that the generals would then 
invest their booty in diamonds, or send their money to 
England, which might lead to their betraying us. Spain 
would lose as much as ever, and we should gain nothing. ' ' 

"There comes a time when a man gets tired of every- 
thing; more or less wealth does nothing to affect his hap- 
piness, provided he has what is necessary for his wants. 
Prince Louis has two hundred thousand francs income; 



DOMESTIC RELATIONS 145 

well, in alms and chanties he spends a hundred and fifty 
thousand. Do not you think that his is a noble exist- 
ence? I repeat, money and honors will not make men 
happy." 

The Emperor declared that he never should have 
thought Madame de Lavalette capable of such a deed as 
was reported of her.' He thought her a little fool. He had 
prevented her marriage with his brother Louis Bonaparte, 
because she was the daughter of émigrés. Perhaps he did 
wrong. Afterwards he was very reluctant to marry Louis 
to Hortense. He would have preferred that his brother 
had married a young lady in good society in Paris, and 
that his step-daughter should marry the heir of some 
great old French family. That would have been much 
better, but at the time of their marriage they were not 
great enough to succeed in doing this, and were obliged 
to marry each other. 

We talked of Prince Louis. Montholon said that 
when he left Gratz he was deeply regretted. He had 
done much good there. He had given two country 
houses to his friends. 

The Emperor said: "Louis was a booby. And yet 
I brought him up myself! He cannot be older than Gour- 

' Madame de Lavalette was the niece of Josephine by marriage, Made- 
moiselle de Beauharnais, cousin and intimate friend of Hortense. They had 
been pupils together at the famous school of Madame Campan. Lavalette 
had been Postmaster General under Napoleon. In 1815, after the departure of 
the King for Ghent, he retained his place and did great service for the cause of 
his old master. For this he was condemned to death at the same time as Ney and 
Labédoyère. Two days before the date fixed for his execution his wife had 
permission to dine with him. She came in a sedan chair, with her little girl 
and a governess. When she left in the evening she was supported by the child 
and governess, with her handkerchief to her face, apparently weeping bitterly. 
The keeper of the prison, gomg soon after to Lavalette's place of confinement, 
found him gone and his wife sitting there. The governess had worn two suits 
of woman's clothes. Every search was made ; nothing was found but the sedan 
chair, in which the little girl had been left alone. Her father and the governess 
had escaped mysteriously. Lavalette remained a fortnight in hiding in Paris, 
but communicated with Sir Robert Wilson and two other English gentlemen. 
They procured him the uniform of an English colonel, and late in the evening 
of January 7, 1816, he went to the residence of Sir Robert Wilson. The next 
morning, in a cabriolet, he and Sir Robert passed the barriers, which had been 
guarded to prevent Lavalette's escape. He safely reached Germany; but the 



146 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST HELENA 

gaud. When he was a small boy he made poetry. I 
dare say he could then have written the bad romances he 
wrote afterwards, but for heaven's sake, why did he get 
them pubUshed? He surely was inspired by the devil. 
.... I heard he had lent money to the King of 
Prussia." * 

"That article in the Quarterly Review is a libel as 
regards Waterloo," said Gourgaud on June 23, 1817. 

"Ah! let us speak of something else," said Napoleon; 
"this subject puts me in a bad temper. The Review 
tells of Louis and Lucien. After the i8th Brumaire, Lucien 
tormented me to let him marry the Queen of Etruria — 
him ! who was then posing as a Republican ! Yet I never 
knew a more ambitious man. Such a marriage was not 
then part of my pohcy; quite the contrary! I felt the 
necessity of being thought more in sympathy than I was 
with Repubhcan principles. Then Lucien, seeing that I 
would not have him make this marriage, told me that in 
that case he would marry some disreputable woman. I 
had no fear of him, and the Republicans had no esteem 
for him. What an idea it was of his to go and dedicate 
his epic to the Pope ! ^ I made a great mistake when, in 
181 5, I thought he might be of use to me. He did not 
rally to me a single person." 

French Government, irritated by his escape, had the cruelty to imprison his 
poor wife, who lost her reason. In 1840 my father and mother had an apart- 
ment in the Rue Matignon, in Paris, Next door to us lived this poor lady. We 
never saw her; she was quite insane. She drove out occasionally with an 
attendant, but got into her carriage in the courtyard, to avoid observation.— 
£. W. L. 

» Louis, after he abdicated the throne of Holland, July i, 1810, took the 
name of Comte de St. Leu, his country place in the north of France. Napoleon, 
who looked upon his eldest son as his heir, had already claimed bis guardian- 
ship, but the boy died, to the great grief of his parents and his uncle. Two 
sons were left— Napoleon Louis and Louis Napoleon. The elder was claimed 
by his father after his separation from Hortense ; the younger remained with 
his mother. Both joined the carbonari in Italy in 1831, and the elder died 
near Ancona while engaged in a revolt. He had recently married his cousin 
Charlotte, daughter of Joseph Bonaparte. The history of all these personages 
is told in my " France in the Nineteenth Century."— .£. W. L. 

» " Charlemagne." 



DOMESTIC RELATIONS 147 

"Lucien is in Rome, where he has great steel works. 
When I was at Elba, he wanted me to give him my miner- 
als for nothing." * 

Of Jerome, Napoleon's youngest brother, whom he destined 
for the navy, but made King of Westphalia, no mention whatever 
is made in these familiar talks with Gourgaud. He had entirely 
broken with the Emperor some years before. A gentleman, 
prominent fifty years ago in the literary circles of Boston, told 
me that when he was in Europe in his youth he visited King 
Jerome at Cassel, his capital, and that that Prince showed him his 
correspondence with the Emperor. The American gentleman 
was amazed that he should have been willing to do so, for every 
letter was filled with reproaches, administered in Napoleon's 
somewhat brutal way. The last letter said, "You are such a fool 
I will write to you no more; nor do I care to hear from you. All 
correspondence between us can be conducted by our secretaries." 

Jerome, after abdicating his throne, joined his brother in 
1815, and fought bravely at Waterloo, where he was wounded 
but is said to have exclaimed, "We ought to die here! We can 
die nowhere better than here !" 

When a lieutenant in the navy he married in Baltimore with 
all the ceremonial of the Catholic Church, Miss Elizabeth Pater- 
son. Napoleon never countenanced this marriage, but in 1807 
forced his brother to marry a Princess of Wiirtemburg, stepniece 
by marriage to the Prince Regent of England. This Princess was 
a woman whom all who read her history must delight to honor. 
When, after the downfall of the Napoleons, she was entreated to 
abandon her husband, like Marie Louise, she wrote to her father: 
"You obliged me to marry a man I did not know, and therefore 
could not love. I have been his wife in his prosperity; I will not 
forsake him now that that prosperity has gone." 

Madame Bonaparte of Baltimore, about the same time got a 
divorce from the legislature at Annapolis, and became legally 
Elizabeth Paterson, though she was still called Madame Bona- 
parte. Her son, Jerome Bonaparte, was strikingly like his uncle, 
the Emperor, though his complexion was more florid. In 1840 
my father took me to see him at a hotel in Geneva. He talked 
freely, and seemed delighted at my father's cordial recognition of 
his likeness to the Emperor. His two sons, Jerome and Charles 
Bonaparte, have in every way done credit to their illustrious 

' Lucien's son Charles, the Prince of Canino, came to America, and is 
known by his admirable work on .American ornithology. 



148 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

name. Jerome graduated at West Point with honor. He married 
a near relative of Daniel Webster. Charles stands foremost among 
the honored and respected citizens of Baltimore. It is said that the 
Emperor Napoleon III. offered these young men wealth and rank 
if they would become Frenchmen, and acknowledge the illegiti- 
macy of their mother's marriage. These offers were refused. 

The children of Jerome and the Princess Catherine of Wiir- 
temburg were Jerome Napoleon and Mathilde. Jerome Napoleon 
is better known as Plon-Plon. He was conspicuous as the cousin 
and companion of Napoleon III. He married Princess Clotilde, 
daughter of King Victor Emmanuel. Prince Victor Napoleon, 
the present Italian pretender to the imperial throne of France, is 
his eldest son. Prince Louis (General Bonaparte in the Russian 
service) is the younger. Before Napoleon III.'s marriage Princess 
Mathilde did the honors of the French court. 

Although King Jerome had expressed a wish to die at 
Waterloo, he survived till i860. In 1847, when we lived in an 
apartment in the Rue Neuve de Berri on the corner of the Champs 
Élysées, King Jerome occupied a hotel opposite to us. Paris was 
in great excitement in 1847. It was on the eve of a revolution 
which had no leader, and no well-recognized aim. Possibly King 
Jerome foresaw that chance for Napoleonism which came three 
years later. At any rate, at night close carriages used to drive 
into his courtyard, presumably containing persons of note who 
did not wish themselves known. But before the days of February, 
1848, the old brother of Napoleon received notice from the govern- 
ment that he had better remove. The noise of the carriages 
ceased, and we slept in quiet. King Jerome saw the Second 
Empire in its glory, his children prosperous, and had no premo- 
nition of the collapse that was to take place in another ten years. 

"Pauline is in Rome, where she sees many English 
people. All the better, so many of my enemies are 
gained over by her." 

"When Madame Bertrand was in the Isle of Elba she 
never came to see me; but she often visited my sister 
Pauline, who made her presents — a dress or some such 
thing. So, on my return to Paris I would not give 
Madame Bertrand my portrait set with diamonds. You 
complain that the Bertrands will not do little services 



DOMESTIC RELATIONS 149 

for you ; that is because Bertrand is absorbed in his wife, 
and thinks of nothing but his children! See how httle 
they do for me! Men are Uke that. You are young, and 
you get too much attached to people; you should laugh 
with them and be polite to them, and amiable, but never 
give your heart to another man as you might to a mistress. " 

Madame mire wrote to the Emperor at St. Helena: 
"I am very old to make a journey of two thousand 
leagues. Perhaps I should die on the voyage; but no 
matter. I should then die nearer to you." ' 

"You know that there is a report that the Queen of 

Naples is about to make a second marriage It 

would be most infamous. She is thirty- four; she has 
been married twenty years; she has children sixteen or 
seventeen years of age. She ought not to be thinking of 
love affairs. And then, why should she marry? Publicly, 
too .... and at Vienna! No, I cannot believe it. She 
may have gone to Austria on business. Somebody who 
has seen her in a church has invented this story. We 
saw something of the same kind in the English papers; 
they spoke of it very lightly, but the paper from the Cape 
speaks of it as a certainty. I only hope the Governor of 
Cape Colony, out of ill-nature, has allowed the insertion 
of the article. We have many partisans at the Cape. 
They regret me, me and their King Louis, ^ and cannot 
endure the English. Ma foi! if this news is true it will 
be the thing in all my life that has most astonished me. 
Only fifteen months after her husband was murdered! 
Can one imagine a queen contracting another marriage of 

' Princess Pauline often wrote to her brother at St. Helena. She was liv- 
ing with her mother in Rome, when the old lady wrote her son this affecting 
letter, offering to come out and join him at St. Helena. Pauline's first husband 
was General Leclerc, who died in St. Domingo.— £■. W. L. 

'Louis Bonaparte, when King of Holland, was likewise King of the 
inhabitants of the Dutch settlements in Cape Colony before its cession to the 
English Government. 



150 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

this sort, and her who was always so proud and so ambi- 
tious! Ah! human nature is very inexpHcable ! " * 

Napoleon's Stepson and Stepdaughter. 

"Madame mere never wished to see Hortense again, 
after she had accepted the title of Duchesse de Saint 
Leu. I forced my mother to receive her. 

"Louis did quite right to reclaim Napoleon Louis his 
son. What right had his mother to consent that he 
should accept the title of Due de Saint Leu? Who 
knows what might happen if some day the Dutch wish to 
recall my brother? By making himself a Frenchman he 
declares himself to be a vassal of the King of France. 
The authorities did right in restoring the boy to his father. 
None but Paris lawyers could have put the thing in doubt. 
In general, in all law cases one must be guided by what 
is just. One cannot go wrong then. Who can say that 
if the boy had stayed with his mother some harm might 
not have befallen him? He might have been taken as a 
hostage. While with his father he is where he ought to 
be. If any evil befall him, no one can be blamed for it." ^ 

"The King of Bavaria did not want to give his daugh- 
ter to Eugene, saying he was only my adopted son; and 
he could only be the Vicomte de Beauharnais. I gave 
him to understand that I would ask an Austrian Princess 
for my stepson, and that he must make up his mind at 
once. Josephine, before that, had suffered affronts at 
Munich, where they were always talking before her of the 
loves of the Princess and the Duke of Baden. When I 

* Caroline took for her second husband General Napoleon Macdonald, son 
of Marshal Macdonald; but the marriage was so little spoken of that there is 
no mention of it in encyclopedias, except in Michaud's "Biographie Uni- 
verselle.'' She lived a very retired life at Trieste, and in a château near 
Vienna, where she devoted herself to the education of her children. She took 
the name of Countess of Lipona.— £. W. L. 

' Napoleon Louis died on his march to Ancona, 1831. He was a young 
man of great promise and very handsome. He was elder brother of Napoleon 
\\\. Both brothers bad joined the Carbonari^ and were assisting to invade the 
Papal territory. 



DOMESTIC RELATIONS 151 

passed through Munich the King of Bavaria came into my 
cabinet with a veiled lady. He raised her veil. It was 
his daughter. I thought her charming, and I was, I own, 
a little embarrassed. That was what made the King 
report that I beheld her with ecstasy. I begged the young 
lady to sit down, and they made a little sign to her lady-in- 
waiting to withdraw. Ought princesses to fall in love.? 
They are political chattels. The Queen of Bavaria was 
pretty. I was always glad to find myself with her. One 
day in hunting the King went on before. I said I would 
rejoin him. But I went to see the Queen, and stayed 
with her an hour and a half. That made the King very 
angry, and when he and his wife met he scolded her. 
She answered: 'Would you have wished me to turn him 
out of my door.-" Subsequently I paid dear for such 
gallantries, for the King and Queen followed me on my 
journey to Italy. They were always in my way. They 
had wretched carriages, which were always breaking 
down. I was obliged to take them into mine. At Venice 
they were with me, and I was not sorry for that. It 
looked as if I were attended by a cortège of kings." 

"Prince Eugene has a 'level head' — good judgment, 
but no genius. The Italians did not like him, because he 
was economical. He governed Italy admirably. I had 
nothing to do with it. He never said anything to me 
when I was at Elba, about the money he had from me, 
but he took all the plate from Milan, which was mine, and 
which I never have asked him to return to me. He must 
have several millions. 

"He has been induced to take a first false step; ' the 
fact was published at once in the "Moniteur." There is 

' Napoleon probably alludes to Eugene's having given up his Viceroyalty 
in Italy, on the fall of the Empire, when he retired to Munich. He had married 
the daughter of the King of Bavaria, and the marriage was apparently a satis- 
factory one. He lived quietly in Munich until his death, in 1824. His son, the 
Due de Leuchtenberg, married a member of the imperial family of Russia and 
entered the Russian army. 



152 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

no way now of getting out of it. That is how people are 
often induced to do things that they never intended." 

Napoleon's Son, Napoleon, King of Rome and 
Due de Reichstadt. 

"I gave Dubois a hundred thousand francs for his ser- 
vices as accoucheur at the birth of my son. It was on 
Corvisart's recommendation that I employed him. I had 
better have taken the first accoucheur that came to hand. 
The day the child was born the Empress had walked for 
some time with me. Her pains were coming on, but they 
did not think the birth would take place for four hours. 
I took my bath. While I was in it, Dubois rushed to 
me in great excitement, pale as death. I cried out, 'Is 
she dead?' — for as I have been long accustomed to hear 
of startling events, they do not take great effect on me 
when first announced to me. It is afterwards. What- 
ever might be told me I should feel nothing at first. An 
hour later I should feel the blow. Dubois assured me no 
— but that the child was not coming to the birth in the 
usual way. That was very unfortunate. It is a thing 
that does not happen once in two thousand cases. 

"I rushed at once to the Empress. She had to be 
moved onto another bed that they might use instruments. 
Madame de Montesquiou reassured the Empress, telling 
her that the same thing had happened twice to herself, and 
encouraged her to let the doctors do what they thought 
necessary. She screamed horribly. I am not naturally 
soft-hearted, yet I was much moved when I saw how she 
suffered. Dubois hardly knew what to do, and wanted 
to wait for Corvisart. The Duchesse de Montebello acted 
like a fool. 

"When the King of Rome was born it was at least a 
minute before he gave a cry. When I came in he was 
lying on a coverlet as if dead. Madame de Montebello 
wanted to follow out all the rules of court etiquette on the 



DOMESTIC RELATIONS i53 

occasion. Corvisart sent her oflf at once. At last, after 
much rubbing, the child came to himself. He was only 
a little scratched about the head. The Empress had 
thought herself lost. She had persuaded herself that her 
life was to be sacrificed to save that of the child. But I 
had given orders quite to the contrary." ' 

"The King of Rome is related to the King of Naples. 
He is also related through him to the Emperor Alexander. 
Through the Princess of Wiirtemburg, wife of Jerome, 
he is related to the Prince Regent. My family is allied to 
the families of all the sovereigns of Europe, including the 
Duchesse d'Angoulême and the Due de Berry." 

' Gourgaud says : " Marie Louise, when her son was born, was convinced 
she was to be sacrificed to save her child. She cried: 'lam the Empress; 
they do not care for me, but they want above all things to preserve the life of 
my son.' The poor young girl was greatly to be pitied, separated as she was 
from all her family, and she thought herself lost. The Emperor wanted to 
have the Grand Duke of Wurtzburg (a Bavarian Prince) admitted into her 
chamber to encourage her. She held the bands of her husband all the time." 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE CAMPAIGNS IN RUSSIA, IN GERMANY, 
AND IN FRANCE. 

Russia in 1812. — Germany in 1813. — France in 1814. 



Russia in 1812. 

"I did not want to make war on Russia, but Monsieur 
de Kourakine sent a menacing note on the subject of the 
conduct of Davout's troops in Hamburg. Bassano and 
Champagny, then my foreign ministers, were inferior men. 
They did not understand the real motives that had dictated 
the note, and I could not possibly in my position exchange 
explanations with Kourakine. They persuaded me that 
the note was meant for a declaration of war, and that 
Russia, which had recalled her troops from Moldavia, was 
going to take the initiative, and was about to enter War- 
saw. Then Kourakine grew menacing, and asked for 
his passports. I really thought that Russia wanted war. 
I set out for the army. I sent Lauriston to Alexander. 
He was not received; I had already sent Narbonne, and 
everything confirmed me in the opinion that Russia wished 
for war. So I crossed the Niémen near Wilna.^ Alex- 
ander sent a general to me to assure me that he did not 
wish for war. I treated this ambassador with great kind- 
ness; he even dined with me. But I thought his mission 

» Why France and Russia went to war in 1812 has been a puzzle to histo- 
rians. It was no less so to Napoleon's companions in exile at St. Helena. There 
is no doubt the war was popular among the inhabitants of Russia, who espe- 
cially resented the enforcement of the system called the Continental Blockade, 
which curtailed the comforts of every private household. 

Gourgaudsays : "What were the real motives of the campaign m Russia? 
I do not know; possibly the Emperor himself did not know, any more than I 
did. Was it that he might open a way to India if the dynasty in Russia were 
changed? His preparations and his tents seemed to indicate that this might 
be his ultimate design."— £. W. L. 

154 



THE VARIOUS CAMPAIGNS 155 

was a ruse to prevent General Bagration from being inter- 
cepted. I went on with my military operations, for the 
Russian envoy proposed to me to recross the Niémen, and 
to re-establish the authority of Alexander where I had 
attacked it." 

Las Cases said: "If Your Majesty had made peace 
with Spain and withdrawn the army from the Peninsula, 
you might have had from one hundred and fifty thousand 
to two hundred thousand more men to carry the war into 
Russia." "But," replied the Emperor, "that would 
have been two hundred thousand more men who would 
have been lost. It seems that when I was at Moscow, 
Alexander wished to treat with me; but that he did not 
dare, because he was surrounded by partisans of Eng- 
land. He was afraid of being strangled. I would not 
have declared war against Russia but that I was per- 
suaded she was about to declare war against me. I well 
knew the difficulties to be encountered in such a campaign. 
The destruction of Moscow was a great blow to Russia. 
It will put her back for fifty years." 

"The author of the 'Manuscript from St. Helena' ex- 
plains very clearly the Continental system, and the affairs of 
Spain. I only hope no one will suspect that I have writ- 
ten it.' He talks nonsense when he says that I did not do 
enough for the Poles. On the contrary, I did too much. 
I was conducting that affair all right. I meant to re-estab- 
lish Poland. After Austerlitz I had the means of forcing 
two great powers, Prussia and Austria, to consent to the 
re-establishment of the Kingdom of Poland; but I failed 
with Russia. The writer does not know the affairs of 
Poland. He is ignorant of what passed at Dresden. He 
talks nonsense when he says that Austria would not con- 
sent to give up her Polish provinces. I did all that was 
possible in a brief space of time." 

• It is generally believed that the " Manuscript " was inspired by Napoleon 
and written from notes furnished by him.— £. W'. L. 



156 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. //ELENA 

"Deceit has a very short reign. My marriage with 
Marie Louise was the cause of the expedition into Russia, 
and even at Dresden I ought to have made peace, when I 
found that Sweden and Turkey would not aid me. It is 
true that, in spite of that, had I been the conqueror at 
Moscow, I should have succeeded. My great error was 
staying in that city too long. But for that, my enterprise 
might have been crowned with success." 

"Russia is on the march to conquer the universe. By 
the trend of events one can see that well. Since the time 
of Paul I. her progress is astonishing. She can arm three 
hundred thousand foot soldiers, and three hundred thou- 
sand to four hundred thousand Tartars or Cossacks — 
which would be all the easier because such of them as 
have made the recent campaigns have carried home much 
booty, and would be delighted with the chance to overrun 
Western Europe. Could Prussia or Austria form a dam 
to stay this torrent? Besides, religion favors Russian 
conquests over the Turks. All the Greeks, and there are 
numbers of them at Constantinople, are for the Russians. 
Andréossi told me that when Moscow was burned the 
Greeks in Constantinople took it greatly to heart. That 
conflagration, it is true, has retarded the development of 
Russia. It lost her more than a thousand million francs. 
If the Emperor Alexander had been at the head of his 
army, he would not have suffered his ancient capital to be 
destroyed. He would have preferred to make peace. 
He even declared that he would have made peace had I 
marched on St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg was doubtless 
not sorry for the destruction of her rival. I should have 
done better to attack St. Petersburg, the seat of govern- 
ment, and of business. Still Moscow is the real capital 
of the Russian Empire; it is more in its centre than St. 
Petersburg, which is two hundred leagues away. Our 
march on Moscow did great damage, however, to the 



THE VARIOUS CAMPAIGNS 157 

Russians. Wiasma and Smolensk were very pretty cities. 
There were factories in them which were destroyed. 

"Koutouzoff would have done better to take up a posi- 
tion on my right flank; not to burn Moscow, and not to 
give battle. But, after the battle, this movement was no 
longer dangerous. ' ' 

"After all, Russia has nothing to fear from Sweden; 
she will in the end become mistress of the world. At 
Erfurt I had arranged with Alexander the division of the 
Turkish Empire. He was to let me have Egypt and 
Syria, while he would take Roumelia. The difficulty was 
about Constantinople. The treaty was drawn up ready to 
be signed, but when it came to signing it, I would not. I 
had considered that the Greeks at Constantinople and in 
Roumelia are the same as the Muscovites, and that, if 
Russia armed them, one or two Russian regiments would 
be enough to hold Constantinople. 

"What a superb city Moscow was! None of you 
here at St. Helena have seen it, except myself and Gour- 
gaud. We were both there." 

"Russia ought always to make common cause with 
France. The Russian government is much more noble 
and liberal than that of Austria. Rostoptchin, who burned 
Moscow, left in his palace papers which proved that Rus- 
sia had as many causes for antipathy to England as 
France. Austria has no navy." 

"Now that I am no longer there, Alexander will march 
on Constantinople. He does not apprehend anything 
from Poland, and the Greeks are all for him. At Erfurt 
he asked me to let him take Constantinople, but I would 
not consent; and the matter was postponed. 

"If the Russians had not burned Moscow I should 
have been master of their country. I should have let the 
peasants come back to their homes, that they might supply 



15S TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

me with provisions and horses; possibly they would have 
made an insurrection. I ought not to have stayed in 
Moscow more than two weeks at the utmost, the city 
having been burned ; but I was deceived from day to day. ' ' ^ 

"One day, on the retreat, my sledge broke down, and 
as I got into it again, I was recognized. But before those 
who saw me had decided what to do, I was far away again. 
The only person I made myself known to on my route was 
the King of Saxony. I had been preceded by news of the 
victory of the Beresina, and I reached Paris before the 
public knew of our disasters." 

"Once, at the Institute, I read a paper on Tacitus, but 
though I spoke of him as the greatest literary colorist in 
antiquity, I said that he never explained the motives 
which led men to perform certain actions .... I am 
reproached for not getting myself killed at Waterloo. 
.... I think I ought rather to have died at the battle of 
the Moskwa." 

"Russia can now, with her three hundred thousand 
Cossacks, sweep over Europe. She has the Greeks all 
for her. She might have to kill a million of Turks, but 
what of that? I would not consent that Russia should 
take Constantinople, because the Greeks would have at 
once become the Czar's most devoted subjects, whilst the 
countries I should have received in exchange would not 
have given me one man on whom I could rely. Russia 
holds the cards for a great game. Austria will soon find 
that Francis Joseph is but a pitiful emperor. Perhaps the 
Germans may depose him. Russia is in a favorable posi- 
tion to conquer the world." "' 

' "At Moscow," says Gourgaud, "the first symptoms of the Emperor's 
failing health were noticed by his followers, and his legs swelled." 

' "The Emperor," says Gourgaud, " told me that the Turks, on hearing 
that the French had entered Moscow, foretold that the army would perish of 
the cold." 



THE VARIOUS CAMPAIGNS i59 

"I cannot write the history of the campaign in Russia. 
I could write only a few reflections, such as: 'I ought not 
to have stayed thirty-five days at the Kremlin. I ought 
to have stayed only two weeks there. I ought, after 
entering Moscow, to have destroyed the remains of 
Koutouzoff's army. I ought to have gone on to Maloi- 
Yaroslavitz, and have marched on Toula and Kalouga, 
and then I ought to have proposed to the Russians to 
retire, without destroying anything. I could not have 
fallen back on Riga after leaving Moscow. Koutouzoff 
would have intercepted me by way of Mozhaisk.' " 

"Murat and Bessières," said Gourgaud, "probably 
induced you not to go toward Maloi-Yaroslavitz." 

"No; I was the master, and mine was the fault. 
Davout offered to hold the Kremlin the whole winter. 
.... At Wiasma I heard of the march of the army of 

Moldavia When I should have reached Smolensk, 

my plan was to put my army into winter quarters. I 
should have put my soldiers into barracks. I would not 
have scattered them through the villages. Vitebsk had 
large magazines. But at Smolensk I hesitated about 
attacking that town without crossing the Dniester, when 
I heard that it had been taken by the Russians. I hesi- 
tated a moment before reaching Borisov, whether I should 
not fall upon Wittgenstein. I should have had time to do 
so. Koutouzoff was following me, but it was at a dis- 
tance. His army was ten days' march behind mine." ' 

Gourgaud had shown the Emperor some observations 
he had written on the causes of the Russian war, his infor- 
mation being drawn from bulletins. "I will not," said 
the Emperor, "have you write about the political causes 

' A French general, who had been a staff officer in that campaign, told 
me, in 1849, that he was the only one on the staff who brought his horses back 
from Russia safe. The Polish cavalry kept their horses tit for service, 
because their shoes were roughed— a precaution the French have not learned 
even now, as any one may see on a day of ice and snow in the streets of Faris. — 
E. W.L. 



i6o TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

of that campaign. You would have to go back to Tilsit 
and Erfurt, and even to the Treaty drawn up by Caulain- 
court concerning Poland, which I never signed." 

Napoleon remarked that Koutouzoff lost Moscow 
because he was not sufficiently intrenched there. The 
battle of the Moskwa was gained because the great redoubt 
was taken the night before the battle. "A general should 
always have good lines of circumvallation. " 

"At Ostrowo and at Vitebsk I succeeded in cutting 
off the Russian army from the road to St. Petersburg. 
At Smolensk Junot did nothing but commit foolish mis- 
takes. It was the same thing at Valoutina. I had sent 
you to him, Gourgaud. It was you who came and told 
me that he could cut off the Russian rear guard, but that 
he could not make up his mind to go forward. You said 
to him, ''Monsieur le Duc, if the Emperor asks me why 
you have not advanced, what must I tell him?' He 
answered in an embarrassed way: 'Tell him that night is 
coming on, and that I have taken up my position.' 
Thereupon I superseded him before morning." 

At the Moskwa I might have turned to the right 
of their formidable redoubt on a hill, and by doing so I 
could have forced the Russians to abandon it, but I did 
not think it so strong but that I could take it, and I 
needed a battle." 

"I never deserted my soldiers. In Egypt my army 

was provided with everything In Russia? — It 

would have been absurd to stay there. Prussia would 
have declared war against me two months earlier than she 
did, and Austria too." 

"When I quitted the army I committed a great fault 
in intrusting the command of it to Murat, the most unfit 
man to do well under adverse circumstances — and so was 



THE VARIOUS CAMPAIGNS ^^i 

Berthier I ought to have left the command to Eugene, 
a man of good, sound judgment, who would at any rate 
have carried out my orders. I recommended Murat to 
make short marches, and instead he sometimes made 
thirty miles a day! If. on arriving at Wilna, Murat had 
bivouacked before it, with the commander of every corps, 
and had put in line thirty good officers, he might have 
rallied a hundred thousand men. They might have sus- 
tained themselves there all winter. You were there, were 
vou not, Gourgaud? Murat was an incapable, cowardly 
man in defeat; he was good only under fire. There were 
immense magazines at Wilna. I had committed a great 
error in not surrounding the place with pahsades and 
about fifteen redoubts, as I did Dresden. I did order 
a camp to be formed, but all the same it was my fault 
that I was not obeyed. A general should see that his 
orders are carried out. Ney, after the affair of the 
Beresina, wanted to turn to the right toward Wilna. I 
made him go to the left. You were there, Gourgaud. I 
had at least seven to eight thousand men in my guard. 
That was all that was wanted to beat the Russian arniy. 
It followed us slowly, and left as many corpses as we did 
on the road." 

"At the Moskwa I made a military mistake in attack- 
ing the entrenched position of the Russians, but I was 
eager for a great battle,^ for an army that has a large 
body of cavalry and can manœuvre behind a line of strong 
redoubts ought not to be attacked. By skillful manœuvres 
an enemy ought to be induced to change his position. 

"Ah' the Emperor of Russia, the Emperor of Austria, 
and the Bourbons themselves would have treated us favor- 
ably had I surrendered to them. They would have given 

.Napoleon asks Gourgaud :" What -f -y.X'EmperorV'bïl'thè 
Gourgaud replies. " A-terlitz. ' J^'^P^^^ °- J^^'fv nd haH asle'ep he was 



1 62 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

me provinces to govern. They would have been too 
happy to have me in their charge. So say the commis- 
sioners." * 

Germany in 1813. 

Napoleon, in his talks with Gourgaud, made very few allusions 
to what happened between his return to Paris in December, 1812, 
and the time of his abdication at Fontainebleau, 1814. As he was 
hurrying to Paris, unattended, almost alone, he was met on his 
way by one piece of bad news after another. As he himself says : 
"Misfortunes always follow one another." 

Had he been an Englishman he would probably have quoted 
the same sentiment from Shakespeare: 

"When sorrows come, they come not single spies, 
But in battalions." 

There had been a conspiracy in Paris ; twenty-seven of the 
conspirators (many of whom Napoleon would have spared) had 
been summarily executed. There was news of Lord Wellington's 
successes in Spain and Portugal; and after the battle of Vittoria, 
the allied English, Portuguese, and Spanish army was driving the 
French back to the Pyrenees. In spite of the fearful loss of lives 
in the Russian campaign, which must have brought sorrow into 
many and many a French household, his people rejoiced with 
enthusiasm when assured of the safety of their Emperor. He 
raised another army by anticipating conscriptions, but the new 
regiments were composed of conscripts, most of them mere boys. 
They were not like the veterans who had perished in Russia. 
The young soldiers had plenty of spirit, however, and during the 
campaign of 1813 in Germany, and that of France in 1814, they 
made marches and fought battles which added to French military 
renown, but failed to improve the situation. 

In April Napoleon was again with his army in Germany. He 
removed Murat, with whom he was much displeased, and put 
Eugene, the Viceroy of Italy, in his place, as his own second in 
command. The central point of his operations was Dresden. 
Russia, Prussia, Sweden, and England were in arms against 
him. He was negotiating with Austria, whose Emperor he hoped, 
for his daughter's sake, would not join the coalition. An armistice 
for a month was signed June 13, 1813. A diplomatic conference 
was held in Prague. Napoleon solicited the mediation of his 

'France, Russia, and Austria sent commissioners to watch Napoleon at 
St. Helena and to render reports to their governments,— j£. W. L. 



THE VARIOUS CAMPAIGNS 163 

father-in-law. But the Emperor of Austria would not undertake 
to plead his cause, unless he would agree to terms which would 
confine France within her natural boundaries. Napoleon spoke 
little of these negotiations, of the battle of Dresden, and of the 
death of Moreau. Of Bautzen and of Leipsic he said nothing. 
The Allies entered France, and although Napoleon's military 
movements in that country have always been considered masterly, 
he says nothing about them, if we except some allusions to the 
battle of Brienne, where he saw his old haunts for the first time 
since his school-days. Gourgaud saved his master's life in 
that battle by shooting a Cossack who was about to run him 
through with his lance; but either because he loved to tease 
Gourgaud, or because he feared that his follower, who liked to 
make much of his sacrifices and services, might presume on having 
saved his life. Napoleon positively denied all knowledge of the 
obligation, unmoved by Gourgaud's tears, and the testimony of 
his fellow-exiles. 

To his abdication at Fontainebleau in favor of his son, and 
his deportation to the Island of Elba, there are only scant 
allusions. 

The Emperor Alexander, moved by the remembrance of their 
brief friendship at Tilsit, and perhaps by the pleadings of the 
Empress Josephine, whom he visited at Malmaison, obtained 
better terms for Napoleon personally than might have been 
expected. 

Napoleon was to retain his imperial title, with the free sov- 
ereignty of Elba, guards and a navy suitable to the extent of the 
island, and a pension from France of six million francs a year. 
His wife was to be made Duchess of Parma, and liberal pensions 
were to be given to Josephine and other members of the Bonaparte 
family. None of this money was ever paid by Louis XVIII. and 
his ministers. 

Gourgaud says: "Your Majesty did wrong to conclude 
the armistice of June 13, 1 813. The Russians and Prus- 
sians had an army of only sixty-five thousand men, you 
might have made them fall back beyond the Vistula." 

"Yes, I believe I did wrong, but I hoped to arrange 
matters with Austria; my army was much fatigued. I 
ought to do justice to Soult; he thought I ought not to 
sign the armistice, but Berthier, who was getting into his 
dotage, and Caulaincourt pressed me to sign it. After 



164 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

Dresden the Emperor of Austria wrote to me; he spoke 
of his daughter, he thought he was beaten, but then 
came the affair in which Vandamme lost everything at 
Kulm." 

"Gourgaud rephed: "Sarrazin says that Your Majesty 
ought to have sent Saint-Cyr to retrieve what Vandamme 
lost." 

"No; where I erred was in employing Saint-Cyr at all. 
He does not care to be under fire, he never visits his 
posts, he lets his comrades fight without assisting them; 
he might have helped Vandamme. I took Saint-Cyr into 
my service to please the Comte de Lobau. He was 
always talking of him. He was popular with the men 
under him, for he seldom made them fight ; he took great 
care not to lose his soldiers. Lobau was one of the colo- 
nels placed under his orders. He has changed his opinion 
of him since. Moreau, who was personally a great friend 
of his, was obliged to drive him out of his army; he could 
do nothing with him. 

"Macdonald manoeuvred very badly. It is possible 
that even at that time Souham was playing false with me. 
Moreau and Bernadotte were with the allied army." 

"Marmont, who always would follow out his own ideas, 
did not choose to take up the position I directed him to 
do at Leipsic. I, too, made blunders, and the Austrians 
ran a much greater risk in attacking me at Dresden on the 
left bank than on the right." 

France in 1814. 

"Have you read Beauchamp's book on 18 14.'' Ah, 
what a rascal! But perhaps, as you say, his libels have 
made me a great many partisans. I have read the defence 
of Marmont; ' it is very weak. Could I, when I reached 

* Marmont was Military Governor of Paris. Joseph was the Emperor's 
representative. When the Allies appeared before the gates of Paris, all was 
disorder in the garrison, and Marmont surrendered.— £. W. L. 



THE VARIOUS CAMPAIGNS 165 

the Cour-de- France,' have possibly reached Paris? Could 
I have had the drums beaten to call all the population to 
arms, and have sounded the tocsin? I had just received 
news that the barriers of Paris had been given up to the 
Allies, and I thought I should ruin myself for nothing. I 
ought to have left Troyes the same evening I reached it, 
instead of the next morning. Then I should have reached 
Paris in time. I do not remember about sending Dejean. ' ' ■ 

"What was the greatest fault I committed in 18 14?" 

Gourgaud answers: "Not having taken Vitry by assault 
when coming back from Arcis. It was very unfortunate 
that Your Majesty had not more closely reconnoitred the 
place." 

"True; that was a great error. It might have stopped 
the Allies short, but they told me that if I made that 
attack, I should lose my Guard. I was wrong. After- 
wards at Vassy, Macdonald fancied he was pursued by the 
whole army of the enemy. I turned back to drive it into 
the Marne. There was nobody there but Wintzingerode. ' ' 

"All! Sire," said Gourgaud, "Gérard told me so that 
morning, when he saw Your Majesty deploying your 
army." 

A bust of the little King of Rome, made by an Italian sculptor 
who had seen the child while he was at the baths of Lucca, arrived 
at |St. Helena on board of an Indiaman, in charge of a gunner, 
who was promised handsome pay by a banker in London if he 
succeeded in getting it safe to the captive father. He was found 

' A place between Fontainebleau and Paris. 

'Gourgaud here says : "Your Majesty sent me with two hundred horse 
to Troyes to prevent the enemy from burning the bridges. Your Majesty gave 
me orders to write from that city to the Minister of War in Paris to hold out to 
the last, for you were coming on close behind the enemy. I set out, but Gerar- 
din soon passed me. I collected eight hundred stragglers in Troyes and put 
the National Guard under arms. 1 tried to get a courier, but there was only 
one post-horse to be had. Then Dejean arrived and assured me Your Majesty 
was sending him to Paris. He implored me to let him have the horse. I told 
him what Your Majesty had instructed me to write, and let him take the post- 
horse. Your Majesty arrived in a carriage, only two or three chasseurs escort- 
ing it, and before you went to bed I made my report of how I had fulfilled my 
orders. Next day at ten o clock Your Majesty started at a gallop in a light car- 
riage for Villeneuve-l'Archevcque ; thence you reached Sens, Fontainebleau, 
and the Cour-de-France, where you arrived at eleven o'clock at night, II Your 



1 66 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

out, however, and the bust came to the knowledge of Sir Hudson 
Lowe and Sir Thomas Reade, his second in command. The latter 
was very desirous to break it, or to cast it into the sea; but the 
captain of the Indiaman refused to surrender it to any one but an 
agent of Napoleon. Finally it was delivered to Bertrand, together 
with other presents from influential English friends of the exiles. 

Gourgaud unpacks the bust at the house of Bertrand, and 
brings word of what he has done to the Emperor, who is waiting 
for it alone. His first question is: "What decoration does he 
wear?" 

"The eagle." 

"Not the eagle of St. Stephen, I trust.'" 

"No; it is the same eagle that Your Majesty wears. 

Gourgaud then receives orders to bring the bust. The 
Emperor's first thought was to examine the decoration. He then 
looked earnestly at the face of the child. He thought him hand- 
some, though his head was rather bent, and found him like his 
mother. 

"Was it," he asked, "the Empress, or the sculptor, who 
chose the eagle?" 

All the little court at Longwood thought the boy charming. 

Majesty had reached Troyes earlier you could hardly have procured fresh 
horses. Besides, General Dejean ran much risk of being taken. Things did 
not seem so desperate that every risk should be incurred. People are now 
looking upon Marmont as the first traitor, and yet there were traitors far worse 
than he. The heights round Paris, which ought to have been fortified, were 
not. Everywhere the bitterness of public opinion was displayed. Batteries of 
six-pounders had only balls for eight-pounders. Your Majesty's brother had 
quitted Paris and left no orders. 1 think he wanted to force Your Majesty to 
make peace." Napoleon reluctantly turned back to Fontainebleau from the 
Cour-de-France. He reached it March 31, 1814, at nearly midnight. On April 
4 he signed an abdication in favor of his son. His abdication in this form was 
not accepted by the Allies in Paris, and ten days later he signed another, 
renouncing for himself and his heirs the thrones of France and Italy.— .£. W. L, 



CHAPTER X. 
ELBA AND THE RETURN FROM ELBA. 
Elba. — Napoleon's Return from Elba. 



Elba. 



"I was very well off at Elba. I thought of collecting 
around me the artists of Italy. I was more independent 
there than any prince in Germany. I could have held out 
eight months in the fortress. I should have stayed in 
Elba if Louis XVIIL had had good ministers, but they 
feared me so little that they did not even send a charge 
d'affaires to keep a watch upon me. I was insulted in 
all their newspapers ! Ma foi! I am a man, and being a 
man, I felt that I should like to show them that I was 
alive. France ought to have sent a cruiser and two 
frigates to keep guard over the island; one always in port, 
the other with her sails set in the offing. I had besides, 
while in Elba a princely household. 

"When I left Fontainebleau for Elba I had no great 
expectation of ever coming back to France. My first 
hope came when I saw in the gazettes that at the banquet 
at the Hôtel-de- Ville there were the wives of the nobility 
only, and none of those of the officers of the army. I 
thought then that the Bourbons could never sustain them- 
selves, and afterwards my opinion on that subject increased. 
Louis XVIIL should have made himself the first sovereign 
of a fifth dynasty, and instead of outraging me by pam- 
phlets, he should have spoken of me sensibly; above all, he 
ought to have paid me my pension. In his place I would 
have conciliated Corsica. In that way I should have 
gained friends, instead of which by insulting me he only 

167 



i68 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

made me partisaris. He might have said: 'I have taken 
Napoleon's place because he wanted to accomplish too 
much!' And that would have been true, for I attempted 
too many things. In his place I should have sent an agent 
to Elba and have stationed a frigate at Porto Ferrajo." 

The Emperor said that what also induced him to 
return to France was that people said he had shunned 
death, and was a coward. That was more than he could 
bear. Fontainebleau is a sad page in French history; but 
by the boldness and audacity of his return to France he 
gave the lie to men who wrote pamphlets against him. 

Gourgaud says that for five or six days before the date fixed 
for the expedition in the latter part of February, 1815, prepara- 
tions had been making in Elba to carry out the project of the 
Emperor's invasion, when Bertrand informed the Emperor that 
an English brig of war was in sight. The Emperor was much 
disturbed, and cried: "How is that? How is that?" He then took 
his glass, and at once gave orders to his own brig to set sail and 
go toward Naples. But this was done so slowly that the English 
corvette entered the port before the French brig was ready to put 
to sea. 

The English captain went at once to see Bertrand; a kind of 
English consul in the place had told him that for two days the 
French brig had been taking in water and provisions, and that 
everybody in the town was saying that the Emperor was about to 
leave, and take his Guard with him. The English captain spoke 
of these rumors. Bertrand answered unmoved that at Porto 
Ferrajo as well as at Leghorn, there were always absurd reports in 
circulation; it was only fools who paid any attention to them; 
and he asked the English captain to dinner. But the English 
officer, not reassured, declined the invitation, and put to sea at 
once to follow the brig, which had now set sail. He even went so 
far as to leave a note addressed to the English agent, Sir Neil 
Campbell, then absent, to tell him what might be going on, and 
then followed the brig. When at length he had assured himself 
that she was really bound for Naples, he went to Leghorn to pick 
up Campbell, who had been there for some days enjoying gayeties 
and balls. As soon as he headed in that direction, Napoleon sent 
a boat after the brig to tell it to return to Porto Ferrajo. It 
re-entered the port in the evening. The next day, February 26, 
was Sunday. Bertrand sent to Drouot to know if the wind was 



ELBA AND THE RETURN FROM ELBA 169 

fair, and then went to the Emperor to inform him that the wind 
was favorable. His Majesty had mass said an hour earher than 
usual; afterwards orders were dictated, and the soldiers with their 
baggage embarked — all this before half-past nine in the evening. 
At ten they weighed anchor. The next day they sighted the Eng- 
lish brig returning from Leghorn. They thought at first that her 
officers suspected the expedition. This caused some alarm. But 
no — the English brig held in her course for Porto Ferrajo. In 
the distance they saw a frigate. On the 28th they passed a French 
ship from Toulon. They then felt they were nearing France, and 
there was general joy. 

Madame 7nt:re and Madame Bertrand had stayed on the island 
of Elba. On the 27th, when the English corvette returned to port, 
they agreed as to what they had better say. The corvette came 
close in shore; Campbell got into a boat and hastened to Madame 
Bertrand's, saying he wished to see her husband. 

"He is gone," she said. 

"Then I will go to the governor." 

"He has been changed!" 

"What! not General Drouot.'" 

"No, he is gone, too. The governor is General Lapie." 

Then Campbell cried: "Your husband has been arrested; the 
Emperor, too!" 

She answered, anxiously: "Where?" 

"On the way to Naples." 

After that she was reassured. 

He then asked to see the new governor, but fearing that he 
might be put under arrest, he stipulated for his safety. He lost 
his head, in fact. 

Dr. Monaco went and saw Lapie on this subject, and Camp- 
bell, when reassured, held a conversation with him and then 
returned to his corvette. There had been some talk of trying to 
capture her, but it would have been making war on England. The 
French brig reached France on March I at five o'clock; the 
troops were disembarked; they bivouacked till eleven o'clock, 
and then began their march to Grenoble. — E. IV. L. 

Napoleon's Return from Elba. 

St. Helena, February 21, 18 16. "A year ago I had 
the brig at Elba repainted for our return. The captain 
of the 'Zephyr' has written to me since, to say that he 
was partly aware of the expedition, and that he was quite 



170 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

sure of it when he fell in with our little party. We were 
barely five hundred on board the brig; as soon as we dis- 
embarked we established our bivouac at a place which 
commanded the high road from Antibes to Grasse.^ I 
had at once sent a detachment to Antibes, but the result 
was bad. We were hardly encamped when Milowski 
came up, in the red livery of a postilion. He had for- 
merly been in the service of the Empress Josephine, and he 
was then in that of the Prince of Monaco. He told us 
that in several places they had insulted him because of his 
red coat,^ and he assured us that all the soldiers and all 
the peasants were my friends. 

"Very soon after this the Prince himself was brought 
to me. He affirmed that he was on his way back to his 
principality. He was not asked any direct questions, lest 
his answers should discourage the troops, who were 
already a good deal cast down by the expedition to 
Antibes. A good many soldiers and officers asked leave 
to go to Antibes and deliver their comrades;^ but on 
reflection I decided to march promtly on Grenoble, and I 
said to them: *If one-half of you were prisoners at 
Antibes, I would not change my plan.' I went on to 
Grasse. Instead of stopping in that town we bivouacked 
on a neighboring hill. A great number of the inhabitants 
came out to talk with our soldiers. The maire, in his 
official dress, said he would not declare for me until after 
I should have reached Grenoble, but he told me that his 
country house was made ready for my headquarters. 
When I arrived at this house on the road to Grenoble, I 
found that the maire' s servant had gone on before to 
spread the news of my landing. We sadly needed a 
printing-press, for things printed have more influence on 
the peasantry than proclamations written by hand. We 

' Napoleon several times related this narrative. 

'The royal livery. 

'They had been repulsed and were prisoners. 



ELBA AND THE RETURN FROM ELBA 171 

fell in with a battalion of the Fifth Regiment of the Line; 
some of us thought they had a cannon with them. I went 
forward and held out my hand to a soldier, saying, 'What, 
you old rascal, were you about to fire on your Emperor?' 

" 'Look here,' he answered, showing me that his 
musket was not loaded. 

"The country people crowded round me. A grenadier 
of the Guard brought his father up to me, a man ninety 
years of age. I threw him a purse and had his name 
taken down for a pension. What a splendid subject that 
would make for a picture! 

"We reached Grenoble, and we asked its magistrates 
about their oaths. 'We have taken no oaths,' they 
answered." 

"When I left Elba I ought to have brought away with 
me a portable printing-press.' One hundred copies of my 
proclamation were made by hand, but such written docu- 
ments do not produce so much effect upon the public as 
those that are printed. Printing seems to act as the seal 
of authority. 

"It was four o'clock when I reached the Gulf of Jouan. 
I at once disembarked parties of my troops and placed 
them on the highways to arrest every one they met, and I 
sent twenty-five men in small parties toward Antibes. 
Very soon a great crowd of people came around us, sur- 
prised by our appearance, and astonished at our small 
force. Among them was a maire, who seeing how few 
we were, said to me: 'We were just beginning to be 
quiet and happy; now you are going to stir us all up 
again.' .... 

"A courier from the Prince of Monaco,^ covered with 

' When Prince Louis Napoleon made his attempt to win the throne of 
France at Strasburp (October, 1836), his first act on reaching Strasburg was to 
seize a printing-press. When he made his attempt at Boulogne (August, 1840) 
he brought a chest full of printed proclamations from England.— £. W. L. 

'Monaco, a tiny principality on the Mediterranean, at the foot of the 
Alps, a few miles from Nice. Its population is about six thousand. 



172 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

gold lace, was soon after brought to me. He had been in 
Paris formerly, employed in the stables of the Empress. 
He recognized me. I asked him: 'What news?' He 
answered that the soldiers and the populace were all for 
me, and that from Paris to Montélimart he had heard 
cries of ''Vive V EinpereurT But, on the other hand, 
Provence was not so favorable. The tidings he brought 
us seemed to counterbalance the vexation caused by the 
miscarriage of the attempt at Antibes. Soon after arrived 
the Prince of Monaco himself. He had been somewhat 
roughly treated by Cambronne, who was guarding the 
road. I reassured him, and told him he could return to his 
principality after my departure. He told me that he 
doubted if my enterprise could succeed, considering the 
very small force I had with me. His talk was the talk of 
the salons; his courier's that of the people. 

"As soon as the moon rose, I set out, impressed with 
the importance of moving with celerity. When I was 
leaving, I heard murmurs in my very presence, because I 
was not marching on Antibes, to secure the liberation of 
my twenty-five men who had been taken there. A few 
bombs, they declared, would have been enough for that 
purpose. But I calculated it would take me two hours 
to reach Antibes, two hours to march back, and at least 
three or four when before the place, so that it 
would have been the loss of half a day. If I succeeded 
it would be a matter of small importance; if I failed, 
which was possible, such a check at the outset would give 
confidence to my enemies, and afford them time to organ- 
ize themselves, etc. My plan was to reach Grenoble, the 
centre of the province, for at Grenoble there was a con- 
siderable garrison, an arsenal, and several pieces of can- 
non; in a word, munitions of war of all kinds. The 
success of my enterprise depended on my speedily taking 
possession of Grenoble, and securing the soldiers. Above 
all things it was necessary that I should lose no time. I 



ELBA AND THE RETURN FROM ELBA 173 

put a hundred men into my advanced guard, commanded 
by Cambronne, and when I reached the place where the 
roads to Avignon and Grasse separate, I gave the word: 
*To the right!' Then for the first time I told those 
about me that it was my intention to march on Grenoble. 
"I would not enter Grasse, a place that has a popula- 
tion of ten thousand. I proposed to halt on a little hill 
beyond, and to let my soldiers breakfast. A few old 
Terrorists advised me to revolutionize Grasse. I ordered 
them to attempt nothing of the kind, not even to molest 
those who wore the white cockade. I told them that I 
would not delay my march for fifty millions of francs. 
.... Des Michels (the viairé) and his wife came to 
meet us. I left at Grasse two cannon and my carriage, 
giving the maire orders to send them to the arsenal at 
Antibes. I also left at Grasse fifteen hundred muskets 
which I had brought with me, and had found no use for. 
Everywhere our appearance created great surprise. At 
Gap my bivouac was surrounded by a great crowd. I 
spoke a few words to each man, just as I would have done 
in a reception at the Tuileries. The peasantry were 
delighted to see us, and said, — speaking of the nobles, — 
'They would have liked to harness us to our ploughs!' 
Old soldiers came, at the head of the inhabitants of their 
villages, assuring their fellow-citizens that I was really 
Bonaparte. Some of the peasants took five-franc pieces 
stamped with my likeness out of their pockets, and cried, 
'It is he!' Everything seemed to assure us that the popu- 
lace and the soldiers were for us, and that the Bourbons 
were detested. So far we had met no soldiers. We 
found Sisteron evacuated; the commander of its garrison 
had withdrawn, taking with him aU his soldiers. Garan, 
a native of that part of the country, was in hiding. Our 
imaginations prophesied disaster, but all of us, to the last 
man, were determined to die for our cause, which was 
that of the French nation. We marched on as rapidly as 



174 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

possible, the advanced guard twenty-four miles (eight 
leagues) in front, the army came next, and the rear 
guard six miles behind, with the treasure. We met some 
gendarmes who sold us their horses, which we needed as 
remounts for our hundred lancers. 

"Near a small town we met Cambronne, who informed 
me that he had been obliged to retire, having encountered 
a battalion of the Fifth Regiment. I reproached him, and 
told him he ought to have made his way into the town, 
and have confronted boldness by being still more bold. 

"The peasants were always insisting that the King's 
soldiers would take part with us, and yet that battalion of 
the Fifth was drawn up, to all appearance, to oppose us, 
and would not let any flag of truce approach its line. I 
made Cambronne pass round the cavalry whilst I marched 
straight on with the advanced guard ; we carried our mus- 
kets under our arms. In that way I gained over the troop 
first opposed to me; but it did not seem so great a gain 
until we heard that before we approached, its commander 
had tried to get his men to fire on us; but they had not 
loaded their muskets. 

"I harangued the men, and asked their commander if 
he meant to remain faithful to me. He rephed that, so 
far, he had tried to do what he believed to be his duty, 
but thenceforward he would follow me anywhere. He 
swore to be faithful to me, and so did his men. I joined 
them, and marched on with them. 

"An aide-de-camp of Marchand's wanted to begin the 
fight. Certain of our lancers, he said, had pursued him. 
As he fled he spread a report that I had an army with me, 
and a large body of cavalry. I confused several old sol- 
diers by saying to them, 'What! would you have fired on 
your Emperor?' They thrust their ramrods down the 
barrels of their muskets, and cried, 'See whether we have 
so much as loaded our pieces!' 

"A little farther on we met Rey in command of a 




Al. I RSI /.IL NE Y 



ELBA AND THE RETURN FROM ELBA 175 

battalion of artillery. He entirejy reassured us. He was 
very ardent. He insisted we should need only whips to 
drive off all who might march out to oppose us, and that 
the garrison at Grenoble was in sympathy with our enter- 
prise. We were preceded and followed by thousands 
of peasants, who seemed delighted to see us, and sang: — 
''Les Bourbons ?ie font pas le bonheur! ' Farther on 
Labédoyère's adjutant came to meet us, and after that 
the Seventh Regiment of the Line joined us. Then I 
had no further doubts of our success. 

"When we reached Grenoble it was ten o'clock at 
night. We found the gates closed, but the ramparts were 
crowded with soldiers, all shouting 'Vwe V Empereur!' 
Nevertheless they refused to open the gates, assuring us 
that they did so by orders from Marchand, their general. 
I caused our drums to beat, and assured them that from 
that moment General Marchand was relieved from his 
command. Then they said, 'If he is no longer in author- 
ity, we can disobey him,* and the gates were opened. I 
asked the colonel who defended the great gate, why he 
had not opened sooner. He replied that he had pledged 
his word of honor to Marchand that he would give him 
time to get out of the town, with as many of his men as 
chose to follow him. 

"On my march from Cannes to Grenoble I was an 
adventurer; in Grenoble I once more became a 
sovereign. 

"I received Saint-Yon, an aide-de-camp from Brayer, 
who informed me as to the state of affairs in Lyons, and 
told me that the princes had been living in that city. 
While I was on the march the country people flocked on 
all sides to meet me. They offered to put me and all my 
men across the Rhone, at any point I chose. I was about 
to take measures to cut off the retreat of the princes, 
when I learned that they had left Lyons, and that all the 
troops in that city had declared for me. If I had cap- 



176 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

tured the princes, I should have been greatly perplexed 
what to do with them. They had been in authority up to 
a few moments before. The situation would have been 
worse than if a popular insurrection had sent them to the 
scaffold. 

"When Louis XVIII. heard of my landing, Soult 
went to the Tuileries, and told him that it could only be a 
small affair, which would be settled by the mounted police 
— the gendarmerie; but the King answered: 'Everything 
will depend on the first regiments he meets. It is a bad 
affair. ' The Duke of Dalmatia * subsequently owned to 
me that he thought my attempt would have resulted in fail- 
ure. Soult did not betray the King, but there were so 
many facts that seemed like circumstantial evidence 
against him that if I had not known exactly what passed, 
I should not have hesitated to call him a traitor. 

"Girard and Brayer were sent to Lyons. Brayer was 
a vigorous man. On our way to Paris, when reports 
were constantly coming in that an army had been assem- 
bled, and that fighting had begun, he kept saying to me: 
'Let them talk as they may; you will have no fighting; 
all the soldiers are for you.* The enthusiasm of the 
peasants was so great that had I pleased, I could have 
reached the capital with five hundred thousand men." 

"What would Your Majesty have done with the princes 
had you captured them?" ^ asked Gourgaud. 

Napoleon answered: "If they had been all killed in a 
popular rising I should have thought it the best thing that 
could have happened; otherwise I would have imprisoned 
them at Vincennes with a garrison composed of men hke 
those who, when at one time they had the Due d'Angou- 

' Duke of Dalmatia was Soult's title. Soult made his peace with the 
Bourbons, and died in 1851, having been Minister of War and of Foreign Affairs 
under Louis Philippe. He was much honored in England when he attended 
the coronation of Queen Victoria. 

'Gourgaud had been the playmate of the Due de Berry, and was person- 
ally attached to hiro —£. W. L. 



ELBA AND THE RETURN FROM ELBA 177 

lême in custody, wanted to put handcufifs on him. After 
that, if there had been a conspiracy in their favor — " 

"Blood demands blood; but they had done nothing 
worse than foolishness up to 18 14. To reorganize the 
army as it had been under me was simply to get it ready 
for my service. When I got back, I had merely to 
review the regiments that had been sent against mc, I 
asked if there were any men in their ranks who had no 
business to be there, and then I confirmed the reception 
of all crosses of the Legion of Honor that had been given 
them on the recommendation of their colonels. I soon 
saw that everything had been organized exactly as I would 
have done it myself. Young Moncey, who commanded 
the Third Regiment of the Line, told me that he could 
not break his oath to the King, but that he would never 
fight against his Emperor. He led his regiment off the 
roads along which I was likely to pass, in order to avoid 
meeting me. Several officers and soldiers of his corps 
deserted and joined me. I could not blame them for their 
breach of discipline, any more than I could blame the con- 
duct of their commander. Circumstances had altered the 
strict rules of subordination in the lower ranks of the 
army; I did not fear that that would happen a second 
time when I placed in my own Guard men who had 
deserted their colonels. 

"Ney quitted Paris intending to fight me, but he could 
not resist the enthusiastic ardor of his soldiers, nor what 
I said in the letter I addressed to him. On our march 
Bertrand wrote orders to all the regiments which were 
dispatched to stop me, and these orders the soldiers 
obeyed. I calculated, upon reaching the Tuileries on 
March 20, on being master of the capital before the Eng- 
lish could do anything, and I did not lose a moment from 
the time I disembarked until I reached Paris. In twenty 
days I made a march which in general would have taken 



17^ TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

forty I thought that the English would have 

entered Lille I would have fired on you, Gour- 

gaud/ had you and the Royalists defended Paris, as I 
would have fired upon the Austrians." 

"In returning from Elba I calculated on the feehngs 
of the people and the army. Besides, my situation was 
so bad that I risked nothing but my life. If instead of 
marching on Grenoble I had wasted time by sending can- 
non-balls into Antibes and getting back my twenty-five 
men who had been captured there, all would have been 
lost. All depended on my celerity. I dared not let the 
news from Antibes reach Paris before me. By marching 
rapidly I gave people no chance to see how small my little 
force was. I was supposed to be at the head of an army. 
I could not have succeeded had I attacked Toulon, because 
they would at once have known how small my strength 
was, and no one likes to embark in dangerous adven- 
tures. That is why I hurried on to Grenoble. There were 
troops there, muskets, and cannon; it was a centre." 

"I left the Island of Elba too soon; I thought the 
Congress had been dissolved. I ought not to have reas- 
sembled the Chambers. I should have had myself pro- 
claimed Dictator. But I thought that the Allies, if they 
found I had convoked the Chambers, would have recov- 
ered confidence in me. If I had won the battle of Water- 
loo I should have thrown over the Chambers! .... But 
all that puts me in a bad humor. Let us go into the 
sa/on." 

"When I returned from Elba I had a thousand men 
with me, all of different regiments. If I had acted like 
Murat twenty-five gendarmes would have been enough to 
stop me. What might not have happened had I been run 

> In March, 1815, Gourgaud was with the Due de Berry and other Royal- 
ists, preparing to defend Paris against Napoleon.—^. W. L. 



ELBA AND THE RETURN FROM ELBA 179 

to earth at Toulon? Massena himself told me that he 
did not know what would have taken place. He ma- 
noeuvred so as to stand well with whoever was the con- 
queror. Marchand behaved well, but I did not like to 
give him an employment, out of policy; Labédoyère did 
not act like a man of honor, so I hesitated to make him 
my aide-de-camp. Hortense worried me to do so. Ney 
brought dishonor on himself." 

Napoleon told us that Ney ' was in reality murdered, 
but that he behaved badly. He said to the Emperor: 
"Your Majesty no doubt has heard that I promised to 
bring you back to Paris in a cage of iron?" 

"I never believed it!" 

"Yet, Sire, it was true!" 

"Ney' s brother-in-law, Gamot,^ was neither one thing 
nor the other. I ought not to have employed Ney again. 
Many men said I ought not even to have summoned him 
to the Chamber of Peers. 

"Far different was the conduct of Labédoyère; all was 
danger for him, and he acted in a chivalrous manner; 
whilst it was not in Ney' s power to make any change in 
my affairs. Ney was impelled by self-interest, Labédoyère 
by enthusiasm. Ney advised me to write to Lecourbe,^ 
so that he should not be molested. I wrote to him at 
once. 

"Suchet sent me an express, and so did Gérard at 
Lyons. The instructions of Suchet were, that he must 
act according to circumstances; so, seeing the enthusiasm 
of the people of Lyons, the agent assured me that I might 
rely on the Duke of Albufera (Suchet). But Suchet 
never put forth any proclamation like Ney, and did not, 

'Ney was protected under the provisions of the Treaty of Paris.— £. W.L. 

'Gamot was Prefect of the Department of the Yonne, in March, 1815. 

'The judge who refused to pronounce Georges Cadoudal guilty of con- 
spiracy. 



I So TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

like him, try to play a principal part, by seeking to make 
it believed that all had been arranged beforehand between 
me and the Marshals 

"In preparing for my return from Elba, I talked the 
matter over with Bertrand and Drouot. They advised me 
to try to secure the support of Massena at Toulon. I 
objected. I said we ought to secure some principal town 
before doing anything else, and I was sure with my five 
hundred men that I could land in Provence, and march on 
Grenoble. Then no one would know how many men I 
had with me, whilst at Toulon they would have known at 
once that I had come in a brig, and could not be very 
formidable. Besides that, Flahaut had sent me word that 
Labédoyère in the salon of Queen Hortense, had declared 
that he would always take part with me. That was why 
I kept on asking where was the Seventh Regiment of the 
Line. The affair at Antibes caused us much annoyance, 
but I wanted as soon as possible to reach Grenoble. I 
sent Pons, who had been my chief director of mines at 
Elba, to Massena. I heard afterwards that Massena 
wept for joy when he heard of my return, but he told 
my emissary that the feeling in Marseilles was so bad 
that he could not come out strongly for me at once, and 
what was more, to protect Pons from the fury of the 
populace, he was about to have him arrested. 

"If Massena had been willing to act he might have gone 
to Toulon, where the feeling was in my favor, and then he 
could have made the soldiers declare for me, which would 
have impeded the action of the Due d'Angoulême in the 
South; but although he was attached to his old flag under 
which he had fought for more than twenty-five years, he 
would do nothing rashly. 

"At Grenoble General Marchand sent me word that, 
not being able to break his oaths, he was going to his own 
home for a time. He ought, if he had held the right cards, 
to have defended Grenoble with his division. 



ELBA AND THE RETURN FROM ELBA iSi 

"At Grenoble I saw also an officer who came from 
Lyons. I asked him who he was. He said he was the 
aide-de-camp of Boyer, and told me that his general had 
sent him to assure me that he was for mc, so was all the 
garrison in Lyons, and if I ordered it, he would 
bring me the princes as prisoners. I thought he was 
deceiving me. I did not know Boyer, and it was not 
until I was near Lyons that I was convinced he had told 
me the truth. Boyer is a most remarkable man. He 
deceived the Comte d'Artois up to the last moment, pre- 
served his confidence, gave him any quantity of advice, 
and even induced people to follow him. All along the 
line of march I dined with this general, who kept on say- 
ing to me; 'Go forward. Never fear. I know the sol- 
diers; they are all for you.' When I heard of the affair 
of d'Erlon * he cried: 'Go on all the same. Those people 
blundered. But that is of no consequence!' I never saw 
a man stick so firmly to his own opinion! I ought to 
have made him commander of the Guard at Paris, instead 
of that sluggard Durosnel. 

"Labédoyère at Grenoble, when he took command of 
the division, showed much courage. He is a member of 
one of the first families in Dauphiné — but the opinion 
of men! the opinion of men! ^ 

"What hindered the Comte d'Artois from coming to 
oppose me was that I had three regiments of infantry with 
me, many cannon, and two regiments of cavalry, while he 
had only a few foot soldiers, the Thirteenth Dragoons, 
and no artillery. Boyer had established a sort of tcte-de- 
pont at Lyons; Monsieur Roger de Damas, who was an 
eagle among the voltigeurs, thought it superb, but Boyer 
laughed about it." 

' Drouet d" Erlon, a distinguished French officer. He plotted to capture 
the French princes in the south of France (1815), but the plot miscarried. For 
this conspiracy he was tried after the Restoration, but acquitted.— £■. W. L. 

'Gourgaud had a poor opinion of Labédoyère, and lost no opportunity of 
expressing it. These words were probably addressed to him.— £. W. L. 



CHAPTER XL 

WATERLOO. 

Before Waterloo. — The Battle of Waterloo. 
After Waterloo. 



Before Waterloo. 

Montholon (1817) seems to think that if the Emperor 
now disembarked in France he would be better received 
than in 1815. 

"No, no! Besides the opposition of foreign powers 
the army is not what it was then. The King's Guard 
would not be for me. To succeed I should have to bring 
with me an army of twenty-five thousand or thirty thou- 
sand men, just at the beginning; and should have to give 
the discontented element in France time to join me, and 
to get famihar with war. It would be absolutely neces- 
sary, besides, that the AlHes should not disapprove of my 
return. Then things would be very different; otherwise 
I should commit the same folly as Murat did, who with 
thirty Corsicans expected to reconquer a kingdom which 
he could not keep with sixty thousand soldiers. One can 
hardly account for such folly as Joachim committed in 
descending on Calabria with thirty Corsicans. Calabria! 
where Corsicans had formerly committed such horrors! 
If I had had none but Corsicans with me when I returned 
to France from Elba, I certainly should not have suc- 
ceeded. It was the bearskin helmets of my Guards 
which did the business. They called to remembrance my 
glorious days." 

"As soon as Murat heard of my return to France, he, 
with his Neapolitan army, attacked Austria in Northern 

182 



WATERLOO 183 

Italy. It was this ill-starred attack on Austria that ruined 
me. It was made just as that power was disposed to 
treat with me. It was naturally supposed that Murat 
was acting by my orders, and consequently Austria would 
not hear of any reconciliation with me. She thought my 
return was the beginning of a new system of conquests." 

"It was pure folly on Murat's part to think that with 
his army he could fight Austria and recover Austrian Italy. 
It is true that he had such an opinion of me, that as soon 
as he heard of my arrival in France, he thought I was 
about to be as powerful as I had ever been. He feared 
that I might drive him out of his kingdom.' He wanted, 
without loss of time, to possess himself of all Italy as far 
as the Po. I sent Colonna to him from Elba, to advise 
him not to act against Austria, and Colonna implored him 
on his knees to do as I advised him. But he wanted to 
be master of the Peninsula, and he hastened to act. 
.... He ruined me twice. His death was murder, for 
he had been really a king, recognized as such by all the 
Powers." 

"I should probably have done better on my return to 
Paris not to summon the Chambers, or if I did so I ought 
to have nominated all the deputies myself. I ought to 
have made Talbot prefect, to have had good maires, to 
have kept only four thousand men in the National Guard 
of Paris; and have given them officers who had served in 
the Line. It does not take thirty thousand men to keep 
order and act as police in the capital. The question is, 
whether I should not have done better to concentrate all 
my troops under the walls of Paris, instead of marching 
to meet the enemy. Perhaps then the Allies might not 

' Murat had joined the allies against Napoleon after the campaign in 
Russia, and was permitted by the Powers to retain his kingdom of Naples. In 
1815 he attacked the Austrian possessions in Central Italy, was defeated and 
dethroned. A year later, with thirty Corsicans and a few others, he landed on 
the shores of Calabria to recover his kingdom. He was taken and shot on the 
sea beach after Napoleon arrived at St. Helena.— .fî. W. L. 



iS4 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

have made war on me. You may observe that all their 
proclamations are dated after Waterloo." 

"I ought not to have made Labédoyère a Peer of 
France, nor even to have taken him as my aide-de-camp. 
Excelmans — the fool! was always prating to me about a 
Constitution. Yes — I committed an error, a stupid error, 
by promulgating one. I ought only to have formed a 
Council under the presidency of Carnot. He was always 
honest and faithful. I ought to have made Montalivet 
head of the Department of the Interior. The men of the 
Revolution had lost touch with the men of the time. 
They were all used up. I did wrong to take back young 
Regnault for my orderly officer. He told his father that 
my cause was lost ; and his father was one of the first 
who deserted me. I might have thrown the Deputies into 
the Seine, and so have dissolved the Chamber, but then I 
should have had to reign by terror, and foreigners might 
with justice have declared that it was against me, and me 
only, that they made war. I should have shed rivers of 
blood, with no result. I might perhaps, while I remained 
at Malmaison, have put myself at the head of the troops 
as Lieutenant-General of Napoleon II. The army had no 
confidence in any one but me. Had I been able to act 
alone I could have signed a capitulation, but when I saw 
that the Chambers, instead of rallying to me, were con- 
spiring against me, I knew that all was lost. Besides 
that, by going to the United States I might have come 
back again in a few months. It is true I had better have 
given myself up to Austria, rather than to England. But 
that is another question. This subject is too melancholy 
to talk about. Let us go to bed." 

"I was very wrong to have employed Ney. Carnot 
did not want me even to make him a peer. He acted as 
if he thought he could give or take away kingdoms. He 
came over to me when he saw that his troops abandoned 
him. He would have acted more properly had he gone 



WATERLOO 185 

back to Paris and told the King that his men had deserted 
him. He might have written to me like Suchet, who told 
me I might count on him, but that he would not openly 
declare for me till later. Ney behaved then, as he always 
had done in civil life, like a scoundrel. He was brave — 
that was all. It was very different with Labédoyère; he 
decided for me when there was danger in doing so. He 
was impelled by enthusiasm. France has been outraged, 
and is now a broken-spirited nation. She has only 
what she deserves. Instead of rallying to me she aban- 
doned me." 

Napoleon said that it was false that Bertrand wrote 
to Ney that Austria would support us. On the con- 
trary, the Emperor always said that he stood alone, with 
every one against him. 

"The truth is that when Ney saw that the soldiers and 
the people were all for me, he wanted to make a show of 
putting himself on my side, and to make his profit out of 

it Ambition! .... Ney ought to have returned 

at once to Paris; that would have been far more noble. 
His proclamation, which he sent me, made me very angry. 
What business had he to be giving away crowns.-* I con- 
cealed my feelings, however, and said all sorts of flatter- 
ing things to the officer he sent me, about his master, 
whom I took care to call 'the bravest of the brave.' " 

The Battle of Waterloo. 

"I made a great mistake in employing Ney. He lost 
his head. A sense of his past conduct impaired his 
energy. Camot did not wish me even to make him a 
peer. Had I acted wisely I should have placed Soult on 
the left, but who would have thought that Ney, who had 
spoken to me (you heard him, Gourgaud) of the importance 
of Quatre Bras, would have omitted to occupy that posi- 
tion? I felt sure when I attacked the Prussians that the 



1 86 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

English would not come to their assistance, while Bliicher, 
who is hot-headed, would have hastened to support 
Wellington, though he had had only two battalions. The 
world had its eyes upon him. He well knew that rewards 
would be lavished upon him if he sacrificed himself to 
support the English." 

"I ought to have slept at Fleurus on the fifteenth, but 
I went back to Charleroi, deeming it more in the centre of 
the operations. When one looks at results one can com- 
monly perceive what one ought to have done. I never 
gave Drouot an order to come to Fleurus. I am blamed 
for not having pressed the Prussians more vigorously; but 
you know how hot the action at Ligny was, up to the 
last moment. I ought not to have employed Vandamme. 
I ought to have given Suchet the command I gave to 
Grouchy. More vigor and promptness were needed than 
Grouchy had as a general ; he was good only at a splendid 
charge of cavalry, while Suchet had more fire and knew 
better my way of making war. Mortier, when he gave 
up the command of the Guard to Beaumont, did me a 
great deal of harm. I ought to have replaced him by 
Lobau. Drouot had too many affairs on hand, and did 
not understand managing soldiers. He would, however, 
have made an excellent commander of artillery." 

"Duhesme would have well commanded the sixth 
corps. Priant was not capable of doing the best with 
the Guard. He was a good soldier — that was all. A 
good major in command of the cavalry of the Guard would 
have been most useful to me. I do not know what 
became of my horse, especially my mounted grenadiers. 
How came Guyot, who was in command of my last 
reserve, to charge without my orders? My ordonnance offi- 
cers' were too young, Montesquiou, Rey, Chiappe 

* "Ordonnance" officers in France are orderly officers who carry orders 
and messages for their commander, lo this case apparently "some one had 
blundered."— £. W. L. 



WATERLOO 187 

They must have brought him some order to engage. 
They were mere aides-de-camp. I ought to have had in 
their place men of experience. 

"If I had remained with the battaHon of my Guard on 
the left of the high road, I might have rallied the cavalry. 
There was still another battalion unbroken on the right — 
the one with which we had marched." 

"Perhaps when I became aware of the immense supe- 
riority of the Prussians at Ligny, I ought sooner to have 
ordered a retreat. I should have lost only fifty or sixty 
cannon. My plan had succeeded. I had surprised the 
Prussians and the English; but what then.? A great battle 
is always a very important thing. Suppose I had been 
defeated at Jena!" 

"Soult (my second in command at Waterloo) did not 
aid me as much as he might have done. His staff, not- 
withstanding all my orders, was not well organized. 
Berthier would have done better service. Why during 
the battle did he not keep more order at Genappe?" 

"If Wellington had fallen back on Antwerp to wait 
until the Russians could come up, I should certainly have 
been in an unpleasant situation." 

"My regrets are not for myself but for unhappy 
France! With twenty thousand men less than I had we 
ought to have won the battle of Waterloo. But it was 
Fate that made me lose it." The Emperor then told why 
he did not thoroughly understand the battle.' He regrets 
he did not place Clausel or Lamarque in the War Office. 
As to Fouché, he never ought to have left him in Paris in 
charge of i\\Q police. "I ought to have had him hanged, 

' Gourgaud remarks : "The Emperor says he did not see as much of the 
battle as he could have wished. He intended to make, as he had done at 
Montmirail, a perpendicular attack, and to have led it in person, but the arri- 
val of Billow forced him to remain in a central position. Ney could not under- 
stand bis plan of attack." 



i88 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. //ELENA 

and that was my intention. Or, if I had been the con- 
queror at Waterloo, I would have had him summarily 
shot. Perhaps I made a mistake in convoking the Cham- 
bers. I thought they might be useful in procuring me 
money, which I might not be able to get if I were pro- 
claimed Dictator. I was wrong in losing time over that 
matter of the Constitution, especially as it was my inten- 
tion to get rid of the Chambers as soon as I should be a 
conqueror and out of all difficulties. But in vain I hoped 
to find help in the Chambers. I deceived myself. They 
injured me before Waterloo, and deserted me afterwards." 

"I ought to have withdrawn Rapp from Landau, as I 
withdrew Girard from Metz. That wretched war in La 
Vendée did me great harm. I could not put the National 
Guards into the Line; they were good for nothing but to 
garrison strongholds. I ought to have stopped for the 
night at Fleurus on the 1 6th ; fought the Prussians on the 
same day, the i6th; and the English on the 17th of June. 
.... During the battle of Ligny they came and told me 
that some of our men had gone over to the enemy. The 
movement of d'Erlon did me much harm. Those around 
me thought it was an advance of the enemy. D'Erlon 
was a good staff officer. He could maintain order; but 
that was all. He ought on the 15th to have sent me 
word that he was at Marchiennes." 

"The men of 181 5 were not the same as those of 1792. 
My generals were faint-hearted men. Perhaps I should 
have done better to have waited another month before 
opening the campaign in order to give more consistency 
to the army. I needed a good officer to command my 
Guard. If I had had Bessières or Lannes at its head 
I should not have been defeated. I ought to have had 
mounted grenadiers in reserve; their charge would have 
altered the state of affairs, for it was only one brigade of 



WATERLOO 189 

cavalry that caused the disorder. An officer had given 
Guyot, as if it came from me, an order to advance, 

"Soult had not a good staff. My orderly officers 
were all too young, like Regnault and Montesquiou; they 
were mere aides-de-camp. Ney did great harm by his 
unsuccessful attack on LaHaie-Sainte and by changing the 
position of the guns, that you, Gourgaud, had posted. 
They would perfectly have protected his troops; instead 
of which, while marching forward he was exposed to an 
attack, the very thing that happened. I ought when I 
quitted Quatre Bras to have left only Pajol with a division 
of the Sixth Corps to pursue Bliicher, and I ought to have 
taken all the other troops with me. I sent, during the 
night of the seventeenth, three orders to Grouchy; and in 
his report he says that it was only on the eighteenth at 
eight o'clock in the evening that he received the order to 
march on Saint-Lambert. It was fate; for after all, I 
ought to have won that battle." 

"It was the good discipline of the English that gained 
the day. They could advance thirty yards, halt, fire, go 
back, fire, and come forward again thirty yards, without 
breaking their line, without any disorder. Many things 
will be known some day! Who could have given Guyot 
orders to charge? He did so before the time I mentioned 
in my account of the battle; but he charged without my 
orders." 

The Emperor thinks that he did wrong to take Soult 
for his second in command; he had better have taken 
Andréossi. 

"Soult had poor officers around him. He had an 
indifferent staff. He was easily discouraged. During 
the night before the eighteenth he brought me several 
alarming reports. Soult is very ambitious, and his wife 
governs him. I ought to have had Suchet with me. I 



190 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

should have employed Drouot to organize the army in 
March, and have made Clausel Minister of War. The 
raw conscripts did not know enough to have gained any 
esprit de corps. The cavalry was better than the infantry, 
because it contained more old soldiers. " 

**Ah! mon Dieu! perhaps the rain on the 17th of June 
had more to do than people think with the loss of the 
battle of Waterloo. If I had not been so worn out, I 
should have been in the saddle all night! What seem 
very small events have often the greatest consequences." 

"Poor France! to have been beaten by those English 
scoundrels! It is true that the same thing had happened 
at Crécy and Agincourt. I was too certain I should beat 
them. I had divined their plans. Perhaps I ought to 
have waited a fortnight longer before giving battle. Per- 
haps I did wrong to commence the campaign. I thought 
Russia and Austria would not take a hand." 

"Madame Hamelin says that the Duke of Wellington 
has no talent. He is afraid of me. He was fortunate 
for once, and knows that it could not happen a second 
time. He does not wish to risk his reputation. He 
knows very well that if I were at the head of two hundred 
thousand French soldiers, which may happen in a year or 
two—" 

"If I had postponed the battle I might have received 
a reinforcement of twelve thousand men from La Vendée. 
But who could have supposed that La Vendée would be 
so speedily pacified.-' In other respects my plans were 
well laid and well executed. It was fate that conquered 
me at Waterloo. The campaign ought to have succeeded. 
The English and the Prussians had been surprised in their 
cantonments." 



WATERLOO 191 

After Waterloo. 

"Ney got no more than he deserved. I regret him 
because he was inestimable on a field of battle, but he 
was too hot-headed, and too stupid to succeed in anything 
but a fight. He wanted to have it believed that he was 
concerned in a conspiracy to bring me back from Elba, 
and it cost him dear. Murat, who hke Ney, was unri- 
valled in battle, like him committed nothing but follies at all 
other times. I can assure you that Murat was the main 
cause of our being here at St. Helena. Instead of keep- 
ing quiet, as I begged him to do, he attacked the Austrians 
at the very moment when the Emperor Francis was in 
doubt whether he should not declare himself in my favor. 
After that there was no remedy. Of course they said at 
once: 'Napoleon is about to renew his system, and will 
risk all to gain all.' In vain I declared that Murat's 
attack was against my wishes. They would have it that 
it had all been arranged between him and me; and after 
that, it was impossible to come to an understanding with 
Austria and Russia. On my part I had perhaps better 
have postponed my landing in France for two weeks or 
twenty days. I can see now some things which lead me 
to suppose that the Champ de Mai, and the enthusiasm 
in France when I returned, were leading the Congress by 
degrees to look more favorably on me than before. I 
think they might even have hmited their demands to 
requiring that I should keep only a certain number of men 
under arms, and that I should not enter on another war. 
But the great mistake I made was in leaving Elba six 
months too soon. I ought to have waited till the Con- 
gress had been dissolved, in which case they would have 
had to dispatch couriers between the different courts that 
they might act in concert. This would have occasioned 
them great loss of time, and many difficulties, which were 
settled at once when the Congress was in session." 



192 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

"The populace is of no account, and can do nothing 
by itself; but with me at its head it would have been dif- 
ferent; it could have done anything. Judging from what I 
see now passing in France, the mob would have shot me 
could they have had the chance — yes, they would have shot 
me had they captured me." 

"Perhaps it would have been better on my return from 
Elba never to have called together the Chambers, but I 
wanted to give the nation a guarantee. Besides, I felt 
sure the colleges d^ arrondissement would send up patriotic 
deputies. But all — even Cambon — turned against me. 
There was only Felix Lepelletier, although he had at one 
time received some rough treatment from me, who felt 
the necessity of rallying to my party. The Deputies must 
by this time repent of their attitude. After my second 
abdication I ought to have delivered myself up to the 
Emperor of Austria. Francis Joseph is in the main a 
good man, and after a while we should have become 
friends again." 

"The English Constitution could not possibly work in 
France. I admired that Constitution when I returned 
from Egypt, because it was just then the fashion to do so; 
but had I returned victorious to Paris from Waterloo, I 
should have dismissed the Chambers. A deliberative 
body is a fearful thing to deal with. The English Consti- 
tution suits England only. Sovereigns can best govern 
without deliberative assemblies. The men in such bodies 
whom one thinks one can influence, too easily change 
sides. Ah! Waterloo! Waterloo! The English Con- 
stitution is not suited to France." 

"The King could not have kept my Chambers. They 
were too revolutionary. I should have changed them 
myself. I had been obliged to make them up in that 
manner after I came back from Elba, thinking they might 
give me the means to act. I made a mistake; I found 



WATERLOO 193 

them more injurious than useful. After Waterloo I had 
another opportunity of getting rid of them. I had six 
thousand men in my Guard, besides the Fédérés. But 
that would have led to anarchy. I foresaw what would 
happen! I think that any other course might have been 
better than the one I followed, but I had chances in my 
favor, and had I roused the mob in Paris much blood 
would have been shed for no result." 

"After Waterloo every one abandoned me. I said to 
the Peers when they sent me a deputation, 'Declare a 
national war. Announce that you will not sign a peace 
so long as the Allies remain in France.' They would 
have it, however, that things would be as they had been 
in 1814. Cambacérès himself would not come to see me, 
nor would Regnault; and lastly, it was Ney who in the 
Chamber of Peers exclaimed that all was lost, that I had 
not more than eight thousand faithful men under arms. 
Carnot alone assured me that it was just like what had 
happened to armies in the Revolution; that the army 
would rally around Paris, where there were cannon. All 
the rest believed that all was lost." 

"Could I have revolutionized Paris, and have set up 
the guillotine? If I had, I might not have succeeded. I 
had too many enemies. I should have put myself in hor- 
rible peril. There would have been much bloodshed, and 
little success. Instead of that, when I knew that the 
Chambers were against me, I said to the Deputies: 'You 
think, gentlemen, that I am an obstacle to peace. Well, 
then, get out of the war by yourselves.' At least we 
were then in Paris; here we are now at St. Helena! 
With the exception of the folly I committed in letting 
myself be transported to this place, if it were to be done 
over again, I would do the same thing. I do not speak 
of St. Helena; that was the height of folly; but if I had 
gone to America — " 



194 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

"When I came back from Waterloo it was my inten- 
tion to cut off Fouché's head. I had actually determined 
who should form the military commission by which I 
would have him tried. It was nearly the same as that which 
had tried the Due d'Enghien. They were all men in 
danger of" — Here His Majesty made an expressive sign 
with his neck-tie — "They would have served me well. I 
sent for Darrican and Hulin; they thought as I did, and 
I regret now that it was not done. But who now consid- 
ers that Louis XVI. perished because he did not send the 
Duke of Orleans to the scaffold? He ought to have had 
him tried in twenty-four hours by the Parliament of Paris. 
.... I ought to have gone to the Chambers the moment 
I arrived in the capital. I might have moved the Deputies, 
and have induced them to support me. My eloquence 
would have roused their enthusiasm. I would have cut 
off the heads of Lanjuinais, Lafayette, and a dozen others. 
I had from the first made a blunder in making Lanjuinais 
President of the Chamber. I ought to have given the 
post to Carnot, who in the Cabinet was not so useful as 
he might have been in the Chamber. He is a man who 
understands revolutions, and has great courage. I ought 
to have put Davout at the head of the army a fortnight be- 
fore I left Paris, and he might have organized it. Posterity 
will reproach me for having abandoned my soldiers, the 
Fédérés, and men of my own party. It is true I might have 
reigned again, but it must have been by the axe, and that 
prospect revolted me. On the other hand, the Allies might 
have favorably received the deputation that the Chambers 
were preparing to send them, and have repeated what they 
had said before, that they were fighting against me alone." 

"Some say I might have roused the populace of Paris 
and have set up the guillotine. For that — if I must say 
the word — I had not the courage." 

Gourgaud thought that on his return to Paris the 



WATERLOO 195 

Emperor ought at once to have gone to the Chambers, 
have harangued the Deputies, and have made them feel 
that all depended upon union. 

"But I had been three days without food. I was very 
weary. On arriving in Paris I at once took a bath, and 
had something to eat. I was completely exhausted. I 
sent for my ministers. If I had gone to the Chambers I 
should no doubt have been listened to with respect, per- 
haps with cheers, and then, as according to the Consti- 
tution I could not have remained during their delibera- 
tions, after I had gone away everything would have been 
as before. I might have flung a number of the Deputies 
into the river, and have closed the Chambers, like Crom- 
well. I certainly ought to have had Fouché shot, imme- 
diately on my arrival; he was the soul of the party opposed 
to me. The news of his arrest would have been cried 
beneath the windows of certain Deputies, to whom I 
might have said: 'What is this man that invokes the tri- 
color.'* — a man who fled from France to a foreign country, 
and who owed to me his return to Paris. At this moment 
there is no salvation for France but in men who love their 
country. ' I might have ended by requiring the mob to 
purge the Chamber of Deputies by hanging seven or 
eight of its members, Fouché especially. But to do that 
I must have acted like the Jacobins, I must have shed 
blood in the streets; and after that, should I have suc- 
ceeded? I own I might have done it had I been certain 
of success, but I did not think so. And then I saw that 
by adopting that course I must wade in blood, and make 
myself abhorred. I preferred to abdicate in favor of my 
son, and leave them to get out of their difiiculties by 
themselves. Then they would see that it was not I alone 
that the Allies wished to destroy, but France! .... I 
was beaten; the respect that had been felt for me was felt 
so long as I was feared; but I had not the rights of the 
legitimate heirs to fall back upon, as a claim for assistance 



196 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

and revenge. No hope was left me. No! what I have to 
reproach myself with is not having cut off Fouché's head. 
He had a narrow escape. Daru proposed to me to form 
a military commission to try him. If Fouché, instead of 
betraying me, had frankly come over to my side, he 
would have been very useful. He was the soul of the 
faction opposed to me; and he would have persuaded all 
his followers to join the national party. Yes; I ought to 
have gone at once to the Chamber, but I was harassed 
and weary. Besides, who could have thought they would 
so speedily have declared against me? I did not foresee 
that Lafayette was going to make a motion that the 
Chambers were in permanent session. I reached Paris in 
the evening at eight o'clock, and by noon the next day 
they were in revolt against me. 

"After all they took me by surprise. I am only a 
man. I ought to have put myself at the head of the 
army, which would have proclaimed my son; and assuredly 
anything would have been better than coming to St. 
Helena. There was still my Guard to give me hope, 
and the AlHes might have changed their plans. But no! 
they would have kept on saying that they wanted only to 
get rid of me. Even the army would have fallen under 
the influence of that idea. History perhaps will reproach 
me for having given up too soon. There was a little 
pique, too, on my part. At Malmaison I had proposed 
to the Provisional Government to put myself at the head 
of the army, and take advantage of any errors committed 
by the enemy. Its members would not listen to me; and 
I sent them off peremptorily. So it may well be said that 
the Provisional Government betrayed the cause of France. 
For when I was gone there was nothing to be done but 
what they did. Besides, its members were dreadfully 
afraid that the King on his arrival would hold them respon- 
sible for any opposition that might take place. They all 
thought only of themselves. 



WATERLOO 197 

"I left the Island of Elba too soon. I thought the 
Congress was dissolved. I ought never to have sum- 
moned the Chambers. It would have been sufficient to 
proclaim myself Dictator. But I hoped that the Allies, 
seeing me call the Chambers together, would place confi- 
dence in me. If I had been a conqueror I would soon 
have got rid of the Chambers! .... But talking of 
these things puts me in a bad humor. Let us go into the 
salon!" 

"From Malmaison I could easily have gone to Corsica, 
but I was tempted to prefer the United States. London 
even might have given me more chances. I might have 
been borne in triumph by the populace, had I appeared 
there. All the lower orders would have been for me, and 
my reasoning would have had its effect on Lord Grey and 
Lord Grenville." 

"When a prisoner is taken he should be treated 
according to the rank he has held, in accordance with the 
laws of war. I was an Emperor, and I am now to be 
treated as General Bonaparte. It is absurd. If they talk 
of Legitimacy, the English reigning family usurped the 
place of a legitimate sovereign. Consult the Old Testa- 
ment, and you will see that Saul and David reigned only 
because they were anointed by the Lord. I was elected 
by the French nation, crowned, and anointed by the Pope. 
England recognized the French Republic by the Treaty of 
Amiens. The intention of those who have sent me to St. 
Helena is to kill me slowly by this tropical climate. It 
would have been more generous to cut off my head at 
once, by one blow. The bill by which the Parliament of 
England prescribes how I am to be treated is barbarous. 
Why place me on an island, if it were not that I might 
enjoy more liberty than in a prison.' And by reason of 
the "restrictions" I cannot go beyond the grounds of my 
own house. Were there no prisons in England.-"' 



CHAPTER XII. 

FRANCE AFTER THE RESTORATION. 

Observations by Napoleon on News Received 
AT St. Helena, 1815, 1816, 1817. 

"The King ought to begin by showing severity, and 
after that he may show clemency. He must be a feudal 
sovereign and should re-establish the old Parliaments. He 
can do it now, but later he could not. He ought to profit 
by the stupor into which the nation is now plunged by the 
presence of foreign armies. The EngUsh Constitution 
will never do for France. The only reason I concerned 
myself about a Constitution when I came back from Elba 
was because Constitutions seemed the talk of the day; 
but had I been victorious, I should have got rid of the 
Chambers. These deliberative assembhes are terrible 
things. The English Constitution can suit no country 
but England." 

It must be remembered that in these remarks upon the policy 
to be pursued by Louîs XVIII., Napoleon is advising his succes- 
sor how he may best re-establish his unpopular dynasty. The 
vacillating policy of Louis XVIII. he feared would result in the 
ruin of France, and certainly in that of the restored dynasty. 
Louis XVIII. came back to France in 1815, as in some sort the 
vassal of the Allies. When he returned from Ghent after the 
battle of Waterloo he was in the hands of the powers, who had 
fought France really for their own interests, but nominally for 
him. When he drew near to Paris, and passed a few days at 
a neighboring château, the National Guard, who if not Royalists, 
were anti-Bonapartists, delighted at any change, wanted to escort 
him back to his capital, but he was not allowed by the foreign 
generals to accept their services. 

During the first three years of his reign, the period covered 
by these talks of Napoleon with Gourgaud, Louis XVIII. was 

198 



FRANCE AFTER THE RESTORATION 199 

never a free agent. He was a man of culture and ability, but of 
no personal experience in the management of French affairs. 
During his exile he had read and thought, and was inclined to 
liberal opinions, while the Princes, i. e., the Comte d'Artois, and 
the Due d'Angoulême, his son, were of those who had learned 
nothing, forgotten nothing, during the years they had lived in 
exile. Their aim was to put back everything as it had been befoie 
the Revolution; to blot out fifty years of the history of France. 
Louis XVIII. saw that this could not be. He was close pressed 
on the one side by the policy advocated by the Princes and the 
émigrés, and on the other by the public sentiment among French- 
men who had been educated in the ideas and aspirations of the 
Revolution. With these in his heart he sympathized, but if he 
showed favors to the liberal party, he dreaded to encourage 
Jacobinism. If he fulfilled the hopes of the émigrés who had been 
exiled and despoiled for their devotion to his family, the cause of 
the Bourbons would speedily be ruined. From the first, public 
opinion was against him. He was very unpopular with his own 
family, and their party. Even the Allies dared not favor his 
adhesion to their policy. 

"The establishment of the prévôtal courts^ is the best 
thing the King can do. France wants another Saint 
Bartholomew. Louis XVIIL is in an embarrassing posi- 
tion. I don't know what I could do in his place. France 
is very unfortunate. Gauls! Gauls! — It is not in the 
French character to insult their sovereigns. The Cham- 
ber of Deputies by spreading terror in all directions will 
injure the cause of the King." 

"The Emperor thinks," says Gourgaud, "that the 
King was too tardy in publishing his amnesty. It con- 
tained only sixty names. The greater part of these were 
of men who were not dangerous. The King would have 
done better to begin by a list of proscriptions." 

"The King was wrong to yield ;^ it will do him no 

• Criminal courts held by the Prévôts or military magistrates in their own 
districts. Their judgments were summary and without appeal. The authority 
of these courts was temporary.— £. W. L. 

'Napoleon's refractory Chamber of Deputies was composed largely of 
men who called themselves of the liberal party, and were opposed to imperi- 
alism. As they were not in harmony with the new government, the Chamber 



200 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

good. Perhaps he was forced to it by the powers. He 
is going back to the same course he followed in 1814. 
There is too great a gulf between him and the French 
people to make any real union possible. He cannot do as 
I did. I granted pardons to men who were only too 
happy to receive anything that I would give them. But 
now it is different. The King is wrong, and Chateau- 
briand is right." 

"Louis XVni. and the Duke of Orleans were the only 
men of their family who never plotted my assassination." 

His Majesty said that Louis XVHL ought to have 
begun a fifth dynasty, and have called himself Louis L 

"The cours prévôtales are the best things to restrain 
the lower orders and the Paris mob. The Bourbons can 
succeed in sustaining themselves only by terror. The 
more they alarm and oppress the French, the better. In 
1 8 14 they acted on the system of rose-water, and they 
were overthrown. The French nation has no national 
character; it is governed by the fashion. At present the 
French are all of one party; to-morrow they may all be 
of another, insisting that they have always belonged to it 
at heart. When, at Vienna and Berlin, I saw citizen 
soldiers mount guard at the arsenal which we were about 
to attack, I was indignant; I said to myself, 'Shall I 
ever see Frenchmen do the same thing to oppose English- 
men or Russians?' And think of a deputation from the 
Institute coming to felicitate the Emperor Alexander!" 

"The Bourbons ought to send to St. Domingo a 
hundred thousand of my old soldiers, and let them perish 

was dissolved and another called, composed principally of Royalists and ex- 
émigrés. The law of elections in France at that day enabled the Government 
to send up to the Chambers such members as it wanted. The new Chamber of 
Deputies, as Napoleon said, spread terror in all directions. It encouraged 
what was called the White Terror, especially in the south of France. The 
situation became so dangerous that the allies interfered, and their representa- 
tives insisted on the dissolution of the Chamber.— £■. W. L. 



FRANCE AFTER THE RESTORATION 201 

there by the cHmate, or be killed by the blacks; in that 
way they would get rid of both of them. They ought to 
exile all the marshals and generals who arc not of noble 
birth, and retain no generals but those who have sprung 
from the nobility. Montesquiou, Caraman, and Carignan 
would make as good marshals as any of mine." 

"At such a moment ' it is cruel to sit here a prisoner. 
If there is an insurrection in France, who will put himself 
at its head? I see nobody who is capable of great things. 
Eugene has only a level head. By that I mean he has 
good judgment and many admirable qualities, but he has 
no genius — none of that force of character which is the 
attribute of great men. Soult is good for nothing but 
to serve under a commander-in-chief. No one could do 

that work but me Clausel? Ah! Clausel! he is 

young, he has talent, he has vigor. I fear no one but 

Clausel Should he succeed and become a great 

man in France, do you suppose he would be fool enough 
to yield his place to me? I have many partisans, but 
should he succeed he would have many too. Men would 
soon forget the great things I have done, and would fawn 
on him who had saved France. And then, he who comes 
last is always thought to be the best man — the past is 
forgotten for the present." 

The Emperor said that the best step England could 
take would be to stir up an insurrection in Paris, and 
then use it as a pretext to burn the capital. "It would be 
a great thing for England to destroy the capital of France. 
The English would probably sink our vessels, fill up our 
ports, especially Cherbourg, Brest, and Toulon, and after 
that they would have nothing to fear from us for many 
years to come." 

Gourgaud says: "The nation would rise in arms to 
resent that." 

' Rumors had reached St. Helena of disturbances in France, the result 
of the White Terror. 



202 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

"Bah! the nation hes prostrate at this moment. The 
AlUes could partition France if they wanted to do so. It 
would be very easy. The first thing to be done would be 
to divide all my old officers among themselves, to send 
some of them into Russia, some into Prussia, some to 
Austria, and some to the Indies. Were the army scat- 
tered, and its officers in exile, what could France do to 
oppose the Allies?' She would have no course but to 
submit." 

Napoleon tells Gourgaud that were he once more on 
the throne of France, in six years he would place the 
country on its former footing. "Austria seems to have 
formed a party in favor of Napoleon II. Bassano will be 
well treated in Vienna.^ Bavaria, Saxony, and Italy are 
discontented. Belgium would be all for me." 

Gourgaud objects that at Waterloo the advanced guard 
of the English was composed of Belgians, and Napoleon 
replies: "Men always fight well when their courage is 
up; but the people of Belgium are for me. Everything 
depends on the result of a battle. If I had not made the 
blunder of fighting the battle of Waterloo when I did, all 
else was already accomplished. I cannot understand yet 
how it all happened. But do not let us talk of it now." 

"Louis XVIII. ought to send away the priests and all 
the men who took an active part for or against the Revo- 
lution." 

"The Bourbons are on the right road. Their cours 
prévôtales will affect only the canaille. Time will bring 
about reconciliation. I hold somewhat singular views. 
I think that there was never any real Revolution in France; 
that the men of 1789 did not differ from those in the 

* Maret, Duke of Bassano, former Minister of Napoleon, was sent as the 
Ambassador of Louis XVIII. to Vienna. He contrived to keep alive in the 
heart of the young Napoleon enthusiasm for his great father.— £. W. L, 



FRANCE AFTER THE RESTORATION 203 

time of Louis XIV. It was the Queen and the ministers, 
who brought about their own overthrow by adopting fatal 
measures. The French are not a mean spirited people, 
as foreigners now think them; but in everything they 
follow the fashion, and the man who was yesterday with 
all his heart a Bonapartist, to-day is as sincere a Royalist, 
and to-morrow may be a Republican. If the Austrians go 
to Lyons, it will mean the dismemberment of France — 
the creation of the kingdom of Burgundy." 

"The King is breaking the neck of his dynasty — 
Faith! He is too liberal. He will see what it will be to 
have a Chamber composed of such Deputies as he is going 
to have.' In France the Chamber of Peers counts for 
nothing; the Chamber of Deputies is all in all. I quite 
understand why the princes are opposed to the King; he 
is preparing the way for losing his crown. I think that 
what I said, namely, that he ought to set up a fifth 
dynasty, may have influenced his conduct. If the princes 
were banished, it would put the Duke of Orleans on the 
throne. He would conciliate all parties, who at present 
are in as much disorder as ever." 

"When Louis XVIII. dies, great events may take 
place; and if Lord Holland should then be Prime Minister 
of England, they may bring me back to Europe. But 
what I most hope for is the death of the Prince Regent, 
which will place the young Princess Charlotte on the Eng- 
lish throne. She will bring me back to Europe. You 
see what passed at Bordeaux where all were much against 
me, but in favor of my son. If Napoleon II. reigned, his 
ministry would demand that I should be detained at a 
distance from France." 

"You must never mention insurrection to an Enghsh- 

man. It frightens people in his country, where the 

>The new Chamber of Deputies was ultra Liberal. It had a strong 
Nationalist element. 



204 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

people's party has been repressed. But the fire is not 
extinct, the sparks are numerous." 

"The Surgeon of the Conqueror* does not believe 
we shall be in St. Helena very long; but he does not think 
the Enghsh government would let me reside in England. 
They would fear lest the Rioters ^ should put me at their 
head. Those people need a man to lead them, and if it 
were 1, all France would be with them! The surgeon 
thinks that the Bourbons will not be able to sustain them- 
selves. He is a partisan of the Duke of Orleans, whom 
he has known in England. This prince speaks good 
English, and is more revolutionary than I am. But the 
Rioters in England would find me the man who could best 
defend the rights of the people." 

Napoleon said: "Louis XVIH. has a very kindly 
face." He said also that he was a man of talent and 
that he was sorry he could not have known him. "The 
Comte d'Artois wanted to have me assassinated." 

"Great news from England! Ministers are about to 
resign. We shall have Wellesley, Holland, and Gren- 
ville. The young Princess says she will punish the old 
ministers for their behavior to her mother. Everybody, 
they say, is talking about me in England, where no more 
attention is paid to the libels. Nobody in France will read 
the Quarterly Review. The Bourbons will soon be over- 
thrown. Austria and Russia are getting very desirous to 
withdraw their troops from France. The English will 
be requested to recall theirs, and then the Bourbons will 
be driven from France! There will be a total change. 
Wellesley is for me. He says that they did wrong to 
drive me out of France in 1815; and Hudson Lowe is 
abused in all the newspapers." 

'This surgeon was afterwards court-martialed on suspicion of too much 
sympathy for Napoleon, to whom he had given his medical services for five days. 

'The Riots, or Rioters, is Gourgaud's translation of the English word 
Radicals. The Duke of Orleans is Louis Philippe. 



PRANCE AFTER THE RESTORATION 205 

"I have been reading Hume. The EngHsh are a 
ferocious people. What crimes we read of in their his- 
tory! Look at Henry VHI., who married Lady Seymour 
the day after he had Anne de Boleyn's head cut off. We 
could not have done that in France. Nero never com- 
mitted such crimes! And Queen Mary! .... Ah! the 
Salic Law was a wise thing." 

Saint-Cyr is reported to have said to the King: "If 
Your Majesty wants an army you must give it the tricolor." 

"But," replied the Emperor, "the King would do 
anything rather than give up the White Cockade, the 
panache blanche of Henri IV. He would have been all 
right if he had not changed his system, but he always has 
been a Revolutionist." 

"That fool of a King is going to spoil everything by 
taking part with the Revolutionists. He has no men of 
good judgment around him. He does not see that the 
Allies want to cut up France. And for this he incurs the 
hatred of his brother. He will spoil everything. He 
ought to have profited by the stay of the Allies to control 
the Chamber; the cours prévôtales would have managed 
to restrain the populace. In five years the foreign troops 
would have departed, and then the nation could have over- 
thrown the Bourbons. Their system is too old, and could 
not be maintained. The French nation does not like to 
be humiliated; how will it all end? The Allies may set 
up Dukes of Brittany and Anjou. Yes, they may make 
the Comte d'Artois Duke of Anjou! That is what the 
Bourbons would like. Now, listen to what I tell you. 
You will see that the King will dissolve his Chamber soon 
after it has assembled. He will be forced to do so." 

"England shows herself insatiable in everything. That 
poor Louis XVIII. , that you English have placed upon 
the throne of France, contrary to the wishes of the nation, 



2o6 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. //ELENA 

you are now using as an instrument to squeeze money out 
of France — twelve hundred millions by way of contribu- 
tions! As if, placed on the throne by you, the French 
did not sufficiently abhor him The dismember- 
ment of Poland brought on the French Revolution. The 
things that are now taking place in France may lead to 
frightful consequences in Europe. Germany is demand- 
ing a constitution; England is asking for Parliamentary 
Reform; that means a revolution, in which the oligarchy 
will be overthrown! Everywhere there is fermentation 
and discord." 

"This is no time, Gourgaud, for you to leave me. 
Three years from now King Louis XVIII. will probably 
be dead, and there will be a crisis. If the princes succeed 
the King, France may be quiet and consolidated. If the 
Orleans princes or Napoleon II. should succeed, you will 
be well received by them. At all events, everything is 
now in fermentation. You must wait patiently for the 
crisis. I daresay I may have many more years to live; 
my career is not yet ended." ^ 

* This was said to encourage and pacify Gourgaud. Napoleon constantly 
spoke of the death he felt approaching. 



CHAPTER XIII. 
GREAT GENERALS IN THE PAST. 

Alexander the Great and Caesar. — Gustavus 
Adolphus. — Tu renne. — Prince Eugene. — Fred- 
erick the Great. — Henri IV. and Some Other 
French Kings. 



Alexander the Great and Caesar. 

"To arrive at a just judgment concerning the relative 
merits of these two great commanders, we must consider 
the nature of their troops, and that of the forces of their 
enemies. When one sees the exploits of Agesilaus, and 
considers that the army of Xerxes was destroyed by ten 
thousand Greeks at Marathon, we perceive how few were 
the obstacles Alexander had to encounter in order to con- 
quer such enemies. He fought only a few battles, and it 
was the arrangement of his troops in phalanx that made 
him triumph, rather than his military tactics; no fine 
manoeuvres worthy of a great general have been recorded 
of him. He was a brave soldier, such a grenadier as Léon.* 
Why did he return to Egypt instead of pushing his con- 
quests over Persia further still? 

"Caesar, on the contrary, had vaHant enemies to con- 
tend with. He ran great risks in the enterprises into 
which his bold spirit impelled him; he came out of them 
successfully, through his genius. His battles in the civil 
wars were real battles, both because of the bravery of the 
men, and the skill of their generals. He was a man of 

' a grenadier in the Consular Guard, subsequently in the Garde Impé- 
riale. A man Napoleon liked to praise for his courage. It is even recorded 
that Napoleon once spoke of Léon as one of his few true personal friends, if 
not the only one.— French Editor. 

2ffJ 



2o8 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. I/ELENA 

great genius, who loved bold enterprises. Alexander was 
both a soldier and a politician. I think he was right in 
his disputes with his Macedonians." 

"Up to my time France still felt the influence of 
Cœsar. The supremacy of the Pope, the Empire of 
Germany, and the King of the Romans were all destroyed 
by me. Charlemagne had given a good deal to the Pope. 
Germany, up to my day, was composed of great fiefs. 
At one time one of its Emperors named Maximihan 
created counts and barons in the Parliament of Paris. ^ 

"No one at length dared to oppose Csesar. Men are 
truly great according to what institutions they leave 
behind them. If a cannon-ball, fired from the Kremlin, 
had killed me, I should have been as great as they, 
because my institutions and my dynasty would have 
remained in France; instead of which I shall now be 
almost nothing, unless my son should one day reascend 
my throne." 

The Emperor wonders why, after Issus, Alexander did 
not follow up Darius instead of wasting his time at the 
siege of Tyre. "I think," says Gourgaud, "that there was 
great exaggeration as to the hosts opposed to Alexander. 
The troops opposed to the Macedonians were mere 
masses of men, ill-armed and ill-disciphned. Assuredly 
with thirty thousand men Alexander could easily have 
routed the right wing of the army of the King of Persia, 
which consisted of six hundred thousand; however, 
Darius might have dispatched armies to the rear of the 
Macedonians to reoccupy the cities Alexander had previ- 
ously taken." 

"Now," said Napoleon, "you see how history is 
written! What is the use of working hard and being in 
difficulties all your life that you may figure in history after 
you are dead.-*" 

'Gourgaud gives no date for this event, and it is hard to say to what 
Emperor Maximilian Napoleon was referring.— £. W. L. 



GREAT GENERALS IN THE PAST 209 

"What I admire in Alexander the Great is not his 
campaigns, which we cannot fully understand, but his 
political astuteness. At the age of thirty-three he left 
behind him an immense empire well established, which 
his generals divided among themselves. He knew the 
art of gaining the love and trust of conquered nations. 
He was right to have had Parmenio killed, when, like a 
fool, he was finding fault with his sovereign for having 
given up Greek manners. It was a great stroke of policy 
on Alexander's part to visit the Temple of Jupiter 
Ammon. It enabled him to conquer Egypt. If I had 
stayed in the East, I should probably have founded an 
empire like Alexander, if I had made a pilgrimage to 
Mecca, where I would have made prayers and genuflex- 
ions before the Prophet's tomb; but I would not have 
done this, without first making sure it would be worth the 
trouble. I would not have acted like that fool Menou." ^ 

"My account of my campaign in Egypt is at least in 
one respect better than the commentaries of Caîsar, which 
have no dates." 

"When I was young I wanted to write something 
about Caesar." ^ 

"But Your Majesty," said Gourgaud, "has made 
history." 

"Who? I? Ah! but the end needed success. It is 
true that Cœsar himself cannot be said to have succeeded. 
He was assassinated." 

GUSTAVUS Adolphus. 

"Just look at the man men call the great Gustavus! 
In eighteen months he won one battle, lost another, and 
was killed in the third! His fame was assuredly gained 
at a cheap rate History is no better than a 

' Menou, a General left in Egypt after Napoleon returned to Europe, pro- 
fessed himself a Mohammedan. He was the same man who retreated before 
the enemies of the convention on the 13th Vendémiaire. — E. W. L. 

'Tbey bad been reading a tragedy of that name. 



210 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

romance. Now look at Gustavus, whom history exalts 
as an extraordinary man, and history very likely will say 

•nothing about us Civilians cannot write about a 

battle. Tilly and Wallenstein were better generals than 
Gustavus Adolphus. There is no very able military 
movement recorded of the Swedish King. He quitted 
Bavaria because of the strategic movements of Tilly, 
which forced him to evacuate the country, and he let 
Magdeburg be captured before his very eyes. There's a 
splendid reputation for you!" 

His Majesty said that the reputation of Gustavus 
Adolphus was very extraordinary; he took part in very 
few battles. "But, Sire," said the uncourtier-like Gour- 
gaud, "Your Majesty yourself has been in very few great 
battles." 

"Bah!" replied the Emperor, "Ulm, Austerlitz, 
Essling, Wagram!" 

A day or two later the Emperor counts up his battles. 
They amount to nearly sixty. Madame de Montholon ex- 
claims: "That is splendid! Not like Gustavus Adolphus, 
who fought only three or four." 

TURENNE. 

"Turenne was a good general — the only general 
who as he grew an old man grew bolder. I approve his 
operations all the more because I find them exactly what 
I myself would have done. He passed through all grades 
in the army. He began by being a private soldier; for 
four years he was a captain, etc. He is a man who, if 
he had suddenly appeared by my side at Wagram, would 
at once have understood my plan of battle. Condé 
would have understood it too, but not Caesar or Hannibal. 
If I had had a man like Turenne to be my second in 
command during my campaigns, I should have been now 
master of the world; but I had nobody. Wherever I was 
not present my generals were defeated. As I was march- 




MARSHAL SOULT 



GREAT GENERALS IN THE PAST 211 

ing on Landshut I met Bessières retreating. I told him 
to go forward, but he objected, saying that the enemy 
was too strong. 'Go forward nevertheless,' I said, and 
he advanced. The enemy, seeing him again on the 
offensive, thought he had received reinforcements, and 
retreated. In war things often happen like that. Sol- 
diers should never count their enemies. In Italy we were 
always one to three, but the troops had confidence in me. 
Moral force, rather than numbers, may decide a victory. 
Condé was one of nature's generals, Turenne was a 
general by experience. I consider him much greater than 
Frederick of Prussia. Had he been in Frederick's place 
he would have done much more and would not have com- 
mitted the faults of that King. When Turenne said that 
no army ought to have more than fifty thousand men, we 
must consider what he meant when speaking of an army. 
In his time armies were not organized into divisions; the 
general-in-chief had to order everything and name the 
generals who were to command this and that corps; 
therefore, you can see that having to oversee everything 
himself, there would have been nothing but confusion if 
the commander-in-chief had had more than fifty thousand 
men. Turenne does not say that with fifty thousand 
men he could beat two hundred thousand. To do that 
would need several of what he calls armies. These were 
what we now call divisions, and corps d'ar?fiée. I say 
further that thirty thousand or forty thousand men are 
enough for a corps d'armée in three divisions. That 
number could be easily fed, and easily commanded." 

Gourgaud asked why Turenne and Montecucculi 
seemed to march about without a purpose, from right to 
left, avoiding each other, and never giving battle, and why 
one or the other general did not manoeuvre so as to pass 
his opponent, and enter the enemy's territory. 

Napoleon answered: "Armies were weak in those 
days; strong places at that time played a great part in 



212 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST HELENA 

war. There is no strong position now which could stop 
two hundred thousand or three hundred thousand men, 
while everywhere there are positions that can be advan- 
tageously held by twenty thousand to thirty thousand men. 
A village occupied becomes an important point. Its 
importance, however, diminishes according to the strength 
of the opposing army; twenty-five thousand men opposed 
to twenty thousand are not in the same proportion as two 
hundred thousand men opposed to two hundred and fifty 
thousand. Armies are strong in arithmetical, not geo- 
metrical, proportion. For example, an army of twenty- 
five thousand men could employ only five thousand to 
form a detachment, and then would have great difficulty 
in concealing the movement from the enemy. Besides, 
twenty-five thousand could do little or nothing. The 
least fortified place, the smallest post, might stop them, 
whereas an army of two hundred and fifty thousand men 
could easily send off a detachment of fifty thousand, which 
would be an army sufficient to subdue a whole country 
and capture its strongholds. The enemy would have 
great difificulty in making out whether there were two 
hundred thousand or two hundred and fifty thousand men 
before him. The genius of Turenne would have enabled 
him to command large armies as successfully as he did 
little ones. If he had sprung out of the earth and stood 
by my side at Wagram, he would have perceived my plan 
and have understood everything." 

"Turenne was not a briUiant talker, but he had the 
genius essential to a general." 

"He was the greatest of French generals. Contrary 
to what is usual, he grew bolder as he grew older. His 
last campaigns were superb. I want to write my obser- 
vations on this subject. The tactics of that day were 
different from ours. Armies in general were not large, 
and the one that was largest played an important part in 



GREAT GENERALS IN THE PAST 213 

a campaign. Condé, too, was a good commander. 
Marshal Saxe showed how badly off France was in his 
day for good generals. I do not know any engagements 
to his credit, except Lawfeld and Fontenoy. A good 
general is not an ordinary man. Saxe and Luxembourg 
were of the second order. Frederick stands in the first 
rank, so do Turenne and Condé. I must write their 
campaigns." 

Prince Eugene. 

"Prince Eugene committed several faults. The affair 
at Cremona was a piece of foolishness. One must never 
ask of fortune more than she can grant. Everything was 
going well for him. Villeroy was taken, but the removal 
of two boats out of the bridge made the whole thing fail. 
The battle of Turin was fought against all rules, but it 
succeeded, and had immense results. Prince Eugene was 
a great general, higher up the ladder than the rest of 
them. He fought on the Rhine, in Italy, and in Turkey." 

"At Hochstadt Prince Eugene wanted to turn to the 
left and force the French into the Danube. This is badly 
reported by Feuquières, whose maps are ill made." 

Frederick the Great. 

"Frederick was always superior to his enemy at the 
opening of a campaign, but when a battle was to be 
fought his troops were a'lWays the fewest. His soldiers 
were perfect, his cavalry was excellent; nothing could 
resist their charge, as is the case with our cuirassiers. 
And he knew well how to hold his army in hand during a 
battle. 

"Apparently he greatly despised his adversaries, the 
Austrians especially. Daun did not undertake a pursuit 
until twelve days after he had gained the battle of KoUin, 
and Prince Charles did not leave Prague until four days 
after the departure of his enemies. " 



214 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

"Frederick, great as he was, did not understand artil- 
lery. The best generals are those who have served in 
that corps. People think it is easy to know how to place 
a battery in position; it is a great thing, however. If 
batteries are formed behind the first line of infantry in a 
battle, and suddenly sixty to eighty cannon are unmasked, 
all bearing on one point, it often decides a victory." 

"Frederick, in his Instructions, did not like to tell 
everything. There is much vagueness in them. He 
could have done better had he chosen. I wanted to write 
on the same subject, but then, when generals are defeated 
they excuse themselves by saying that they only followed 
the rules they had been taught. There are so many 
different things to be considered in war. But no one can 
write on it without pointing out the difference between 
war in our own day and war in the time of the ancients." 

"Frederick made a mistake by losing forty days before 
the camp at Pirna, which was eighty-four thousand feet in 
circumference. This loss of time cost him dear. I think 
the capitulation of the Saxons was postponed in conse- 
quence, from day to day. I blame the march of his 
three columns, which came from three places, Frankfort 
on the Oder, Magdeburg, and another. He should have 
made them march closer to each other, in order to be able 
to unite them when the enemy should attack him. But 
Frederick would defend himself by saying that he wanted 
to levy a contribution of money at Leipsic, and that he was 
sure he should not be molested. People say that I am 
rash; but Frederick was much more so. One cannot 
understand how Prince Charles could have been so foolish 
as to let him quietly cross two rivers. I have been writing 
about the battle of Prague; a child might understand it. 
I shall leave some notes on those campaigns, which may 
be some day useful to my son. I might make you all 



GREAT GENERALS IN THE PAST 215 

admirable generals by discussions on military affairs. I 
am an excellent schoolmaster. But I would not put my 
impressions on such matters into print." 

"Frederick was not an ordinary man. But at Kollin 
he manoeuvred very badly. He sacrificed half his 
troops. In my opinion he lost everything. Frederick 
had great moral audacity. I am going shortly to dictate 
my remarks on his campaigns. They will be very inter- 
esting. I ought to have had his wars explained in the 
École Polytechnique, and the military schools. Jomini 
would have been a good man for that purpose. Such 
teaching would have put excellent ideas into the heads of 
the young pupils. It is true that Jomini always argues for 
fixed principles. Genius works by inspiration. What is 
good in certain circumstances may be bad in others, but 
one ought to consider principles as an axis which holds 
certain relations to a curve. It may be good to recog- 
nize that on this or that occasion one has swerved from 
fixed principles of war." 

"Frederick sometimes acted against all the rules of 
war. On one occasion he did not know that the Austri- 
ans were near him, and he was taken by surprise. He 
was obliged to face to the right in the midst of a battle. 
In this campaign, and in that of Prague, he was always 
superior in numbers to his enemy, and yet he came off badly 
in those encounters. The great art of a general con- 
sists, if he knows himself to be inferior in numbers to his 
enemy, in proving himself superior on the field of battle. 
One cannot comprehend the folly of the Prince of Lorraine, 
wlio ought to have fallen upon Frederick and Schwerin 
when they were advancing separately; instead of which he 
shut himself up in Prague, with forty thousand men, and 
let himself be blockaded by fifty thousand! He ought to 
have made sorties with thirty thousand of his soldiers, 



2i6 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

and Frederick would have raised the siege. In order to 
invest a place properly one should take up a good posi- 
tion, fifteen or eighteen miles away; fortify it, and station 
detachments of men in echelons on the flanks, so that if the 
enemy should attack any point, all the troops may concen- 
trate at once to resist him. If a relieving force should 
arrive to succor the besieged, the detachments on the 
side opposite to the town should be withdrawn, and should 
fall back on the fortified position. 

"Frederick would not have manoeuvred as he did, had 
I been his opponent. I see nothing fine in his operations 
at Rosbach. He fell back on his base, and every time a 
general does that, it is because he is obliged to do so. I 
see no genius in that. If he had rushed with all his 
forces on the left flank of the enemy's column, instead of 
attacking it in front, as he did, it would have proved him 
a great general. That is what I did at Austerhtz. I 
should have done like Frederick if, instead of falling on 
the flank of the Russians, I had fallen back on my base, 
where Friant was stationed. 

"Prince Charles ought to have made one sortie after 
another at Prague. Soldiers are made on purpose to be 
killed. All the same, I cannot conceive why Soubise at 
Rosbach did not deploy his troops, why every colonel and 
every officer in command of a battalion did not deploy 
his men. 

"Soubise could have drawn his columns together and 
then have deployed regiment after regiment, ordering the 
men to keep up a steady fire from both ranks. There is 
no excuse for anybody; they ought to have put every 
captain of artillery the army possessed into the batteries. 
The Swiss alone held their ground, and Soubise ordered 
them to retreat. He ought to have raUied them. He 
had better have fought, even though he risked the loss of 
eight thousand men, than have fallen back so shamefully. 
In those days they did not know how to make war. In 



GREAT GENERALS IN THE PAST 217 

the French army there were too many men of talent fond 
of talking; men who liked to argue and discuss. They 
needed a commander who would firmly enforce his orders, 
who cared nothing for these men of social talent, and who 
would have made every one act as he thought proper. The 
Marshal de Saxe was not an eagle, but he had firmness of 
character, and could make himself obeyed. Nowadays 
there is no general, no commander of a battalion, who has 
not done better than Soubise. Madame de Pompadour 
at that time caused the French to play the part of auxil- 
iaries to the troops of the Princes of Germany. 

"Frederick at Rosbach had twenty- five thousand men; 
Soubise had twenty thousand French soldiers, and an 
equal number belonging to the German princes. These 
last were then good for nothing. (Now they have become 
good soldiers, because they have been incorporated into 
large bodies of men.) He had besides, thirty thousand 
Bavarians. 

"What is most remarkable about Frederick is not his 
skill in military movements, but his audacity. He suc- 
ceeded in doing what I never ventured to attempt. He 
quitted his Hne of operations, and often seemed to act as 
if he had no knowledge of the military art." 

"Frederick was right in what he said about detach- 
ments. In mountain warfare a general should let himself 
be attacked rather than take the offensive. What to do 
calls for ability! Suppose the enemy occupies a strong 
position, you must take one that will compel him to come 
out and attack you, or else to take up one in your rear. 
That is what I did to make the Austrians evacuate 
Saorgio. On a plain, I think as Frederick does, that it 
is best to attack first. ObHque order is good only when 
an army cannot manoeuvre. Mountains are much greater 
obstacles than rivers. You can always cross a river, but 
not a mountain. Very often, as is the case in the Vosges, 



2i8 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

there are only two or three passes, and even they are 
barred at places through which an army would have to 
pass. In a few hours you can make a bridge, and it 
would take six months to make a road. You may make 
a détour of six or nine miles in some places, but you could 
not make one of fifteen leagues. Before Marengo I could 
not have crossed the Alps if the King of Sardinia had not 
made roads up to the foot of the range. If there had 
been soldiers enough to defend the town of Bard and the 
fort, I could not have passed into Italy. 

"The great advantage armies have at the present day 
is their being made up of divisions; each of which, like 
the Roman legion, can suffice for itself." 

"There are good things in Frederick's Instructions, 
but they are written in too great haste, and do not go 
deep enough. I have begun, as you know, a work, which 
if I ever finish it, will be interesting. Frederick, great 
man as he was, committed some faults, — at KoUin, for 
example, — but his historians were Prussians, and did not 
point them out. One would like to read an account of 
his campaigns, written by an officer serving under Daun." 

Henri IV, and Some Other French Kings. 

"Henri IV. never did anything great. He gave fifteen 
hundred francs to his mistresses. Saint Louis was a 
simpleton. Louis XIV. was the only King of France 
worthy of the name." 

The Emperor declared that the manifesto of Henri 
IV. against his queen, Marguerite de Valois, was in his 
opinion a libel. 

"It makes me laugh to read how Masson endeavored 
to demonstrate to Frederick the Great that Henri IV. 
was the greatest captain of ancient or modem times. He 
was a fine man, but he did nothing extraordinary, and as 



GREAT GENERALS IN THE PAST 219 

a gray-beard running after disreputable women in the 
streets of Paris, he was an old fool. But in opposition 
to Louis XIV., who was detested, Henri IV. has been 
extolled to the skies. Besides, Voltaire, by his epic 
poem the 'Henriade,' made him very popular. I am 
sure that in his own day he had not the popularity he has 
in ours." 

"Henri IV. was a brave soldier. With his own sword 
he sometimes risked himself far from his main army with 
only one or two squadrons. Francis I. also was a brave 
king; but a sovereign is surrounded by so many men who 
entreat him not to risk his life, who assure him he will be 
captured, and that his safety is everything for the state, 
that many kings of France have been taken prisoners, so 
that a king must be very brave indeed to go under fire." 

"Henri IV. was a good soldier, but in his day all that 
was needed was courage and good sense. It was not the 
same thing as war with great masses of men. We must 
do justice to the French kings; all of them were brave 
men." 

"The order of the Knights of Malta was absurd. 
The Knights did nothing but enjoy their revenues. They 
did no fighting. The Pope might very properly have 
taken some of their wealth to destroy the Mediterranean 
pirates. Saint Louis mismanaged his expedition into 
Egypt. I should have failed in mine had I done the 
same." 

The Emperor thinks that we have very meagre reports 
of the wars in the time of Louis XIV., and yet many 
illustrious families, one would think, had an interest in 
transmitting to posterity full accounts of the great deeds 
of certain generals. 

"Louis XIV. was the greatest king our country has 
ever possessed. He had four hundred thousand men 



220 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. //ELENA 

under arms; and a king of France who could assemble 
so many could have been no ordinary man. Only he and 
I ever had such great armies." 

"Louis XIV. was a great king, but not a great soldier. 
His passage of the Rhine, which has been so much 
praised, amounted to nothing. His troops passed over 
by a ford defended by two poor regiments. But anyhow 
he was a great king." 

"The Revolution was beginning in the latter years of 
Louis XV. He was a man of talent, and foresaw it; but 
he thought, 'Things as they are will last my time.' " 

We spoke of Louis XV. The Emperor said: "Louis 
XV. never had any heart." 

"It might be said with truth that Louis XV. gained 
the battle of Fontenoy himself, by not following the advice 
of his courtiers, who urged him to recross the river. If 
he had gone, his household troops would have followed 
him, and the battle would have been lost. He would 
most certainly have been assassinated, he had so many 
enemies, had the Revolution broken out in his day." 



CHAPTER XIV. 

MARSHALS AND GENERALS, 1814-1815. 

MuRAT, Grand Duke of Berg and King of Naples. 
— Ney, Due d'Elchingen and Prince de la 
MosKWA. — Other Generals. 



Murat, Grand Duke of Berg and King of Naples. 

"Murat knew better than Ney how to conduct a cam- 
paign, but after all he was a very poor general. He 
always made war without the help of maps. At the time 
of Marengo I ordered him to take Stradella. He sent his 
corps thither, and it was already in action while he him- 
self stayed at Pavia to make sure of a wretched contribu- 
tion of ten thousand francs! I made him leave the place 
immediately. But his delay cost us five hundred men. 
The enemy had to be driven out of a position which we 
ought to have been the first to occupy. How many errors 
did not Murat commit in order to establish his headquarters 
in some château where he knew there were pretty women ! 
He had to have women about him every day, and for that 
reason I tolerated the practice of allowing generals to 
have each a disreputable female attached to him." 

"Murat has had only what he deserved. Ah! if I 
could see his wife, I am certain she would tell me some 
fine stories about him. It was all my own fault. I 
ought to have left him a marshal, and never to have made 
him Grand Duke of Berg; still less King of Naples. He 
was off his head. He was very ambitious. I rose to 
distinction step by step, but Murat wanted at a bound to 
be chief of everything. He intrigued with Fouché before 
my second marriage. I am certain that at Leipsic he was 

221 



223 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST HELENA 

betraying me. He had poor brains, which hatched 
chimeras, and he fancied himself a great man. He 
incited tlie Italians to revolt, but had no guns to furnish 
them. He refused, like a fool, the asylumn Metternich 
offered him, where as Count of Lipona he might have 
lived very happily in exile. It is said he wished to die a 
soldier's death; but bah! he had better have lived with 
his wife and children. Besides, who knows what might 
have happened? Instead of that he did the most foolish 
act any man ever committed. He compromised two hun- 
dred Corsicans,^ brave men 1 am sure, and almost all of 
them my own relations. With two hundred men he set 
out to recover a kingdom he had lost when at the head of 
eighty thousand! He thought of disembarking at 
Salerno; in that case he would have been shot at Salerno. 
There were eight thousand Austrians at Naples. If there 
had been twenty thousand English soldiers in Paris when 
I left Elba, I could not have succeeded." 

"You may be sure that Murat was not trying to march 
on Monteleone, but that he was on the point of falling 
back, when he was attacked." 

"Six thousand French soldiers would be sufficient to 
conquer the Kingdom of Naples, if it had only its own 
troops to depend upon. When Murat fancied he had an 
army and could do something after my return from Elba, 
he cried: 'Ah! Ah! the old King! He will see! He 
thinks his Neapolitans are soldiers. Well! they will 
desert him. They are a vile mob!' Yet Murat had 
managed to get along without a French army to keep him 
on his throne, and that was a great thing. It was pure 
folly to think that he could fight Austria and establish the 
Kingdom of Italy." ^ 

^ Napoleon was apt to misstate numbers. Murat's Corsicans vary in his 
statements from thirty to two hundred. — E. W. L. 

*iThere is much mention of Murat in the chapters on the Russian Cam- 
paign and the Return from Elba. Also in the chapter on Napoleon's Rise to 
Fame and Fortune, in connection with events on the 13th Vendémiaire. These 
it is not necessary to repeat here.— £. W. L. 



MARSHALS AND GENERALS 223 

Ney, Due d'Elschingen and Prince de la Moskwa. 
(Born 1769; shot 1815.) 

"Ney made a poor defence at his trial. He ought to 
have shown more nobleness in his replies, and to have 
taken his stand on the Convention of Paris. He could 
not justify himself. He acted in good faith up to March 
14th; that I think everybody is convinced of. It is false 
that I sent him that proclamation; but whether I did or 
not, he was equally guilty. What the devil! how came a 
Marshal of France not to know what he said and what he 
signed? Choiseul, who would not vote on the trial 
because he said the court had not received sufficient 
instructions, was one of the men shipwrecked at Calais.' 
I gave him his life ; but you may be sure it was not from 
gratitude he acted thus, but because he thought that had 
he condemned Ney he would have had more to fear than 
others if the reaction took another turn, than he had to fear 
from the King if he did not unite in condemning him. He 
knew very well that Louis would decline to receive him, 
and that that would be all. On the other hand, his con- 
duct made him many partisans. He was so miserably 
poor at one time during my reign that he acted as one 
of my spies." 

"Men are like musicians in a concert: each man has 
his own part to play. Ney was an excellent commander 
for ten thousand men, but for all else he was a mere 
fool." 

"Ney's sole answer at his trial should have been, 'I 
am under the protection of the Treaty of Paris; but kill 
me if you think proper.' I should have said, if I had 
been arrested: 'I am not here to render you any account 

* A party of émigrés escaping from France were wrecked near Calais 
about the close of the Revolution. They were captured and tried as returned 
emigres. The daughter of Choiseul appealed to the First Consul and they 
were set at liberty.— £. W. L. 



224 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. //ELENA 

of my conduct. I cannot legally be condemned by you, 
nor legally acquitted. But kill me if you please to do 
so.' " 

"General Lecourbe, who served under the Directory, 
had all the qualities which make a good general. Ney 
commanded a brigade under him. Ney had no talent, 
nor had he moral courage. He was good to animate his 
soldiers on a field of battle, but I never ought to have 
made him a Marshal of France. He had, as Caffarelli 
said of him, just the probity and courage of a hussar. I 
ought to have left him a general of division. In 1 815, 
was there ever seen such impudence, as when in his 
proclamation he pretends to dispose of the throne of 
France? I had great difficulty to contain myself about 
this when I saw him. What Labédoyère said of his 
conduct history believes. But Ney came over to me only 
when he saw that all his regiments were deserting him. 
He was looking for a reward. He had lost his head. 
He is a hare-brained, foolish fellow. It was that that 
made him act so absurdly in the Chamber of Peers. 
France without her army will be lost! If Ney was shot 
because he came over to me, he ought to have been shot 
for not coming sooner."* 

Other Generals. 

"Desaix was the best general I ever knew. Clausel 
and General Gérard promised well. Bernadotte has no 
head. He is a true Gascon. He will not stay long 
where he is. His turn for an overthrow will soon come.^ 

•There was a very strong feeling among Liberals in England that the 
Duke of Wellington missed an occasion of displaying magnanimity in connec- 
tion with Ney's execution. He was all-powerful in Paris at the time, and many 
thought he might have interposed successfully in favor of so brilliant a Gen- 
eral. Napoleon, however, could not forgive Ney. His presumption and impru- 
dence in his proclamation told against him in the Emperor's mind much more 
than his defection ; besides, as Napoleon said, " 1 never can endure traitors."— 
£. W. L. 

® Bernadotte was the son of a lawyer at Pau. He was destined for the 
law, but entered the marine service. When the Revolution removed all 



MARSHALS AND GENERALS 225 

The Emperor regretted to Gourgaud that his marshals 
and generals did not, on their trial,' show the heroic 
fanaticism that men in such circumstances are reported to 
have done in the English Revolution, and among the 
Romans. He said that their defence seemed to have no 
character. Only Cambronne appeared to advantage. 

"Drouot said things he ought not to have said. He 
drew up the proclamation himself at Elba. It is not 
true that he tried to dissuade me from the enterprise. 
You know, Gourgaud, I do not allow myself to be gov- 
erned by advice." 

Gourgaud, who was attached to Drouot, says to the 
Emperor, in answer to this remark: "But he said at the 
trial that he would do as he had done over again, under 
the same circumstances!" 

"True; but he was not like Cambronne, in whom I 
see nothing to be blamed. Bourmont behaved basely. 
Ney might have pointed out his conduct in sending to 
Bertrand to ask me for employment, and then when he 
saw things were not turning out well, he deserted me! 
Bourmont was known to be one of the most false and 
hypocritical men among the Vendeans. I never ought to 
have given him employment. It was Junot who first put 
him into my service. That simpleton always wanted to 

restrictions of ranlc he entered the army and rose rapidly. His personal rela- 
tions with Napoleon were never cordial. We have seen that he was nearly 
involved in the conspiracy of Moreau. He served with great distinction both 
under the Directory and in the campaigns of Napoleon. In the time of the 
Directory he was Ambassador at Vienna and Minister of War. In 1810 he was 
made Governor of Hanover, and conducted himself so ably that when the 
Prince of Augustenburg, the Crown Prince of Sweden, died, he was elected by 
the Swedes to be their future sovereign. The death of Charles XHl.in 1818 
made him King Charles XIV. His administration was admirable. He left 
his throne to his son Oscar, who married Josephine, daughter of Prince Eugene 
Beauharnais. No royal family in Europe commands more general respect 
than that of Sweden. 

• Ney, Labédoyère, Lavalette, Lallemand, d'Erlon, Lefebvre, Davout. Bray- 
er, Clausel, Laborde, Cambronne, Savary, Grouchy, and six others were brought 
to trial. The hrst three were condemned to death. Several sought safety in 
the United States; others were exiled; others were degradedfrom the peerage. 
Drouot and Cambronne were released. Some were pardoned and even re- 
ceived places and employment from the King.— .Û'. W, L. 



226 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. I/ELENA 

be surrounded by noblemen with ten quarterings. And in 
the last place, that madcap Labédoyère spoke for him. 
Davout would have nothing to do with him." 

"When Bernadotte was insulted at Vienna in the days 
of the Directory, I was sent for by the Directors to give 
them my opinion on the affair. They wanted to make 
war at once on the Emperor of Austria. I told them: 
*If the Emperor wished for war with the Republic, he 
would not insult it. When the Austrians think of making 
war, they cajole and flatter the enemy, so that they may 
have a better chance to stick a knife into him. They 
offer all sorts of reparation. You do not understand the 
Cabinet at Vienna; it is the meanest and most perfidious 
to be found. It will not make war with you, because it 
cannot. Peace with Austria is only a truce, but just now 
it cannot be for the interest of the Republic to break it.' 
They shortly after received a dispatch from Bernadotte, 
which confirmed what I had told them. The Austrian 
Emperor had made all sorts of excuses." 

"Desaix was my best general, Kleber next, and I 
think Lannes the third." 

"Drouot might have risen high. Gassendi wrote to 
me after Duroc died, to ask me to give him the Due de 
Frioul's place; in which case he was ready to resign him- 
self, to prove that he was not actuated by ambition. 
Eblé was a man of great merit, he was really extraordi- 
nary. Lariboisière was good and brave. Sénarmont at 
Friedland placed thirty guns in position. It is not easy to 
find good officers of artillery; nevertheless I had Sorbier." 

**I was very fond of Legrand; he was a very brave 
man, an excellent general of division; but he would not 
have made a good commander-in-chief. He was not an 
eagle, but he had sacred fire. He would not sign my 
deposition." 



MARSHALS AND GENERALS 227 

"Augereau was very brave. I can never forget him 
in the affair of Castiglione." 

"Victor is a better general than people think. At the 
passage of the Beresina he got over nearly his whole 
corps. At Smolensk, Châtaux, his son-in-law, said to me 
when I gave him orders for Victor: 'He never will be 
able to do that. Your Majesty ought to send the King of 
Naples.' It was the order to reach the Beresina before 
I got there. You remember Châtaux? He was a brave 
young man; he was killed at Montereau, in 1814. I sin- 
cerely regretted him. He took Brienne." 

"You are mistaken, Gourgaud, in your estimate of 
Lannes. Both he and Ney were men who would have 
killed you if they saw it would be to their advantage. 
But on a field of battle they were incomparable. I can- 
not tell what Lannes might have done in these latter times. 
Marmont, whom I might say I brought up from boyhood, 
was treacherous to me. Berthier was treacherous too, 
but then he was a man of Versailles. Indeed, all men of 
noble birth, like Nansouty, Moncey, and Lauriston, were 
not real patriots. They deserted me as soon as the oppor- 
tunity presented itself. Praslin behaved well, so did 
Beauvau, but they were the sons of patriot fathers. One 
must always have near one people one can rely on. I 
was careful not to put generals who had formerly been 
nobles at the head of my armies. Septeuil, for example, 
whatever his capacity, I should never have made a general- 
in-chief. His father had been the King's valet de 
chambre. ^^ 

"Ah! Duroc and Bessieres! At least they died on 
the field of honor.' 

The Emperor said that he took Marmont on the 
recommendation of his uncle, pushed his fortunes, 
brought him on as if he had been his son, and married 

' Duroc killed in battle, 1813. Bessieres killed, 1813.— £'. W. L. 



228 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

him to Mademoiselle Perregaux. "And he betrayed me! 
He will be more unhappy than I am! ^ I said so at 
Fontainebleau after his first desertion." 

* Marmont was of a good family in tfie south of France. He served in the 
army before the Revolution. After that, under the patronage of Napoleon, he 
rose rapidly, though he was never considered a great general. In Spain he 
displeased Napoleon by the loss of the battle of Salamanca. He was left in 
command of the garrison of Paris in 1814, and capitulated to the Allies. Louis 
XVni. received him into favor and gave him employment. After Napoleon's 
return from Elba he renewed his allegiance to his old master, but a second 
time deserted him when the Senate pronounced his deposition. His subse- 
quent conduct was vacillating and weak. He died in 1852. He commanded 
the royal troops during the revolution of 1830, and left France with Charles X.— 
E. W. L. 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE ART OF WAR. 

"A general must never for any minor consideration 
miss his chance of destroying the enemy. Therefore, at 
Mantua I abandoned my artillery, because I had only 
thirty thousand men and was going to fight a hundred 
thousand." 

"To Lefebvre was due the victory of Fleurus. He 
is a very brave man, who did not care about the move- 
ments taking place on his right or on his left; all he 
thought of was how to fight right on. He was not afraid 
of dying. That was well, but sometimes such men get 
themselves into dangerous circumstances, and are sur- 
rounded. Then comes capitulation, and after that they 
have lost their courage forever." 

"Cannon ought to accompany the rear guard of an 
army; and each man should carry several charges for the 
guns. Thus the advanced guard would have enough to 
supply a battery, without having the encumbrance of 
caissons. I think that the weight might be easily divided; 
a hundred pounds would be enough for the weight of the 
balls." 

"A man at the head of affairs is like the commander- 
in-chief of an army, who the night before a battle ought 
to issue his orders for the next day. If he does not, 
every one merely does what he is ordered to do at the 
moment, and no plan is carried out; all is confusion." 

"Each division possesses all that makes it complete. 
It is like the Roman legion. If the French army had 

229 



230 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

been so organized at Fontenoy its manœuvres would not 
have been partial, as they were. Voltaire imagines that 
Richeheu ' won that battle! His description is absurd. 
He takes pains to tell us the names of the nobles, and the 
numbers of their regiments only, and makes no mention 
of the principal movements. At Denain (1712) I should 
have done like Villars." 

"It is easy to see that Gassendi^ had no personal 
knowledge of war. He is a nobody, an ignoramus. He 
never ought to have put such nonsense in a work that was 
semi-official. It was no business of his, as a Councillor 
of State, to criticise the operations of generals. What 
must foreigners think of it.-* In England, for example, 
such a thing could not be done. He thought by a few 
flights of flattery to make amends for what he had said. 
It looks to me like irony. He constantly quotes Gribeau- 
val,^ who really was a good officer, but had never been 
present at any siege but that of Schweidnitz; however, 
he did great service in pointing out how to lighten and 
how to simplify the artillery. If he had been actively 
engaged in war as long as we, he would have been the 
first to propose to simplify it still more. In all that we 
have done we have only followed the principles laid down 
by Gribeauval, founded on his observations during a 
twenty-five years' war. Gassendi does not approve of 
horse artillery; above all ours, in which the cannoniers are 
on horseback. Well! that alone has changed the face of 
war. I mean that it enables a corps of cavalry and some 
batteries of horse-artillery to act together, and to fall 
upon the rear of an enemy. What, after all, is the 
expense of a few regiments of horse-artillery compared to 
the advantage of such a branch of the service.'' Besides 

* The Due de Richelieu, minister of Louis XV. 

' Gassendi had been an officer in the wars of the Revolution. 

^Gribeauval wrote a book upon artillery in the eighteenth century. — E. 
W.L. 



THE ART OF WAR 231 

this, a soldier must learn to love his profession, must look 
to it to satisfy all his tastes and his sense of honor. That 
is why handsome uniforms are useful. A slight thing will 
often make men stand firm under fire, who but for that 
might have given way. I also wanted to have roads made 
more practicable for the passage of artillery. The fate 
of a battle — of a country even — often depends on whether 
artillery can get up where it is wanted." 

When the Emperor retired after this discourse on artil- 
lery, which he kept up till one o'clock in the morning, 
Montholon remarked: "His Majesty said many good 
things, but there were some that I should like to criticise." 

"Yes," said Gourgaud, "when he talks of artillery, 
of the ammunition chest, those are practical details that 
he knows nothing about. He thinks our present bayonets 
are too short, but that is a point to be settled, not by a 
general of artillery, but by infantry generals. The branch 
of the service the Emperor thinks most capable of form- 
ing good generals is the infantry, in which a man learns 
how to direct the movement of troops, and the choice 
of positions." 

"When I first ordered the lancers to wear cuirasses 
they rebelled, but I made them obey, and they adopted 
them. It is only necessary for a chief to will it, and a 
thing is done." 

"The defence of a convoy is always difficult; but the 
enemy very often is mistaken as to the force guarding a 
convoy and thinks it is more than it is. Mountains are 
worse obstacles in a march than rivers; with artillery one 
can always get across a river; a good bridge of boats can 
be made in three hours. It can be begun in the evening, 
and the army can pass over it in the morning." 

"I should have liked to establish a war college at 
Fontainebleau. I would have appointed Gérard, Maison, 



232 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

and others whom I wished to promote to be its profes- 
sors. I should soon have formed excellent generals." 

"We ojght to have light iron cannon for mountain 
warfare; twenty-four-pounders in several pieces, which 
could be carried on the backs of mules. And in every 
company several short twenty-four-pounders. The absence 
of these in Egypt lost me the taking of Acre." 

"A great general is no common thing. Of all the 
generals of the Revolution I know only Desaix and Hoche, 
who, had they lived, would have become famous. Kleber 
was too fond of pleasure. He dishonored himself by 
wanting to leave Egypt. It has been said that I feared 
him. Ah! mon Dieu! if I had given him money and 
made him a duke, he would have kissed my hand. Hoche 
was different. I do not know how he would have acted 
at the present time. He had active ambition, and much 
talent. I never liked to take risks. I was always saying 
to myself, 'Let things alone, and see what will come of 
them.' " 

Gourgaud: "It seems, then. Sire, that Hoche liked 
to control circumstances; Your Majesty liked to profit by 
them." 

Napoleon: "Hoche was too ardent to wait patiently. 
I think that, like Moreau, he might have broken his head 
against my palace walls. Moreau without his wife would 
have been on the best terms with me, for indeed, in the 
main, he was an excellent man. However, he could not 
command more than twenty thousand men. That was 
the opinion of both Kleber and Desaix. Perhaps under 
me he might have improved. With forty thousand men I 
should not have feared Moreau with sixty thousand nor 
Jourdan with a hundred thousand. I have just been 
reading the history of those campaigns. Moreau did very 
well. The Archduke Charles did well too; but as for 



THE ART OF WAR 233 

Jourdan — incapacity could not be carried further. Under 
a good government his head should have been cut off for 
his retreat when he abandoned Moreau." 

"War is a singular art. I assure you that I have fought 
sixty battles, and — well! — I learned nothing but what I 
knew when I fought the first. Look at Cœsar; he fought 
for the first time as he did the last. At Zama Scipio was 
very near being vanquished. Montesquieu tells us that 
the greatness of the Romans hung on a broken bridge. 
If Hannibal had triumphed there, it would have been all 
over with the Romans — and all for a bridge ! 

"A good army ought to be one in which each officer 
knows what he ought to do according to circumstances. 
.... I do not deserve more than half credit for the 
battles I have won. It is enough for a successful general 
to be named in connection with a victory, for the fact is 
it was gained by his soldiers." 

The Emperor declares that at the present day nations 
make war with rose-water. 

"In old times the vanquished were either put to death 
or sold into slavery, and women were violated. If I had 
done that kind of thing when I took Vienna, the Russians 
would not so easily have got to Paris. War is a very 
serious thing." 

The Emperor thinks he ought to have stayed a month 
longer in Spain in 1809, when he might have thrown Sir 
John Moore into the sea. The English would have been 
disheartened, and would have given up interfering on the 
Continent. 

"Carnot's book is founded on a false principle. He 
argues on the supposition that garrisons are composed of 
picked men, but they are generally made up of conscripts, 
invalides, and national guards, who would be of no use in 
the open country, and are of service only behind walls, 



234 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

where they are gaining experience and instruction. If at 
the beginning of a siege the garrison makes sorties, the 
few who are very brave get killed, and the remainder are 
a mere mob, with whom no vigorous action can be 
attempted. Carnot never saw war, and his experience of 
warfare had to be acquired. Strongly fortified places are 
useful to contain supplies, and to contain soldiers who in 
the open field would be routed by a few hussars ; but they 
can be trained into real soldiers during one campaign, after 
which they can act on the offensive, and increase the 
strength of the army. They can harass the rear of an 
enemy if he is making a forced march, and oblige him to 
leave a considerable force behind for his protection. 
Another advantage is to shorten the line of operations. 
When I marched on Vienna, Wurtzburg and Braunau 
were of the greatest use to me. If Vienna had held out, 
that would have changed my plan of operations; but the 
inhabitants of a capital which can be bombarded have a 
great influence on the question of surrender, or defence. 
As soon as I was master of Vienna eight or ten thousand 
men were all I wanted to hold it. I was certain that the 
enemy would not think of destroying it, and the threat 
made by my garrison of burning the city in case of resist- 
ance was enough to intimidate the inhabitants." 

"Paris ought to have been, and must yet be, fortified. 
At the present day armies are so large that the strong- 
holds on our frontier would not stop a victorious army. 
It is a great stroke for an enemy flushed with recent vic- 
tory to march on a capital and take possession of it. But 
when Paris is fortified, the extent of its walls ought to be 
such that it need not fear bombardment. I always 
intended to do this, and I meant to fortify Montmartre, 
or some point on the Seine, which Vincennes does not 
command, like the Arche de l'Étoile. But I was always 
restrained by the fear that my fortifications would be 



THE ART OF WAR 235 

unpopular with the Parisians, who would have been sure 
to see in my redoubts and strongholds, so many Bastilles. 
I spoke of my intention to Fontaine, and the Arch of 
Triumph was to be so constructed as to have a platform 
on the top of it, furnished with cannon, which would have 
a long range and would flank Montmartre. They would 
have served as a support to other defensive works erected 
in the vicinity. I should have liked to build at Mont- 
martre a Temple to Victory. It would (like the arch) 
have had a platform on which we should have mounted 
cannon, and would have secured that important point. A 
few batteries of twenty-four-pounders below it would have 
produced a great effect. It is a grave fault in the present 
system to give up capitals. 

"In addition, France ought to have a strongly fortified 
position on the Loire, somewhere near Tours. It is 
absurd to have all depots, and all factories that make 
arms close on the frontier, exposed to be cut off as soon 

as an enemy enters on an active campaign I am 

in favor of counterscarps." 

"Camot always was self-opinionated. He was not a 
good engineer, nor could he draw up plans for active oper- 
ations like a good general; but he was an honest man, 
and very industrious. Such qualities are sure to make a 
reputation." 

"I highly value a good captain of artillery who knows 
how to select the best spot on which to place his guns, 
and is brave. I prefer him to all men who only superin- 
tend workmen; he knows what fire is, and cannot be bought 
over. I have the same opinion of engineer officers. The 
best one is a man who has had experience in sieges, in 
the defense of strongholds, and knows how to adapt the 
kind of fortifications he wants to the face of the country. 
I am certain Haxo or Roguet would have constructed a 



236 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

fortified post better than Fontaine. Haxo and Roguet 
are men of war; Fontaine is a mere builder. 

"The noblest man is he who goes straight into the 
front of fire. War can be taught only by experience. 
Carnot would never have written a book about his system 
if he had known the effect of a bullet. I would rather 
marry a daughter of mine to a good soldier who could 
fight, than to any head of any bureau in the War Depart- 
ment. If an official fails, he never recovers himself unless 
he goes into the midst of war and danger. Then he may 
learn how to make plans." 

"I was fond of Murat because of his brilliant bravery; 
that was why I forgave him many foolish things. Bes- 
sières was a cavalry officer, but somewhat frigid; he lacked 
what Murat had too much of. Ney was a man of rare 
bravery. Lefebvre at the siege of Dantzic wrote me at 
first all kinds of nonsense, but as soon as the Russians 
disembarked he was in his own element, and his reports 
became those of a man who sees things clearly. In 
France there is never any lack of men of talent, men who 
can make plans, but we never have enough men of action, 
and high character — men who have in them the sacred 
fire." 

"Don't you think more highly of Nelson than of any 
experienced naval constructor.'' What Nelson had, which 
raised him above naval constructors, he did not acquire, 
it was a gift from nature. I grant, of course, that a 
good director of transportation may be very useful, but I 
do not like to reward him as I do a man who has shed his 
blood. For instance, I very reluctantly made Evain a 
general of artillery. I cannot bear an officer who owes 
his rank to having worked well in an office. I know, of 
course, that we must occasionally have generals who never 
saw powder burned, but I do not like them." 



THE ART OF WAR 237 

"General ofiEicers are too well paid in France; they 
ought not to look for allowances. I very much approve 
the state of things in the English army where all the offi- 
cers in a regiment share the same mess. The Romans 
gave each general only four times as much as a common 

soldier It should be no easy matter for a soldier 

to rise from the ranks and to become an officer. Young 
men fresh from the military schools with allowances from 
their families ought to be the first to claim the epaulette. 
In France officers are not treated with enough considera- 
tion. Those in my Guard were seldom well educated, 
but they suited my system. They were all tried soldiers, 
descended from peasants, laborers, and artisans. Society 
in Paris had no influence over them; they depended on 
me entirely. I held them more firmly, and was more sure 
of their obedience than I should have been of men better 
nurtured and better educated. But in a government fully 
established, one-fourth or one-fifth of the commissions is 
quite enough to give to men who have risen from the 
ranks." 

"In time of war we make no especial provision for the 
feeding of our officers. They are at the mercy of their 
soldiers. Things ought to be done with order. Officers 
in war as well as in peace ought to have their own pur- 
veyors and eat in common. 

"We give too much bread to our soldiers. Bread 
should be supplemented by rice and meat. There is 
nothing a man's palate cannot become accustomed to in 
time." 

"War in the days of Vendôme and of Villars (1702) 
was made very differently from what it is now. Armies 
are not organized now as they were then. They had not 
so much artillery. Our present organization into divis- 
ions is excellent." 



238 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

"Other nations have never got all they might have got 
out of their cavalry, which is an extremely useful branch of 
the service. Just see, at Nangis and at Vauchamps what 
I did with mine! At Lutzen, if the enemy had massed 
his infantiy upon his left, and making a gap, had come 
down upon our rear, what disorder would have taken 
place then." * 

"No general should be actively employed who is more 
than sixty years of age. Honorable positions should be 
given them, but positions in which there is little or noth- 
ing to do. I made a mistake when I nominated old men 
as senators. The members of the electoral colleges were 
not in touch with the people. The peasants, when they 
speak of a man who is sixty, call him 'Father' so and 
so." 

"England wanted to keep our good sailors prisoners 
of war, and to give us only the sick and unserviceable, 
and she expected I should give her in return all the prison- 
ers I had been able to take. I offered to send back three 
thousand men for three thousand — that is to say, one 
thousand Englishmen, one thousand Spaniards, and one 
thousand officers in exchange for so many Frenchmen. 
But this cartel of exchange was refused." 

"In France general officers are too highly paid; pri- 
vate soldiers ought to be better treated. A sergeant ought 
to have one and a half times the pay of a soldier, a second 
lieutenant twice, a lieutenant three times, a captain four, 

' There was a discussion between the Emperor and the three officers, com- 
panions of his exile, on the use of mules in an army. None of them made any 
allusion to the liability of mules to stampede, which has caused disasters in our 
modern warfare. Gourgaud objects to pack mules, and prefers very light two- 
wheeled caissons, like those in the Russian army, to transport ammunition. 
They next proceeded to discuss material for a chevaux-de-fri.se to be carried 
by soldiers; and iron pipes to be carried by mules, to supply water with the 
help of pumps to besieged places. On these subjects they agreed so well that 
the talk ended in good humor, and the Emperor gave Gourgaud an orange.— 
E. W. L. 



THE ART OF WAR 239 

a colonel six, a brigadier-general eight, a general of divis- 
ion ten. We ought to do like the Spartans, and make the 
generals mess with their men." 

"Drouot is our best living officer of artillery. The 
engineers ought not to be joined with the artillery, but to 
have their own sappers and pontoniers." 

"A battalion ought always to have its flanks protected 
by a half company, ranged along each side of it." 

"Bertrand is the best engineer officer in Europe." 

"A battalion of infantry that had its first rank armed 
with pikes would be invincible against a charge of 
cavalry. When fired at too close range, a cannon-ball 
loses half its force, but I greatly esteem la mitraille." 

"I should like to do away with caissons and let every 
cannon carry a chestful of skin bags, each containing a 
charge." 

"I think that men in the second rank of infantry ought 
to have longer guns than those in front. Their present 
bayonets are too short. The third rank ought to be pro- 
vided with galoshes half a foot high." 

"There should be three ranks in the infantry: the first, 
of the shortest men, armed with carbines; in the second, 
men of the ordinary size, carrying muskets of the model 
of 1777; in the third, the tallest soldiers, made five feet 
six inches,* by means of galoshes of felt. Their guns 
should have barrels forty-six inches long." ^ 

* French measure. Their foot and their inch are longer than ours. Mait- 
land says the Emperor's height was five feet five inches. 

* Gourgaud in vain raises objections to the three different kinds of weapoa 
He speaks of the difficulty of balancing so long a gun, the ramrod, etc. 
Gourgaud, who was an experienced infantry and artillery officer, evidently 
thought that the Emperor, so great as the commander of an army, knew prac- 
tically very little of small details. 



240 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

"I wish for no official administrators, no writers, no 
reporters with the army. Each battahon ought to be so 
ordered that it can work separately ; it ought to have its 
drummers, surgeons, musicians, and artisans. It ought 
to administer itself, and correspond with an official at 
headquarters, who should have sixteen battalions under 
his charge. The cuirassiers and the hussars should be 
looked after by their colonel-general. Each battalion 
should have six companies, one of which should be grena- 
diers and another voltigeurs. At the beginning of a cam- 
paign two battalions, each containing nine hundred men, 
may be formed of these four companies — three only later 
on, one of the three having been drafted into the others, 
and so keep up two battaHons of five hundred and forty 
men each. What would then become of the officers,-' 
They would take command of the recruits. I want my 
infantry to be like a corps of artillery; their colonel would 
then be like a brigade general, the commander of a battal- 
ion like the colonel. 

"I should give officers in a campaign no allowance for 
food and no forage. The pay would be fixed for each 
grade. A portable mill to grind corn should be carried 
by each company, and bits of sheet iron on which the 
men could bake cakes — no loaf bread. The men should 
be fed in peace as they are in war. There should be a 
corps of guides or orderlies for staff service. At the 
War Department no commissaries of war; their duties 
can be done by the sub-prefects. The Minister of War 
would only have to correspond with about twenty-five 
commissaries or colonels-general, which would make a 
great saving in the expenses." ' 

"Rice is the best food for the soldier.^ A few mules 

' Gourgaud raised objections to all this, and the Emperor got angry. 

^ His Majesty causes the cook to make a galette (a sort of pone) of four 
ounces of fiour and four ounces of rice, and has it brought that he may eat it 
on the morrow. 



THE ART OF WAR 241 

can carry rice enough to feed a battalion for a fortnight. 
The artillery would march better if it had no caissons. 
Mules could carry the ammunition instead. Every battal- 
ion might have two mules, each of which could carry two 
thousand five hundred cartridges. 

"In mountain warfare I like twelve-pounders, but 
Gassendi does not. If I had had short twenty-four- 
pounders in Egypt, I should have taken Acre." 

His Majesty thinks that should he write the history of 
his campaigns, it would be an admirable work for the 
instruction of generals, but it would not do to have it 
published. "Without speaking of great principles I 
would criticise every campaign, give the reasons for and 
against every movement, and the reader could instruct 
himself by reflecting on what was said. It is really 
astonishing that during the Revolution so many follies 
were committed by the generals. Championnet acted 
without good sense always." 

"I assure you that I had not read Jomini's book when 
I made the campaigns of Ulm, AusterHtz, and Jena; but 
it is really astonishing to see how I acted according to his 
counsels. A battle is a very serious matter, and its suc- 
cess or its loss may depend on a very little thing — on a 
hare, for example. One always runs great risks in giving 
battle, and one must never take them rashly, unless one 
is forced to do so, when the enemy has cut your line of 
operations. You must never attempt a movement of 
reunion in the presence of an enemy. The art of war 
does not require complicated manœuvres; the most 
simple are the best. Above all, a general must have 
good sense. By that rule one cannot understand how 
generals have committed so many faults; it must have 
been because they wished to show how clever they were. 
The most diflScult thing is to guess at the projects of the 



242 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. I/ELENA 

enemy, and to find out what is true and what is false in 
the reports that one receives. The rest requires only- 
common sense; it is like an encounter at fisticuffs, — the 
more blows one can put in the better. It is also neces- 
sary to have well studied the maps." ' 

' Gourgaud, in other discussions with the Emperor, reports his master as 
saying that he wanted to do away altogether with ammunition wagons. "In 
his scheme for reorganizing the army he thinks the soldiers ought to make 
and mend their own clothes and their own shoes, shoe their horses, etc. Grain 
would be served out to them, and they should make their own bread. Artillery- 
men should be both cannoniers and soldiers of the line. Officers are paid too 
much, and soldiers too little. Management and commissariat should consist 
solely of soldiers." 



CHAPTER XVI. 

ANECDOTES AND MISCELLANEOUS 
SAYINGS. 

"I grieve for the loss of the battle of Waterloo; not 
for myself, but for our unhappy France." 

"If the Jacobins get the upper hand in Europe, I may 
be called back, for there is no one but myself who can 
put them down. There are many chances that Jacobin- 
ism may grow formidable, for I observe there are many 
secret societies at work in Europe. Deliberative bodies 
are terrible things for a sovereign. I see they are likely 
to be established in Prussia, where the king is a fool. He 
plays the liberal, and promises a parliament! He will 
soon see what that will cost him! In England I have 

great hopes from Princess Charlotte Belgium 

and the Rhine provinces are integral parts of France; 
they are hoping for a change." 

"Ah! I know the English! You may be sure that 
the sentinels stationed round this house have orders from 
the Governor to kill me. They will pretend to give me a 
thrust with a bayonet by mistake some day." 

"The King of Wiirtemberg wrote me that he would 
declare for me as soon as he was able. He often said 
harsh things to me about the English." 

"Posterity will not fail to reproach England for having 
left me two months at the Briars, in an ill-furnished room, 
without even the convenience of taking my accustomed 
baths." 

343 



244 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 
"I cannot bear red. It is the color of England." 

"Rousseau was a strange man. In the 'Nouvelle 
Héloïse' the trials of the husband are nonsense; and 
there is nothing remarkable in the style. Look at the 
suicide's letter! It is a coward's part to kill one's self." 
The Emperor added that a man cannot know but that 
he would repent the step if he outlived it, and that many 
men intending to commit suicide have only wounded 
themselves, and afterwards have felt that the resolution to 
commit suicide had been absurd.' 

His Majesty told us that when he came back to Paris 
after his campaign in Italy, Madame de Stâel did everything 
she could to propitiate him. She even came to the Rue 
Chantereine, but was sent away. She wrote him a great 
many letters, some from Italy, some in Paris. She also 
asked him to a ball, but he did not go. At a fête given 
by Talleyrand, she came and sat down beside him and 
talked to him for two hours ; finally, she suddenly asked 
him, "Who was the most superior woman in antiquity, 
and who is so at the present day?" He answered, "She 
who has borne the most children." 

The Emperor told us that Berthier wanted to leave 
Egypt before we made our expedition into Syria. He 
wanted to get back to France that he might hang round 
Madame Visconti. But after having made all arrange- 
ments for his departure and received permission from the 
Directory, he found that His Majesty blamed his conduct 
so much that he came and asked as a favor not to be 
allowed to go. Every night at a certain hour he looked 
at the moon, and his lady-love at the same moment looked 
at it also. He had a separate tent, in which he hung up 

' Napoleon's remarks on suicide prove that the current story that he took 
poison at Fontainebleau after his tirst abdication must be untrue. He proba- 
bly had a severe attack of illness at Fontainebleau from overstrain of body and 
mind, as he had had before at Dresden.— i;. W. L. 




J/. I RSH. U. A/. I SSEA'.l 



MISCELLANEOUS SAYINGS 245 

her portrait and adorned it with all manner of draperies, 
and cashmere shawls of great value. Berthier and 
Napoleon, as Commander-in-chief, were the only men 
allowed to enter this tent. Napoleon once gave him a 
diamond worth one hundred and fifty thousand francs, 
advising him to take good care of it. Some time after- 
wards Josephine spoke to her husband of Madame Vis- 
conti's beautiful diamond. He asked Madame Visconti 
to let him see it, and at once recognized the diamond he 
had given to Berthier. 

"I owed my connection with Madame Walewska to 
Talleyrand.'" 

"If I had had Bessières at Waterloo my Guard would 
have decided the victory." 

Napoleon said that Ney at his trial should have an- 
swered: "The Treaty of Paris protects me; but kill me 
if you like." 

"If I myself had been arrested I should have merely 
said: 'I am not accountable to you for anything. You 
cannot try me legally. You can kill me if you think 
proper.' " 

"It needs more courage to suffer than to die." 

"I am reproached with Waterloo I ought to 

have died at the battle of the Moskwa." [Borodino.] 

> Napoleon was very fond of discussing his " bonnes fortunes" with Gour- 
gaud; and made no secret of the names of the women they concerned. He 
insisted, however, that he had had only six or seven mistresses. 1 have not 
thought it necessary to copy such conversations, but the sad history of Madame 
Walewska deserves to be told. She was intensely patriotic and the wife of a 
nobleman who was also devoted to the Polish cause. Both husband and wife 
and the brothers of Madame Walewska thought that the influence of a woman 
he loved would attach Napoleon firmly to the cause of Poland. Madame 
Walewska sacrificed her honor for the good of her country. She was very 
faithful to Napoleon. She offered to join him at Elba. She bore him two chil- 
dren. One was the M. Walewski, who was sent over to England by the Emperor 
Napoleon 111. to attend the funeral of the Duke of Wellington. He was also 
Freach Ambassador in London and greatly esteemed there.— .£. W, L. 



246 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

After reading over his bulletins and his proclamations 
in Egypt, the Emperor remarked: "C'est un peu 
charlatan!" 

An English frigate, commanded by Captain Bowen, a 
relative of Lord St. Vincent, came into Jamestown, the 
port of St. Helena. Captain Bowen obtained leave to 
see the Emperor, who received him very graciously. 
Learning that he was likely to see Lord St. Vincent in 
England, Napoleon said: "Make him my compliments as 
a good sailor, and a good soldier. He is a brave, good 
man." 

"There is little generosity in humiliating generals 
delivered over, without means of self-defence, to your 
discretion." 

"After I reached Moscow I should have died there." ' 

"Josephine would never have accepted Madame de 

Montebello for her dame d'honneur, I should have done 

much better had I married a Frenchwoman, and not an 

Austrian." 

"Madame de Brignole came very near marrying 
Lebrun, who was in love with her. I should have had 
nothing to say against it. But his son came and spoke 
to me about it, as if his father had not the right to do 
what he pleased. Madame de Brignole was a clever 
woman, but though she was no longer young, she liked 
to try the power of her charms. Once at Versailles I 
made her drive in my calèche, that she might talk of 
Genoa before the Empress, and Madame de Brignole 
fancied I was falling in love with her. I saw it plainly." 

"One night at the Trianon I went at midnight into the 
salon de service [the antechamber where those who might 

• " 1 think so, too," says Gourgaud. " The Emperor should have died at 
Moscow, or at Waterloo, for the campaign of Dresden was in no respect 
extraordinary; but the return from Elba was one of the most astonishing 
things ever done." 



MISCELLANEOUS SAYINGS 247 

be needed in the night waited]. There I was astonished 
to see Monsieur de Viry sitting asleep. I talked to him 
in the gallery, and said: ''Pardieu! Monsieur de Viry, 
you must have a great sense of duty to stay here all night 
at your age, to keep awake, and to be ready for any 
summons.' 

"Then Monsieur de Viry made me a very sufficient 
answer. 'It is the only enjoyment I can have at my age. 
If I were to go to the theatre I should see old love stories, 
but here I see new ones. Here I am able to do some 
service to others. I think I am useful to some people. 
When I go home my friends are anxious to see me. 
They think that I can do much for them, and in fact, I 
have helped some and may yet help others. Instead of 
which, if I were not at court I should die of ennui, and 
be good for nothing — no use to anybody. I had rather 
sit up till two o'clock in the morning.' 

"This Monsieur de Viry was an excellent man." 

"I never saw any passion like that of Berthier for 
Madame Visconti. In Egypt he looked at the moon every 
night at the same time she did. In the middle of the 
desert a tent was set apart for the picture of Madame 
Visconti. He burned perfumes before it. Three mules 
were employed to carry this tent and its baggage. I often 
went into it, and would sit down with my boots on on its 
sofa. Berthier would be furious at this. He thought I 
was profaning his sanctuary. He loved her so much 
that he was always trying to make me talk of her, though 
I never said anything but what was disparaging. He 
wanted to leave the army to go back to her. I had 
written my dispatches, he had taken leave of me, and had 
received his leave of absence, when he came to me with 
tears in his eyes and asked to stay. If I had left him to 
succeed me as commander-in-chief in Egypt he would 
have evacuated the country. After the battle of Marengo 



248 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

he drew up a report in which Soprani was mentioned five 
times. Soprani was Madame de Visconti's son, a young 
officer only sixteen, and Berthier attributed to him the 
gaining of the battle. Soprani did this, and Soprani did 
that, he wrote; and it was all to gratify Madame Visconti. 
Two months after his marriage with a princess of Bavaria, 
a marriage which had been brought about by Monsieur 
Visconti, he came to me in great agitation: 'He is dead!' 
he cried. 'Who is dead?' 'Her husband.' 'Who is 
dead, I asked you.' 'Monsieur Visconti. I have just 
missed my happiness! Why have I been married?' — and 
all such nonsense! She was very sad too. 'Ah! if he 
had only died three months earlier!' 

"Berthier had been fond of the Bourbons from the days 
of his youth. He had once served them, I used to tell 
him that he was only a valet de Versailles!'' 

"I was at first no admirer of the acting of Mademoi- 
selle Mars, when she tried to play the part of great 
coquettes, but after having seen her frequently at the 
theatre I changed my opinion of her entirely. I do not 
think any one could act better. She was a model of refine- 
ment and good taste, and government ought to patronize 
such actresses, to propagate an appreciation of good 
manners." 

"Eh! mon Dieu, Berthier and Marmont, whom I had 
overwhelmed with favor and kindness, how they have 
behaved to me! I defy anybody to impose on me again. 
Men must be very scoundrelly to be as bad as I conceive 
them. And do you suppose that Drouot, who always 
wanted to serve in the batteries where there was the most 
danger, did it for love of me? He did it that men might 
talk of him." 

"You have a glorious future before you, Gourgaud. 
The only person who has the right to be unhappy here is 



MISCELLANEOUS SAYINGS 249 

myself. To have fallen from such a height ! And now I 
cannot, like you, take a walk, as I will not be escorted by 
an English officer. Everything I do is spied upon. You 
are all secretly at feud with one another.' You are all 
bragging and boasting. You have no consideration for 
me. What right has any one to hinder my seeing this or 
that person.-* Why should any of you interfere in my 
affairs? .... You all fancied when you came here 
that you were to be my comrades. I am no man's com- 
rade. No one can reign over me. You expected to be 
the centre here of everything, like the sun among the 
stars. It is I who am that centre. You have caused me 
many annoyances since I came here. If I had known 
how it would be, I would have brought only servants. I 
can live well enough alone. When one gets too tired of 
life a sudden stab with a sharp dagger is soon given." 

"I have a tender remembrance of the young girls who 
were chosen in all the cities of France to present me 
flowers. The Empress always offered them some gift, 
and I paid them compliments, by which they were 
extremely flattered, and their little heads grew full of 
enthusiasm for me. At Amiens one of these girls, who 
on a previous occasion had presented me with flowers, 
sprang forward, exclaiming, 'Ah, Sire, how much I love 
you!' I asked the Prefect afterwards about this young 
person. He told me that she had been almost beside her- 
self on this subject, ever since I had last passed through 
Amiens. To make some return to the inhabitants I said to 
her father and mother that I was very much pleased with 
the love they bore me, and that children always followed 
the example of their parents. Had I wanted a seraglio 
I might easily have formed one out of these young 
girls." 

• All this was especially addressed to Gourgaud, who was jealous both of 
Las Cases and Montbolon. 



250 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. //ELENA 

"So the English have attacked Algiers.' It seems 
that those Mohammedans, like fools, let the English ships 
come up to the anchorage within half cannon-shot of the 
forts, without firing on them, and I cannot believe that the 
English have killed or wounded eight thousand Algerines. 
The English navy, too, must have lost many men, whilst 
one man-of-war, two frigates, and seven or eight cor- 
vettes stationed before Algiers would have completely 
blockaded it, and have produced the same result without 
bloodshed. I cannot understand why the King of Naples 
did not take part in that expedition. To be sure he has 
a miserable navy. As for Genoa, it was unpardonable. 
Genoa has thirty thousand excellent sailors." 

"When I was a young lieutenant in the artillery I 
lodged in the house of Marmont's father. He was an 
excellent man. He would have died of grief if he had 
been living at the time of his son's treachery to me." 

The Emperor had been reading over several French 
grammars, and found no order or method in them. He 
regretted that he did not set learned men the task of re- 
forming French grammar, so as to diminish the number 
of exceptions to the rules. Why cannot fiava/ be navaux 
in the plural? And when two substantives are followed 
by an adjective, the adjective ought surely to take the 
gender of the last. He added, "The French language 
is not yet complete. I ought to have made it so." 

Gourgaud says "No," and instances un homme et une 
femme bonne. One ought to say un homme et une femme 
bons. The Emperor gets put out, and thinks Madame de 
Sévigné was right in saying '"''Je la suis.'" 

His Majesty assures us he could have lived very well 

in France on twelve francs a day. He could have dined 

for thirty sous, and haunted literary men and publishers 

> This was an expedition undertaken in 181Ô by Christian nations against 
the pirates of Algiers, 



MISCELLANEOUS SAYINGS 251 

and libraries, and have gone to the parquet of the theatres. 
And a louis (twenty-four francs) a month would have paid 
for his lodging. "Oh! but I should have had to have a 
servant. I am too much accustomed to one; I could not 
dress myself. I could have had a very pleasant time keeping 
company with persons whose means were about the same 
as my own. Ah! mon Dieu! all men have about the 
same proportion of happiness. Assuredly I was not born 
to be what I have become. Well! I should have been as 
happy had I remained Monsieur Bonaparte as I have 
been as the Emperor Napoleon. Workingmen are as 
happy as other people. Everything is relative. I never 
found any real pleasure in good eating, because my table 
has been always good; but a poor fellow who never dines 
as well as I do, may be more happy than I am over his 
plate of soup and a roast goose. At any rate, his life is 
more happy than the life we are now leading at St. 
Helena. 

**I approve of that man who we are told put his 
money into a strong box, and spent a certain portion of it 
every day. Yes, with a louis a day one ought to be 
happy. All that would be necessary would be to limit 
one's wishes." 

His Majesty added that after he left Italy he dined 
with the Directors and the Ministers, except Prony, but 
he dined with him once in company with Laplace. 

"Well! all those men were happy. They formed a 
little coterie of literary men; the richest among them 
had not more than twelve hundred livres a year. And, 
if I could do so incognito,^ I would travel in France with 
three carriages, each with six horses, and with a few other 
horses that were led. I would travel only a few miles a 
day. I would have three or four friends with me, and 
three or four ladies, and I would stop wherever I liked. 

* The Emperor was day-dreaming aloud, as he frequently did. 



252 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

I would visit everything. I would talk with the farmers 
and the laborers. Man's true vocation is to cultivate the 
ground. I would take letters of introduction to the chief 

men in the principal places When I was Emperor 

something like this wc.s what I ought to have done. I 
ought to have traversed all parts of France with four hun- 
dred or five hundred horsemen, part of my Guard, send- 
ing a fourgon in advance to prepare proper quarters for a 
sovereign. By that plan I should have done great good 
to other people and to myself. If I had stayed a few 
days in a place I could easily have made myself popular 
with the inhabitants. If I had gone to America I would 
have travelled a great deal with three or four carriages and 
a few friends. If I ever go to England I will do the 
same thing, only we should have to admit an Englishman 
into our company. This kind of travelling is dignified and 
delightful. Suppose I had arrived thus, incognito at 
Parma, and surprised the Empress at mass! I could 
always have had money enough to live in that way, and 
then, as I said, with a louis a day I could have existed. 
I would have made my habits suit my means. There 
comes a time in a man's life when he is weary of every- 
thing. Wealth, more or less, does not add to or take 

from his happiness; all he wants is a sufficiency 

Honors and wealth do not make men happy. 

"The life that I live here on St. Helena, if I were not 
a captive, and if I were in Europe, would suit me very 
well. I should like to live in the country; I should like 
to see the soil improved by others, for I do not know 
enough about gardening to improve it myself. That kind 
of thing is the noblest existence. A sick sheep would 
afford us interesting material for conversation. One 
could be happy, too, in Paris in the society of persons of 
the same rank in life as one's self. One would pay one's 
scot by one's interesting conversation in return for what 
one got from others. One might gain consideration 



MISCELLANEOUS SAYINGS 253 

through one's own talent, and one's conversational abili- 
ties. I am sure that in the middle class of life (that of 
notaries and others for example) there is more real happi- 
ness than in the higher ranks. 

"At Elba, with plenty of money, receiving a great 
many visitors, living in the midst of learned men from all 
parts of Europe, and being as it were the centre of such 
a circle, I should have been very happy. I would have 
built a palace to accommodate the persons whom I 
expected to visit me, I should have led the life of a 
country gentleman, surrounded by men of merit." 

His Majesty said that when children were more than 
three or four years old, he ceased to be fond of them. 
Every family ought to have at least six children. Three 
may die, and then of the three that survive, there are two 
to take the place of father and mother, and one in reserve 
in case of accidents. 

"Letourneur was a fool, though he may have trans- 
lated Young's 'Night Thoughts' into French. Every 
man can do some one thing well ; all one has to do is to 
find out what a man is most fit for, and employ him to 
do it. I had Monsieur de Fresnes for my Minister of 
Finance. He was as stupid as a man could be about 
everything else, but in that he was excellent. He could 
seize by intuition on the solution of the most complicated 
problems. Gaudin was incomparable as far as related to 
contributions, but perhaps Mollien had more capacity as 
Minister of Finance. Gaudin is a kind man, and was 
much loved by his subordinates. His principle is that 
men concerned in finance ought to be rich. He always 
pushed his employees' fortunes, and tried to enable them 
to make money. This system is perhaps good; it is 
creditable to the government, and often adds to its 
resources. An incapable minister often does much harm 



254 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

by employing people in his department who see and think 
only as he does." 

"When the Pope was in Paris he was much astonished 
to see Madame Tallien and Madame Hamelin, women 
who had given the world much cause to talk of them, 
come to ask for his blessing. He spoke to me of it. He 
thought they came only in mockery. I assured him that 
it was not so, but that such ladies had susceptible hearts, 
and like the woman taken in adultery, much might be 
forgiven them. The Holy Father approved my idea." 

"It is unfortunate that death so often results from 
duelling; otherwise duels would keep up politeness in 
society. Fighting with pistols is ignoble. The sword is 
the weapon of the brave." 

His Majesty also told us that when the great fire in 
the ball-room of Schwarzenberg occurred, in i8iO, in 
Vienna, on the occasion of his marriage with the Arch- 
duchess, he had been struck with the idea that it was an 
ill omen for himself. "And you know, Gourgaud, that at 
Dresden when they came and told me that Schwarzenberg 
had been killed, I was delighted; not that I wished the 
death of the poor man, but because it took a weight off 
my heart ; for I then thought that his unfortunate burning 
had presaged misfortune for him and not for me." ' 

"It is singular, in fact, that at the marriage of Louis 
XVI. the fête given on the occasion was fatal to many of 
the populace of Paris, and that the King, a long time 
after, was put to death by that same populace. The fête 
of Schwarzenberg at the time of my marriage was fatal to 
the diplomatists; and long after that I was overthrown by 
their diplomacy. I would never advise a King of France 
to marry an Austrian princess. That family has always 
brought misfortune into France." 

•On that occasion Napoleon exclaimed: '' Schwarzenberg a purgé la 
fatalité!'' But the news of his death was false. The General killed was 
Moreau. 



MISCELLANEOUS SAVINGS 255 

"I never care when my enemies accuse me of coward- 
ice, or of being a bad general, but when it comes to charg- 
ing me with poisoning, or assassination, it makes me 
furious." 

"I wish I had made better prisons in Paris. I thought 
of having a building, a sort of hôtel garni ^ which would 
hold five or six thousand persons, each lodged according 
to his rank, but I was dissuaded. Now that I have read 
the observations of an Enghshman on the prisons of Paris, 
I am sorry I did not carry out my idea." 

His Majesty said that the conduct and character of 
Madame de Maintenon were never clear to him. The 
popes have inherited the power of the Caesars. He 
thought it absurd that the Head of the State should not 
also be the Head of the State's religion. England and 
the kingdoms of the North had the spirit to throw off that 
yoke, and they did well. In past ages it was really the 
king's confessor who made peace or war. The empire of 
the confessor over men's consciences is very great. 

"I always had excellent horses. Mourad Bey was the 
best and the handsomest. In Italy I had a very fine 
horse. When he was invahded I sent him to Saint-Cloud 
and had him turned out to graze at liberty." 

"Voltaire's Mahomet has fine poetry in it, but it is 
quite incorrect as to history. Mahomet sentimentally in 
love! — Allons donc! He would at once have possessed 
himself of the woman he fancied. And then why should 
he be supposed to have entered Mecca on the faith of a 
truce? He entered it in triumph after his heroic battle of 
Bender. 

"Why does Voltaire say nothing of the sacred com- 
bat? Why does he introduce a poisoning, which came just 
in the nick of time? Voltaire liked to belittle everything. 



256 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

He aimed at Christ through Mahomet. He imagines that 
great men employ ignoble means; poison, for instance, to 
push their fortunes; but it is not so." 

"I should like very well to live at Pisa, but nothing 
can equal France in Champagne, and in the Lyonnais. I 
should like best to hve in the country, with six hundred 
thousand francs a year, and have a house in Paris like the 
one we had in the Rue Chantereine, besides my country 
house, worth one hundred thousand or one hundred and 
fifty thousand francs, about six miles from the capital. I 
would not care to give dinner parties or receptions in Paris; 
I agree with the English who live incognito in London, 
having in the capital, one might say, only a pied à terre, 
reserving all their luxury for their country houses, and 
dispensing brilliant hospitality on their own domains. 
With three hundred thousand livres a year one is nobody 
in Paris, whilst one can be the foremost man in a depart- 
ment; and it is always for the interest of the government 
to favor the chief men in a province." 

"The most essential thing when one has sons is to give 
them a good education. To deprive one's self for their 
sakes of a fortune is mere folly. You may have econo- 
mized all your life for them, and then, the bright eyes of 
a ballet girl, or the blast of a trumpet, will in one moment 
dissipate your fortune! Bah! the important thing as 
long as you live is to take care of yourself. I should like, 
for example, every year to save one-third of my income. 
I think the Dutch are very wise. The household of a 
man who has two hundred thousand livres for his income, 
is maintained on the scale of the man who in France has 
twenty thousand to thirty thousand. With us it is just 
the contrary. The household of So-and-so is kept up on 
the scale of an income of two hundred thousand livres, 
but he has not more than thirty or forty thousand. So 



MISCELLANEOUS SAYINGS 257 

the Dutch are really rich, whilst people who in our own 
country pass for rich are in straitened circumstances. I 
should not like to have a place at court; I would rather 
be the great man in my own province; instead of which, 
if I inhabited Paris, I must necessarily be in attendance 
on my sovereign. 

"I forced my dukes to have handsome houses in Paris, 
in order to conciliate public opinion, whilst for my own 
part I could have been quite content to live a Bohemian 
life in the capital. There is nothing superior to Paris 
with its public gardens and its libraries. You can go to 
all the theatres for a very small sum. One might even 
say that in Paris one loses all consciousness of rain or 
snow. Everything always is so beautiful!" 

"My great reputation in Italy was partly due to my 

never having permitted my army to pillage It is 

a very responsible thing to be a commander-in-chief: his 
least error may cost thousands of lives." 

"Out of all the generals who served in Spain, we 
ought to have selected a certain number and have sent 
them to the scaffold. Dupont made us lose the Penin- 
sula in order to secure his plunder." 

"The King's government is destroying all my institu- 
tions in France — the Legion of Honor, the University, 
and soon I shall be forgotten.' Historians will say httle 
about me. Perhaps some day, if the King of Rome 
reign in Parma, he will cause some one to write of all 
that I have done. What would you have.-' Schwarzen- 
berg boasts of having betrayed me in 18 12, and if I were 
to complain of it in my account of that year, people would 
be saying, 'You ought to have expected it, and to have 
acted accordingly.' " 

' As 1 write 1 have beside me the catalogue of the Pratt Library of Balti- 
more. It contains one hundred and twenty-five books on Napoleon. 



258 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

"I am too old to pay court to ladies. Montholon 
says that many men at forty-eight are still young. Yes, 
but they have not gone through all that I have done." 

"There can be no comparison between me and Crom- 
well. I was three times elected by the people; and 
besides, in France my army had never made war on 
Frenchmen, but only on foreigners." 

"Hudson Lowe is a Sicilian grafted on a Prussian; 
they must have chosen him to make me die under his 
charge by inches. It would have been more generous to 
have shot me at once." 

"London bankers, in 181 5, gave me the millions 
which I wanted to make war against their countrymen. 
Spain for a long time paid me five millions a month, and 
that sum was remitted through bankers in London." 

"I wish I had conversed more with women. They 
would have told me many things that men would not 
relate to me." 

"I place great value on habits of order and subordi- 
nation. Look at the English! They conquered us, and 
yet they are very far from being our equals." 

"Lacretelle wrote nonsense, in a florid style." 

" 'Figaro' is a comedy adapted to pubhc sentiment 
during the Revolution, for Beaumarchais's object was to 
villify the nobles. There are things in it too immoral to 
be fit for the stage." 

"Mine was a glorious empire! I had eighty-three 
million human beings to govern; more than half the popu- 
lation of all Europe!" 



MISCELLANEOUS SAYINGS 259 

"Whatever a mother may do or have done, her own 
children have no right to reproach her." 

"Beaumarchais did everything he could to get pre- 
sented to me. He wanted to sell me his house." 

The Emperor hears that Madame Walewska has 
married Monsieur d'Ornano, and he is glad of it: "She 
is rich, for she must have laid by considerable sums. I 
did much for her two children." 

Gourgaud interrupts with: "Yes, Your Majesty for a 
long time made Madame Walewska an allowance of ten 
thousand francs a month." 

When Gourgaud said this, the Emperor was discom- 
posed. "How did you know that, Gourgaud?" 

"Pardieii, Sire, I was near enough to the person of 
Your Majesty to know everything. Those about you 
knew of it." 

"No one, I thought, knew of that matter but Duroc." 

"They did not have émeutes in my time in Paris. 
People must be very much excited now." 

"Narbonne often said to me that he found it hard to 
lay aside the marquis when he commanded his company. 
You have heard that his soldiers laughed when he 
exclaimed: 'Place, gentlemen! Place for the Emperor!' " 

"History will hardly make any mention of me; I was 
overthrown. If I could have maintained my dynasty, all 
would have been different." 

"Nero may have been a very different man from the 
Nero represented by historians. How is it possible to 
conceive that he burnt Rome for his own amusement.-* Or 
that he had a boat built in which to drown his mother.? 
There is nothing probable in all this. It is true that 



26o TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

Carrier had boats with a plug at the bottom that could be 
drawn out. But to say so of Nero is nonsense." 

"A book has just appeared which is attributed to me. 
In it we read that a sovereign should be able to say, 'I 
never committed crimes.' But I did worse; for I com- 
mitted blunders." 

"One can see that Macdonald's heart is full of regret 
and remorse; those who betrayed me cannot bear the 
thought of it. Ernouf, whom I ought to have had tried 
for his dishonesties in Guadeloupe, offered, in 1815, to 
serve me by going to Ghent, and acting as a spy upon the 
King." 

"One day I was astonished at seeing the great sums 
spent by the paymaster of the forces for the first division. 
I asked to see his accounts. He brought them to me 
the next day. I saw three hundred thousand francs paid 
over to a certain regiment. I pointed out to him that for 
ten years this regiment had not been in Paris nor even 
one of its detachments. They examined, and found this 
true. Somebody had embezzled the three hundred thou- 
sand francs. The affair made a great noise. It was sup- 
posed I had learned the matter through public rumor, but 
it was not so. Never was there more order and regu- 
larity in the accounts of those who spent money for the 
government than in my time. In 181 5 I could not unravel 
the accounts the King's government had left behind. I 
had not the time. I partly owed the good measures that 
I adopted to my knowledge of mathematics, and to my 
clear ideas about everything. 

"A very singular thing about me is my memory. 
When I was young I remembered logarithms of more than 
thirty and forty figures.' In France I knew not only the 

> Shortly before this was said at St. Helena, Napoleon had remarked that 
be was lo&ing bis memory. 



MISCELLANEOUS SAYINGS 261 

names of the officers in all my regiments, but the places 
where each corps had been recruited, and where it had 
distinguished itself. I even knew the spirit of the men. 

"The Thirty-second half-brigade would have died for 
me, because after Lonato, I had reported: 'The Thirty- 
second brigade was there, and my mind was easy.' It 
is astonishing what power words have over men. At 
Toulouse there was some threatening of a mutiny. As I 
passed through the place I said to the disaffected: 'What 
has become of the men who served with me in the Thirty- 
second, and in the Seventeenth light cavalry.? Are they all 
dead?' That brought them back to me, for those two 
regiments had been recruited in Languedoc. 

"Provence, on the contrary, was against me, because I 
had said at the siege of Toulon, that the Provencals made 
bad soldiers. Princes should be very careful of their 
words." 

"I cannot write well because my mind is engaged on 
two subjects at once: one, my ideas; the other, my 
handwriting. The ideas go on fastest, and then good-bye 
to the letters and the lines! I can only dictate now. It is 
very convenient to dictate. It is just as if one were hold- 
ing a conversation." 

"Benjamin Constant showed me some of Madame de 
Staël's letters; they were more than passionate. She 
threatened to kill her son if Benjamin would not do what 
she wished. In 1805 she let me know that if I would pay 
her two millions, she would write anything I liked. I 
packed her off immediately. After the eighteenth Bru- 
maire Joseph worried me to have Benjamin Constant 
named a member of the Tribunat. I would not do it at 
first, but in the end I yielded, I wrote to Lebrun, and 
Benjamin was appointed. At the end of a few months 
he joined the opposition, thinking I would buy him back. 



202 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

He ought to have known that I knock down my enemies, 
but never purchase them." 

At a masked ball given by Cambacérès the Emperor 
accosted Madame Saint-Didier, who did not recognize 
him, and she told him she was amazed to meet in the 
archchancellor's house any one so impertinent and so 
intrusive. His Majesty was very much amused by this, 
and every time he met Madame de Saint-Didier after- 
wards he teased her about it. 

"Ah! Gourgaud, you are a good Catholic; you want 
to go to confession! Well, confess yourself to me; you 
know I have been anointed." ' 

"Men are never attached to you by benefits." 

"To promise and not to keep your promise is the way 
to get on in this world." 

"Mohammed has been accused of frightful crimes. 
Great men are always supposed to have committed crimes, 
such as poisonings; that is quite false; they never succeed 
by such means." 

"I admire 'Gil Bias' myself, but think it a bad book 
for young men. Gil Bias sees the evil side of everything, 
and the young are apt to fancy all the world is as bad as 
he found it; which is false." 

"The Memoirs of Cardinal de Retz are the memoirs 
of a grand seigneur, but they read like those of a Figaro. 
It is impossible to be more shameless. Paris was power- 
ful then; it is so now. It is still a question whether on 
July 14 Monsieur de Broglie entered Paris by force. On 
the 13th Vendémiaire all depended on a small thing. Any 

^ At bis coronation. 



MISCELLANEOUS SAYINGS 263 

one but me would have failed if he had not brought the 
cannon from Sablons to Paris, as I did. On the 14th I 
sent bombs into the Rue Vivienne. 

"I cannot understand the present attitude of Paris. If 
after Waterloo I had remained there, if I had cut off 
about one hundred heads, — that of Fouché to begin with, — 
I could have held Paris with the assistance of the mob." 

One day Napoleon amuses himself by imagining a 
plan of escape from St. Helena: "We will go forth in 
the daytime. We will go through the town. With our 
fowling-pieces we could get the better of their post of ten 
men — oh! if the governor only knew what we are talking 
abouti — Nobody but Marchand would know I was not in 
my chamber. We would send Madame Bertrand to 
Plantation House, and O'Meara into the town. I may 
live fifteen years yet." 

They all laughed, made jokes, and went to bed. 

"Hudson Lowe says I am very deep. Eh! mon Dieu ^ 
that is a mistake. There never was any one more 
straightforward than I am." 

"You think, Gourgaud, that I care for noble birth? 
You make a great mistake. My own birth was not more 
noble than yours. Nor was Bertrand's. Montholon has 
laid aside his noblesse. His wife is the daughter of a 
financier." 

"You ought to translate the 'Annual Register' into 
French; that would give you a great reputation. There 
are fifty volumes. It would take you some time. It 
contains the history of the last twenty-five years. Every- 
body would want it, for I would add my notes to your 
translation; besides I should find it very useful. I should 
see all the debates in Parliament." 



264 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

"Men are all selfish; we must take them as we find 
them; but you, Gourgaud, can love, and you want love 
in return." 

"It would be a fine thing if we were to found a colony 
on a desert island. I would have two thousand men, 
with plenty of firearms and cannon. I would be King and 
you should be my Chamber of Peers; the common herd 
should be Deputies. If I had gone to America we might 
have founded a State there." 

"Monsieur de Chabrillant objected to my making you, 
Gourgaud, my first orderly officer. But I look at the 
man only. You are keen-witted; you have activity and 
bravery; you make good reports. So I made light of 
Monsieur de Chabrillant 's jealousy, and his complaints 
only attached me the more to you. You had been with 
me a long time. You were with me in Russia; you were 
useful to me; besides, when any one wants to make me 
think highly of another person, he need only say harm of 
him. Why did you not long ago ask me to give places 
to your relations? I would have granted them to your 
friends in preference to others. Your brother-in-law 
might have been my receiver-general. It was my inter- 
est to enrich all those around me, to have men who were, 
so to speak, my own. I would have put him into a posi- 
tion where he could have given me valuable information. 
Why, when we were leaving Malmaison, did you not ask 
me for money for your mother? I would gladly then have 
given you fifty or sixty thousand francs. Remember men 
are more attached to those on whom they confer benefits 
than those who receive them are to their benefactors." 

"Fouché betrayed me; Davout let himself be deceived. 
Bah! he betrayed me too. He has a wife and children; 
he thought that all was lost; he wanted to keep what he 
had got. Already before I left Paris he had sent an agent 



MISCELLANEOUS SAYINGS 265 

to England and tried to persuade me that it was to buy- 
arms If you think Davout was devoted to me 

you do not know men. You do not know Davout as I 
do.'" 

There was a shght earthquake at St. Helena in the 
summer of 1817. "I think, like Gourgaud, that we ought 
to have been swallowed up, island and all. It would be 
so pleasant to die in company." 

"The unhappy disturbances in Guadeloupe may per- 
haps bring on a massacre in Paris. Perhaps the Governor 
has learned that Napoleon II. has ascended the throne. 
Then there will be no more disputes as to my title of 
Emperor." 

"I never chose to have menial service from my 
courtiers, such as was called service du chambre. I made 
a distinction between what was menial and what was 
honorable service; I liked to have valets de chambre whom 
I could beat if I thought proper, rather than gentlemen. 
The valets had a good deal in their power: whilst 
undressing me they could, if they pleased, speak to me of 
such and such persons. They received handsome pres- 
ents. But their constant attendance was somewhat severe. 
I ought always to have had people to dine with me, as I 
did in 1815, and sometimes I should have dined in public. 
There were gentlemen from the country who had never 
been able to see me, and people grow attached to a 
sovereign by seeing him. I ought to have had more 
people at my levees— prefects and judges and generals— 
and I should have had a day for each class. There were 
not enough people in the salo7is de service; I ought to 
have passed through them in going to dinner, when people 
might have spoken to me." 

J ^ ' ^"' Napoleon another time at St. Helena wrote on the margin of Fleury 
de Chaboulon s " Histoire des Cent Jours," which spealcs with great bitterness 
ot General Davout: "Young man, do not insult one of the most pure and glori- 
ous men in France." The book is now at Sens in a xa\xi&\ua.— French Editor 



266 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

"You complain of your sorrows! Think of mine! 
Think of all I have experienced, all the things I have to 
reproach myself for! You have nothing to regret." 

"Ah!" said Bertrand to Gourgaud, "consider how 
when His Majesty lies awake he must think that it is he 
who has brought so much misery on France — France, 
which since the days of Henri H. had never had the 
humiUation of seeing enemies in her capital! What sor- 
rows in France have been caused by his fault — Moscow, 
Dresden, Chatillon — and he can never go from this place 
as we can!" 

Gourgaud: "It is unfortunate that the Emperor was 
not killed at Waterloo. It would have been the fitting 
close of his life for his reputation. Whilst to die of old 
age here at St. Helena is to live wretchedly and die 
ignobly." 

Bertrand: "But one does not know what may yet 
take place. Louis XVIII. was restored after twenty 
years of exile." 

Gourgaud: "Yes; but restoration would not obhter- 
ate the faults committed by the Emperor. France would 
never forget that she had been invaded, humiliated, and 
impoverished. History will always reproach the Emperor 
with these things." 

"How can any one imagine that Nero had Rome 
burnt — Nero, who was so much beloved in his [capital? 
Tacitus gives no explanation of that. It has been said 
that I do not like Tacitus because he attacks tyranny. 
One day Monsieur Suard came and bored me on that 
theme, and that was how the report started." 

"Ah! may the Parisians when they recall their glori- 
ous days connect them with the remembrance of me! I 
shall be happy then. And in fact they cannot speak of 
them without associating me with them. As the Abbé de 



MISCELLANEOUS SAYINGS 267 

Pradt said, I wanted to make Paris reach as far as Saint 
Cloud, and in my system of reigning over the world I 
meant to make Paris a mighty capital. The Parisians 
have intelligence. They will never forget me. They are 
brave, too." 

"If Wellington had done in France all the things he 
did in Corsica, he would have been assassinated." 

"The manners and customs of the Romans were 
quite different from ours. For example, we have no idea 
of the freedmen. The institution was convenient in those 
days. But now, if I wanted to get a man to assassinate 
an enemy, I could not find him." 

"A wife is only one of a man's ribs. She is the slave 
of her husband." 

Napoleon said that his valets de chambre, Hubert, 
Pellair, and Marchand, were all excellent. "M. de 
Montesquiou had a number of such young men, fellows of 
great merit. I could have made a nursery of them to fur- 
nish me with rehable and distinguished men. I might 
have made them my ambassadors." 

"When King Ferdinand at Valençay asked me to send 
him a physician from Paris, I replied, Yes, for consulta- 
tion. But I do not choose people should say, if any- 
thing should go wrong with him, that I had anything to do 
with it. He had better have Spanish doctors." 

"After all, the only persons I really care for are those 
who are useful to me. I never care what they think. I pay 
attention only to what they say. If you are attached to 
me you ought to pay court to the Montholons. You see 
that they please me, and that it is they, and they only, 
who are devoted to me. You, Gourgaud, and the Gov- 
ernor make my life very hard." 



268 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

"The history of Rome is pretty much the history of 
the world." 



"I ought to have crushed the Prince Bishop of the 
Montenegrins, but I treated him with consideration in 
case of a rupture with the Turks. The expedition of 
MoHtor through his country was a fine one. MoHtor 
was a very brave man." 

Laplace had the meanness to remove the name of the 
Emperor from the dedication of his Mécanique Céleste. 
After the Emperor's downfall he asked Caulaincourt to 
give him back a copy he had presented to him, that he 
might give him another in which the name of Napoleon 
did not appear. 

The little circle in the salon at Longwood read aloud 
"Paul and Virginia," and the Emperor thought the letter 
of Virginia to her mother was absurd. He had at one 
time advised Bernardin to write nothing but such books 
as "Paul and Virginia," and to let philosophy alone. St. 
Pierre made a mistake in thinking that Laplace had injured 
him in the opinion of His Majesty. During the reading 
of "Paul and Virginia" the Emperor was much moved. 
"I wept," says Gourgaud; "so did Madame de Mon- 
tholon, who said to me as we left the salon that in our 
situation such reading stirred our feelings too much, and 
troubled her digestion." 

On a previous occasion they had read something of 
Florian's, and then Paul and Virginia. The Emperor said 
that Florian's style was too abrupt, the style of "Paul and 
Virginia" excellent. 

That big Bernadin de Saint-Pierre is however a mis- 
chievous man. He ought to write only such books as 
"Paul and Virginia," or the "Chaumière Indienne." 

His Majesty reads an account of the travels of Queen 
Christina of Sweden, and is indignant at the attention 



MISCELLANEOUS SAYINGS 269 

paid her by the Court of France. Christina had a right 
to kill Monaldeschi. 

The Emperor said he was going to reread the history 
of Cromwell; he had not read it for a long time. Had 
the Protector any great military ability, or was he only a 
bully.? He had one important quality — dissimulation — 
and he had great political talent. He could see things 
clearly and judge them correctly. There was no action 
in his life in which he may be said to have miscalculated. 
He was an extraordinary man. 

"Volney wrote well, but there were some things about 
the East that he did not understand. The Koran allows 
the Arabs to perform their ablutions with sand." 

"Chateaubriand has not sufficient skill in reasoning to 
write a good political work. He will put in too many 
flowers of rhetoric, but flowers will not take the olace of 
close reasoning." 

The Emperor said that his great superiority over other 
men consisted in being able to endure continuous brainwork. 
He never knew any man equal to him in this. "I could 
discuss one subject for eight hours, and at the end of that 
time take up another matter with my mind as fresh as at 
the beginning. Even now I can dictate twelve hours at a 
time. Massena and others got physically tired sooner 
than I did. Own, Gourgaud, that it takes splendid cour- 
age to live here! Yet, mon Dieu, I am as calm as if I 
were living at the Tuileries. I never have attached much 
importance to life. I would not make a step — I have 
never made a step — to shun death." 



CHAPTER XVII. 

RELIGION. 

"Monge, Berthollet, and Laplace were all atheists. I 
think the matter that made man was slime, warmed by the 
sun and vivified by electric fluids. What are animals — an 
ox, for example — but organized matter? Well! when we 
see that our physical frame resembles theirs, may we not 
believe that we are only better organized matter; almost 
in a perfect state? ' Perhaps some day there will be 
formed more perfect beings still. 

"Where is a baby's soul? What becomes of a mad- 
man's? The growth of the soul follows the growth of the 
body," it grows as the child grows, it shrinks in old age. 
If our souls are immortal they must have existed before 
we were born. Has the soul no memory? On the other 
hand, how can thought be explained? See now, at this 
very moment when I am speaking to you, my thoughts 
have gone back to the Tuileries. I see the palace and the 
gardens, I see Paris. That is how once upon a time I 
explained presentiments. I imagined the hand accusing 
the eye of falsehood, when the eye said it could see a 
league away. The hand said: 'I can discern nothing that 
is more than two feet from me; how, then, can you see a 
league?' Presentiments in some men are like the eyes of 
the soul. 

"Yet the idea of God the Creator is much the most 
simple explanation of the origin of things. Who made 
them all? There is a veil we cannot lift. It is beyond 

» "God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ; and man became a 
living- soul." Genesis 2 : 7.—E. W. L. 

'The Emperor confounds the spiritual part of man with his intelligence. 
Intelligence is, to a certain extent, the inheritance of animals.— £. W. L. 

270 



RELIGION 271 

the powers of our soul, beyond the reach of our under- 
standings. It belongs to a higher order of things. The 
most simple idea consists in worshipping the sun, which 
gives life to everything. ■ I repeat, I think man was created 
in an atmosphere warmed by the sun, and that after a 
certain time this productive power ceased. 

"Do soldiers believe in God? Ahl they see so many 
dead comrades fall around them I 

"I have often held arguments with the Bishop of 
Nantes to discuss what becomes of animals after their 
death. He told me that he thought they might have 
some kind of soul different from man's, and that they 
might go to certain limbos. He agreed to all I said about 
the wealth of the clergy, but he believed in Jesus Christ, 
and always spoke like a true Christian. Cardinal Casali 
and Pope Pius VH. were also true beHevers 

"All religions since that of Jupiter inculcate morality. 
I would believe any religion that could prove it had existed 
since the beginning of the world. But when I see 
Socrates, Plato, Moses, and Mohammed I do not think 
there is such a one. All religions owe their origin to 
man."' 

"The Christian religion offers much pomp to the eye, 
and gives its worshippers many brilliant spectacles. It 
affords something all the time to occupy the imagination. 
I like convents. Only I wish they would forbid the 

' It must be borne in mind that in these talks about religion, Napoleon, 
when he speaks of "Christianity," means Christianity as he conceived it— a 
system founded on the dogmas he had learned from Cardinal Fesch, an unen- 
lightened ecclesiastic of the same type as most churchmen of the middle ages. 
His Mohammedanism had taught him at least its fundamental truth: There is 
but one God, though he sometimes seems to have wavered in his acceptance 
of even this. There was not the smallest spirituality in his nature. He was an 
agnostic of the most pronounced kind, without helps from modern research 
and explanation. He believed only what came within his own experience— 
what he thought he could apprehend. All else he put aside as unworthy of his 
understanding. He had no spiritual instincts ; affection was not in his nature. 
Faith, as he conceived it, was the acceptance of dogmas by the intellect. Its 
true meaning, trust, was not even suspected by him. But he was too great a 
man not to perceive clearly how necessary religion was to the human race. 
He restored public worship ; he made the Concordat ; he often read the Bible, 



272 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

taking of vows until those who wish to do so are fifty 
years of age. At this moment I could live very happily 
in retirement in a convent. When I re-established the 
convent of the Great St. Bernard, and endowed it with 
forty thousand francs a year, my act gave great pleasure 
to the clergy. Cardinal Caselli, who was the great theo- 
logian of Cardinal Gonsalvi, the leading man in the Sacred 
College at the time of the Concordat, was enchanted when 
I talked to him about Egypt and Judea. He could not 
conceive that the Jordan was only about sixty feet in 
width. The result of our conversations was that he 
assured the Holy Father that he ought to grant me all 1 
asked, and that I was the only man who could re-establish 
religion." 

"Did Jesus ever exist, or did he not? I think no con- 
temporary historian has ever mentioned him; not even 
Josephus. Nor do they mention the darkness that 
covered the earth at the time of his death." 

"The moral code of Jesus is the same as that of 
Plato. Society needs a religion to estabUsh and consoli- 
date the relations of men with one another. It moves 
great forces; but is it good, or is it bad for a man to put 
himself entirely under the sway of a director? There are 
so many bad priests in the world ! ' ' 

"I have been reading Genesis, and I can assure you 
that the localities and customs mentioned in it are drawn 

borrowing the book from Gourgaud, who was a Catholic and a Christian in 
belief, if not always in practice. To be sure, Napoleon's interest in the 
Scriptures was chiefly in the Hebrew hasgndah or parable stories, in the Apoc- 
rypha, in Moses and Joshua as old-time generals, and in theJBiblical view of 
legitimism, as illustrated in the histories of David and Saul. That the Old 
Testament was the introduction to the New ; that Christianity had its roots in 
the relations of God to man in the far past, and was not, like Mohammedanism, 
a new religion, never occurred to him. That Christ came into the world, when 
the fulness of time had come, iofuljill, not to destroy, the Jewish religion, was 
a view of Christianity that had never presented itself to him. When he 
selected the companions of his exile he omitted a chaplain, and said he had had 
something more important to think about. The young Corsican priests Cardi- 
nal Fesch subsequently sent out to him stayed but a short tinie at St. Helena, 
and commanded no respect.— j£. W. L. 



RELIGION 273 

with the greatest truth. To read it is a great pleasure 
when one remembers all the places it alludes to. 

"The Crusaders came back worse Christians than 
they were when they left their homes. Intercourse with 
Mohammedans had made them less Christian. Judea is 
not a rich country." 

Gourgaud remarks that what was prophesied about the 
Jews has been fulfilled to the letter, and continues to be 
fulfilled. They are dispersed on the face of the earth and 
are a constant miracle. 

Napoleon: "That is singular, but it is also sur- 
prising that there are still in France a million of Protes- 
tants in spite of the persecutions they have endured. 
All men cling strongly to their religion. There are not 
more than two millions of Jews." ^ 

"If I had to choose a religion I think I should become 
a worshipper of the sun. The sun gives to all things life 
and fertility. It is the true God of the earth." 

"I do not think I should like to confess to a married 
priest, who might go and tell it all to his wife. Formerly 
parish priests had their housekeepers or their nieces. At 
the Council of Constance the old men were in favor of 
the marriage of the clergy, and the young men, because 
of ambition, set themselves against it. 

"To receive all classes into one convent is, I think, 
absurd. Before the Revolution I knew monks whom 
nature had intended for mere laboring men living in lux- 
ury and idleness. I think that three or four convents 
such as I proposed to establish would be extremely useful. 
Such a life led in common by either men or women would 
not be possible without the bond of religion. Religion 
lends sanctity to everything." 

"The best and most learned churchman I have ever 
known was the Bishop of Nantes. He was well versed 

' Two millions in France, and but eight millions in the world.— £. W.L. 



274 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

in the chicaneries of skeptics. He never undertook the 
defence of his outworks, but he was not to be overcome 
in his entrenchments. Though he had great respect for 
the Pope he frequently opposed him. He overthrew all 
the other cardinals. He said to me on the subject of 
indulgences: 'You must remember that the popes are only 
men.' " 

"The Mohammedan religion is the finest of all. In 
Egypt the sheiks greatly embarrassed me by asking what 
we meant when we said 'the Son of God.' If we had 
three gods, we must be heathen." 

"The remission of sins is a beautiful idea. It makes 
the Christian religion so attractive that it will never perish. 
No one can say, 'I do not believe, and I never shall 
believe.' " 

"What is electricity, galvanism, or magnetism? 
Therein lies the great secret of nature. Galvanism works 
in silence. I think myself that man is the product of 
these fluids and the atmosphere; that the brain pumps up 
the fluids and gives life; that the soul is composed of 
these fluids, and that after death they return into the 
ether, whence they are again pumped by other brains." 

The Emperor thinks that the Catholic religion is 
better than the Anglican. "The worshippers do not under- 
stand what they sing at vespers, they only witness the 
spectacle. It is a mistake to endeavor to enlighten them 
too much about such things." 

Gazing up at the starry heavens, Gourgaud says, 
"They make me feel I am so small, and God so great." 

Napoleon replies: "How comes it, then, that Laplace 
was an atheist? At the Institute neither he nor Monge, 
nor Berthollet, nor Lagrange believed in God. But they 
did not like to say so." 



RELIGION 375 

Gourgaud says: "We talked of confessors," and 
adds, "I have myself formed such an idea of God, that I 
can address myself straight to Him. I have extreme 
confidence in His goodness. You all think that I am 
always reading the Bible. I do not know why Your 
Majesty tries to make out that I am a bigot." ' 

Napoleon says: "Yes, I think you are something of 
that kind." 

Gourgaud: "I own that I believe firmly in God, and 
cannot conceive how men can be atheists. To proclaim 
themselves such seems to me mere mental braggadocio." 

Napoleon: "Bah! Laplace was an atheist, and Berthol- 
let too. At the Institute they all were atheists, and yet 

Newton and Leibnitz were believers Atheists 

compare man to a clock; but the clock-maker is a being of 
superior intelligence. They grant that creation is the 
result of matter, as warmth is the effect of fire. I believe 
in a superior intelligence. I should also believe as firmly 
in Christ as Pius VH, does, if the Christian religion went 
as far back as the beginning of the world, and had been 
the universal religion. But when I see Mohammedans 
following a religion more simple than ours, a religion 
better adapted to their way of living than ours; .... 
and then if I have to believe that Socrates and Plato are 
both damned? That is what I often asked the Bishop of 
Evreux, and he assured me that God might possibly work 
a miracle in their favor. Do you believe that God con- 
cerns himself with all your actions?" 

Gourgaud: "Sire, if Your Majesty imagines God has 
only the same capacities as a man, your reasoning would 
be just. But the Being who could create both the sun 
in the heavens and the leaves upon the trees has an intel- 
ligence that cannot be compared with mine. Therefore, 

' Gourgaud also says : "Sire, when 1 consider the planets, I cannot under- 
stand how men can have the presumption to suppose that all their movements 
are the natural effect of matter. Who, then, created matter, if not a superior 
being; in other words, God? Laplace himself cannot tell us what the sun is, 
Dor the stars, nor the comets ; yet he dares to declare that there is qo God." 



276 TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. HELENA 

if I measure God with man, my reasoning breaks down. 
If I cannot comprehend how the sun exists, how can I 
comprehend that God sees everything I do? For in fact, 
this idea is not harder to grasp than that of the formation 
of the planets, or a blade of grass. God has not given 
us an intelligence which has power to solve such things." 

"It is true that the idea of God is natural to man. It 
has existed from all time and among all nations." 

One day in April, 1817, they were talking about the 
planetary system, and Gourgaud praised the Mécanique 
Céleste of Laplace. 

Napoleon: "Laplace made a detestable Minister of the 
Interior [under the Directory] . His great friend was 
Lagrange, and he never dared to speak in the Institute 
without consulting him. If Lacroix or others attacked 
him, Lagrange thundered down upon them. I often 
asked Laplace what he thought of God. He owned he 
was an atheist. Many crimes have been committed in 
the name of religion. The oldest religion is the worship 
of the sun. Where is the soul of an infant.-' I cannot 
remember what I was before I was born; and what will 
become of my soul after my death? As to my body, it 
will become carrots or turnips. I have no dread of death. 
In the army I have seen many men suddenly perish who 
were talking with me." 

"I have dictated thirty pages on the world's three 
religions; and I have read the Bible. My own opinion is 
made up. I do not think Jesus Christ ever existed.' I 
would believe in the Christian religion if it dated from the 
beginning of the world. That Socrates, Plato, the 

'To judge correctly the real opinions of the Emperor on this subject we 
must bear in mind how much he was apt to be animated by a spirit of contra- 
diction. With Gourgaud, whom he thought (whether rightly or wrongly is no 
matter) to be something of a dévot, we see how he could express himself. To 
Antommarchi, who professed to be a materialist, he said : "Aspiring to be an 
atheist does not make a man so"; and to Montholon, " 1 know men well! I tell 
you that Jesus Christ was not a m!^u."—Frenc/i Editor. 



RELIGION 277 

Mohammedan, and all the English should be damned is 
too absurd. Jesus was probably put to death, like many 
other fanatics who proclaimed themselves to be prophets 
or the expected Messiah. Every year there were many 
of these men." 

"I once found at Milan an original manuscript of the 
'Wars of the Jews,' in which Jesus is not mentioned.^ 
The Pope pressed me to give him this manuscript. What 
is certain is, that in the days of Jesus public opinion 
favored the worship of One God, and those who first 
preached that doctrine were well received and welcomed. 
It would have been so in my own case if from the lowest 
ranks of society I had become Emperor. It would have 
been because circumstances and public opinion were for 
me, not against me." 

"I read the Bible. Moses was an able man. The 
Jews were a cowardly and cruel people." 

"Egypt is the country which seems to be the seat of 
the oldest civilization. Gaul, Germany, and even Italy 
followed not long after, but I think that emigration west- 
ward probably took place from India or China, where 
there were vast populations, rather than from Egypt, 
which had only a few thousand inhabitants. All this 
makes me think that our world is not very old, or at least 
has not been inhabited by man from very ancient times. 
Within two thousand years or so I accept the chronology 
appended to the Sacred Writings. I think that man was 
formed by the action of the heat of the sun upon the mud. 

» Renan, a historian not likely to be prejudiced on such a subject, 
accepted the pages in Josephus's " Antiquities of the Jews" that treat 
of the preaching of Jesus and John the Baptist in Galilee, as genuine. It is 
true that in some original MSS., like the one Napoleon met with at Milan, what 
he said on this subject is omitted. It seems, however, as if this could be easily 
accounted for. Titus was so pleased with the work that he signed a number of 
copies and sent them to the chief cities of his empire. Now, as Christ was 
condemned by a Roman procurator on the charge of treasonable designs 
against the Roman Emperor, it is likely that in the copies submitted to Titus 
the passages which speak of Christ as a wonderful man ("if indeed he was a 
man ") were omitted.— ii", W, L. 



278 TALKS OF NAPOLEON AT ST. HELENA 

Herodotus tells us that in his day the slime of the Nile 
changed into rats, and that they might be seen in process 
of formation. Can any one tell us what the brain is? 
All things can be explained by magnetism. Where is 
little Arthur Bertrand' s soul? The soul is formed as the 
body forms. Knock a nail into your head, then you 
become a madman, and then where is your soul? It is 
absurd to believe that at the Last Judgment we must 
appear in the flesh. Why should we, for a few crimes 
committed upon earth, be punished eternally?" 

"Say what you like, but everything is more or less 
organized matter. When I have had stags cut open in 
hunting, I saw that their interior was like that of man. 
Man is only a more perfect being than dogs and trees. 
Plants are the first link in the chain of which man is the 
last. I know this is contrary to religion, but it is my 
opinion. We are all matter. Man was created by a 
certain warmth in the atmosphere. Man is young, and 
the earth is old. The human race has not existed more 
than six or seven thousand years, and thousands of years 
from now man may be very different from what he has 
been. Science may then have made such progress that 
mankind may perhaps have found out how to live forever. 
Agricultural chemistry is yet in its infancy. Not many 
hundred years ago we found out extraordinary properties 
in certain bodies, but we cannot explain them — the 
loadstone, electricity, and galvanism. What discoveries 
may not be made in these thousands of years!" 

"What makes me think that there is not a God who 
can take vengeance, is to see that good people seem 
always unfortunate in this world, and rascals lucky. You 

will see that Talleyrand will die in his bed When 

I see that a dog or a pig has a stomach and can eat, I say 
to myself, 'I have a soul, they must have one too.' Give 
my watch to a savage and he will think it has a soul." 



RELIGION 279 

Gourgaud replies: "But, Sire, that just proves that 
there is a God, for there had to be a clock-maker to make 
the watch. What can make itself from nothing?" 

"If a man can think, it is because his nature is more 
perfect than that of a fish. When my digestion is bad, I 
think differently from what I do when I feel well. Every- 
thing depends on matter. If I had beUeved in a God who 
punished or rewarded us according to our deeds, I might 
have lost courage in battle." 

"A man may have no religion, but may yet have 
morality. He must have morality for the sake of society. 
MoraHty for the better classes, the scaffold for la 
canaille. ' ' 

Then Gourgaud says: "Sire, I think the laws of 
morality are much the same in all religions; such laws are 
the work of God. He may be worshipped alike by 
Catholics, Protestants, and Turks. All prayers may be 
accepted by Him. To say that is not so, would be like 
saying that all prayers must be in the same language. 
The incense of prayer will mount always to God." 

"Bah, Monsieur Gourgaud! And do you think that 
the intelligence that regulates the movements of the 
planets (and this intelligence is only the product of matter) 
looks upon the actions of men, and takes account of 
them?" 

"Sire, I believe in God. I should be very unhappy 
were I an atheist." 

"Bah! Look at Monge and Laplace. Vanity of 
vanities!" 

"Science, which has disproved that the earth is the 
centre of the celestial system, struck a great blow at reli- 
gion. Joshua, we are told, stayed the sun,' and that 

• " It is really astonishing," says Herder, " that this fine passage (Joshua 
x.,6-14) has been so long misunderstood. We are expressly told that it is an 
extract from the Book of Jasher— a collection of poems on the heroic deeds of 
leaders of the Israelites." The Book of Jasher is quoted elsewhere in the 



2So TALKS OF NAPOLEON A T ST. I/ELENA 

stars will fall into the sea from heaven. What do I 
say? All the suns, and all the planets, etc." 

"An Itahan prince in church one day gave a piece of 
gold to a Capuchin who was asking alms to buy souls out 
of purgatory. The monk, enchanted at receiving so large 
a sum, exclaimed, 'Ah, Monsignore, I see thirty souls 
departing from purgatory and entering paradise!' 

" 'Do you really see them?' 

" 'Yes, Monsignore.' 

" 'Then you may give me back my gold piece, for 
those souls certainly will not return to purgatory.' 

"That is how men are imposed upon Jesus 

said he was the Son of God, and yet he was descended 
from David. I like the Mohammedan religion best. It 
has fewer incredible things in it than ours. The Turks 
call Christians idolaters." 

His Majesty is reading the Bible with his map at hand, 
and proposes to write an account of the campaigns of 
Moses. 

Gourgaud adds: "The Emperor dictated a note to 
me, to prove that the water struck out of a rock by 
Moses could not have quenched the thirst of two milHons 
of Israelites." 

Bible. The book itself is now lost. Some archaeologist may possibly discover 
it in Egypt or elsewhere among papyri. 

At the close of the eighteenth century, or beginning of the nineteenth, 
several versions were published of a pretended Book of Jasher. The passage 
in Joshua expressly states that the chiefs of five clans of the Amorites gathered 
their forces to make war on the Gibeonites, who were in alliance with the 
people of Israel. Joshua, receiving tidings of this raid, made a night march, 
surprised the Amorites in the early light of a summer day, and chased them 
through the rocky pass of Beth-horon with great slaughter, which was increased 
when a dense thunder-cloud blackened the heavens and enormous hailstones 
fell among the combatants. Then Joshua (like Aja.x) prayed for light ; prayed 
that the sun might not set, and night add to the darkness, until the enemy was 
subdued. The prayer was heard. We may be permitted to believe that the 
sun in its glory shone out before sunset, and that the moon was bright in the 
valley of Ajalon when the Israelites completed their victory.— £. IV. L, 

THE END. 



INDEX. 



Aboukir, 64, 118; sword of, 31. 
Abrantès, Duchesse d', see Junot, 

Madame. 
Acre, 6q, 70, 72, 232, 241; Saint John d', 

6q. 
Adige River, 5g. 
Agesilaus, 207. 
Agincourt, 190. 

Albert, Mademoiselle d', 138. 
Albuféra, Duke of, see Suchet, Mar- 
shal. 
Aleppo, 70. 
Alexander I., of Russia, go, 120, 122- 

127, 154-157, 163, 200. 
Alexander the Great, 67, 207-209. 
Alexandria, 65, 67. 
Algiers, 250. 
All, Captain, 16, 
Alps mountains, 60, 218. 
Amboise, 123. 
America, 7, 17, 39, 71, 72, 193, 252, 

264. 
Americans, 71. 
Amiens, 249; peace of 114, 117; treaty 

of, 197. 

Amillet, , 2. 

Ammon, Temple of, 67. 
Andréossi, General, 156, 189. 
Angelican religion, 274. 
Angoulème, Duc d', 176, 180, 199. 

Duchesse d', 52, 153. 
Anjou, Duke of, 205. 
Antibes, 170-173, 178, 180. 
Antwerp, 187. 
Aosta, 80. 
Arabia, 29, 64, 68. 
Arabs, 66, 269. 
Arche de 1' Étoile, 87, 234. 
Archiépiscopal Palace, 88, loi. 
Arcis, 165. 

Arenberg, Madame d', 139. 
Arona, 80. 
Arras, 60. 
Artois, Comte d', 181, 199, 204. 



Asia, 71. 

Aspern, 133. 

Assassination, projects of, 83-84. 

Auerstadt, 120, 121. 

Augereau, General, 123, 227. 

Augusta, Princess of Saxony, 141. 

Austerlitz, 119, 120, 155, 210, 216, 
241. 

Austria, 79, 81, 116, 117, 132, 137, 139, 
140, 149, 155, 156, 157, 160, 162, 163, 
182, 183, 1S5, 190, 191, 202, 204, 222, 
226; Emperor of, 37, 61, 84, 128, 141, 
158, 163, 164, 191, 192, 226. 

Austrian staff officers, 131. 

Austrians, 59, 63, 79, 82, ii8, 119, 132, 
134, 164, igi, 203, 213, 215, 217, 222. 

Autichamps, d', log. 

Autric, , 3, 8, II. 

Avesnes, i, 2, 3. 

Avignon, 173. 

B 

Bacciochi, Princess, see Bonaparte, 

Elisa. 
Badajos, 130. 

Baden, Duke of, 150; Prince of, no. 
Bagration, General, 155. 
Bard, Fort, 78, 80, 218. 
Barras, Comte de, 49, 56-58, 61, 73- 

75- 

Barrère, , 50. 

Barrière de Chaillot, 4. 

Basle, 92. 

Basque Roads, 16. 

Bassano, Duc de, 2, 5, 6, 12, 129, 154, 

202. 

Bassville, , 44. 

Bassy, , 3. 

Bastiles, 87. 
Batavia, 71. 
Bathurst, Lord, 25, 33, 

Batri, , 6. 

Bautzen, 163. 

Bavaria, 202, 210, 248; King of, 150, 

151; Queen of, 125, 151. 



281 



282 



INDEX. 



"Bayadere," 12, 14, 15. 

Beatrix, Empress of Austria, 141. 

Beauchamp, A. de,li64. 

Beauharnais Eugene de, 56, go, 119, 
135, 138, 140, 150, 151, 161, 162, 201. 

Beauharnais, General, 55. 

Beauharnais, Hortense de, see Hor- 
tense de Beauharnais. 

Beauharnais, Josephine de, see Jo- 
sephine. 

Beaulieu, General, 62. 

Beaumarchais, P. A. C. de, 258, 259. 

Beaumont, 2. 

Beaumont, , 186. 

Beauvau, , 227; Madame de, 136. 

Bec du Raz, 21. 

Beker, General, 6-10, 13-15, 20. 

Belgians, 202. 

Belgium, 3, 139, 202, 243. 

"Bellerophon," 14, 15, 20, 22, 23, 25. 

Belliard, General, 44, 45. 

Bender, 68, 255. 

Benevento, Prince of, see Talley- 
rand. 

Benningsen, General, 122. 

Beresina River, 158, 161, 227. 

Berlin, 121, 200; decrees, 121. 

Bernadette, Marshal, 30, 60, 105, 123, 
124, 134, 164, 224, 226. 

Berry, Due de, 153; Duchesse de, 90. 

Berry-au-Bac, 3. 

Berthier, Marshal, 65, 124, 132, 139, 
161, 163, 187, 227, 244, 245, 247, 248. 

Berthollet, , 270, 274, 275. 

Bertrand, Arthur, 278; General, 2, 4, 
7, 9, 10, 13-16, 19, 20, 24, 26-29, 31, 
68, 108, 149, 166, 168, 177, 180, 185, 225, 
239, 263, 266; Madame, 8, 10, 12, 18, 
22, 24-28, 30, 112, 148,169. 

Berwick, , 60. 

Bessières, Marshal, 104, 159, 188, 211, 
236. 245. 

Besson Captain, 16. 

Beurnonville, General, 46. 

Bicêtre, 84. 

Billaud, , 48. 

Billaud-Varennes, 75. 

Bingham, Sir George, 28. 

Blacas, , 33. 77. 

Black Rocks, 21. 

Blacke, ',1130. 

Blockade, Continental, 121, 132. 

BlUcber, General, 123, 186, 189. 



Bohemia, 132. 

Boleyn, Anne, 205. 

Bonaparte, Brother Bonifacio, 35, 87; 
Caroline, Queen of Naples, 135, 140, 
149; Charles, 36; Elisa, Princess 
Bacciochi, 119; Jerome, King of 
Westphalia, 119, 147, 148 (note), 153; 
Joseph, King of Spain, 6, 10, 12, 38, 
44, 45, 119, 123, 129, 130, 142-144, 261; 
Louis, King of Holland, 36, 119, 
144-146, 149, 150; Lucien, 36, 139, 
146, 147; Madame, 37, 38, 149, 150, 
169; Napoleon Louis, 150; Pauline, 
36, 140, 148. 

Bonaparte family, 35-39. 

Bonnefoux, , 11. 

Bordeaux, 14, 16, 203. 

Borisov, 159. 

Bormida River, 79. 

Borodino, see Moskwa. 

Boudet, General, 80. 

Boufflers, , 125. 

Bouille, Madame de, 90. 

Boule d'Or, Hotel, 10. 

Boulogne, 49, 115-117. 

Bourbon, Due de, in; Isle of, 71. 

Bourbons, 12, 17, 51, 77, 78, 82, 113, 128, 
129, 167, 173, 199, 200, 202, 204, 205, 
248. 

Bourgeois, Colonel, 10. 

Bourgoing, Père, 41. 

Bourmont, L. A. V., 225. 

Bourrienne, L. A. F., 98. 

Bowen, Captain, 246. 

Boyer, , 181. 

Braunau, 234. 

Brayer, , 175, 176. 

Brest, 115, 116, 201. 

Briars, 243. 

Brienne, 39, 40, 41, 88, 163, 227. 

Brignole, Madame de, 246, 

Brittany, Duke of, 205. 

Broglie, , 262. 

Brumaire, 73-76. 

Brunswick, Duke of, 46, 123, 125, 

Brussels, 139. 

Bry, Jean de, 61. 

Bunbury, , 25, 27. 

Buonarotti, see Bonaparte. 

Buonaventura, Fra, 35. 

Burgundy, 203. 

Busaco, 130. 

Busche, , 10. 



INDEX. 



283 



Cadoudal, Georges, 93, 94, 104-ioq, 
114. 

Caesar, 207-210, 233. 

Caffarelli. General, 65, 66, 224; Ma- 
dame, 6, 8. 

Cairo, 64, 65, 72. 

Calabria, 182. 

Calais, 114.223. 

Calder, Sir Robert, 115, 116. 

Calonne, , 1,%. 

Cambacérès, J. J. R.. 48, 51, 54,77,107. 
13g, 193, 262. 

Cambon, J., 192. 

Cambronne, General, 172-174, 225. 

Campbell, Sir Neil, 168, i6g. 

Campo Formio, Treaty of, 63. 

Canisy, Madame de, see Vicence, 
Duchesse de. 

Cannœ, 12g. 

Cannes, 175. 

Capauchins, 36, 87. 

Cape Colony, 14g. 

Caraman, , 201. 

Carignan, , 201. 

Carion, , 5. 

Carlsruhe, iio. 

Carnot, 75, 184, 193, 194. 233-236. 

Carrier, J. B., 47-50, 61. 

Casali, Cardinal, 271. 

Caselli, Cardinal, 272. 

Cassano, 81. 

Castiglione, 227. 

Castlereagh, Lord, 33. 

Catherine of Russia, 63. 

Caulaincourt, General, 3, iio, m, 125, 
140, 160, 163, 268. 

Ceracchi, 83. 

Chabran, 80. 

Chabrillant, , 264. 

Chaillot, 107. 

Chambéry, 60. 

Champ de Mai, 191; sword of, 
31. 

Champagne, 46, 88, 125, 256. 

Champagny, J. B. N., 154. 

Championnet, 241. 

Champs Elysée, 4. 

Chaptal, , 85. 

Charlemagne, 208. 

Charleroi, i. 186. 

Charles V., 69. 



Charles, Archduke of Austria, 60, 131- 

133. 232. 
Charles IV., King of Spain, 123. 
Charles, Prince of Lorraine, 2x3, 214, 

216. 
Charlotte, Princess, 203, 243. 
Chartran, General, 5,6. 

Châtaux, , 227. 

Chateau-Renaud, 9. 
Chateaubriand, 200, 269. 
Châteaudun, 7. 
"Chatham," 21. 
Châtillon, 108, 266. 
Chatou, 6. 

Chaumette, , 48. 

"Chaumière Indienne," 268. 
Chauveau-Lagarde, 52. 
Cherbourg, 201. 

Chiappe, . 3, 8, i86. 

China, 69, 71, 102, 277. 

Chivasso, 80. 

Choiseul, E. F., 223. 

Chouans, 93, 104, log. 

Christina, Queen of Sweden, 268, 

269. 
"Clarissa Harlowe," 3g. 
Clausel, General, 14, 30, 187, 190, 

201. 
Cobentzel, Comte de, 63. 
Cockburn, Admiral, 27, 28. 
Coimbra, 131. 
Colonna, 183. 
Commerce and Manufactures, 85-86. 

Comminge, , 107. 

Committee of Public Safety, 50, 75. 
Concordat, 100-102. 
Condé, General, 210, 211, 213. 
Constant, Benjamin, 261. 
Constantinople, 123, 156-158. 
Constituent Assembly, 45-47. 
Corday, Charlotte, 49. 
Corsica, 36-39, 141, 167, ig7, 267. 
Corsicans, 141, 182, 222. 
Corvisart, Baron, 43, 140, 152, 153. 
Cossacks, 70, 123, 156, 158, 163. 
Côte d'Or, 43. 
Cour-de-France, 165. 
Crécy, igo. 
Cremona, 80, 213. 

Crétin, , 65. 

Cromwell, Oliver, 195, 258, 269. 

Crusaders, 273. 

Czai toryski. Prince, 126. 



284 



INDEX. 



D 



Dalamatia, Duke of, see Soult, Mar 
sbal. 

Dalton, , 4- 

Damanhour, 64. 
Damas, Roger de, 181. 

Danican, , S4- 

Danton, G. J., 47. 48. 
Dantzic, 121, 122, 236. 
Danube River, 5o, 133. i34. 
Darfur, 66. 
Darius, 208. 

Darrican, , I94- 

Daru, , ig6. 

Daun, Marshal, 213, 218. 

Dauphiné, 181. 

David, IQ7. 280. 

Davout, Marshal, 6, 65, 120, 123, 125, 

132-134, 154. i59i 194, 226, 264, 265. 
Decrès, 6. 
Dejean, Comte, 3, 165. 

Delessert, , Q^- 

Delmas, , 100. 

Denain, 230. 

Desaix, General, 30, 64, 65, 72, 79. 224, 

226, 232. 
Diamond necklace, 52. 
Dibdin, Thomas, 115. 
Dieppe, 121. 

Directory, 61, 65, 74. 75. 84. 8b, 226, 244. 
Dniester River, 159. 
Doret, Ensign, 12 (note). 
Dresden, 140, iS5. 156. 161-164. 254. 266. 
Drouot, General, 2, 3, 6, 168, 169, 180, 

186, 190, 225, 226, 239, 248. 
Dubois, Baron, 41. 152. 
Duchâtel, Madame, 5. 

Duhesme, , 186. 

Dumanoir, , 118. 

Dumas, 59; General, 65; M., 3. 

Dumouriez, 46. 

Dunkirk, 60. 

Dupont, General, 54, 257- 

Dupuis, , 71- 

Dupuy, General, 2. 
Duroc, General, 78, 84, 92. 127, 226 
227, 25g. 

Durosnel, , 181. 

Dutch, 71. 256, 257- 



Eble, , 226. 

Eckmûhl, 143- 



École Polytechnique, 215. 

Egypt, 29, 33, 43. 57. 64-73. 157. 160. 

192, 207, 209, 219, 232, 241, 244, 246, 

247, 272, 274, 277. 
Elba, 8, 17, 32, 33. 5^. i40, 148. 151. 163. 

167-169, 171, 178, 180, 182, 183, 191, 

192, 197, 222, 225, 253. 
Elbing, 82. 
Elchingen, 118. 
Élie, Brother, 40. 
Elizabeth, Madame, 52. 
Elleviou, 56. 
Elysée, Palace of the, 4. 
Enghien, Duc d', 109-112, 114, 116, 194. 
England, 17, 20, 21, 23, 25, 29, 49, 71, 

72, 95, no, 114, 116, 117, 120-122, 132, 

143, 144, 155, 157. 162. 169, 184, 192, 
197, 198, 201, 203-206, 230, 243, 244, 
246, 252, 255, 265. 
English, 15, 19. 25, 32. 50. 67, 70-72, 
97, 129, 130, 162, 177. 178. 186-190, 
200, 202, 233, 238, 243, 250,-256,1258, 

277. 
Enzendorf, 133. 
"Épervier," i3- 
Equator, Crossing the. Ceremony of, 

31. 
Erfurt, 123, 157. i6o- 
Erlon, Drouet d', 181, 188. 

Ernouf, , 260. 

Essling, 132-134, 210. 
Estève, 106. 
Etruria, Queen of, 146. 
Eugene, Prince, 213. 
Eugene de Beauharnais, see Beau- 
harnais, Eugene de. 

Euphrates River, 67. 

"Eurotas, " 23, 24, 26. 

Évain, , 118, 236. 

Evreux, Bishop of, 275. 

Excelmans, , 184. 

Exeter, 22. 

Eylau, 63, 82, 122. 



Fain, Baron, 4, 6, 99. 

Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 107; Saint- 
Jacques, 107. 

Fédérés, 4, 193, 194- 

Ferdinand, Archduke, 118. 

Ferdinand VIL, of Spain, 123, 128-130, 
267. 

Fesch, Cardinal, i37- 



INDEX. 



285 



Feuquières, , 60, 213. 

Figaro, 96, 258. 

Flahaut, General, 2, 3, 6, 7, 180. 

Fleurus, 186, 188, 22g. 

Fleury, , 6, 96. 

Florence, 39; Duke of, 37. 

Florian, J. P. C, 268. 

Fontaine, , 87, 235, 236. 

Fontainebleau, 43, 51, 69, go, 135, 162, 
163, 167, 168, 228, 231. 

Fontenoy, 213, 220, 230. 

Fouché, 5, 73, 89, 91, 92, 94-g7, 138, 139, 
187, 194-196, 221, 263, 264. 

Fouras, 13. 

France, 7. 8, 13, 16, 17, 30, 32, 33, 37- 
3g, 45. 47. 49. 55. 58, 60, 61, 65, 68, 6g, 
71, 72, 81-83, 85, 87-8g, 94, 98, ICI, 
105, log, III, 113, 114, 116, 117, 120, 
121, 123, 125, 129, 130, 136, 137, 140, 
157, 162, 163, 167-169, 182-185, 187, 
i90-ig2, igs, ig6, ig8, 201-206, 208, 
218, 2ig, 224, 235-238, 243, 244, 251, 
252, 254, 256-258, 260, 266, 267, 26g, 
273- 

France, île de, 71. 

Francis I., of Austria, see Austria, 
Emperor of. 

Francis 1., of France, 6g. 

Francis Joseph, see Austria, Emperor 
of. 

Frankfort, 214. 

Frederick, tlie Great, 124, 211, 213- 
218. 

French, 2g, 55, 71, 72, 81, 84, 134, 162, 
200, 203, 213, 217. 

French Revolution, see Revolution. 

Fréron, 47, 4g, 50. 

Fresnes, , 253. 

Friant, , 186, 216. 

Friedland, 122, 124, 226. 

Frioul, 80; Due de, 226. 



Gambier, Captain, 20, 22. 

Gamot, , 17g. 

Gap, 173. 

Garan, , 173. 

Garfagnana, 119. 
Gascon, 224. 

Gassendi, , 226, 230, 241. 

Gassion, , 139. 

Gaudin, , 253. 



Gaul, 69, 277. 

Gauls, igg. 

Gavais, , 43. 

Genappe, 187. 

Genoa, 7g, 81, 82, 246, 250. 

Genty, Lieutenant, 12 (note). 

Georges, Mademoiselle, 30. 

Gérard, General, 30, 165, 176, 17g, 224, 
231- 

Germany, 60, 69, 128, 162, 167, 206, 208, 
217, 277. 

"Gerusalemme Liberate," 39. 

Ghent, 198, 260. 

"Gil Bias," 262. 

Girard, , 188. 

Gironde River, 12, 13. 

Girondins, 55. 

Gohier, , 74, 

Gonesse, 6. 

Gonsalvi, Cardinal, 272. 

Gontaut-Biron, M. de, 138. 

Gourgand, General, 2, 9, 29, 32, 33, 50, 
63. 67, 68, 73, 82, 108, III, 114, 116, 
119, 123, 131, 133, 135, 143, 157, 159- 
166, 168, 176, 178, 185, 189, 194, 198, 
201, 202, 206, 208, 210, 211, 225, 227, 
231, 232, 248, 250, 254, 259, 262, 267, 
26g, 273-276, 27g. 

Government, Provisional, 7, 8, 14. 

Grand Cerf tavern, 10. 

Grasse, 170, 173. 

Gratz, 145. 

Greeks, 156-158, 207. 

Grenoble, 60, 78, i6g-i73, 175, 178, 180, 
181. 

Grenville, Lord, ig7, 204. 

Grey, Lord, ig7. 

Gribeauval, J. B. V., 230. 

Grosbois, ic6. 

Grouchy, General, 3, 186, i8g. 

Guadeloupe, 260, 265. 

Guastalla, iig. 

Guicbe, Madame, 82. 

Guillemin, , 108. 

Guise, 3. 

Gustavus Adolphus, 41, 20g, 210. 

Guyot, General, 186, 189, 

H 

Hamburg, 154. 

Hamelin, Madame, igo, 254. 

Hannibal, 210, 233. 



2S6 



INDEX. 



Hanover, 117. 

Haxo, , 235, 236. 

Hébert, , 48. 

Hédouville, General, 73, 74. 

Heliopolis, 72. 

Henri II. of France, 266; IV. 141, 205, 

218, 2ig. 
Henry VIII. of England, 68, 205. 
"Henriade," 219. 
Herbois, Collot d', 48, 75- 
Herodotus, 69, 278. 
Hoche, 232. 
Hochstadt, 213. 

Hohenzollern, House of, 120, 124. 
Holland, iig; Lord, 203, 204. 
Holland, Queen of, see Hortense de 

Beauharnais. 
Hondschoote, 60. 
Honfleur, 121. 
Hortense de Beauharnais, 56, 135, 

137, 140, 145. 150. I79> 180. 
Hotham, Admiral, 21, 22. 
Hotier, 105. 

Hubert, , 267. 

Hulin, , 194. 

Hull, , 27. 

Hume, David, 205. 



Île d' a IX, 10, 14. 15. 19. 

lie de Sein, 21. 

Imbault, Madame, 9. 

Imperial Library, 39. 

India, 29, 66, 67, 69-71, 144, 277. 

Indies, 202. 

Iron Mask, Man in the, 37. 

Isabey, E. L. G., 136. 

Israelites, 280. 

Issus, 208. 

Italians, 87, 222. 

Italy, 33, 35. 43. 61, 63-65, 69, 73. 74. 78, 
87, 88, loi, 117. 119, 123, 151, 167, 183, 
202, 211, 213, 218, 222, 244, 255, 257. 
277; Campaign with the army of, 
1796-1797, 58-63; second campaign 
in, 78-82. 

J 

Jacobinism, 243- 
Jacobins, 91, 95, 243. 
Jamestown, 246. 
Jena, 119-121, 123-125, 187, 241. 



Jerusalem, 69. 

Jews, 273, 277. 

Joachim, see Murat, Marshal. 

John, Archduke, of Austria, 134; 

Prince, of Austria, 60. 

Jomini, , 215. 

Jordan River, 272. 

Josephine, 55, 56, 74, 82, 88, 90, 94, 103, 

104, 112, 116, 135-141, 150, 163, 170, 

172, 245, 246. 
Josephus, 272. 
Joshua, 279. 
Jouan, Gulf of, 171. 
Jourdan, General, 59, 232, 233. 
Judea, 272, 273. 
Junot, General, 43, 92, 123, 160, 225; 

Madame, 33. 
Jupiter, 271. 
Jupiter Ammon, Temple of, 209. 

K 

Kalouga, 159. 

Keith, , 72; Admiral, 21, 23-27. 

Kellerman, General, 46, 79. 

Kerkadin, , 10. 

Kingdoms bestowed by Napoleon, 

119. 
Kleber, General, 30, 65, 72, 73, 102, 

226, 232. 
Kollin, 213, 218. 
Konigsburg, 121. 
Koran, 269. 
Kosciusko, 125. 
Kourakme, M. de, 154. 
Koutouzoff, General, 157, 159, 160. 
Kray, General, 60. 
Kremlin, 159, 208. 
Kulm, 164. 



La Haie-Sainte, 189. 

La Réveillière, 61. 

La Vendée, 50, 108, 188, 190. 

La Veuve, 39. 

La Ville, César, 5. 

Labédoyère, General, 2, 3, 6, 7, 175, 

179-181, 184, 185, 224, 226. 
Lacretelle, J.C. D., 258. 

Lacroix, , 276. 

Lafayette, Marquis de, 46, I44i I94i 

196. 



INDEX. 



287 



Lafitte, , 96. 

Laforêt, , 89. 

Lagrange, — , 274, 276. 
Labarpe, General, 62. 

Lajolais, , 104. 

Lallemand, , ii, 13, 14, 16, 17, ig, 

33, 25, 28. 

Laraarque, , 187. 

Landau, 188. 
Landshut, 132, 211. 
Languedoc, 261, 

Lanjuinais, , 103, 194. 

Lannes, General, 30, 65, 78, 91, 123, 

143, 188, 226, 227; Madame, see 

Montebello, Madame de. 
Laon, 3. 

Lapie, General, 169. 
Laplace, Marquis de,l86, 251, 268, 270, 

274-276, 279. 

Lapoype, , 80. 

Lariboisière, , i, 4, 6, 226. 

Las Cases, Comte de, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 

19, 20, 22-24, 27-29, 32, 33, 52, no, 

112, 155. 

Lasalle, , 133. 

Lauraguais, Due de, 73. 

Lauriston, , 154, 227. 

Lavalette, , 6, 17, 19, 8g, 90; 

Madame de, 145. 
Lawfeld, 213. 
Lebrun, C. F., 77, 98, 107, 246, 261. 

Lecchi, , 80. 

Lecourbe, 107, 179; General, 224. 
Lefebvre, Marshal, 229, 236. 
Leghorn, 168, 169. 
Legion of Honor, 100, 257; Cross of 

the, 22, 24, 177. 
Legrand, General, 226. 

Leibnitz, , 275. 

Leipsic, 163, 164, 214, 221. 

Lemarois, , 54, 55. 

Leoben, 61. 

Léon, , 207. 

Lepelletier, Felix, 192. 
Leridan, — -, 107. 
Les Sables, 13. 

Letourneur, , 44, 253. 

"Lifïey," 22, 24. 
Ligny, 124, 186-188. 
Ligurian, Republic, 117. 
Lille, 178; Comte de, 83. 
Lillicrap, Captain, 23. 
Limoges, 8. 



Lintz, 133. 

Littleton, , 28. 

Lobau, Comte de, 164, 186; Island of, 

133- 
Loire River, 48, 88, 235. 

Loison, , 80. 

Lombardy, 117. 

Lonato, 261. 

London, 19-23, 165, 197, 256, 258; 

Tower of, 15; bankers, 258. 
Longwood, 63, i66, 268. 

Lorge, , 80. 

Lorraine, Prince of, 215. 

Louis IX., 218, 2ig; XIII., 45; XIV.. 

37, 91, 203, 218-220; XV., 91, 220; 

XVI., 44-46, 49, 51, 78, 194, 254; 

XVIII., 82, 83, 95, 98, III, 112, 163, 

167, 176, 198-200, 202-206, 266. 
Louis Philippe, see Orleans, Duke of. 
Louvre, 53. 

Lovelace, , 39. 

Lowe, Sir Hudson, 33 (note), 166, 204, 

258, 263. 
Lowther, Lord, 28. 
Lucca, 119, 16;. 

Luchesine, de, 90. 

Lugano, 59. 

Luther, Martin, 68. 

Lutzen, 128, 238. 

Luxembourg, 61, 73; General, 213. 

Lyonnais, 256. 

Lyons, 38, 48-50, 64, 88, 175, 176, 179, 

181, 203; Academy of, 42. 

M 

Macdonald, General, 100, 107, 164, 

165, 260. 
Macedonians, 208. 
Mack, General, 117, 118. 
Madame mère, see Bonaparte, 

Madame. 
Madeira, 30. 
Madrid, 45, 144. 

Magallon, , 64. 

Magdeburg, 124-127, 210, 214, 
Mahomet, see Mohammed. 
Mahrattas, 67. 

Maignet, , 42. 

Maingaud, Dr. ,23. 
Maintenon, Madame de, 255. 

Maison, , 231. 

Maitland, Captain, 20-26, 28. 



288 



INDEX. 



Malmaison, 4-8, 41, 106, 163, 184, iq6, 

ig7, 264. 
Maloi-Yaroslavitz, 15g. 

Malouet, , 8g. 

Malta, 114, ii7; Knights of, 21Q. 

Mamelukes, 64, 65. 

Manufactures, see Commerce and 

Manufactures. 
Mantua, 80, 81, 22g. 
Marat, Jean Paul, 47, 4g. 
Marathon, 207. 
Marchand, General, 5, 8, 24, 174, i75i 

180, 263, 267. 
Marchiennes, 188. 

Marengo, 79, 80, 83, 117, 218, 221, 247. 
Marie Antoinette, 51, 52. 
Marie Louise, 37, 51, 135-137. 139-141. 

152, 153, 156. 
Marmont, General, 134, 164, 227, 228 

(note), 248, 250. 
Marne, 165. 

Mars, Mademoiselle, 248. 
Marseilles, 42, 4g, 50, 180. 
Martinique, 113. 
Mary, Queen of England, 205. 
Massa-Carrara, iig. 
Massena, General, 81, 82, 123, 130, 131, 

17g, 180, 26g. 

Masson, , 218. 

Maumusson, 11, 16. 

Maximilian, Emperor, 208. 

Mayence, 102. 

Measures, see Weights and Measures. 

Mecca, 67, 20g, 255. 

Mediterranean, 117. 

"Méduse," 12, 15. 

Mêlas, General, 7g-8i. 

Melville, Lord, 25. 

Meneval, , gg. 

Menou, General, 65, 67, 2og. 

Merlin, , 61. 

Mesgrigny, ,5. 

Metiernich. Prince, 37, bi, 92, g3, 96, 

128, 135, 222. 
Metz, 188. 
Mézières, 2. 

Michels, Des, , 173. 

Milan, 40, 80, 117, 151, 277. 
Milanese, 81. 

Milowski, , 170. 

Mincio River, 5g. 

Mohammed, 68, 70, 255,256,262, 271. 

Mohammedan religion, 274, 275, 280. 



Mohammedans, 65, 250, 273, 275, 277. 
Moldavia, 154, 15g. 

Molitor, , 268. 

Mollien, , g6, 253. 

Monaco, Dr., i6g; Prince of, 170- 

172. 
Moncey, Marshal, 80, 177, 227. 
Monge, G., 270, 274, 27g. 
Mont Tarare, 78. 

Montalivet, , 184. 

Montaran, , 5, 7. 

Monte Argentario, 44. 

Monte Notte, 37. 

Montebello, Madame de, gi, 136, 140, 

152. 
Montecucculi, General, 2ir. 
Monteleone, 222. 
Montélimart, 172. 
Montenegrins, 268. 
Montereau, 227. 

Montesquiou, , 2, 186, i8g, 201, 233, 

267; Abbé de, 83; Madame de, 152. 
Montholon, General, 5, 6, 8, 12, 26-30, 
log, 123, 145, 182, 231, 258, 263, 267; 
Madame de, 8, 11, 20, 24, 27, 28, 210, 
268. 
Montmartre, 87, 88, 234, 235. 
Montmorency, Constable de, 6g; Ma 
dame de, g6; Mathieu de, 144; Raoul 
de, g. 

Montmorin, , 45, 129. 

Montpellier, 36. 
Montrond, g4. 
Moore, Sir John, 132, 233. 
Moreau, General, 5g, 93, g4, 103-iog, 
114, 163, 164, 232, 233; Madame, 102- 
104. 

Mortier, , 186. 

Moscow, 155-160, 246, 266. 

Moses, 271, 277, 280. 

Moskwa, iig, 130, 158, 160, 161, 245. 

Moulin, , 75. 

Mounier, , 80. 

Mourad Bey (Napoleon's horse), 

255. 
Mozhaisk, 15g. 
Muiron, General, 54, 
Munich, 150, 151. 
Murad Bey, 64. 

Murât, Marshal, King of Naples, 30, 
38, 53. 54, 94, 119. 142, 153. 159-162. 
178, 182, 183, igi, 221, 222, 227, 236, 
250. 



INDEX. 



289 



N 



Nangis, 238. 

Nansouty, General, 227. 

Nantes, 50; Bishop of, 135, 137, i39. 

271, 273. 

Narbonne, , 136, 140, 154, 259. 

Nariskine, Princess, 126. 

Naples, iig, 168, i6g; King of, see 

Murât, Marshal, King of Naples; 

Queen of, see Bonaparte, Caroline, 

Queen of Naples. 
Napolton II., 23, 184, 202, 203, 206, 265. 
Naumburg, 120, 123. 
Neapolitans, 222. 
Necker, J., 45. 

Ncipperg, , 140. 

Nelson, Lord, 116, 118, 236. 
Nero, 205, 25g, 260, 266. 
Neuburg, 123. 
Neuville, Hyde de, 82. 

Newton, , 275. 

Ney, Marshal, 82, 123, 161, 177, 17g, 

184, 185, 189, igi, ig3, 221, 223-225, 

227, 236, 245. 
Nice, 5g, 88. 

Niémen River, 122, 134, 154, 155. 
Nile, 6g, 70, 278. 
Niort, 7, 10, 
Nivernois, Due de, 56. 
Noailles, Hôtel de, 54. 
"Northumberland," 27-29, no, 
Notre Dame, 116. 
"Nouvelle Héloïse," 244. 

o 

Oder River, 214. 

O'Meara, , 263. 

Orbitello, 44. 

Ordener, , no. 

Orleans, 8, 11; Duke of, 46, 4g, ço, ig4, 
203, 204. 

Ornano, , d', 25g 

Ossakoff, , 130. 

Ostrowo, 160. 
Otrante, Due de, g6. 
Otranto, Duke of, g4. 

Ott, . 78. 

Ouessant, 21. 

Ouverture, Toussaint L', 113. 

Ouvrard, , g4. 

Ozier, , d', g3. 



Pajol, General, 189. 

Pantheon, 49. 

Paoli, General, 38, 39. 

Paris, 2-12, 14, 15, 20, 30, 35, 36, 39, 42- 
52, 54-56, 61, 64, 75, 83, 86-89, 92- 93, 
loi, 104, 106, no, 114, 115, 139, 158, 162, 
165, 172, 176-179, 183-185, i92-ig5, 201, 
208, 219, 222, 223, 233, 234, 237, 244, 
245, 252, 254-257, 259, 260, 262, 263, 
264, 267, 270. 

Parisians, 55, 87-89, 235, 266. 

Parma, 252, 257. 

Parmenio, , 209. 

Pasha, The, 69. 

Pastrengo, 59. 

Patrault,4o, 41. 

Paul 1. of Russia, 127, 156. 

" Paul and Virginia, " 268. 

Pavia, 78, 80, 221. 

Pellair, , 267. 

Perregaux, Mademoiselle, 228. 

Persia, 67, 207; King of, 208. 

Peter HI. of Russia, 127. 

Philibert, Captain, 13, ig. 

Philippeville, 2, 3. 

Piacenza, 62, 80. 

Pichegru, General, 32, 40, 82, 93, 94, 
102-109, 114. 

Pignerol, Governor of, 37. 

Piombino, Gulf of, 44. 

Pire, General, 5, 6, 132. 

Pirna, 214. 

Pisa, 256. 

Pitt, William, 97. 

Pius Vn., 271, 275. 

Pizzighetone, 80. 

Place de Carrousel, 82; la Madeleine, 
104. 

Place Vendôme, 105. 

Planât, , 3, 8, 11, 15, 23. 

Plantation House, 263. 

Plato, 271, 272, 275, 276. 

Plymouth, 21, 22. 

Po River, 62, 80, 81, 183. 

Poitiers, 7, 10. 

Poland, 121, 122, 124, 125, 141, 155, 157, 
160, 206. 

Police, 8g-g2. 

Polignac, , 108, log. 

Pompadour, Madame de, 217. 

Ponée, Captain, 12 (note), 13, 19. 



290 



INDEX. 



Pons, 180. 

Pope, 35, 36, 44, 68, 6g, 70, 88, loi, 102, 
116, 146, 197, 208, 219, 254, 274, 277. 

Pope Pius Vll., see Pius VII. 

Porto Ferrajo, 168, 169. 

Portugal, 91, 122, 130, 131, 162. 

Portuguese, 162. 

Post Office, 89, 90. 

Pradt, Abbé de, 91, 266. 

Prague, 128, 132, 162, 213-216. 

Praslin, , 227. 

Prefects, 86. 

Presburg, 60; Treaty of, 120. 

"Prometheus," 26. 

Prony, , 251. 

Protestants, 273. 

Provence, 180, 261. 

Provisional Government, see Govern- 
ment, Provisional. 

Prudhon, ,1136. 

Prussia, 90, 116, 117, 120, 127, 134, 155, 
156, 160, i62,:202, 211, 243; King of, 
120, 121, 123-127; Queen of, 125-127. 

Prussians, 119, 120, 163, 185, 187, 188, 
190, 218. 

Pyrenees Mountains, 162. 

Q 

Quatre Bras, 185, 189. 
R 

Rambouillet, 7. 

Rapp, , 188. 

Rastadt,6i. 

Raucourt, Mademoiselle, 90. 

Reade, Sir Thomas, 166. 

Real, ,'73, 93, 96, 105-107. 

Red Sea, 66, 70. 

Reformation, 69. 

Regnault, 2, 142, 184, 189, 193; 

Madame, 5. 

Régnier, , 106. 

Reichstadt, Due d', see Rome King 

of. 
Reign of Terror, 48, 75. 
Religion, 270-280. 
Republic, gi, 106. 

Résigny, , 3, 7, 8. 

Retz, Cardinal de, 262. 

Revolution, 59, 60, 94, 96, 98, 140, 184, 

199, 202, 206, 220, 232, 258, 273. 
Revolution and its leaders, 44-52. 
Rewbell, , 58. 



Rey, , 174, 186. 

Reynier, , 131. 

Rheims, 2, 3. 

Rhine, Confederation of the, 120, 123. 

Rhine River, 73, 102, no, 117, 120, 124, 

213, 220, 243. 
Rhone River, 59, 175. 
Richelieu, Due de, 98, 230. 
Riga, 159. 
Rivalto, 79. 

Rivière, , 109. 

Robespierre, 42, 47, 48, 50. 
Rochefort, 7, 10, 11, 13, 19. 
Rochelle, 16. 
Rocroy, 2. 

Roederer, , 51, 52, 73. 

Roguet, , 235, 236. 

Rolland, , 106. 

Roman legion, 229. 
Romans, 129, 208, 233, 237, 267. 
Rome, 44, 68, 147, 148, 25g, 266, 268; 

King of, 62, 152, 153, 165, 257. 
Roncesvalles, 131. 
Rosbach, 216, 217. 

Rostoptchin, , 157. 

Roumelia, 157. 

Rousseau, Jean Jacques, 244. 

Roustan, , 50. 

Rovigo, Due de, 5, 7, 9, 10, 13-16, 25, 28. 

Royalists in France, 82-83. 

Rue Chantereine, 244, 256; Royale, 

104; Saint-Honoré, 4; Vivienne, 263. 
Russia, 67, 70, 71, 116, 120, 122, 128, 

132, 134, 137, 140, 154, 155. 157-160, 

162, igo, igi, 202, 204, 264; Emperor 

of, see Alexander 1. 
Russians, 118, iig, 130, 163, 187, 200, 

216, 233, 236. 



" Saale, " 12-15. 
Sablons, 53, 263. 
Sada, Sheik, 72. 

Saint-Aubin, , 31. 

Saint Bernard, 13g; Great, Convent of, 
272; Great, Passage of the, 78 (note). 
Saint-Cloud, 255, 267. 

Saint-Cyr, , 164, 205. 

Saint-Denis, 6. 
Saint-Didier, Madame, 262. 
Saint Domingo, 112-113, 200. 
Saint-Germain, 6. 
St. Gothard, 80. 



INDEX. 



291 



St. Helena, 24, 25, 2g, 33, no, 112, 126, 
149. 155. 157, 165, iQi, 193, ig6. ig8, 
204, 246, 251, 252, 263, 265, 266. 

Saint-Jacques, , 3. 

Saint-Jean, Mont, 18. 

Saint-Lambert, i8g. 

Saint Leu, 36. 

Saint Leu, Duchesse de, see Hor- 
tense de Beauharnais. 

Saint-Maixent, 10. 

St. Petersburg, 156, 160. 

Saint-Pierre, Bernardin de, 268. 

St. Stephen, Eajjle of, 166. 

St. Vincent, Lord, 246. 

Saint-Von, , 2, 3, 8, 175. 

Sainte-Catherine, 12. 

Saintes, 8, 11. 

Salerno, 222. 

Salic Law, 205. 

Sambre River, i. 

San Miniato, 35. 

Santarem, 131. 

Saorgio, 62, 217. 

Sardinia, King of, 218. 

Sarrazin, , 164. 

Satorius, Captain, 20-22. 

Saul, ig7. 

Saulnier, General, 10. 

Savary, see Rovigo, Due de. 

Saxe, Marshal, 213, 217. 

Saxons, 134, 214. 

Saxony, 120, 202; King of, 126, 158. 

Schérer General, 58, 5g. 

Schonbrunn, 84. 

Schwarzenberg, General, 134, 257. 

Schweidnitz, 230. 

Schwerin, , 215. 

Scipio, General, 233. 

Secretaries, Private, g8-gg. 

Seine River, 87, 133, 184, 234. 

Sémonville, , 47. 

Sénarmont, , 226. 

Septeuil, , 227. 

Sévigné, Madame de, 250. 

Seymour, Lady, 205. 

Shakespeare, 162. 

Sieyès, Abbé, 51, 54, 73-75. 

Sisteron, 173. 

"Slaney," 20. 

Smith, Sidney, 72. 

Smolensk, 140, 157, 15g, 160, 227. 

Socrates, 271, 275, 276. 

Soliman, 68. 



Soprani, , 248. 

Sorbier, , 226. 

Sotin, , 83, 84. 

Soubise, General, 216, 217. 

Souham, 164. 

Soult, Marshal, 2, 3, 123, 131, 163, 176, 

187, i8g, 201. 
South America, 144. 
Spain, 122, 123, 128, 130, 131, 144, 155, 

162, 233, 257, 258. 
Spaniards, 130, 238. 
Spanish war, 12g. 
Staël, Madame de, loi, 244, 261. 

Staps, , 84. 

Stradella, 78, 7g, 221. 

Stupinski, , 8, g. 

Suard, , 266. 

Suchet, Marshal, 7g, 82, 17g, 185, 186, 

i8g. 

Sugny, , 42. 

"Superb," 21, 23. 

Sweden, 116, 120, 156, 157, 162. 

Swiss, 216. 

Switzerland, 81. 

Syria, 157, 244. 



Tacitus, 158, 266. 
Tagus River, 131. 

Talbot, , 183. 

Talleyrand, 42, 47, 58, 75, 8g, go, g4-g8, 

102, log-iii, 123, 126, 244, 245, 278. 

Tallien, , 47, 55; Madame, 56, 254. 

Talma, , 56. 

Tartars, 123, 156. 

Tasso, 3g. 

Teil, du, General, 42. 

"Telegraph," 21. 

Tennis Court, Oath of the, 45. 

Thénard, , 44. 

"Thunderer," 26, 27. 

Ticino River, 80, 81. 

Tilly, General, 41, 210. 

Tilsit, 63, 124, 125, 127, 160, 163; Treaty 

of, 122. 
Titles conferred by Napoleon, iig, 

(note). 
Torbay, 22, 27, 2g. 
Torgau, 124. 

Torres Vedras, Lines of, 130. 
Toula, 15g. 
Toulon, 33, 3g, 43, 44, 50, 54, i6g, 178- 

180, 201, 261. 



292 



INDEX. 



Toulouse, 261. 

Tours, 7, 9, 54, 88, 235. 

Tower of London, see London, 

Tower of. 
Trafalgar, 116, 118. 

Traisnel, , 93. 

Trianon, 246. 

Troyes, 165. 

Tuileries, 51, 52, 55, 104, 108, 109, 116, 

173, 176, 177, 269, 270. 

Tureau, , 78-80. 

Turenne, Marshal, 59, 210, 211, 212, 

213. 
Turin, 60, 79, 80, 213. 
Turkey, 156, 213. 
Turks, 156, 158, 268, 280. 
Tuscany, 87. 
Tyre, 208. 

U 

Ulm, 60, 117, 210, 241. 
United States, 3, 4, 6, 17, 18, 71, 72, 
143. 184, 197. 

V 

Valen ay, 9, 123, 129, 130. 
Valence, 39, 40; General, 46. 
Valenciennes, 60. 
Valenza, 81. 

Valois, Marguerite de, 218. 
Valoutina, 43, 160. 
Vandamme, General, 164, 186. 

Vanderberg, 86. 

Var River, 82. 
Varennes, 46. 
Vassy, 165. 

Vatrin, , 80. 

Veauchamps, 238. 

Vendeans, 225. 

Vendôme, 7, 9, 237. 

Venice, 151. 

Verdun, 114. 

Verona, 59. 

Versailles, 116, 227, 246, 248. 

Vicence, Due de, m; Duchesse de, 

5-41. 
Victor, General, 80, 227. 
Vienna, 92, 97, 133, 135, 136, 149, 

200, 202, 226, 233, 234, 254; Congress 

of, 96. 
Villars, Marshal, 60, 230, 237. 
Villeneuve, .admiral, 115-118. 
Villeroy, Duc de, 213. 



Vincennes, 87, [76, 234. 
Vincent, Colonel, 113. 

Viry, , 247. 

Visconti, Madame, 244, 245, 247, 248. 
Vistula River, 124, 163. 

Vital, , 5. 

Vitebsk, 159, 160. 
Vitry, 165. 

Vittoria, 128, 129, 143, 162. 
Volney, Comte, 269. 
Voltaire, 219, 230, 255. 
Vosges River, 217. 

w 

Wagram, 60, 133, 210, 212. 

" Wales, Prince of," 116. 

Walewska, Madame, 5, 245, 259. 

Wallenstein, General, 41, 210. 

War, The art of, 229-242. 

Warsaw, 154. 

Waterloo, 7, 30, 31, 143, 146, 158, 178, 

182-197, 202, 243, 245, 263, 266. 
Weights and measures, 86. 
Weimar, 123; Duke of, 123, 124. 

Wellesley, , 204. 

Wellington, Duke of, 72, 94, 130, 131, 

162, 187, igo, 267. 
West Indies, 114, 115, 117. 
Westphalia, 119. 
Whitworth, Lord, 114. 
Wiasma, 157, 159. 
Wilna, 154, 161. 

Wintzingerode, , 165. 

Wittenburg, 124, 125. 
Wittgenstein, 159. 
Wormeley, Captain, 114. 
Wright, Captain, 109, no. 
Wurtemberg, King of, 243; Princess 

of, i53.- 
Wurtzburg, 234. 



Xerxes, 207. 



York, Duke of, 60. 



Zama, 233. 
"Zephyr,'' 169. 
Znaim, 134. 



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